Saturday, 31 May 2008

Watched recently

The Late Show: Barbara Walters, Penn & Teller and Cobie Smulders - Penn & Teller were OK, but I worked out how they did their act, something I seem to be able to do with inceasing ease with all magic acts lately. Cobie Smulders briefly reminded me of Lake Bell - 3/5

Nip/Tuck: Magda and Jeff - a bit silly, really. Seen worse episodes though and it's always good to see AnnaLynne McCord (below) - 3/5

Britain's Got Talent: 29th May - 3/5
James Stone - when the camera cut to his family, I'm pretty sure that Alicia Eyo, who played Denny in Bad Girls, was among them - 3/5
Charlie Wernham - 3/5
Harlequins - 3/5
Andrew Muir - I do appreciate why the judges put him through, because he does have a good voice, but why didn't he go for the X Factor instead? - 3/5
Boogie Babes - there's something alarming about a bunch of 8 to 12-year olds dacing in shiny black latex leggings. They were good though - 4/5
Vizage - really woman, when Simon Cowell tells you you can't sing, you're not going to do yourself any favours by coming back and singing again - 2/5
Jeremy Lynch - should have gone through. I don't buy into the argument that his dropping the ball was like a singer dropping notes because what he did required a much high level of skill and precision, so such errors should be more forgiveable - 4/5
Faryl Smith - my personal stand-out act of the series so far - 5/5

The Big Bang Theory: The Pork Chop Indeterminacy - aka The Shiksa Indeterminacy on the Sky EPG. No idea where E4 keep getting these alternate titles from. Courtney Henggeler is an interesting and attractive newcomer to the small screen - 4/5

Britain's Got Talent: 30th May - 3/5
Caburlesque - seemed to be less dancing, more running to a new position and striking a pose - 2/5
Madonna Decena - a sob story will only get you so far - 2/5
Anya Sparks - I love the fact that we a live in a country where a big, ordinary woman like Anya can find herself on TV in front of an audience of 10 million people - 3/5
Craig Harper - only one of his impressions was anywhere near convincing, but he's amusing enough - 3/5
Diva Las Vegas - 2/5
Nemisis - street dancing lost out earlier in the week when they put through the Cheeky Monkeys ahead of the far superior Flava, but it's won out this week with Nemisis and quite right too because they were exceptional - 5/5
Per Diem - that singer looked like a right nasty piece of work when he'd been buzzed out - 2/5
Esacla - four fit women in tight dresses playing a James Bond theme on electric string instruments. What's not to like? - 5/5

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Watched recently

Britain's Next Top Model: 19th May - OK, what the fuck is going on? Lynsey clearly had the best photo of the whole shoot and got complimented on it by all the judges, yet she got kicked out. What the fuck are the criteria here? - 3/5

The Apprentice: Week Ten - finally, Sophocles gets the boot, and well deserved it is too. Phew for Helene, rocket up the arse there girl. She doesn't stand a chance though - 5/5

Britain's Got Talent: 28th May - 3/5
Mandy Ellen Dancers - 3/5
Iona - kudos for performing with a big fat lip - 4/5
Cheeky Monkeys - good, but they shouldn't have gone through - 4/5
Kay & Harvey - not really that good, but there was something lovely about that old guy on the keyboard getting his few minutes of fame - 3/5
Bang On! - 3/5
Flava - really good, best act of the night in fact - 4/5
Sauris Nandi - he might be a good surgeon, but his act was shit. The girl was blatantly in the stand - 1/5
Andrew Johnston - went through, good choice - 4/5

Battlestar Galactica: Guess What's Coming To Dinner? - JUUUUUUUMP! - 5/5

Britain's Got Talent: 28th May - 3/5
Irresistible - 4/5
Strike - 4/5
Mary Halford March - 3/5
The Deans Of Magic - ugh, I felt embarassed for them, but they deserved the criticism for a dull act. Claudine does have a good body though. I thought they were supposed to make a big deal of their sensuality? She spent most of the act off-stage - 2/5
Charlie Green - 2/5
Urban Gypsies - 3/5
Hoop La La - 4/5
George Sampson - very good indeed, especially the water finale, clearly put everything into his performance and a most deserved finalist - 5/5

Terminator: The Shirley Manson Chronicles

Unexpected news of the day: hot Garbage singer Shirley Manson is making her acting debut in the next season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, in a recurring role as the CEO of a high-tech company.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Watched yesterday

Lost: Cabin Fever - move the island?! Fantastic! - 4/5

Mad Men: Nixon vs Kennedy: "a man is whatever room he's in". My new mantra - 4/5

Britain's Got Talent: 26th May - 4/5
Boogie Wonderland - dancers looked hot when they were dancing, but not so when they stood still. Nothing special in the routine - 3/5
Kate & Gin - fantastically well-trained dog, but I feel a bit sad when I think how well they get on because one day Kate will be heartbroken. Still, hopefully that's a good few years away yet. Well deserved to go through - 5/5
Michael Machell - comedy gold, deliriously insane, albeit crap - 5/5
Dean Wilson - I hate this kind of singer so I'm glad he's gone - 2/5
Sophie Mei - would have been happy if she had gone through - 4/5
Tracy Lee Collins - 3/5
Phil Blackmore - 3/5
Signature - not as good as their audition, but they had the advantage of surprise in that. The turban-wearing guy was totally unexpected and original. Still not a bad routine last night and it will be interesting to see what they come up with for the final. And who doesn't like to watch a fat guy dance? And I'm pretty weighty myself, so I can say that - 4/5


1. Why is it cheaper to buy orange juice than oranges?

2. Why is it that when you microwave a bowl of baked beans then tip them out onto a plate, there will always be one bean that resolutely clings to the bowl?

Sydney Pollack, 1934-2008

Monday, 26 May 2008


1. Danielle Lloyd looking as hot as ever, this time with a Gladiator.

2. Sienna Miller looking veeeeeery sexy in black leather while filming on GI Joe.

3. Apparently, Kate Middleton has never really been called Kate at all. Her name is actually Catherine Middleton and 'Kate' is nothing more than a press invention. Queen Catherine... works for me!

