Saturday, 28 February 2009

10 things Fred "The Shred" Goodwin can spend his dosh on

It goes without saying the Fred "The Shred" Goodwin is the Villain of the Month. Fred is being credited with reducing the UK's biggest bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland to a shadow of its former self and forced to go begging cap in hand to the government for cash to survive.

If that was not enough when the news came out that the "reward" to Fred for doing this was a £700,000 a year pension pay off, the nation went into apoplexy. The government, media and almost the whole country called on Mr Goodwin to do the decent thing and give up some or all of the pension, but once a hard-nosed banker, always a hard nosed banker. True to form he told them to 'eff-off' (obviously in a much politer way).

Now he is already filthy rich so the pension is just extra cash to play with, but what can the bad boy of British Banking do with all this extra dosh? Here are ten recommendations from us:

  1. He might be feeling like the mythical Japanese workers who got sacked and pretended to go to work everyday but instead idled away thier time in the local park. We understand it takes awhile to adjust. He could the same thing, but in style. For £500 he can get a return flight from Edinburgh to London, Business Class of course! 5 Days a week that's £125,000 to you sir.

  2. We obviously can't have Mrs 'Shred' getting up in the wee hours of the morning and disrupting her beauty sleep, so why not get a chauffeur driven Mercedes S-Class for the trip to and from the airport. A snip at £250 a day or £62,500 a year

  3. So what's for Lunch? We recommend a MacDonald Sandwich, no not that MacDonald's ! It's a Selfridge's MacDonald Sandwich made from the finest, freshest ingredients available including hand reared Wagyu beef and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread and retails for a mouthwatering £85 a pop. A year's supply for lunch during the working week will set Goodwin back only £20,000

  4. He's got a chauffeur and a late evening flight back to Edinburgh so no worries about making it home. He can comfortably yield to some of the world's best restaurant that London has to offer. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea will do you a slap up meal including tips for £107 now you can't get better than that can you, not for £26,750 a year.

  5. Before we forget London is also a great spot for shopping; He could pick a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar watch for £30,000 and an Asprey Cut Ladies Gold Jewellery Watch for the missus at £23,000. As a man who loves his shooting might also pop into Farlow's of Pall Mall for some new shooting gear, probably set him back £5,000 or so, and another great gift for Mrs Goodwin would be the ornate Marie Antionette replica slippers made by Christian Louboutin and the French embroidery house Lesage. £4,000 a pair. Bargain!

  6. Now like all retired couples, with the kids, grown up it is a great time to explore the rest of the world. A typical trip could be a weekend jaunt to Europe, say Paris. Where to stay? No problems, the Belle Etoile Suite at the Hotel Meurice at £14,000 for a weekend break would be ideal. 20 weekend breaks at the same level of style over the year only £280,000.

  7. With all the fine dining and luxurious lifestyle, it wont go amiss to watch that midriff, so why not have a set of His and Hers personal trainers at £100 a week per trainer, that would be a £10,400 well spent.

  8. If the Goodwins wish to thank friends and colleagues for making such a comfortable retirement possible, nothing better than the occasional gourmet dinner party for a 100 or so close friends and associates with items like seared scallops, margret of duck, Assiette du fromage, Cointreau torte and other delicacies on the menu. What's £4500 betweeen friends every other week (if we are being pedantic about £90,000 )

  9. As a proud Scotsman I am sure Fred is proud of his local fare so would no doubt looksFre forward to a special Buccleuch estate haggis, the world's most expensive at £2,500 and followed by a few sips of Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 at £20,000 a bottle.

  10. We still have about £150,000 left for the year time to get seriously frivolous. Let's hit the ten most expensive things on Ebay, cos the next chunk of £700,000 is already on its way.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Portuguese Water dog for Sasha and Malia

We all know politicians can be slippery with their promises, but Barack Obama made one promise he'd do almost anything not to break and he hasn't. Yep, the puppy for Presidential daughters Sasha and Malia is on its way.

In an interview with the People Magazine Michelle Obama has revealed that they have finally settled on a choice for the girls. It is to be a Portuguese Water Dog.

It must be a Democratic Party favourite as Party Grandee Senator Ted Kennedy also owns two of these poodle look alikes. The Obama's are going to adopt one from an animal shelter and it is will move into the White House in April.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Unstoppable Gail Trimble

University Challenge is an acquired taste, along with Newsnight Review and late night Open University programmes it is one of the last refuges of high intellectualism on an increasingly 'dumbed-down' TV.

It is a quiz show, but unlike all the others that dominate the schedules it does not offer oodles of cash, random number guessing games or any other voguish gimmickry. It is simply loads of fiendishly tough questions.

Clean format, but sadly it has also made for somewhat boring TV, that was until the appearance of Gail Trimble. The Latin Scholar has fired up the current series of University challenge as she has led her compatriots from Corpus Christi College, Oxford on a 'intellectual slash and burn' mission through to the finals of the current season.

