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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Katie Price dismisses Leo Penna and Michael Parnes rumours, before revealing her three-date plan on Valentine’s Day - video interview

Katie Price is getting bored of talking about men, if her reaction to our question about Leandro Penna this afternoon was anything to go by.

We chatted to the glamour model at the official signing of Amy Willerton, who won Signed By Katie Price (a show about getting signed by Kate’s management company, as the name more than implies).

And when we asked Katie whether it was nice to see Leandro Penna earlier this month (the pair were snapped getting off in a taxi after a night out), she replied: “Leo? What’s Leo got to do with today?”

We pointed out that we could see his name tattooed on our flesh right in front of us, but Katie joked: “I thought it was Mike I was seeing – I cant keep up with what you lot say.”

Kate was referring to the rumours about married millionaire Michael Parnes, who she hung out with while holiday in Miami last week. However, she has since insisted that the pair are nothing more than mates and she is very much single.

Watch Katie chatting about Leo, Mike and Valentine's Day above...

So single, in fact, that Kate told us she is planning to have three dates on Valentine’s Day. When asked about her plans for romance on February 14th, she joked: “Yeah I’ve got lots of plans for Valentine’s, with lots of different men.

“I’m really lucky, I’ve got one at five o’clock, seven o clock and ten o’clock.

“I’ll probably be sore by 12 o’clock.”

She will if her new protégé Amy has got anything to do with it, who piped up: “I’m sleeping with her, we’ll probably have the night in together nice bottle of wine.”

To which Kate replied: “Nah you need to give me a break, I can’t keep up with you Amy.”

What a pair of troublemakers.

Katie Price mocks Alex Reid for ‘turning into a woman’ and jokes about his sexual preferences

Katie Price had a good laugh at Alex Reid’s expense today, mocking the father-to-be for turning ‘into a woman’ while they were married.

Speaking at a press event which saw the mum of three officially signing protégé Amy Willerton to her management label, Katie cracked jokes about Alex before suggesting that he made her wear a ‘strap on’ in the bedroom.

When we asked Amy whether she had her eye on any celebrity men, Katie cut in and made a comment that was clearly about estranged husband Alex. She said: “Yeah, she likes men that are men who turn into women.

“Because I’ve been there done that, she wants to copy and get a taste of both sides.”

Watch Katie cracking jokes in the video above...

Katie then took the joke a tad further and laughed: “I’m going to show her how to put that strap on on. Getting her mature, you know, getting on with it.”

Naturally, at this point Kate’s publicist started getting a bit flustered, telling the glamour model to pipe down, which simply makes her laugh.

She shouts: “I’m joking, just banter!”

But it doesn’t sound like Katie will be in the UK bickering with her exes for much longer, announcing that she’s planning on moving to the US soon.

When questioned about doing another reality show, Kate said: “It looks like I’m going to America. It’s all about America.”

And when asked if that was the secret she’d been hinting at on Twitter recently, she denied it was, saying only: “It’s really good news I’ve been waiting three years for. It’s all about Amy today.”

Amy is Jordan's newest signing and will be represented by Black Sheep Management

However, as we were on our way out of the press call, we heard Katie giggle: “We love a scandal… There’ll be one soon!”

It may sound a tad sad, but we actually can’t wait to find out what she’s banging on about.

Keith Lemon to host Jim'll Fix It-style show for ITV1

ITV1 is making its own modern version of Jim’ll Fix It – with comic Keith Lemon making dreams come true.

The Celebrity Juice star will host Lemonaid on Saturday nights and producers hope to emulate the late Sir Jimmy Savile’s BBC1 success.

The new primetime show will run for six episodes from the spring. And bosses hope it could become a regular fixture in the schedules.

Dan Baldwin, head of makers Talkback comedy, said today: “We want to reflect the great ‘wish fulfilment’ shows from yesteryear but add a
very special twist of Lemon.

"Keith Lemon is about to demolish people's problems and make their dreams come true - and we should all be immensely happy about this."

Zany Yorkshireman Lemon, 38, aka Leigh Francis, shot to fame with catchphrases such as “Bang Tidy” on Channel 4’s Bo’ Selecta! before hosting ITV2’s comedy panel show Celebrity Juice. On Lemonaid he will be helped each week by a different celebrity.

He said: “I’m very excited to be in t’living rooms of the lovely ITV1 viewers with me new telly show. Solving people’s problems and making dreams come true, making me look nice like Cheryl Cole, like when she went out to t’troops.

"She’s lovely in’t she? Not as fit as Kelly Brook though! If anyone has ever dreamed of meeting her, let me know – I can hook you up, I know her in real life.”

ITV entertainment commissioner Claire Zolkwer added: “We’re absolutely thrilled. He’s been entertaining the ITV2 audience on Celebrity Juice for six series and his unique brand of naughty but nice is going to bring some colour and fun to family Saturday evenings on ITV1.”

Jim’ll Fix It ran from 1975 to 1994 and BBC bosses, who brought it back for a Boxing Day special with Shane Richie, are considering commissioning a new series.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Leonardo DiCaprio tried to put on weight for J Edgar role so he wouldn't need a fat suit

Relaxing at the terrace bar on the patio of a Beverly Hills Hotel, Leonardo DiCaprio is his usual cheery, good-looking self.

This is partly because he no longer has to spend four hours every morning being made up to resemble the portly FBI director J Edgar Hoover whom he portrays in his latest movie, J. Edgar.

He wore a full bald cap with punched-in hair, false teeth, contact lenses, a “fat suit” and silicone prosthetics glued onto his forehead, cheeks, mouth, neck and hands.

“It was very claustrophobic and I wanted to put on extra weight so I didn’t have to wear a big suit,” says the 37-year-old. “I tried my best, but there weren’t enough cupcakes around to do it!”

One of Hollywood’s biggest superstars, since Titanic, DiCaprio has made a career out of risky choices, playing mainly unsympathetic characters in serious movies geared towards adult audiences. None of his recent films has been a blockbuster, and not all of them have even been successful.

As J. Edgar director Clint Eastwood notes, “Leonardo could make a lot of money making mechanical genre pictures, but he wants to be challenged.”

His latest challenge is probably the biggest he has yet undertaken – portraying the founder of the FBI from his 20s until his death in 1972 at the age of 77, in a remarkable performance which has earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Hoover is the latest in a line of mostly tortured, unlikable characters DiCaprio has portrayed. These have included Howard Hughes in The Aviator, a Zimbabwean diamond smuggler in Blood Diamond, an unfaithful husband in Revolutionary Road, a psychotic detective in Shutter Island and a dream extractor in Inception.

DiCaprio is currently filming The Great Gatsby for director Baz Luhrmann and is preparing to portray Frank Sinatra in what would be his fourth collaboration with Martin Scorsese.

“I don’t do a film because I feel it’s time to do a comedy or a science-fiction film or another genre,” Leo says. “I do it because I’m motivated, it interests me and I feel like I could be of service to the character. And I like complicated characters.

“Just like the Great Gatsby, J. Edgar led to a million questions I wanted answered and it got me excited to research him.”

Apart from reading everything he could find about Hoover, his research included watching news film, visiting one of his old homes, touring the Justice Department in Washington and talking to one of the few people still alive who worked closely with him.

J. Edgar treads carefully around some of the more salacious rumours about Hoover’s personal life and portrays him as a crusader who modernised crime fighting with fingerprints and scientific analysis, while at the same time snooping into the private lives of suspected Communists and some of America’s most powerful figures.

DiCaprio also dismisses the long-standing stories about Hoover being a cross-dressing homosexual who flaunted his transvestitism.

“People still think J Edgar Hoover dressed up as a woman,” he says. “But that’s completely ridiculous. There’s no way in a million years he would have shown up at a party dressed in a frock with lipstick on, gallivanting around as some people think.

“That story came from a woman whose husband had been thrown in the slammer by the FBI and she wanted to get back at Hoover. He knew about those rumours and they haunted him through his entire career.”

Like Hoover, DiCaprio has managed to retain a mystique about his personal life, politely declining to talk about his off-screen activities. When asked by male interviewers about his penchant for dating beautiful models he replies with the stock answer, “Wouldn’t you if you could?”

And he’s rightly proud of his acting achievements. “I’d regret it,” he muses, “if I looked back and said, ‘You were a little lazy. You didn’t seize the gifts that were being offered to you and you didn’t take advantage of how incredibly lucky you were’. But I’m not doing that.”

