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.
On eBay the story of a broken marriage and a big record collection:
My ex-husband was a big jerk! While that’s the main reason that I divorced him, the final straw was that he spent just over $50,000 buying a stupid huge record collection. Even though it was a good buy, and a sound investment (no pun intended), I felt the money (which was all we had and half mine) should have gone to pay off our mortgage, or put the kids through college, or saved for our retirement, or at least spent on something we could enjoy together, like a second honeymoon (our first was a weekend in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).
While I honestly know next to nothing about records, he was thrilled and kept bragging about how these were all original pressings from the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s, that it was the most complete gathering of collectible Rock, Rockabilly, R&B, British Invasion, Motown, Acid, Psych and Folk he’d ever seen (over 5000 albums and over 1000 45’s), and how rare it was that most had never even been played once (why would anyone buy a record and never play it?).
So that’s why I was so nonplused that he left the entire collection to me when he died (maybe he honestly felt some remorse? Nah). Anyway, I don’t want it, so I’m offering them all to you (it will probably take me months to list them all). Please feel free to make an offer on the whole darn thing, or to ask if I have a particular record, or any other questions (which I’ll do my best to answer; though again, I don’t know much at all). All prices are flexible (I’m basing them on what others are selling for), and I would be happy to entertain any offers.
David Hasselhoff is talking with the Sunday Times:
I live in Calabasas, outside Los Angeles. I can get to the beach in 18 minutes. It’s more laid-back than the rat race of LA — I can breathe out here. Stevie Wonder lives up the hill, but I’ve never seen him.
In 2009, Donald Trump said his ideal running mate would be Oprah Winfrey. The actress used her acceptance speech for receiving a lifetime achievement gong at the Golden Globe Awards to tell a room full of her peers (including the cheaters, narcissists and SADOS – Sons and Daughters of Stars ) that the time for social change for nigh. Oprah for President, came the media response. and the job is surely hers should she give away a free car with every vote.
But the idea was not of the media’s making. In 2009, Donal Trump told us that Oprah would be his dream deputy:
“Oprah would always be my first choice… I’ll tell ya, she’s really a great woman, though. She is a terrific woman. She’s somebody that’s very special… If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic… She’s popular. She’s brilliant. She’s a wonderful woman. If she’d ever do it, I don’t know if she’d ever do it… She’d be sort of like me. I mean, I have a lot of things going, she’s gotta a lot of things going.”
Did you notice that Princess Michael of Kent wore a “blackamoor” brooch, depicting a black person in a turban when she attended a free lunch where Prince Harry and his lover, Meghan Markle, were also dining? The Sun, Mail and Telegraph all did, describing the brooch as “racist”.
That each of those organs couched the word inside inverted commas reveals that they don’t know if it’s racist or not. Is it more racist than dressing up as a Nazi (Prince Harry), having a dad who was an officer in the SS (Michael) or calling a man a “Paki” (Harry again)?
Is it less racist than pointing out that Markle is mixed-race and must therefore be offended by a piece of jewellery worn by a foreign-born divorcee of non-royal birth who married into the weirdest clan this side of the Appalachians? Might Mike and Mark not be kindred spirits who got into bed with people of lower moral worth?
The Times stirs the bedpan by throwing the matter into the debating ring: “Princess Michael of Kent: racially insensitive – or something worse?”
Just larking about
The Times informs us that blackamoor tut “is part of a tradition of jewellery and art that was popular in the 18th century, but in recent years has come to be regarded as highly racially insensitive.”
The princess was condemned in a series of posts on social media. One woman wrote: “Ah, the Princess who wears racist jewellery to lunch with Meghan Markle.” Another said: “That looks inappropriate in any setting.”
What else looks inappropriate at a lunch with a woman who rides about in a gold coach and whose eldest son was shagging a married woman while we all simpered at Diana? Poor people? Terry Waite tied to a radiator drinking a glass of urine? Prince Andrew getting a rub down?
A third wrote: “Has no one noticed the Blackamoor pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing? Really? #MeghanMarkle officially meets the family and is greeted by THIS? #racism #BritishRoyals.”
Although Ms Markle is not thought to have dined at the same table as Princess Michael, it is likely that they met.
Possibly as Mike handed Mark her coat and asked for a gin and spite.
It’s all huge news, of course. But Harry and his paramour are so much in love no mere trinket can break them. Just get a load of the official photo that shows us how much in love they are (“whatever ‘in love’ means is” – Prince Charles).
