Gordon Ramsay Ticks Off Australian Prime Minister

  • Gordon Ramsay mouths off from time to time, to put it mildly, but never before have his words resulted in an angry response from a major head of state. Over the weekend, Ramsay exchanged some jibes with Australian journalist Tracy Grimshaw. Grimshaw responded in kind, and really, the row should have been over at that point. But now Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has waded in to defend Grimshaw. It is interesting to note that Rudd is harder on Ramsay than he is on the homegrown racists who’ve been attacking foreign students in Sydney and Melbourne. I’m just saying, folks.
  • Is Paolo Nutini set to become one of the great musicians of all-time, a male version of what Amy Winehouse could have been? The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick says the Scottish singer-songwriter is well on his way. I can vouch for one thing: Paolo is a majorly nice guy. I met him at the BRIT Awards back in ’07, and you can watch that interview here.
  • Sir Paul McCartney wants to work with Brooklyn hipster band MGMT.(NME)
  • Arctic Monkeys‘ new album title is fit for Ebenezer Scrooge.(Guardian)
  • Emma Watson, Harry Potter‘s Hermione, got snapped by Mario Testino for some new Burberry ads. (The Sun)
  • An oddly euphoric Susan Boyle Macarenas her way through the airport.(The Sun)
  • Simon Cowell is close to a deal to remake Saturday Night Fever with Zac Efron in the Travolta role. I like Efron, but this is unconscionable. (The Sun)
  • Is Cheryl Cole looking sickly?(The Sun)
  • Was Peter Andre “bullied” by wife Jordan? That’s what The Sun claims, and they add that “the relationship is so bad Peter will message Katie to say he is ringing the house to say goodnight to the kids – and insist she does NOT answer.”
  • Are kegels the cure for the giggles? During an appearance on Conan, actress Anna Friel claims that feminine exercises kept her from laughing while filming Land of the Lost opposite Will Ferrell. “I bite the insides of my cheeks but then I end up looking like Posh Spice. Or I pull in certain female muscles. That seems to do the trick. You’re probably not accustomed to this, Conan, but your wife, if she’s had a baby, will. I do pelvic muscles exercises because if you keep pulling in and pulling in, you can’t possibly laugh.” (The Sun)
  • I suppose Heidi Pratt wasn’t the only “damsel in distress” on the Costa Rican set of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. British host Myleene Klass “had sprayed herself with insect repellent that reacted with varnish on her bedposts – gluing her to the frame.” She had to be rescued by film crew. (The Sun)
  • Does Sir Alan Sugar‘s role on Mark Burnett’s The Apprentice UK, a BBC show, create a conflict of interest now that he’s Britain’s “enterprise czar”?(BBC)
  • British Battlestar Galactica hottie Jamie Bamber says British TV shows need better production values to rise to U.S. standards: “At some point, we have to start spending because we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. I could happily live in Richmond for the rest of my life if I knew the work was always coming in, but here [in LA] I get five scripts a week, and four of them make me sit up. Over there, unless you’re in that top rung – James McAvoy, guys like that – you don’t get all the best stuff. Here you can be mediocre and flourish.”(Guardian)
  • In an interview with The Stage, British playwright Pam Gems criticizes the lack of sexy roles for older British actresses: “[Britons] are a repressed country. I don’t know whether it was [Queen] Victoria or what. Here, a middle-aged woman is anyone over the age of 40 or 50. In France, a woman of that age is known as femme de trente ans – a woman of 30 years – and she still gets leads as an attractive woman, dangerous, and sexual. One or two actresses in this country are allowed to be sexual, but there is a real problem. And it goes beyond the writing to the mores of this country.”
  • Also from The Stage: is racism to blame for the lack of roles for East Asian actors in British theater? Writer/performer Andy Cheung says, “Putting it bluntly, it seems to be that white actors can play anything and to a lesser extent British blacks and British South Asians, but not East Asians. I get the feeling that stage directors are not confident in British East Asian actors being on stage in anything other than East Asian stories. As a British Chinese actor, I feel like a black man living in the fifties.”

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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