Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scarlett 'ties the knot' in secret

Hollywood starlet Scarlett Johansson has married actor Ryan Reynolds in a hush-hush ceremony in Canada, according to reports.

The couple were determined to keep the wedding as low-key as possible, opting for a small service in a remote wilderness resort outside Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday.

Guests included the bride's mother, Melanie Sloan, and her brother, Adrian Johansson, Scarlett's representative told People magazine.
The actress, 23, announced their engagement on May 5, by showing off a £16,500 three-carat diamond ring at the Met Costume Gala Ball in New York.

She started dating Reynolds, 31, at the start of last year shortly after he parted from his then fiancee, singer Alanis Morissette.

At the beginning of September, Scarlett vowed that they would not sell photos to a magazine and described lavish celebrity weddings as "awful".

"I'm a private person, so, obviously, I'm pretty sure our wedding will be as private as possible."

Johansson has also said she was excited about her upcoming wedding because she was keen to become an honorary Canadian.

It had been widely reported she planned to postpone the ceremony until after the United States presidential election, which takes place at the beginning of November.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Falling apart: Stick-thin Amy Winehouse more ravaged than ever... as she admits: 'I can't go on like this'

It was a high society ball attended by a host of VIPs in their most glamorous gowns.

But somehow Amy Winehouse didn't get the dress code quite right.

Wearing scruffy animal print shorts, the troubled star looked shockingly skinny and ill as she performed at the End of Summer Ball in London's Berkeley Square last night.

With her gaunt physique, unkempt hair, smudged makeup and scratches on her legs the singer looked more unwell than ever.

The 25-year-old admitted she was on the verge of a breakdown after a night of worryingly shambolic behaviour — even by her standards.

The troubled star embarrassed herself by ruining her 12-year-old goddaughter’s debut singing performance and lashing out at a photographer before collapsing and sobbing: 'Life can’t go on. I can’t do this any more.'

The singer was at the Berkeley Square Ball in Mayfair to provide backing vocals for her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.

But onlookers were shocked at how out of it Amy was, and the audience at the charity bash cringed as she grabbed and hugged Dionne as she tried to perform.

The pair were joined on stage by a live band and one of Amy’s backing singers for the three-song set.

We’re told: 'It was tragic — she seemed totally wasted. She was jumping all over Dionne as the poor girl tried to sing for the crowd. Amy didn’t really sing a single note — it sounded more like she was grunting down the mic.'

At the end of the performance, Amy’s backing singer told the crowd: 'Isn’t she great? She’s only 12-years-old!'

But Amy crowed: 'She’s better than you — it doesn’t matter how old she is.'

She then roamed from table to table, demanding to meet famous people.

Sugababe Heidi Range was sent to talk to her but couldn’t keep her attention long.

Our spy said: 'Amy was then asked to pose for the event’s official photographer, but flipped and tried to headbutt him. She looked like a woman possessed.'

But backstage things took a turn for the worse. Our spy adds: 'Amy collapsed backstage in tears. She kept saying, ‘Life can’t go on, I can’t do this’.'
It was a sorry return to the public eye for Amy, who has kept a low profile recently.

She arrived at her Camden home at the end of the night with only one shoe and looking horribly dishevelled.

Among the 850 guests at the glittering event were Kate Middleton's younger sister Pippa, Sugababe Heidi Range, model Emma Noble and former Atomic Kitten Liz McLarnon.

Party-goers paid £750 for tickets which included a meal by by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White and cocktails prepared by exclusive restaurant Nobu.

From Hermione to amazing Grace: Emma Watson's stunning new look

The porcelain elegance, faraway expression and sparkle of diamonds say Grace Kelly.

But then that was exactly what Emma Watson was hoping for.

The 18-year-old who made her name in the Harry Potter films is an actress after all.

And in a series of glamorous photos for Italian Vogue, she showed she can play roles rather more grown-up than Harry's magical sidekick Hermione Granger.

Miss Watson was photographed by Mark Seliger, whose previous subjects have included the rather less glamorous Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Kurt Cobain.

Mark encouraged me to become a different person or character for each photograph and so they all tell different stories,' she explained.
Grace kelly'So, in the end, I combined two loves: art and fashion and acting. I learned a lot and have found a whole new respect for the hard work models put into their work and for the couture. A love affair has begun.'

