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18/07/2019 07:19:14  

Host of comedy skit show vents on Twitter after channel airs week-old episode

The ABC mistakenly replayed an old episode of current affairs comedy show Mad As Hell on Wednesday night.

The show’s host Shaun Micallef tuned in to watch his skit show in its usual time slot of 8.31pm only to find that the episode airing was a week old.

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17/07/2019 22:18:45  

Roisin Conaty’s sitcom about the perils of being a thirtysomething single woman packs in the punchlines, leaving a sense of joy in its wake

Any sitcom that kicks off with a motivational speech and then a montage immediately wins my affection, and Roisin Conaty’s irresistibly amiable GameFace (Channel 4) does not disappoint. It begins with a wham-bam opening of struggling actor Marcella in period costume, lit to the high heavens, about to stride out on to the stage, like the Rocky Balboa of the West End. Needless to say, it does not turn out to be the breakthrough she has been waiting for.

Since winning the best newcomer award at the Edinburgh festival fringe in 2010, Conaty has spent the past nine years establishing herself as one of the most familiar faces in British comedy. She is a regular on panel shows, is famously and wonderfully bad at the 8 Out of 10 Cats version of Countdown, and recently brought added heart to Ricky Gervais’s sitcom comeback After Life.

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16/07/2019 21:18:53  

Confirmation of Mark Esper appeared almost certain at Senate hearing where he received significant Democratic support

Donald Trump’s nominee to become the first permanent US defence secretary in more than six months, has said that the US is not seeking war with Iran and needed to “get back on the diplomatic channel”.

Mark Esper, who is currently the army secretary, also told the Senate armed services committee that the Trump administration does not have congressional authority to wage war on Iran on the basis of the mandate issued by Congress in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

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16/07/2019 14:15:08  

The man was suffering from mild hypothermia when he was picked up by French authorities.
15/07/2019 13:18:55  

Viewing peaked for drama of super over but still lagged behind Wimbledon final

England’s cricket World Cup victory attracted a peak TV audience of 4.5 million people on Channel 4, as live international cricket returned to free-to-air television for the first time in 14 years.

The figures peaked during the deciding super over when a combined total of 8 million were watching on Channel 4 or Sky’s pay-TV channels. Around half that number tuned in for the entire match.

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15/07/2019 12:18:40  

The show was every bit Game of Thrones’s equal, until its linchpin character died and the plotting became wildly illogical

When Ian McShane pithily remarked that Game of Thrones was “just tits and dragons”, you had to concede he had a point. Yes, it’s one of the greatest TV shows of all time – you, at the back! Pipe down! Yes, it is! – but Game of Thrones is also undeniably, unapologetically, unwaveringly silly. Giants, magic, northerners in positions of influence – daft as Basil Brush’s favourite brush, and no quantity of “grown-up” swearing, gore and bared boobs, bums or balls changes that. High fantasy is simply a no-no for some. For these people, who prefer their quasi-historical sword-and-sandalry a little more IRL, there’s Vikings.

If you’ve never heard of it then that’s not entirely your fault. The show began in 2013, around the time GoT’s fat shadow loomed over all. Vikings also went out on the History Channel, home to such prestige dramas as, erm, Knightfall, and, umm … well, there you are. So it flew under the radar. Shame, really, because it was brilliant.

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15/07/2019 11:19:12  

Hundreds protest in Tel Aviv after Rafi Peretz says gay conversion ‘therapy’ works

Hundreds of demonstrators have called on Israel’s new education minister to resign after the far-right politician said he supported gay conversion “therapy” and had even attempted it himself.

Ministers and other politicians also condemned Rafi Peretz, a former chief military rabbi who heads a religious nationalist party, who was asked by local Channel 12 news over the weekend whether he believed he could convert gay people to heterosexuality.

