Big Brother is entering the half-way stage so here is a short round-up of five of the remaining nine established characters and how they fair in the betting market. Aisleyne Current Odds: 20/1 Aisleyne was voted into the house next door but will return to the main compound which will shock the other housemates as they thought they had got rid of her and her constant singing of hip hop songs that nobody has heard of. Aisleyne is the strongest female character but her fake ghetto speak and snapping at the other housemates will see her up for eviction more often than not. The “House Next Door” twist will see Aisleyne “vote out” four of the five new housemates, although they will actually be moved into the main house and face her when she returns herself. There could be a tricky few weeks in store for the promotions girl and aspiring pop star. Imogen Current Odds: 50/1 Imogen has been a disappointment and her character in the house is just a female version of Mikey. Dull, boring and nothing like the real-life serial footballer dater the tabloids would have us believe. Until recently, the only screen time she enjoyed was when she had tedious conversations in Welsh with fellow compatriot Glyn. For someone proud to be university educated, Imogen didn’t know what “malice” meant nor “saboteur” before she was chosen to wreck the milk task in order for the housemates to win a luxury food budget. She passed the task, although all that was required was to let milk pour out of a giant vat without any of the other housemates noticing what she was up to. Yawn. Richard Current Odds: 66/1 The self-proclaimed “sexual terrorist” is another dullard who thinks he has a chance of winning. Since arguing with Imogen several weeks ago he has done very little since which unfortunately also seen his nominations by other housemates ceasee on people, vote him out! Susie Current Odds: 80/1 Boring. Boring. Boring. Big Brother made a huge fuss about their “Golden Ticket” campaign in which a “lucky member of the public” would get the chance to enter the house. Instead, Susie, an ageing glamour model who had applied for Big Brother several times in the past was apparently chosen at random to join the rest of the housemates. Susie has found a role in the house as surrogate mother to little Nikki and lust object for granny fancier Glyn. Oh yes and she likes to drink tea. Lots and lots of tea. Lea Current Odds: 80/1 Surgically enhanced Lea has found life difficult in the house thus far and is now giving Nikki a run for her money on who can shed the most tears. Lea has the hots for Pete, although she denies it and has found herself a prime target for Aisleyne who established herself as the alpha female of the house. Lea’s almost unhealthy interest in Pete and constant crying will see her fellow housemates put her up for eviction soon. And not before time, either.
Lisa Huo became the fifth housemate to be evicted from the Big brother house after she was voted out ahead of Nikki Grahame, Imogen Thomas and Mikey Dalton in a four-way tussle. As soon as Grace was given the boot last week, Lisa was odds-on favourite at 4/5 to be next person out of the door with the bookmakers expecting nominations from Aisleyne, Richard, Susie and Pete for the foul mouthed unemployed upholsterer from Manchester. Big Brother introduced a twist this week for nomination-discussing rule breakers Glyn, Imogen, Lea, Lisa and Nikki who were not be allowed to nominate in the normal fashion. Instead, they each had to nominate one member of their group, on the spot, in front of everyone else. They were not allowed to discuss their choices or nominate themselves and the housemate with the most nominations would automatically face eviction via the public vote. The voting went as follows: Glyn and Lisa nominated Nikki, Imogen voted for Lea who returned the favour and Nikki voted for Lisa. With two nominations Nikki faced eviction for the third successive week. The rest of the housemates – Aisleyne, Mikey, Pete, Richard and Susie were allowed to nominate as usual in the privacy of the Diary Room. As Nikki was already put up for the public vote, the remaining housemates were not allowed to nominate her, which saw Imogen, Lisa and Mikey thrown into the eviction mix. By Monday night, Lisa was 1/4 favourite for eviction, despite the remainder of the nominated housemates not being revealed officially until Tuesday evening. Lisa’s price shortened considerably as the day’s neared Friday’s eviction night until she was trading at 1/100 so it was no surprise when host Davina McCall announced she was evicted. Lisa appeared to be expecting to leave as she reacted well with a typical mix of smiles and good natured profanity, hugging each of her housemates in turn and repeating select phrases including “sorted mate”, “mint”, “take it easy” and “have fun”. Following a few weeks where housemates have received landslide eviction percentages – Grace polling 87.9% and of course Sezer’s 91.6%, Lisa received a more respectable 60.3% of the vote considering she wasn’t trading at odds-against once during eviction week. Big Brother’s latest twist will see five new contestants entering a secret “second” house next Friday. The new house, accessible via the diary room, features its own bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom and garden area. Instead of voting to evict a housemate next week, the public will instead choose one housemate to “save” but live with the five newcomers in the new house.
