Singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding tops the BBC’s Sound of 2010 list, which features musicians most likely to breakout this year. This was very much expected, as Goulding has been feted as THE up-and-coming star for the past few months. (She was announced as the winner of the Critics’ Choice BRIT award a month ago.) The BBC wrote this in regards to Goulding’s music: “If Kate Bush, Björk, and Stevie Nicks shared a flat in trendy Shoreditch in 2010, this noise would emerge.” Well, you can listen for yourself: her first single, “Under the Sheets,” sounds a touch like Stevie Nicks’ classic ’80s dance track, “Stand Back.”
2010 has begun with the re-ignition of the Cheryl Cole/Lily Allen feud. Cole told The Sun: “I met Lily for the first time last week. I gave her a hug and said, ‘Nice to meet you.’ To which she said: ‘There is no beef.’ Then I hear she was in the Press room taking the p*** and I thought: ‘She’s a little girl but I’m a 26-year-old woman and I’m not at school any more.”
Heather Mills will appear on the British reality series Dancing on Ice, an ice-skating competition that pairs celebrities with professionals. Maybe she thinks she can repeat the same PR makeover she pulled off in America with Dancing with the Stars. Not very likely – the Brits are much more familiar with Ms. Mills, as well as much less forgiving.(Hello!)
So You Think You Can Dance is the rare American reality export to British TV. The U.S. show already has strong UK credentials, with Cat Deeley as host and Nigel Lythgoe as judge and exec producer. Deeley and Lythgoe both returned to their home country to front the new British version, which premiered last weekend on BBC1. The BBC site has profiles for the final 14 contestants.
Is Jonathan Ross coming to America after leaving the BBC? The Times says, “He hopes to use his friendships with the many Hollywood stars he has interviewed to try to gain a foothold in the U.S., where he is virtually unknown. He is also writing a comic book, for which he hopes to sell the film rights. With nearly 500,000 followers on the Twitter website, he is also considering harnessing his online popularity by releasing a series of paid-for podcasts.”
The male “stars” of Celebrity Big Brother – including Sisqó and Alex Reid – stripped to their “mankinis” for a “Hunk-Off” competition. The Daily Mail has the borderline-NSFW imagery. Speaking of Sisqó, for The Sun, clearly “black male singer” equals “rapper.”
Gavin & Stacey fans have launched a massive campaign to convince James Corden and Ruth Jones to write another season of their hit comedy.(Daily Mail)
Hugh Grant gives an uncomfortable smirk as he’s kissed by a bikini clad woman on Spanish TV.(Daily Mail)
The Times has an interview with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
BBC NEWS interviews Andy Serkis about playing punk legend Ian Dury in the new film Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: “It was when he was incredibly famous that he was the least happy in his life. It was when he had to fight for it all and get out there and connect with people, that when he was doing what he loved best. We show in the movie that when he got what he wished for, he started drinking heavily and it all fell apart – but then we also show him finding himself and his purpose again.”
Ray Winstone, a.k.a. “the British Robert De Niro,” talks to The Times about 44 Inch Chest, a new gangster film from the makers of Sexy Beast.
Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick Of It and director of In the Loop, speaks of his lifelong love of the composer Gustav Mahler in The Times.
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.