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Friday, December 30, 2011

Gary Oldman: Smiley could bring me Oscar success ... at long last

Gary Oldman said today that his latest performance could finally be his moment for Oscar glory.

The British star, often cited as one of the best actors never nominated by the Academy, is tipped for a host of awards for his turn as George Smiley in the film version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Oldman, 53, was today given two nominations at the London Critics' Circle Awards - best actor and best British actor - for the role. Speaking to the Standard from his LA home, he said: "People talk about the Oscar buzz. It's very flattering. If it were to be, it were to be. I've never taken it personally. I'll believe it when I'm there. But it could be the one."

London-born Oldman said he was "very proud" of the adaptation of John le Carr?'s spy thriller, which also stars Colin Firth, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch.

He said he was "chuffed" that it tops the nominations for the Critics' Circle Awards - equalling the six nods for Drive starring Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling - despite being snubbed by the Golden Globes last week. Winners will be announced on January 19.

"It's best of British. I can't think in recent years of a cast that has just, across the board, been this strong," he added.

Talks are already under way for a sequel with the story Smiley's People. Oldman said he would love to return to the part, having overcome his initial nerves at taking on the part made famous by Alec Guinness in the British TV series. "It gave me pause for thought for about a month before I said yes," he said.

Other projects involve a possible return to the London stage and directing another movie, the first since his 1997 debut, Nil by Mouth.

"I've been writing and nearly finished something that I'm planning hopefully to do in 2013. I can't talk about it but it's about an Englishman out here in the 19th century," he said.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

George Michael released from hospital after pneumonia scare

 George Michael has been released from hospital and is flying back to England today.

The 48-year-old pop star has been receiving treatment for pneumonia at the AKH clinic in Vienna, Austria, for weeks but after making a recovery from the illness he was discharged from the medical centre at 08.00am and was taken straight to the airport so he can be at home for Christmas.

A hospital staff member told Austrian newspaper Osterreich: "He's feeling a lot better. He's doing so well, he's able to fly again."

Yesterday, the singer's doctors revealed he was feeling much better and had responded well to treatment.

Christoph Zielinski - one of his doctors - said: "We know he's doing fine and we are generally optimistic."

Last week, the singer's boyfriend Fadi Fawaz claimed the pop superstar would be flying back to England for Christmas.

He said: "Christmas at home. I cannot stop smiling today, the best day ever. He is getting better and better. Nothing to worry about, happy days."

George had to cancel all the remaining shows on his 'Symphonica Tour' when he fell ill in November.

Get Cheska's Chelsea Christmas look

But if your home is given a festive facelift it's just as important to look fittingly glamorous. So what would Cheska wear? Let's find out:

Christmas is all about adding the extra sparkle so go for a bold colour with a flattering cut. Cheska is pictured in a razzle-dazzling red Scala number (?700, But if you don't have a Chelsea budget there are lots of similar high street options.

Cheska is pictured wearing a piece from Roamer's new Ladies Mechaline EOS collection (?615, It boasts a luxurious set of male and female watches, a perfect Christmas gift for those with a taste for the finer things in life. "I love the understated elegance of this watch. It's so gorgeous and you can wear it with any outfit," she said.

Whip out those high heels for celebrations. "I'm wearing a pair from River Island," Cheska said. "Their shoes are such good value and they look amazing."

"I'm going for this new curly blow dry style," Cheska revealed. "It's my new look. I get my hair done at Neville's Hair and Beauty in Belgravia." A shampoo and finish starts at ?25

Treat yourself to a make-up makeover with a beauty expert. "Bella Campbell does my make-up a lot," said Cheska. "She is so lovely and does a great job." For more information visit

The room in which Cheska is pictured was designed by Simon Stewart, director of Charles Burnand. For more information on all Charles Burnand products and services call 020 8365 2284? or visit

Grinch Revel Horwood: Strictly judge Craig turns green and mean

He has ruined many a moment on the dancefloor and now it looks as though Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood may ruin Christmas - as the Grinch.

The notoriously picky judge dressed as Dr Seuss's green-faced grouch for the festive edition of the BBC1 dance show.

The curmudgeonly character tried to ruin the season of goodwill by stealing presents in Seuss's book How The Grinch Stole Christmas! It was later turned into a film starring Jim Carrey.

Contestants such actress Su Pollard, Blue singer Simon Webbe and EastEnders star Charlie Brooks will be taking part in the show, to be broadcast on Christmas Day.

It will also feature Russell Grant dressed as a fairy.

The roly-poly astrologer proved an audience favourite with his over-the-top stunts during the recent series, which included being fired from a cannon and riding a mechanical bucking bull.

Jamie Oliver tops Christmas book charts yet again

TV chef Jamie Oliver has beaten his rivals to take the number one spot in the Christmas book chart for the second consecutive year.

Jamie's Great Britain has sold 59,156 copies in the week ending December 17, according to Nielsen BookScan data.

It is the chef's fourth time at the top of the chart - he took number one last year with Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, which was also the best-selling title of 2010.

Oliver also claimed the Christmas top spot in 2005 with Jamie's Italy, and Happy Days With The Naked Chef was victorious in 2001.

Second place in the Christmas chart goes to Guinness World Records 2012, followed by Where's The Meerkat?, a Where's Wally?-style picture book.

Fellow TV chef Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy is fourth, followed by The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which has been adapted into a film and is the only adult fiction in the top 10.

The biography of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs is sixth, followed by Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, from the Cabin Fever series by children's author Jeff Kinney.

A third cook book, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Everyday! is eighth, followed by Frozen Planet at nine, and The World of Downton Abbey in 10th place.

The Life of Lee, the memoirs of cherished comedian Lee Evans, has been the best-selling celebrity autobiography of the festive season.

Jamie's Great Britain has sold 319,217 copies since it was released in September.

Penguin UK chief executive Tom Weldon said: "Once again Jamie proves he is the nation's favourite author."

Bookmakers William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: "We could have cried when we saw the Nielsen BookScan printout.

"Jamie was red hot favourite again but we thought that the Guinness World Records would give him a real run for his money this year."

Jason Donovan targets chart return

 Jason Donovan is aiming for a return to the charts after his success in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

The former Neighbours star, who had a series of top 10 hits including his duet with Kylie Minogue on Especially For You, has carved out a career in West End musicals.

He said: "There is definitely talk of doing possibly a record next year but nothing is set in stone, but why not?

"Possibly an old school type of big band, sort of crooner record. I don't know."

Bookmakers have made the Australian a rank outsider to win this year's series of the BBC ballroom show, which climaxes with a final at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, despite him scoring full marks with his Latin dance in the semi-finals.

JLS and Olly Murs 'hardest working acts in showbiz'

 X Factor rejects JLS and Olly Murs have been unveiled as the hardest working men in showbiz.

The two acts came joint top in a survey carried out by industry body PRS for Music to find which acts have headlined the most major venues in 2011 - playing 29 each.

Murs said it was "a real honour" to win the award, adding: "The last two years have been incredible for me - I've achieved so much and it's great to be recognised for all the work I've put in. Thanks to everyone who's come to see me play live - there's lots more to come."

A statement released by JLS said: "This is a great achievement and really goes to show how hard we have been working this year."

The two acts pipped reformed man-band Take That to the top of the chart.

The five-piece, reunited with Robbie Williams, played to around 1.75 million people during their sell-out tour of the UK and Ireland that saw them play 28 major venues.

Other acts in the top 10 included Westlife and former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher's new band Beady Eye.

Barney Hooper from PRS for Music said: "Performing live and going on tour are fundamental to any artist and is a great way for them to engage with their fans. Congratulations to both JLS and Olly Murs and all the songwriters who they have worked with to create the music that so many people are enjoying."

Karen Gillan to make 'heartbreaking' exit from Doctor Who

 TV favourite Karen Gillan - famed for her role as mini-skirted sidekick Amy Pond - is to leave Doctor Who during the next series of the hit show.

The actress, 24, will be written out in a "heartbreaking" storyline, programme boss Steven Moffatt said.

A new companion for The Doctor is being lined up, but producers said they would give no clues about their identity.

Gillan and her screen husband Arthur Darvill - who plays Rory - will both be written out.

The Scottish actress, who will soon be seen in a BBC drama as model Jean Shrimpton, has had a starring role for two series and has become hugely popular.

Moffatt said: "The final days of the Ponds are coming. It's during the next series. I'm not telling you when and I'm not telling you how."

He added: "That story is going to be a heartbreaking one."

Moffatt said The Doctor would be "taking a new friend".

"I'm not going to tell you anything about he, she or it."

Matt Smith said he would miss his co-star, who joined the programme at the same time as himself.

"We took over the show and we really had to hold hands and help each other through it. It's very disappointing." But he added: "This show is about change and regeneration."

In June last year, Gillan hit back at criticism over Amy's sexy demeanour - saying feminism was not the issue any more.

The flame-haired Scot claimed her character's mini-skirts are typical of what young women like to wear.

The series came under fire from some viewers for a scene in which Amy tried to seduce the Doctor, but Gillan said they were unlikely to get together romantically as he sees Amy more like an annoying younger sister.

It is understood the decision for Gillan to leave the show was mutual.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kate takes leaf from Di's look book as princess's dresses go on show

The Duchess of Cambridge is the latest Kensington Palace resident to wow the fashion world in a black strapless dress - but a new exhibition paying tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales is a reminder that Kate wasn't the first to make such a
dramatic entrance.

A display of the late princess's gowns - including three never previously exhibited in the UK - will from March mark the reopening of the unoccupied part of the palace after a ?12?million refurbishment.

The centrepiece will be the low-cut black gown that heralded Diana's arrival as a global fashion icon, worn for a charity recital in the City in March 1981, 13 days after her engagement to Prince Charles.

Her fianc? told her black was only for those in mourning, but the dress, by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who went on to design Diana's wedding gown, sent photographers into a frenzy.

"I was quite big-chested then and they all got frightfully excited," the princess recalled years later.

The dress, one of five to go on display, was recalled by royal watchers last night when they saw Kate's gown at a military awards ceremony.

Like Diana and the Emanuels, the duchess chose a dress from the fashion house which designed her wedding gown - Alexander McQueen.

The other Diana dresses never displayed before are a fuchsia and purple silk sari style by Catherine Walker, worn to dinner with the King of Thailand in 1988, and a black-and-white cocktail dress by Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany worn to a series of gala performances from 1989.

A Catherine Walker ivory dress from Mario Testino's Vanity Fair photoshoot in 1997, shortly before Diana's death, and a black Versace dress worn to the 1995 Apollo 13 premiere complete the display.

Deirdre Murphy, curator at Kensington Palace, said the black Emanuel dress "starts off the story. Diana promoted British designers very well, something that carries on with members of the royal family today."

Kim Kardashian is Google's most searched celebrity of 2011

American reality television star Kim Kardashian was the most searched for celebrity in 2011, according to internet giant Google.

Her profile was boosted this year when she married and divorced basketball player Kris Humphries within the space of three months.

She rose to fame after appearing in reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which launched in 2007 and follows the personal and professional lives of members of her family.

Second most popular for web users on was Victoria Beckham, followed by Harry Potter star Emma Watson and actress Scarlett Johansson. Friends star Jennifer Aniston rounded off the top five celebrities.

The creator and star of The Office, Ricky Gervais, was the only man in the top 10 list.

It was drawn up by staff at the internet search giant as part of its annual zeitgeist which examines the latest online trends.

Kinky Krankies admit to swinging past

Comedy duo Ian and Janette Tough, both 64, who soared to fame on children's TV show Crackerjack, described their "active" relationship and how they once were nearly swept out to sea.

In an interview on BBC Radio Scotland's Stark Talk programme, Janette said: "We had a little boat, it was only a little 12ft boat and we went out for Sunday lunch one day.

"We thought we would get a bit romantic on this boat out at sea and we nearly ended up in France."

The pair, who met aged 18 and married when they were 21, confessed to presenter Edi Stark to having the occasional "ding dong" with other people when they were on tour.

But Janette said: "We weren't behind each other's backs. We knew what each other was sort of up to."

Husband Ian said: "But then we thought, 'we are playing with fire here'. What we started to worry about was that the other people were getting jealous."

The couple said they had escaped any publicity over what they were up to, which would be very different now.

"It was not years or months or anything like that, it was when we were on tour," Janette said.

The couple also told how they once borrowed rock band Status Quo's bus - which they returned "trashed".

Ian said: "Status Quo lent us their coach once.
"When we gave it back they said, 'blinkin' heck, it's worse than if we'd lent it to a rock show'.
"And this was for a kids' show."

The couple, who both started in pantomime, are appearing with John Barrowman in Robinson Crusoe at Glasgow's Clyde Auditorium.

Kris Humphries booed at basketball game

The 26-year-old sportsman received a harsh reception from the 20,000-strong crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden as he played his first pre-season game since splitting from Kim Kardashian, who filed for divorce in October after just 72 days of marriage.

Kris was a free agent during the summer before signing an $8 million deal this week to return to NBA side the New Jersey Nets - and he admitted his time with the 31-year-old socialite had been a "learning experience".

When asked what was different when he was last with the team in April, he said: "Well, there is a lot less paparazzi here.

"I definitely had a lot going on. It was a learning experience. I hadn't been through anything like that before.

"Life just happens. As long as you're focused and pay attention to life, everything is easier. I learned that I put my faith in God, my family and basketball. I feel now like I'm home again."

Kris and Kim moved to New York earlier this year in the search for a new club, but he is now "glad to be back" in New Jersey, despite suffering a double blow last night as his side lost 88-82 to the New York Knicks.

He added: "I'm excited to be back. It's good to see the guys again. Although it's a one-year deal, I'm happy and motivated. I think if you ask any player, they all would want a max contract with the longest terms. But I'm happy with the deal and glad to be back."

Little Mix worst-selling X Factor winner since Steve Brookstein

The group hit the number one slot last night with their cover of Damien Rice's hit Cannonball.

But despite the huge exposure of the group with more than 15 million viewers tuning in to watch the X Factor reach its climax, the track sold 210,000 copies in its first week.

The Little Mix track sold less than half of 2010 winner Matt Cardle's first week tally of 439,000.
And its sales are dwarfed by the success of past winners such as 2005 champion Shayne Ward whose That's My Goal sold 742,180.

Single releases are usually timed to coincide with the week of the Christmas number one, but this year programme bosses released the track a week earlier.

Gareth Malone's choir of Military Wives is now favourite to take the prized festive top slot which will be announced on Christmas Day itself.

Little Mix even finished behind 2007's little-remembered winner Leon Jackson who shifted nearly 276,000 copies of his debut When You Believe in the first week.

The only past winner which the all-female quartet have outsold is Steve Brookstein who triumphed in 2004, when The X Factor was in its infancy.

Brookstein sold almost 128,000 copies of his single Against All Odds in a week.

However Little Mix can take some comfort from the fact their single achieved the biggest first week sales for a single so far this year. And it outsold the rest of this week's Official Singles Chart top five combined.

'Lost' David Bowie Top Of The Pops appearance to be screened

The archive film of the singer performing number two hit The Jean Genie recently came to light after it was feared to have been wiped along with appearances by hundreds of other artists on the show.

Now fans will be able to see the rock idol's performance, dating back to January 1973, when it is screened in a BBC2 TOTP special tonight.

The film emerged earlier this month when it was shown at the Missing Believed Wiped event at the British Film Institute in London which celebrates the discovery of long-lost TV shows.

Retired cameraman John Henshall from Oxfordshire worked on the show and kept a copy of Bowie's appearance. The slot featured the use of a fish-eye camera lens which he had designed himself.

The performance has not been screened on TV since it originally aired on January 4 1973, the day after it was recorded.

Hundreds of shows were simply wiped to allow video tape to be reused because of its high cost.

Mr Henshall was unaware until recently that the BBC had not kept a copy.

"I just couldn't believe that I was the only one with it. I just thought you wouldn't be mad enough to wipe a tape like that," he said earlier this month.

The four-minute clip of Bowie performing alongside his then-band The Spiders From Mars will be screened in full. The song - from his Aladdin Sane period - sees the group in full glam rock mode, with Bowie playing harmonica.

Mark Cooper, executive producer of Top Of The Pops 2, said: "Bowie singing The Jean Genie is electric and the kind of piece of archive that not only brings back how brilliant Top Of The Pops could be, but also how a piece of archive can speak to us down the years.

"I can't imagine what other piece of TOTP from the early '70s would be as extraordinary a find."

BBC2's 90-minute Top of the Pops Christmas Special will be screened at 7.30pm and also features Slade, Wham!, Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay and Adele.

TOTP was axed by the BBC in 2006, but its spin-off archive show has continued to be screened as well as an annual Christmas Day edition.

BBC4 has also been repeating weekly editions of the show from 1976, the year the BBC began to keep a comprehensive archive of the show.

Mariah Carey is top for Christmas karaoke

A poll of singers at Lucky Voice karaoke bars saw 9,543 pick the track which was first released in 1994.

It subsequently re-entered the charts in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 after it was used in the romantic comedy Love Actually.

A close second was Kings of Leon's Sex on Fire which was named by 8,245 as their favourite, while 6,948 said they wanted to sing Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.

Mr Brightside by The Killers and Don't Stop Believin' by Journey were fourth and fifth in the poll which asked 80,000 singers to name their favourite Christmas tune.

Lucky Voice managing director Nick Thistleton said: "In recent years we have seen a surge of popularity in karaoke. TV Shows like X Factor and Britain's Got Talent really strike a chord with people of all ages and make them want to get up and have a go at singing themselves. What better time to let your inner star shine than at a Christmas party.

"Some songs are clearly better for singing than others. We usually find that the songs people gravitate to and feel comfortable performing have a combination of strong melodies and simple lyrics. Year after year we see people opting for the same 20 or so songs with only a few contemporary tracks mixed in."

The Top 10 karaoke songs

1. All I Want for Christmas - Mariah Carey
2. Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
3. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
4. Mr Brightside - The Killers
5. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
6. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
7. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
8. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
9. Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade
10. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Matt Damon hits out at 'one-term president' Obama

The actor was a huge supporter of Obama in the run-up to him winning the US presidency election in November 2008 but says he's been disappointed in how he has run the country.

He told America's ELLE magazine: "I've talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, 'Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician.' You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better."

However, Matt says he does have some sympathy with Obama because he has a lot to deal with, including ongoing negotiations over the country's debt ceiling.

He said. "I don't know what you do in the face of that kind of intransigence. So, my heart does go out to the president. He is dealing with a lot."

This is not the first time Matt has criticised Obama and the decisions he has made over the past three years.

He recently said: "I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said to me the other day, I thought it was a great line, 'I no longer hope for audacity.' He's doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education ... the idea that we're testing kids and we're tying teachers' salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We're training them, not teaching them."

McFly pair to face Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? test

The group's Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter will face the questions in a new year edition of the show, hoping to raise cash for charity.

Other stars due to appear in a pair of festive shows include culinary superstar Heston Blumenthal, X Factor winner Matt Cardle and boxing champ Amir Khan.

Poynter - who recently won I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! - will team up with his bandmate as they face questionmaster Chris Tarrant on January 3.

Also taking part in that show are former jungle champion Stacey Solomon, who teams up with comic Lee Mack, while Richard Madeley will answer questions with DJ Sara Cox.