How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Like you, I like baubles, tinsel and Bruce Willis wiggling through an air vent.
But Amir Khan rejoices in hate. The boxer recently seen on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! has got death threats for his tree.
The story turns out to a little different from the Star’s front-page headline. “While everyone’s asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up,” said Amir on an Instagram post. He then hoped his daughter would like it: “Lamaisah’s going to be happy. Christmas #MerryChristmas2017.”
The Manchester Evenings News says that Amir is a “devout Muslim”, an this might be in some way linked to one kind heart replying to the image: “I promise to god i want kill you and your family amir.”
Another aded: “Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s one thing to give out cards at school your respecting other faith and their celebration but putting up a tree in your own home….poor kid will be well confused.”
How about if he sticks a Star of David on the top and call it a Chanukah Bush? Better?
Another expert replied: “I read the Quran and it is clear that Jesus is also a prophet. People slating him must not read the Quran.”
What’s Jesus got to do with a pine tree in the lounge?
And why are the Press looking at Khan’s critics as people obsessed with religion, rather than humbugs? This is about a tree dying for our sins. I’d be looking hard at the Greens, for whom the Christmas Tree is an act of desecration.
Heard the one about the famous actor and the young woman? The Sun leads with news that Bruno Langley, aka the “Corrie pervert”, “preyed on a 16-year-old girl” five years ago. In November, Langley admitted molesting two women at the Band on the Wall on Swan Street, Manchester. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. He must sign the sex offenders’ register for five years. Langley apologised for his “disgraceful behaviour”.
In sentencing, District Judge Mark Hadfield told the actor: “You have lost your good name and I know nothing of showbusiness, but… in the current climate, I suspect it may be very difficult for you to gain employment in that industry in the future.”
Here he is on the front page the subject of a shag ‘n’ tell, one which might be sub-headed: “Actor has consensual sex – shocker!”
On page 5, we read that when on a date with the 16-year-old, he “spied the erotic novel 50 Shades in her handbag”. Says the woman, who is not named in the story: “He then asked me to read it to him, which was so embarrassing and cringeworthy.” I know. I’ve read it. Not that this is a book review, of course. It’s a review of Langley’s character. And when we read that “the sleazy soap star” pulled her when he “marched over to her at party in July 2012 – just weeks after she left school”, we are sickened.
The sleazy sod. Sun readers must be disgusted at men getting turned on by “girls” and chatting to them:
In the Sun – tasteful adverts to listen to “mother and daughter sex sounds”
The Mail reads the Sun’s story and thunders: “Disgraced Coronation Street star Bruno Langley, 34, ‘had sex with a 16-year-old girl and pleaded with her to read passages from 50 Shades of Grey'”.
The sick sod.
As seen in the Mail back in 2008- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the “irresponsible” Ryan Air advert appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour.The advert was printed in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail.
Ah, the glorious Seventies, when the gap between the top and lowest earner was closer. At the Abba: Super Troupers show at London’s Southbank Centre, visitors get to relive the wonder of power strikes, the three-day week, rubbish going uncollected and condensation on the inside of windows. “You get very close to the reality of Britain in the 70s,” says Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus. “I had no idea it was so gloomy.”
Well, hold your breath, Björn, because a vote for Jeremy Corbyn will bring those good times rolling on back. Less for all and politics wrapped in identity. Just like it was back then, only with less funny comedians and better telly.
“It is the opposite of all those huge technically advanced virtual reality exhibitions that most of those pop groups have,” the Abba bloke who stands up continues. “This is much more intimate, it’s warm, it’s full of a sense of humour.”
Abba, of course, came to the fore in the 1970s, winning the Eurovision song contest when it really counted for something, taking top spot in 1974 with the brilliant Waterloo. The contest was held in Brighton that year, but Björn says he and the rest of the band were only in the country for two days and never realised how “impossibly gloomy” the place was.
Now thanks to the show, we and he can journey back in time to those halcyon says.
Ulvaeus says he never imagined Abba would endure through the decades. “It is kind of weird, but you get used to it,” he says.
You can get used to anything – like being cold indoors, no mixer taps and spending years dressed in brown velveteen jumpers. The itchiness just became ubiquitous. And then came the 1980s…
Do we look at actors pretending to be other people and beings from fact and fiction, and think they should have had their morals checked before getting the part? Moral thinking can change, so if we are going to check people’s minds, we need to review the past in a modern light, too, in case someone impressionable and vulnerable looks at them and copies their lives. You know how it works: you watch Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own, realise he’s cheating on his wife with her, pull on a vest, grow a moustache and shag a colleague.
