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.
ROCK biopics are always fun, even if they’re not always good. There’s been mixed movies, from The Runaways to The Doors, from Ray to What We Do Is Secret. Even the crappy ones are still worth a look because, even if the storytelling and acting is lousy, at least the music will be great.
And so, we’re looking down the barrel of a Jimi Hendrix biopic and there’s a lot riding on it.
Why? Well, Hendrix was a smooth, fascinating character with a preposterous talent and a gentle soul – that’s not easy to capture. Moreover, Outkast’s brilliant Andre 3000/Benjamin is playing the title role. There’s no-one on Earth who wants this to fail.
LESS than ten years ago, bad album covers suddenly became a “thing”. Sure, there had always been people like me: longtime vinyl enthusiasts who cherished these unholy creations; but, it took the Internet to really generate a widespread appreciation for the “bad album cover”.
So, as the years went on, and collectors far and wide shared their vinyl oddities, a few particularly bad ones rose to the top. To say they went viral would be a stretch; however, it’s safe to say certain albums gained notoriety. Unfortunately, we only had the covers to mock. The actual recordings remained a mystery. You could only imagine what they sounded like, since the owners of these rare gems generally didn’t share the recordings.
But now we have YouTube, where no stone in the vast pop culture landscape gets unturned, no matter how obscure. At last we can not only look, but also listen. So, come along and take a tour through some well-known bad album covers and get a taste for the music they hold. Be prepared: it’s often breathtakingly disappointing….
EVEN though you may have guessed it from his permanently surly face (he’s too cool to smile), Jake Bugg has said he hates music festivals.
And who can blame him? It is filled with people who like watching white men with dreadful haircuts play backward facing dadrock who are too cool to sm… wait a minute!
The pint-sized miserablist said:
“I hate music festivals so much, but obviously to be this high up on the line-up and to be playing [at Glastonbury] is a privilege,” he told NME. “But the actual experience of festivals I could really do without.”
IT is always nice to watch someone successful make a fool of themselves. It isn’t their fault we’re all pathetically jealous, but they’ve got such nice and unusual lives, it is pleasing to find out their stuttering bozos like the rest of us.
Robbie Williams gave a glimpse into how ordinary he can be while embarrassingly breaking a fan’s arm after he fell off the stage during his gig at Newcastle.
THIS week Katie Price was on the radio. She told us:
“I have to confess if there is anything perfect about me, it’s my feet.”
When you look down Katie, those aren’t your feet. Altghough if they are, is this all a peecursor to ‘Feet Sock’ and ‘Feet Stockings’, dressing your feet in go-ahead alternative to bras?
A GRINNING Rolf Harris arrived at Southwark Crown Court, London, by car with a large man in bad suit, three other large men in bad clothes, his daughter Bindi and his neice Jenny.
HALF the time we’re told that the entire country is becoming obese, waddling around with dripping rolls of fat hanging from our frames, the other half the time we’re being screamed at for our unhealthy obsession with being thin. And in that latter conversation we’re also always being told that being thin is very unusual and women of the past were never like that. I mean, look at Marilyn Monroe! Hips and tits on ‘er and she was even an actress!
Today it’s Hannah Betts in the Torygraph whining about it:
Chillingly, a US size 000 measures up to a UK size 0, five sizes smaller than a UK size 10, itself on the smallish side in a culture in which the average British woman is a size 16, and the public’s ideal physique a size 12 (according to YouGov). A US size zero measures 25 inches around the waist; a triple zero, a meagre 23 inches.
It can be difficult to visualise the bodies behind such unvital statistics. My eight-year-old nephew, so lean that he can fit into his baby pyjamas, has a waist of 23.5 inches; his lithe nine-year-old sister, measures 24 inches. The girths of these adult women are smaller, despite their being significantly taller, in a way that seems hardly possible. The average triple zero poster girl stands at 5ft 7in. To be so narrow-framed at this scale is to be emaciated.
A petite therapist friend puts matters into perspective. “I am the smallest person in the world and my childlike waist is about 28 inches,” she says. “I have bought UK size 6 clothes from Topshop’s petite range, which is horrifyingly too small, making me wonder if they require ribs to be removed, or whether it is actual children who wear them. I am truly shocked.”
YOU might think GTA V is the greatest thing since sliced ham, but the game’s Lacey Jonas character has got Lindsay Lohan in a spin alright.