4. The Daily Mail's new look pages are a f*cking mess. Look at the showbiz page. A complete dog's dinner.

Watched yesterday

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull - somewhat disappointing revival of the Indiana Jones movies. It's been done to death in the media, so I won't go over the plot again. It's not really a bad film, it's just a very average, inconsequential one. There are some silly moments more suited to a kid's film and these sadly outnumber the moments of true inspiration, such as when Indy finds himself on his own in a deserted town a minute away from a nuclear test blast. Harrison Ford is good vale as ever, as is Cate Blanchett's Soviet agent, her dodgy accent more than made up for by the fact she looks hot with his black leather boots and severe haircut! Shia LaBeouf adds nothing but initial exposition, Karen Allen looks like someone who hasn't done any real acting in years and John Hurt says very little beyond the odd cryptic remark. Ray Winstone's fine though. There's a nice touch at the end that hints at another outing, but please G-d, keep George Lucas away from the screenplay - 3/5

Have I Got A Bit More News For You: 17th May - Kirsty Young, as attractive as ever and able to hold her own among the boys. A class act - 4/5

Britain's Got Talent: 24th May - a lacklustre set of final acts, with the exception of the five street dancers. Would be good to see them get through to the semis (which start tonight), but they're perhaps too similar to the bigger group of similar dancers a week or two ago. Looking forward to Star Wars guy! - 3/5

Warship - a rarity for me, watching a documentary series on Five, but this was pretty good. It's a fly-on-the-wall look at HMS Illustrious, flagship of the Royal Navy. Reminded me of ITV's short-lived nautical drama Making Waves, that they unceremoniously pulled from the schedules after a few episodes never to be seen again. Some of those Navy girls are pretty cute... - 4/5

Sunday, 25 May 2008

News of the weird

Watched yesterday

Doctor Who: The Unicorn And The Wasp - inconsequential but mildly entertaining episode with a silly looking giant wasp - 3/5

Incidentally, have you seen the rest of season trailer. She's back, they're back...

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Watched yesterday

Boston Legal: Tabloid Nation - just why is Saffron Burrows in this? She doesn't seem to do anything of significance. She's a great actress and is being wasted. Give her some court time for g-d's sake! - 3/5

Jericho: Reconstruction - first episode of the short-lived second season. It's OK, but doesn't really show any improvement on the first season - 3/5

Derren Brown: Trick Or Treat: Episode 2.3 - 4/5

Pygmalion and An Eligible Man

I went to London on Wednesday to see two plays, Pygmalion at the Old Vic and An Eligible Man at the New End Theatre in Hampstead.

For those who don't know, I'm a sponsor of the Old Vic, so make a point of attending everything they put on. Before the matinee, I met up with Natasha Harris, the Old Vic's newly appointed Depty Director of Development. She has just replaced Tiffany Nesbit, who has returned to the US. We discussed various things, including the possibility of increasing my level of support, changes she's thinking about making to the perks supporters get and the future programme. As I already knew, they're putting on The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard next summer, directed by Sam Mendes as part of the Bridge Project, which takes the same plays and performers to the US. I picked up some gossip about a Hollywood name who looks likely to be cast. While not a really famous actor, they are someone most people with a reasonable interest of movies will have heard of. And no, I'm not giving any clues, but I believe a press release is fairly imminent.

No word on what's filling the schedules after christmas. They announced last week that Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests is being revived between September and December, so there's no panto this year. Should be an interesting experiment. It's actually a trilogy of plays, starring the same cast, as the same characters, in the same location and at the same time. In effect, each play takes place in different rooms of the same house. Each can be viewed on a standalone basis, of you can watch all three and see the interconnections between them. The cast includes Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan and Paul Ritter and it's directed by the increasingly stellar Matthew Warchus, who recently did Speed-The-Plow. Interestingly, it's being performed in-the-round, necessitating a reconfiguration of the theatre which will leave it dark for about a month after the end of Pygmalion's run, but which will they also be able to roll out again for appropriate productions in the future.

Anyway, on to Pygmalion. It's not a play I'm really familiar with. That said, I'm not really familiar with many plays at all, but never mind. I won't go into the plot here, you can look it up, but in summary it concerns two men who make a bet that one of them (Tim Piggott-Smith as Professor Higgins) can transform a common-as-muck flower seller (Eliza Doolittle, played by Michelle Dockery) into a seemingly well-educated lady.

Being a Wednesday matinee, the audience was almost entirely full of pensioners on coach trips, one of whom, a lady from Wolverhampton, fell asleep next to me within ten minutes of curtain up. Fortunately, the play didn't have such a soporific effect on me. I thought the three pre-interval acts were the most entertaining and humorous, particularly the third where Doolittle is introduced to to Higgins' mother and other society figures. After the interval, it gets a little more serious as the questions are posed of what should happen to Eliza after her transformation, given the bet is over, and what are Higgins' true feelings for her.

Unfortunately, by this time I had been sat in my seat for 90 minutes and as anyone who has sat for any length of time in the Old Vic stalls will tell you, they're not the most comfortable seats in the world. The leg room is fine, generous in fact, but they're very narrow, so you can't alleviate discomfort by crossing your legs and so on. By the end of the play, my low back was suffering and I'm afraid it negatively impacted on my enjoyment of the play.

However, my discomfort couldn't diminish my enjoyment of Michelle Dockery's performance. Quite simply, it's the best female performance I've seen at the Old Vic so far. She's a truly phenomenal Eliza, pitch perfect in every way and if there's any justice in the world, must surely become a great star of stage and screen. Almost as good is Tim Piggott-Smith, clearly having tremendous fun in playing Higgins like an overgrown schoolboy. An absolutely class act.

Also notable are Tony Haygarth as Alfred Doolittle and newcomer Emma Noakes as Clara - a sublime little performance from her.

Overall then, a recommendation. If you feel you can endure the seats, please do go see Pygmalion and you will be rewarded with some fabulous performances.

After Pygmalion, I met up with my good friend Lotty and we headed to Hampstead for An Eligible Man, via a brief diversion to check in at my hotel in Belsize Park. The New End is a tiny little theatre of around 80 seats, handily situated next door to a pub in a quiet corner of Hampstead. It's a converted mortuary, apparently! [Insert gag about corpsing here]. We were here because the play stars an amazing friend of mine, actress Patricia (Tish) Potter...

Tish is best known for her five-year stint as Diane Lloyd in Holby City, before which she was in Brookside. She's also appeared in Extras, Jam & Jerusalem, The Bill and other shows, as well as the film Shakespeare In Love, for which she won a SAG.

