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Sir Cliff Richard has admitted that he would like to have another Christmas number one single. The musician has topped the charts on four separate occasions at Christmas, including twice as a solo artist. Speaking in a video recorded for the Official Charts Company, he suggested that his previous Christmas singles have blended spiritual aspects with a more commercial sense of the festive spirit. Richard said: "For me, the important thing about a Christmas single though - for me as a believer... what I loved about 'Mistletoe and Wine' [was that] it had a kind of Christmas aspect and a spiritual aspect to it, 'Saviour's Day' very definitely, 'The Millennium Prayer' was in fact the Lord's Prayer put to 'Auld Lang Syne' - so if I could find another song that had those elements, I would have another attempt, I would make another (more) »
- By Kate Goodacre
Michael McIntyre wants to spend Christmas with Aled Jones, Cliff Richard, Noddy Holder and Jamie Oliver. The 35-year-old comedian joked that he insists on spending the festive season with the legendary singers and makes the celebrity chef rustle up a turkey for him. He said: "We only invite four people for Christmas Day. Aled Jones sings 'The Snowman' in the corner, Cliff Richard dances in the middle of the room, Noddy Holder wraps presents, while Jamie Oliver pops over to cook the turkey." In reality, Michael spends Christmas with his wife Kitty, 35, and their two sons, Lucas, five, and Oscar, three, like »
To compliment the Best list that we’ve also just posted, and offer a little balance so the world doesn’t think we’re too full of joyous Christmas spirit (I am, but I’m pretty sure there are some miseries on the staff here who don’t enjoy Christmas as much as me) we’ve decided to also run down the very worst offerings that have somehow made it to the hallowed Christmas Number One position.
Amazingly, none of the songs below were created under any of the reality TV banners of X Factor and its ilk, though there is of course some presence by the Dark Lord of Pop, Simon Cowell, who signed Irish group Westlife, and who allows his little buddy Louis Walsh to manage them. For some reason.
Anyway, here they are in all of their glory. Ten horrible songs to celebrate Christmas with. if you ever bought a copy, »
- Simon Gallagher
The Christmas number one: a supposedly hallowed achievement, and yet both Mr Blobby and Bob The Builder have both walked away with it in the past. In recent years, the market immediately before Christmas has been over-populated by the deluge of “talented” winners from Simon Cowell’s pop processing plant on the moon (probably) and vocal dissenters seem to have turned the Christmas Number One into some sort of insipid personification of everything that is wrong with the music business.
But, there have been some shining lights in the history of the Christmas Number One, despite the infamous ear-bleeders and the outrageous stories of classic songs being overtaken for the accolade by awful one-hit-wonders. And this article is hereby devoted to listing said highlights.
Somewhat unthinkably, there is no place for “Fairytale of New York”, for which we can thank the Pet Shop Boys, whose cover of “Always On My Mind” took the 1987 spot, »
- Simon Gallagher
Absolute Radio has released the sixth generation of its iPhone applications, introducing new targeted advertising technology to the services. The company has revamped its entire suite of iOS smartphone apps, adding ones for new Dab stations Absolute Radio 60s, the network that recently caused controversy by banning the music by Sir Cliff Richard, and Absolute Radio 70s. Refreshed apps have also been introduced for Absolute Radio, Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Absolute Radio 00s and Absolute Classic Rock. Absolute said that the apps feature the UK-first inclusion of 'Mobile In-Stream' functionality, an integrated advertising service provided by European start-up AdsWizz. In-Stream works by tracking users' gender, demographic and active location via IP, and then tailoring the in-app experience with content and adverts related (more) »
- By Andrew Laughlin
Love him or loathe him, there's only one Cliff Richard, and as he continues rocking into his 70s we at Digital Spy salute the British Elvis. To mark the launch of his new DVD Cliff Richard: 'The Soulicious Tour' Live at the O2, we've scoured the archives for ten fast facts about the forever young one. 1. Sir Cliff was born Harry Rodger Webb on October 14, 1940 at the King George Hospital, Victoria Street, Lucknow in what was then United Provinces of British India. His catering contracting manager dad was Rodger Oscar Webb and his dorm matron mum was Dorothy Marie Dazely. 2. After making a three-week voyage to Blightly when India gained independence in 1948, the Webbs enjoyed short stays in Surrey and Waltham Cross before moving permanently to Cheshunt in Hertfordshire. Today, a block of flats named Cliff Richard Court stands in the area in (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
Sir Cliff Richard has revealed that he thinks he could have another Christmas number one with the right song. The singer told Digital Spy that it is harder to claim the festive chart top spot as The X Factor has "killed" everybody's chance of achieving it. Asked whether he thought he could top the Christmas chart once again, Richard replied: "With the right song, yeah I think so. The X Factor kind of killed everybody else's chance of being number one at Christmas as their show runs for 26 weeks and culminated one week before. "So everybody is waiting for that song, from that winner. It's almost impossible to compete as they always were at number one." He added: "Even (more) »
- By Lewis Corner
Production designer behind the deadly gadgets used by James Bond – and his foes
The production designer Syd Cain, who has died aged 93, was one of many behind-the-scenes professionals elevated to something like prominence by the worldwide interest in the James Bond films. An industry veteran who began work in British cinema as a draughtsman in 1947, contributing to the look of the gothic melodrama Uncle Silas, Cain is credited on a range of film and television projects, but remains best known for his work in various design capacities on the 007 series, from Dr No in 1962 to GoldenEye in 1995.
Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Cain served in the armed forces in the second world war, surviving a plane crash and recovering from a broken back. Working at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire in the 1940s and 50s, he moved up from uncredited draughtsman (on Adam and Evelyne, The Interrupted Journey, You Know What Sailors Are »
- Kim Newman
It is the commonplace fate of British cinema's more visionary talents to end their careers marginalised and even mocked. This was certainly what happened to Ken Russell, who has died aged 84. In his latter years, with his shock of white hair and his red face, the director cut a cantankerous and slightly buffoonish figure. He asked for money for interviews. His greatest work wasn't much in circulation. Those who knew him from such lesser efforts as The Fall Of The Louse Of Usher (2002), his eccentric and low-budget Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, or for his Cliff Richard and Sara Brightman videos, were probably baffled that he had such a glowing reputation. »
Pop legend Cliff Richard says music mogul Simon Cowell will never be able to find a global superstar on his singing reality show .The X Factor...Real stars on that show, lasting stars, will only come when artists get 100 percent care and attention and are not under pressure to get number ones all the time..Take it from me, the next Elton John, Tom Jones or Cliff Richard will not be found on .The X Factor., despite what Simon (Cowell) thinks. It is a shame, .The X Factor. shows do produce some talent. Even the losers are great,. femalefirst.co.uk quoted the 71-year-old as saying.Richard feels Cowell should encourage participants to build lasting careers..My first record reached number two in the charts, my second number seven, then nine, then 17, my first number one was .Living Doll.. That can.t happen now. These days a number two is »
Cliff Richard's The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening. Photo copyright Solarpix / PR Photos. Cliff Richard's The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening. Photo copyright Solarpix / PR Photos. Cliff Richard's The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening. Photo copyright Solarpix / PR Photos. Cliff Richard's The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening. Photo copyright Solarpix / PR Photos. Cliff Richard's The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening. Photo copyright Solarpix / PR Photos. 11/15/2011 - Cliff Richard - Cliff Richard's "The Soulicious Tour Live at the O2" DVD Screening - Arrivals - Odeon West End, Leicester Square - London, UK © Solarpix / PR Photos 11/15/2011 - Cliff »
In a neat move to launch their new digital station, Absolute has very publicly 'banned' Sir Cliff Richard records from Absolute Radio 60s. The Beatles and The Stones get the okay, of course, as do The Who and The Doors, but Sir Cliff is a no-go. That's despite a successful decade packed with top ten hits. You could say that it's a win-win situation. Absolute Radio gets a load of publicity, news sites like us leach some of that attention, and even Cliff gets the bounce of his name being in the press as he readies his latest DVD. But is 'banning' Sir Cliff, or any artist, the best way to launch a radio station? While it's easy to laugh at something like 'Congratulations', it should be remembered that Richard was a genuine star and the first example of homegrown British rock 'n' roll. It wasn't for (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
Nile Rodgers has said that Sir Cliff Richard did not change people's lives. The Chic hitmaker told Absolute Radio 60s DJ Pete Mitchell that Richard could not be held up alongside other stars with a greater influence. Rodgers said: "The problem with Cliff is that as sort of cool as he was, he didn't have that thing that translated over to the States. If you're gonna be really cool, you've sort of gotta be cool there too. "He didn't make a generation of kids say, 'Wow, this guy changed my life'. It was just another person with a hit record. "There's a big difference between people who had hit records and people who would make you march in their parade. You know, he wouldn't be the dude that you'd wanna smoke pot with." Watch Nile Rodgers talking about Cliff Richard below: Absolute (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
Joe Manganiello is excited about the new season of True Blood. “Oh my god, I can’t f—ing wait. The fact that they’re basically busy casting an entire new pack of werewolves is unbelievable. There’s going to be like a werewolf show within the show this year, so I’m like a kid about it!” I'm hoping that means a lot of were-booty onscreen.
