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Damn this crappy economy. I so wanted to travel to the UK to cover this year’s BRIT Awards – and hopefully, recover some of my lost dignity from last year – but budgets are tight, man! Last night, the awards were held in London, and there were a few surprises. Duffy and Coldplay both went into the ceremony with four nominations apiece. One walked away with an armload of trophies, the other got stiffed. As you all know, deciding between Duffy Duck and Chris Martin is like a veritable “Sophie’s Choice” for me; I simply don’t know how the academy did it! But surprisingly, Coldplay were the ones empty-handed at the end of the night while the Welsh lass collected three top awards.

So, were Chris and company just too successful internationally for the “provincial” academy? The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick suggests that Coldplay’s album just really wasn’t that great: “For me, this is 21st century background music, something you can put on without actually paying attention to. It’s like ambient pop. And in that respect, maybe its not so different to Duffy’s, only with not so many tunes.”

The Daily Telegraph‘s Michael Deacon concurs with his colleague: “Should they have won Best Album? No. Even by their own standards, Viva La Vida is innocuous. I don’t mind innocuousness with a tune (eg “The Scientist,” “Don’t Panic,” “Politik,” and many of their older, better songs). But, apart from the title track, which is lovely despite sounding like Eurythmics fronted by Aled Jones, the album is tune-free simpering. And by not deserving Best Album, they naturally couldn’t hope to win Best Group. Best Live Act? Coldplay aren’t a band that suit gigs. They’re not raw or rough or raunchy.”

But Duffy? The Duffster? Yeah, the girl can quack on pitch, but she’s as insubstantial as a big ol’ ball of Saran Wrap and less fun to listen to.

However, Girls Aloud – the Susan Lucci of British music awards – finally bagged one, winning Best British Single for “The Promise.” The band seemed ecstatic, but their euphoria was short-lived. When a reporter backstage asked if Girls Aloud were splitting, Cheryl Cole went ballistic. According to The Mirror, she raged, “”Why would you ask a question like that? We have just won this award voted for by the public. That’s ridiculous.’ Furious, she then told the startled interviewer: ‘You ruined the moment.’ And with that, she dragged the rest of the girls away.” Ouch! Someone’s been taking lessons from Sharon Osbourne. Don’t mess with a diva! Bam!

In other news:

  • Grammy success has pushed Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand up the Billboard charts.

  • This story is just too sad: Jade Goody‘s wedding dress will have a “pain pouch” where she can stash painkillers to get her through the ceremony.(The Sun)
  • Goody’s dying days are even getting coverage in The New York Times.
  • The makers of Footballers Wive$ have teamed up with a Glasgow university to create a Masters’ program in TV scriptwriting.(The Stage)
  • This year’s X Factor runners-up are mad that Alexandra Burke is getting “preferential treatment” on the show’s tour. Uh, she won, bee-yotches. Burke’s spokeswoman says, “This is what happens every year. Obviously the winner gets a better deal – that’s the whole point of winning the show.”(Daily Mail)
  • Dame Judi Dench mooned Harvey Weinstein! I expect that sort of behavior out of that tart Helen Mirren and not the venerable Dame Judi. When you’re in NYC, Judi, the scotch is on me.(WENN)
  • The Mirror has an unfortunate typo in a caption for Margaret Thatcher‘s photo. I knew the woman was old, but who knew she was kicking around in the Victorian era? Perhaps that explains her vicious moralism.
  • Kate Winslet, “the best actress of her generation,” gets a Time Magazine cover story.
  • Will Kate Winslet’s “babe factor” push her ahead of Meryl Streep at Sunday’s Oscars? Awards guru Tom O’Neill thinks it’s a distinct possibility: “As every Oscarologist knows, voters have judged the lead and supporting actress races in recent years as if they were beauty pageants. Consider, for example, some of the gals who won best actress this past decade: Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon. Last year, when most Oscar pundits bet on 66-year-old Julie Christie (Away From Her) to win, the younger, prettier contender pulled off an upset: Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose).”
  • Warner Bros. has quickly come out and shot down tabloid reports they ordered re-shoots on Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes movie. And here I was with newfound respect for the WB.(Guardian)
  • Men hit by the recession will strip for cash on a new UK reality series based on The Full Monty.(The Sun)
  • Lindsay Duncan will play a Doctor Who companion in the show’s next special.(The Sun)
  • Two trailers for films featuring Hex‘s Michael Fassbender: the François Ozon-directed Angel and Quentin Tarantino‘s interestingly spelled “Inglourious Basterds.
  • The Daily Mail‘s Patrick Marmion reviews Lenny Henry‘s performance as Othello at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds: “At least Henry is blessed with a rich plummy voice – as orotund as anything the RSC has to offer. And yet with his loping gait and rolling eyes, you half expect him to blurt out ‘you know what I mean, Harry’ at the end of one of his speeches. Henry has his moments though, even if he doesn’t have the full range. He can do noble (sort of) and he can do credulous (easily), but he struggles in the grey areas of his character’s ambivalence.”
  • Pete Doherty almost faced death by kebab.(NME)
  • BBC AMERICA SHOP is running a “Write a Review” contest, and you could win a $100 gift certificate to buy all sorts of stuff. Get yer keister on over there!
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.