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.
Mark Steyn celebrates his Sinatra Centenary series with a look at the making of a hit song:
It was 1966. Enter Bert Kaempfert “the German kaiser of kitsch”:
He eschewed the standard 32-bar A-A-B-A song, possibly on the grounds that a middle section was way too much work. Instead, his tunes are built on the slightest of melodic themes, endlessly repeated. Yet they are, as the Germans say, Ohrwürmer – or earworms: maddening tunes that insinuate their way into your head and refuse to get out. “L-O-V-E” is the über-Kaempfert, a tune so simple that its lyricist Milt Gabler turned it into a spelling lesson, an “Alphabet Song” for grown-ups:
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very very extraordinary
E is even more…
So Kaempfert had form. And so Jimmy Bowen listens to Hal Fine’s bunch of Kaempfert themes and something called “Beddy-Bye” comes up. And Bowen plays it again, and again. And then he says, “Man, get me a lyric on that, and I’ll do it with Sinatra.”
“Beddy-Bye” sounds to me like yet another minimalist Kaempfert tune: the five-note title phrase, reprised a tone up and a tone down, is about 50 per cent of the tune. Yet a remarkable number of other people claim to have had a hand in its creation. The last time I mentioned the thing in this space David C Tobin of Washington, DC wrote to say that it was composed by Avo Uvezian, a Beirut-born Armenian-American pianist cum cigar manufacturer. He does indeed claim to have written the music, but so does the late Ivo Robić, the crooning Croat, who insisted that he’d composed it for a folk music festival in Split, Yugoslavia. M Philippe-Gérard, the Brazilian-born French composer of “When The World Was Young”, sued on the grounds that the tune was stolen from his “Magic Tango”, but lost in court.
So until these various Croatian-Armenian claims are as litigated as the Franco-Brazilian ones, we’ll stick with the official narrative. In 1966, Bert Kaempfert wrote this tune for his first Hollywood movie score, for the aforementioned A Man Could Get Killed, directed by Ronald Neame. And all it needed now was a lyric and Jimmy Bowen would make good on his promise and get Kaempfert a recording by Frank Sinatra.
Bowen had never made such a pledge before – for a fairly obvious reason: He was in no position to promise any such thing. “Obviously,” he explained subsequently, “nobody knows what Frank is going to do till he says what he’s going to do.” But he knew that that “Beddy-Bye” theme smelled like a hit, and Hal Fine took him at his word. He farmed the tune out to various writers, and submitted a couple of lyrics. Jimmy Bowen didn’t like either of them.
So Hal Fine tried again, this time with Eddie Snyder and Charles Singleton….
For “Beddy-Bye”, Eddie Snyder took his cue from the film and the James Garner/Melina Mercouri characters: They’re strangers, exchanging glances, and, by the time the tune’s reprised in the final moments, you know that, as the song says, they’re “in love forever”. “We had the scene,” recalled Snyder. “A man is sitting across from a girl in a bar. That was it.” But that was all they needed:
Strangers In The Night
Wond’ring in the night
What were the chances
We’d be sharing love
Before the night was through…
Caitlyn Jenner has been Named ‘Woman Of The Year’ by Glamour magazine. No, not a satire.
Today is the day when Martin McFly, star of the Back to the Future film, arrives when he travels to the future? USA Today shares the joke:
Over on Flashbak, the story of one man’s collection of things found inside record sleeves. Ever hide anything inside yours?
See them all here.
John Waters agrees: we all (as Brendan O’Neill puts it) have a duty to offend:
The big news in the Daily Star is plain to see: “This paper cost just 20p.” Below that news is the other news that David Hasselhoff is “HOFF TO FIGHT ISIS”.
Can the actor who stood atop the crumbling Berlin Wall and with Joshua prowess blew his own trumpet to bring it down also end ISIS?
The Star explains:
The actor, who played lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the surf rescue show, said he would launch a personal Rambo-style mission to wipe out the terrorist network.
Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, would most likely take on ISIS with less fanfare. He’s most likely already there, camouflaged and waiting the foliage of a Mosul pot plant to slaughter the enemy. However, to the Star Rambo is a more of a state of mind than an actual fictional Hollywood character. Hasselhoff you could not make up.
The Hoff, who also starred in 80s classic Knight Rider, said he had developed a personal hatred for the brutal Isis regime.
So. He’s off, rather Hoff, to take on ISIS, hurtling across the deserts at the wheel of his indestructible Kit car, the perfect blend of man and machine: Hasselhoff behind the wheel; Hasselhoff on the stereo,
Asked to name his “priority activity if he was the invisible man for the day”, the star replied he would kill off all the estimated 200,000 Isis fighters. He said: “I’d go to Syria and annihilate everyone involved in Isis.”
Hoff will only fight ISIS when he becomes invisible, which you’d imagine is hard to achieve through an interview with Weekend magazine. Maybe Channel 5 can help?
Ola Jordan, the saucy Strictly Come Dancing strumpet, has a calendar out. In it she appears nude in a series of soft porn-style photos.
Daily Mail readers have their say:
That’s the same Mail which reports:
Unless it’s done in the best possible taste…
Ray Harryhausen stop motion in stop motion:
Ray Harryhausen stop motion in stop motion pic.twitter.com/CyIyHWcll8
— Flashbak.com (@aflashbak) October 17, 2015
Gutterdämmerung looks fantastic. Here’s the pitch:
The film is set in a world where God has saved the world from sin by taking from mankind the Devil’s ‘Grail of Sin’…..the Evil Guitar. The Earth has now turned into a puritan world where there is no room for sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll.
From up on high in heaven a “punk-angel”, Vicious (portrayed by Iggy Pop), looks upon the world with weary bored eyes. Behind God’s back, Vicious sends the Devil’s guitar back to earth and sin in all its forms returns to mankind.
An evil puritan priest (Henry Rollins) manipulates a naive girl to retrieve the guitar and destroy it. On her quest to find the Devil’s Grail Of Sin, the girl is forced to face the world’s most evil rock and roll bastards. Throughout her journey, she has a rival in the form of a rock chick determined to stop her from destroying the instrument.
Lou Reed wasn’t everyone’s best pal. A new biography by Howard Sounes labels Reed a racist, a sexist and a wife-beater. Reed was a man “with so little personal charm he would be regularly discharged from private gatherings.
“I loved his music, but you have to go where the story goes. The obituaries were a bit too kind, he was really a very unpleasant man. A monster really; I think truly the word monster is applicable.”
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
As seen on Facebook: Ice Cube converts to Islam, joins ISIS and heads to Birmingham from Syria in a rubber dingy
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.