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.
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
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…
TV Medium Colin Fry has died aged 53. The spiritualist, who appeared and made a handsome living from relaying impressions of messages from long/short-gone friends and family via programmes such as 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, Psychic Private Eye and Most Haunted, had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer back in April.
His manager David Hahn said: “Because of what he does (did surely?) he had no fear of dying”.
Anyone had a call from Colin, any flying objects around the house or non-alcoholic induced sense of the Fry presence? The perpetual tv’s very own Stephen Fry does not count.
No? Thought so.
Fear not, there’ll be another medium warming up to present Colin’s cold, sympathetic but very deadpan thoughts in half a failing heartbeat.
In readiness to shock to deadline on the corporate VMA awards, host Miley Cyrus appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live with most of her breasts exposed.
Kimmel was thought by many to be one of the three remaining human being not to have seen Cyrus’s breasts. Miley is now actively seeking an audience with the Pope and Lord Lucan, preferably both at once to save time before she can move on to stage 2 of Operation Primary Sexual Characteristics and show us her massive beefy knob.
Kimmel was keen to know if Miley’s dad had appraised his daughter’s naked chest.
“My dad’s cool, because I’m sure he’d maybe rather me not have my tits out all the time,” said Cyrus. “But he’d rather me have my tits out and be a good person than have a shirt on and be a bitch.”
Those are a pretty limited set of life choices in the Cyrus household.
“You know what I’ve learned? It’s not the tit—are you allowed to say ‘tit’ on your show?”added Cyrus. “Humans aren’t afraid of the human breast. It’s the nipple that’s the issue…Like, I’m showing my boobs and no one has a problem, but the nipples are covered, so somehow that’s OK. So America’s actually fine with tits. It’s nipples they don’t like.”
Which is great news for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
All the animations seen in the music video were created in camera. No stopframe techniques, or computer super-imposing was used; what you see is what rolled off the camera. The animations in the side-on views were produced by the camera capturing the moving reflections from the mirrored carousels, and the animations in the top-down views were created by matching the cameras frame rate to that of spinning record. The transitions between each section of animation was created by simply cutting or wiping between the bits of footage.
The Human Centipede pipe, by Dustin Yunker, is the ‘hot box’ tribute to the film of that name. We’re not sure what end goes to your lips; but our therapist assures us that which end you choose will say a lot about you.
Amanda Palmer is eight months pregnant and painted brightly as she recreates Damien Hirst’s Verity statue to promote the New York Public Library’s children’s book campaign. Father of the bump Neil Gaiman helps her down from the plinth.
Jewish American singer Matisyahu did appear at Spain’s Rototom SunSplash music festival on Saturday. He sang his hit Jerusalem. Pro-Palestinian groups had called for him to be boycotted.
Monoculists with the local Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement accused the 36-year-old of being a “Zionist” (filthy, filthy word) who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing”.
What craven and cowardly balls.
The show’s organisors t first conceded to the bigots. Then they saw the light.
Quote of the week was supplied by Heather Mills, the fomer wife of Beatle Paul McCartney. Speaking to the Guardian, Mills spoke about she and Paul’s daughter, Beatrice:
Beatrice says she’s 99% me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. I think she’s got the best of both of us, we’re both very musical. I taught her the saxophone, because her father can’t read music so I do all the music teaching, and I’m good with languages. She’s a brilliant poet so obviously gets that from him, but I think she’s got the best of both of us.
Mind tun to what Paul said of writing the not-all-that-unpopular song Yesterday:
“I just fell out of bed and it was there. I have a piano by the side of my bed and just got up and played the chords. I thought I must have heard it the night before or something, and spent about three weeks asking all the music people I knew, ‘What is this song?’ I couldn’t believe I’d written it.”
Had he heard it before? Did Heather Mills write Yestarday and all the Beatles hits? You know, in another life..?
Have you read Richard Branson’s article on his youth? Headlined ‘Learning The Art of Adventure’, he writes:
My mother threw me out of the car a few miles from home and told me to find my way back through the fields alone. I was four-years-old and got hopelessly lost. Thankfully my family found me after not too long. This may have been a bit extreme, but it encouraged me to be independent, and develop a sense of adventure.
But did it inpsire him to set up a travel business, enabling him to go everywhere by logo-ed balloon, plane, spaceship, boat, bike and car?
By the time I was 11 mum urged me to cycle to Bournemouth from Shamley Green, a 50 mile journey. Somehow I made it there, where I stayed with a relative, before cycling back the next day. When I walked back into the kitchen I expected mum to be tremendously impressed at my long-distance cycling exploits. Instead she sent me straight around to the vicar’s to chop some logs.
