Sunday, July 29, 2012


                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Theo Kingma
  A trip to New York wouldn't be complete without a chat with Radioman, the homeless movie fan whose unparalleled obsession has taken him from sleeping on the streets to becoming a New York movie legend with more than 100 small film roles to his name.  
  Radioman (so called because of the trademark boombox radio he hangs around his neck) spends his day and nights cycling around the city from one movie set to another, hanging out with the cast and crew between takes and then moving on to wait until the early hours of the morning outside premieres and after-parties for the same people he has just spent the day with. 
  This time I met up with him outside the Trump Soho hotel, where I was staying. He was, he said, waiting to see Jessica Alba although he was becoming impatient with the paparazzi pack who were also there. "They're a nuisance," he told me. "They get in the way and they frighten the stars."
   But Radioman himself may soon be on the receiving end of paparazzi attention. He is the subject of a new documentary, Radioman: The Movie which will be screened at the London Film Festival in October. 
    Featuring interviews with celebrities who know him the Radioman documentary gives the audience a look behind the scenes of showbusiness—paparazzi, autograph hunters, premieres and film shoots, all seen through the eyes of a self-confessed New York street bum.
   "It's a good movie," he says. "I'll go over to London for the premiere but I'll probably only stay a couple of days. I've got things to do in New York." 
  You can check it out on

Thursday, July 26, 2012


  Victoria Beckham (right) has them, so does Angelina Jolie (left), Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole and even Helen Mirren.
 But tattoos on women are the biggest turn-off for men, according to new research.
Some 37 per cent of men questioned in a new poll about unattractive qualities in the opposite sex listed tattoos as their number one turn-off, with more than three quarters of men (78 per cent) ranking body art among their top five pet hates.
 Women on the other hand are fairly apathetic about tattoos on men, with only 13 per cent of females considering them to be a big passion-killer.
 Instead, beards are what women are least attracted to, with a third of those questioned voting hairy faces into the top spot.
Bad breath came second on the lists of both men and women, with 27 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men identifying halitosis as their number one dating gripe.
  The research was conducted by an electronic cigarette company which questioned 500 people.

Monday, July 23, 2012


 Hard to believe Gina Gershon, the sexy, pouty-lipped brunette with the bad-ass attitude has just turned 50!
 Although it was initially her sex appeal that caught the eye of both men and women, particularly in the steamy love scene she shared with Jennifer Tilly in Bound, it was her charisma and talent that propelled her career with roles ranging from Tom Cruise's love interest in Cocktail to Nancy Sinatra in the 1992 biopic Sinatra. 
 Not all of her movies were good but she came through them unscathed. She even managed to make the most of the reviews for the critically panned Showgirls in which she played a seductive Las Vegas showgirl, claiming she played the role "so that drag queens would want to dress as the character on Halloween." 
  I caught up with the never-married Gina at the Four Seasons Hotel where she was just as funny and outrageous while promoting her latest film Killer Joe. 
  In it she appears bottomless which is an on-screen first even for her, although she tells me: "I walk around the house naked a lot. Even when I was in college I had to take my clothes off to write a term paper and when I pack my suitcase I have to have nothing on. It always felt kind of normal. I just have to be obstacle free."

Thursday, July 19, 2012


  Binge-drinking Brits, lured by cheap booze, have invaded the Mediterranean resort of Malia, Crete, where cut price alcohol is one of the grim knock-on effects of the Greek debt crisis.
  The nation that gave the world the Acropolis and democracy is on its knees. And so are many of its tourists after booze prices were slashed to attract custom, according to a British newspaper report.
  With the euro also down against the pound, the result is a field day for Brits looking for cheap drinks in the sun.
The sign “Unlimited alcohol 15 euros” outside the Ice Bar in Malia tell a typical tale.
It is one of many such offers spreading through crisis-hit Greek seaside towns competing to attract young drinkers.
Bars that cannot compete have closed and one owner explained: “We have suffered terribly and have had to slash prices to attract customers.
“This year has been the worst yet. Profits are down 50 per cent. All the Brits come here to get wasted and we need them.
“But they get so drunk it also gives us a bad name. I’m letting in people who are underage because they will buy drinks.”
The tavernas are feeling the crunch because the debt-ridden government has put up taxes and many families running bars are also supporting relatives made jobless by the crisis.
Desperate to steal each other’s customers, they cut prices.
The result is that there are Britons passed out all around Malia’s main strip laying drunk and senseless in the gutters.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Mel Gibson in "Get the Gringo"

