P&J Column 27.8.15


So what do we call them now? Five Directions?

Shelley Shingles, Showbiz correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1983

OMG!  1D RIP!  I am so in shock after the Sun announced that everyone’s favourite boy band (since the last one) are going their separate ways!  It seems like the totes adorbs Harry Styles, Louis Whatshisface, the one with too many tattoos and the other one have decided to concentrate on ‘solo projects’ from next March onwards.

I’d rather they stayed together, obvs, but I think it’s sweet of them to announce the split so far in advance.  It gives their legions of fans plenty time to come to terms with it.  And by ‘come to terms with it’ I mean spend a small fortune on downloads, merchandise and tickets to their farewell concerts.

It’s interesting when the members of famous pop groups try to go it alone. There’s always one who goes onto great things and outshines the rest.  The Supremes had Diana Ross, Take That had Robbie Williams and D:Ream had Professor Brian Cox.  I can’t wait to see which of the One Directions gets to be Justin Timberlake and which one ends up pulling pints on Coronation Street. Looking at them, I don’t think there’s any doubt who’s going to leave the rest behind.  With his boy-next-door charm and looking like the lovechild of Mick Jagger and an afghan coat, Harry Styles has got it all.

Me and Harry go way back.  I first met him when I was down in London at the premier of the awesome Russell Brand movie ‘Arthur’.  I was working as a spokes-model for Butterkist popcorn and he was glad-handing the paparazzi on the red carpet. Now, It’s a little known showbiz secret that Harry has something of an eye for the more mature lady, and when he came past my stall to check out my wares (if you catch my drift), I could tell he wanted more than a box of sweet & salted! I’ll never forget what he said to me, with that famous, cheekily flirtatious, glint in his eye.

”Have you got any Soleros?”

Wise words from a true gentleman.

J Fergus Lamont, Arts critic and author of “’My ma was at school with her’- The cultural legacy of Annie Lennox,”

‘Genius’ is a word that is bandied about all too recklessly these days.  Particularly in the world of contemporary art.

Your humble correspondent has lost count of the number of derivative knock-offs, hailed as ‘masterpieces’, which have left him feeling spiritually bereft. Imagine, then, the sense of profound ennui which overcame me in the week which saw the launch of perhaps the country’s most ambitious ever exhibition by modern conceptual artists. Celebrated by some, but sadly, for me, overrated and uninspired.

I’ve never understood the sycophantic clamour around ‘street’ artist Banksy.  The masses may fawn over his guerrilla frescos, but those of us blessed with an intimate knowledge of art history can spot this charlatan as a pale imitation of the great Blek le Rat or Jef Aerosol.  Can his ‘Balloon Girl’ really be said to be more uplifting than the searing insight of ‘Pay No More Than 30 A Score’ inscribed by ‘Anonymous’ on Woolmanhill Hospital? His latest ‘offering’ is an apocalyptic pastiche of amusement parks entitled ‘Dismaland’.

I, for one, don’t feel the need to travel all the way to Weston Supermare to see a dystopian simulacrum of a fun fair. I’m not making an accusation of plagiarism as such, but let’s just say that this weekend I eschewed the version produced by Banksy, Hirst et al and instead visited the original (and for my money, most devastatingly executed large scale art installation on the theme), the ironically named Codona’s Fun Beach.

I wept.

Jimmy Hollywood, Sandilands’ Most Eligible Batchelor

Given my weel-kent proclivities and relaxed attitudes tae ither fowk’s wedding vows, some of youse might be wondering if Jimmy Hollywood has gotten himsel intae ony bother with this online Ashley Madison “hiv an affair” thing. Weel, dinna fash yersel. Files I agree heartily with their mission statement ‘Life is short, have an affair’, Jimmy is nae intae virtual romances. I prefer to dae my chatting up in the real world. And I am the proud owner of 101 actual drinks ower the heid and slaps in the puss to prove it.

Mind you, I did once get intae lot of bother ower the heids of a lassie cried Madison fa bade in Ashley Road. Come to think of it, she was merried. I wonder if that’s far they got the idea fae?