Sunday, 30 June 2013

Beware, The Ides of M

I now have 73 titles out in varying forms and editions, and I have been very lucky in always having the cream of the crop when it comes to publishers.
Seven of my books have hit the six-figure sales bracket, two--Garbo and Valentino--are optioned for films. My team walks on water!
In a change from biographies and novels, I am publishing a book about The Wars of The Roses, and because my regular publishers don't do history--long works of 400 pages or more very rarely make any money for publishers, no matter the subject, because they are too expensive to produce, therefore publishers avoid them if they can, like the plague--I have been searching other avenues.
I self-published my recent tome about Edith Piaf because my second biography of her is still selling, and the publisher said I would be in competition with myself! It's not a biography, per se, as it contains interviews I had with numerous celebrity friends, and a play, so only die-hard fans who already know a lot about her may be interested. I self-published Valentino for the same reason--even after fifteen years, "Valentino: A Dream of Desire" is still on the Amazon best-sellers list.
I've had a number of offers for "The Wars of The Roses", and to be honest I am not impressed. One--their name begins with M, and that's all I am saying--is what I would say to be bordering on the unethical. They do not pay an advance--bad news for any author. Additionally, they expect the author to foot the bill for the photographs--more bad news. They claim that their system will only print out 20-30 pages of any one work at any one time, which suggests that they are still employing methods used by Caxton. Therefore, the author has to send a copy of the script--the paper script--via mail, along with a copy of the disc which of course proves that they are little more than a band of shysters. NO respectable publisher in this day and age would expect the author so send a heavy parcel several thousand miles, THEN pay for their own pictures--ADDITIONALLY, with NO advance upon signature of the contract! I cannot think of a single major publisher who does not accept scripts electronically!
Then I check this publisher's list, and see that it is not exactly eclectic: mostly a collection of books about film stars that even Barry Norman many not have heard of. It's the same old story. Some people are so eager to see their work in print that they will permit themselves to be taken for  ride.
I guess that I have the advantage in that, if I self-publish, these works appear on the same pages as everything else I have done. But I do find it amusing--also sad--that when I study the lists of some of these shyster houses, I very rarely see more than one book by the same author.
Once bitten, twice shy, I should say.
I mean, you wouldn't stick your tongue inside someone's mouth if you knew they were suffering from the bubonic plague, would you?

Friday, 28 June 2013

What A Nasty Homophobic Person This Actor Is

So, Alec Baldwin calls someone "Toxic little queen."
Hot on the heels of Michael "I'll Never Be As Good As My Dad" Douglas' quips about getting throat cancer for going down on the ladies--something Liberace apparently never did, though Lee was I should imagine more respected by the ladies than his alter-ego, who in the film looks and sounds like a camp version of Larry Grayson.
Not very nice, Mr Baldwin. Some of those 'queens' can be very versatile, warm and talented, loved, and offer more to the world than a single facial expression, a funny voice, a lot of body hair, an ego, and not much more.
Now it wouldn't surprise me if your career doesn't head off in the same direction as a certain Mr Gibson...

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Nelson Mandela, George Formby & Oscar Pistorius

Now here's a strange thing. Nelson Mandela was a George Formby fan! Or so they are now telling me! As the great man lies dying, and also on account of my Oscar Pistorius 'connection', hot on the heels of last week's broadcast to Australia, I'm now doing a broadcast to South Africa about the very subjects.
My publicists tell me that several of my books were "not allowed to be sold" in South Africa because of my own personal views. The two main ones are the Formby book, and Dusty Springfield. Both stars were kicked out of the country for expressing their views.
I loved Beryl Formby, and think she should have got the OBE as well as George. Anyone who coul stand up to the dreadful Daniel Malin--let alone slap his face for being a racist--has my admiration. George said, "When you get red spuds and white spuds, and when you peel them, they are the same colour as on the inside." Their 'crime' was that, when a little black girl walked onto the stage to give Beryl flowers, she picked her up and kissed her. The South African government ordered them not to sing in front of blacks, so Beryl re-organised the tour and they performed to blacks only in the townships. The man who organised this was shot dead on the tarmac as the Formbys' plane was taking off. Disgusting people. Therefore I can see why Mandela--a young man at the time--admired Formby.
Regarding Oscar, that's my business. He's been an associate of mine for some time. We're fans of each other. I admire him, and he me. Did he, or didn't he? All will come out in the wash, as my mother used to say. I'm still supporting Ryan Idol, and always will. I don't turn my back on nice people until they're proved not to be nice. This boy has had a lot to put up with.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Save Our Forrest


