CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 12th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Major changes at EMI - EMI music chiefs out the door
- Changes at HMV too - and the MD is going there also
- Glasto tickets will include buyer photos
- Hammersmith Palais facing demolition
- New Order deny split reports
- Timberlake and Diaz no more
- Brown's son not included in will
- Hallyday has surgery
- Mos Def album recalled after knee jerk release
- The Shins already available via iTunes
- Horrors debut album stuff
- Pop Levi album
- New NIN album the end of the world
- Jason Mraz records for Ugly Betty
- Yo La Tengo live EP
- Husky Rescue video
- Rakes tour dates
- Eagles Of Death Metal hold ladies night
- Alterkicks look for support
- eBay acquire StubHub
- SonyBMG merge US sales and global digital divisions
- Further delay on EC decision on BMG universal merger
- MTV Networks president to go
- FCC planning arrangement over payola claims
- CanWest win Aberdeen licence
- ITV sign up Gest
- Radio 1 plan to use early Fridays for new talent
- Preston storms off Buzzcocks
- Robbie Williams earns £25k a day
- Kelly O wants to expose herself
- Federline tries to sell clothes for cash


So, it's all kicking off at EMI today, where lower than expected revenues and profits have initiated a quite radical overhaul which begins with some senior casualties and will include some significant restructuring across the major's recorded music business. The announcements from EMI come less than 24 hours after music retailer HMV admitted that it is still struggling to compete in the increasingly crowded retail space, and revealed similarly radical plans to overhaul its business, also beginning with the removal of a senior player.

Of course both EMI and HMV are victims of change in their respective markets - mainly the arrival of new competitors in both the music and wider entertainment space (though both would probably argue the growth of online piracy has had a role too). The fact that both are now implementing strategies to combat those changes is a good thing. Though you do have to wonder why it has taken [a] so long and [b] financial concerns for those changes to be implemented at all given that it's been clear for the best part of a decade now that these changes were going to happen and that traditional players were going to have to respond in positive and imaginative ways to maintain their market share. Change takes longer in bigger companies, that's a fact of life, but it shouldn't take ten years.

But that aside, will the latest initiatives safeguard EMI and HMV's respective futures? Well, too little is known about their plans to comment but, as we've said before, the future of the traditional major players in the music space will surely require the creation of sustainable new revenue streams that utilize their brands, reputations, catalogues and contacts in domains other than manufacturing and selling CDs - and that's more than just manufacturing and selling downloads. And that most likely means bringing in new people (and promoting existing people) who are able to work in new, emerging and diverse branches of the music and wider entertainment business. The top guards at all the majors and retailers know this now, of course, but how quickly they can get those people in place, and whether they will be willing to take the risks required in identifying and testing new opportunities remains to be seen.

For what it's worth I don't buy the argument that says the major record companies and retailers are doomed concerns in the digital age. Artists will still always need investment. Music fans will always like to shop. A whole world of opportunities are still open to EMI, HMV and their competitors. It's a shame they've taken so long to embrace those opportunities, it will be interesting to see if, at last, they'll now start moving forward.



Rock Sound issue 93 is on sale now: Brand New on cover plus Fall Out Boy giant poster magazine Since unleashing their stunning third album late last year, Long Island's Brand New have been hesitant to talk. Until now that is... Rock Sound brings you their exclusive story as Jesse Lacey opens up to reveal all...Also this month, we bring you a fantastic Fall Out Boy poster mag. We hit the red carpet with the Pete Wentz and co in Hollywood and bring you the full report. Plus, exclusive interviews with Bloc Party, Aereogramme, Funeral For A Friend in the studio, The Haunted, ...Trail Of The Dead, The Blood Brothers, Chimaira, Shadows Fall, Hellogoodbye, Frank Turner, theAUDITION, The Sleeping, Norma Jeann, Capdown, The Bronx and much, much more... Read the results of our 2006 Readers' Poll - who's hot and who's not? And don't forget this month's FREE CD for a sneak preview of some of the hottest new music from the issue. Rock Sound issue 93, on sale now, priced £3.60 from all good news stockists.