An Eligible Man is a about a widowed judge (The Archers' Graham Seed as 'Topher' Osgood), the three women vying for his attention and his daughter (Tish!), who is trying to get him to move on, while still remaining very protective of him. It deals with the subject of moving on after the death of a loved one in a gentle and way with light humour. It's well paced with individual scenes never lasting more than a few minutes and its runtime - two hours including interval - is just right. It does feel like a play written for a middle-aged, Radio 4 audience, but that's not meant as a criticism.

Graham Seed is a seasoned actor and his performance is spot-on, investing his character with a likeable and handsome charm. The rest of the cast are mixed. Sonia Saville stands out as posh Lady Jo, Maggie Hallinan as neighbour Lucille and Malcolm James as Osgood's best friend are fine, if not outstanding, but Grainne Gillis tries too hard and fails to convince as osgood's new tenant, Sally. Tish aside, the only other cast member is Nina Kwok as a chinese shop assistant. She's fine, but the scene is ill-advised and a little embarassing.

As for the lady herself, Tish Potter brings the play's life and energy. The stage almost lights up when she appears, flowing locks, in her cycle helmet, miniskirt and boots, a sort of middle-class post-hippie chick. Hers is the only physical performance in the play and without it, it would risk becoming a staid parlour piece. As it is, she rounds it out beautifully and, indeed, with beauty. I am, of course, biased. You don't have to take my word for it though. Here's what other reviewers have said...

"Patricia Potter gives the outstanding performance of the piece" - Jeremy Austin, The Stage

"an excellent performance by Patricia Potter" - Jeremy Kingston, The Times

"There are stellar performances from Graham Seed... Patrica Potter, who plays Osgood’s troubled daughter" - Northwest Magazine

After that, we waited for Tish at the stage door, along with an older couple who I later learned were family friends of Tish. We all went off to a pub just down the road and the man, Stuart, got a round of drinks in. Turned out he was none other than millionaire Mr Stuart Wheeler, founder of financial spread betting company IG Index, erstwhile Conservative Party donor of no small significance and father of supermodel Jacquetta Wheeler...

He's currently taking Gordon Brown to court to try and force the government to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. A thoroughly lovely man he is too. His wife, Tessa, is a successful photographer and is about to have a book published containing her photos of Tangiers.

The Wheelers left and Tish, Lotty and I watched the conclusion of the Champions League Final. I was expected the pub to be packed, but there were about twenty people there tops, including none other than Lisa Stansfield and her noisy dog. We had one last drink and chatted, then went our separate ways!

The next morning, on Tish's recommendation, I headed for Hampstead Heath, Hill Garden and the Pergola. You can find the photos of this expedition here and here, but I'll finish this post with my favourite...

Friday, 23 May 2008

Belated happy birthdays

A belated happy birthday to two of my favourite models, who both advanced a year yesterday.

First off, the model people love to hate, Naomi Campbell (38)...

Secondly, model, author, TV personality, singer, horse-rider, creator of bed linen, mother and all-round capitalist icon Katie Price, aka Jordan (30)...

Watched recently

I'm so behind with all this. Apologies for not going into any depth.

The Colbert Report: 12th May - 4/5

Battlestar Galactica: Faith - 4/5

Nip/Tuck: Rachel Ben Natan - 3/5

The Big Bang Theory: The Nerdvana Annihilation (aka The Hello Kitty Instability, The Nerdmabilia Scattering) - the two aka titles came from the Sky EPG. Whoever thought them up is very clever - 4/5

The Colbert Report: 13th May - 3/5

Entourage: Gary's Desk - 4/5

House: Games - 4/5

ER: Tandem Repeats - 4/5

Heroes: Fight Or Flight - enough with the dodgy green screen already! - 4/5

The Apprentice: Week Nine - Sophocles survives again! FFS! Helene looks hot in jeans, especially when she's standing next to Claire - 4/5

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The world's tightest pants

Just killing time before I head off to London for a double-bill of plays - Pygmalion at the Old Vic and An Eligible Man at the New End Theatre in Hampstead - and I came across this article in the Mail about Stacey Ferguson's tight pants. I know it's not particularly incisive blogging, but they are seriously tight pants and can't pass unmentioned.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


1. Good news in the world of Doctor Who where the BBC have announced that Steven Moffat is to replace Russell T. Davies as executive producer. Moffat is responsible for writing some of the best episodes, including The Girl In The Fireplace and Blink. Davies deserves credit for reviving the series, but the episodes he wrote were almost always the weakest and it is time he moved on. Moffat takes up the reigns in time for the 2010 season - remember, there's no 2009 season.

2. Film recommendation - The Station Agent, 11.35pm tonight on BBC One.

3. The government has apparently abolished Cheshire and Bedfordshire.

4. Good, perceptive articles in the Guardian sticking the boot in Labour from George Monbiot and Polly Toynbee today.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Watched recently

Derren Brown: Trick Or Treat: Episode 2.2 - press the button! Kill the kitten! - 4/5

The Late Show - Gwyneth Paltrow looking wonderful. I think Dave has a shoe fetish - 4/5

Britain's Got Talent - 4/5

Doctor Who: The Doctor's Daughter - one of the season's dafter and more forgettable episodes, though it did give us an interesting character in Jenny, played by Georgia Moffett (daughter of former doctor Peter Davison), who I'm sure we'll see again - 3/4

Lost: Something Nice Back Home - a very dull episode that didn't seem to advance things very far at all. A massive disappointment following the previous episode - 2/5

In Bruges - Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play a pair of hitmen sent to hide out in Bruges by their boss (Ralph Fiennes) when a job goes wrong. It's an interesting combination of black comedy, drama and tragedy, effortlessly switching gears back and forth between laugh-out-loud one-liners and poigniant pathos. Farrell and Gleeson give good performances, but Fiennes stands out as the sociopathic Harry, almost channeling Ben Kingsley's Don Logan in Sexy Beast and there's a noteworthy role for Peter Dinklage. Top marks for having the guts to give the film an ambiguous ending too - 4/5

The Late Show - Robert Downey Jr was the entertaining main guest, followed by Alicia Keys. We also learned that's it's easier to hail a cab in New York if you're dressed as Iron Man, rather than Spider-Man - 4/5

Mad Men: Indian Summer - 4/5

Britain's Next Top Model: Character and Personality - Alex survived again! Yay! Lauren shouldn't have gone though. I don't think Lisa Snowdon and her chums have a clue what they're doing - 4/5

