Monday, 27 October 2014

DANTE ALFONSO: ITALIAN GOD OF THE SILENT SCREEN




"The passion and the hypocrisy ~ but above all the passion ~ of the Hollywood Film Industry during the Silent Age."

Available everywhere in print and digital.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Now That Afghanistan Is "Over", Where Next Will Our Soldiers Die?


"When will they EVER learn?" Marlene asked in the song.
The truth is, NEVER.
Our politicians know bugger all about the real world. We have 23 millionaires ordering us what to do with our lives, and across The Pond, it's even worse. Men and women who are totally out of touch with the real world, having wanted for nothing, having spent their whole lives choking on silver spoons.
These people spend more time up on another's arses than a Wembley Stadium filled with Brent Carrigans. They think that they share the same song, but for years it's been out of tune. They stick their snouts where they don't belong, and leave someone else to fight them out of the mess they got themselves into.
The politicians sit smugly in their mansions watching the carnage from afar. Those who have been sent to far climes to sort out their mess lie not so snugly in their coffins--in bits and pieces if they are lucky.
453 brave men and women have died in Afghanistan. And for what? To keep the rest of us safe, the politicians say. We WERE safe, for goodness sake, until you started interfering. When I was growing up we were taught to mind our own business, as a result of which towers and railway stations were not blown up. If you had a beef with someone, you met them in the local park with the dog leash, or you took up boxing.
So, Afghanistan, which should never have begun, is over. Doubtless the politicians will be scratching their expensively coiffed heads trying to fathom out where next to send our soldiers to die. And when they do so it will be with hands that already have blood on them.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Is Ched Evans The New Justin Fashinu For The UK Tabloids?

 

There are few beings in Britain less evil than our tabloid press and their band of self-righteous hacks. I was in London in 1998 with Pete Murray, doing a phone-in at LBC Radio to promote my biography of Rudolph Valentino when news came in that Justin Fashinu had hanged himself after being persecuted for his sexuality. They just would not leave him alone. A woman called in to the station and said that he had done the right thing, and that it was a pity that a few more "of his kind" didn't follow his example. On air, she was told exactly what to do with her opinion. 

Ched Evans raped a woman. He was found guilty, and sent to prison. Now he is out. Evans isn't responsible for the workings of our justice system, which is screwed up at the best of times. My friend Ryan Idol flung a toilet seat at his girlfriend in America and is serving twelve years. That's too long, whereas Evans' sentence was too short. BUT--and there is a BIG but--he didn't make the rules, and he has served his time. If his club want him back, then he should be allowed to play football again. These people who get up these petitions are like sheep. Aunty Aggie has a black cardigan, so the whole family wants one. And how many people--mostly those who are hoping to earn a fast buck--have gone bleating to the police with a story they've made up, putting stars through hell--as happened with Paul Gambaccini and William Roache? Do these get named and shamed and hounded by petition-wielding bigots?

Ched Evans committed a vile act, he was arrested, charged, and sent to prison. He has served his time. Let him get one with his life. Or would you rather read the headline that he too has been found swinging from the rafters of a garage somewhere?

Somehow, I think you would.



Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Oscar Pistorius: The Judgement Was Fair


A young woman is dead, nothing can bring her back. But I'm glad that this ordeal for everyone involved with this case is finally over. I know from personal experience how long these things can drag on, and I've seen both sides of the fence--the love and support, and the hatred. I supported Oscar throughout his ordeal as I have another friend/acquaintance, and will continue to do so, as they and a number of others supported and encouraged me. 
Judge Masipa had a heavy weight on her shoulders. For some, whatever judicial decision is made, others will continue to bellyache and hate. It's in their blood. 
I anticipate a few anonymous hate-mails for my comments, as this goes with the territory. But there is always Someone watching far greater than they or I, and karma is a very strange being.
Today, Jeanne and I celebrate 42 years of marriage. My father and siblings gave us six months. This I find amusing, given the way their lives turned out--numerous failed marriages  and relationships, and a couple of periods of Her Majesty's Pleasure for some very serious crimes, which of course I will never make public unless they and others decide to hound me when my book comes out.
This is something people never think about when levelling accusations at others. What's that old saying about people in glass houses not throwing stones? 
There's also another one we have here in the North of England, suggestive that whatever anyone throws at me, I'm always going to have something on them, hiding up my sleeve.
"When you catch a weasel asleep, you piss in its ear!"

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Our Annie's Funeral


It was between 4 February--the day of my grandmother's funeral--and 21 October of that year, the day of my marriage, that I learned courtesy of my uncle that the family's nickname for my father, bestowed on him by members of his family, was "O.B"--Old Bastard. My uncle, Bill, said that "O.C." would have suited him better on account of the way he treated us. I only worked that one out later. Bill also said that the saddest thing about his mother's funeral was that they were not burying O.B.--a serial rapist and abuser--instead. There was great rejoicing when he finally curled his toes.

