IT was bad enough when celebrities all began to document every tedious moment of their lives on social media – but recently an even more bewilderingly dull fad has over-run showbiz.
Not content with the odd picture of their healthy breakfast or an inexplicably scantily clad snap in their garden, the C-list now seem determined to share even more yawn-inducing details of their days on their own podcasts.
Even worse, most of them choose to invite their equally bland mates along for the ride so they can all engage in a jolly old round of back-slapping while plugging some utter crap, sometimes over the course of several exhausting hours.
So when news reached me that Capital FM’s Roman Kemp and his Dancing On Ice star sidekick Sonny Jay (no, me neither . . .) are the latest poised to launch a podcast together, I knew enough was enough — it’s my civic duty to step in.
These two are already on the airwaves five days a week rambling about nonsense and fawning over their celebrity pals, so the thought of a podcast on top is as welcome as a fart in a wetsuit.
But the real problem goes well beyond these two.
The celebrity culture of stars endlessly promoting one another’s wares, without scrutiny or a single serious question ever being asked is a potential disaster.
Reality types like Jamie Laing, whose charm and wit falls rather shorter than he thinks, professional sulk Sue Perkins, who seems to spend most of her time in the spotlight appearing to hate every second of it, and I’m A Celeb’s dreariest ever winner, Giovanna Fletcher, all regularly host A-list guests on their podcasts, which could be a fascinating insight into the thoughts, feelings and principles of the rich and famous.
But where once a promotional tour flogging books, tickets or telly would require a big name to present themselves for a proper interview, now they have their backs scratched and chins tickled over a microphone by a pal, who offers soundbites like, “that’s fascinating”, “that must have been a really emotional journey”, and “do tell us where fans can send you money to make things better”.
Podcasts can be an opportunity for interesting stars to show something of themselves and form a deeper connection with the paying public who placed them on a pedestal and gifted them a life of luxury.
But the whole genre risks being cheapened by infantile giggling and promotional fluff while depriving fans of anything meaningful.
And that just treats them like fools. They deserve better.
Maura spices up park life
LOVE Island’s Maura Higgins is turning her daily stroll around the local duck pond into a sashay along the catwalk.
The reality regular wore this over-the-top grey jumper dress with knee-high boots just to go and sit on a park bench.
She racked up a ridiculous 137,000 likes for the snap on Instagram and wrote: “Getting dolled up for the park bench now, wbu?”
Erm, I usually go for old trainers, jeans and a coat like everyone else, Maura.
When she’s not trying to make a walk in the rain look like a photoshoot with fashion snapper Rankin, Maura has been hard at work expanding her budding business empire – including launching a range of false eyelashes.
Life in lockdown really doesn’t get more thrilling for any of us, really. Not even for celebs.
My Jord dropped
DIVERSITY’s Jordan Banjo has more in common with his big brother Ashley than just their dance skills.
He was stunned when his fiancee Naomi Courts noted the “family resemblance” of their nether regions after Ashley stripped off for ITV’s The Real Full Monty On Ice last month.
Jordan told the Being A Grown Up podcast: “It got to the big part, hat flies off, but the lights didn’t flash so we saw everything.
“We’re watching Ash, and Nay looks at me straight after and goes, ‘God, you two really do look alike.’
“I was like, ‘Don’t say that, that’s weird. You’ve just looked at his penis and tell me we look alike.’”
Dan vs Piers shaping up to be big fight
IF you’d like to observe the definition of a sore loser, I’d suggest you head to BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker’s Twitter account.
Or even better, check out the broadcaster’s official press office handle, which since the turn of the year has been run by someone who clearly needs to get out more.
After learning Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid had hit a ratings high with ITV’s flagship breakfast show Good Morning Britain, and had overtaken their BBC1 rivals Dan and Louise Minchin in share points over the past year, the Beeb immediately went on the defensive.
In a tweet posted yesterday, throwing yet more shade at their rivals, which was retweeted by Dan, they wrote: “These @BBCBreakfast figures might make awkward reading for some.
“80million live stream requests on @BBCiPlayer (up 56 per cent) – Audience share of 42 per cent – Average daily reach of 5.7million. Thanks for tuning in to the UK’s most watched Breakfast programme.”
The figures, however, don’t lie and reveal that Piers and Susanna’s hit show is on the brink of making it the first time ITV has overtaken BBC Breakfast.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun yesterday, Piers and Susanna celebrated their gains – with GMB viewers up 47 per cent year-on-year, while the BBC dipped by nine per cent.
And while the BBC – and Dan – struggled to face up to the facts, Piers launched his battle cry.
Taking to his Twitter account, the former Bizarre editor told his followers: “We’re taking them down, one viewer at a time.”
BBC Breakfast has been painfully dull for years. Hopefully this gives bosses the motivation to do something about it.
Chris and Dakota buy pad
COLDPLAY’s Chris Martin and Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson have taken their relationship to the next level – buying a £9.1million mansion together.
The couple, who got together in 2017, paid the mega money for a six-bed, nine-bath plush pad in Malibu, California.
The brand spanking new home has a games room, pool, spa and two-storey guest house, as well as a private beach.
Brit Chris already has homes nearby but this new gaffe gives the couple a permanent base together, having previously had separate places.
For now, he’s lucky that large social gatherings are forbidden in California due to Covid-19. Because for his teenage kids – daughter Apple and son Moses – it will sound like the perfect place for a huge house party.
Ghettin' busy, Ed
YOU wait 18 months for a new Ed Sheeran song, then three come along at once.
Following the release of his track Afterglow in December and his Gingerbread remix of Passenger’s Sword From The Stone earlier this month, east London rapper Ghetts has revealed he’s putting out a tune with the superstar.
Ghetts announced his album Conflict Of Interest yesterday, featuring collaborations with Emeli Sande, Skepta, Stormzy, Dave and Ed, whose song 10,000 Tears is bound to be the big hit when the collection is released on February 19.
They last collaborated a decade ago on the song Drown Me Out on Ed’s 2011 EP No.5 Collaborations Project.
With an album also expected from Ed this year, there’s no stopping him.
Hals told pals
HALSEY’s pregnancy announcement was a shock to fans – but her pals have known about her secret romance with Alev Aydin for months.
I’m told she started seeing the screenwriter last summer, having been friends for years, and they have “seeds” written as matching tattoos on their feet.
The singer has had rocky romances with G-Eazy, Evan Peters and Yungblud.
Let’s hope this one stands the test of time
Big Lew blanks keen bandit
LEWIS Capaldi has seen his star power soar so much in the past couple of years that he’s now even blanking other huge acts.
Clean Bandit, who have scored four No1s in the past eight years, have revealed they were met with silence after messaging him about working together.
In an exclusive chat, band member Grace Chatto said: “We would love to collaborate with him. We have DMed him a few times but no success, as of yet. But he’s incredible.
“He’s definitely a nice guy but poor thing, he must get so many DMs.”
To be fair, given his debut collection Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was the best-selling album of 2019 and 2020, he can afford to be picky.
For their new single, Higher, the group recruited US rapper Iann Dior, who spent four weeks at the top of the charts last year with Mood.
The song is out today and Clean Bandit – which also includes brothers Jack and Luke Patterson – shot its video with him in Jamaica.
Grace said: “I produced it and Jack and Luke directed it. Jack wanted to film at sunrise and sunset every day so we were getting up at 3am and filming long hours.
“But Iann was incredible and was so up for everything. Like, ‘Can you throw yourself off this cliff into the sea?’ He was down for everything.
“I’m glad he survived. I’m glad we all survived, actually.”
Remind me to never take a trip with them.
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