Admin - BBC Three sitcom pilot setting in and around the admin department of a firm of no win, no fee solicitors. Inevitible comparisons with The Office, but this doesn't have that show's deliberate cringing embarassment, which makes it a much easier watch, though not quite so good. It's very funny though, especially if you've worked in that kind of office environment, and I hope it gets a full series commission. The standout turn belongs to Jessica Hall as Tania, the office assistant who appears to be quite thick, but is actually the sharpest of the lot. Her high ponytail helps, though I have a fetish for those, so that's a somewhat subjective observation. Sian Reeves is surprisingly hot too. Must be the tight skirt - 4/5

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Watched recently

Battlestar Galactica: The Road Less Travelled - 4/5

Nip/Tuck: Duke Collins - AnnaLynne McCord is quite stunning, even if her character is a complete sociopath. Luckily for me, she's joined the cast of 90210, the Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off, as a spoiled rich-bitch, which is just the kind of girl I like - 4/5

Mad Men: The Long Weekend - 4/5

The Big Bang Theory: The Bat Jar Conjecture - 4/5

House: You Don't Want To Know - actually, I do want to know. Does Thirteen have the disease or not? Let's not have this hanging over us for the rest of the season, please. That aside, a top-notch episode - 5/5

10 Items Or Less: The New Boss - a new American sitcom, OK, but nothing worth investing in on an ongoing basis - 3/5

ER: Under Pressure - a tremendous episode which shows just how skillfully they can pull off high tension drama when they have to. Best of the season - 5/5

Heroes: The Kindness Of Strangers - 4/5

Derren Brown: Trick Or Treat: Episode 2.1 - I wonder if that book-reading and recall technique would work for me? I could study my entire degree in the week before the exams! - 4/5

Entourage: The Day Fuckers - strange episode that didn't advance any story-arcs. As is ooften the case, Jeremy Piven steals the show. Lets also give long overdue credit to Perrey Reeves, who plays Ari's long-suffering wife. I have the term, but if ever the term MILF could be applied to someone... - 4/5

Boston Legal: Rescue Me - an improvement over the previous episode with multiple stories involving all the main cast except Christian Clemenson. That said, the stories weren't that great - 4/5

Harry's day!

FA Cup final day today and here's hoping it a good one for Harry Redknapp and Portsmouth. Sure, Cardiff have the romance of the underdog, but there's the undeniable fact that they're a Welsh club and shouldn't be in the FA Cup anyway. This final is more than a club game, it's an international, England V Wales. The nation's pride is at stake!

Besides, who would begrudge Harry a cup win? He's done wonders with the club and is currently the top English manager in football. He deserves a big trophy.

This day dedicated to Harry Dempsey, gone but never forgotten on cup final day...


Friday, 16 May 2008

New CSI regular

Following on from the departure of CSI regulars Jorja Fox and Gary Dourdan this past season, a bit of new casting was inevitible, cue Canadian actress Lauren Lee Smith. Here's the CBS press release:

"LOS ANGELES, May 16 - Lauren Lee Smith joins the cast of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION next season as a series regular.

She will play CSI Bryce Adams, a smart, flirtatious, and witty non-conformist who entered law enforcement to rebel against her judgmental psychiatrist father. She has always been fascinated by the perverse underbelly of society and cannot be shocked or intimidated. She will be hired onto Grissom's night shift team.

Lauren Lee Smith was first discovered out of Vancouver, Canada when she was cast into Showtime's "The L-Word." Lauren then went on co-star in "Art School Confidential" opposite Max Minghella, and received critical praise and attention from her performance in the independent film "Lie with Me." Lauren also co-starred opposite Casey Affleck and Zach Braff in "The Last Kiss," and "Pathology" opposite Michael Weston and Milo Ventimiglia. She will also soon be seen in the horror film "Trick 'r Treat," as well as a lead role opposite Ashley Judd in the film "Helen.""

Cinema preview

This preview is for films which open today, 16th May.

The Air I Breathe
Ensemble piece based on a chinese proverb which break life down into four elements: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. Looks like a Crash-esque style film with intersecting plotlines. An interesting crash features Kevin Bacon (a doctor who has to save the love of his life), Julie Delpy, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar (a pop-star who falls prey to a crime boss), Forest Whitaker, Kelly Hu and a small role for the beautiful Kari Wuhrer, who doesn't get the roles she deserves. Looks interesting.
IMDb rating: 7.6, my predicted rating: 4/5

Terror's Advocate
Fascinating sounding documentary about lawyer Jacques Verges, who has made his name defending solid upstanding citizens such as, err, Klause Barbie, Djamila Bouhired, Tariq Aziz and Khieu Samphan. Don't know who they are? Click the links and give yourself an education! Directed by Barbet Schroeder.
IMDb rating: 7.1, my predicted rating: 4/5

Charlie Bartlett
Slightly darker than average teen comedy about a rich kid who becomes an unofficial psychiatrist to his fellow students. Charlie himself is played by Anton Yelchin, who will soon be seen as Chekov in JJ Abrams' Star Trek and Kyle Reese in Terminator 4. Certainly a young actor to watch. Bartlett's principal is Robert Downey Jr, currently raking in the dollars with Iron Man. Sounds like a film in Ferris Bueller's Day Off territory. Directorial debut for Jon Poll, who is best known as an editor.
IMDb rating: 7.5, my predicted rating: 4/5

RFK Must Die: The Assassination Of Bobby Kennedy
Documentary about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Would never have guessed from the title! Apparently, it implicates three CIA agents in the murder.
IMDb rating: 7.7, my predicted rating: 4/5

Heartbeat Detector
French drama about a psychologist, Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly), brought in by a large pharmaceutical company to investigate one of its executives who may have links to the Nazis. Quite lengthy at 143 minutes, but it's picked up a few awards and the subject is intriguing, so might be worth a look.
IMDb rating: 6.4, my predicted rating: 3/5

La Antena
Silent, black and white, Argentinian film about a man, Mr TV, who hypnotizes people through his television broadcasts. One for fans of German expressionism, it seems!
IMDb rating: 7.8, my predicted rating: 3/5

Smart People
Romantic comedy-drama in which a widowed professor finds new love and receives a visit from his adopted brother. Doesn't sound especially entertaining, but the cast (headed by Dennis Quaid) includes actress of the moment, Ellen Page. Also stars Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Or is is Sarah Michelle Prinze? That's what we're supposed to call her now, apparently. I'm all for loving your man (or rather, I'm all for you loving your man), but taking Prinze as a surname is taking things too far, dammit!
IMDb rating: 6.9, my predicted rating: 3/5

British horror in which a group of mercenaries find a long-hidden secret in an east European WW2 bunker. Doesn't seem like anything particularly original or special, but I'm sure i remember something about the makers mortgaging their houses to put it together, so they deserve some credit for having the balls to put everything on the line to get their movie made.
IMDb rating: 6.0, my predicted rating: 3/5

French romantic comedy centered around the lives of five Lebanese women and a Beirut beauty salon. Mark Kermode's film of the week on Five Live.
IMDb rating: 7.3, my predicted rating: 3/5

Dismal looking horror starring Joshua Jackson. Another unwarranted remake of a Japanese original. Tellingly, it wasn't screened to US critics before release.
IMDb rating: 4.6, my predicted rating: 2/5


A drink of water

Brita, the water filter people. Scroll down and look at the name of their press officer...

