Joanna Lumley: Britain Despises Beautiful Women

  • In what world is Joanna Lumley, former Bond girl and Patsy on Absolutely Fabulous, not a beautiful woman? The BAFTA-winning actress denies her much-revered beauty in an interview with The Guardian and says, “If I had been a raging beauty I would have gone to America I imagine, and made a career out there. Because you can’t do that over here; this country slightly despises beauty, and so all our lovely, lovely ones go and make a hit of it over there. The Catherine Zeta Joneses and the Kate Beckinsales.” What are you trying to say, Joanna? All the fugly ones end up on Coronation Street?
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins says London’s “boring” acting community drove him to America: “I was on the outside, I was like a sore thumb. I didn’t have any friends who were actors at all; I never did. I was always on the outside. It was difficult being in London in this very strange acting community. All that ‘Theatre darling’ – I just found it insufferable. It was f**king boring. So I moved to America and did what I’d wanted to do my whole life – make movies.” (Digital Spy)
  • The Observer has named the 25 best British films of the past 25 years. Topping the list is Trainspotting, which I find to be a hideously overrated film. Switch it out with Mike Leigh‘s Naked (No. 14), and I’m totally on board. The rest of the list is mostly spot-on. Cult comedy classic Withnail and I is No. 2.
  • Also, the Observer lists the top 10 classic character actors of early UK cinema. William Hartnell, The First Doctor on Doctor Who, makes the list. “Hartnell was usually the working-class hard man – warders, criminals with a strain of decency, and above all NCOs. He was Pinky’s loyal lieutenant in Brighton Rock (1947), but above all else is his definitive Sergeant Fletcher, licking recruits into shape in Carol Reed‘s The Way Ahead (1944).”
  • Here are the latest X Factor auditions from this past Saturday gaining interest online: 33-year-old Jamie “Afro” Archer inspired the crowd and the judges with a rendition of Kings of Leon‘s “Sex on Fire.” And there was a cool girl band called Miss Fitz, and they sang this really brilliant big band version of Britney Spears‘ “Toxic.” Check it out – you’ve never heard Britney quite like this:

  • Congrats to British actress Emily Blunt and Office star Jon Krasinski on their engagement! They are destined to be Hollywood’s cutest up-and-coming, transatlantic couple. (People)
  • A very nattily-dressed David Tennant (I want that suit!) goes out on a date with girlfriend (and Doctor Who daughter) Georgia Moffett. (Daily Mail)
  • Who killed Rolling Stones co-founder and guitarist Brian Jones? 40 years after his death, police are still investigating. (CNN)
  • The Guardian‘s Will Byers wonders where charisma has gone in today’s music: “You’re doomed to be a second-rate version of someone else: the new Dylan/Morrissey/Radiohead if you’re lucky, a third-rate Oasis/Amy Winehouse/Pete Doherty if you’re not. Is this really the case? Have we run out of raw charisma?”
  • In the wake of this weekend’s Oasis split, Noel Gallagher is quoted as saying this about his brother Liam: “They say never work with children and animals. No one mentioned f***ing morons though, did they?” (The Sun)
  • While Noel rages, Liam lazes away in Italy with his wife. (Daily Mail)
  • Liam and Noel’s mum says that this is just a little tiff and her little boys will play together again. “They do love each other, but they’ve always been very different. The funny thing is, they didn’t fight as children. They didn’t fight until they started the band. I hope this isn’t the end of Oasis. I don’t think it is. They’re just tired at the end of the tour. They’ve had fights before and gotten over it.” (Mirror)
  • Charlotte Church has lost some weight. You’d think she’d have better sense than to wear a white gown if she wanted to show off her freshly svelte figure. (Mirror)
  • Top Gear co-host James May will live in a house entirely made of Lego bricks. “I’m planning to stay there for two or three days, or until it falls down – whichever is sooner. I’m pretty relaxed about it, but will just have to be careful moving around. If I wake up buried under a pile of bricks, I’ll know it’s gone wrong.” (Daily Mail)
  • Margaret Mountford, Sir Alan Sugar‘s right-hand woman on The Apprentice UK, has left the show to pursue an advanced degree. Her replacement is Karren Brady, managing director of the Birmingham City football club. (Mirror)
  • Being Human‘s Russell Tovey, Doctor Who: The Next Doctor‘s David Morrissey, and Gavin & Stacey‘s Ruth Jones are set to perform in BBC Radio 3 dramas this fall. (The Stage)
  • Lip Service, a lesbian drama set in Glasgow, has been commissioned for BBC. The creator, Harriet Braun, wrote for Mistresses during its lesbian storyline. Could this be the British L Word? (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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