Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya, Brad: Russell Crowe Joins the Cast of State of Play

  • Brad Pitt walked out on the State of Play remake over script concerns. His replacement? The far more talented Russell Crowe. Helen Mirren facing off with Brad Pitt? She’d waste him. Mirren vs. Crowe? Now that’s a formidable match. Maybe this writers’ strike is good for something after all.(BBC)
  • Mario Lopez wears Manchester United shorts while on holiday in Mexico with girlfriend and former Dancing With the Stars partner Karina Smirnoff. But really, who’s looking at his shorts? Check out The Sun’s slideshow: you won’t be disappointed.(The Sun)
  • Jesse Metcalfe faces assault charges for allegedly punching a pap in London. He was reportedly on his way to the G.A.Y. event in which his girlfriend, Nadine Coyle was performing.(The Sun)
  • Now that Preston has reconciled with his former fiancée, Camille Aznar, Chantelle voices fears that their marriage was “a complete lie.”(The Sun)
  • At the Royal Variety Performance last night, comedian Russell Brand quipped to The Queen: “I am respectful – when I lick a stamp I always close my eyes.” Is it me, or is that the grossest thing ever uttered? Other people must think so. A source told The Daily Mail: “We were amazed with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watching that he should go so far. Some people laughed but other people looked a bit stunned. It was a bit disrespectful.”
  • Peter Andre says he once fancied Boy George because he thought the singer was a woman. (The Sun)
  • Heat magazine has apologized to Jordan for printing a photo of her disabled son Harvey Price with the caption, “Harvey wants to eat me!”(The Times)
  • Meanwhile, Jordan has apologized to Kerry Katona for slagging off her husband.(Digital Spy)
  • She ain’t dead yet: Dawn French clarifies the “bonkers” story that she was moving to Cornwall to meet her maker: “All I said was that I was moving down to Cornwall with Len [husband Lenny Henry] and Billie [their adopted daughter] and that I didn’t want to move again. You’ve got to remember that I was an RAF kid – all my youth I was an itinerant gipsy, so I’ve always longed to stay in one place. What I said was: ‘I hope this will be my last move.’ The journalist said: ‘Oh my God, you’re going there to die!’”(Telegraph)
  • Charlotte Church‘s boyfriend Gavin Henson and his mates have been questioned by police after allegedly terrorizing a train full of passengers. And yes, alcohol was reported to have been involved. The Daily Mail says, “The party reportedly shouted foul-mouthed insults at female travellers, spat and even urinated in a carriage, reducing some people to tears. Terrified witnesses claim the group, some of whom were apparently too inebriated to stand up, showered beer over each other and the seats while repeatedly swearing.”
  • Ewan McGregor talks about the challenge of playing Iago in a West End production of Othello in The Times: “I’ve never had to work harder than this. I mean, the sheer size of it. Since being in South Africa [for the most recent TV motorbike epic] in August, I’ve done almost nothing except work on the play and prepare myself for the part. Everyone was saying, ‘Oh you’re in London, can we have you for this, or this?’, which was nice, but I just had to say, ‘Sorry but no,’ because all I wanted to do was sit at home and learn the script.”
  • Is the Best Actress Oscar contest a two-horse race between Brits Julie Christie (Away From Her) and Keira Knightley (Atonement)?(The Times)
  • Sir Ben Kingsley has joined the latest Martin Scorsese picture, which stars – surprise – Leonardo DiCaprio.(Variety)

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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