Oooh! Look at Little Mix looking all glossy

 Oh good, we'd missed them

There are some really nice perks to winning the X Factor, getting a number one single and then getting massively famous very quickly - just ask One Direction. Oh you can't, they're off in LA (probably) zooming around in their really swanky cars while Simon Cowell transfers another load of cash to their bank accounts.

Little Mix were out at the London Hilton Hotel last night looking their usual smiley selves, but with a certain jush (jeush? Oh we don't know if there's an actual spelling for this word, we're sorry) that comes from having stylists ready to jush (??) you up at any second.

Jesy's hair - always gorge, to be honest - was definitely glossier and more... oh god, we want to say it again, and Leigh-Anne looked like she was rocking a bit of a fake eyelash.


Jade - the little Geordie one who's been compared to Cheryl Cole - also looked more made-up than before, with smokey eyes and red lips. And her fellow Geordie Perrie was rocking ace hair and nicely highlighted cheekbones, making her look all polised and celebby (these are possibly not the industry terms - we're about to get a telling off from our fashion and beauty lady).

But the nicest thing was that the girls still looked like themselves, with Jesy in her trademark leopard print leggings and Leigh-Anne's headscarf still in place. Well done Simon Cowell (or minion working on his behalf) - leaving Little Mix to be Little Mix (as opposed to robo-girlband, in matching outfits) is a very good move.

Patrick Swayze's widow Lisa: I still miss him terribly

Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze died in September 2009 aged 57 after a 21-month battle against pancreatic cancer.

At his side was his wife of 34 years, Lisa, who had nursed him through his final months with incredible strength, courage and devotion. Lisa has published her autobiography, Worth Fighting For, which gives an intimate account of her life, marriage to Patrick and his devastating illness and death.

But here, in an exclusive extract from the book, dancer Lisa, 55, reveals how she is still struggling to cope without her soulmate, who was known to his family as Buddy...

The doctors came in to Patrick’s hospital room. “I’m afraid we’re at that point now,” they said with compassion.

I felt hot, hot tears well up into my eyes. I had to agree.....I had to agree that this was the end.

We are taught that as long as there is life, there is hope and dying is about breaking the rules. Death is the ultimate failure. and letting him go I felt like I had failed.

The only way I could possibly bear it was to keep reminding myself this was the act of love I had promised. This wasn’t about me. Within a few, very short moments, the purple ‘do not resuscitate’ band was on his wrist.

We were now not getting better. We were dying.

I asked Patrick if he wanted to go home. But he didn’t understand. I leaned over, put my arms around him, and smiled. “I love you,” I said. It was the one thing he always understood.

“I love you,” he looked into my eyes and half-mouthed, half-whispered back. It was September 2009. 21 months earlier I’d driven Patrick to the doctor because he had an upset stomach.

Patrick had tests. The scans showed a 2in by 1½ mass on his pancreas and an alarm sounded inside our heads. What? What does this mean? The doctor was hesitant but we pushed.

“We-e-l-l-l, it could be cancer,” he said.

Patrick needed an endoscopy and a biopsy on the mass. Afterwards the doctors took me into a nearby private office. “He has pancreatic cancer.”

I remember the information kind of freezing in my brain.... because it had no reality attached to it.

Patrick was recovering poorly from the procedure and was still woozy from the anaesthesia. I was trying to get my footing and figure out what the next step was. How do I tell him this news? How can he assimilate information like this when he was incredibly medicated and in pain?

I decided to wait until morning. What a dreadful night. Living with this horrible knowledge I felt as though I was the one who had crawled into a coffin and closed the lid.

I woke up on the lumpy hospital cot the next morning and a young surgeon was sitting on Patrick’s bed talking to him. Patrick was awake but looking confused.

The doctor looked at me. “He doesn’t know?” My stomach turned. “I didn’t tell him yet.”

“They found you have pancreatic cancer,” he told Patrick.

Patrick looked quickly at me, alarm rising in his eyes. I could see he was taking in this information but he was as stunned as I was. As he told me later, inside he was thinking....“I’m a dead man.”

It’s very hard to talk about the last days in Patrick’s life - because it’s so hard to describe what is....a state of grace. A time that was so horrible and so loving at the same time. A time that changed my life, forever.

After I brought him home things went very fast. He slipped into a coma. We still talked to him, sat with him. I cherished our time alone, holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him, my head on his shoulder.

In the quiet of Monday morning, September 14, I looked at his face and listened to the tiny sips of air he was taking in. I knew it was time.

I lay back at Buddy’s side, I held his hand. And then he didn’t breathe any more. It was ten o’clock in the morning. He’d used every last bit of that body and he needed to leave it behind.

In an hour or two, family came in to visit. Lucio, our groom, brought Roh, Patrick’s favourite brilliant, white horse, down to the house.

I had straightened up the covers around Patrick’s body and placed the most perfect white rose on his chest.

Lucio brought Roh right up to the bedroom doors, so close the horse was almost inside, standing, towering, vibrant. Lucio gave Roh the cue, and this powerful horse bowed to Patrick.

Later the family stood in the living room as his body was lifted and wheeled out to a waiting vehicle. I followed as they loaded Patrick’s body in. The door slammed shut, the car started and rolled up the drive. And that’s when it hit me. He would be gone.

I turned to bury my face in my mother’s shoulder and started to sob.

I wish I had something good, or enlightening, or even remotely encouraging to say about the process of losing someone. But I don’t. It’s like the world is twisted like a wet rag until all the colour, all the poetry in life is squeezed out of it.

On day 2, I had spilled out of bed because I heard his voice. “Lisa!” it came from inside the bathroom, and had an urgency to it....a tone I’d heard before when he needed my help.

I raced into the bathroom to see what he needed. As I was scrambling, i was aware that he was dead. But maybe...maybe....

I rounded the corner. .He was not there. For me, grief is something that happens on a cellular level. It’s not an emotion. Grief is like little worker bees streaming through your blood, buzzing and working overtime at paralysing bits of your life.

I can see why spouses sometime follow their mates into death. It’s not a choice. your body either survives the onslaught, or it doesn’t.

I found myself blaming myself. Blaming myself for taking him to the hospital, taking him out of the hospital, being the one to “give up,” for not making him well.

And if that wasn’t enough, I started to blame myself for everything I ever did wrong in our relationship. every time i was unreasonable, angry, grumpy....and after that - I blamed him.

For what, you might ask? Hey, we were married for thirty-four years, trust me, I have a list. I’d yell at him. I’d be very angry. Everyone around me tells me how well I’ve been handling this and what a strong woman I am. I smile but inside I think they’re freakin’ nuts!

I do not feel strong and courageous. I feel like a puny, snivelling, whiney mess.

As I write this it’s been one year, eight months, and one day since I lost my Buddy. I have a birthday coming up at the end of this month, and it’s funny how all the anniversaries have changed for me.

I have added the date that my Buddy died. The date of his death changed everything, because everything is now without him.

No one told me how hard it was going to be living without my husband. It’s like learning to walk again - but with only one leg now. I see now how I always felt protected by Patrick. We had our hard times, and challenges that were towering, but I

“I know why,” a friend offered. “You felt safe because he loved you.”


And his love was like an umbrella. It covered me, kept me from the storm, and safe in his arms. and now, I’m out in the cold, looking for a life raft anywhere, and finding none.

I have to look at the world through different eyes now. Patrick and I saw the world together for over thirty-four years. And this world looks different without him.

Part of me thinks, “I should be over this by now.” It’s almost like an embarrassment. In addition to feeling like a broken girl, I feel like a broken record.

It’s only just recently that i started talking to a grief counsellor. I got sick of hearing myself say the same stuff in my head and to the friends I share with.

Depression seems to have become a permanent fixture in my life. Like it’s stuck inside me and won’t unclog.

I’ll have some wonderful days, and then I’ll crash and it feels like nothing has changed at all. I still miss him as terribly as I ever did.

Change is hard. and this kind of loss forces you to change. But I’m keeping the faith. It’s got to get easier than this! And I’m working hard, very hard, in every way I can.

In the meantime, I’m strong enough this year to think about celebrating my birthday. I’ll just have some of my friends over, and we’ll laugh.

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs Live From The Basement review

Filmed last summer in the intimate, velvet curtain-lined, setting of long-time producer Nigel Godrich’s studio, this performance shows Oxford’s cerebral rockers very much in their element.

The casual asides, tension-breaking chat, instrumental doodling and grinning between songs all add to the impression that this is a fly-on-the-wall insight to their inner world.

