Friday, September 23, 2016

We Should Probably Bury It

Mary Berry will not be a judge on The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel Four, but Paul Hollywood has said that he will remain. So, to sum up, then, Channel Four have spending a staggering amount of money,a small fortune, in fact, and bought what is, currently, the most popular programme on British TV but both of the show's presenters and one of the two judges - three of the four people who have help to make it currently the most popular programme on British TV - will not be involved in it in future. Anybody else wondering if C4 are wanting their money back right about now? Two words, Jay Hunt. Top. Gear. Next. Mary said that she was staying with the BBC 'out of loyalty,' in much the same - very admirable - way that Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins did last week, adding that the BBC had nurtured both her and the show. She said that Bake Off was 'a unique and brilliant format from day one' and that she was 'just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change.' But Hollywood - getting his greed right on - claimed that he was 'delighted' to be staying on the show. And, one imagines, even more delighted with a geet mounds of filthy wonga he will, no doubt, be making in the short-to-medium-term. 'It's been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that,' he said. Last week, Giedroyc and Perkins announced that they were leaving the production, saying they were 'not going with the dough.' Hollywood, who has signed a three-year deal with Channel Four, said: 'I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding.' He also thanked his fellow judge in a later tweet, adding: 'She has made the right decision for her.' Berry, Hollywood, Giedroyc and Perkins have all appeared on the show since the first series was broadcast on BBC2 in 2010. Greed Productions, which makes the series, said, presumably through gritted-teeth: 'We respect Mary's decision not to join the next chapter of the Bake Off story. We are immensely grateful to her for all her work and for her recognition today that Love Productions had made a unique and brilliant format from day one with Bake Off. The whole family, crew and team that made Bake Off for the BBC, and who will now make it just as brilliantly for C4, will miss her.' Berry said in her statement: 'What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent. The Bake Off family - Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter. My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision. I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.' Charlotte Moore, the controller of BBC1, said: 'Mary is an extraordinary woman, loved and adored by the British public and the BBC is her natural home,' adding: 'I can't wait to cook up more unmissable shows with her in the future.' One imagines that the BBC are now in discussions with Mel, Sue and Mary about how they can create a format for them which will retain the majority of Bake Off's massive audience. It was announced last week that The Great British Bake Off was moving from BBC1 to Channel Four. The network has signed a three-year deal with Greed Productions, which makes the programme. It is understood the corporation had offered Greed Productions fifteen million knicker per year to keep the show on the BBC. That would have been double the amount the BBC currently pays for the show and its sister programmes, An Extra Slice and various Sport Relief specials. But, this semeingly wasn't enough for Greed Production who got their greed right on and demanded an extortionate twenty five million smackers. Giedroyc and Perkins left the show the day after its move to Channel Four was announced, seemingly disgusted with the whole fiasco. 'We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was,' they said in a joint statement. Channel Four will begin broadcasting what is left of the programme in 2017. How many of those who currently watch it on the BBC will follow it to its new commercial home when three-quarters of the reasons for watching it are no longer there has yet to be established.

Channel Four has bought 'a very expensive car with one wheel' in The Great British Bake Off, according to its former boss. Michael Grade strongly criticised the channel's decision to buy the show. Earlier, Mary Berry announced that she would no longer be a judge out of 'loyalty' to the corporation, a decision which Lord Grade said he 'respected.' Channel Four has defended itself, saying it had 'secured a much-loved show free-to-air for British audiences.' Meanwhile the ex-lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale has voiced fears that The Great British Bake Off could suffer a similar fate to Top Gear. Speaking to Martha Kearney on Radio 4's The World At One, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale - who is now, seemingly, passing himself off as the BBC's bestest friend in all the land that am - said that he was 'surprised' Channel Four had bought the programme and feels it 'raises questions as to whether it's appropriate.' And, just to conclude this round-up of people who have nothing whatsoever to do with The Great British Bake Off mouthing off about it, minutes after Mary Berry's resignation from The Great British Bake Off was announced, worthless opinion-on-everything gobshite Davina McCall suggested that Channel Four should make the show 'sugar free.' Although, what the Hell it has to do with her, she didn't say.
Cast members of The West Wing - the best TV drama ever made ... which doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'Who' in the title - are to campaign for the US Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Ohio this weekend. Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill, Joshua Malina and Mary McCormack will reunite to help organise events across the state. The stars of the former hit US political TV drama will appear in towns including Cleveland, Sandusky and Toledo. The West Wing, also starring Martin Sheen, ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006. Martin, of course, played Democratic President Josiah Bartlet in the multi Golden Globe-winning drama, played out within the enclaves of The White House. If you missed it, it's currently being repeats on Sky Atlantic, daily. It was bloody good. And, there's a not-bad episode guide to the first three-and-a-half series which is still available for a ludicrously cheap price on amazon. Good book, that. Local author, apparently. Sheen's former co-stars will go on the Clinton campaign trail to rally the public to vote, according to a campaign statement. 'The actors will discuss why they are supporting Clinton and urge Ohioans to register to vote ahead of the 11 October deadline and to get involved in organising their communities ahead of November's election,' the statement said. Sheen, however, won't be joining his former West Wing colleagues and, neither will Rob Lowe or, seemingly From The North favourite, Janel Moloney. Sheen has nonetheless previously stated his support for Clinton - and been damning of her Republican rival (and hairdo) Donald Trump. Sheen also appears in a new anti-Trump video called Save The Day made by The Avengers director and Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.
This blogger very much enjoyed the opening episode of Gotham series three - Better To Reign In Hell - the preview disc of which turned up at Stately Telly Topping Manor earlier this very week. By Hell, they crammed a lot of plot into forty three minutes there.
Here's the sixth instalment in From The North's latest semi-regular series don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?
CJ de Mooi, a former panellist on the BBC2 quiz show Eggheads, has been very arrested on a European arrest warrant under his real name, Joseph Connagh, for an alleged killing, Scotland Yard have said. The forty six-year-old from Monmouthshire was extremely arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, according to the Metropolitan Scuzzers. The warrant, issued in the Netherlands, relates to an allegation of murderisation. Connagh was scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday. He previously revealed in his autobiography that he 'may have killed a man' while he lived on the streets two decades ago. He claimed that he punched a man who approached him with a knife and then threw him into a canal in Amsterdam in 1988. He wrote: 'He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped.' He added: 'I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him.' Connagh, originally from Barnsley, became a panellist on the BBC show, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003 after winning a series of game shows. He adopted the name de Mooi when modelling.
CBS's 'culture-clash comedy' The Great Indoors is coming to ITV2 soon. Starring yer actual Stephen Fry, it is 'a multigenerational comedy that snipes at millennials, media and hipster culture,' apparently. Sounds awful, frankly. The Great Indoors follows Joel McHale's character, Jack, a reporter 'with a Bear Grylls spirit' who becomes 'a desk-bound boss attempting to run the digital department of his adventure magazine The Great Outdoors.' Fry plays Roland - the magazine's enigmatic founder, traveller and explorer - who reassigned Jack's role. The cast also includes Christopher Mintz-Plasse who plays tech geek Clark, Christine Ko who plays 'social media whiz' Emma, Shaun Brown, Susannah Fielding who plays Fry's on-screen daughter, Brooke and Chris Williams as Jack's best friend, Eddie. 'The Great Indoors combines a cast of fresh and experienced talent, with a creative team that has worked on some of television's best known comedies, for a dynamic take on the modern media workplace,' claimed Stephen Tague, the Senior Vice President, Europe for CBS Studios International. Rosemary Newell, ITV's Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions believes the show will 'speak to a forgotten audience.' Whatever the Hell that means.
A man has been very charged with burglary following a break-in at Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's palatial London mansion last year. Cash and jewellery were reportedly taken from the Holland Park property on 4 December 2015. Darren February, aged thirty two, is due before Hammersmith Magistrates' Court on 5 October. At the time Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads said that he had been asleep in the property, along with his partner Lauren Silverman and their baby son, Eric.
Good Morning Britain viewers - all twelve of them - 'got into a furore' earlier this week, at least, according to the Daily Mirra, as the flop ITV breakfast programme dedicated several news segments to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce rather than reporting on the recent police shooting and riots in the American city of Charlotte. And, by 'furore' what the risible tabloid actually meant was that half-a-dozen people whinged about the matter on Twitter and, since they're unable to hack peoples phones to get stories these days, one of their 'journalists' was done a story on 'the Twitter backlash.' Albeit, on this occasion, the Twatterers have been whinging not entirely without just cause, let it be noted. And then, the producers of the ITV programme wonder why it is that Good Morning Britain still gets a pants-down ratings spanking on a daily basis from BBC Breakfast. Despite the ITV 'news' programme having 'the volatile situation' in the US as its headline story of the day - following the killing of disabled forty three-year-old Keith Lamont Scott - Good Morning Britain chose, instead, to focus heavily on the world-shattering story that two actors who've been married for a while had decided to get a divorce. With alleged 'celebrity experts' (whatever the fek that not-a-real-job-type-job constitutes) and a live video link to US Entertainment Editor Ross King in Los Angeles, some viewers thought it was 'way too much', considering there was some, you know, 'real news' happening elsewhere in the world. One - nameless - viewer quoted by the Mirra allegedly said: 'With everything that's going on in the world, I can't believe Good Morning Britain have spent the last half hour talking to "experts" about Brangelina.' This blogger, on the other hand, can easily believe such a thing; I mean, with intellectual heavyweights like Ben Shephard and Horrible Kate Garraway fronting their coverage, what did you really expect from Good Morning Britain, serious journalism? If so, you're looking in the wrong place.
Less than a month after finding a new controller of drama commissioning (ITV having poached the BBC's Polly Hill, so the BBC's near-inevitable response was to poach Channel Four's Piers Wenger), it appears the Beeb will soon have another key fiction commissioning post to fill: Broadcast magazine reports that Christine Langan, the much-admired head of BBC Films, is on the verge of joining Steve Coogan's Baby Cow (having previously worked with Coogan on both Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Philomena). The tricky and awkwardly-timed challenge of replacing her threatens to spoil the summer holidays of Alan Yentob, who retained his post as chairman of BBC Films when he stepped down as the BBC's creative director and is made harder because, repeating the Wenger ploy by raiding Channel Four for the head of its Film4 is surely ruled out, as this is new Film4 boss Daniel Battsek's first month working there.
Watching a tear-jerking film 'helps in social bonding,' according to researchers with, seemingly, nothing better to do with their time. The findings could explain our attraction to dramatic works of fiction - even if they make us cry. Experiments by an Oxford University team suggest 'tragic films and other dramatic works' trigger a rush of feel-good chemicals, endorphins. This acts as a natural painkiller and helps us bond with the people around us, they report in the Royal Society journal Open Science. The human fascination with story-telling was forged in ancient times when we began to live in hunter-gatherer communities, said Professor Robin Dunbar, who led the research. Enjoying fiction is a hallmark of human society but, until now, scientists have not investigated its evolutionary basis - usually, because, they've had more important things to be be looking into. 'Fiction is widely studied by humanities academics as it is an important feature of human society, common to all cultures,' said Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University. 'Yet the reasons why fiction can be so engrossing and the functions for this have not been widely studied by psychologists or behavioural biologists. There are good social reasons: folklore enables us to pass on wisdom or ingrain community values, bringing us together. While that is important, it does not fully explain why we are willing to return again and again to be entertained.' An Oxford team of scientists, psychologists and classicists decided to test whether drama triggers the release of endorphins. They showed volunteers the film Stuart: A Life Backwards, the dramatised story of a homeless man with a troubled childhood. The team tested changes in pain threshold before and after viewing the films as a measure for endorphin release using the wall-sit test. This is where someone rests their back against the wall as if they were sitting on a chair and holds it for as long as possible. 'Those who had the greatest emotional response also had the greatest increase in pain threshold and the greater their sense of being bonded with their group,' said Professor Dunbar. He also thinks our affinity for emotive fiction 'may' have evolved in the context of cohesion of social groups, as the endorphin effect has also been seen in comedy, singing and dancing. 'This is not to say that this one chemical effect alone is the only reason for dramatic fiction - there are other aspects of human psychology at work - but we believe that it is an important reason for our enjoyment of fiction,' he added. The research was 'an unusual collaboration' of researchers from the fields of arts and science. Doctor Sophie Duncan, a Shakespeare scholar, said that they 'wanted to understand how and why fiction works and the meaning of getting lost in a book.' The study shows 'you can give yourself an endorphin high through fiction,' she said. 'Watching tragic drama is good for you - it's good for our health,' she told BBC News. 'It boosts endorphins which are our body's natural painkiller.'