Lacey is a blond celebrity who lives at the Chateau Marment on West Hollywood who is trying to escape the paparazzi all the time and isn’t exactly a virtuous human.
Lindsay Lohan, meanwhile is… well… draw your own conclusions because we don’t want to get involved with her lawyers. Her lawyers a like those badass TV ones. Our lawyers are like Lionel Hutz.
HERE’S a thing.
Arctic Monkeys frontdude Alex Turner, and Rascals pal Miles Kane, have stopped work on their Last Shadow Puppets careers to concentrate on… wait for it… a superhero film.
This is a joke, right?
AFTER the succesful prosecutions of showboi types Rolf Harris, Stewart Hall, Max Clifford but not Jimmy Savile, the Sun seeks to highlight entertiainers who might be engaging in criminality.
The paper leads with news that an alleged rapist has appered before some of our most wholesome TV judges:
A CONTESTANT on The X Factor successfully auditioned in front of Simon Cowell — while on bail over an alleged rape. Show boss Simon and the other judges were unaware the 24-year-old singer who wowed them was under investigation by police.
… judges Simon, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh had no idea he had been arrested and quizzed over a rape alleged to have happened last year.
ANYONE looking to analyse why Rolf Harris molests children can take a look at what he tiold the TV Times in 1974:
“I grew up in the belief that sex was dirty. It was spoken of only behind the boy’s lavatory at school or written with chalk on a wall. All the external freedom I had as a child couldn’t overcome it: inside me it was like a prison.
“I can remember getting a hiding from my mother when I was about four for doing a super drawing of a man with no clothes on – he was standing there absolutely naked and urinating – and my mother didn’t like it. I never saw my father naked although I used to try and see him when he was changing for a swim.
“When I was ten or 11 my mother decided I should see her naked to let me know it was all natural and everything – and we had baths together. But it was too late by then. It just used to embarrass me. Then my mum brought me a book about what any young boy should know and she stayed in the room while I tried to read it, but I was just too embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get out of that room.”
ROCK music is in a weird place at the moment, but thank god for metal. Metal is single-handedly dragging rock music’s lifeless body through the streets, refusing to let it die.
Despite what the Arctic Monkeys say, with their meandering dadrock, metal is the only form of rock that is eschewing all the pouting and posing and charging headlong into everyone with a windmill attack.
And death metal band Unfathomable Ruination have got just the thing to prove how serious metal takes the cause.
They are going to play a gig in an air-tight, soundproof cube until they run out of oxygen. That’s right. They’re going to play until they can’t breathe anymore and their hearts start doing weird things.
The Flying Circus Comes To Town: Python’s hidden gems
THE Flying Circus is back in town, for one last hurrah – or rather a string of them – at London’s O2. The famous old sketches will be enacted again, and the audience will be word-perfect even is the performers aren’t.
The story can be found in a special programme here…
In honour of the reunion, but in the spirit of discovery, we offer a selection of the Pythons’ most obscure back pages….
The album that never was
Monty Python albums weren’t just a way of reliving the sketches in the days before video recorders; they were classics in their own right. Far from being mere cash-ins, they were actually superior to the TV shows, and played a crucial but unsung role in establishing the Monty Python phenomenon.
Back in the day, a generation of schoolboys learned French verbs and poetry by rote, then spent their spare time committing Monty Python sketches to memory in similar dead-parrot fashion, using the tie-in albums and books for homework. Meanwhile in America, where the shows were virtually unknown, the records (on the ‘progressive’ Charisma label) became an integral part of the post-Sixties ‘stoner’ culture. FM djs gave them airplay, and rock stars championed them at every opportunity. They were known as ‘The Pythons’, which sounded like a rock group, and before long they were de facto rock stars themselves, with sell-out live tours and screaming fans. There was even a live album, replete with extra swearing. (The albums were quite risqué, in marked contrast to the strict censorship of the BBC at the time.)
JUXTAPOSITION of the day: Monty Python and the “scandal of dementia patients ‘cut adrift’ after diagnosis” in the i:
GWAR, the greatest band in the whole universe, have had a rough time of it, with key members of the group shrugging off their mortal coil to join the choir invisible.
However, things must continue and they’ve had a truly magnificent idea – GWAR BAR!
Gwar are looking for $50,000 through their Indiegogo page to open their own “gourmet junk food’ restaurant, which will be called, tremendously, ‘Gwar-B-Q’.
