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.

Three Is The Tragic Number

‘WHAT happened to the girls who used to so Page 3 modelling?

Try again, luv. It’s Page 3…

It’s a question many of us want answered. Do they make their way under the table and into a brown paper bag at some seedy bookshop?

Or do they go onto achieve fame and fortune as catwalk models in Milan, New York and all those other so glam boutique shops in the Essex area?

Tonight Channel FIVE finds out what the likes of Zoe from Basildon and Lorna from Southend do when the camera film runs out.

From 9pm, FIVE explores what it is to be an ex-Page 3 girl. You might see a hint of plot-building cleavage and even an educational nipple, but this is the new upmarket FIVE with no titillation.

The girls themselves are surprisingly candid and honest about what life was like in the photographer’s studio. The dink and the drugs get ample air.

They want to get things off their chests.’

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

Thumbs Down

‘THE greatest moment of Channel 4’s The Games, apart from Bobby Davro’s bellyflop from the high-board, has to be a conversation between the aforementioned Davro and chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.Yesterday, the pair had a heated conversation about the pressures of fame and fortune – which is rather like Vanessa Feltz and Lisa Riley sharing their experiences of anorexia.

Even in his blurb for the show, it is said that Davro is best known for his “outrageous” appearance on Live At Her Majesty’s in 1983. Even elephants don’t remember what happened at some variety show 20 years ago.

As for Jean-Christophe, all we are told is that he has cooked for Tony Blair, Salman Rushdie, Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Bowie. We don’t know if it was in a restaurant, at McDonalds or at one crazy, crazy dinner party.

Anyway after tonight, Bobby and Jean Christophe will once again be thrown to the mercy of the paparazzi and baying newshounds because it’s the last night of competition.

In the final event, the men have to go and take a running jump (which is something they must have been asked to do many times) and the women (or any ones fit enough to take part) throw a hammer.’

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

Hospital Porter

‘SUDDENLY they’re dropping like flies. First of all it was Gail Porter’s turn to pull out of Channel 4’s The Games with a recurrence of the hamstring injury she incurred in training.

Gail gets ready on the high board

“I feel like I’ve let everyone down,” the Scot sobbed – and she was right. She had been on TV for two hours and hadn’t even taken her clothes off.

And then the current leader of the women’s event Terri Dwyer (a Hollyoaks actress who left to further her career) sustained a groin injury in the skating and had to jump into a bath of ice.

Of course, this might have had far more to do with getting her picture in this morning’s papers than any medical advice, but let’s hope it is as successful in curing the ailment as it was in securing a bit of tabloid attention.

Meanwhile, male viewers’ eyes are still watering from Bobby Davro’s belly flop from the high board on Monday night.

But James Hewitt remains the man to beat, although having picked up a perfect six points in the first two events he failed to qualify for last night’s face-off on the ice.’

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

Let The Games Begin

‘WHERE The Games: Live fails is that the contestants are not good enough at sport to hold our interest (like in Superstars) and not bright enough to be Krypton Factor types.

Brian Apsely, 26, from Harrogate

The show would be improved upon if the agonists were not real celebrities but just dressed up like them. It would be It’s A Knockout with Vanessa Feltz fat suits and huge, square Anthea Turner heads replacing the penguin costumes of old.

But the powers that be can only see what they see, and chose instead to give Gail Porter and Mel C the oxygen of publicity.

Meanwhile there’s Other’s People’s Houses (C4 at 8pm) in which a small woman called Naomi, who dresses and talks like Hitler’s interior designer, takes the rising damp out of people’s taste.

While on BBC2 at 9pm you can catch Chelsea Tales, a story of the life in what is billed as “Britain’s richest square mile”.

All in all, these TV crimes make The Bill’s (ITV at 8pm) everyday tale of villainy seem positively innocent.’

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

Nail In The Coughin’

‘ONE person who, one imagines, will not be back to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is Major Charles Ingram, but the three contestants who won the jackpot without the aid of strategic coughing will be.

‘I’d give it all just to meet Judith Chalmers’

They will join three celebrities (of course) in trying to answer as many questions and grab as much money for charity as possible.

However, it says something about how the show has slumped since Judith Keppel became the first person to walk out with a seven-figure cheque that the best Celador could attract for tonight’s special is David Seaman, Judith Chalmers and Tara Palmer Tomkinson.

The word is that, with declining ratings, the producers could be looking for a new host to take over from Chris Tarrant, but in reality this show is never going to regain its stratospheric popularity unless Elvis himself uses it as a vehicle for his comeback.’

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

Playing Games

‘THOSE of certain age will remember Superstars, the TV show where sportsmen competed for points in various disciplines, like climbing a wall and seeing how many squat thrusts they could do in 60 seconds.

Mel C has been training hard

Brian Jacks was very good at these. Apparently a judo exponent, Jacks made a name as a squat thrusts expert. In the pantheon of squat thrusters, Jacks was the best.

