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.
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.
Sky Comedy next Tuesday:
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?
Listen as Terry Wogan signs off his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. Wogan presented his final Radio 2 breakfast show on 18 December 2009. This is emotional:
Rick Wakeman played on David Bowie‘s Life on Mars. On January 10 2015, Wakeman played a piano version on BBC Radio 2. It’s lovely. Truly. Wakeman has since recorded a new version of the song along with a version of Space Oddity. All monies raised from the songs go to the excellent Macmillan Cancer Support.
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.
Rita Ora – NSFW:
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!”
Artist Sebastian Martoran has created a design:
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?
The Chickening is a new take on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force.
Ice Cube has few words on the complaint about a lack of black nominees at this year’s Oscars. His film, Straight Outta Compton, wasn’t nominated. Does he care?
Jimmy Savile is back in the news. The Sun leads with the Jimmy Savile Report, the review by Dame Janet Smith into the BBC stalwart who post-death was labelled the most prolific child molester of all time. News is 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.”
We don’t know if the pair did have sex. We don’t know what part if any the alleged sex had in Claire McAlpine’s tragic death. All we know is that when Claire’s mother read of the alleged sex in her daughter’s diary – we don’t get to see what the teenager wrote – she “rang the BBC… demanding to speak to the chairman but was told that was impossible.”
The Sun joins the dots, saying “just a month later Clair died after taking an overdose of sleeping pills”.
The report says the BBC made no attempt to interview Claire or her mother. The BBC did meet with Savile, who denied any wrongdoing. He was also interviewed by an “independent barrister”.
Dame Janet says the BBC review was “inadequate”. She cannot understand why the BBC destroyed its own call logs from the time. Really? This is the BBC that erased or tossed away and wiped lots of its output, including Not Only… But Also, starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and the BBC studio footage from the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landings.
On pages 4 and 5, the Sun re-introduces us to Sylvia Edwards. She says that when age 18, the 50-year-old Savile stuck his hand up her skirt in 1976 and told her “A fella could get used to this as it ‘appens”. The Sun says “millions of BBC TV viewers” saw this because Savile was presenting Top of the Pops at the time and Sylvia was in the audience.
Horrified Sylvia ran to a floor manager to report what the DJ had done only to be told: “Get lost — it’s just Jimmy messing about.” In the judge’s draft report, she said Sylvia’s was “one of two quite serious indecent assaults” and girls on the show were placed in “moral danger”. But she added: “I do not think any member of senior management was ever made aware of Savile’s abuse of young people while working on Top of the Pops. In the testosterone-laden atmosphere where everyone was, in theory at least, over 16, child protection was simply not a live issue. No one noticed what Savile was doing: he was able to hide in plain sight.”
The Sun lists Dame Janet’s main findings:
— Savile abused 45 victims who worked at or visited the BBC
— He abused staff and kids on Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix IT
— Some evidence a paedophile ring operated at BBC in 1970s
— Stars like Savile ‘untouchable’ and managers ‘above the law’
— Bosses quizzed Savile about his interest in young girls but no action was taken
— Managers should have heeded interviews with Savile in The Sun where he told of picking up girls
— BBC in 1970s dominated by booze culture and staff feared reporting abused would damage careers
— Culture of secrecy means whistleblowers are more scared to come forward today thand 40 years ago
— Another Savile scandal could still unfold at the BBC
And how did the Sun comment on Savile’s death, after he old them about “picking up girls”? Like this:
RIP JIMMY SAVILE – Prince Charles leads tributes as Jim’ll Fix It star dies aged 84
Now then, now then, cries and gals – We join 3,000 fans at Sir Jimmy Savile’s send-off
As for Sylvia’s story, we heard it first back in 2012. The Sun told us about the 19-year-old victim:
In today’s report she is 18:
The Daily Mail has more on the “BBC’s £10m Whitewash”.
