Monday, December 27, 2010

Mariah sings for Mickey in a very festive red dress as Ms Carey joins the Christmas celebrations at Disney World

By Georgina Littlejohn

All I Want For Christmas: Mariah Carey performs her festive classic as she joins in the celebrations at Disney World, Florida

It's one of the most well-known Christmas songs of recent times that has been described as a 'holiday standard'.

And being heavily pregnant with twins wasn't going to stop Mariah Carey belting out her Yuletide classic 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' for a delighted audience at Disney World this weekend.

The pop star looked happy and glowing as she performed at the theme park in Orlando, Florida for the resort's Christmas celebrations.

Mariah, 40, who is expecting twins next Spring, sang her classic Christmas song in a cute red dress with white trim.

Then she disappeared and came back on stage in a black dress to to sing her new holiday single 'Oh Santa,' which is currently at No. 1 in the US charts.

Cinderella's Castle: Mariah comes out to perform against the famous Disney backdrop

But while she was in Orlando singing her heart out, her husband Nick Cannon was on the other side of the States, hosting the Christmas celebrations from Disney Land in Los Angeles.

Thankfully the couple did get to spend the holidays together as they had pre-recorded the shows - which were broadcast this weekend - earlier this month.

Glowing: Pregnancy is clearly suiting Mariah who beamed for her audience as she came on stage

Christmas cheer: Mariah came back on stage in a black dress to wrap up the concert

Mariah was joined at the Christmas Day Parade in Orlando - which was hosted in by American Idol presenter Ryan Seacrest - by singer Selena Gomez.

Performing in a white dress, Selena, 18, sent the crowd into a frenzy as she performed 'Winter Wonderland'.

Hello, Disney! Selena Gomez dressed all in white with festive red shoes as she came on stage to sing Winter Wonderland

Other artists performing at the event included this year's American Idol winner Lee DeWyze who sang Little Drummer Boy and Glee's Amber Riley.

It was the 27th annual parade at the Disney resorts and it travels along the park's Main Street with lots of famous characters including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Live from LA: While wife Mariah performed in Florida, Nick Cannon hosted the event at Disney Land in California

From Idol to Main Street: Ryan Seacrest reports from Disney World's parade


007's love nest with Rachel... Craig and co-star share a cottage in the country

By Simon Cable

Hand in hand: Daniel Craig and Miss Weisz take a stroll in the Dorset countryside

Only months after saying that she wanted to be a Bond Girl, Rachel Weisz has got her wish.

The actress appeared hand in hand with 007 actor Daniel Craig in the Dorset countryside.

They are enjoying a Christmas break together at a secluded £1,000-a-week cottage after finally going public with their romance.

Miss Weisz, 40, grew close to 42-year-old Craig while the two British stars played husband and wife in the forthcoming thriller Dream House.

During filming in March, she said: ‘We’ve been getting on really well and yet I still haven’t had an offer to be a Bond girl – but if he asks me I’d definitely do it!’

As recently as four weeks ago, the couple were still denying they were an item.

Craig, who has an eight-year-old daughter with ex-wife Fiona Loudon, arrived at the bolthole last week in his £48,000 black Range Rover.

Licensed to beat the chill: Daniel and Rachel keep warm in woolly hats

Miss Weisz joined him after flying in from New York and driving down in her Fiat 500. The actress has left her four-year-old son Henry in New York with her former fiance Darren Aronofsky.

Wrapped up against the chill, on Christmas Eve Craig and Miss Weisz held hands as they took a two-mile stroll before stopping at a delicatessen to buy food and heading to a pub, where they spent the afternoon together.

Last night they were back at the picturesque property, which boasts a cinema, sauna, gym and a roof terrace. Craig, who sported several days’ stubble, again refused to comment on their relationship.

It is believed the couple now have plans to spend New Year together in the UK.
The actress announced last month that she had split from 41-year-old Mr Aronofsky after a nine-year relationship. They became engaged in 2005 but never married.

Miss Weisz, a Cambridge graduate who won an Oscar for her role in The Constant Gardener, had previously dated Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey and Sam Mendes, now Kate Winslet’s ex-husband.

Craig had been engaged to film producer Satsuki Mitchell after proposing two years ago.

Tied: Daniel Craig had been engaged to film producer Satsuki Mitchell

He and Miss Weisz both own homes near to one another in north London.

There are no suggestions that she may move back to England from her New York home where she has been living near to her son.

It has also emerged that Craig, who has played 007 in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, has signed up to star in the next Bond film, scheduled for release in 2012.

