Billie and Baby Make Public Appearance

  • Ex-Doctor Who star Billie Piper wears the Face of Thunder as photographers snap her out-and-about with her infant son. Interesting grip she has on the lad.(Daily Mail)
  • Charlotte Church has named her son after a fictional serial killer.(The Sun)
  • The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick wonders if a happy Amy Winehouse will be an interesting one. “One of the things that made ‘Back To Black’ so compelling was the emotional turmoil she captured on record. There is a real honesty to her performances, and her lyrics walk a high wire of self-loathing and defiance. But happiness is a whole other matter. Can Amy carry off the love stuff? The art of writing a song of pure adoration is a lot less forgiving than chronicling heartbreak. Love is a powerful force, and can reduce the most cynical songwriter to sentimental banality (see Elvis Costello‘s ‘North’ album). When people speak of the genius of John Lennon, how many are thinking of his canon of Yoko songs?”
  • Kate Winslet explains why she forgot Angelina Jolie‘s name at the Golden Globes. “My mind went so blank. It was such an amazing moment.” Translation: I’m on Team Aniston and that big-lipped, homewrecking heifer can suck it.(The Sun)
  • Why did Kate Winslet say “Gather!” during her Globes acceptance speech? The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw investigates.
  • Is Slumdog Millionaire the first film of the Obama era? The Daily Telegraph‘s David Gritten says the film reflects “Obama’s worldview,” adding, “The first striking thing about this British-made film is its even-handed, generous spirit of universality. It is set in India and it’s about Indians. There is no hint of Merchant Ivory decorum, the predicaments of rich westerners far from home, nor any notion that Boyle and his team were engaged in a David Lean-style imperial adventure in what was once one of the pink regions on the globe. Refreshingly, there is also no white character to ‘explain’ the story (which needs no explanation) to western audiences.”
  • Video interview with Slumdog director Danny Boyle. The guy just seems nice.(Guardian)
  • Prince Harry‘s racial slur has sparked a debate in the British armed forces. One soldier says, “Within the armed forces, because we are dealing with a lot emotionally – seeing your friends killed, people losing body parts – we take things more lightly and you can handle a bit of flak about where you come from or what color you are. The guy that Harry called a Paki wasn’t crying or moaning about it. You don’t know if he gave him much stick back and called him a posh ginger twat.”(Guardian)
  • Jamie Oliver is opening grocery stores where customers are taught how to cook the items they’ve just bought. Can they come over and do the dishes, too?(The Sun)
  • David Walliams cuddles shirtless with another man while swimming off the coast of Barbados. (The Sun)
  • Lily Allen uses her generous funds to buy a “a white Givenchy coat, a black Chanel dress, and a Chanel handbag shaped like a Russian doll” while shopping in Paris. (Daily Mail)
  • The Guardian‘s Anna Pickard has made it her New Year’s resolution to watch one American soap a month. She has begun with Days of our Lives, which features “many different examples of eyebrow acting.”
  • Ten examples of British (and a few Aussie) actors faking American accents on TV.(Guardian)
  • Thought Sharon Osbourne was done maligning Dannii Minogue and had moved on to karate-chopping bleached-blonde reality bimbos? Guess again. Osbourne reiterated that Minogue was the reason she quit X Factor and added, “All Dannii wanted to do was f*** Simon Cowell. That’s why she’s on the show.” (The Sun)
  • Well, if Dannii really wants to f*** Simon, she will have to fight off his brigade of bikini-clad babes.(The Sun)
  • Yes! Two months until the next Pet Shop Boys album.(Arjan Writes)
  • The Guardian‘s Alan McGee praises the “non-ironic revival” of Phil Collins. “The world of hip-hop has been taken with Phil Collins for years: 2Pac sampled ‘In the Air Tonight,’ the key Collins track and yes, probably one of the best Collins songs (Eminem referenced the track in ‘Stan,’ too)…Kanye West namechecks Phil Collins as an influence with his latest album 808s & Heartbreak. It’s not surprising. Collins is a world-class drummer whose songs immediately lend themselves to being sampled.”
  • The sculpture of soldiers featured on The Jam‘s Setting Sons album cover has been collecting dust for 12 years. The Guardian‘s Gavin Martin wants it put back on public display.
  • Patrick Wolf‘s next album will feature vocals…from Tilda Swinton? Genius! The Oscar-winning actress says, “[Patrick and I are] kith and kin. My feeling is that we almost certainly come from the same planet. His music feels like the unexpressed soundtrack of a great film I want to see – and try to catch every night before I go to sleep.” The late Derek Jarman would approve.(Guardian)
  • Are musicians’ side projects ruining indie music? The Guardian‘s Johnny Dee says, “These side projects get far too much attention and stop proper creativity: Blur could have reformed years ago if [Damon] Albarn hadn’t spent all that time fannying about with cartoons; Arctic Monkeys would have been on to album number four if not for Alex Turner‘s dalliance with the big band sound of 1969; and do we have to wait for every single member of the Strokes to release some half-baked collection of phoned-in dirges before they return to the studio?”
  • A South Asian “Cold Feet” is being developed for the BBC.(The Stage)
  • I wish we had something like this in America: the BBC is going around the UK, advising young writers on how to make it in the industry.(The Stage)

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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