She has been hailed as the greatest contestant ever on University Challenge leading her team to a 330-95 victory over the University of Durham, a 295-85 romp over the University of Edinburgh, a 350-15 demolition of the University of Exeter, and a satisfying 260-150 victory over St Johns College Cambridge to take Corpus Christi to the final against Manchester University.

The final was a perfect setting for Gail Trimble to lead Corpus Christi on a canter to glory, but Manchester University had other ideas and for the better part of the programme they looked on their way to an unlikely victory. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman, Gail Trimble shook off whatever mental doldrums were afflicting her, realised they facing unexpected defeat and reeled off several well timed answers to snatch victory from defeat. (To be fair the other three from Corpus Christ did make a fair contribution as well).

A thrilling conclusion to a programme that is not known for thrilling endings..Even Jeremy Paxman the normally staid host seem somewhat excited by it all.

Kate Winslet is an Oscar Fashion hit

She wow'ed the awards panel with her performance in the film The Reader and on the night of the 81st Academy Awards show - The Oscars - Kate Winslet also wow'ed the fashion folk with her Yves St Laurent gown best described as "regal".

Elsewhere critics were divided on Angelina Jolie's black Elie Sabb ensemble but we think she carried it off especially with the emerald green earrings, but only just.

Penolope Cruz arrived in a 'vintage' (that's old to you and me) Balmain dress. It takes a certain panache to do this successfully and she did. It also helps your confidence when you collect a best supporting actress award.

Others who dazzled on the night included Slumdog Millionaire star Frieda Pinto in a Royal Blue John Galliano frock and Anne Hathaway in a silver Armani number.

On the not so good side of things was Tilda Swinton who came in some sort of grey and black wrap but then she's never been a stickler for the conventional, Mylie Cyrus who looked like a christmas tree and Whoopi Goldberg just looked out of place

All in all another great (and horrendously expensive) day of high fashion.

Check out some of the dresses in this video

OSCARS : The Brits came, saw and conquered

What a night for Brits at the Oscars. Kate Winslet wins the Best Actress award for The Reader, and SlumDog Millionaire lives up to the hype as it sweeps the board with eight Oscars including Best film.

As usual Kate Winslet was emotional, but not a patch on her over top performance at the Golden Globes.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on the other hand did not have a such good night as despite 13 nomination it went home with 'only' three wins, all in the somewhat unglamorous categories of Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effect and Best Make Up.

In other words awards for technical input rather than acting. In particular it must have been galling for Brad Pitt as this was his big chance to grab an Oscar, sadly it was not to be.

Having seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I am not surprised though, I though it was too very similar to Forrest Gump, with a weaker story albeit more visually stunning.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

It's Official : Jade Goody is now Mrs Jade Tweed

The celebrity event of the year (so far) has come and gone. Jade Goody has exchanged vows with Jack Tweed to become Mrs Jade Tweed.

The event took place at the at the posh Down Hall Country Manor. The press and media were excluded from the main event as Jade has an exclusive deal with OK Magazine for the pictures and Living TV for TV coverage.

Max Clifford her ever loyal PR Man dutifully came over to the waiting hacks gathered by the gates of the hotel to deliver the good news.

ITN News reports :

Down Hall Country Manor prepares for Jade's big day

Down Hall Country Manor hotel is the stunning setting for Jade Goody and Jack Tweed's wedding this Sunday.

Jade and Jack would have been cheered by the somewhat controversial decision by the UK Home Secretary Jack Straw relaxing Jailbird Jack's curfew conditions, meaning the new Mr and Mrs Tweed will be able to spend their honeymoon night in the sumptuously appointed rooms of the hotel.

The hotel which is set on a site that is over 600 years old will host over 300 friends and family of the couple, with recent Brit Award winners Girls Aloud set to entertain the guests.

Jade Goody's set to wed today.

The media frenzy that has followed cancer-stricken reality TV star, Jade Goody comes to a peak this Sunday as she's set to wed boyfriend Jack Tweed.

What once was an inside story for a few tabloids has broken out and is now dominating the mainstream media with coverage in all the so called quality newspapers as well as the airwaves as this report from CNN shows.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Is Amy Winehouse now a Lesbian ?

She has been accused of so many things taking crack, racist ranting and now we find out she is apparently a lesbian lady stealer.

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Amy Winehouse who has been on a seemingly endless holiday in St Lucia, has been involved in the breakup of a lesbian couple.

The paper reports

A woman holidaymaker on her first romantic trip with her new partner exploded in rage when she found her in bed with Amy in a hotel room on St Lucia.

But unashamed Amy just shrugged and asked the other woman to join them.

The shocked woman and her partner, who had been together for four months, left the room and had a furious row which led to them splitting up.

