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“Life is like waterskiing, in the sense that you’ve got to make sure you don’t let go of the rope” – Gavin Rossdale
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|_| |_ 02.02.17 ISSUE 817
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* No more Hurt: RIP John
* America’s first anime laureate?
* Charts: Ed Sheeran still No. 1
>> Daddy cool <<
A very liberal democrat
In times of spectacular global upheaval, it is reassuring to know that some things never, ever change.
For example, despite not having been an MP for nearly seven years now (and despite having a pregnant girlfriend at home) Lembit Opik was seen this week propping up a Commons bar, enjoying a conversation with a mystery woman.
Almost as if he’d never left!
Afrika Baby Bam from Jungle Brothers isn’t the only late-80s music star living in Ramsgate. His neighbours include Adamski and Rebel MC.
>> Golden handshake <<
Neil Wallis: shitty Midas
There’s a fake passage from Donald Trump’s Art of The Deal doing the rounds at the moment, suggesting that Trump thinks it’s a good power-play to not wash your hands after using the restroom.
It’s not true of Trump, alas, but former colleagues of ex-tabloid editor Neil Wallis tell us that it’s a trick he used to practise.
Staffers lived in fear of him stopping by their desk on his way back from the executive bogs as he would help himself to people’s packets of sweets or crisps, knowing full well that they’d offer him the lot just to get his shitty, pissy paws off their things.
Bruce Springsteen’s gig opener in Melbourne today? Don’t Hang Up. His intro: “We stand before you embarrassed Americans tonight”
>> Big Questions <<
What people are asking?
Which leading libel lawyer has been making people’s skin crawl at fundraising dinners? As one of the event’s organisers was making her way round the tables to sell raffle tickets, this charming professional asked her “Is the use of your womb one of the prizes?”
Money troubles must be serious at the Guardian. Word is that they’ve had to shut the vegetable, lentil and salad bar in the work canteen.
>> No more Hurt <<
A fond farewell to John
“When John Hurt used to live above the Sun and 13 Cantons, myself and a couple of good mates used to bunk off work and turn up about 2.30 after the lunchtime media rush would end. JH would turn up in a beautifully made linen suit and sit at the end of the bar with a pack of 20 Camel Light and a bottle of white wine.
“When he realised that we weren’t in film, nor had aspirations to be, he would happily regale us with stories of Richard Harris, Ollie Reed etc – and said that the actor he thought was most like how they used to be was… Johnny Depp.
“When he got engaged to his last wife, they went out on a big old bender and came back to the Sun. JH sat on one of the couches, very drunk and wet himself in front of everyone – and, in perfect John Hurt voice, just said “Oh, fuck’.”
Eva Cassidy died 21 years ago today. She’s sold more than 4 million albums in the UK since then.
>> Return of the hack <<
The Sun has yet to set
To date, most of the phone-hacking cases have revolved around the News of the World or Mirror Group Newspapers – but while there has always been a lot of chatter about the Sun’s potential involvement too, nothing has really ever come of it.
Until now. Gossip in legal circles suggests that a new civil case is being drawn up. One which involves the Sun,
and that may see the light of day before 2017 is out.
A lot of big names in tabloid journalism have worked on the Bizarre desk at some point in their careers – so it’ll be interesting to see who ends up getting the call…
Taxidermy of the stars: Tinie Tempah
has a stuffed giraffe and a stuffed
zebra in his Hackney house.
>> Marble bust <<
Tip-top toilet tops
We mentioned in last week’s mailout that Rebekah Brooks has been complaining to her staff that the stamp duty is making it impossible for her to buy a home in Kensington.
She doesn’t seem to have any such spending troubles at work though. Rumours circulating at News UK say that Rebekah asked for all the marble surfaces in the bathroom on the executive floor to be replaced as she “didn’t like the marble that had been used”.
Chris Barrie refuses to travel by aeroplane, so won’t be joining the Red Dwarf cast on their tour of Australia starting this week.
>> Art attack <<
America’s first anime laureate?
In what has fast become one of his least controversial acts, Donald Trump has vowed to cut the National Endowment for the Arts (roughly $150m per year).
Coincidentally, it costs $1m per day to secure Trump Tower while Melania and Barron reside there as Barron completes the school year. Schools in the States break up for summer in late May/early June (around the 150th day of the year).
But don’t despair yet, art lovers of America! This may yet prove to be an investment worth making. Especially if the pictures circling around the internet do turn out to be genuine Barron Trump originals.
Take a look:
Names to be added to the list of celebrity Trump supporters: Peter Andre and… Mike Stock.
>> Payet back <<
Dmitri cash transfer
Dmitri Payet’s transfer back to Marseille this month broke most footballer rules. He happily took a paycut, he gave 500K salary back to West Ham and – despite his pretty stellar Euro 2016 stint – elected to take a bit of a backward career step.
So why was he so keen? Well, it seems Dmitri had been enjoying the adulation of one West Ham fan a little too much. Mrs Payet found out and hopped it back to France. Leaving Dmitri little option but to follow.
David Attenborough’s preference for outmoded technology doesn’t end with VHS. Whenever he can, he communicates by fax.
>> No happy ending <<
More nominative determinism
In an otherwise extremely bleak week, there was a little bit of unintentional levity from the Charity Commission.
A charity aimed at reducing poverty was closed down this week after its trustee pleaded guilty to running a brothel.
The name of this charity?