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.
The Helios console Led Zeppelin used it to record Stairway to Heaven is for sale. And that’s not all. The mixing desk is the combination of two recording consoles pulled together n 1996 by Elvis Costello and Squeeze’s Chris Difford.
They used part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) and part of Alvin Lee’s Helios console from Space Studios (1973-1979).
The two consoles were combined in 1996 after Difford and Costello acquired both from storage in order to set up their own studio HeliosCentric Studios ‘which would be for everyone to use – a chapel of music in a quiet spot.’ They sought advice from the original creator of Helios, Dick Swettenham, and carefully amalgamated the pair to create what is arguably one of Swettenham’s first, last, and largest project.
The newly combined console was installed on a peaceful farm in Rye that became a haven for musical artists and has been in constant use ever since. Artists who have used the console in both their original and amalgamated guises include: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople, Cat Stevens, Free, KT Tunstall, Athlete, Paolo Nutini, Sia, Olly Murrs, Dido, Pet Shop Boys, Scouting For Girls, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Mud, Gary Barlow, Supergrass and Keane.
Department Specialist Claire Tole-Moir comments: ‘It is hard to overestimate how crucial a role this console has played in the British rock and pop scene. It is entirely unique, being an amalgamation of two already incredibly influential and important consoles, and in its current form has hosted some of the most popular bands of recent years. Songs and albums recorded on this bespoke console and its original parts rank among some of the most recognizable and best-loved pieces of music in existence, and have resulted in Grammys, Brit Awards and multiple number one spots. This console is a piece of Britain’s modern cultural history.’
One hundred years ago, just two weeks after the end of World War One, Billie Carleton, a 19-year-old actress staring in London’s West End, died of a drug overdose. The ramifications of her death lasted for decades. The gulls tory is a cracking read. By way a taster, here’s an extract from the story from the brilliant Flashbak.com:
The time was ripe for a moral panic, and in February 1916 cocaine was again mentioned in the newspapers when Horace Kingsley, an ex-soldier and ex-convict, and Rose Edwards, a London prostitute, were each given six months’ hard labour for selling cocaine to Canadian soldiers at a military camp in Folkestone. The day after the verdict, the Times’ medical correspondent came down hard on the drug: ‘Cocaine is more deadly than bullets,’ he wrote – an extraordinarily crass thing to write when in the preceding month alone about 10,000 British men had perished on the Western Front, many by bullets. The ignorant stupidity continued when he added that ‘most cocainomaniacs carry a revolver to protect themselves against imaginary enemies’. A few days later an H. C. Ross wrote to the same newspaper about ‘small silver matchboxes’ he had seen in well-known West-End jewellers that were designed to be sent to friends and loved ones on the front and which contained three tubes filled with tablets of morphine hydrochloride, to be taken when severely wounded. The letter concluded, ‘Morphiomania is a terrible malady.’ Which indeed it is, but possibly not of undue concern to a soldier who has just had his leg shot off.
A contemporary illustration of the ‘sordid’ opium party at Dover Street in September 1918.
The Times, ironically, had recently been carrying advertisements for preparations of morphine and cocaine by Harrods and Savory & Moore (Mayfair chemists and suppliers to King George V), describing them as a ‘useful present for friends at the front’. In February 1916, both stores were found guilty of selling morphine and cocaine contrary to restrictions contained in the 1908 Poisons and Pharmacy Act. The prosecutor, Sir William Glyn-Jones, secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society and practising barrister, made a point of saying that it was an ‘exceedingly dangerous thing for a drug like morphine to be in the hands of men on active service … it might have the effect of making them sleep on duty, or other very serious results’. Both Harrods and Savory & Moore were fined, albeit nominal amounts. In July 1916 Regulation 40B of the Defence of the Realm Act came into effect, which criminalised the possession or sale of opium or cocaine by anyone except licensed chemists, doctors and vets. Further domestic legislation followed after the war when the Treaty of Versailles contained a clause requiring signatories to introduce domestic drugs legislation. In Britain this evolved into the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920; this Act changed drug addiction to a penal offence, though up to then, within the medical profession, it had been treated as a disease.