Two sexually explicit adverts for sexy telephone chat-lines on the back page of the Sunday Sport have been banned by regulators, despite claims from the advertiser that the move would 'amount to censorship.' The adverts were illustrated with pictures of women in the process of undressing and with their breasts partly exposed and were accompanied by taglines including 'XXX Sex Stories' and 'Filthy Sex Chat with Hot TGirls!' The publisher of the Sunday Sport - they have their knockers - argued that the newspaper was 'clearly targeted at adults'(or, at least, people with the physical age of adults, but the mental age of a mollusc) and it had run similar advertising before and had received no complaints. The advertiser, Worldwide Digital Media, claimed that to 'prohibit the ads from being placed in the newspaper, would be highly selective and restrictive, and would amount to censorship on the UK's free press.' The ASA took a different view. The complaint was made by a campaign group, Not Buying It, which is currently hosting petitions against the Daily Sport and its advertising on its website. Though the Advertising Standards Authority cleared similar adverts inside the newspaper, it said that their appearance on the back page 'could' expose them to children. In its ruling the ASA said that 'if the paper was left in public places or around the house,' the adverts 'could be seen by children.' Something one could also say about, you know, the latest issue of Spank Monthly. Just an observation. It added: 'We also understood that the Sunday Sport was usually displayed in retail stores alongside other newspapers in a readily visible position (as opposed to appearing on the top shelf) and, therefore, the back page was more likely to be seen inadvertently by children.'
A former TV presenter - of sorts - 'failed to make it clear' that she was being paid to send a tweet about a snack, the advertising watchdog has ruled. AJ Odudu posted a picture of an Alpro Go On yoghurt-type pot in her hand alongside the caption 'Fave summer snack vibes.' The tweet should have been marked to show that she was being paid to promote the company's products, the Advertising Standards Authority said. Odudu, a former presenter on Big Brother's utterly worthless spin-off show, Bit On The Side, 'should have included a clear identifier' in the post to let people know it was marketing, rather than her own editorial content, the ASA said. Odudu, who currently has more than twenty five thousand followers on Twitter - which, in and of itself, is a perfect illustration of why Twitter is a completely sodding worthless entity with no redeeming features whatsoever - has been 'warned' to mark future similar posts with '#ad' to 'clear up any doubt.' Although, quite what they will do to her if she fails to comply with this order is not really clear. Send the boys round to break her fingers one-by-one, perhaps? In its ruling, which was sparked by one lone whinge, the ASA said the advert 'was presented in a similar "voice" to Ms Odudu's other tweets and did not include any clear identifier, such as "#ad", to demarcate it from her own content. While we noted that the tweet contained the advertiser Twitter handle and campaign hashtags, we did not consider that this would make clear to consumers the commercial intent of the content or the editorial control exercised by the advertiser.' The company, which specialises in soya food products, has pledged to 'ensure' any future marketing communications are marked up as adverts.
A newspaper advertisement for an Enid Blyton gift shop featuring a golliwog has been very banned after the advertising watchdog found that it was 'likely to cause serious offence.' No shit? Corfe Castle's Ginger Pop Shop – which describes itself on its website as 'all about Enid Blyton and her era' – ran an advert in a local Dorset paper, the Purbeck Gazette. It featured an illustration of a golliwog holding a pint of ginger beer with text underneath reading 'English freedom.' Underneath this it read 'Visit our shop and get the tea towel.' Two readers, who believed the depiction of the golliwog character was racist, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the advertisement was offensive. The shop's owners said that they 'did not accept' the golliwog represented 'negative racial stereotypes,' claiming that it had 'a long history with origins in a children's book in the late Nineteenth Century.' Which is true. Mind you, so have various hugely offensive racist words. So, that's not really a defence for using them, is it? They believed that the character in the original books - and on Robertson's marmalade badges - was 'heroic' and was 'an aspirational role model,' but acknowledged that it had become stereotyped over time. They also provided a letter from a supporter and a comments book from their shop, which they said showed most passers-by were 'positive' about the fact they sold golliwogs. Ginger Pop had produced a tea towel intended to celebrate one hundred and twenty years of golliwogs, which it said included words far removed from the minstrel doll stereotype. The Purbeck Gazette claimed it had 'checked the legality' of the advert prior to running it and had 'been told' it was 'within the law.' Presumably, whoever told them that has now been sacked. It had not directly received any complaints itself. The ASA said that it 'understood' there had been 'some local controversy' around the tea towel and that the advert was 'a reference' to that. However, it did not consider that all readers would be 'aware of that background.' It said 'many people were likely to view the character as representing negative racial stereotypes' and its inclusion in a press advert was 'likely to cause serious or widespread offence.' Including the words 'English freedom' was 'likely to make this worse' because 'in combination with the image it could be read as a negative reference to immigration or race.' The ASA therefore extremely banned the advert.
Boris Johnson only campaigned to leave the EU to 'set himself up as the next Conservative leader,' Sir Alan Duncan said the day before June's EU referendum. Sir Alan said he believed the now-foreign secretary, who is his current boss, wanted to 'lose narrowly' and be 'the heir apparent' to his old mate David Cameron. The foreign minister's comments were made a day before the vote to a BBC documentary, Brexit: A Very British Coup? Johnson has said the UK will be 'better off' outside the European Union. In his first interview after becoming foreign secretary he said: 'There is a huge opportunity and I have been very struck by how excited and how positive people here are about the opportunities for Britain.' The UK voted by fifty two per cent to forty eight per cent to end its membership of the EU in a referendum on 23 June. You might have heard about it. In a behind-the-scenes documentary, Brexit: A Very British Coup?, Sir Alan - then a backbench MP but now a minister in Johnson's Foreign Office - predicted the result would be fifty two per cent for Remain and firty eight per cent for Leave. Nearly, mate, very nearly. He questioned the motives of Johnson in backing the campaign to exit the EU. 'I think there are a lot of Leave people who don't believe it and I've always thought that Boris's wish was to lose by one so that he could be the heir apparent without having to have all the you know, shit of clearing up all the mess, that's always been my view of Boris.' He added: 'By championing leave, he can be the great heir apparent of the future, darling of the activists, but actually it would be quite good if he didn't actually win the referendum because there would be total chaos.' Speaking after the result was known, Sir Alan warned that the UK was entering 'a period of deep instability and uncertainty' and 'potentially ultra-dysfunctional government. And, you know, the first thing we hear is Michael Gove says he is going to negotiate with David Cameron about being in charge of the negotiations. Well, these people have got to remember they might have won a referendum, but they don't run the country.' Johnson, popular among Tory activists as one of the leading Vote Leave figures, argued that leaving the EU would be Britain's 'independence day.' He said the UK could 'take back control' - of its money, its immigration system and its democracy and accused Remain campaigners of 'talking the country down.' After the referendum and David Cameron's ensuing resignation, Johnson unexpectedly withdrew from the race to be the next Tory leader and PM, positions he is long thought to have harboured desires for. He said that he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed, after then Justice Secretary and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove made his own bid for the job. And, hilariously, lost. But in a shock move just over a week later - with Johnson's fortunes seen to be at their lowest ebb - Cameron's successor, Theresa May, appointed him as foreign secretary in her new cabinet. Possibly 'for a laugh,' we just don't know yet. In that role, he has stressed that Brexit does not mean Britain will be leaving Europe, just 'leaving the EU,' and said that he wanted the UK to be 'a great global player.'
ITV drama Victoria is to return for a second series, the broadcaster has confirmed. Both yer actual Jenna Coleman - who stars as the young queen - and Tom Hughes, who plays Prince Albert, will return to their roles. Daisy Goodwin will also continue to write and executive produce the series. Goodwin said: 'Even though she reigned in the Nineteenth Century, Victoria is a heroine for our times. In the next series she faces the very modern dilemma of how to juggle children with her husband and her job. As Victoria will discover, it's hard to be a wife, a mother and ruler of the most powerful nation on Earth.'
Monty Python's Flying Circus's Terry Jones has been diagnosed with a severe variant of dementia. The seventy four-year-old is suffering from 'primary progressive aphasia,' which affects his ability to communicate. As a result, Terry is 'no longer able to give interviews,' his spokesman said. The news was confirmed as BAFTA Cymru announced that the Welsh-born comedian is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award. The National Aphasia Association describes primary progressive aphasia as a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired. 'It commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage,' their website states. Terry was a member of the legendary comedy troupe with Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman. He directed Monty Python's The Life of Brian and The Meaning Of Life and co-directed Monty Python & The Holy Grail with Gilliam. Kathryn Smith, director of operations at Alzheimer's Society, said: 'We are deeply sorry to hear about Terry Jones's diagnosis of dementia and are thinking of Terry and his family during this time. His award was announced at the BAFTA Cymru nominations party, ahead of the British Academy Cymru Awards on 2 October. Terry is proud and honoured to be recognised in this way and is looking forward to the celebrations,' his spokesman said. Hannah Raybould, the director of BAFTA Cymru, said: 'We are very much looking forward to celebrating the work of Terry Jones during the ceremony with a look back at his work from 1969 to the present day.' Terry's long-time writing partner, Michael Palin released the following, moving, statement on Facebook: 'Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over fifty years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life. Not that Terry is out of circulation. He spends time with his family and only two days ago I met up with him for one of our regular meals at his local pub. Terry doesn’t say very much but he smiles, laughs, recognises and responds and I'm always pleased to see him. Long may that last.'
A portrait of Sir David Attenborough has been unveiled to commemorate his ninetieth birthday - in a museum where he once volunteered. The painting was revealed by the veteran broadcaster and naturalist at New Walk Museum, in Leicester. David grew up in the city and worked as a volunteer at the museum as a teenager. The artist - Bryan Organ - has also painted Sir David's brother, Richard Attenborough, Prince Charles and former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The portrait of Sir David was commissioned by the City of Leicester Museums Trust and will complement the portrait of Lord Attenborough, the acclaimed actor and film director, which also hangs in New Walk Museum. Sir David said it was 'an honour' to sit for Organ. When asked what he made of the portrait, he said: 'I haven't had the chance to have a look at it - I mean, I've only seen it obliquely. As far as I can see, it's very nice. It was great fun sitting with Bryan, the only problem was the painting got in the way.' The Attenborough brothers grew up in the city where their father was principal of the then University College Leicester.
Holly Willoughby will front ITV's new - wretched - dating show format Meet The Parents. So, that should be well-worth avoiding, then. Meet The Parents will see contestants, if you will, meet the parents of their potential date, where they can ask them absolutely anything and everything about the poor unfortunate soul waiting in the wings. Sounds absolute tripe. It's hardly surprising, therefore, that it's got witless waste-of-space thing Holly Willoughby presenting it. Avoid it like the plague, dear blog reader, it will rot your brain and, probably, give you nightmares.
A TV journalist in China who was photographed wearing sunglasses and holding an umbrella to shelter from the sun has been suspended from her job. The unnamed journalist was photographed while conducting an interview in Xiamen city on efforts to help the city recover from Typhoon Meranti. Her appearance was a stark contrast to the volunteers she was interviewing as they helped clean up after the storm. The images 'went viral,' with 'many' accusing her of being 'unprofessional.' Xiamen TV station said in a statement: 'One of our journalists didn't obey our rules and failed to conduct an interview properly. That damages the image of [the] journalist and had a negative impact on the public.' Weather officials said that Typhoon Meranti was the strongest storm of its kind this year. At least one person in China died and another was killed in Taiwan. On mainland China the storm struck southern Fujian province particularly badly. Online comment, mainly on China's Twitter-like Weibo network, has been divided over the journalist's image and behaviour while reporting on the aftermath of the storm. A Shanghai-based female TV journalist, Yijing Lin, cast more light on the angry reaction. She told the BBC that it 'must be understood in the context of the expectations and image the Chinese public has of journalists. I wouldn't call it a stereotype, but it does happen,' she said. 'I see adventurous people who don't mind getting their feet dirty,' an image that many would associate with journalists reporting in the aftermath of bad weather. Lin argues that the Chinese public wants to see their journalists as 'smart and intellectually driven.' The perceived focus on appearance does seem to be what has enraged people and, in this instance, it has had serious consequence for the journalist involved. It is unclear if the suspension will eventually lead to dismissal, or time in a Labour camp, but the issue has certainly got China talking about the ethics of journalism as well as the power of online indignation.
