British business magnate Lord Alan Sugar considers Simon Cowell's immeasurable contributions to the world of music worthy of a higher title. The Apprentice UK board leader thinks Queen Elizabeth should bestow the churlish former American Idol judge with the honor of knighthood.
"At the end of the day he is a commercial man but he's inspired lots of people, created entertainment for lots of people and given opportunity to young people," Sugar said. "Anyone who has done that should be rewarded. Simon is a great ambassador for Britain." (The List)
One person who isn't too fond of Cowell and his global impact is KT Tunstall. The Scottish singer/songwriter recently told The Daily Mail that she detests Cowell's approach to promoting pop music, but has mixed feelings about The X Factor.
"I hate what Simon Cowell has done to the music industry because he's clogged it up with all these people and it's stopping real artists getting deals," Tunstall explained. "The X Factor isn't about music, it's about entertainment, and in that regard it's remarkable, because it brings families together in front of the television. Personally, I'd rather have stayed on the dole than audition for a show like that, but I would perform on it because I want millions of people to hear my music."
In other news:
– Inspiring pop star Gamu Nhengu has charmed UK audiences with her sparkly personality (and a few tears) on this season's X Factor. But after being cut from competition on Sunday, the Zimbabwean-born teen is facing possible deportation. Fans are also going mad, calling for her return to the show. Nooooooooo, don't let Gamu go! Just check out her audition tape for a prime reminder of why this world needs more of dear Gamu. (BBC)
– The King's Speech leading man Colin Firth is set to play a journalist in a forthcoming controversial movie about Meredith Kercher, the British exchange student who was murdered by her American roommate Amanda Knox when studying in Italy in 2007. English filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart) has signed on to direct the film, which takes inspiration from the book, Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox, written by American reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau. Heroes starlet Hayden Panettiere has been cast as "Foxy Knoxy." (The Metro)
– While Yoko Ono readies to light the Imagine Tower in celebration of John Lennon's 70th birthday on Saturday, self-proclaimed Beatles enthusiast Ozzy Osbourne will be honoring the late singer/songwriter in song. The legendary metal god has recorded a cover version of Lennon's "How?" to benefit Amnesty International. Devil horns up, everyone! (The Guardian)
How do you think Ozzy did with this Lennon hit?
– It seems everything might be all good Amy Winehouse's world. In the latest issue of Glamour UK, Winehouse claims that she's been clean and sober for three years. The Grammy Award-winning singer, who recently appeared bright-eyed and refreshed at a charity show in Camden, told the fashion mag, "I literally woke up one day and was like 'I don’t want to do this any more.'" But perhaps things are truly on the up and up for the singer? Winehouse is also embracing her inner fashion diva to create a retro-tailored collection for sportswear design firm Fred Perry. You go, girl! (People)
– Renée Zellweger, everyone's favorite on-screen Bridget Jones, takes to the UK pages of November's Harper's Bazaar for a sexy fashion spread. The southern-bred actress says she adores London, but isn't quite so fond of Brighton, calling the seaside town "dirty." Pssssh, c’mon Renée. You're from Katy, Texas for chrissakes! (The Metro)
– Welsh actor Rhys Ifans is a fascinating character isn't he? He'll bring his badass ways to the silver screen as Xenophillius Lovegood in next month's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The lanky blond also stars in the Mr. Nice biopic about famed drug smuggler Howard Marks. He tells The Guardian, 'I'm a bloody good actor'. Damn straight!