From Bohemian Rhapsody, about Freddie Mercury and Queen, to Elton John‘s Rocketman, films about pop stars have proved box-office gold.
Yet I hear that production of a big-budget movie about Eighties star Boy George, Karma Chameleon, has hit a major stumbling block.
I can disclose the Culture Club singer and his long-time friend and collaborator Philip Sallon, who was expected to feature heavily in the film, have had a huge bust-up. And Sallon tells me he’s refusing to help out with the production.
Boy George and his long-time friend and collaborator Philip Sallon have had a huge bust-up. Pictured: Boy George and Philip Sallon during the opening night of Taboo on Broadway
Sallon, 70, who is renowned for his role as a nightclub promoter and impresario through the early punk and New Romantic movements, says he’s not involved ‘in the slightest way’.
He tells me: ‘It’s very hard for me not to be featured in the film because we went around with each other the whole time. But he’ll obviously have no help from me.’
The two men were once joined at the hip, and Sallon’s character played a major role in Taboo, the West End show about the life and career of George, 60, which premiered in 2002.
‘With that musical, I spent ages trying to help in every conceivable way,’ Sallon says. ‘But I won’t with this one.’
Sallon, 70, who was expected to feature heavily in the film about Boy George, says he’s now not involved ‘in the slightest way’
Sallon, who organised the launch party for George’s autobiography, refuses to disclose the reason for the row, but suggests there would be grave consequences for the singer if he were to reveal the truth. He tells me: ‘I don’t like the idea of destroying somebody’s life. He’s done what he’s done and that’s the way it goes. He knows. What George chooses to do is his business. And if I think he’s done wrong, then fine, he’ll get his karma, but I don’t have to be the one inflicting the karma.’
Boy George (far left) confirms the row and takes the opportunity to throw a dig at his old pal, telling me: ‘It’s great that Philip wants to discuss our fall-out — he needs the publicity.’
Self-help tome inspires TV’s new Princess Diana
Elizabeth Debicki, who takes over the role of Diana from Emma Corrin in the forthcoming series of The Crown, seems to be drawing inspiration from the late Princess’s fascination with spirituality and healing.
She was spotted visiting a bookshop in North London where she bought a copy of Katherine May’s memoir Wintering, a self-help title about how to retreat and restore yourself in times of difficulty.
Elizabeth Debicki leaving a bookshop in North London
Elizabeth Debicki portraying Princess Diana in her last official public appearance prior to her death in 1997
Debicki, 31, who made her name in The Night Manager, will portray Diana for the last two series of the Netflix drama. The fifth, due to air in November, will focus on the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
It’s not just breakfast presenter Dan Walker who’s keen to leave the BBC. I hear the results of a new staff survey have been shared with employees by director-general Tim Davie and they don’t make happy reading for bosses. More than half no longer have faith in management. Only 41 per cent do. And more than half doubt the Beeb will even be in a position to succeed at all by 2025, with just 47 per cent having confidence. Davie insists: ‘We are seeing some big progress on our priorities.’
A Sonic night out for Elba’s family
Luther star Idris Elba is used to being the leading man, but he was happy to share top billing with the women in his life at the premiere of his latest film.
The 49-year-old Londoner was joined by his wife Sabrina, 33, a former Miss Vancouver, and his daughter Isan, 20, on the red carpet in Los Angeles for Sonic The Hedgehog 2.
Idris Elba was joined by his wife Sabrina, 33, a former Miss Vancouver, and his daughter Isan, 20, on the red carpet in Los Angeles for Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Three-times married Elba has remained close to aspiring actress Isan since he split up with her mother, make-up artist Hanne Norgaard, in 2003.
Carrie’s pal warns No 10 over conversion therapy
Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie told guests at an LGBT event at Tory party conference last October: ‘We now have a Prime Minister who is completely committed to protecting’ gay rights, and ‘the Government he leads is banning conversion therapy’.
But now Boris has caused consternation among Carrie’s circle by postponing the debate to ban conversion therapy for trans people. His decision led to the mass boycott of the first ever international LGBT+ conference, then its cancellation.
Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie with her close friend James Baker
Carrie’s close friend James Baker warned: ‘I’d be careful to wage a war on those pesky LGBT-ers if I was No 10. LGBT Tories make up most of the deliverers, campaigners and councillors in some of the most key seats — and lots that have elections in May.’
With no sign of the histrionic Bruno Tonioli returning to the Strictly judging panel, Tess Daly suggests they need a new injection of flamboyance. ‘I’d love to see Alan Carr and David Walliams on the show,’ the co-host tells me at a No7 and Boots launch party, at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square. ‘Imagine those two on the dancefloor.’ And with Strictly outshining Britain’s Got Talent in the ratings, Craig Revel Horwood has put the boot in by calling for Simon Cowell to be invited on to be his rival: ‘He’s already got the Cuban heels and the high-waisted trousers, darling. He would be fab-u-lous.’
- Outspoken Labour MP and sometime Have I Got News For You presenter Jess Phillips is known for her distinctive Brummie accent. But now she’s revealed that her father, who grew up in a council house and became a teacher, wanted her to drop her regional brogue. ‘I was raised to think it would be a liability,’ she admits. ‘My dad used to really pull me up on the way I sound my vowels, and he used to say: ‘I don’t mind it, love, but people are snobby and if you wanna get on, you can’t speak like that.’ ‘