Sunday, 31 May 2009

Leona Lewis says "no" to Obama

How can a recent winner of a reality TV show tell when they've made it ? When you are too busy to to have dinner with the President of the United States that's when.

Leona Lewis
winner of ITV reality program X-Factor in 2006 has turned down an invitation to have dinner with President Obama, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

The 24-year-old singer was flattered by the offer but is currently too busy recording her second album in Los Angeles.

A source told the newspaper: "Leona was thrilled to be invited to dinner by Obama. She really wanted to meet him and his wife Michelle - who is a big fan and has her Spirit album.

"They both think she is a strong, inspirational and talented young woman who is a fantastic role model for children. They would love her to get involved in some of their charity projects. But it was really unfortunate that it clashed with her tight schedule to get her second album done."

The insider added: "Leona has had studio sessions in L.A. booked for months and has been working day and night getting things perfect. So there was no way she could make the trip to the White House as it would have put back recording by a week and she's desperate to get it all finished."

Katie Price vs Peter Andre : The Andrew Gould Story....

Andrew Gould had been fingered in the tabloid press as the other man in the breakdown of the marriage between glamour model Katie Price (also known as Jordan) and Peter Andre.

The married Gould, described as Katie Price's hunky horsey pal by the tabloids, has found himself in the centre of one of the biggest celebrity stories of the year. Despite repeated denials of any involvement on his part the constant dripping of stories linking him in some fashion to Katie Price have continued relentlessly. From the "exclusive" in the Daily Mirror in which Price bizarrely confesses all allegedly to ex-Apprentice candidate Mona Lewis through to the "revelation" in the Sun that Price spent three hours home alone with Gould after the separation.

In a frank interview in the Daily Telegraph Gould categorically denies he is "Jordan's other man" and expresses exasperation at the tactics of the tabloids in their attempt to link him into the rift between Price and Andre. As an example he talks about the the tabloid headline "Meet me man to man and I'll save your marriage" which appeared in the Daily Mail. Gould Explains

Gazing down at an array of lurid headlines in the red-top titles, Gould is, momentarily, speechless. ''The sleazy night of wild boozing, flashing and snogging,'' screams one. ''Jordan's hunky riding coach hoofs it,'' shouts another. ''And then there's this,'' Gould says, holding up another with distaste. ''Jordan's handsome horsey pal tells Pete [Andre]: 'Meet me man to man … and I'll save your marriage'.'' His wife, Polly, has fared little better: '' 'Keep your hands off my husband,' says the wife of Andrew Gould, Jordan's new love interest,'' says another.

Sitting at the dining table of his Billingshurst home with Polly, Gould rolls his eyes. ''The last thing I want to do is meet Pete face to face,'' Gould says. ''I got asked if I wanted to meet Pete and I replied: 'I don't think Pete would want to talk to me.' Astonishingly, that turned into a headline saying I want to see him, man to man.''

Read The full interview here.

Clintons marital bliss defies the naysayers

In some quarters (read mainly Republican ) it was felt that the reportedly strained marital arrangement between ex-President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary was a sham and a product of ruthless political calculation. Stories and snipes about the marriage reached a peak in the run up to the Democratic Presidential nomination which Hillary eventually lost to Senator Barack Obama (now President Obama).

To the chargrin of the naysayers there seems to be a new blossom in the relationship, and the The Times reports citings of the pair at intimate dinners in up market eateries such as New Yorks's Cafe Carlye and moonlight strolls along the MacAthur Boulevard in Washingotn DC, the US capital.

This has confounded critics of the pair who had long held that the couple were always one step away from divorce. Initially it was sure to happen after they left the White House in 2001, then it became the day after Hillary secured her Senatorial seat, and then it became the day after Hillary conceded the democratic race to Barack Obama.

All these days have come and gone and the couple seem to be defying the cynics, whose lastest claim is that they are holding out in case Obama fails to secure a second term nomination. However the answer may be simpler, maybe after all the ups and downs of the last two decades the Clintons just enjoy each others company.

