Broadening its horizons a little too much?

 

BC

 

Review by Jessica Lambert

Broadchurch… Or should I say, ‘Boredchurch?’ Let’s face it, the second series of the hugely popular ITV crime drama hasn’t been too successful with viewers, despite getting off to a flying start with its first episode.

Anticipation for its return sky rocketed just before its release and viewers couldn’t wait to get their teeth into another whodunnit drama. However, the shows writer, Chris Chibnall, had other plans and decided to pick up where he left off, stating ‘the end is where it begins.’ Perhaps sometimes things end for a reason… And should stay that way.

Same town, same characters, same dynamic duo. Does that mean the same success? Evidently not. The BAFTA award winning show hasn’t managed to pull in the same amount of interest, with 2 million less tuning in this time round.

At the heart of the first series, we were all asking one simple question – who killed Danny Latimer? So far, no one really knows that the hell is going on with this second series. The introduction of a previous case has complicated things more than necessary, though without it I’m not sure the series would be substantial enough for an eight episode span.

The problem lies in the clear absence of the initial shock. A quiet, close-knit community torn apart by the murder of a young boy. Without the chance to unravel a murder mystery, this second stint of Broadchurch just isn’t as compelling.

The arrival of various characters has at times peaked our interest, especially Claire and Joe Ashworth. Their morbid relationship has kept viewers on the edge of their seats and it’s hard to work out just what Claire’s intentions are. Does she fear him? Does she want to take him to bed? (That, she did do, in the fourth episode!) Or is she secretly in love with DI Hardy? Who knows!

Although I do like Jocelyn, I feel the storyline with her blurred vision is there for the mere sake of it. In the same way that the defence barrister, Sharon, has her own demons in the form of her imprisoned son. Again, another distracting storyline that we don’t particularly care about.

Chris Chiball has succeeded in bringing Alec and Ellie’s chemistry to life on screen once again, however. Ellie isn’t the chirpy, go-happy detective she was in the first half of series one but she still captures her audience and has us laughing throughout. That in itself makes the last three episodes worth watching at least!

Ukip MEP talks immigration, leaving the EU and why David Cameron will fail on delivering his promises to the public

Jessica Lambert speaks to UKIP MEP Roger Helmer about ‘Britain’s single biggest issueHelmer’ – immigration, and why he’s a supporter of the Better Off Out campaign.

Back in 2006, David Cameron stated that UKIP was full of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists.” It’s fair to say that until more recently, no one has paid much attention to the Eurosceptic party critics have likened to ‘the BNP in blazers’ – a claim UKIP strongly refute.

With their sudden popularity amongst some of the British public, are the tables finally starting to turn? Recent polls have demonstrated what the Westminster Elite have been aware of for some time – Ukip is on the rise! But why?

Roger Helmer, a Ukip MEP for the East Midlands region, stated: “We speak the language of normal people and we are in touch with the real issues amongst the British public.

“Immigration is the single biggest issue for ordinary people. It’s something the left won’t allow you to talk about and when we do, they all shout “racist, racist, racist!” It’s not racist at all. It’s what the British people want to talk about.

“We want to be able to control our borders and we want a cap on immigration. To favour the poor and unskilled while excluding the highly-qualified and capable, is to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

According to The Independent’s latest poll, Ukip has reached a new high of 16 per cent of the vote and now stands in third place. The news won’t have impressed Nick Clegg however, as Ukip have stormed ahead of the Lib Dems.

Ukip now matches the Tories in the voters’ eyes as the best party to handle immigration and the number of people who regard Ukip as a wasted vote has dropped from 57 per cent in May to 41 per cent.

A YouGov survey conducted earlier this year showed some 70 per cent of voters want immigration reduced or stopped completely and it revealed 67 per cent think British people should be given priority for jobs. It’s evident that immigration is a huge issue for the British public but it seems that the Westminster Big Cats have only just tuned in to what people are thinking – and saying!

