Somebody’s got to stick up for Susan Boyle. The British tabloids are being unbelievably cruel to her, and Simon Cowell is even taking pops at her. So it’s refreshing that the winner of the first season of Britain’s Got Talent, opera singer Paul Potts (watch him perform), is defending Susan Boyle’s makeover: “I think she should be allowed to change anything she wants. I don’t think she should be forced to change anything, but I don’t think she should be forced to remain as she was either. Because at the end of the day you have to live with yourself for much longer than the attention that can be on you.” Words of wisdom, Potty!(CNN)
Not satisfied with pointing out Boyle’s open fly and belly bulge, The Sun is intent on destroying Britain’s Got Talent contestant Jamie Pugh, disputing his claim that he’s never sung in front of a large audience. “The Sun can reveal he was appearing with a group of singers at Star EFX Sunday Night Live, a weekly showcase at Her Majesty’s for budding talent. Dressed in a smart tuxedo he performed for around 15 minutes with six others.” The key word there is group, meaning “not alone.” And he certainly hadn’t sung in front of a TV audience of 12 million viewers.
Ahead of their 30th anniversary retrospective, the Fawlty Towers cast has reunited! Co-creator Connie Booth, who played Polly, still looks great. (She was, of course, a major babe back in the day.) Her ex-husband, show star John Cleese, is as grumpy as ever. He says British TV isn’t as good as it used to be: “If you go back to television in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s we did have the least bad television in the world. That’s quite a claim. I don’t think it’s true any more…I think there is enormous talent but I don’t think the writers work as hard as they used to. They may lack experience because I don’t think the writing’s as good as it used to be.”
Did you know Fawlty Towers was initially rejected by the Beeb?(The Times)
Joanna Lumley, who hasn’t aged a DAY since playing Patsy on AbFab, has become quite the fetching political campaigner. She wants Prime Minister Gordon Brown to support a policy allowing Gurkhas, Nepalese and Indian veterans who served in the British army, to have residency rights in the UK.(The Times)
British Dancing With the Stars head judge Len Goodman, 65, went shirtless on last night’s results show. Who’s looking at Len, though? Hubba hubba, Kenny Mayne. We love a silver-haired daddy ’round these parts. Shame about Jerry Rice…you’d think he’d be fitter.(The Sun)
After Britney, Paris, and Lindsay, it’s about time a guy did it: Niklas Bendtner, Danish soccer star for the Arsenal F.C., gets caught with his pants down as he’s stuffed into a car. Check out the sweet pair of gams on that guy. (Daily Mail)
Amy Winehouse shows off her restored health with a few karate kicks on the beach.(Daily Mail)
A British singer (not Ms. Winehouse) has had a swine flu scare. (NME)
A very blond British man has won “the best job in the world – to stroll the white sands of a tropical island in Queensland, Australia, file weekly reports online to a global audience and earn a cool $100,000.”(CNN)
Jarvis Cocker will perform an interactive concert…in a yoga class in Paris.(BBC)
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.