Miss Watson, who is currently working on the final Harry Potter film, is becoming a familiar face on the fashion circuit.

She has signed up to the Storm agency which also represents Kate Moss, Carla Bruni and Lily Cole.

The young actress, said to be heading for university post-Potter, could find herself in demand as a cover girl instead.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, we're gay! Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson finally confirm Hollywood's worst kept secret

After months of speculation about their relationship Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson have finally confirmed they are a couple.

The pair were talking to an American radio DJ who asked them how long they had been together.

'A very long time,' replied 22-year-old actress Lohan, who has been living with the 30-year-old DJ since May.

The couple had rung the show to speak to DJ Stryker on Sunday about the plane crash in which their close friend Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein was badly burned on Friday night.
He told them: 'I hope you guys stay together, you're a very lovely looking couple.' Lohan then thanked him.

The couple are rumoured to be buying a house together in New York. They have been inseparable since the start of 2008, stirring rumours that they were secret lovers.

They made their affection for each other public on numerous occasions.

Earlier this month, they shared a tender moment on a street in New York. After shopping in Soho they were seen kissing outside the Mercer Hotel.

London born Ronson, the sister of Mark Ronson, also visited Lohan on the set of Ugly Betty, as she filmed her guest appearance for the hit show.

Meanwhile, Lohan's father has hit out at Ronson again.

Just one month after Michael Lohan publicly criticised Ronson for 'using my daughter', an email in which he slams the DJ as a 'disgusting representation of humanity' has reportedly come to light.

In the email, published by entertainment news agency X17, Michael allegedly writes: 'There is a lot more to Samantha than meets the eye! Not that what we see is sooo pleasing anyway!

'I mean, what’s with this… “person”??? Look at the way she “dresses”? Once more, she uses her middle finger more that she uses words! Personally, I think she is dark, hideous and a disgusting representation of humanity!

'I heard and know more about Samantha than you can imagine. Yet, while I haven't exposed her, I know that God will.'

Following several years of estrangement, Lohan reunited with her father after checking into rehab last year.

But last month, Lohan rebuked her dad after the born-again Christian accused Ronson of passing alcohol to the young Hollywood star.

Lohan wrote on her MySpace page: 'It really hurts, because I have tried - after all that my mother and siblings have gone through, I really tried to make things work.

'For the hope of having a father again - wanting things to change - even though people have said, some people will forever remain the same.

'Having said that - the people were right, and he is yet to change - but this time, without his daughter by his side.

'He has become a public embaressment [sic] and a bully.'

Monday, September 22, 2008

Joined at the hip: Lovers Lindsay and Sam Ronson get VERY cosy at post-Emmys party

Lindsay Lohan looks all aglow as she and DJ love Samantha Ronson cosy up at a post-Emmys party last night.

Looking relaxed and healthy dressed in a gold velvet mini-dress, the rehabilitated Hollywood wildchild sat with her girlfriend cuddled up in her lap, seemingly content at the intimate display of affection.

Lindsay and Samantha were seen at the TV Guide after-party for the Emmys, and are rarely far from the other's side.

So it should come as no surprise that the pair are said to have set their sights on a love nest - a $5million flat in famous Dakota building - in New York, much to the residents reported annoyance.

A source told The News of the World newspaper: 'Lindsay’s had her eye on the Dakota building for years.

'It's an iconic building and she's not bothered about the complaints from residents. She plans to make it a hotbed for parties.'

The actress apparently has some way out plans for the pad according to the paper.

Top designers will put in a circular bed adorning a leopard print headboard, individual bathrooms (one pink and one black) complete with 'Hers and Hers' monogrammed towels, and a DJ area with a glitter ball.

Oh my God! Britney Spears finally looks really thin... but not THAT thin

No longer can the 'pot belly' and 'jiggly thighs' jibes be levelled at the comeback princess of pop Britney Spears.

The singer stepped out in Hollywood last night for a frappucino and a visit to the cinema looking slimmer than she has for months.

But on the same day promotional shots were released for her new single, showing the singer almost unrecognisable in a PVC bodysuit and stilettos.

She looked so unbelievably svelte that it could perhaps be suggested that her shots had undergone a spot of airbrushing.

Yesterday it was a dressed down Britney who faced the paparazzi as she left the cinema in Hollywood after seeing Kate Hudson's romantic comedy My Best Friend's Girl.

