Top Gear Co-Host Richard Hammond as Doctor Who? Seriously?

  • Richard HammondMany fans of Top Gear host Richard Hammond are petitioning to get him cast as the Timelord. I’ve never actually seen the guy act, but he does have a Tennant-esque quality that could work.
  • Richard Hammond is interviewed by AskMen.com and writes about an African adventure gone awry in The Times.
  • John Barrowman says it’s perfectly natural for men to cheat on their spouses – and women just don’t get it: “When a guy strays and ends up with someone else, it’s not a big deal. Sex for men is external. I think it’s hard for women to realize this.”(Digital Spy)
  • George Michael was arrested for drug possession again over the weekend, and even he realizes how effin’ tiresome he has become: “I want to apologize to my fans for screwing up again, and to promise them I’ll sort myself out. And to say sorry to everybody else, just for boring them.” (The Times)
  • A man talks of “the night he cut Marc Bolan from the wreckage of his car.” In the Worcester News, fireman Chris Watts recalls that horrible evening in 1977 in which the T. Rex frontman was killed in an automobile accident. (The vehicle was driven by Bolan’s then-lover, singer Gloria Jones.) “A woman, who had been driving, was standing by a vehicle that had hit a tree and crushed the passenger,” said Chris. “He was still in his seat and apparently dead. The car was a total mess. Neither of the people involved had been wearing a seat belt. It seemed like the car, which had been a Mini, had failed to make a left hand bend, crossed the road and hit the tree. No other vehicle was involved.”
  • More reviews of Merlin are in: the consensus is mixed.
  • Gordon Ramsay sucks face with his guests at the opening of his new London eatery.(Daily Mail)
  • Tana Ramsay‘s joining her hubby on Fox with her own cooking show.(The Sun)
  • Jamie and Jools Oliver are expecting another baby, their third.(Daily Mail)
  • What, are we not gonna be able to make Victoria Beckham skinny jokes anymore? Living in California has made her eat, she says. (The Sun)
  • Absentees Tom Wilkinson and Dame Eileen Atkins were the only Brits to win Emmys last night. (The Times)
  • Daniel Craig says Bond will never shag a bloke. And he’s quite firm about it: “This is that question that keeps eternally coming up. No. Kill him and then seduce him [laughs] but not seduce him. It’s never been on the agenda and we’ve never had a discussion about it. It’s not something that I desire or want. No.”(Guardian)
  • Is Josh Hartnett actually any good in the West End production of Rain Man? Reviewers seem to think so. Nicholas de Jongh of The Evening Standard manages to see past his erection and admire the beauty of Hartnett’s performance. “Josh Hartnett’s riveting performance as Charlie Babbitt rises high above the erotic and the star cannot be written off as theatrical Viagra or even a 100 per cent herbal alternative. Yes, his classic good looks and physique, in the style of a college Jock, will surely drive the libidos of thousands of heterosexual women and gay men into excited top gear. But Hartnett does something more creative than flash his sex-appeal around.”
  • Matt Lucas says he and Little Britain co-writer David Walliams are developing a new movie that will see the pair taking on several personas: “The two of us will play five or six characters that will go around together, so it’ll be technically very challenging. It’s a story we created with a writer called Will Davies and he’s written a script. We looked at people like Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and how they appear as lots of different characters.” (BBC)
  • Simon Pegg says he quite likes Hollywood, and it doesn’t even sound like he’s sucking up: “It’s very collaborative out there,” he tells The Times. “[Long-time collaborator] Edgar [Wright]‘s been there all year. He’s living over Quentin Tarantino‘s cinema at the moment. It’s basically a ‘rise of the geek’ thing. The generation who are starting to take over Hollywood are the people who grew up with video – loving film and TV, and taping it and rewatching it, just like the Spaced lot and the League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain did. We all grew up on the same stuff and we get the same references. It’s like – if you can write and perform, then you’re in.”
  • My Family‘s Robert Lindsay is playing Aristotle Onassis in a new play and says the Greek tycoon reminds him of his father: “Humble roots, very self-willed, very strong-minded, slightly corrupt – Dad would do a dodgy deal if he could. I think he was a bit of a ladies’ man in his early years but passionately loyal and a great sense of culture about his roots.”(Telegraph)
  • David Mitchell and Robert Webb of That Mitchell and Webb Look offer their advice on writing comedy in The Guardian. One tip: “Keep an eye out for interesting real life characters. My driving instructor seemed overly critical of my inability to drive, given that that was the reason I was employing him, so I wrote a sketch about an instructor who berates his pupils for being non-driving idiots.”
  • Maybe Nicholas Hoult is more like Tony on Skins than one would have guessed: Speaking about his dalliance last week with Pixie Geldof, Hoult told The Mirror, “She is a really nice girl but no numbers were exchanged. I’d had a lot of drinks and just wanted to get some sleep so I left. It was a one time thing.”
  • Isn’t this like the 360th interview where the “thorny” Kristin Scott Thomas “opens up”?(The Times)
  • Natalia, an R&B singer from Barry, Wales, hopes that she can bring as much attention to her hometown as Gavin & Stacey has.(Wales Online)
  • Is Blur over, as Damon Albarn told an Argentinian newspaper? Graham Coxon begs to differ, and he wrote the following on Blur’s message board: “Damon didn’t consult anybody else before he took it into his own hands to make this comment. Therefore I think it is nonsense. It isn’t for him to decide.”(NME)
  • The boys of Travis have turned Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl” gay.(Daily Record)
  • Mark Ronson is angling to work on Eminem‘s comeback album.(Contact Music)
  • Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody says his bandmates rescued him from the downward spiral of alcoholism.(The Sun)
  • Emma Bunton, a.k.a. Baby Spice, wants to open a London restaurant with her boyfriend, Jade Jones.(Daily Mail)
  • British pop star Will Young, who has a new song on the charts this week, talks about approaching 30 in The Guardian.

Speaking of the charts – yes, Will Young is back. His new song, “Changes,” which recalls vintage Simply Red, enters the top 10 at No. 10. Ne-Yo and Gym Class Heroes also make Top 10 splashes with new single. And McFly hits No. 4 this week with their new single, “Lies.” The new track is much edgier and less poppy than most McFly songs, which have usually been dismissed as teenybopper fluff. Will their harder, more radio-friendly sound be enough to give this one-minute band some staying power?

1. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
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Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire - Single - Sex On Fire Download Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire”

2. Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
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Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl - Single - I Kissed a Girl Download Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”

3. The Pussycat Dolls – When I Grow Up
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The Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up - Single - When I Grow Up Download The Pussycat Dolls’ “When I Grow Up”

4. McFly – Lies
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McFly - Radio:ACTIVE - Lies Download McFly’s “Lies”

5. Rihanna – Disturbia
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Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded - Disturbia Download Rihanna’s “Disturbia”

6. Gym Class Heroes ft. The Dream – Cookie Jar
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Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt - Cookie Jar (feat. The-Dream)Download Gym Class Heroes’ “Cookie Jar”

7. Madcon – Beggin’
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8. The Script – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
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9. Ne-Yo – Miss Independent
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Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman (Bonus Track Version) - Miss Independent Download Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent”

10. Will Young – Changes
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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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