Keira Knightley, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan step out for The Chemical Brother’s DON’T THINK premiere

January 27th, 2012

Last night’s premiere of The Chemical Brothers DON’T THINK directed by Adam Smith which took place at Hackney Picturehouse.  And it attracted a brilliant selection of names including Hollywood star Keira Knightley and her Klaxons man James Righton, director Joe Wright (above with the pair) who’s currently working with Keira in Ana Karenina and Doctor Who stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

So nice to see Miss Knightley relaxed and smiling – and good to see her still going strong with James!

Above: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and the film’s director Adam Smith

Above: Adam Smith and Chemical Brother Ed Simons

Pictures with thanks: Matthew Joyce

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Heidi Range

January 22nd, 2012

She’s popped two bones, pulled a muscle in her bottom and is plastered in bruises…yet Heidi Range (above right) says she’s having the time of her life on Dancing on Ice. She also says the show has helped her through her painful split from fiance, TV presenter Dave Berry.
“The end of last year was awful – it really was,” says the tearful singer. “We’re still great friends and I saw him last week – but it’s hard.
“Dancing on Ice has got me through it. It’s given me a new lease of life and I’m having the best time and getting myself back on track.”
Talking for the first time since the shock break-up with Capital FM DJ Dave six weeks ago she says it’s been the hardest emotional time in her life.
But she says: “What’s nice now is that I don’t know what I want to do, how I want to do it or what the future holds.
“My life’s been turned upside down and I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m thinking about a solo album, I’m thinking about TV presenting and I’m thinking the world is my oyster right now.
“For ten years every part of my life has been planned. It’s been in the diary. It’s exciting to be making a fresh start. This show has been brilliant. It’s given me confidence and I’ve got my groove back.”
For the past ten years Heidi’s known her destiny. She was part of the multi-platinum girl band Sugababes and continually recording and promoting music – her diary was booked three years in advance at one point.
Heidi’s life couldn’t be anymore different right now.
The girl band that made her name are now on hiatus and have no plans to record new music, she’s newly single and she’s got to think about her career as a solo artist.
She’s lost over a stone since training begun and is back in size six jeans thanks to the gruelling four-hour a day training sessions.
“The weight loss has been brilliant,” she laughs. “I’ve lost about a stone now. I was just over 8 ½ stone before I started and I’ve always had to work really hard on my figure.
“I wasn’t one of those girls blessed from birth. Now I’m just over 7½. I’m 5ft 2ins so I’m small  and I’ve still been in the gym lots. I guess I’ve been stressed over the past few months with everything that’s happened too – lots of things have added to the weight loss.
“Overall I’m more toned than ever before. I’ve been doing personal training sessions three times a week with my trainer on top of the skate training. I go into my trainer with the moves I’m going to be doing and we work purely on core strength so I can manage the lifts and the moves.”
It’s not been an easy challenge preparing to compete in the show. She was only just about able to stand up on the ice at the start, was forced to change partners just four days before her first performance of the show when first partner Sylvian Longchambon became injured and she’s a nervous skater.
Heidi, 28, who was in the skate off during the first week of the series two weeks ago, explains: “I was so scared going onto this show. Your legs go to jelly and you have nerves that completely overcome you. It’s really tough. I obviously had to start afresh when my new partner Andrei Lipanov came in and that was hard.
“I learnt everything from scratch with Sylv and it was different with Andrei. They hold me differently and you need to get used to it. But we’re fine now and are getting stronger and stronger.
“I couldn’t skate at all to start with. I could stay upright and that’s about it. Now I can go backwards and do crossovers. I hate crossovers – they’re the bane of my life. The lifts are terrifying but once you get it they’re fine. I feel dead proud when I’m able to do a lift right. I trust Sylvian – the person I don’t trust is me.
“The girls need balls in this competition and I haven’t got any at all.”
The star has also had to deal with numerous small injuries throughout the training for the competition.
“I had a bone pop on my wrist, a bone pop out in my ribs and I’ve pulled a muscle in my bum this week,” she said. “They’ve had to pop the bones back in which was uncomfortable and I’m covered in bruises but I’m loving every minute.
“I don’t want the experience on the show to end. I honestly don’t. I hope I can do the tour and in all honesty I wish it could continue for a year. I’m loving the experience.
“I always said I’d never do Dancing on Ice. I never wanted to do it. And then it just came at the right time. I had time off from the band and things had changed in my life and I just thought I ought to try and get into it something to keep me going.”
Although the Sugababes haven’t officially split up the threesome, including Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen, remain firm friends.
Squabbles and line-up changes of the past are clearly far from their minds. But they have no plans to record music together or perform in the future.
“It has been fun being on my own for the first time in ten years,” she admits. “I love the girls. They’re coming down at the weekend and Amelle’s pratically moved into mine at the minute. She’s round all the time. Comes in makes a cup of team, a sandwich and feeds the dog. She’s great.
“But the Sugababes have got no plans for anything at the moment. Nothing. It’s a break. There’s no plans at all for the future. We’ve just wanted to try our own things out. If I’m honest, I’ve loved having some time out from the band.
“I love the band – I really do – but I was ready to try other things out.”