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15/07/2019 00:19:22  

Where better for England’s transgenerational trauma to end than the home of cricket, pretty as a picture in the evening sun

The sun was out when England won the World Cup. It had emerged, at last, from behind the freckles of white cloud and was shining low through the bright blue sky over the Grand Stand. The shadows stretched all the way to the wicket, the flags licked in the evening breeze, the pavilion glowed soft terracotta. The old place looked pretty as a picture, exactly how we see it in winter when thinking back on the games we saw, and the games we played, in the long, warm days of summer. For the 11 men in this England team, for the thousands in the ground, for the millions watching on TV, that is how they will always see it in their minds, years from now, when they think back on this match: the greatest World Cup final, heck maybe even the greatest game of one-day cricket, ever played.

The dizzying, sickening, drama of those final minutes were as compelling a stretch of sport as anything else that will happen this year, as gripping as anything, in fact, that has happened in the 14 years since the England cricket team last played live on free-to-air TV in 2005. Accurate viewing figures are notoriously hard to come by but, if Channel 4 could ever get hold of theirs for this broadcast, they will be disappointed with them because, even though all those sets were on around the country, surely most of the people in front of them were too scared to watch what was going on, were hiding behind their sofas, had their faces buried in a cushions, or sneaking glimpses from between their fingers.

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14/07/2019 21:18:32  

Despite some gorgeous imagery, there were some troubling character moments as June and the Waterfords ventured to Washington DC

Spoiler alert: this recap is for people watching The Handmaid’s Tale, series three, on Channel 4 in the UK. Please do not add spoilers for later episodes in the series.

Is anyone else getting strong placeholder vibes from this episode? Serena’s character arc appears to have become an infinity loop as, after the briefest sniff of baby Nicole’s head, she now seems hellbent on getting the tot back and sewing June’s mouth shut.

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14/07/2019 09:18:32  

“Joining you from Australia,” says Dr Tim. “Supporting England. Don’t fret about the drop in traffic for the OBO. I’ve had Channel 9 on the telly, TMS special on the phone, via the ABC Listen app and the OBO. Aren’t we lucky in Oz, having all this UK content freely available!” It must be early evening there – are you staying up for the whole game? And I wonder if we have anyone tuning in from New Zealand, where it’s already 9.10pm.

“I’ll not desert Guardian OBO,” says Andrew Harrison, “just because there’s (miraculously) a live stream available here in Japan. Hoping neither Boult nor Henry will do a Gary Gilmour on us. Pitch looks a bit green.” Yes, let’s hope neither side starts with a collapse.

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13/07/2019 16:18:35  

• ‘For us to win, I think around the country it would be awesome’
• England injury-free going into final against New Zealand

Eoin Morgan has called on his England players to deliver an iconic sporting moment that inspires the nation by winning their first World Cup at the most famous cricket ground of all.

With Lord’s a picture, the weather set fair, the match televised free of charge across Sky and Channel 4, and the only major sporting distraction a handful of motor cars and tennis players, Sunday’s final between the previously uncrowned England and New Zealand has all the ingredients to be a classic. Morgan, expected to name an unchanged side from the one that tore through Australia in Thursday’s semi-final at Edgbaston, is under no illusions about the enormity of the occasion and its transformational potential.

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13/07/2019 13:18:39  

The international tournament has more flash, but the county scene continues to charm and entrance its devotees

Roll up, roll up, here comes the Cricket World Cup, if only for one more day. In her high heels and tail-feathers, she jiggles past smiling, waving, bowing this way and that. She sings, plays air guitar, and speaks in CAPITAL letters at all times. She swallows sixes, dot balls, yorkers and spits them out into video clips. She dines out on youthful impetuosity and career-ending mistakes, while fading players chasing former glories are given short shrift. And for 45 days she has consumed our attention, eaten us up, spat us out. She’s magnificent. Look at her go!