The final part of the introduction of the Big Brother 7 housemates reveals the identities of the final three men making up the 1eveals the identities of the final three men making up the 14-strong household. George ASKEW Age: 19. From: London. Occupation: Student. George is a former public schoolboy and the son of a former private secretary to the Prince of Wales. He is a great-grandson of the fourth Earl of Ellesmere (through his paternal grandmother, Lady Susan Askew) and his great-uncle was the sixth Duke of Sutherland. One of his father's cousins married into the Bowes-Lyon family, Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and so it has been claimed he is linked to the Queen Mother. He is an aspiring photographer, living on an allowance from his father and he wanted to enter Big Brother because it will be something he’s achieved on his own. He hopes the experience will broaden his mind and allow him meet people who don’t live and hang out in Sloane Square. George loves the socialite clubbing scene, counts Jack and Kelly Osbourne as his drinking partners and his friends include Princess Beatrice of York. Mikey DALTON Age: 22. From: Liverpool. Occupation: Model & IT Software Developer. Mikey is single and is desperate for a girlfriend while in the house. He dislikes ugliness and only enjoys the company of good-looking people. He also hates feminists because “they feel women should be equal in every way and they are always dykes”. Since returning from university, Mikey has been living at home with his family and admits “my mum does all my washing and cooking like a woman should”. When asked why he wanted to appear on Big Brother he said: “there’s never been anyone like me in the house – confident, good looking and can hold a conversation. I think I can do better than others that have been on”. Such is his vanity he chose a more expensive gym to attend because of the better quality of female members and he also claims to have a fear of transvestites. Sezer YURTSEVEN Age: 26. From: London. Occupation: Stockbroker / Property Developer / Electronic Commodities Trainer. Sezer is a Turkish Cypriot who went from being a tea boy in the City to owning a trading company at the age of 19. At 24, he decided to become a property developer and has been known to go out and spend Ј5,000 on alcohol in one single night. He believes women should stay in the kitchen and men should earn the money. When asked why he wanted to enter the Big Brother house he replied: “because my mum loves the show and I have the charisma that other contestants lack”. Sezer is also a boxing champion, having last won a British lightweight title in December 2005 and says if he was re-incarnated he’d want to be a pair of French knickers so he could “be on a woman all the time”.
The seventh series of reality TV show Big Brother opened to a record television audience of 8.1 million on 18 May and placed 14 contestants in the goldfish bowl environment for 13 weeks, the longest stint ever. Here are four of the seven women people brave enough, or stupid enough, to go under televised scrutiny and have their past dredged up in the gutter press for the next three and a half months. Nikki GRAHAME Age: 24. From: Middlesex. Occupation: Model / Dancer / Perfume Promo girl in Harrods. Nikki is single and wants her experience on Big Brother to get her “noticed by rich and famous men”. Her dream and ambition in life is to marry a rich man, preferably a Premiership footballer, who would shower her with credit cards. She would like to marry him, but then have affairs “just like on Footballers' Wives”. She has a phobia of someone cutting her hair without her knowing and waking up covered in cellulite and also hates public transport, calling buses “peasant wagons”. Bonnie HOLT Age: 20. From: Leicestershire. Occupation: Part time care worker. Bonnie is single and works with people who have Down’s Syndrome. She is currently banned from working in any factories within Loughborough. When asked why she wanted to go on Big Brother, she said it would be another adventure on her list and just to get in would be an achievement. She would also use her television stint as an excuse to stick her fingers up at her ex-friends as it would really wind them up. Amusingly, Bonnie has an older brother called Clyde. Lisa HUO Age: 27. From: Manchester. Occupation: Unemployed. Lisa is single, was born in Shanghai and moved to the UK with her parents when she was two years old. She is an upholsterer by trade and her laddish occupation has given her the nickname “Boy Bod” by her friends. When asked why she wanted a stint in the Big Brother house she replied: “for the money and getting out of work for a good few weeks, and I know I’ll entertain everyone in there and maybe find a little love with someone”. Lisa admires Jennifer Lopez for her success and says if she could change one thing about herself she would like “a bigger arse”. Lea WALKER Age: 35. From: Nottingham. Occupation: Model & Pigmentation Artist Lea is single and is the first “mum” to appear on Big Brother. She has spent over Ј35,000 on plastic surgery and has the largest breast implants in the UK – at a whopping 30M. She admits she has been celibate for a year because only the seedy guys are interested in her. When asked why she wanted to appear on Big Brother she answered: “for the money and fame – just like the others”. Lea describes her strangest and most frightening job as the time she was painted nude whilst standing in front of over 3,000 bikers.
