This weeks column featuring Madonna, Julia Roberts, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Pam Ann and DJ Westwood
*I know she’s a regular reader but Madonna may want to skip my page this week…
That’s because I hear Guy Ritchie is already talking about a big diamond ring with his girlfriend of six months, Jacqui Ainsley.
The pair – who didn’t go public with their relationship until July – have been discussing marriage and model Jacqui, 28, is saying she’s delighted at the prospect of taking over where Madge left off as the new Mrs Ritchie.
A pal tells me: “She’s besotted with Guy and wants to marry him. And Guy seems thrilled to have found her. They see themselves growing old together.”
It’s clear Jacqui’s slotted into Guy’s family life – his relatives love her! “Jacqui’s been a huge hit with Guy’s parents,” says my source.
“They are delighted he has met Jacqui. She’s also getting on extremely well with the children and that’s been a deciding factor for Guy. It’s only a matter of time before he proposes.”
But my sources say Jacqui is nervous about making the big announcement because she’s worried about Madonna’s reaction.
The pal said “Guy and Madonna have managed to stay close friends and Jacqui is worried about upsetting her. She can be pretty intimidating, especially when you start dating her former husband!”
Some reports have suggested Madge is less than impressed with Jacqui – ex of reality TV star Darius Danesh.
She was said to be seething after Guy and Jacqui celebrated his 42nd birthday with Sting’s wife Trudie Styler… who introduced Madonna to Guy in the first place.
Madonna may also be none too pleased to see the naked shots of Jacqui immortalised in the PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain.
She’s got the body Madge had 20 years ago. Ouch!
*Julia Roberts whizzed into town this week for the Eat, Pray, Love premiere and I caught up with the Oscar winning actress. She told me she loves a British accent – but her daughter Hazel is far better at a British twang. She laughed: “I love the British accent – although I’m terrible at it! My daughter is so much better than me – she watches a lot of Mary Poppins so has learnt her British accent from Julie Andrews!”
And just how does movie Queen Julia manage to stay looking so bloomin’ amazing at the age of 42. She said: “I do a lot of yoga, everyday – I do a mean double lotus! And I do meditate everyday – it’s discipline that I benefit from so much.
“Sometimes I get what my sister calls monkey mind when you can’t empty your head and your thoughts are racing – but even when I don’t succeed at it, I always feel better after yoga.” One thing’s for sure – Julia is not happy about the pressure on women to be slim and youthful. She fumed: “We are constantly told about this idea of ideal weight and ideal figure, I hate that. Girls are now meant to panic about food and age – and I think these are things that should be enjoyed. I try not to go down that route and I’m not always happy with the end result but you know like everyone I have good days and bad days.” I feel the majority are good days, Jules!
WHICH WAG needs to stop powdering her nose in public? This wally has such a holier than thou reputation but was getting her friend to check for “white snout” in a Manchester loo last week.
*Busy, busy, busy! This Wednesday Australian comedienne Pam Ann – who’s hysterical and shocking take on the airline world has celebrity fans including the Minogues, Elton John and Cher laughing their heads off – kicks off a run of dates at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. I caught up with the star, real name Caroline Reid, this week and she talked about her favourite and worst airlines. She told me: “Emirates are the best without a shadow of a doubt. They just want to make sure everyone’s drinking Cristal champagne. And it’s happy endings all round, babe. The worst airlines are anything that flies out of that s***hole Luton airport. What is the point of it at all?”
Pam also tells me her thoughts on her personal friends, the Minogue sisters. “I saw Dannii this week actually in Manchester,” she said. “Dannii looked fabulous and we nattered while Kris was breast feeding. Ha. Honestly, those Minogue Girls are divine. I’d sleep with them both – and I’m not fussy on which one first.” Over to you, Dan!
Catch Pam in her brand new show from this Wednesday until October 10. Call 0844 579 1975 for tickets!
*Stars were out in full force for the BBC Radio 1Xtra Live event at Wembley Arena on Saturday night. N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah were the main star of the show.
I decided to go ‘urban’ and had lunch with the legend that is Tim Westwood this week and he told me the station’s going from strength to strength. Tim said: “BBC 1Xtra started as a smaller venture but now it’s leading the pack and breaking through artists like Tinie and Tinchy. It’s not on FM so people do need to have a digital radio or listen through their TV or online. But it’s the place for young people the enjoy their music.”
Westwood, who in real life is a charming and gentle little pussycat, also told me who we should all be watching out for as emerging talents. “It’s all about Drake and Nikki Minaj right now,” he said. “They are the people taking over from the likes of Eminem and Jay-Z next.”
He also laughed at the leagues of ‘celebrity’ DJs trying to muscle in on his turf as successful DJ talents. “They can all try and become proper Djs but they just aren’t,” he laughed. “I was at an event this week and Mark Robnson was Djing and he was adequate but when I came on I smashed it. He was blown out of the water. Those celebs that DJ need to know what they are dealing with.”
