Posts Tagged ‘London’

Ali G makes a comeback, Ashley Roberts and Kimberly Wyatt on the red carpet and Jack Whitehall becomes the King of Comedy


Jack Whitehall looks like a gender reassigned barbie

Jack Whitehall looks like a gender reassigned barbie

There were plenty of LOLs last night at the British Comedy Awards and a festive sprinkle of controversy, too.

Ali G returned to collect a special award for Outstanding Achievement – more than a decade after he was named Best Newcomer at the event.

Obviously the brains behind the man from Staines, Sacha Baron Cohen, didn’t miss the opportunity for some edgy gags.

Making a reference to his gold outfit, he said: “A lot has changed in ten years, times are tough. I’ve even had to start getting my tracksuits from second hand clothes shops.”

Before turning around to reveal the word ‘Savile’ printed on the back.

Youthful comic Jack Whitehall was crowned King of Comedy at the Channel 4 bash.

Other winners include Charlie Brooker, named Best Comedy Entertainment Personality, and Harry Hill, whose TV Burp show was named the Best Comedy Entertainment Programme.

The award for Best Sitcom saw The Thick Of It, Rev and Twenty Twelve all lose out to Julia Davis’s SKY show Hunderby, which was also named Best New Comedy Programme.

The full list of winners follows:

Best Comedy Entertainment Personality – Charlie Brooker

Best Sitcom – Hunderby

Best Male TV Comic – Lee Mack

Best Comedy Entertainment Programme – Harry Hill’s TV Burp

Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist – Morgana Robinson

Best TV Comedy Actress – Rebecca Front

The Writers Guild of Great Britain – Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer

Best TV Comedy Actor – Peter Capaldi

Best Female TV Comic – Jo Brand

Best Sketch Show – Cardinal Burns

Best New Comedy Programme – Hunderby

Outstanding Achievement – Sacha Baron Cohen.


google-map-logoThe new Google Maps application for the iPhone became the most downloaded free item in Apple‘s App Store on Thursday, just hours after its launch.

The long-awaited app launched in the early hours of Thursday morning, finally bringing relief to the millions of iPhone users forced to rely on Apple’s own much-maligned mapping system.

The popularity of Google Maps provided an insight into the unpopularity of Apple’s own attempt at providing a map service. Its launch came after Apple ditched its partnership with Google ahead of the launch of iOS6, the most recently launched operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

“People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone,” wrote Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps for Mobile in a thinly veiled dig at Apple’s own geographical travails.

“Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here – rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.”

Early reviews of Google Maps were overwhelmingly positive. The New York Times described it as “free, fast and fantastic,” concluding that “Google Maps for iPhone is an astonishingly powerful, accurate, beautiful tool”.

The Next Web said the new tool was “pleasantly responsive and feature-rich,” although noted “a few rough spots that suggest it’s been rushed ahead to market”.

The early response to Google Maps is in stark contrast for the widespread despair provoked by Apple’s own attempt at building a mapping system.

Users reported that railway stations had been imagined, the Sears Tower in Chicago had been mislabelled, Paddington Station in London had ceased to exist and searches for ‘London’ directed UK iPhone users to the Canadian London in Ontario, rather than Britain’s teeming metropolis.

Google Maps had been an inbuilt part of the iOS operating system until this year’s update. Apple decided not to renew its licence with Google, reportedly frustrated that Google had refused to allow it access to its voice-directed turn-by-turn navigation and vector graphics for mapping.

Skyfall has become the most successful film in British box office history.

The 23rd official installment of the James Bond movie has so far earned a stunning £94.3million ($152million) according the producers of the blockbuster.

In just over 40 days, the film which stars Daniel Craig has outdone the efforts of the 2009 adventure film Avatar which in 11 months made £94.0million.

Although the figures do not take inflation into account, co-producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli revealed how proud they are of how well the 007 movie has done.
In a statement they said: ‘We are very proud of this film and thank everybody, especially Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, who have contributed to its success’.

The motion picture which sees Bond and his spymaster M battle villain wizard Silva, played by Javier Bardem, received rave reviews when it was released in October.

Directed by Sam Mendes, the film bagged $870million in ticket sales around the world, according to movie tracking site

Dave says –
I have to wonder when i read this type of news
Exactly what defines a british movie these days?
Is there a quota system in place ?
Or are half the production company actually Polish/ Nigerian etc ?

However globally, the spy movie is yet to match Avatar’s record ticket sales which satnds at $2.8billion.

And reports on the same website suggest that the James Cameron’s film ranks 14th in cinema history, with the 1939 classic Gone With the Wind in pole position.

In November it was reported that Daniel Craig is being paid over £31million to play the British spy in two more outings.

The deal makes Craig, 44, the best-paid Bond to date, even taking into account the effects of inflation on his predecessors’ paypackets.

It is a far leap from his first Bond role which saw him earn £1.9million in Casino Royale in 2006, and also the £4.4million he received for Quantum of Solace in 2008.