Britney's new look signalled a return to form for the star, who has been kept out of the limelight following her very public meltdown earlier this year.

But following a successful return to the public arena at this year's MTV awards, the singer has slowly begun to return to public life.

She was seen out just hours after attending a family day out at the Polo in the Palisades event at the Will Rogers Polo Club.

The singer was accompanied by father Jamie who had a team in the event playing called the Spears Family.

Britney's new look heralds the singer's return to something near normality a year after her disastrous comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Enlarge britney spearsBritney suffered a very public meltdown following her disastrous performance at the 2007 MTV awards

Last month the singer won the first three Moonman statuettes of her career.

The pop singer, whose career has been overshadowed in recent years by a litany of personal woes, took home the awards for video of the year, best pop video and best female video, all for the track Piece Of Me.

Spears politely thanked God, her children and her record label before quickly leaving the stage.

Coming after months of erratic, often drug-fuelled madness - including a lengthy stint in a rehab clinic - it marked the moment when the public perception of Britney shifted.

Britney's rehabilitation has been attributed to the influence of both her father - who is charged with handling her finances - and the return of manager Larry Rudolph.

Earlier this summer, Rudolph went on record to admit: 'I have spent time with her, and she is on the right path because she has people around her who care about her well-being.

'But this isn't the time to talk business. This is a time for healing.'

Meanwhile, the star will be returning to court next month to revisit her ongoing illegal driving case.

The trial, which was originally scheduled to begin in January, has been moved to October following a Los Angeles Superior Court judge's ruling after the star's lawyers argued she was incapable of issuing a deposition at the time - due to her much-publicised health issues.

She is currently working on her new album.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ex-lovers of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie fight for life after horror plane crash leaves four dead

Former Blink-182 drummer and one-time boyfriend of Paris Hilton, Travis Barker is in a critical condition after a fatal plane crash in South Carolina.

The musician and celebrity disc jockey Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein were riding in a Learjet private plane when it crashed shortly after departing just before midnight on Friday night.

Four people have been killed in the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.

Goldstein, ex-fiance of Hilton's best friend Nicole Richie, was also critically injured in the accident and is in an Augusta, Georgia burns unit.

Beth Frits, spokesperson for the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said: 'Both Travis Barker and Adam Goldstein are in critical but stable condition.

'Goldstein was airlifted here and Barker was brought by ground transportation. So they arrived separately. They have extensive burns.'

Barker's personal assistant Chris Baker, 29, of California, was killed, Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman confirmed.

Amongst the four killed was another male passenger, the pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, and co-pilot James Bland, 52.

An FAA spokesperson said air traffic control saw sparks coming off the plane as it drove along the runway.

The plane went off the runway and crashed onto a nearby road.

Airport director Mike Flack said the jet reportedly hit the fence during take-off, pieces of the plane broke off and the fuselage caught fire.

According to Lynne Douglas, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, both Barker and Goldstein got out of the plane themselves before emergency services arrived.

The plane was bound for Van Nuys, California after Barker and Goldstein had performed at a college gig in Columbia, South Carolina earlier that night with former Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell and musician Gavin DeGraw.

Representatives for DeGraw and Farrell said their client were not onboard the plane.

Eyewitness William Owens told local TV channel WIS-TV he was driving down Highway 302 when he said he saw a fireball go across the road.

'I didn't know what I had seen - it was maybe 800 feet in front of me, but as I approached it closer though, I made out a fire. By then I was able to see the tail of the jet and I recognised it as a jet.

'It's in flames and the fuel is running across the road and I had to cross the fuel to get to the two guys that seemed to have been dumped on the highway.

'We turned to the jet to try and see if there was anything we could do, but immediately, there was nothing anyone could do.'

Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said: 'It's absolutely terrible and tragic.'

After leaving Blink-182, Barker formed another band +44 and starred alongside his ex-wife Shanna Moakler in a MTV reality show Meet The Barkers.

The couple, who divorced last year, have two young children together.

Goldstein dated Lionel Richie's daughter for several years and proposed to her on her birthday in 2004.

The couple called off their engagement in 2007 and Richie has since had a baby with Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden.

True love and cupcakes: Shilpa Shetty on feeling sorry for Jade Goody, her plans for marriage... and her secret vice

Although a highly successful Bollywood actress with more than 50 films to her name, Shilpa Shetty, 33, became famous in this country after winning last year's Celebrity Big Brother, following an international racism controversy involving fellow contestant Jade Goody.

