They would, wouldn’t they?

Increased US Oil Production Means Cheap Oil Ain’t So Good No More


Doctor Who stars have rejected claims that the show has become too PC, with one actor asking whether it is even possible to be ‘too’ correct.

Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, who play Yaz and Ryan in the show, instead praised the programme in an interview with Radio Times for being an “entertaining reminder” of important issues.

The horror, the oppression

Paul Mayhew-Archer: ‘I had to write Vicar of Dibley jokes to feed my family’

The cruelty of modern life, eh?

He has also worked as a script editor on shows including Mrs Brown’s Boys, Spitting Image and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Hmm, that last, well, torn between someone did write jokes for it and yes, OK, that’s real oppression.

A mild little thought

The TV manufacturers are spreading the news of the Royal Wedding. With the offer that you can upgrade your TV to whatever today’s new lovely standard big screen is just in time to watch it.

We do have the historical story that people bought TVs to watch QE II’s wedding (or the Coronation?) and that this was one of the kick starts of adoption in the UK.

So a mild thought. How much of the current pushing of the current standards for the current event is going to work and how much of it is some folk memory of that historical tale?

What fun

Staff at Basel zoo are carrying out a paternity test after the birth of an orangutan with any one of three potential fathers.

Be a step up from Jeremy Vine’s normal guests.

This is very good though:

Sumatran orangutans are one of the most endangered animal species in the world, comprising only nine existing populations left in the wild, with just three populations numbering 1,000 or more.

Known as “gardeners of the forest”, they have a major role in rain forest seed dispersal and in maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem, a function that is vital for a range of other animals, including tigers, Asian elephants and Sumatran rhinos.

Despite the development of protected areas, more than 50 per cent of orangutans are found in forests under management by timber, palm oil and mining companies.

So, err, they’re perfectly happy in managed as opposed to unmanaged forest then?

I hope this isn’t true about John Oliver’s medical debt forgiveness

In short, here’s what happened. As part of his segment on debt collectors, Oliver formed his own debt-collection company. Through that company, he then bought just under $15 million in medical debt — the debt of about 9,000 people — for $60,000. Once that debt had been bought, Oliver forgave it. Then, in a moment of self-adulation, he showered the stage with dollar bills as a symbol of his good act.

OK, it’s an intern at National Review writing this so details, details.

But if it was a company forgiving that debt than those whose debt was forgiven owe taxes on that debt forgiveness.

If it were a charity or an individual making a charitable act then they don’t. But corporations are assumed, unless otherwise detailed, to be operating for profit. And a for profit organisation forgiving debt is income to the debtor who gains that forgiveness. And taxable income too.

I do hope that Oliver got this the right way around.

Update: Apparently he donated it to a charity that then forgave it. So, settled then.

What a startling background for an unknown TV script writer!

While Colman, fresh from her starring role in the BBC’s big hit The Night Manager, might have been a bit skittish about her role, Channel 4 has taken on more of a risk by staking its 10pm slot on the relatively unknown writer of Flowers, 29-year-old Will Sharpe, an English-Japanese actor, writer and director.

Eager to underscore its reputation for distinctive, risky programming, and miffed by the loss to Netflix of its hit Charlie Brooker series Black Mirror, Channel 4 decided Sharpe was not only a gamble worth taking but that he deserved special treatment. So each episodes will be broadcast at the same time every day over a week, beginning with a double bill on Monday.

Sharpe was born in London but until the age of eight he lived in Tokyo. He was educated at Winchester College, then went to Cambridge, where he read classics and joined the university’s dramatic club, Footlights, subsequently spending a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Winchester, Cambridge, Footlights, RSC.

Just come out of nowhere he has, honest.

This is fun, isn’t it?

The BBC is investigating claims about a £10,000 Great British Bake Off betting scandal involving its employees.
Ladbrokes said that workers at the corporation had opened accounts in order to place bets on the winner of the show, which was recorded several weeks ago, according to The Sun.

All those selfless public sector workers at the BBC, who do it for us, not for mere lucre.

Dozens of new gambling accounts were thought to have been created by individuals with links to BBC workers and the Love Productions, the independent production company that makes the programme, it was claimed.
“Whoever is doing this thinks they are being very clever,” a source from Ladbroke told The Sun.
“But they are not that smart as they have been using their own names to open accounts.
“A quick Google and you can see that [some of them work] in television and have close links to the BBC and Great British Bake Off’s production company.”


