David Tennant‘s NBC pilot, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, has been placed on hold, says Entertainment Weekly‘s Michael Ausiello. “The sets are coming down this week,” a source told EW. The quirky dramedy was supposed to be one of many mid-season replacements for The Jay Leno Show, but it’s now being positioned for fall. That’s at least eight months of waiting, if we get the show at all. I’m thinking a fall premiere may be a good thing: there will be much more time to market the show and get the very charming former Doctor Who star doing the rounds on the talk shows.
Famed British actress Jean Simmons passed away this weekend at the age of 80. Her New York Times‘ obituary has an interesting story about her early career. After Howard Hughes bought her contract in the early ’50s, the powerful Hollywood mogul became smitten with Simmons, who was then married to actor Stewart Granger. Simmons rebuffed his advances, and “Hughes took his revenge by refusing to lend Ms. Simmons to the director William Wyler, who wanted her to star in Roman Holiday, the film that would bring Audrey Hepburn an Oscar and make her a star. And, according to [Stewart Granger’s] memoir, when Ms. Simmons refused to sign a seven-year contract with RKO, the studio Hughes had bought in 1948, he threatened ‘to put her in three lousy productions that would ruin her career.'”
In The Daily Telegraph, singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae opens up about the drug-related death of her husband, Jason Rae: “Even at this particular point right now, I don’t feel like [his death] actually happened. At other times I can feel it much more. I feel totally destroyed. I feel totally cut off from my favorite person in the world.”
Idris Elba, the British actor who played Stringer Bell on The Wire, talks about his new album, which, if you believe The Guardian‘s Miranda Sawyer, is actually pretty good.
Prince Harry has moved in with his on-off girlfriend Chelsy Davy?(The Sun)
In spite of petitions for a fourth season, Mathew Horne (yes, one ‘t’) seems not-too-keen on continuing Gavin & Stacey: “I think we tied it up really well. It should be left where it is without dragging it out.” However, actors Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb, who play Gavin’s parents on the show, are lobbying for a G&S movie.(Telegraph)
Actor/comedian Eddie Izzard will host this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.(Variety)
Amanda Holden, judge on Britain’s Got Talent, predicts Simon Cowell will hire Paula Abdul for the U.S. X Factor. She adds, “As for the other judges, who knows – Beyoncé would be good – and maybe Megan Fox, because she has a crush on the Cowell! Simon and three girls would be ace – imagine the sexual tension.” (The Sun)
Cheryl Cole was seen wearing a suspicious “trout pout,” fueling surgery rumors.(Daily Mail)
Westlife‘s soppy, soulless ballads have been known to put people in comas; on Britain’s X Factor, the Irish band’s pyrotechnics sent viewers into epileptic fits.(Telegraph)
Jeremy Kyle, the UK’s answer to Maury Povich and Jerry Springer, wants to bring his very classy chatfest to the U.S. He tells The Sun: “I’m really excited. It will be hard work but I’m up for the challenge. I’m looking forward to meeting ordinary American people and hearing about their extraordinary lives. This show isn’t about me, it’s about their issues and problems and how we can face them together. The problems we deal with on the show transcend geography.” Wow, that idea would have seemed really fresh and innovative to Americans around, say, 1985 or so. Anyone care to break that to Mr. Kyle before he wastes the airfare? Here’s a sample of The Jeremy Kyle Show as it airs in the UK.
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.