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Well, Doctor Who star Billie Piper‘s fears about her first big theater role were unfounded: the Evening Standard Theatre Awards have shortlisted her as Best Actress for her performance in Christopher Hampton‘s play, Treats. She faces off against Anne-Marie Duff for Saint Joan, Portia for The Member of the Wedding, and Penelope Wilton for John Gabriel Borkman. Our man Daniel Radcliffe failed to receive a nomination for Equus, but, seriously, how can you argue with a Best Actor shortlist that includes Charles Dance (Shadowlands), Robert Lindsay (The Entertainer), Mark Rylance (Boeing Boeing), and Patrick Stewart (Macbeth)? A greater snub might be Mackenzie Crook (The Office), who received rapturous reviews for his performance in Chekhov‘s The Seagull.

In other news:

  • Ya know, I think people would have more sympathy for Heather Mills if she weren’t so prone to outrageous, self-pitying, and insensitive statements. Speaking about her week-long meltdown, she says, “It’s been unbelievably cathartic. It’s the difference between being in prison and being on parole.” Not satisfied with pissing off convicts, she’s declared herself a battered woman, comparing her bad press to domestic violence. “It’s like being an abused woman at home – you can’t tell anyone because it might upset the family. I’m not asking people to come on my side – but I was abused and no one knows how that feels. I am not protecting Paul but I have to protect myself – so when my daughter grows up she doesn’t read a one-sided story and then turns around to me and says, ‘Why didn’t you protect yourself?'”

  • Is Paul McCartney‘s new lady friend a Mafia princess?(The Sun)
  • McCartney is gutting the $20 million Manhattan townhouse he shared with Heather Mills.(The Sun)
  • Lily Allen will host a BBC television show dedicated to unsigned bands and will feature guests from her MySpace friends list.(NME)
  • Right Said Fred, Janice Dickinson, Malcolm McLaren, and Changing RoomsAnna Ryder Richardson are among the stars joining the ITV reality series, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.(The Sun)
  • Openly lesbian singer Samantha Fox and her girlfriend will take part in a Celebrity Wife Swap.(The Sun)
  • Rhydian will sing Josh Groban‘s Westlife‘s version of “You Raise Me Up” on this week’s X-Factor.(Digital Spy)
  • A new $20 million Guinness ad features 6,000 falling dominoes that provoke a chain reaction throughout the world. Watch the video at The Guardian.
  • Reportedly, EastEnders is only getting a gay character because of openly gay actor Antony Cotton‘s popularity on Coronation Street.(Guardian)
  • Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski will direct The Ghost, based on a novel about “a disgraced former [British] prime minister who faces the threat of being tried for war crimes at the Hague.”(Guardian)
  • Celebrated TV writer-director Stephen Poliakoff is returning to the theater, he tells The Stage.
  • Ed Rozanski sends me this story from Outsports about English rugby star Ben Cohen embracing his gay fans. “Nice to see a major sports star appreciating their fans, but to see them openly accepting their gay fans is even better. If only US athleteswere a bit more accepting…”
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By MacKenzie Wilson