Blessedly, Kevin Spacey, now the subject of sexual abuse allegations, has been removed from the next series of House of Cards, the TV showin which he plays the main character. Variety reports that “producers plan on scrapping most, if not all, of the footage shot during the roughly two weeks of season-six production that had taken place in October”.
You can still catch Spacey on reruns, but perhaps they too will be binned, just as the BBC purged its archives of Jimmy Savile, both real and imagined. Spacey’s accusers have not had their claims tested in court, their allegations not yet made to vault all those hurdles to justice. He says he’s innocent. But lest we be upset by the look and sight of Spacey playing a murderous figure on the telly, he’s been dismissed.
So when Johnny Deppp was cast in JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts, The Crimes of Grindelwald, there were howls of outrage. This is Depp whose then wife Amber Heard accused him of subjecting her to domestic abuse. Depp denied any wrongdoing. The couple divorced. And that was that.
Until that is Deep went to get a job. Rowling, an intelligent woman, told everyone: “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
But some people were dismayed. In what she terms “a post-Weinstein world”, one writer says casting Depp in the show “breaks my heart”. She adds:
The practice of giving men in power the benefit of the doubt simply because other powerful people vouch for them is sometimes known by another name: rape culture.
Well, that escalated quickly. Rape? Depp is presumed innocent, right? And we don’t own him. He’s a private individual. Rowling says just that in her statement:
When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.
Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.
The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.
I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.
How great is that. She gets it. “JK Rowling endorsed Johnny Depp and betrayed millions of women,” laments the Independent, which thinks women are best served by subjecting private lives and relationships between the sexes to forensic scrutiny; equating accusation with guilt; and believing that no-one of whom we have an unfavourable opinion and who is innocent before the eyes of the law should get the job.
Turns out that Thomas Markle is’t all that “reclusive” after all. He’s on the Daily Mirror’s front page talking about his daughter, Meghan Markle.
“I’m delighted,” says Thomas of the wedding. For reasons that are not clear, the Mirror presents Thomas Markle with a bottle of French champagne and some Darjeeling tea. “Thank you, that’s very kind,” says Thomas as a stranger gives him free treats.
Not that Thomas needed a free drink. The Mirror’s says it “tracked him down” to his, er, home, and looked on as Thomas Markle “bought a four-pack of Heineken and cigarettes”. Lest we be disbelieving, the Mirror features a video of Thomas walking from a store.
Lest you think that invasive and not in the least bit newsworthy, the Mirror uses an editorial to tell readers: “Thomas Markle’s eyes will have a little more sparkle than most” when he walks his daughter own the aisle. The booze, right? The Mirror says the “British public” will “instantly take to such a down-to-earth chap”.
That’s the divorcee sat in the gold coach, scarfing booze and puffing on a fag. And that’s Camilla wondering what might have been…
Meghan Markle has a “rift “with her father. Well, she had, apparently, because in a video from when she was 19 in the summer of 1999 that’s now the Sun’s front-page news (“MEGHAN: MY RIFT WITH DAD”), the actress tells her pal “my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms”. We’d like to keep up with the Markles, but we’d have to check a new source because the video shooter was Ninaki Priddy, a woman no longer mates with Meghan, 36.
Alongside a photo of Meghan in a short dress, we read that Thomas Markle “now lives a nomadic life driving between rented homes on LA and Mexico in an old Volvo” – a car the Mirror tells us is an “old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”.
The Sun says Thomas’s home is a “cliff shack”. He “proudly tells the locals Meghan’s is his daughter”. Odd because the Mail was looking for the “elusive” Thomas and telling readers that “placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops”. The Sun says Thomas’ roof might not take the weight, given that it’s atop a “tiny red-tiled home…on a 120ft cliff overlooking the Pacific.”
Having given a front page and two inside pages to Ninaki Priddy’s scrapbook, the Sun today finds space for Jane Moore to accuse Priddy of “betrayal”. So the tabloids don’t do chequebook journalism any more, expose celebs and feature kiss ‘n’ tells about the beautiful people? Or is it different for Royals? Why shouldn’t a woman sell her story for loadsa money when her ex-pal – and do we know why they fell out?; Priddy says “What came to light after Trevor [Engelson – Meghan’s ex] and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan”? – is due to remarry, this time to a billionaire’s scion?