She's not shy is our Amy!

Law and Order comes to London

It is the longest running crime drama on US TV, it has spawned equally successful spin-offs and now it is coming to the UK. Yes it is Law and Order UK.

The British version of the successful drama is to be set in London and will mirror the format of the US version. The first part will focus on the police investigation, while the second half will follow the legal process after an arrest.

The lead Police detectives will be played by Bradley Walsh (DS Ronnie Brooks) and Jamie Bamber (DS Matt Devlin), while the stars of the legal half are Ben Daniels (James Steel) and Freema Agyeman (Alesha Phillips).

The first episode titled 'Care' is to be broadcast this Monday on ITV

When the evacuation of a central London hospital leads to the discovery of a tragic death, DS Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) investigate. The trail leads them to Kings Cross, where the redevelopment and gentrification of the area is affecting a number of local residents. But has this led someone to commit murder?

Friday, 20 February 2009

Rihanna photo from alledged Chris Brown attack leaked

A picture showing Rihanna in the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack by boyfriend Chris Brown has found its way into the public domain. The picture shows Rihanna with what looks like a severely bruised and battered face.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) meanwhile has released a statement which seems to confirm the authenticity of the photo, it says

...The photograph has the appearance of one taken during an official Domestic Violence investigation.

The statement also promised an internal investigation to find the source of the leak.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Brits 2009 : .And the Winners are...

All the winners from last night's Brit Awards

Mastercard British Album – Duffy ‘Rockferry’

British Group – Elbow
( I love 'One Day Like This')

British Single Girls Aloud ‘The Promise’

British Male Solo Artist – Paul Weller

British Female Solo Artist – Duffy

British Breakthrough Act – Duffy

British Live Act – Iron Maiden

International Album – Kings of Leon ‘Only By The Night’

International Group – Kings of Leon

International Male Solo Artist – Kanye West

International Female Solo Artist – Katy Perry

Critics’ Choice Award – Florence & The Machine

British Producer of the Year – Bernard Butler

Outstanding Contribution to Music – Pet Shop Boys

It goes without saying that the big winner on the night was Duffy ("Aimee Ann Duffy"). The Welsh songstress walked away with three awards on the night for her debut album Rockferry.

Girls Aloud storm the Brits...with their boys in tow

Girls Aloud were celebrating their first Brit award ever after a long wait and they arrived with all their men in tow.

Cheryl Cole was there with her man Ashley, the Chelsea footballer looks like he might finally be out of the dog house after their marriage went through a very rocky patch following newspaper revelations early last year.

Nadine Coyle
jetted in from her US base with the man in her life, American Football star Jason Bell. With the NFL season over he clearly was up for a good old party.

Sarah Harding came with DJ boyfriend Tom Crane. Despite persistent rumours that have dogged their relationship it looks like it stil going strong-ish.

The steady ship of the group Kimberley Walsh and and her boyfriend of the last five years Justin Scott were there as well.

And last but not least is the somewhat unlucky-in-love Nicola Roberts, she hit the Brits with her new boyfriend, Kent Barman Charlie Fennell.

It has been a high profile week for the girls as in addition to enjoying their first ever Brit award they will also be performing at Jade Goody's wedding on Sunday

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Tragic Jade to wed on sunday

Jade Goody has revealed that she is to wed her boyfriend Jack Tweed in a ceremony this Sunday. Jade recently revealed she has terminal cervical cancer and doctors have given her months to live.

Jade has been inundated with messages and offers of support including an offer from Elton John to use on of his homes for the wedding, although she has opted for the luxurious Down Hall country house in Essex as the venue for the wedding.

Other offers include one from the owner of the world famous Harrods Mohammed Al-Fayed who offered Jade a free wedding dress from his store. OK Magazine has also sealed exclusive rights to the the wedding photographs for £700,000. The money will go into a trust fund set up for Jades two sons, Freddie and Bobbie.

While there have been complaints in some quarters about the publicity surrounding Jade's condition, it has been revealed today that the publicity has spurred a increase in young women taking cervical cancer test with some Hospitals reporting up to a 21% increase directly attributable to the publicity.

Lily Allen and Perez Hilton in Twitter catfight

If there is any more confirmation needed that Twitter is the Internet destination of choice, this is it....A celeb cat fight right in from of millions of twitterers (is that what we are called?).

The place was Lily Allen's page on Twitter and the date was the 15th of February. In the blue corner was celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and in the red corner was London-born popstar Lily Allen no stranger to blogging herself, having left many a controversial thought on her myspace page.

Lily and Perez have had some "previous" as they say, and in this latest spat the first salvo was fired by Mr Hilton when made a snide reply to a tweet from Lily and form then on it was all guns blazing till Lily finally decided she needed to move on.

Where can you find this battle royale I hear? Well we wouldn't tease you like that would we ?

