Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tiffany Dell?!

Simon Cowell's Christmas celebrations have reportedly been 'ruined' by squabbling between his fiancée and ex-girlfriends, a tabloid 'source' has claimed. Ah. What a shame for the poor chap. Still, at least, now he knows how the rest of us feel when we hear the shite records he produces. The Daily Lies alleges that the music mogul - who confirmed his engagement to make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy in March - is 'fed up' with her arguments with former lovers Jackie St Clair and Sinitta. 'They are spoiling his holiday with their constant bitchy sniping,' the 'source' said. 'He's had a hectic year and was looking forward to some relaxing time in the sun but these daft women are ruining it for him. There's been plenty of sniping and they have come close to clawing each other's eyes out. It's all back-biting and bitchy comments.' The 'insider' allegedly continued: 'There have been plenty of fireworks. The trouble is they are all like children desperately trying to be the centre of attention with Simon and they hate competing for his time.' The lifestyles of the rich and tasteless, dear blog reader. If your Boxing Day hangover wasn't enough to make you vomit ...

Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted that he is unsure as to whether he will launch any more TV talent searches. Ah. What a shame. Oh well, never mind, especially as the last one was so bloody piss-poor. Speaking to the Daily Torygraph, the gnomic megalomaniac declared that the world tour of Love Never Dies, the sequel to his stage show The Phantom of the Opera, will probably deter him from committing to more formats. What's the noise you hear in the background? Why, it's the BBC sighing with relief. 'I don't know if I will do any more talent shows in the UK,' he reportedly said. 'With Love Never Dies going around the world I don't think I'm going to have any time to get another new production up. Also, there are only so many roles you can cast in that way.'

Vernon Kay has been tipped to replace Bruce Forsyth as the host of Strictly Come Dancing. Well, this is according to the News of the World, anyway, which means that it's almost certainly a load of utter bollocks. The Family Fortunes presenter is, the tabloid claims, the BBC's 'dream candidate,' due largely to the fact he would be co-hosting with his wife, Tess Daly. 'Tess and Vernon is our dream line-up. It would completely refresh the show. They're young, good-looking and there's obvious chemistry,' the alleged - nameless, of course - source is supposed to have said. 'We're desperate to get Vern. Brucie has been very good to Tess, and Vern looks up to him. He must be ready to go.' The alleged 'insider' then allegedly added: 'Vern's now the obvious option. Bosses want to revamp Strictly so it appeals to younger viewers while not alienating older fans. He fits the bill.' Allegedly.

Must Be The Music has been cancelled by Sky after one series due to low ratings. The Sun claims that the talent show - which had Dizzee Rascal as a judge - is considered too expensive to be recommissioned for a second run. 'It was a great show and a lot different to The X Factor because we had acts who wrote their own music,' they say that a 'source' told them. Both of which are, indeed factually accurate statements. 'People seemed to like it and some of the songs on the show made the charts. But it seems that there is very little room in TV-land for shows that are in any way similar to The X Factor.' The 'insider' allegedly added: 'We wanted to do a second series but the reality is it was an expensive show and we feel it would be better spending the money on something new.' Meanwhile, a Sky spokesman confirmed in a statement: 'We're now looking for the next big entertainment format.' Must Be The Music, which began on Sky1 in the summer, pulled in just three hundred and seventy thousand viewers for its finale in September.

Classic TV-related mishearing of the name of a presenter of a popular car show award of the week: And, there's really only one candidate. This goes to the Independent's Andrew Tong who suggested in his review of Top Gear's pre-Christmas episode that The Stig's former job of helping to train the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car had been taken over by one 'Tiffany Dell.' Nearly, Andrew, nearly.

Simon Baker has finalised a new deal with Warner Bros Television over his series The Mentalist. On the show, Baker plays Patrick Jane, a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation who uses his enhanced powers of observation to help solve crime. According to Deadline, Baker will now net more than thirty million dollars on the series, including the money that he is currently paid for his role. The new deal extends Baker's six-year contract by one year. In addition, Baker will receive a producing credit on the series beginning in season five. The Mentalist is currently in its third season.