Diversity wins Britain's Got Talent .

What a shocker eh....The whole world was watching, waiting for the coronation of Susan Boyle as the queen of the British hit TV show - Britain's Got Talent (BGT). She had wowed the judges, Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, she had attracted a celebrity following from the likes of Oprah, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and she was set to conquer the world.

Except someone forgot to send the script to the British public, who seemingly had fallen slightly out of love with 'SuBo' as the British tabloids had nicknamed Susan Boyle. The public had instead transferred their affection to the incredibly talented street dance group Diversity and in one of the biggest shocks of British Reality TV an estimated 19 million viewers saw Diversity crowned as the winners of the Britain's Got Talent.

So who are individuals behind Diversity ?

The Group is

Ashley Banjo
, 20 (He's the spokesman and choreographer)
Jordan Banjo, 16
Ian McNaughton, 25
Jamie McNaughton, 23
Matthew McNaughton, 16
Mitchell Craske, 12
Sam Craske, 19
Warren Russell 18
Terry Smith, 24
Perri Luc Kiely, 13 (He's the cute kid with the afro!)

For more info you can go to Diversity's website.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Apprentice UK : Baby task proves too rocky for Ben

Ah Ben Clarke. Rarely have I waited for so long,and wanted so much, to see the firing of an Apprentice (with the exception of Katie Hopkins, but she never actually got fired unfortunately). Today I can breathe a sigh of relief as Sir Alan Sugar finally saw sense and booted Ben out of the competition. I guess there is always Sandhurst to fall back on :-)

This week task was simple pick two baby products from a selection and head off to Baby Show at London Earl's Court and sell as many of these products as possible. There was some rejigging of the teams Ben and Yasmine joined James and Debra in Team Empire, while Howard moved across to Ignite with Kate and Lorraine.

James and Lorraine were teams leaders. OK let's cut to the chase where did things go wrong? Simple Ben and Debra saw a very high end rocking horse took one look at it and dismissed all other alternatives, going for the gamble. With each rocking horse costing between £1700 - £2000, sell one and they were home and dry.

The problem is though people don't go to shows like that for the "once in lifetime, get out the credit card and use it to the max" purchase, no they are there for a bargain and a £1700 rocking horse is not a bargain.

Debra to her credit almost grabbed a last minute show winner, but the punter stubbornly held out for £200 discount, even though Debra threw in a weeks free work from her good self and as that sale faded away so did their chance of victory.

Lorraine, Kate and Howard's choice of a collapsible buggy and a baby head protectors outsold James's team's selection of the aforementioned rocking horse and Birthing pool. Ben, Debra and James were dragged into the boardroom and with that finally the day of reckoning had come for Ben.

Sir Alan saw through the aggressiveness, the untruths, the evasiveness on what he has actually done and at last Ben got fired, and deservedly so. Across the UK the nation cheered.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Apprentice UK : Eight go to Mar-gay-te

OK I am very late this week but as they say better late than never. This week the teams were sent to Margate and the task was to come up with a marketing programme to re-brand the seaside resort.

The teams were unchanged from last week. Mona, James, Debra and Howard were in Ignite while Kate, Yasmine, Ben and Lorraine were in Empire. The task kicked off with both teams selecting a theme for their re-brand.

Ignite opted for a gay theme over Mona's objections, she thought a family theme would be more in keeping with the town. Maybe the rest of the team were hoping Howard who is gay would give them some insight, they were sadly mistaken.

Empire on the other hand went for the family theme and apart form some bickering between Loraine and Yasmine they ran a fairly smooth operation. Although as has become standard Ben chirped in with some less than insightful contributions including the gem "Margate is not Seychelles" talk about stating the bloody obvious!

His other nugget was one that would ensure he gets a frosty reception on his next visit to the seaside resort, in between prancing around pretending to be a director during the photoshoot he asked during one of the photo sessions for "more of the sea less of Margate". Way to go Ben.