Carleton’s death, seemingly of cocaine, and the subsequent inquest and court cases often featured on the front pages until April 1919, and both The Times and the Daily Express used the case as an excuse to run an investigation into London’s illicit drug trade…
Brad Pitt still loves Jennifer Aniston. The National Enquirer breaks the news. In doing so the magazine finds reason to restore Pitt and Aniston to its front page, which is lucky. We have to wade into the magazine, not reading more until page 10, where we learn of Brad’s “rekindled” romance with ex-wife No. 1 Jennifer Aniston.
A “source” tells that Brad has “never stopped loving Jen”. And what speaks more of timeless love than divorce, 13 years of separation and marriage to Angelina Jolie? Sainted Jolie will be doubtless delighted to learn that Jen is the only women Brad ever truly loved.
Bigger news from that that is news that Elvis Presley has been “kidnapped and tortured”. Can it be that didn’t die but was stolen to order, possibly by a nefarious Eastern mogul who wanted Elvis to croon for him and him alone?
The truth, according to the NE, is revealed in a “trove” of secret letters Elvis penned 50 years ago. Apparently in reaction to Harum Scarum, a 1965 movie flop starring the singer, thugs drugged, kidnapped and abused The King. The villains ripped off Elvis’ clothes, burnt his flesh with lit cigarettes and a red-hot poker, kicked him repeatedly, forced him to drink a blood cocktail, injected him with all manner of drugs and stabbed him in the leg with a corkscrew. He was “near death” when he was rushed to hospital. All true. And all revealed in letters Elvis sent to “Hollywood spiritual advisor Carmen Montez”. Sadly, she and Elvis are both dead – but you can read all about in a new book by someone who isn’t.
Lastly, Jennifer Garner is to “secretly” marry John Miller. When they will secretly marry is unsaid, but should it happen remember: you read it first in the Enquirer…
Ricky Jay was 72 when he died (June 26, 1946 – November 24, 2018). The actor, writer, historian and close-up magician features in a terrific article by Mark Singer for The New Yorker in 1993. The opening bars are great:
The playwright David Mamet and the theatre director Gregory Mosher affirm that some years ago, late one night in the bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago, this happened:
Ricky Jay, who is perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive, was performing magic with a deck of cards. Also present was a friend of Mamet and Mosher’s named Christ Nogulich, the director of food and beverage at the hotel. After twenty minutes of disbelief-suspending manipulations, Jay spread the deck face up on the bar counter and asked Nogulich to concentrate on a specific card but not to reveal it. Jay then assembled the deck face down, shuffled, cut it into two piles, and asked Nogulich to point to one of the piles and name his card.
“Three of clubs,” Nogulich said, and he was then instructed to turn over the top card.
He turned over the three of clubs.
Mosher, in what could be interpreted as a passive-aggressive act, quietly announced, “Ricky, you know, I also concentrated on a card.”
After an interval of silence, Jay said, “That’s interesting, Gregory, but I only do this for one person at a time.”
Mosher persisted: “Well, Ricky, I really was thinking of a card.”
Jay paused, frowned, stared at Mosher, and said, “This is a distinct change of procedure.” A longer pause. “All right-what was the card?”
“Two of spades.”
Jay nodded, and gestured toward the other pile, and Mosher turned over its top card.
Joan Crawford’s holiday tips – how to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with no hippies – “I always add a splash of vodka to everything”. Taken from her memoirs, Joan Crawford My Way of Life:
“Joan Crawford on entertaining at home: The best parties are a wild mixture. Take some corporation presidents, add a few lovely young actresses, a bearded painter, a professional jockey, your visiting friends from Brussels, a politician, a hairdresser, and a professor of physics, toss them all together. It’s especially important to have all age groups. Of course I wouldn’t want to have hippies come crawling in with unwashed feet, but all the younger people I know are bright and attractive and have something to say. They also dress like human beings. They love to listen, too. Another important party secret is I always add a splash of vodka to everything. Nobody ever knows and everyone ends up having a wonderful time.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896–December 21, 1940) – will now offer 13 ways to reuse your Thanksgiving turkey. The writers says the recipes were harvested from “old cook books, yellowed diaries of the Pilgrim Fathers, mail order catalogues, golf-bags and trash cans. Not one but has been tried and proven — there are headstones all over America to testify to the fact”.