Lily Allen: Shit, I’ve just been shown photographic evidence of myself podium dancing last night. God I’m a dick

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen You just now realized that?

Lily Allen: @perezhilton fuck off

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen Is casting the music video for her next single, which she’s shooting in LA. Tell her U think she should have Perez in it! Ha!

Lily Allen: @perezhilton oh , I’m sorry , we’ve already cast the jealous and bitter lonely old queen role. Next time eh ?

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen Jealous of who? David Beckham, maybe. And if I wanted to be a fucked up Brit, I’d rather be Amy Winehouse - whose got talent.

Lily Allen: @perezhilton god, you’re like so obsessed with me its embarassing.

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen Congrats on your album doing well in America, though. It’s REALLY HARD to sell copies when u discount it to $3.99. Desperate!

Lily Allen: @perezhilton its also number one everywhere else in the world douchebag. Go away you little parasite.

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen Aw, u can see I’ve lost weight! I am a littler Perez. But I’m still a big fat cunt - just like U! That’s why I lova ya. xoxo

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen P.S. Thanks for advertising on my website. I’ll take your money (or the label’s) anytime!

Lily Allen: @perezhilton I know you will, and that’s what makes you a cheap ass whore. Now leave me alone, stop following me, I’m working. Bye x x

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen It’s not fair and I think you’re really mean! You’re supposed to care! It’s not fair and it’s really not ok.

Perez Hilton: @lilyroseallen I can still read what you write, twat!

Lily Allen: hes blocked, just had to get to a computer

Ouch, lots of fur flying there....

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Ellery takes one 'ell of a tumble....

...and is out of Dancing on ice.

Once Todd Carty went, Ellery Hanley was vulnerable and was certainly top in our books to go next.

As many have pointed out it is far more difficult for the celeb men than it is for the women and none more so than the huge ex-Rugby international more used to crunching tackles than swanning around in a leotard.

And so it proved to be, Ellery and Melinda Messenger ended up in the skate-off having finished bottom once the Judges votes and the public phone in vote had been added up.

Ellery's tumble in the skate-off did not help matters and the Judges voted 4-1 to send him home.

Interestingly Coleen Nolan squeezes through on a very average performance and I am beginning to think we were wrong all along maybe Coleen Nolan is the new 'John Sergeant'!

And lastly Ray Quinn, young, good-looking, very competent Ray Quinn. We aren't loving him. if we wanted proper Ice-Skating with no drama, no slip-ups, we would watch re-runs of the Winter Olympics.

Michelle does Vogue, now Barack does Vanity Fair

It looks like the US First Couple (Barack and Michelle) might be moonlighting as magazine cover models. Next month two of the biggest style magazine are both featuring one half of the First Couple on their March Covers.

We reported on Michelle appearing on next month's cover of Vogue, now Barack Obama would have appeared to have decided 'what Michelle can do, I can do as well' as he is featured on the cover of the March edition of Vanity Fair. Like Michelle's Vogue cover the President's pictures were taken by the legendary celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

March's cover is the second time Barack Obama has appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair having done so previously in July 2007 in a strikingly similar pose.

It will be interesting to see who does the better numbers Vogue or Vanity Fair :-)

Chris Brown remorseful, Rihanna will be alright. The Dads speak

Chris Brown is remorseful

Chris Brown's father has said the singer is remorseful over last weeks incident with R&B songstress Rihanna. Speaking to the US entertainment magazine People Clinton Brown a correction officer said

"He's very remorseful. He's very concerned about the situation and he wants to make sure that [Rihanna's] okay.

This is unfortunate, this stumble, this situation. Hopefully, he will get past it. We all have our shortcomings. We all trip."

Clinton Brown however expressed concerns about how unforgiving the music industry could be and worried about a potential backlash from the public over the allegations that Chris Brown beat up Singer Rihanna. Those concerns are not without justification as several sponsors have already pulled deals with Chris Brown and radio stations dropped his music from their play lists in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Rihanna will alright

Further south in Barbados Rihanna's dad Ronald Fenty also in a interview with People was expressing shock over the alleged attack on his daughter. Rihanna is now back in Barbados with friends and family and her Dad has described her as having some bruising but believes "she will be alright".

He described how he last seen Chris Brown and Rihanna together in July they looked happy together although he says now "if it were me, I'd move on"

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Hallelujah!...Alexandra Burke gets £3.5m US deal

Alexandra Burke winner of last years X-Factor is following in the footsteps of her predecessor Leona Lewis as she's just signed a five album US deal worth $3.5m deal with Epic records.

All stops are being pulled out to mirror the success Leona has had stateside. Producers and writers that have guided the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna to success are being lined up to work with Alexandra.

Predictably Alexandra is excited by the prospect and gushed in her blog

Oh my God!!! I cannot believe I have been given a deal in the US!!!