However despite Ben's faux pas and the bickering between Yasmine and Lorraine, their presentation while not cutting edge was reasonably professional and well put together.

Ignite of the other seemed to be going along swimmingly despite Mona's awkward interrogation on a transsexual in which she sought to establish what their gender was. She and James in my opinion got a reasonable batch of photos which is what they were tasked with.

It was back at HQ with Debra and Howard that it all went horribly wrong, their time keeping was atrocious and the poster Debra designed had glaring portions of whiteness with no content, a no-no for the posters.

In the presentations they made to the advertising Execs and Council officials that were judging the teams, Howard tried to cover it up with a silly white lie about reserving the white space for advertising, but is was such obvious bull it got nowhere. To compound matters in response to some other questions he cited spurious statistics that were again a load of bull.

No surprise than that when it came to the crunch, Ignite's marketing plan for Margate was voted a flop and they lost the task. Debra the team leader brought Mona and James into the boardroom. Now in my book Debra should have been fired not only was she the team leader of the losing team, but she also made the most glaring mistake.

Sir Alan however was not to be bothered with facts on this occasion and decided Mona was too be sacked for not being strong enough over the series. Well it his money I guess.

Mona Lewis

So we lose the lovely Mona, but even she admitted that she had really gone as far as she would reasonably expect to.

Stands out this week

Mona Lewis
In the final weeks Sir Alan has more or less decided who he can hire and who he wants to fire and when one of the chosen ones is threatened it seems he fishes around for feeble reasons to keep them in and fire the one if the "unwanted". Mona who did no wrong this week was fired instead of Debra who did practically every thing wrong

Debra Barr
I was disappointed with Debra as she was one I had picked out as one of the better candidates, but she fell to pieces on this task and I really wonder if there really is any substance behind that hard ice cold facade. She cocked up the posters and her time management was a joke. Why she wasn't fired only Sir Alan knows.

Howard Ebison
In some quarters he is viewed as a potential finalist, but I just can't see it. Too often he has stayed out of the limelight and when he steps up to the plate his impact is barely noticeable. This week he wanted to be PM but was brow beaten in submission by Debra, he spotted the issues Debra was making with posters but again backed down in what was a crucial argument and to cap it all in the presentations had to push lies that were barely credible to defend Debra's mistakes.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Katie & Peter: The Next Chapter - Divorce!

It looks like it is all over for the marriage of legendary glamour girl Katie Price (aka Jordan) and her husband Peter Andre. A press release on Katie's website confirms that the couple are to split after four and half years of marriage.

The pair met when they both appeared on the TV reality show "I am a celebrity get me out of here!" in 2004. Peter Andre was a one hit wonder from the nineties who was fading into obscurity and Katie was a glamour model with high ambitions.

Their courtship on the programme seemed unlikely, but not only was it real they went onto get married to the surprise of many. To the less charitable it was even a greater surprise that the marriage lasted so long, for others it seemed Peter Andre was the solidity that Katie Price had long needed to get away from her wilder past.

Katie Price and Peter Andre

Their marriage in 2005 had the tabloids in a frenzy for its lavishness and questionable taste and was an indication of how they planned to live their life as man and wife.

They plunged themselves into a whirlwind of album releases, TV programmes, charity events and a concerted attempt to break into America, although I am not sure what as ..

Their activities did not go unrewarded as the Daily Mail Chav Rich List named them the second richest chav couple, after Victoria and David Beckham, with a joint fortune of £30m.

However by 2007 rumours of the troubles had begun to surface in what had always been a volatile relationship. The couple renewed their vows in South Africa that year as a sign of their commitment, but it looks like those troubles were the beginning of the end and so it has proved.

Being tabloid favourites in no surprise the newspapers are falling over themselves to produce tributes in their own inimitable ways to the crown prince and princess of chavdom.

The Sun has a special video dedicated to the pair (and a hotline number viewers can call to give inside info on the split).

The Mirror has a photo montage of Katie Price's lovers past and present.