You get the feeling Heidi’s still coming to terms with the split from Dave (below with the star in better times) and how much freedom she has in her life. She’s realistic about her plans – I ask what her dream for the future and she replies: “To stay skinny. I bought a pair of size six jeans the other day – I don’t want to be putting my Size 10 jeans on again. I think they were a big six though, if I’m honest.”

Dancing on Ice, Tonight, 6.10pm, ITV1

HOTTING UP: Caroline Flack meets Harry’s mum Anne in Cheshire!

January 22nd, 2012

So the relationship between Caroline Flack, 32, and One Direction star Harry Styles, 17, continues to push forwards.
Xtra Factor
host Caroline went up to Cheshire last weekend to meet Harry’s mother Anne and step-father at their house in Cheshire.
And I’m told the Flackster enjoyed dinner with the in-laws and everything went swimmingly – Anne apparently loved her son’s new lady friend.
A source reveals the pair are getting on brilliantly. “Caroline and Harry are a full on couple now,” says the source. “Things are getting seriously pretty quickly and they’re in love. At first it was just a fling and something that neither of them really thought was going anywhere but now they’re looking at a future together.
“Caroline seemed to make a great impression with Harry’s mother and it was mission accomplished. Any fears she may have had are now no more.”
I described this union as creepy when I revealed they had been snogging back in October and the lady in question flipped out about it. So all I’ll say this time is good for them.

No sign of Catherine Tate as Jason Orange flies solo to Thailand for New Year

January 22nd, 2012

Is all well in the life and times of Take That star Jason Orange and funny girl Catherine Tate? I only ask because Jason was flying solo over the New Year at Thailand’s exclusive detox resort Kamalaya whilst Catherine was back here in the UK looking decidedly glum.
A source saw Jason in the plush resort – that specialises in colonics and yoga – on New Year’s Eve and he joined “the single’s table” for a healthy dinner, downed a few beers before launching Chinese lanterns into the sky.
He spent much of the night chatting happily to a blonde girl named Caroline. I’m sure it was all perfectly innocent….

Daniel Radcliffe: “I hardly ever see to Rupert Grint.”

January 22nd, 2012

Harry Potter fans prepare for a shocker. The three stars of the film franchise are far from close buddies in real life according to Daniel Radcliffe.
In fact Dan revealed – whilst promoting his new flick Woman in Black this week – that he’s hardly ever in touch with Rupert Grint! Fortunately he is in contact with Emma Watson who played Hermione. Dan revealed: “There’s this idea that Emma, Rupert and myself are the best of friends, who grew up together and now always hang out as best friends as a result. I’m just going to put out there, Emma and I text all the time, I always know what she’s at but I’m just going to say, Rupert and I never text each other, we never see each other. If I see him every six months or so, it’s a friendly ‘hello, how things with you’ but that’s about it. He’s the most laid back guy in the world, I could finish up a conversation with him, and pick it up at the same spot six months later, it’s easy between us but nothing close at all.”
The geeky star also revealed a random fact – the three of them were once offered roles in a remake of The Wizard of Oz. “I would be playing the cowardly lion, but it would be a karate kicking cowardly lion,” he revealed. “How could I turn that down?! Emma was obviously to be Dorothy, and Rupert I think Scarecrow, so Tin Man I presume was to be animatronic. So that was a weird one to get.
“I’ve had a lot of offers post Potter, but I just try and stay away from any of the next big fantasy franchises….or anything crap really.” Sounds wise.

