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.
THE results are not yet known. We do not know the take-up rate on the drive to make babies on National Day in Singapore this August 9 . The music to procreate by was supplied by Mentos Singapore and BBH Asia Pacific, the rap including such lyrics as:
“As a Singaporean citizen you’ll be doing your civic duty if you forget about the condoms after the fireworks and the parades are all over with. So let’s get fu**ing, shall we?”
“Let’s not watch fireworks, let’s make ‘em instead”
“Singapore’s population, it needs some increasin’ / So forget wavin’ flags, on August 9th we be freaking,”
“Exploring your body like the Night Safari / We gotta go all the way for Singapore”
“It’s National Night, so let’s make some fireworks ignite / It’s National Night, let’s make Singapore’s birthrate spike”
ON Christmas Day 1977, the Sex Pistols were to Huddersfield for the Sex Pistols Christmas Party. All the cool children were at Ivanhoes to see the Postils play a benefit show for the families of striking firemen and miners. Johhny Rotten served cake to the children of striking miners who thew it back in his face.
WHAT’S the secret of a great British pop song? Daniel Rachel talks to The Jam’s Paul Weller and others:
“Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” revealed your sophistication and depth as a songwriter. Can you describe the evolution of that song and your changing ability to hone in on the small and the particular?
That started as a long prose-poem thing, like a short story in a way. It came from my insecurity and paranoia at being in London. I didn’t have any music for it. I was in two minds whether to do it. I was coaxed and talked into it by Vic Smith, our producer at the time. He was saying: “This is really good, you should try and set it to music.” The attention to the details is part of the person I am anyway, but it’s also bound up in the mod ethos which is predominantly all about attention to detail. We were talking about English songwriters: it’s picking up on the mundane, the everyday things and putting them, into a different setting, the very, very ordinary feelings, emotions or details that, once in song, you hear them in a different way. Without something too poncey or pretentious I was thinking about pop artists as well, where they took the everyday objects and made them into art. I don’t think it’s that dissimilar.
What was the appeal in chronicling the mundane?
It’s a very English thing, the way we all like to moan about the weather or we like a cup of tea or a particular f***ing biscuit and all that nonsense, but it’s us. It’s our identity, isn’t it?
THE world of rock music is a dreary place at the moment and one of the few likeable bands on the circuit are Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys. Whether you like their music or not, they seems to stand for something rather good. They’re defenders of the working classes without being boorish. They’ve always had half decent haircuts. They have fuzz pedals.
And in an interview on Newsnight, AM’s frontboy Alex Turner got onto pop music.
Turner defended the existence of X Factor:
“People get too angry about X Factor and talent shows. Just let them get on with it; you need that to kick against. People talk about how that’s ruined everything but there’s always been shitty pop music,whether it came from a television show or not.”
MICHAEL Le Vell had to prove his innocence. The Daily Mirror reserved a special place on its front page for the man who works as an actor on Coronation Street. The Mirror used words like “truth” and guilty” to report on Le Vell as he was tried for child sex crimes.
Le Vell’s aunt Pat Gallier, 67, told media:
‘The police seem to be arresting celebrities and accusing them of child-sex offences without seeming to check if there’s enough evidence. Michael’s been caught up in this witch-hunt. This has changed him – people will never look at him the same again.”
She’s right. As Brendan says:
I’ve been waiting for weeks to say what complete bullshit this case seemed to be. It had flashes of false memory syndrome, therapeutic fantasy, and of course post-Savile hysteria about abusive celebs. Thank God for juries, an oasis of reason in a mad world.
A CPS spokesman said:
“This case was reviewed in great detail. On the basis of the reviews the CPS concluded that there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. Whilst the CPS needs to consider if a conviction is realistic, the jury needs to be sure that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. We of course respect the verdicts they have reached today…”
‘There has been a fundamental shift in the way that we assess the credibility of the alleged victims in these cases, as demonstrated by the Savile and recent grooming cases such as that in Rochdale, but the evidential test remains the same.”
The shift being that all adults are now mistrusted.