It’s just so exciting and I can’t even explain how it feels. I’m just so happy, and of course so emotional!!!

Cracking America will be another one of my lifelong dreams that is coming true and I just can’t wait to get in that studio!

Good luck to Alex, it going to be tough cos the US produces truckloads of seriously talented singers witness how American Idol puts X-Factor in the shade with its sheer quantity of talent. Anyway enjoy the best of Alexandra Burke duetting with her hero Beyonce.

Jade Goody's cancer leaves her with months to live

Jade Goody may have lost her battle with cancer according to reports today. The reality TV star was said to have been informed by her doctors that her cervical cancer has spread to her groin, liver and bowel and she has months to live.

Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hosptial London broke the news to Jade after she had enquired why her Chemotherapy had been stopped.

Jade Goody first came to fame as a contestant on the 2002 edition for the reality TV programme Big Brother and went on to become arguably the biggest star the series has produced, living the event filled life that followed in the full glare of the media.

This event filled life has had many highs and lows including a racial outburst against Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on the 2007 edition of Celebrity Big Brother. As an apology for this Jade agreed to take part in an Indian version of Big Brother, called Big Boss and it was while taking part in this programme that Jade was first informed she had cervical cancer.

She is now back at home with her two kids, Bobbie and Freddie, her mother Jackie and boyfriend Jack Tweed and coming to terms with what is now a drastically shortened future.

Friday, 13 February 2009

So what's up with Joaquin Phoenix II ?

Last time we talked about Joaquin Phoenix we were amused by his Hip Hop show and pondering what direction he planned on taking, after this recent appearance on the David Letterman show crueler folk are suggesting it may be somewhere with padded rooms.

Joaquin Phoenix was on the show ostensibly to talk about his recent movie twoLovers but the interview ranged from the bizarre to the downright surreal.

Judge for yourself is this incredibly bizarre interview featuring a petulant actor? is it an elaborate hoax? or are we watching a movie star on the verge of a breakdown? you judge!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Salma Hayek's on breast feeding duty.

It seems celebrities can't get enough of African kids, Madonna and Angelina Jolie have adopted a bunch, and now Salma Hayek has got one one step further.

On a visit to Sierra Leone filming a news segment for the US network ABC, Ms. Hayek apparently came across a baby whose mother was unable to breast-feed. Hayek who had a baby of her own a year ago and still very 'ample' leapt into action, and offering to breast feed the baby and this very surreal video ensued.

Michelle Obama featured on Vogue cover

There is no hiding for Michelle Obama, she isn't just the American First Lady but is increasingly the First Lady of Fashion. What she wears, what designers she patronises has generated seemingly endless column inches, so it is no surprise to see that she has made the cover of the March edition of Vogue, the iconic fashion magazine.

The photographs taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz (remember this, yes that's her work) and Michelle appears in an array of dresses by Jason Wu, J C Crew and D.C. Narciso Rodriguez.

And if you love your First Lady's you'll love this edition as you get three for the price of one with Queen Rania of Jordan and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy of France making appearances.

Vogue has a long tradition of photo spreads of American First Lady's but this is only the second time they've made the front cover, the only other time being Hilary Clinton in 1998.

Get a taster of the article at

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Rihanna \ Chris Brown affair sends Blogsphere into a frenzy

They were on the hottest young couple on the planet, but today their relationship is in disarray, allegations are flying all over the place, the respective media managers are finally earning their money, and the Internet blogs are just loving it.

The story first broke on the evening of the 8th with both Rihanna and Chris Brown having missed the Grammys where they were both scheduled to perform and before long the website TMZ was running this article

Chris Brown Investigated for Alleged Assault

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Chris Brown is being investigated by the LAPD in an alleged assault on a female.

According to police, Brown and a woman whom cops refuse to identify were arguing inside a vehicle around 12:30 this morning when suddenly things allegedly turned violent.

It doesn't take long for Rihanna to be identified as the other party and and then it gets dirtier as unsubstantiated stories speculating on the reason for the fight begin to emerge

Chris Brown and handed himself in and was released on bail. On the other side the extent of Rihanna's injuries was another angle of the story that was getting some mileage with TMZ again reporting from police sources

Rihanna Bloody and Bruised

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Rihanna's injuries were severe -- two "huge contusions" which swelled up on both sides of her forehead. We're told she also suffered "a bloody lip and nose."

One of the law enforcement people put it this way -- the contusions "look like an MMA fighter or something ... [It] looked like she was growing devil's horns."

And then the backlash against Chris Brown begins. Intials reports came through of Brown being dropped by Wrigley's Chewing gum, the "Got Milk" campaign and now radio station are beginning to take his records off their playlist.

The story is still developing but it looks like a moment of madness Chris Brown will regret for a very long time.

Is Baseball star A-Rod now A-roid?

One of the stars of the US Major League Baseball (MLB) Alex Rodriguez or as he is more popularly known A-Rod has delivered a blow that has shocked baseball and American sport to its core.

The Baseball star has confessed on the US Sports TV network ESPN to have taken substances banned by the Baseball league and we aren't talking about high cholesterol donuts here. In his own words A-Rod confessed to taking the drugs between 2001 - 2003 just after he signed a $175 million deal to take him to the Texas Rangers from the Seattle Mariners.

It was a different culture. I was young, I was stupid and I wanted to prove to everyone I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time and I did take a banned substance.

“For that, I’m very sorry and deeply regretful, although it was the culture back then in baseball overall. I’m sorry for that time, I’m sorry to the fans and I’m sorry to the fans in Texas.

“It wasn’t until then that I thought about using a substance of any kind and since then I’ve proved to myself and to anyone that I don’t need any of that.”

A-Rod or should that be A-Roid now plies his trade for the most recognised franchise in baseball the New York Yankees and signed a new $195 million deal in 2007.

Reacting to the news of his confession the US President called it "depressing news" while the Owner of the Texas Rangers (and co-owner of our own Liverpool FC) Tom Hicks is in shock, reports in the press quote him as saying

"I feel deceived by Alex. He assured me he had too much respect for his own body to do that to himself. I'm shocked."

Rodriguez has also been in the news off and on about his relationship with pop star Madonna particularly after he divorced his wife Cynthia in September about the same time Madonna split from Guy Ritchie.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Slumdog Millionaire sweeps the BAFTAs

Tradition holds that BAFTAs are a good indicator of success at the Oscars and if this tradition holds true then producers and stars of Slumdog Millionaire could be in for a very rewarding trip to Los Angeles later on this month.

At the BAFTAs held at the Royal Opera House, London this Sunday evening, Slumdog swept the board winning BAFTAs for Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Musical Score, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound Production.

Other winners tonight were Mickey Rourke who won Best Actor award for his role in The Wrestler, a more composed Kate Winslet who won the Best Actress award for The Reader, the late Heath Ledger took the best Supperting Actor for Dark Knight and Penolope Cruz won Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Full Results here >>

Dancing On Ice : Todd Carty is booted off...

He was hailed by many (including us) as the new John Sergeant, surviving week after week with performances that ranged from comical to crap. It seemed the Great British Public had decided that they wanted more than smooth sequin-suited performances they wanted to be entertained and Todd was the man to entertain them.

Or so we thought, as shock mingled with horror we find this evening that Todd Carty is in the bottom two after the judges scores and the public vote have been added up. He faced the partnership of Rugby legend Ellery Hanley and Frankie Poultney in the dreaded skate-off where only the Judges scores count.

For the Judges who had waited for ages to get rid of Todd, this was all their Christmases coming at once (with the bizarre exception of Ruthie Henshall) as four of five voted Todd off.

Todd thanks for the memory, big up to Susie Lipanova for bravely putting up with Todd. Adieu Tucker!

And if you've forgotten why we love Todd, here is why!

Top Movies this weekend (US)

Taken has dropped down to the number two slot and the surprise hit of the year Paul Blart - Mall Cop hangs on to a top five spot for the fourth week.

The top five movies in the US this weekend are:
  1. He's just not that into you - All star cast featuring Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and Ben Affleck in a romantic comedy of requited and unrequited love in Baltimore.

  2. Taken - A frantic thriller ensues when an ex-CIA man's daughter is kidnapped in Paris and he calls on all his experience and training to rescue her.

  3. Coraline - Animation adventure featuring the voice of Teri Hatcher . A young girl find herself in an enticing parallel fantasy world which hides a dark secret.

  4. Pink Panther 2 - Yes Steve Martin is back as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in the sequel to commercial success but critically panned Pink Panther remake. To be fair it would be hard for anyone to follow Peter Sellers seminal role as the Inspector.

  5. Paul Blart - Mall Cop - A comedy thriller as a Mall Cop finds himself trapped in a mall that's been taken over by a criminal gang and he is the only link to the outside [ Die Hard with laughter anyone :-) ]

"I ain't fraid of no goats!" - 118's Ghostbuster ad is a hit

The telephone enquiries firm 118 118 has never been a slouch when it comes to advertising and it seems they have another TV (and You Tube) hit on their hands.

The company has teamed up with Ray Parker Jr who sang the original track to the 80's hit movie Ghost busters to create a parody of the movie's theme song.

The ad Features the ubiquitous 118 118 duo and Ray Parker Jr himself in a number of scenes reminiscent of an 80's pop video amending the chorus to "Who you are going to call - One One Eight!" and the line "I ain't fraid of no ghosts" to "I ain't fraid of no goats". The ad is a continuation of the retro theme that's common in 118 118 adverts and will bring a smile of nostalgia to many.