“He raped , groped and abused girls and boys under the noses of complacent BBC chiefs…. He preyed on his 45 victims in almost every BBC building he set foot in…”
The Mail mentions Claire McAlpine. It makes a clear link between her death and Savile:
“Claire McAlpine, 15, killed herself after being abused by an unnamed DJ on the show [Top of the Pops] on 1971.”
Yes, that’s “CLAIRE”, the teenager the Sun calls “CLAIR”. In the rush to be right and prove Savile was a raping would-be killer who had sex with the dead on NHS time, the papers can’t even agree on the victims’ ages and names.
This is, of course, as much about bashing the BBC as it is hitting the revolting Savile. On cue, here’s resting BBC DJ John Peel. He’s the “national treasure, who also worked at the BBC. He’s dead. Julie Burchill wrote in 1999.
What did YOU do in the war, Daddy? Well, John Peel caught VD, and banged on about it. Until recently, Peel banged on a lot about sex. Like many an ugly Englishman, he went to America, where that nation’s young women found a Limey accent so beguiling that they barely looked at the face it came out of: “All they wanted me to do was abuse them, sexually, which, of course, I was only too happy to do,”
Peel told the Guardian in 1975. “Girls,” he said to the Sunday Correspondent in 1989, “used to queue up outside oral sex they were particularly keen on, I remember one of my regular customers, as it were, turned out to be 13, though she looked older.”
This was the Sixties. Fleeing America after the authorities quite rightly objected to him having sex with young teenage girls, Peel was joined by his wife, Shirley, a Texan girl, who was 15 when he married her.
If you are connected. If you are rich. If you have friends in high places and do things they like, you get away with it. Same then as it is now. Nothing changes.
Listen to David Bowie imitate Springsteen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Marc Bolan and more in a 1985 studio tape
Flashbak has spotted this David Bowie gem, in which the changes singer imitates Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Marc Bolan, Tom Waits and whoever else at a London recording session in 1985. Marc Saunders was there. He’s uploaded the recording on YouTube.
The impersonations on this YouTube posting were recorded in August ’85, when Bowie came in to do the lead vocal. At the end of the session, he broke into the impersonations and I realized that these might get erased at some point, so I quickly put a cassette in and hit “record.” I wish we could hear the other side of the dialogue between Bowie and Clive and Alan, but unfortunately that wasn’t being recorded.
Read more on Flashbak.
The Daily Star is the “official Big Brother newspapers”. Every day the Star publishes front-page news on goings on the TV celebrity silo, saving readers the bother of tuning in. today the Star says:
“Big Bro Danni New Cocaine Shame”.
Westbrook has had issues with cocaine, notably when she was photographed in 200 with part of her nose missing. The Sun harks back to this with its lead photo of Daniella holding her hooter. Is Danni back on the powders?
On Page 9, we get more:
“A tweet from Ogden Oggy said: ‘Everyone vote @westbroookdanni she’s going to buy substantial mount of cocaine is he wins and throw a big party for everyone.” The comments were retweeted by Danniella’s official Twitter account., which is believed to be being run by a pal while she is on the show.”
And, er, that’s it.
Uncoupled former Mr Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, appears topless in the Daily Mail. Like no-one we’ve ever met, the Mail wonders why Chris – 38, rich, lots of free time, pop star – is not fat and pictured eating an Iceland ready-meal. The Mail reports that that Chris doesn’t eat food on one day every week. He does eat Iceland frozen desserts – by the truckload – but only for six days each week. On the 7th day, the rock god rests. But the best bit about this story is how the Mail describes Martin, the internationally acclaimed musician.
“Craves pancakes: Chris Martin, 38”
To Oslo, where the 49 bells in the clocktower on City Hall play Changes by David Bowie and Electricity by Lemmy Kilmister’s Motörhead at 6pm and 7pm respectively. This will continue until May 31st.
Nothing says rebellion like copying someone else.