Cox, who will raise cash for homeless charity Centrepoint, said: "I've always wanted to find out what it's like to be in the Millionaire hot seat and luckily I've got Richard to hold my hand if it all gets too much.

"I've got my fingers crossed that we can raise lots of cash for Centrepoint and open the new year with a bang."

Another festive edition of Millionaire - a live special to be screened tonight - will see Khan pair up with Jason Manford, Cardle appear with Martin Kemp and Blumenthal take a seat alongside Kate Garraway.

The line-up is completed by Fatima Whitbread and Russell Watson.

Military Wives have the Xmas Factor

And today the Military Wives choir celebrated their single becoming the fastest-selling song for six years with a live performance in Oxford Street.

Crowds gathered outside HMV as 25 members of the 100-strong choir performed carols including Away in a Manger and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

They are virtually guaranteed to top the charts for Christmas after selling 242,000 of their track, Wherever You Are, in two days.

The sales were the fastest since those of That's My Goal by X Factor winner Shayne Ward in 2005. Girl group Little Mix, who were the choir's only real rivals, could only achieve 210,000 sales of their single Cannonball in the week after they won this year's X Factor.

Today in Oxford Street, Gareth Malone, who put the choir together for a BBC2 series, was embraced by Chris Evans, who has championed the track. The Radio 2 DJ said: "It's one of the best things I've ever been involved in. I'm so pleased for Gareth and for the girls."

Malone said: "It's such amazing news. I am bored of the sound of my own voice saying how amazing, unbelievable, incredible it is - but it is. Gary Barlow sent me a private message saying well done and I also had a public message from Simon Cowell. He is a patriotic man so it is appropriate that he would be behind us and the Armed Forces. I saw Little Mix yesterday and they looked incredibly nervous."

Cowell conceded defeat in a tweet reading: "Congrats to Little Mix and to Military Wives. It is a great cause and a worthy Christmas number one."

The lyrics of Wherever You Are were taken from poems written between the women and their husbands. Malone said: "We have been lucky with the timing of our single, it is 10 years since we have been in Afghanistan and support for the armed services has never been so enthusiastic. It is something about the choirs' words and the looks in their eyes, you can see they mean every word."

Rihanna found lots of love on Facebook

The 'We Found Love' singer beat musical artists including Bob Marley and Avril Lavigne, who placed second and third respectively, in the list of the fastest-growing pages and most shared media of the year.?

Rihanna has 47,788,147 fans on Facebook, over two million more than Lady Gaga, seven million ahead of animated TV show 'Family Guy' and surprisingly - considering he has over 15 million followers on twitter - 10 million more likes than Justin Bieber.?

It is not only Rihanna's Facebook page which was popular on the social networking website, her 'We Found Love' single featuring Calvin Harris was the most listened to song of the year, beating singles from stars including Katy Perry, LMFAO, David Guetta and Adele.?

Meanwhile, the pop beauty has revealed she can't wait to get another tattoo.?

The singer already has 13 inkings including a music note on her ankle, a Pisces sign behind her right ear,?a Sanskrit prayer going down her hip, a star in her left ear, the word?love?on her left middle finger and an Arabic phrase meaning "Freedom in Christ" on her ribcage area but now wants a new one on her "ass".?

She tweeted: "I'm ready for my next tat or 2, 1 on my ass cheek LOL."?

Top 10 most popular music Facebook pages in 2011:?

1. Rihanna?

2. Bob Marley?

3. Avril Lavigne?

4. David Guetta?

5. Enrique Iglesias?

6. Usher?

7. Lady Gaga?

8. Metallica?

9. Green Day?

10. Black Eyed Peas

Tom Cruise vows to continue being an action man

The actor, who turns 50 next year, plays secret agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, the fourth film in the franchise which he also produces.

Speaking on the red carpet at London's IMAX cinema, Cruise claimed he had no intention of slowing down.

"I'm just going to keep going, as long as I can do it. I love making action movies," he said.

Cruise said he was hoping to mark his big birthday, in July, with a party.

"I'll be shooting a film at that point, I don't even know if I'll have a day off but we'll figure it out, we're going to have a party. When you turn 50 you have to have a good one, isn't that the rule?" he said.

Cruise's co-star Simon Pegg shared a few jokes with him on the red carpet, trying to convince the US star to swear on live TV, saying: "Say the F-word, it's fine."

He added that he enjoyed getting to know the real Tom Cruise.

Pegg said: "He has an aura about him which is irresistible, and all that crap that you hear about him and that you think you know about him, when you actually get to the human being that he is, doesn't really exist."

Cruise even bought Pegg a surprise present during filming.

"Tom bought me a snowboard for my birthday, and it wasn't just a snowboard, it was a snowboard I really wanted. And I don't know how he knew. It was there in my trailer in the morning," he said.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is out in cinemas on Boxing Day.

On The Buses writer dies after fall at home

Along with his writing partner Ronnie Chesney, Wolfe created much-loved catchphrases such as "I'll get you, Butler" in the series set in a London bus depot.

Chesney - whose partnership led to the duo being known as the "the other Two Ronnies" - said it was "like losing my brother".

The pair worked with some of Britain's most popular comic actors over the years, including Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, Beryl Reid, Dame Thora Hird and Benny Hill.

But Wolfe will be best remembered for the saucy comedy On The Buses and The Rag Trade, starring Miriam Karlin, who also died in June.

The writer died yesterday as a result of banging his head on Thursday after falling down stairs at a respite home in London.

His son-in-law Arif Hussein, married to Mr Wolfe's daughter Kathryn, said he was a "wonderful" man.

"He was the kind of father-in-law most people dream about, absolutely.

"Most people talk about their in-laws as people who are interfering, but to me my in-laws were a dream. Ronnie was, from day one, he was absolutely wonderful."

On The Buses was commissioned by ITV after being rejected by the BBC, despite the success of the writer's earlier show The Rag Trade. They created unforgettable characters such as Reg Varney's bus driver Stan Butler, Blakey the fist-shaking inspector, and romeo conductor Jack Harper.

The success also led to spin-off films.
Wolfe had been a radio engineer, then moved into scriptwriting in the 1950s, when he and Chesney created the ventriloquism comedy series Educating Archie.

In 1961 they launched BBC series The Rag Trade - later revived 16 years later by ITV - featuring the well-worn catchphrase "Everybody out!" from bolshy shop steward Karlin.

Other popular shows included Meet The Wife with Dame Thora and Don't Drink The Water, which featured Blakey, played by Stephen Lewis. Less celebrated shows included Yus, My Dear starring Arthur Mullard and Take A Letter Mr Jones, with John Inman.

Paying tribute to his partner, Mr Chesney said: "We were together 50 years - it's like losing my brother."

Wolfe's family also spoke warmly of the grandfather of four's life. His wife Rose said it had been an "unexpectedly sad end for a guy who was so funny in life".

"He was the most incredible husband and we had 58 years of superb marriage harmony," she said.

"I acted as his secretary and PA and typed and computed for him, doing all the work he ever put out."

Wolfe had two daughters, Debbie, 52, and Kathryn, 55, a university lecturer.

Kathryn said: "My fondest memories of my dad are that he was the funniest, most generous person I could have wished to have.

"He was funny in public, with the huge legacy left behind, and funny in private.

"We are going through boxes of funny letters he wrote to me as a child.

"I couldn't have wished to have a better father."

Rihanna blasts racist hotel guest

The singer was in Portugal's capital for a concert on her Loud tour when she met the man who proceeded to insult her, but Rihanna quickly hit back and then called the hotel manager.

The Barbadian beauty tweeted yesterday: "I just met the most racist **** EVER!!! This man said the craziest shitt abt black women called us dogs, sluts, we don't look like s**t, we don't belong in the same hotels ... needless to say, the #NIGGA in me came out! Bajan accent and all! Lol! Turns out the hotel manager's black.

"Oh and he had the NERVE to diss black people in his Tighty whitey's!!!! SMH...and tbh a lil black wouldn't hurt him (sic)"

However, Rihanna did not let the stranger stop her from partying. The singer jetted into London yesterday for the remaining three UK dates on her tour and quickly set about celebrating with her crew.

She wrote on twitter: "My new residence tbh, LONDON TOWN O2 8,9,10 of 10!!! #LOUDtourUK

"We just had our end of year/tour Christmas party!!!! We turned it into an 80's prom, since I've never had one! It was sooo much FUN!!!!

"I'm decked out in lace, sequins, a giant bow, and hair spray!!!!! #80sBaby (sic)"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tinchy Stryder signs up for Celebrity Big Brother

The 'Never Leave You' singer was approached by show bosses - who are desperate for a British rapper to take part - after Chipmunk turned down an offer, The Sun reports.

While the line-up for the show - which returns to Channel 5 in early January - has not yet been confirmed, several stars have been linked with an appearance, including troubled Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan, footballer Ryan Giggs' sister-in-law Natasha Giggs, shamed former 'X-Factor' contestant Frankie Cocozza and comedian Freddie Starr.

Meanwhile, bosses at Channel 5 are bringing back the live feed when the show returns next month.

Although 24 hour feed - which was axed when the show moved from Channel 4 to Channel 5 will not be coming back - show bosses are planning to extend the air time for an extra hour on sister channel 5* whenever there is an eviction, a surprise task or a shock new housemate.

A source said: "Zooming in after they've just had a shock is the best thing to do.

"In the past we've had housemates breaking down in tears if someone they really liked got evicted and we've had bitchy bust-ups with people saying the wrong person went out the door.

We've also had melt-downs if they heard the crowds outside chanting about them."

No VAT on Military Wives as single heads for Christmas No1

 Festive cheer: Gareth Malone with the Military wives choir in Oxford Street, where they sang to commutersUpdated 14:31pm on 21 Dec 2011 The Military Wives choir were celebrating today after the Government agreed to waive VAT on sales of their soon-to-be chart-topping single.