Continuing the introduction of the housemates entering the seventh series of reality TV show Big Brother, here are four of the seven men prepared to miss this summer’s World Cup to try and last 13 weeks in the UK’s most intense goldfish bowl environment. Pete BENNETT Age: 24. From: London. Occupation: Unemployed. Pete is a budding rock ‘n’ roll singer and cartoonist now living in Brighton. He was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of 14, started wearing women’s clothes aged 16 and impersonated Freddie Mercury at his mother’s wedding. When asked why he wanted to participate on Big Brother he replied: “to reach the top of my spiral to heaven and shine again. Also, if I was to win the money I would like to pay off my mum’s mortgage so she can finally live her life because she looked after me for so long. And I crave fame and would like to be a famous Touretter”. Pete lives alone except for a pet hamster called Magic, who roams freely around his house and lives in the wall. Shabaz CHAUDRY Age: 37. From: Glasgow. Occupation: Unemployed. Shabaz is single and has been “unemployable” for the last 21 years, although has done a lot of voluntary care work since he was 16, helping the disabled and people with special needs in his local community. He admits that he has never been in love and has never had a boyfriend as he thinks men are afraid of his flamboyant personality. When asked why he wanted to be on Big Brother he replied: “because I’ve never had the flatmate or housemate experience as I’ve lived by myself for nearly 21 years and I want to challenge myself”. He claims he has a phobia of straight-acting homophobic homosexuals and would like to be reincarnated as a woman so that he can have children. Richard NEWMAN Age: 33. From: Canada. Occupation: Waiter. Richard is single, lives in London and describes himself as a “sexual, passionate and hostile man hunter”. He loves going out all night in Soho and making conquests, but equally enjoys dinner parties and the theatre. When asked why he wanted to go on Big Brother, he replied simply: “just for the money”. He says the person he would least like to find in the house is a woman who is eight months pregnant. He has a strong fear of them and even fears being interviewed by Davina McCall when he leaves the house. Sexism, racism and men who turn down his advances make him angry and if he could pass any law it would be that all straight men must have a homosexual encounter. Glyn WISE Age:18. From: Blaenau Ffestiniog. Occupation: Part-time lifeguard / Head boy in 6th Form. Glyn is the youngest member of the Big Brother house and is looking forward to receiving nationwide attention and being able to show off his “sexy body to millions”. He is fiercely proud of his Welsh heritage and feels that all Welsh people should speak the language. Glyn aspires to be the first male Page 3 model and is content with his life and body he would like to be reincarnated as himself, declaring: “I am the closest example to perfection”. However, he doesn't get on well with members of the animal kingdom, claiming: “I hate all animals and they hate me”.
The seventh series of reality TV show Big Brother opened to a record television audience of 8.1 million on 18 May and placed 14 contestants in the goldfish bowl environment for 13 weeks, the longest stint ever. Here are the remaining three women people brave enough, or stupid enough, to go under televised scrutiny and have their past dredged up in the gutter press for the next three and a half months. Dawn BLAKE Age: 38. From: Birmingham. Occupation: Exercise Scientist. Dawn is single and loves her own company, claiming “I was born alone and will die alone”. She doesn’t drink alcohol and has never been drunk, doesn’t eat meat and describes herself as a "pensioner in a young person’s body". When asked why she wanted to participate on Big Brother she answered: “So many people are addicted to reality TV that it has been such a source of interest. It’s the only thing people talk about across the age range. It’s a massive challenge and I want to raise my profile in my field”. If she was reincarnated, she would like to come back as Jesus or Hitler because “the very good and the very bad fascinate me”. Grace SHORT Age: 20. From: London. Occupation: Dance Teacher. Grace is single and lives in a Ј340,000 flat in Notting Hill bought by her mother. She “supports herself” by teaching dance classes. She loves designer clothes, reading glossy magazines and drinking champagne at some of London’s most exclusive clubs. Grace gives herself an 8/10 for attractiveness ("with make-up on") and would be insulted if anyone compared her to a bimbo or glamour girl. When asked why she wanted to be on Big Brother she replied: “For the laugh and the fame would be nice”. As a child she was sent to army camp for discipline, but ended up loving it so much she went back each year. Imogen THOMAS Age: 23. From: Llanelli. Occupation: Bar Hostess. Imogen is single and lives and works in London. She combines brains and beauty by holding a degree in Health Studies and was crowned Miss Wales in 2003. When asked the question “why Big Brother?”, she replied: “I want the opportunity to show the nation what I’m like. I want to be free from the outside world and that would be great as I would have no worries”. She claims to have once spent over Ј1,000 on underwear in one shopping spree and describes her most outrageous experience as dressing up as a playboy bunny at her own party, but getting so drunk she passed out and missed all the fun.
Sam became the third housemate to be evicted from the Big Brother house after receiving 53% of the public vote against perennial whinger Nikki Grahame. Newcome Sam, who entered the house after a fortnight alongside Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace was available at 5/2 before nominations were announced as Grace Adams-Short was the early favourite to face the boot. Public opinion on the 20-year-old dance teacher has changed dramatically in the last week or so after viewers have seen her two-facedness on the highlights programes. On Monday 5 June, the day nominations took place, Grace was favourite to leave at even money due to the public likely to vote her out no matter who she was up against. Plus, her close ally Imogen Thomas was banned from nominating for the second week running. Lisa, who may also have supported her, was also banned after being caught discussing possible nominations. The odds were as follows before the nominations were announced: Grace - Evens Sam - 5/2 Lisa - 10/1 Lea - 10/1 Aisleyne - 12/1 Richard - 16/1 At this point the 5/2 available on a Sam eviction looked exceptional value for money as he / she should have been odds on. Many of the housemates had confided in each other or in the diary room that they had grown tired of the gender bending unemployed nail technician (seriously) for a variety of reasons. Grace and Lea both complained that Sam stands nearby when they are about to use the bathroom and Nikki expressed her disgust at it’s practice of taking the concept of “girls” going to the toilet together to an extreme level. Glyn said he didn’t like the way Sam followed him around, that he’s too clingy and is desperate to get on with people. Sam always needed reassurance that she was close friends with the other housemates when they were not that interested. The fluctuating odds on the betting exchanges while the housemates were going through the nomination process suggested Sam and Lea would be up for eviction as Grace’s price drifted further out. The confirmed possible evictees were Sam who immediately plummeted to 1/4 while Nikki was available at 5/1. There was no way that Nikki was going to leave and was shown in a positive light during the run up to Friday, being given the role as PA to Big Brother during a task while some unsavoury late-night footage of Sam was broadcast for viewers morbid curiosity. Sam was favourite to leave from then on and was evicted with 53% of the vote, suggesting it was more closely contested than the bookmakers and weight of money against him / her suggested.
Sezer Yurtseven was the second housemate to be evicted from the Big Brother house and won two dubious honours in the process. Firstly, he was evicted by the largest public vote margin of all time – a massive 91.6%, making him the show’s most detested housemate in Big Brother’s seven series run. He also became the earliest male housemate to be evicted from the house, having been shown the door by the end of week two. Sezer was a shoe-in to leave as far as the bookmakers were concerned as soon as it was revealed he was one of three housemates up for eviction. He was available at 3/10 which plummeted to 1/33 by Friday evening. However, first thing Monday morning, Sezer was available at comparatively gigantic odds of 12/1 to be the second person evicted as whinging Nikki was the firm favourite to leave next at even money. The situation changed dramatically by the time it came to nominations as not only was Nikki receiving favourable edits from the production team, showing the likes of Grace talking about her behind her back, but in a dramatic twist both Sezer and Imogen were banned from nominations after being caught discussing them. Both Sezer and Grace were not portrayed well in the highlights show, with Grace bitching at every opportunity and Sezer bragging about how he could survive the chop against almost anyone in the house, especially the surgically enhanced Lea. Just before the nominations were announced to the public, Grace was odds-on favourite to leave at 1/2 and both Nikki and Sezer at 7/2. Despite behaving like a proper little madam since she arrived in the house, Nikki didn’t receive a single nomination while Grace received two which wasn’t enough to put her up for the public vote. Richard received the most at four nominations, with both Lea and Sezer receiving three apiece. The trio would be put up for the public vote and Sezer got his wish of going head-to-head with Lea. The bookmakers didn’t believe in Sezer’s invincibility as much as the Turkish Cypriot stockbroker did and immediately priced him up as 3/10 favourite. Sezer’s cause was not helped by one leading tabloid newspaper which only published his eviction number and urged readers to vote him out. The press and Big Brother themselves love a pantomime villain and Sezer duly delivered and not even Victor from Big Brother 5 was detested as much for “ruining” Shell’s mock wedding if you judge by the overall voting percentage.
The housemates have been banged up in the lunatic asylum that is the Big Brother house and one will be leaving this weekend. Here are the “first impressions” of the housemates during their short stint as reality TV stars thus far. Pete Bennett Win Odds: 11/10 Since falling down the stairs to enter the house and being asked if he was “on something” by Bonnie, Pete has emerged as the favourite to win and at present looks unstoppable. The Tourette’s sufferer is genuine, funny and at the moment is liked by all the housemates despite him not joining one of the two “camps”. It’s early days yet but Pete will be odds on to win within the next few days. George Askew Win Odds: 16/1 George has not come to the forefront as yet in that he has not paired off with one of the female housemates nor has he done anything to rile anyone else. He has bonded with Mikey and appears to be part of the “in crowd” for the time being at least and should be safe for a few weeks yet. Mikey Dalton Win Odds: 16/1 Mikey has emerged from the shadows this week and has taken over the mantle as the leader of the “Big Brotherhood” following Shabaz’s exit. He has also paired up with Grace and has formed an alliance with George. Originally thought to be quite a boring housemate, Mikey looks to have done enough to stick around until the latter stages. Richard Newman Win Odds: 16/1 With Shabaz gone, Richard looks set to revel as the “only gay in the village”. He sees himself as a father figure to the group and looks set to battle Sezar for the role of alpha male. He has found friends in Lea and Nikki but may find his position in the house precarious after some of the weaker members of the group are picked off. Nikki Graham Win Odds: 20/1 Given that Nikki’s pre-entrance video suggested she wanted to find love in the house, she hasn’t made any effort to pair up with any of the available men in the house, preferring to find comfort in gay Richard. Nikki may adopt the role of “baby” in the group due to her childlike behaviour despite being older than six other housemates and showed during the infamous “bottled water” scene she could explode into fits of tantrums should she not get her own way. Despite being part of the London nightclub circuit scene, she has not formed alliances with Sezar, Imogen, Grace or George and is in danger of finding herself an early casualty if her behaviour irritates the others. Lisa Huo Win Odds: 20/1 Lisa is the other leader of the “Big Brotherhood” but could also find herself in a precarious position when she is eligible to be voted out of the house. She has found a friend in Pete but her laddish behaviour, coarse language and chainsmoking could grate on the other housemates when they are looking for reasons to nominate people for eviction. Imogen Thomas Win Odds: 20/1 Before entering the house Imogen said she would “make all the boys fancy her” and she has certainly done that. She shared a kiss with Sezar after three days and appears to revel in stringing him along. Should he grow bored of her and if she wanted to score points off Grace, Imogen could also move on to Mikey who described her as “beautiful”. Bar a short interaction in Welsh, she has failed to bond with fellow countryman Glyn, preferring the company of the London social set.
This is the second part of the first impressions of the remaining seven housemates as the first week of Big Brother 7 draws to a close. Glyn Wise Win Odds: 33/1 (Bet365) Fervent Welshman Glyn is also up for the first eviction and still Dons the red shorts he wore on opening night as he has not been given his suitcase. Like Bonnie, Glyn is very quiet and early indications suggest he is another example of terrible miscasting. However, being a man, he will survive the first eviction at the expense of a female opponent, i. e. Bonnie, and will treat the nation to his emaciated body for another week at least. Grace Short Win Odds: 22/1 (Bet365) Grace, who admitted “the fame would be nice” before entering the house would not be undone by the Imogen / Sezer pairing and, spying a glossy magazine deal of her own, soon latched on to Mikey and shared a kiss on day six. Other than that, she has done little in the house thus far, but is unlikely to be voted out any time soon. Sezer Yurtseven Win Odds: 22/1 (Bet365) Sezer would like to think he is more popular than he actually is, but he may get a shock should he be put up for eviction. He is looking at house survival from a “safety in numbers” perspective and has formed an alliance with love interest Imogen, George and the pairing of Mikey and Grace, using their London social lives as a basis for common ground. He is battling for the role of alpha male in the house but could find himself come unstuck, as Maxwell did in last year’s show. Lea Walker Win Odds: 40/1 (Ladbrokes) Lea has adopted the role of “mother” in the house but is another housemate who could find themselves up for eviction sooner rather than later. She hasn’t done anything to upset the other housemates and has fought their corner when Shabaz was acting appallingly during his short stay. However, she has not formed any real alliances and may find herself picked off within the next few weeks. Bonnie Holt Win Odds: 66/1 (Bet365) Bonnie (or “Bonneh” as she pronounces it) has done very little to justify her “chatterbox” personality since entering the house and is red hot favourite for the first eviction. Bonnie has melted in to the background and has been hardly noticeable on the highlights shows bar a few harsh words for Shabaz and moaning to Big Brother about not receiving her suitcase. This Rosie Webster look-a-like is like a fish out of water away from her native Loughborough and is one of several horribly miscast house mate members this series. Gone on Friday and won’t be missed. Dawn Blake Dawn was ejected from the Big Brother house after eight days but threatened to leave on her own accord shortly after Shabaz walked on day six. She was officially expelled from the house due to receiving “coded communication” from the outside world but was not a particularly popular housemate in any case. She was accused by Nikki, although not to her face, of stinking out everyone elses clothes with her body odour due to not showering for four days. Shabaz Chauhdry Shabaz was another example of dreadful miscasting. The producers were hoping for an older, more extreme version of last year’s Kemal, but what they got instead was a mentally deranged idiot who couldn’t cope with living and interacting with other people. He lasted six days before leaving of his own accord and won’t be missed in the slightest.
The Big Brother house is always unpredictable during its lengthy run and the most dangerous thing punters can do is try and pre-empt who will be up for eviction before the nominations are announced and then bet accordingly. This very occurrence took place this week, with Grace Adams-Short seemingly in the firing line. Grace had been seen all week seemingly picking on Nikki and bitching about her behind her back and also bed-hopping between Mikey and George, before the latter left the house on his own accord. Also, being a female in the house is usually bad news as far as eviction survival is concerned because should they go head to head with a male house member, they are usually voted out by the public, very often by a large percentage. On the betting exchanges, Grace was trading at around 6/10 and had been as low as 1/2, making her the firm favourite to be the second person evicted from the house, but this all changed on Tuesday when it came to nominations. Grace received just two nominations, one unsurprisingly from Nikki and the other from Glyn, who was sick of her talking about herself non-stop. Two nominations were not enough to put formerly odds-on Grace up for the public vote as Richard received four and Lea and Sezer received three each, putting the trio up for eviction instead. Sezer, following a fortnight of arrogant behaviour, vowing to “bully” new housemates Aisleyne and Sam and having a dramatic fall-out with Richard midweek and reducing him to tears seems to have sealed his fate. He instantly became the favourite to face eviction and traded as low as 1/33 (Bet3on Friday from a high of 1/5 following the announcement of the trio up for eviction. Some lucky punter had backed Sezer at a high of 29/1 earlier on in the week while the lemmings jumped on the Grace bandwagon. Sezer is the overwhelming favourite to leave but there could be a final twist in this tale. He could survive at the expense of Lea, who was booed considerably upon her entrance into the Big Brother house for having, as she put it, “blonde hair and big boobs”. As we established earlier, women up for eviction in the Big Brother house are in a rather precarious position. Value hunters could be onto a winner if they back Lea at more tempting odds of 18/1 while Richard looks safe and should not be supported at comparatively massive odds of around 25/1.
In the upcoming James Bond film, “Casino Royale,” British actor Daniel Craig will play the lead role of James Bond. This, however, does not sit well with a group of James Bond fans, who have launched a Web site, craignotbond. A statement on the site said that “EON Productions angered fans around the world when they fired Pierce Brosnan at the height of his popularity as Bond. To add insult to injury, EON cast a short, blond, odd-looking Daniel Craig in the role of Bond.” The site goes on to ask, “How can a short, blond actor with the rough face of a professional boxer and a penchant for playing killers, cranks, cads, and gigolos pull off the role of a tall, dark, handsome and suave secret agent?” The angry group of Bond fans have threatened to boycott “Casino Royale” and any other Bond films that Craig will star in. Though Craig may have a wounded pride from all of these happenings, he does have a big supporter in his predecessor, Pierce Brosnan. “I think Daniel is a very fine actor. These are rocky waters, and they’re going to get him one way or another, but I think he will have the last laugh at the end of it,” Brosnan said. Craig has had roles in “Munich” and “The Jacket.” He accepted the role of Bond last October, and filming for the movie began last month in Prague. Last week the producers of the film cast French actress Eva Green as Bond girl Vesper Lynd and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as the villain le Chiffre.
Whether Robert Maxwell committed suicide or was murdered may never be known to the public ... Suffice it to say the disgraced publishing magnate cheated so many people and financial institutions to such an extent that there wouldn't be a paucity of suspects if it was the latter. Born in Slatinske Dтly to poor parents as Jan Ludvick Hoch and Anglicizing his name when he migrated to Great Britain during World War II, Maxwell used the fog of combat to his advantage, picking off a scientific journal distributorship at a bargain rate. He soon parlayed that into more literary acquisitions and doing so with such aplomb, he even gained election to Parliament. However, a trail of deceit began soon thereafter, which led to a High Court censorship, then to possible war crime allegations and, ultimately, to an amazing web of falsified balance sheets and deceptive bank loan collateral which masked Maxwell's mass looting of his own publishing empire's coffers. When all was about to come crashing down upon him, Maxwell was reported to have fallen overboard while yachting along the Canary Islands. His extensive double-dealing earned him the posthumous title of The Bouncing Czech. Maxwell's bombastic ego, though, was authentic. He ached to be larger than life and to outdo any perceived rival, such as Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, whose own publishing empire spans the globe. Ironically, Maxwell tried to seize any opportunity to portray Murdoch as a low-life, casting himself as a higher-minded alternative to the conscientious consumer. Thus, to counter Murdoch's titillation-themed, Tory-leaning tabloid, the Sun, Maxwell ran his Daily Mirror as a seemingly kinder, gentler, Labour-oriented purveyor of similar stories. Maxwell always ran a distant second in the United Kingdom's tabloid wars, so he was constantly looking for an edge with which to tweak Murdoch's operations and further convey the image --- however cynical --- of his holding the higher social and ethical ground. I can attest that, at least once, a blend of this obsession and his blowhard personality got the better of him. It was a summer day in the mid-80s, and the prospects of secondary smoke being a health issue in the workplace were beginning to be accepted as fact. It was surely noble for Cap'n Bob --- as Maxwell was derisively known --- to be among the first to attempt an office-wide smoking ban. The Mirror's headquarters was no doubt better served, but it was clear his motives were for self-promotion rather than a genuine concern for his employees' welfare. The first clue that this was the case was the boisterous manner by which Maxwell arbitrarily enforced the policy. Specifically, he loved to make a scene if it showed him in an authoritarian and positive light. Thus, when Cap'n Bob proclaimed a ban, he did it for maximum effect. In this instance, he decreed that anyone caught smoking in his building would be fired on the spot. On this day, Maxwell was holding court for visitors of some dignified nature. He was guiding them through the Mirror facilities when a man hunched over a nearby photocopy machine caught his attention. The man had a cigarette dangling from his lips. Cap'n Bob summoned his guests to follow him over there. Puffing his chest as he approached the man puffing away, Maxwell began his diatribe within steps of his quarry and gained decibels with each successive step. "Sir!" he exclaimed, "How much do you make a month?" The target of his wrath was caught off-guard. It took him a moment to confirm that Maxwell was speaking to him; actually, 'at him' would be more accurate. "I asked you a question," Maxwell pressed, making sure that his guests totally understood who was in charge of the moment, "And I expect a prompt answer. How much do you make a month!" "2000 quid," was the nervous response. "Why do you ask?" "You're smoking!" was the roared retort. Cap'n Bob then reached into his pocket in preparation for the coup de grace. He pulled out a wad of bills, quickly sifted through Ј2000 and jammed it into the surprised man's shirt pocket. "There's a month's wage! You're fired! Now, get out!" Maxwell then stormed away, his cotillion of impressed guests following dutifully behind. A strong boss had surely made a firm point. Left in the wake, the stunned man retrieved the stash of cash from his pocket, looked at it and then shook his head in amazement. "I was just called here to repair the copier," he shrugged. He put the money in his pants pocket, flicked a few ashes to the ground, headed toward the front door and proceeded to his van. Perhaps he had more calls to make that day, but he probably opted to cancel them and make his way to a pub, instead. The incident capsulized Cap'n Bob's act in a nutshell. He was all show, with little attention to detail. It was a harbinger that whenever someone paid close heed to his affairs, he'd be sunk. I just didn't think it would happen so literally.