Eat at cook’s own risk:
Turkey Cocktail: To one large turkey add one gallon of vermouth and a demijohn of angostura bitters. Shake.
Turkey à la Francais: Take a large ripe turkey, prepare as for basting and stuff with old watches and chains and monkey meat. Proceed as with cottage pudding.
Turkey and Water: Take one turkey and one pan of water. Heat the latter to the boiling point and then put in the refrigerator. When it has jelled, drown the turkey in it. Eat. In preparing this recipe it is best to have a few ham sandwiches around in case things go wrong.
Turkey Mongole: Take three butts of salami and a large turkey skeleton, from which the feathers and natural stuffing have been removed. Lay them out on the table and call up some Mongole in the neighborhood to tell you how to proceed from there.
Turkey Mousse: Seed a large prone turkey, being careful to remove the bones, flesh, fins, gravy, etc. Blow up with a bicycle pump. Mount in becoming style and hang in the front hall.
Stolen Turkey: Walk quickly from the market, and, if accosted, remark with a laugh that it had just flown into your arms and you hadn’t noticed it. Then drop the turkey with the white of one egg—well, anyhow, beat it.
Turkey à la Crême: Prepare the crême a day in advance. Deluge the turkey with it and cook for six days over a blast furnace. Wrap in fly paper and serve.
Turkey Hash: This is the delight of all connoisseurs of the holiday beast, but few understand how really to prepare it. Like a lobster, it must be plunged alive into boiling water, until it becomes bright red or purple or something, and then before the color fades, placed quickly in a washing machine and allowed to stew in its own gore as it is whirled around. Only then is it ready for hash. To hash, take a large sharp tool like a nail-file or, if none is handy, a bayonet will serve the purpose—and then get at it! Hash it well! Bind the remains with dental floss and serve.
Feathered Turkey: To prepare this, a turkey is necessary and a one pounder cannon to compel anyone to eat it. Broil the feathers and stuff with sage-brush, old clothes, almost anything you can dig up. Then sit down and simmer. The feathers are to be eaten like artichokes (and this is not to be confused with the old Roman custom of tickling the throat.)
Turkey à la Maryland: Take a plump turkey to a barber’s and have him shaved, or if a female bird, given a facial and a water wave. Then, before killing him, stuff with old newspapers and put him to roost. He can then be served hot or raw, usually with a thick gravy of mineral oil and rubbing alcohol. (Note: This recipe was given me by an old black mammy.)
Turkey Remnant: This is one of the most useful recipes for, though not, “chic,” it tells what to do with the turkey after the holiday, and how to extract the most value from it. Take the remnants, or, if they have been consumed, take the various plates on which the turkey or its parts have rested and stew them for two hours in milk of magnesia. Stuff with moth-balls.
Turkey with Whiskey Sauce: This recipe is for a party of four. Obtain a gallon of whiskey, and allow it to age for several hours. Then serve, allowing one quart for each guest. The next day the turkey should be added, little by little, constantly stirring and basting.
For Weddings or Funerals: Obtain a gross of small white boxes such as are used for bride’s cake. Cut the turkey into small squares, roast, stuff, kill, boil, bake and allow to skewer. Now we are ready to begin. Fill each box with a quantity of soup stock and pile in a handy place. As the liquid elapses, the prepared turkey is added until the guests arrive. The boxes delicately tied with white ribbons are then placed in the handbags of the ladies, or in the men’s side pockets.
Richard Baker has died. The former BBC newsreader and Proms presenter was 93. Baker introduced the corporation’s first news bulletin broadcast on 5 July 1954. To many, his was the face of TV news. He also voiced the children’s series, Mary, Mungo & Midge, first produced by the BBC in 1969. Asked why he did not smile more often on television, Baker replied: “Because there is seldom anything in the news likely to make anyone smile.”
The Times adds:
Mr Baker served on a minesweeper with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War Two, which interrupted his studies at Cambridge University.