The first Kill All Hippies of 2007 takes place this Friday, 12 Jan, at the Carling Islington Academy and has yet another stellar live line up - The Svengalis, The Rocks, Talk Taxis and the mighty Vatican DC. On the decks will be Yr Mum Yr Dad plus KAH resident Gavin Nugent. Tickets for the January show are just a fiver if you buy or guest list in advance (you can do the former at, the latter at And as if that wasn't enough, pints of Carling will be just £1.80.

BASICS: Friday 12 Jan, Carling Islington Academy, London, 9.30pm - 3am, tix £5 in advance. Press info from Leyline.

More recommends:



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: 100% Dynamite at The Electrowerkz
Soul Jazz Records have been running 100% Dynamite at this rough and ready, more grubby than needed venue for nearly a decade now, and big hitters who have played over the years have included Horace Andy, Gilles Peterson, Ashley Beedle, David Holmes and Marc Mac. The quality threshold seems to remain that high even now meaning that, while the venue does sometimes get completely packed out, leading to some bizarre one-in-one-out queues in the main room, this is still a good night out, where an open minded, diverse crowd come together looking for some dub, reggae, soul, soca and bad ass beats. And just a fiver all night, which is a bonus.

Saturday 13 Jan, 10pm - 3am, £5, Electrowerkz, 7 Torrens Street, London EC1, info at

CARO'S LIVE TIP: Mystery Jets
You wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to see Mystery Jets, would you? They're corking. And they're long term CMU favourites to boot. Well, they're playing at the Chalk launch at Scala this weekend, and as they don't appear to be flaunting any other upcoming dates, I'd take this opportunity whilst it's on offer.

Saturday 13 Jan, 10pm - 4am, £8.50, Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL


Hey, this is quite a big story. Following reports in the US press yesterday that major changes at the top of EMI were upcoming, the London based major announced this morning a number of board level and senior management changes in its recorded music division, as well as promising a "restructuring programme" which the company says will generate £110 million in incremental annual cost savings. All of which comes as EMI admits its recordings business has not performed as well as expected in the second half of the current financial year, forcing the company to cut its profit predictions.

The biggest news is that the two men in charge of EMI Music, the Group's recorded music division, are out with immediate effect. The official announcement says that chairman Alain Levy and Vice-Chairman David Munns are "stepping down" while thanking them for their "contribution to the business over the past five years". But reports in the US press said Levy and Munns were all but being sacked such are the concerns in the investment community of EMI Music's recent performance.

EMI Group top man, Executive Chairman Eric Nicoli, will take personal control of the recorded music bit of the company. He will become CEO of the Group with direct responsibility for EMI Music. His current deputy, John Gildersleeve, will take over as the Group's Executive Chairman, while current Group Chief Financial Office will also take on a more proactive role with regards EMI Music. Whether Nicoli plans to oversee EMI Music in the long term is not clear - there was much speculation in the US press that former Warner chief Roger Ames, currently a senior level consultant to EMI, might be recruited to run the major's recorded music division on a day to day basis.

The changes at the top are part of a wider restructure due to take place across the Group which are sure to affect all EMI Music divisions across the globe, and might also have some impact on the major's other main division, EMI Music Publishing, even though there are no major changes at the top there. To achieve £110 million cost savings a year the restructure will have to include job cuts, which will most likely be achieved by merging the operations of different divisions within EMI Music that currently run autonomously (within the UK that would mean more collaboration between the major's EMI, Parlophone and Virgin Music divisions). The major may also look to reduce the number of buildings it operates out of - maybe merging Group level offices in with those that house its recorded music divisions. What impact it will all have on the major's artist rosters remains to be seen, though some cuts of underperforming acts wouldn't be surprising.

Commenting on the financial situation that has initiated the restructure, the Group said this morning: "Second half performance to date, in terms of revenues and profits, has been below prior expectations. This has resulted from weak market conditions, particularly over the Christmas period, and lower than expected sales from EMI Music's portfolio of second half releases to date. EMI Music Publishing continues to perform in line with expectations". Given the lower than expected financial performance, coupled with new added costs likely to be incurred by the restructure, the Group confirmed it was changing its profit predictions for the current financial year, now predicting profits will be down 6 - 10% year on year. Restructure costs will probably impact the early part of the next financial year too, though the Group says that is expects the resulting savings to have a considerable impact in term of profit margins before that year is out.