One year on, Shilpa has been hosting Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the show, as well as continuing with her acting career. She is dating London-based entrepreneur Raj Kundra, 32, but still lives with her parents in Mumbai.

Jade Goody was a controversial participant in Big Boss until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to leave the show. How did you feel when you heard the news?

It was a huge shock. When you know anybody who gets diagnosed with something like this, whatever the circumstances, it's always horrible news. With Jade it was one shock after another, in a way - first her coming out to India to do the show, then hearing about her illness. It all happened very fast and it was difficult to take in. I spoke to her before she returned to the UK, but it was a very private conversation that I won't share. She knows we've buried the hatchet. Life's too short to bear any hatred. I can only pray that she makes a full recovery.

Does your stint on Big Brother seem strangely surreal now?

In a way, yes, although it was also a huge catalyst in terms of bringing about all the opportunities I've had since, so I owe the show a lot. I'd achieved success in India, but I didn't have that international platform - and I'm not embarrassed to say that I have it now because of Big Brother. I'm very aware that the UK public stood up for me and for what was right, and I'm very grateful for that. Everyone in life makes mistakes - you learn from them and move on.

What lessons did you learn from your time in the Big Brother house?

I had no idea I had the kind of patience I had. When you're living your life in the outside world, you have this notion of the kind of person you are. Then, suddenly, you're effectively under house arrest and you find all your preconceived ideas really tested. I'm glad I kept my calm. I realised that grace under pressure is one of life's most valuable commodities.

The show opened a lot of doors for you...

Absolutely. I'm very aware now that being a celebrity has the advantage of giving you leverage, and the freedom to pick and chose. Now,I'm even producing my own film, which I never thought I'd do. It’s stressful, but wonderful. Having talked to friends who are mothers, it seems to be very similar to having a baby.

Talking of which, would you like a family of your own?

Definitely, and I'm sure I will, God willing. I intend to try and do that as soon as my professional life has calmed down hopefully in the
next couple of years. I don't want to make too many predictions as I don’t believe in making too many plans, but, yes, I have a man in my life and, yes, I hope we will get married.

Tell us more...

The best thing is when your partner loves you for who you are and you don’t feel you have to change for him. That’s what I feel I have with Raj. It's not always easy - Raj lives in London and I live in Mumbai, so it's a long-distance relationship and we have to work at it. But it also means that we value each other more. Although, sometimes, I think that it can be harder when you have someone breathing down your neck the whole time. I think we women are often confused, actually - one minute we're complaining about not being valued enough, then the next, we're saying, 'I need my space'. We don't always know what we want. But at the moment I feel extremely blessed.

I take it your parents approve?

Oh, absolutely. It wouldn’t have lasted if they didn't. I still live at home with them, and I only intend to move out when I get married. I know a lot of people in the UK find it strange, but we just have a different value system over here, and it's a case of us all learning to respect that. I think Brits are far more independent at a much earlier age, which is wonderful in many ways, but I also think it’s much harder for them, too. In many ways life is much easier in India, because we don't have the same pressures, and the support system in terms of the way the family works is amazing.

Do you worry about getting older?

No, not at all. I don't want to come across like I'm really boring and, 'Oh, everything's perfect,' but I really don't. Of course, I'm aware I'm getting older, but I'll take it as it comes - I'm not averse to having Botox, for example, but I just don't feel I need it yet. The way I see it, I spent a long time getting comfortable with who I am. I was an ugly duckling as a child, and it took a lot of hard work to get to where I am today, where I’m not so self-critical. I still don't think I’m as good-looking as my sister, Shamita, or even my mother, who is stunning, even now. But I've metamorphosed into the person I am today, and I'm pretty content.

Any guilty pleasures?

Cupcakes! I love them, especially chocolate ones. I tend to hunt them down wherever I am in the world and find the best the city has to
offer. I've had a few cupcake binges over the years. In fact, I have a terrible sweet tooth. But I also think it's a fallacy that chocolate is bad for you. As long as you're following a good diet, then one or two pieces of chocolate a day is fine.

Cupcakes aside, how would you spend your ideal day?

