On The Grapevine…..

Posted by Dean Piper On April 24th, 2011

*A tanned Pixie Lott jetted in from LA to launch her latest Lipsy fashion collection at a glitzy central London bash. A host of Lipsy-clad starlets came out to support the Essex-born singer. Actress Jessica Lowndes, Katie Waissell and OKTV presenter Kate Walsh.
The 20-year-old had two outfit changes, showing off her enviable pins, modelling a tiny playsuit and a dazzling mini dress from her floaty, floral range. Pixie’s groomed model boyfriend Oliver Cheshire was by her side throughout the event. “I’m really proud of her,” he said. “I think she’s done a really good job with the collection.”

Loick Essien Showcase

*Britain’s answer to Usher, former model Loick Essien (above) is set to make waves in the music arena with his slick, soulful sound. The singer may only be 20, but he has already collaborated with the likes of Chipmunk, Labrinth and N-Dubz. I watched an exclusive acoustic showcase at the Cuckoo Club, where he unleashed his raw, powerful vocals in a stripped down set. He performed a pitch-perfect Love Drunk, Stuttering, Now and debut single How We Roll, which is set to be released on June 19. Check him out.

*Even rappers get tongue-tied from time to time. Chart topping UK artist Wretch 32 is known for his witty wordplay among his contemporaries Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah. Yet, ironically, he is never able to muster up more than a monosyllabic ‘Hello’ when talking to Strictly judge Alesha Dixon – who he fancies like crazy. He can happily tell everyone else how much he likes her, but turns shy when she’s around. Ooops, the cat’s out the bag!

Marli Harwood credit Steve Schofield

*Songstress Marli Harwood has signed a record deal nearly a decade after appearing on Fame Academy. The heavily pregnant singer has made legal history with a music contract that includes a maternity clause! Having all but given up on a pop career Marli was delighted to discover she was expecting her first child. But in February, just when her pregnancy was confirmed, she was unexpectedly awarded BBC Radio Two’s Record of the Week for her single It’s Called A Heart. Fearing the baby news wouldn’t be well received, she told her manager she was going to prioritise family over fame. But independent production company, BAM, have come up with a unique deal meaning Marli will be releasing her debut album Clocks and Full Stops via Island Records on 23 May. I’m thrilled for her.

*The romance between Keira Knightley and new beau James Righton continues to gather pace. The pair, who have been dating for the past six weeks, enjoyed a fun day out last week at Thorpe Park. I’m told Keira, who currently stars in West End play The Children’s Hour, has also been raving about her co-star, Mad Men actress, Elizabeth Moss. My source tells me Keira’s obsessed with the Mad Men boxsets and is always watching them. So am I!

*Ex-Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent is fronting the US royal wedding coverage for NBC’s Access Hollywood, which is expected to attract tens of millions of viewers. Tim has been a reporter for the American prime-time show for six years, and says that excitement for the big day is snowballing Stateside. “Americans love the royal family and they love the Brits,” Tim said. “The American attitude to the royal wedding is very romantic. They are obsessed with Princes William and Harry, especially since they have come of age.”

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