Celebrities | Anorak - Part 414

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.

Body Shop

‘IT has been David Beckham’s injured hamstring that has been occupying the minds of Real Madrid supporters recently, although the England captain did return to the side at the weekend to help them to a 3-0 victory over Atletico Bilbao.

Space for rent

But tonight ITV1 viewers are preoccupied with all of Beckham’s Body Parts as the channel tries a new angle to justify devoting another hour of prime time TV to the country’s most famous sportsman.

Thus we are treated to lengthy disquisitions on his various hairstyles, his tattoos and even the metatarsal that he famously broke before last year’s World Cup.

Exactly what the programme achieves – apart from fulfilling its own central theme, namely that every part of Beckham’s body has its own commercial appeal – is not clear. But then Beckham is now so famous that his fame has become self-reinforcing.

Anyone hoping that all of Beckham’s Body Parts will be making an appearance tonight is going to be disappointed. There is at least one member that does not have its own endorsement – yet.’

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

Clever Trevor

‘WHO needs reality television when you have the news?

‘Is ‘Dirty’ Den Watts the new Saddam Hussein?’

Tonight, Trevor McDonald, the poster boy of reality news, goes to Iraq in Sir Trevor Goes Back to Baghdad (ITV 8pm).

So nice of ITV to give McDonald his full billing. That Sir really adds a touch of class and gravitas to Trevor and his shows.

Whether presenting most Fanciable Dog in Soap at the National Television Awards or looking at the charred remains of bits of Baghdad, Trevor appears so very worthy of our trust.

And therein lies the key with Trevor – the TV viewing public trust him.

When Trevor last went to Iraq, he refused to report on the claim that Saddam Hussein could kill us all within 45 minutes.

His stance didn’t result in his sacking, but it did position him at odds with his editors and Government doctrine.

Now proved right, Trevor is back in the sand to see what things are like for British soldiers and Iraqi citizens today.

Or he was until the schedules were changed and ITV chose to screen Trevor in conversation with Frank Bruno instead.

“So, Frank, how many rounds are there in 45 minutes…?”’

Posted: 3rd, November 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

House Of Horrors

‘HOUSE OF Horrors sounds like just the sort of thing for Halloween TV (for the few of you who are not out chucking eggs and flour over your neighbours).

Messers Bodgit and Leggit at work

But – surprise, surprise – this is no blood-curdling, spine-tingling drama like Theatre Of Blood but another bloody DIY programme. Yawn, yawn.

This is a little better than usual in that it actually a hidden camera show exposing just what the plumber, builder, electrician etc. get up to (for their two grand an hour) when they think no-one’s looking.

The results as you might imagine are truly frightening, but what is less clear is what we are supposed to do about it. We could set up a CCTV camera in our homes to monitor their work, but we’d probably have to get a sparky in to do that.

And – sharp intake of breath through teeth – that isn’t as easy a job as it looks.’

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

Saving Chris Ryan

‘REMEMBER that bit in the movie Top Gun when you weren’t sure if you were watching another training run by Maverick and Goose or an actual bona fide dogfight?

Bravo Minus Two Zero

Tonight Chris Ryan creates a similar scenario when he is hunted on BBC1 at 9pm.

The former SAS man, and author of The One That Got Away, has been given a mission to seek and destroy a spy satellite that’s fallen into the Artic Circle.

It’s not just the ice and snow that are vying to stop Ryan from reaching his goal but four special–operations types in a “hunter force”.

Whereas TV’s survivalist Ray Mears just tells us how to endure the wilds, Ryan wants us to wrestle it, interrogate it and, if his superiors command it, administer a swift yet fatal blow to its goolies.

This race is taken so seriously by Ryan and his forceful challengers that you start to wonder if what you are watching is real.

If it is, Ryan should run for his life. If it isn’t, remind us not to play even a game of snap with these win-at-all-costs lunatics.’

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

Open Goal

‘SOME writers are blessed with luck and, when Kay Mellor sat down to write a one-off drama about a football star accused of rape, she could hardly have thought it would be broadcast at a more appropriate time.