They say the law is an ass. I can certainly say that the British justice stinks. A former friend of mine committed murder. Though I cared very much about him once, I signed the petition to hang him. Instead he was sent down for life. Many's the time I've wanted to see him again for old times sakes--I applied once and was granted permission, but in the end bottled out.
This week, an octogenarian has been given 15 months for fingering little girls--and I mean little girls. Some say that it happened a long time ago, but that doesn't make it right. The little girls are grown up and still suffering, while he thought he'd got away with it. I won't say here how I would like him to be punished, even if he does have one foot in the grave. Over the next few months we're going to be reading a lot more about other similar cases. Will the judges for them be equally lenient?
Today, there's talk of Jeremy Forrest getting seven years for abduction. The girl in question "cannot be named for legal reasons"--when she went missing last year, her name and face were plastered all over the show. At Jeremy's trial this week, this girl has stood up for him and confessed that she flirted with him, that she loves him. They had a physical relationship, but even my Aunt Fanny knows that it wasn't abuse or abduction, an so do the girl's family.
This couple were in love. Okay, he was thirty and she was fifteen, and that doesn't make it right--but again, even my Aunt Fanny can see that they were meant to be together. She went with him willingly. He didn't shove her in his rucksack and sprint through the Chunnel under cover of darkness.
I hope the judge who passes sentence has a better conscience than the TTs (that's Tabloid Turds) who are so willing to condemn--for no other reason that they get off on tragedies. Think Justin Fashinu, think Tosh Lines. How they revelled in the story last year that Jeremy was suicidal.
Britain has gone paedophile mad. Yet they're looking at all the wrong cases and persecuting the wrong people. Okay, so if an old codger misbehaved forty years ago, he should be made to pay. I believe that Jimmy Savile should be dug up and executed, but I don't for one moment believe all these people who keep crawling out of the woodwork in the hope of making a fast buck. Some of them, yes, but if Jimmy mauled them all, he must have spent his every waking moment with his flies undone. What the media needs to really concentrate on are the paedophiles of today--the ones who are quietly getting away with it while the decades-old stories are hogging the headlines.

Then again, who is interested in Jack Spratt, the bus driver who lives at Number 3, when they can squeeze the juice out of Jeremy and Ken?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Australia, How I Love You (Even The Joans!)!

I have quite a large fan base Down Under, and am always delighted when work comes winging my way from my Aussie friends.
Last night's broadcast was my biggest ever to the land of the koala, Mark Conroy and dear old Lizzie Birdsworth--I pulled in 7 million listeners.
Normally, I stear clear of phone-ins. Some years ago I did a couple in London with Pete Murray. During the second it was announced that Justin Fashinu had hanged himself after being hounded by homophobes of the press, and because I was taking calls about a gay actor, Rudolph Valentino, we received a few cranks. Then we had another one harping on about Dorothy Squires and Linda McCartney, who had recently died. She wanted to know why I had described my friend Dot as Britain's greatest ever singer, when it should have been Linda. Tosh! That's like comparing a dandelion with a rose. It's sad that she died, but let's not get carried way by making a purse out of a sow's ear!
Last night's 60-minute broadcast, which I co-hosted, was primarily about Elizabeth Taylor, though Valentino and Mario Lanza got dragged into it. Needless to say, despite the sterling anecdotes shared by some of our listeners--Edna had worked at a hotel in London, when Liz had stayed there with first husband Nicky Hilton, and witnessed the bruises, and what she recalled brought a lump to my throat--there had to be the cranky old biddy who looked like she might become abusive. Well, she did--very--off air, and to the producer. Yes, they have homophobes and bigots in Australia, too, and 'genteel' who are fond of the F word.
I knew, of course, when the ad went out for the programme that we would get all the usual nutters ringing in, and to a certain extent who these would be, which was why the telephone operator was forewarned of these Poison Penelopes. They have nothing better to do.
But, all went well--very well. And whatever "Jess" said about Ms Taylor, to me she will always be Saint Elizabeth.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Tom Bridegroom & Shane: Why Homophobia Must Stop