An ideal day is one where I'm not working and I don't have anywhere to go. I'd do very little, sleep in till ten or so, and just hang out at home. Maybe go to a spa for a massage and then for a quiet dinner with Raj. But life is pretty manic at the moment, so I don't get to do this very often - although I'm not complaining.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lindsay Lohan is sad to be leaving Ugly Betty

Lindsay Lohan has really enjoyed filming her cameo appearance on Ugly Betty, calling the experience a delight.

The actress wrote on her MySpace blog: "It's been such a delight to be a part of this show. Two days left of my shoot on Ugly Betty - I am quite sad to have to leave the wonderful cast and crew behind. It's always sad to leave people that you get close to."

With just a few days left on the New York set, the actress revealed she will miss the cast and crew of the US TV series.
Lindsay plays a mean former classmate of Betty on the show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Britney Spears makes a comeback - to Starbucks

The two star-crossed lovers reunited with a passion that day, my friends. Oh, how long has it been since one felt the other's embrace? This was truly a moment for the ages. And then the Frappucino spoke in his thick French accent suddenly making the straps of fair Britney's brassiere burn like a raging inferno:

"Show them your vagina, my Britney."
"But, Frappucino, I'm a good girl now."
"Do not ever stop doing that which you love."
"No, I mustn't."
"Britney, you cannot resist me."
"How do you know?"
"I am full of the caramel sauce."
"Well, I guess I could press it up against the window."

Marisa Miller Is A Naughty Schoolgirl. Sort Of.

I’ve never heard of Malibu Magazine, but somehow they managed to get Marisa Miller in a pair of knee high socks - which is what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years in my Marisa Miller school girl fantasy. Unfortunately Marisa isn’t wearing a plaid skirt but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. So thanks Malibu Magazine for making my fantasy a reality. Sort of.

Marisa Miller Is A Naughty Schoolgirl. Sort Of.

I’ve never heard of Malibu Magazine, but somehow they managed to get Marisa Miller in a pair of knee high socks - which is what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years in my Marisa Miller school girl fantasy. Unfortunately Marisa isn’t wearing a plaid skirt but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. So thanks Malibu Magazine for making my fantasy a reality. Sort of.

Jessica Simpson does actually work

Jessica Simpson is convinced she's made the right move by returning to her southern roots and leaving Los Angeles behind - because her fans had forgotten why she was famous.

The pop star-turned-country singer Jessica Simpson left the Hollywood for a life away from the clicking cameras to live in her native Texas and pursue her country music career in Nashville, Tennessee.

She says, "I think people forgot that I actually work. That I don't just go to Starbucks and pump gas... I've tried to stay out of L.A. as much as possible."
The singer insists the move has also helped her become more comfortable in her own skin. She adds, "I think that without paparazzi you can be yourself, because you don't feel like they're trying to get the shot like you have gas or something - or like in that very moment you hate everybody."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Angelina Jolie as a fresh faced teen... before the tattoos and vials of blood

The bee-stung lips, bedroom eyes and long dark locks were there from the beginning.

But these pictures of Angelina Jolie, taken when she was 16, highlight just what has changed since she became a star.

Her unblemished glowing skin is a distant memory. Angelina, now 33, is understood to have at least 13 tattoos decorating her body, including the geographical co-ordinates of her children's birthplaces etched on to her left shoulder.

And the carefree innocence of 16-year-old Angelina's grin has been replaced by a perfect Hollywood smile.

These photos, which have just come to light, were taken when Angelina was an aspiring unknown.

The rebellious daughter of actor Jon Voight, Angelina's teens were a tumultuous time for her. At 14, she was permitted to move in her older boyfriend into her mother Marcheline Bertrand's LA home and later dropped out of acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

Estranged from her father, she has since admitted to suffering bouts of depression, but went on to return to theatre studies and graduate from Beverly Hills High School.

Sixteen years on and the twice-divorced actress is a mother-of-six, having just given birth to twins with her partner Brad Pitt. They are now the proud parents of Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline born in July, Shiloh, two, and adopted children Zahara from Ethiopia, Pax from Vietnam and Maddox from Cambodia.

Since the shoot Angelina has courted controversy with a shock red-carpet kiss with her brother James Haven and a bisexual relationship with Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu. She even wore a vial of her then husband Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck.

But in the past five years and with an Oscar under her belt for Girl Interrupted, Angelina has tamed her wild child ways, successfully transforming herself into a box-office star, UN goodwill ambassador and mother.

