celebrity

Monkey Business: Roddy McDowall & Me

Mark Simpson recalls meeting Cornelius and his ‘hungry eyes’ Grief these days seems to come easier when attached to the death of celebrities. Especially when seen as the end of not just a media relationship but an age of innocence. For some it was the death of Diana, Kennedy, Lennon or Martin Luther King. For me it was the death last year of that international icon, superstar and chimpanzee Roddy McDowall.  What TV giveth, TV taketh away. BBC1 Sunday lunchtime news, to be exact: ‘Roddy… Read More »Monkey Business: Roddy McDowall & Me

Quentin Crisp & Hurtian Crisp

The Naked Civil Servant is the best and funniest TV drama ever made. And I’m sorry, but it’s a scientific fact. And like its subject it could only have been made in England.  Even if Crisp said he hated England – and he did, over and over again. So many lines in Philip Mackie’s superb screenplay for the Thames TV adaptation glitter like, well, the icy aphorisms that Crisp filled his 1968 eponymous autobiography with. But it was Hurt’s breakthrough performance as Crisp which is… Read More »Quentin Crisp & Hurtian Crisp

Transexy Alex Reid

Yesterday’s Daily Star tells us, in a news item that seems to be full of invisible exclamation marks, that ‘The hunky cage-fighting lover of sexy Kate Price is a secret cross-dresser called Roxanne{!!!}.’ Muscleman Alex Reid, 34, has had the dual identity throughout his adult life.  As Roxanne he wears full make-up, women’s clothes, wigs and high heels and even alters his voice to make him sound like a woman{!!!}. He also snaps at anyone who calls him Alex while he is in his female… Read More »Transexy Alex Reid

The End of Michael Jacksonism

By Mark Simpson (Edited from a feature that originally appeared the Independent on Sunday in July 1997, titled ‘Now the end is near’) Only a Michael Jackson gig could begin with a ten-minute computer-generated sci-fi video which obviously cost more than most artists can muster for an album. The film beamed on to the three giant screens at Wembley, the first leg on MJ’s current tour of Britain, show a golden android getting into a capsule and then riding a big-dipper track at high speed… Read More »The End of Michael Jacksonism