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.
US singer, Chris Brown, who once beat up his then lover Rihanna, wants Australians to overlook his criminal past and let him visit the country. He reached out via Twitter:
“I would be more than grateful to come to Australia, to raise awareness about domestic violence. I’m not the pink elephant in the room any more.”
Surely, he’d raise the issue higher in the serious stakes by staying banned. And as for being a pink beast in Australia, well, the competition to get noticed is stiff:
More news on Cathriona White, who died earlier in what looks a lot like a suicide. Having pretty much ignored the body to focus on the fact that White once dated Hollywood actor Jim Carrey, the Sun today writes:
EXCLUSIVE: Carrey suicide ex-girl was missing family
JIM Carrey’s tragic ex-girlfriend Cathriona White had become embroiled in the bizarre Hollywood cult of Scientology, pals revealed last night.
Actor Jim Carrey’s ex-lover has died.
The Sun brings the news of “JIM’S SHOCK” at “CARREY LOVER’S SUICIDE”.
See if you can spot her name. Did she even have an identity pre or post Carrey?
The dead woman is “Irish Cathriona, 30”.
On the paper’s website, we get just as little:
She is “Carrey’s girl”:
The dead woman was called Cathriona White.
The Sun wants readers to know that BBC DJ Steve Wright is not slim. The paper’s Bizarre columns notes:
RADIO 2 favourite Steve Wright appears to have increased the bandwidth of his trousers again.
Look, everyone, it’s Steve Wright from the show Steve Wright In The Afternoon, aka the Sun’s…
It’s Steve Wright CHIN the afternoon
Not too long ago the Sun’s “Head of Showbiz” Dan Wootton – read him every day in Bizarre – was cheering on his ‘No More Skinny’ drive, calling for fatter models and the end to the skinny obsession “madness” that does “so much damage to our body-conscious youngsters”.
Wootton wanted to end the cult of skinny models. He invited not-skinny reality TV star Gemma Collins to tell his readers:
“Encouraging girls to be thin is no way to produce a generation of confident healthy women”
Singer Alexandra Burke added:
Beauty should not be defined by waist inches.
The Sun told us that what went for women was true for men:
Around 15-20 per cent of those affected by eating disorders are male. Over 300,000 men were hospitalised with an eating disorder last year. For help and support, visit Men Get Eating Disorders Too at Mengetedstoo.co.uk.
Wootton told us how great he was:
Despite being a Sun man through and through, I’m also about as far from the tabloid stereotype as you can get. I only moved to the UK from my homeland of New Zealand when I was an adult. I’m also gay – something I’ve been open about since my first job on Fleet Street when I was 23.
I’ve also very openly struggled with my weight for the last decade, with fluctuations of up to four stone across a 12-month period pretty normal for me. As a result, when I became a showbiz columnist I made it a policy to never comment negatively on the weight of a celebrity. This was a sea change from previous male showbiz columnists who didn’t have the same background as me.
So why does the Sun’s showbiz team think it fine to mock Steve Wright?
You can The Mary Tyler Moore Masturbation Society, the group created by James J. Kagel of Cleveland, Ohio. Proving our theory that any weirdness you’ve thought of someone else has formed a group for, Kagel invites other fans of Mary Tyler Moore’s “beautifully curved, ever so shapely, silken, creamy smooth, seductive, velvety soft, long, lean, graceful, tantilizing [sic], erotic, sinuously sexy LEGS” to join him in a tribute toss.
Kagel’s interest in MTM began when he watched The Dick Van Dyke Show as a lad.
There’s chance, of course, that you already know all this, being as you are a member of MTM Legs (“for your jacking pleasure”).
Spotter: Richard Metzger
Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin is a man for hire. Anyone seeking mates and funsters for a Stag Do can hire the former children’s telly entertainer:
He’s been at the top of his game since he first burst energetically onto the screen in Swap Shop and remains one of the nation’s favourite stars.
