Friday, January 29, 2010

The Scoop 29.01.2010

More 'Winnie' Drama

It seems the furore around the movie may turn out to be more dramatic than the film itself. Basically, Winnie Madikizela Mandela has threatened filmmaker Darrell Roodt because he didn't get her consent to make the movie. Never mind the fact that dozens of movies are made every day about people who don't give their blessing to the filmmaker in charge. There's a great piece on the Daily Maverick on why it won't really help Winnie to continue with the action. Roodt and his producer released a statement, saying they were going ahead with the film. The thing that stands out is that - to their knowledge - Winnie never objected to the book the film is based on, when it came out a few years why then would she object now? And of course, the Creative Workers Union of South Africa - the ones who started the whole hoopla - applauded her move. On a positive note, I've heard that District 9's Sharlto Copley may just star in the film too.

The Top Gear guys are in town
It's become tradition, every year, around my birthday, for Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond to drive into town with their smart cars and smart-ass attitudes. This year is no different..well, actually it is, because the most recent guy to join the crew, James May, is also along for the ride. Their trip started in Cape Town and will come to Joburg this week. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Kelly Clarkson talks windmills, Twitter and about motivating Serena Williams.

From one Clarkson to another. This one is a Grammy-bagging, First-Season-of-American-Idol-winning Texan. And so nice! In an interview from New York, she told me she still watches the show when she can but didn't know about the hilarious 'Pants on the Ground' video that's spawned all kinds of copycats. Kelly is pretty down to earth and fun to talk to - she's also a bit of a conspiracy theorist, saying she grows her own fruit and vegetables so that "if the country goes to crap, (my family and I) will be ready!". Also - she had no idea that Serena Williams has been listening to her music while psyching up for the Australia Open.

Celebrity Survivor's Funniest Moment 

So rapper Jub Jub was so concerned about his "manhood" that he walked off the island in this week's episode. Apparently he got some kind of rash "down there" and had to leave "to protect his family and his manhood". Well, loads of people watching probably thought he did more damage to his manhood by telling the whole world that he was going to leave because of that. Add to that the fact that M-Net is investigating the charity he chose to benefit from his participation in the show...he put down his mom's Itutheng Trust, which was discredited in 2007 when she was accused of defrauding donors, as the charity that would get the R500 000 prize money. Curiouser and curiouser...

 The Scoop - all the top entertainment stories with a local twist - airs every Friday after 4pm with Richard Hardiman on 94.5 Kfm.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Scoop 22.01.2010

And smack bang into the New Year we go! This week's news on The Scoop...

Acapella group from Invictus hit the big time 

Overtone is the name of the ensemble that caught the eye of Dina Eastwood (aka Mrs Clint). She helped make sure they were featured in the movie and now she manages the group. Can you imagine what contacts this woman has? Nice one! They're in talks with Josh Groban and the Black Eyed Peas for some sort of collaborations - and have already appeared on the Ellen Show and George Lopez, among other things.

District 9 impresses the Brits

The South African Sci-Fi may not have received any Golden Globe glory but let's hope things go better in London next month at the Baftas - Britain's version of the Oscars. The group notched up 7 nominations, including Best Director for Neill Blomkamp. Sharlto Copley, the man who played Wikus van der Merwe says it's great that the film was nominated in categories across the board because it shows how much of a team effort the film was.

2010 Fifa World Cup Kick off Celebration Concert

There has been loads of speculation about just who will be at this show, that's due to take place the night before the first match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto - Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Dave Matthews, Soweto Gospel Choir - but we still don't know for sure. A press con that was scheduled for this week was postponed so we will have to wait until next month to find out for sure.

To Tweet or Not To Tweet...
It seems celebs - like us mere mortals - are still trying to get the hang of Twitter and its various uses. One of the problems is Twitter TMI. Model LeeAnn Liebenberg gave her followers a rant of note this week - asking whether she should give back the ring Danny K had given her when he proposed. Allegations of the singer cheating were made and we just got a whole lot of dirty laundry. Danny and Daddy K (Gavin Koppel) also responded, defending Danny's character. LeeAnn retracted her statement and now, it seems, is thinking of deleting her account completely. What about just "think before you tweet"?

HHP in Washington

Hip Hop Pantsula is one of the country's musical gems. He rhymes, he dances, he cares. He's in the US at the moment, working with a non-profit organisation called BloomBars to help address issues like poverty and education. He's also there to show off his rapping prowess - after all, he did just collaborate with Nas.

Hope for Haiti Now Global Telethon

If you feel like staying out partying until 3am tomorrow morning, you'll be able to join in the telethon to help raise money for the earthquake-torn Carribean nation. George Clooney in LA, Wyclef Jean in New York, and Anderson Cooper in Haiti are coming together to present it. South Africans can see it on CNN and MTV, and I'm told, will also be able to contribute. Songs will also be sold on iTunes - from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, U2 and Shakira - but you'll need to get a friend overseas to do that seeing as iTunes is still not available in this country.

The Scoop - all the top entertainment stories with a local twist - airs every Friday after 4pm with Richard Hardiman on 94.5 Kfm.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globes 2010

"I come to Golden Globes weekend and I am conflicted how to have my happy movie self in the face of everything I'm aware of in the real world, and that's when I have my mother's voice coming to me: Partners in Health, shoot some money to Partners In Health, put the dress on, put on a smile and be damn grateful you have the dollars to help."
- Meryl Streep accepting the Globe for Best Actress, Comedy

Trust the lovely and eloquent Meryl Streep to sum up the dichotomy of having a glitzy awards ceremony in the midst of a neighbouring nation in crisis. Nonetheless, as they say in the biz, "the show must go on." And so, the 2010 Awards season has officially kicked off with the Golden Globes. As my fellow radio colleague Alan Silverman who's based in LA likes to say - don't take them too seriously, it's just a bunch of journalists making up the Hollywood Foreign Press who decide their favourites, and they are not always indicative of the Oscars.