The Indy notes:
In June a jury at Liverpool Crown Court took just 29 minutes to clear former Coronation Street actor Andrew Watkinson who played Frank Foster of four counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy in the 1990s.
Now cleared, the Press react with a few puns and rhymes. Only the Daily Mail leads with the important question: why did this case ever come before a jury in the first place
The Indy rhymes Le Vell with Hell:
The Sun clumsily works in a brand endorsement
The Mirror gets poetic about “Corrie Kev”
I’ve lost two years of my life
to this hgell
but at last it’s over
says Michael Le Vell
And the Mail gets it
The Mail offers some background to the case:
As Le Vell walked free, it emerged that the CPS initially ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge him after his arrest in September 2011. But the decision of Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor in the North West, not to prosecute was over-ruled by Alison Levitt QC, the principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions for England. The victim’s mother made a formal complaint in February 2012 and asked for the decision to be reviewed. The girl also made further allegations and the actor was charged in February this year.
The Mail adds:
After his initial arrest in September 2011, the actor was the subject of an intense police investigation. The alleged victim was interviewed on video by specialist officers trained to deal with such cases and she told them about the abuse and rape in detail. The DPP’s Principal Legal Advisor, Alison Levitt QC (left) overruled Chief Crown Prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, (right) who had decided there was insufficient evidence to charge le Vell with any of the abuse or rape allegationsAfter the police investigation had been concluded a file of evidence was passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service North West.
Both parties were both told of this decision in late December 2011 and Le Vell was said to be ‘relieved and delighted’ at the decision. However the victim’s mother was said to be furious and after speaking with police officers she made a formal complaint against the CPS in February 2012. The girl also returned to the police in March 2012 told them she had forgotten to mention other rapes she had suffered at the hands of the actor.
The Jimmy Savile sex scandal erupted in October 2012 causing a wholesale re-evaluation of sex cases, particularly those offences against children.
The CPS tells us:
“She [Levitt] concluded that there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that the earlier decision not to prosecute should be overturned. In addition the victim made further allegations to the police in March 2012 which were investigated by the police. The Principal Legal Advisor also reviewed this additional evidence and in February 2013 authorised that the defendant be charged with 19 offences in total. All victims now have the right, if they are concerned about a decision not to charge, to ask for the case to be looked at again. This process enabled the CPS to re-review this case, to consider the evidence afresh including some further allegations by the victim, and to bring charges.”
A “legal source” tells the Telegraph:
“There was not a shred of evidence to support the girl’s claims. There was a basic lack of evidence. I have never known a case such as this to go to court with no evidence he had any interest in child pornography or other telling indicators.
There was not even the remotest suggestion from anyone, other than the alleged victim, that he had even looked oddly at a child – let alone had a sexual interest in children. Any professional jury would have cleared him but in a court trial you can sometimes be swayed by emotion and not fact.”
The Times reported this nugget of courtroom drama:
She said her daughter spoke about the alleged abuse after attending a self-help conference and that her daughter was “very calm” and told her that she remembered the alleged attacks “all the time”…
The witness said: “In the car she said, ’It’s happened a lot more than I’m making out Mummy. It’s a lot worse.’
“She said, Mummy, you don’t want to know.”’
…the burden of proof required to bring a prosecution has seemingly been lightened to a degree that simply does not serve justice. This is especially true when the abuse is not recent: in the Le Vell case, a rape at the age of six is being alleged in court by someone who is 17; in Savile’s case, not to mention the rash of cases that followed, the time between alleged abuse and serious police action was even longer.
So although I don’t doubt that some of the ‘victims’ in these cases are telling the truth, I simply do not believe they all are.
Meanwhile, the mantra that ‘we must listen to what children say’ has subtly changed to ‘we must believe what children say’. The police and the CPS, knowing this, bring flimsy cases – like Le Vell’s – that should never have seen the light of day.
So another career bites the dust, and another man – heart, soul and reputation – is ruined.
What about the alleged victim, who wasn’t?
Duncan Barkes asks: “Should the law change to grant anonymity to those charged with sex offences?”
