Anorak News | Star Billing

Star Billing

by | 23rd, December 2003

‘NO wonder Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez called off their wedding at the last minute – how could they compete for the title of Wedding Of The Year with Ulrika Jonsson and her victim, er, husband Lance Gerrard Wright.

Lancedalot and Lancelot

The couple got married among family and friends in Sweden in August – but with one conspicuous absentee at the ceremony.

For a woman as publicity-hungry as Ulrika, not inviting Hello! or OK! to her wedding must have been akin to Vanessa Feltz turning her back on an all-you-can-eat buffet.

But the Swede, pregnant with her third child, claims to have turned over a new leaf and is currently to be found staring at a page as blank as her career prospects.

Ulrika and Lance’s low-key nuptials set a trend for the rest of the year, which involved celebrities getting married in secret.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes and Kenneth Branagh and Lindsay Brunnock all sneaked up and down the aisle before anyone noticed.

It is a worrying trend for the proprietors of the celebrity glossies, who rely on the triumph of hope over expectation to get their subjects to the altar in the first place, and then the triumph of greed over sentiment to get them to accept a big fat cheque in return for turning their wedding day into an extended photo shoot.

One couple who couldn’t resist the lure of OK!’s millions, despite having several of them already, was Michael Douglas and his increasingly absurd wife Catherine Zeta Jones.

They appeared in court in London this year to tell the judge how devastated they were that unauthorised pictures of the ceremony had appeared in rival publication Hello! – one of which actually showed the bride eating (which is tantamount to career suicide in Hollywood).

The judge seemed to agree with everyone, coming to a decision which all parties seemed to manage to present as a victory although the big winners were of course (as always) the lawyers and the newspapers who got some great free copy.

Catherine then proceeded to make an even greater fool of herself when she told an interviewer that she didn’t believe in divorce.

“I find divorces repulsive,” she told an Austrian magazine – which must have made interesting reading for her divorced husband.

She then went on to claim that this “’til death us do part” attitude was something to do with her South Wales genes, quoting four-times-married Richard Burton and three-times-married Sir Anthony Hopkins as examples of what she meant.

James Major, son of the former Prime Minister, got number one under his belt this year when he four-year marriage to Emma Noble came to an end.

Despite suggestions that she was having an affair with Crossroads co-star Graham McGrath, it was his “unreasonable behaviour” which was cited in the court proceedings.

This “unreasonable behaviour” seemed to involve him not being as famous as her and refusing to have sex for seven months.

No such bonking bans for the plethora of stars who either gave birth or fell pregnant this year.

In fact, 2003 was the year when if you weren’t in the family way, you were just in the way.

In fact, with so many toddlers around, a manger might be as good as it gets this Christmas for those who are not part of the inn crowd.’

Posted: 23rd, December 2003 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink