Thursday, 29 December 2016

Are UK Tabloid Journalists The Most Puerile In The World

I am known for making the statement, "The only good homophobe is a dead one," and I shall always stand by this.

In the wake of the recently high-profile celebrity deaths, I am starting to think that this applies to some, if not the majority, of the UK's tabloid hacks.

When I was "nabbed", I envisaged, if not actually prayed for, some kind of event on the M6 to rid us of a few of these pariahs whose lives are lived to make others' lives, and those of their loved ones, an utter misery. Then the vehicle was a small the current rate, it will soon be a fleet of double-decker buses and hopefully with the stalkers and the homophobes behind the wheel.

Prior to this I lived through the horrendous headlines written about Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, Justin Fashanu, and Joey Stefano.  Whoever or whatever these men were, they did not deserve all the poison and vitriol slung at them from the tabloids.

George Michael and Debbie Reynolds, the two most recent losses, were much-loved legends. What Sun and Mirror journalists are now writing about them is absolutely vile, yet not one of these hacks would ever be fit to lick the muck off their shoes. Now, even the Daily Express has jumped on to the bandwagon, raking up nasty and mostly speculative stories before these wonderful people's bodies have time to grow cold.

There's not much more that I can say...other than that my hopes for 2017 will be for one where stalkers' and tabloid hacks' demises will tally with if not exceed those beautiful folk that we have said goodbye to in 2016.

The big difference will be that their passing, thankfully, will go unnoticed because, by and large, they were nobodies dishing the dirt on others a million times more loved and respected than they would be in a dozen lifetimes. The world will piss on their graves.

Saturday, 17 December 2016


My great friend, Dot Squires. We were close for over 25 years. Life was never dull when she was around. She could be feisty, and some, but she told it as it was and never held back. We first met at the Sheffield Fiesta, in 1972, and towards the end of her life she lived just down the road from us. Not a day goes by when I don't think about her. Dot was one of a kind!

This is the first ever biography of Dorothy Squires, for half a decade one of Britain’s most feted singers, by her friend and confidant, David Bret. They met at the height of the BBC Payola scandal, and remained close for 26 years. In this book, much of which is told in Dorothy’s own words and confidences, we learn of her triumphs and tragedies, her love affairs—the tempestuous ones with bandleader-composer Billy Reid and the actor Roger Moore, whom she married—and those she kept secret from all but her most intimate circle.

Bret and Dorothy Squires never hold back when discussing the ups and downs of her life. Her refusal to grant Moore his freedom after their marriage failed. Her ferocious spats with “the establishment” which saw her banned on television and radio, resulting in impresarios turning their backs on her until she affected one of the most spectacular comebacks in show business history. Her fight to clear her name when she was arrested and accused of corruption. Her name being included on entertainment blacklists in France and America. Her sad and untimely fall from grace, brought about by the many frivolous lawsuits which left her virtually penniless and resulted in her being declared a vexatious litigant, and which saw her evicted from her home and taken in by friends. And finally, her lonely demise, and the fights over her estate.

Dorothy Squires’ life was a veritable rollercoaster ride of intense, frequently almost unbearable emotion, but as Bret reveals in this fascinating and alternatively moving and sardonically humorous book, it was a wonderful life.

Dorothy Squires: Troubled Diva contains over forty photographs and a complete UK and international discography. David Bret is one of Britain’s leading show business biographers. He has also written songs, published novels, two factual books about The Wars of the Roses, appeared in around thirty films and television documentaries, and made over 700 radio broadcasts.