Jerry Wright notes:
“It must be awful to be accused of something you haven’t done, facing a nightmare of twelve months knowing your innocent, but trying to find any proof that you were not at the scene of an alleged crime. Mr Le Vell, 48, who plays Kevin Webster in Coronation Street had denied 12 charges in total, telling the jury he was “fighting for his life” During the trial Mr Le Vell admitted he was an alcoholic who had a series of one-night stands throughout his 25-year marriage. What makes my blood boil is, his name, his career, his personal details were all made public, and the accuser was kept secret, as the girl is still a teenager, and her parents too, who no doubt wanted just to cash in on Mr le Vell’s celebrity status!”
The accuser is afforded lifetime anonymity.
The last words are Le Vell’s, who told the court:
“I’m like a lost soul and I still want to get to the bottom of why this has happened to me and why I’m being accused of this, because I know none of this happened. I have been walking around for the last two years just not knowing.”
Such are the facts…
NEVER, in the history of humankind, has someone from Ireland been sent into space… unless you count the people who think they’ve been there after losing their sight and minds drinking poitín cut with antifreeze.
However, that’s all about to change as Bob Geldof is all set to become the first Irishman to travel into space when he spends $100,000 on a ticket for the inaugural Space Expedition Corporation (Sxc) commercial flight next year.
SPARE a thought for Michael Le Vell, or “Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, as he is known. The 48-year-old has been cleared of 12 child sex abuse charges, including rape.
Michael Turner, to use his real name, is the victim. His accuser, said he’d attacked her from six until she was 14. She remains anonymous.
He stood in a glass dock for all to see.
ANROAK is unsure what you make of Miley Cyrus but we’re warming to her. Cyrus is tapping into the problem of being a famous face in the modern age: why wait for paparazzi to shock tour fans with photos of you being a berk when you can best them to it. Take control, Miley.
Here she is posing with dwarves:
REMEMBER when everyone didn’t think Susan Boyle could sing because she wasn’t a young woman with an attractive face, wearing a snapback cap hi-tops? Then she sang with that soaring Radio 2 voice and everyone felt a bit bad, before continuing to continually talk about her looks because we’d learned nothing?
Well, while everyone has been working out whether they’re arseholes or not, Susan has been conquering the world with her easy-listening, raking in huge amounts of cash and forgetting all about us sausage roll dribbling plebs who have to queue up for things and worry about our mobile bills.
PIPPA Middleton has a new arse, and she’s keen to show it off to one and all.
JAMES Blunt says he prevented World War III. How so? Were his song splayed on loop across the battlefields until everyone agreed to stop shooting?
Blunt says that when in Kosovo he disobeyed an order to shoot at Russian troops who had arrived first at Pristina airfield. It was 1999.
British Gen Sir Mike Jackson backed him by saying:
“I’m not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War III.”
THE original RoboCop movie was a tense, bleak affair and any notion of remaking it was going to set everyone’s phasers to ‘uh-oh’. With that, the release of the trailer for the new movie will inevitably swing people either way.
Of course, there’ll be haters… but they’re wrong. That’s because the new RoboCop looks ACE!
Joel Kinnaman replaces Peter Weller as Murphy, who goes from Injured Cop to Super Cool Robot Cop.
There’s a fun cast too, including Samuel L. Jackson (of course), Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton (welcome back!), plus Abby Cornish as Murphy’s wife.
The new trailer shows loads of things getting shot, blown up and punched, which is all well and good, but the best bit is when Michael Keaton basically says ‘let’s make him look more bad-ass by making RoboCop’s suit black’.
There’s also a lovely ‘who is in control of the technology? The machine or man?’ which we’ll no doubt be able to read into, concerning our own technological habits… but mainly, it looks like it’ll be a hoot with loads of fighting and a cool baddie.
RoboCop should be released on Feb. 7, 2014. Here’s the trailer.
Photo :Michael Keaton, left, Samuel L. Jackson, center, and Joel Kinnaman attend the “RoboCop” panel on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19, 2103 in San Diego.. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
One Direction fans threaten to kill Aston Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor for tackling puking Louis Tomlinson
ASTON Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor has been the subject of death threats on Twitter following his tackle on One Direction and Doncaster Rovers’ Louis Tomlinson at charity football match for former Villa and Celtic man Stan Petrov who was diagnosed with leukaemia.
