Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stop The Clock

Headline of the week - if not, indeed, of the century - from the Sun: Amanda in Big Top flop chop. Almost as good as Becks Wears My Keks, that. But, not quite as impressive as How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea?

The producers of Lost have explained their decision to screen flash-sideways sequences in the show's final season. Previous storytelling methods on the series have included flashbacks and flash-forwards. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said that the current season 'is about parallel timelines.' Yeah, I think most of us had managed to work that out for ourselves thanks, guys. The duo explained that when planning for season six, they were unsure over whether to play out a tweaked timeline off the island, or one in which the attempt to re-write history did not work. 'We thought just doing one would not inherently be satisfying,' Cuse revealed. 'We've designed each season to be its own thing. This season is about parallel timelines. The thing that was appealing to us as storytellers is that in hitting that reset button, we get to make the show really feel like season one. We're basically getting to tell origins for that characters all over again.'

Cynthia Watros has revealed that she would love to become a series regular on House. Earlier this month, it was announced that the former Lost star had been cast as Sam Carr, Wilson's ex-wife. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Watros admitted: 'To be able to call this my home would be fantastic.' However, Robert Sean Leonard suggested that their rekindled romance may not last long when House interferes. 'Of all the women he's been with, she hurt Wilson the deepest,' he explained. 'When House hears she's back, he's ready for battle.' Leonard added that he believes Watros is a great addition to the cast and likes 'how she fits in alongside Hugh and Lisa.'

ITV West newsreader Lisa Aziz has left ITV and dropped a series of racist allegations against colleagues. The experienced presenter, who spent ten years at Sky before joining ITV in 2005, announced that she is leaving the broadcaster for 'personal reasons.' Aziz has also withdrawn 'serious and damaging' allegations that she made against fellow newsreaders and management, including Steve Scott, who she accused of 'racist mimicking' of Sir Trevor McDonald. 'The allegations were made while I was very angry and unwell. I now withdraw all the allegations and wish to continue to develop my career,' Aziz said of the claims that followed, to which ITV at the time branded as 'baseless.' Her case was due to be heard next month. Of her departure, she added: 'I leave ITV knowing that my time at ITV has been amongst the most fulfilling of my career in television and I have the highest regard for the quality of journalism produced there.' A spokesman for ITV said: 'Lisa has made a significant contribution to our team. We have now resolved all of the outstanding issues and we wish Lisa success in the future.' In July last year, the West Country Tonight co-anchor was suspended by ITV for reported inconsistancies in her expenses claims. Aziz, Britain's first Asian television newsreader, joined ITV in 2006 as the one hundred and sixty thousand pounds-a-year presenter of West Country Tonight, the nightly news programme for the region. She had previously worked at TV-AM, the BBC and Sky News. At the time, ITV West bosses hailed her appointment as a 'coup' and praised her 'excellent credentials.' However, last year she launched her discrimination claim against the broadcaster. So ... hang on, let me get this straight. Ms Aziz is, essentially, admitting that she lied when she claimed that colleagues were racist, because that's what these two statements appear to say.

Doctor Who fans created a bidding frenzy at a prop auction in London, leading a twenty five-year-old battered Dalek figure with missing parts being bought for over twenty thousand pounds. The black and gold 'Imperial' MK 1 Dalek was made for the 1985 story Revelation Of The Daleks and reached the highest price at the Bonhams prop auction. Despite having a replacement plunger arm and eyeball and missing five shoulder slats and its wheel base, a keen fan paid twenty thousand four hundred pounds. Another Dalek was also bought for a whopping fifteen grand, which is more than double the price estimated – especially considering they are made from simple products such as foam latex and fibreglass. Cybermen costumes fetched up to nine thousand six hundred pounds each and Kylie Minogue's waitress outfit and knee-high boots sold for three thousand one hundred and twenty pounds. Minogue played Astrid Peth in the Voyage Of The Damned Christmas special in 2007, while Billie Piper's pyjamas and dressing gown from her role as Rose Tyler in 2006 sold for six hundred knicker. More than one hundred and sixty items from the hit series, dating back to the 1970s, were part of the sale.

Who says that all footballers are thick? Well ... Joey Barton does, but nobody takes much notice of him. At a time where John Terry and Ashley Cole are seemingly intent on dragging the name of their fellow professionals through the mud, one player is actually improving the sport's reputation. Clarke Carlisle said he was 'delighted and relieved' to beat his opponent during his first appearance on Countdown. The Burnley defender saw off reigning champion Adam Guest by eighty nine points to fifty five, even guessing the conundrum at the end. He told host Jeff Stelling: 'I can't say it's better than winning a big football game - but it's up there.' Carlisle said he has always wanted to appear on the Channel 4 word and numbers show. 'It's a lifelong ambition. I'm just delighted to be here.' Carlisle had previously failed an audition for the show during a long-term injury several years ago. But now the athlete is set to return on Thursday's episode after winning his first game. In 2002, he was crowned Britain's Brainiest Footballer in an ITV show hosted by former Countdown co-host Carol Vorderman.

Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan has revealed that she is 'much more vulnerable and sensitive' than her Weatherfield character Rosie Webster. In an interview with the Mirror, the twenty-year-old admitted that her alter ego's bitchy side can sometimes cause problems because stupid people confuse her with Rosie when they approach her on nights out. Flanagan explained: 'Rosie is so awful and I think people sometimes assume I'm going to be like my character. People expect me to be Rosie and they expect me to overreact like she would. All people see is Rosie, or how I am portrayed in the press, and think that is the real me. But it is not true - the real me is so much more vulnerable and sensitive. People can say really nasty things to me when I'm out and call me really nasty names. If somebody said something mean to Rosie, she would snap back with a really good answer, but I'm not like that. I just think, "Why are they being mean to me?"' Oh, boo-hoo. if you don't like it, go work in a call-centre, see if that's more to the liking of a delicate ego. Jeez, precious-much? Flanagan said that she rarely visits bars and clubs because she prefers going out for meals with friends. She added: 'If I am photographed out on the town, it is often because I have been to an event linked with work. It might look like I go out clubbing all the time, but I don't. I am very different to Rosie - she'd be out clubbing every night.'

The personal assistant to former Ramones manager Linda Stein has been convicted in a New York court of bludgeoning her boss to death. Prosecutors said Natavia Lowery, twenty eight, stole more than thirty thousand dollars from Stein, then clubbed her with a piece of exercise equipment to try and hide it. Jurors spent less than a day reaching a second-degree murder verdict. Stein was found dead at her Manhattan apartment on 30 October 2007 having died from blows to the head and neck. Although Lowery's lawyers acknowledged that she stole from Stein and at least one previous employer, they denied she had killed her. They argued in their closing statements that police plied their client into a false confession after twelve hours of continuous questioning. Lowery had initially denied any knowledge of the killing, blaming it on a masked stranger who told her not to report it. She eventually gave a videotaped account of beating Stein to death after her employer badgered her about the pace of her work and blew cannabis smoke in her face. Authorities later determined there was no cannabis in Stein's body when she died, and she suffered far more than the six blows Lowery described. Surveillance videotape also showed the personal assistant leaving Stein's building soon after the estimated time of the killing. Stein managed The Ramones along with Danny Fields during the band's heyday. The ex-wife of Sire Records head, Seymour Stein, she went into property after parting company with the band in 1980. Dubbed a 'broker to the stars,' Stein's clients included Madonna, Sting, Steven Spielberg and Angelina Jolie.

Kiefer Sutherland has returned to the set of 24 after filming was halted because he needed to undergo surgery on a burst cyst. Doctors gave the star the all clear to return to work and continue filming the eighth series, Twentieth Century Fox Television said.

A popular US sports presenter has been suspended after criticising a female colleague live on-air for 'dressing too young.' Tony Kornheiser sparked outrage when he said that Hannah Storm, forty seven, was 'too old' to wear red go-go boots and a short skirt. He also said her top was so tight that she looked like she was wrapped in 'sausage casing.' While the mother-of-three appeared to laugh off the comments, Kornheiser's bosses at the ESPN sports network failed to see the funny side. They suspended the sixty one-year-old from his radio show for two weeks. Kornhesier has since apologised for his remarks which were made last week during his radio talk show Pardon the Interruption. The veteran presenter had begun his radio show, also hosted by ESPN, stating: 'Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt... way too short for somebody in her forties or maybe early fifties. She's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body. I know she's very good, and I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won't. But Hannah Storm, come on now! Stop! What are you doing? She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.' Storm is known for her penchant for wearing boots and short skirts. In 2008, she blogged about her personal style, saying 'My preference is fitted and feminine clothes and I am really happy with my style now because it's much more reflective of my personality and a lot more fun, rather than being so anchor-ish! Cowboy boots are my favourite. I like them pretty beat up and distressed and wear them with everything from short dresses to jeans.' Storm added: 'I think you can look age-appropriate but still don't have to sacrifice style.' Kornheiser apologised for his remarks, saying: 'I was wrong. This is sort of what I do, and I'm sorry for it. I'm a sarcastic, subversive guy. I'm a troll, look at me. I have no right to insult what anybody looks like or what anybody wears.' ESPN executive vice president of content John Skipper said such 'hurtful and personal comments' were not acceptable and had 'significant consequences'. 'Hannah is a respected colleague who has been an integral part of the success of our morning SportsCenter,' he said. Ashley Cole has blamed estranged wife Cheryl's busy career for their marriage split, according to a report today in the Mirror. And, not his own serial philandering? Interesting theory.

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