Check it out the full ad below

Peaches Geldof ends 6 month marriage

Wow...Who would have seen that. Peaches' marraige is over after six months...Never saw that coming.

Peaches Geldolf has announce her marriage to US Pop rocker Max Drumney is to end. The pairs whirlwind romance and marriage in Las Vegas six months ago raised a lot of eyebrows, particularly as Peaches Dad, Bob Geldof only got to know about the marriage just before it happened.

The end of the marriage comes three months after they denied rumours that the relationship was having problems.

It looks like another chapter closed in the Peaches saga, we wait the next installment.

Eddie Murphy to pay Mel B £7m in child support


Eddie that must have hurt first you deny having a child with Mel B and then you are forced to pay out after the indignity of a DNA test proves you are the kid's dad.

It is a shame Mr Murphy did not listen to his own advice from his breakout (albeit very un-PC) comedy of the 80's - Raw. He tells the story of going out with a woman from Africa until she realises the American dream also includes the part about getting 'half' if your man lets you down.
"Do you know you could take half his money? Did you know that? He didn't tell you you were entitled to half?

He only told you half the story. You can take half the money,the car, the house, the children."

Mel B is not be from Africa and she isn't getting half but £7million will do quite nicely in helping her bring up their daughter Iris Angel.

Reports also say Eddie Murphy has also now agreed to spend time with his daughter. It shouldn't really have taken of 15 months of wrangling to get to this, should it now !

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

X-Factor finalists: Where are they now?

The talent reality show X-Factor is the without doubt one of the most watched programmes on British TV snatching unknown wannabes, dipping them in the syrup of fame and then easing them out into the wide world to fend for themselves. The fifth series of the TV favourite ended just before christmas and we ask where are they now?

The top eight JLS, Eoghan Quigg, Laura White, Diana Vickers, Rachel Hylton, Daniel Evans, Ruth Lorenzo and of course winner Alexandra Burke will all take part in the X-Factor tour. We all know Alexandra is set for bigger things but how have the others fared ?

JLS : Ortise Williams, Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold and Jonathan Gill X-Factor runners up have hit the the tour circuits hard and are signed up to support Lemar on his UK tour over March and April. They have also signed a major recording contract with Epic Records where they will be joining the likes of Shakira, Lemar and Scouting for Girls.

Eoghan Quigg : May have come third in the competition but is first out with an Album. Having signed up to RCA records he is set to release his debut album on March 16 just in time for Mothers' Day (no it is not a cynical marketing ploy, I think). He has also found new love with 16 year old Eimer Morran after the much hyped ' romance' with fellow contestant Diana Vickers fizzled out.

Diana Vickers : Yes, she of the wavy hands. Like most of her fellow contestants she is doing loads of gigs. She has also bagged a recording contract with RCA. What happened to Gary Barlow we ask? He promised to sign her up if Simon Cowell didn't? I guess with the credit crunch talk is cheaper than ever.

Ruth Lorenzo : Ah our sexy, sultry, Spanish siren. She didn't seem to do a lot post-XFactor other than being photographed shopping with Alexandra Burke, clubbing with Alexandra, holidaying with Alexandra, tanning with Alexandra.......although to be fair to her she did do a gig this month at Toomey Motors showroom in Basildon .. the vagaries of fame, eh.

Rachel Hylton : It looks like Toomey Motors went X-Factor crazy, or got some kind of Cowell-ian "Buy One, Get One Free" offer because also on the bill was Rachel Hylton. She was somwhat late for the occasion after being let down by her driver. Chauffeurs, eh? Elsewhere she is still waiting to see if the contract offer from John Legends recording company comes through, the offer was revealed during one of the X-Factor shows.

Daniel Evans : Well he was never going to be the next X-Factor was he. No he wasn't. He's got the finalist tour but beyond that I think its back to his previous life only a now a bit more famous.

Laura White : Yes we know she was voted off unfairly, if she was so good what has she done since? Well she has been signed up by Epic records, she'll be releasing a single in March, she featured in a concert in Peterborough that pulled in a crowd of 6000, what more do you want ?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Pussycat Doll Nicole gets to grip with a really long python...

..and it has got nothing to do with boyfriend Lewis Hamilton :-)

Ok, that was corny but we love corny and the pictures of Nicole Scherzinger looking aghast as a python seemily pops out of nowhere at a German night-club has brought the corniest worst or should that be best out of us.

The pictures
were taken at a nightclub in Cologne where Nicole was taking a little R&R from the Pussycat Dolls European tour.

Her she is looking suitably impressed as the python slithers all over her.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Paris Hilton splashes out on £2 million London mansion....

Paris Hilton was in the UK filming her reality TV series My British Best Friend last year and it looks like she has been smitten by the British capital and has now decided to splash out on a £2million mansion in Camden according to the Daily Mirror. Paris is said to set to also plough in another £250,000 bringing her new pad upto her particular specifications.