I should hope so. I am holding out for one of our "SA-related" films to pick up a statue or two at this year's Academy Awards. The nominations are only out on the 2nd of February, but a girl can hope. We need to take the buzz to the next level. Losing out on the Golden Globes should not dash the hopes for Oscar glory, though it is going to be tough.

In case you missed the 3am live broadcast or the repeat on MNet, there's a list of winners here and here and also here ;)

As you can see, South Africa's Neill Blomkamp lost out on winning Best Screenplay (together with partner Terri Tatchell) to 'Up in the Air', and the Invictus stars were nudged out by the likes of Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor), Jeff Bridges (Best Actor), and James Cameron (Best Director). Waltz was absolutely superb in 'Inglorious Basterds' and talk of his winning awards was already being touted around at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where the film debuted. Incidentally, he also won Best Performance by an Actor at the end of the fest too.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I wrote this before I went on holiday but kinda forgot to post it ;) I'm hoping you'll allow me one pretend-dumb-blonde-moment a year!

It's been a bit of an odd year - ups, downs, recession and hard times. But the year has been filled with many a highlight for me. Allow me to share just a few:

** SA film making waves

I loved the hype that local films got this year. Hype means people talking and sends many a curious soul to the cinema. Sure, there's the chance the hype might mean possible disappointment, but District 9 and Invictus managed to win over audiences and soon, one can only anticipate, awards too. The glimpse of upcoming local films in the pipeline that I got at the Cannes Film Festival keeps me excited. Great animated flicks and the adaptation of the bestseller Spud are just a taste of what's to come. Hitting the big screen in 2010 are the Bang Bang Club (in which I have a one-line role!) and Skin, both based on true local stories with a mix of local and international stars.

Sharlto Copley, aka Wikus van der Merwe from District 9 

** Mandela Day in New York

Some may have questioned why the first Mandela Day was held in New York, but I thought it was a fantastic way to spread the message behind Nelson Mandela, the man and his charities. One of the most heatwarming moments for me was to see groups of children from underprivileged schools in New York listen to stories from a book of Mandela's favourite folktales and learn about what he did for South Africa - and indeed, the world. Sure, he is known across the globe, but surprisingly, many people don't know exactly what he did. And the activities leading up to this day - encouraging the public to give of their time in service - helped a younger generation beyond this country know who he is. 

New York is the centre of the media world and the word was spread even further.  It was amazing to see dozens and dozens of commuters pass through Grand Central Station and meander through an exhibition of his life. I also felt such a sense of pride watching the likes of Freshlyground, Thandiswa,  Jesse Clegg, Vusi Mahlasela and Soweto Gospel Choir perform on the bill of top international artists. Okay, and I'm not going to lie, meeting Stevie Wonder, Bill Clinton and Morgan Freeman was also a highlight! 

On the Red Carpet interviewing Sipho Mabuse

** Michael Jackson's Memorial in LA

A few days after the news of Michael Jackson's death stunned the world, I was on a plane bound for LA to cover his memorial. It had been said the event was to be bigger than Princess Di's. But the decision to limit the number of people at the memorial meant that it was not going to be a true reflection of just how many fans were left grieving. I learnt the true meaning of fanatic - and controversial character that he was, it was undeniable that MJ's passing was the end of an era. Being part of the memorial where MJ's daughter Paris humanised the superstar as her father was something I will never forget. 

Outside the Staples Centre, the night before MJ's memorial

** Music high notes

Being able to watch The Killers in concert was the musical highlight of this year for me. Meeting them too, an absolute high! Meeting another music favourite Damien Rice was memorable for another reason. I realise that I had not actually captured the experience here but when I asked for a picture or an autograph (which I hardly ever do, but I am that much of a fan) he declined, saying that the music doesn't come from him, "it's like a shit, that's just there". He hugged me and then left me there, standing in the foyer of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, stunned. Oh well, at least I finally met the guy. Glad I also finally got to meet and see my fave Greek singer Mixalis Hadjiannis in action too.

I've already mentioned the Mandela Day concert where Soweto Gospel Choir backed almost everyone on stage. They were also brilliant at the Oscars, performing the nominated song from the movie Wall-E. Snow Patrol and Panic at the Disco were great at the Oasis concert (!), while the impromptu jam at the opening of the One and Only Hotel in Cape Town, between Bebe Winans, Mariah Carey, Hugh Masekela, where Marisa Tomei, Matt Damon and Sharon Stone joined in was such fun. Ending off the Cannes Film Festival with a DJ set by Will.i.Am was pure perfection, and another highlight was the Redbull Soundclash between the Dirty Skirts and Tumi and the Volume at the Carlton Skyrink - more please!!

At Oppikoppi with Kwani Experience's PO

 Things I couldn't have gotten through 2009 Sex and the City DVDs for nights when I couldn't sleep, Grey's Anatomy, Later...with Jools Holland on BBC Entertainment, music from my brother's iPod, the Garmin that came with the hired car in LA, Reese's White Chocolate Butter Cups (yum), my Nokia E71 cellphone as well as my recording equipment (heavy as it is to carry), gorgeous dresses from Jo Borkett, Twitter and Facebook, huge helpings of gusto and my fabulous frolleagues (even if we do sometimes work on each other's very last nerve!) and friends, who still get excited when they hear me on the radio.

~~Bring on 2010!~~