He was born in north London [Willesden] and was the son of a plasterer, attending grammar school before reading history and modern languages at Peterhouse College.
He worked for the BBC from 1954 until 1982.
The BBC recalls his big break:
In 1950, he wrote to the BBC asking if they were recruiting actors, resulting in an offer of a job as a presenter on what was then called the Third Programme, much later to become Radio 3…
When the news department began planning bulletins, Baker and Kenneth Kendall were recruited..
Notable how chance played a key role in so many careers…
Stan Lee, fabled comic book storyteller, is not dead. Well, he’s not if you get your news from this paper, which declares: “Spike Lee Dies at 95.” A grinning Stan Lee seems to enjoy the news in New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald:
‘The only advice anybody can give is, if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything” – Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018).
One story Stan Lee read and enjoyed was Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. The artist and storyteller who created Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men reads from the book. It’s terrific. Thank you for all the stories, Stan Lee. “Excelsior!”
Spotter: Stan Lee reads Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – Open Culture
The new biopic about Queen singer Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), tells us how he met the band and pulled his partner, Jim Hutton. The is much artistic licence. In one sun, Freddie Mercury tells the rest of the band about his HIV. It’s during rehearsals for their hymned 1985 Live Aid appearance. But Mercury wasn’t diagnosed until 1987. The rest of Queen did’t know the full extent of his illness illness until 1989.
He had a very responsible attitude to everyone that he was close to and he was a very generous and caring person to all the people that came through his life and more than that you can’t ask,” said May in 1991. “I tell you we do feel absolutely bound to stick up for him,” added Taylor, “because he can’t stick up for himself anymore, you know?”
Hymned director Martin Scorsese has produced a list of his eleven most terrifying horror movies. There’s nothing after 1983. This might be more down to his age than any decline in the standard of horror. Scorsese was born in late 1942. Maybe when he reached his 40s, he stopped being frightened?
It’s also notable that noticeable that many of the directors whose work impressed him are no longer alive. Robert Wise died in 2005; Vale Lewton (1951); Lewis Allen (2000); Frank de Felitta (2016); Alberto Cavalcanti (1982); Charles Crichton (1999); Basil Dearden (1971); Robert Hamer (1963); Stanley Kubrick (1999); Jacques Turner (1977); Jack Clayton (1995); and Alfred Hitchcock (1980). Perhaps there’s a bit of professional rivalry? Anyhow, the list if great:
The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
Isle of the Dead (Val Lewton, 1945)
The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944)
The Entity (Frank de Felitta, 1983)
Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer, 1945)
The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1980)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
The new away kit of the League of Ireland side Bohemians features a big photo of Bob Marley along with Rasta-styled trim. It looks a bit naff, a T-shirt version of those coffee bars in Amsterdam that play Bob Marley songs on loop in the hope that priapic Stag dos and goofed teens ignore the freezing winds and think they’re fighting for freedom in Jamaica. But the Bohs want to explain why they chose Marley and not Che Guevara or some other cultural totem turned by marketing ninnies into a hackneyed teen icon. Bob Marley played a gig at their Dalymount ground on 6 July 1980. The stadium has “special place in the hearts of football and music fans”. So Marley is on the shirt.
Denis Buckley was at that show. “Inside the dilapidated ground the facilities were woeful,” he recalled in an article for The Journal:
The national press pondered pompously on whether he should be allowed to bring his weed into the country. It was tempered by the prevailing belief that despite the epidemic of alcohol abuse throughout the county allowing this “Rastafarian” to bring marijuana into Ireland would be the gates opening on something far more damaging than the public brawling and domestic violence visible on every street.
The music itself was perfect for political messaging. The rhythm section was serious and adult. Dancing Queen it was not. Marley put a speech by Haile Selassie over a dub: “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and totally abandoned, everywhere is war.” Right time, right place.
The Boomtown Rats also played at Dalymount in the 1970s, but for some reason the club didn’t feel a large graphic of Bob Geldof would have the same impact.
Update time on the lives and loves of Ant McPartlin (dontchajustlovehim!) and his now ex-wife Lisa Armstrong (boo! hiss! move on, luv!).
