*I hooked up with singing legend Whitney Houston this week in Birmingham at the start of her UK tour. I’d love to say it was an amazing performance and a return to form, but I have to be honest her voice was far from what it used to be. You can still hear a hint of that trademark Whitney sound but it’s far below par in my opinion.
On the plus side she was on great form when I met her after the show backstage. We talked about whether or not she’d love to help out Simon Cowell as a judge on the US version of X Factor and whether or not she’d like to return to acting. Whitters told me: “I don’t think I could possibly be on the X Factor. I will leave that to the professional judges. It takes a special talent to judge somebody. I do love doing movies though – and I have started looking at a number of different scripts. I hope something will work out there.” Whitney is still a huge star but I wish she’d returned and blown us all away with that original voice. I hope one day she’ll get back to the top of her game.
*There’s only one festival to be seen at these days – Coachella in California. And there was no doubt who stole the show in the fashion stakes – model Agyness Deyn and singer Katy Perry.
While Aggy debuted her newly-cropped Sinead O’Connor hairdo, Katy wore a kinky bondage harness and treated the festivities as an excuse to have an early hen do before marrying Russell Brand later this year.
My party mole tells me: “Katy had all her girls and gays with her and held a VIP drinks event, openly saying it was her hen do. Her pals were all jeering her on as she did a lapdance for a guy dressed up as a robot, who said: “Hey Katy, you want a piece of this machine?” She giggled and said he reminded her of Russell, then she led an impromptu Bratwurst eating contest with pals watching in hysterics. I lost count after four sausages went down the hatch.” The minx!
My spies also spotted Dawson’s Creek star Rachel Bilson wandering around with only glow sticks for company, a newly-single Paris Hilton puffing on fags – celebs beware: next year I’m there!
*My favourite fashionista Taylor Momsen, of Gossip Girl fame, seems to be making waves in the music world too. I’m loving her Hole inspired new band The Pretty Reckless and their single Make Me Wanna Die that’s out May 17.
She may be grunge central these days, but Taylor tells me it could have all been When she was a kid she auditioned for the role, but lost out to Miley Cirus. But it doesn’t sound like she’s too bothered. She tells me: “I wouldn’t have lasted, I’m too strong-headed and I don’t think they would have been able to handle me.”
WHICH star loves nothing more than picking up lesbians for his wife in bars and watching them make out minutes later? Fortunately the wife LOVES it!
*How does a girl try and ease the pain of a fourth marriage breakdown? She goes shopping of course. Patsy Kensit looked happy and ringless when I spotted her in Selfridges this week having a browse for new outfits. But she didn’t just look for new clothes – she even got her eyebrows threaded at the store. Ouch!
Irritant of the Week
The 23-year-old star of MTV’s The Hills has taken her girl next-door image and messed with it. TEN surgical procedures later and this monstrosity of a reality star looks like a weird twisted version of herself. This week she decided to unveil her freakish body to the world by the pool in Las Vegas in a bikini while her brand new pop song played on speakers. Self obsessed, hideously ugly nowadays and giving young American women a really bad name. She should be ashamed of herself.
*Cheryl Cole is currently trying to work out whether to release a brand new album or a swish updated version of her debut effort Three Words. The star’s been recording for the past few weeks in LA and the UK in between her European promotional tour and it seems she just can’t work out what to do. My mole tells me: “Songs are not completed as yet. But she’s been working hard writing and recording. She will hopefully be able to get some more recording done and then work out what to do.” New album please, Chezza.
*Fans of motor racing are set for a proper treat with this years Gumball Rally. In he past the likes of Martine McCutcheon, Jodie Kidd and Jay Kay from Jamiroquai. But this year the car race, which sets off from pall Mall on May 1, has already signed up Dizzee Rascal, Eve and Xzibit. But from what I hear there could be an extra special guest joining the Gumball towards the end in the shape and form of Hollywood star Brad Pitt. My source tells me: “Brad’s expressed an interest I joining the rally for one leg of the race. But he’s got to try and make his schedule work with it.” Gumball culminates in Times Square in New York on May 7.
*I don’t really get all this Justin Bieber fuss. Fortunately the annoyingly smug little man has some UK competition in the shape and form of Harry Byart from Essex. After being snapped up by P Diddy’s manager Kirk Burrowes he releases his debut single Crush on May 10 on Ministry. Good luck to him.
*Newly single star Jaime Winston seems to be embracing her craft in every way possible these days. The star has a steamy lesbian sex scene in new flick Boogie Woogie. Ray’s daughter told me at the after party: “I wasn’t embarrassed about the lesbian sex scene and I’m an actor so it’s all the same to me. It’s only acting so I don’t understand why people are so funny about it. It’s really no different to a sex scene with a man.
“I’m not into lesbian sex but I approached it like a man and had a male attitude towards the role. It won’t make me approach a relationship with a guy any differently now as it’s just acting, darling.” Other stars at the swanky bash included X-Files star Gillian Anderson – who was her usual stroppy self avoiding journalists like we had the plague. That woman needs to lighten up.