Just go look at the Moses Bridge in the Netherlands. I love that people still think of public space like this.
Evidently, you can suppress your gag reflex by squeezing your left thumb inside your fist. I'm not going to question the scientific method used to test this, but is sounds like potentially useful news.
A Wyoming football coach has resigned for »
- Ed Kennedy
An Afro-Caribbean Heathcliff, a Caucasian anime hero and an all-black take on Tennessee Williams. How far can such 'race-bending, or 'race-lifting', go towards redrawing racial boundaries on film and stage?
Andrea Arnold's new version of Wuthering Heights has put the stray cat among the period-drama pigeons with its earthy realism and distinct lack of social niceties, but chances are, if you know anything about this movie, it is that it has got a black Heathcliff. "Black" meaning the role is played by two actors of Afro-Caribbean descent, Solomon Glave and James Howson.
This fact above all others as been widely reported in the press, perhaps with the expectation that the nation, like a 19th-century dame, would collectively primp its petticoats at the sight of "a coloured gentleman". Arnold's decision to augment Emily Brontë's text with lines such as, "He's not my brother, he's a nigger!" only exacerbates the racial provocation. »
- Steve Rose
Cliff Richard has announced plans to attend a West End screening of his upcoming tour DVD. The singer will introduce a special viewing of Cliff Richard: The Soulicious Tour Live At The O2 at London's Odeon West End on November 15. The concert DVD was recorded during Cliff's 'Soulicious' arena tour, which featured 18 popular hits from his successful career. The shows also included a lineup of soul classics and brand new songs taken from his recent Soulicious duets album. On the DVD, Richard is joined on stage by soul stars including Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr, Lamont Dozier, Jaki Graham, James Ingram, Freda Payne and Percy Sledge. Talking about the duets, Richard said: "It's been a (more) »
- By Lewis Corner
Kelly Rowland's reaction to Frankie Cocozza's shock X Factor exit may go down as one of her best moments ever, but last night (November 10) it was back to the day job for the 30-year-old. With a single and album to promote, Rowland joined Graham Norton to record tonight's edition of the comedian's popular BBC One chatshow. Wearing black leather trousers, she performed new single 'Down For Whatever', the current offering from her upcoming third studio album Here I Am. Chatting to Norton, Rowland joined Cliff Richard, Lord Alan Sugar and Micky Flanagan on the sofa to talk about her relationship with fellow X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos. "I love Tulisa, but we did have a little bit of a tiff because she went against one of my girls," she explained, before defending Misha B (more) »
- By Ryan Love
Actor/director Emilio Estevez has become the latest celebrity winemaker after tasting success with his first Casa Dumetz collections.
Estevez, the brother of embattled star Charlie Sheen, started the business in Malibu, California in 2005 while working on his Robert F. Kennedy biopic Bobby, and now his winemaking dreams have been realised.
Casa Dumetz's Viognet white is a big hit and the actor is currently developing a new Gewurtztraminer.
Well he might as well have been back in the Crimbo week of December 2009 when it seemed that you couldn't get away from the bloke. Particularly in the week leading up to the much-anticipated Christmas/New Year special, there he was – on various breakfast and mid-morning TV programmes; on Children's BBC; heck, he was even on the novelty BBC idents, bellowing orders at time-travelling reindeer. You could hear the cries of “Squee!” in the air from London to Boston.
Still, the Tennant fangirls had to make the most of their beloved hero, since he was about to become the latest casualty in the mammoth two-part adventure The End Of Time. Yes, it's time to play the Regeneration Game again as Doctor Ten finds that the Pork Chops Carmen prophecy is about to come devastatingly true.
The End Of Time »
World news with your cornflakes? Watch Breakfast. But Daybreak is a brighter start
Usually it's obvious what to review. There's something new or massive that you know everyone will be talking about. Or should be talking about. But for this one I struggled, to be honest. There were no advanced copies of the BNP Panorama; a film about twins who are different colours wasn't as interesting as it might have been; I just don't get This is Jinsy; and ceramics on BBC 4 I'm sure is wonderful, but ... well, it's about ceramics.
So I'm up early on Monday, to flick between Breakfast on BBC1 and ITV1's Daybreak. To make it more scientific, the definitive consumer test, I've divided my research into strict categories.
Well, it's not really a hard day to decide what news to lead on – both obviously go with the Obnoxy Foxy story. And do it quite well, »
- Sam Wollaston
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