Anorak

Celebrities | Anorak - Part 413

Celebrities Category

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.

Yanking Our Chain

‘WHEN Americans do sitcom, they set it in a lawyer’s office, in a fashion magazine or in a radio station and populate it with good-looking and successful (if somewhat neurotic) characters.

Say ‘No Cheese’

When Brits do sitcom, they set it in a holiday camp or in a bingo hall and populate it with a bunch of unattractive losers.

That would be all very well if the comedy was up to the standard of the best American shows like Seinfeld or Will And Grace, but it isn’t.

Faced with a choice (as you are at 9 o’clock tonight), do you opt for Eyes Down on BBC1, which stars Paul O’Grady (who is a far better drag stand-up than he is a comic actor) and is set in a bingo hall, or a 45-minute long episode of Will & Grace on Channel 4?

It is a rhetorical question because there is only one possible answer. Watch out for Sydney Pollack’s performance as Will’s father – it just shows how much better the Yanks are at doing sitcom than us.’

Posted: 22nd, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Class TV

‘TELEVISION loves confrontation and the Channel 4 series Masters and Servants gives it to us in spades.

‘Your wife’s head, sir’

This is not adult-orientated broadcasting of the type that used to earn a red triangle, but a show in the mould of the channel’s Wife Swap.

The premise is simple. Horribly simple. Two families adopt the positions of family above stairs and family below stairs. After an agreed period, the roles are reversed.

This is one of the nastiest shows on TV. The enjoyment can be added to by guessing and even betting at home on which character will cry first or hit another.

We have it on good advice that Susan does break down in tears. She’s married to builder Richard and studying psychology part-time.

This will keep us all laughing at the unfortunates on TV – and give the distraught Susan something to write her college thesis on.’

Posted: 21st, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


A Girl Thing

‘IF you have been reading the Sun recently, you’ll know that tonight is a very special night on The Bill.

Girls in blue

No, Reg Hollis isn’t about to find himself a girlfriend, but Debbie is about to rescue Juliet from a suspected rapist – and find herself caught in a passionate lesbian clinch.

Ever since Beth Jordache kissed Margaret on Brookside, TV producers have known that a bit of girl-on-girl action is the surest way to get a programme column inches in the tabloid press.

EastEnders quickly followed Brookside’s lead; Buffy ratings in the US went through the roof when Willow and Tara shared a kiss; and lesbian drama Tipping The Velvet monopolised the TV pages of the re-tops for weeks.

Whatever its appeal, lesbian sex on TV is a hit with viewers, most of whom one suspects are men living out their fantasies on the screen.

So expect record ratings for tonight’s visit to Sun Hill nick (which is, incidentally, fast becoming a retirement home for soap actors).’

Posted: 20th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Old Black

‘IF David Beckham really were as black as he and his myriad advisors occasionally want him to be would he be such a big star? He’d play for England, he might even captain the side. But would he be seen as handsome, a figure to revere?

The chances are no. The one thing for sure is that the vitriol and hatred aimed at him after his dismissal in the 1998 World Cup finals would have been peppered with banana skins and monkey noises.

Football fans are not all enlightened urban types. There are many grounds in both inner city and provincial Britain where black players are treated badly. Black fans just do not go there.

The Colour of Football (BBC2 tonight at 11:20) scratches the glossy veneers of Premiership football to see what lies beneath.

People who see the national sport only through TV screens will be surprised at how few fans from ethnic minorities actually attend football matches.

With so many black players making the grade, why are there still a disproportionately small number of black supporters in the stands?

Set the video for this one.’

Posted: 19th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Game’s Up

‘OLD quiz shows never die – they just come back with a BBC news presenter as the host.

”My name’s Clive Thomas and I’m reading the washing instructions on my wig”

And that is on why Monday nights on BBC2, we find John Humphreys taking on the Magnus Magnusson role (complete with Magnus Magnusson expressions) as the question master of Mastermind and Jeremy Paxman posing the questions on University Challenge.