After the forward’s challenge, Tomlinson went to the sidelines and threw up.
The One Direction fans duly moved on from threatening to murder GQ magazine staffers by threatening to murder a professional footballer:
“@gabby_10 This guy hurt Louis knee. I shall hurt your face. I better hear that you apologized or I will find you, and I will kill you.”
SONG of the week: Samantha met Doe de Waddy Waddy.
Samantha seems to be the one in the middle, who looks like John Terry wrapped in old Leeds United flag. The backing signer are dressed by Woman at Grammar for Genitals, a kind of Dutch Caps Lock:
IN this Flashback, we look at State Disasters. The show doesn’t always go on
Beyoncé’s bad hair day had a happy ending – she extricated herself from the fan (mechanical, rather than maniacal in this case).
And at least she had the good humour to see the funny side afterwards – other victims of onstage disasters certainly didn’t. And one didn’t even live to tell the tale…
Early signs of the Pink Floyd front-man’s mental disintegration were apparent in 1967. That year he appeared on stage with an entire tube of Brylcreem in his hair into which – according to some accounts – he had crushed a handful of Mandrax tablets. Mandies or not, the lotion melted under the lights, leaving him looking like ‘a guttered candle’. The song Vegetable Man (unreleased) reflected Syd’s self-loathing at the time…
Arthur’s bad hair was in a league of its own, thanks to his famous flaming helmet, worn in honour of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s solitary hit, Fire. Its precursor – a colander soaked in methanol – was less successful. The fuel soaked into his scalp and set his head alight at the Windsor Festival in 1967. The fire was put out with beer.
The pioneering British rocker is remembered for two things: his classic single Brand new Cadillac and the mental problems, exacerbated by LSD and booze, which led to incidents such as declaring himself the apostle Matthew at one of his London concerts.
David Bowie was a friend of Taylor’s, and recalls encountering Taylor lying on the pavement in Caring Cross Road, studying a map of Europe and pointing out where UFOs would be landing. He later based the character of Ziggy Stardust on Taylor.
So many to choose from, not least the time he overdosed and fell unconscious twice during a 1973 Who concert in California. After the second incident, Pete Townshend asked if there was a drummer in the audience, and the volunteer played the rest of the set.
Possibly the most spectacular mishap occurred when Moon detonated some powerful fireworks in his drum kit after the band’s 1967 appearance on the Smothers Brothers show. The explosion (7.20 onwards in the clip below) genuinely stunned the hosts, and is blamed by Townshend for his subsequent hearing problems.
December 1971 was a bad month for the Mothers of Invention. First their equipment was set on fire by a flare fired from the audience during an appearance at the Casio de Montreux. The casino was razed to the ground, and, as a final indignity, the fire inspired Deep Purple to write Smoke on the Water.
Later that month a fan pushed Zappa off the stage at London’s Rainbow Theatre. He fell into the concrete orchestra pit, sustaining serious injuries to his head, neck, back and legs, and crushing his larynx. He was wheelchair-bound for a long period afterwards and his voice deepened significantly.
The rock poet ‘did a Zappa’ in 1977, with a 15 foot fall into an orchestra pit in Tampa. She broke several vertebrae.
One Direction’s young shaver was hit squarely in the other kind of ‘orchestra stalls’ by a shoe hurled from the audience during a performance in Glasgow earlier this year.
The Welsh rockers suffered a less dramatic shock in 2004 when Kelly Jones and Richard Jones were electrocuted at the Bataclan in Paris. Sparks flew but the band played on.
The Nirvana bassist failed to catch his instrument after throwing it in the air during the 1992 Music Video Awards. Apparently he still has a dent in his head.
In 201o, Iggy Pop dived at the New York crowd; and missed.
“When I landed it hurt and I made a mental note that Carnegie Hall would be a good place for my last stagedive. The audience were just like, ‘What are you doing?'”
The mother of all stage accidents occurred the following year during a Stone The Crows gig the Top Rank Suite in Swansea. Les Harvey (brother of The Sensational Alex) touched an unearthed microphone with wet hands and was killed on the spot.
Our favourite. Life imitates art as the Irish megastars suffer a Spinal Tap moment – trapped inside a 40ft mechanical lemon. When the fruit malfunctioned the band were forced to clamber out of the back during their PopMart tour in Oslo.
IN this acting masterclass, we look at how to eat a hard boiled egg.
WHEN the NME announced “Happy Mondays’ Bez criticised by Bromley Beekeeping Association”, we wondering if the man who masked the sound of his pills ion his tum-tum by shaking maracas wherever he went had upstaged Bill Wyman, famous for his metal detecting.
As Wyman told Goldmine magazine:
“Metal-detecting is not just for anoraks or eccentrics; it’s probably the best and the most enjoyable way of learning about our history. On any garden, country field, footpath, woodlands, beach or moor land you can find a huge variety of historical objects, all easily located with this high quality metal detector.”
Says Bez who bought his first hive for £50 off “some fella”:
“My grandad, when he came home from the war, the only thing he came home with was four massive tins of honey and ever since honey has been part of our family life – on our cereal and in our tea.”
Can it be that the more rock ‘n’ roll the youth, the more mundane and nerdy the later years become?
HOW did Stanley Kubrick like his French toast? Thankfully, the director left clear instructions:
You must understand that without the French toast I am no good to the cast and crew. And I will not eat the French toast if it is not prepared the right way. If I do not eat the French toast, my blood sugar will drop to precariously low levels, and I will be groggy and unable to make the necessary split-second decisions a director has to make in order for a film to be successful. Therefore, it is essential that you understand something about the French toast: it is not only my breakfast, it is the film. To prepare the French toast in the manner prescribed is to keep the film on time and under budget.
The gentleman before you did not seem to understand this basic concept. The connection was utterly lost on him, which is why he was sacked with extreme prejudice.
He did not also understand that both sides of the French toast must have a crust. You can’t have one side that is crispy and then another side that is soggy. I will not eat a soggy piece of French toast. Therefore, both sides must be equally toasted. The only way to accomplish this is to sear the bread. The heat on the burner must be turned all the way to the right. After dredging the bread through the egg wash (please refer the entry on eggs before attempting this) and wiping away any excess, you must place the bread into the already heated pan, and then wait for exactly 24 seconds. Then flip the bread over, using the approved, Teflon-coated spatula you have been provided with. Wait another 24 seconds, after which you must turn the heat to low. And when I say low, I mean turn the heat all the way down until the flame is but the merest flicker. If the heat is not at it’s absolute lowest, the crust on the French toast will turn a darker shade of brown, almost black, and while it is perfectly acceptable to eat a piece of French toast with slightly blackened crust marks, it is not aesthetically pleasing, at least not to my eye.
Chestnut brown crust marks are an indication that great care has gone into preparing the French toast, and above all, this is what concerns me the most: that you care. You must care about the French toast. If you don’t care about the French toast, then perhaps you don’t care about anything is my train of thought on the matter, and if you don’t care about anything, then working for me doesn’t seem feasible, as I have an insatiable desire to be surrounded by people who care as much as I do. Before I move on to what kind of vanilla extract you should use (as well as the amount [please note that I have found a supplier in Madagascar who is willing to provide me with high-quality vanilla beans, but we are still in negotiations, an affair filled with an unusual amount of sturm und drang. I won’t bore you with the details right now since they have no bearing on the matter at hand, although I will confess that a sticking point in the negotiations seems to be the manufacturer’s delusion that I can set him up with a weekend in Ibiza with Sue Lyon]), I mustn’t forget to tell you that only one type of bread will do in the matter of the French toast.
