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  • The Mirror brings us news on the second season of BBC AMERICA’s swashbuckling epic, Robin Hood. Following the cue of Doctor Who, the series will take a “darker” turn. Says creator Dominic Minghella: “The second series is darker and bigger and Robin is tortured and bullied a bit. The battle is not just in Nottingham anymore, it is a battle for England.” Also, actor Jonas Armstrong has been hitting the weights, bulking up to face the challenges to come. Co-exec producer Foz Allan said: “In the first series Robin was growing between a boy and a man. Now Jonas has beefed up quite a lot and is definitely a man.”

  • Life On Mars‘ Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister, was an even bigger bigot in the show’s early scripts, reports The Sun. Writers toned down the dirty copper’s most offensive language: “The co-creator of the hit BBC1 drama, Ashley Pharoah, told the Edinburgh TV Festival that in the original script Hunt referred to a Caribbean barman as ‘Chalky’.” According to my handy Racial Slur Database, that word is “heard throughout Ireland, extremely derogatory word for blacks, who have an increasing number in the Irish population.”
  • Is there a behind-the-scenes catfight brewing on the set of X-Factor? The Sunday Mirror says that Sharon Osbourne and Dannii Minogue are “barely on speaking terms after a dramatic row during one audition session in Manchester.” A source adds: “As far as Sharon is concerned Dannii is just a D-lister who doesn’t deserve to be on the show. Sharon does not think Dannii is qualified to judge people’s talent when she has so little of it herself.” Ouch.
  • Jennifer Lopez is set to repeat her American Idol mentor role on Britain’s X-Factor, according to The Sun. Producers are also looking to get Elton John, Celine Dion, and Kylie Minogue, whose sister Dannii is a judge on the show.
  • Being Boring: Cat Deeley, host of So You Think You Can Dance?, says UK studio audiences are lifeless. “You can barely get them to get out of their chairs. It’s as much as you can do to get them to clap. But the Americans go mad. They’re brilliant.They scream and go wild.”(The Sun)
  • Shayne Ward‘s new video, No U Hang Up, was too steamy for British TV.(The Sun)
  • Controversy over Duchess Camilla‘s invitation to Diana’s memorial on Friday has overshadowed the event itself, reports The Daily Telegraph. Camilla has wisely declined the invitation.
  • No, Paul McCartney is not dating Renée Zellweger.
    (Contact Music)
  • Jude Law and Cameron Diaz are testing the waters with a romantic Hawaiian getaway.(Sunday Mirror)
  • Orlando Bloom was seen smooching a mystery brunette.
    (Sunday Mirror)
  • Johnny Borrell: kebabs ended my romance with Kirsten Dunst.
    (Sunday Mirror)
  • With her new husband being dubbed a wife-beater, I’m sure Mel B.‘s considering those old “drink-fuelled lesbian threesome” rumors a welcome diversion.(Sunday Mirror)
  • Telegraph‘s Charles Spencer says Ricky Gervais‘ stand-up act in Edinburgh shows that The Office creator has still got it. “This is emphatically not a show for prudes, and occasionally one winces rather than laughs. But when he lays into the absurdity of the seriously obese claiming they have a disease, or the Hogarthian squalor encountered in public lavatories, he is both bang on the money and wildly entertaining.”
  • Director Joe Wright talks about Atonement ‘s now-legendary 5 1/2 minute one-take sequence in The Independent.
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.