Bamber Gascoigne would no doubt be turning in his old people’s home or wherever he has been stowed to discover that University Challenge has been taken over by people with even worse haircuts than the students – professionals.

It is the BBC2 equivalent of Celebrity University Challenge with tonight a group of journalists (a couple of whom may have once been allowed a brief outing on Question Time) against a group of meteorologists (none of whom, one hopes, was ever allowed to present the weather).

At least, though, they are better than the four stooges on tonight’s Mastermind, answering questions on English castles, TV comedy, British flora and fauna and Fairport Convention.

May the man or woman with the thickest glasses win…

Posted: 18th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Smell-O-Vision

‘TONIGHT FIVE shows The Great Stink: The Profile of Victorian sewage engineer Joseph Bazelgette.

”Number 4 – Lily’s a bore…”

And no, since you ask, it is not fronted by Graham Norton, Gaby Roslin or Patrick Kielty. It should be, but it isn’t.

For a dose of irony on a Friday night, you must watch Will and Grace and the increasingly rare better bits of Sex And The City.

For something that you hope is ironic but fear is not, there is the new sitcom from Paul O’Grady. The Liverpudlian who dolls himself up as Lily Savage has been given his own series.

Problem is that whereas O’Grady as Savage can be funny and get away with bad jokes with bravado, O’Grady is simply a bad comic actor with an even worse script.

For added appeal, the show is based in a bingo hall. It’s called Eyes Down. We hear that in the first episode, Ray, the manager, has to work out how to control his staff.

And his cunning plan is to bore them into submission. This is another one for the Mr Bazelgette…

Posted: 15th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Greece Uncovered

‘ANYONE tuning into Club Reps tonight will not get to see exactly what the employees of Club 18-30 actually get up to while at work. For that, you will have to head out to Corfu or visit the Sunday Sport website.

Club Reps – the real story

Instead, ITV viewers tonight get to see a sanitised version of the pride of Britain drinking, puking and copulating their way round the birthplace of western civilisation.

This week, two American students get to witness for the first time the things that put the great in Great Britain as hordes of scantily clad women fall (quite literally in many cases) at their feet.

Elsewhere, Lee attempts a 150ft bungee jump and Natalie has a bit of trouble with her boyfriend, Stuart.

Coming as it does straight after Young, Posh And Loaded, this is one hour’s television that will make you want to stand to attention and belt out a verse or two of Rule Britannia. Not.

Posted: 14th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Case Closed

‘SUMMER is here and the curtains are twitching. Nina Simone made some beautiful music. Not that you’d hear it for the screaming sirens and din of coppers slamming car doors.

”It’s not quite The Bill though, is it?”

At least tonight we can get some semblance of plot as BBC1 calls to mind other songs of yesteryear and catches us all Watching The Detectives.

This show follows an entire criminal case from the actual crime to sentencing.

We get to see the victims, the villains, the relatives of both, the thief-takers (how coppers love to be called so) and the judiciary going about their business.

Tonight we are treated to the case of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Unpleasant it truly is.

It gets worse when the face and a name are put to the case, the victim revealed as Marion Crofts of Hampshire who was attacked in 1981.

The man who carried out this revolting crime is Tony Jasinsky, now languishing in

Her Majesty’s dungeons.

Not that knowing his guilt spoils the show. This is truly the acceptable face of reality TV.

Posted: 13th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Singing For Their Supper

‘SO who is winning the battle of the reality TV shows with BBC1’s Fame Academy going head-to-head with ITV1’s Pop Idol?

Simon Cowell’s ego is projected on the wall behind him

Simon Cowell, Nicky Chapman, Pete Waterman and Dr Fox attracted an average of 35.4% of the Saturday evening audience, peaking at 41.7% (or 6.3 million viewers).

On the other side, Cary Grant, Kevin Smith and Robin Gibb were watched by an average of 3.4 million viewers (26.6% of the viewing public), peaking at 4 million (34.3%).

Both broadcasters predictably said they were delighted with the figures, with the BBC claiming a narrow victory for the 15 minutes when the two shows were actually head-to-head.

