Britons Love Bollywood. Race-Mixing? Not So Much…

  • Why are the Bollywood “Oscars” being held in Sheffield of all places? “For British filmgoers, Bollywood is a more popular non-Hollywood genre than European arthouse movies, and its titles now regularly appear in UK top 10s.”(Telegraph)
  • Will Bollywood make a “love story” about a slain British-Pakistani cricket coach?(Mirror)
  • After their music landmarks map was a success, VisitBritain is releasing a Bollywood map of Britain to increase tourism from India. According to The Times, “The new map includes sites from 30 films, including Molesey Football Club’s ground in Surrey, where parts of the 2002 hit Bend it Like Beckham were filmed, and Slough’s Queensmere centre, where some of the 2001 Bollywood film Yaadein was set.”
  • In spite of Britain’s embrace of diversity at the multiplex, racial segregation is rampant in UK schools, according to The Guardian: “A majority ofpupils in many areas of the country – particularly indeprived former mill towns in the north of England -have little contact with children from differentethnic backgrounds, even though they live in closeproximity.”
  • Big Brother host Dermot O’Leary attempts to explain Jade Goody‘s racially offensive behavior on Celebrity Big Brother to The Independent: “Jade’s main problem is no one’s ever had areasonable conversation with her, no one’s ever sather down, she hasn’t had any schooling in usingmoderation and thinking through an argument andcompromise and humility. It’s all been ‘who can shoutthe loudest?’ And that’s really what we saw. We sawone girl, egged on by two other girls, turn on aslightly haughty, upper-middle-class, very gracefulwoman, by and large out of jealousy.”
  • David Beckham‘s back in an England uniform, as he prepares for an exhibition match against Brazil. Just Jared has photos as well as news that Becks could become the next celebrity DJ.
  • Performance artist Mark McGowan says he “will eat a corgi live on a London radio station” to protest Prince Philip’s fox-hunting. But don’t worry: the corgi’s already dead – from natural causes, we presume. And the preparation will be suitably humane: “”We didn’t want to make it really distressing visually,” said McGowan, “so rather than just have the corgi roasted, they minced the corgi and they’ve mixed it with herbs and apple and bread and onion. It’s going to be served in a pitta bread with a salad, almost like a kebab on a skewer.” Doesn’t that make you wanna go out and get a gyro?(BBC)
  • Could Keira Knightley play Princess Diana? I think that’s quite bizarrecasting, don’t you?(Digital Spy)
  • Kelly Brook, fiancée of actor Billy Zane, says she “nearly drowned” after smashing her head into a “Grecian column” while wearing a mermaid costume underwater. She was filming Fishtales, which received abysmal reviews at Cannes. I’m sure the bump on her isn’t as painful as actually watching the movie.(Daily Mail)
  • The Daily Mail puts on their handy tin hats, claiming there’s a government conspiracy to convert Britons to veganism.

  • Heather Mills says she’s giving up milk to save the cows.(Daily Mail)
  • Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh have hugged and made up, according to Contact Music.
  • It’s Noel Gallagher‘s 40th birthday, and he’s received a pet chimp. His Mini-Me, if you will. (The Sun)
  • Prince Harry caved in and went clubbing in Bristol this weekend, even though he’s supposedly banned from doing so while his squadron’s fighting in Iraq.
    (The Sun)
  • Coronation Street led the British Soap Awards with seven trophies, including Best Soap. BBC AMERICA’s Hollyoaks won three: Sexiest Female (Roxanne McKee as Louise Summers), Villain of the Year (Gemma Bissix as Clare Cunningham), and Best Comedy Performance (Gemma Mirna as Carmel McQueen). (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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