Even better than that, Kanye is the subject of a ‘source’ who suggests West sees Bowie as a kind of Dr Who figure, an entertainer to be regenerated in any form you like. “He is determined to carry on David’s work as a musical innovator,” says this source. “He says that the torch has been passed to him.”
The one difference is that Bowie would have seen that torch and grasped hold of the hot end.
Madonna sang Rebel Rebel in tribute to David Bowie at one of her shows.
Do we all agree in the right to be different, she asked the crowd? Yeah, we all agree, Madge, they yelled back. Let’s be different!
“It would be my guess that Madonna is not a very happy woman. From my own experience, having gone through persona changes like that, that kind of clawing need to be the center of attention is not a pleasant place to be” – David Bowie
Spotter: Victor Olliver
“Nation’s sweetheart” Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is separated from husband Number 2. Lest anyone be in any doubt as to whose side we should be on in the tale of love undone, the Sun features two stories:
First up is the Sun’s scoop on our Chezza: she’s no longer “so gaunt…that fans were left fearing for her health” (source: the Sun, December 2015). No way. Now she’s “sports toned”:
As for whatshisface well, you should see the company he keeps:
Readers looking at the profile of Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, aka ‘- -‘, may wonder why the Sun fails to also rake over Cheryl’s past. After all, in so part of the attack on – – can we find any evidence that he has been in trouble with the law. Cheryl, on the other hand, has form. She was found guilty of assaulting toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa. Judge Richard Haworth told her:
“This was an unpleasant piece of drunken violence which caused Sophie Amogbokpa pain and suffering. Her eye was painful for three or four weeks, there was bruising for three months and for a while she had blurred vision. You showed no remorse whatsoever.”
The hatchet job against – – runs:
…today we can reveal how JB hid his woman-loving ways from his future wife, appeared to exaggerate his business endeavours, distorted his educational record and even regularly changed his name.
Poor Cheryl Tweety/ Cole / – – !
When he first became involved with Cheryl, the restaurateur tried to remove all traces of his playboy past from the internet.
It included wiping 29 telling photographs from his Instagram account. The pictures, which we publish for the first time today, show him cosying up to various beautiful women, some of whom look strikingly like his future wife… In one image he is being straddled by a woman with her legs wrapped around his neck.
In another he is seen pulling the hair of a woman in a nightclub.
Got one of him punching the nightclub woman in the face? No.
Looks like the gloves have come off in this divorce story.
In an “exclusive” the Star says EastEnders are to bring back Dame Barbra Windsor only to kill her off. Babs, of course, is not going to die on the telly. This is about the character, she plays in the tired BBC soap opera, Peggy Mitchell. She will “Peg Out”.
It’s an ‘exclusive’ exclusive to every newspaper that got the message from the EastEnders PR department: “Peggy’s gonna die. It’s gonna be great.”
On page 7, the Star says Peggy’s death will be “tear-jerking”. Anyone reduced to tears by the trailed death of an occasional soap opera character is in need of urgent help. they should also switch off the magic box and get out, possibly to the actual East End of London, where every gardens square is now surrounded by glassy homes that cost millions of pounds and shops selling reassuringly expensive organic puss.
Newsflash: EastEnders is not a fly-on-the-wall documentary. It’s the BBC’s dystopian vision of what working-class people do.
Says Babs: “Peggy is a character close to my heart… but I need to say goodbye to Peggy once and for all, or she will always be there.”
Good luck with that, Babs. This is EastEnders, where people return from the dead. Although picking them out form the other zombies is tricky.
This might be the most trite David Bowie tribute of the lot. In New Zealand one local paper asks ‘whose shirt are you wearing?’ #davidbowie
Next week: which tin can is your favourite?
David Bowie has been cremated. No pomp. No public show. No national day of mourning. No State funeral. No support of whatever cause has latched onto his life, mutating his daring talent to their own ends and agenda. No educating of morals and mores.
He was cremated in private.