DJ, presenter, host, actor singer and raconteur, Cheggers is one of life’s natural performers and a top bloke to have as part of your stag party. His boundless energy, quick fire gags and fearless attitude make him the perfect guest at any gathering. He also has a reputation as something of a party animal and will fit in happily as ‘one of the lads’.
Why? It’s utterly bizarre, no? I love star spotting. If saw Cheggers in the supermarket or pub I’d nudge whoever I was with are invite them to share my enthusiasm. But to actually have him come over and sit with you, play games and lark about is weird and desperate. It might work if you all get Keith Chegwin masks, including him.
You decide your activity, tell us your destination and we’ll check availability to include Cheggers as a surprise guest to join in one of our great stag challenges such as;
Clay Pigeon Shooting
You can line up for action alongside this TV icon and set Cheggers as you [sic] target of excellence, those that score more than Keith or post a faster time are safe, but anyone who gets beaten by Keith has to pay a Stag Forfeit.
Beaten By Keith. Now there’s a Stag Do TV-shirt. As for Keith’s own love-life, you can see his wedding to Maggie Phibin here. It ended in divorce.
Jimmy Savile makes a return to the news, featuring in the Daily Express story: “Jim’ll fix it victim paid by BBC: ‘I ran away but BBC security team took me back’.”
The BBC, of course, attempted to squash its own investigation into Sir Jimmy’s alleged crimes, but did dear old Aunty really delivers victims for the depraved DJ to abuse?
THE BBC has paid £15,000 to a fan of Jimmy Savile who was molested in Television Centre as a teenager after writing in to Jim’ll Fix It. Savile paid for the young fan to travel to London only to hand him over to another abuser. It is understood to be the first BBC settlement to be made public following the Savile scandal.
Now aged 54, the victim tells all. It was 1977 when he wrote to Savile:
“When I arrived I was shown to his room at Television Centre and met him and there were other small children present… I ran out and tried to get help and asked the security men at reception to help but an assistant of Savile’s turned up and took me back to his room with security. I had been so used to being sexually abused I knew what was to come. A man in his 40s or early 50s joined us, sat behind me and said he would be taking care of me.”
The man says Savile was “sexually aroused” with small girl on his lap. Then someone named Brian came in and took him away.
“At this house (the club) Brian abused me and a much smaller boy aged between seven and nine who looked very poorly and thin and was also being abused by a very obese man… [Next morning] Savile came in, and took the other boy away and said I should hurry up to have breakfast. I had breakfast and Savile made me a lunch box.”
The teenager was was taken to Victoria Station and given £5.
He later returned to the children’s home in Northern Ireland, which has itself been the subject of a public inquiry into abuse.
That’s interesting. Kincora?
“The BBC initially said that Savile was not known as a groomer and that was given as a reason for refusing the claim. Then they said my being abused by his friend was not something they could or would consider. I believe there are many cases where the BBC has refused claims because Savile was just the arranger for abuse by others and the BBC does not believe it is responsible.
“I believe this is a scandal because clearly Savile via the BBC brought me over to be abused by someone else.”
But what about the children’s home? The Express offers nothing.
Over in the Mirror, we get more:
NHS pays Jimmy Savile victims a paltry £10,000 – while half have yet to receive a penny
Jackie Collins – October 4, 1937 – September 19, 2015.
Jacqueline Jill Collins was born in October 1937 in Hampstead. Her father, Joseph Williams Collins, was a theatrical agent whose clients included Shirley Bassey, the Beatles and Tom Jones. Her sister Joan was four years older. She was expelled from the Francis Holland School for girls at the age of 15 after which she threw her school uniform into the Thames (she later sent her daughters to the same school!) Around this time it has be said that she slept with Marlon Brando who was 29 at the time.
Helen Mirren has been talking with Bella Blissett for the Daily Mail. When not selling Rubber Gloves, Dame Helen works for anyone company. Can you guess which one it is – and, no, the Mail didn’t see fit to label it’s article an ‘advertorial’:
The 70-year-old actress has four Emmy awards, five Baftas and two Golden Globes to her name, and received a damehood in 2003. In sum, she’s the epitome of a ‘national treasure’…
In sum, she’s the epitome of a ‘national treasure’…
Ok, we get it. Move on…
“I’m pretty laissez faire about my beauty routine… Yesterday, I whacked on L’Oréal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Hair Colour in Light Beige Blonde [shade 9.31] for 25 minutes, then washed it off – job done.’