The musicians may be better on Fame Academy, but Pop Idol is better television, especially during the auditions.

It may be car crash TV, but some of the wrecks that pass for singers have to be heard to be believed. Simon Cowell may be cast as Mr Nasty, but he is actually too kind to many of the young hopefuls who every week assault our eardrums.

Posted: 12th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Showbiz Agents

‘TONIGHT we lean into our sleeves and whisper ”Goodbye” to Spooks. The plots are absurd and the acting is as wooden as the scenery from the Sound of Music but it is oddly addictive.

The real Dr Kelly

Tom is the hero of the piece, and tonight in the series finale he’s going it alone, James Bond style.

Only Tom is no James Bond. He is keen and has a neat way of looking utterly blank when he’s spoken to, in a manner that says he’s listening and watching or just stupid, but he has little of Bond’s charisma and sex appeal.

The week’s nonsense begins with the discovery of a dead gangster. And by way of a clever twist, he’s slumped in front of the telly on which the film The Third Man is being shown.

That’s a film about spies and such like. And Spooks is a show about spies. Do you get it? Do you see? Tom would get it and see. That’s what he’s paid to do.

And tonight he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. His interview for another series is about to begin…

Posted: 11th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


US And Them

‘AMERICAN politics is much more exciting than politics over here, as the race for Governor of California proves.

God bless America

Not only is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name on the ballot sheet to replace incumbent Gray Davies, but so are the names of pornographer Larry Flynt and porn star Mary Carey, star of films such as Asses In The Air 4 and Double-D Dolls 2.

What did we have? Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson was, of course, a minister in this Government for a while. Countdown regular Gyles Brandreth – he of the appalling knitwear – was briefly Tory MP for Chester.

And glamour model Jordan stood as an independent in the Stretford & Urmston constituency in the last General Election, polling a miserable 713 votes.

It’s not quite Arnie, Larry and Mary, is it? Although, we do of course have the noble Lord Archer, who was briefly a Tory MP from 1969-1974 in between becoming the first man to run a mile in under four minutes and carrying out the world’s first heart transplant…

Posted: 8th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Partial Recall

‘IMAGINE if the US President was a former Hollywood actor of little discernible talent who read his lines like a perfunctory robot and had a nice winter tan.

The bodybuilder politic

You need not stretch the mind too far, as anyone who saw Ronald Reagan’s performances over much of the 1980s will confirm. But what are the odds on lightning striking twice?

The new man who could one day we the King of Capitol Hill is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Tonight Channel 4 profiles the life of the muscle-bound superstar in Arnold Schwarzenegger: Made In Britain.

This is a slightly odd title, given that Arnie was made in Austria by a team of genetic engineers, who incidentally also made the entertainment stars Twicky and Metal Mickey.

Further investigation reveals that Arnie did spend a period of his life in east London, which, apparently, played a big part in starting his bodybuilding career.

But a diet of mushy peas and jellied ells was never going to be enough to give him the body mass of a champion, so he left, ending up the USA, home of weight-gain food.

To see what else Arnie did, tune into the show at 9:00 tonight.

Posted: 7th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


A Dead Horse

‘EVEN a pupil at Summersdown Comprehensive would know that a dead horse can’t run, no matter how hard you flog it.

‘Is there anybody out there?’

So, it is no great surprise that the viewing figures for Fame Academy have so far been shocking, with only 3.2 million tuning in last Wednesday.

Tonight, the BBC is unlikely to fare much better as viewers get to choose which of the final six hopefuls will get the last three places in the house – and (for those who haven’t got one already) the chance to win a recording contract.

Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty can enthuse all they like, but even they cannot hide the smell of rotting horseflesh.

Much better news on Channel 4 is the return of Teachers, the comedy that follows a group of pedagogues who prove to be comfortably more juvenile than their pupils.

In the first episode of the third series, the men are upset at the arrival of Lindsay, a larger-than-life female biology teacher who can drink them all under the table.