Charismatic Thom Yorke is the centre of gravity as he flounces at the mic with maracas in a head-shaking trance dance or presides magisterially at the piano. A complex often elusive work, Limbs is a challenging beast to recreate live and the claustrophobic nature of Feral and Bloom are underlined as an army of extra horn players who give considerable heft and colour where required.

Of the two new songs added to the original album, The Daily Mail proves to be a riveting stand out. The intensity of the interchange between the band increases, accentuated by some spectacularly attuned film editing, as they hit the home straight and reach a mesmerising peak on the accelerated Morning Mister Magpie.

A sharp contrast is provided by baleful but beautiful acoustic Give Up The Ghost while hidden track Supercollider lives up to its title, uniting both the internal dreaminess and questing attack that are the extremes of the Radiohead sound. From the basement all the way up to the stars.

Ren Harvieu seizing second chance after horrific injury

Last year, Ren Harvieu was about to release her debut album when she sustained the back injury that threatened to leave her paralysed forever.

Today, as Ren, 21, supports her small delicate frame on a single crutch, hobbling up the pathway of an East London church venue, the after effects of the accident are still apparent.

Once settled inside in what passes for her dressing room, the little lady from Salford relates how some horseplay (not, at least on her part, alcohol fuelled) down by the River Thames took a disastrous turn. A pal leapt over a hedge, not realising Ren was crouched on the other side.

“I couldn’t really describe the pain,” she says. “I’d never even broken a bone before. There was a loud crack and... it was unbelievable. You kind of go in and out of consciousness. Then the ambulance arrived, I was given an injection and morphine became my best friend in the world.”

Her boyfriend, who accompanied her on the ambulance ride to the hospital, later told her she repeatedly sang the Sandy Denny/Fairport Convention classic Who Knows Where The Time Goes? on the journey. The two operations that followed each lasted 13 hours.

“But the weird thing was, they were convinced I was a drug addict,” says Ren, “because I wasn’t taking to any of the drugs. I don’t know why.

“When I came round from the operation I could remember everything, which is unusual. I’ve got some cool scars, though – shaped like a wishbone.”

After the operations, Ren was told that it was not just her mobility that could be affected, but the injury could have left her voice permanently damaged too.

“That complicated things,” she admits. “Then one day they wheeled me into this room on my own in a wheelchair. I started humming to myself and I could feel it was still there. If it was taken away I’d know because it’s such a part of me.

“My first trip out of the hospital was a day trip to do some recording. It was weird. No one knew what I was going to sound like. Then there was a big sigh of relief as it hadn’t affected my voice.”

After we speak, Ren takes the stage. She’s only performed in public 12 times, but the full range of her extraordinary vocal power leaves the audience stunned as the high-flown rapture of Forever In Blue sails high into the rafters.

Harvieu was 12 when she decided to make her singing debut in a school talent contest. A dreamy kid with two much older sisters – “kind of like having three mums” – and a folk singer father, she grew up besotted by music and movies, but had shown no previous inclination to perform. So her family were initially surprised by her decision.

“I sang Alicia Keys’ This Woman’s Work, a big grown-up song. I don’t know what made me do it. Someone else won though... she played the piano.”

Ren was discovered by her manager after putting demos recorded at a friend’s studio up on her MySpace site. She had quickly found that the local talent contest scene didn’t excite her.

“It was horrendous,” she grimaces. “It was the Salford version of X Factor with teenage girls in ballgowns singing Whitney Houston.

“Everything else in life was like a struggle to me, but singing seemed like the most natural thing in the world.”

Ren’s reputation soon spread far and wide. She’s spent time in Las Vegas planning a future collaboration with rap icon Nas and, when she was recovering in hospital, one of the first calls that came through was from The Smiths legend Johnny Marr.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Ren laughs. “Someone came in and said Johnny Marr was on the phone. He said, ‘I love your music and would love to do something together at some point’. That cheered me up no end. It blew my head off.”

She’s already being touted as the sort of one-off talent destined to take the place of late label mate Amy Winehouse – a small girl with a big voice, capable of bringing her own unique spin to past influences.

“At one point I didn’t think I would get better,” she reflects. “I remember being completely doped up lying in hospital thinking the label will drop me, won’t they?

“But knowing the sort of future I could have I did a lot of visualisation – being onstage, singing. What else are you going to do in hospital except dream?

“If something like that happens to you it will always be with you. I see life in a completely different way now.

“You’re completely helpless – you can’t clean or feed yourself. It gives you a lot of perspective as a person.

“The doctor said, ‘I don’t think this girl will ever walk again’. He reckoned it was the worst injury he’d ever seen. But I pushed every day to get out of bed and do physio, and that’s why I can walk now.”

? Ren’s new single Through The Night is released on Monday.

Room 101 - BBC1, 8.30pm

After 11 series between 1994 and 2007, Room 101, the torture chamber containing the most horrendous things in the universe, must already bepretty full.

I imagine it looking a bit like my loft – filled with all that random clutter you don’t want but that the binmen won’t collect either: BBC2 logos, jellyfish, Anne Robinson, people who look like cats and the year 1975, just for starters.

The revamped Room 101 sees Frank Skinner as the host presiding over three guests, each competing to have their pet hates consigned to pretend oblivion.

It’s a good move, ensuring no more of those awkward pauses as guests rack their brains for more hilarious reasons why they can’t stand the skin on rice puddings or novelty underpants.

Tonight Robert Webb, Fern Britton and Danny Baker battle it out before Skinner makes his final decree.

Shameless sex scene screened in background during TV news

 A rude scene was played in the background of a report on Scotland Tonight

Eagle-eyed viewers of a current affairs programme were stunned to see the news suddenly turn into the NUDES.

Ed Miliband’s Labour leadership was being discussed on live TV when a background monitor started showing a naked woman having sex.

Some viewers north of the border witnessed the romp as Scotland Tonight host John MacKay interviewed internet blogger Dan Hodges, who was in the ITN studio in London.

Paul Traynor, who saw the steamy scene while watching at home, said: “Someone should explain why some irresponsible employee decided to watch porn while live on TV.”

The clip is thought to have been from Channel 4 show Shameless, which was on at the same time.

An insider said: “It's unfortunate but in a busy newsroom we have monitors showing all the various TV channels. You can only see the scene for a few seconds and the vast majority of viewers won't have even spotted it."

Scottish Television said: “We hope that viewers weren’t too distracted by the ­unexpected content.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

Simon Cowell: I will blast Britain's Got Talent winner into space

Simon Cowell always wanted to rule the Earth – now he has set his sights on space as well.

The TV mogul is returning to British screens after a year in exile and he’s come up with an out-of-this-world stunt to announce his comeback.

In a telly first, Simon has declared he intends to blast this year’s Britain’s Got Talent winner into orbit.

He has teamed up with show’s new sponsor, Virgin’s Richard Branson, to offer the prize of a flight in Virgin Galactic’s 2,500mph spaceship.

Branson’s rocket for space tourists could be ready for lift off as soon as next year, taking passengers on a weightless trip above the atmosphere.

Yesterday, just a few hours after jetting back to the UK following his New Year break in Barbados, Simon said: “We are trying to work out a way so that the winner of the show gets to go up in the spacecraft and will be the first person to perform in space.

"I am being serious, I swear to God. You could be the first singer or dog act, whatever, performing in space.”

Simon, 52, even pledged to join them. “I would go on the spaceship myself. I love the idea that, if they are up for it, they have the option of performing in front of the whole planet in space. It can’t be compulsory, but it will happen.”

He is trying to revitalise BGT after a lacklustre 2011 series and the cash prize will also more than treble to £350,000 – most of it from his own pocket.

Glossing over the problems of gravity and oxygen in space, he added: “It’s tens of millions of pounds but Richard is up for doing it. Don’t worry about the details, we’ll make it happen.”

And he laughed: “If it’s a juggler that wins, then we’ll need to make heavier balls. If it had been a few years ago, Susan Boyle could have been singing Unchained Melody in front of the whole planet. Amazing. What does the winner of The Voice get?”

Ah yes, The Voice, the forthcoming new BBC singing contest that has its sights set firmly on Simon’s X Factor in the Saturday night ratings battle. His annoyance, he reveals, is the reason he poached Strictly Come Dancing’s Alesha Dixon for the BGT judging panel.

He says he likes Alesha but the decision was 70/30 based on his desire to get one over on the BBC.

“I like her a lot,” he insists. “When I was in America I’d read about all the ratings battles going on over here and I did think Strictly were getting a bit smug.

