So Victoria Beckham‘s career of bad singing was just a calculated prelude to a career making bad clothes? She admits to The Times: “I was never that good a singer but I think I am good at fashion. Even when I was at school, where I was bullied – sometimes physically, sometimes verbally – I was always customizing my uniform.” Yes, Posh Spice turned childhood bullying into a blessing. Well, does she actually sew or sketch? “Do I draw? No. Then again, nor do lots of designers. But I put it all on myself and walk around in it, and I know what feels comfortable. I know how a dress should sit. I’ve worn so many in the past and when I see the photographs I think, crikey, my boobs are up round my neck again because the corsets are too short and not cut high enough. Like I knew I would spend a lot on the best-quality zips because, like many women, I’ve had my share of crappy zips. I wanted a zip that undoes from both ends because then you can either put the dress on over your head or, if you don’t want to mess up your hair, you can step into it – and also, you know, going to the loo wouldn’t be this whole big palaver.”
The Daily Telegraph‘s Serena Davies raves about Kenneth Branagh‘s new cop series, Wallander. “People are watching this program because of the oddly hypnotic pulling power of its star Kenneth Branagh. Branagh’s not a looker, that’s been oft remarked upon, but examining his face in close-up, as the Wallander cameras did for much of the 90 minutes duration of yesterday’s opening episode, proves a remarkably rewarding experience. Every tic, every furrow of human agony becomes oddly interesting when Ken Branagh’s doing it.” Branagh may have aged quite a bit since his lean, sweaty-torsoed beauty in Frankenstein, but the man’s hardly a dog. Check out a clip from Wallander.
The Stage‘s Anna Bowman pitches Nighty Night‘s Julia Davis as the first female Doctor Who: “The wonderful thing about Davis is that she always throws herself 100% into her roles – whether that means becoming the most hideously selfish woman alive in Nighty Night or allowing her appearance to be changed completely for Fear of Fanny – and that is a great quality in a potential Doctor. She also often brings a certain oddness to her characters which would fit right in with the Doctor’s otherness, and she isn’t so well-known that audiences (especially children) would immediately associate her with a particular role.” Interesting choice.
Kimberley Stewart (daughter of Rod), Leah Wood (daughter of Ronnie), and Peaches Geldof (demon spawn of Sir Bob) stripped off for the cover of Tatler Magazine – which was photographed by singer Bryan Adams. (Yes, the “Everything I Do, I Do It For You, Cuts Like a Knife” Bryan Adams.) The Sun says, “One can only imagine the eye-popping sights Bryan was treated to in between takes.” I don’t think Bryan Adams would be that phased by three naked women. He is, after all, a professional.
Boy George will not testify in his Norwegian escort-chaining trial.(The Independent)
Alain Robert, the skyscraper-scaling madman seen in BBC AMERICA REVEALS doc The Human Spider, has been sentenced to three days of community service with New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis for climbing the New York Times building. (NY Times)
London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick already got naked for the cameras on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here: now that he’s been ousted, the very sexy Simon Webbe picks up the slack. Quite well, I must say. I’ve already put in my order for Webbe’s sex manual. Let’s see them sell *that* in the BBC America Shop. The first two links are not safe for work, unless you work some place fun like Playgirl or Black Inches.
Morrissey is holding a fat little baby on the cover of his new album, Years of Refusal. The baby’s fat, but Morrissey’s not at all, which will be news to anyone who saw him and his gut on his last tour. Moz has either been doing crunches or his retouching artist deserves the Nobel Prize.(Stereogum)
Take That, Britney: the British manband is beating the American pop starlet in the battle of the Circus albums, which both came out yesterday in the UK.(NME)
Mark Owen says Take That nearly renamed their album after learning Britney’s album had the same title.(The Independent)
London’s mayor Boris Johnson recalls being “The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” on Top Gear.(Telegraph)
Gary Barlow has re-opened the door for a Take That reunion with Robbie Williams. “The five of us were together a lot over the summer and it just felt like we were back in the ’90s. I get an email every week from Rob, Mark gets one every other week, J phones him once a week. We’re all keeping in touch. It’s really fun getting to know him again, I must say. The five of us are rebuilding our friendship and that’s really the only place to start.”(BBC)
In today’s Daily Telegraph, Oscar favorite Dev Patel talks about being cast on Skins with no previous professional acting experience: “Out of everyone, I was the youngest and the least experienced. When I went on set for the first day of shooting I didn’t really know what to do. Sometimes I watch myself and think, ‘What was I doing?'” Patel’s Slumdog Millionaire director, Danny Boyle, reveals why he selected the untrained actor to star in his film: “I had been looking at all these guys in Bollywood, where we had found the rest of the cast. There were some really good lads for the part, but they all had the wrong look for me. Bodybuilding is such a big thing for young men getting into the industry there. They have got to look like they can rip their shirts off and get under the waterfall in the Swiss Alps or wherever they are filming. I wanted a guy who didn’t look like a potential hero; I wanted him to earn that in the film.”
Simon Cowell could leave X Factor by the end of next year to focus on managing artists. Here’s to hoping he makes a similar announcement in regards to American Idol. We U.S. Americans are tired of seeing of his little trapezoid head hovering menacingly on our television screens year after year.(The Sun)
Simon Cowell has selected Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” to be the X Factor winner’s anthem this year. (Telegraph)
Coupling and This Life star Jack Davenport – whose hair LOOKS A MESS in the photo in this link – has been cast alongside Courtney B. Vance (a.k.a. Mr. Angela Bassett) in a new ABC sci-fi series, Flash Forward.(Hollywood Reporter)
NME is reporting that The Specials are back together, thirty years after their formation. Lead singer Terry Hall says, “It’s the right time to do it [reunite] – we talked about it at 25 but we weren’t together enough. Now we’re all getting on and it feels comfortable again.” The sole holdout of the group is founder Jerry Dammers, but “the door remains open to him,” says Hall.
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.