Mr Helmer also has a lot to say regarding the £1.7 billion bill issued by Brussels a few weeks back.

“From a UK perspective it looks like daylight robbery. And it is. We are already paying a net £10 billion a year for the dubious privilege of membership of the EU… Yet EU membership arguably offers no net benefits to the UK,” he said.

Our EU membership is a controversial issue and remains at the forefront of politics in the lead up to the general election next May. It’s not likely that the charismatic Mr Farage will be leading the country post-election, however the parties success has certainly got politicians’ backs up, hasn’t it?

It appears there’s lots of disagreement amongst West Minsters leading parties but Ukip are clear and united regarding a certain issue… Immigration of course.

Mr Helmer, added: “What too few people realize is that the policy which the Coalition government operates at the moment, within the constraints of EU rules, is profoundly discriminatory. It discriminates against highly qualified applicants from Commonwealth countries in favour of EU citizens. I’d much rather have brain surgeons from India than less qualified ones from Europe.

It’s a question everyone has an answer to at the moment. If things could be done differently, how would the country tackle immigration? Do we apply filters, only allowing the best to enter ‘Great Britain’ or do we shut the borders altogether?

“It should work on a fair points system. The skilled would be a priority whilst the unskilled would be at the back of the queue. There would be no discrimination and migrates would be treated equally. It would be very similar to the border control adopted by Australia.

“How many times do we have to repeat – UKIP has nothing against foreigners. Nigel Farage is married to a German. What we oppose is uncontrolled immigration to the UK on a scale that puts undue pressure on social cohesion and infrastructure,” he stated.

And if things don’t turn out how Ukip would like, does Mr Helmer, a former member of the Conservative party, think David Cameron can deliver on his promises?

“He’s made a lot! Europe will not budge on ‘free movement’. The message is as it has always been. If you don’t like the destination, you have to get off the bus. It’s simple. We are either in or we are out.”

That’s an out from Helmer then!

The view from a Premier League football club’s medical table

Dr Ian Patchett is chief medical officer at Premier League new boys Leicester City. In today’s big interview, he talks to Sam Chambers about players’ safety and life in the top-flight.

You’ve heard of the names. Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria, Cesc Fabreagas et al. Each weekend, they are just a few of many to be afforded a hero’s welcome at football clubs up and down the country.

They drive Bentleys and Ferraris; live in huge mansions and holiday in Dubai and LA. Win or lose – no matter how they play – they are handsomely rewarded for their work.

Then there are those in the background.  Away from the cameras and working for a fraction of the players’ wages. Going about their duties with little fanfare or adoration.

The kit men, secretaries, tea ladies and physios to name but a few.  The people who make up the very fabric of the clubs that employ them.

Many of these people were around long before most of the players arrived and, most likely, will be around long after they leave.

Leicester City’s club medical officer Dr Ian Patchett is one such stalwart.  A man of medicine, but also a football man through and through, he is simply happy “watching good football” as part of his job.

In over two decades at Leicester he has seen wholesale changes. During his time there, there have been dizzying highs and humbling lows. There was even a threat to the club’s very existence during a spell in administration in 2002.

Players and managers came and went. The club moved stadium. The training ground underwent substantial re-development.

Football certainly doesn’t stand still. And, in the era of multi-million pound transfers, where players are treated more as commodities than athletes, the care they receive doesn’t, either.

Patchett says that one of the biggest examples of such change is how clubs are equipped to deal with situations such as on-pitch cardiac arrests, particularly after the harrowing Fabrice Muamba incident in 2012.

“The FA set up the AREA (Advanced Resuscitation and Emergency Aid) course. You have to know what to do if someone collapses,” he says.

“Every team has its own defibrillator. We have to carry certain drugs to keep them ticking over until they can get to hospital and can be treated properly.”