The Treasury is to give the money to charity in lieu of the tax taken from sales of Wherever You Are, which is on course to be the Christmas number one this weekend.

Choir member Sarah Wall said it was a "brilliant" gesture.

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the tax would be waived today after a request from Conservative MP Oliver Colvile called for the tax to be waived.

The single - which will raise money for forces' charities - is a soaring success, and chalked up the biggest two-day sale for six years, according to figures released yesterday.

It is outselling nearest rival Cannonball by X Factor winners by a margin of six to one.

The Military Wives were formed by Gareth Malone for BBC2 programme The Choir, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their single sold 242,000 copies in just two days and could hit the half-million mark by the end of the week.

Mr Osborne said today: "Our armed forces demonstrate incredible commitment to the nation and make sacrifices for all of us.

"The Military Wives choir is doing a great job of raising money for this hugely worthy cause. We will donate the tax collected on the single so that as much as possible of the money spent by the public on this fantastic song goes to charities helping our armed forces and their families this Christmas."

Last month the Government agreed to a similar gesture for The X Factor's charity single Wishing on a Star.

Proceeds from the single are being donated to the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Mrs Wall, 32, whose husband, Corporal Mark Wall, is a military policeman, said any tax move by the Government was welcome.

"I know when Gareth went to Downing Street he asked about it," the mother-of-two said.

"I'm glad they are behind us and they want to help us raise money and everything. It is brilliant that they are doing that."

Mrs Wall was speaking as she and fellow choir members went to their workplace at Tyspane Care Centre in Braunton, north Devon - where some of them will be working when they find if their single is the Christmas number one.

The announcement will be made during the Christmas Day edition of BBC1's Top Of The Pops.

Ricky Gervais to sign Channel 4 deal

The 50-year-old comic has filmed a pilot for a new sitcom for the network and is said to be "very pleased" with the show, which has a working title of 'Derek'.

Channel 4 chief Jay hunt is reportedly "thrilled" with the show, which is set in an old people's home and features Ricky as elderly and confused resident Derek Noakes.

The show features the comic's sidekick Karl Pilkington in his debut acting role and is expected to feature a series of guest stars, including the likes of Sir Sean Connery.

The proposed move to Channel 4 comes after Ricky's last series, 'Life's Too Short' - which starred Warwick Davies - was a ratings flop for the BBC in comparison to the funnyman's previous shows 'The Office' and 'Extras'.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "There have been many meetings in a bid to discover why it missed the mark. No one really knows. Some you win, some you lose."

Despite recording the pilot, Channel 4 executives insist they have not yet commissioned 'Derek' for a full series.

A spokesperson said: "This is a continuation of our relationship with Ricky Gervais."

Steve Jones to be axed from US X Factor

The 34-year-old presenter - who was slammed as "utterly irrelevant" by one critic - will not have his existing contract renewed for a second season after receiving "terrible reviews".

An insider told the Daily Mirror: "Steve keeps saying that living in Los Angeles is a dream come true. He loves the weather and the women, and he loves working on X Factor - it's just a shame that the US public has not warmed to him.

"He got terrible reviews from critics when he started and things haven't got better. There have been mistakes and he just doesn't seem to have the knack for dealing with contestants.

"The executives at Fox have already decided not to renew his contract and so, short of a miracle happening, it is pretty much a done deal that he will not take part next season."

It is believed the Welsh star could be replaced by Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, who took up a role on the judging panel alongside L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul and show boss Simon Cowell after Cheryl Cole was sensationally fired from the series after just four rounds of auditions.

A US X Factor spokesperson said: "No discussions have been had and no decisions will be made about any new contracts until the New Year."

Steve has previously blamed his "rude" presenting manner - which saw him fail to comfort axed 13-year-old hopeful Rachel Crow when she collapsed to the floor in tears live on air - on "screaming" producers.

He said: "I'm wearing an earpiece and there's about five people screaming, 'Shut Paula up. Shut her up now. Move on.' I'm going to have hearing damage in this ear by the end of series.

"I feel terrible because I feel on occasions I'm coming across as rude and abrupt and that's really not me. I cherish every word that comes out of Paula."

TV Burp may continue without Harry Hill

The comedian quit the show earlier this year - complaining that the ITV1 programme had left him feeling "suicidal" - but producers Avalon are keen for it to continue and are now looking for a replacement.

Funnymen Lee Mack, Al 'Pub Landlord' Murray and Russell Kane have all been touted as successors to Harry, who quit Avalon and turned down a ?1 million pay rise to stay.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "They're desperate to keep the show on air as it earns them a fortune from ITV, but the debacle surrounding Harry has left everyone bruised."

However, Harry recently admitted he won't rule out another series of 'Harry Hill's TV Burp', which is a comic review of the previous week's TV highlights.

When asked if he would quit in 2012, Harry said: "I think it's likely. I've been doing it for 10 years and I've done more than 100 shows. I'll certainly be taking a year off doing it and I'll see how it goes. But it's not like I'm saying I'll never do it again.

"It takes up six months of my year and that doesn't give me enough time to pursue anything else."

Will and Grace star Debra Messing splits from husband

The Will and Grace star ended her 11 year marriage to producer Daniel Zelman earlier this year, but the pair remain close and committed to their seven-year-old son Roman.

Her representative said: "They privately separated earlier this year. The decision was mutual and they remain supportive of one another and committed to raising their son as a family."

Despite their break-up, Debra and Daniel - who met on their first day at New York University in 1990 - still live together.

A source said: "They have been separated the better part of the year but continue to live together in New York for Roman. It's very amicable."

Debra has previously claimed the reason they stayed together was because they met when they were young and grew as a couple.

She said: "I think we're lucky we met really young when we were both students and hopeful about the future and excited by the romance of the struggle then.

"I think we just have a real respect for each other as individuals, and I think we're lucky as we grew up together we grew closer instead of further away. Our goals and priorities and perspectives became more in line with each other than when we first met."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tulisa Contostavlos to release autobiography ... aged 23

The 23-year-old pop star will start work on the tome in January and it will tell the story of her life from her childhood through to her incredible success with N-Dubz and her landing a judging role on 'The X Factor'.

A source told the Daily Mirror: "She has an incredible story to tell - some of which has never been written about - and it's a unique opportunity to set the record straight.

"Tulisa's famed for being open and up front, saying it as she sees it. There will be no skeletons left in her closet. Three major publishing houses are all desperate to sign her up, not least because of the success rate of books by former 'X Factor' judges."

The book will reveal details of her childhood growing up in Camden, north London, with her mother Anne who had bipolar disorder and her difficult teenage years with tales of her forays into shoplifting and drug use.

She has agreed for photos from her youth to be published.

Tulisa will also reveal details of her relationship with her N-Dubz bandmate Fazer and will lift the lid on what it's like backstage on 'The X Factor', which could include details of her alleged spat with Kelly Rowland.

The book is set to be released at the time 'The X Factor' returns to screens in 2012.

Michael Douglas' son to serve extra prison time

Updated 08:29am on 22 Dec 2011 Michael Douglas' son Cameron has been sentenced to an extra four and a half years in prison.

Cameron, 32, was originally serving five years after he pled guilty to possession and dealing methamphetamine and cocaine in April but his time in jail has now been almost doubled after he repeatedly violated prison rules by arranging to get drugs while in custody.

Judge Richard Berman cited four different occasions in which Cameron's lawyer smuggled narcotics into prison for him in her bra when announcing the extended sentence.

He also recommended Cameron is sent to a prison facility that can offer him drug treatment and mental health care.

Speaking in court, Cameron said: "I cannot seem to find comfort within my own skin. I feel ashamed. I feel defeated."

The DJ and actor- who asked for the judge to send him to rehab to deal with the situation "medically" - has previously told the judge of a wish to turn his life around and become an "entertainer".

He explained: "I am sorry for my family and my loved ones for putting them through this nightmare of my making.

"I ask for an opportunity to be a role model to my younger brothers and sisters."

Sneak peek: Downton creator's Titanic new show

 Titanic drama: Maria Doyle Kennedy (centre) as Muriel Batley and Toby Jones (right) as John Batley in the ITV drama about the TitanicUpdated 08:28am on 23 Dec 2011 Viewers will get a glimpse of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes' new show - about the sinking of the Titanic - on Christmas Day.

The two-minute trailer will be shown on ITV1 after the special festive episode of the country house drama.

ITV's Rufus Radcliffe said: "Titanic promises to be a massive TV event in 2012, and what better moment to start building anticipation amongst our viewers than an epic trail coming out of ITV's Downton Abbey Christmas special."

The drama, which is made up of four 60-minute episodes, counts Linus Roache, Celia Imrie, Toby Jones, Geraldine Somerville, Sophie Winkleman and Timothy West among the cast.

It follows the story from the building of the Titanic at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast to its loss at sea after it hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912.

The set includes a 60-metre-long deck, four working lifeboats and 75 metres of corridors as well as cabins and a boiler room.

Director Jon Jones said: "It's an incredible, evocative playing space. We have built a huge section of the ship, that is jam packed with a warren of rooms arranged to allow us a sense that we have the run of the ship.

"Once you enter the studio, it is like boarding the ship - you get a real sense of the space. We want to get to grips with how it really was to be confined in a tiny cabin in steerage - or effortlessly ensconced in a First Class stateroom. Our set allows us to really enter that world."

The trailer can also be seen on the ITV player from noon tomorrow.

The series will be shown in April 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

Attenborough Defends Bear Clip Filmed In Zoo

The veteran broadcaster told Sky News "making natural history film is an art".

Some viewers were outraged when it emerged that a scene in Frozen Planet, showing a bear giving birth, was filmed in a zoo.

The programme makers were accused of misleading audiences into believing the scene had been captured in the wild, but later said it would have been impossible to have filmed the footage in the wild.

Sir David, who is promoting his latest Sky 3D film, The Bachelor King 3D, said the decision to film in the zoo was made for the safety of the animal and the crew.

Sir David said producers aimed to be honest and truthful during filming

"If you try to film a bear in the wild, it will either kill the cub, or kill the cameraman - or the cameraman would have to kill it. It would be disastrous," he said.

More than eight million viewers tuned into the fifth episode from the £16m seven-part BBC series in November.

Sir David said it is sometimes necessary to be creative while remaining true to life.

"Sometimes you will film one animal, then take another and cut the two together," he said.

"Sometimes you film one scene this year and another scene next year.

"What you try to do is present an a film picture as you can of the polar bear's life history."

:: The Bachelor King 3D, which airs on New Year's Eve, charts the journey of a typical King Penguin from adolescent to adult.

Ballad Singer Takes First US X Factor Crown

The 19-year old ballad singer, whose voice drew comparisons to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, beat runner-up Josh Krajcik to land a $5m (£3.1m) recording contract.

Amaro will also take a starring role in a new advertisement for Pepsi.

She had been tipped to win after an impressive rendition of Beyonce's hit "Listen" in Wednesday's live show.

Last night, she dropped to her knees and wept with joy, speechless at her victory.

A delighted Simon Cowell said the Amero was a worthy winner.

"We came here to find a superstar and we found a superstar," he said.

Second-placed Krajcik, 30, a bluesy rock singer who worked in a burrito restaurant before joining the show, also congratulated Amaro.

"Melanie deserves it. She has a wonderful voice", he said.

Recovering drug addict and rapper, Chris Rene, came third in the Christmas-themed, two-hour finale, which also saw performances by Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis and 50 Cent.

Ratings for the show have fallen short of expectations, drawing an average of 12 million viewers - about half the audience for "American Idol".

Beauty Queen Loses High-Profile Cancer Battle

The beauty queen was crowned Miss Venezuela at the age of 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico.

Miss Ekvall, who also worked as an actress and TV presenter, wrote a book, Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by Venezuelan photographer Roberto Mata.

I hate to see photos in which I come out ugly. But you know what? Nobody ever said cancer is pretty or that I should look like Miss Venezuela when I have cancer.

Eva Ekvall 

In an interview last year, she told the newspaper El Nacional: "I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention."

Her cover portrait showed her without makeup and her head shaved. The book also included images of her while going through chemotherapy.

"I hate to see photos in which I come out ugly," she said at the time. "But you know what? Nobody ever said cancer is pretty or that I should look like Miss Venezuela when I have cancer."

In her book, Ms Ekvall described her joy at the birth of her daughter saying: "that happiness, although (the daughter) may not know it or understand it, keeps me alive today."

The book included emails that she wrote to friends providing updates on her treatment and thanking them for their support, as well as short essays by relatives and friends reflecting on her ordeal.

Her father, Eric Ekvall, recalled in the book that his mother, also named Eva, had died of the same type of cancer at age 39.

"Those who know Eva know she doesn't give up," he wrote of his daughter. "She fights for what she wants."

Ms Ekvall's remains were cremated in Houston, where she was in hospital, and are being taken home to Venezuela where her funeral will be held.

Although her mother is Jamaican and her father is American of Swedish and Hungarian descent, she once said: "I feel more Venezuelan than anybody."

Her husband posted a photo on Twitter on Sunday of a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a bed, with the words "Always together ... I love you wife."

Butler Trapped Underwater In Surf Stunt Mishap

The Scottish actor was knocked off his surfboard by a freak wave and trapped underwater while filming his new movie Of Men And Mavericks in California.

Butler was pulled from the water onto a jetski and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for examination but did not stay overnight.

The incident, which happened on Sunday, occurred in the same spot where 35-year-old Hawaiian surfer Sion Milosky died eight months ago in a similar accident.

Filming has been taking place at Mavericks which is a big-wave haven near San Francisco.

The notorious surfing area is central to Butler's new film, which tells the life story of the late surfer Jay Moriarty and his quest to ride the waves at Mavericks.

Butler plays the role of champion surfer Rick "Frosty" Henson.

In a statement, a representative for Butler said: "He's fine. Very scary. They brought him to Stanford University. More scary than anything.

"For precaution, we all wanted him checked out after it all happened. Came out with flying colours."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Footballer Crouch Burgled For Second Time

The Premier League forward, currently with Stoke City, had his £4.5m Cheshire mansion broken into on Tuesday while he and his wife Abbey Clancy were out.

The couple are believed to have reported the burglary to police when they returned home on Tuesday evening.

The house is on "millionaires' row" in Mottram St Andrew, a village close to Prestbury and Alderley Edge, an area of Cheshire popular with other Premier League footballers.

Wayne and Coleen Rooney and Carlos Tevez live nearby.

It is the second time Crouch has been targeted by burglars, after his previous home in Alderley Edge was raided in 2006.

Crouch, along with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey and former Manchester City striker, Roque Santa Cruz, were all burgled by a gang who timed their raids to coincide with football matches - knowing the players would not be at home.

The latest break-in at Crouch's home is believed to be the first time a North West-based Premier League player has been targeted for some time.

George Michael: Doctors Saved My Life

The singer, 48, said it was "touch and go for a couple of weeks" and choked back tears as he thanked his doctors "from the bottom of my heart".

Speaking outside his home in London after being discharged from hospital in Vienna, the former Wham! frontman became breathless after just a couple of minutes.

The singer is recovering from pneumonia

He revealed he had been suffering from streptococcus pneumoniae, a form of pneumonia, and had had to undergo a tracheostomy.

Michael said: "I feel amazing. I mean, I'm very weak but I feel amazing. I'd say touch and go for a couple of weeks but we played it down.

"I didn't want to worry my fans too much and I'm really sorry I couldn't contact them in any way before now but I was really not in any state to.

"They spent three weeks keeping me alive basically. I don't want to take you through all of it because some of it I want to protect my family from and I'm sure I'll get it all written down but it was by far the worst month of my life.

"I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here and incredibly fortunate to have picked up this bug where I did.

"Apparently the hospital in Austria that they rushed me to was absolutely the best place in the world I could have been to deal with pneumonia so I have to believe that somebody thinks I've still got some work to do here."

They spent three weeks keeping me alive basically... It was by far the worst month of my life. I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here.

George Michael 

Michael had started his tour in Prague in August and played 45 shows in 35 different cities before falling ill.

He was also due to play a series of UK dates up to the week before Christmas.

The singer became so ill that he had to be treated in intensive care.

He promised fans they would have tickets for another performance and also said he would like to play for the doctors in Austria who "spent three weeks keeping me alive".

"I spent the last 10 days since I woke up literally thanking people for saving my life which is something I have never had to do before and never want to do again," he said.

Michael credited his family, fans and the "the fact that I still have plenty to live for" for helping him to pull through the illness.

He added: "I have an amazing, amazing life and if I wasn't spiritual enough before the last four, five weeks then I certainly am now."

The singer, wearing dark glasses and wrapped up in a scarf and coat, still looked unwell and spoke haltingly - saying that he was still trying to get over the tracheostomy.

He said: "I'm not supposed to speak for very long, but merry Christmas" and rejected photographers' pleas to take off his glasses.

Michael later posted on Twitter: "I'm back and I'm proud, though not very loud...... (which, I assure you, will be temporary!) MERRY XMAS TO ALL OF YOU! ISN'T LIFE GRAND !! X."

Military Wives Set To Top Christmas Chart

Wherever You Are sold nearly 250,000 copies in two days - more than X Factor winners Little Mix sold in their entire first week.

The early sales figures almost guarantee them the coveted Christmas number one slot this Sunday.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill have both suspended betting on the Military Wives taking the top spot claiming it is a "done deal".

On Tuesday morning, the wives gave their bid for the top spot a further push by performing for Christmas shoppers on London's Oxford Street.

Chris Evans has been a big supporter of the Military Wives' single

They were put together by choirmaster Gareth Malone for the BBC2 show The Choir which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Jo Millthorpe and Sarah Clarke from the group told Sky News it snowballed into something spectacular:

"This time a few months ago, we couldn't have imagined. We set out to have a giggle and a get together.

"We honestly thought the Royal Albert Hall would be the end but we couldn't be more wrong. It just keeps getting better."

Jo added: "We've put the shoe on the other foot really. We're all so proud of our men - and now they've got something to be proud of us for."

Simon Cowell has conceded The Military Wives will beat the X Factor winners

Malone says the song has struck a chord with the public, as they reflect on conflicts past and present.

"This single comes at a time when we're thinking about Afghanistan and realising the sacrifices made - not just the fatalities - but the small sacrifices made by their partners on a daily basis," he said.

The track has been championed by Radio 2's Chris Evans.

X Factor supremo Simon Cowell has already conceded that the Wives will beat Little Mix to the top of the festive chart when it is announced on Christmas Day.

After the X Factor winners went to number one on Sunday, he tweeted: "Congrats to Little Mix & congrats to Military Wives. It's a great cause & a worthy Christmas No.1".

Bookmaker William Hill is resigned to losing a five figure sum as they watch the women storm the charts.

Rupert Adams, from the company, says bets are all but off.

"We are so amazed by them that we are offering just 3/1 that the single sells a million copies by Christmas Day."

Professor Sues Over James Franco 'D Grade'

According to the lawsuit, Dr Jose Angel Santana gave Franco a D grade for poor attendance after the Spiderman actor missed 12 out of his 14 'Directing The Actor II' classes at New York University.

The professor claims he suffered public ridicule from Franco and his department.

Santana taught the Oscar-nominated actor while he was attending a graduate filmmaking course at NYU, which Franco completed in May this year.

The professor alleges the university gave the star preferential treatment because of his celebrity status.

