Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
In front-page news billed as a”World Exclusive”, the Mirror brings news of Tony Blackburn, the BBC radio DJ of no little vintage. “BBC Axe Sex Probe DJ Tony Blackburn,” announces the dire headline, one seemingly written by an SEO expert for whom English is not their fist language. The headline can be unpacked in the first paragraph:
“DJ Tony Blackburn has been sacked by the BBC is a row about a sex abuse probe.”
Blackburn says he was never “quizzed” in 1971 over a “woman’s allegations” he’d seduced a teenager. The BBC’s report out today says he was. He says, “They are destroying my career and reputation because my version of event does not tally with theirs.”
Radio One Disc Jockeys take time off to push Jimmy Savile from Broadcasting House to Park Lane by bed, in aid of the Variety Club of Great Britain and the Outward Bound Trust. (L-R) Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Tony Blackburn, Kid Jensen and Steve Wright.
The story continues over page 4 and 5, “Beeb bosses covered up ‘DJ seduced girl’ claims,” chimes the Mirror. The girl was 15-year-old Claire McAlpine. We’ve reported on her before. In 2012, the Press linked her death to the then Sir Jimmy Savile, who after death became ‘Jimmy The Beast”.
Last month the Daily Mail had more:
“Claire McAlpine, 15, killed herself after being abused by an unnamed DJ on the show [Top of the Pops] on 1971.”
On the same day the Sun led with the Jimmy Savile Report, a review by Dame Janet Smith, who concluded that the BBC “HID” news that Savile had “seduced” a 15-year-old dancer on BBC TV’s Top of The Pops music show. The paper adds: “Clair [sic] McAlpine killed herself weeks after the alleged sexual encounter.”
Back then Jimmy did it.
Now the torchlight falls on Blackburn’s 73-year-old face. The BBC has sacked him. He says he never seduced McAlpine. He says he’s a “scapegoat”.
Looking at the media’s scattergun reporting on the case of Miss McAlpine reveals a story laced with agendas.
PS: On 7th April 1971 the Daily Express had Jimmy Savile news (via Rabbitaway):
Katie Hopkins, for those of you blessedly not in the know, is a former contestant on The Apprentice TV show – the one on which ‘driven’ people try to win a job working for Alan Sugar in a Brentwood office block. Hopkins lost but did score a job belching ‘controversial’ opinions to deadline for the Sun newspaper and, remarkably, a TV show of her own. That all ended, meaning Katie now shouts exclusively on free-to-air Twitter.
The Star thinks her tweets worthy of its front page. Robin Cottle has created a story from a tweet:
She claimed Kate and Gerry McCann should take some blame for her disappearance.
The 41-year-old also insisted the heartbroken couple did not “deserve” the £11million of taxpayers’ cash shelled out to search for Madeleine.
This is in the Star, which once libelled Kate and Gerry McCann.
One Twitter user wrote: “Katie Hopkins victim blaming the McCanns suggests people have no self control, the blame lies with whoever wrongly took what wasn’t theirs.”
Good grief. This story had not made any progress.
Another added: “Yes they made a mistake. Thousands do the same every day and get away with it. Cruel for Hopkins to rub salt in it surely. How did she become our moral guide?”
Answer: when the Star wanted cheap filler.
But some supported the outspoken celeb, with one saying: “Agree with absolutely everything @KTHopkins has said about Maddie’s disappearance, she’s only saying what the rest of you think anyway.”
Always useful when talking of “outrage” to report both sides of the shouting match.
Having seduced readers with a limp story on the missing child, the report takes a jerking twist:
Madeleine went missing during a family holiday in Praia de Luz, Portugal, almost nine years ago. Meanwhile, Hopkins announced yesterday that she was about to go under the surgeon’s knife to cure her epilepsy.
“Meanwhile…” Even the Dallas TV show (‘Meanwhile…back at the Ranch’) didn’t jump around like a demented kangaroo – which might very well be writing both the Star’s reports and Katie’s tweets.
She told fans she will “see them on the other side” and claimed not to be scared about the brain operation.
For those of you not on Twitter, ‘the other side’ is thought to be a reference to Facebook.
By now you’ll have seen the photos of Rita Ora, the stalwart of family Saturday night telly, posing topless. But you’ve still not seen her bare nipples in the Daily Star. And that’s odd because the Daily Star is, as it declares on the cover, “Home Of The Page 3 Girl”.