And the fun doesn’t end there, as this video will show.
The band promise that their establishment will “change the dining experience in much the same way that Gwar changed the concert-going experience (well, maybe, without quite as much mess).”
THIS weekend, Jonah Hill found himself being chased around by the paparazzi. Nothing new there. However, one of them started mocking him in a bid to provoke a response.
One of them teased Hill, saying: “I like the shorts though, bro. They are pretty sexy.”
It was during this that Hill found he’d had enough. So he shouted something. Something that wasn’t very clever. To the photographer, he spat: “Suck my dick, you faggot!”
Of course, Jonah wasn’t embracing the wonderful diversity of the world by saying that we’re lucky to live in a world where men can suck each other’s dicks, nor indeed, was his use of the word ‘faggot’ a bid to reclaim the word. He was saying: ‘Hey! You made me mad Mr Cameraman! So you know what? I’m going to imply you’re gay because being gay is bad!’
Not sure why you’d order someone you don’t like to fellate you though. That’s never made sense. Imagine if you shouted to one of your detractors – ‘HEY BUDDY! WHY DON’T YOU MAKE SWEET LOVE TO ME UNTIL ONE OF US ORGASMS, HUH?!’
Anyway, one thing is for sure – this whole episode is very disappointing, what with Jonah Hill seeming like a pretty nice guy. So fortunately for fans, he apologised on the Howard Stern show. But was it one of those mealy-mouthed ‘please – accept this! I like earning all these accolades and could do with you not turning on me!’ or was it more a case of ‘I really am sorry and my ears have not stopped burning with embarrassment ever since’?
“This is a heartbreaking situation for me,” said Jonah.
AFTER the mind-melting success of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling is able to do as she pleases. She’s clearly still got a huge love for writing and, as we know, she’s got balls bigger than Godzilla.
So, in her next novel, she’s decided to have a go at those responsible for phone-hacking.
Rowling’s second crime thriller (which is written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith) will use her own experiences under oath at the Leveson Inquiry after she suffered at the hands of press intrusion.
INDIE. There’s a funny word. In music terms, it used to mean ‘signed to an independent’ label. That meant bands signed with Stock Aitken & Waterman would be in the weekly indie charts. However, at some point, ‘indie’ meant ‘a specific type of rock music’.
Indie credentials have never really been clear, but basically, what it seems to mean is this: Bands comprised mainly of white men or women, playing with one or two guitars, a bass, a drumkit and possibly a keyboard player – throwback 50s/60s haircuts preferred.
WHEN Wu Tang first exploded on the scene, they were smart, funny, dangerous, brutal, angry, fierce and not exactly entry-level hip hop.
However, after a dazzling run of solo LPs and the classic Wu debut ’36 Chambers’, they soon became rap royalty and no-one could touch the RZA, the GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah and the M.E.T.H.O.D. Man.
ROLF Harris is the sexual predator who hid in plain view. Everything the Australian artist/singer did is now shrouded in his crimes. You can read about his depravity here.
Rolf spent a lot of time with other people’s children.
He was educating them. Uncle Rolf, you see, just loved to help.
We’ve pulled together a gallery of 22 ways in which Rolf Harris presented himself as lovable man you could trust. But if you look now, it’s wonder he got away with for so long. He really is remarkably creepy:
ROLF Harris has been found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault against four victims, including a teenage friend of his daughter Bindi and a seven year-old fan.
Everything he ever did in life is now darkened by his depravity.
Since news of Harris’s arrest emerged last year, the NSPCC has received 28 calls relating to the entertainer, 13 of which were from women who claimed to have been sexually abused by him.
At the height of his sexual offending, the disgraced star fronted an NSPCC-affiliated child abuse awareness video, which was widely shown in British schools.
He hid in plain view – right to the end:
Denying all charges, Harris tried to entertain the court by singing snippets of one of his well-known songs.
Hearing that, I thought of that scene in Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, where the underage girl forced into prostitution blocks out the pain of her horrific rape at the hands of a sordid old man by singing a nursery rhyme to herself:
There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,
He had three whiskers on his chinnegan,
The wind came up and blew them in ag’in,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag’in)
Harris is now redrawn as a saddist. The Times notes:
In week three of the trial, wearing one of his iridescent purple ties, he told a journalist that she was wearing a lovely blouse.