Good ol’ Ant letting the women fight as he makes a dignified retreat.
Ant admitted adultery. And the Star leads with the news that Lisa, who was monstered in the Press, is “gagged” from liking tweets calling Ant’s new true love and rock, one Anne-Marie Corbett, a “backstabber”. Rumours are that Anne-Marie’s lawyers “reportedly demanded” Lisa stops liking messages calling Anne-Marie things like a “husband-stealer” and “cretin”. Yeah, that’s what we thought: when did Twitter become so civilised and measured? Although the Sun does says Lisa liked a tweet calling Ant a “lying addict”.
But the really irritating thing is that the Star says Lisa is in line for loadsa cash “from Ant’s £62m fortune”. His fortune? Surely their fortune?
This soft-soaping of poor Ant continues via Simon Cowell, who harps on about Ant being “grumpy” and “depressed. “We’re living in a time now when people do get depressed or crack up,” says Cowell, who not only has huge grasp on human history but also a vested interested in the world siding with good-old Ant, “and it was harder for him because it was in public.” His alleged affair wasn’t in public. His drug taking wasn’t in public. His crashing into car carrying a family whilst he was well over the drink-drive limit was in public.
Oscar the Grouch and big Bird are looking for a new inside man following news that Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has retired from the roles he’s performed since the show’s 1969 premiere.
“Big Bird brought me so many places, opened my mind and nurtured my soul,” said Spinney. “And I plan to be an ambassador for Sesame Workshop for many years to come. After all, we’re a family! But now it’s time for two performers that I have worked with and respected – and actually hand-picked for the guardianship of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch – to take my alter-egos into their hands and continue to give them life.”
After five decades as the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, it’s impossible to entirely separate the man from the characters he so vibrantly brought to life. Big Bird visited China with Bob Hope in 1979. He’s danced with the Rockettes, and with prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory. He’s been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrated with his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress. Performing Big Bird has taken Caroll to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has performed on hundreds of episodes of television, starred as his big yellow avatar in the feature film Follow That Bird, and conducted symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. Spinney even met his wife of 45 years, Debra, on the Sesame Street set in 1973.
From now on, Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson, will be warming Oscar and Big Bird. For an inkling of what they can expect, Spinney told Jessica Gross in 2015:
There used to be an urban tale that my right arm was twice the size of my left. Although that wasn’t true, I would say it was twice as strong. The bird’s head weighs four and a half pounds, which doesn’t sound heavy until you try to hold it over your head for fifteen minutes. A guy once said, “Well, four and a half pounds, that’s nothing. I could hold a hundred pounds over my head.” I said, “I don’t think so. I bet you can’t hold your empty hand over your head for five minutes, let alone if I put a four and a half pound head in your hand at the same time.” About two and a half minutes into it, he’s going, “Geez…” He never made it to the five minutes. He said, “This is stupid, I’m not doing this.” Well, he was stupid, anyway.
Actor Chow Yun-fat lives on around $100 US dollars a month in Hong Kong. The rest he’s saving to leave to charity when he dies. That’s all $714 million of it. Chow’s reminds of me a conversation I heard at a wedding. One of the men arrived in a top of the range Rolls Royce. Another guest, a man of astronomical wealth, arrived in a small VW Polo. “Time’s hard?” asked the first man of the second. “No,” came the reply. “Things are booming. It’s why I no longer need a Rolls.”
The Shanghaist reports on the minted star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:
Chow’s wife, Jasmine Tan, says that her husband manages to live so frugally in one of the world’s most expensive cities by frequenting street food stalls and rarely buying new things, according to an Oriental Daily report from last week. For example, for 17 years, Chow stuck with his trusty Nokia flip phone, only recently purchasing a new smartphone when his old device finally stopped working.
The 63-year-old Chow is often seen riding public transportation where he rocks a simple wardrobe — a shirt costing him 98 yuan ($14) and sandals costing another 15 yuan ($2). When asked why he likes to shop at discount shops despite his tremendous net worth, Chow replies, “I don’t wear clothes for other people. I just wear whatever I find comfortable.”