Soon, inexplicably given Jacks and his abilities, the show died. Time past on and one day Channel 4 ran out of ideas.

All the bight young things with the TV-trigger minds have gone soft, gone bad or gone away. And the dross left at the broadcaster came up with The Games 2003.

The date is important, suggesting that there will be a 2004 a 2005 and even a 2006 of the show – a show that is essentially a rebranding of Super Stars, with celebrities in place of sportsmen.

So at 6pm ten celebrities compete against each other in a test of mental and physical strength as cameras see if Melanie C can beat Gail Porter in a judo fight, and whether can Bobby Davro lift his own weight off the ground?

And if James Hewitt can hit the others in the shooting contest. Oh, we see. Apparently, that’s for series two…’

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

Bare Baiting

‘ON the Richter scale of showbiz surprises, the news that Rod Stewart’s ex is prepared to take her clothes off for her role in Denial, a UK version of Sex And The City, registers somewhere around the 0.0 mark.

‘I’m really a serious actor, darling’

It is almost impossible to open up a magazine or newspaper these days without seeing the model-turned-actress or her successor as Rod’s blonde du jour, Penny Lancaster, in an advanced state of undress.

If Rache rips her kit off on TV, then it is surely only a matter of time before Pen does likewise. The competition between the two is like a B-list version of the C-list scrap between Jordan and Jodie Marsh.

As for Denial, what can we say? Any time we hear talk of a British version of Friends or a British version of Seinfeld or a British version of Frasier, our skin starts to crawl.

It doesn’t matter if Rachel and her co-stars Frances Barber (star of the awful Manchild) and Emily Lloyd (star of Wish You Were Here) parade around naked from the first minute of the first episode, this one’s going down faster than a Club 18-30 rep in Faliraki.’

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

Life Is Sweet

‘FORGET the biological clock and take a closer look at the one over the kitchen sink as it strikes nine. That’s the witching hour when women take over the TV.

‘And I didn’t get the part in Doctors’

After the introduction of Rosemary And Thyme, ITV now brings us one stop closer to the madhouse with Sweet Medicine.

The setting for this folly is a family-run medical practice in Derbyshire – think Peak Practice meets All Creatures Great And Small meets Doctors.

GP Nick Sweet (crazy name, crazy guy) is in a tizzy because his father has died, leaving his in charge of the family firm. Ooer, what to do?

Should he go to London? Should he take over the business? Should he go mad and run amok through the countryside, like in, er, Peak Practice?

You could tune into see, or you could just run the old series of Peak Practice backwards. The choice is yours.’

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

Calendar Girls

‘AS a publicity stunt, the decision by members of Rylstone & District Women’s Institute to pose nude for their fund-raising calendar in 1999 was a stroke of complete genius, propelling them to international celebrity and raising a fortune for Leukaemia Research.

Doing the Full Monty?

It is a story that has now been immortalised in a film, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, which opens this week in the UK and is tipped to be a big success in the US when it opens there at the end of the year.

Tonight, BBC2 presents the true story behind the film, interviews with the stars and reports on what has happened to the 12 women who posed for the original calendar.

Coincidentally, over on ITV1 later this evening is The Full Monty, the film which Calendar Girls possibly most closely resembles, not just because it’s a British movie set in Yorkshire about taking your clothes off.

If you miss homeground: Calendar Girls at 7.30pm tonight, make sure you don’t miss the film, which manages to be both funny and touching in just the right measures.’

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

Shaker Not Stirred

‘MOST people’s vision of modern art and modern artists is obscured by a large dead shark pickled in foul smelling formaldehyde.

‘Over here, Maria’

There is also the small matter of Tray-cee Emin’s bed, adding a certain odour to the skewed view.

Tonight’s Grand Design Indoors (C4, 8:00pm) will not help you understand modern art any better, but it will enable you to know what kind of house Damien Hirst likes to spend his summers in.

That’s the thing about modern art – unlike old art, it pays the artist money while they’re still alive.

Damian and his wife, Maria Norman, are seen as they set to work establishing, creating and cogitating on their Shaker-style summer retreat in the grounds of their country home.

To those not in the know, Shaker means impoverished – think the set from TV’s Tenko, but with fewer design features.

So will Damian make a decent fist of it? Or will he just saw the whole thing in half and get plastered?

Watch and see…’

Posted: 2nd, September 2003 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Too Blue Peter

‘IT is going a bit far to talk of The Curse Of Blue Peter, but it’s a good title under which to review the fall from grace of such stalwarts of the programme as John Leslie, Richard Bacon and Anthea Turner.

Shep’s coke habit was all too apparent

In fact, any title is a good one under which to chart the decline of the chocolate-loving Anthea, who these days is thankfully as absent from our screens as a few years ago she was omnipresent.