We never did get the full story of Princess Diana and Charles when they were engaged. The media kept the knobs on a pedestal by delivering a narrative soaked in magic and star-written love. Let’s not have it again.
Much guff has been written about Meghan and Harry. “Don’t underestimate the symbolism of a royal marriage. From now on, it will be impossible to argue that being black is somehow incompatible with being British,” trumpets the Guardian. “Is it too mad to wonder, once the Brexit dust settles, whether the younger royals may – against all the odds – represent a Britain looking forward to the future rather than an imagined past?” the Indy muses. Once more the royals are showing us the way. But if we want to be modern – and wouldn’t that involve getting shot of them? – then surely we should know who they are and why we need to crane our necks to see them.
Meghan Markle has a “mysterious dad”. And by mysterious we mean not a man who weaves mysteries, vanishes in puff of smoke or is, as one dictionary defines it, “difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.” We mean a man who doesn’t much fancy being a celebrity.
The Daily Mirror makes Thomas Markle Senior its front-page story. They say that aside from his family, “no-one even knows where Thomas Markle Senior is.” It might be less a mystery than a question of budgets and being bothered to track down a man who was living in Rosario Beach on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsular. He moved on, says the Mirror, “determined to avoid any chance of public attention”.
Not that the man’s absence detracts from the story. He “gets by on his £1,307 monthly pension”, we learn. How the Mirror knows what money he earns and spends is moot. The ‘facts’ are provided to fit the narrative of the future princess’s dad living if not in poverty then at least in humdrum simplicity. Thomas is “driving around in an old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”. His new family-to-be are “one of the richest and most powerful in the world”. He “devoted his life to his daughter”. He “may” be avoiding the spotlight “due to the humiliation of bankruptcy”.
Thomas Markle’s “solitary life means Harry has still not met his future father-in-law”. Or as the Mail puts it: “EXCLUSIVE: Prince Harry has met his girlfriend Meghan Markle’s father.”
That’s not to say the Mail isn’t also on the scent.
“Why is Meghan’s dad so determined to hide from the world?” wonders the Mail. “Where is the elusive Mr Markle? Why has this enigmatic man concealed his whereabouts so determinedly?” And: “After all, placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops.” Why, because an American – a citizen of the world’s greatest republic, a bastion of freedom and hope to the world – is getting shackled to a man who symbolises inequality? Maybe not because the Sun says Meghan’s dad is “said to be impressed by Prince Harry”.
Shedding light on the international man of mystery is Thomas’s brother Michael, who tells everyone: “Tom is trying to comply with the royal directive to keep a low profile so that’s where he’s coming from. He doesn’t want to upset the Royal Family.” Indeed, there’s nothing like a normal bloke to undo the ‘magic’ of monarchy.
In good news for anyone on the web, former Spice girl Mel B has settled her divorce from Stephen Belafonte. She will pay him £3m over the next three years and money from the sale of their home, says the Star. The paper puts the total figure at £6.5m.
The deal also affords both parents time with their six-year-old daughter Madison. And her future seem more secure because the better news is that the settlement comes with a guarantee Mel and Steve’s “sex tapes will be destroyed”.
By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Megan Markle are up to. Thankfully, the tabloids understand your thinking and have produced a few words on the prince and his paramour.
