Racism Charges Divide British TV, Music Industries

  • A BBC reporter criticizes comedian Lenny Henry for his comments about race and employment practices at the company. Reporter Olenkia Frenkiel says, “Lenny Henry calls for a black dg (Director-General). Any black dg? Regardless of merit, or who they are or what they might have done? What about a Polish dg? Lots of Poles in Britain today. What about a dg with frizzy hair? Or one who’s disabled? Or incredibly small.” Samir Shah, a BBC board member, fired back: “Thirty years after Lenny came into the business, there is not one black person, not one Asian person good enough to be a Controller. It is an outrage and I think Lenny’s call for affirmative action is the least we can do.”(The Times)
  • “In the wake of Amy Winehouse‘s spectacular Grammys haul, the Black Music Congress has noted that ‘no new African British act has achieved major success in the past two years,’ while Britain’s best-selling ‘black’ music acts are Winehouse, Joss Stone, and Lily Allen.”(Guardian)
  • The Sun has more from Amy Winehouse and Blake, Version 2.0.
  • Looking better than ever: a Goth Lily Allen and Jordan as Wonder Woman.
  • Clips of Lily’s new show, here, here, and here.
  • Lily claims she broke up with the “commitment-phobic” Ed Simons of Chemical Brothers.(Digital Spy)
  • Will Al Pacino ham it up in the next 007 film?(Mirror)
  • Kate Moss will give “a Sid Vicious painting, Primal Scream gold discs, and a signed guitar from her boyfriend Jamie Hince” to the fire-damaged Hawley Arms in Camden.(Digital Spy)
  • Ten reasons why Heather Mills representing herself in her divorce is a bad idea.(The Times)
  • Heather Mills has brought her “hate mail” into court as evidence she needs around-the-clock protection – provided by Paul McCartney, natch.(Mirror)
  • Liam Gallagher is a married man. The Oasis singer has wed All Saints member Nicole Appleton in secret.(NME)
  • The Spice Girls say their reunion was a one-time-only deal.(NME)
  • The Feeling, “the uncoolest band in Britain,” plans to become even more uncool, which is pretty damn cool.(Telegraph)
  • Massive Attack will curate this year’s Meltdown music festival. Morrissey, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Elvis Costello, Jarvis Cocker, and David Bowie have all done it before.(The Stage)
  • Looking back at British “gay punk” director Derek Jarman. Here’s a video interview with him from 1994, shortly before his death from AIDS.

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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