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  • You can’t make this stuff up: George Michael has been arrested after crashing his Range Rover into a Snappy Snaps photo shop in north London. The Sun reports, “The singer – who only last year ended a two-year ban for drug driving – was held at 3:35 am on Sunday after London’s Gay Pride parade.He was quizzed at a nearby police station and released on bail. He must return next month.”

  • Girls Aloud member and X Factor judge Cheryl Cole has MALARIA, y’all. Apparently she caught the mosquito-borne virus while vacationing in Tanzania with friend Derek Hough and fell ill upon returning to the UK. The Sun has spoken to a source who says, “She’d spent 48 hours in bed trying to sleep off what she thought was a stomach bug. She was extremely weak, sweating and drifting in and out of consciousness. She was driven to hospital where tests showed malaria. Everyone is really concerned. She is very ill.”
  • Cheryl’s illness and Dannii Minogue‘s pregnancy leave two big holes in Simon Cowell‘s X Factor panel. (Guardian)
  • British boxer Amir Khan is also suffering from an illness after returning from Africa.(The Sun)
  • Charismatic choirmaster Gareth Malone, star of BBC AMERICA’s new series The Choir (premiering tomorrow night at 10/9c), talks to The New York Times and explains how he’s “the anti-Simon Cowell”:

    I suppose I have cast myself in that role. It’s become evident to me while working with young people in Britain that singing has become synonymous with either great success or great humiliation. People think if you stand up and open your mouth, Simon Cowell is going to press the red button and send you fleeing from the stage. My point is, you don’t have to be the best singer in the world to be involved in a choir, and it can still be a wonderful, beautiful thing to do. Singing is terribly revealing, and when you’re working with young people, you have to consider their state of mind. Simon is painfully direct. I can be direct, but I try to sugar the pill ever so slightly.

    By the way, check out BBCAMERICA.com’s exclusive audio interview with Malone in which he talks about the importance of choirs in people’s lives:

  • Some rules just in case you meet Queen Elizabeth II in NYC today.(New York Daily News)
  • Is Robert Pattinson‘s Twilight vampire one of the worst characters in movie history? (Techland)
  • British actor Tom Hardy talks to The Guardian about his roles in the Mad Max remake and Christopher Nolan‘s much-buzzed-about film, Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page.
  • First reviews of Inception are out. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt says the film is “a devilishly complicated, fiendishly enjoyable sci-fi voyage across a dreamscape that is thoroughly compelling.” Variety‘s Justin Chang raves, “If movies are shared dreams, then Christopher Nolan is surely one of Hollywood’s most inventive dreamers, given the evidence of his commandingly clever Inception.”

  • Has Keeley Hawes – star of Ashes To Ashes, MI-5, and the new Identity with Aidan Gillen – been typecast in “crime-fighting” roles? Warning: there’s a pretty big Ashes spoiler in this article.(Guardian)
  • Mark Ronson says Amy Winehouse hasn’t started work on her follow-up to Back To Black, even though her record company says the album will be out this year.(The Sun)
  • A sweaty, sleeveless Jude Law is the karaoke king.(The Sun)
  • UK boy band Blue plans to reunite, singer Lee Ryan tells MTV UK. “We are coming back, we’re going to do another album. I can’t wait! We’ve already got some material in the bag, which we have been working on with Ne-Yo.”
  • The resident openly gay stars of UK soaps EastEnders (John Partridge) and Coronation Street (Anthony Cotton) are in a very public feud. C’mon, boys, you’re both pretty. (The Sun)
  • By the way, you may have noticed that Anglophenia contributor Michael Cree‘s predictions for the World Cup finals were pretty much demolished by this weekend’s wacky upsets. (Hey, I’m sure 90% of all experts would have assumed the same result.) I suppose the smart money’s now on a Germany/Holland match-up, with the seemingly invincible Deutschland grabbing their fourth title. Or something completely insane will happen, and we’ll see Uruguay hoisting the trophy come Sunday.

    Me, I’m just gutted I don’t get to gaze upon Paraguay’s Roque Santa Cruz anymore. Cristiano who?

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Filed Under: Cheryl Cole, George Michael
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.