On today’s Page 1 and Page 3, Star readers can see Ora – not topless – but ‘Tops”.
Peter Mayhew, aka Chewbacca in Star Wars, has been tweeting photos of his original Star Wars script from March 1976. We can read The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills.
Prince George is so “advanced for his age” he “started speaking long before other toddlers”, reports Hello! magazine. The magazine now has a play-date supplement, featuring actress Sophie Winkleman, Mrs Lord Frederick Windsor, who was impressed by George’s intelligence when he played with her young daughter, Maud.
“He is a very clever, articulate little boy,” says Sophie, “and was speaking long before other toddlers his age.”
So clever is Prince George that he has:
Lined up a job to be King
Been tipped as a future Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy
Is sure to be awarded an honorary membership to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Has grown men bowing
In other news, toddlers are advised not to talk to George until he has spoken to them.
By now you’ll be wondering how David Beckham and Victoria Beckham are getting on since he stopped playing for Manchester United and she left the Spice Girls. Well, he’s been diligently loyal to the marital bed, never once cheating. She’s perfected her meringues. And their refreshingly ordinary and average kids are training to be nurses and firemen.
Today’s People features the pair on its front page, with Vicky and Dave telling readers, “We’re stronger than ever.”
Jamie Oliver has a sidekick in his war on cheap food and the poor. The Guardian reports:
Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell has joined calls for sugary drinks to be taxed as part of a series of measures to combat rising levels of obesity.
“There will be inevitable opposition to what will be labelled as ‘nannying’, but the same was true of the reaction to legislation on seat belts and drink-driving.”
You don’t need to drive. Driving is a luxury controlled by rules of the road. You are given a licence to drive by the State, James. You do not – well, not yet – need an official licence to drink and eat. Unless James thinks sugary drinks impair driving skills – although the opposite may be true.
And lest you still think James has a sound point, the story continues:
Double gold medallist warns of national crisis in Policy Exchange report that also calls for annual BMI checks for children
Liam Neeson is telling The Irish Independentabout his new documentary when the conversation turns to love. Six years ago Neeson lost his wife Natasha Richardson. Now he’s dating:
“I’ll send out a few bunches of flowers to various people and I usually just say ‘from an Irish admirer’.” Is he involved with anyone? “Yes, but I’d embarrass her if I said her name, she’s incredibly famous. I’ll have to do my best for her. It’s amazing how far a simple bunch of freshly picked flowers will go in a lady’s life, I find.”
Incredibly famous! Take your pick:
Princess Diana (she’s living on the fabled sixth floor of Harvey Nichols)
Here’s another way to find out who the mystery lady is: play this video to the famous woman in your life and see if she winces or smiles:
Former British Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle was badly injured competing on The Jump, a TV show featuring celebrities taking part in winter sports. It’s an absurd format. Watching the Winter Olympics is dull; watching celebs try out cold-weather sports in slow motion is dire. But the chance of seeing whathisface from Hollyoaks injure themselves should appeal to some TV fans.
And so to Tweddle, who the Daily Star says “broke her neck”. The Mirror says Tweddle snapped two vertebrae in her neck when she “smashed into a crash barrier”. The Mail says Tweddle “broke her back”. The paper also announces: “Beth Tweddle thanks fans for their support as viewers demand Channel 4 axes The Jump after she breaks her back on TV’s most dangerous show.”
Viewers demand a show on Channel 4 is axed? Those would be viewers who watch or don’t watch it?
Her exit follows that of fellow Olympian Rebecca Adlington, 26, who withdrew from the show on medical advice after a shoulder injury, and Holby City actress Tina Hobley, 44, who dislocated her elbow and suffered two fractures to her arm.
Right now a TV executive is trailing Celebrity Hospital Ward, Celebrity NHS and Celebrity Graveyard. The Mail adds:
Fans flocked to Twitter to call on producers to scrap the programme – now in it’s third series – due to the sheer amount of injuries among contestants.
Fans of a TV show asked for the TV show they are fans of to be cancelled? Better, surely, to replace the celebrities with the TV producers who think up pisspoor celebrity-themed shows. Who fancies for TV Executive Cliff Diving? The Newsnight team can go first.