At Leicester, however, it is something that they have prepared themselves with for a while. It was in 2007 when on-loan defender Clive Clarke collapsed during half-time of a League Cup tie at Nottingham Forest.  This, says Patchett, sparked the club into taking positive action to ensure that they could be as ready as they can for anything similar in the future.

“It was an away game so I didn’t witness it. It was quite an uplifting one in that the staff that were there got him back and proved they could do it,” explains Patchett.

“It spurred us on to train other people like coaches and sports scientists. The more people that know what to do, the better.

“So, although it was scary at the time, it was quite uplifting.”

Patchett is steadfast in his opinion that no chances should be taken when it comes to somebody’s health, an opinion that is not always shared by managers, highlighted recently with the contentious issue of head injuries.

“Very often you can see it in a player’s eyes. You don’t really need to ask them any questions if they look a bit vacant. “But very often the physio may say ‘He’s gone, he needs to come off.’

“If he thinks that I’d probably agree.”

As if to illustrate his point that even the seemingly innocuous injuries can be far worse than first thought, Patchett recalls an incident involving a fledgling City player, where things almost took a turn for the worst.

“One of the younger players got a kick in the stomach, which didn’t seem too serious at the time. It turned out he’d perforated his bowel and had to be whisked into hospital for an operation.”

A typical week sees Patchett visit the club’s training ground three or four times a week to check on any medical problems, as well as working match days for the under 18s and 21s. He juggles his duties at the club with his part-time work as a GP in the city, and with performing minor surgery for University Hospitals of Leicester.

And following the Foxes’ summer promotion to the Premier League, things have become a little more intense.

“We do home and away. It’s double the workload. It’s a bit more pressure and exposure.

“Everybody is a bit more hyped because of what’s at stake. As far as the medical side goes, it’s all the same even if it was a pub team. You’ve got to know how to react.”

Despite the many changes he has seen over the years, he maintains that there has been one constant throughout his employment at the club.

“When you’re winning, players seem to not be injured, but when they are losing, they are a bit more precious about things,” he says.

“If the team is winning, everyone wants to be in it.”

And with Leicester currently suffering from an alarming downturn in fortune recently, it will be a slump he hopes they can address sooner rather than later.

The dos and don’ts of Christmas cake baking

The festive period has come again, and with the daunting challenge of baking the Christmas cake, extra help is always appreciated. Amanda Brown, keen baker and caterer, talks Iona McGregor-Nelson through the process of creating the perfect boozy Christmas cake with these simple Dos and Don’ts.

It’s that time of year again. so stock up on the marzipan and get that fruit soaking. It’s time to bake the Christmas cake! There is a lot of controversy on how to bake your Christmas cake. Do you use brandy or rum? Dark sugar or light? Do you soak your fruit for a few hours or a few days? Hopefully by the end of this article you will feel enlightened on the do’s and don’ts of Christmas cake baking and create the mother of all Christmas cakes.

Let’s start with the basics of soaking your fruit. You have to do it! Mary Berry says “pour over the sherry and leave to soak for 3 days.” Mrs Brown says “I only soak my fruit over night.” (The controversy begins.) When asked whether it is essential to soak your fruit, Frances Quinn, Winner of Great British Bake off 2013 was in no doubt ‘Soak Your Fruit,’ simple and to the point. Soaking your fruit for any amount of time helps to plump the fruit up and keeps the cake staying nice and moist. This is essential since your cake will ideally be made a few weeks before Christmas and you don’t want it to dry out in the weeks when it is being stored.

When asked which alcohol to soak your fruit in, avid baker Amanda Brown said, “I prefer to use brandy as I like the flavour it gives the cake.” Sticking to this alcoholic theme comes the next definite ‘do’ of Christmas cake baking – feeding your cake. Now it’s not essential that one slice of cake should tip you over the drink drive limit, however a few good feedings before Christmas will ensure the cake remains moist and give it that extra kick. Mrs Brown suggests “Never feed for less than two weeks,” Ms Quinn, in total agreement, says, “so you can feed the cake once baked with lots of brandy or rum depending on your tipple of choice.”

