links for 2008-07-27

Made up
I was very pleased that Liz McClarnon became Masterchef champion, chiefly because she was such good value throughout, didn't cave under pressure and didn't come across as a complete ass (and that means you Andy, a man who once shared the screen with a fake duck). Terribly normal and unstarry and well, one of us really and very huggable.

Get with the programme
Rachel Cooke investigates whether the bottom has fallen out of the reality tv market. It's always seemed to me that the more willfully extreme and high concept these shows try to be, the less interesting they are in the long run.

The Greasy Pole
Watching this episode of Yes, Minister this morning made me shiver. Here's a transcript from a key scene. Doesn't that remind you of something?

Censor Sensibility
Friz on Channel 4 sensor cuts. It is basically impossible to watch Friends during the day on any of the channels if you can even half remember the scripts; the crowd often seem to laugh at random and scenes end unresolved and incoherently. It's always been this way at Four. The pilot of Alias has its flashback structure unpicked to lessen the impact of the torture and Angel would often clock in at half an hour. But then, if they hadn't decided to show both at tea time instead of later in the evening, it might not have been such a problem.

Apollo 14 Moonwalker Claims Aliens Exist.
Of course they do.

Great Crested Newts
... in Calderstones Park, Liverpool

Going belly up
At the risk of linking to everything in The Observer today, here's Jay Raynor's review of a rib shop: "the Chicago Rib Shack stinks, in the way old fish that's been left on the parcel shelf of a locked car for three weeks throughout an Arizona August stinks. It's a waste of ribs, an insult to pigs and cattle. It's a sauce crime, and it's taking place right in the heart of Knightsbridge. Call the food police. Now! According to its own publicity, the Chicago Rib Shack isn't a restaurant, it's a national institution. Then again, so was Bernard Manning, and I wouldn't have gone round his house for dinner, either."

Well worth the wait
Stephen Fry's back and has the iPhone 3G in his sights: "A year of living with iPhone One has proved to me that the camera lens and its operation is good enough to produce better photos than phones with twice the resolution, that EDGE speeds allow swift email and full browsing in most areas of the country, that the Google Maps implementation and music, video and photo playback are stunningly impressive, and that other deficiencies are made up for by the sob-worthy beauty, elegance and lovability of another Jonathan Ive-designed Apple masterpiece."

Opening of The Apple Store Liverpool
In related news. Mike Thomas ends up talking to people who were tweeting about being there having noticed their messages on Twitter. Macenstein has photos. I did consider going, but then realised I'd have to get up very, very early, and the below was on and every dork has their priorities.

Finally, some excited reviews from bloggers who were at the Doctor Who Prom the lucky things:

Scholar's Blog: "I also spoke to Phil Collinson (outgoing Exec Producer) - poor bloke must have wondered who the hell the over-excited loony was who accosted him outside the RAH just after he and his party exited. I thanked him for his work on Who - because I know he's worked very hard on it. And he immediately diverted me into discussing the concert so I babbled like the fool I am and then wished him luck for the future."

Alipeeps: "The atmosphere was fantastic and prior to the concert beginning (and during the interval) they had a constant sound effect playing in the hall... the hum of the TARDIS.. the background noise that you hear in the control room scenes in the show. Such a cool idea and really added to the atmosphere. The TARDIS was set at the back of the stage, behind the orchestra (and on the "walls" next to it, were spray-painted the words Bad Wolf! :D)"

si_hart: "Great stuff but it wasn't half hot in there! My only regret was that I didn't get to say thanks to Murray Gold himself who was sat in the row in front of us. That would have been nice, but I did as I was told and went to sit down. Ah well."

Something I didn't mention in my Sofa review was that the original version of the theme was played at the end of the special episode and still managed to sound fresher and less dated that the Gold version which appeared at the climax of the concert.

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