Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Three Doctors ... of BBC Drama

This is the epic trail for the feast of BBC upcoming drama over the darker months, officially unveiled yesterday.

As well as including the ninth, tenth and eleventh Doctor Who actors in non-Whoniverse roles we also get the first glimpses of the 2010 Christmas special with Matt Smith, Michael Gambon and Katherine Jenkins.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Meat to Please You - Christian Alexander - ADULTS ONLY!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Rare photo of me in outdoor sports-related activity this week

Said 'sports' included speed pool (I was laughable), toss the boot (I did rather well at tossing), horse shoes (narrowly avoided injury), giant darts (did pretty good), giant Jenga (didn't really add much), golf pitching on the wii (not bad for first time anywhere near a wii console), command task (we did good but all I did was hold a rope), basketball shoot-the-hoop (we did best but mostly down to Mickey, who's the one in shorts on the left), boules (I was one of the better scores but knackered my thighs with repetitive crouching) and golf ball throwing (I think I got one in a bucket).

I was handicapped first by being an unfit 46 year old who rarely watches sports, let alone gets stuck in any time, and by being constantly distracted by competitors (three of whom may be in this picture). Imagine watching guys in football shorts bending over the pool table ...

Meat to Please You - Robison - ADULTS ONLY!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Cricket Totty - James Anderson in Attitude

Sorry, I've been a bit slow to pick up on this - maybe because it was made public on my birthday on Monday which was also a local holiday.

Anyway, England cricketer has become the latest straight celeb to drop 'em for "Attitude" in their October issue. It accompanies a pro-gay interview.

Of course Anderson already has posed naked with colleagues Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook in "Cosmopolitan".

There definitely seems to be a great change in attitude happening within sport as regards this sort of thing. Possibly generational, as the stars have generally been in their 20s, and also to attract a new audience to their respective sports.

Whether we get to the levels seen in Brazil's G magazine (with straight celebs not only showing off full frontal but getting hard and doing cumshots) is another matter, though full frontal is gaining ground via Dieux du Stade's calendar. Yet to see who's exposing themselves in the 2011 edition.

On a related note. it also appears the Edinburgh rugby team are doing another calendar. Let's hope they have learned from their mistakes in the 2010 one - they are putting in some sort of effort already, as three of them bravely faced Festival crowds and paraded in their pants on the Royal Mile last month, which one of them hinted was calendar related.

(Ross Ford, Tim Visser and Alex Grove)

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday Joint - 19 September 2010 #2

Bugger! I only uploaded the previous one yesterday, not weeks in advance, and the video has been deleted.

So here's what was going to be next Sunday's instead. Crossed fingers.

EDIT: remind me how crossed fingers doesn't actually work :(

Sunday Joint - 19 September 2010

Axel Brooks gets a premium service from barber Nathan Price.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Spooky Totty - Max Brown

At last the BBC have reaeased photos of Max Brown as "Spooks" newbie Dimitri Levendis. The new series begins on BBC One at 9pm on Monday 20th. You may recognise him from earlier stints on "Grange Hill", "Crossroads", "Hollyoaks" and "The Tudors".

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Strictly takes off for 2010

I've waited until after yesterday's broadcast of the launch show last night before commenting on the celeb line-up that was revealed on Wednesday morning, so I can cover everything else we know so far.

Have to say I was generally rather perked up by the show last night, though the whole premise of the launch made for some odd, unfamiliar moments. First difference was the absence of the usual 'parade of couples' title sequence, as we were there to witness the coupling happening first-hand. In fact, that was almost all that happened in the show. Even the judges had nothing to do, so it was merely courtesy having them there.

The remainder was mostly made up of set piece numbers by the professionals, now split between competing dancers and a smaller band of resident show dancers. Luckily we had three new competing dancers to be introduced to as well - is it just me who thinks the newbies all look like gay porn stars of various flavours? Robin especially reminds me of Ross Hurston (Google at your own risk), Artem looks like your typical Eastern European muscle-hunk and Jared is the supple, doe-eyed twink. Not to say that detracts any from what seem to be effective performers.

Have to say these made the show for me last night - I'd have been fast-forwarding the pairing up 'reveals' if I'd recorded it. Even if it was meant to be what we were tuning in for I'm not convinced that's a USP and I guessed about half of them (Tina & Jared wrote itself) but was surprised at handicapping Widders further by going for Anton, a partner who towers over her. Usually Vincent gets the short girls! Poor Ola has drawn Paul Daniels, but then she did win last year.

Anyway, here's the show's opening, including a storming set piece by the professionals. Some of it I saw for the first time on this YouTube clip as BBC Scotland (I assume) blacked out several minutes of vision just before it cut to the studio. I'm sure there was a lot of fury at such incompetence.

As I said, not much celeb dancing went on, with the exception of an only slightly practiced group dance right at the end, after the pairings were revealed. Some have noted that this somehow means everyone knew the pairings in advance, but I'm not convinced as this was an organised chaos of partnering off (even the unfortunately captured preview still has Paul and Widders lunging for each other and Scott Maslen can also seen in the embrace of ex-co-star Kara Tointon). I think the dancers will have been told, for obvious preparation reasons, but not the celebs who wouldn't really benefit from knowing. It's not much to go on, but most seem satisfactory in this number. The wobblers I spotted were Widders - who has god given handicaps - and Gavin Henson, who appeared to think it was a conga at a wedding. Widders will be kept in beyond her ability of course. Gavin though seems to be deliberately building a public personna as a bit of a conker-tinted plonker, so that may not be the best for getting an audience lifeline in this show.

Anyway, I checked the betting odds for who'd be this year's champ when the celeb line-up was announced, but before this show taped on Wednesday night so I looked again this morning to see the difference. And there wasn't much actually. I've reproduced them below.

I'm dismayed to see Kara on top there - frankly she shouldn't be there. For one thing she has a strong whiff of 'stand-by' in a year where the show has generally upped its game in casting. It also makes Strictly 2010 too heavy with people who are or have been in "Eastenders" (Scott, Goldie & Jimi being the others) and I suspect the bosses would rather not have done that. More importantly, she's already had a crack at it for Sport Relief, and that should disqualify you I think. So I hope the bookies are wrong there.

No surprise to see ex-gymnast and ready-for-anything Matt Baker as top placed male celeb. He'll also have a wide audience appeal from both "Countryfile" and his "Blue Peter" days. Plus he's 'a very nice man' (and sexy ... if not sitting next to Richard Bacon, Simon Thomas or Gethin Jones) Remains to be seen if he's got rhythm, though his era of BP did involve some musical stunts and he once was a disco dancer of some description . Jimi and Scott will have to have good stamina and attitude to keep up I think, but that's perfectly possible.

Pleased to see Felicity placed so strongly - I hope she makes it to the final in fact. And I'm trusting Bruno that Pamela will also be a dark horse. Those two laydeez were such potent sex-bombs to my generation of telly watchers that even I'm not immune to their charms... and if Pam stays in I can also ogle James ;)

So that's my initial thoughts. I'll probaby be back in three weeks when each of them give us a waltz or a cha-cha. The latter is always a good laugh at the very least, though I hope they give Widders & Anton the waltz first. She's surely experienced enough Tory balls over the years to wing that.

ISTR no-one is being elimated that weekend though, so all the couples get a chance at a ballroom and a latin.

The launch show is on iPlayer until next Saturday night, so obviously not being seen as a part of the series proper.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Bye Bye Facebook

More accurately it's "Bye Bye Graeme" says Facebook, as they have disabled my account as of yesterday with no warning or explanation. And I have absolutely no idea why. Perhaps others can enlighten me as to my unacceptable behaviour?

This really upset me as Facebook has contrived to be the crack cocaine of social networking sites and I feel like a digital outcast. Having come so soon after the Picasa problem I do have some suspicions that there may be a concerted effort going on.

This isn't one I can workaround, though I did initially set up another account, but no confirmation email came to my work address to allow me to 'click to confirm' and I have since not been able to access that either.

So my Facebook friends as were will have to find me here or on Twitter as I'm not staying where I'm not wanted. Please spread the word if you know a mutual friend.

Follow me on Twitter:

Good News and Bad News about the photos on the blog

You may be under the impression that I have won in my dispute with Picasa and that the photos are back. Sadly, this is not the case.

Following an abortive attempt at using Imagebam to host, I have found a workaround with the existing set-up. Unfortunately, it means putting a direct link to each photo using html embedding code rather than the previous automated default method. That's the good news.

The bad news is that Picasa switched the access settings on two whole folders - they contain more than 1000 images covering all the posts from April 2009 to last weekend. I hope you can appreciate that I am not prepared to redo all of that right now, so you will continue to see missing images on posts from the last 18 months.

I'll probably redo them on a piece-meal basis, but this will take a matter of weeks I think. I intend to do the posts that appear on the opening page this weekend as a start.

Th imagebam links on "Meat To Please You" and "Sunday Joint", plus embedded videos (those that are not dead anyway) are unaffected though.

If you are just desperate to see the missing images (completely out of context) in the meantime, you can still get there by going to

The World from Here (November 2009 to now) or

THE WORLD FROM HERE (April to November 2009)

Apologies - please bear with me blog friends.

Bye Bye Bruv

Brian wins Ultimate Big Brother

Thankfully it wasn't Nikki and it wasn't even close! As predicted all along Brian Dowling repeated his victory of nine years ago in the very final hour of "Big Brother" last night. It was the cherry on the top of almost a whole night of BB programming on Channel 4.

There are strong rumours that Richard Desmond will bring it to his newly acquired Channel Five, but it may be a very different beast.

Concocted especially for the occasion is this special housemate-strewn version of "Time to Say Goodbye", though it's often hard to make out who you're seeing, thanks to the often bizarre make-up. Took me a while to realise it was BB11 winner Josie doing the miming to the female vocal.

Big Brother's Obituary Tape (a slightly more tedious concoction)

Bye Bye Babs

The 10th of September 2010 marked the end for two popular TV institutions of recent years. Here's the first goodbye.

Following on from the previous evening's explosive inferno at her beloved Queen Vic, Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) departed tearfully from Walford after 16 years. I must admit I'm sad to see her go as well and was disappointed by the Thursday episode which felt rushed in the usual 30 minute slot. No-one died and the only injured characters (Phil, Stacey, Ryan and Syed) were either back to normal or unseen on Friday. Only baby Lily appears to have been hospitalised and only overnight at that. Phil is looking like a pudgy red troll, but he was before the fire.

One thing I did like though was that this forms a triumvirate of event episodes with Archie's murder last Christmas Day, the live anniversary episode in February and then this week we have Stacey confessing the murder to Peggy and revealing to Ryan that he's Lily's father (it was in February we viewers learnt this but both were assumed to be down to Bradley, whose demise was also that night).

Meanwhile, next week the Peggy-shaped hole is being filled by these two. Personally I have my misgivings about bringing Kat and Alfie back, especially as they hail from an era when I wasn't really watching, and this very silly promo doesn't help.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Covered in Matt

Matt Smith was the first Doctor Who to make the cover of a gay magazine back in the Spring, now he becomes possibly the only person to cover GT magazine twice in one year. This time it's for "Christopher and His Kind", which I presume from this is on BBC Two in October? Also nipple flashing is co-star Douglas Booth.

Meanwhile the confirmed artwork for the season 5 DVD box set has been revealed. It's an improvement on the latter Tennant box sets.

(Pics courtesy of recommended website Blogtor Who)

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Photo Problem - Chapter 2

All i really need to do is reprint my restrained rant to the Picasa help forum tonight:

There appears to be some conflict either between Blogger and Picasa over content considered adult

Level 1
7:28 PM
Last week all the pictures on my blog (including the header) disappeared suddenly. Eventually I contacted the Blogger help forum who investigated and advised me to check that I'd set the feeder albums on Picasa to public. I thought that strange because obviously I had, knowing that that is where they're automatically put by Blogger and it would be pointless to mark them otherwise, which was also why I hadn't checked that before as surely only I could do that. Anyway I checked the relevant Picasa albums and sure enough someone had changed the settings on two of the four feeder albums to 'only those with the link' which is completely irrelevant/useless for a blog.

I remembered getting an email last week about unsuitable content on Picasa and correctly guessed that an adult picture set I'd really only used as an experiment was the culprit. Fair enough I thought as that was the only one that had adult content in (though having seen other users' albums which do manage this it is confusing). It dawned on me that whoever did that was the prime suspect for sabotaging the Blogger albums, but as Blogger had advised me I changed them back. Blogger does not rate me as an adult site and neither do I - I am careful not to include full frontal nudity or anything else directly that I'd associate with an adult site or blog. As both Blogger and Picasa are owned by Google I'd have thought they would have similar policies, but it appears not. Since I don't choose to put my blog pictures in Picasa (Blogger does automatically) and they don't work if those pictures are marked other than public it was infuriating to find the two albums had again been censored back again, though oddly it only affected random pictures which included completely innocent photos like a promo shot for the "Merlin" TV series.

I'm sort of assuming Blogger may have a more European mindset, while Picasa is more North American and conservative. As I live in Europe I go by what is acceptable pre-watershed on our TV and what can be seen in our tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, If anything, I'm more circumspect as broadsheets here and certain TV programmes have no problem showing full frontal nudity. But even then I can't see why someone has specifically gone into those folders as the only place I've 'advertised' them is on the blog and even then only when last week's problem occurred. Also the two previous feeder albums contain much the same mix/strength of imagery but were not censored. I'm just at a loss to know what is going on.

Even if I were to suddenly make my blog an adult one and ask for a content warning to precede entry then Blogger would still automatically upload anything to Picasa unless I specifically used another photo hosting service in advance. There's a fundamental conflict here, not just between Blogger and Picasa but possibly a cultural one between what is acceptable in the UK and what is acceptable elsewhere. I'm sure the Taliban would probably manage to censor almost everything if we go on some sort of zero tolerance for content likely to offend any one person anywhere in the world. Though I'm aware that even the land of the free has many highly shockable religious types too.

It's possible that whomever at Picasa did this to me didn't realise that those folders were blog-feeders (though the folder does basically explain that) but any complaint against content in them must have been to specific photos rather than the entire contents, so that also just seems heavy-handed.

What should be my course of action? What was the nature of the complaint? Have you liased with Blogger?


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Burning down the Vic ... and other September TV treats

Just as we finally wave bye bye to "Big Brother" (from Channel 4 anyway) and feel the onset of autumn, at least September is fairly quick to bring us TV treats, starting this coming week.

First up is the Queen Vic fire in "Eastenders" (lit Thursday by cracked-up Phil) which does a triple job of causing Peggy's departure, causing Kat and Alfie to return and potentially despatching some of the other characters Bryan Kirkwood has axed. I reality it also makes way for a HD quality Queen Vic set (as they did when they trashed the Eccleston/Tennant TARDIS in "Doctor Who"). For maximum impact it all breaks out at Janine & Ryan's wedding do with a packed pub and there is an explosion as well as a bog-standard fire. Luckily for the male stripper in this week's cast he's at Janine's earlier hen do in R&R.

The night before the fire we'll find out who this year's "Strictly Come Dancing" celebrities are when they film a 'red carpet special' which goes out on Saturday the 11th as a one-off. This series has already been controversial as it sees much bigger changes afoot and there have been resignations aplenty from the professional dancers pool.

Three new male dancers (above) have been hired to fill the gaps, though there are fewer couples this year. I thought some of last year's changes, notably replacing Arlene with Alesha, were for the worse so I'm very anxious about how more tampering will affect the show. One that is understandable is that there's a new set here too - after 7 series I'm sure it might not be in fantastic shape anymore, though it was iconic and copied in other versions.

Bromance-fuelled swashbuckle & supernatural in the pleasing form of "Merlin" also return to BBC One on the 11th for a third series. Deliberately haven't found too much out though I know the opener is set a year after the previous episode and features the lovely Tom Ellis as guest villain.

On the following Thursday there's the centrepiece of BBC Four's "Great Northern" season with "The Road to Coronation Street" telling the behind the scenes drama of how the soap made it to screen 50 years ago. Bamboozling regular 2010 soap viewers will be the sight of Jessie Wallace as Pat Phoenix, just as she returns to Albert Square as Kat AND James Roach will be playing his dad William Roach just as he has joined current "Coronation Street" for real as Ken Barlow's long-lost gay grandson. Confused, you will be ...

Returning for a ninth series the following week (day as yet TBC) is "Spooks" where surviving characters are joined by Sophia Myles, Leila Rouass and Max Brown who should provide eye-candy all round.

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