Who is her ‘beauty hero”?
“I love cleansers and body creams that make me feel clean and fresh, but my absolute favourite is L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Classic Night Cream.
Blissett reveals the answer to our question:
Helen is a spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Hair Colour, available nationwide
Have you heard the news that ICE Cube, immensely likeable star of rap outfit NWA and Hollywood blockbusters, has joined Islamic State? We saw it on Facebook – so it must be true!
Balsall Heath – get ready to rumble….
Update: thanks to the massive error in this post, we’ve corrected it and had the writer deported to Ice T’s North Korean compound.
For a moment Bono was worried. No less a colossus of diplomacy than Sir Elton John had received a personal call from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
At which we all scream: ‘Knew it! Knew he was gay! No-one that upset by homosexuals can be straight! The topless shots! The love of close-contact wrestling! Putin was the last to know.’
But then the vision of new alliances gets murky. The story goes that Elton thinks he met with Putin but the Putin he met with was an imposter, a Sham Putin – a man only pretending to be the macho leader. Well, so says his spokesman. On Instagram, Elton thanks the Russian:
“Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.”
But Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says no meeting ever took place. “Putin did not have a conversation with Elton John and, more importantly, we did not receive any kind of offer about a meeting,” Mr Peskov told reporters. “If there will be such a wish, I don’t doubt that the president will be ready to meet, including with Elton John.”
No word yet from Mr Putin, aka jobbing Putin ‘look-alike’ ‘@RocketMan’….
Is Legend, the big screen biopic about black-and-white British gangsters the Kray Twins, any good? Benjamin Lee answers that question in his review for The Guardian. He says:
It’s a disappointingly shallow take on a fascinating period of time and leaves us sorely uninformed, as if we’ve skim-read a pamphlet. The legend might live on but Legend certainly won’t.
He gave it just two stars from a possible five. The film’s marketing team saw it and slapped it on the official posters.
…in a stroke of brazen genius, the marketing department tasked with selling the shoddy true crime tale decided to embrace the mediocrity of my review and found a devious solution. Note: focus between the ears.
Stellar work from Canal Plus.
Want to see Caroline Flack’s nipple? For those of you missed it, the Sun brings news that X Factor host Flack “unwittingly” posted her exposed nipple to her Instagram followers.
We’ve moved on from the wardrobe malfunction. And one questions: is that a magnifying mirror or does Flack play chess with giants?
I come from the underground. I am never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else. I think people assume that’s where I want to be, famous for being famous, because as part of what I do there is a high level of showing off. But my instinct is always to resist the pull of the obvious. It’s not easy.
Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.
I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. But I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary.
Rihanna… she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit. That’s the difference. Mine is on skin; she puts a barrier between the paint and her skin. I don’t even know if she knows that what she’s doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history.
I remember when one of the singers on the list of those who came after me first said that she wanted to work with me. Everyone around me is going: ‘You have to do it, it will be so good for you, it will introduce you to a whole new audience, you will make a lot of money’. No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention. No one could believe that I said no, but I am okay on my own. I am okay not worrying about a new audience. If the fuck don’t feel right, don’t fuck it.
With this one, who I will call Doris, I thought she was trying on other people’s outfits: she’s a baby in a closet full of other people’s clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don’t fit. I could see what she wanted to be when I watched her doing something when she started out that was starker and purer. Deep down, she doesn’t want to do all the dressing-up nonsense; she loses herself inside all the play-acting.
The problem with the Dorises and the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly. There is no long-term vision, and they forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent. There will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.
They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.
