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Speaking via satellite from his new team in Milan, he clears up any doubt about his commitment to playing with the Los Angeles Galaxy. He’s talking a little bit more articulately than he used to, and he’s looking good, too. (Shame about the tattoos.) He’s a very fine afflete.

In other news:

  • The “making of” video of Duffy‘s Diet Coke ad gets skewered by Popjustice. “Never mind the fact that the whole thing revolves around a pop personality so dull that she makes Rachel Stevens sound like Courtney Love – our favorite bit is Duffy saying, with reference to Diet Coke’s ‘brand values’, that ‘it’s important to be selective about things that you want to do…it’s about encouraging women to take control and say ‘no.’ It’s odd, isn’t it, Duffy, because most female musicians – empowered or otherwise – would indeed have said ‘no’ to appearing in this toe-curling marketing circle-jerk.”

  • Concerts for Michael Jackson and Sir Paul McCartney sell out. Now wouldn’t it be awesome if they did a concert together, performing “Say Say Say” and “The Girl Is Mine”?
  • Gamey Amy is back, and she’s gained weight!
  • Beth Orton has one central reservation about the dispute over royalties with YouTube: “Certain people can’t just make money from gigs, can they? You should get money from recording, because record deals are different now as well, so it would make sense that revenue has to come from somewhere. It’s been lovely for me because I’ve had the last two years to just concentrate on my little girl.”(NME)
  • Simon from No Rock And Roll Fun puts all in perspective: “Well, yes, and nobody wants to take bread from Beth Orton’s children. But this isn’t really anything to do with the falling out between PRS and YouTube – this is about the rate paid for showing videos via the internet. And, from the collection agencies’ own account, YouTube doesn’t deliver enough money for anyone bar the largest bands to keep body and soul together. And forcing a royalty rate that makes it too expensive for YouTube to feature videos isn’t going to do anything to change that.”
  • Chopping Block – the new TV cooking competition hosted by Gordon Ramsay‘s rival, Marco Pierre White – premieres tonight on NBC. (Guardian)
  • The best-selling UK singles of 2008 in a spreadsheet, sorted by artist’s country of origin, age, and race. Via The Guardian.
  • Sandi Thom has hired a pet detective to find her missing cat. “We’ve got a few theories – at worst, Toots may have been shot by a local gamekeeper, or she may be having fun with the local wildlife, and may even be on her way back to London. She could have jumped in a car, or her collar may have come off.”(Daily Record)
  • Welsh band Super Furry Animals say they are giving up indoor gigs for the festival circuit.(NME)
  • James Corden and Mathew Horne‘s new show grabbed big viewing figures for BBC3.(Chortle)
  • Sophie Okonedo, whom I once put forward as a Doctor Who candidate, will play Winnie Mandela in a BBC drama.(The Stage)
  • A group of disabled actors will star in the upcoming Channel 4 drama Cast Offs, a series that “follows six characters – each played by an actor with a different disability – who are left to fend for themselves for a year on a remote island.” It will be filmed in a faux-documentary style.(The Stage)
  • Jade Goody and hubby Jack Tweed reminisce about when they first met in a documentary about the lead-up to their wedding. The Sun has a clip.
  • Charles Bronson sent a recorded message to a screening of his new biopic: “I really was a nasty bastard, a horrible violent nasty man, and I’m not proud of it. But I’m not ashamed of it either. For every punch I’ve swung in my life I’ve taken 21 back. I don’t cry about my life. I never have and I never will.” People are not amused.(Daily Mail)
  • Love ’em and leave ’em: Geri Halliwell has split from her Italian fiancé, Fabrizio Politi.(The Sun)
  • Sarah Ferguson writes in The Daily Mail about why she had to produce The Young Victoria. “My fascination with Queen Victoria has been long-standing, but I suppose that background interest was really brought to the fore in 1988, 19 months after my marriage to Prince Andrew.”
  • Are Fergie’s daughters heading for The Hills. (M&C)
  • James Marsh, Oscar winner for the documentary Man on Wire, talks about directing the miniseries Red Riding.(The Times)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.