Edith Bowman: “Meryl Streep makes a phenomenal apple pie.”

January 22nd, 2012

Who knew Meryl Streep was such a whizz in the kitchen? By the sounds of it The Iron Lady actress is gunning for a Delia Smith biopic next.
Radio 1′s Edith Bowman let slip the A-lister’s hidden culinary skills at the Film Critics’ Circle Awards. She said: “I had dinner with Meryl about two months ago as we got invited to the house of Phyllida Lloyd who is the director of The Iron Lady. Meryl made apple pie and it was phenomenal. There was about 15 of us there and one point I turned around and Meryl was squatting in a AGA oven checking her apple pie. She kept it real.”
And Edith has been racking up her A-list encounters as just last week she was interviewing Madonna at the premiere of W.E.
“I’ve been a life long Madonna fan since the age of eight when I dressed up as her so to actually chat to her was a bit mind-boggling. I was a little bit worried as there have been some pictures of her where you think ‘dont do any more plastic surgery’ but she looked beautiful and amazing in the flesh. She told me that she was only taking her coat off for me and flicked it off and someone behind her caught it. That was pretty special so I’m not sure who could top that.” Nobody can top her Madgesty.

FIRST LISTEN: Adam Lambert’s wonderful Trespassing….

January 18th, 2012

Having spent time with Adam Lambert recently I’ve got to know him a little and knew from the get go that Trespassing would be VERY different to For Your Entertainment. And it is.
It’s pop music to the core. You need to dust off those Cuban heels, grab your disco pants and unleash on the dancefloor.
So I heard six songs today. Three are sure fire radio and chart hits – easily. And this is aside from the lead single Better Than I Know Myself.
That track is a ‘soft launch’ to an album like this.
On his debut album Adam would probably freely admit it was a little rushed. As with every person that comes out of a show like Idol, it was a case of strike while the iron is hot.
Trespassing is actually a completely different beast. Firstly, his vocals are amazing. Secondly, Adam co-writes most of the tracks – making it deeply personal. And thirdly he’s worked with some of the best producers in the business.
This album was born to fly.
It’s also something I can imagine in full being more of a ‘piece of work’ rather than just a male pop vocalist album. The scope to push boundaries with the tracks I’ve heard is huge.
It also feels like an album that will take him from being a name ‘from Idol’ in Europe to a serious player. A household name.
I can see the majority of these tracks being on radio (Capital will cream their pants over it) – and I’m told there’s more surprises in store.
There’s one track that is yet to be complete that “will blow your mind”.
What I’ve heard has given me a buzz. Most tracks gave me an excited tingle down my spine – and that doesn’t happen much when I’m thrown 50 odd singles and albums each week….believe me!
So before I start a track by track run down let me say this. I believe in this album and Adam. He’s delivered something quite special here.

Better Than I Know Myself – Lukasz ‘Dr Luke’ Gottwald, Circuit, Ammo, Claude Kelly

The first track off the new album. BTIKM is an interesting choice for the lead. It’s perfect pop and his vocals are on fire. Releasing this track first shows just how confident the label is on this album.

Outlaws of Love – Rune Westerberg, Adam Lambert, BC Jean

This is ‘the ballad’ of the album. As a whole I’m told Trespassing is going to have a light and dark feel as a whole. Lots of high energy dance songs on one side and then a dark side that feature the more personal stuff.
This track is all about Adam coming out, getting to know himself and dealing with prejudice he’s encountered for being gay. “Say we’ll rot in hell, I don’t think we will.”
It’s written beautifully and is empowering and you really connect with the fact this song is deeply personal. It feels like an Aguilera ballad (minus the dodgy diva fakeness).
He should be extremely proud of this one – and it will become a firm anthem for the fans…..