What’s good for Claire Goose…

With a number of Premiership footballers being interviewed by police over alleged sexual assaults in recent weeks, notices about tonight’s programme Gifted (ITV1, 9pm) have to stress that the show is indeed fiction.

The story involves two students who head into town to celebrate the end of their exams and end up partying in a nightclub with a group of footballers.

Before long, one of the girls (Sharon, played by Christine Tremarco) is claiming that she has been drugged and raped by the team’s star player, while her friend (Maxine, played by Claire Goose) doesn’t know whether or not to believe her.

Kenny Doughty stars as the footballer in question in a programme that should at least alert footballers and football groupies to what can happen if an evening goes wrong.’

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

Bob’s Your Uncle

‘WE have a problem with people called Jon. Call us traditionalist, but the spelling is ‘John’. We commend your attention to the ‘h’. Even in its silence, you know it’s there, reassuringly normal and unadventurous.

‘No money, no cry’

Things are much the same with Ric. Yeah, Ric! Not Rick, or even Rik.

Both Ric and Jon appear in tonight’s episode of Holby City. Doubtless, these keen-to-be-modern takes on old and trusty names are intended to give the show some edginess. They do not.

Names provide links to the past and rarely, if ever, point to the future – although Wayne comes close.

Which is how it works with the Marley clan, the many people who share the surname of the man who brought Reggae to the Western masses.

Bob Marley is lionised pretty much everywhere as having been something of a legend. One respected critic did point out that Marley’s reggae is “reggae for Germans”, an opinion that was not, we suggest, intended to flatter Marley or Germans.

But to the name, the one Marley shared with his widow Rita, their four children and the seven little Marleys he had by other women.

Tonight BBC2 broadcasts Can’t Take It With You (10pm), which shows how the Marley millions were split between the Marley multitude.

It’s all complicated stuff, made none the less so by daddy Marley’s decision not to write a will before his death from cancer. The claims on his wealth are manifold.

And then the Wailers’ bassist Aston “Family Man“ Barrett comes on screen to say how he wants his cut, which should go some way to feeding his 39 children – none of which are believed to be called Jon, Ric, Billie, Sighman…’

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

Single Minded

‘ANYONE would think that Kym Marsh, one-time member of Hear’Say and sometime wife to former EastEnder Jack Ryder, had a single out, judging by her recent appearances on TV.

Marsh – the one without the big cleavage

Having turned up on the Frank Skinner Show at the weekend with new best friend Myleene Klass, tonight she is a guest on the long-running BBC2 show Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Myleene, you might remember, was the one in Hear’Say who used to show off her cleavage a lot. Sadly, Myleene has now lost a lot of weight and, her cleavage having suffered as a result, she has had to swap pop music for the classical version.

Kym, however, never had much of a cleavage to start with and so continues her bid for pop stardom. A return to hosting Ann Summers parties awaits.

Other guests on tonight’s show are Casualty’s Kwame Kwei-Amah, Gary Wilmot and Simon Anstell. Kym Marsh’s new single, Sentimental, is released today.’

Posted: 27th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Fright Night

‘BY rights last night’s Parkinson interview with Meg Ryan should have been included in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Scary Moments – there is nothing worse for an interviewer than an unresponsive interviewee.

Be afraid, be very afraid!

However, it must be said that Parky (who is normally such a good questioner) did seem to go out of his way to alienate Ms Ryan by wilfully misunderstanding what she was saying and, finally, being just plain rude.

Whoever’s fault it was, the interview came too late to make the Top 100, the first half of which were broadcast last night and the second half of which will be shown tonight.

So far, it has been quite an interesting mix of clips with a public service film about drowning in quarry pools being broadcast next to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, the title sequence from Doctor Who and Fatal Attraction.

What will come top we don’t know, but our money is on a long-forgotten clip of Eamonn Holmes and Lisa Riley mud-wrestling. Ugh!’