What any of this means regarding the chances of EMI being bought out by one private investment group or another (as was being discussed in late 2006), or the chances of EMI buying or being bought by Warner Music, should the EU regulatory community seem willing to allow such a purchase, is anyone's guess. What does seem certain is that there'll be quite a bit of insecurity within EMI towers for the next few weeks at least.


HMV's announcements yesterday morning seemed like quite big news until the EMI story broke, but here's the lowdown anyhow. The music, DVD and book retail group confirmed yesterday that its financial hardships continue. Group losses were £16.1 million in the six months leading up to 28 Oct, mainly because of the increase in losses at its UK and Irish HMV Stores, and in the Waterstones bit of the business too.

With things not really picking up since October, recently appointed HMV CEO Simon Fox, who joined the company last September, has announced a string of changes which he hopes can reverse the group's fortunes. Like EMI, the changes begin with a change at the top - Steve Knott, currently MD of the HMV UK retail chain, will leave at the end of the month.

Fox said he would reveal full details of his changes in March, but yesterday outlined the six areas that he was concentrating on - driving online growth, launching a loyalty card programme, adding new product ranges, improving the supply chain, exploiting group synergies and "creating inspiring store formats", whatever that means.

Commenting on the changes yesterday, Fox told reporters: "HMV UK is the largest part of the group and the biggest profit generator and its markets are changing structurally and fundamentally. I want to get to grips very clearly with the business for a period of time". However, and despite the desire for online growth, Fox said he did not envisage store closures as part of the revamp, stating a belief that a high store presence will remain important for the company: "I think the [physical] music market will decline at a certain pace but there will always be a big place for the CD and I don't believe those industry pundits that say it will disappear".

Fox will oversee the HMV UK division directly during the revamp, but will look to appoint a new MD to oversee the division day to day "within a year".


More details are coming in regarding this year's Glastonbury Festival, with further attempts by the festival's organisers to battle ticket touts. Following moves in recent years (well, not last year, obviously, but prior to that) that required ticket buyers to bring photo ID with them to get into the festival, this year the tickets themselves will feature a photo of the buyer. The aim is to stop touts reselling tickets. The ID requirement cut a lot of touting but the more serious touts were selling fake photo ID with tickets - it's hoped the latest move will combat that too.

Commenting on the moves, Glasto man Michael Eavis told reporters yesterday: "At the last festival, official tickets were on sale for £125 but there were instances of them changing hands for up to £700. This is just not fair for the people who want to come along and enjoy the music. Technology has improved so much that we can now include a picture of the purchaser on the ticket and if you don't match the picture at the gate you won't get in. Hopefully this ploy will be successful and catch on at other venues as it could really put the ticket touts out of business".

Tickets for the 2007 festival will be £150, and will go on sale on 1 Apr, though people will have to pre-register in February if they want to buy a ticket. With demand for the festival always outstripping the number of tickets available, an extra 25,000 will be available this year.

Eavis also promised his "best ever" line up for this year's event, telling reporters: "I'm really excited about the festival, there's a real buzz about it this year". Speculation is rife, as always, regarding who will play. Chumbawamba have reportedly confirmed they have been booked, with other bands rumoured to be close to confirmation including Chemical Brothers, Kasabian, Razorlight, Scissor Sisters and The Who. Other rumours suggest The Police, expected to stage a reunion tour this year, could also be on the Glasto bill.

Whether Babyshambles will reappear after their typically shambolic set back in 2005 is anyone's guess, though word has it Pete Doherty and Kate Moss have already reserved a trailer in the Lost Vagueness Trailer Park at the festival, so obviously they are planning on being in attendance. Perhaps they're planning one of their 'not really a wedding ceremony' wedding ceremonies.


Word has it legendary West London venue the Hammersmith Palais is very close to demolition. The reports come from the people behind a campaign to have the building awarded listed building status in recognition of its importance as a music venue ever since it opened as a jazz club back in 1919. They've heard a development company is planning to acquire and knock down the venue to make way for a new office block.

One of the people who supports the listed-status campaign told CMU yesterday: "I don't need to tell you the significance of this building in terms of music - it had a huge hand in bringing jazz to the UK in the 1920s and has hosted many a legendary performance since, from Motorhead to The Clash to Bowie. While it's not the most spectacular-looking place from the outside, the interior is grand, and it sits in the middle of a conservation area - so why is it being flattened? Its musical legacy alone should grant it listed status, and its enduring popularity with generations of music fans proves its life is very far from over".