The undercover alleged 'journalist', Mazher Mahmood, 'plotted to change a witness statement' in a case against the pop singer Tulisa Contostavlos, the Old Bailey has heard. The reporter known as 'The Fake Sheikh' and his driver Alan Smith both deny conspiring together, intending to pervert the course of justice. Contostavlos had been accused of supplying cocaine but the case against her collapsed in 2014. Prosecutors said that Mahmood had a 'vested interest' in her prosecution. The court heard that Contostavlos had been 'targeted' by the self-styled 'King Of The Sting,' who posed as an influential film producer who wanted the singer to star in 'a Hollywood blockbuster.' The singer had allegedly arranged for Mahmood to be sold half-an-ounce of Charlie by one of her contacts for eight hundred knicker. The former N-Dubz star and X Factor judge was later very arrested and charged with 'being concerned in the supply of a class A drug,' after Mahmood handed evidence to police like a dirty stinking Copper's Nark. Mahmood, of Purley, and Smith, from Dereham in Norfolk, are accused of arranging to alter a written statement the latter had made to police because it was 'favourable' to Contostavlos's defence. Opening the trial against Mahmood and Smith, Sarah Forshaw QC told the jury: 'In effect, the hearing in June 2014 put Mahmood and his journalistic process on trial. He liked to call himself The King Of [The] Sting, he boasted in a book he had written of the number of convictions that he, personally, was responsible for. He knew that if it could be shown that he had acted improperly as an agent provocateur, inducing Miss Contostavlos to do something she would not otherwise do, his own credibility and standing and the prospect of conviction in the case might both be severely damaged.' Forshaw added: 'Miss Contostavlos had expressed her disapproval of hard drugs to his own driver, that was the bit of the statement that was altered. Smith had told the police officer making the statement that he remembered that while driving Miss Contostavlos that she had spoken about someone in her family being dependent on cocaine.' Smith had told a police officer she seemed 'really negative about cocaine' but, a day later, he told police he wanted to retract 'that part' of his statement, the court heard. It is alleged that in the intervening twenty four hours Smith had sent a copy of his interview to Mahmood and they had exchanged 'a number of texts and calls.' During a pre-trial hearing at Southwark Crown Court in June 2014, Mahmood said, on oath, that he had 'not spoken to Smith' about Contostavlos's comments. 'He deliberately misled the court - not only had he discussed it but he had been sent a copy of the statement,' Forshaw said. When later giving evidence to the jury in the case, Mahmood admitted he had 'seen' a copy of Smith's statement and Contostavlos's trial subsequently collapsed, she added. Forshaw told the jury: 'There is no doubt that Smith did change his statement. The change would undoubtedly have disadvantaged Miss Contostavlos's case. It would have deprived her of supporting evidence from Mahmood's own right-hand man that she made an anti-drugs comment at a time when untainted by any influence or pressure.' She said that the evidence in the case was 'overwhelming,' adding: 'Mahmood may be the master of subterfuge and deception. But on this occasion it is he, together with his employee, who are exposed.' The pair are extremely charged with conspiring together to do an act, namely that Smith would change a draft statement to police, with the intention to pervert the course of justice, between 22 June and 22 July 2014. They both deny the charges. The trial continues.
Vets are warning that would-be dog owners should 'think twice' before buying breeds with fashionably 'flat-faced' features - because 'of concerns over their welfare.' Pugs, bulldogs, French bulldogs, little shih-tzus and cavalier King Charles spaniels have become much sought-after in the UK, despite wide-ranging health problems. Although, why is a good question since they are, you know, fek ugly. Their 'appeal' is reportedly attributed to having 'squashed' faces and wrinkled noses. Which some people seem to find cute. The British Veterinary Association said that the 'surge' in popularity of these dogs had 'increased animal suffering.' Sean Wensley, president of the British Veterinary Association, said: 'Prospective owners need to consider that these dogs can suffer from a range of health problems, from eye ulcers to severe breathing difficulties. We strongly encourage people to choose a healthier breed or a crossbreed instead.' The warning has been echoed by the PDSA, the Royal Veterinary College, the RSPCA and the Kennel Club. Meanwhile, evidence suggests that an increasing number of the dogs - more correctly known as brachycephalic or short-muzzled dogs - are being abandoned by their owners. Because they're fek ugly, basically.
NASA on Tuesday issued an extremely cryptic press announcement about Europa, an ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter which likely hides twice as much warm, liquid, and potentially habitable water as Earth. The US space agency teased the discovery of 'some surprising activity' out there, three hundred and ninety million miles from Earth, citing the help of images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Everyone will be filled in on the details via a live video stream on Monday 26 September, according to the release: 'Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.' They did add, helpfully, 'Spoiler alert: not aliens!' Which, no doubt, disappointed nutters everywhere.
An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint allegedly smuggled over one hundred and eighty thousand dollars in gold from the fortress-like facility, possibly evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick. Hiding the precious metal rammed up his ringpiece. The case against Leston Lawrence, of Barrhaven, concluded in an Ottawa courtroom Tuesday. Justice Peter Doody 'reserved decision' until 9 November on a number of smuggling-for-cash charges, including theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and breach of trust. Plus, 'walking in a funny way,' one presumes. The case was also an illuminating look at security measures inside The Mint, the building on Sussex Drive that produces hundreds of millions of gold coins annually for the federal Crown corporation. 'Appalling,' was the conclusion of defence lawyer Gary Barnes, who described the Crown's case as 'an underwhelming collection of circumstantial evidence. This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,' Barnes said in his closing submission. 'And here. the gold is left sitting around in open buckets.' Indeed, it was not even The Mint that discovered the alleged theft but an alert bank teller. The court was told that, on multiple occasions, Lawrence took small circular chunks of gold - a cookie-sized nugget called a 'puck' - to Ottawa Gold Buyers in the Westgate Shopping Centre on Carling Avenue. Typically, the pucks weighed about two hundred and ten grammes, around seven ounces, for which he was given cheques in the six thousand eight hundred bucks range, depending on fluctuating gold prices, court heard. He then deposited the cheques at the Royal Bank in the same mall. A teller became suspicious at the size and number of Ottawa Gold Buyers cheques being deposited and Lawrence's request to wire money out of the country. She then noticed on his account profile that he worked at The Mint. Bank security was alerted, then the RCMP, which began to investigate. Eventually, a search warrant was obtained and four Mint-style pucks were found in Lawrence's safety deposit box, the court heard. Records revealed eighteen pucks had been sold between 27 November 2014 and 12 March 2015. Together with dozens of gold coins which were redeemed, the total value of the suspected theft was conservatively estimated at one hundred and seventy nine thousand and fifteen dollars. The Crown was not able to prove conclusively that the gold in Lawrence's possession actually came from inside The Mint. It had no markings nor, apparently, had any gold been reported missing internally. The Crown was able to show the pucks precisely fit The Mint's custom 'dipping spoon' made in-house - not available commercially - which is used to scoop molten gold during the production process. Lawrence, whose position has since been very terminated, was an operator in the refinery section. Among his duties was to scoop gold from buckets so it could be tested for purity, as The Mint prides itself on gold coins above the ninety nine per cent level. The great mystery which went unanswered at trial, however, was how did the gold get out of The Mint? The court was told that Lawrence set off the metal detector at an exit from the 'secure area' with more frequency than any other employee - save those with metal medical implants. When that happened, the procedure was to do a manual search with a hand-held wand, a search which he always passed. It was not uncommon for employees to set off the detector, the court heard. Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the hand-held wand. Although, to be fair, the chap might, simply, have had chapped lips. In preparation for the proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said. Lawrence did not take the stand - as is his legal right [ and the Crown was unable to definitively establish how the gold pucks made their way out of the facility except to speculate that Lawrence, stuck them right up his Gary Glitter till his eyes watered. 'We do have compelling evidence,' countered Crown attorney David Friesen, of someone 'secreting [gold] on his person and taking it out of The Mint.' Barnes implied that there were 'many ways' Lawrence could have legitimately obtained the gold - he could have bought the coins, for instance [ and said Lawrence made 'no efforts to be devious' with the gold buyers or the bank. Further, Barnes said, The Mint isn't even sure a theft took place. 'In fact, I would submit The Mint doesn't even know if anything is missing.' In an e-mailed statement Tuesday evening, a Mint spokeswoman claimed that 'several security measures' had been upgraded, including high definition security cameras in all areas, improved ability to track, balance and reconcile precious metal and the use of 'trend analysis technology.'

Network Rail has been extremely fined four million knicker over the death of a former actress at a level crossing. Brenda McFarland, known as Olive, was killed in August 2011 when she was hit by a train at the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market in Suffolk. The eighty two-year-old appeared alongside Sean Connery in The Frightened City in 1961. McFarland's television appearances included roles in The Sweeney, The Troubleshooters, The Champions, Dixon Of Dock Green and a number of high profile BBC drama productions on the 1960s. She also had a film role in Alive & Kicking (1959). She left acting to restore properties and breed horses. The rail firm was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court having admitted breaches in health and safety regulations. Judge Martyn Levett said the fine would have been six million smackers but for Network Rail pleading at the first opportunity. He said that pedestrians had a five second visual warning of a Norwich-bound train approaching. However, crossing the railway line could take vulnerable users and children about double that time. Network Rail said 'individual mistakes' had been made but the firm had not ignored warnings or been guilty of systemic failings.
Channel Four has agreed to cover the next Summer and Winter Paralympics following its well received coverage from Rio. A letter of intent signed with the International Paralympic Committee covers the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang in South Korea and the summer games in Tokyo two years later, as well as the London 2017 Para Athletics Championships. The letter sets out the principles of the deal, with a full agreement expected in coming weeks. The channel fielded an unprecedented team of disabled talent on screen and behind the camera to cover Rio, including Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte. Channel Four chief executive David Abrahams said that the channel's commitment to the Paralympics reflected its public service remit. 'I'm incredibly proud that our coverage and marketing of the games has both helped change public perceptions of people with impairments and encouraged broadcasters around the world to show Paralympic sport.' IPC president Sir Philip Craven said the channel had 'set an international benchmark' for Paralmypics coverage. He added: 'Whether it is producing international award winning TV advertisements promoting Paralympic sport, recruiting on- and off-screen talent with an impairment or delivering BAFTA-award winning coverage, Channel Four fully understands that its coverage is not only enthralling audiences but changing attitudes towards people with an impairment. Channel Four has built a reputation on innovating and bringing a new approach to Para sport coverage which many other broadcasters around the world are now following. By extending our long-term partnership for a further four years covering London 2017, PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 we can work together to build on the great work and achievements of the last four years.'
Rome looks set to drop its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2024, after its 'anti-establishment mayor' said it would be 'irresponsible' to be a candidate. Virginia Raggi of the Five Star movement - they're system addicts, apparently - was elected as mayor of the Italian capital in June. There was confusion earlier when reports said that she had 'failed to turn up' for a meeting with a delegation from the Italian Olympic Committee. Rome also pulled out of bidding for the 2020 Olympics 'for financial reasons.' Boston and Hamburg have already pulled out of the running for the 2024 games, leaving Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest as the remaining bidders. Candidate cities must confirm their application and the endorsement of local public leaders by 7 October. Raggi came to power after repeatedly saying that she opposed the 2024 bid, but there were hopes that she might agree to a local referendum. The head of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, has already indicated that without her support the bid would not go ahead. The International Olympic Committee will elect the host at a vote in Lima in September 2017, with Paris considered to be the favourite after several previous unsuccessful bids including the 2012 games. 'We are effectively asking the people of Rome and of Italy to shoulder the debts. We just don't support it,' the mayor told reporters.