Fringe artwork

TV Week has promo posters for the fortcoming Fox sci-fi series, Fringe, produced by Alias creator JJ Abrams. Here's one, click here for more...

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Watched recently

The Late Show - Dave must have been short on guests if he had to pull in Craig Ferguson from the Late Late Show. Other guests were Ira Glass (no idea) and the tedious Black Crowes. Oh, and a guy who made Biff out of balloons - 3/5

Doctor Who: The Poison Sky - action-packed conclusion to the Sontaran themed two-parter, though it did seem to go on forever. Freema Agyeman was gorgeous - 4/5

The Birth Of Israel - documentary that does what it says on the tin. A bit dry, but a decent enough overview for anyone not familiar with the history. Somewhat flawed in that it gives the impression the Jews somehow invaded the lands of Israel, conveniently overlooking they were given to them by G-d himself (read Torah, people!) - 3/5

Lost: The Shape Of Things To Come - a superb post-hiatus episode and one of the show's best ever - 5/5

Britain's Next Top Model: Style and Poise - the girls had their hair done this week, most of them were OK, but I think they fucked up Alex a little. Getting the feeling this is Leanne's to lose - 4/5

The Apprentice: Week Eight - how does Michael Sophocles carry on surviving? He should have gone this week because he had all the sales finesse of some guy in a boiler room, plus he lied about his enthusiasm for the Ian Stuart dresses (which, incidentally, had Paige dribbling all over her tartan miniskirt). Still, Sara was going to go sooner or later, though, so may as well ditch her now and build up the anticiaption of Sophocles' sure firing. Helene survives! Yay! - 4/5

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


1. Quote of the day, Kirsty Gallacher after the Sex And The City premiere...

"I didn't really enjoy it very much... I'm afraid I don't get it. I found it very lightweight, very annoying and quite depressing at times. I'd rather read a history book."

2. Sad to report that Cane got cancelled. A shame because it's really been growing on me, but never mind. Shark got cancelled too. I'm actually surprised it survived this long. A grown man with a mock-up courtroom in his own house? Come on now... Some other shows I've never heard of got cancelled too, which means that CBS's sole surviving new show of the past year is The Big Bang Theory! Altogether now... "the whole universe was in a hot, dense state...!"

3. There's a Point Break sequel on the way. No Patrick Swayze though, obviously.

4. The heavenly Danielle Lloyd playing in a park. Cute.

5. From the Guardian yesterday (apologies for the poor scan)...

"Where no man has gone before: Lord Phillips models the new robe, similar to Capt Picard's (Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek"

This is a story about how judges and England and Wales will be getting a new look from October. Now forgive me, but I must admit I'm not seeing much by way of similarity between the new legal robe and Picard's outfit. The outfits look about as similar as Trevor McDonald and Jon Snow. Lord Phillips doesn't even have a communicator, dammit!

6. Also in yesterday's Guardian, a story about Gordon Brown beginning his fightback (again). Apparently Hazel Blears was due to give a speech in which she floats the idea of the cabinet meeting outside London, in town halls and community centres around the country. She's quoted as saying:

"Just imagine if the cabinet meeting took place at the British Legion, Swindon, the town hall, Grimsby, or the Victoria community centre in Crewe. There is no good reason why not."

Complete nonsense. Aside from the environmental and security considerations of shipping the entire cabinet around the country, there's nothing to suggest the exercise would result in any better decision making, particularly when anything important is decided by Gordon Brown and those around him, not the cabinet. If simply having them meet somewhere else could improve governance, then why not send the cabinet to a tropical island in the Pacific or a luxury hotel in the Caribbean? Who wouldn't feel reinvigorated after that change of scenery? Sorry, but having to haul ass up to Grimsby on a wet Wednesday in November is hardly conducive to good policy-making.

7. Scott Glenn has been cast as Donald Rumsfeld in Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic, W.

8. Good news for Missy Peregrym fans, Reaper got renewed. I'm a fan of Missy, but not of Reaper, which is too monster-of-the-week for my liking.

9. Davina McCall has confirmed she's not leaving Big Brother after the next run, which begins on 5th June. Channel 4 have also confirmed that Celebrity Big Brother will be back next year.

10. The world's hottest woman, Leslie Bibb, has signed to star in comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Watched recently

What with work and mountain hiking, I've been a bit remiss in passing on what I've been watching recently, so it's time for a big catch-up...

Britain's Next Top Model: Poise and Composure - why on earth was Alexandra in the final two? She's the hottest of the contenders by quite some distance. One of the girls couldn't walk in high heels, which might be a bit of a problem when you want to be a, you know, model - 4/5

Mad Men: Shoot - another absorbing episode - 4/5

The Late Show - Kelsey Grammer is quite a funny guy and not entirely dissimilar to Frasier Crane. Shame that his latest sitcom Back To You (which, I admit, I haven't had a chance to see) has been cancelled. Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, was also on. She could talk for Michigan, but she's throroughly charming and hotter than I had ever realised. And yes, I do use the words 'hot', 'hotter' and so on a bit too much. Still going to do it though. There was a band on too, but I didn't bother to watch them - 4/5

Nip/Tuck: Dr Joshua Lee - Nip/Tuck back on form after a season that had been drifting alarmingly - 4/5

The Colbert Report: 5th May - first time watching this spin-off from the Daily Show. Very funny stuff it is too, without the tedious skits that plague the Daily Show. RAAAAAAAAAIN!!! Also drew my attention to this true story in which a 911 dispatcher fell asleep during a call from a woman who had been robbed at gunpoint - 4/5