And today she showed just how far she has come since posing for these photos as she and Brad donated $2million to help Ethiopian children affected by AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Global Health Committee said the donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation would establish a centre in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to treat AIDS orphans and develop a programme to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Angelina and Brad adopted Zahara, now three, in July 2005 and the new clinic will be named after her.

'It is our hope that when Zahara is older, she will take responsibility for the clinic and continue its mission,' Brad said.

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation helped set up a similar clinic in 2006 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that is named after Maddox.

'Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease,' Angelina said.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The first picture: Nicole Kidman takes baby Sunday Rose out for a stroll around London

To the hundreds of others in the busy street, it probably looked like a novel way for someone to carry their shopping. But these exclusive pictures show Nicole Kidman out for the first time apparently carrying her baby daughter, Sunday Rose.

Ms Kidman took a stroll around Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill yesterday, wearing a trendy baby sling. She cradled it protectively as she walked around, with other shoppers oblivious to the actress’s presence.

The Moulin Rouge star, whose film Malice is being given away on DVD with The Mail on Sunday today, browsed market stalls before going into a cafe with a friend, where she seemed to be holding Sunday Rose in her lap. Ms Kidman, 41, smiled down at her daughter several times, and appeared to be enjoying the first weeks of motherhood.

She gave birth to Sunday Rose, named after Australian art collector Sunday Reed, on July 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband Keith Urban. The Australian actress has two adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise – Isabella, 15, and Connor, 13 – and she and Urban reportedly plan to move to LA to be closer to them.

Ms Kidman has revealed that her baby has red-tinged hair, and has said: ‘She’s like a doll ... a little, little thing.’

Meet the man who transformed Britney from a shaven-headed monster to the star of the MTV awards

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, Britney Spears was a lost cause - a tragic figure of fun who lost custody of her two young sons in a blaze of flashbulbs and disastrous publicity.

Her shambolic appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards last September - described as a 'car crash' by critics - was widely regarded as the death knell of a once unstoppable career.

As the great and the good of the music industry watched agog, a paunchy, glassy-eyed Britney stumbled blindly through a rendition of her latest record, having lost the ability even to mime convincingly.

Coming after months of erratic, often drug-fuelled madness - including a lengthy stint in a rehab clinic - it marked the moment when the public perception-of Britney Spears shifted from hilarity to tragedy.

Not any more. This week the MTV awards returned, and stealing the show was a bronzed vision of health and vitality who was utterly unrecognisable from the shambling figure of 2007.

Britney, 26, launched the event with a short comedy sketch alongside Hollywood actor Jonah Hill, before taking the stage to a standing ovation.

Looking every inch the toned, polished megastar, she swept the board. She had previously been nominated 16 times without winning a thing, but this week her dazzling smile said it all as she picked up the best video, best pop video and best female video awards.

The song, Piece Of Me, was released at the height of her troubles, and the furore surrounding her public meltdown ensured respectable sales, with top ten chart positions all around the world.

(It was not, however, vintage Britney and many have seen the recognition given to the song as evidence of a poor year for pop music.)

Before taking to the stage to collect her awards, Britney stopped to hug a slim, crop-haired man with a neatly-trimmed goatee beard. To the millions of fans watching on television he was just another meaningless backroom boy. To those in the know, however, he was the person who should have been receiving the plaudits.
Larry Rudolph, the pop guru who made Britney a global star, is back in her life - and he might just have saved her life, too.

Russell Brand, the controversial host of MTV Video Music Awards, demonstrated a typically tasteless turn of phrase in describing Britney as a 'female Christ' - but as showbusiness resurrections go, it was certainly impressive.

This, remember, is a woman who just over six months ago was forcibly strapped to an ambulance trolley and dragged off to the psychiatric ward of a hospital.

She was sectioned twice in a month after doctors diagnosed her as being manic depressive with a borderline personality disorder, concluding that she was 'a danger to herself and to others.'

So what is behind this extraordinary change in her fortunes? Could this really be the same young woman who used to drive around Los Angeles in a shocking pink wig, popping prescription pills like they were going out of fashion while an army of paparazzi recorded her every move?

She may not have done a great deal more than smile and thank God 'for blessing me like this,' but as far as her fans and the American media are concerned, the transformation is complete.

In gratingly over-the-top terms, the LA Times hailed her return as a 'triumph of the Olympian kind,' while the Washington Post headline declared: 'Spears is MTV's Comeback Kid.'