Unfortunately Westwood has decided not to take part in this year’s Dancing on Ice. He revealed why and said: “They offered me £30k. But I didn’t want to do it yet. When I’m fired from everywhere and my career is over I’ll do a reality show as a retirement fund.” Brrrrrp!
*Stalker alert! Joe McElderry sounds like he’s more than a little bit of a fan of Beyonce Knowles. At this week’s Ozwald Boateng collection preview I saw Joe literally flip out when Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams walked by. He posed up for a picture and told me: “She’s touched Beyonce.”. Oh and BTW I’m loving Joe’s new single Ambitions – classic pop and original. Phew.
*Daisy Lowe seems to have a gone all coy about her relationship with Dr. Who star Matt Smith. The star told me this week: “I am keeping my mouth zipped about Matt. I think the pictures speak for themselves. I’m very happy.”
She told me she’s had an amazing LFW. “I’m going to be attending Paris Fashion Week which I am really excited about,” she said. “It was such an honour to model for Vivienne Westwood. I love Christopher Kane as a designer but I just modelled this week and didn’t attend any shows.” You missed out!
*Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq seems to think the groups could have a good chance of winning this year’s competition. Speaking at the launch of the Indian Kerala Tourism Board at the Saatchi gallery this week she squealed: “I think you really need to watch out for the groups this year. Simon is really pulling all the stops out. You may not think there are any strong contenders for that category but just stay tuned. That’s all I can say.”
And who would she like on board to perform on the show this year – eighties legends Duran Duran. “How incredible would that be?” she added. “I love Simon Le Bon. I’m going to text the producer Tim now and demand that he does that.” Good luck Konnie!
*This week was a sad occasion for some as the life and times of deceased fashion designer Alexander McQueen was celebrated in London fashion Week. SJP, Anna Wintour and Stella McCartney all pitched up. But one star seemed to be grieving more heavily than others. My spies at the Kerala Tourism launch spotted milliner Philip Treacy being comforted by Yasmin Le Bon outside the Saatchi Gallery on Wednesday night. A source revealed: “Philip was extremely close to Alexander and the week had been very emotional for him. Yasmin perked him up and let him break down a bit but they were fine after. He’s still grieving for the loss of his friend.” Keep your chin up, Phil.
*Bummer, Slumdog stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto sound as if they have no plans to wed anytime soon despite looking so blooming amazing as a couple. Dev shrieked when I asked if a wedding was on the cards yet. He said: “Don’t be ridiculous, we’re happy but not getting engaged. Everything is good between us.” Okey dokes!
*Noel Gallagher’s former love Meg Matthews has her priorities in the right place if you ask me. She told me this week: “I was gutted that I couldn’t go the Vivienne Westwood show this week. I had tickets but judged a dog show with my daughter instead. It was for a charity against dog skinning. I gave them to my friend instead and always kitted head-to-toe in Vivienne Westwood and she loved it.”
Good on Meg for keeping it real! The star’s also been beavering away on a new range of menswear for Topman after her hugely successful Liberty’s scarf range. “It’s scarfs and cravats which I am very excited about,” she added. I look forward to a sample!
*I’ve never recovered from the night I took wildcat Janice Dickinson out to Boujis for a night on the tiles. She’s WILD! But it seemed like the world’s first self-proclaimed supermodel was on a slightly more sober note at this week’s wonderful Dolce and Gabbana party to honour Naomi Campbell’s 25 years in the fashion world. Janice revealed: “Naomi Campbell rocks. I’ve known her since she was 14. She’s a legend and so am I. So you know I’m here to support her. But I’m off early. I’m sober. I don’t party anymore. I’m leaving because I’m sober.”
And as I leave Janice happens to drop a hint to, erm, Mr Simon Cowell. She says: “Oh, it’s a fgood idea that I should start working with Simon Cowell. Simon Cowell I love you. Write that.” Over to you Cowell!
*Mark Ronson needs to lighten up a bit. His music’s great but he’s becoming such a bore these days. Speaking ahead of his performance at last night’s fab Orange RockCorps gig he sounded bored of fashion week. He revealed: “I’m not a bit fashion show attendee really. I like clothes but I don’t think designing them is necessarily something I have a talent for. I think making music is something I have a long way to go in so I’m just going to focus on that. I’ve got a new album for Duran Duran which is coming out in the next few months. We’ve been working on it for a long time because we wanted to make it really great. There’s some expectation about it and as a Duran Duran fan I wanted to make sure it was great.” And he sounded a little miffed that work’s failed to come streaming in for him as a producer following the release of his latest album. He added: “You would think I would have had a lot more offers of people wanting me to work with them since the new stuff has come out, but no.”
*My hot new obsession is new singer Rumer. Think Carole King crossed with Karen Caropenter and you’re not far off. Rumer’s voice is truly exquisite and her album Seasons of My Soul is out November 1. The latest celebrity fan to jump on the band wagon is Elton John. The emerging star will perform alongside Elton at the BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms on October 28. Tickets are sold out but the show will be broadcasted on BBC Radio 2 that evening. Tune in!