There had been fears that he may have to cancel plans to star in the blockbuster after he agreed to play the lead male role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.

Split: Weisz with ex-fiance Darren Aronofsky at the premiere of his new film Black Swan in September, two months before they went their separate ways


Coronation Street star Debbie Rush shows off her amazing weight loss... in her fitness DVD of course

By Daily Mail Reporter

Changing shape: Coronation Street actress Debbie Rush shows how she dropped four dress sizes in her new fitness DVD

She's known on Coronation Street for playing dowdy cafe worker Anna Windass.

But in real-life, actress Debbie Rush is now cutting an impressive size 8 figure after dropping four dress sizes.

And, as expected these days after a celebrity loses a significant amount of weight, the 44-year-old is revealing her slimming secrets in a fitness DVD.

The soap star releases her fitness DVD, entitled Debbie Rush's Bulge Buster Workout, nationwide today.

The 5ft 2 actress's weight had crept up to 11 stone and a size 16, but after seeing paparazzi photographs of herself in a bra and skirt at a department store over the summer, she was prompted to act.

After enlisting the help of ex-rugby star Andy Titterall, Rush shifted two stone through a combination of circuit exercises and overhauling her diet.

Rush explained: 'After seeing some awful photos of my bulging and bloated figure I knew I’d really let myself go, I was so ashamed of my belly. I was in tears. It was so big I couldn’t see my feet and being short in height I was turning into a little barrel!

Transformation: A slimline Rush at the Inside Soap Awards in late September (left) and looking heavier in January (right)

'I knew I had to do something about it. Once I put my mind to changing the way I looked and found a routine I could do at home which I loved, it was surprisingly easy to get my figure back.

'Now I want to share my exercise secrets and show other real women just like me how to blitz away their body bulge.

'This workout can help you wear the clothes you really want, with results that last.'
Rush first showed off the results of her weight loss at the Inside Soap Awards in September, when she was a size 10, but revealed she was planning to drop another dress sizes in time for the Corrie 50th anniversary celebrations and live episode in December.

And as the DVD cover shows, she managed to achieve her size 8 goal in time for its release.

In an interview with Closer magazine in October, she blamed the temptations of the stodgy food on offer at the Corrie canteen on her weight gain.

She said: 'I used to have no breakfast, a massive lunch at the Corrie canteen - like chips with curry sauce and a dessert - and something similar for dinner. Then I’d sit in front of the TV and have chocolate or popcorn.'

Her DVD will do battle in the fitness charts with Kerry Katona, Clare Nasir, Chantelle Houghton, Davina McCall and Nadia Sawalha's fitness DVDs this new year.

Rush joined the cast of Coronation Street in November 2008 playing dowdy Anna
Windass, the long-suffering wife of mischevious husband Eddie Windass.

Her character Anna is set for a rocky 2011, with her marriage to Eddie seen to breakdown after the actor Steve Husion is to be written out of the ITV soap.

Rush lives in Manchester with husband Andrew and their three children Tom, 20; Poppy, 19; and William, 16.

• Debbie Rush's Bulge Buster Workout DVD goes on sale nationwide today. RRP £19.99.


'She burst into tears': Hugh Hefner, 84, surprises girlfriend Crystal Harris, 24, with engagement ring

By Georgina Littlejohn

Betrothed Bunny: Hugh Hefner took to his Twitter page yesterday to announced he and his girlfriend Crystal Harris got engaged on Christmas Eve

He's had his fair share of women over the years and only got divorced from his second wife in March.

But Hugh Hefner knows how to bounce back in love, and yesterday he announced that he is set to get married again.

The Playboy tycoon, 84, Tweeted last night that he and his girlfriend Crystal Harris, 24, had got engaged.

In the early hours of Christmas Day morning, he wrote: 'After the movie tonight, Crystal & I exchanged gifts. I gave Crystal a ring. A truly memorable Christmas Eve.'

Then last night he added: 'When I gave Crystal the ring, she burst into tears. This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory.'

Not to be outdone by her fiancé, Crystal then took to her Twitter page to say: 'The most memorable Christmas.'

And later on, to clear up any confusion, Hefner wrote: 'Yes, the ring I gave Crystal is an engagement ring. I didn't mean to make a mystery out of it. A very merry Christmas to all.'

She also added a photograph of a present she gave Hefner, a portrait of her and him and their King Charles spaniel, which was commissioned by playmate Victoria Fuller.