Cookoo – Ollie G, Adam Lambert and Bonnie McKee

This song is friggin’ HUGE. It’s dance pop through and through and people will be gagging to remix it. A floorfiller, massive radio hit for Europe and even has a Britney style breakdown for the dance moves to be flexed. It was instantly a winner and a definite single.

Trespassing – Pharrell Williams, Adam Lambert

Who knew that Pharrell and Adam would make such an insanely good match! Not an obvious pairing but it feels so slick. It brings the FUNK and has a Gwen Stefani Hollerback Girl clap to it. You could imagine the video the second the claps began.
It also has a touch of early Queen to it in the shape and form of the thundering bassline running throughout.

Shady (Feat. Nile Rogers and Sam Sparro) – Lester Mendez, Nile Rogers. Written by Adam Lambert and Sam Sparro

Shady is the track Justin Timberlake should be launching if/when he realises that he was once a Prince of Pop. It’s a little more pop r+b I guess and yes, it is shady. There’s a Scissor Sisters style funk feel to it that runs throughout and the guest vocals work beyond perfectly. I was excited about this one and it doesn’t disappoint.

Broken English – Lester Mendez, Adam Lambert, Sam Sparro

Easily his strongest vocal on the sampler I’ve heard. It’s subtle and controlled and reminded me of a Darren Hayes style track but with an injection of adrenalin to make it actually worthwhile listening too without wanting to top yourself when it’s overplayed.

OVERALL:
I’m gagging to have Trespassing on my iPod. I’m also thrilled that he’s produced this. It’s a new Adam but most importantly it’s a better Adam. He’s raised his game, found what works and is onto a winner.

P.S. EXCUSE THE OLD PICTURE….we are both ridiculously better looking these days……

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy on Batman, Al Capone and allotments…..

January 8th, 2012

Tom Hardy is without a shadow of a doubt THE actor to watch in 2012. He’s already setting the showbiz world alight with his portrayal of Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises – and the flick isn’t even out until July.
Notoriously quirky, but always gracious with it, the star spoke out at this week’s Iron Lady after show party to talk Batman, his upcoming role playing Al Capone and why he’s desperate to own an ALLOTMENT.
“Batman is such an amazing franchise that I honesty feel so overwhelmingly privileged to be a part of it as not many people get the opportunity,” he said over a cocktail with his fiancee Charlotte Riley. “It’s such an amazing cast to work alongside and they are all so talented. I loved being able to play a baddie and, coming from East Sheen in south west London, that doesn’t come easily to me and I actually had to work on not being very nice. I’m genuinely a really nice guy.
“I’m not even thinking about how it’s going to blow up for me after Batman as at the end of the day you’re always going to be the same person who comes back down again and ends up broke. I’m just going to enjoy it and I’m still going to be buying a pint of milk by myself at the corner shop.”
And it’s a case of Oscars schmoscars when it comes to Tom – all he wants is an allotment near his house to grow his own veg. “I still live in East Sheen and would never consider moving,” he said. “My aim is definitely to get an allotment. I haven’t got to that stage yet and I have a long way to go. And they are very selective about who they give one too so even when I get to Michael Caine levels in acting I may not be able to have one.
I was so happy to finally have a ‘TW’ postcode when I got my place as I always got excited when I heard police radioing in that postcode and there was me probably sat in the back of their car. And don’t forget it’s where Trevor MacDonald is from. That’s enough reason to stay.”
Tom – star of Bronson and Inception to name but a few – will play the Depression-era Chicago crime tsar Al Capone as his next huge project, once he has completed work on a series of movies including the lead role in the new Mad Max, which begins shooting in Namibia this April with Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult.
Tom enthused: “I’m going to be learning Italian for the film. But I’m actually going to have two masks. The first is to become Italian and then I’m going to have to do an Italian talking English. I’ve got 18 months beforehand but I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for me to learn. But the studio are going to be paying for it! I don’t think it’s going to be too difficult as it’s just what you do for the role.
“Saying that after watching Meryl Streep play Margaret Thatcher I’m now sh**ting myself at my attempt at a biopic as she blew it out the water. How am I meant to live up to that? She truly lived and breathed that role. That was definitely American 1, UK 0.”
Tom is one of the good guys. World, get ready…..he’s about to take over.

Hardy as Bane (below)