Robbie Goes to Rehab. Plus: Brit Awards Update

By now you probably already know this, and it’s on the cover of most of the papers here in London: Robbie Williams has checked himself into a rehab clinic for an addiction to prescription drugs. His ex-girlfriend, Lisa D’Amato, blabbed that Robbie’s drug of choice is anti-depressants, which he needs to “to get him through the day.” Word is that Robbie is worried about his waning career, which has suffered after the critical and commercial failure of his album, Rudebox. Meanwhile, his former “washed-up” bandmates, Take That, couldn’t be hotter.

The Guardian‘s Paul Flynn offers encouragement to Robbie: “Williams is intuitively hotwired to finding solutions to problems…and you would write him off at your peril.”

Also, we were all set for Fergie to do the electric boogaloo on Dancing With the Stars. It unfortunately didn’t pan out. But an even more bizarre rumor has hit the mills, so to speak: Has Heather Mills McCartney signed on for the show’s next season? Neither ABC nor Heather’s people are commenting, which seems to tacitly give credence to this insanity. One wonders why she didn’t take a crack at Strictly Come Dancing, but you can imagine the horror of British audiences booing a disabled woman. Wouldn’t really look good after the Jade Goody fiasco.

On to the Brits: today, rehearsals were held for tomorrow’s Brit Awards. I was privileged to see performances from Scissor Sisters, The Killers, and Corinne Bailey Rae. The set that will throw audiences for a loop is from the Sisters, who perform their hit, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’.” It’s wild excess: disembodied limbs fly across the stage, and legs without torsos do high-kicks. The Killers (featuring the still bearded Brandon Flowers) will perform “When We Were Young” from their sophomore album, Sam’s Town, and Corinne Bailey Rae enlists a group of clones to help her lay down “Put Your Records On.” It all happens live tomorrow night. Catch BBC AMERICA’s broadcast of the Brits in April.

In other news:

  • A former EastEnders star has won the role in the U.S. remake of the ’70s series, The Bionic Woman, which starred Lindsay Wagner. (BBC)
  • Viva Blackpool luvvahs David Tennant and Sarah Parish reunite for the BBC drama Recovery, and they get naked! How will Tennant’s new Doctor Who fans react? An insider told The Mirror: “Doctor Who fans are more used to seeing David in his pinstripe suit and trainers. But maybe he’ll surprise everyone next series and take on the Daleks in his birthday suit.”
  • Usually, I’d tell her to respect the aged, but I’ll let this one slide: Peaches Geldof went off on Madonna, who didn’t bother to show up to collect her Elle Style award last night. “I am definitely not a fan – she looks like mutton dressed as lamb. She is just not relevant now. She’s up there on a pedestal and that’s why people are honoring her, but it’s not right…Elle Style need to step it up and chose someone more relevant next year.” (Daily Mail)
  • Pete Doherty received another court warning, this time for driving without a license. (Daily Mail)
  • Sting will earn nearly $140 million for The Police reunion tour. (Daily Mail)
  • Post-BAFTA bust-up: A journalist has gotten his nose out of joint because Daniel Craig didn’t like him gawking at his thunderballs. Did you ever consider he’s just not that into you? (Daily Mail)
  • Jon Wilde in The Guardian says Life On Mars has earned a second season, which premieres well, tonight, in the UK. “Prison Break and 24 should have been put out of their misery as soon as their plots began stretching credulity way past breaking point. But Life On Mars is different. At the end of the first series, all its multi-layered plot mysteries remained to be solved, leaving us gasping to find out what happens in the second and final season. Will DI Sam Tyler make it back from 1973 to the present day? Is he in a coma or actually living in the past and simply going bonkers? If he does make it back to 2007, will he, ahem, cop off with WPC Annie Cartwright first?”
  • Charlotte Church gets gobby – and talks about that infamous TV duet with a “sozzled” Amy Winehouse – in today’s Times.
  • Winehouse promises to “misbehave” at tomorrow’s Brits. Can’t wait! (Mirror)
  • Arctic Monkeys helped push UK indie record labels to a “record” year. (BBC)


Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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