I've said it a million times that, like racists, the only good homophobe is a dead one, and I'll say it again.
Check out the youtubes of these two--each one is heartbreaking. Shane has made a documentary about his ordeal, and it's just won an award. It's a film which, were it not for hatred and homophobia, would not have been made.
Tom Bridegroom and Shane were not just lovers, they were soulmates. They met when they were in their early twenties. They travelled the world together for six years. They set up home. Then in May 2011, Tom died in an accident, and his mother took over. Shane's family had accepted their relationship, Tom's had not. His mother seized his body, Shane wasn't permitted to be involved with his funeral, even though he was the closest person in Tom's life. He even had to sneak into the cemetery later to see his lover's grave.
Watch their videos--not just the one where Shane breaks down after Tom's death but their "First Time" videos where they share theirs travels. Tom was also a singer, and a good one. Every minute you watch these two, they bring sunshine into the room.
As for Tom's mother, may she ever walk in darkness and gloom for what she has done to this lovely man, and for the way she has deeply insulted the son she was clearly ashamed of, from beyond the grave.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Make Them Pay!

Andrew Lancel is the friend of a friend, and I happen to know that he's a very nice man. I also know what it's like to be wrongly accused, and I now hope that he takes his oppressors, which include the tabloid ass-wipes and the homophobes who made his life a misery. I also hope he enjoys exacting his revenge as much as I have. You don't just have to fight in this prejudiced world, you have to fight dirty. I knew the story all along, and I knew how it would end.
Jimmy Savile was one thing. All this nonsense about octogenarians and homely comedians being accused of devilish deeds which happened donkeys years ago has to stop. I would wager that most of the stories are made up. It's nothing to do with fear of talking at the time. It's called jumping on the bandwagon, and what's sad is that the celebrity is dragged through the mud, as I was, while the accuser remains unnamed.
I named and shamed my own oppressors, and I hope others do the same.
Take the lot of this scum to the cleaners!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Liberace Turns In His Grave

I never liked Liberace--nothing to do with where he parked his jollopy. I just found him smarmy, and when he sued the Daily Mirror for the equivalent of millions for writing that he was not a manly man, that was the height of hypocrisy.

I like Michael Douglas even less. He's a homophobe, and uses his prejudice to demote and insult women. We knew of course what would happen. Every time a big star plays someone who was gay, out come the old chestnuts. He has nothing against gays, but he isn't one himself. Sly Stallone never said, "I'm playing a man who goes around blowing everyone to bits, but I don't really do that." When that bloke played Ray Charles he didn't go around insulting blind people because he wasn't blind himself.
Michael Douglas now feels the need to tell us that he got throat cancer through eating pussy. Both his wives have come forwards and said it wasn't with them. So there's a poor lady out there thinking that here we have a creep who not only tells the world what he's done to them in bed--they've also given him a disease. He's in remission now, but it would serve him right if he suddenly wasn't.
His father Kirk was a great actor and a fine man. He once said in a British interview that he had "experimented", but that he still had four sons. This one isn't fit to be using his name. He's an insult to the gay community, and an even bigger insult to the straight community.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Richard III NOT Guilty Of Murder

As I begin the editing process for the new book, I can quite categorically state that Richard III was NOT guilty of murdering the Princes in the Tower.
This man was no saint by any means--none of them were--and hard as we may find to accept such a notion in this day and age, England was never safe while those boys were still alive. They ended up political pawns, and sadly had to go. I do not condone what happened, but that was the situation 500 years ago.
And he did not do it. So, Alison Weir, eat your tits! 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Richard Armitage For Richard III?

Under normal circumstances I would have said no, for no other reason that he's too tall to portray a man we once ASSUMED to be small.
All this has changed. He's a great actor, fantastic in mean and moody roles--think Guy of Gisburn--and his facial expressions are perfect. Richard III was not small, he was the same height and build as me. And this Richard's ambition is to play him--his fans have even got up a petition for someone to offer him the part, when the time comes!
Of course, there's the problem of his tattoos, should he be required to get his kit off--a certainty with modern films. While these look gross on some people--on women, particularly, because they defeminise them and too much ink makes them look dirty and like freaks--they actually look good on Richard Armitage. I guess they'll have make-up to cover them up!
This year has truly been Richard III's year. I've been involved with him since 1974, and now I have a whole series of books involving him about to be published. The poor man was under that car-park all those years, and my work on him was stuck up in the loft! As the actress said of the bishop, he came good in the end! 
And now, his time has come! Laurence Olivier, eat your codpiece!