I look at Doris and I think: Does she look happy? She looks lost, like she is desperately trying to find the person she was when she started. She looks like really she knows she is in Vegas, now that Vegas is the whole entertainment world filtered through the internet, through impatient social media. I don’t mind her dressing up, but when she started to dance like Madonna, almost immediately, copying someone else, it was like she had forgotten what it was about her that could be unique. Ultimately, it is all about prettiness and comfort, however much they pretend they are being provocative.
Kate Moss often says to me that I am the only performer around at the moment who deserves to be called a diva.That gets us arguing, seemingly a little too serious if anyone hears us. I hate that word diva. It’s been so abused! Every singer given a makeover or a few weeks on a talent show seems to be called a diva these days! Christ almighty. Where’s the exclusivity? It’s so commercial now. For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star – out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention, attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance, so special and inimitable it verges on the alien. And of course the word is usually used to describe an apparently erratic female whose temperamental qualities, survival instincts, and dedication to perfection are seen as weaknesses, as self-indulgent, not a strength. So, Kate, I am not a diva. I am a Jones!
This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?
Doris, I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.
Grace Jones: if you ever get the chance, do see her live. She’s a force of nature.
‘I’ll Never Write My Memoirs’ by Grace Jones.
World-renowned heavy metal legends Motörhead have turned their attention to your intimate pleasure with their own range of branded sex toys. Powerful classic vibrators and bullets are amongst the line up, each packing a powerful punch that captures the rock and roll lifestyle of the band perfectly. Prepare for the sort of mind-blowing orgasms you’d expect from the ‘loudest band on Earth’.
Cliff Richard will supply the wine…
Who didn’t go to Tower Records?
Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But thats not the story. All Things Must Pass is a feature documentary film examining this iconic companys explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.FacebookTwitterOfficial WebsiteDirector Colin Hanks Writers Steven Leckart Actors Russ Solomon, Michael Solomon, Heidi Cotler, Mark Viducich, Stan Goman, Bob Delanoy, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, David Geffen, Dave Grohl Genre Documentary Run Time 1 hour 40 minutes Copyright to Production company
The X Factor is back. Simon Cowell is one step closer to becoming his own waxwork. Cheryl Cole remains the nation’s sweetheart (that nation being Assad’s Syria). Nick Grimshaw brings all the cool of a BBC DJ (nice!). And Rita Ora’s rapper lover Wiz Khalifa “developed a $10,000-a-month cannabis habit — after his mum got him hooked on the drug.”
Well, so says the Sun of the singer who opines: “There’s nothing you can do wrong when it comes to smoking weed.”
You sit on the sofa better. You watch telly better. You skin up better. And above all you negotiate better – we don’t get to know how much weed $10,000 gets Khalifa every month but his dealer assures us it’s a very, very good deal and the unique best quality stuff he supplies is harder to find than a story on Louis Walsh’s private life.
The Sun can reveal his mum started him on the drug when Wiz — real name Cameron Thomaz — was a teenager.
Just as he revealed the same thing in 2011.
Katie “Peachie” Wimbush-Polk, 51, tells media:
“Before I went to work, before he went to school, it was our way of bonding. We would smoke together. He got his habit from his mother. He would smell it coming from my room with me and my girlfriends. He always knew there was a good time going on because there would be laughter and a pungent smell.
“When he got older, he would steal the marijuana butts I would leave, and smoke them.”
“He was always really mature. Hence Wiz Khalifa. Wiz is short for Wisdom. Wisdom because he’s mature and Khalifa because it’s the name my father gave him. It’s Arabic for the leader or the keeper of the light.”
Which is useful. Because when you’re goofed and the bongs gone out, it’s good to know whose got the light.
Matthew Morettini let’s us compare and contrast three screen manifestations of Hannibal Lecter with this neat video
I always preferred the 1985 Manhunter, with Brian Cox as the terrifying Lecter. Anthony Hopkins reworked the character in Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs before Mads Mikkelsen appeared as the psychopath in the TV series Hannibal.
Take a look at the video. Which one do you prefer?
What do the English sounds like to Italians?
