Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Pankhurst Family Hailing Jo Cox As A Modern Day Suffragette. What Next, Beatification?

This situation gets more ridiculous by the day, and I'm by no means the only one to stick my head above the parapet.

People wanting to name trains and schools after her, wanting to give the Military Cross to the man who tried to help her, wanting to have an annual holiday in her memory. And now, the Pankhursts having their say.

What happened to this Yorkshire lass is a tremendous tragedy, and if this is not a call to bring back hanging, I don't know what is. But I still cannot help thinking that if the Referendum had not been nigh, her passing would not have been milked to such an extent by those wanting us to stay in Europe. As a result of this, I don't think anyone in British history, and I mean ANYONE, has had so many memorial services and items/places/events wanting to be named after her...particularly someone who until a week ago most of us had never heard of because she had only been an MP for one year.

I cannot help thinking that Jo Cox would not have wanted this, and in some ways, tragic as it sounds, these things do happen to those who have strong opinions. It will happen to me, some day, this much I know. This is why the four main stalkers in my life have their names and details on police files in four countries, I kid not. There is nothing that a stalker-lunatic will not do, because once the hatred gets into their brain, that's it. If you go into the jungle and save an injured lion and nurse it back to health, it will repay you by killing and eating you.

Jo Cox championed Syrian migrants, women in particular, and it is an undisputed fact that Syrian women have husbands and sons who, unknown to their wives and mothers and to Jo Cox, may want to kill us. For this reason, we must leave Europe and have control of our borders. It is a sad fact that this tragic lady, whilst thinking that she has been helping others, has inadvertently fanned the flames of hatred towards them and again inadvertently made life unsafe for the rest of us. For this reason she should be mourned, and rightly so, but she should not be turned into some kind of modern day Joan of Arc and afforded more memorial services than might be afforded our Queen.

And if these comments offend, tough. Everyone is entitled to have their opinion.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Jo Cox Death Was A Massive Tragedy, But It Is Not The Only One

Jo Cox's murder was a massive tragedy. It happened just up the road from me, and the outpouring of grief has been understandable, the fact that a lunatic ended her life. 

I do, however, think that too much has been made of it, in comparison to other tragedies which have happened in the past. Ms. Cox fought for the very migrants most of Britain wants to keep out of our country. This was a noble act, but doubtless her death would not have had the same impact were we not on the eve of a referendum to leave or stay in Europe. 

Lee Rigby was murdered, and so have many others, by lunatics and for political reasons. Did President Obama call his family? No, he did not. Jo's case can be compared in some ways with the Madeleine McCann disappearance  (my first mention of this in four years, and which I never wish to mention again because, frankly my dear, it caused so much trouble that I don't give a damn), the fact that whilst hundreds if not thousands of children go missing every year, so much emphasis was placed on the disappearance of just one. 

Jo Cox was an MP, a good MP and a wife, mother and friend. But she was not Joan of Arc. She was not the Queen of England or Princess Diana, and there were just as many who opposed what she stood for as there were who supported her dictums. It's a good thing that she should be remembered today in events all over the world, but so should others of equal and greater magnitude. 

To suggest that the Leeds-London train should be named after her is ridiculous, or that statues should be erected around the world. A memorial garden, yes, but please don't treat her like she was a saint or a royal personage. Remember and respect her, because I'm sure there will be many more tragedies to come which will affect us, and the world, in different ways.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Orlando Shooting: Why Do Homophobes Hate Us So?

Now my readers will understand why I despise homophobes, why I persistently say that, like racists and those who harm innocent children and animals, the only good homophobe is a dead one.

Fifty people have been murdered in a gay nightclub.

Homophobes come in all shapes and sizes, in all age groups. I have written about gay stars, often repeating what others have written about them before me. And boy, don't those vile creatures come creeping out from under their stones, one in particular who for years has targeted ONLY gay men. "I'm not homophobic, but..." they say, before launching into a spiel which proves that they are profoundly so. One person who has a particular beef with me and my friends, because we succeeded with a project with which they failed miserably, even had the audacity to declare that it is actually homophobic to denounce homophobes. Homophobes have written that I should be shot in the head, that I should be set on fire. Two lunatics have even fabricated lawsuits against me which turned out to be fake. All because I wrote that a star, who most of the world has forgotten about in any case, was probably gay.

What some do not realise is that it takes just one stupid or gullible crank to read such hurtful, homophobic comments, from ones so hideously twisted in the head as those who have attacked me and others, for us to have another Matt Shepard incident on our hands, or worse still a repeat of what has just happened in Orlando.

These evil people are a modern Black Death, far worse than any AIDS epidemic. With AIDS we could take measures to ensure that we and others did not get it. Homophobia is one disease which may never be eradicated unless society stands up to these evil peopleand flushes them out.

Dorothy Squires & Grim Reaper Families

Did you ever see such a paltry, cheapskate patch of earth as my friend Dot Squires' final resting place, depicted below? 

This lady was Britain's greatest singer, a veritable icon. She would be the first to confess that she had been a fool to herself with all the litigation cases she was involved with, and which saw her being declared a vexatious litigant. She lost £2 million by suing people, but despite the rumour that she died penniless, in rented property, she left a tidy sum in the bank...enough to pay for her own send-off, which was perhaps apt because she had financed most of her sell-out concerts herself, and I should imagine for a better memorial than this Woolworths inspired slab of slate that anyone can pick up from a Continental funeral parlour for around £50. So, why doesn't Dot have a better memorial? I would loving nothing more than to pay for one myself, but have a sneaking suspicion that it would be removed.

Ah, families of the rich and famous! How many times have I seen these "Grim Reapers" come crawling out of the woodwork when someone celebrated dies, or is on their last legs! 

Dot had nothing to do with her family for seven years, and to me had very little to say about them which did not bring forth one of those infamous expletives. Where were they when she was near-destitute? I remember her telling me that if the boot had been on the other foot, they would have come hammering on her door...and been promptly told where to go. Dot loved her parents and her brother, who died young. She cared about her sister. But she didn't care about any of the others and did not have a good word to say about them in her memoirs. She loved Roger Moore until the day she died, and he loved her. Not once did a bad word pass from her lips about her former husband, and they always remained close. Roger dipped his hand into his pocket many times to help her out, as Dot had helped him when starting out in his career. But as for her family...all that mattered to Dot were her friends, and her ever-faithful fans.

There have been others with whom I have been involved, and whose "loved ones" have only come forward either to lord it over the genuine loved ones, or hoping to make a few bob. Damia, the great French singer, always wanted to be buried in a cemetery in the centre of Paris so that her loved ones and fans could lay flowers on her grave. Her spiteful estranged family buried her in Pantin, on the outskirts of the city. Likewise Betty Mars. Marlene Dietrich's family I have never been able to work out. They were there at the end to grab everything, it's true, but they did care about Marlene during her lifetime and could never really be called spiteful. When Marlene talked about her daughter, it was always with affection. "I live for Maria," she told me. 

Kathy Kirby, who I did not know, was ignored by her family when she fell on hard times, who were first at the door when she died.

George Formby played his scrounging family at their own game by leaving them nothing in his will. Not to be undone, his mother and sisters--who like everyone else in his large family had spent their entire lives trying to rob him blind--took the unusual step of taking him to court, AFTER he was dead, and tried to have him certified insane at the time he had signed his will! And they still got nothing!

Fréhel, that other great French singer, would have had her grave bulldozed had it not been for Serge Gainsbourg, who paid to have her re-interred. My godfather, Roger Normand, a name in his day and who discovered Piaf singer-songwriter Charles Dumont, was "claimed" by distant relatives and instead of being buried in the Montmartre cemetery next to his home was interred miles out of the city. 

Joey Stefano's family were ashamed that he earned his living as a porn star, quite possibly the finest male adult entertainer of his or any other generation. Poor Joey has no stone to remember him by, though his "loved ones" always remember to cash the cheques that come in from his back-catalogue.

The list is endless. And of course, because these "loved ones" are mostly nonentities, they always get away with treating the memories and legacies of our beloved stars and friends like shit.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday: George Formby, Her Favourite Singer & Two Bret Books In Royal Collection!

I was very proud to have enjoyed a correspondence with Her Majesty The Queen Mother, which was acknowledged by a letter from Buckingham Palace when she passed away. I knew my Gracie Fields book was in the Royal Collection because I signed it for the Queen Mother. I never knew about the Formby book until today when a journalist called, and when it was confirmed that George was the Queen's favourite singer, along with Gary Barlow...well, I can forgive her for that one! So now, there's an upsurge in sales of Formby stuff, despite one of my homophobes lambasting it to say it's full of spelling mistakes...jealousy will get you nowhere, love, as the end of the day you're still the nothing you always was.  I was grateful too, and a little surprised, when the much-missed Victoria Wood gave me a nod, regarding Our George, in Dinnerladies

Here's an extract from A Troubled Genius:

   For George, the pantomime run could not end soon enough. He was convinced that he had “bled the North dry” so far as his and Beryl’s fund-raising was concerned, and was anxious to return to London and raise more money there, risking the dangers of the Blitz by joining the ranks of Flanagan and Allen, Elsie and Doris Waters, Max Miller and Al Bowlly—the much-loved crooner who, early in 1941, would become the Blitz’s most celebrated casualty. “If London’s good enough for her Majesty, then it’ll do for Beryl and me,” he declared, referring to the Queen’s stolid determination not to leave Buckingham Palace even though persistently advised to do so.
   George was a tremendous favourite with the royals, and at around this time there occurred his and Beryl’s much-publicised visit to Windsor Castle, where they entertained the royal family and several hundred troops. A few weeks before the show, George was informed that he would be expected to sing all his big hits, including “When I’m Cleaning Windows”, and fearful of offending “sensitive ears” he had contacted Fred E Cliffe and commissioned a set of “alternative” lyrics. When he and Beryl arrived at Windsor, however, they were told by a royal aide that the King and Queen were only interested in hearing the uncensored act with which George had delighted the troops—even though the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret would be present. The show proved a triumph—afterwards, the King presented George with a set of gold cuff-links, and Beryl with a silver powder-compact, and three weeks later the Formbys appeared in a command performance for the Marlborough Troop, presided over by Queen Mary, the King’s mother—a straight-laced woman who nevertheless requested George not to spare her blushes. She loved “When I’m Cleaning Windows” so much that George was asked to sing it again, and the next morning news of this was relayed to the headquarters of the BBC, in the hope that the ban on the song would be lifted. It was not.

And this...


Monday, 6 June 2016


Rudolph Valentino Screenplay
Based on Rudolph Valentino: A Dream of Desire

Registered with the US Screenwriters Guild
Available for viewing by legitimate parties at:


Based on David Bret’s best-selling biography. Rudolph Valentino, his no-holds-barred hedonistic life story, from an abusive childhood in Italy to Hollywood stardom and unprecedented wealth. A manly man who favors ribald humor and loves only men, none more so than André Daven, yet who must toe the line and suffer the agonies of TWO lavender marriages, while under constant fear of being exposed as a homosexual, in the days when this was considered not just a perversion but an illness, by his wife Natacha Rambova and a rapacious manager, George Ullman, who controls him concocting a bigamy story and by seizing his estate. It is he and the studio moguls who, when Valentino falls ill, decide whether he should live or die.

Euro 2016 Theme Song: An Abomination Of An Edith Piaf Classic

I know that I tend to be prejudiced when it comes to others singing Piaf, but Izzy Bizu's howling of "La foule", the Euro 2016 theme, really is an abomination of the lowest order.

I know nothing about this singer, other than she can't sing for toffee. She has no idea what she is wailing about. Her French is lamentable. Why not get a real performer to do this ~ there are plenty of good French singers around, and non-French singers who can at least pronounce the lyrics, without this offensive, incomprehensible howling.

"La foule" is a chanson-réaliste. In other words, it tells a story, that of a woman who is dancing in the crowd when she is flung into the arms of a man. They fall in love but for a moment, until the same crowd that brought them together drags him from her arms. In Ms. Bizu's droning delivery we get none of this: just the refrain, the events in which are distinguishable only because we know the Piaf original. For the rest of the world, she could be wailing about hanging out her washing, not that anyone would care.

A far better option would be for the crowd she sings about to whisk her into oblivion, so that Piaf may no longer be doing leap-frogs in her grave.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

RIP Bob Birchard: A Cherished Friend And Wonderful Man

I'm so sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend, Cinecon's Bob Birchard. A nicer chap you could not wish to meet. Warm-hearted, sincere, charismatic, witty and cynical. I could go on and on. The world of the silent cinema, of which he was a veritable lodestar, is going to be so much poorer now that he is gone.
RIP Bob. You were loved.