The Sun: 25 pages. Daily Mail: 18 pages Daily Star: 6 pages, including one of Page 3 stunna “Royal fan Megan” Daily Express: 7 pages Daily Mirror: 9 pages
What about the wedding:
“Tourits flocked to Kensington Palace last night to salute the happy couple and tell of their excitement that ‘new Diana’ Meghan’ will become a royal… She’s very appealing to people, like Diana was” – Star
“Diana would have been thrilled – Meghan’s just the kind of woman she wanted to be” – Mail
“Meghan Markel’s wedding dress with a glamorous red-carpet gown” – Express
“EXCLUSIVE: Fit for a Princess! Will Meghan Markle choose an Australian designer to make her bridal gown for the ultimate modern Royal wedding?” – Mail
“Meghan Markle is likely to opt for a low-key, cool designer to create her wedding dress” – Standard
“She once revealed what her dream dress would be when talking about her character Rachel in legal drama Suits, who wore a wedding gown in one episode. She revealed the dress worn in the show wasn’t her “personal style”, adding: “I’m a lot more relaxed than Rachel… Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.” – Star, “Meghan Markle’s wedding dress REVEALED: Harry’s fiancee’s dream gown PICTURED”
“Did you spot Meghan Markle’s subtle fashion nod to Princess Diana?.. With the photocall taking place in Princess Diana’s former residence, it seems only fitting that Meghan would wear white, a nod to Diana and the memorial white garden that was created in her memory this year to mark the 20 year anniversary of her death.” – Marie Clair
“Meghan wore a white coat…it did slighlty resemble a dressing gown” – Sun
The coat “was not unlike something her future sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge would wear” – Mail
“Meghan’s journey to fashion icon status continued yesterday when she wore a white-belted coat” – Mirror
THE WEDDING FOOD
“Roast chicken, sweet potato and white-bean soup” – Mirror
Bostwana; Croatia; Bordeaux, Athens, Madrid, New York – Mirror
Ant McPartlin, the taller one from Ant ‘n’ Dac, is on the Sun’s cover. “ANT NOT GOING HOME TO WIFE,” runs the headline. A “source” tells the paper that Ant and his wife, Lisa Armstrong, are “struggling to find a way to move forward together”.
Lest anyone suppose there was something more to this story, on page 7 readers are told: “ANT’S FACING XMAS ALONE.” Poor Ant! The “telly favourite faces a lonely Christmas in a rented pad.” Anything else? Well, Ant is “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”. Nothing illegal, then. No illegal drugs are mentioned, just the ones sanctioned by the State and pumped out by big pharma. “Ant is focused on recovery,” adds the source.
Lest we wonder why Ant has left home and how it is that recovery does not include being in the bosom of his family, the “source” tells us that Ant is delighted the “public still support him” and his wife is “having a good time with her pals”.
We do like Ant and Dec, who are easily the best things about I’m A Celebrity, which features a nice enough platoon of celebs. The pity being that none of them are interesting. But there is something PR-driven about the Sun’s “exclusive”. It was the Sun which broke the story about “booze, pills and substances”:
In a world exclusive interview, emotional Ant tells The Sun on Sunday: “I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take.
“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’. ”
Dec is the victim:
Squeaky-clean Ant’s descent into dangerous prescription drugs came after he damaged his knee in 2014, then had a botched operation on it the following year.
Is he that squeaky clean? Dan Wootton says he is. And he adds: “Ant is bright-eyed, trim and sporting a youthful new hairstyle when we meet.”
In 2013, Ant and Dec were interviewed in the Guardian:
By the laws of show business, at least one of them should have succumbed to the traditional hazards of child stardom – drink and drugs, sexual transgression, monstrous egomania. Yet, with the solitary exception of a drunken night involving Dec and a lap dancer, which ended up in the tabloids, the pair have been almost freakishly clean. Have they never even tried taking drugs?
“Years ago, yeah,” Ant admits, “but we’re not really druggy people, that’s the thing. I think you either go into that crowd as a kid or you don’t, and we didn’t. We found the love of alcohol very early on and we stayed with it.” Laughing, Dec adds, “There’s a real pub culture where we’re from in Newcastle, so we’re just more boozy people.”
If one had ever been at risk of self-destruction, though, who was the likelier candidate? Without hesitation, both point at Ant. “Probably me, yeah,” he admits. Dec points out affectionately: “There’s nothing like the love of a good woman, though.”
Ant’s plight then becomes a campaign:
“‘I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE’ Three ex-addicts reveal agony of getting hooked on prescription medication like TV star Ant McPartlin
The number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in the UK has doubled over the past decade to 24 million – yet nobody knows how many people are struggling with addictions
We should all wish Ant McPartlin well. But to suppose he’s not a human being susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us buys into the myth that anyone who appears on the telly is a ‘role model’. We don’t mind it when rockers and artists take drugs and illuminate our lives with bursts of vibrant culture, so why should we care if a talented, immensely likeable and engaging TV presenter does? Screw the PR guff. What Ant does to his own body is his own affair. We’re big enough to understand that, right?
No topless photos of Paul Hollywood, 51, the TV baker leaving his wife of umpteen years. No photos of Paul in his undies, posing with a cheeky glance to camera as his taps his buttocks. And no revelations that he likes to hang homemade ring donuts on his manhood in the way the actor John Bindon used to hand five half-pint glasses on his penis.