"I’d see Bruno Tonioli in LA looking smug and I was thinking, ‘You’re not going to be smiling quite so much next year if this comes off’.”

He approached Alesha BEFORE the Strictly final last month. He explained: “I’d approached her originally to do X Factor but she’s ended up on Got Talent. I just wanted her for one of our shows. I thought she looked brilliant.

“She’s got energy, she gets it, and she wanted to do something different, not just for the money. She’s an ambitious girl and I wanted to work with her.

“With us and the BBC, I laugh about it, but there is unbelievable rivalry now. They want to be number one, I want to be number one. We do what it takes.

"It’s a game, all meant to be in good spirit, and it’s not supposed to be dirty tricks. We all begrudgingly shake hands when we see each other – but you don’t do anything for second place.”

Simon reckons the BBC threw down the gauntlet by spending £30million on X Factor rival The Voice, which airs in the spring at the same time as Britain’s Got Talent.

“They’ve done this to have a pop at the X Factor and to have a go at the BGT ratings. They will definitely go head to head with us. But I’ve got Alesha now.”

His relationships with women have been patchy (ask poor Kelly Brook, who lasted just a few days on BGT).

Having spent the last few weeks sunning himself on a yacht in Barbados, surrounded by a bevy of beauties, Simon shifts uncomfortably when quizzed on his fiancee Mezghan Hussainy. Not only did she not join him for his sunshine break, she hasn’t been seen with him for months.

Refusing to confirm speculation they have split, he said: “Everything is fine. We speak on the phone all the time, I talked to her yesterday.”

But asked about his new holiday friends, who included diamond heiress Zeta Graff, he insisted: “None of them are my girlfriends. They are just friends, 100%.” So does that means we’ll be hearing wedding bells soon then? “Er, I didn’t say that,” he answers.

His decision to return to Britain’s Got Talent came after realising that last year had been a bit of an annus horribilis.

He explained: “We all got a big smug last year, I certainly got a bit too cocky, a bit arrogant. I ended 2010 on a real high, it was the Matt Cardle year, my favourite year and the figures were huge.

"We went into 2011 thinking ‘it’s all going to be easy’ and of course it wasn’t. From BGT, to Red or Black, to me making these massive predictions about America.

"I had a massive wake up call. You think you are great, you get a bit of smack, then you go, ‘Fine, don’t be too cocky’. When I was talking about the numbers X Factor US was going to do, I thought, ‘Christ, why did I say that?’

"But I am naturally enthusiastic and you do say things and you kind of regret doing it, but you have got to have that confidence. I feel something in the air this year which I didn’t a year ago.

"There was a lot of fear, a lot of negativity in the air in Britain full stop. I genuinely thought they’d be glad to see the back of me for 12 months. I didn’t think it did me any harm staying away for a while. I do feel this year there is a lot more confidence.

"That might be because of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.”

Simon was unimpressed with the efforts of last year’s judges, who included David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre with returning regular Amanda Holden.

He said: “I don’t think the judges did a good enough job, to be honest. There are always stars waiting to be discovered. Sometimes they need to be pointed in the right direction and I don’t think that happened enough last year.”

For the next series David Walliams has agreed to join the panel. Simon grinned: “He’s weird and he makes me laugh without trying to be funny.”

He also insists Red or Black will be back – but with more checks on contestants to avoid last year’s debacle when the winner turned out to be a woman-beater.

And there will be changes for X Factor too, though he hasn’t decided who out of judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Tulisa and Kelly Rowland will stay or go. He teased: “Anything could happen.”

Sir Paul McCartney confirms he is in talks to play at London 2012 Olympics

Sir Paul McCartney yesterday said he is in talks to take part in London 2012 and “could easily” be involved in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The former Beatle, 69, who performed at Buckingham Palace for the Golden Jubilee in 2002, is going to a meeting about the Games today.

He said: “I am seeing the guy because there is something they want me to do. I might be doing something in the Olympics. I won’t know until then.”

The Mirror reported last July that Macca had been approached to headline the opening ceremony.

Sir Paul, promoting his new album Kisses On The Bottom in London, added he was a “big fan of the Queen”.

He said: “I think she’s great and does a great job. People say, ‘Ugh, the monarchy and all that’, but what are you going to get in return?

“David Cameron? I’m not sure I want him to represent all of Britain. So if I get asked I could easily do it.”

Stella - Sky 1, 9pm

 You know the recession has really hit when undertakers start struggling. People just “aren’t dying like they used to,” moans Paula (Elizabeth Berrington), who is just perfect in her role.

Luckily for the alky funeral director, local rugby legend “Dick the Kick” decides to, er, “kick” the bucket and give ­business a boost. This is going to be the funeral of the century – and a good excuse to rehash some classic puns.

The eulogy is read by a familiar face, and as the seemingly sensible person starts with the double entendres, it has a feel of Have I Got News For You? about it (although it has been a while since he’s been on the show. Perhaps time to get him back?!)

There are some other celebrity turns, although if you’re anything like me and clueless about sport, you’ll probably lots. Some get a name-check; most don’t. See if you can spot all ten.

Strictly Come Dancing stars limber up for live UK tour

 The female celebrities and professional dancers at the photocall for the 'Strictly Come Dancing' live tour

There was no shortage of sparkles and sequins for the launch of Strictly Come Dancing’s live UK tour yesterday – and that was just Robbie Savage.

The Mirror footie columnist will join celebs including Nancy Dell’Olio, Chelsee Healey and Anita Dobson, who rehearsed with the pro dancers.

The show's reigning champion, McFly drummer Harry Judd  and Australian star Jason Donovan are also going on the tour, which will call at Birmingham, Nottingham, London, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff, Dublin and Belfast.

Judd said he is not getting any special treatment and "everyone does the same" throughout the tour - two dance numbers each plus a couple of group dances.

"It feels very good coming into the Strictly tour as champion. I was thinking about that before the final; I thought 'I know I'm doing the tour and I'd love to be the reigning champion on the tour', so I did it and it feels good."

Since lifting the glitter ball trophy, Judd said he has enjoyed a good rest at his parents' house and the victory has not changed his life too much.

"I kind of just went home after the final and went to my mum and dad's, and sat and watched TV and just did normal things for about two or three weeks.

"My life hasn't really changed. I'm just being as normal as possible and that's how I like to lead my life really," he said.

Top five Shakespeare movies

1. MACBETH (1971)

Recovering from his pregnant wife’s murder at the hands of the Manson gang, Roman Polanski created an exceptionally bleak, bloody take on the Bard’s darkest tale. A teenaged Keith Chegwin had a small role!


Akira Kurosawa – the man behind The Seven Samurai – transposed Macbeth to feudal Japan for a black and white masterpiece oozing menace and a sense of the supernatural.

3. RAN (1985)

Kurosawa was at it again, this time using King Lear as the basis of his story about two sons who betray their warlord father. The director said it was his best film.

4. MACBETH (1948)

Orson Welles shot his version of the Scottish play in just 23 days with the director in the lead role and veterans from his recent Citizen Kane playing support.

5. ROMEO + JULIET (1996)

A youthful Leonardo DiCaprio fell for Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann’s bright and energetic take on the Bard’s best known romance.

W.E. (15) - review

A spoilt American girl falls for a well-known Brit and worries about her reputation. Yep, it’s Madonna, recently divorced from film-making royalty Guy Ritchie, directing the story of Wallace Simpson’s romance with Edward VIII. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Andrea Riseborough and Tom D’Arcy play the star-crossed lovers as they meet, marry and go into exile in France. Meanwhile, there’s a parallel narrative where the unhappily married Wally (Abbie Cornish) falls for a security guard (Oscar Isaac) at a New York museum.

Apart from some nice period detail, Her Madgesty’s second attempt to direct a film is an abysmal failure. The dialogue is wooden at best and the performances risible.