"The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that's for sure," he told the New York Post.

"The university has done everything in its power to curry favour with James Franco.

"In my opinion, they've turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Franco's purposes, a possession, something you can buy."

Franco's stint hosting the Oscars with Anne Hathaway in February this year was widely panned

Franco, 33, was later hired by the university as a lecturer on how to adapt poetry into short films.

New York University has called Santana's claims "ridiculous".

In a statement, spokesman John Beckman said: "It is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member - former or otherwise - discuss any student's grade for the purpose of personal publicity,"

Franco, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 127 Hours, has not commented on the lawsuit.

As well as starring in films such as Milk and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Franco has sought to expand his interests with stints as a novelist, installation artist, and director.

He has attended numerous courses at top US colleges, including Yale and Columbia.

Franco has recently been accepted to enrol in a doctoral program in literature and creative writing at the University of Houston which he is due to start in September 2012.

Jingle Bel Air: Fresh Prince Cast Reunite

It was the hit US sitcom which launched Will Smith's acting career and left us reciting the catchy opening credits for years after.

Over 15 years since The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air left our screens, the cast have treated the show's fans to a dose of nostalgia by posting a photo of a recent reunion.

Smith posted the picture on his Facebook page, with the caption, "There's nothin' like spending Holidays with fam."

It shows Smith, now 43, who played the Fresh Prince, with other members of the fictitious Banks family, including James Avery, who played Uncle Phil, and Karyn Parsons, better known as high-maintenance cousin Hillary.

Also in the shot are Alfonso Riberio, who played the pompous but hapless Carlton and Tatyana Ali, who was Will's youngest cousin in the show, Ashley.

The photo was reportedly taken last week at a fundraiser lunch for a charity set up by Parsons.

But it was not a full reunion of the cast, with Daphne Reid and Janet Hubert, who played Vivian Banks and wisecracking butler Geoffrey, both absent from the get together.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air ran from 1990 to 1996, showing 148 episodes.

It was broadcast around the world, including in the US, Canada, the UK and Spain.

New Surrogate Baby Girl For De Niro And Wife

 Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower pose for a photo during the New Year's Eve premiere in New York City earlier this month

12:21pm UK, Saturday December 24, 2011

The child is the second for the couple, who already have a son, Elliot, born in 1998.

De Niro, 68, and his 56-year-old wife have called the newborn Helen Grace Hightower De Niro.

She weighed a healthy 7 lbs 2 oz at birth, the spokesman revealed.

The double-Oscar winner and star of Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Meet The Parents married his actress wife in 1997.

He also has a son and adopted daughter with ex-wife Diahnne Abbott and two twin sons with former girlfriend Toukie Smith.

The actor can currently be seen in the star-studded, feel-good film New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Kourtney & Kim Take New York" Teases "True Colors"

With another hour of Big Apple drama just one day away, previews from Sunday night's (December 18) all-new episode of "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" give a glimpse of what's in store.

The reality series' latest offering titled "True Colors" features story lines including Kim finding out that a friend is penning a tell-all book about her while Scott Disick attempts to reconnect with his Jewish roots.

As for the previews, one clip shows Kourtney confiding in a close gal pal about being obsessed with the thought that her man has the fantasy of having a threesome. When asked if she'd partake, Miss Kardashian firmly responds, “No, I think it ruins relationships.”

The second promo teaser offers a look at fellow family member Kendall Jenner overcoming her nerves to walk the runway during a Sherri Hill fashion show at Trump Towers.

The final preview follows Disick and family matriarch Kris Jenner as the pair bond during a Jacob & Co. shopping excursion, during which Scott finds out that “Kris and I have a lot more in common. We’re both are superficial and tacky.”

Check out the footage below and be sure to tune in when "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" airs tomorrow night at 10/9c on E!.

Amanda Seyfried Goes Brunette in Burbank

Traveling back to years past for her time in front of the camera, Amanda Seyfried was spotted on a photo shoot in Burbank, California on Friday (December 16).

All smiles as she rested in between snapshots, the "Mamma Mia" star dressed in a dark brown wig, full-length white period dress, and chunky platform heels.

And while she looked flawless for her week-ending shoot, Miss Seyfriend says she's not always so confident in her clothing choices.

Hearkening back to a major fashion blunder of the past, Amanda told press, "I did wear a white bra under a beautiful black Miu Miu dress once in the beginning of my career. It still makes me shudder."

Enjoy the pictures of Amanda Seyfried at a photo shoot in Burbank, CA (December 16).

Justin Bieber Donates $100k, Performs at Struggling School

Making good on his promise, Justin Bieber made his way to Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas yesterday (December 16), where the pop phenom performed a holiday concert and donated much needed funds.

Making for quite the special performance, the 17-year-old belted out acoustic versions of the songs from his current Christmas album including his hit track "Mistletoe."

However, the Biebs did more than offer up his vocal talents, he also cut the struggling school a check for $100,000 - a gift he pledged to make while on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" last month.

Additionally, Justin showered the kids - most of whom are homeless - with another $100,000 of presents. After completing his good deed, the "Baby" singer tweeted, writing, “Thank you las vegas and thank you @theellenshow for a day I will never forget. #giveback."

Katy Perry Remixes "The One That Got Away" with B.o.B.

Treating her fans to a revamped version of her hit single, Katy Perry enlisted the help of B.o.B. for a just-released remix of “The One That Got Away”.

The original version comes from 27-year-old Miss Perry's album Teenage Dream, with Capitol Records having submitted the B.o.B featuring rendition to radio for airplay while expected to make it available for purchase next week.

Aside from ushering out new music, Katy is fresh off of being crowned as MTV's 2011 Artist of the Year thanks to a spectacular chart-topping past twelve months.

Of the accolade, Perry appreciatively told in a video message (watch below), "I just want to say thank you for this amazing award. To be Artist of the Year, a whole 365 days, that's pretty cool. I wasn't really allowed to watch MTV growing up, so this feels really validating."

Katy added, "And I've had a fantastic year, a great tour and a great run, and you guys have been so a part of it and such a big reason why. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it."

Mariah Carey & John Legend Debut "When Christmas Comes" Video

Offering up a new music video just in time for the holidays, Mariah Carey and John Legend have teamed up for a re-vamped version of "When Christmas Comes."

Delivering some feel-good vibes, the talented twosome's vocals are teamed up with family-themed snippets and "Charlie Brown" cut-ins.

As for Mariah, the "Honey" songstress shows off svelte new post-baby bod in a strappy deep red dress while belting it out alongside the soulful R&B crooner Legend.

Adding to the Christmas cheer, reports say Carey is planning a surprise performance on the December 22nd finale of "X Factor."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NLJC: Kate Middleton Needs to Teach Kim Kardashian Manners

She's highly regarded as a lady of elegance and grace, and Kate Middleton has landed the top spot on the National League of Junior Cotillions' (NLJC) "Ten Best-Mannered People of 2011" list.

Commenting on the selection, NLJC National Director Elizabeth Anne Winters told, "The annual selections are based on the demonstration of dignity, honor, and respect. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was chosen for the exemplary manner in which she has conducted herself, before and after her marriage to Prince William of Great Britain."

Other celebrities admired for their proper etiquette include top ten placers such as Justin Bieber, Paula Abdul, Taylor Swift and Emma Watson.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of NLJC's spectrum is E! reality star Kim Kardashian, as the 31-year-old was dubbed as The Most Ill-Mannered Person of 2011 "for making a private matter public and disrespecting the institution of marriage."

Below is the complete list of NLJC's "Ten Best-Mannered People of 2011" with brief writeups explaining each honoree's selection:

1) Kate Middleton - for the poise and dignity with which she conducts herself in the public spotlight.
2) Justin Bieber - for consistently showing courtesy to his fans.
3) Paula Abdul - for her encouragement to aspiring entertainers.
4) Aaron Rodgers - for being a positive example for young athletes.
5) Taylor Swift - for inspiring young people with her music and her manners.
6) George Stephanopoulos - for extending warmth and kindness to "Good Morning America" guests.
7) Jackie Evancho - for demonstrating humility and politeness as a young performer.
8) Erin Burnett - for the respect she shows others as a network host.
9) Emma Watson - for the kindness extended to her Harry Potter fans.
10) Tim Tebow - for displaying good sportsmanship on and off the field.

Paula Patton Heats Up Complex Magazine

Making a name for herself as she co-stars alongside Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," the lovely Paula Patton put her beauty on full display for the cover of the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Complex.

The 36-year-old brunette beauty sizzles in a Thierry Le Gouès shot spread lining the magazine's pages while talking about topics including her first encounter with Cruise, as well as her newfound sense of confidence.

With a behind-the-scenes video available above, highlights from Miss Patton's interview are as follows. For more, be sure to visit Complex!

On whether her first meeting with Tom Cruise was intimidating:
"No, actually. He made me feel comfortable; he was so kind. At first I felt like I shouldn’t waste my time, because I just didn’t see how they’d actually cast me. I didn’t think of myself being hired to be in this. Then they kept calling, so I figured, 'OK, I have nothing to lose. It would be cool to be a spy. [Laughs.] And it’d be amazing to work with Tom. If they’re calling, there has to be a reason—you have to have more faith in yourself.' So they called and said that they wanted me to do a chemistry read with Tom, and it was like no screen test I’d ever done before. I had my trailer, and the test was on a big soundstage in Paramount. It felt very 'old Hollywood.' It was very exciting. I had to learn how to disarm a gun a little bit—or at least be able to fake it—that same day!"

On her dual nature:
"I want to be peaceful, but I have a lot of violent rage inside of me. Mission: Impossible was great for helping me get some of that out without really hurting anyone."

On whether she's game to be Hollywood's next female action hero:
"Hell yeah. I’d love to do more action films. I was always athletic as a child, so for me it’s fun to run and jump and get physical. I love all of that. It would be amazing to keep kicking ass in other films, or in more Mission: Impossible films—whatever comes my way. I’m just open to wherever life takes me. I try to put up light guardrails in my life, and leave room for things to come my way and surprise me. If you’re too rigid in your quest for something, you might not see the other amazing possibilities that are thrown at you."

On what brought about her newfound sense of confidence:
"Being honest with yourself as you get older, and after you live life longer. I’m more comfortable with my flaws now, and with that, you start to feel more confident. When you’re trying to hide all of your flaws, and you’re embarrassed by them, it can be so uncomfortable—very, very uncomfortable. You don’t know who you’re supposed to be. I just hit a certain point when I started to think, 'You know what? These are my flaws, and I’m OK with them.' I love me! I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I’m not afraid to say that anymore. I feel comfortable in my own skin now."

Peter Facinelli & Jennie Garth's Haunted Mansion Family Fun

Capping out the week with a fabulous family adventure, Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth treated their little ones to a magical day at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA on Friday (December 16).

The "Twilight" star and his "Beverly Hills 90210" actress wife roamed the grounds with daughters Lola Ray, 9, Luca Bella, 14, and Fiona Eve, 5, while stopping to pose for a few pictures outside the Haunted Mansion Holiday - a seasonal attraction based on Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas".

The Disneyland visit comes as Peter and Jennie have been busy filming material for Garth's new CMT reality show called “I Love Jennie”.

Set for an eight episode run beginning in April 2012, the program will follow the Garth, Facinelli and their girls around their new seven-acre farm in California.

Enjoy the pictures of Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli with their daughters outside the 'Haunted Mansion Holiday' attraction (December 16).

Selena Gomez Cancels Concerts After Mom's Miscarriage

She was so excited to become a big sister, but Selena Gomez now finds herself going through the saddest of situations after her mother suffered a miscarriage.

As she mourns the tragic loss, the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star has announced that her two weekend Christmas concerts are canceled.

The news comes after Miss Gomez joyously announced her mom's pregnancy via Twitter last month, writing, "Momma and (stepfather) Brian are finally letting me share the news. My mommys carrying my baby brother or sister. I'm the happiest girl in the world."

Following Saturday's (December 17) miscarriage, Selena's rep told press that her B96 Jingle Bash 2011 and 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Bell Bash performances have been cut due to the "family emergency."

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's Birthday Weekend in Sin City

Spending his birthday weekend with the family in Sin City, Brad Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie took a few of their little ones out for a stage show in Las Vegas on Saturday night (December 17).

The "Mr and Mrs Smith" co-star couple escorted Maddox, Pax, Zahara and Shiloh into the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino for a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.

The outing comes after the show opened in Vegas two weeks ago, with the act described as "a riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down.”

As for Papa Pitt's birthday, the "Fight Club" stud is ringing in his 48th today (December 18). Happy Birthday, Brad!

Enjoy the pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie taking the kids to see the Immortal: Michael Jackson Cirqu du Solieil show (December 17).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders took pills to cope wtih cancer battle

The comedienne, 53 ? now in remission ? told how drugs, chemotherapy and radiotherapy left her "drained and exhausted".

She said: "It's like suddenly becoming older.

"You feel fagged out, you lose your motor and it makes you feel depressed.

"You have that 'I want to go to bed and sleep for ever' kind of feeling."

The French and Saunders funnygirl ? interviewed in the Radio Times ? said that just as she was at her lowest ebb she was also hit by the menopause.

She described it as "like jumping off a cliff" ? and she felt "the whole world" was against her.

The mum of three, who is married to comic Ade Edmondson, was persuaded to seek help for her mental problems.

She described the medication she was prescribed as "brilliant".

Jennifer was also buoyed by teaming up again with Absolutely Fabulous co-star Joanna Lumley, 65, for three Christmas episodes of the smash BBC sitcom.

She now ensures her daughters Ella, 25, Beattie, 24, and Freya, 21, get yearly mammograms ? telling them: "Just do it."

Adele's 21 is the biggest selling album of 21st century

In just over 10 months since it went on sale, the disc has overtaken the late star's 2006 second album, which previously took the title back in August.

The landmark comes at the end of a cracking year for the Londoner.

To date, 21, which includes hit records including Someone Like You and Set Fire To The Rain, has passed sales of 3.4 million copies in the UK, eclipsing Back To Black which has sold 3.3million.

Since going on sale in January the disc has never left the Top 10, and yesterday clocked its 45th week there.

Yesterday it climbed from Number 9 to Number 5, undoubtedly spurred on by the London singer's six Grammy nominations.

The Londoner is a front-runner in categories including Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album.

In a message posted on her blog over the weekend, the singer - who had an operation on her voice last month - said she was "lost for words" at the Grammy recognition.

She said: "Thank you so much to the academy for nominating this record for 6 Grammys!!!

"This has been the best year as it is but to end 2011 with this incredible achievement and honour is beyond anything I can express.

"Thank you to every single person who has taken a shining to this record, for making it have such an impact, this record has taken on a life of its own thanks to you. I made the record and you've made it what's it's become."

Adele has also achieved much success across the glove, topping the charts in more than 20 countries including the United States, Ireland and France.

She's also won countless awards this year, including three American Music Awards, a MOBO gong and four MTV prizes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Angelina Jolie's 'in-laws' have a Pitt stop at premiere

It has been claimed there has been tensions between the screen beauty and her fella's folks as Bill and Jane Pitt were believed to be very fond of their son's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston.

But all seemed rosy as the quartet posed together at In The Land Of Blood And Honey's after party at The Standard Hotel Rooftop in New York.

Bill and Jane followed Angelina's lead by dressing in all-black outfits.

Jane hugged Angelina, 36, around the waist, while Brad, 47 ? decked out in a three-piece suit ? hugged his partner from the other side.

Angie appeared relaxed despite a Croation journalist suing her for alleged copyright infringement.

The Tomb Raider star wrote and directed In The Land of Blood and Honey, which chronicles the romance between a rape and kidnap victim and one of her captors and is set against the backdrop of the 1990s Bosnian Civil War.

Jolie and the producers of the film, which is set to be released on December 23, have been sued by reporter James Braddock ? who claims the movie violates copyright of his 2007 book The Soul Shattering.

In the suit, filed in Illinois last Friday, Braddock alleges he met with Edin Sarkic, a producer on the film, in 2008 to talk about the possibility of turning his book into a film but nothing came of the discussions.

Braddock is seeking statutory damages and an injunction against the film.

Anton may have been attracted to me ... who isn't?

In part three of our series with axed Nancy Dell'Olio, she hints at an unlikely mutual attraction ? with ballroom bigwig Anton Du Beke.

Italian Nancy, former girlfriend of ex England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, says: "Anton has never had a better partner than me.

"He was very upset about us leaving the show. He can't stop talking about me. There was good chemistry and I loved his great sense of humour."

At a charity event after they were booted off the ITV1 series, Anton, 45, told the audience her dancing was, "S**t. No, she never got that good."

But Nancy, 50, insists: "Anton was only joking, he adores me."

The newly single glamourpuss isn't modest about her sex appeal, adding: "Anton may have been attracted to me. Who isn't? We were always flirting. I think he was probably intimidated by me so he was holding his emotions in.

"Was I attracted to him? I don't know, we'll see."

Although Nancy will be part of the Strictly tour starting on January 20 in Birmingham, she won't be reunited with the Kent quickstepper on it.

But she thinks they may pair up for a new TV show.

Nancy, a property lawyer, says: "I have some ideas. It could be about relationships, maybe the art of flirting?"

Anton's tour replacement is hunky Artem Chigvintsev, 29, boyfriend of last year's Strictly winner Kara Tointon, 28.

Nancy says: "I think Anton's very jealous that I'm doing the tour with Artem."

Ex-EastEnders star Kara needn't worry, though ? Nancy isn't about to foxtrot off into the sunset with him.

Nancy says: "You don't go on Strictly to find sexy men. They are all nice looking but not sexy to me." Before series nine of Strictly there was speculation over possible catfights between Nancy and feisty ex-Tory MP Edwina Currie, 65.

But Nancy, who recently split from theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn, says: "We became good friends."

What about her Strictly nemesis, judge Alesha Dixon, though?

After the Hallowe'en rumba which saw Nancy and Anton booted off, Alesha, 33, told her: "Your legs are so far apart and that's not very feminine."

Nancy reportedly fired off a legal warning to Alesha threatening to sue for the slur on her character. She says: "I feel sorry for Alesha, she displayed a lack of judgment."

Nancy made her name in the UK as Sven's girlfriend and as part of the WAG phenomenon surrounding the 2006 World Cup.

She admits life has had its "ups and downs", but Strictly has led to offers including a lucrative one she is considering to pose nude for Playboy mag.

She adds: "I'm also writing a novel. One of the things I would love to do is a kids' TV show. But I think the more exciting show would be to follow me in my life.

"That would be my No1 project, A Life In The Day Of Nancy."

From the glimpses we've had into Nancy's world, it would certainly be fascinating.

Birdy's Sheer-an delight

The gloriously gifted teen has revealed she was lost for words when she met her hero Ed Sheeran at the recent Little Noise Sessions in a church in Hackney.

She reveals: "I was so excited beforehand about meeting Ed and when I finally did I was completely star struck.

"He even thanked me for covering his A-Team song during the recent Live Lounge I did and all I could do was nod in response. He's great."

And lucky Birdy, real name Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, also explained she was the envy of all her school friends because she met boyband heartthrob Harry Styles.

"It was so nice to meet Harry, he was very charming," she recalled.

"My friends were extremely jealous and haven't stopped talking about it!"

Stunning vocal ... Birdy leans into the micDave Hogan

Sadly Birdy had to settle for the celeb-free zone of our new Smokehouse Studios for her Biz Session.