3rd July 1973: Adoring fans reaching out to touch the hand of the English pop star, David Bowie, during the concert at the Hammersmith Odeon where Bowie announced that he was retiring his alter-ego ‘Ziggy Stardust’. (Photo by Steve Wood/Express/Getty Images)
Will Brooker, a professor at Kingston University in London, has a new experiment: he will live as David Bowie for a year. He will do some “method acting” as Ziggy Stardust, dress up in the garb of Bowie’s various other incarnations (Bowie, of course is the alter ego of the private David Jones), immerse himself in mid-1970s culture to enter Bowie’s mindset, do his best not to confuse and worry Iman, Bowie’s wife, not use her persona to attract groupies, and partake of the singer’s milk and red peppers diet, omitting the cocaine.
The dystopian hell of BBC TV’s EastEnders isn’t all a middle-class liberal’s merlot-induced dream about the lower classes – it’s a fly-on-the-wall documentary. The Sun catches up with one of the show’s stars, rheumy-eyed Dot Branning, who tells readers that her health could be better.
“DOT: I’M GOING DEAF AND BLIND”
In the soap’s competition to be every more miserable, you have to now expect a welter of rival headlines:
“ALFIE: I’m going deaf, dumb and blind”
“PHIL: I’m going deaf, dumb, blind and ate my own tongue”
“SONIA: I’m dead”
But this story is not about Dot. It’s not a plot driver. The story is about a woman called June Brown, the 88-year-old actress, who whilst at a Barbara Windsor stage show “struggled to hear her pal despite sitting in the front row”.
And when Barbara, 78, brought her on stage, she asked: “Are you talking to me Babs? Tell me, because I’m deaf you see and it’s very hard for me to hear so I don’t know what you’re talking about. What did you say to me?”
She then told the audience at London’s BFI: “Sorry, I would like you all to shout because I can’t hear, you see. I am ever so sorry. I am straining here.”
Meanwhile, in the far more real world of EastEnders, things have gotten worse for Dot. A “source” explains:
“It’s important for her that people know this isn’t an issue at work. The only reason she is off screen at the moment is because Dot is in prison.”
“She’ll be back at work imminently and is chomping at the bit to return.”
To Phoenix, Arizona, where Okilly Dokilly –the world’s first and only Ned Flanders tribute band – are talking to James McCann. They play ‘Nedal’ music. It being what The Simpson’s character would have wanted.
As their Facebook bio notes: “most of our songs are direct Ned quotes.”
Lead Singer Head NedOn How They Got Started
“Myself and our drummer (Bled Ned) were in line at a grocery store, entertaining ourselves by coming up with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands. The name Okilly Dokilly came up and was very funny to us. We ran with it. I contacted a few friends (Red Ned, Thread Ned and Stead Ned), and here we are. Most of us have played in other bands around our hometown. This is definitely the heaviest sounding project any of us Neds have done.”
“Not as fast as Bartcore, and a little cleaner than Krusty Punk. Not as heavy as ‘Homer J.ent’ – Nedal is a happy medium in the Simpscene.”
Are You All Left Handed?
“I am,”says Head Ned. “The other Neds aren’t so lucky. It made writing All That Is Left pretty fun,” he continues. “It’s our homage to the Leftorium, and the bridge is entirely left handed puns.”
In reality, this is all just an over-the-top attempt at getting Matt Groening’s autograph, even if it comes on a cease and desist letter.
Kerry Katona “has no idea” her husband Geroge Kay has been arrested. Former rugby league player George Kay was held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery — “but wife Kerry has no idea.”
A “source” close enough to know the contents of Kerry’s mind tells us:
“Kerry doesn’t know that George has been arrested. When she finds out she will be heartbroken. It is the last thing she needs after the year they have had.”
Who needs social media and faddish telephones when you have the Sun tobroadcast news on your personal life. Kerry’s not yet seen the Town Crier hold up an analogue sketch of her bum and yell “OMG!” but we’re seeing the start of a retro news trend. It can’t be long.
TV presenter and singer Kerry McFadden presenting ITV's new series 'Britain's Sexiest'. 07/12/04: The former Atomic Kitten, who has reverted to her maiden name, is rebuilding her life after the break-up of their marriage. Kerry Katona has spoken about her split from husband Brian McFadden and declared: "I want a new man for Christmas.
Danniella Westbrook’s Celebrity Big Brother comeback is off. The Sun says a CBB “shrink” (actually the show’s psychologist) talked with the 41-year-old former EastEnders actress and reformed cocaine addict who became known to millions as the “girl with no nose” and decided it would be best to cancel.
But the real shocker is that CBB was prepared to pay the former star £200,000 to be on the telly. We don’t know what the actress was paid to appear on I’m Famous – and Frightened with former TV chef Rustie Lee. ‘Handy’ Andy Kane from Changing Rooms, Jade Goody’s boyfriend and Madge from Neighbours but we’d guess it was shy of £200,000. And surely it was alway a risk to hire Westbrook who quit I’m a Celebrity when she found a rat in her hammock.
Westbrook’s hopes to rival Katie Price in the hardback bestseller lists are dashed.
A nameless “source” arrives to tell us what legend Danniella is:
“The producers were desperate to get Danniella on the show because, let’s face it, she’d make great TV. She was invited to meet them and alarm bells started ringing straight away. She was incredibly incoherent.”