Worst of all is a moment where – and I’m not making this up – Edward and Wallace get down to The Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We love soaps - Emmerdale, Coronation Street, EastEnders

If village vicar Ashley actually believed that Laurel really didn’t sleep with Marlon, he might have found it easier to chalk it up to a silly middle-aged crush without the need to uproot his family to Leeds.
But last night Laurel walked out. Not to Marlon’s, even though he feels the same about Laurel, but to best friend Nicola’s as she tries to decide whether this time she should end her marriage.
Well, if you even have to ask...
Eileen soon wonders if she must be losing her mind for offering to look after Paul’s wife Lesley.
The big news though sees Becky and Kylie enlisting a new ally to clear Becky’s name – another woman who knows what it feels like to be branded a murderer by Tracy Barlow. Step forward Gail McIntyre.
Ben Mitchell has always been a massive disappointment to his father, but his latest act of revenge is going to be harder to overlook than those secret dance lessons he tookas a nipper.
It’s Phil’s birthday today and thanks to Ben, car loads of police are already on their way to Albert Square.
And there’s not a strippergram among them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bono and The Edge toast Spider-Man success

 U2 stars BONO and THE EDGE have hailed late theatre producer TONY ADAMS following the success of their SPIDER-MAN musical.

The two musicians began work on Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark after Adams approached them in 2002 to write the score, but the production hit the buffers when Adams died of a stroke in 2005.

After a series of further setbacks, the show finally launched last year (11) to scathing reviews - but it ended 2011 on a high note, setting a new Broadway box office record for the highest single-week gross, taking more than ?1.8 million in post-Christmas sales.

In a statement, Bono says, "For all the problems, there was magic on the stage. Things did get chaotic and messy after our producer Tony Adams died. But this week's news has us all giddy again and we are raising our glasses to Tony, to our indefatigable cast, crew, creative and production team."

Guitarist The Edge adds, "It just goes to show that you can't keep a good superhero down. This is a proud day for everyone who has been a part of this show. The Broadway public have voted with their feet."

Monday, January 16, 2012 is David Beckham in his kecks

 David Beckham?s ?Bodywear? will be on sale in H&M stores from February 2.

HIS wife Victoria made a name as a fashion designer ? and now David Beckham looks keen to muscle in on the act.

The toned 36-year-old soccer star shows off his physique for H&M after helping to design the pants.

The pose recalls his campaign with Italian designer brand Armani.

He told US magazine Women?s Wear Daily that working with Armani inspired him to design his own range of underwear.

Beckham?s ?Bodywear? will be on sale in H&M stores from February 2.

Cannon transferred to hospital in Los Angeles

 MARIAH CAREY's husband NICK CANNON is to be transferred to a hospital in Los Angeles as he continues to recover from a mild kidney failure.

The actor and TV personality was admitted to a medical facility in Aspen, Colorado, during the couple's winter vacation earlier this week (beg02Jan12), and Carey took to her page to detail his plight on Wednesday (04Jan12), revealing the family was stuck in the city as he recuperates.

In a post she wrote, "We're trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful... We're doing OK but we're 'straaaaaanded in Aspen'... (I know, we could be in a lot worse places)."

Later on Wednesday, Cannon revealed he was being transferred to a hospital closer to the couple's home in Los Angeles.

And he took to to assure his fans he is on the mend.

He wrote, "Currently being transfered (sic) to a hospital in LA. Thank you all for all your love, prayers and concern. You know me... I will be a'ight."

Elton not available for Glee

 RYAN MURPHY's dreams of snagging SIR ELTON JOHN for his hit TV series GLEE have taken a knock as the musician's busy schedule won't allow him time to shoot an upcoming episode.

Show creator Murphy admits he wanted the Rocket Man to play one of Rachel Berry's gay adoptive dads - but Elton is unavailable.

Murphy tells TV Guide magazine, "I'm currently meeting and talking to (actors). So many people are interested in playing them, but (Elton) is, unfortunately, touring."

Facinelli was too young for Twilight

 TWILIGHT star PETER FACINELLI almost lost out on the chance to play vampire family patriarch CARLISLE CULLEN - because producers were looking for someone older.

Facinelli felt sure he'd missed out on his chance to star in the film franchise because of his age - and he reveals the role was actually handed to another leading actor.

He says, "I went in and I read with Catherine (director Hardwicke) and I thought it went well and then I didn't get the part. They offered it to somebody else because they were afraid that I looked too young next to the other cast members, so they were going to go older with this other actor.

"Then he fell out and they ended up going back to the original, which was me."

Facinelli had no idea he was still in the running to play Cullen when he sent Hardwicke a book gift and his best wishes for making the first Twilight film.

He adds, "I sent Catherine a book... 50 Years of Vampire-Making in Hollywood... I sent it to Catherine because I really was a fan of hers and I loved working with her in the audition, and I said, 'I'm sorry it didn't work out, maybe we'll work together in the future. I hope this book inspires you to make a good vampire movie.'

"She actually got the book the day that the other guy fell out and they were like, 'Who do you want (instead)?' and she was like, 'What about Peter Facinelli?' I always joke with her and say, 'I bought my role for $29.99.'"

Harding opens up about New Year argument

 Singer SARAH HARDING has spoken for the first time about a New Year's Day argument with her boyfriend which ended in a trip to hospital, insisting they fell out because of his jealousy.

The Girls Aloud beauty became embroiled in a heated argument with her Dutch partner, Theo De Vries, during a ski trip to Austria over the holidays, which ended in her flying home several days early.

Harding was admitted to hospital in the early hours of New Year's Day (01Jan12) and spotted with a bandaged wrist on her return.

However, De Vries, who met Harding while they were both being treated at a rehab centre, vehemently denied he had been violent towards the star.

The singer has now opened up about the incident, revealing the feud was sparked by a discussion about her former fiance Tom Crane, who she split from last year (10).

She tells The Sun, "I think he knew I missed Tom, because I do - desperately. I think in a way I was on a rebound. I think that p**sed him off. I called him Tom a few times by mistake. He hated that. Probably when we were rowing - probably because I used to shout at Tom...

"I have spoken to Tom... We still have a lot of love for each other, but we know we are just not right for each other at this point in time. I think that's what p**sed Theo off. He knew that I still had a lot of love for Tom."

De Vries maintains he didn't hurt the star, saying, "I've never hit anyone in my life. I did restrain her but nothing more."

Iron Lady premiere: Meryl Streep reveals connection to 'human' Margaret Thatcher

Thursday January 5 2012 by Greg Heffer for MERYL STREEP may have shunned Margaret Thatcher's traditional style at the premiere of biopic The Iron Lady, but the American actress revealed how she forged a deep connection with the former Prime Minister.

Stepping out in front of a throng of fans who braved the wind and rain outside the BFI in London, Streep spoke of how she had wanted to unravel the 'human side' of Britain's former premier.

"I consider all the roles I play a privilege but this one was special because there are such vehement opinions about her," she said.

Meryl Streep with Jim Broadbent, who plays Denis Thatcher

"People seemed to look at her as an icon or a monster and I just wanted to locate the human being inside those caricatures that we've seen over so many years. And to investigate myself what it must have been like for her."
Alongside Streep, fellow stars Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant and Olivia Colman also turned out for the film's premiere, which has been tipped for success at the Oscar's.

If Streep were to win an Academy Award for her role, the 62-year-old admitted she would find it just as much an honour as her previous two victories.

"It would be great, because the secret of the nomination is that it comes from the actors and actors are the ones who know what you go through. So it would be amazing," she said.

Lohan's unwanted New Year's Day guest convicted of trespassing

 A man arrested for trespassing at LINDSAY LOHAN's Venice, California home on New Year's Day (01Jan12) has been ordered to stay away from the actress for two years.

Lonnie Short refused to leave the Mean Girls star's doorstep until he had spoken to Lohan and the police were called to her home.

He was taken into custody for questioning and on Wednesday (04Jan12), Short was convicted on one misdemeanour count of trespassing after pleading no contest in court.

He was also sentenced to 24 months probation and jailed for eight days.

The restraining order, obtained by, forbids him from contacting Lohan or going within 100 yards (92 metres) of the actress or her home until 2014.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lydon attacks TV talent shows

 Punk icon JOHN LYDON has blamed TV talent shows for the fact his reunited PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. have yet to find a record label.

The sneering former Sex Pistols singer has taken aim at hit shows like The X Factor and American Idol, claiming the music industry has been dominated by the "unimportant" series.

He tells, "There's some fantastic singers that come out of that, but they're karaoke... It becomes like the way record companies used to operate.

"In fact, if you ever want to know why I'm not on a record label, look at The X Factor! Honestly, of all the people that strive to break barriers in music and do good things and write great lyrics, not one of them would ever pass the first round on any of these competitions."

PiL are planning to release their ninth studio album, This Is PiL, later this year (12) but the band is still on the hunt for a label.

Moore opens up about rejection after Kutcher split

 DEMI MOORE opened up about her feelings of rejection and abandonment in a revealing magazine interview just two weeks after her split from husband ASHTON KUTCHER.