Posted: 26th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Wheels On Fire

‘TELEVISION loves broadcasting annual general meetings, those yearly events when the film industry gives its Oscars, music its Grammys and stuntmen set each other on fire and give each other punches in the head.

‘Can you smell burning?’

The third World Stunt Awards (Sky One, 9pm) is hosted by Dennis Hopper and sees awards presented by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carrie-Anne Moss.

Prizes are given for nine categories of endeavour, including best fire stunt, best work with a vehicle and best fight.

And we should applaud these people who set themselves alight for our entertainment, because very soon – what with the advent of computer technology – they’ll all be unemployed or earning their crust as human canon balls.

For those who do not have satellite television, and are thus deprived of such cutting-edge stuff, at the same hour BBC1 is showing Absolutely Fabulous.

Tonight, Eddy contemplates becoming a grandmother – and struggles to understand why daughter Saffy is looking larger than usual.

Before falling thirty stories into a skip full of cardboard boxes.’

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

Hunting Victoria

‘NEXT Monday, there is a programme on BBC1 called Looking For Victoria, in which Prunella Scales takes the role of our longest-reigning and determinedly unamused monarch opposite her real-life husband Timothy West.

‘We’ll count to 10 and then come after you’

We only mention this because tonight there is a programme called Hunting Chris Ryan, in which the former SAS man has to carry out set tasks in some of the world’s most inhospitable places while being chased by a team of four Special Forces soldiers.

As the two programmes are on the same channel and at the same time (9pm), we wondered whether they were in fact related.

While Chris Ryan is trying to retrieve a cache of communications equipment from the jungle in Honduras, is Prunella Scales as Queen Victoria battling through the wilds of Siberia, trying to stay one step ahead of a team of pursuing Cossacks?

All we can say is that we hope so. And if not, isn’t it time the BBC started thinking a bit more laterally about its programming to try to bring history to life. Come on, guys – push the envelope and all that jazz.’

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

Oil Be Damned

‘DISAPPOINTMENT comes in many forms. But finding out the Dallas which Channel 4 are showing today at 1pm is not the Ewing family saga but a movie from 1950 is right up their with the best of them.

‘Who called John Ross a delinquent?’

The film is not all that bad, and, in truth, anyone watching movies at this hour of the day is pumped up on enough prescription drugs to probably find Des and Mel on ITV entertaining (also at 1pm).

Those poor souls who are too infirm to know what they doing or in traction from a nasty fall at work will most likely still be staring at the magic box at 10:35 when BBC1 continues it’s One Life series with the Diary Of A Delinquent.

For the past ten years director Mags Gavan has spent some of her time filming the life of Cardiff local Bianca. The stalking-style documentary began when Bianca was just 12 years old, and newly released from a secure unit.

What follows is much traumatic stuff, of the kind that genuinely depresses even the most glad-hearted types.

Whether you actually like watching what is a downbeat and glum life is a matter of taste. At least for the bed-bound, there are the drugs to perk them up.’

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

Men In Tights

‘FOLLOWING on from our observation on TV’s latest ruse – making identical programmes but calling them by different names – tonight we present an episode of Faking It, in which eight shipyard workers get to train with the English National Ballet.

‘Anyone want to swap?’

Except it is not called Faking It because that was a Channel 4 programme – it is called Men In Tights and is on ITV tonight at 9.45. Billy Elliot, eat your heart out.

If you’re a fan of these Trading Places programmes, then tonight is a bumper night with Wife Swap on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Tonight sees Victorian mum Judith swap her clean and efficient household in Leyland for the Stevenage home of Belinda, a woman who doesn’t believe in disciplining her children, letting them eat what they want and go to bed when they want.

Needless to say, the experiment ends in tears with Judith unable to cope with Belinda’s children, Judith’s husband unable to cope with Belinda and the viewers unable to cope with any of the above.

Wife-swapping was never less fun.’

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

The Blaine Drain

‘COULD you go for 44 day without food? Of course it depends on how fat you are to start with, what the reserves are like. But could you?