That’s what happens when you work too long on EastEnders. You end up talking in a BBC Cockney patois. Trains of thought are interrupted by massive pauses. You reply to questions by barking ‘Sort it aht!’. You are routinely out-thought and out-acted by a dog.
It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for Danniella. TV careers have been built on less.
How does Jo Malone “get ready” to go out? She tells the Guardian that her regime take 25 minutes.
I multitask. I’ll make a face mask, jump into the bath with my favourite Pomelo bath cologne and, yes, I always light a candle. I like a glass of wine, too – there is a pink called Whispering Angel that comes in tiny bottles, so I can have just a glass. I’ll put some oil – either jojoba or vitamin E – on my hands and feet: nothing looks worse than dry feet if you’re wearing sandals.
Who ran the bath? How big is the bath? Is it a bird bath? Can she make a face mask faster than Zorro?
I’ll get out of the bath and my skin will be moisturised because of the mask, which I clear off with a warm face towel. I pop Vaseline round my eyebrows, then quickly dye them so they look dark – leave it on too long and you look as though you’ve two caterpillars above your eyes.
I lay out what I am going to wear. I love a chic, well-fitting black tie trouser suit with drop diamonds, my vintage gold Prada shoes and a simple black evening bag.
At this point I have a cup of tea and a baked potato or toasted ham and cheese.
Baked. Or raw?
Then I’ll pop in my gum shields with toothpaste bleach mixed with Colgate and leave for 10 minutes…. Because my hair often drops, I’ll zhush it up with my rotating brush.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I do wear MAC base and put on false eyelashes, blusher and lip gloss. I paint Pomelo fragrance on to my body with a brush and let it dry…
Watch painted body dry.
…then do a second layer.
Then I’ll get dressed and spray whatever I am wearing with the same fragrance, and I am ready to go.
Next week, Jo makes a six-course meal for 10 in 15 minutes.
Was she in good health? Last December she gave an interview:
“I am falling apart. My hand is falling apart. I can’t shake hands. I had arthritis and I had an operation for it. I had it done because I was in pain. I am not in pain at the moment. But it looks a bit deformed on the wrist. That has been fixed but it is going to take some time to heal. I fell in the park earlier this year as well and hurt my hand…
“You see on Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor they all wear ear plugs. But I could not hear myself when I wore them. So that is where the strong voice came from. Now I am totally deaf because of the Cavern days.”
Cilla Black’s son found star’s body after smashing his way into her bedroom
Cilla Black’s doting son Bobby discovered the star’s body after smashing his way into her bedroom when she failed to rise from an afternoon siesta.
We hear from a “source close to the inquiry”:
“Cilla’s son found her lying face upwards in a solarium-style sun terrace next to her bedroom. There’s no conclusive autopsy results yet but the main theory right now is that she had a dizzy turn after going from an air-conditioned room into the midday heat and losing her balance.
“The marks she’s got are consistent with a fall where she’s put up an arm as a defence mechanism.
“What’s need to be determined now is why she fell and whether it was indeed to do with the sudden change in temperature and the effect that had on her – which seems the most likely scenario at the moment – or whether something else triggered the collapse.
“Midday temperatures on Saturday in the area were in the high eighties and we know Cilla wasn’t in the best of health.
“More tests may be necessary after the autopsy to get to the bottom of whats really happened. There’s no evidence to link Cilla’s death to any criminal act but police and courts generally like to keep an open mind on things.“
That speculation from a trusty source who cannot be named becomes fact in the Standard:
Cilla Black died after fall from dizzy turn in searing Costa del Sol heat
Investigation source: “main theory right now is that she had a dizzy turn after going from an air-conditioned room into the midday heat and losing her balance.”
…sources close to the investigation said this yesterday morning medical examiners will look closely at marks on her right arm and elbow which they believe may be linked to a fall potentially caused by a sudden temperature change.
We are then told:
Cilla, born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in 1943 in Liverpool, told last year how she would like to die at 75 before she became too frail to enjoy life.
She said: “Seventy-five is a good age to go. I know it’s only four years away but I take each day as I find it.”
No exactly a suicide case, then. Indeed, Cilla said in 2014:
“I agree with Dignitas, but I couldn’t be the one to administer the poison that kills me. I know I couldn’t commit suicide. I’m too much of a coward, I couldn’t do it. I’d rather somebody make that decision for me.”
But the Daily Star still finds it fire to thunder: “CILLA’S SECRET DEATH WISH”:
All true – apart from the bits about a secret and a death wish.
Katie Hopkins is having an operation on her brain. The Sun’s vile-to-deadline columnist gives the newspaper an “exclusive” in much the same way a baby gives their parent an exclusive look at their filled nappy. But let’s not knock Katie because this is serious.
I’m having a brain op… I could die
EXCLUSIVE: Katie Hopkins reveals she’s ‘full of fear’ over epilepsy surgery