Anyone wanting to add their support to the save the Palais campaign should contact


New Order have denied reports that they are splitting up - reports spawned by comments recently attributed to drummer Stephen Morris, who was quoted by Buenos Aires based newspaper Pagina/12 as saying "We should stop for a while." More recently, however, asked if the band were in fact planning a split, Morris told fansite "It's the first I've heard of it... We've got an album to finish and a movie coming out".

Morris went on to say that the soundtrack for upcoming Joy Division film 'Control' would feature musical contributions from The Killers, explaining: "The Killers have already done a version of 'Shadowplay' for the album, and there will be lots more great stuff on there hopefully."

Elsewhere, the director of the film, Anton Corbijn, has denied the report in Pagina/12 that there is a conflict between himself and the band, which quoted Peter Hook as saying that Corbijn had too much, er, control over 'Control', and that the director's authoritative style of working bothers him.

Corbijn writes: "There is no argument whatsoever between New Order and myself or Hooky and me. I am in control of 'Control' as any director worth his celluloid should be in charge of his film, but I am not telling the band that I moved to the UK for in 1979 how to write songs. Please. I wouldn't dare".


Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz have announced that they are splitting up. Speculation has been rife the last few months, of course, that the couple were no longer an item, and now they've confirmed it via a statement.

The statement reads: "It has always been our preference not to comment on the status of our relationship, but, out of respect for the time we've spent together, we feel compelled to do so now, in light of recent speculation and the number of inaccurate stories that are being reported by the media. We have, in fact, ended our romantic relationship and have done so mutually and as friends, with continued love and respect for one another".

The gossips, incidentally, are saying that it's actress Scarlett Johansson who's put a spanner in the works - the claim is that Timberlake cast her in the video for his single 'What Goes Around (Comes Around)', without telling Diaz, who was well aware that Johansson allegedly had a crush on Timberlake. It was, says Us Weekly, the final straw for Cameron.


According to reports, James Brown's youngest son has not been included in his father's will. Five year old James Brown II, by Brown's widow (or not) Tomi Rae Hynie, is not listed in the document, which provides for the soul star's six other children.

Hynie herself, apparently married to Brown since 2001, is also left out of the will. Brown's lawyer, Buddy Dallas, according to earlier reports, claimed that Hynie is not his widow, describing her as an "estranged girlfriend" - this is due to confusion (well, I'm confused), possibly, over whether the union between she and Brown was ever legal, because of Hynie's earlier marriage which had never been properly annulled. Hynie claims that, ultimately, any irregularities were sorted out and that theirs was a legal union, and says that she and Brown were planning to renew their vows at the time of his death.

Presumably James II's omission from the will has something to do with all that; or it might have something to do with the fact that a lawyer for the Brown family has said that the Godfather Of Soul wanted to do a DNA test to confirm paternity.

Elsewhere in James Brown news, a man has been shot in Atlanta after becoming involved in a heated argument over how tall the soul singer was. They should have just asked me, I could have told them that he was 5'6". Anyway, one Dan Gulley Jr, 70, has been charged with assault for shooting one David Brooks Jr, 62, on Monday 8 Jan. Witnesses confirmed that the argument escalated far enough for Gulley to pull out his gun and shoot Brooks twice in the abdomen. Showing admirable fortitude, Brooks went to his car to get a gun in order to reciprocate on the matter, but missed. Brooks then went to the police, followed by Gulley, who confessed all. Gulley may still be in prison, Brooks may still be in hospital - his precise condition is unknown.


French pop star Johnny Hallyday, 63, has had surgery to remove a small cyst from under his arm, according to a publicist. The singer, who was in surgery for two hours over the weekend, said he would be back in the road within days. He returned to a Paris recording studio following the operation, and plans to resume a ten month national tour tomorrow.

Hallyday hit the headlines at the end of last year, of course, over his decision to move to Switzerland to avoid paying French taxes.