The source continued: “Lots of the other accounts appear to be owned by friends and family of culprits.
“They must think we are a bit thick but we know how to sniff out funny business like this.
“Placing everything on one baker again and again immediately set off red flags.”

Yes, quite. The bookies risk losing money over this. so of course they’re going to be a bit active in looking for people gaming the system. Incentives do matter after all…..

Dave Broome missed a chance with The Briefcase

The Briefcase, premiering on CBS at 8 p.m. Wednesday, features “American families experiencing financial setbacks,” to use the network’s terminology. The family is given a briefcase with $101,000 in it, and then they’re shown another family who’s “experiencing financial setbacks.” They have to decide how much money to keep and how much to give the other people, or whether they want to keep it all for themselves; neither family knows both families have in fact received a briefcase, and that their counterparts are also deliberating over if and how to share the money. In the two episodes CBS made available for review, the decision weighs incredibly heavily on all participants. One woman is so overcome that she vomits. Everyone talks about health insurance. Several people claim this is the hardest decision they’ve ever made. Many, many tears are shed. And perhaps unsurprisingly, people demonstrate impressive generosity. That’s the point of the show, right? To show how generous people truly are? Surely these people were screened not just for emotive telegenics but also for proclivity toward magnanimity.

Well, no, not really, that’s how human beings work actually. As tha classic economic experiment, the ultimatum game shows.

And this is of course a version of that ultimatum game. A one time, going in both directions, real life version of it. I don’t, of course, know what the splits being offered are. But I would be surprised if anyone offered less that 30% of the cash to the other people.

But perhaps Dave Broome, the originator of the show missed a trick here. Because wouldn’t it be fun to have the other part of that game? Where if there’s a rejection, then no one gets anything? Here, a rejection being offering more than 10% less than the other participants are offering you?

That would be a lovely reveal, wouldn’t it? (Strokes white cat, feeds shark, puffs cigar.)

How entirely glorious

A woman with no legs who uses a wheelchair was a contestant on the Price is Right, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be using her winnings any time soon.

Danielle Perez, of Los Angeles, won a treadmill on Monday’s episode of the famed game show and she managed to handle the awkward situation with grace and hilarity.

Perez, who lost her legs in an accident in 2004, posted a photo of herself on the show to Twitter with the caption, ‘When you win a treadmill on national TV but you have no feet’.

Both the
event itself and her reaction.

Fair play Ms. Perez, fair play there.

A little South Park story

When we first moved from Russia to the US I told the Mrs. that US TV was going to be pretty boring. Not that Russian TV was all that much, but the Yanks really weren’t going to allow anyone to swear, crack rude jokes or, well, to a large extent, do anything that normal people do and TV stations the world over show them doing. And the comedy really wasn’t all that funny either.

So, we sat down our first evening of having moved, snacks and booze to hand, very domestic like, turned on the TV and caught part of the first season of South Park.

She’s not really believed me on a whole host of issues ever since.

Well, yes Sir Terry

Sir Terry Wogan has said female presenters use their looks to get the best jobs on TV and should not complain when they do not get offered work later in their careers.

The Radio 2 DJ said ‘lovelies’ like Holly Willoughby and Tess Daly are at risk of being replaced on the highest-rated programmes once their looks deteriorate.

But the 75-year-old insists they have no right to be angry because they used their beauty to land the jobs in the first place.

Seems like a statement of the bleedin’ obvious really.

If we were to see young ugly women doing the presenting jobs then te idea would have less force. But as we don’t we can feel fairly safe in concluding that looks do indeed have something to do with who gets the job. And if looks do then when looks fade…..

Finally a solution to Simon Cowell

It took time and effort but Hurrah!

China’s media regulators have ordered the country’s satellite television stations to stop producing new singing-contest programs and to cut down on melodramatic elements of those currently airing.

There really are time when censorship is justified.

So that\’s the end of children\’s TV then

Or at least, that\’s the end of any kiddies stuff that doesn\’t come from the BBC:

Advertising aimed at under-11s should be banned amid fears it is creating a generation of children obsessed with money and material possessions, a powerful lobby of more than 50 experts warns today.

Wonder if they\’ve thought that through: or even whether that\’s the point of it?

Maimed I am, emotionally scarred. I saw a Jimmy Savile puppet

The BBC has apologised after screening a repeat of a children\’s television programme featuring a character dressed as Jimmy Savile.

An episode of The Tweenies filmed in 2001 was shown on CBeebies before 9am on Sunday.

In the episode, a character called Max presents a Top of the Pops-style show. Wearing one of Savile\’s trademark tracksuits topped off with a blond wig, he uses the disgraced presenter\’s accent and utters the catchphrase: \”Now then, guys and gals.\”

A BBC spokesman said: \”This morning CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of The Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile. This programme will not be repeated and we are very sorry for any offence caused.\”

Viewers tweeted about the gaffe. Kenny Senior wrote: \”Are BBC trying to self destruct? Max from Tweenies dressed as Jimmy Savile just now nearly chokes on my cornflakes.\”

Please, do fuck off and get a sense of proportion.

TV does indeed love totty

Women of a \”certain age and appearance\” struggle to be seen on television, former newsreader Alice Arnold has suggested, as she criticises a culture valuing the \”shape of their legs\” over their intellect.

Arnold, the partner of sports presenter Clare Balding, said equality was a “constant struggle” in a world which “prizes looks and youth so highly”.

Saying the world of television was full of men “of a certain age and appearance”, she argued women at the same stage of life would not currently be allowed on screen.

She also criticised the lack of female presenters on BBC Radio 4\’s Today, accusing the show of failing to represent half of the British population properly.

Targeting sexism and ageism in the world of television, she argued the BBC ought to do more to put a stop to it.

It\’s absolutely
true that some birds get on TV because they are attractive totty. NMice face, decent set of norks, these do indeed aid a career in front of the camera.

I don\’t find it all that surprising in humans I have to admit. Nor does it surprise me that men are treated differently. Again, it\’s fairly common among humans to judge males on status not looks.

But perhaps this is all wrong? Perhaps we shouldn\’t be doing this?

OK: that means that a pretty face and decent norks will no longer aid young women on getting on the box. Nor will young men be denied access as they\’re not silverbacks.

At which point, sure, stop discriminating aginst the saggier women as well.

But what I really don\’t think would be fair would be to promote the use of those older women without reducing the advantage that looks give younger women, or the way in which youth works against men.

If we\’re really going to stop discriminating then let\’s really do so, eh?

Wrinkly women in the media

Yet there is a basic injustice that we have allowed to take hold in our public life and that is the removal of older women from it regardless of whether they have relevant life experience or expertise.


It is necessary, as the phrase goes, to look at this in the whole.

A pleasant looking young bird has more chance to get on the TV than a not pleasant looking young bird or a young man of any degree of pleasantness. Attributes such as big tits, nice bum, long legs, shiny hair, all help.

Perhaps this should not be so but it is.

It\’s therefore not a surprise that when some of those attributes which created the job opportunity in the first place fade away then so does the job opportunity.

As and when being young, pert and good looking is not an aid in getting into TV in the first place then we might indeed reasonably complain about the absence of those factors being a reason for not being on TV.

It\’s a fact that young and pretty whores get more punters than old and ugly ones. Why should anyone think it different for media tarts?

There\’s models and then there\’s models

My word!

Mick Aston quits Time Team after producers hire former model co-presenter
Mick Aston, the archeologist, has quit Time Team after producers hired a former model as the programme’s co-presenter.

So, toothsome bimbo to get her nipples out for the lads. Kown as the Dimmock Strategy. Woo Hoo! And I can see why a serious scientists like Professor Mick Aston would be upset.

An email to archaeologists last year from Wildfire Television, which makes the programme, said it was seeking a female co-presenter who “does not have to be overly experienced or knowledgeable as we have plenty of expertise within the existing team”.

I get it now, this is Sam Fox\’s comeback attempt, isn\’t it?

So, who did they hire?

Miss Ochota, 30, holds a master’s degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University and has previsouly done modelling work, including shoots for Special K.

See! See! Nothing but a smile above a nice pair.

And over in a parallel universe it is noted that the art of modelling for Special K is the ability to look happy about the way in which your breakfast cereal has allowed to you to have a really good shit. But in a delightfully feminine manner.

A suitable skill for someone who is to work with that emetic Tony Robinson I would have thought.