The Apprentice: Week Seven - bye Jenny and Jenny, Chinny McGinger (as Anna Pickard of the Guardian refers to her) and Aunt Sally depart. Seems Mr Sophocles thinks he's half-Jewish. Sorry dear boy, but you can't be half Jewish. Jewishness is passed down the maternal line so you're either Jewish or you're not. Oh, you can't get a kosher chicken from a muslim butcher either, not even if the butcher's shop is in front of a mosque and not even if you ask the butcher to pray for the chicken before he chops it's head off. Am I the only one who finds Helene rather inexplicably attractive? Fantastic TV as always - 5/5

At this point, I watched three editions of The Late Show and wrote down who all the guests were then promptly lost the piece of paper they were on, but I do remember the ratings were 2/5, 3/5 and 4/5. I do remember some guests though, Billy Crystal is usually a funny guest, but there was too much baseball chat,, which is terribly dull. Thankfully, Maria Sharapova was on afterwards, who is always charming, though her choice of attire was a little dubious. Tennis in the street with Dave and Billy. Good stuff. Who else... hmm, Tina Fey, a comedic genius. Would love to see her do something with our own (as in, lives in England) Sharon Horgan. Helen Hunt looks old. Incidentally, have you seen how old Bill Clinton looks lately? He isn't an old guy, so it must be the heart stuff that's done him in a bit. Either that or living with Hillary. Give it up girl!

The Big Bang Theory: The Jerusalem Duality - I remember almost nothing about this, except that Kaley Cuoco wasn't in it all that much. I notice such things - 4/5

The Late Show - Uma Thurman, Graham Rahal (he races cars, apparently) and The Gossip. Watched as far as Uma and I have to say, I didn't really like her. Nothing I can really put my finger on, but she left me a bit cold - 3/5

Have I Got A Bit More News For You -

Brian Blessed as guest host, cracked me up - 5/5

House: Ugly - I do hope Olivia Wilde is a permanent addition to the cast. Trivia: her real name is Olivia Cockburn. *says nothing* - 4/5

Balls Of Steel: 2nd May - pah, it was a repeat - 3/5

Have I Got A Bit More News For You - this one hosted by Bill Bailey. Not up to Brian Blessed standards but still the funniest thing on TV - 4/5

Gladiators - Gladiators returns after 42 years off our screens, this time thanks to Sky. It's pretty much the same as the old series, except with all new Gladiators, new presenters in Ian Wright and the divine Kirsty Gallacher...

...and a large water tank instead of crash mats. Other than that, it's business as usual. To be honest, it all felt a little flat and I think that's down to a lack of personality in the Gladiators. Oblivion gamely tried to be the new Wolf, but was a bit cringe-inducing. Top marks for trying though. Hopefully, the rest of them will open up a bit more over the next fourteen weeks instead of standing around scowling. The show itself is inherently compelling though and will transcend any failings in this area. Who are the hot girls? has to be Kirsty (of course) and Inferno...

Britain's Got Talent - same sort of mix as usual, which is no bad thing. The 12-year old singer, Faryl Smith, was remarkable to my untrained ears, but although she was about the size of a 12-year old, her face older...

...and what was with the magic act? Animalgique I think they were called? OK, so it was reasonably impressive but come on people, it's 2008, not 1984. Dress accordingly! - 4/5

Battlestar Galactica: Escape Velocity - one of those BSG episodes light on pyrotechnics, but which still manages to transcend pretty much everything else on TV. How the Four are coming to terms with the Cylon heritage is great stuff as they slowly progress to an inevitible end. On the subject of the BSG universe, Eric Stoltz has joined the cast of prequel Caprica as Daniel Greystone, the creator of the Cylons. - 4/5

Entourage: The WeHo Ho - Eric's moaning about Walsh is getting tiresome, but never mind - 4/5

ER: Truth Will Out - a fairly by-the-numbers episode, but watchable enough. Not sure why Neela came over all weepy with Aida Turturro. There didn't seem to be any backstory to it. Here's hoping Luka pisses off back to Croatia. He's boring, always has been and the notion he would go to work in a hospice as a palliative care doctor is improbable - 4/5

Heroes: Kindred - despite the interminible crap with Hiro in Japan and an excess of green-screen shots, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Claire Bear has a Superman-esque friend and Nikki's back, which is always good. Sylar's around too and it will be interesting to see how he recovers some powers, as surely he must? - 4/5

Cane: A New Legacy - Cane continues to grow on me. I admire that it has the sheer balls to shamelessly rip off the opening scene of The Godfather. It's just a shame that sugar cane and rum is a bit of a sucky backdrop for the business intrigue. How about a drama about a family of arms dealers? Rachael Carpani needs to do something about her hair - 4/5

Boston Legal: Glow In The Dark - the weakest episode in a while. Highlights were the scenes between Leigh and Katie (sporting straight hair and a large nose), but the rest had nothing. A dull case about a nuclear power plant and some truly boring scenes with Shirley and an old lover, played by Scott Bakula. It's becoming noticeable that the cast has shrunk. There were fewer extras and credited stars Saffron Burrows, Taraji Henson and Gary Anthony Williams were all absent. That's what happens with cost cutting and, sadly, it's only likely to get worse next season following on from the news the show has been renewed, but for a smaller licence fee. Something needs to be done to stave off what could become a terminal decline - 3/5

Monday, 12 May 2008

Boston Legal returns; new series pick-ups

Hollywood Reporter is, err, reporting that an agreement has been reached that will see Boston Legal returning in the autumn. Good news indeed, but the word is that ABC are reducing the amount they pay for the show, so it's likely that there will be pay-cuts and cast shrinkage, which does raise doubts as to the show's ability to remain strong. I think that if they hang on to James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen then things should be OK, but it would be sad to see any of the other regulars leave. It's worth noting that the cast was slimmed down at the end of season three and there has been a slight drop in quality this season.

As part of the deal with producer David E. Kelley, it looks like ABC will pick up a season order for Life On Mars, the US remake of the BBC show of the same name. There's a pilot in post-production starring Irish actor Jason O'Mara as Sam Tyler, Colm Meaney and Gene Hunt and Rachelle Lefevre as Annie. I wasn't a fan of the original series, struck me as little more than a by-the-numbers light police drama with gimmick, so I'm not overly enthused by the remake, but hopefully it will come to transcend its source material, such as with the US version of The Office.