He sat doodling pictures of the jury. He regaled them with jokes. This was lovable Rolf who had just hugged young girls:
Harris had a “technique”, Wass [prosectuing] told the court. The indecent assault that he had inflicted in the towel and come-and-see-my-paintings incidents, for instance, had involved him inserting his fingers into the teenage girls’ vaginas, so unexpectedly they weren’t sure what was happening. Sometimes he would spit on his fingers first; always he would behave afterwards as if nothing had happened.
“We see that technique of yours, the hug followed by the indecent touching in many victims of the case,” said Wass: “Sexual molestation disguised as a friendly hug.”
Harris is a manipulative, predatory liar.
A witness who worked as an executive on Rolf’s BBC show Animal Hospital told the court: “Rolf is a hugger. Rolf is kind, he’s affectionate. [He'd tell a stranger] My God you’re beautiful in a non-sexual way.”
Uncle Rolf just loves praising women on their dress sense. He told the 13-year-old he really loved her bikini. He told a woman journalist outside the court, he just loved her blouse.
Had he sexually assaulted a girl in Cambridge back in 1978? He said he’d never been there. But one woman had a video recording of Harris appearing in a TV show called Star Games. It was filmed in Cambridge, back in 1978.
The video was played to the court.
Sasha Wass QC, for the Crown, had a question:
“When you told the jury with such confidence last week on Tuesday that you had never been to Cambridge until four years ago, that was a deliberate lie, wasn’t it?”
Harris: “It wasn’t. I had no idea. I don’t think any of us knew.”
Wass: “Nobody knew they were in Cambridge?”
Harris: “None of the stars knew. I was there but I didn’t know it was Cambridge.”
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard, who led the investigation against Harris, told media:
“Rolf Harris has habitually denied any wrongdoing, forcing his victims to recount their ordeal in public. He committed many offences in plain sight of people as he thought his celebrity status placed him above the law.”
Stefanie Marsh writes of Harris’ abuse of his daughter’s freind, which had begun when she was 13:
In his second statement to the police, Harris conceded that it had happened more than once — in the dock he explained that he’d been too embarrassed to discuss such matters in front of “two very attractive” female members of his legal team. But the “affair” — barring the fact that he’d hidden it from his family for umpteen years, and that he’d been 40 when it had started — had been thoroughly above board and, he said, “stemmed from a feeling of love”: the alleged victim had definitely been over 18. Besides, she was the one who had “started it”, he would later say with the faint air of a victim. One morning, as was his habit, friendly old Rolf had innocently brought her a cup of tea in the bedroom she was sharing with Bindi, and she had grabbed his elbow and pulled up the covers to show him her bare leg. “I touched her leg. My heart was thumping like mad . . .”
“If you can put this Mills & Boon scenario into context,” Wass interrupted tartly, “In 1983 Mr Harris was 53, he had known [the alleged victim] since the age of 2.”
“Did it occur to you you could be misreading the signals?” she asked Harris at one point.
“One doesn’t think about the alternatives,” Harris had said.
TERRY-Thomas had arrived. It wasn’t exactly overnight but most people thought so. It was 1946 and he was compèring a revue called Piccadilly Hayride at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The revue, its star Sid Fields and the gap-toothed compère were a tremendous success – critically and with the paying public. Within three or four weeks of the run the newspapers were already reporting that Terry Thomas (the hypen was to arrive the following year) was to appear in that year’s Royal Variety Performance.
IF the Seventies proved a fertile time for imaginative horror filmmakers, the 1980s very much represented a new age of plenty, a span wherein every idea that had worked in a movie once before was hauled out a second, third and sometimes fourth time.
And because of the home video revolution and VHS technology, new filmmakers had the opportunity to get their movies seen by more eyes than ever before.
In terms of the decade’s horror then, there was more of everything to enjoy: more slasher films, more Jaws films, and more holiday-themed horrors too.
STING, as we know, is an incredibly smug man. Not surprising really, given that he’s got shedloads of money, a talented and “occasional aviation-fuel” using wife and everyone thinks he’s really good at the sex. It’d be nigh-on impossible not to think highly of yourself if you take all that into consideration.
However, his kids might not think much of him as he’s showing them the meaning of money and achievement by cutting them out of his will.
Sting’s sat on £180m and he doesn’t want his children to have it.