Instead we get Paul telling us that years ago a fortuneteller told him he would be “very wealthy and very famous” (Daily Star), and two big photos of Summer Moneys Fulham, a 22-year-old barmaid (Daily Mail). In one, Summer does the splits on the bar of a Kent pub where she met the TV oven stuffer. In another she smiles in a low-cut top.
The Mail recalls Hollywood’s affair with Marcel Valladolid, his co-judge on the US version of the Great British Bake Off, telling readers that he called it “the biggest mistake of my life”.
On the Mirror’s front page, it’s “Bake Off Paul” and the “barmaid”. Hollywood ‘Splashes the dough” (geddit?) on “young barmaid Summer Monteys-Fulham”, now given a hyphen.
The message is clear: he is money and fame; she is seduction and regret. Love and sex are different for girls.
We read that Summer has “apparently quit her job”, deleted her social media profiles and moved out her parent’s “£1m home”. Her life seems to have been changed since the Sun on Sunday broke news that she and Hollywood had become friends. “It has clearly upset her a lot,” says an unnamed source to the Mail.
So the single woman gets profiled and finds herself in the paper, the object of our heated debate and judgement. Wonder what the stars said lurked in store for her.
They’re gunning for Jack Maynard, the YouTuber who left the I’m A Celebrity Jungle accused of making alleged racist and homophobic tweets. Exposed by the Sun, Maynard is hammered by the Mirror, which leads with his face and the headline:”Teenage girl: I’m A CelebJack begged me for pic in my bra.” It might have been kinder to have Jack Maynard buried in a cockroach-infested hole in the Australian jungle with Dennis Wise for company. But that’s not to diminish from his apparent offence. Being buried alive for TV entertainment was too good for him.
On page 8, we read: “Your boobs are nice & would look good in bra shot…Ever take one?” The claim is that Jack “pestered the girl” when Jack was 17. We’re told there is “no suggestion he knew the girl was only 14 at the time”.
We then get introduced to the ‘victim’, who says she was a fan of Jack’s brother Conor Maynard and “sought his advice on becoming an online model”. They then allegedly got into an exchange, in which Maynard was told he is only famous through his brother and he told her: “Who the fuck even are you? You’re an ugly freak.”
We then hear from her: “I looked up to Jack as a role mode and I found his persistence annoying. But I saw it as relatively harmless flirting given the small age gap… I don’t think he was aware I was younger than him. He was just a bit of a dickhead…” The Sun ignores the bra and says, “he had also begged a 14-year-old fan to send him nude pictures.”
The Sun also quotes the ‘victim’, no aged 10, who says: “He was 16, I was 14. It was something that happens to everyone. [The Mirror said he was 17.] I never once felt harassed. We were kids, it’s not once harmed me at all in any way. It’s in the past. It is a serious allegation to make, but you’re a kid, you make mistakes. He didn’t know how old I was, and I didn’t know how old he was at the time. I cannot stress enough that the messages were harmless.”
And that’s it. “I’m sorry to anyone that I upset, anyone that I offended, anyone I made feel uncomfortable,” says Maynard. “Growing up I was all over social, my entire life was on social media an through that it led to be my job. I’ve tweeted some bad things, some horrible things, that I’m just ashamed of.” The Sun says he wad “grinning” and “smirking” when he apologised in a video.
Thankfully, no journalists ever said anything that might have caused offence.
So farewell, Jack Maynard, aka ‘YouTuber Jack Maynard’, who has left I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to sort out “circumstances outside camp”. Maynard wanted to “do the internet proud”. And he did just that, introducing the TV-watching tribes to life on the web. As the Sun thunders: “YouTube sensation, 22, was forced to apologise for racist and homophobic slurs on his Twitter account where he branded users ‘retarded’.”
Twitter’s a bit like a 1970s comedians showcase, albeit without the wit, laughs, likeable characters and fun.
The Sun took it upon itself to “reveal” some of Maynard’s “racist and homophobic tweets”, although it saw reason to edit them. Too rude for the paper that used to feature stunnas on Page 3 and still advertises phone lines for onanists seeking on-the-clock relief – yesterday readers were invited to call “X-Rated Cheap Girls – 18-94 Year Olds” and “HOT GIRLS [age unspecified]”. Thankfully, Pink News is less prudish. Damning Maynard as someone “famous for being the younger brother of singer Connor Maynard”, we read:
When an abusive commenter suggested he had profited off of his brother’s fame, Maynard hit back: “Completely forgot you know how I got it YOU RETARDED FAGGOT”.