*Hmmm. I didn’t see this one coming. Nancy Dell’Olio is planning to bring out a book on how to look good. Speaking at the Recognise Mag launch Sven’s ex told me: “People are always surprised by how good I look, which is always very sweet, but I don’t understand why. The best capital you have are your looks and you’re always improving. As well as your outside appearance it’s all about your state of mind too. I’m going to be bringing out a book which is going to give women advice and tips about looking good.”
*Liz McClarnon is getting right behind her former bandmate Kerry Katona as she makes a bid to reinvent her career and become a success again. “I knew Kerry before anyone else did,” Liz told me at the Recognise Magazine bash. “She did some really messed up stuff back then but she always came through and I think she will this time too. Now she’s got rid of that fella I think she will come good. Kerry has always been there for me and she was the one there for me when I lost my virginity. She was someone I could always openly talk to.
“I haven’t seen or spoke to her in ages, but I’m so pleased see how well she’s looking and hearing how she’s improving. She looks so beautiful now and I want to look her in the face and tell her how beautiful she is. We do have mutual friends so once she’s come through and back to being the old Kerry I’d really like us to go to dinner. We were so close.” Liz also revealed Bryan Ferry has written two tracks off for her to feature on her new solo album. Get her.
*Pop star Lee Ryan reckons he’s more rock and roll than some of the rock ‘n’ roll stars of yester year! Lee told me at the premiere of his new film The Heavy: “I know that Robert Pattinson has already got that Kurt Cobain flick. I can imagine he would do it. If I was to do it people would be like: “He was in Blue, he’s not a rockstar.” But trust me I was more rock ‘n’ roll than the lot of them. I made the most rock ‘n’ roll Top 10 once and I was up there with Sid Vicious. I’m into quite real films and like to play real life characters. I would quite like to play a rock star or someone back in the day.” Righty ho, Lee!
*Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s been laying pretty low for the past year. In real life she’s fun and you always have a giggle with her. She’s been quietly working on her music career – even writing some of the music for new Brit flick The Heavy. At the premiere she told me: “I’ve done some music for the film. I’m going to see how it goes down tonight before I commit to doing any more music. Maybe I won’t give up my day job. I’m very passionate about music but I’m very realistic about it too. I would like to write music for other people and I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to write some music for The Heavy. I would love to write for Alicia Keys. I spend so much time in front of the camera for TV shows so it’s really nice to sit at home and look really ugly in sweat pants and work on my music. Trust me it’s not a pretty sight.” I don’t believe you TPT!
*Former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett sounds like she’s been diving in feet first to get some acting work – she’s even trying to dance! Roxanne tells me: “My most recent embarrassing audition is where I turned up for a West End dance call and I’m not a dancer. Instead of leaving I found myself doing a two-hour dance call. It was like a Comic Relief sketch and I’m so glad it wasn’t being filmed. Let’s just say I left an impression on them – I certainly won’t be going into dance. I think Louie Spence would have had a nightmare if he had seen me. It was literally like a comedy sketch so that has been my nightmare for the last six weeks.”
*Strike Back is the newest Sky1 show to blow me away. Think 24 crossed with Spooks and Hurt Locker. It’s big budget, full of twists and keeps you gripped. As well as the show’s stars Richard Armitage, Andrew Lincoln and Shelley Conn Sky’s Angela Griffin turned up to the event. Angela tells me she’s pleased to be back on screen with Angela and Friends after a break. “I went off to Morocco for a holiday with my husband Jason and the kids,” she said. “So I’m rejuvenated and ready for action. We’re doing great on the show and tomorrow I have Joan Collins on. She’s such a glamorous woman. I love presenting but I haven’t left my acting roots behind. I’m always looking for new roles to get my teeth into. If the schedules work then I will do it! Also at the bash was The Saturdays star Una Healy (above with me) and her rugby player boyfriend Ben Foden. Una tells me the girlband have been hard at work on new material. She said: “We’re adding new tracks to Wordshaker and re-releasing it soon. So it’s great to be in the studio again. We’re also so excited about playing at the Isle of Wight Festival.” Catch Strike Back on Sky1 HD on May 5.
*Apparently Sandra Bullock’s dawg of a husband, Jesse James, was so keen on Steven Soderberg’s racy new film The Girlfriend Experience and its former porno actress star Sasha Grey, he was in talks to back the Broadway version putting his fave porn actress Sasha in the lead and giving tatooed mistress Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee a small role! However now that his cheating has been exposed Jesse’s pulled out of any involvement in the project. The film of the The Girlfriend Experience in out now on DVD.
*Is Kate Moss planning on expanding her property empire? I only ask because the supermodel has planning permission signs up outside her huge Cotswolds mansion in Little Farringdon. A sign says Kate’s PA Miss Fiona Young has applied to turn a grain store/cart shed into a habitable house within her land. It’s OK for some, eh!