The U.S. Dollar’s Taking a Pounding. Plus: ‘Posh’ Lessons.

  • As if London weren't expensive enough, a British pound will now officially cost you more than two American smackeroos. (BBC)
  • However, The Guardian says you can still find better pound-dollar exchange rates. "The Post Office offers an exchange rate of $1.89 with no commission. Change £100 and you get $189." What a bargain!
  • After Kate Middleton's mother embarrassed herself in front of the royal family, The Independent offers some tips on how to act suitably "posh": "Do not try to shake hands with the Queen. Even if she offers, Tatler's advice is 'you may not shake the Queen's hand, only touch it briefly'. Do not turn your back on her. Bow from the neck or chest if you are a man, and if you are female, a little bob will do."
  • Mogwai's Barry Burns has penned a lengthy rant about Keith Richards on the band's website. The best bit: "I hope you kick the bucket in the most humiliating of ways, like on the toilet and then being eaten by your own dog." I can just envision you thinking, Who the feck is Mogwai, and what the hell are they on about? (Gigwise)
  • Richards' former bandmate, Bill Wyman, has come out with his own model of metal detector. He describes his product: "Metal-detecting is not just for anoraks or eccentrics; it's probably the best and the most enjoyable way of learning about our history. On any garden, country field, footpath, woodlands, beach or moorland you can find a huge variety of historical objects, all easily located with this high quality metal detector." It's also quite handy when you're dodging booby traps on your way to rob a celebrity's house. (NME)
  • Lily Allen explains the cancellation of her tour, citing nervousness over bad performances. (Pitchfork)
  • The Guardian's Karina Mantavia compares the Richard Gere/Shilpa Shetty controversy to a Bollywood film. "Give or take a song, the scenario itself has played out like a Bollywood storyline – two lone innocents representing common sense and human values battling against an unjust and repressive society."
  • Colin Firth will star alongside Meryl Streep in the film version of Mamma Mia! (Guardian)
  • Arctic Monkeys talk to Guardian's Tim Jonze about how "hiding" in plain sight has bolstered their careers.
  • Jade Goody threw pales of water on a brush fire that threatened her holiday villa. (The Sun)
  • The Sun encourages their readers to make fools of themselves and post personal ads to the newly single Prince William in their paper.
  • Jamie Oliver has put up a sizable reward to help apprehend the men who robbed his dad's pub. (The Sun)
  • The Daily Mail exaggerates the impact of a fall Heather Mills took at the end of her Dancing With the Stars performance last night.
  • Ant and Dec continue to pad their wallets: the comedic duo have signed a multi-million-pound deal with ITV. (BBC)
  • Writer Hanif Kureishi lobs censorship claims at BBC Radio for cancelling an on-air reading of "Weddings and Beheadings," his short story about POW executions in Iraq. The BBC says they are exercising decorum in light of the kidnapping and possible murder of a BBC reporter. (Guardian)
  • Nominations for the Orange literary prize for female writers have been announced. Only two of the authors are British. (Guardian)
  • There are great expectations for a Charles Dickens theme park in Kent, England. Judith Flanders in The Guardian would not agree. "A representative of the Dickens Fellowship, which has been acting in an advisory capacity to the project, defends its integrity by saying, 'A lot of the social concerns are still a problem for us today, with these young people going around shooting each other'. But how are these 'social concerns' being addressed? With Magwitch's boat-ride, do we learn about the Bloody Code and penal reform?"
  • The brilliant website Popjustice has gotten a facelift.

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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