But perhaps it is Perez Hilton, the leading gossip columnist whose online blog is read by tens of millions every day, who sums it up best. 'That's what people want - they want to see her smiling,' he says. 'Even if all she does is smile and wave, I say that's mission accomplished.'

Even that simple achievement, however, has not been achieved without a rehabilitation campaign of military intensity.

Britney has been under virtual house arrest ever since emerging from a mental health unit in the spring. It is thought to have been a voluntary arrangement, but the star has become painfully aware that her life had to change.

She was, after all, mentally ill, and there were people all around her taking advantage of that fact.

After her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, won custody of their two young children in February, she didn't sleep for four days and finally ended up in hospital getting the help she so desperately needed.

Having been virtually estranged from her parents, Britney is now described as being 'incredibly close' to them again, so much so that her father, Jamie, now has official control of her assets.

This represents a major turnaround, since at the height of her troubles Britney publicly blamed her woes on her father and Larry Rudolph.

Now, Jamie says of the reconciliation: 'We've grown a lot. I've been able to come back into my daughter's life, and that was an adjustment anyway, because I'm an alcoholic and it's the first time we've really been able to share.

'It's wonderful. It's new for both of us. She sometimes calls me 50 times a day and asks me things that light my life up. But, like all daughters, she is very cunning. So she gets what she wants a lot.'

At the beginning of his stewardship of Britney's assets - shared with her lawyer Andrew Wallet - Jamie gave up his career as a chef to care for his daughter around the clock at her home in California's San Fernando Valley.

Along with her trusted advisers, however, he remains uncertain of her ability to cope on her own, and her affairs are likely to remain in the hands of others at least until the end of the year.

'I would hope that it stands until the end of the year, and then we'll sit back and evaluate where we are at the time, where Britney is at that time,' says her father.

'I do understand that my baby made this monster [a reference to the dire situation she found herself in] but when she was down, people took advantage.'
Her mother, Lynne, has also been ushered back into the fold, despite spending their year of estrangement penning a warts-and-all book titled Through The Storm: A Real Story Of Fame And Family In A Tabloid World.

Most important of all, however, has been the rapprochement between Britney and Larry Rudolph, the manager who oversaw her rise from sickly sweet pre-teen performing pastiches of modern hits on American kids television show, The Mickey Mouse Club, to global star with a £60million fortune to her name.

It is thought the star's parents both contacted Rudolph after Britney hit rock bottom and begged him to come back into their daughter's life. For a long time, he was seen as a Svengali figure for her, and without him in her life she had no confidence in anything she did professionally.

Those who have observed the singer for years were aware that for some time she was obliged to adopt a sweet and innocent facade which was patently false.

First there was unrestrained hype about her being a virgin in a blatant bid to appeal to Middle America's puritan masses - when nothing could have been further from the truth - and then she started experimenting with drink and drugs.

In short, she started to believe her own publicity and to think she could get away with anything.

Not any longer, it would seem. I understand that Mr Rudolph agreed to take Britney on as a client again on the strict understanding that she would not take drugs or drink heavily, and that he would have the final say on all career decisions.

This was a deal her parents were only too pleased to accept, and since Rudolph has returned to the fold the singer's circumstances have changed beyond recognition.

Now, all the hangers-on are gone, Britney has been instructed to go to bed by 11pm at the latest, unless she's working, and people aren't even allowed to smoke around her. But Britney is said to thrive on such strict parameters.

She has also overhauled her diet. Having lived on burgers, pizzas and sugary drinks for over a year she is limited to 1,200 calories a day. 'It may not sound much, but it's a lot of food if you eat the right things,' she says. 'And no sugar. I don't eat fruit or even drink fruit juice because of the sugar.'

The results are there for all to see, with Britney dropping two dress sizes and almost two stones in weight. But just how realistic is this regime over the long term?

Such concerns pale into insignificance when one considers how far Britney has come, and her family are delighted that Rudolph agreed to return. Negotiations to win him back were not easy. He is understood to have been wounded by the barbs aimed at him by a woman he had supported for so long.

Goaded on by her new management, Britney had told the world that Rudolph colluded with her father to 'force' her into rehab against her will. The implied subtext being that they were both motivated by greed and a desire to get their hands on her money.

It is worthy of note, however, that in years gone by he also represented Britney's teenage sweetheart, Justin Timberlake - himself a huge star earning many millions of dollars every year.

When the couple split up he could have jumped either way, but remained loyal to Britney. Industry insiders believe this principled decision has personally cost Rudolph five million dollars as Timberlake's career has soared.

And he remains reluctant to discuss his return to the fold. Earlier this summer, he went on record to admit: 'I have spent time with her, and she is on the right path because she has people around her who care about her well-being. But this isn't the time to talk business. This is a time for healing.'

The Rudolph connection led to one slightly awkward moment behind the scenes at the MTV awards this week, when the heiress Paris Hilton invited Britney to 'hang out and party' with her. (The pair know each other of old, and last year spent many a night together drinking into the small hours.)

An embarrassed Britney is understood to have made her excuses and left, for fear of invoking the wrath of her manager.

The next day, Britney and Rudolph were spotted leaving the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills. Britney was dressed in a modest black outfit and resolutely refused to smile for the paparazzi who had been alerted to her presence.

And, with the old team back in harness, Britney had successfully hidden from photographers for months, working quietly on her health and fitness in preparation for a renewed assault on the charts.

There is even talk of bringing Britney's trusted PA of a decade's standing, Felicia Culotta, back into her inner circle after the pair fell out at the height of Britney's mental health problems - whereupon Felicia resigned her position to become a teacher.

Not all associates are so welcome, however. A restraining order has been taken out on Sam Lutfi, the manager who dominated her life last year (Britney's mother, Lynne, claims that Lutfi would grind up prescription pills and put them in Britney's food, hoping to put her in a coma that would allow doctors to cure her of all addictions).

Meanwhile, Britney has made a well-received cameo appearance on the hit television show How I Met Your Mother, and has been back in the studio recording material for a new album. She has even been granted access to her sons, Sean, three, and Jayden, two.

For all her rediscovered self confidence, however, it has been noted by music critics in the U.S. that Britney's MTV awards comeback consisted of little more than smiling, being polite and walking in a straight line.

Just a few months ago she was barely capable of performing any one of these feats, let alone all three at the same time, but the jury is still out on whether she can ever recapture past form.

The latest speculation surrounds a mooted appearance on stage with Madonna for the Los Angeles leg of the latter's current world tour, though doubts persist as to whether she will be up to it.

Whether Britney will be able to maintain her delicate equilibrium at all over the long term, only time will tell. But if Larry Rudolph has anything to do with it, the girl America is falling in love with all over again might just succeed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lindsay Lohan to Experience Labor Pains

Because Lindsay Lohan hasn't had a penis inside of her for months, we can rule out the possibility that she's pregnant.

But the actress will star in the 2009 comedy, Labor Pains, which is focused on a woman that pretends to be knocked up in order to avoid being fired.

Here's that film's official poster:

As long as she continues to have sex with Samantha Ronson, Lindsay Lohan needn't worry about a real-life pregnancy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Strike a pose: Madonna puts on a jaw-dropping show as A-list friends cheer her on at Wembley

Madonna stayed for just an hour at husband Guy's 40th birthday yesterday night and here's why - she needed all her energy for tonight's incredible performance at Wembley Stadium.

The 50-year-old queen of pop showed off her honed and muscular body as she cavorted around the stage in a white silk top hat, high cut leotard, fishnets and leather stiletto boots.

Her energetic routine would have put to shame artists half her age, and proved those hours in her private gym have paid off.

The mother-of-three is touring the world with her Sticky and Sweet tour which is flying to 37 venues for the roadshow in just under four months, transporting a team of 250.
Amongst the thousands of fans were her A-list friends Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson, whose mouths dropped open in amazement at Madonna's athletic exploits.

The audience also included Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Fergie from the Black Eyed peas.
The decadent two-hour show, which involved £1million of jewellery, saw Madonna perform many of her greatest hits, as well as indulging in eight costume changes.

The pop superstar arrived onstage dressed in a Givenchy outfit in a vintage white American car for the first section of the four-part show.

Labelled 'Pimp', the opening sequence was recently described by the Material Girl's publicist as a homage to '1920s deco and modern day gangsta pimp'.

Madonna followed up that segment of the concert with Old School, a tribute to the her roots in the urban dance music of early 1980s New York.

The remaining two sections, Gypsy and Rave, continued the high-energy performance.