Confusion surrounds the US release of Mos Def's new album 'Tru 3 Magic'. Apparently Universal division Geffen rush released the new long player on 29 Dec after music from the album appeared online. But the major label seems to now be regretting its knee jerk reaction - the week between Christmas and New Year never being a good time for new releases, if only because half of the label's promotions team, and many of the journalists and DJs who might get behind it, are all on holiday. So much so Geffen has now reportedly recalled the albums it distributed at the end of the year with plans to re-release it, with a different track listing, later in the Spring. I can't help thinking there's some kind of lesson in all that.


Talking about premature releases, word has it that iTunes have made the new The Shins album available two weeks earlier than planned, seemingly by mistake. According to Gigwise, when users go to "pre-order" new album 'Wincing The Night Away', not due to be available until 22 Jan, they are able to download the album and the iTunes exclusive bonus track straight away. No word from The Shins or iTunes as yet.


The Horrors have announced details of their debut album. 'Strange House' is set for release on 5 Mar, and was recorded and produced in London with Ben Hillier, The Bad Seeds' Jim Sclavunos and Seb Lewsley. Frontman Faris Rotter says: "This album is exactly what The Horrors set out to do. We don't want to be friends with everyone, just anyone who knows about great music."

Here's the tracklisting:

Jack The Ripper
Count In Fives
Draw Japan
Excellent Choice
Little Victories
She Is The New Thing
Sheena Is A Parasite
Gil Sleeping
A Train Roars
Death At The Chapel


Former Ladytron and Supernumeri man Pop Levi is set to release his debut album 'The Return To Form Black Magick Party' in the UK on 12 Feb.

Levi told "I'd like the album to win the Mercury Prize. I hope people really get into it. The album is all about putting things backwards, sideways, through mirrors and on their head. Black magic is the main theme. It's about the left path - the more sinister way".

So there you go. Here's the tracklisting:

Sugar Assault Me Now
Blue Honey
(A Style Called) Crying Chic
Pick-Me-Up Uppercut
Skip Ghetto
Dollar Bill Rock
Mournin' Light
See My Lord
Hades' Lady
From The Day That You Were Born


Trent Reznor says the new Nine Inch Nails album, 'Year Zero', expected to see a release in April, is about the end of the world. Well, it could be. Here's what he said on the NIN official website: "It could be about the end of the world". See?

Elsewhere, in an interview with Kerrang!, Reznor calls the album "part of a bigger picture of a number of things I'm working on. Essentially I wrote the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist." He goes on to say that he doesn't care whether it's well received or not, saying "with this record I feel a lot less concerned about what people think about it - especially the dying record industry. I couldn't care less about that right now".


US singer songwriter Jason Mraz has rerecorded an earlier unreleased tune - 'The Beauty Is Ugly' - for US hit TV series Ugly Betty. The song is a reworked version of a unreleased track 'Plain Jane'. Proceeds from the new song, released as a download via iTunes, will go to the non-profit organisation Girls Inc.


Yo La Tengo have released an iTunes Live Sessions EP. Here's the tracklisting:

El Es Gay
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind
The Weakest Part
Luci Baines (Arthur Lee cover)


The wonderful Husky Rescue release new album 'Ghost Is Not Real' on Catskills on 29 Jan, with single release 'Nightless Night' out on Monday. I'm sure we've told you some of that before, but we definitely haven't given you video links for the new single, so here they are.



Press info from Nile-On or Catskills.


The Rakes have announced four live club sets ahead of that previously announced March tour in support of their new album. Tickets for the new dates go on sale tomorrow. Here they are:

31 Jan: Southend Chinnery's
3 Feb: Bedford Esquires
5 Feb: Brighton Audio
6 Feb: London King's College

Here are the March dates:

19 Mar: Nottingham Rock City
20 Mar: Dublin Vicar Street
21 Mar: Glasgow Barrowlands
22 Mar: Sheffield Octagon
23 Mar: Norwich UEA
25 Mar: Manchester Ritz
26 Mar: Newcastle Academy
28 Mar: Birmingham Academy
29 Mar: Bristol Academy
30 Mar: Southampton Guildhall
31 Mar: London Brixton Academy


Josh Homme's non death metal Eagles Of Death Metal are to hold a ladies night at the end of this month. Their gig at London's Soho Revue Bar on 22 Aug is for the girls only. But don't worry, boys, there are two more January dates for you to attend, and lots in March. All dates as follows:

22 Jan: London Soho Revue Bar - Ladies only
23 Jan: Bristol Anson Rooms
25 Jan: Oxford Zodiac
1 Mar: Birmingham Academy
3 Mar: Manchester Academy
4 Mar: Leeds Metropolitan University
5 Mar: Glasgow ABC
6 Mar: Nottingham Rock City
7 Mar: Newcastle University
9 Mar: Cambridge Junction
10 Mar: Portsmouth Pyramids
11 Mar: London Astoria


Liverpool based five piece Alterkicks are looking for brand new bands to support them at upcoming London, Glasgow and Southamption shows. Bands interested in playing can let their interest be known via The dates are as follows:

17 Feb: Southampton, Lennons
21 Feb: London, Barfly
28 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts


Talking of ticket touts, which we were a little bit earlier, eBay has acquired one of the US's biggest touting websites, StubHub, an online auction platform that specialises in ticket sales. The ticket site will remain a separate identity, for the time being at least, but will benefit from eBay's larger infrastructure. The acquisition will also ensure eBay maintain a healthy share of the ticket auction sector - which is actually quite competitive in the US.

Confirming the takeover, eBay Corporate Communications Manager Catherine England told Billboard: "We feel that StubHub and eBay is a great combination. StubHub delivers a 'best in class' buying and selling experience, and eBay is focused on creating tailored shopping experiences for online shoppers and buyers. StubHub will help us build out the customer experience eBay offers in the tickets area".

The reselling of tickets at profit via online auctions is not without controversy, of course, with both gig promoters and politicians in the UK in particular expressing concerns at just how much online sellers can hike up ticket prices for in demand events. That said, some promoters have recognised that if they stage their own ticket auctions they can maximise their own revenues, and StubHub was involved in sales of tickets for the recent INXS US tour which involved an authorised ticket auction.


More major label restructuring, though this time in the US, where SonyBMG are merging their US sales division with their global digital business group, to create one super division to be overseen by Thomas Hesse, who will have the title of President, Global Digital Business and US Sales. So there you go.


The European Commission has announced it will need two further months to investigate the much previously reported proposed merger of Bertelsmann's BMG Music Publishing with Universal Music's publishing firm which needs EC approval to go ahead. Having confirmed last year that it would need to make more detailed investigations into the proposals in order to reach a decision, competition officials had been expected to reach a decision by 2 Apr. However now, seemingly with the support of both BMG and Universal, that decision has been put off until 1 Jun.


MTV Networks President and COO in the US, Michael Wolf, will leave the company next month, as will Sales & Marketing President Nicole Browning. Wolf has only been in the job for about a year, but his position there has been insecure ever since the sudden removal of his boss, Tom Freston, last September by Viacom top dog Summer Redstone.


US media regulator the FCC is reportedly considering an agreement with the main radio groups there which would put an end to its investigations into the payola practices that have gone on in recent years, not that those investigations have been especially in-depth so far anyway. The FCC seemingly reluctantly agreed to investigate the use of bribes in the radio promotions sector after New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer got major record companies and some major radio firms to admit that some of the promotional methods used in the US music radio sector breached anti-payola rules. However, those investigations have achieved little to date, much to Spitzer's annoyance. Latest reports say that the FCC is working with the major radio firms to develop a new industry wide code of conduct, education programme and commitment to independent music which, the regulator hopes, would sidestep the need for there to be any major crackdown on those radio firms who have accepted payola bribes from record companies in the past (in fact they wouldn't even have to admit that they did so). Specifics of this deal are unclear, though Spitzer is sure to disapprove of the back room deal.


Canadian media giant Canwest has won the latest FM radio licence battle and will get to launch a new station in Aberdeen, its third UK station. Like its Southampton outlet, the new Aberdeen service will be called Original FM. The new station's launch will be overseen by Group Programme Director John Evington, the former chief at Stoke On Trent's Signal Radio of course. I say "of course" - there's no real "of course" in this really. Unless you were a dedicated Signal Radio listener in the late eighties. Which some people were.