There is a bakery in Sussex that I have found (through great trial and error, of course) that makes small, crusty loaves which are perfect for making French toast. Not many people know about this bakery, and I would like to keep it this way (please see the confidentiality agreement attached to this memo). I have contacted the owners of this bakery and persuaded them to leave aside three loaves a week for me. My driver will take you to the bakery on Monday morning. You will have to wear a blindfold to and from the bakery. My driver will help you into the car and out of the car, leading you to the front door of the bakery, where my loaves will be ensconced in a paper bag. My driver will put the bag in your hands and you will hold onto the bag for dear life on the drive back to my estate. Normally I would just have my driver pick up the loaves, but my driver has a very obsessive and disturbing relationship with bread. The blindfold will be removed once you are back in the kitchen. Please remove one loaf from the paper bag and set aside the other two.
When cutting the bread, please do not use anything other than a serrated edge. Perhaps now would be a good time to discuss knives.
LAST night’s premier of the Princess Diana romance featured no Royals, no Paul Burrell, no Tony Blair, no white Fiat Uno, three members of the SAS, Mr and Mrs Grassy Knoll, not Princess Diana’s lover Hasnat Khan (“It is based on gossip and Diana’s friends talking about a relationship that they didn’t know much about”), lots of paparazzi, “a squirmingly embarrassing script” (Times) , “car crash cinema” (Guardian) and Kathy Lette holding up a bag that we hope had a sick-proof lining loaded with irony:
NAOMI WATTS is plugging her new film, Her Last Love, the story of her rumoured love affair with Dr Hasnat Khan:
“There were definitely moments when I felt Diana’s presence – I dreamed about her a lot, too, and that’s a first,’ says Naomi Watts. ‘I kept wondering to myself: “Would she have liked it?” So I found myself constantly asking for her permission to carry on. I had saturated myself with Diana and her life and I felt this enormous responsibility of playing this iconic woman. It felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted. That won’t sound right in print, I know.”
THIS really does take the cake:
Dance music empire the Ministry of Sound is suing music streaming service Spotify to protect the value of its compilation albums, in an unusual test case of European intellectual property law.
The legendary clubbing empire launched proceedings in the UK High Court on Monday. It wants an injunction requiring Spotify to remove the playlists and also wants the music streaming service to permanently block other playlists that copy its compilations. The company is also seeking damages and costs.
No, they’re not suing them over having copied the music: Spotify already has all the licences it needs from the record companies. It’s not even something that Spotify is doing: it’s the users who are creating the playlists.
IN a move that in no way shows you that those who ‘talk’ to the dead are charging for something that’s a complete crock, Derek Acorah has using his ‘skills’ to read people just by looking at their phones.
The medium – known for Living TV’s Most Haunted and his impossibly bright teeth – teamed up with TalkTalk to spend the day asking members of the public to lend them their handsets.
Acorah surprised/frightened shoppers as he appeared to reveal personal details about their lives.
“I know you like music,” he told one woman, before she revealed that she’s an opera singer. Not that ‘you like music’ applies to anyone who have functioning ears.
Have a look at Acorah in action before asking yourself if you could sleep at night carrying on like that.
SO. What did happily married singer Robin Thicke say to Lana Scolaro (see above)? Lana Scolaro, 20, tells Life & Style that he allegedly said:
“I just love the fact that you’re so young.”
THIS bizarrely Christian bit of the world we live in has made it difficult for anyone not-straight to do as they please. Quite why anyone would be interested in someone’s genital interest is a quandary. Surely religious types shouldn’t worry themselves about it all, shouting ‘GOD HATES FAGS’ and threatening people with damnation – surely, if God exists, he’ll sort it out when they die or hit sinner with a plague or something?
One sticky area (don’t be so dirty) is coming out. People worry that their parents will disown them, react badly or worse still, act all groovy and say something irritatingly twee about the Kinsey Scale.
And so, with that, David Walliams has decided to throw his oar in.
OVER in Yorkshire, there’s a fall-down funny group of rappers called SY Cypher. They freestyle in a self deprecating manner, often threatening to shoot each other with guns they clearly don’t have. Their videos have been hilarious and canny, but alas, no more.
The group had to make all their videos private after they got much more attention than they bargained for, after Coronation Street/Hollyoaks alumni Chris Fountain decided to get in on the act. Appearing masked as ‘The Phantom’, Fountain did a lousy rap with a heap of crass jokes, which regrettably included something about rape.