Elsewhere, Fox have picked up sci-fi series Fringe and Dollhouse. Fringe is produced by JJ Abrams' Bad Robot and is about a female FBI agent who has to team up with scientists to get to the bottom of a series of unexplained phenomena. The lead appears to be Anna Torv, an actress I'm unfamiliar with but who appeared in the recent BBC drama Mistresses. Dollhouse comes to the world from the mind of Joss Whedon. It's about a team of special operatives that carry out secret missions, only to have their memories erased after each one. Its stars Eliza Dushku as one such operative who begins to develop self-awareness.

Fox have also greenlit hotel-set The Inn, directed by Arrested Development's Jason Bateman. Bateman also joins AD alumni Will Arnett and Henry Winkler in providing voices for animated series Sit Down, Shut Up from AD creator Mitchell Hurwitz.

Another notable import from the UK is Eleventh Hour, which looks likely to get a full season from CBS. The original was a short-lived ITV drama starring Patrick Stewart as a scientist investigating unusual events for the government and Extras and Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen as his bodyguard. The US version has Rufus Sewell in the lead and Marley Shelton as the bodyguard.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

This week's belated cinema preview

This preview is for films which opened last Friday, 9th May.

Manufactured Landscapes
Documentary in which photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world looking at how industry has altered the physical landscape. I've always had an interest in this kind of photography, so this could be pretty interesting and it's got good reviews.
IMDb rating: 7.1, my predicted rating: 4/5

This story of a 15-year old Argentinian hermaphrodite comes heavily laden with lots of international film awards and nominations. Not the sort of film I would make a point of seeing, but it's hard to ignore that much silverware!
IMDb rating: 7.4, my predicted rating: 4/5,68

Scotland is quarantined due to a lethal virus which, I think, turns people into zombie-like creatures, a la 28 Days Later. A team is sent in to retrieve a cure. Doesn't sound terribly original (the Resident Evil films spring to mind), but if it provides mindless entertainment, who cares? Directed by Neil Marshall, who explored this kind territory before in Dog Soldiers and most recently directed the phenomenal The Descent. Cast headed by the hotter-than-hot Rhona Mitra. Bob Hoskins and Malcolm MacDowell appear too.
IMDb rating: 6.5, my predicted rating: 3/5

Japanese animation in which a femal agent is sent to Japan to investigate reports they have secretly been developing robot technology against a UN ban. Could be crap, but I love the idea.
IMDb rating: 7.1, my predicted rating: 3/5

Expanded from an Oscar-nominated short film, this stars Sean Biggerstaff who develops insomina after a break-up and starts working nights in a supermarket and imagines that he can stop time. Quite arty, apparently and it co-stars Emilia Fox and Michelle Ryan, so there's all kinds of eye candy to be had. Not to keen on the time-freezing concept though. Sounds a bit tedious.
IMDb ratng: 7.5, my predicted rating: 3/5

I Served The King Of England
Following 40 or so years in the history of a Prague hotel. Stars Julia Jentsch, who seems to be building up quite a filmography what with The Edukators, Downfall and Sophie Scholl under her belt. Good critical reception for this film.
IMDb rating: 7.5, my predicted rating: 3/5

Mouth To Mouth
A seemingly average drama about a girl who gets involved with a cult that was made three years ago gets a UK release. Looks like an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Ellen Page following on from Juno and it looks like her performance might be the stand-out thing about the film.
IMDb rating: 6.3, my predicted rating: 3/5

Speed Racer
The Wachowski brothers return to directing for the first time since they completed their Matrix trilogy. This is a CGI and green screen movie adaptation of the 'classic' Speed Racer cartoon. The plot doesn't really matter. It's cliched stuff about racing, family, rivarly and yadda yadda. if you've seen the trailer then you'll know that it's something of a visual assault and at 135 minutes in length I can imagine coming out of it with a killer headache, though I have read a review that said your eyes do get used to the unique style, so maybe not. Interesting cast including Christina Ricci looking her usual other-worldly self, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon. It's certainly no Matrix, that's for sure, but I am curious.
IMDb rating: 6.1, my predicted rating 3/5

A debt-ridden club owner in fifties Alabama attempts to pass-off a homeless guy as a famous guitar player and boost his takings. Danny Glover leads a cast that also includes Stacy Keach and Mary Steenburgen. Notable in that's it directed by John Sayles, but of no interest to me.
IMDb rating: 7.4, my predicted rating: 2/5

A Secret
French drama about a 15-year old boy who discovers a family secret. Nominated for all manner of Cesars, but the IMDb rating is a little low at the moment, though that may be due to the way their algorithm distorts averages when a relatively small number of people have voted. However, Peter Bradshaw hated it in the Guardian, describing it as a "pretentious washout".
IMDb rating: 6.6, my predicted rating: 2/5

Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?
Morgan Spurlock follows-up Super Size Me with a trip to the middle east to explore the war on terror. Yawn. I remember that a while back there were rumours circulating that Spurlock might actually have found and interviewed Bin Laden. Of course, it later transpired that that was just crap and Spurlock looked a bit of a cock as a result, but what annoyed me about the episode was that Spurlock did nothing to dispel the rumours when he could have done so. I guess that's what happens when you get into bed with Harvey Weinstein.
IMDb rating: 6.1: my predicted rating: 2/5

What Happens In Vegas
I haven't heard anything positive about this Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz romantic comedy about two people who discover they've gotten married after a drunken night in las Vegas. If there's any positive to be drawn from it then it must be that it also stars the lovely Lake Bell, but I doubt even she can save this.
IMDb rating: 3.6, my predicted rating: 2/5

Bollywood movie starring the ubiquitous Amitabh Bachchan. No interest to me.
IMDb rating: 7.9, my predicted rating: 2/5

Sue you too!

The perfect name for a lawyer...

Thanks to Popbitch. Speaking of which, the recent Popbitch newsletter contained this rumour:

"Which two LA-based superstars have started jogging together. Beverly Hills neighbours are enjoying gossiping about what they do to warm down."

Now come on PB, I know you can't give anything away, but please, you need to give us a little more than that!

Friday, 9 May 2008

The dubious reviews roll in!

Reviews have started appearing for the much anticpated Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and it seems all is now well in this particular Hoosier state. I noticed that the trailers so far had felt a little flat and some reviews are suggesting that that feeling is actually translating to the film.

Anyway, here are a few reviews that have appeared over at AICN.