Every celebrity out there knows the real value of a pair of designer sunglasses. Whether it's to hide the effects of a late night out on the town or an effort to blend in on the street, a pair of quality sunglasses is absolutely indispensable. We've seen a lot of trends come and go, but a great pair of sunglasses will always transcend the passing fads of the day. With the summer just around the corner, we have begun our fashion trend spotting efforts for 2006. Like years passed, celebrities are on the forefront of eyewear fashion. One of my favorite pastimes is to monitor the fashion trends of my favorite celebrities. As with last season, big sunglasses are all the rage for the ladies. God bless you, Jackie O! Carmen Electra is one of my favorite celebrities, and one of the most stylish women in entertainment. While I could do without another season of her dreadful "reality" television show, I am dying to get my hands on a pair of the Missoni shades she was recently spotted in. They are oversized and oh-so-glamorous! Catherine Zeta-Jones may have a thing for old, outdated actors but her fashion sense is as fresh as a spring breeze. I recently saw her sporting a pair of Dolce & Gabbana glasses that were out of this world! I suspect they were the utterly amazing "4005" model. They were black, with the D&G logo designed into the arms of the glasses. The shades are big, bold, and beautiful! Heidi Klum, our favorite supermodel and partygirl, has incredible fashion sense. I saw a picture of her earlier this week wearing a classic pair of Aviator shades. While a number of people in the fashion industry have been lamenting the prevalence of Aviator shades, I couldn't imagine a world without them. Heidi was wearing a pair made by Ray Ban, and they were absolutely fabulous! Speaking of partygirls, how could I go on without mentioning Paris Hilton? I adore Paris. She may not be taken seriously as an actress or singer, but she reigns supreme over the fashion world. She was recently spotted wearing a pair of the new Oakley glasses for women. That's right, kids. Oakley just launched a new line of shades exclusively for women, and they are the must-have item for this fashion year. Believe the Hype!
Celebrity autographs are not only fun to collect but they can also serve as great investments to add to any portfolio. There are a several things to keep in mind when purchasing celebrity autographs to be sure you are investing in authentic autographs. Recognizing fake autographs is almost a black art. Spotting them can be difficult when celebrities change their signatures on a regular basis. Some simple approaches include the basics such as spelling. Often, the imposters will incorrectly spell celebrity names and these are easy to spot. Also check for age of material. For example, if the celebrity is relatively old and they have laser printed photos floating around the web, with their so-called signature, you know these are fake as laser photos did not exist when they were alive. It is a good idea to also remember that there are celebrity autographs often referred to as "secretarials", meaning that they are autographs signed by their assistants. These types of signatures are also often printed in bulk on 8x10 photos and are not worth the paper they are printed on. Spotting these frauds is important since you do not want to waste not only your time, but your money in what turns out to be a worthless investment. If you are looking to make a profit from your celebrity autograph collection, consider how the celebrity lived their life. For example, James Dean not only died at a young age, but he is known to have led a controversial lifestyle. The age that the celebrity passed away can play a significant part in how much their autograph is worth. Imagine celebrity autographs from such public figures as Bruce Lee or Marilyn Monroe. These types of autographs can garner you a hefty profit quickly. More up to date celebrities can also turn a quick profit if the celebrity has been in or continues to be headline makers. Think along the lines of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Sports celebrities are no different. In their case, famous athletes like David Beckham who is not only a great athlete, but a well known sex symbol, should be a good investment when you are actively seeking autographs. Just remember to play it smart and think twice about fraudulent celebrity autographs before plunking down your cash. Use common sense methods to spot the frauds and you can begin building a great portfolio.