Sharleen Spiteri, who appeared on The Graham Norton Show last season, certainly made the most of meeting Paris Hilton. The Scottish singer mixed it up a bit with the blond heiress at a Vanity Fair party when Hilton and her entourage stormed in like they owned the place. Spiteri says, “I managed to get up saying ‘If you don’t get the f*** out of my face I’m going to kick the s*** out of you’. ‘Then she went ‘Who the f*** are you anyway?’ I went ‘Does that matter when I’m going to kill you?'” (The Sun)
The Times‘ Stephen Dalton compares Madonna and Michael Jackson‘s careers at age 50. “Despite Jackson being a superior singer, better dancer and bigger seller, his career is a shambles while Madonna goes from strength to strength. Her toughness, commercial sense and smart command of pop trends have served her well. Jackson is damaged goods, but remains a genius with a loyal global following. If he can muster just one more great album, this could be the mother of all comebacks.”
Madonna is really 36, according to Kabbalah? Not with those veiny hands she’s not.(Mirror)
Newsnight anchor Jeremy Paxman, who likes to take the piss out of the Scots, called the work of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, “sentimental doggerel.” You won’t believe the level of outrage this remark has produced.(The Times)
Alan McGee is hitting out at the recently reunited My Bloody Valentine, who were signed to his label back in the day: “There is a beautiful irony that the ‘nostalgic cabaret’ that is My Bloody Valentine are throwing at people in 2008 gets critical acclaim in the easily pleased UK press, with MBV still playing the exact same set they did 20 years ago. The only trick Kevin Shields has anymore in 2008 is actual volume and double extra PA to numb you and zero new songs.”(NME)
The Guardian‘s Penny Anderson lists the greatest TV characters from Northern England.
George Michael isn’t giving up touring – he’s just giving up the mega-arena venues.(Mirror)
Kate Winslet felt “weird” having husband Sam Mendes direct her love scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio for Revolutionary Road.(The Sun)
David Thewlis and Mike Leigh discuss Thewlis’ searing performance in Leigh’s masterpiece, Naked, in The Guardian. Thewlis says, “I got dangerously close to the character. I rather unfortunately got married a few months before [to the actor and director Sara Sugarman], which was a mistake. It wasn’t a good idea to work on Naked in the first months of a marriage. I was living apart from my wife in a flat overflowing with books I was reading for the part. I read Kerouac, Bertrand Russell, the Bible, the Qur’an. I remember finding out there was this plan to subcutaneously insert bar codes into our skin and I made a note, thinking that would be a great thing for Johnny to talk about in the film.”
British journalist Julie Burchill, one of Morrissey‘s favorite music writers, speaks of her transformation from teen atheist to Christian. “Every film and pop starlet, trawling after a reason to exist, says, ‘I’m not religious – but I am spiritual’. I don’t have a spiritual bone in my body; but what I am, is religious. I believe, literally, in the God of the Old Testament, whom I understand as the Lord of the Jews and the Protestants. I’m a Christian Zionist, as well as a Christian feminist and a Christian socialist. But over the past two decades, almost without me knowing it, the Christian part has become the most important.” Man, her op-ed has stirred up quite a storm over at The Guardian.
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.