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  • As expected, husky-voiced R&B songstress Alexandra Burke was crowned winner of this season’s X Factor. (Her emotional reaction to hearing her name called is priceless; you can see host Dermot O’Leary attempt to stifle his giggles at her hysteria.) Her win capped a finale that included an appearance from Burke’s idol, Beyoncé (joining Burke on a performance of “Listen.”) Her version of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah”, which has been released as her first single, has surpassed Leona Lewis‘s “Run” as the fastest-selling digital-only track in British history. Can she repeat Ms. Lewis’ rise from X Factor win to American stardom? I’d say it’s a tough call: the R&B “diva” market is pretty saturated. Take a listen and tell me what you think.

  • Proof of a Britain in decline: Simon Cowell is more famous than God or the Queen amongst young people.(The Sun)
  • Police are investigating Sharon Osbourne for allegedly attacking a Rock of Love: Charm School contestant. The Daily Mail reports, “She is accused of pulling 26-year-old model Megan Hauserman‘s hair and scratching her until they were separated by security. Osbourne, 56, is reported to have flown into a rage when Ms. Hauserman said she was only famous for managing ‘a brain-dead rock star’ – a reference to her husband, Ozzy. ” One astute Daily Mail reader points out, “Sharon Osbourne, doing a show on etiquette. And they say Americans don’t get irony.”
  • Another day, another denial: an Australian woman says she had an affair with Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay denies knowing her.
  • Johnny Marr bats away the latest slew of Smiths reunion rumors.(NME)
  • Mani claims he can convince Ian Brown to join a Stone Roses reunion. “Me, John [Squire], and Reni are up for doing it and Ian just needs some working on.” (The Sun)
  • The media (see here and here) attempt to make a Lennon vs. McCartney pissing match out of a meeting Paul had with philosopher Bertrand Russell 40 years ago.
  • Paul Weller has dumped his longtime partner and babymama for a 23-year-old backup singer.(Daily Mail)
  • Sir Elton John has lost a libel suit against The Guardian. “In a groundbreaking libel decision, the judge said that ‘irony’ and ‘teasing’ do not amount to defamation. The ruling offers protection to writers of satirical articles clearly not meant to be taken seriously and was welcomed last night by media lawyers and journalists.”
  • Elton John would rather have his “c*** bitten off by an alsatian” than watch X Factor. I’d feel bad for the alsatian.(The Sun)
  • Wow, Nicola Roberts truly is the redheaded stepchild of Girls Aloud. The singer was left embarrassed after turning up at the wrong club for a party, a source tells The Sun: “Nicola had obviously had a few and was frantically searching for her friends. The club quickly cleared a table for her however Nicola then got very embarassed when she realised she had turned up to the wrong venue. It was lucky she had her boyfriend with her.” Very lucky, indeed. She’s snagged a pretty humpy boyfriend for being the self-styled “ugly duckling” of her band.
  • Dizzee Rascal was arrested for allegedly brandishing a baseball bat in a road rage incident.(Guardian)
  • Kathy Staff, Nora Batty from extremely long-running series Last of the Summer Wine, has passed away at age 80.(BBC)
  • The Daily Telegraph profiles Gavin & Stacey‘s Stacey, actress Joanna Page. Page talks about finally finding a role for which “being too Welsh” isn’t a problem: “I’ve met casting directors who’ve either completely blanked me, or been really rude – usually about my accent. And now they say, ‘Oh Joanna, darling, Gavin & Stacey is so wonderful and you’re absolutely marvelous.’ That’s just the acting profession, though, isn’t it? Everyone is really false, but you’ve just got to get on with it.”
  • BBC’s Merlin has been renewed for second season.(The Stage)
  • 69-year-old Sir Ian McKellen turns up to a Telegraph interview wearing “Crocs, Converse trainers, T-shirts, hoodies and trackpants with dribbles of surf graffiti down one leg.”
  • Cyclist Chris Hoy, who won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, beat Lewis Hamilton for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.(The Sun)
  • What, Halle Berry wasn’t available?: Rachel Weisz could play Catwoman in the next Batman movie.(Mirror)
  • Jude Law writes a tribute for his fallen comrade, Anthony Minghella.(Guardian)
  • Count Robert Carlyle out as Doctor Who: he’s been cast in another sci-fi series, Stargate Universe.(Daily Record)
  • I didn’t even get a treehouse as a young’un, and this British father is building his six-year-old daughter a TARDIS?
  • The Independent lists the “the 50 most ludicrous Britons 2008.” Graham Norton makes the list, which I’m sure makes him quite chuffed.
  • 1. Leona Lewis – Run
    Watch the video

    2. Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
    Watch the video

    3. Bandaged – Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth
    Watch the video

    4. Britney Spears – Womanizer
    Watch the video
    Britney Spears - Womanizer - Single - Womanizer Download Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”

    5. Take That – Greatest Day
    Watch the video

    6. Akon – Right Now (Na Na Na)
    Watch the video
    Akon - Right Now (Na Na Na) - Single - Right Now (Na Na Na) Download Akon’s “Right Now (Na Na Na)”

    7. The Killers – Human
    Watch the video
    The Killers - Human - Single - Human Download The Killers’ “Human”

    8. Katy Perry – Hot ‘N’ Cold
    Watch the video
    Katy Perry - One of the Boys - Hot N Cold

    9. Beyoncé – If I Were A Boy
    Watch the video
    Beyoncé - If I Were a Boy - Single - If I Were a Boy Download Beyoncé’s “If I Were aBoy”

    10. T.I. ft. Rihanna – Live Your Life
    Watch the video
    T.I. - Paper Trail (Deluxe Version) - Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna) Download T.I. ft. Rihanna’s “Live YourLife”

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.