The Ghost star, and former wife of Bruce Willis, confirmed her six-year union to Kutcher was over in November (11) following weeks of speculation about the status of their relationship.

Now she has spoken out about her emotions for the first time, admitting she fears that after two broken marriages, she may never find her ideal man.

Moore tells Harper's Bazaar, "What scares me is that I'm going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I'm not really loveable, that I'm not worthy of being loved. That there's something fundamentally wrong with me... The fight against gravity for me is to find that love for myself that gives me the courage to reach my fullest potential."

The actress also admits she was crushed by the breakdown of her marriage but she's slowly recovering from her heartache, adding, "I used to think that what scared me was the idea of being abandoned until someone said to me, 'Only children can be abandoned. Adults can't be abandoned because we have a choice.'"

The beauty is now on the mend and, offering up her greatest words of wisdom from a pal, she says, "Somebody wrote something to me that said, 'Don't let your wounds become someone you're not.' That's really powerful."

Now that's a hat! Pippa Middleton returns to work after Christmas

 Pippa Middleton returned to work as a Canadian mountie this morning /

PIPPA Middleton may have returned to work for her first day back after the festive break but she wasn't about to fade into the background in this fashion choice.

The celebrity sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a bright orange coat and brown Canadian mountie-esk hat this morning.

She matched her ensemble with knee high camel boots and a holdall.

Pippa Middleton matched her hat with an orange coat and knee high boots /

A renowned party-planner, Pippa is said to be in the midst of organising her sister's 30th birthday which is on Monday.

Set to be an eighties-themed affair, Pippa is believed to have called on the help of Prince Harry and Prince William to set up the surprise.

Now that's a hat! Pippa Middleton wraps up for winter

PIPPA Middleton may have returned to work for her first day back after the festive break but she wasn't about to fade into the background in this fashion choice.

The celebrity sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a bright orange coat and brown Canadian mountie-esk hat this morning.

She matched her ensemble with knee high camel boots and a holdall.

Pippa Middleton matched her hat with an orange coat and knee high boots /

A renowned party-planner, Pippa is said to be in the midst of organising her sister's 30th birthday which is on Monday.

Set to be an eighties-themed affair, Pippa is believed to have called on the help of Prince Harry and Prince William to set up the surprise.

O'Connor puts marriage split behind her

 SINEAD O'CONNOR put on a show of unity with her new husband by stepping out as a couple just hours after announcing their marriage is back on.

The Irish singer tied the knot with therapist Barry Herridge at a drive-through wedding in Las Vegas on 8 December (11), but less than three weeks later, O'Connor told fans they had decided to part ways.

However, on Wednesday (04Jan12), the Nothing Compares 2 U star revealed they are giving the marriage another go, and hours later the couple was spotted visiting their local pub in Bray, Ireland.

They were pictured walking back to the singer's home arm-in-arm, smiling happily for photographers.

Swift & Seyfried in talks to join Les Miserables cast

 TAYLOR SWIFT and AMANDA SEYFRIED are in talks to complete the star-studded cast of director TOM HOOPER's LES MISERABLES movie adaptation.

The singer and the Mamma Mia! star are set to join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne and Helena Bonham Carter in the much-anticipated film musical, which is scheduled to start shooting this spring (12).

Theatre news website has confirmed that Swift is in negotiations to play Eponine and Seyfried is slated to play Cosette in the project.

The site previously reported that Glee star Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood were also vying for the coveted role of Eponine.

The movie musical is set to open in theatres in December (12).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

PETA send McAdams veggie help books as actress hopes to give up meat again

 Animal rights activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are packing up a gift basket for actress RACHEL MCADAMS after learning she is keen to return to vegetarianism but needs a little inspiration.

The Notebook star recently told Glamour magazine she had to abandon her meat-free diet because it wasn't giving her the energy she needed to get through the day.

She says, "It made me very tired. I just ate pasta - I was the most unhealthy vegetarian ever! I'd like to try it again now that I know about (popular meat alternatives) quinoa and bulgur. I think I'd be better the second time around."

And PETA bosses want to help her give up meat for good - they have sent McAdams cookbooks The Conscious Cook and The Kind Diet, together with "a vegetarian starter kit and other fun goodies".

A spokeswoman for the organisation tells WENN, "I hope it can be a nice re-introduction for her to do veggie the right way."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sinead O'Connor back with husband No 4

 Sinead O'Connor admitted she had ?rushed? into marriage

SINEAD O?CONNOR is back with her fourth husband, a week after saying their 16-day marriage was over.

The Irish singer, who married Barry Herridge in Las Vegas on December 8, said on Boxing Day that they had split up, blaming work pressures.

But now she has posted on Twitter: ?Guess who had a mad love-making affair with her own husband last night??

Sinead, 45, admitted she had ?rushed? into marriage four months after starting dating the 38-year-old drugs counsellor.

He said they would remain married, but behave as if they were dating, adding: ?We?re gonna return to being boyfriend/girlfriend and be sickeningly happy and go to counselling and move in, in like a year, like regular people.?

Spider-Man breaks Broadway records with post-Christmas sales week

 Broadway's much-maligned SPIDER-MAN musical closed out 2012 in style by setting new box office records for New York theatre.

The spectacular, which opened to scathing reviews last year (11) following multiple delays and safety issues, grabbed the record for the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history on Tuesday (04Jan11) thanks to post-Christmas ticket sales of over ?1.8 million.

The previous record holder, Wicked, took in ?1.4 million a year ago (Jan11) and ironically the Wizard of Oz spin-off had another huge end to the year, raking in over ?1.7 million from nine shows last week (ends01Jan12).

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is Broadway's costliest production ever.

Thatcher snubbed The Iron Lady screening

 Former Prime Minister MARGARET THATCHER refused to view an early screening of MERYL STREEP's portrayal of her in THE IRON LADY after snubbing director PHYLLIDA LLOYD's personal invitation.

The Hollywood actress tackles the part of the first female leader in the movie, but rumours emerged last year (11) suggesting Thatcher's grown-up children Carol and Mark were "appalled" by the film's plot.

And it seems Thatcher herself has no desire to see the film - she and her offspring rejected the chance to attend a screening of the project.

Lloyd says, "They were the first people we invited to see the finished film. They didn't take up our offer."

The director has previously attempted to reassure the family over the movie, stating, "I think that when they see Meryl's performance they will understand how much care and attention to Lady Thatcher's dignity she's given it. I think Margaret Thatcher was a superstar in this country and I think we all felt we needed a superstar to play her, somebody of huge intelligence, passion and power and warmth."

The far from average perfect woman

 The ?perfect woman? has Angelina Jolie?s mouth, Kate Middleton's hair and Cheryl Cole's eyes

WITH full, pouty lips, a glossy mane of hair and perfectly arched brows, this brunette would turn heads on any red carpet.

Sadly, she does not exist ? except in parts, that is.

The ?perfect woman? is made up of Angelina Jolie?s mouth, Megan Fox?s eyebrows and Cheryl Cole?s eyes, after almost 10,000 shoppers were asked to name celebrities with the most desirable physical features.

The computer-generated image boasts Kate Middleton?s hair, Keira Knightley?s cheekbones, Kate Beckinsale?s nose and Kelly Brook?s chest.

The only blonde singled out was actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose chin was top of the poll conducted by online beauty shopping website and answered mostly by women.

?We had great fun putting together our Ultimate Woman,? said a spokeswoman for the brand.

?She is uncannily beautiful and looks a bit like one of the Kardashian sisters or Sandra Bullock, although Angelina?s pout is unmistakable.?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tilton inspired to tackle TV contest after death of fiance

 DALLAS icon CHARLENE TILTON was inspired to take up a place on DANCING ON ICE following the death of her fiance two years ago (Dec09).

The actress will compete against stars including former child actor Corey Feldman and Sugababes singer Heidi Range in the ice skating series when it launches this weekend (08Jan12).

Tilton, who is reprising her role as Lucy Ewing in the upcoming new Dallas season, opted to take up the challenge because she wants to grasp every opportunity since losing her partner, cinematographer Cheddy D. Hart, to a lung condition in 2009.

She tells The Sun, "I decided to do it because my fiance passed away at Christmas two years ago. It was unexpected and was right in front of me. It really made me realise we are not guaranteed our next breath, our next heartbeat - only God knows.

"I thought, 'I'm going to take every opportunity life brings.' I want to live life to the full."

