What a month. One of many months (12 to be precise) that make up a year. And 2017 as a year is proving to be quite a rollercoaster. I don't think we're quite at the level of 2016 madness yet, but it certainly is getting close.
Perhaps the world just feels particularly crazy to me at the moment because I've barely kept my head above water in the riptide that is Edinburgh Festival Fringe coverage…
Anyway, in lieu of a consistent weekly news update, we have compiled a bumper roundup of the crazy month that was July. I'm not even attempting to put any Brexit coverage in here, and as for Trump, there's no point writing about new appointments because they're out as quick as they're in...
BBC to spend £34m to get children back from Netflix
The BBC kicked off July by making the announcement that they planned to invest £34m over the next three years to win back the attention of children. Having ascertained that children are no longer watching linear programming - opting instead for the binge/on demand format of Amazon Video or Netflix, the BBC have responded by investing an additional £34m to create new online entertainment, including video, live online programme extensions, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, apps, quizzes and games.
BBC annual report shows a gender wage gap
But perhaps their money might be better spent addressing the pay disparity between males and females in the organisation. In an annex to their annual report, the BBC disclosed the pay brackets for their employees, and a list of the top 96 earners at the organization. Of those 96, only one third are female and the top seven are all men. Chris Evans was paid at least £2.2m and Gary Lineker received more than £1.75m.
BBC director general Tony Hall said he is committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2020. The BBC has however opened itself up to potential sexual discrimination claims, and the union representing low-paid production workers at the BBC is demanding a minimum salary of £20,000.
The Government has said the disclosure of salaries was one of fairness and transparency, while an argument could be made that it was opening the organisation to criticism from its commercial rivals.
George A Romero dies, aged 77
Writer and director George A Romero died, aged 77, following a "brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer".
Romero, famed for zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, is widely regarded as the 'Godfather of the dead' for his work in popularising the zombie genre.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
Chester Bennington dies, aged 41
Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died this month, aged 41.
The singer was found by an employee in the bedroom of his LA house, and while no note was found, it is being treated as a suspected suicide.
Bennington had a history of drug and alcohol addiction as well as depression, and was close friends with the late Chris Cornell, who would have turned 53 on the day of Bennington's death.
It was revealed that Linkin Park had days before completed an episode of Carpool Karaoke.
MS Paint died, aged 32, only to be reanimated… sort of
Microsoft made the gut-wrenching announcement that they were going to depreciate MS Paint and no longer actively update it, there was a huge outpour of support from the general public, presumably all have fond memories of scribbling in the simplistic art program before using the fill bucket liberally.
It transpired that MS Paint was being depreciated because there is now Paint 3D, that is included as standard in Windows 10 starting from the Creators Update, that allows for 3D modelling. However, as a result of the public outcry, Microsoft have decided that MS Paint will get to live on, as an app in the Windows Store that the public can access and download for free. Microsoft were keen to point out that Paint 3D has many of the features that people loved from the traditional Paint.
So while perhaps not a second coming, that does allow those of a nostalgic disposition to continue drawing crude imagery when procrastinating from work...
Austen 200 and austen on the £10
This month marked 200 years since the death of the much loved author Jane Austen.
The author, perhaps best known for Pride and Prejudice, is considered a hallmark of English literature, and is widely regarded for her critique of society and attitudes of the landed gentry during the time of writing in the 18th century. Her work was published anonymously at first, so she received little recognition during her life, but they have rarely been out of print since.
Austen was also commemorated this month by the issuing of a new £10 banknote by the Bank of England with a portrait of Austen, and a quote from Pride and Prejudice "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!"
Literature aficionado Ellen detailed the best place to start if you want to engross yourself in the world of Austen, and that list can be found in the source below.
Mercury prize shortlist announced
The 2017 shortlist for the Mercury prize, and it will come as a surprise to noone that Ed Sheeran is one of the artists on the list of 12.
Included also are previous winners in the xx (2010) and Alt-J (2012). The list contains seven newcomers, including jazz performers Dinosaur. Joint favourites for the award however are grime star Stormzy and singer/producer Sampha.
The full Mercury Prize shortlist
- Alt-J: Relaxer
- The Big Moon: Love in the 4th Dimension
- Blossoms: Blossoms
- Loyle Carner: Yesterday's Gone
- Dinosaur: Together, As One
- Glass Animals: How to Be a Human Being
- J Hus: Common Sense
- Sampha: Process
- Ed Sheeran: ÷
- Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer
- Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
- The xx: I See You
Jodie Whittaker announced as the new Doctor Who announced
The BBC, determined to be in the news as much as possible this month also announced the latest to play the coveted position as Doctor Who. Making the announcement directly after the end of Wimbledon, the BBC declared that for the first time a female - Jodie Whittaker - will play the role.
The internet subsequently exploded, first with excitement that a female was taking on the role for the first time in 50 years, followed by outrage that a female was taking on the role.
Whittaker has previously starred in Black Mirror, Broadchurch and St Trinian's.
See You Again overtakes Gangnam Style as the most watched YouTube video
South Korean Psy's Gangnam Style has finally been dethroned as the most played video on YouTube, after five years of reigning supreme. It has been replaced by another music video - Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's See You Again.
Written for Furious 7, the song is a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before the film was completed. The song was the best-selling in 2015, and received multiple best song nominations.
It's position as #1 may be short lived however, as Luis Fonsi's Despacito is quickly racking up the hits.
Ariana Grande becomes the first honorary citizen of Manchester
American singer Ariana Grande was bestowed with an honorary Manchester citizenship, following on from the disgusting concert attack in May, and her subsequent One Love Manchester concert that raised £3m in ticket sales and personal donations for the victims and their families.
The decision came via a unanimous vote by the City Council in their first meeting since the attack. They also took votes on holding civic receptions and new awards to honour those who responded to the attack.
A bunch of new trailers dropped
No, seriously, a huge number of trailers were released this month. This is in no small part thanks to both Comic-Con and D23. Rather than embed everything that was released here, find below a link to a separate post that contains a selection of the trailers that came out this month.
Header: Kyle Cheung