Sunday, January 16, 2011

Commanded, I Was Branded In A Plastic Bag

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole will not return for the next British series of The X Factor, their fellow judge Louis Walsh has claimed. Speaking to the News of the World, the Irish music manager seemed to confirm speculation that the Heaton Horror will join the Cow on the judging panel of the forthcoming American version of the talent competition. And, leave blighty behind - perhaps forever. 'It will be me and Dannii [Minogue] on the UK show with two more people,' Walsh stated. And, watch the ratings disappear in a puff of harsh reality biting shortly thereafter, dear blog reader. The paper further reports that ITV bosses are 'desperately' attempting to convince Cowell and Cole to reconsider their Stateside move. A TV 'source' allegedly said: 'It will be a disaster if they both go.' Not for anybody with a modicum of taste, I'd venture.

Jason Manford's Comedy Rocks was comprehensively beaten by Hustle in overnight ratings on Friday night. During the 9pm hour, the stand-up show's second series opener averaged a mere 2.89m viewers for ITV, while Hustle grabbed an impressive 5.92m on BBC1, up around two hundred thousand viewers week-on-week. Earlier, opposite Coronation Street, BBC1's Qi ended its seventh series was a respectable audience of four million.

Peter Andre reportedly rushed to a Dancing On Ice training session earlier this week after his current girlfriend, Elen Rivas, injured herself. The former partner of Frank Lampard before he discovered the joys of orange was advised to go to hospital after suffering from concussion but chose to collect her children from school instead, resulting in Andre keeping a close eye on her condition, the Daily Lies Sunday reports. Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, there just are nowhere near enough sick bags in the world. A 'source' allegedly told the gutter press rag: 'She fell over really roughly on the ice. They were going to take her to hospital because she was badly concussed. She had a massive bump on her head. But Elen was determined to go home and pick her kids up from school - she would not go to hospital. Luckily Pete was around and he looked after her. In the end Elen was not sick but Pete was keeping a close watch on her in case anything changed. He was really worried. He has been brilliant helping her deal with the stress of appearing live on Dancing On Ice. Elen is really nervous but Pete understands that. He is used to doing big shows so he has been giving her tips to calm her nerves. He is telling her to stay calm and focused.' Oh, pass me a bucket.

ITV and Carnival Films have confirmed plans to broadcast a Christmas episode of Downton Abbey. After the unprecedented success of the first series, ITV announced plans to make a second series which will be shown this autumn, following which a one-off special will be scheduled over the Christmas period. 'Julian [Fellowes] has come up with a fantastic story that will give the audience that chance to enjoy the experience of the festive season at Downton Abbey,' said ITV's director of drama Laura Mackie. 'We're delighted to have this as part of our Christmas schedule for December 2011.'

Thumbnail sized teen pop sensation Justin Bieber is reportedly planning to avoid Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes in case the comic aims any jokes at him. According to the Daily Lies Sunday, the singer is concerned about being made to look a fool in front of the audience and will present an award with Zac Efron to 'take some of the heat off himself.' A 'source' allegedly said: 'Justin is very concerned about being the butt of Ricky's jokes. The organisers were asked not to let him have to go on the stage alone and face Ricky - hence Zac Efron's appearance alongside him. And Bieber's team are not going to let him anywhere near Justin when he is backstage. In fact it looks as if Justin will arrive at the last possible time to keep out of Ricky's way! He's petrified of being made to look a fool. Let's face it, Ricky wouldn't spare him just because he's a kid!'

Earlier this week, it was widely reported - initially by the Daily Lies, admittedly, so it might be a right load of old arse - that Sunderland manager Steve The Bruce was 'still smarting' over about his post-five-one serenading with a certain Neil Diamond song at St James Park back in October. You can read the story here. Afterwards, a 'fuming' Bruce apparently claimed that the club he supported from the terraces as a boy had 'no class' and was quoted by the Lies as saying that he wanted the last laugh. The Mackems manager, therefore, vowed to show off how much 'class' he has himself by inflicting his own sonic revenge on Sunday in the rematch. 'We have got something in store, but just wait until the end,' the Lies quoted Bruce as saying. 'It is my choice, but the club are a bit scared of it. I am not telling you what it is. But I would love to get my own back!' What are you, Bruce, five? In which case, may yer Keith Telly Topping, respectfully, suggest that 'Loser' by Beck might be a good choice, young man. Not specifically for the result on Sunday but, just generally. In the end, perhaps it was a blessing that the game itself finished in a 1-1 draw, Asamoah Gyan's last-gasp equaliser cancelling out Kevin Nolan's cheeky back-heel strike earlier on. As to what record The Bruce had planned to inflict upon the visiting black and whiters, perhaps we'll never care. That is, of course, if the story is true. Which it might not be. Although if it isn't, then if I was The Bruce I'd be asking serious questions about from whence the Daily Lies obtained the 'quotes' they printed.

Katie Price has reportedly described her soon-to-be-ex-husband Alex Reid as 'a fame-hungry sponger.' Insert your own punchline here, dear blog reader.