Not sure what to make of fracking? Well, this should make your mind up. An American actor has been talking to the Guardian:
David Cameron is making an enormous “legacy mistake” by going all-out for fracking in the UK, the actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo has warned. The actor, who is famous for his role as the Hulk in the Avenger films and who stars in Spotlight about the Boston Globe’s investigation into Catholic child abuse…
At least actor Ronald Reagan stood for the vote. Actors today can just preach.
Jamie Oliver says he will “go ninja” should David Cameron refuse to impose a ‘sugar tax’ on fizzy drinks. Ninja’s are people you can’t see or hear. Go for it, Jamie. Go ninja. Stay ninja!
Oliver wants anyone who eats things he thinks contain too much sugar to pay a tax. Oliver sees tax as a means of teaching you a lesson. This is shocking news for those of us who thought tax was a way of raising money.
Jamie reasons that expensive sugary treats will deter people from eating them. In Jamie’s draconian dictatorship, the government is in charge of everything. It tells us what we can eat, when we can eat it, at what price and in what volume. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn might consider Oliver’s attack on Cameron a good thing, although even he must recognise what a disaster this Soviet-style meddling is.
It’s not the job of governments to tell us what we can eat. We can work that out for ourselves. Of course, in elitist Oliver’s world, the brains are with the rich who can afford a more expensive glass of pop and exercise self-restraint brought about by increased choice; the poor must do as they’re told and feel better for it. Or else.
Oh, and as for the Sugar Ninja – the one you never saw coming – we prefer him:
News is that people send BBC telly’s Chris Packham poo in the post. We’ve had a few missives like that at Anorak. We forward the keepsakes to Hollywood director John Walters and two girls in the USA for their cup. But Chris says these are gifts, rather than comments on his presenting style.
“My agent complains about it,” says Chris, who presents wildlife shows, “but I don’t mind… People send me bits of dead things. The weirdest was a woman…”
Stop it there and you’ve got a dark tale. But after the briefest of pauses, Chris continues, “…a woman who posted me a dried-up slug which she found on her carpet and failed to identify. I’ve still got it. I keep everything. I have boxes and boxes above my wardrobe.”
First up, Chris must be the only TV star who doesn’t own fitted wardrobes, preferring a hipster-friendly armoire. Second, keeping your own turds in a filing cabinet would be unusual; keeping moth turds near your clothes is asking for trouble.
And thirdly: given the high price of postage, horse poo is best delivered by car.
Big news of those of you wearing Kabbala-style red bracelets. Mrs Rod Stewart, Penny Lancaster, revealed on ITV’s Loose Women that she wears a red ‘bracelet’ to signal to anyone it’s her period. “It warns men it’s that time of the months,” says Penny. “So you don’t have to keep explaining it.”
In days of yore, women would just use a red sheet to make much the same statement.
You wonder what other signals Penny and Rod give one another to show their hormonal state. If you see Penny in a gold broach, does it mean ‘Egg and chops for dinner’? If Rod’s in a studded dog collar, does Penny toss him out the back door and not expert him home til morning?
Kerry Katona, formerly Kerry McPadding, is in the news. The Star reports that the once leading face of supermarket own-brand ketchup is giving Natasha Hamilton a wedding gift. Kerry’s giving away “her divorce lawyer’s number”.
Says Kerry: “I’m not saying they will need it, but if the time comes…”
Very generous, we’re sure. Natasha can surely look for other business cards from Kerry’s collection, such as the one from the agent, should Natasha want to stick her kids on the magic box; the surgeon who recalibrated Kerry on daytime telly – LIVE!; the vet who teamed her up with a huge canape-hungry squirrel; and the accountant she allegedly assaulted – ok, not him.
Every year’s a paper anniversary from tabloid fodder Kerry. And just as soon as Natasha does something, you can bet Kerry will be in the paper…
TV presenter and singer Kerry McFadden presenting ITV's new series 'Britain's Sexiest'. 07/12/04: The former Atomic Kitten, who has reverted to her maiden name, is rebuilding her life after the break-up of their marriage. Kerry Katona has spoken about her split from husband Brian McFadden and declared: "I want a new man for Christmas.
Time to toss another dead body on the paedophile police pyre. The People leads with news of a police investigation into the life of the late actor John Inman. Did he “sexually assault a boy” aged 13? Dunno.
But emotions have been stirred. There is “fury”.