Music promoter, former Mr Liza Minelli, and the star of the most recent I'm A Celeb series, David Gest, has signed a deal with ITV which will see the commercial broadcaster air a fly-on-the-wall documentary following Gest doing whatever it is, exactly, that Gest does.

Here's what he has to say about the ITV Deal: "I chose this offer above all the others as I love the 'I'm A Celebrity' team and we work so well together. This is just the kind of show I wanted to do, its going to be an absolute blast!"

ITV's Controller Of Alternative Programmes, Layla Smith, added: "We can't wait to go behind the scenes with the man himself - the nation want to see it and we are delighted he has chosen ITV for what is sure to be a fascinating series".

Gest's ITV relationship will begin sooner than all that though, when he appears tonight as a guest judge on the network's ongoing Soapstar Superstar show. An insider on the show told the Sun: "We all saw how outspoken David was in the jungle so there could be fireworks when he's a guest on the judging panel on Friday. He doesn't mince his words and also has a unique turn of phrase. David has vast experience of the music business so he'll offer some good insight."


Radio 1 have announced that they will use the early early slot on Friday mornings to give new presenters a chance to hone and prove their presenting abilities. The 4am-7am show, previously hosted by Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton, will most likely have a small team of presenters who present on rotation. The first presenter will be Letitia, who isn't entirely new given that she presents the station's Sunday Surgery show. Here's what Radio 1 Head Of Programmes Ben Cooper says about the whole thing: "The early slots have always been a place that DJs could develop their broadcasting skills and have the freedom to experiment. We've seen major stars like Chris Moyles and Scott Mills emerge from these shows and now we have a place dedicated to developing the stars of the future."


Well, it was bound to happen eventually, but I didn't expect it to be Ordinary Boy Samuel Preston who was the first to walk. Despite sticking a fortnight in the Big Brother house this time last year, he couldn't stick more than 20 minutes on BBC music quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Given that new host Simon Amstell manages to mock his guest panelists even more than his predecessor Mark Lamaar, a MNTB booking is, of course, a mixed blessing, though contestants normally managed to grin and bear it and, in some cases, give back as good as they get. Preston seemingly took particular offence to Amstell mocking his wife and former Big Brother housemate Chantelle Houghton's autobiography, and in particular a section where the non-celeb Celeb Big Brother winner tells how prior to her celebrity days she couldn't afford to shop at M&S. The Ordinary Boy frontman didn't see the funny side and stormed off set and, reportedly, straight out of the studio. His team captain Bill Bailey then picked a replacement contestant out of the audience.

A spokesman for the show said: "Preston just stormed off. He literally walked out of the building. It's a shame Preston felt he had to leave. Fans will know Simon loves to banter with his guests. It's the nature of the show - and it's not meant in a mean way".

Speaking to Radio 1 after the event, Preston said: "If that was in any other situation, I would have hit him. I just had to remove myself from the situation, so I just got up and left."

Opinion seems divided on the celeb message boards I've read (not that I spend all my time reading celeb message boards) as to whether Preston was just a spoilsport who couldn't take a joke, or whether he acted honourably given that Amstell's banter was aimed not at the singer himself, but at his wife and her social background. Either way, it's got to make that edition of NMTB must see television.


This is hardly a surprise. According to The Sun, Robbie Williams has paid himself an average of just under £25,000 each day for the past four years, allowing himself £7.2million from his company's accounts in 2006. Altogether that's a personal £35.6 million in the last four years. Which is moderately sickening.


Kelly Osbourne has told Closer magazine that since her recent weight loss - dropping from size fourteen to size ten - she'd like to pose naked for Playboy. Whether or not they will ask her remains to be seen. I'm hoping not.

"I'd love to pose for Playboy," she said, "I'd definitely go fully nude - there's no point doing it otherwise."


According to reports Kevin Federline has attempted to return expensive clothes - bought for him by estranged wife Britney Spears - to the shops where they were purchased. Apparently strapped for cash, Federline reportedly tried to return £7,700 worth of clothing to LA's Maxfield store in order to raise some spending money late last month. Unfortunately, a cash refund was not forthcoming, and Federline had to make do with a store credit.

A source says: "He was looking for pocket money. Now he's going to try to sell the credit."

Before you start feeling too sorry for Federline, however, please note that rumour suggests he's appearing in a high-paying ad during the UK superbowl in February.

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