Timberlake to wed Biel following Christmas proposal - report

 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and JESSICA BIEL cemented their reconciliation by getting engaged just before Christmas (11), according to U.S. reports.

The couple split last year (11) but ended the year back together with the pop star-turned-actor calling The A-Team pin-up "the most significant person in my life".

And now multiple sources report the pair rang in the New Year with their sights set on a wedding.

Timberlake proposed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on 21 December (11), according to Us Weekly magazine, but neither star has spoken about the engagement rumours.

A source tells the publication that Timberlake chose the venue for his big moment very carefully: "Justin knows how much she loves snowboarding and the mountains, so it was the perfect place. He knew it was the right time to propose."

Tyson targeted by burglar at hotel

 Boxing legend MIKE TYSON was targeted by a burglar as he slept at a hotel in Las Vegas, according to a U.S. report.

The former heavyweight champ and his family were staying in Sin City over the New Year weekend (31Dec11-01Jan12) when he awoke to see a flashlight and hear rustling in his room.

But before Tyson got a chance to grab the intruder, the man fled, according to

A spokesman for the hotel tells the website, "We have received a report of an incident that is currently under investigation. As always, guest safety is of the utmost importance." keen to record with Downey, Jr.

 BLACK EYED PEAS star WILL.I.AM is keen to get IRON MAN ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. back in a studio to record a new album.

The I Gotta Feeling hitmaker has worked with artists including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Sir Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez among others, and he admits the movie star is the next big game he wants to record with.

He says, "I would like to work with Robert Downey, Jr... That guy sings."

The actor has sung on several soundtracks and he released an acclaimed album in 2004, titled The Futurist.

Yeoman campaigns to block huge dairy farm

 THE MENTALIST star OWAIN YEOMAN has thrown his weight behind a campaign to axe plans for an industrial dairy farm in his native Wales.

The actor has penned a letter to officials in the Powys region urging them to block the proposal, insisting the development would cause 1,000 cows to be "subjected to physical torment".

In the letter, made public by bosses at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Yeoman writes, "Intensive confinement and unsanitary conditions create a breeding ground for disease, and cows are often fed a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive - until their worn-out bodies simply cannot endure another day and they are dragged off to an agonising slaughter...

"Allowing this operation to be built would lead to immense animal suffering and the defacement of our beautiful country."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12m viewers watch Harry's Strictly Come Dancing triumph

More than 12 million viewers watched Strictly Come Dancing reach its finale, figures show.

The main programme drew an average 12.2 million while the later results show - in which Harry Judd secured victory - was seen by 11.8 million.

The figures were down slightly on the previous record-breaking year, when around 13 million viewed both shows.

However the main show drew a bigger proportion of the TV audience - 48% - than the 2010 equivalent (46%), and they helped BBC1 to draw three times the peak time audience of ITV1, which screened a Harry Potter movie and a Westlife special.

Strictly's audience peaked last night at the conclusion of the first show with an audience of 13 million.

BBC1 was also bolstered by the first edition of a new series of Winter Wipeout and its family sorcery drama Merlin.

Last night's Strictly figures were also way up on those for the 2009 Strictly final which drew 10.1 million and 10.3 million for its shows.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch 'distraught' after home is ransacked

The couple - who live in a ?4.5 million mansion in Cheshire, North West England - were "distraught" when they returned home to find the property ransacked by thieves, with Christmas presents, luxury Rolex watches and a number of rings belonging to the 25-year-old model having gone missing.

It is thought the burglars had been watching the house and waiting for the couple to go out before forcing their way in through a kitchen window on Tuesday, before being disturbed when the soccer star and his wife returned home.

A friend of the pair told MailOnline: "Abbey and Peter must have disturbed the burglars when they heard their car coming up the drive.

"They believe there were several men in the house."

Fortunately, the couple's nine-month-old daughter Sophia Ruby was being looked after by Abbey's mother at the time of the incident.

A pal added to the Daily Mirror: "Abbey and Peter are naturally distressed that this has happened, particularly in the run-up to Christmas."

It is thought Abbey called police - who are launching an investigation into the burglary - as soon as she and the 30-year-old sportsman returned home.

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said: "Thieves broke in to the house via a kitchen window, stealing jewellery and electrical items."

However, this isn't the first time Peter - who bought the Cheshire mansion, which features a gym, a swimming pool and a cinema, from retired England cricketer Andrew Flintoff three months ago after signing for Premier League team Stoke City - has been targeted by burglars.

In 2006, his home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, was raided, with thieves stealing football memorabilia, champagne and jewellery and his exclusive Aston Martin car worth a total of ?200,000.

Alan Hansen's Match of the Day blunder in racism row

Alan Hansen was forced to make a grovelling apology today after using the word "coloured" as he debated racism in football on Match Of The Day.

Fellow pundit Lee Dixon gave host Gary Lineker a horrified glance as the former Liverpool and Scotland defender used the word twice to refer to non-white players during the BBC's football highlights show last night.

Hansen's comments sparked a fierce debate on Twitter, with some believing the word was unacceptable and others arguing his wording was not meant maliciously.

The 56-year-old's gaffe came as racism in football was placed under the spotlight following the news that England and Chelsea captain John Terry will be prosecuted over allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand. Liverpool's Luis Suarez was also handed an eight-match ban by the FA this week over racial comments aimed at Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

On last night's show, Match Of The Day host Lineker asked Hansen if he believed racism was "rife" in English football. Hansen replied: "No it's not ... I think it's better, not only with the players but with the supporters. I think there's a lot of coloured players in all the teams, all the major teams, and there's a lot of coloured players that are probably the best in the Premier League and, as I say, if you look 25, 30 years ago, it was probably in a bad way."

Ex-Liverpool player Stan Collymore led the protests against his choice of language, saying: "What colour would that be? Blue? Green? Orange?" Former Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts tweeted: "Is this Alan Hansen guy taking the f****** p***?? I'm not coloured??? He is part of the problem when using that word."

Rapper Example waded in, saying: "Please don't sack Alan Hansen. He's a superb pundit. So many guys from that era seem to make the same mistakes. At least his wasn't malicious like Ron Atkinson."

Hansen said today: "I unreservedly apologise for any offence caused. I deeply regret the use of the word."

Terry was told yesterday that he faces criminal charges over video footage appearing to show him shout an offensive comment at Queens Park Rangers defender Ferdinand. The Chelsea defender faces a maximum fine of ?2,500 if convicted.

'And I said YES!!!' Holly Valance announces engagement

The actress-and-singer's millionaire property developer boyfriend Nick Candy popped the question by going down on one knee in front of a sign with the words 'Will you marry me?' blazing in lights and Holly revealed she was quick to accept.

Posting a picture of the romantic moment on twitter, she wrote: "And I said YES!!! Happiest day of my life!!!!! Xxxx (sic)"

Holly recently revealed the secret to her lasting relationship with Nick is that they are first and foremost best friends.

She said: "Nick's got to be the funniest person I've ever met in my life - he's hysterical. We're like two kids running around London all the time, giggling in the back of taxis. I do love being around him. We're great mates.

"When we first met, I didn't know anything about him. I just thought 'Cor, if I didn't fancy you so much, we'd be the best of friends. Instead, I just want to make out with you all the time'."

When she did learn about his wealth, Holly "freaked out".

"I rang my mum and said: 'I don't think I can do this because it's just too much.

"And she said: 'You can't hold that against the man. He's a hard-working genius and he's got as much right as anyone else to love and be loved. So you just stop looking at his bespoke chandelier and his gorgeous car and start thinking about him'."

Before she started dating Nick, Holly had a long-term relationship with 'Hawaii Five-0' star Alex O' Loughlin, which ended in 2009.

Beckhams consider coming back home

David and Victoria Beckham are considering leaving Los Angeles.

The soccer star is in talks with French club Paris Saint-Germain and a number of UK teams and rather than Victoria and their four children Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, nine, Cruz, six, and four-month-old daughter Harper remaining in Los Angeles while he plays in Europe, the entire family may relocate with the couple already lining up possible schools for the boys.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: "David is on the brink of committing to either Paris Saint-Germain or a UK club. He'll make the announcement just after the New Year.

"They are preparing to be back in Britain and have been looking at schools for the boys. David is keen on one particular school because it's the area where he grew up and when he was a child he always wished he could have gone there."

Although Victoria was initially reluctant to move, the hugely successful fashion designer is now "excited" about returning home.