He also used what the mainstream media terms ‘the N-word”. Censorship is provided by the Sun. (If you want to read the bad words, you need to get yourself on twitter.)
So Jack’s gone to spend time with his selfies, denying his accusers the chance to watch him being locked in a buried coffin and terrorised by rats. You had your chance.
Even better is the “spokesperson for the vlogger” – yep, even narcissists have their limits – who tells the Sun:
“Jack is ashamed of what he said in these tweets, many of which were deleted a long time ago and were sent in response to a neighbour who was bullying him. Jack was a lot younger when he posted them in 2012 but realises that age is no defence.”
Anyone else read that and see an adult explaining the action of a child? Jack is a big boy, says the grown up, and he knows he has done wrong. That leads to the a classic non-denial denial with sympathetic back story:
“He would never use that language now and realises that, as someone who was bullied himself, this kind of retaliatory, inflammatory, insulting language is completely unacceptable.”
Look at Jack Maynard less as the perpetrator, but as a victim living out fantasies born of a difficult childhood.
Did Nick Cave bow to the censors and boycott Israel? Nope. Cave recalled his reaction to Brian Eno inviting him to sign a boycott list. “On a very intuitive level I did not want to sign that list, there was something that stunk to me about that list,” Cave said. “Then it occurred to me that I’m not signing the list, but I’m also not playing Israel. And that just seemed to me cowardly, really. So after a lot of thought and consideration I rang up my people and said, ‘We’re doing an European tour and Israel.’ Because it suddenly became very important to me to make a stand against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians. At the end of the day, there’s maybe two reason why I’m here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silence musicians. So, really, you could say in a way that the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] made me play Israel.”
Now on tour in Israel, he adds:
“So at the end of the day there are two reasons why I am here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians. So really you could say in a way that the BDS made me play Israel.”
Copy and past news now, as the Metro tells us that Kenneth Branagh is starring in a remake of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. On set he was delighted to see fellow star “Michael Pfeiffer“. Any relation to screen goddess Michelle Pfeiffer? Dunno. But the rest of the busy tabloid media also salute the great Michael Pfeiffer:
Speaking with ITV’s Lorraine, he said: “There was a lot of mutual respect.
“The first time they met on the platform I was on the train watching them all getting ready to come on. They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school… Then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought, ‘Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!’ And I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘I just met Judi Dench!’”
He told Lorraine: ‘There was a lot of mutual respect. The first time they met on the platform I was on the train watching them all getting ready to come on. They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school. ‘Then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought: “Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!”
“They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school, then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought, ‘Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!’ and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘I just met Judi Dench!’”
He added: “Judi Dench is the secret to casting movies basically, you cast her and she’s an actor magnet.”
Isn’t modern journalism great. (Copy and paste at your leisure.)
Can white music fans sing along with rap music when the lyrics include “nigger”, the so-called ‘n-word’? Surely, they should be able to sing what they want to, as should we all. The word is laden with power. But should it only be said and heard in an educational context? Context and intent matter. If the white fan wants to sing along with the pop star they like, then the word is not being used to attack and demean.
But writer Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks otherwise. He says it’s not ok for whites to say certain things whatever the situation. Whites should self-censor, inserting a ‘bleep’ whenever the ‘n-word’ occurs. They can engage with the black musician but only to a point.
Who is the world’s most self-regarding rapper? John Lemon has compiled an analysis of self-mentions by rappers to find out which of them wants it to be about ‘me-me-me’. The number one act is Nicki Minaj.
1st: Nicki Minaj (11.5% of all words)
Three albums. 17,665 words. 2026 explicit references to herself
A self-reference every 8.78 words
42.87 self-references per song
An average of 371.55 words per song
On “Right By My Side” she referenced herself every 3.5 words, or 28% of the song
Her most word-laden song is “All Things Go”, at 718 words, with 67 self-references
I used to play the alto sax. Badly. I knew I was not all that good a musician when the school violin virtuoso was invited to listen to me play. ‘Too sharp,’ he said. ‘Too flat.’ To me it all sounded the same.
In 1980, Sesame Street toured a saxophone factory. Background music was supplied by an off-camera sax player, playing freestyle. the only word he said was “Saxophone”. And with that I was hooked.