Chow Yun-fat, everyone, the most popular man in Hong Kong – which might explain why he doesn’t give his fortune away in his own lifetime…
RIP Maurizio Zanfanti, aka Zanza, the Lothario from Rimini who has died aged 62. He succumbed to a heart attack, possibly brought on by exhaustion at having to tell every holidaymaker they were ‘bootifall zike therstars’. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph is memorable. They say he died during sex with a 23-year-old tourist (Sun) or was she 25 (Telegraph)?
He died of a heart attack at around two in the morning in his Mitsubishi Pajero 4×4, parked in a small peach grove owned by his family, seconds after making love with a 25-year-old Romanian woman, who raised the alarm.
Giles Coren, The Times’s self-satisfied journalist, has been tweeting to The Guardian’s Michael White. Or to be precise, tweets have been tweeted on the two men’s respective twitter accounts. Maybe they were hacked? Alan Rusbridger, the former Guardian editor, has seen the nastiness and wonders: “I wonder if @thetimes has social media policies for its contributors?” The account @pickwick tweets: “Self-proclaimed controversialists hastily deleting their own tweets when they get a bit TOO controversial is my new jam.”
Things kicked of when White’s account tweeted that watching Coren and another as yet unidentified person (s) debate something or other was a “clash of egos like watching dinosaurs at play.” Strange turn of phrase. Dinosaurs were egomaniacs? Discuss. White’s twitter account then tweeted: “Do you suppose a meteor strike might take care of the problem.” Is he wishing them extinct – dead? And aren’t they only a problem if you care? Easier to ignore braying ninnies then watch them and attempt to shame them in public, no?
The Coren account took the bait and responded that White looked like Davos is Dr Who. @GilesCoren (GC) asked: “Anyone know who this old cunt is?” To which @MichaelWhite (MW) replied: “This ‘old cunt’ knew your dad Giles. Clever, funny man. What went wrong.” To which GC waited and thought if any reply was required it would be laced with a rapier wit. Or why not save it for Coren’s newspaper’s column? No. GC went full Elon Musk: “My dad said you fiddled with kids. Is that true… He’s dead so you can’t sue him. But he did suggest you put your fingers in knickers without asking. In this new age you may have to answer for this. Of course, you could always not invoke dead men to insult their children. But then you’re a mean old cunt aren’t you. So you do.” MW then tells him to go to bed and “wake up a better person”. To which GC snarls: “You fucking bastard. I’m going to find you and I’m going to beat you to a fucking pulp.” Which given Coren’s demeanour of a cocky softy might be the wittiest thing either of them apparently said. Maybe the twitter accounts were hacked?
Self-proclaimed controversialists hastily deleting their own tweets when they get a bit TOO controversial is my new jam pic.twitter.com/9osu56ssDQ
The art of Cold War Steve is to feature in an exhibition at The Social, London. Called A Brief History of the World(1953 – 2018), the show’s running thread is the presence of British actor Steve McFadden, famed for playing tough nut Phil Mitchell on the BBBC dystopian soap opera, EastEnders. There’s fun to be had in spotting famous faces from the world stage and British telly. Personal favourites are poleaxed TalkSport DJ Alan Brazil and the late Cilla Black offering a quizzical look to us from the montage – a look that says ‘Who invited you?’ and ‘What the bloody hell am I doing here?’
Christopher Spencer, the talent behind @ColdWarSteve explains it simply: ” The more incongruous they were, the funnier.” And, boy, are they funny:
Farewell Chas Hodges, aka Charles Nicholas Hodges (28 December 1943 – 22 September 2018), the piano-playing half of the brilliant Chas and Dave. Even Arsenal fans enjoyed his hymn to Tottenham Hotspur, Ossie’s Dream, when the little Argentine hoped to “win the Cup for Tott-ing-Ham”.
The songs were brilliant, like this love song:
But Chas Hodges did not die because he lost a “battle” with cancer. The Mirror’s trite take that the Chas and Dave star died because he lost a fight with a deadly disease is the worst of journalism.