How many meals a day?

Until yesterday David Blaine was trying to see if he could. Or make that, he’d been trying to see if we believe he could.

Blaine is an illusionist, and when one of that type tells you he’s going to sit in a box for 44 days and not eat you should scratch your chin and invoke the memory of Jimmy Hill.

Tonight at 9pm Channel 4 will broadcast Blaine’s re-emergence into decent society, albeit one peopled with eggs throwers, chest flashers and those who tried to poison his water supply.

And we at home will wonder what we have learned from this experience.

Never ones to applaud the hooligan element, it is though undeniable that there has been something heartening in watching and reading about the British reaction to a self-aggrandising show off.

Ladies and gentlemen have your rotten eggs and tomatoes at the ready, the ego has landed.’

Posted: 20th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment (1)

Old News

‘HAVE I Got News For You is lucky in the regard that there is always fresh material to poke fun at.

‘Whose line is it anyway?’

The last series, however, foundered after keeper of scores Angus Deayton was exposed as being every bit as depraved as the people the show lampoons, and sacked.

The skill with Deayton was not that he was funny or especially witty but that he was a good enough performer to be relied upon to act funny and read an autocue.

The likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Anne Robinson and Boris Johnson all had goes at filling Deayton’s shoes and all (with the unwitting exception of Johnson) failed to impress.

As the official BBC website says: ”He is still sorely missed, and will be for a long time.”

So to the new series, which starts on BBC1 at 9:30 tonight, and the question of who will be the foil for Paul Merton and Ian Hislop’s barbs?

At the time of writing we have been unable to find out, a situation that might owe less to secrecy and more to the fact that the Beeb is still hunting for somehow who might want the job.

Perhaps the time to bring Deayton back has come? Or for the show to be finally laid to rest?’

Posted: 17th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Former Glory

‘FOR those of you who can remember the original Superstars, tonight’s line-up in the remake of the old Seventies/Eighties classic might seem a bit lame.

‘I’d love it if ‘e fell off ‘is bike!’

After all, the word “former” appears quite a lot on the biographies of the contestants – former world hurdles champion Colin Jackson, former Olympic rowers Greg and Johnny Searle, former England rugby captain Phil De Glanville, former England full-back Stuart Pearce…

But we have to accept that the days when the country’s top sportsmen would willingly risk injury for the sake of a few quid on a TV gameshow are long gone.

Those of us who remember Kevin Keegan crashing off his bike at high speed and being hospitalised the day after playing a game can only laugh at the reaction of, say, Sir Alex Ferguson were Ryan Giggs to suffer a similar fate.

So, we won’t get the modern day equivalents of James Hunt or Brian Jacks or John Conteh, but the line-up of 50-odd former stars over the next few weeks is still quite impressive.

Johnny Vaughan and Suzi Perry are the hosts.’

Posted: 16th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Miner Achievement

‘MICHAEL Portillo will never become Prime Minster of this fair land because of one simple truth. No, it’s not because he’s a Tory. And it’s not because he’s called Michael, like Barrymore and Jackson. It’s because his name ends in the letter ‘o’.

‘The surgery worked!’

But it is fun watching Portillo trying to overcome this handicap and be popular. And tonight the charm offensive takes our man in the nice suit to the Miner household on Merseyside for When Michael Portillo Became A Single Mum.

This show does not do exactly what it says on the tin. Portillo has not undergone some sort of rapid change facilitated by modern surgical techniques or even tried to woo the transvestite vote and pulled on a corset and tights – well, none that are visible.

He’s simply taken over the running of the household of a genuine single mum called Jenny.

For one week, Portillo has to hold down Jenny’s two jobs, as a classroom assistant and a supermarket shelf-stacker, and look after Jenny’s four rowdy children.

On BBC2 at 9pm you can see how he copes in this living Hell. Or El, as the man of Spanish extraction might put it. Cheeri-o.’