A fell-running champion has admitted very stabbing three top athletics staff at a major UK stadium. Lauren Jeska admitted attempting to murder former Bristol rugby player Ralph Knibbs at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on 22 March. She also pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Kevan Taylor and Tim Begley, who tried to intervene and two counts of possessing a knife. Jeska, of Powys, will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 15 November. Police said Knibbs suffered 'life-threatening injuries' after being extremely stabbed in the head and neck, and is still recovering from the attack. The former Bristol RFC centre and head of Human Resources & Welfare at UK Athletics, was in court to hear Jeska enter her pleas via video link from HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire. The court heard that the injuries of Jeska's other victims - accountant Begley and finance director Taylor - were 'not of the most serious order.' Prosecutor Timothy Atkins QC said not guilty pleas to charges of wounding were 'acceptable' to the Crown. 'I have had the opportunity of consulting those who instruct me and they have spoken with the complainants in this matter,' he said. 'During the course of the attack [on Knibbs], Mister Taylor and Mister Begley went to his assistance and both were injured. Thankfully their injuries were not of the most serious order and so the pleas to wounding are acceptable to the Crown given the pleas that have been entered.' Although Jeska admitted possessing two kitchen knives, she denied possessing a bread knife which had been left in a bag before the attack on fifty one-year-old Knibbs. Judge Philip Parker QC was told Jeska, of Wesley Terrace in Machynlleth, had been the subject of psychiatric assessment but 'further reports' would be necessary before she is sentenced. Defending, Julie Warburton said that a diagnosis of autism 'may be raised' at the next hearing, which would be invited to consider whether 'a medical disposal' would be available to the sentencing judge. She was very remanded in custody.
One of the main roads through Coventry will be renamed in honour of the football legend Jimmy Hill. The A444, currently known as Phoenix Way, is expected to be officially renamed Jimmy Hill Way at a ceremony later this year. Hill, who died in December aged eighty seven, is seen by many as Coventry City Football Club's most successful manager. Coventry Council's decision comes after a campaign from the Coventry Telegraph newspaper. Council leader George Duggins said: 'We're really pleased that we are able to honour the man that revolutionised football, both for this city and throughout the sport. He transformed Coventry City Football Club into a major league team and introduced a range of revolutionary changes.' The A444 runs past the club's former Highfield Road ground and also the Ricoh Arena, where the team currently ground-shares with Wasps Rugby Club. There is a statue of Hill outside the Ricoh Arena. Bridges which go over the road are being restored and the lower sections painted light blue as a further tribute. Hill led Coventry City to two promotions during the 1960s before leaving to work with ITV in 1967. He returned to Coventry as managing director in 1975, later becoming chairman, while still working as a presenter and pundit on the BBC's Match Of The Day.
The Aston Villains midfielder Jack Grealish is subject to 'an internal investigation' by the club following reports of his involvement in 'an all-night party,' manager Roberto di Matteo has said. At 07:45AM on Sunday, police were reportedly called to a Birmingham hotel as guests complained of 'a rowdy party,' which the Daily Scum Mail snitched that Grealish attended. No arrests were made and Grealish was not one of up to twelve people ejected from the hotel. 'We are aware of an incident at the weekend,' Di Matteo told BBC West Midlands. 'We started an internal investigation about it, which is still ongoing. When we finish the investigation, we will see what disciplinary action to take.' Grealish was warned by former Villains boss Tim Sherwood in 2015 after he was pictured apparently taking nitrous oxide. He also previously spent time training with Villa's youth team as a punishment when Remi Garde was in charge at Villains Park, after reports that he visited a nightclub following a four-nil defeat at Everton. 'Unfortunately it has happened again. We expect our players to behave in a professional manner at all times, so it is something that we don't tolerate,' added Di Matteo. 'It's important that he understands what he has, and he needs to grow up very quickly.' The Solihull-born former England Under-Twenty One player signed a new four-year deal with the Championship club on 7 September.
A regional newspaper editor has decided that one of their sports reporters should not cover Premier League football team Sunderland because he once made derogatory references to The Mackem Filth of Humanity on Facebook. Well, we've all done it. Joy Yates told readers of the Sunderland Echo that Liam Kennedy will no longer write in the paper about the local club following 'a large number' of whinges from Stadium Of Lighters about comments he allegedly made about the team before he joined the Echo staff. According to a Hold The Front Page article, Kennedy made the comments six years ago. They resurfaced on Facebook and were quickly reposted by some snitch. They were laden with expletives, were highly critical of Sunderland and revealed Kennedy to be a supporter of the club's great rivals, Newcastle United. As, indeed, is yer actual Keith Telly Topping so, you know, this blogger has no intention of getting in the middle of this one! Oh no, very hot water. Kennedy tried to make amends with 'a whole-hearted apology,' in which he admitted to being 'ashamed' at his 'pathetic, infantile posts' which were made before he became a journalist. Though, why the Hell he should have to in a country in which freedom of speech is still, in theory at least, a given, is another matter entirely. 'I am a different person now,' he claimed. 'I was young, daft and trying to be clever.' Being a Newcastle United fan 'does not mean I cannot cover Sunderland AFC with commitment and passion. It will all be done without bias.' But the apology did not assuage the Mackem fans' stroppy and incandescent fury and Yates felt it necessary to stand him down. Kennedy only recently joined the Echo from the Dundee Evening Telegraph. Yates explained that she 'had' to take the concerns of her readers 'very seriously.' So 'for a number of reasons, the decision has now been made that Liam will no longer be covering SAFC.' Sunderland have had a poor start to the season under their new manager, David Moyes. The team is one place off the bottom of the Premier League.
Proposals to introduce new legislation which would pardon gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws will be brought forward 'in due course,' the government has said. The so-called Alan Turing Law could see thousands of men pardoned for crimes of which they would not even be charged of today. World War Two code-breaker Turing was pardoned in 2013, decades after he was convicted of gross indecency in 1952. A government spokesman said it was 'committed' to the proposal. 'This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now,' the spokesman said. 'We will bring forward our proposals in due course.' Homosexuality was decriminalised in England in 1967. Relatives of Turing have led a high-profile campaign to secure pardons for all the forty nine thousand other men convicted under historical indecency laws. It has also received support from TV presenter Stephen Fry and actor yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Turing in the film The Imitation Game. The proposal was a commitment in the 2015 Conservative manifesto and has also had backing from the Labour Party. Turing's work helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine during World War Two. He also contributed some more fundamental work on code-breaking that was only released to public scrutiny in April 2012. The mathematician was given a royal pardon in 2013, nearly sixty years after his suicide in 1954. This followed an official apology by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009 for how Turing had been treated during his lifetime. The pardon addressed his 1952 conviction for gross indecency, after which he was chemically castrated. He had been arrested after having an affair with a nineteen-year-old man. The conviction meant that he lost his security clearance.
China's first space station is expected to fall back to Earth in the second half of 2017, amid speculation that authorities have lost control of it. The Tiangong-1 or 'Heavenly Palace' laboratory was launched in 2011 as part of an ambitious Chinese plan to catch up with other space powers. However, a senior space official has said the lab had 'comprehensively fulfilled its historical mission.' The lab is currently intact and orbiting at three hundred and seventy kilometres. Speaking at a press conference last week, Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office, said: 'Based on our calculation and analysis, most parts of the space lab will burn up during falling.' She added that it was unlikely to 'affect aviation activities' or 'cause damage' to the ground. But in comments reported by the Gruniad Morning Star, Doctor Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, suggested that China might have lost control of the station. 'You really can't steer these things,' he said. 'Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won't know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it's going to come down. Not knowing when it's going to come down translates as not knowing where its going to come down.' Most of the eight-tonne station would melt as it passed through the atmosphere, McDowell speculated, but 'some parts' such as the rocket engines, were 'so dense' they might not burn up completely. Earlier this month, China launched its second trial space station, called Tiangong-2, in a bid to operate a crewed outpost in orbit by 2022.
David Baddiel, who used to be a comedian of sorts, had claimed that he almost 'had a threesome' with two members of The Spice Girls. Baddibub told the Mirra: 'I was very keen, Mel B was hot. She seemed to be up for it, too. I met them in The Four Seasons Hotel, where I was talking to film people and they were with Simon Fuller, who was taking them around lots of record company people. They were just starting out and they were excited because I was famous. So I spent a week in a long flirtation with Mel B. Then this particular night I thought, "Right, this is going to happen."' He continued that he 'managed to get in bed' with both Mel B and Mel C. 'Somehow, two of them ended up in bed with me,' he continued. 'But, I didn't end up having sex with either of them because they made so much noise and the hotel security threatened to throw me out.' Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Noel Edmonds - who is definitely not mental or anything - has got himself a new gig. Following the end of Deal Or No Deal in August, The Beard Of Despair's new job is, reportedly, talking to animals to make them feel better. The revelation was made in 'an open essay' for the Gruniad Morning Star posted on Wednesday, in which a cat owner, one Peter Ormerod, described how he filled in a form on Edmonds' website to use his phone-a-pet service. 'What would life be like without our feathered, furry, scalely friends?' the site's blurb reads. 'The answer is pretty miserable. So I want to make these precious chums feel important and appreciated. Its [sic] amazing how a simple brief phone call can pick up the spirits of the most dejected hamster, the most stressed goldfish and the most neurotic cat. Please allow me to call your pet and offer positive words of appreciation and motivation.' Edmonds rang Ormerod and, it is claimed, asked to talk to his cat, Obvy. 'All I can do is present the facts,' said Ormerod. 'On Saturday, at 12.26pm Noel Edmonds phoned me up and then proceeded to talk to my cat, offering her words of affirmation and motivation. Before long, the phone was placed beside the hairy ears of the cat, while Edmonds offered reassurance and hope.'
Someone in North Korea is in a whole shitload of trouble in would seem. The secretive state accidentally opened access to all the websites hosted on its servers, revealing that it only has twenty eight registered domains. On Monday of this week, North Korea's nameserver - which contains information about all of the '.kp' websites - was 'misconfigured,' thus allowing it to be accessed. This meant that Matthew Bryant, a 'researcher,' (allegedly) was able to access the domain names and some of the file data about the site. Bryant dumped all of this on Github - a site that hosts computer code. It is the first real look into the secret online world of North Korea. Some of the websites take a long time to load and some are inaccessible. Among the twenty eight sites listed is one called Air Koryo, a flight booking site and another named Friend, which is presumably some sort of social network. One website which has always been accessible outside of North Korea is the Korean Central News Agency - the state-run propaganda site. A Reddit page lists all of the websites discovered.
An Italian lawyer is suing Emirates airline after being seated next to a plus-sized fellow passenger for a nine-hour flight. Giorgio Destro, from Padua, found the uncomfortable flight from Cape Town to Dubai so frustrating that he is demanding a refund for the price of his ticket, plus damages. Destro - who is, obviously, not an ambulance-chasing scumbag with no redeeming features - told Italian paper Mattino Padova: 'For nine hours, I had to stand in the aisle, sit on seats reserved for the cabin crew when they were free and in the final phase of flight resign myself to suffer the "spillover" of the passenger at my side.' When no compensation was offered, Destro decided to take matters into his own hands. He is suing Emirates for a total of two thousand seven hundred and fifty nine Euros in 'compensation', including two thousand Euros in damages. The 'gold flyer' member claims he asked to move seats a few hours into the flight, but was told the plane was fully booked.
Frozen food retailer Iceland has defended its name after it was reported - albeit, not by anybody you'd really trust - that the Icelandic government was considering legal action to 'protect its identity.' The chain, which employs more than twenty thousand people at more than eight hundred and fifty stores, was founded forty five years ago but has, if you will, 'a frosty history' with its, considerably older, namesake. It was controlled up until 2009 by Icelandic retail conglomerate Baugur before the stake passed to national banks Landsbanki and Gitnir on its bitter collapse. Iceland founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker later completed a management buyout in 2014. The company said on Friday: 'Iceland Foods has traded under the Iceland name in the UK since 1970, and is today one of the UK's most recognised brands. We have also traded as Iceland for many years in other EU countries and in non-EU countries, including Iceland itself. We are not aware that our use of the Iceland name has ever caused any confusion with Iceland the country.' Except, possibly when Kerry Katona was employed as their face and, the slogan 'mum's gone to Iceland' caused a refugee crisis and thousands fled Reykjavik in terror. Promote Iceland - attached to the country's foreign ministry - said that it was 'concerned' Icelandic firms are unable to register the name 'Iceland' across the UK and EU. A spokesman for the ministry told the Press Association: 'I can confirm that this is being looked into, but no decision has been made.' The issue may prove to be an unwanted distraction for the firm as it concentrates on a fightback following years of falling sales in the supermarket price war with discounters. The company, which also owns The Food Warehouse superstore business, has been investing to improve the quality of its products, store experience and advertising.
The BBC Trust has - rightly - said that no action is required over comments yer actual Chris Packham made in BBC Wildlife magazine. The presenter described people involved in hunting and shooting as 'the nasty brigade' in an article last year, not unreasonably some may feel. The corporation received two whinges from readers - who, obviously, had not sick agenda to push in this case - and who were, seemingly, determined to prove Packham's description was entirely accurate, stating that Packham should not have expressed his personal opinion in a BBC magazine. Yes, because, heaven help us in this country if someone cannot publicly state a belief without being descended upon by, you know, nasties. Freedom of speech? Only if it's the freedom to give a speech that I agree with. Twats. Thankfully, the BBC Trust slapped down the whingers and said that the article's strapline had made clear it was an opinion piece. Sadly, they didn't use to opportunity to name - and shame - the two whinging individuals concerned, and hold them up to the ridicule of others. An opportunity missed, one could suggest. In a column in the October 2015 issue, the naturalist - whom this blogger isa big fan of - wrote that conservation groups were 'hamstrung by outdated liaisons with "the nasty brigade" and can't risk upsetting old friends' in the rural hunting and shooting communities. The Countryside Alliance - an arch set of nasty brigaders if ever there were some - whinged like spoiled brats that Packham was 'breaking rules' by 'using his position to spread propaganda' and called for him to be sacked. What a bunch of total funts, trying to get a chap sacked because he disagrees with you. Packham responded, brilliantly, by accusing his critics of trying to 'neutralise' him and others who oppose grouse shooting. In its report, published on Friday, the BBC Trust said that Packham was a freelancer and therefore not a BBC employee, adding he was 'not associated with news or public policy-related output.' It also noted that all parties named in the article had been given a right of reply prior to publication and readers had the opportunity to respond in subsequent issues. Both whingers have had letters published in the magazine in response to Packham's column. In its summary, the BBC Trust said there had been no breach of the impartiality guidelines. The committee also looked at whether Packham had breached the BBC's conflict of interest guidelines. But the report stated: 'It was clear that Mister Packham had been expressing his personal views as an individual and that there was no implication that the charities and other causes he supported were endorsed by the BBC.' Albeit, they should be.
Quality Street is replacing the Toffee Deluxe in its tins of sweets. The brown-wrappered toffee is being replaced by a new choice, the Honeycomb Crunch. 'We wanted to celebrate Quality Street's 80th birthday by introducing the first new sweet for nearly a decade,' says Nestle. 'We did extensive research and found that the Honeycomb Crunch was the most popular option.' People thought there were 'enough toffee-based sweets' in the collection, the firm told Newsbeat, although who these 'people' were and why other people weren't asked for their opinions, they didn't say. However, the Toffee Deluxe is not being withdrawn completely. It will still be available in the special 'Toffee and Fudge pack' and in limited edition tins. 'Those who also want to try the Honeycomb Crunch can find both sweets in a limited edition tin exclusive to Tesco stores.'
An Iowa man was extremey arrested this week for allegedly measuring his penis with a cardboard ruler while at a urinal inside a college library bathroom. The Smoking Gun website states that 'police collared Thomas Morgan, forty two, on a misdemeanour indecent exposure charge in connection with a 7 May incident at the University of Iowa's Main Library in Iowa City.' Morgan, the police say, was inside a restroom when he 'partially turned his body towards the victim/witness who was using a urinal in the bathroom.' Morgan then 'measured his penis against a cardboard ruler,' according to a criminal complaint. The traumatised victim told a police officer that Morgan subsequently 'made a comment regarding his size.' The man added that on top of two of the urinals there were cardboard rulers with 'dark sharpie markings regarding penis size.' It is unclear from the complaint whether the rulers were homemade. The victim told police that he 'felt weird and uncomfortable' seeing the defendant's 'semi-erect penis.' During questioning, Morgan reportedly admitted to measuring himself with the ruler. While he denied 'being aroused,' Morgan told officers that he was 'guilty of being "curious."'
A monkey has caused a countrywide power outage in Kenya, a spokesperson of national electricity provider KenGen said on Wednesday. The cheeky monkey reportedly jumped onto the roof of the Gitaru power station in the capital, Nairobi, fell onto a transformer and tripped it, said the spokeswoman Zebby Sambu. 'The resulting blackout caused power outages across Kenya for several hours, since the plant generates about eighty per cent of the country's electricity. The monkey was alive and had been handed over to the Kenyan Wildlife Service,' added Sambu.
The actor Terence Bayler died in early August at the age of eighty six. Terence appeared in two Doctor Who stories; in 1966 he played Yendom, one of The Monoids' slaves, in the story The Ark. Three years later he returned to the series playing Major Barrington, an officer in the British Army, in the final Patrick Troughton story, The War Games. Terence was born in New Zealand, where he first trained as an actor, appearing the 1952 film Broken Barrier, playing a young journalist who falls in love with a Maori woman. After moving to the UK he made regular appearances on British TV appearing in Moonstrike, Compact, Maigret, Ivanhoe, The Brothers, Upstairs, Downstairs, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Squad, London's Burning, The Bill, Dangerfield, taking the role of The Player King in 1961 adaptation of Hamlet (with William Russell in the title role) and Dennis Potter's Lipstick On Your Collar. In 1971 he needed stitches above an eye after he was injured in a sword fight while the shooting Roman Polanski's adaptation of Macbeth in which he played Macduff. Terence Bayler had a long association with the Monty Python's Flying Circus team, appearing in Eric Idle's series Rutland Weekend Television as well as in The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (as The Prefab Four's manager, Leggy Mountbatten) and in the 1983 stage play Pass The Butler. He also appeared in two Terry Gilliam films, Time Bandits and Brazil and had a small, but very memorable, role as Gregory in the film Monty Python's The Life Of Brian declaring during the crucifixion scene 'I'm Brian ... and so is my wife.' Earlier in the film, when the assorted throng worshipping Brian Cohen shout in unison 'We are all individuals,' Bayler adds: 'I'm not!' Both of these were, reportedly, ad-libs by the actor. Remembering his friend on his blog, Eric Idle wrote: 'I think the thing I loved most about Terence Bayler was his gentle loving considerate humour. I met him early in my first wife time with his wife Bridget Armstrong and we became good friends. Then I used him mercilessly on Rutland Weekend Television and memorably as Leggy Mountbatten the hopping manager of The Rutles. I loved his commitment to a role and his high seriousness no matter how apparently silly the part. For a writer there is nothing finer than an actor taking your work and making it better than you imagined it. That's why actors are very special people and cherished by scribes. Terence appeared in my play Pass The Butler in The West End in 1983 and was an important part of the little rep company we gathered to take to Tunisia to film The Life Of Brian in 1979. He was a terrific deadpan comedian and great company and as always with such sad news I instantly miss being able to say hello. Or even goodbye. It was a privilege and a pleasure to know him. He enriched my life and I loved him.' In his later years, Bayler starred in the Merchant Ivory period drama The Remains Of The Day and also had a supporting role in Bruce Dickinson's horror movie Chemical Wedding and, most notably, he played The Bloody Baron in the Harry Potter films. Terence wrote the foreword to the book New Zealand Filmmakers (2007), describing the basic filming methods employed on Broken Barrier, an engagement for which he was paid 'six pounds a week plus food and tobacco.' He worked on his native soil again in Pictures (1981), which reunited him with John O'Shea, the director of Broken Barrier and on the 1992 TV mini-series The Other Side Of Paradise. He is survived by his wife, Valerie and by the son and daughter of his first marriage, to Bridget Armstrong.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Moons Over My Emmys

For the latest - fifth - instalment in From The North's semi-regular series don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?, we have one of the greatest films ever made. Well, 'one of the greatest films ever made ... featuring Roy Castle, Kenny Lynch, Fluff Freeman and Keifer Sutherland's dad' at least. Not to mention that will known double act Pete n' Chris. 'Room for one more?'
And, whilst we're doing the don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?-type scene, this blogger gives you these, dear bloggerisationisms reader. These should keep you going for a while.
Next ...

Here are final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Six programmes, week-ending Sunday 11 September 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.08m
2 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.36m
3 Cold Feet - Mon ITV - 7.98m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.61m
5 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.01m
6 Victoria - Sun ITV - 6.88m
7 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.42m
8 Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.31m
9= Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.43m
9= Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.43m
11 Our Girl - Wed BBC1 - 5.28m
12 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.08m
13 One Of Us - Tues BBC1 - 4.83m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.56m
15 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 4.54m
16 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.44m
17 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.37m
18 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.03m
19 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 3.90m
20 Joanna Lumley's Japan - Fri ITV - 3.73m
21 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 3.64m
22 Would I Lie To You? - Fri BBC1 - 3.53m
23 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.45m
24 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.20m
25 The Last Night Of The Proms - Sat BBC1 - 3.19m
26 Newzoids - Sat ITV - 3.05m
These consolidated figures include all viewers who watched programmes live and on catch-up during the seven days after initial broadcast, but do not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. I dunno why, they just don't, all right? Don't blame me, I don't make the rules! The X Factor's Sunday night programme attracted 8.15 million viewers. The much-hyped (and much-Godawful) Go For It continued to struggle for ITV, being watched by a mere 2.79 million punters. On BBC2, New York: America's Busiest City was the week's most-watched programme with 2.81 million viewers. Ripper Street's latest episode was seen by 2.75 million and University Challenge by 2.62 million, whilst The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice Of Greed and Only Connect both drew 2.49 million punters. Gardeners' World had 2.31 million, Trust Me I'm A Doctor, 2.09 million, The Great British Menu, 1.94 million viewers, The Hairy Bikers: Chicken & Egg, 1.93 million and Mock The Week, 1.87 million. Mastermind attracted 1.61 million and Motherland: A Genetic Journey, 1.54 million, followed by Dad's Army (1.29 million), Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue (1.19 million) and Natural World: My Congo (1.18 million). Location, Location, Location was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (2.31 million viewers), followed by Friday evening's episode of The Last Leg: Live From Rio (1.96 million). Three other episodes of the popular Adam Hills-fronted comedy show featured in the Channel's top six, whilst Friday night's Paralympics coverage drew 1.90 million. Nine, Nine, Nine: What's Your Emergency? was watched by 1.72 million, To Posh To Parent (1.50 viewers), Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital (1.40 million) and the Paralympics opening ceremony (1.23 million). Channel Five's top performer was, Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World - with 2.06 million - ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (2.03 million), The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies and Secrets Of The SAS: In Their Own Words (both 1.40 million) and On Benefits (1.36 million punters). Gangland: Turf Wars drew 1.33 million whilst Undercover: Nailing The Fraudsters had 1.03 million. For the third week running, none of the Sky Sports channels - not one of them, and there's about ten of the buggers now - appears to have submitted their data to BARB for this particular week. Which is flaming remiss of them, frankly. So, if you want to know how many punters were watching any of the football or cricket matches Sky covered, or Soccer Saturday or The Sunday Supplement sorry, again, can't help you. Don't blame Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader, drop an irritated line to billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and tell him to tell his underlings to get their sodding finger out. Sharpish. If not sooner. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and twenty three thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by six hundred and thirty six thousand, the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory by six hundred and one thousand and Doc Martin by four hundred and sixty thousand. World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Sweden Versus The Netherlands headed ITV4's weekly list with four hundred and sixty six thousand viewers whilst Monday's Cycling: La Vuelta A Espana Highlights attracted four hundred and sixty thousand, Tour Of Britain Highlights had three hundred and eighty four thousand and MotoGP Highlights was watched by three hundred and twenty one thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was the return of worthless steaming shower of rancid, odious, stinking diarrhoea Celebrity Juice (watched by a staggeringly sad 1.48 million people, every single one of whom should be bloody well ashamed to show their face in public after viewing so much as a second of the likes of this wretched shite). The movies Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and The Mummy drew seven hundred and eight thousand and six hundred and eighteen thousand viewers respectively. The Xtra Factor had five hundred and ninety eight thousand viewers and Family Guy five hundred and ninety three thousand. DCI Banks headed ITV Encore's top ten with forty eight thousand viewers, ahead of Poirot which had forty six thousand. BBC4's list was headed by the much-trailed London 1666 with seven hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers, followed by Beck: Gunvald (seven hundred and seven thousand), London: A Tale Of Two Cities With Dan Cruickshank (six hundred and seventy three thousand), Lost Sitcoms: Hancock's Half Hour (five hundred and six thousand) and Operation Crossbow (four hundred and ninety seven thousand). Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made The Commonwealth drew four hundred and twenty nine thousand and Music For Misfits: The Story of Indie three hundred and ninety two thousand. A repeat of Janina Ramirez's classic Illuminations: The Private Lives Of Medieval Kings was watched by three hundred and thirty four thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Last Ship (five hundred and seventeen thousand), Zoo (four hundred and eighty seven thousand), Mount Pleasant (four hundred and eighty one thousand) and The Simpsons (three hundred and seventy four thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the second episode of The Night Of (two hundred and ninety two thousand). Ray Donovan was seen by two hundred and eighty five thousand, Ballers by two hundred and two thousand, Game Of Thrones by one hundred thousand and the movie Ali by eighty eight thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew five hundred and twenty nine thousand, Shades Of Blue had four hundred and fifty four thousand, Unforgettable, four hundred and twenty three thousand, Nashville, three hundred and ten thousand and My Kitchen Rules Australia, two hundred and thirty one thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Master Of Photography had ninety thousand viewers whilst Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison attracted fifty six thousand. 5USA's Chicago PD was watched by five hundred and eighty four thousand viewers. Criminal Minds attracted five hundred and forty thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles, five hundred and twelve thousand, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, four hundred and eleven thousand and Castle, three hundred and ninety eight thousand. NCIS was seen by two hundred and ninety five thousand. NCIS also topped CBS Action's list (one hundred and twenty two thousand) and featured in the top-tens of FOX and The Universal Channel. FOX's most watched programmes were Wolf Creek (two hundred and twenty six thousand), Tyrant (one hundred and seventy one thousand) and another episode of NCIS, one of eight episodes of the popular US crime drama series in FOX's top-ten. The Universal Channel's list was headed by Mr Robot with one hundred and seventy seven thousand, NCIS, one hundred and thirty seven thousand and Major Crimes, one hundred and twenty seven thousand. A mere five episodes of NCIS were in Universal's top ten. Jeez, David McCallum and Mark Harmon's repeat fees must be running into the millions by now. And that's from UK multichannels alone. On Dave, the opening episode of Dara O Briain's Go Eight Bit was the highest-rated programme with six hundred thousand punters. Having watched the first episode and, been very underwhelmed by it, this blogger does rather wonder how many of those six hundred thousand punters will stick around for episode two. We'll find out in a week's time, I guess. That was followed by Suits (four hundred and seventy two thousand), Mock The Week (four hundred and thirteen thousand), Have I Got A Bit More News For You (three hundred and sixty three thousand), the film Pale Rider (three hundred and forty one thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and twenty four thousand). Drama's Death In Paradise was watched by four hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers. Murdoch Mysteries had three hundred and ninety eight thousand, New Tricks, three hundred and seventy seven thousand, Father Brown three hundred and seventy one thousand and Dalziel & Pascoe three hundred and fifty nine thousand.Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rizzoli & Isles (four hundred and thirty eight thousand), followed by Rosewood (two hundred and sixty two thousand), Death In Paradise (one hundred and twenty one thousand), Inspector George Gently (one hundred and seven thousand) and Rebus (ninety nine thousand). Yesterday's Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened was seen by two hundred and forty six thousand. 'Allo 'Allo was watched by two hundred and thirty two thousand, To The Manor Born by two hundred and six thousand, Yes Minister by one hundred and sixty seven thousand and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? by one hundred and sixty thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Alaskan Bush People's latest series - in which, at least according to that flaming trailer which is shown about every two minutes, someone is 'goin' t'jail' ... hopefully for life - continued with two hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had an audience of two hundred and twenty eight thousand, Harley & The Davidsons was watched by one hundred and eighteen thousand, Running Wild With Bear Grylls by one hundred and three thousand and Gold Divers (featuring that really annoying Emily woman who 'wants all the gold') by eighty eight thousand. Discovery History's Waterloo: The Ultimate Battle topped the weekly-list with thirty thousand viewers. Curiosity: What Destroyed The Hindenburg and Seven Ages Of Britain were both watched by twenty six thousand, whilst The Rise & Fall Of The Japanese Empire, Fight Or Die and Time Team attracted twenty one thousand. On Discovery Science, How it's Made was seen by sixty five thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes was the cult favourite Wheeler Dealers (thirty three thousand, the top performing of eight episodes in the channel's weekly top ten). The two programmes that weren't Wheelers Dealers were What's My Car Worth? (thirty thousand) and Classic Car Rescue (twenty three thousand). National Geographic's list was headed by 9/11: The Longest War which had one hundred and thirty one thousand viewers and Air Crash Investigation (one hundred and one thousand). The History Channel's top-ten was led by Barbarians Rising and The Bastard Executioner (two hundred and twenty one thousand and one hundred and twenty nine thousand respectively). Ice Road Truckers was seen by one hundred and twenty one thousand. On Military History, Rome's Lost Legion was watched by twenty seven thousand and Hooked - Illegal Drugs by twenty five thousand. A Crime To Remember, The Coroner: I Speak For The Dead and I Am Homicide were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with seventy three thousand viewers, seventy thousand and fifty seven thousand murder-lovers respectively). Murders UK With Martin Kemp had forty five thousand. Quite how many Spandau Ballet singles featured in the appalling crimes the programme shone a light upon, we simply don't know. But, it should have been most of them. Especially 'Gold'. A particularly memorable episode of a series called Evil Stepmothers - Newleydead - which this blogger happened across at some obscure hour of the morning when he couldn't sleep didn't make the top ten list. Tragedy frankly, as it was gripping stuff. One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America, Killer Kids and Crimes That Shook Britain headed CI's list (fifty five thousand, forty nine thousand and forty two thousand). GOLD's repeat of Only Fools & Horses drew one hundred and sixty two thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and eighteen thousand). Your TV's Unusual Suspects had sixty eight thousand viewers whilst Sensing Murder drew fifty thousand. On More4, another showing of One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and fifty nine thousand. Whether that total also included the fifty five thousand punters who watched it another channel two days later is unknown. the extraordinary 9/11: The Falling Man attracted three hundred and ninety five thousand, Phil Spencer's Stately Homes, three hundred and seventy seven thousand, Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms, three hundred and forty thousand and Grand Designs, three hundred and twenty three thousand. E4's latest episode of Hollyoakes drew 1.16 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of The Sand attracted one hundred and fifty seven thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included Horsemen (one hundred and thirty thousand), Nothing Left To Fear (one hundred and twenty five thousand), I Spit On Your Grave (ninety seven thousand) and Hobo With A Shotgun (eighty thousand). Dark Matter, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and twenty seven thousand. Africa's Giant Killers had fifty two thousand on Eden. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty five thousand. On W, the Charlotte Church episode of John Bishop In Conversation was seen by two hundred and sixty two thousand which was over four hundred thousand punters less than those who tuned-in the previous week to watch the odious James Corden. If this blogger was Charlotte, he'd resign from the human race in protest of such shenanigans. Battlebots attracted two hundred and nineteen thousand on Spike, whilst the movie The Expatriate was watched by one hundred and ninety nine thousand. Katie Price's Pony Club - possibly the most offensively dreadful TV programme made since ... TLC's last Katie Price vehicle was watched by one hundred and six thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. The Vault's Ariana Grande's Pop Shuffle was seen by twelve thousand punters.

Yer actual Game Of Thrones has broken the record for the highest number of EMMY Awards won by any fictional series. The massively popular HBO fantasy drama triumphed in three categories at Sunday's ceremony, including outstanding drama series. The show's total number of awards now stands at thirty eight, which means it has beaten Frasier's previous record of thirty seven. The thirty eight EMMYs won by Game Of Thrones includes the nine the series picked up at last weekend's Creative Arts awards. The show is now the most decorated drama series in EMMY awards' history - the overall record is held by Saturday Night Live, which has won forty four. This year's British winners included Dame Maggie Smith, who won outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role in Downton Abbey. It is the third time Dame Maggie had won an EMMY for her portrayal of Violet Crawley, but she has never attended the ceremony in person to collect her trophies. Host Jimmy Kimmel joked: 'We're not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found.' The BBC's Sherlock was named best TV movie for its New Year special The Abominable Bride. Susanne Bier, the Danish director of the BBC's spy thriller The Night Manager, won for best direction in a limited series. Bier, who was the only female nominee in the category, told BBC Breakfast: 'This is such a traditional men's world, and I hope the fact a woman director has won this prestigious prize is going to mean that more non-conventional series and movies are going to be directed by women.' John Oliver won best variety talk series for his HBO series Last Week Tonight, beating fellow British nominee odious horrorshow (and drag) James Corden, who was nominated for The Late Late Show which, for some weird reason, the Americans love. Veep - creator by Armando Iannucci - won the outstanding comedy series award for the second year in a row, while its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won lead comedy actress for the fifth time. In her acceptance speech, Louis-Dreyfus said: 'Our show started out as political satire but now feels like a sobering documentary.' She dedicated her award to her father, who died on Friday. Tony Hale, who plays the president's personal aide Gary Walsh in Veep, triumphed in the supporting actor category. The comedy actor award went to Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman in the acclaimed Amazon series Transparent, for the second year in a row. Accepting the award, Tambor encouraged the industry to offer more opportunities to the trans community. 'I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a transgender female on television. We have work to do,' he said. Rami Malek won lead actor in a drama series for his role in Mr Robot, while Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black won leading actress. Other big winners of the night included The People Versus OJ Simpson - a dramatisation of the OJ Simpson trial, which was broadcast on BBC2 in the UK. The show won five awards including limited series plus acting awards for Sarah Paulson, Sterling K Brown and Courtney B Vance (the latter impressively beating off a trio of British competition from yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba his very self in that category). Kate McKinnon, who recently starred in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, won the supporting actress in a comedy series award for her performances in Saturday Night Live. Netflix series Master Of None scored its first EMMY, winning the writing for a comedy series category. The show's co-writer, Alan Yang, called for better Asian representation on screen in his acceptance speech. Elsewhere, The Voice took the award for reality competition series, beating Project Runway and Dancing With The Stars. Kimmel made several references to diversity during the ceremony in light of the 'Oscars So White' controversy earlier this year. 'Here in Hollywood the only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity,' he said in his opening monologue. The lad's got a point. 'The EMMYs are so diverse this year the Oscars are now telling people we're "one of their closest friends."' Heh.
     And the only thing left to ponder on is, why is it that every time the Game Of Thrones cast get photographed at awards ceremonies somehow Peter Dinklage always seems to end up getting stuck right next to Gwendoline Christie seemingly just to emphasise the height difference. Somebody's havin' a laugh, right?
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has praised the BBC for not paying a reported twenty five million smackers to keep The Great British Bake Off. Steven said the BBC was 'right not to reward greed,' after the corporation lost the rights to Channel Four. The co-creator, writer and producer of the internationally popular Sherlock Holmes adaptation said that he had 'rejected offers' from other broadcasters who wanted to steal Sherlock away from the BBC. He told the audience at the EMMY ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday: 'Thank you to the BBC who we love, above all bakery. British people will get that.' Last Monday, Greed Productions, which currently makes Bake Off for the BBC, announced that it had signed a new deal with Channel Four from next series. The following day, presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins stated that they would leave the programme after the current series. Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry have not yet said if they are moving to Channel Four with the show, fuelling much press speculation about its future and about who might present it if the pair decide to join Mel and Sue and telling Greed Production what to do with their sick and odious greed. Steven, who is a board director at Hartswood Films which produces Sherlock, said after the EMMYs ceremony: 'We have had offers, that's not what it's about. It should never be about that. I think the BBC was quite right not to reward greed. It's wrong.' Hartswood Films, which was also behind other series Moffat created including Jekyll and Coupling is, of course, something of a small family firm, run by Steven's mother-in-law Beryl Vertue and his wife, Sue. During negotiations over The Great British Bake Off, the BBC offered fifteen million knicker to keep the show - double what it currently pays - falling ten million notes short of the amount of money Greed Production demanded. The greedy bastards.
Unfortunately, there was some bad news for the Sherlock team. Amanda Abbington had her purse was stolen from under her seat while she was collecting her EMMY. Amanda said that the purse went missing while she was on-stage and doing subsequent interviews. She tweeted: 'Thanks for the lovely tweets re; the EMMY's. So pleased we won! However, we went up to collect the EMMY, did some press, came back to my seat and some bastard had nicked my purse from under my seat. Had my phone and driver's licence in it. So whoever took my purse, I hope some terrible Karmic shit happens to you. How crappy is that?'
'Welcome to Only Connect, the quiz that raises more eyebrows than a Scottish tenner in a London pub!' said Victoria Coren Mitchell at the beginning of Monday night's episode of the popular lateral thinking panel show. She's a saucy minx, that one!
University Challenge fans have found a new favourite in the form of 'intense' contestant Eric Monkman. Becoming 'an instant Twitter sensation' - ie. about four people were talking about it on Monday night, Twitter being, you know, The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things ... according to some arsehole of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star - Canadian Eric, who is studying Economics at Wolfson College, Cambridge, was lauded for his 'passionate' answers to several of Jezza Paxman's questions. After a rather exuberant introduction, Eric proceeded to deliver each answer with impressive levels of enthusiasm. There was something generally terrifying about the way he bellowed 'Episcopalian' as one - correct, let it be noted - answer. Eric and his team won the - very entertaining - episode by the narrowest of margins, one hundred and eighty five to one hundred and seventy five, with Wolfson's victory over the London School of Oriental and African Studies sealed with a tie-breaker question about molluscs. The episode ended on a very sad note, however, as it was dedicated to the memory of one of the SOAS students, David Bostock, who died earlier this month after the episode had been recorded when he was about to complete an MA in South East Asian Studies. David's MA is due to be awarded posthumously.
The writer behind BBC2's The Fall has admitted that he was taken by surprise by some criticism of the series. One particularly harsh critic described the show as an example of 'brutal misogyny' - an accusation that Allan Cubitt later called 'insulting. I don't think I did quite anticipate that, because I was always very clear about what I was setting out to do,' he said this week. 'The idea that I would explore male violence against women and refract that through the prism of a female central character [Stella Gibson, played by From The North favourite Gillian Anderson) who would discourse on this theme endlessly, from a feminist point of view, was the thing that made me feel that I could go into the territory of depicting violence against women at all.' The series follows Gibson as she hunts for Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), a serial killer who preys on young women in Belfast. Cubitt argued that while the drama 'had to illustrate Spector's modus operandi to a degree,' he was eager to 'keep it as limited as possible. I don't expect to be applauded for the fact that there is [only] one woman killed in The Fall,' he said. 'But I do think it's of note compared with so many other shows I see, where the body count is astronomical. You can watch one episode of Luther and see more female victims than you see across the entire run of The Fall. Series one of Spiral starts with a naked woman's body in a skip. But The Fall does something unusual - by virtue of spending fifty per cent of its time with this individual [Spector], and inevitably therefore I'm sort of humanising him on some level, much as I'm saying he is a malevolent force.' Cubitt added that critics shouldn't make the assumption that he somehow shares some of Spector's views. 'If you write a drama that tackles male misogyny, then there's always the danger that people are going to say that you're identifying with the misogynistic character in some kind of way - which I'm not!'
Coronation Street's Beverley Callard has suggested she was deliberately left out of the 'more serious storylines' in the soap because of her depression. The actress returned to This Morning to discuss her ongoing recovery and told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she was even described as 'flaky' by someone in the production. 'At first, I was embarrassed and ashamed [by my depression, but] the cast do understand as we're all vulnerable,' she explained. 'And, one person said, "I don't want you to be in this [more serious] storyline because you've had depression and you might be flaky."' Beverley returned to Corrie after taking two months off for clinical depression in May this year, and previously praised former executive producer Stuart Blackburn for how he handled the matter. 'Stuart Blackburn our producer just said, "You need some weeks out to get the medication right,"' she recalled. 'He understood straight away but many don't.'
Songs Of Praise, A Question Of Sport, Holby City and Horizon are the first shows the BBC is putting out to tender to independent producers. In a move which marks a new chapter in the corporation's history - and not a good one, either - the four shows which are currently made by the BBC will be put up to external companies. The BBC's in-house arm BBC Studios is also able to bid to make the programmes but will have to compete on the same terms with commercial producers as part of Director General Tony Hall's new 'compete or compare' strategy. Under the terms of the BBC's new draft charter, unveiled last week, all BBC shows will eventually be put out to tender over the next eleven years. In return BBC Studios will be allowed to become commercial next year and make shows for other broadcasters. The strategy is part of a bid to help the BBC stem the tide of talent moving to the more lucrative commercial sector and instead encourage them to stay and come up with new hits for the corporation. The BBC said that the four shows were chosen because they are all approaching recommissioning decisions and their production schedules allow them to be put out to tender quickly. BBC Television managing director and commercial director Bal Samra said: 'It is a big, bold move, but I think what we’re doing in generating this competition – with a strong independent sector and the creation of BBC studios - could make our industry even stronger. We are incredibly proud of all these titles and our decision to put them to tender in the first batch is a pragmatic one, so we can move quickly. These are BBC shows that will still be on BBC Channels and we will still own the rights. We have nurtured and cherished them over many years, our audiences love them and they are precious to us, but we hope the tendering process will offer an opportunity to test value for money and ensure we are delivering the very best programmes for viewers.' Thought to be the longest-running religious television programme in the world, Songs Of Praise is considered one of the cornerstones of the BBC schedule and the corporation's decision to put such a key pubic service show in the first tranche of programmes going too to tender has raised some eyebrows. It was first broadcast by the BBC in 1961, the same decade that A Question Of Sport and BBC2 documentary series Horizon began. The sports quiz is another BBC1 stalwart and, like Songs Of Praise, is based in Salford. Rather than taking on the full series commission for Horizon, independent producers will be able to tender for bundles of commissions, which the BBC said would 'increase the diversity' of its science coverage. Whatever the Hell that means. The corporation said: 'As part of increased competition, suppliers will also be invited to pitch ideas for Horizon – with bundles of commissions based on the strength of their proposals. This creates an opportunity to increase the range of ideas for our science offer on BBC2 and strengthen science specialism in the sector.' One - nameless, and, therefore, probably fictitious - producer quoted by the Gruniad Morning Star said the choice of shows was interesting: 'Songs Of Praise and Question Of Sport are heritage brands and Horizon and Holby are closely linked in many people’' minds with the BBC.' However, staff working on the programmes are still unclear what will happen to them if the programmes are transferred to independent companies, the Gruniad claimed. Union BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey confirmed that the BBC has not yet revealed under what conditions they will transfer over. 'There has been great uncertainty for weeks and months about this and we still don't have pay, conditions or pension details – we don't expect the BBC to pay lip service to these.' The BBC is due to meet independent producers tomorrow to reveal more details about the tendering process.

BBC3's next 'major drama' will be fronted by Sherlock's Louise Brealey and The Fall's Aisling Franciosi. The pair will appear in Clique, a six-part series from Skins writer Jess Brittain. Synnove Karlsen will play university student Holly, who - along with her best friend Georgia (Franciosi) - is 'drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls' led by lecturer Jude McDermid (Brealey). 'Soon, they are attending lavish parties, populated by Edinburgh's most powerful, but Holly quickly exposes this seductive world's deeply corrupt core - and it's not long before danger is mounting from all angles.' Clique is being described as 'a seductive, intense drama about friendship tested to extremes' - and 'an uncensored exploration of how being a young woman can feel today.' Sounds rather good. Filming began in Edinburgh this week, with the series lined-up for a 2017 debut.
Richard Dreyfuss is not actually Julia Louis-Dreyfus's dad and he's definitely still alive. Apparently there was some confusion on social media when Julia revealed during her EMMY acceptance speech that her father had died late last week with some people seemingly convinced that Oscar-winning actor Richard was Julia's dad and, therefore, had snuffed it despite the fact that Julia clearly said in her speech that her father was Willie Louis-Dreyfus. Julia's father was, in fact, the billionaire poet William Louis-Dreyfus - not the Academy Award-winning Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind actor Richard Dreyfuss. Note, for instance, the extra 's' in Richard's surname. Trying to clear up the confusion on Twitter, the very gracious Richard Dreyfuss tweeted: 'I'm actually not Julia Louis-Dreyfus' father. But I really appreciate all the concerned tweets.'
Great Britain closed the Rio Paralympics with sixty four gold medals, the most by a British team since 1988. ParalympicsGB surpassed their London 2012 medal tally of one hundred and twenty on day nine of the games in Rio and finished with one hundred and forty seven medals, second in the table behind China. They also matched the highest number of gold medal sports at a Paralympics with eleven, matching China at Beijing 2008. Kadeena Cox, who won golds in both athletics and cycling, carried the British flag at Sunday's closing ceremony. The twenty five-year-old became the first Briton to triumph in two different sports at the same games since 1988. 'It's a great feeling to know that I'll be standing at the front of such an exceptional group of athletes from GB, to represent what has been such a successful and high-achieving team,' she said. 'I only originally expected just to get to Rio, let alone win medals, so to do this is the icing on the cake of an amazing games. I couldn't have imagined this in my wildest dreams. To do something as special as carrying the flag is incredible.' Penny Briscoe, chef de mission for the British team, said: 'Kadeena's achievements in Rio have been absolutely remarkable and she is the perfect choice to be our flagbearer. To strike gold in two sports is no mean feat, and it pays tribute to her talent, pride and determination and also the work of British Athletics and British Cycling, with the support of National Lottery funding, to help her achieve and surpass her goals. As the games draw to a close we can begin to reflect on the exceptional performances of our athletes and this incredible medal haul. The Closing Ceremony is the perfect way to kick off the celebrations for this record breaking team. I am so proud of each and every member of the team.' British Paralympic Association chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said that the team's performance in Rio was no fluke, but the figures still make very impressive reading. The team, often described as the strongest and the best prepared everysent to major championships, won twelve per cent of the total number of gold medals available - the best since 1968, a completely different era in Paralympic sport. Finishing second in the medal table behind China, they set forty nine Paralympic and twenty seven world records. Both the oldest (Anne Dunham) and youngest (Abby Kane) competitors on the team claimed medals and eleven different sports won gold medals with a record-equalling fifteen securing at least one medal. Yes, the total may have been different if the disgraced Russian team had not been banned from competing, but one can only beat what is in front of one and this was a truly spectacular performance from the two hundred and sixty four-strong squad. This British team has set a new standard and as one games closes, plans for the next summer games - in Tokyo in four years time - are well under way. Now the challenge will be to maintain momentum and rise to the occasion once again in 2020.
Adam Hills debuted his dazzling new look on the final The Last Leg Live From Rio on Saturday after making a bet a few months ago. Earlier in the year, in the hope of 'firing up Paralympics GB,' Adam vowed to humiliate himself - by dying his hair like the union flag - if they beat Australia on the Rio medals table. Which, of course, the British team did. By lots. Not only that, Adam's prosthetic leg has also been sent off after he promised to have every British gold medallists' name engraved on it. He said: 'You should have seen the state of my shower this morning. Red and blue hair dye everywhere – it looked like someone had murdered a smurf.' Adam also revealed that he had been asked to present a mascot at a medal ceremony on the final day of competition, Sunday, to which his co-host Josh Widdicombe said: 'They're going to think you are the mascot!'
If you haven't been catching The Last Leg during the Paralympics, there's a very good piece on it by the Gruniad's Frances Ryan which you can check out here. 'Its nightly shows have averaged 1.8 million [overnight] viewers – up forty seven per cent on its initial run during London 2012 – while Channel Four also credits the show with helping to bring in a record number of young viewers to the Paralympic coverage. "There's never been anything like this on television. We're taking the mick out of Paralympians!" Alex Brooker laughs. The Last Leg had the benefit of what is a unique format: part sports show, part comedy panel and all underlined with an often close-to-the-wire take on disability. The Is it Okay? segment, in which the panel charges headfirst into the do's and don'ts of talking to disabled people ('Is it okay to ask if an amputee takes their leg off in the shower?') has been a staple of the show. Ask any of the main players and there's no worthy intention behind The Last Leg. 'It was never, "Hey, this can do this for disability." It was never about breaking down barriers,' Hills insists. But against a TV schedule where disability is still widely absent, let alone discussed in terms of humour, the show has been noticeable for the bold way it tackles the subject.'
An exhausted Jonny Brownlee needed to be helped over the finishing line by his brother Alistair in a dramatic end to the World Triathlon Series in Mexico. Leading with seven hundred metres left, Jonny began to weave across the road in hot and humid conditions in Cozumel. Third-placed Alistair, caught up with his brother, propping him up for the final couple of hundred metres before literally pushing him over the line into second place. The pair were overtaken in the final stretch by South African Henri Schoeman, the eventual winner. Victory in Mexico would have given Jonny the world title, but second place left him just four points behind Mario Mola. The Spaniard was fifth on Sunday to top the overall standings. Jonny, the Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016 and a bronze medallist at London 2012, collapsed to the ground the moment he crossed the finish line. He required treatment but later tweeted that he was recovering, with a photo of himself lying in a hospital bed on a drip. Alongside a video clip of the finish of the race, he also wrote: 'Normally when you have had too much to drink. This time it was the opposite.' Alistair said it was 'a natural human reaction' to come to the aid of his brother, adding: 'I'd have done the same thing for anyone in that position.' He added: 'I wish the flippin' idiot had paced it right and crossed the finish line first. He could have jogged that last two kilometres and won the race. You have to race the conditions. I was comfortable in third. I raced the conditions, I took the water on, made myself cool and I was all right.' Schoeman, who finished fourth in the overall standings, won the race - consisting of a fifteen hundred metre swim, forty kilometre cycle and ten thousand metre run - in one hour forty six minutes fifty seconds, with both Brownlees eighteen seconds behind. The International Triathlon Union extremely dismissed a quite disgraceful and scummish Spanish Triathlon Federation whinge that Jonny should have been disqualified, because 'athletes can receive help from another athlete.'
This blogger used to enjoy Barbara Ellen's writing when she was on the NME back in the 1980s though, less so now she's become a rather shrill example of the sort of Middle class hippy Communists who infect the Gruniad Morning Star on a daily basis. That said, here op-ed piece Corbyn Victory? It's A Strangely Liberating Feeling jibed more-or-less exactly with this blogger's feelings of despair over what's currently happening in the Labour party. 'Soon, the Labour leadership result will be announced, and it's looking likely that, contrary to what I'd hoped, Jeremy Corbyn will win again,' writes Babs. 'In a bizarre way, I'm almost looking forward to it – rip the plaster off, let it smart, get it over with. It could almost be viewed as "freeing", as the hippies used to trill. I've voted for the Labour party my entire life and never even considered voting any other way, but all that changes the moment that Corbyn gets back in, and, like many other previously lifelong Labour supporters, I become instantly politically homeless.' Which is this blogger's position exactly. I'll be fifty three next month, dear blog reader, and ever since I was eighteen Keith Telly Topping has never voted anything other than Labour. I'm genuinely unsure if that's going to be the case from now on. It's going to be genuinely fascinating to see how large chunks of Labour's traditional support may abandon them in the aftermath of yer man Jezza's forthcoming landslide. To an extent large chunks of them already have, the EU referendum proved that. This blogger had an interesting 'discussion' with a Corbynista (for which, actually, read one-sided rant with a very silly twenty one year old) recently who kept on saying how , like 'totally brilliant' it was that half-a-million or so Labour members were 'showing the Tories what's what' by voting for Corbyn. This blogger could only reply, sadly: 'Nine-and-a-half million people voted Labour at the last general erection. How many of them do you think are going to be left after Corbyn wins?' She didn't seem interested which, frankly, is exactly the problem. Many of the 'Momentum' people don't appear to care if they lose, they quite like being in opposition. It's like the 1980s all over again, they can chant the slogans, attend all the meetings, have their alternative comedy nights slagging off The Tories and then turn a blind eye when they get crushed at the general erections. It's all very well have the coolest, most right-on policies in the world if no bugger's going to vote for you. Perhaps some of them genuinely (and deludely) think that they can win a general erection, assuming that party membership support will somehow magically translate into erectoral support – not realising that Corbyn - good man as he may be - is an erectoral liability and, actually, isn't really liked at all by many traditional Labour voters, never mind floating voters in Tory marginals.

Coolio - who is 'a rap-type person of some description,' apparently - has been very arrested at an airport in Los Angeles after a loaded gun was found in a carry-on bag during security screening. Police at Los Angeles International Airport were alerted to the discovery on Saturday morning by security staff. They detained a man who claimed that the bag belonged to him. An investigation found the bag held items said to belong to another man - later identified as Coolio - who had already passed through security and boarded an aircraft. Coolio - real name Artis Leon Ivey junior - was later booked into a local police station. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Coolio's bail was set at $thirty seven thousand dollars. After leaving the station, Coolio posted a video of himself enjoying a Chinese meal on YouTube to reassure fans that he is doing well.
A lawyer for Michael Schumacher has told a court in Germany that the former Formula 1 world champion 'cannot walk' following his horrific skiing injury. Felix Damm was detailing the extent of Schumacher's injuries in a lawsuit against German magazine, Bunte. The magazine had reported last Christmas that the seven-time world champion could walk again. But, Damm said that Schumacher 'cannot walk' more than two and a half years after the accident. Bunte had allegedly 'quoted' an alleged 'source' at the end of last year as allegedly saying that Schumacher could allegedly 'manage some steps' with the help of therapists and could allegedly raise an arm. Allegedly. At the time, Schumacher's agent, Sabine Kehm, released a statement denying the story, saying: 'Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true. Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.' Schumacher suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in France in 2013. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for six months before being transferred to his home in Switzerland to continue his treatment. Very little is known about his subsequent recovery as his family has strongly protected his privacy. In February, his former boss at Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, said: 'I have news and unfortunately it is not good.' But, didn't elaborate.
A man in Australia has successfully patented - and started selling - the Hamdog, a combination of a hotdog and a burger in one bun. Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them and some simply achieve greatness. This bloke should just be given a medal and have statues erected in his honour. Mark Murray first appeared on Shark Tank - the Australian equivalent of Dragons' Den - where he pitched the idea to potential investors. The judges turned him down for funding. The foolish fools. But one year later, he is selling the Hamdogs at fairs and markets in Western Australia and looking for people interested in taking on a franchise. 'We launched our marquee two months ago and we had people come from everywhere just to experience the Hamdog,' he told News.com.au. 'At one stage the crew were knocking out about one every fifteen seconds. It was amazing,' he said. The Hamdog was first patented in the US back in 2009 but Murray has only just begun to sell them. When he first pitched it to the judges on Shark Tank in 2015, he described eating the dish as a 'party in your mouth.' The judges laughed. They're not laughing now. The burger is split in half, to allow the hotdog to be placed in-between. The bun is then also filled with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise. 'We use all local ingredients. The only thing that's not from Western Australia are the pickles,' Murray said. 'At the moment there is a fair bit of labour involved in making the buns because they're made by people, not machines. We're still developing a way to semi automate production.'
Up to 'one hundred schoolchildren' were reportedly involved in a fight on a street when a mass brawl broke out, leaving two people needing hospital treatment. Police were called to what was described as 'a large fight' in Northumberland Heath in Erith, at about 5.40pm on Monday. Witnesses said that 'baseball bats and concrete blocks had been used' as weapons during the brawl with kids gettin' sparked and aal sorts Seven people, aged between fifteen and Twenty one, have been very arrested, police said. The injuries suffered by the two people in hospital are 'not life threatening,' the Met spokesperson added. Social media reports suggested that 'around one hundred youths,' some of whom were 'in uniform,' were involved in the fracas which took place near the Duchess of Kent pub. Witnesses snitched that the numbers of people involved - including children as young as eleven - grew during the afternoon. Footage posted online showed people being kicked and hit with sticks. Shane Newman, who works in a local betting shop, told the BBC that he saw 'several black youths' who 'looked to be around thirteen to sixteen years old running up and down the street.' Once the poliss arrived, they 'advised all businesses to close early. I left work as quickly as I could,' Newman said. A worker at Northumberland Heath Primary School, which is near to where the fight happened, said that teachers were 'kept inside the school' for two hours at the end of the day 'for their safety.' Owen Jeavons said that there 'had been tension' between students at local schools when he was a teenager but called the brawl 'something new. I have never seen anything like it. It's such a quiet, peaceful place,' he said. Jeanne Asquith wrote on Facebook: 'Never seen anything like it and I've lived here eight years. I just just hope the schools deal with those involved. Most were wearing school uniform.' A Met Police spokesman said 'officers are still in the area to provide reassurance.' A borough spokesperson said that they were 'dismayed by the incident' and 'a partnership meeting to establish the facts,' would be held later. 'This is not the norm for Bexley - we are the safest borough in London and we aim to work together to keep it that way,' they claimed.
A man sentenced for selling heroin which resulted in a fatal overdose told a Lebanon County judge that he was dealing to raise money to hire a lawyer for another drug charge. The statement by Phillip Maldonado prompted a rebuke from Judge John Tylwalk. 'I've heard a lot of excuses, but today's was a new one,' Tylwalk said. 'You sold drugs to raise money to hire an attorney to represent you in another pending drug case.' Tiffany Hoover and Maldonado have been very charged with drug delivery resulting in death in connection with fifty three-year-old Julio Rivera's death last May. Maldonado is accused of selling heroin to Rivera who died in May 2014. Charges were filed against Maldonado and Hoover who was using drugs with Rivera, in February 2015. Maldonado was found guilty by a jury 1 August on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy and selling drugs. Tylwalk sentenced him on Wednesday to nine to eighteen years in The Big House on the drug delivery charge, seven to fifteen years on a conspiracy charge and two to ten years on the drug charge. He was also fined fourteen hundred dollars. The sentence will be concurrent and follow a sentence on the other drug charges. Since 1990, Tylwalk said that Maldonado whad been charged with twelve counts, seven of them for drugs, and was in state prison six times. He was out on state bail when he was charged with selling drugs that killed Rivera, said the judge. 'This case is being tragically played out all over Pennsylvania,' Tylwalk said, citing the fact that twenty people in Lebanon County died of overdoses last year, with fifty five percent resulting from heroin. 'You contributed to it by your actions in this case,' Tywalk told Maldonado. Hoover is scheduled for trial in 31 October on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy, theft and a drug charge in connection with Rivera's death. While Rivera fell asleep and later overdosed, police said Hoover left and traded Rivera's cell phone to Maldonado for more heroin. At the sentencing, Maldonado also asked for a new attorney and said he will be filing an appeal.
A pair of teenage bad'uns who dragged a vicar out of her car in a 'shocking attack' as she left a church service have been very sentenced. Reverend Irene Wilson was leaving Holy Trinity Church in Hull on 7 August when her vehicle was targeted. Jay Desborough, seventeen, and Leon Wrigglesworth, thirteen, both from the city, were each given a twenty four-month detention and training order in a young offenders institute at the city's youth court. The Reverend Wilson said it had 'affected myself and the work that I do.' The pair had only known each other for a week before carrying out the carjacking, the court heard. As well as having her car stolen, Rev Wilson's handbag containing two hundred and fifty notes in cash and a laptop computer were also taken. In court, the vicar described how her daughter, who she was speaking to on the phone at the time of the attack, was 'still traumatised from hearing my screams.' Robin Smith, the solicitor defending Desborough, told the court tht the teenager had allegedly asked a family member to send an apology letter and a bouquet of flowers to the vicar as an apology. But Reverend Wilson, who was in court, confirmed this had not happened. The vicar said that she had 'at all times tried to understand the culprits' and asked people to 'pray for the two young men, that they will make a positive decision.' Sally Robinson, the Crown Prosecution Service's reviewing lawyer, said: 'This was a shocking attack carried out in broad daylight on a respected community figure. Our thoughts remain with Reverend Wilson as she continues to recover from the effects of this crime.' Chairman of the bench Vincent Bergin lifted a ban on naming the teenagers. Desborough, who was aged sixteen at the time of the attack, extremely admitted to one charge of robbery at a previous hearing. Wrigglesworth denied robbery but was found very guilty following a trial. He was also convicted of fifteen other offences.

An invasive hornet that kills honey bees has been spotted in Britain for the first time, experts have confirmed. The Asian hornet was found near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Work is under way to find and destroy its nests. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has set up a three-mile five kilometre surveillance zone. DEFRA said it that had 'been anticipating' the hornets' arrival 'for some years' and had 'a well-established protocol in place to eradicate; the killer hornets. The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina), which is up to an inch long, is now common across Europe after being accidentally introduced to France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China. In the summer, the non-native species was discovered in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Alderney for the first time. Nicola Spence, from DEFRA, said: 'It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That's why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests.' A DEFRA spokesman said the hornet found in the Tetbury area had been extremely killed and was undergoing DNA testing to establish how it arrived in the UK. So far, this is unknown. They tried asking it, but it was unsurprisingly evasive - considering that it was dead. Meanwhile, bee inspectors are using infrared cameras and traps in a bid to locate and destroy any nests in a three-mile area radius around the initial sighting. Anyone who spots one of the hornets are advised either to kill it, with hammers, or, if unarmed, run like bloody fek screaming 'the killer hornets are here, run for your lives!'