Craig received £10.7 million for Skyfall, which is more than the £7.5million paid to his predecessor Pierce Brosnan for The World Is Not Enough in 1999 and the £10.3million for Die Another Day in 2002.
The financial deal will see him placed near the top of Hollywood’s leading men – vying for position just below Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.

original article click here

American reviewers slate J.K. Rowling

Author’s first full-length book for five years went on sale today

The Casual Vacancy is Rowling’s first novel aimed at adults

Book attracts mixed reviews on both sides of the Atlantic

But industry experts say first-day sales are best since Dan Brown in 2009

Stores opened early in anticipation of high demand 

She became a multi-millionaire as her fantasy novels chronicling the adventures of a young wizard became the biggest-selling book series in history.

But Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first foray into the world of adult fiction wasn’t greeted with the same acclaim today, as critics in the US panned her long-awaited novel The Casual Vacancy on the day of its release in Britain.

And although bookshops across the UK opened their doors early in anticipation of high demand, one central London store sold only four copies of the text in its first hour of trading.

Nevertheless, industry figures said the novel – Rowling’s first full-length offering for five years – had enjoyed the best first-day sales of any book for three years.

She became a multi-millionaire as her fantasy novels chronicling the adventures of a young wizard became the biggest-selling book series in history.

But Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first foray into the world of adult fiction wasn’t greeted with the same acclaim today, as critics in the US panned her long-awaited novel The Casual Vacancy on the day of its release in Britain.

And although bookshops across the UK opened their doors early in anticipation of high demand, one central London store sold only four copies of the text in its first hour of trading.

Nevertheless, industry figures said the novel – Rowling’s first full-length offering for five years – had enjoyed the best first-day sales of any book for three years.

‘We had a lot of shoppers who were loyalists who had gathered together. What was really interesting about them is that they were coming into the stores in groups.

‘A lot of sales are going through our shops and the vast majority of customers are buying The Casual Vacancy. We expect that pattern to continue throughout the day.

‘The figures are looking very good. They are the best first-day figures that we have had since Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol in 2009.’

Readers who bought the book were clearly undeterred by unfavourable reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

Michiko Kakutani, writing in The New York Times, wrote: ‘Unfortunately, the real-life world she (Rowling) has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly clichéd that The Casual Vacancy is not only disappointing — it’s dull.’

LA Times writer David Ulin found the novel’s characters to be ‘two-dimensional’.

In Britain, the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir wrote: ‘Can The Casual Vacancy ever live up to the hype? On balance, I would have to say no.

‘Not unless you want to have more than 500 pages of relentless socialist manifesto, masquerading as literature, crammed down your throat.

‘From start to finish, J.K. Rowling’s main area of conflict is between the selfish middle-class villagers and the noble savages on the poverty-stricken estate.

‘J.K. Rowling likes to describe her new book as a comic tragedy, yet there are few laughs to pierce the blanket of gloom in this bleak, rather one-sided vision of life in modern England.’

Early indications suggest that the book has not proved as popular as the Harry Potter series was at its peak. Worldwide sales of the fantasy books are estimated to be about 450million.

And there was certainly a more muted reception at Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road, central London, which opened at 8am but sold only four copies in the first hour of trading.

Miriam Robinson, Foyles’s head of marketing. said that by 4pm today ‘a couple of a hundred’ copies had been sold across its six branches – five in London, one in Bristol.

But she said the company had ordered 1,000 copies and expected to sell every one.

Foyles expects to sell a further 900 copies at a South Bank launch event for the book tonight, which has sold out.

The Evening Standard reported that 150 people were seen queueing outside the Waterstone’s branch in Piccadilly before it opened, but most were there to see pop star Jessie J signing copies of her autobiography.

The Waterstones spokesman said: ‘Nothing much compares with Harry Potter at its peak – that really was exponential.

‘I don’t think we can compare it to The Casual Vacancy and I don’t think we should.

‘The success of the Potter series built up over a decade as people wanted to know what happened to the characters.’

Publisher Little, Brown said it was too early to provide an indication of sales figures for The Casual Vacancy.

A spokesman said that the company hoped to release more information tomorrow.

Rhiane Jones was the first to get her hands on the novel at Foyles in Charing Cross Road.

The 29-year-old, from Wood Green, north London, said: ‘Harry Potter was a large part of the experience of growing up so I was quite curious about what she’d produce.

‘I think her fan base will be curious about a novel that is targeted at them now they’ve grown up. And people who’ve bought into the hype around the book and just want a good story will be interested.

‘She may not be the most stylish user of language but she’s an amazing storyteller. It will be a good read.’

Publishers have gone to extreme lengths to keep details of the novel under wraps before its release.

It has been described as a ‘blackly comic’ tale about an idyllic town ripped apart by an election.

The story is set in Pagford, a dreamy spot with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey, which becomes a town at war with itself.

Published simultaneously in e-book and audio formats, it begins with the unexpected death of Barry Fairweather, whose demise in his early 40s leaves a space on the parish council.

Booksellers took delivery of the novel yesterday and the boxes were unsealed just minutes before shops opened at 8am.

Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in movies based on the Harry Potter books, said she hoped readers would be open-minded about Rowling’s change of direction.

‘There’s no way that it isn’t nerve-wracking when you have so much attention on what you do and your choices and everything, but she’s so wonderful and so clever and there’s no way it’s not going to be brilliant

‘I just hope that people are open-minded enough to be supportive,’ she said.

Rowling, 47, has amassed a fortune estimated to be around £620million from her seven Harry Potter books for children and all the spin-off rights.

She said she left ‘the door ajar’ for a return to the world of Harry Potter but there would be no more books about the young wizard.

‘There’s only one reason to write now: for me,’ she told the BBC.

It was ‘murder’ saying goodbye to her most famous character, she added.

‘But truly, where Harry’s story is concerned, I’m done,’ Rowling said. I just think it would be for the sake of milking it and that’s just not in me.

‘Now, having said all of that, I have always left the door ajar because I’m not that cruel. If I had a fabulous idea that came out of that world, because I loved writing it, I would do it.

‘But I’ve got to have a great idea. I don’t want to go mechanically into that world and pick up odds and ends and glue them together and say “Here we go, we can sell this”.

‘It would make a mockery of what those books were to me. They really kept me going through some very rough times… so I just don’t want to betray them in that sense.’

Rowling said she was tempted to rewrite some of the books, as ‘a director’s cut’, because she wrote them too quickly and that the next book she writes would be for slightly younger children than her Harry Potter audience.

Sion Hamilton, general manager at Foyles book shop, in Charing Cross Road, said he expected the novel to be one of the biggest sellers of the year.

‘We are expecting big sales of this book but it’s not necessarily going to be the mad rush we saw with Harry Potter,’ he said.

‘I think she’s going to get new fans and there are a lot of people grew up with the Harry Potter books.

‘I think they’ll be interested to see how she’s developed.

‘The voice that will be in the book, even though it will be aimed at adults, will still be hers.

‘It’s from her pen and I think there’ll be a lot of curiosity about it.’

Dave says –

I’m sorry but if ANY publisher dared to ask me what i was writing next when i had 600 million in the bank I would be a little sarcastic at best ! the fact she wrote anything at all tells me that she loves writing. Her first foray out of her established comfort zone may be a tad like watching someone ‘grow up’ or mature as a writer in public – but I think that is a little unfair when half of the critics bought her entire back catalogue out of their pocket money!!

Cut the lady some slack – we know she can write .




  Just heard the Paloma Faith INXS cover

 Wow – unlike the Pro Green abomination of

 Need You Tonight !

 I seem to remember Michael Hutchence

 having a fondness for smaller women ; )


Wonder if the INXS back catalogue is getting ploughed the same way they did to ELVIS ?

Article taken from the daily mail :












A research ship has discovered more than one million new species after trawling through the Atlantic, Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans.

The Tara Expedition took a 70,000-mile trek across the oceans over 36 months to discover the new creatures – many of which the French-based team credit with giving humanity the gift of oxygen, as the billions of tiny plankton present in our oceans provide much of the oxygen in our atmosphere.

The creatures will be unveiled tonight at a special exhibition at the Science Museum in London, after the ship docked back into London last week.

The team say the discoveries could change our understanding of climate change’s impact on the world’s oceans – and said their journey showed just how vulnerable the sea is due to man’s actions.

More than 30,000 samples of sea water were taken from a variety of spots across the planet, which led to the discovery of 1.5million species – ranging from the relatively large – 1cm in length – to the small, measuring just fractions of a millimetre.

The research provides a snapshot of marine micro-organisms – but points out how much plastic we dump in the ocean, with up to 50,000 plastic fragments per square mile within the Atlantic.

These plastics will not break down for hundreds of thousands of years, and can enter the food chain through fish, seabirds and other marine animals. The toxins can poison the ocean, and also find their way into humans through seafood.

 The 36-metre Tara schooner left Lorient in France in June 2009 and took samples up to a depth of 2,000 metres.

Dr Chris Bowler, the scientific co-ordinator of the expedition, told the Independent how the study provides a ‘snapshot and health check’ of the world’s oceans.

He said: ‘Nobody has ever done this on the scale that we have before.

‘We will be analysing results in the lab for a number of years. The task now is to understand the physical and climactic constraints that have created these ecosystems.

‘How much is pollution affecting them, how much is temperature change affecting them?’

Bowler added: ‘If a species of plankton sensitive to temperature migrates, it could devastate that food chain and therefore local fisheries. We want to find out the role of each species within an ecosystem so that we can better predict what the oceans could be like in 50 or 100 years’ time if we continue to change them.

‘These include creatures that are incredibly important for generating oxygen. Half of the oxygen on the planet is produced by oceans – so every second breath that you take is oxygen from these organisms.

‘The oceans are already acidifying – it will continue to happen if CO2 emissions continue to increase or even if they remain at the current rate.

‘These microscopic organisms are very sensitive to acidification. There is a real concern that many of them could go extinct in years to come.’

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