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

The Becks Files

‘AS if David and Victoria Beckham hadn’t had enough publicity over the past few years, tonight sees the first part of a three-part documentary called The Posh And Becks Years.

‘Is there anybody out there?’

Its stated aim is to explore the cultural phenomenon that is Britain’s most famous celebrity couple – but, this being Sky One, you know it is just going to be a rehash of old clips, interviews and the usual talking heads.

In this evening’s first part, as if we needed reminding, we are taken back to the early years – 1996 to 1998.

For those who are too young to remember, you might be surprised to learn that Posh did once have a job – as a non-singing, non-dancing member of a group called the Spice Girls – and Becks was not always the darling of the British public he is now.

In fact, his petulant kick on Argentina’s Diego Simeone in the World Cup of 1998, which earned him a red card, made him the country’s Public Enemy No.1 for a while.’

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

Teen Building

‘TEEN Big Brother can at least boast one achievement that its grown-up version couldn’t manage – sex.

Each to their own

Jade Dyer and Tommy Wright, both 18, did what Paul and Helen and PJ and Jade and Anoushka and anyone who was interested failed to do and actually got it together in the famous house.

We know this because Channel 4 have let it slip, presumably to try to attract viewers to its new show that starts this evening.

Teen Big Brother: The Experiment was designed as a Lord Of The Flies experience (and intended for Channel 4’s educational strand 4Learning) with the inmates being voted out by each other rather than the public.

However, it is the sex that sells, as executive producer Elaine Hackett acknowledged. ‘What you’ll see is a rustle under the duvet,” she said. “You can’t say that there was sex in the house and then not show it.’

You can, but you wouldn’t get as many people to watch your programme.’

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

A Rose By Any Other Name

‘DO we detect a new trend on TV, whereby channels remake their existing programmes but under different names?

A still from our pilot programme

For instance, tonight on BBC2 there is a new series in which guests are invited on to moan about stuff that irritates them.

Room 101 must be back, you say. But no, this programme is called Grumpy Old Men and differs from Room 101 in one important respect – all guests are men of a certain age, like John Peel, Rory McGrath and Arthur Smith.

And what about BBC1’s Out-Take TV, a collection of all-too-predictable cock-ups from the TV archives? Didn’t Terry Wogan used to present something called Auntie’s Bloomers, featuring a collection of all-too-predictable cock-ups from the TV archives?

This is one bandwagon we’re jumping on early as we sell the BBC this idea we’ve been mulling over for a while about an everyday story of some really miserable folk living in the East End of London…’

Posted: 10th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment


‘MOST people’s knowledge of poetry doesn’t extend much beyond Rudyard Kipling’s If. At least, that is the only reason we can imagine why it was voted Britain’s Favourite Poem in a poll a few years ago.

Lousy poet, good cake-maker

In fact, we have always found that a good approach to life is to act exactly contrary to the various injunctions contained in that poem – don’t treat triumph and disaster just the same, don’t fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, etc…

Why this sudden diatribe against Kipling? Well, today is National Poetry Day (as you were no doubt aware) and that means half an hour on BBC tonight of Essential Poems For Britain.

Why they are essential we do not know, but the programme does include readings by some of the country’s top actors of some of the country’s top poets, Williams Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Philip Larkin and the like.

No doubt Kipling will squeeze in somewhere, urging us all for some reason to wait and not be tired of waiting. He should have stuck to doing what he knows best – making cakes.’

Posted: 9th, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Tangled Up In Blue

‘THE world divides into people who find Jim Carrey funny and people who find Jim Carrey irritating. We are in the latter group, which is just one of the reasons why we won’t be watching Me, Myself And Irene tonight.

‘I have nothing to offer except blood, tears, 3 million unemployed…’

But if you are in the first group and not only can stomach Carrey’s silly walks and sillier faces but also don’t mind off-colour jokes about schizophrenia, then tune into ITV1 tonight at 9pm.

However, there is something much funnier (and full of just as many off-colour jokes) earlier in the day – the Tory Party conference.