The Daily Mail reviews the ups and downs of their tumultuous relationship.

The Daily Star has cleared its deck for what possibly is it's story of the year.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Nude photos of Rihanna hit the Internet.

It has not been a good year for Rihanna , first there was the bust-up (literally) with former boyfriend Chris Brown and the media frenzy that followed. Just when she thought she got over the worst of that, she falls foul of the 21st century scourge of the celebrity - the stolen sex tape \ nude photos.

The Internet has been awash with six pictures said to be those of Rihanna in which little is left to the imagination as well as one which bears a striking resemblance to ex-beau Chris Brown posing with a unbecoming piece of head gear, a pair of pink knickers.

Angry record company chiefs have called the photos, which have appeared on a number of different websites, “a violation of the artist’s rights” but have not denied the pictures are of Rihanna.

The star herself has refused to comment.

I don't know, may be it is just me but in this day and age taking pictures of yourself on a mobile phone in intimate positions especially if you are a celebrity sounds like madness. Everyone know how easy it is too lose a phone!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Apprentice UK : Love conquers all (...except being fired).

It's Wednesday and we are back with the Apprentice. Today's task took the Apprentices to the North West of England (Liverpool, Manchester) and gets them to pick two products from budding inventors and sell as many of those products as they can. Simple really.

As seems to be the norm, there was more reshuffling, Team Empire is now Mona Lewis, Debra Barr, Howard Ebison and James McQuillan, while Team Ignite is Ben Clarke, Phil Taylor, Kate Walsh, Yasmine Siadatan and Lorraine Tighe.

Mona and Lorraine both volunteered to become Project Managers. I initially felt that this might be Mona's demise as she has been very quite since her win earlier on in the series as a project manager, but it did not take long to discover that was not the case as the editing of the programme very quickly pointed us into the other direction.

Some times you wonder to what degree aspects of the show are contrived. We all know that there is no love lost between Phil and Lorraine but we also know that there is plenty of love, lost or otherwise, between Phil and Kate and this week they were all conveniently lumped together. Guaranteed to kick off fireworks? definitely!

However it wasn't just the pairing that led to their downfall, it was also the product selection. While Mona and her team went for some sort of double handed dog leash and a body suit that doubles as a sleeping bag, not inspiring but still not implausible products. Lorraine and co on the other hand universally agreed to go for what can be best described as a collection of painted cardboard boxes and a lop-sided bicycle saddle/shopping bag. To be fair Yasmina did raise concerns about the saddle bag early on, but those were swiftly dismissed by the bag's 'inventor', but then he would wouldn't he.

Both teams went about their selling. Empire had an initial blip not selling anything on the first day, but by the second day they had turned into a well oiled selling machine with the exception of the ever-dreary, always complaining Howard who at one point literally begged Debra to let him close one deal, like she would ! Mona was the star of the show selling a remarkable £2000'ish of the £4,000 worth of deals Empire closed.

In Team Ignite on the other hand had a clear divide. Yasmin and Lorraine seem reasonably diligent in their work, squabbling occasionally about who pitches what but seemed to get over it. They sold about £1000+ worth of orders. On the other hand Kate and Phil seem to treat the whole thing a romantic day out, the only downer being they had a gooseberry in the shape of Ben Clarke tagging along. Between the three of them they sold absolutely nothing, but seem to have had a whale of a time up North.

Phil Taylor

Kate Walsh

Boardroom time Lorraine brought in the two love birds Kate and Phil. I honestly thought Lorraine was toast, because Sir Alan has shown time after time that he has a soft spot for the 'lovable rogue' i.e Phil, and Kate has with the exception of today put in competent performances.

It wasn't to be and I think it was largely down to Phil's out of control personality. His performance in the boardroom ranged from obnoxious to rude having passed through absolutely pathetic. Accusing Sir Alan of favouritism and heaping all the problems of the world on Lorraine's shoulders, he thrashed about like a drowning man and drowning he was. Even Kate picked up on this and in what I guess was a mercy killing (or it could be the ultimate act of self protection) she too turned on Phil at one point and blamed him for not pulling his weight on the task and so it was that the gob from the North East was sent packing into Apprentice history.