There's also a (single) negative review of Will Smith's Hancock. I didn't know much about this until I saw the trailer last weekend and that trailer did get me very interested, in fact it's one of the best trailers I've seen in years, so lets hope that that review is an abherration. Check out the trailer for yourself...

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


1. The government has ignored the review of the Advisory Council On Misuse Of Drugs and decided to reclassify cannabis as a Class C drug. So much for the new listening goverment! If they won't even listen to their own advisory bodies, why on earth should we think they'll listen to us mere voters? I actually support the reclassification simply because I can't stand the stench of the stuff, but I accept decisions about this should be made by people who know what they're talking about. It's a shame that the government doesn't think the same.

2. Random casting news of the day: Ellen Page to play Jane Eyre.

3. Seriously Hillary, give it up already!

Breaking local news!

Breaking news from this week's edition of my local newspaper, the Long Eaton Advertiser...

"A pack of toilet rolls have been stolen from an office building in Breaston.

The building in Risley Lane was broken into between noon on Saturday, May 3, and 1am on Monday, May 5.

The intruders forced the back door open and the only thing missing is a pack of toilet rolls."

Well it wasn't me, even if the premises in question are just around the corner from my house. I wonder if the phrase "forced the back door open" has a double meaning in the context of this story?

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Wendy Alexander at it again

Following on from my post last night, I've just heard Wendy Alexander on Five Live, once again refusing to give straight answers to straight questions, this time from Peter Allen. The woman doesn't have a clue.

Goverment puts off royal equality

Back on 20th April, I wrote a post about how the government was seeking to amend the Act of Settlement so as to end the practice of male-preference primogeniture and allow a female heir to take the throne ahead of a male one.

Now I read in today's Guardian that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, has ruled out any changes for the forseeable future arguing that it would be complex because the Commonwealth countries would need to be consulted and other legislation would need to be amended or repealed. Now really, is it that difficult? I seriously doubt that it would take anything more than, say, an Act of Settlement (Amendment) Bill to pass through Parliament and it's job done.

What the rest of the Commonwealth do is up to them, but I seriously doubt any of them would object presented with a fait accompli that, as the Guardian points out, is actually supported by Her Majesty. Maybe they should look at getting their own heads of state. The idea that the English monarch is head of state of a country like Australia or Canada is nothing more than an absurd historical anomaly. They should become republics as soon as possible.

If I were David Cameron, I would seize upon this and introduce the amendment bill. This would give the Conservatives a rare edge over Labour in the equality debate. What better way for him to show Conservative commitment to the equality of women than by bringing it to the throne, the very pinnacle of the state. What's more, how could Labour possibly oppose it?

[BTW, going back to the Guardian, Polly Toynbee wrote a good analysis of the mess Labour is in at the moment, though I disagree with her proposed solutions]

Monday, 5 May 2008

Daily Mail notes

1. Daily Mail headline of the day:

"Natasha Kaplinsky and Ulrika Jonsson get ready for baby"

I never knew they were a couple!

2. Girls Aloud in PVC. And why not?

3. We're asked:

"Liz Hurley's getting curvier - is it a baby on the way or is she losing her battle to hold back time?"

According to the article's author, Alison Boshoff, the photo below is Elizabeth Hurley either looking pregnant or losing a battle to turn back time. You decide for yourselves but yeah, she really looks like the years are catching up with her, doesn't she? She's like a gouty old crone for g-d's sake! And pregnant with triplets as well! Damn...

Photo: Big Pictures

Wendy Alexander changes her mind

Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander was on Channel 4 News this evening, being interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Scottish Labour have done a sudden about-turn and decided that actually, they do support a referendum on Scottish independence and they would like it now, thank you very much.

The change of mind seems to have come along very suddenly and smacks of cynical politicking with the fate of a nation, but hey-ho, this blogger favours English independence so the sooner the Scots are allowed to go their own way, all the better and good luck to them.

But back to the interview. A common complaint about politicians, particularly Labour ones from whatever side of the border, seeing as they're most directly in the firing line, is that they rarely answer a straight question with a straight answer. You need only look at Prime Minister's Questions on a Wednesday to see that. Gordon Brown never answers the questions David Cameron or indeed any non-Labour MP asks him. In fact, sometimes he doesn't even answer questions from his own MPs. Say what you like about Tony Blair, but at least he tackled things head on before turning the question around for his own purposes.

I bet Gordon Brown's wife, Sarah, has fun...

Sarah: "Gordon, what do you want for dinner?"

Gordon: "We've had the longest sustained period of tasty dinners since the Tories were in office and...."

Sarah: "Yes Gordon, but what do you want for dinner tonight?"

Gordon: "I think the public want to know that we're taking the tough decisions to ensure tasty dinners in the long..."

Sarah: "Look, Gordon, I haven't got time for this. You can either have fish fingers or sausages. Which do you want?"

Gordon: "I take full responsibilty for the dinner and will listen to what you have said and I think we need to reflect and...."

Well, tonight it was Wendy Alexander's turn to come across as an idiot. Given the quick u-turn on the referendum, Krishnan's first, entirely understandable question was to ask Alexander when she had changed her mind. She evaded. Krishnan asked again. She evaded again. Krishnan, starting to get annoyed, wondered if there was any point in carrying on if Alexander wasn't going to answer this simple question. She evaded.

Anyway, Krishnan couldn't get anywhere so the interview fizzled out in evasion, spin and SNP-bashing. Do these politicians not realise that it's this kind of crap that causes such disillusion with Labour in particular and with the entire political process in general? Wendy Alexander, you are truly pathetic.

Miley Cyrus the billionaire? I don't think so...

I've read in a few places recently that teenage starlet Miley Cyrus is on the verge of becoming a billionaire. Most recently, this speculation has appeared over at Digital Spy.

I'm sorry, but this is complete nonsense. The article, written by Beth Hilton, says...

"According to People, the franchise will be worth £500 million by 2009, while Cyrus earned £9 million last year alone."

There's a few points to make here. Firstly, it's £500 million. So she wouldn't actually be a billionaire here at all. Secondly, it's the franchise that would be worth £500 million. Specifically, that's the Hannah Montana franchise. The one that's owned by Disney, not by Miley Cyrus. Thirdly, look, it says she earned £9 million last year, hardly the kind of earnings that will make you a billionaire.

So, far from Miss Cyrus becoming a billionaire, by this time next year she'll probably be worth something closer to, ooooh, lets be generous and say £50 million. Not bad at all, but far from billionaire status.