But we also get to dig out the old clips of Peter Duncan in a softcore porn movie, gasp in shock at Janet Ellis (mum of Sophie Ellis Bextor) becoming pregnant while not even being married and wonder how on earth Mark Curry ever has anything resembling a career.

For older viewers, we also relive the sacking of Christopher Trace in the 1960s for committing adultery on a Blue Peter trip to Norway (“Here’s one I laid earlier”) and the revelations that Valerie Singleton and Michael Sundin were gay.

Definitely not one to miss. Tonight at 9pm on five.’

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

Clever Trevor

‘IT is hard on a Friday to find anything that touches Will And Grace (Channel 4, 9pm) for entertainment value.

Worth more than 10% of audience share

The entire concept of Restoration on BBC2 (9pm) is so painfully dull that the best thing would be to put the programme into one of the crumbling piles it features and send for the explosives.

Eyes Down on BBC1 (9om) is a tired formula from the off – the stale bingo hall serves as the hi-de-hi holiday camp.

So Will And Grace it is, and after that Trevor’s World of Sport (BBC1, 9:30).

This show is what British TV can do very well. While not exactly a sitcom, and not a drama, it sits comfortably between the two, reliant of good writing and talented acting for its appeal.

Paul Reynolds and Neil Pearson are perfectly cast as the sports agents – one with a heart the other a psychotic disorder.

Tonight’s episode features footballer’s Robbie Keane and Graeme Le Saux. And as any body who has even seen footballers attempt acting knows, their presence should garner a laugh.’

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

Fat Chancers

‘TELEVISION is getting increasingly flabby round the midriff.

Rik is half the man he used to be

From Celebrity Fit Club to The Fattest Men in Britain, ITV has stared wide-eyed in wonder at the sheer size of the population.

This is a surprise, since the channel is also home to Fern Britten and Lisa Riley, two women who have not let their huge size prevent them from reaching the front of the showbiz buffet.

But tonight ITV asks us once more to gasp like a fat man chasing an ice-cream van as we watch 8-30 stoners (9pm).

The title suggests the chance to see scantily clad nubile young things showing off their more discreet tattoos to the camera and imbibing lots of pills.

We do get plenty of flesh. In the flesh stakes, each star of 18-30 Stoners possesses the approximate equivalent square inch of naked, quivering flesh as an entire beach resort in Greece.

The premise is that over a week, experts try to improve the specimens of fathood, moulding them into shape.

What shape depends on the mould. But the smart money is on a big round one.’

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

The Beeb’s Last Stand

‘WE’VE looked at the listings for a few of tonight’s TV shows in a national newspaper. And here are a few of those hilarious outtakes.

‘Where’s Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen when you need him?’

“This week, a team cleans a council flat where a man has died” (A Life Of Grime, BBC1 9:30). It’s a repeat.

“Tidying a Grade Two-listed house” (The Life Laundry, 8:000 BBC2).

Reading these programme biogs make you hope that there is some irony at play. Is this a joke?

No, it’s TV the way the BBC makes it.

Thanks to the Hutton Inquiry, the BBC is looking like an edgy broadcaster of dangerous things. And then you look at what it broadcasts for the other 99.9% of the time.

And once again the best show is found on FIVE, where Battlefield Detectives revisit the location of Custer’s Last Stand (8pm).

If this sounds dull, and a night with Dr Douglas Scott and Prof Richard Fox lacks appeal, read this, as found in the aforesaid paper.

“The men had been shot, stabbed, slashed, scalped, castrated and had their arms and legs cut off by the Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.”

Later BBC has a show about how this messy scene was all cleaned up.’

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

Five Alive

‘CHANNEL FIVE has a problem.

The Beeb is still flogging a dead horse

Unlike the BBC, with its two main channels and two sister digital channels, and ITV with its relationship with Channel 4 and it’s own ITV2, it stands alone.

It has developed links with Sky – the tentacles of Rupert Murdoch’s empire stretching into the mainstream from out there in satellite space – but it is for the large part its own man.

The problem is that like any individual it has a range of tastes.

So tonight in among the imported American crime shows – CSI: Miami; CSI: Crime Scene Investigations; The Shield – there sits The Story of Art Deco.

Now we are not going to tell you that this is required viewing – just that it is on before Jennifer Lopez: The Story and after the news.

All we know is that this week the show comes back to Britain. Which suggest it’s been away, travelling the world like some 1930 David Dickinson, oohing an ahhing at antiques.

Meanwhile Channel 4 has repeats and some repeats of repeats; ITV has Carole Vorderman; BBC2 has a show about restoring decrepit church halls and monasteries – perhaps turning them into theme pubs – and BBC1 has Only Fools And Horses.

FIVE might not stick to the point, but it at least strives for originality. What of the rest? If Murdoch does take over, FIVE might be the best broadcaster out there.’

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

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


‘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