Stands out this week

Mona Lewis:
She won as project manager during the first week of the series, although there was a large body of opinion that the suggest the win was inspite of her, rather than due to her. This week however she showed beyond doubt that the victory was all hers in a dominant performance.

Phil Taylor:
I have always said I liked the guy at the onset but he grew more and more concieted as the weeks went on. This week I think Phil's big failing was he thought Lorraine was far weaker than she actually and was blinded by this. Although he denied it it seemed he almost intentionally wanted her to fail confident that that would be here demisr. He failed to see that his relentless attack on her week after week has only seemed to strengthen her position rather than weaken it. It seemed the more he attacked, the stronger she got and the more infuriated he became. A guaranteed cycle of destruction and so it proved.

Debra Barr:
I am pretty sure that you will never catch Debra listening to Dido's song "White Flag" where the singer promises she will go down with the Ship, Debra does not do group hara kiri. This was best exemplified in this edition when Howard struggling to close any deal literally begged Debra for one of hers after all it was all about the team winning in a sense, as if!. she smugly dismissed such a notion and in the interview clip spliced on to the segment the contemptuous look she had about this alien business of doing something for the team was priceless. She was right in herstance though as indivdual sales were also going to be taken into account.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Wire : BBC starts Season 2 Mon 4th May.

If like me you've been struggling after the BBC forced us to go cold turkey by temporarily stopping the broadcast of The Wire after season 1, you'll be glad to hear it is back on air tomorrow (Mon 4th May 2009). Yes it is time to "re-up" on the The Wire.

The characters you loved from the first season Jimmy McNulty, Stringer Bell, D'Angelo Barksadale, Lt Daniels are back and joined by new faces as the action spills out of the Projects into the Docks of Baltimore.

Season 1 was great but if aficionados of the The Wire are to be believed season 2 ranks as one of the best of the five seasons, so get ready to be entertained and educated by the greatest TV show ever.

Sadly the BBC seems to have changed their minds again as they plan to now broadcast it three days a week rather than the five days we were initially promised. They really need to decide on how they are going to broadcast this and stick with that decision. It is bad enough broadcasting it so late at night, messing around with the schedule will tap the will of even the hardiest fan.

A good thing though is that this season there will be a repeat over the weekend, when the week's three episodes will be repeated back to back

So far the current Broadcast schedule for Season 2 is

Episode 1: Mon 4th May 11:30 pm
Episode 2: Tue 5th May 11:20 pm
Episode 3: Wed 6th May 11:20 pm
Episode 1-3 : Sat 9th May 1:20 am

Episode 4: Mon 11th May 11:20 pm
Episode 5: Tue 12th May 11:20 pm
Episode 6: Wed 13th May 11:25 pm
Episode 4-6 : Sat 16th May 1:20 am
As more details come through I will post them

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Eoghan "Eggnog" Quigg's album slammed as worst ever...

The X-Factor is ofter touted as a talent factory, designed to scour the country finding and giving a break to the cream of young British talent. Sadly and possibly in too many cases, it doesn't always work this way as Eoghan Quigg seems to be finding out.

After the unbelievable highs Eoghan, known as "Eggnog" to his many admirers, enjoyed coming third in last year's X-Factor finals he seems to have come tumbling down to earth with a bump. His much awaited album has been pilloried by critics.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Showbiz reporter Lizzie Smith posed the question Is it fair to describe X Factor Eoghan Quigg's debut album as 'the worst ever made'?

In the article she quotes a music critic from the Guardian newspaper who said

'It's an objectively bad album, so bad that it would count as a new low for popular culture, were it possible to class it as either culture (its producers barely even approached it as music) or popular,'

She herself does not help matters when she compares it to such musical icons as "Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits". The album self-titled "Eoghan Quigg" is on sale at Amazon from £4.99.