On Sunday morning she hits terrestrial TV, care of the bounteousness of Sky via Channel Four. It will be the first time anyone younger than 14 in this country without a subscription has been able to stumble upon live cricket by just popping on the telly. A bit late and all that, but let’s take what we can get. She’s only got a day, but I’m confident she’ll catch people’s attention.

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13/07/2019 06:17:59  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Rice University scientists are designing arrays of aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes to channel mid-infrared radiation (aka heat) and greatly raise the efficiency of solar energy systems. Their invention is a hyperbolic thermal emitter that can absorb intense heat that would otherwise be spewed into the atmosphere, squeeze it into a narrow bandwidth and emit it as light that can be turned into electricity. The aligned nanotube films are conduits that absorb waste heat and turn it into narrow-bandwidth photons. Because electrons in nanotubes can only travel in one direction, the aligned films are metallic in that direction while insulating in the perpendicular direction, an effect called hyperbolic dispersion. Thermal photons can strike the film from any direction, but can only leave via one. Adding the emitters to standard solar cells could boost their efficiency from the current peak of about 22%. "By squeezing all the wasted thermal energy into a small spectral region, we can turn it into electricity very efficiently," he said. "The theoretical prediction is that we can get 80% efficiency." The study has been published in the journal ACS Photonics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12/07/2019 18:18:33  

Winning the World Cup would be intoxicating, but the future health of the sport is far from guaranteed

Cricket will at last get its day in the sun at Lord’s on Sunday when England play New Zealand in the World Cup final. The whole country will be able to watch, too, because Sky has reached an agreement with Channel 4 to show it on terrestrial television. For the past month and a half the tournament has often felt more like a private party than a great national jamboree to celebrate a sport that used to be part of the national culture but these days feels increasingly marginalised.

England have had a tricky passage to the final, at one point looking to be in danger of crashing out. But in the past fortnight they have produced three scintillating performances, culminating in their defeat of old rivals Australia in the semi-final. Australia weren’t just defeated; they were humiliated by an England team playing the sort of irresistible cricket that has characterised their approach to the 50-over game under Dublin-born captain Eoin Morgan.

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12/07/2019 17:19:04  

Software-snatcher backs down on licence plans

Faced with continued rumbles of discontent from its reseller network on the eve of its Inspire conference, Microsoft has climbed down from plans to pull free software licences from its channel chums.…

12/07/2019 13:22:52  

Fuelled by hard drugs and righteous anger, his incendiary prose changed journalism – and America. Could our writer channel his spirit by spending a night at the typewriter where it all happened?

It is 4.30 on a Thursday morning and I am writing these words on the big red IBM Selectric III that once belonged to Hunter S Thompson. Owl Farm, Thompson’s “fortified compound” in Woody Creek, Colorado, is dark and silent outside. Even the peacocks he raised are sleeping. The only sound anywhere is the warm hum of this electric typewriter and the mechanical rhythm of its key strikes, as clear and certain as gunfire.

In April, Thompson’s widow, Anita, began renting out the writer’s cabin to help support the Hunter S Thompson scholarship for veterans at Columbia University, where both she and Hunter studied. It sits beside the main Thompson home on a 17-hectare estate marked with hoof prints and elk droppings that gradually rises towards a mountain range. A short walk uphill is the spot where Thompson’s ashes were fired into the sky from a 153ft tower in the shape of a “Gonzo fist”, a logo he first adopted during his unsuccessful 1970 campaign to be sheriff of nearby Aspen. Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, picked up the $3m tab for that elaborate sendoff, which took place shortly after Thompson killed himself in 2005.

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12/07/2019 12:18:51  

Roisin Conaty’s bittersweet comedy is promoted to Channel 4, while Donald Glover’s second series gets a free-to-air premiere

An antidote to the legion of laughless sad-coms currently colonising our screens, Roisin Conaty’s likably all-over-the-shop series about a floundering actor returns for series two. As with the first, it manages to balance weighty topics – drug addiction, mental health issues – with sublime silliness, including the odd surreal song and dance number.
Wednesday 17 July, 9pm, Channel 4

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12/07/2019 06:18:47  

His viral videos earned him a sell-out tour and a new late night TV show – can the character comedian become the Instagram era’s Chris Evans?

Two years ago, Mo Gilligan was selling jeans in the Levi’s store in Covent Garden. This month, he’s fronting – as creator, writer and host – his own Friday night entertainment spectacular on Channel 4. There are meteoric rises, and then there’s Gilligan’s, which has propelled him from DIY comedy videos via a sell-out tour to the bright new hope of weekend TV in the time it takes to wear out the knees on a pair of 501s.

No effort is being made to conceal that The Lateish Show – the Gilligan vehicle in question – aspires to be a TFI Friday for the Snapchat generation. And you can see why the south Londoner might be just the man to host it. His fast-track success was triggered by a series of character-comedy shorts filmed in his bedroom and posted online. He made them before his retail shift started at 4pm, snuck into the workplace loo to upload them, then logged on after work to gauge the reaction.

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11/07/2019 20:21:22  

MS Teams overtakes Slack in daily active users just in time for event kick-off

Inspire Microsoft's ironically named Inspire conference kicks off next week in Las Vegas, with the Windows giant hoping to persuade wounded channel middlemen that there remains reasons to be cheerful.…

11/07/2019 19:18:48  

Resellers missing their lost licences get crumb of comfort

Inspire Microsoft's ironically named Inspire conference kicks off next week in Las Vegas, with the Windows giant hoping to persuade wounded channel middlemen that there remains reasons to be cheerful.…

11/07/2019 12:18:35  

Awards, with three categories including £10,000 prize for best comedy show, will be known as Daves

The television channel Dave is to follow fizzy water, finance, lager, and online travel as the sponsor of the Edinburgh comedy awards.

The announcement was made on Thursday before what promises to be the most comedy packed Edinburgh Fringe ever. Out of a dizzying 59,000 performances in the city next month, 37% are comedy. That compares with 22% in 2005.

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11/07/2019 09:18:56  

Irish actor and comedian was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer 10 days ago

The Father Ted star Brendan Grace has died at the age of 68 after a short illness.

The veteran entertainer and standup comedian played Father Fintan Stack in the popular Channel 4 comedy series about three priests.

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11/07/2019 06:18:23  

UK government spokesman says three Iranian boats were warned off by HMS Montrose, but Tehran denies involvement

Three Iranian boats have “attempted to impede” a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday, further deepening tensions in the vital shipping channel off Iran.

The incident took place in the strait of Hormuz through which the commercial vessel, British Heritage, was attempting to pass.

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10/07/2019 22:18:21  

Oh the irony. An investigation into whether porn is ruining children’s lives that is too scared to probe. Who wants to answer that when you can fill the screen with naked bodies?

It is technically possible to make a programme about porn without showing any porn. It’s a startling thought, but true. We know what the word means. Most of us will know what quite a few of the more detailed terms mean if people are discussing them without visual aids. And I am guessing that even the most sheltered of us can probably work out what they are with a little imagination and a recalibration of how elastic various orifices can be given the right circumstances/payment.

It never happens, of course. The chance to fill a background with heaving T and A is too alluring to pass up. It is so consistently done that we accept it as natural. It took me half of the opening episode of Channel 4’s Generation Porn to realise that it had shown me more on-screen action in 30 minutes than crosses my laptop screen in a year.

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10/07/2019 14:18:28  

Sherry Bray and Christopher Ashford charged after image ended up on social media

Two people have appeared in court charged with accessing CCTV footage of the postmortem examination of the footballer Emiliano Sala.

Sala, 28, had just signed for Cardiff City when the plane he was travelling on crashed into the Channel north of Guernsey on 21 January. His body was recovered on 6 February and a postmortem took place at Bournemouth mortuary the following day.

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