The Power Players of British Culture: Tom Stoppard, Damien Hirst…Keira Knightley?

  • Nicholas Hynter, artistic director for Britain’s National Theatre, has been named The Most Culturally Important Person in the UK by The Daily Telegraph. A panel including Julian Fellowes and Emilia Fox selected the paper’s list. Anglophenia heartthrob, Daniel Craig, is No. 29. Russell T. Davies is No. 42, but, yikes, where’s David Tennant? Other notables in the top 100 include Andrew Lloyd Webber (#5), Simon Cowell (#6), Kevin Spacey (#10), playwright Tom Stoppard (#11), director Richard Curtis (#12), J.K. Rowling (#14), Sam Mendes (#15), Damon Albarn (#18), author Ian McEwan (#19), Sir Ridley Scott (#35), Stephen Fry (#44), Damien Hirst (#54), Ricky Gervais (#83), Banksy (#84), and Keira Knightley (#87). Knightley makes the cut and no Tennant?
  • There’s been a tragic end to a very sad story: British children’s show host Mark Speight was found hanged over the weekend, according to BBC NEWS. Speight, reportedly despondent over the drug-related death of his fiancée, Natasha Collins, had gone missing last week. Speight’s body was found in the Paddington train station. Why was his body left undiscovered for six days?
  • Ewan McGregor is about to drop trou again for a movie: for the upcoming film Deception, co-starring Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams, McGregor will “film a montage of sex scenes that requires him to get it on with five different actresses – none of whom he has met before.” He’s interviewed by The TimesJames Bone (giggle): “In these scenes, they’re strangers, so they can be embarrassing. And things don’t just go off like they do in a Hollywood movie. I think finding those moments that make it real makes for the audience a much more erotic experience, or a much more powerful experience, because you recognize things you do yourself, or things that have happened to you.” McGregor most recently got naked in the 2003 film Young Adam with Oscar winner Tilda Swinton.
  • J.K. Rowling is in a New York court today, testifying in her copyright suit against the author of The Harry Potter Lexicon.(Telegraph)
  • Hermione the Hellraiser: is Emma Watson the next Lindsay Lohan?
    (Daily Mail)
  • God, it’s good to see Keeley Hawes with a decent hairdo.(The Sun)
  • Heather Mills and plunging necklines don’t mix.(Daily Mail)
  • NSFW: Sienna Miller has a “bikini malfunction.”(Daily Mail)

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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