So, that's how this monologue came about. I loved my grandmother, and she would have loved the pantomime that her funeral became.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Jeremy Hunt: Another Twit Out Of Touch With The Real World

I often wonder about the people running our country, most of whom regard "hardship" as when they're down to their last dozen tins of caviar.
Jeremy Hunt, he of the unfortunate name which has oft been mis-pronounced on the television and radio, now adds his words of wisdom to the Ebola outbreak and says that it could be as big as the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
Why not just tell us that we're all going to die, Mr Hunt, and have done with it? 
And of course, will other comparisons now be made, especially when UKIP get their foot in the door? We had The Gay Plague. Will these mostly racists now label this The Black Plague? 
In fact, the only malady we have in Britain is Politicians Plague, for which the only cure will be to get rid of them all, humanely, at the next General Election--whence they will all retreat to their mansions and pooh-pooh the actions of the next bunch of do-gooders.
As for Mr Hunt, let him take his panic elsewhere. Maybe he should show support of the NHS by donning a nurse's uniform and heading for Liberia, where he might be of more use than he is right now, frightening the bejesus out of impressionable people.




Telegraph.co.uk
Tuesday 14 October 2014

Jeremy Hunt: Ebola crisis 'could match Aids epidemic'

Ebola must be contained before it spreads out of control, health secretary claims as Heathrow prepares for screening of passengers

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Dante Alfonso: Italian God of the Silver Silent Screen

Out today!
Dreamspinner Press!
Download 11/10/14
Print 20/10/14
Visit our website for pre-order and extract!



Last night's signing went quite well. The next is on 20 October to tie in with radio phone-in.



Dante Alfonso lives with his family in a small village in southern Italy until they learn of his affair with, Roberto, the nephew of the local priest and send him to live with relatives in New York City. Onboard the ship to America, Dante meets Jean-Paul, a French entrepreneur, and upon his arrival in New York City, they begin a relationship based on mutual benefits. Dante gets a job as a waiter at Harry’s Place, a popular dance hall, and when Jean-Paul is arrested and deported, Dante moves in with Martin, a coworker, who soon becomes a lover. By way of a wealthy client, Dante gets an audition that earns him a bit part in a film from a major studio.

In Hollywood of the early 1920s, Dante’s star is rising, and he and his handsome publicist, Bob, who reminds him of Roberto, soon become lovers. As a movie star and heart-throb, Dante steadfastly refuses to submit to the pressure and dictates of the studio bosses who want him to marry to stop the rumors about his sexuality. Can a prejudiced Hollywood make him change who he is, or will he find a way to stay true to himself?


Friday, 10 October 2014

David Bret Autobiography "My Own Story: The Uncensored Memoirs of the Celebrity Biographer"

(Not the final cover)


My Own Story: The Uncensored Memoirs of the Celebrity Biographer

David Bret has spent thirty years writing about the intimate lives of some of the world’s most famous and best-loved celebrities: Greta Garbo, Edith Piaf, George Formby, Doris Day, Maria Callas and Clark Gable are but a few of the thirty or so subjects of his best-selling books. Now, for the first time and after much deliberation, Bret dishes the dirt on himself, and holds absolutely nothing back when discussing the ones he loved, and those he did not.

Born in France and adopted by a British couple, for fifteen years David Bret suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of a Machiavellian father, a serial adulterer whose cruelty to his wife knew no bounds in an age and culture wherein one made one’s bed and was compelled to lie on it. Unable to find love at home save from his long-suffering mother, Bret searched for solace in the arms of lovers of both sexes, at home and overseas. Initially, these were ordinary men and women. There was a platonic relationship with Peter Sutcliffe, ten years before psychosis set in and he became The Yorkshire Ripper. When he started to gain plaudits as a biographer, the friends and lovers became more eclectic and celebrity orientated. He was championed by the famous: Marlene Dietrich, Dorothy Squires, and the great French chanteuse, Barbara, took him to their insular hearts, as did many more.

In these very candid and frequently shocking memoirs, Bret speaks lovingly of his mother, his eccentric family, and his celebrity friends, but is unsparing towards the father who made his younger years a misery, the man he fought so hard to get away from, and finally did—at a terrible cost when his mother chose suicide rather than to continue suffering.

‘And yet if it hadn’t been for that dreadful period of my life,’ Bret says, ‘I would have never broken away from the humdrum existence of being expected to follow Yorkshire family tradition and work down the mines or farm the land, and as such I would not have evaded the prejudices attached to such a life, back then and been rewarded by the life I know now."

ISBN: 978-1-326-04300-1

DbBooks November 2014

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

RIP Brenda Leyland, Another Victim Hounded By The Vultures Of The Press


I don't give a monkey's left-handed toss for the "trolling" she did,and I am not remotely interested in the case she was involved with. There are other problems to worry about in the world, much more pressing.
With the British press, it's always been a case of being guilty before proved otherwise. Think Bill Roache. Think the actor in 'The Bill' who they hounded--printing maps of the pubs he visited. Pathetic. Think of Justin Fashinu. I was doing a BBC broadcast when he hanged himself after being hounded by the tabloids. And now this lady. Creepy journalists hanging around street corners waiting to pounce. These people have neither heart nor soul. If this lady did wrong,then let the police deal with it. Don't hound her into taking her own life. You are not the law, and you are not God.
There's also been another one today, the man suspected of killing the girl, Alice. Suspected, not accused. What if he is innocent and the press have hounded the wrong man? It may seem unlikely but it's a possibility. 
Martin Blunt should never be forgiven for hounding this woman, yet had it not been him, it would have been someone else. It's a pity his kind of people cannot put the same effort into tracking down the killer of that poor man in Iraq. Then we might show them a little respect, instead of utter contempt.