Posted: 6th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Police, Camera, Action

‘FOR TV producers, there is something utterly addictive about watching police go about their daily work.

‘Okay, let’s do that chase sequence again and this time make it look a bit more realistic’

It must be a similar thing for fans of Formula One – you watch the many dull bits hoping for the few snippets of absolute mayhem and carnage

Tonight, ITV launches Police! – a to-the-point title for a no-frills series about the law.

The opening issue shows officers in Milton Keynes on duty for an Eminem show in town. Will the music buffs respond to the singer’s tales of violence with some horror show of their own?

Later, police in Oldham oversee the final game of the season at Oldham Athletic.

Given that Oldham has been a hotbed of racial disharmony in recent times, and given the link between football and violence, viewers can expect to see a good punch-up.

And the producers must know their target audience – it’s not curtain-twitching Miss Marple wannabes they’re after, but lads and lasses who like Eminem and football.

Why else is it on at 11:00?

The message is clear: don’t bother going to the pub looking for a fight – stay in with a tin of gassy beer and watch it on telly.

If you must go out, do so between 8pm and 10pm, thereby missing Hotels From Hell, House Trapped, Package Holiday and the utterly hopeless Eustace Brothers.

Those shows are the real crimes – someone should tell the police.

Posted: 5th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Weight Is Over

‘WITH all the cooking programmes on TV at the moment, it was only a matter of time before we were given a show devoted entirely to dieting. And here it is – the imaginatively titled Do Or Diet.

Fat chancer

It could, of course, have been called Diet Another Day, Diet Hard (With A Vengeance), To Diet For, Live And Let Diet or any one of a thousand other bad puns.

Presented by (a fully-clothed) Gail Porter, Jay Hunt and Jamie Baird, the show tries to find ways to lose weight that don’t involve complete starvation, drinking revolting milkshakes or watching fewer cookery programmes.

First guinea pig is Bobbi Smedley, who must lose enough weight to fit into her designer wedding dress in three months’ time. The signs are looking bad – she might even have to take some exercise.

Alternatively, she could just turn over to ITV1 and catch Trisha, whose theme this morning is gluttony. As, we presume, in gluttons for punishment.

Posted: 4th, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Good Grace

‘WILL and Grace is the best-written sitcom on TV at the moment. It is blessed with the one element that many British sitcoms lack: comedy.

A big and for Will and Grace

Unlike the hilarious Seinfeld, a show that was famously about nothing, Will and Grace is about love between a gay man and his female best friend.

That may well remind some of you of Gimme Gimme Gimme, the alleged sitcom in which a gay English man lives with his only friend, who happens to be a woman.

The key difference between the two is that element we have already touched upon: comedy.

Whereas Gimme Gimme Gimme hits the emergency button marked ‘SMUT’ whenever a laugh is needed, Will and Grace find themselves in situations that are comedic. This is situation comedy.

Tonight Will is caught out and Grace’s dishonest attempts to avoid jury service lead her into a terrible web of deceit.

If this were a typical English comedy, say one written by Frank Skinner and starring David Baddiel and someone who used to be in Hollyoaks, we could all imagine the plot in seconds.

But it’s not and we have to actually watch Will and Grace to see the comedy develop. Watch it tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Posted: 1st, August 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Young, Posh And Stupid

‘IT beggars belief that anyone would sign up for a programme called Young, Posh And Loaded in the first place – but, having been attacked in a nightclub after your first appearance, why on earth would you want to come back for more.

‘They don’t know about my crew’

But back she is – fledgling ‘It’ girl Donatella Panayiotou – and this time she’s desperate to break into TV.

So it seems is every young girl between 12 and 25, but Donatella’s sights are firmly set on Chelsea TV. The only trouble is that what she knows even less about football than she does about driving.

Then again, she did get given a £45,000 Mini for failing her driving test – and the only reason why her singing career never took off was because the publicity pictures weren’t up to standard.

Spared a reprise of last week’s embarrassment in which Tory minister Jonathan Aitken’s daughter Victoria attempted to show that posh girls can rap too, we are instead treated to Lord Raj.

This week, the Essex multi-millionaire takes up shooting and tries to decide which of the nine bedrooms of his mansion he is going to sleep in tonight…

Posted: 31st, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Property Ladder

‘PROPERTY developers are, in essence, estate agents with brains. Consider that statement for a moment and you will begin to realise how rare a breed a good property developer is.

The House Doctor had a long waiting list

Tonight BBC invites us to gaze upon these unicorn-type beings in a series entitled How I Made My Property Fortune. Just like you never hear of a genuinely charming agent, you never hear of a poor developer.

This six-part series, beginning at 8:30 tonight, features self-made millionaires who have made their fortunes by playing the property market.

Since we know that the market has risen sharply in recent years, expect to see lots of smug, plump developers.

These meteoric rises have also meant that many homeowners have made both real and paper fortunes on their property, depending on whether they’ve cashed in on the boom or not.

Each show follows a property tycoon as they buy and sell their way to untold wealth. And don’t they just deserve every penny of it…

Posted: 30th, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Reality Unchecked

‘IF you thought that reality TV began and ended with Big Brother, don’t tune into ITV1 tonight which manages to pack its prime-time schedule with more real life than any of us can cope with.

All that remains of decent British TV

In Package Holiday – Undercover at 8pm, reporters expose the fact that crime doesn’t just happen in England, but can happen to holidaymakers in Spain as well.

Half an hour later, we are following the undertakers of FA Albin & Son, a family-run funeral directors from London, who have to cope with the first snow of winter (and the rush of business that provides).

At 9pm, we get to relive Honeymoons From Hell, including one couple who got caught up in a gun battle between police and Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and another who felt the full force of Hurricane George as it ripped through the Caribbean.

And from 10.30 onwards we get to follow the police first in Oxford Street as they patrol London’s main shopping thoroughfare looking for pick-pockets and then in Police! as they close in on an armed man in Plymouth.

It almost makes you yearn for Cameron, Ray, Scott and the gang.

Posted: 29th, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


V Dull

‘CHANNEL 4 is still pinning its flag to Graham Norton.

If you close your eyes it’s just like seeing Ozzy Osbourne

Tonight’s V Graham Norton show will have a few Big Brother gags, an interview with a celebrity (during which Graham will show his guest a sex toy) and a moment of audience participation.

While not quite reason to shout ‘Come back, Cameron!’ at the top of your lungs, it is enough to make you seek out a good laugh elsewhere.

Thankfully, BBC2 has a show that will make you laugh.

No, not Two Pints of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps – a show so bad even the ‘actors’ perform with their eyes closed and their fingers in their ears – but Dead Ringers.

Jon Culshaw’s mimicry of some of the harder-to-do celebrities is a wonder. He is also given a script that doesn’t rely just on his power of mimicry for laughs but on good jokes.

Culshaw’s Ozzy Osbourne is bettered only by Kevin Connelly’s Iain Duncan Smith. Impersonating IDS is like taking a photo of the invisible man. Connelly deserves our awed respect.

Dead Ringers might even slip in a few Big Brother names. However, if they do, the chances are none of us will notice – apart from Graham Norton?

Posted: 28th, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The End Is Nigh

‘BY this time tomorrow, it will all be over – and the three people still watching this fourth series of Big Brother will finally have to get up out of their seats, take a good look at themselves in the mirror and resolve to get a life.

‘Do you think I’d be less boring if I killed myself?’

For some reason, Cameron is the hot favourite to win the show, which tells you all you need to know about the great British public.

When a 32-year-old virgin from the Orkney Islands, whose interests include reading the Bible and doing a very passable John Inman impression, is the most popular housemate, the others need to start worrying.

Even the overexcitable Davina McCall has admitted she is bored by the no-marks in this year’s house – and she would pretty well wet her pants at a book reading by the guy who writes the Yellow Pages.

True to form, the five useless housemates failed their final task – a quiz to determine how well they have got to know each other over the past nine weeks.