But perched at the baby grand piano, the 15-year-old schoolgirl produced a spellbinding performance.

Emotional renditions of Cherry Ghost's tender People Help The People and Bon Iver's Skinny Love left our crew stunned.

She also sang her own composition Without A Word ? the only track on her self-titled album that isn't a cover.

TEENAGER performs a breathtaking version of Cherry Ghost's 2007 track

Birdy's debut collection entered the charts at No.13 last month - higher than experienced chart star Pixie Lott.

But rather than savour her success, Birdy is already pushing on with No.2 inbetween homework and GCSE exams.

MOVING performance of beautiful self-penned track in The Sun studios

She said: "I have already written lots of parts of songs that I'm trying to piece together. I know that because it will be an album of originals I will be doing a lot of experimenting with my ideas, which is really exciting, but also means there isn't a release date set yet."

SCHOOLGIRL produces a stunning cover of Bon Iver track in The Sun studios

When asked who would be her dream collaborator, she said: "I would love to work with Paolo Nutini because he is so soulful and an amazing songwriter."

Bizarre | Showbiz news | Keep up-to-date with celeb goss

The rapper recorded his entourage hanging out backstage at Radio 1's Big Weekend for Scott Mills' new film about the event, premiering tonight at 7pm on the BBC Radio 1 website.

Sway must've been avoiding a few ladders recently. The rapper ? real name Derek Safo ? has landed his first film role, in thriller The Grind, after being headhunted by movie producers following his role as Ross Rosten on C4 drama Top Boy. Not bad for a first TV appearance.

Labrinth admits he's been enjoying the attention of the opposite sex since finding fame.

He said: "My theory with girls is ? if you're hot, I'll date you. I do get a bit of trouble in the supermarket with the ladies. There's something about that frozen foods aisle." He must love Findus Crispy Pancakes.

The X Factor contestants finally had something to be happy about last night when their charity single ? Wishing On A Star ? went straight in at No1.

And X Factor graduate Olly Murs knocked Rihanna off the top spot of the albums chart with his second collection, In Case You Didn't Know.

Mike Skinner hangs out in the butterfly enclosure at London Zoo to get inspired for his album with The D.O.T.

He told Vice website's show The Producers: "It's a place I like to come and think about my next beat. It's difficult to know where inspiration is going to come from."

Try the tiger enclosure next.

The Boss is back next summer in London's Hyde Park for the Hard Rock Calling festival ? and tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

With Glastonbury off you could do a lot worse than seeing Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band on July 14. They previously headlined at the event in 2009.

HANSON would still struggle to get served in most pubs. Which might be why the US band are launching their own ale.

After speaking at the Oxford University Union, Zac said: "We are going to sell our own beer ? I'm not joking ? MMMHop IPA." Can't see old blokes in Wetherspoons drinking that.

Adam Sandler missed the Deadmau5 and TEED gig in London on Monday night. The actor turned up for the Nokia Lumia Live barge to find it had sailed down the Thames. He had to catch the concert and show ? which saw London's Millbank Tower spectacularly lit up ? from the riverbank.

David Bowie has denied claims he has agreed to let his songs be used for a new show, Heroes: The Musical.

His team said: "There are no negotiations pending for a long-running musical featuring Mr Bowie's music." Just as well ? a jazz hands-style Life On Mars would be awful.

The new Batman film is working out quite pricey. The Dark Knight Rises has so far cost $283million to make and could break through the $300million mark once the editing process begins. The MoT and service for the Batmobile must have contributed highly to that figure.

Pity the poor runners helping out on the TOWIE Christmas single video shoot. They had to leg it down to Boots four times as they shot the Last Christmas promo to get items including 25 cans of hairspray, ten red lipsticks and a truckload of fake tan. And that was just for the blokes.

Boy George liked singing with Kate Moss but won't be asking the clothes horse to record with him after their charity bash link-up. He said: "It was good to duet with Kate. I'm not sure about her being on one of our records. I think we've got to concentrate on what we're doing."

WAYNE Rooney has taken a mini-break from Twitter.

The striker hasn't been banned by boss Alex Ferguson ? he's just forgotten his password.

Wayne said: "I changed my phone over and forgot the password. I'm waiting for a new one back." The star says the networking site gives him a chance to show he's as normal as his fans ? as seen in his rants about X Factor contestants.

Love Actually star Bill NIghy has revealed a passion for socks. The actor says mid-calf dark blue ones are his favourites.

He said: "I sometimes buy six packs at a time. You just go 'crack!' each morning and get the tissue paper out. It's a thrill." Sounds like a magic moment.

Aussie blokes will be queuing up to give Kylie Minogue a ride in their Utes. The singer gave her car away in a last-minute donation to an NSPCC auction.

She was handed the motor by Lexus after being named the new face of the car firm. Shows what she thought of it.

Tinie Tempah released a song yesterday featuring Wretch 32 and US rapper J. Cole.

The track, Like It Or Love It, is taken from his forthcoming mixtape Happy Birthday.

It features the line: "Always round peas, like some lentils." Sounds like he's turned veggie.

It's no wonder Jeddie J's album Who You Are has been reissued in a deluxe version with extra tracks.

The Essex girl's record has just been confirmed as the biggest selling debut album of 2011.

Not bad considering no one knew who she was just over a year ago.

Lana Del Rey is getting a lot of love at the moment.

To Kill A King are the latest band to pay tribute to the pouting singer. The lads did a brilliant job covering Video Games in their set at London's Notting Hill Arts Club on Sunday.

They've got a residency there in January. Get down to hear it.

Wire star Idris Elba DJs under pseudonyms Driis or 7 Wallace.

He said: "When you have a bunch of film fans show up to a gig they want to take pictures and stare. They have no appreciation."

He added: "Smaller rooms with just enough people to work. That's my forte."

The new Twilight movie took ?46million globally on its opening last Friday and ?181million over the weekend.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 more than doubled its ?70million budget.

Its huge success might even make moody star Kristen Stewart raise a smile.

The worst thing to see at breakfast time? Jedward nipping Kerry Katona's backside. I witnessed the eye-watering moment before ITV's This Morning yesterday. John and Edward asked me to plug new single Wow Oh Wow ? I had to because they started Sellotaping themselves to my car.

One Direction will be licking their wounds.

After being neck and neck with her all week, the lads were pipped to the post by Rihanna in the UK singles chart ? and at the last minute by Flo Rida as well. Michael Buble kept the competition at bay, claiming the album crown over JLS and Snow Patrol.

Katy B has set her sights on Hollywood and isn't afraid to put her hand in her pocket to get there. The singer bid ?5,000 for a part as an extra in the as yet untitled Nina Simone biopic starring Mary J Blige, shooting in LA. Perhaps she hopes she'll get to upgrade her role and it'll be the start of something big.

Boozy Alesha Dixon tells Alan Carr: Everybody's horny on Strictly

The judge, 33, let slip racy show secrets as she became increasingly tipsy during the interview.

She said: "Everyone is really frisky on the show, everybody is horny. The year I was a contestant, everyone was just really gagging for it."

Alesha's Strictly co-stars Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood were stunned at the leggy star's outbursts, with Tonioli, 56, grabbing the bottle and saying: "No more drink for Alesha!"

Alan was enjoying every moment, declaring "This is chat show gold" before rushing to pour her another glass.

But Alesha was quick off the mark, yelping: "Give me the bottle!"

Tucking in ... Alesha glugs wine from the bottle to the amusement of Bruno and Craig

She then continued: "As I was saying, you spend eight hours a day rubbing up next to each other. Of course you're going to get a bit frisky."

Alan then asked: "Is it true the better dancer you are the better you are in bed?

Alesha laughed: "I should think so, Alan."

The giddy star also called show fan the Duchess of Cornwall a "Strictly stalker" before moving on to the subject of rival telly show The X Factor.

She said: "I don't understand what all the fuss is about, why can't we just enjoy both shows.

"I actually don't think the public give a s***. The public will just Sky Plus one and watch it later, they don't care."

But she then took the opportunity to have a pop at the ITV1 show, saying: "The problem is Al, they focus too much on the drama, and everything else other than the singing."

Alan responded: "At this point you've crossed the line from a fun drunk to a violent one."

Alesha giggled and added: "You know what it is, I feel like I'm at home with my mates, having a gossip."

The star later appeared to be a little ashamed of her antics. She tweeted: "Apologies for being pickled on Alan Carr! I did have fun though! I am officially a lightweight and clearly a cheap date!!!"

Caroline's night on the Styles

The 17-year-old One Direction heart-throb had arrived at 32-year-old Caroline's house at 10pm on Monday carrying his overnight bag.

The Xtra Factor presenter had been out earlier buying food and wine for what appeared to be a romantic evening in with her toyboy love.

And when Harry emerged at 9.30am yesterday he looked tired and dishevelled ? with his hair even more ruffled than usual.

Caroline came out of her home in Muswell Hill, North London, two hours later in dark sunglasses, tight plum trousers, high heels, carrying a big brimmed hat and wearing a broad smile.

She and Harry ? whose group came third on X Factor last year and are in the album charts with debut Up All Night ? have been on a string of dates in the past month. Caroline insists she has no worries despite the 15-year age gap.

She said recently: "I keep thinking, 'What have I done wrong?' But I haven't done anything wrong. What's hard for me to get my head around is people saying it's disgusting. I don't think it is."

Caroline added: "If two people like each other and get on, why does anyone else find a negative in it?

"I know it's human nature to gossip. But why say it's bad? No one's being hurt."

Caroline has also received hate mail from One Direction fans. But she says it does not worry her.

On night out ... Caroline Flack and Harry StylesTwitter/ Xposure She went on: "It's a form of bullying. I knew they were just a minority of One Direction fans and all very young. I can't take it seriously."
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