Deeper into the cut-and-paste Wikipedia balls on the career of a very talented musicians, the Mirror adds: “He and Joan – an original Playboy bunny and actress – put up a united front as they battled cancer together, along with their children and two grandchildren.” No. She did not battle cancer. The children did not battle cancer. Chas did not battle cancer.
So entrenched is that hackneyed balls about ‘battling cancer’ that the Sun commissioned a feature published yesterday. Deborah James told Sun readers: “I hate ‘battle chat’ when it comes to cancer…”
We don’t lose people, friends don’t succumb to it, loved ones weren’t too weak and they certainly didn’t lose their battle. It’s clear, you can’t fight your OWN cancer. It’s not something we win or lose, it’s out of our control.
Even suggesting to people they can is unhelpful and naive.
One day one and in the very same Sun:
More battles with ‘cancer battles’ soon. In the meantime, here’s a message from Chas to anyone using the dread phrase ‘battle with cancer’…
What’s it like to have sex with Donald Trump? Until Melania goes full Princess Diana and reveals all, we can roll over and ask Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford) about intercourse with The Don. “It may have ben the least impressive sex I’ve ever had,” is the lead quote on the Mirror’s front page. So there’s Trump in his ‘I’m Number 1 why Try Harder’ T-shirt possibly expecting new adventures with a professional shagger. Reading Stormy damn Trump brings to mind the tennis pro playing with the happy amateur. The pro knocks the ball over the net with spin, power and guile; the amateur hits a sublime return, his game improved immeasurably by the skill of his partner . I once played head tennis with a top footballer. With an equally hapless mate, I could manage 6 or seven headers. But with talent we got to 20, 30, 40… So, Donald Trump, what’s it like to have sex with a pro?
On page 7, we learn that Trump’s penis is “smaller than average” but not “freakishly small”. “He knows he has an unusual penis,” says Stormy T-Cup. “It has a huge mushroom head like a toadstool.” did little Mis Muffet sit on the engorged tuffet? “I lay there,” she says enticingly, “annoyed I was getting fucked by a guy with yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.” so much for the fantasy porn star level sex. Stick with the love doll, smut enthusiasts. You won’t get judged.
On page 10, Stormy’s lie-there-and-tell becomes “Donald stump”. In the Sun, we learn that Stormy’s tribute to gaming forms part of her book, Full Disclosure. Donald isn’t a “fun guy” in bed, the paper puns. We’re reminded there and in the Express that Trump denies the affair. She claims to have been paid “hush money”. And Trump reimbursed his then lawyer, Michael Cohen, for the money she received, $130,000. Yep. That’s what it allegedly costs to shag an angry woman who thinks you’re an inadequate loser. There’s a book in it – but not a token entitling the bearer to a discount on marriage guidance…
Bad news, pop fans. Lana Del Rey will not be headlining the Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv. She can’t make it because the venue, Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan, is in Israel and she been cowed by activists and censors working for the quintessentially white, middle-class Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Del Rey did say, “performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there”, adding that “singing in California” does not equate to a support for the government there either. But according to the BDS lobby, Israel is a case apart from all other countries. Del Rey was free to play in Madrid, and thus support the government’s attacks on Catalan separatists. But Israel is out. Israelis – Arabs, Christians and Jews – are forbidden from hearing Del Rey sing live in a socialist idyll. She tweets:
“It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally. Unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.”
As her managers looks at venues in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the totalitarian, racist hellhole that is Dubai (fly direct from Gatwick), we wonder about the lack of Western campaigns for equal rights in any of those countries. Don’t those Arabs trapped in fascist kingdoms deserve freedom and an alternative to absolute monarchism, misogyny, the persecution of homosexuals and marginalisation of ethnic minorities? Or do they target Israel because unlike lobbying to stop gays from being executed in Iran, demonising Israel might actually get results. Those uniquely barbaric Jews are more likely to listen.
There’s a thrill in spotting a famous face. And we can imagine the excitement when, as Fox News puts it in breathless tones, “‘Cosby Show’ actor Geoffrey Owens [was] spotted bagging groceries at NJ Trader Joe’s.” Admittedly, I’ve no idea who Owens is, but if others do then I’m happy to gawp and learn. The 1980s show’s Bill Cosby, aka Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, would have been a bigger draw, as would have Lisa Bonet, the elfin object of ruby adolescent dreams, who appeared as his daughter Denise. But Owens, who played the hit show’s Elvin Tibideaux (1985–1992; thanks Wikipedia), is who we have in the crosshairs, and Fox News is excited.
