Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

What’s wrong with a royal knees up?


BRITAIN-WILLIAM/I’m looking forward to the April 29th wedding of Prince William to his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton as a chance to celebrate some of the good things about Britain.

People on my street and the street next to it are considering clubbing together for a street party on one or the other, my seven-year-old is learning a little bit about the political make-up of the country where he was born and a Friday off work in spring in a country that’s pretty miserly with the public holidays can’t be too bad of a thing.

There are a few other things I’m looking forward to in connection with the royal bash. One is that my wife is a wicked dessert maker. Victoria sponges, chocolate cakes, tiramisu, apple crumble with custard!! I can’t wait.

Another thing is the humour that will come out of it.

As a Canadian who has lived here for more than a dozen years and is now a dual citizen, I never tire of the unfailing efforts to “get a laugh” out of the triumphs and tragedies in this country on the radio, the telly, at work, in the papers and down the pub with your friends.

from Royal Wedding Diary:

Male primacy in firing line ahead of royal wedding

royals4.jpgWhat happens if Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child is a girl?

That uncomfortable question came to the fore this week when opposition lawmaker Tristram Hunt called on the second-in-line-to-the-throne to modernise the monarchy and do away with laws asserting the primacy of males over females in royal successions.

There are a number of "ifs" here. First, William is not next in line to sit on the throne -- that honour goes to his father Prince Charles, and only after he hands over or dies does William take over at the head of the royal family. Then there is the question of whether William and his fiancee Kate Middleton, to be married on April 29, have children, although they have said publicly that they want a family. And thirdly, if their first-born is a boy, then the vexed issue of the rules of succession would be less of a problem.

from Summit Notebook:

CFTC’s Gary Gensler just one of the “Little Monsters”

Christopher Doering found there is more to the CFTC chairman than markets.

MUSIC-GRAMMYS/When he's not scaring Wall Street and big banks to make sure they follow the rules, there's a chance the head of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is moonlighting as a "Little Monster."

The haunting moniker, used by American pop singer-songwriter Lady Gaga to describe her fans, aptly applies to the hard-working Gary Gensler who was among the thousands of fans who attended the popular performer's show in Washington last week.

Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson giving a little back to his fans


Anyone who has ever been within earshot of a radio is familiar with Supertramp’s endless list of hit songs: ”Give a Little Bit,” “Dreamer,” “Breakfast in America,” “The Logical Song” … But the British singer/songwriter behind the tunes is, by his own account, “an unknown quantity,” not quite up there in name recognition with a McCartney, a Jagger or a Townshend.

“Roger Hodgson the name is not a very bankable name,” Hodgson told Reuters on Tuesday.

from Photographers' Blog:

The room where no one says cheese

You’ve just won your Oscar, given your acceptance speech to the world and are whisked off stage. The world watching on television goes to a commercial break as you are escorted off to meet the press, first stop “The Photo Room”.

Actress Melissa Leo holds her Oscar for performance by an actress in a supporting role for "The Fighter" backstage at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

You come around a corner and step up onto a 60-foot long low-rise stage. Behind you are three 10-foot golden Oscar statuettes, each surrounded by a bouquet of colorful flowers. In front of you is a grandstand of 60 well-dressed photographers who all want you to hold up your award and look at them, and no one says cheese.

from Reuters Investigates:

The coming of Glencore

Checking background for our Special Report on Glencore, "The Biggest Company You Never Heard Of", I stumbled on the novel “The Fortunes of Glencore” by Charles Leveglencore acquisitionsr. On a whim I read it. There were some intriguing parallels between the 20th-century company and the book, even though that was published in 1857.

The further I read, the more I asked myself if this little heard-of scrap of 19th-century literature couldn’t be used as some kind of coda. It sounds crazy, but maybe you can understand the temptation. Glencore is a secretive, controversial Swiss-based commodities trading and mining giant, and even though it may soon be quoted on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, it works hard to maintain its mystique. Could this little novel be some kind of “Da Vinci Code” for Glencore?

May one moan about the royal wedding?


Royals1.jpgI may be in Berlin covering the film festival, but I’m keeping half an eye on the press coverage of the royal wedding. Needless to say there is an awful lot of it, and some of the stories appear to be as much fiction as fact, if not more so. The tone is almost entirely positive, with commentators glowing about the young royal couple, her style, his grace, how good it all is for the country, economy, morale, soul — oh you get the gist.

Now there is not necessarily anything wrong with being positive — after all, we are talking about a couple of 20-somethings about to embark on a big adventure (marriage) and we should wish them well.

from Photographers' Blog:

Hatching a plan to cover Lady Gaga’s egg

I've covered all of the big Los Angeles based award shows and multiple Grammy Award shows, but I've never seen something like this. Was Babylon 5 making a comeback? Nope - just Gaga being Gaga.

I started to set up my equipment at my assigned spot on the 53rd annual Grammy Awards red carpet around 10:15am. My assignment was to cover red carpet arrivals with Lucy Nicholson photographing the show and Mario Anzuoni backstage photographing winners with their awards. Arrivals began at 12pm and lasted until 5pm. At about 10:45am we had a visit from an organizer saying that 1pm would be a bad time for a bathroom break. We started to ask questions and the answers were vague such as variations of "believe me you will want to be here, trust me." We began to deduct through cryptic messages that it was regarding Lady Gaga's arrival as that was everyone's best guess and it made sense after covering her in the past.

Chilean miner rescue hits big screen in Berlin


Chile2.jpgEmblazoned on the cover of movie industry magazine Variety’s Berlin film festival daily publication today is a full-page advertisement for “Atacama’s 33″, a retelling of the incredible story of survival in Chile’s northern Atacama desert which ended in such dramatic fashion in October.

Boy, that was quick! It seems like yesterday that the 33 miners, trapped deep underground for two months, were hauled to safety in scenes watched by hundreds of millions of well-wishers around the world.

Meg may be gone, but Jack White rocks on


ENTERTAINMENT CONCERTRough-and-tumble rockers The White Stripes called it quits earlier this week, much to the dismay of garage rock fans everywhere. But it’s not as if this news comes as a huge surprise. For the past several years, frontman Jack White has been getting busy with almost everyone but his red-and-white-clad Stripes bandmate, Meg.

For starters, White has played in his other two bands,  The Ranconteurs and The Dead Weather. He also starred alongside U2 guitarist The Edge and Led Zeppelin’s legendary axeman Jimmy Page in 2008′s critically acclaimed music film, “It Might Get Loud”, and collaborated with comedian Conan O’Brien on a spoken-word comedy record during the latter’s temporary stint last year as a late-night refugee. As if that’s not enough, White continues to run his own record label, Third Man.