Camden is one of London's trendy upcoming neighbourhood and she will be living not far from celebrities like Amy Winehouse (if she ever decides to return from St Lucia). It is unlikely she'll be hanging out with Amy though, apart from the obviouses challenges it poses to anyone, Paris had previously been quoted as saying about Amy "I love her music but I don't know if I could handle that lifestyle."

Madonna and Jesus spotted in New York

Madonna - Global Pop Star, 50 years old was spotted with Brazilian model Jesus Luz, 22 years old, cue media frenzy and sub-editor everywhere an orgasm of puns from "Madonna has found Jesus" to "Madonna and child".

The rumours mills are in full swing after Madge was seen having lunch with Brazilian model at trendy New York eatery, Macelleria. The two met on a photo shoot in Rio de Janeirio and seem to have become friends but the question on every one's lips is what sort of friends.

Madonna was granted a divorce from her former husband Guy Ritchie in October last year and had been recently linked to Baseball star Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez.

Jennifer Hudson sings National Anthem at Super Bowl. (VIDEO)

Multi-Grammy award nominee and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson has made her first public appearance after the tragic murder of her mother Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her seven-year-old nephew Julian King, last year at the family home in Chicago. Hudson’s estranged brother-in-law William Balfour has been charged in the murders.

The singer gave a heart felt rendition of the US national anthem The Star-spangled Banner before thousands gathered for the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida and millions more following the event on TV across the world.

Hudson had previously been slated to perform at the inauguration of US President Obama but it seemed that was too early for her. We at 15 Bytes are glad to see Ms Hudson back...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The "indestructible" Todd Carty survives again!

Another week on ITV's celebrity-reality-talent show Dancing on Ice and another survival by Todd Carty. Despite putting in a performance that could best be described as 'flapping on ice' Todd Carty sailed through into the next round ahead of Micheal Underwood and Melinda Messenger.

Todd survival must be particularly galling for Micheal Underwood who was quoted in the papers as saying that Todd Carty was a good skater and only faking his goofiness. Given you're in the bottom two Michael I think you should be concentrating on your own skating abilities and worrying less about others.

Update: The skate-off has taken place and Underwood was voted off.

Lily Allen is top of the Charts this weekend

Wild child and tabloid favourite Lily Allen is back doing what she does best, making music and her new single The Fear has stormed to the top of the UK's single charts ending the two week run of Lady Gaga's Just Dance.

The single is from her forthcoming album It's Not Me, It's You which will be relased on the 9th of February,

What's topping the US Box Office this weekend (1st Feb, 2009)

The the top five movies in the US each weekend
  1. Taken - A frantic thriller ensues when an ex-CIA man's daughter is kidnapped in Paris and he calls on all his experience and training to rescue her.

  2. Paul Blart - Mall Cop - A comedy thriller as a Mall Cop finds himself trapped in a mall that's been taken over by a criminal gang and he is the only link to the outside [ Die Hard with laughter anyone :-) ]

  3. The Uninvited - An atmospheric thriller when a girl finds out her father's new girlfriend isn't all she is meant to be.

  4. Hotel For Dogs - Family fun as a group of kids transform a run down hotel into a wonderland for dogs.

  5. Gran Torino - Another box office smash starring and directed by Clint Eastwood in a clash of culture between a retired white Auto worker and his immigrant neighbours.

What was Michael Phelps smoking?

He is truely the golden boy of American sport with 14 gold medals and a squeaky clean image to boot, but is this picture published by the British newspaper the News of the World set to undo all this ?

According to the Newspaper the picture alledgedly showing Phelps using a bong was taken at the University of South Carolina, Columbia at a student house party and it claimed a witness as saying

“You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do.

“He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits. Michael ended up getting a little paranoid, though, because before too long he looked like he was nervous and ran out of the place.”

If true not a good move by Phelps, but given his age and reputation I can't see any long term damage. With the right marketing a redeemed character is even more compelling than the boy next door story.....

Sasha and Malia face "celebrity" ban

For the Obama daughter's Sasha and Malia, the last few days have been a whirlwind of fun, fame and celebrities and boy what a load of celebrities.They mingled with Beyonce at one of the inauguration concerts and were surprised in the White House by their favourite bands the Jonas Brothers.

All good things however must come to an end and Mum Michelle has decided like all Mum's do that maybe they are having too much of a good thing and for now has decided that they are to be no more celebrities in her daughter's lives for the time being.

US Weekly reports that ban has come into place to keep the girls grounded as they settle in the new home and hew school - Sidwell Friends School.

Probably a good thing because we all know Barack has a tough job with the economy and Iraq and all, but it can't be underestimated how challenging a job it will be for Michelle to chaperon these two girls through four (or even eight) years of insane publicity that is sure to follow and ensure they come out at the other end sane and balanced individuals.