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- Few Brits were up for awards at last night’s Grammys, but there were reasons for fans of British culture to tune in. Throughout the night, there were many shots of a glam Katy Perry in the audience clutching her British fiancé, comedian Russell Brand. (And the stories are true: famed swordsman Brand looked positively domesticated.)
Also, there was Kings of Leon confirming they are no longer just “Big in Britain” with a Record of the Year win for their hit, “Use Somebody.” I would have loved to have seen them perform live last night. They were awesome at last year’s BRITs.
And presenter Stephen Colbert gave a shoutout to Susan Boyle, who was absent from last night’s ceremony. Colbert told the star-studded audience: “You may be the coolest people in the world. This year your industry was saved by a 48-year-old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes.”
- But the biggest British moment of the Grammys was a soot-smeared Sir Elton John appearing opposite Lady Gaga for a double piano mash-up of Gaga’s “Speechless” and Sir Elton’s classic “Your Song.” The performance was a win-win for both artists: Gaga got artistic cred for holding her own with a pop legend. And Sir Elton got his gay card back nine years after his controversial Grammy duet with Eminem, who was then under fire for homophobia.
Watch their performance:
- Ricky Gervais says he plans to bring his David Brent character to the U.S. version of The Office. “I think it would be funny for David Brent to walk into the US Office and hear them go, ‘Oh my god, there’s two of them!’ We don’t need to know about Brent’s back story – the English Office exists in a cocoon and in the DVD. Michael Scott could just bump into Brent, who is a bloke from England. I don’t think we’ll take any of the other UK characters over – we’ll probably leave it with just me because it’s just too complicated.” (The Sun)
- The Mirror‘s Jim Shelley says we Americans have better taste in TV than the Brits: “It’s hard to believe now, but in years gone by there was nothing we Brits loved more than telling ourselves that American people had less taste than we did – especially over TV. All that cheesy, patriotic rubbish they loved: Happy Days, Little House on The Prairie, Diff’rent Strokes…God, their culture was so vulgar. It’s different now.”
- On Oscar nominations eve, Robert Pattinson is up for a pair of Razzies for his performance in Twilight: New Moon.(E!)
- British actresses Carey Mulligan and Rebecca Hall grace the cover of Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood issue, alongside starlets such as Amanda Seyfried, Anna Kendrick, and Kristen Stewart. Is it me, or is Carey looking increasingly dowdy in her most recent photo shoots? The Audrey look is all wrong for her. Where’s the adorable, slightly Britneyesque ingenue we saw play Sally Sparrow on Doctor Who?
- The Sun previews the charity remake of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” revealing the line each celebrity sings. (Mariah Carey sings the first, plaintive “Don’t let yourself gooo!” and Jon Bon Jovi belts, “Don’t throw your hand.” And guess who sings the last line? Scandalously, it’s not Susan Boyle.)
- Sting‘s daughter, Coco Sumner, has released a new album under the name I Blame Coco, and she tells The Daily Telegraph that she wrote her first single, “Caesar,” as a joke: “It’s just rubbish. It’s got this political anti-regime thing, but it’s full of nonsense lyrics, and I was kind of taking the piss out of pop. When [the record company] said they really liked it, I thought they were joking. It was a weird feeling, half a kick in the teeth and half a validation. But, you know, that was another moment when I thought I can actually do this. I can write rubbish – and they still like it!”
- This weekend, Britain’s Got Talent‘s panel of judges visited Cardiff for auditions, with Amanda Holden sniffing, “This afternoon there have been no potential winners and no talent.” Today, The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick served up a ninja evisceration of Ms. Holden: “Let’s not forget, this is an actress who should know a thing or two about lack of talent, having progressed from being a contestant on Blind Date all the way to the stellar heights of being a minor TV soap actress better known for her marriage and affairs than her dramatic work.”
- Could an 81-year-old be the next Susan Boyle? (The Sun)
- Lily Allen took an ungainly fall while being shuffled away from a gig in Perth, and Prince Harry was thrown from a horse during a charity polo match.
- According to News of the World‘s sources, Amy Winehouse is bi and has a crush on Cheryl Cole. As if that’s some indication of her sexuality: there are gay men who’d schtup Cheryl Cole.
- Meanwhile, Cheryl Cole tangos with Dancing with the Stars‘ Derek Hough in her new video.(Daily Mail)
- Channel 4 is “in talks” to scoop up Jonathan Ross, who’s leaving the BBC this summer.(Digital Spy)
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.