Upstairs, Downstairs actress Jean Marsh has admitted she got tearful revisiting the show's famous town house. The period drama, about the lives of the Bellamys of Begravia and their servants below stairs, is back after thirty five years for a new three-part series. Jean who created the drama, returns as the housemaid Rose. The opening episode began with her character wandering through the town house after it has stood derelict for six years. She said: 'I can't think about coming back without feeling tearful, not bad tearful but just emotional. The past is there, exquisitely recreated, and it's startlingly upsetting to see the house where I lived for five years, and was Rose for thirty five years, looking a mess.' The new three-part series picks up in 1936 when new owners Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard) and his wife Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) make a fresh start in the home. Jean, now seventy six, also urged viewers to 'gloss over' the fact that in real time she is thirty five years older than she was in the last episode of the original series, but for her character, only six years have passed. She points out she 'didn't age in the original series. We just jogged along and somehow twenty five years passed.'

Strong public resistance to Rupert Murdoch's controversial bid for full control of BSkyB was revealed yesterday in a survey commissioned by opponents of the deal. An ICM poll that questioned more than two thousand people found that forty four per cent were opposed to the deal, with just five per cent supporting it. A further forty one per cent said they had no strong view and eleven per cent were don't knows. News Corp, the media giant that Murdoch chairs, wants to buy the sixty one of BSkyB it does not already own. Last week, the business secretary, Vince Cable, who was to rule on whether it could proceed, was tape-recorded telling undercover journalists he had 'declared war' on Murdoch and subsequently lost the responsibility for the decision. The survey – commissioned by Guardian Media Group, owners of this newspaper, and BT, Associated Newspapers Ltd, Northcliffe Media, Trinity Mirror plc and Telegraph Media Group – showed there is public opposition to the deal across the political spectrum. It found forty three per cent of Conservative voters are against the deal and that opposition is significantly higher among Lib Dems. Fifty-three percent of Lib Dems are against the deal with twenty five per cent 'strongly opposed.' The majority of those surveyed said the deal should be investigated before it is allowed to proceed. Only one in ten said that a referral was not necessary. Asked whether it was important that no single company was allowed to control too much of the news media, eighty four per cent agreed and four per cent disagreed that commissioned the survey have called on the government to investigate the deal. The media regulator Ofcom will report to the lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious Jeremy Hunt, by Friday. He will decide by 15 January whether to refer it to the Competition Commission, a process which could take up to nine months.

Helena Bonham Carter has claimed that reading strange news headlines about her family is 'marvellous.' Speaking to Total Film, the Harry Potter actress admitted that the majority of the stories written about her are untrue. She said: '[People] think we're the Addams Family! But do you know what? I think all that is rather marvellous. The more myths that follow you, it's a more protective shell around you. You've got to keep the truth private - so the more crap they write and the more sensational it is, the further it is from the truth. It's a sort of shell of bullshit.'

The late John Peel is returning to the airwaves, as the BBC's 6Music broadcasts some of the DJ's finest moments in championing scores of bands over his four decades on air. Fifteen-minute segments of Peel's Radio 1 Night Ride shows are to be broadcast from Monday during DJ Marc Riley's morning show which begins at 10am; they will also be available as a podcast. Peel gave Riley an early break thanks to his devotion to The Fall, for whom Riley originally played bass. The audio clips features him playing songs by bands such as Flying Lizards, Echo And The Bunnymen, Joy Division and, of course, The Fall. Riley said: 'Listening to various clips of John in preparation for these programmes it all came flooding back. John's warmth, his bone-dry humour, his passion for the eclectic mix of music he played not to mention his wonderful sense of mischief.' Peel began his Radio 1 career in 1967 after a stint on air in the US, and then creating The Perfumed Garden on pirate radio. He died in 2004 following a heart attack while holidaying in Peru. Riley added: 'I doubt any music broadcaster will ever get close to the love and respect shown to John by listeners and indebted bands alike. Having been a member of both those groups I know this to be true. In short - the 6Music listeners are in for a treat.' BBC 6Music controller Bob Shennan said: 'To be able to keep the spirit of John Peel alive and to take the famously technophobic DJ into the digital age is an absolute privilege for 6Music.' The podcast will also feature an interview with Jack White of The White Stripes. It will be released on 3 January, which the station is dubbing The Joy Of Six Day, a celebration of the best of 6Music.

And now, since it's a bit of a slow news day, for the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day, I thought, instead, we have an essay entitled 'A Brief History of British Post-War TV Comedy in Eleven Record Labels.' It's a cracker, trust me. And, it goes something like this:There, that was pretty straightforward, I'm sure you'll agree.