Once upon a time, the Sunday tabloids were full of shagging footballers, pimping Duchesses and five-times-a-night bonkers. Now we get allegations made against the dead. The celebs never did stop extra-marital sex. But the tabloids did stop covering them. It’s easier – and cheaper – to go after the dead.
The paper’s story thunders:
Police are investigating claims that the late Are You Being Served? actor John Inman sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy in 1970s. The iconic TV star, who played camp shop assistant Mr Humphries in the BBC series, is the latest high-profile name to be linked to claims of historic abuse.
One claim and John Inman – innocent in life – is stuffed in the box with Jimmy Savile and Rolph Harris.
When John Inman died in May 2007, the Mirror wrote:
JOHN Inman, star of TV sitcom Are You Being Served?, died in hospital early this morning after a long illness.
The actor (pictured above), 71, died in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, at 4am. He had suffered from hepatitis A and had been taken into hospital for tests after problems with his liver.
His manager Phil Dale said: “John, through his character Mr Humphries of Are You Being Served? was known and loved throughout the world. He was one of the best and finest pantomime dames working to capacity audiences throughout Britain. John was known for his comedy plays and farces which were enjoyed from London’s West End throughout the country and as far as Australia, Canada and the USA.”
No word on any crimes. But now:
Detectives confirmed the probe after dad-of-two Peter Grant claimed he was forced to perform sex acts on the star in a hotel room in Torquay, Devon, when he was a schoolboy.
Is it fair that a claim against a dead man who died with an unsullied reputation is front-page news? Anorak’s views are not about the alleged victim’s testimony and claims. They are not for us to decide. This is about how a claim becomes front-page news, and why?
But Inman’s family have branded the investigation a witchhunt and and are worried that ‘all sorts of people will say anything in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal’. The much-loved star’s niece, Debra Inman, said: “I’m in total shock. Accusing him of this is just awful. It’s unbelievable, horrendous. You look at all the Jimmy Savile stuff and who is jumping on the bandwagon – people seeing an opportunity. John was a national treasure, a lovely man.”
Nothing screams witchhunt like a front-page splash in the Sunday tabloids.
..according to claims made to Devon and Cornwall police, the actor was a predatory paedophile who used an accomplice to lure Peter Grant, then a 13-year-old, to his hotel room.
Once more, this is not about the veracity of Mr Grant’s claims. The hope is that the justice system apprises the facts and reaches a satisfactory and correct conclusion. This is about the reporting on a single claim being amplified in the media.
This from the police:
“Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating an allegation of historic sexual abuse by two men against a boy in Torquay in 1979. The investigation, being led by the Force’s Sexual Offences and Domestic Abuse Team, is at an early stage and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
It would be. Yes. But Inman’s dead, so speak freely:
Divorced Mr Grant, from Torquay, told the Sunday People : “Inman’s friend said I would be perfect for a role in a play – that was his hook. It was suggested that Inman could help me out with it, but I needed to help him. I don’t think he had any thoughts at all about being found out. He said ‘I’m going to get you a role, but don’t tell anyone about this (the abuse) or I won’t be able to’ “When he died and he was on TV, I was very, very angry.”
Mr Grant says he spent the summer of 1979 using leisure facilities at the Imperial Hotel when he claims he was approached by Inman’s friend.
“He was flashing suggestively. I was naive and didn’t really think too much. It was a men’s changing rooms and people did get naked, so I didn’t really think. He was being complimentary about me and making me feel good. He found out that I was doing some amateur dramatics. He basically just said how good I looked and went on to say would I like to come up to his room and meet John, and that I was perfect for a role in a play. I went up to his room and met him and it was pretty much chit-chat. John Inman started saying how lovely I was and it was suggested that he could help me out with it, but I needed to help him.
“I didn’t realise what it was at the time, but he encouraged me to perform a sex act on him. I had a very sheltered upbringing and I didn’t really understand. It ended and it was, ‘Great to see you, I’ll be in touch about the role’.”
The incident was allegedly repeated at least twice more in the hotel over the next month, each time with Inman’s friend approaching the boy… It is also claimed to have happened a final time in the dressing room of the Princess Theatre. Grant said he was around 16 when he watched porn and recognised what he’d done as a child.
Reactions to the story are encapsulated in the paper’s comments section:
An alleged crime, it’s victim and the dead celebrity become something to debate.