When even the contestants couldn’t care less about each other, why the hell should we?

Posted: 25th, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Memory Game

‘LAST night Big Brother’s Little Brother asked a really tricky question: ‘Who will you remember most and why?’

Two surprise new housemates

Callers were invited to give their answers on a phone line. Of course, the question should have been: ‘Why will you remember anyone?’ Followed by the qualifier: ‘Remember who?’

Meanwhile, Steph continues to sleep in the boy’s room. Is she afraid of being alone? Come on, Steph, get used to it – it’s either the life of a singleton or life in a commune for you.

But why are those beds in the girl’s room going to waste when there are people sleeping rough on our streets?

It’s a safe wager that the homeless are better looking, more talented and blessed with greater charisma than any of the women who used to dwell in the girls’ room.

It’s a national disgrace. Let them in. Throw open the gates. And if the new arrivals are worried about losing their pitches outside shops and in parks, make the producers of Big Brother keep them warm.

A show could be made of it – something called ‘Just Deserts’. Just a thought…

Posted: 24th, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Dork From Ork

‘CAMERON has been wondering whether he’s boring. What could possibly have given him that idea we don’t know, but Ray soon put him straight.

‘I fancy some hamster love’

‘Jesus Chroist man, you’ve been anything but f*****g boring,’ the Oirishman protested. ‘Jesus Chroist!’

Reassured, Cameron was soon listing all the interesting things he had done in the house. ‘Made tea, gone to Africa, made tea, gone to Africa…’

And as if that wasn’t enough, Ray pointed out another fascinating fact. ‘You’re the only Scot to make it to the last week ever. You’ve definitely put Orkney on the map!’

Not a map that anyone wants to buy – but perhaps Cameron will fare better with the book he and Scott are preparing to write about a trip they propose to make around the islands.

Publishing houses are no doubt falling over themselves to sign up the literary duo. After all, if Cameron is anything but boring, what does that say about Scott?

Posted: 23rd, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


The Right Steph

‘STEPH cut Scott’s hair. Steph cut Cam’s hair. Steph cut Ray’s eyebrow. All that was left to do was to shave Steph’s moustache off.

Jon catches a glimpse of Steph shaving

No-one volunteered to rid Steph of the bushy line beneath her nose. Perhaps she will grow it out and use it to give herself a personality. Well, it worked for Hitler and Stalin.

While we wait for the talking hamster to do something interesting, we got to see the housemates amble around the house all day.

Jon did confess to Big Brother that he is sexually frustrated. We have seen Jon over the last few weeks and imagine that this is a condition he is well used to.

He did decline the option of doing ‘a Ray’, preferring cold showers. Jon could, of course, do a Steph but, what with the moustache, it’s a challenge no man should be made take on.

Meanwhile, Nush was on Big Brother’s Little Brother knocking us bandy with her revelations. For example, if she had her time again, she’d have taken more chocolate into the house.

Shocking stuff.

Posted: 22nd, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


Vox Pop

‘IN the final weekly task of the series, the five remaining Big Brother contestants are to be tested on each other’s views on a range of different subjects – political, cultural, social etc.

‘Did I tell you me name’s Ray?’

The inmates will have to speak for at least 10 minutes on subjects chosen for them by Big Brother and then they will be attribute other inmates’ quoted viewpoints to the correct person.

It should be easy enough, given that they all have very defined personalities (or lack thereof) – Ray is Mr Angry, Cameron is Christopher Biggins, Scott is Damon Grant, Steph is Hammy The Hamster and Jon is obviously Mr Tickle.

However, who except Jon will be able to speak for 10 minutes on any subject apart from themselves?

Cameron may possibly get to the 10-minute mark by stringing every word out in that ever-so-annoying way of his. ‘Ooooooooooh, Iiiiiiiiiiiiii saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…’

But unless Ray is allowed to repeat the same word over and over again, he is going to struggle getting to 10 seconds, never mind 10 minutes.

Posted: 21st, July 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment