Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Articles on The Daily Dust today

New Articles on The Daily Dust today

Link to The Daily Dust

Merlin Runs Up £46,000 For A Party

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 07:40 AM CST

Corporation under fire for spending money to tell the press about new drama on the BBC

At which point does the argument ‘everyone else does it, and we spend a lot less than they do… honestly’ stop being sufficient? Channel 4 (with no conflict of interest at all) have made available the details of the four launch parties for BBC drama held this year, and their cost of £160,000 to the public.

Obtained under the freedom of information act, the parties were for the new series of Little Dorrit, The Passion, The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Merlin. The sword and sorcery tea-time treasure was the worst offender with it’s almost £46,000 launch event at the Oxo tower in London.

"Launch events for major new drama series are standard across the television industry, but we have already significantly cut back the number we host," said the BBC in response, and they are planning to cut back in 2009 on the scale and number of these events.

Depending on your view of the BBC, this is either a small price to pay for a good team spirit and a thank you to all those who work hard on a series, or a decadent extravagance at the taxpayer’s expense when thousands of staff are being laid off.

As another Channel 4 program would say… "you decide!"

(Hat tip to The Stage).

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Mid Week Charts Show Hallelujah To Top The Christmas Charts

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 07:26 AM CST

But will the true X-Factor belong to Jeff Buckley?

Midweek charts show, unsurprisingly, that X-factor winner Alexandra Burke is on course for the Christmas Number One with her version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. She’s already outstripped Leona Lewis with the fastest selling download single, but as physical copies hit the shops today it won’t be the 100% download number one that Lewis has at the moment.

What’s really interesting is the closest challenger. The late Jeff Buckley, and his cover of the same track from his "Grace" album. On-line fans of Buckley are flooding MySpace, Facebook and YouAllLoveMeDotCom with fan pages and campaigns to buy Buckley’s version online and somehow claim back the song (and the festive top of the charts slot) from Simon Cowell et al.

Buckley is on course to claim the number two spot, but there are still four full shopping days till the chart is declared, so it really is game on

Cohen himself is due to earn around £1,000,000 as the writer of the song, and can also be proud that his version (you know, the original) is also charting midweek at 34, and I’d expect that to climb into the Top 30 by Sunday.

(Hat tip to Digital Spy for the Cohen income numbers)

* Actually there is no network called YouAllLoveMeDotCom, but it sounds like it should exist with a name like that.

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M&S Say Crackers Are “Explosive Risk”

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 06:45 AM CST

Marks and Spencers are refusing to sell Christmas crackers to anybody who can't prove they're over 16 as they claim they are a ‘danger and explosive risk’.

Student Heather Welsh was asked to prove her age before she was allowed to buy crackers in York. She said, ‘I got to the counter and I remember the woman having a look at me. Then she asked for ID to prove I was over 16.’

‘I said I didn’t have any ID and said, “why would I need it to buy these.” She said she was unable to sell them to me due to their new policy.’

‘Apart from the fact that I am over the relevant age by six years and do not look young it seems ridiculous.

‘Do they really believe crackers would cause physical damage to someone. It’s crazy.’

Marks and Spencers say they need to put an age restriction on crackers in order to comply with with the Explosives Act 1875 and Fireworks Safety Regulations 1997

York MP Hugh Bayley said: ‘The shops are complying with the law, but the law is crackers. There should only be such legislation where absolutely necessary.’

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Pepsi Raw Sighted Around The Capital

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 06:13 AM CST

New experimental natural cola drink sneaking out into the wilds of London.

Over the weekend, Pepsi have been making a big marketing push in the London area on Pepsi Raw, their new cola made from natural ingredients such as Cane Sugar in place of fructose corn syrup and phosphoric acid.

The first wave of Raw is only going to be launched in the UK, and Snack Spot is reporting that hundred of free bottles were being handed out at main line rail stations last week, while stocks are appearing in Waitrose and Tesco.

"Very tasty, but as a Cola aficionado I can tell you it tastes exactly the same as Sainsbury’s Regular Classic Cola," says James Barker, on his experience. New marketing gimmick or genuine attempt to change the drinking habits of a nation? Tell us what you think, especially if you have picked up some Raw yourself!

(Hat tip to Dave Green’s Snack Spot).

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Paul Ince Sacked - Could Get £4m Payoff

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 03:33 AM CST

Paul Ince, axed yesterday as Manager of Blackburn Rovers, question is, who is going to take over?

Talking last night, the Blackburn Chairman, John Williams, said: "Appointing a new manager is our total focus.

"We acknowledge that timelines are tight.

"We will endeavour to have a new manager in place for Saturday's game with Stoke but there are no guarantees and we must ensure that we get the right man."

The shortlist is as follows:-

Graham Souness - out of football since being sacked by Newcastle two years ago, said “"It helped enormously that I had a wonderful working relationship with chief executive-turned-chairman John Williams." He also stated his time at Ewood park was his happiest in Management.

Sam Allardyce - Former Bolton chief, out of work and punting for the Sunderland job, was shortlisted before Ince got the job.

Steve McClaren, Another who missed out to Ince in the summer, employed in Holland for FC Twente, now speaks with a bizarre Dutch accent!

Alan Curbishley - Out of work, quit West Ham in September 08 - could turn club around but would need full control.

Paul Ince was just six months into his three-year contract so could go with a credit crunch busting £4million in compensation.

Williams added: "Paul will bounce back. He is a fighter and we wish him well.

"But we are second-bottom in the Premier League. Our predicament is a worry and we had to make a decision in our best interests."

Blackburn will have to announce a successor today if they are to stay up next year..

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Top Ten Worst Male Celebrity Haircuts

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 03:24 AM CST

It may be the summit of man, but some of the heads of hair in the world are truly terrible…

And in ‘celebration’ of all those mistakes that have been made by the male of the species, The Daily Dust Investigation Squad have cracked open the hairdressing horrors in Britain today, with a look at the top ten worst celebrity haircuts…

David Beckham

33, Professional Spice Girls Fan

Ah yes, old Becks. The closest the UK Male Fashion Designers have to a clothes horse has been through more style changes than red cards received at the world cup (ie way too many). His styles alone could fill a top ten on their own.

Andy Murray

21, World Number 4 Tennis Player

Currently a British Tennis Player, so we can ignore the mess that looks like it should be tucked under a Scottish “See You Jimmie” hat like a successful Russ Abbott. Has had a superb 2008, reaching the Final of the US Open, and equalling Greg Rusedski’s best tournament run. Can he lift a Grand Slam Trophy in 2009, or will he cause a hurricane by shaking his locks?

Bobby Charlton

71, Britain’s England’s best Footballer

Never sent off in a World Cup, lifted the trophy (offically) and had a fearsome 25 yard plus shooting range. We suspect he used his hair like a prism, splitting dull sunshine into a blast of colour to dazzle his opponents and distract the referee in the process.

Pete Doherty

29, Drug Addict and Sometimes Songwriter

Check out that beacon! There’s a reason the Babyshambles singer likes wearing a hat, and we think the reason is as clear as the nose on his face… well actually clearer than that.

Russell Brand

33, Comedian and Film Star

“I know,” thinks the BBC Management Team, “let’s put this Brand Chap on the Light Service. Nobody will see him, and how much trouble can he cause if he’s just playing the best seven inch singles from the hit parade?” Well for a start Brand has never been satisfied with just seven inches…

Richard Hammond

38, Professional Clarkson Tamer

Remember how messed up your hair looked after your Mum tousled it in the morning as you left for school, saying how lovely you looked? Now imagine every woman in the UK doing that? And thus you have the hair of Hammond, beloved of Housewives across the country who wouldn’t know the difference between the Nordschleife and Laguna Seca unless it was explained in a Waitrose advert.

Simon Cowell

49, Record Mogul and Reality TV Presenter

Be honest, you want to be Cowell. he gets to do what everyone wants to do, and complain at everyone on The X-Factor - just like you. But he gets paid millions to do it! If that was my job, I’d be more than happy if a helicopter could land on my head as well.

Wayne Rooney

23, Footballer

Sharing his number 10 Manchester United jersey with the likes of Dennis Law and Rudd Van Nistelroy (who also had hair that would make Gok Wan faint in horror), the most expensive teenage footballer in the UK must be worried just what’s going to happen if his hair grows out a little bit more. Personally we’re rooting for a Kevin Keegan perm look.

Boris Johnson

44, Mayor of London

We Love BoJo. That should be the slogan for the Olympic games 2012. Forget the opening ceremony of pyrotechnics, show tunes, and Led Zeppelin on the top of a burning London Routemaster bus, all we need is a microphone, a full stadium, and someone whispering to Boris “your hair is gorgeous” as he walks out to start the games. he knows it’s a foppish mess, he loves it, we love him, and we wouldn’t change him for the world, or Ken Livingstone.

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One To Watch Tonight - Christmas At River Cottage

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 03:09 AM CST

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a River Cottage special and this year is no different

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall this year focuses on our humble Brussel Sprout.  HFW wants help give the little green vegetable a make-over.

Challenging River Cottage chefs Gill and Tim to come up with some tasty new recipes for them.  In true River Cottage style, it would not be normal if there wasn’t some classic HFW hunter-gatherer moments and this show will not disappoint.

Hugh joins Richard the gamekeeper to stalk a sika deer for a venison roast and perennial favourite, master butcher, Ray, helps Hugh find the most tender cuts.

Nothing is wasted, and Hugh uses the fat from the cow’s ‘kidney knob’ to make a spectacular flaming jam roly poly.

Everyone at River Cottage is also challenged to take part in Hugh’s Secret Santa..and you just know that doesn’t include bargains from Woolworths..

Watch Christmas at River Cottage, Wednesday December 17, 8pm on Channel 4

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JLS To Sign Up With Sony BMG

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 02:56 AM CST

Top band in the X Factor, JLS, look set to sign a mega bucks deal with Sony BMG, who will be their Manager?

So with a huge record deal on the cards and a potentially huge UK career, JLS look set to sign for the record label Simon Cowell runs, Sony BMG. But who will manage the band? Step forward one Louis Walsh. Louis, the man behind Boyzone and Westlife looks set to wave his magic boyband wand again with JLS.

Walsh said "They are going to be without doubt the biggest band we have ever had on this show."

Dannii Minogue added: "The hysteria surrounding them is reminiscent of Take That's early days."

Here at The DailyDust we feel that JLS, Alexandra and Laura have the most potential to become stars with JLS possibly having the most longevity.

Who do you think will last longest?

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Miles and Inches to be Kept Indefinitely

Posted: 17 Dec 2008 01:00 AM CST

IT’s official, Britain’s battle to keep pints and miles has been won. After decades of struggling with the metric system, a vote in Strasbourg has confirmed that imperial measures are here to stay… indefinitely.

John Denham, who is responsible for national weights and measures, said: “People in Britain like their pint and their mile. They should be able to use the measures they are most familiar with, and now they can be sure that they will continue to do so.

“We made strong arguments for the UK’s right to carry on using pints and miles and maintaining dual metric and imperial labelling.

“I know how important this is to the British people and businesses and am grateful for the Commission’s support.”

Europe Minister Caroline Flint said: “This is a victory for common sense. It shows that the EU is listening to the concerns of businesses and consumers and is not intent on imposing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ regime where unnecessary.

“In the current difficult economic climate, it will also mean that British companies do not face extra labelling costs in order to do business in the United States.”

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Wallop the bookies on Wednesday!

Posted: 16 Dec 2008 04:58 PM CST

Not the greatest week punting last week but I was due one after a money-making spell, and I'm still showing an overall profit as we enter the home straight up to Christmas.

Wednesday is an absolute corker of a day to have a bet with some quality racing on show and I've decided to have a real thump – time for Mount Myers to erupt!

The first bet comes at Bangor where Hidden Bounty (1.10) can land the marathon handicap chase just short of four miles.
This gelding may be approaching 12 years of age now but showed last time at Kelso that he was no back number when staying on strongly after getting outpaced. That effort also coincided with his handicap mark plummeting and he looks ready to take advantage – he nearly did last December off a similar mark in another marathon.

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill hasn't exactly been firing in the winners of late so a chance is taken on the moody The Very Man (2.20), who looks to have the very jockey, Tony McCoy, to help make his mind up for him.
The last time this inconsistent hurdler scored was in January – the last time he was partnered by the champion jockey – and the manner in which he finished strongly into fourth at Chepstow last time suggests McCoy can again work the oracle on him.

Lingfield offers the third wager of the day where Pezula Bay (1.35) can get off the mark following a mightily impressive debut when runner-up at Kempton.
This juvenile was inexperienced on his debut last month when slowly away at the start before finishing to good effect after getting blocked in his run and can make amends this afternoon with a clearer run.

Just over an hour later sees a highly competitive handicap over a mile-and-a-half in which William's Way (2.45) can go well each-way at a decent price.
This six-year-old gelding has really caught the Myers' eye twice of late, making late ground into the places and looks to be coming to fever pitch. His penultimate effort when just over two lengths fourth to another today's rivals, the favourite Epsom Salts, suggests he is a value wager today at three times the price of the likely jolly. The cherry on the cake, however, is the booking of Neil Callan, one of the most sought after pilots on the All-Weather to get the job done.

The final bet on what could be a very profitable day is Action Impact (3.15) in the finale.
This is a highly progressive handicapper who is still well treated in the weights and arrives having clocked a smart time at Great Leighs over this trip. A hike of 5lb is unlikely to halt this fellow who is again partnered by the talented jockey George Baker, who has won twice from three mounts on him previously.

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