The Oscar-nominated film and television actress Susannah York has died at the age of seventy two. According to the Daily Scum Mail, the actress had been diagnosed with advanced bone marrow cancer. Susannah was probably best known for her role as Alice in the 1969 Sydney Pollack-directed Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They? for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. She also starred as Sir Thomas More's daughter Margaret in the 1966 movie A Man For All Seasons which won six Oscars. Susannah had a wide-ranging career that won her both a BAFTA and her Oscar nomination and oscillated between powerful portrayals of either the dutiful woman at home or the wanton wife in the bedroom. She was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher in South London in January 1939 – although Susannah herself always claimed that she was actually born in 1942. Her father was a merchant banker, her mother was the daughter of a diplomat. Her parents divorced when Susannah was five and she saw her father only a handful of times during her childhood. Later, when her mother remarried to a Scottish businessman and moved the family to Scotland, her contact with her father effectively ceased. It was during her school years that Susannah's rebellious streak, which was to manifest itself many times throughout her lifetime - most notably in her strong political beliefs - was first raised. In what was considered a highly risqué incident when just thirteen, she was expelled for swimming naked at midnight in the school pool. In later life she remembered: 'My biggest mistake was my sense of fair play. I wasn't even caught in the pool, but owned up anyway.' The young Susannah was smitten by the stage from a early age. She won a small part as an Ugly Sister in the school pantomime and such was her delight at the plaudits she received that she determined to apply to RADA. There, she won the Ronson award for most promising student before graduating in 1958. When she subsequently appeared in a stage production of Ibsen's A Doll's House, a Hollywood agent reportedly approached her and told her he would make her a star. Her film career began when she played the part of Alec Guinness's daughter in the war movie Tunes of Glory (1960). She went on to appear with Glenda Jackson in The Maids (1974), and with Elizabeth Taylor (whom she described as the world's most beautiful woman) in Zee and Co (1972). Susannah played Sophie Western opposite Albert Finney in the Oscar-winning Tom Jones (1963) and also appeared in memorable roles in The Killing of Sister George (1968), Duffy (1968), Oh! What A Lovely War (1969) and Battle of Britain (1969). At eighteen, in 1960, she had fallen in love with Michael Wells. He was a RADA contemporary and was a married man. In an era when such indelicate behaviour was still largely frowned upon, Susannah survived any potential public outrage and married Wells once his divorce was complete. But the union hit the rocks when her own career quickly overshadowed that of her husband. After the birth of a son and a daughter, the marriage ended, somewhat bitterly, in 1976. From then on Susannah, while still committed to her career, devoted her life to her children. She played Superman's mother, Lara, in Superman (1978) and two of its sequels. On the small screen, she appeared in the excellent Prince Regent (1979), as Mrs Fitzherbert, and in the big-budget mini-series We'll Meet Again in 1982. But the 1980s was a period when her career waned and, in deep humiliation, she was forced to sell several deeply cherished paintings and jewellery to pay her mortgage. But for all that, Susannah York never lost the deep convictions and commitments that set her apart as a redoubtable actor. She had a keenly developed sense of justice, coupled with a volatile and prickly temper. When she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, she famously snubbed the Academy by declaring that it offended her to be nominated 'without being asked.' In the 1970s she wrote the children's books In Search of Unicorns and Lark's Castle. She also found time to direct on stage and wrote the screenplay to one of her film vehicles Falling in Love Again (1980). On stage she performed in such one-woman shows as Independent State, Picasso's Women and The Human Voice. She most recently played hospital manager Helen Grant in BBC medical drama Holby City, a role she reprised in 2004 in Casualty, and had a recent guest role in Doctors last year. Sir Tom Stoppard, the playwright and screenwriter, paid tribute to Susannah saying: 'I remember back in 1961 when I was a young journalist, I interviewed her for a magazine for her film Greengage Summer, and I still remember how completely charmed I was. She was so pleasant to me – she even let me interview her at home as long as I promised not to write that because journalists weren't normally allowed to go to her home. I still think of her with great affection.' Her son Orlando Wells also paid tribute noting: 'She was an absolutely fantastic mother, who was very down to earth. She loved nothing more than cooking a good Sunday roast and sitting around a fire of a winter's evening. In some sense, she was quite a home girl. Both my sister Sasha and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as a mother.' An obituary in the Torygraph characterised her as 'the blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomised the sensuality of the swinging Sixties.' Susannah is survived by Orlando and Sasha, as well as two grandchildren.

A man from Quebec has taken a company to the small claims court after buying a penis enlarger which, he alleges, did not work. The bodybuilder known only as Charles is suing the Montreal firm HotGVibe in relation to his 2009 purchase of the X4 Extender Deluxe Edition penis enlarger, the Examiner reports. According to La Voix de l'est, Charles claimed in court earlier this month to have used the machine for over five hundred hours before giving up. Not all at once, one trusts? 'As I am a bodybuilder, my body grew and I wanted the rest to follow,' he reportedly said. The plaintiff is suing for the two hundred and sixty two dollars price of the contraption in addition to five hundred dollars in 'moral and punitive damages.' Describing the sensation when using the machine, he added: 'It's extremely painful - a feeling of suffocation.' The X4 Extender Deluxe Edition features complete spring-loaded assembly, hybrid support system compatible with silicone harness and comfort strap technology, memory foam comfort pads, two specially calibrated tension strings and a full set of extension bars.

And finally, dear blog reader, here's yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day. Two fine demonstrative examples of what happened in 1972 when somebody had access to a Moog synthesizer and far too much time on their hands! And, in the first case, access to Brighton sea front one cold day in autumn by the look of things.
And, of courseThough, for the first - significant - use of a Moog on a pop record, you have to go back five years earlier and several thousand miles west of London.