The source added: "David has always been adamant he wants to end his career in Europe and Victoria is totally behind the move. She is using the opportunity to work on her fashion profile in Europe and the boys will be privately educated. They are all very excited.

"Victoria wants to come back to London and live between the capital and Paris but she won't give up the place in LA. The advantage of being over here is they can spend more time with their families. But they love LA so it's likely they'll be back."

Big mac role proves Eddie Redmayne has arrived

It's a sure sign that a British starlet has hit the big-time when they front a Burberry advertising campaign.

Having previously launched the careers of Agyness Deyn, Jourdan Dunn and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, the brand has chosen 29-year-old ex-Etonian actor Eddie Redmayne, from My Week with Marilyn, to appear alongside model Cara Delevingne, 19, in its latest publicity push.

A celebration of the traditional Burberry mac in a modernised form, the pictures, shot by Mario Testino, prove that rainwear need never be lacking in sex appeal.

Brittany Murphy's mother sues legal team

 Brittany Murphy's mother has launched a fresh legal bid to prove her daughter was killed by toxic mould.

Sharon Murphy has insisted defects at the '8 Mile' star's Beverly Hills home led to her death from pneumonia two years ago, and her husband Simon Monjack's passing five months later.

However, she previously accepted a settlement from builders for the faults, but claimed her lawyers failed to tell her she was waiving her right to sue for "wrongful death".

She has now enlisted the services of attorney Michael Marzban to sue her former legal team for malpractice, and is seeking the amount she would have won had she pursued her previous action, plus other damages, reports.

Sharon has previously admitted she sometimes pretends Brittany and Simon are still alive in order to cope with the tragedy.

She said: "It's beyond strange. I don't have answers for it. Sometimes just in order to function, I pretend it didn't happen."

Brittany's mother - who keeps her daughter's bedroom exactly as it was before she died - has found her death especially difficult because they relied on each other for everything.

She explained: "I'm always remembering times with her. She would always say that we grew up together, and that's true. We were so close, and such great friends."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bruce Forsyth 'signs new Strictly Come Dancing contract'

 Sir Bruce Forsyth is set to return to Strictly Come Dancing next year.

The legendary TV host - who has co-hosted the BBC One show alongside Tess Daly since 2004 - is said to be keen to front the next series of the celebrity dance competition, despite being 84 by the time it airs in 2012.

A source told The Sun: "Bruce has had a great series and Strictly is his as long as he wants it. He's having a break then will come back to us with his thoughts on next year's show. We are working on the assumption he'll be back."

Insiders claim Bruce has been given a new lease of life after he was handed a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth earlier this year.

Although he is keen to return to the show for another season, Bruce recently revealed he has "never felt comfortable" presenting 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

He said: "It's been incredible. I'm loving it. I've liked it more in the last two or three years than before. It's a show I've never felt comfortable doing because I'm used to an audience being right there so I can pick on them, I've got contact.

"But in that studio the only contact I've got is the camera. The audience is behind me and I don't know what they're doing, probably having picnics."

Cheryl Cole to throw alcohol-free Christmas lunch for bandmates

 Cheryl Cole is hosting an alcohol free pre-Christmas lunch for her Girls Aloud bandmates this week.

The 'Fight for This Love' singer has invited Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding over to her north London home for a festive get together where she will take charge of cooking but has taken booze off the menu because of Sarah's recent stint in rehab, where she received treatment for alcoholism and depression.

A source told The Sun: "Cheryl is going all out. She has already ordered all the food and is determined to cook everything herself.

"She's doing the full works, turkey with all the trimmings, and the lunch table will be laid with crackers and other traditional Christmas decorations.

"But with Sarah having just left rehab, Cheryl doesn't want to make it into a drunken dinner so isn't planning on having any wine involved.

"It's just a chance for the girls to catch up with each other before Christmas."

It is unclear if fifth member Nadine Coyle will be back in London from Los Angeles - where she is now based - in time for Cheryl's festive fun.

The singer-and-designer has been getting into the festive spirit thanks to her nephews, writing on twitter yesterday: "Only 7 days til Christmas!! Or as the kids keep reminding me its '7 sleeps til Santa' #cute

"I was tidying my clothes out upstairs and here comes the 3 year old with one of his Christmas toys, tearing open the box and telling me "Santas been" ... I don't know whether to laugh or cry ... I think I'll do both haha (sic)"

Chinese officials hit out at Christian Bale over visit to activist

Christian Bale has been attacked by Chinese officials for his attempt to visit a blind activist under house arrest in the country.

The Dark Knight Rises actor was stopped by security guards when he tried to meet with self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who has lived in a village in eastern China in complete isolation for 15 months.

Christian was accompanied by a camera crew from the CNN news channel, and was in China to promote his film 'The Flowers of War', which is in the running for an Oscar.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin, has said he thought Christian should feel embarrassed about the incident, not China.

He said while the actor had been invited by director Zhang Yimou to attend the opening ceremony of the film, "He was not invited to fabricate news or shoot films in a certain village."

In the video of his attempted meeting with Chen, Christian is pushed and punched by four men dressed in plain clothes as he asks to see Chen.

He repeatedly asked the security officers: "Why can I not visit this free man?"

Following the incident, the Hollywood actor said: "What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is."

Christian is one of a number of people, including journalists and Chinese human rights activists, who have unsuccessfully tried to visit Chen.

His case has been raised publicly by US congressmen and diplomats, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all to no response from China.

The Flowers of War is China's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Daniel Craig to become longest serving James Bond

 Daniel Craig is set to become the longest serving James Bond with five more movies.

The 43-year-old actor is currently shooting 'Skyfall', his third film about the British spy but producer Michael G Wilson revealed he hopes to lock Daniel in to do eight films altogether, taking his total to one more than Sir Roger Moore's seven.

Speaking about a potential multi-million pound deal for Daniel, he said: "Daniel's been a terrific Bond, a superb actor and a terrific man. The fans love him and I don't think there's a better actor to play the part.

"It's certainly something we'll be discussing with him once we finish shooting 'Skyfall'. Filming has gone very well so far and I'd love Daniel to surpass Roger's record and do eight pictures. Daniel's been an absolute pleasure to be around because he takes the role so seriously. There's really no one more passionate about making these films than him - he's a filmmaker's dream.

"A lot of people have said Daniel's been their favourite Bond since Sean Connery and I can't argue with them. He's doing a great job."

Michael also revealed the latest film is going back to its roots and fans can expect a 'Goldfinger' feel to the movie.

He told The People newspaper: "The director Sam Mendes and Daniel are taking it back to a 60s feel - more Sean. I think that's what the fans wanted. There's a magical 'Goldfinger' feel surrounding it all. It's all very exciting. I can't wait for people to see the movie because I think we're making a very special Bond."

Don't make the same mistakes, says rapper jailed for drugs

A London rapper once locked up for drug offences told today how he turned his life around to land a deal with a major record label.

Twizzle - real name Bradley Bellot - served six months in Feltham Young Offender Institution when he was 16. Now he wants to use his experience to turn youths away from crime.

The 20-year-old grew up in White City with his mother and began writing lyrics aged 13. But he fell in with the wrong crowd and turned to crime to buy "nice things".

He said: "My mum always worked hard, but I've never liked relying on people. I also did it because I wanted to be the man.

"I started selling marijuana, and moved on to harder drugs. When I went to jail it hit me. I thought, I just don't want to do this I came out wanting to make music seriously."

Twizzle funded and recorded his own single, which was picked up by music channel MTV Base.

He has just signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, and is about to release his debut mix tape The End Is Near.

He added: "I just wanted to prove that people can change. I don't want to see these kids making the same mistakes I did." Twizzle is appearing in the Dec-ember Sessions at The O2 tomorrow.

Eva Green to star in 300 prequel

The Casino Royale actress is being lined to take on the lead female role in 5th century film, which is the sequel to Zack Snyder's 300.

The film tells the story of Greek General Themistocles, who led Athens against Persian invaders in a battle that played out simultaneously with the Battle of Thermopylae, depicted in the first film.

Eva Green will play Artemisia, who is described as "a ruthless, gold-covered goddess who persuades Xerxes to amass his army and helps lead them into battle".

The film's producer, Mark Canton, recently; said of the sequel: "We have to say that Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, his writing partner, have killed it.

"They've done a tremendous job making a highly intelligent, epic story that will stand on its own.

"But it's not a conventional sequel and, for what we do, that's what you hope and pray for. That you can be original and authentic at the same time."

Noam Murro is being lined up to direct the project and shooting is set to begin next spring.

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