The rest of this week's column…..featuring Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran and Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Posted by Dean Piper On June 19th, 2011

This week’s Black Ball raised thousands for Alicia Keys’ charity Keep A Child Alive AIDS charity. But on the night there was one rather peculiar guest alongside rappers like Tinie Tempah and Ms. Dynamite and stars including Paloma Faith and Mark Ronson.
Step forward Sir David Frost. The 72-year-old veteran presenter turned out for Alicia to interview her for his chat show on Middle East network Al Jazeera. But Sir David clearly doesn’t have any airs and graces when it comes to waiting for the talent to become available. I’m told he spent the day nattering to Queen Elizabeth at Ascot before whizzing to Camden’s Roundhouse for the event. My source tells me: “Sir David was so low key. He arrived and watched the whole event before doing an interview at gone midnight. He wasn’t worried – he just wanted to talk to her about her charity work for the network and of course Alicia was thrilled to get her message out to the 250 million viewers.” Check out www.keepachildalive.org for more details.

Lohan 2

PlayStation have created a series of cheeky celebrity comic strips for you all to enjoy as they launch new game Infamous 2. Lindsay Lohan, Cheryl Cole and Pippa Middleton all fall victim to the hilarious comic strips. Notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks has given them a hand editing them and you can
check them out from tomorrow at www.infamousthefame.com.

Spice Girl Melanie C is going to be back in a big way when her 5th studio album drops in towards the end of the summer. Trust me. The star feels it’s the best thing she’s made for years – and will mark her UK comeback to the music scene. Melanie told me this week: “I’m still working hard on the album but it’s definitely the most I’ve been excited about things for a long time. I really think this album will do well in the UK. I’ve enjoyed the whole process more than anything else I’ve made.”
Melanie will be taking part in this year’s Virgin Active London Triathlon and so will I! Yep, you read that correctly. I’ve decided to enter the event that takes place on July 30 and I’m raising money for Macmillan cancer Support. Mel joked at the launch: “With all your partying you do I’m expecting you to take a nice chilled cycle around the course with a basket on the front and one of Geri Halliwell’s dogs in it.” Ha! If you can spare some cash then sponsor me at www.virginmoneygiving.com/DeanPiper.

InStyle and Dolce & Gabbana Party
It’s been a decade since the release of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s (above) first solo single Murder On The Dancefloor. Now Make A Scene, her forth album, is released and says her showbiz mum (Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis) is what kept her from going off the rails over the years. “I think because my parents were in showbusiness they never became my fans and got too exited about the things that I was doing,” she said. “They were obviously proud of me but never became too fixated. If you are doing a job like mine which you adore but are also not really in control of then you have two options. You either make sure you have a life outside so if it all went away tomorrow you would still have that or you enter the showbiz world and feel that you can’t leave it because it’s so intrinsic to who you are. I think for me it’s the former.”
And Soph admits that she’s come a long way since battles with Victoria Beckham. “I think I appreciate and enjoy it all a lot more now. I feel so much more relaxed about it all. The stakes are still high but I don’t feel like I’m still trying to prove myself. I don’t think people are suspicious of me anymore. People know what I’m about now.” Indeed they do – and Make A Scene is fantastic pop!

Dance diva Cascada’s new album Original Me – out June 20 – almost didn’t happen. Natalie Horler from the platinum selling dance act was devastated to find a large nodule on her vocal cords last year. The condition can wipe out a singer’s voice if you go untreated. Just ask poor Julie Andrews. Natalie needed lengthy emergency surgery, months of painful vocal and speech therapy to bring her back to health. Eeeek. Glad you’re back Nat!

When you get a phonecall from Elton John you know you’re doing something right. Newcomer Ed Sheeran is battling Example and Calvin Harris for the No.1 spot with his fantastic debut single The A Team and it sounds like Uncle Elton is on board as a fan. “It was really weird and random to get a call from Elton as he was one of my biggest idols growing up,” he said. “It’s really good of him to champion new artists as he doesn’t need to do it. I’d love to collaborate with him in the future or do a cover of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart and get Adele to sing Kiki Dee’s part.”
But any celebration plans this weekend won’t consist of him stumbling out of clubs drunk with a model under each arm. “I went off the rails when I first moved to London as I came here when I was quite young and without parents,” Ed added. “At the start of this year I decided I was getting into a good state with my music and decided to stop drinking. Since I’ve done that everything seems to have tripled in size so I’m now sticking to being sober.” Clever boy.

Amanda Holden & Battersea dog Patrick

Amanda Holden (above) is brilliant in Shrek The Musical. Playing Princess Fiona you forget she’s even a judge on BGT! The star tells me she hopes the film’s Princess Fiona, Cameron Diaz, manages to catch the show wheilst she’s in town promoting Bad Teacher. She quipped: “I don’t know if Cameron Diaz will come and see it while she’s in town but if she does I’ll be OK with it. After all she only did the voice. She didn’t tap dance darling, did she.
“They only thing is she’s 6ft tall so I’ll be carrying a box around with me just in case I do meet her. Either that or just wear 8 inch heels but even those probably won’t be big enough.”
And the jack-of-all-trades tells me she has one final talent that she’s kept a secret up until now. “I’ve always been able to fart and burp on queue darling,” she laughed. “It’s under special skills on my CV. It’s because I’m a vegetarian.”

Nicola Roberts has plans to make a brand new super girl band! And why not now Girls Aloud look like they’ll not bother to make a full comeback for another year. The star performs at T4 on the Beach next month and tells me she’s desperate to create a new super group. “I’d like to do a trio with Jessie J and Katy B,” she said. How cool would that be! Catch Nicola performing in front of 45,000 people in Weston-super-Mare on Sunday July 10. Last tickets to see her perform are available at www.channel4.com/t4.

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