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.
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.
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.
David Bowie is being praised in death by such unlikely sources as the BBC, Daily Mail and every other media outfit who favours the safe over the daring.
The Daily Star is leading calls for a State Funeral.
When did David Bowie become the Queen Mother? He never drank that much…
Sad news in the world of romance: BBC TV presenter and former England footballer Gary Lineker, 55, is no longer in love with his wife, the thrusting Danielle, 36. They have agreed a financial settlement “agreeable to both parties”, says a source in the Star.
The Star thought it important enough to appear on its front page, replacing news of a doctors’ striker with an advert-styled “Lineker divorces today”:
The Sun features the story on its Page 3, the place famously given over to topless stunnas. Phwaor – gerraloadofGaz!
Gary – vital stats: 55-£200m-4kids – is available.
Danielle Linker, formerly Danielle Bux, is away.
In the Times’ Births, Marriages and Deaths, an announcement has been made: Jerry Hall is to marry Rupert Murdoch. What the billionaire sees in the mother of four we cannot be cerain. But there it is.
You can imagine Murdoch booking the advert in his own paper.
Times: BM & Ds. Hello…
RM: It’s about Rupert Murdoch..
Times: He’s had a baby?
RM: Not yet. He’s having a babe. It’s Jerry Hall. She’s marrying Rupert Murdoch.
Times: Murdock. With a ‘ck’?
RM: Naw! CH you dozy bint.
Times: Jerry, as in Jeremy?
RM: I’m no nooftah! It’s JERRY! It’s a girl’s name.
There will be cynics who knock and lampoon the man and the woman. But love will out.
David Bowie died at the wrong time for the dead-tree Press. The New York Times told us it was a good time to be Bowie. The Daily Mail went for a hatchet job, penned by Jan Moir.
Even the advert is wrong:
The British dead tree Press utterly missed David Bowie’s death. The USA had a few hours more to digest news of the Thin White Duke’ passing. And it still managed to balls it up:
‘Nation’s Sweetheart’ Cheryl Cole has split from husband number 2. He’s called Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, aka –, an ambulatory hyphen magnet whose been married to Cheryl for a whole 18 months.
News in the Mirror is that he does no want his wife cash.
Cheryl can keep the pounds – and, boy, she could do them.
The Mirror hears from an unnamed source who says of JB F-V: “There is no question of him taking her to the cleaners. He says he doesn’t want Cheryl’s money and is happy to end things quickly and amiably.”
We never do get to hear from –, which leaves the Mail to take a different approach. It leads with “Now for the battle over Cheryl’s £20m fortune.” They says he could take away £8m.
In a fight, the easy money would be on — delivering the knock-out blow. But Cheryl half form with cleaners, whether they be estranged husbands taking her to meet them or nightclub toilet workers.