   Very few people have noticed but Mel Gibson has a new movie out. It can't be seen in cinemas because it has gone straight to video-on-demand despite it being a relatively lavish action film that has received good reviews from critics who managed to see it. .
  Get the Gringo, a $20-million, south-of-the-border crime drama set in a Mexican prison, stars Gibson, who also financed it himself. 
  But in addition to---and maybe because of---his legal problems, his anti-Semitic rants and accusations of physical abuse, Gibson has struggled at the box office recently. Last year, The Beaver failed to gross even $1 million, and the year before, his $80-million drama Edge of Darkness sold just $43.3 million in tickets in the U.S.
  In “Get the Gringo” Gibson plays a character known as Driver, a veteran criminal thrown into a squalid Mexican prison. The film’s jail is patterned after El Pueblito, a notorious correctional facility in Tijuana that operated as its own city, with guns, drugs and prostitution readily available. “You can buy anything,” one character says in the film, “except your way out.”
  It's a sentiment that Gibson is learning to his cost.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Beckham..."not me"
  David Beckham, who hasn't been selected for the GB Olympics football squad, has rejected speculation that he may be offered the prestigious role of lighting the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Games. 
  The identity of the person selected for the task is being kept under wraps to build drama around the opening ceremonies. 
  "I've always said lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian... who has done incredible things for our country and won gold medals," said Beckham.
John Mark..."like a Greek God"
  That wasn't the case at the 1948 London Games when John Mark, a tall, blond handsome medical student described as being "like a young Greek God" was chosen for his looks to represent the youth of the world. Women swooned when he entered Wembley Stadium carrying the Olympic flame. 
  Four years later the Finns appointed their running hero Paavo Nurmi to perform the ritual. In Atlanta in 1996 organisers chose Muhammad Ali and in Sydney four years later the aboriginal runner Cathy Freeman lit the flame.  At the 1994 Los Angeles Games I saw actor and former Olympic decathlete Rafer Johnson carry out the ceremony.   
Roger Bannister...first four-minute miler
  So who will the London organisers choose? An early favourite was Steve Redgrave, the five-time Olympic gold-medal rower.
   But my pick is 83-year-old Roger Bannister, the man who enthralled a depressed, post-war Britain in 1954 by becoming the first man to run a four-minute mile.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The Paris crash scene
 A sensational British documentary that hints that the British royal family may have conspired with politicians and secret service officers to kill Princess Diana, may never be seen.
  Its producers, one of whom is billionaire businessman Mohamed al-Fayed, whose son Dodi was killed with Diana in the Paris car crash in 1997, were unable to obtain insurance that would protect its distributors from libel charges. 
  The documentary, Unlawful Killing, which was briefly shown at last year's Cannes film festival, was to have been released this year to mark the 15th anniversary of Diana's death. It had been sold for distribution in several countries but has now been withdrawn "in perpetuity" according to the film's representatives. 
  A British jury ruled in 2008 that Diana and Dodi al-Fayed were unlawfully killed by the negligent driving of their chauffeur and photographers chasing after them.

Monday, July 9, 2012


  After starring in the three Chris Nolan-directed Batman films --the latest, The Dark Knight Rises, is out on July 20---Christian Bale has had enough of big budget blockbusters. 

  “I want to make some small movies now,” he tells me when we talk at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “I’m looking at very different kinds of movies.”
   So different, in fact, that his four next movies combined will cost less than half the $250 million budget for The Dark Knight Rises. 

    Nevertheless, he admits he was sad when he finished his final scene, filmed on a rooftop with Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).  

      “It was a fairly low key-affair,” he recalls of his last day on the set. “I don’t like big goodbyes so I said goodbye to everybody fairly quickly and then sat in the outfit and the cowl for a good 20 minutes just reflecting what it had meant to me through the years.

      “I finally took them off knowing I wouldn’t be doing it again and it was very meaningful."

Friday, July 6, 2012


Andy Murray....curry
Britney Spears...beers
Would you Adam and Eve it? Traditional Cockney rhyming slang, in use since the 18th Century and which many language experts feared was dying out,  is being given a new twist in London’s East End.
 The new “Popney” (popular Cockney) features the names of modern-day celebrities and is becoming widely used throughout the city according to researchers.
  Now,  a couple of Britneys (Spears) means beers, a Winona (Ryder) is cider and Paul Weller has replaced Nelson Mandella for Stella.  
   The new argot has even reached the boardroom  where executives in a meeting are said to be “in a Ronan” (Irish pop star Ronan Keating).
  If you’re Hank Marvin (starving) you go for an Andy Murray.
    What a Steffi (Graf)!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


July the Fourth outside the Rudder Room

Patriotism, parades, flags and fireworks …they’re all part of a traditional family July the Fourth celebration.
It's also a day for rest and relaxation and for many, if a visit to the beach can be combined with a few beers at the local bar, then so much the better.
   Situated where the Channel Islands harbor meets the Pacific Ocean and possibly the only bar on the whole California coast that sits right on the beach, the Rudder Room in Oxnard is a top spot for celebrating America’s Independence Day: there are no crowds and the only traffic jam is the line for the barbecue .
  For those who feel the need for some exercise, the newly-graded Rudder Room volleyball courts are steps away.
 Oh, and when the sun does down there’s a great view of the fireworks across the marina.
   Now back to work!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Rupert Murdoch.              Picture: Getty Images
Cruise in Knight and Day
 Interesting that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter to urge people to "watch" Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s divorce and labelling Scientologists as "creepy and evil".
  Murdoch also posted that Cruise was "number two or three" in the "very weird cult".
  Could his attack on Scientology---and indirectly on Cruise---have anything to do with the fact that the last movie Cruise made for his 20th Century Fox studio was Knight and Day---a huge flop which cost Murdoch 


  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...