Worker spotted working. “I had a job and I still have a job,” says man.
Geoffrey Owens was “spotted by a local shopper at the Clifton, N.J. store, standing behind one of the checkout counters and wearing a Trader Joe’s staff shirt with a name tag that read, ‘Geoffrey’.” The local shopper was thoughtful enough to take pictures of Owens at work. As these “exclusive photos reveal”. He “wore a Trader Joe’s t-shirt with stain marks on the front as he weighed a bag of potatoes.” But that’s still a cleaner living than hanging out with Bill Cosby, as many might say.
Owens is billed as a “former star”, which is not exactly true because people still recognise him, which makes him more than starry enough for a Fox News exclusive and, most likely, a stint on Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Bake Off.
The star spotters are revealed as Karma and Yanelle Lawrence, 50, and Yanelle, 40. “I was getting a bunch of groceries and he wasn’t really looking at anybody, but he said, ‘Have a nice day,'” says Karma. “He looked bloated and fat and unhappy.”
This week Geoffrey Owens, next week Brian Bonsall. Who knew life could be so exciting? Have a nice day!
Right now hundreds of skeletal and grey-skinned models are ordering double celery in the hope of getting work. Cosmopolitan magazine has featured a big girl on its cover and the dye is cast. Not only do bigger-boned models fill more of the page, thus negating the need for copy and ads for weight loss, liposuction and cosmetic surgery but the also make the magazine relevant in its ‘Celebration of Diversity and Difference’. This means anyone can be a model because everyone is beautiful. And with bigger pool to pick from , modelling rates are bound to plummet. Whereas ‘super model’ Linda Evangelista reportedly said “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day” in the 1980s, today’s tall and skinny bird will be there for 10,000 lira (Turkish) and sleep standing up.
Tess socks it to the ‘haters’
And so the debate: will Tess Holliday, the Cosmo cover model, prove that we – given that so many of us are fat as the nation reels from an obesity crisis (see all press) – prefer to buy magazines that reflect us as we truly are: fat? Or are mags just a trite form of escapism in which we fetishise other people as celebs and learn how to look like them, dress like them and smell like them?
Cosmopolitan Super Diets & Exercise Guide Spring/Summer 1980 cover with Kathy Davis
The encouraging news is that if you’re big you’re more likely to sweat than someone who’s thin, thus making it easier for perfumiers to fill vials with the celebrities’ essence from their scraped sheets and underwear. Look out for a whole range of Tess Halliday scents with names like ‘Difference’, ‘Diversity’ and in a bid to reclaim the word from the haters, ‘Obese’.
In the meanwhile, we can fret about how many children – won’t somebody think of the the children – will be inspired to pile on the pounds by Cosmo mag’s brave stance – the answer being none. Oh, and the rest of you can pick up a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine for free in your – get this – gut-busting gym.
NOTE: Cosmo’s editor in chief is Michele Promaulayko, who got the job “having spent eight years as executive editor prior to her blockbuster run at Women’s Health“. On Women’s Health you can read lots and lots and lots about how to get slim and stay slim.
When not thinking up news way to spunk cash, Chloe Green, daughter to Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, left the family’s massive motorised yacht, straddled a jet ski and set about saving the planet from waste. Accompanied by her lover, Jeremy Meeks, aka Hot Felon on account of his popular police mugshot, Green set about cleaning up the planet she lives on.
“Today Jeremy and I went past a little cove and found the craziest amount of plastic and polystyrene,” says Chloe of their day out from sunbathing. “We made it our mission to gather a team together to clean it up… This is nothing compared to what is going on in the world but as quick and easy as it was so get it cleaned up there is no reason why we can’t all do our part.”
Inspirational stuff, of course. We can all learn from the billionaire’s daughter and create our own teams of cleaners. Next stop: the Philippines (or is that where the absurdly rich mine nannies?)