Felix Baumgartner breaks sound barrier and most YouTube live streams ever

Regardless of what you think about the ridiculously named Felix Baumgartner (translates as tree gardener apparently) crazy stunt, there’s no denying the guy has got some balls doing what he did.

Jumping out a balloon-powered space capsule from 128,000 feet, spinning apparently out of control for part of the plunge – yet still not passing out or screaming for your Mum – is a truly incredible feat. Personally I get a bit giddy on top of a kids’ rollercoaster so I can’t imagine what free falling at Mach 1.24 (833 miles per hour) at temperatures of -68 degrees centigrade must feel like. All on the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeagar breaking the sound barrier for the first time – though of course he did in a plane, the wimp.

Apparently Baumgartner, his sponsor Red Bull and YouTube have set another record too. During last night’s stunt there were more than two million concurrent livestreams of the event going out around the world. The previous record for a single web video service was around 500,000 concurrent streams, which Google served up during the Olympics this summer.

You can see the whole thing here:

And you can see highlights here:

(By the way rumours of RyanAir’s Michael O’Leary introducing parachute drop offs from aircraft as a way of saving on landing fees are completely unfounded)

For more information on the world record breaking jump go here.

VIDEO: Prince Charles reads the Scottish weather forecast. Is actually quite funny, shocker

Imagine if the UK found itself in the midst of a republican revolution and, heaven forbid, the royal family have to find proper jobs.

And while it might be fun to imagine what the likes of Princess Eugenie (a fashion designer?) and Prince Philip (a diplomat?) might have to do to earn a crust, we now know what Prince Charles will be doing: presenting weather forecasts in Scotland – at least if this clip of him messing about while on a tour of BBC Scotland’s headquarters is anything to go by.

He’s a natural and surprisingly funny with it – witness his ‘Who the hell wrote this script?’ quip when confronted with inclement weather in the Balmoral area. Via Shortlist

X Factor 2010: Harry Styles whispers ‘Think how much p**** you are going to get’ to Matt Cardle’

Harry Styles, the youngest member of One Direction, seems to whisper the rude remark into Matt Cardle’s ear during Sunday’s X Factor show. Charming. And there was Matt thinking about how he’s going to be enjoying quiet pint in his Colchester local before returning to a career painting and decorating.

Alan Partridge is back with Fosters sponsored web show, Mid Morning Matters

Is sponsored content like this the future of broadcasting on the web? Like soap powders once sponsored soaps, beer brand Fosters has put presumably a very large wodge of cash behind bringing Alan Partridge to our screens, well our computer screens anyway.

Cynics might say it’s simply Steve Coogan cashing in on his most popular creation now he’s no longer on TV. I’m not so sure. Yes there’s the Fosters logo hanging (ironically?) on the wall. But the content is unmistakably Partridge. Perhaps not the funniest thing of his I’ve ever seen, as a lot of the best Alan Partridge moments were filmed at the fictional Linton Travel Tavern, but mostly quite watchable. As Partridge himself might say, Back On The Net.

It’s all part of a big campaign for Fosters’ new website, Fostersfunny.co.uk which is obviously aiming to link the beer brand with classic comedy. But if Alan Partridge doesn’t float your boat there’s also classic content from Channel 4 including Peep Show as well as a new, and not very funny, show called Two Men At A Bar (two blokes at a bar talking rubbish, it seems). You can also get involved with the new comedy ‘channel’ via Twitter and Facebook of course.


Remind yourself of how funny Alan Partridge was in this classic interview on Radio Norwich with Peter Baxendale-Thomas of the Norfolk Farmers Union. Terrible canned laughter though.

And here’s a great clip of Alan Partridge being flattened by a dead cow:

YouTube: BBC’s Nick Robinson loses it with anti-war protestor

Always good to see journos lose it every once in a while. Remember Sky’s Adam Boulton with Alastair Cambell before the election or John Sweeney with the Scientology spokesman? This time it’s the turn of BBC Political editor Nick Robinson. He lost his cool when a placard waving anti-war protestor interfered with his broadcast on Wednesday.

After the live link from the Commons, the journalist stamps on the banner reading ‘Cut the War, Not The Poor’ and breaks it. Then the protestor is heard shouting at Robinson: “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

In his blog Robsinson explains: “I lost my temper and I regret that…I am a great believer in free speech but I also care passionately about beeing able to do my job reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years. “

You can see the whole incident in the YouTube clip, ‘Robinson Looses It’. Seems like the anti-war protestors are too busy protesting to learn how to spell.

YouTube: Stephen Fry in X Factor Wagner spoof

“My love affair with Wagner began when I was a child and first heard his music on my Father’s gramophone,” says Stephen Fry. Only, disappointingly,  it turns out that he’s not talking about Wagner – the Brazilian sensation on the X Factor at all – but the German composer of the same name.

In the clever video mash up, Fry adds that the music “did something most extraordinary to me. It’s made me do things inside – it’s released forces within me.” I think on this occasion we can safely say that he wasn’t talking about the 54 year singing She Bangs or his bongo rendition of the B52s Love Shack, or ‘loan shark’ as he seemed to sing it.

Not that Stephen Fry seems to mind any of this gentle mickey taking. He wrote on Twitter. “Can’t decide what’s funnier: the way (the video) is cut together or that some really believe I’m talking about the X Factor Wagner!”

At the time of writing the spoof has attracted 180,000 views but it’s sure to go a lot higher before this weekend’s X Factor. Will the charismatic Brazilian, who has expressed his feelings for fellow contestant Mary, be booted off this weekend? I very much doubt it. Expect him to go a lot further before the voting public finally tires of him and decides to vote for someone who can sing!

Doctor Who guests with Orbital at Glastonbury

The debate about which Doctor is the greatest from Doctor Who will rage on for the rest of time (as will the ‘Who Is The Worst’ no doubt). However, it was pretty much accepted that David Tennant was the coolest.

As cute as his penchant for Converse was, he’s been totally out-hipped by Matt Smith who, this weekend, appeared on stage at Glastonbury with some proper musical pioneers.

Yessir, Orbital (the British Kraftwerk) played at the stinkfest and once more, wheeled out their take on the Doctor Who theme tune (previously titled ‘Doctor?’ from The Altogether LP). However, they decided to spice things up and get Matt Smith to introduce the thing, as well as letting him loose on the controls to join in.

How great is that? If you missed it, here’s a video of the event.

Interview: Armstrong and Miller at BAFTA awards

We caught up with Armstrong and Miller on the red carpet outside the British Academy Television Awards at London’s Palladium (June 6, 2010). The winners of the Best Comedy programme, the duo were on great form as they talked about characters in the new upcoming series (their 7th) including grumpy ‘old school’ vampires and disapproving women working in a women’s lingerie store!

Interview: Miranda Hart at the BAFTA TV Awards

Wonderfully dressed to match the red carpet and fantastically tall, comedienne Miranda Hart talks about the success of her comedy programme, Miranda, and how she was inspired by Morecambe and Wise.

Nominated for two awards – Female Performance in a Comedy Programme and Situation Comedy – she lost out to Rebecca Front and The Thick of It in both categories. Nevermind, there’s always next year.