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Actor John Simm has expressed anger with the BBC about their handling of Life On Mars' second season and finale, according to an interview with The Daily Telegraph. After the network cut the show's budget for Season Two, Simm recalls, "We were furious. I don't know where they get their wisdom from about how you reward a hit show. It made it not particularly enjoyable because the workload was just unbelievable. It put me off doing a huge, high-profile TV show like that. Not forever, obviously. I'll get over it."
Well, he's certainly gotten over it quickly: he's set for a role as a baddie on Doctor Who. A part as a "psychotic Roman emperor" in the drama Nero led to his role on the show. "I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a dry run. It was an unturndownable part. I play a character called Mr. Saxon but I can't say any more than that, apparently."
Certainly, we look forward to seeing him face off with the new Who, David Tennant. In the meantime, Simm will return to the London stage in Elling, beginning April 25th.
In other news:
- Pete Doherty gets a gold star for cooperation from a judge overseeing his drug treatment. (NME)
- But is Doherty on the verge of being broke? (NME)
- Arctic Monkeys' "Brianstorm" and Beyoncé and Shakira's "Beautiful Liar" are fighting it out for a UK Number One. (NME)
- More on Lily Allen's "postponement" of her tour: is she totally unprofessional? (The Times)
- Bob Geldof and the BBC are teaming for a "hugely ambitious global multimedia project designed to document every society on the planet and act as a 'definitive record of mankind'," which the Beeb hopes will be as big as Blue Planet or Planet Earth. (Guardian)
- I would scold the usually moralistic Daily Mail for looking up a 16-year-old's skirt, but Pixie Geldof makes it easy for them by not wearing one.
- Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman are looking for a play to act in together after shooting The Golden Compass, and Courtney Love says she wants to do Shakespeare in London. (Guardian)
- The Sun imagines what Mel B. and Eddie Murphy's baby would look like. Not a pretty picture.
- Kate Middleton's mother, Carole, "was in tears" over claims that her "common" background precipitated her daughter's split with Prince William. (The Sun)
- Prince William denies reports that his courtiers and inner circle shunned Kate's mother. (Daily Mail)
- The breakup has had a real economic impact, killing the once-enthusiastic demand for Kate Middleton lookalikes. From The Daily Mail: "Tall, slim and beautiful girls were being signed by agencies for what promised to be a lucrative and exciting job. So, how do the Kate lookalikes feel about their careers ending so prematurely?"
- Right Said Fred frontman Richard Fairbrass is planning a run for London mayor. A true populist, he wants to decrease the congestion charge and declares the city's smoking ban "an absolute scandal." (The Sun)
- Will Madonna take over the orphanage in Malawi where she found adopted son David Banda? (Daily Mail)
- Kirsten Dunst and Johnny Borrell are back together, reports The Daily Mail.
- When David Beckham whisked wife Victoria off to Paris for her 33rd birthday, he spared no expense. (Mirror)
- Burberry has overcome its "chav" label and is once again a glam brand, says The Daily Telegraph. No longer the brand of choice for "football fans and D-list celebrities," creative director Christopher Bailey has made it "an exciting, of-the-moment label that transcends virtually any negative press that is thrown its way (including the chav attacks)."
- Jordan says Liz Hurley dresses her son "like a Molly…They can have all the money in the world, but they've got no class," which I suppose is particularly damning coming from Jordan. (Mirror)
- Why was Naomi Campbell looking so glam during her community service sentence? "The model, 36, was taking part in a photoshoot for W Magazine every day," reports The Mirror.
- Julie Walters will play Mary Whitehouse, a morals campaigner who headed the Clean Up TV Campaign, in Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story. Ironically, the film will be aired on the channel she most reviled, the BBC. (BBC)
- The BBC explains the benefits and burdens of a strong British pound vs. a weak dollar. British tourists to the U.S. will find American goods a bargain, but "remember that you are only allowed to bring £145 worth of shopping from the US into the UK. Any more than that and you will have to pay import duty and VAT at the airport." However, British businesses that rely on tourism will feel the pinch. Americans…well, we're just screwed all around, now aren't we?
See more posts by 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.