*Cheryl Cole’s got no problems with bling on this year’s series of the X Factor. Since signing a big money deal with jewellery brand De Grisogono to release their ‘Promise’ range she’s bound to be literally dripping in ice!
This Wednesday the star will be ‘celebrated’ with a posh private dinner with the heads of the brand at Nobu in London – and she’ll be gifted something extra special. My source reveals: “Cheryl’s being treated like a Princess by the brand and they’ve had a one-off piece made for her. The brand are desperate to keep her on side for the long term future so a gift or two won’t hurt.” She’s one lucky girl.
*Zac Efron sounds like he’s pining to work with his girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens even though their High School Musical days have only just ended. Zac told me at the Charlie St. Cloud premiere this week: “I would absolutely love to work with Vanessa again in the future. We do indeed sing around the house together, we sing all the time. started young together – learnt on our feet, everything happened so fast with High School Musical, and she’s been with me everystep of the way, so she understands, she’s some one who I can moan to with out it sounding bad, we’ve gone though it all together and she handles it so much better than me! I don’t know if I could’ve done it with out her you know!”
Zac did make me chuckle when he pitched up sporting newly grown comedy beard. And it sounds like Vanessa’s less than enamoured with the new growth! He added: “Vanessa says my beard is itchy. Probably Robert Pattinson has the better beard out of the two of us.” You can say that again Zac – razor for one!
*Fashion legend Zandra Rhodes knows her stuff when it comes to threads. And it sounds like she’s miffed with the fashion world and how it relies on celebrity endorsement these days. Zandra tells me: “I find it really sad that in modern times what sells the clothes is what celebrities turn up on the front row. It’s so important now and it seems people would rather talk about that than the actual clothes.”
“I mean, we all know Victoria Beckham didn’t design her collection. If people like what she’s doing and are buying it then I say good luck to her. I just wish she would smile as she just looks so miserable.”
She also has wise words to say about Sir Philip Green’s decision to ditch Kate Moss for Topshop. Zandra of course was replaced by Kate as the designer element of the brand. “I loved doing a range for Topshop but Philip dumped me for Kate,” she said. “Has he really got rid of her? I’m surprised. It will be interesting to see how his daughter does if it’s true that she’s taking over. I hope she is a big enough celebrity to sell it.” So do I!
*Jo Wood is possibly the nicest lady in the world. I just want to take her home with me for cuddles every night. She’s also wonderfully dippy at times. Talking about this years Strictly and her partner from last year Brendan Cole being partnered with Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams she told me: “I will be watching Strictly. I was looking for it last Saturday and thought I was going mad because I know I used to do it every Saturday night. It was a bit funny seeing Brendon dancing with somebody else but he’s really pleased with who he got. He’s got the girl from TLC hasn’t he? What’s her name?” TLC – classic.
*A new television star was born this week when Karl Pilkington’s An idiot Abroad hit Sky1 HD screens. And I caught up with the show’s creator Ricky Gervais this week to talk about the show. He told me he’s genuinely thrilled with the end result – which sees culture nervous Karl forced to travel to the seven wonders of the world by Ricky and his comedy writing partner Stephen Merchant. Ricky told me: “There’s nobody like Karl. He doesn’t realise how peculiar and original and totally f***ing fascinating he is. And that’s why I got involved. Everything he does is fascinating.”
Ricky was also ferociously outspoken about the state of TV when it comes to fly on the wall shows like What Katie Did Next. “No way under any circumstances would I ever do a reality show,” he fumed. “I don’t even dare to do a photo shoot around my house. I think if you start flirting with the idea of being famous without anything to do with the work you do then you are doomed.
“If you are a successful actor or a comedian then you are known. You have to be known for something and proud of achieving something that you do. You must never mix the two and start worrying about column inches and press. Try and stay out of the papers until you have something too say. We are artists and we want people to watch it. But not at any cost. Not at any cost. If someone said to me you’d get an extra million viewers if you show your tackle then no, you’d get an extra million viewers if you change this word – no, Fuck that.” Well, that explains that then!
Catch An Idiot Abroad every Thursday at 9pm on Sky1HD.
*Piers Morgan’s spoken out about the future of American Idol without Simon Cowell on the panel. And he doesn’t think it’s going to continue to make waves in America. And why would it – especially when Cowell’s starting US X Factor! “Having J-Lo and Steven Tyler on the panel is a great line-up,” Piers told me at Ozwald Boateng’s fashion show this week. “But let’s be honest it won’t be the same without Simon. I’m afraid without him it’s like Las Vegas without Frank Sinatra. It’s never going to be quite the same.” Drats – he’s always right!
*Ozwald Boateng seems intent on sealing his place in British fashion house history by designing and making the suit that will see Prince William walk down the aisle with Kate Middleton. “I think it’s absolutely essential Prince William wears one of my suits on his wedding day,” he said. That’s if that wedding ever happens!