In 1972, Italian singer Adriano Celentano belted out the No. 1 hit Prisencolinensinainciusol. You can sing along if you know the words but if you do you run the risk of sounds like a fool shouting at pigeons in the precinct. Adriano made them up as he went along. They sounded Englishy. He tells All Things Considered:
“Ever since I started singing, I was very influenced by American music and everything Americans did. I thought that I would write a song which would only have as its theme the inability to communicate. And to do this, I had to write a song where the lyrics didn’t mean anything.”
And now…One Direction.
James Bond is a bit of wally, says Daniel Craig, the latest actor to make the character from Ian Felming’s books flesh and blood.
Craig has been talking to Esquire 007 in readiness for Spectre, the latest Bond outing:
“Austin Powers fucked it. By the time we did Casino Royale, [Mike Myers] had blown every joke apart. We were in a situation where you couldn’t send things up. It had gone so far post-modern it wasn’t funny any more.
The new Bond has “truth“, says Craig.
“He’s very fucking lonely. There’s a great sadness. He’s fucking these beautiful women but then they leave and it’s . . . sad. And as a man gets older it’s not a good look. It might be a nice fantasy — that’s debatable — but the reality, after a couple of months…
“[For a while] I did feel like, ‘I’ve got to look like I’m doing other stuff.’ But then it was, ‘Who for?’ So the public think, ‘Ooh, isn’t he versatile?’ [On Spectre] it was like, ‘I’m James Bond, for f***’s sake.’ It’s not a bad position to be in. I used to get asked all the time, ‘Don’t you worry that you’re going to get typecast?’ ‘And?’ I mean, talk about a high-class problem.”
Read it all here.
The Lifesize David Bowie Pillow stands 66” tall and is the ultimate gift for a David Bowie fan’s home decor.
Sit this Bowie doll onto a daybed or sofa, against a wall as a soft sculpture artwork or on the floor as a makeshift chair.
Handcrafted from high quality printed fabric that is silky soft to the touch and backed with sturdy broadcloth, this tribute to David Bowie’s famous Ziggy Stardust costume design is an utterly unique addition to any Bowie fan’s home.
These life-size decorative pillows are all handcrafted and made to order.
Oliver Sacks has died. The metastatic melanoma finally took the life of the great neurologist and writer. He was 82.
Dr Sacks, most famous, perhaps for his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – a look a case studies of peculiar brain patterns; the book’s name derived from the man who really could not differentiate between a hat and his wife – and Awakenings, which recounted Sacks’ work at New York’s Beth Abraham hospital with survivors of a forgotten 1920 epidemic of sleepy sickness.
You can read more of the prolific author on Flashbak.
Lord, one of hardest things about middle age is losing your heroes and mentors. May Oliver’s memory be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/UvzSQRnRGF
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 30, 2015
How to write like Stephen King – as in, how to physically write like Stephen King; the talent you’ll have to work on that yourselves:
As with most postulates dealing with subjective perceptions, the idea that prolific writing equals bad writing must be treated with caution. Mostly, it seems to be true. Certainly no one is going to induct the mystery novelist John Creasey, author of 564 novels under 21 different pseudonyms, into the Literary Hall of Heroes; both he and his creations (the Toff, Inspector Roger West, Sexton Blake, etc.) have largely been forgotten…
Yet some prolific writers have made a deep impression on the public consciousness. Consider Agatha Christie, arguably the most popular writer of the 20th century, whose entire oeuvre remains in print. She wrote 91 novels, 82 under her own name and nine under a nom de plume — Mary Westmacott — or her married name, Agatha Christie Mallowan…
As a young man, my head was like a crowded movie theater where someone has just yelled “Fire!” and everyone scrambles for the exits at once. I had a thousand ideas but only 10 fingers and one typewriter. There were days — I’m not kidding about this, or exaggerating — when I thought all the clamoring voices in my mind would drive me insane. Back then, in my 20s and early 30s, I thought often of the John Keats poem that begins, “When I have fears that I may cease to be / Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain …”
My thesis here is a modest one: that prolificacy is sometimes inevitable, and has its place. The accepted definition — “producing much fruit, or foliage, or many offspring” — has an optimistic ring, at least to my ear…