Who needs facts when you have audience participation?
Rita Ora has posed topless. The X Factor judge and pop star has posed pretty much naked for French magazine Lui. You can see the photos here. But you cannot see them in the Daily Star. And that’s odd because the Star is the only British newspaper to routinely feature a topless stunna on Page 3.
In today’s issue the Star shows Rita Ora’s racy photos but hides her nipples behind cartoon explosions. One day earlier, Star readers got to see “sexy Jess” and her nipples.
Does the Star think Ora’s nipples too much for its readers? It would appear so.
The junction of Read and Tyson Streets, Baltimore, was the setting for a seminal movie moment. It’s where Babs Johnson (Divine), star of John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, cemented a hard-fought reputation as the Filthiest Person Alive by watching as a dog lay a turd then eating the warm poo.
Now a Kickstarter project is soliciting donations for an eight-foot-tall monument at that street corner to mark the moment. And Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is all for it. The Baltimore Sun hears from the mayor’s mouthpiece Howard Libit: “The mayor thinks that the idea sounds divine and looks forward to seeing more details on the proposal.”
The Kickstarter project has more:
At first glance this monument might masquerade as a typical devotional space, but make no mistake with a second look across the alley, the piece will irreverently and outrageously scream in pitched Bawlemorese, “Hey, damn it. I’m right here — and I’m simply DIVINE!”
To date, 245,334 people have supported the Petition to “drop the bare boobs from the Sun newspaper”. It demands:
No More Page 3.
George Alagiah doesn’t say, ‘And now let’s look at Courtney, 21, from Warrington’s bare breasts,’ in the middle of the 6 O’ Clock News, does he, David? Philip and Holly don’t flash up pictures of Danni, 19, from Plymouth, in just her pants and a necklace, on This Morning, do they, David?
No, they don’t.
There would be an outcry. And you shouldn’t show the naked breasts of young women in your widely read ‘family’ newspaper either.
Consider this a long overdue outcry.
David, stop showing topless pictures of young women in Britain’s most widely read newspaper, stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects.
Enough is enough.
Page 3 never went away. But the Sun has shown very little naked breasts of late. Would-be topless models can hope the Star hires them for its Page 3, or they get a call from a NSFW website or porn mag (who buys those?). Or maybe these foolish women can just realise that they have been saved by the likes of Object, Turn Your Back on Page 3 and No More Page 3, who want to highlight what they say is the sexism of Page 3:
Awareness of the fact that having women featured in this way amongst the news, serves to reduce the importance of ALL women to their appearance and sexual allure. And an awareness of the fact that whilst sexy pictures may have a place, the accessibility of the Page 3 picture, in the front of the paper, makes access to sexualised women’s bodies as much of a given as the TV listings or the crossword.
So, Rita’s gone topless deeper into the Sun, on Page 7. Happier now?
To the left in the picture above is the Sun’s Page 3, featuring Vicky Pattinson, a woman famous for having had sex on the telly and winning ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!.
In what campaigners would call the bad old days, The Sun’s Page 7 hosted a Page 7 Fella, like this chap from February 1985.
The Sun even had a lad on Page 3 – this one is from September ’88.
So much for gender equality.
What Phwa-ita show us is that it’s ok for the famous singer to go topless – and catch family telly’s Rita on the cover of French magazine Lui – but not for the amateur hoping for a career in showbiz. These wannabes are weak, impressionable and making a bad life choice. Rita is strong, educated and empowered.
The bansturbators portray Page 3 ‘girls’ as idiots. Spot the judgemental sexist.
The drive to eradicate what anti-Page 3 campaigners see as an offensive misrepresentation of women in society turns out to be a demand to control the minds of any woman who sees her naked chest as a way of earning money, having a laugh, getting on, or any number of reasons a sane, thinking, rational human being would want to pose topless.
In her “The year in sexism: how did women fare in 2015?” the Guardian’s Laura Bates began with Rita Ora: “The beginning of the year saw Rita Ora lambasted for showing too much cleavage on The One Show (as reported by the same publications that routinely publish entire articles about cleavage). ”
It’s sexist to criticise Rita for showing her body, says the right-on Guardian. But women who show their breasts in the Sun are victims, says the Guardian.
Wow. how about that for a big pair of double standards?