Baking the cake. It sounds simple enough, but due to the long baking times Christmas cakes require problems invariably arise. Mrs Brown warns “Avoid baking at too high a temperature and make sure you have all the essential equipment before starting.” It is very important the cake tin be properly lined and wrapped or you run the risk of the outside of your cake burning whilst the centre remains uncooked. Nigella Lawson advises to “double line a loose bottom cake tin.” The double is important. Amanda and Mary also double line their tins. Listen to the professionals!  another ‘Do’ is to line the outside of your tin with a few layers of paper preventing burning and giving the cake and even bake. Before you put the cake in the oven place a baking tray with 2 pints of water in the bottom of the oven. The moist atmosphere the liquid creates bakes better cakes.

A quick tip about which sugar to use: Using dark sugar – demerara, molasses and light or dark muscovado keeps the crumb of the cake moist and adds to depth of flavour.

Let’s talk about marzipan. Some people avoid using it because of the taste, others double layer the icing as a substitute for the marzipan.  These are definite Don’ts. Using marzipan is vital in stopping the oil from the cake seeping into the icing, it also keeps the cakes surface nice and smooth. Good food magazine suggests “don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. “

However you decide to tackle this festive challenge remember to try and enjoy it, knock back at least one glass of brandy in the process and final tip from Amanda Brown, “wrap your cake up securely and store it in a cool place (not the fridge) until icing time.” Good luck!

 

QUICK TIPS!

  1. Newspaper works well to line the outside of your baking tin
  2. Soak your raisins and sultanas in hot black tea as well as soaking them in alcohol. It stops the fruit sinking to the bottom when its baking
  3. When wrapping up your cake up for storage, use a layer of greaseproof paper or clingfilm before using tin foil. Beware, if the foil touches the cake the alcohol could react and affect the flavour.
  4. Marzipan the cake 3 weeks before as it takes 2 weeks to harden
  5. Using a pizza cutter to trim your icing and marzipan gives a cleaner and easier cut

What will happen next for the 100?

Season two of The 100 kicks off as it means to go on with excitement, shock and tension as it throws viewers straight back into the thick of things.

Review by Iona McGregor-Nelson

The 100 is set to return on E4 for another hotly anticipated season of action packed life on the nuclear war zone Earth. We left the thrilling drama at the mysterious Mount Weather with Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Monty and other survivors of the rocket blast held in white washed medical cells. The last episode finished leaving viewers in limbo on a number of intense cliff-hangers including the whereabouts of some characters, and the anticipation of whether heartthrobs Bellamy Blake (Bobby Morley) and Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell) survived the rocket blast that burnt an army of grounders to a crisp. As well as this The Ark was preparing to embark on the treacherous journey to return to earth whilst Thelonious Jaha (Isaiah Washington) was resigning himself to death in space. But how many will survive?

This exciting new season takes on a slower pace with more scenes to jump between resulting in less action taking place each episode. This constant scene switching can be irritating, and viewer may find it hard to follow the relentlessly changing plot line. However there is no need to be disappointed. Each episode will leave you heart pounding on the edge of your seat cursing at the program for ending in such a way. With new unexpected romance budding, deaths in the camp, new enemies arising and an interesting chancellor named, viewers will have little to grumble about other than the sofa gripping cliff hangers each episode is left on.

Season two gives us the revelation of human life in Mount Weather. However Clarke seems to be the only one who doesn’t trust these uncommonly friendly, civilised grounders. But as their stay lengthens Clarke discovers just how much is hidden under the Mountain, how ‘guest’ and ‘prisoner’ can be used interchangeably and the shocking revelation of what they’re planning to use The 100 for. Season two will bring you, willing or otherwise, back each Tuesday at 9.00 PM to watch more… they must be doing something right.