Gone are the days, sadly, when the TV stations would broadcast highlights of the conferences in the evening for people who were at work during the day.

But luckily the Tories managed to create enough unemployed people during their 18 years in power to ensure that as many people tune into their annual shindig as there are hairs on party leader Iain Duncan Smith’s head.

Today, it is shadow chancellor Michael Howard’s turn to bring the house down.’

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

Reality Bites

‘WE are working on the ultimate reality TV show and can’t decide between Britain’s Worst Dressed Celebrity Driver and Bone Idle, in which contestants compete to see who can sit on their backside and do nothing for longest.

Why human cloning must never be allowed to happen

And it is only a matter before our phone starts ringing off the hook from producers desperate to find yet more inane ways of plugging holes in their winter schedules.

But for the time being, we have to exist on what morsels we can get, which this evening includes Wife Swap (in which a mother-of-two from Devon swaps places with a mother-of-eight from a council estate in Rochdale), Gardeners From Hell, Britain’s Worst Driver, At Home With The Eubanks, A Life Of Grime and Property Ladder.

Still in production are some of our earlier ideas, like Mud In Your Eye (in which Britain’s worst gardeners swap places and make a mess of each other’s gardens) and At Home With The Reality TV Hosts From Hell (in which audience members discover what it would be like to be trapped in a house with four Davina McCalls).

We look forward to the royalty cheques flooding in.’

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

Turning The Air Blue

‘THE best thing about the Frank Skinner show, which returns to our screens at 10.30 (ITV1) tonight, is that there is no David Baddiel. The worst thing is that, even after so many years, Frank thinks he can sing.

And that, children, is how coconuts were invented

But that aside, his interviews, normally with C-listers, are frequently amusing affairs and tonight’s guest – a certain shy, retiring Brighton belle by the name of Katie Price – promises to be no exception.

Skinner has in the past described Jordan – for it is she – as his ideal woman, although ideal for what we don’t know. Ideal as a crash mat no doubt or somewhere to park your bicycle, but surely nothing else.

Last time she was on the show, she told the nation far more about her sex life than any of us ever wanted to know – and we should expect her to do likewise tonight.

As for the show, the format’s pretty much the same as ever, although the sketches have gone to be replaced by a stand-up routine. Music comes from Blue. All rise…’

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

Fame And Fortune

‘POP Idol may have a few weeks left to go, but Fame Academy comes to an end tonight with Alex, Ali and Carolynne battling it out for the dubious distinction of becoming the new David Sneddon.

It’s your choice

Alex is firm favourite, as she has been pretty well through the entire show, but we think Ali (whose odds are shortening all the time) could sneak in and take the prize.

For some reason, audiences seem to vote for men in greater numbers than they vote for women – it isn’t a coincidence that Pop Idol was won by a man, the first Fame Academy was won by a man and three out of four Big Brothers have been won by men.

And Ali has the advantage of singing a Blue song in the final – something that will no doubt stand him in good stead with the teenybopper audience.

Meanwhile, over on the other side, only two of the next group of 10 hopefuls can make it through to the Pop Idol final.’

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

Sense Of Uma

‘BRITNEY Spears was slated as the guest on tonight’s Jonathan Ross show, but the man who put the W back in Fridays has definitely traded up with the delectable Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino coming in to talk about their new film, Kill Bill, instead.

‘Are you Arnie in disguise?’

Sadly, with Thurman newly single after the collapse of her marriage to Ethan Hawke, we may have to put up with the host’s desperate attempts to be flirtatious, although hopefully the presence of Tarantino will keep him on his best behaviour.

However, Wossie is at his best when he is talking about film, which is a subject he undoubtedly knows a lot about, rather than showing off – so hopefully tonight’s interview will be a good one.

The film itself (which also stars Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, David Carradine and Michael Madsen) is rumoured to be pretty good as well, as UK audiences will be able to see for themselves in a fortnight’s time.

Har Mar Superstar and comedian Bill Bailey complete the line-up.’

Posted: 3rd, October 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment