Thursday, July 31, 2008

If it makes your brain hurt, just look at the nipples instead

From the BBC "news" site:

Teen soap Hollyoaks is launching an online drama which will feature on the Channel 4 show and run on the website.

Characters in the C4 soap will be seen talking about new comedy-drama Runners and watching clips on the internet... Runners will be filmed in London and will include sequences shot at key showbusiness events such as the Brit Awards.

That's not a soap opera, that's a full-on mess-with-the-viewers'-entire-sense-of-reality! It was weird enough when the real Andrew Lloyd Weber was on it auditioning a fictional girl called Summer for a part in the Sound of Music who then appeared in the Sound of Music ONLY SHE WAS REAL!

Presumably next step is to have Hollyoaks characters break off mid-scene and stare straight into the camera making scathing comments about actual things actual viewers are actually doing at home while watching Hollyoaks... which, let's face it, would be brilliant, but probably only suitable for the late-night "In The City" version.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Christ, you mean they're MY age?

The most interesting thing in today's Ofcom adjudication on listener deception on Jo Whiley's show - you know, the one where they pre-recorded the show twice, and faked the phone-in competitions with BBC staff pretending to be members of the public talking to Jo Whiley because there was no way listeners could take part, but at NO TIME did Jo Whiley know anything about any deception?

Jo Whiley was a live, music-based programme, which included interviews and other features. It was broadcast on Radio 1 on weekdays from 10:00 to 12:45. During the second quarter of 2006, the programme’s average total audience was 1.55 million and the average age of the audience was 33.

Radio One's target audience? 16-24 year olds.

Jo Whiley is 43. But - and if you have buttocks, prepare to clench them in embarrassment now - she has a regular feature on her show entitled "What Rox, What Sux".

Hi its of im in the rub where u?

From Press Gazette:

A local newspaper chief sub-editor has won £20,000 for being wrongfully dismissed after he drunkenly sent a personal late-night text message to a female junior colleague.

Bet he still made sure all the apostrophes were in the right place...

I'm not saying I left Somerset because of the paucity of aspiration among the locals, but...

From The Sun's coverage of the aftermath of the fire on Weston pier:

Jubilant Nicola Hesketh, 27, of Milton, Somerset, said after emerging from the waves: “Something like this doesn’t happen every day.

“I found a massive can of peaches and three £1 coins.”

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Realising that Carla Bruni won't even look in their direction whatever they do, British media transfers hopeless crush to another target

Not wanting to come over all Biarsed BBC here, but why the hell is the UK's main evening news bulletin being co-anchored from the capital of Germany, on the grounds that a man who isn't the President of America is visiting there?

Number Crunching

£54,500 = damages handed out, per paper, for implying (entirely falsely) that a man was a paedophile and guilty of the abduction and possible murder of a three-year-old
£60,000 = damages handed out, per paper, for revealing (entirely truthfully) that a man likes to pay prostitutes to tie him up and spank his bottom until he bleeds

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BANG! And the pants are gone...

Good crikey. Someone at the Sun has gone back to their piece on skinny-dippers since I wrote the post below, and actually photo-shopped the underwear which was utterly undeniably present in every single photograph out. Apart from the bottom one, which they've just cropped in to hide the fact that "Steven" had merely rolled down his shorts to show the top of his bum-cheeks, and not done quite well enough to hide the fact that "Sasha" is still wearing her bikini bottoms...

Questions arising:

a) Did the owners of the swimming pool where Love It! took the original pictures refuse to let the models go nuddy, or did someone invoke the infamous News International "No Fur" rule at the last minute?

b) Did Love It! accidentally send over the originals when the Sun's Features Desk requested shots for their inter-stable cross-promotion-fest?

c) Why didn't anyone notice before they first put them online?

d) Am I taking far too much so-called-professional interest in this?

At least they've done a better photoshop job than this atrocity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Am I missing something here? Or are they not?

Good use of headline to draw readers in - but don't the pictures reveal quite a major factual inaccuracy in the Sun's hot exclusive on "sexy skinny-dippers?"

Monday, July 21, 2008

They're being cleared... now. No... now. No...

"Mr and Mrs McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the couple would not comment in advance of the attorney general's official statement. He added: "Obviously they are aware of numerous reports suggesting that the case is about to be shelved."

And how!

“McCanns ‘will be cleared by Xmas’”
Daily Star, 2 December 2007

“McCanns to be cleared”
Daily Star Sunday, 10 Feb 2008

“The McCanns have cleared their name.”
Times, 20 March

“Cleared: Cops to drop Kate and Gerry arguido claim”
People, 6 April

“McCanns Exclusive: Couple clear”
People, 13 April

“McCanns ‘in clear’”
Mirror, 10 May

“McCanns to be cleared as police close case”
Telegraph, 2 July

“McCanns ‘to be cleared’”
Mirror, 18 July

“Madeleine parents ‘set to be cleared’”
Press Association, 21 July

Personally, I think the whole thing might be the work of the same person that assasinated Bob Woolmer.

Has anyone ever actually said anything like this?

From the Daily Star's Amy Winehouse story this morning:

One drinker said: “It didn’t look like the actions of a woman about to pull herself out of her drugs hell anytime soon.”

The onlooker then made her excuses and headed off for a kinky love-romp.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The little man inside the radio is talking to me!

For about two years, I was a regular co-presenter on Sandi Toksvig's show on LBC. I also used to make regular appearances on Simon Mayo's show on Five Live, have attempted to plug various publications on just about every BBC local radio station the length and breadth of the land, and was once interviewed by Chris Evans live on Radio 2. And I've turned down two appearances on the Today programme, because their idea of what they wanted me to talk about was just really, really rubbish.

Ooh, get me.

The point of all this shameless boasting is that last night I got a text read out on my new favourite radio programme, Radcliffe and Maconie on Radio 2, and I was more ridiculously, absurdly chuffed than I was about all the above put together. Honestly, I couldn't have been happier if I'd just won Smiley Miley's Milage Game.

Thursday's show, about 17 minutes in, if you're interested. Just after the Fun Boy Three. It's about pies and Edward Woodward. As, really, is my life.

Number Crunching

10 = number of journalists recruited for launch of Big Issue India
6 = number of journalists (including two subs) currently working on Big Issue in England

Apparently John Bird's "sending in an editorial team from the UK to help guide the launch", too, so presumably while they're out there the London edition will be produced by two vendors and a dog.

17 = years after the launch of The Big Issue it took John Bird to attempt to launch an edition in India, a country with 170 million homeless people
6 = years after the launch of The Big Issue it took John Bird to attempt to launch an edition in LA, where he went to live for several years

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A couple from the new Private Eye, out now...

The director's cut...

So how, exactly, did the Daily Mail’s publishers manage to lose a laptop containing the personal and bank details of “a large number” of their current and former employees (only those who have joined the company in the last two months are guaranteed safe) after several months spent denouncing various government departments for “criminal carelessness”, “fathomless and inexhaustible incompetence” and “quite inexcusable sloppiness” over similar cock-ups?

The laptop was, apparently, “stolen from an employee away from company premises” – just like the MoD laptop which was taken from a car in Birmingham in January, in what the Mail described as a “fiasco” which would provide “a treasure trove” to criminals. “You could not make it up,” the paper stormed at the time. “The blunders have led to a ban on Whitehall staff taking laptops out of their offices…Incredibly, the information was not encrypted - meaning it would be easily accessed by anyone with basic technological knowledge.” And what of the data on the Mail’s own laptop? “The PC was password protected, but the data file itself was not,” admitted a shamefaced Simon Dyson, the Associated Newspapers group finance director, this week. And why not? “In this particular case, the employee in question was unaware that the data was on the laptop before leaving the building and for this reason the data was not held in an encrypted state.”

Because no one at Associated had any idea of what was on the computer, managers delayed more than a week before telling anyone their bank accounts and identities were at risk. By a pleasing coincidence, the Mail managed in the meantime to run yet another article castigating Gordon Brown for “the Government's woefully inadequate care of sensitive data.”

And from the TV pages:

In the last Eye we suggested that the Wuaorani tribe of Ecuador, hosts of one of the episodes of BBC2’s Tribal Wives, had been featured on television so often that “it would be no surprise if the elders had DVD adverts painted on their foreheads in woad.” While this turned out not quite to be the case, since the programme was broadcast the Eye has been provided with some interesting information about Penti, the tribal leader who featured in the programme alongside his wife and seven children – namely, his email address, which outsiders have long been invited to use “to find out how you can help or to express interest in visiting the Wuaorani.”

And what of the Kuna, another tribe which featured in the series which promises to transport participants to “some of the most remote places on earth” to experience life alongside the locals “in a way that has never been explored before”? Well, they recommend booking flights and hotels in their homeland, the Archipielago de San Blas, as far ahead as possible, though the Lonely Planet guide to Panama, which features an entire chapter devoted to the commercially-astute tribe, points out that “most hotels offer complete packages, where a fixed price gets you a room, three meals a day and boat rides to neighbouring islands for swimming, snorkeling and lunching on the beach.” Since the 1960s Air Panama has been offering a daily flight to the area, stopping at six of the inhabited islands, while rival operator Aeroperlas currently runs three per day. There is a tourist visitation fee of $3-$5 dollars per island, and it is best to stock up on cash before departure as there are no ATMs in the area (although coin-operated telephones for domestic and international calls are apparently plentiful).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

What web 2.0 was invented for

I know I'm late with this, but those of you without a Sky subscription and access to the Bedroom TV channel deserve the opportunity to stumble across the best thing you'll ever channel-surf open-mouthed onto this side of the Bhangra channels.

For a full set of Ian Lorenc's videos, click here. His version of the Texas song - in which he gets tied to a railway line and does nothing other than look quite stroppy about it - is infinitely superior to the original, Alan Rickman notwithstanding.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Arse and bollocks

Don't you just hate it when people who have your fax number also have the media guardian's?

There goes next week's best story...

Quick Quentin, fire up Wikipedia, the whole of page 15's fallen through!

How long do you think it took Quentin Letts to write this?

Including the time it took him to cut and paste things when someone pointed out the middle section was just a list of all the actors in order and it might look better if he swopped them around a bit?

He could have stopped 50 words earlier and left room for a pullquote. His description of Russel T Davies in paragraph 18 would have been ideal: "an irksome little man with too high an opinion of himself".

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Daily Mail Island. Now realer than ever.

I know nothing about Second Life.

But anyone that does, nip in to the virtual Daily Mail office that's just been built there, seek out the virtual Paul Dacre who appears in this video at about 1'13", and give him a virtual slap from me, would you?

"...where she was joined by busty, pouting rape victim Jane Doe..."

Has there ever been a crasser phrase in a tabloid intro than "Telly's grieving Brooke Kinsella" on the front page of today's Sun?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Gordon celebrates a talented young lad turning 15

Shouldn't his boss Rebekah Wade be naming and shaming him for this?