Announcement: Hefner took to his Twitter page to tell the world he had proposed to Crystal

Crystal was born to British parents in Arizona, who moved back to the UK after her birth, but then came back to the States a couple of years later and settled in San Diego, California.

While she was studying psychology at San Diego State University, she started modelling and was noticed by Playboy.

She met Hefner on Halloween in 2008 and started dating him in January 2009 while he was also dating identical twin glamour models Kristina and Karissa Shannon.

But he ended his relationship with the twins in January this year and has remained monogamous to Crystal since.

Crystal once said that she believes she and Hefner were able to bond because she lost a long-time boyfriend in Iraq and he was going through a break up with Holly Madison, whom he dated for 8 years.

Family portrait: Crystal's gift to Hefner, a painting commissioned by Playmate Victoria Fuller

Hefner, who founded Playboy in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as his first cover girl, has been married twice before.

In 1949, he wed Mildred Williams with who he had two children, Christie, now 58, and David, now 55.

before their wedding, Mildred confessed to Hefner that she'd had an affair while he was away serving in the Army, so she allowed him to sleep with other women because of her guilt over her infidelity, but they divorced in 1959.

Then in 1989 he married Playboy Playmate Kimberley Conrad, who gave him two sons, Marston Glenn, 20, and Cooper Bradford, 19, but after 11 years of marriage, Hefner filed for divorce from Conrad stating irreconcilable differences, which was finalised in March this year.

More the merrier: Hefner and Crystal (R) and twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Beers Morgan! How Britain's Got Talent judge's love affair with the British pub has entered a new chapter

By Piers Morgan

The traditional British pub means everything to Piers Morgan - it's a home, a sanctuary and a place of endless fun. Now he reveals how he has fulfilled his lifelong dream and become a landlord himself...

Mine host: Piers Morgan and his wife Celia in his pub, The Hanson Cab

'I have two ambitions in life,' said the late, great Oliver Reed.

'One is to drink every pub dry, the other is to sleep with every woman on Earth.'

Mr Reed sadly died without achieving either of his goals, though I bow to nobody in my admiration of the gloriously determined efforts he made to do so.

But it was the legendary hell-raiser's devotion to the British pub that appealed to me more than his latent lust for the global female form.

I'll confess now that I'm a pub addict. Always have been and always will be. So much so that I recently bought one, becoming the proud co-owner of the historic Hansom Cab on Earl's Court Road, Kensington, West London.

The purchase completed a lifetime's love affair with the institution that began during the Roman occupation of our country with small inns under the name of 'tabernae'.

And I mean lifetime. From when I was five to 13, my parents ran an uproarious country pub in the sleepy village of Fletching in East Sussex, called The Griffin Inn. It was the era when drink-driving was rife, lock-ins were the norm and barely a night went by without people fighting, illicitly fornicating, getting arrested or simply falling over - drunk as the proverbial skunk.

For a young lad, with his two brothers and sister, it all seemed utterly thrilling and, quite literally, intoxicating.

One of my mother's most shameful ever moments came when the local primary school headmistress made a formal complaint that my mother's treasured eldest son had arrived for lessons 'smelling of alcohol'.

I had. But only because I'd spent half an hour doing the fun job of 'bottling up', which involved replentifying all the empty shelves with new bottles of beer, wine, spirits and mixers.

A couple of trips down into our dark, dank cellar and I'd emerge with the aroma of Oliver Reed after a three-day bender. And yes, I did used to sneak the odd gulp of flat bitter or a decaying Pinot Grigio.

We moved to a nearby village called Newick as I began my teenage years and at the tender but eager age of 15, I experienced my first alcoholic beverage - a pint of Strongbow cider. Consumed with slow, deliberate glee in the corner of The Royal Oak, just off the village green.

Barrel boy: Piers Morgan grew up in a pub after his parents took over a sleepy village hostelry in East Sussex

It was strictly illegal, of course. But in those days, village pubs were full of youngsters my age. So long as you looked even vaguely 18, you were fine.

I loved that pub with a passion that even a scantily clad Eva Mendes being brought to my dressing room couldn't match.

Every Friday and Saturday, I'd pile in there with my mates and drink as much Strongbow as I could before my body gave way. Those evenings would follow a familiar pattern, and one that some of my critics today might recognise. I'd get louder and more obnoxious as the cider took its grip, until eventually someone would pour a pint over my head, temporarily blinding me in the process. I'd then wheel around, lashing out at suspected assailants until the leggy landlady Mary, object of all our adolescent dreams, would utter the immortal words: 'Piers, you're banned!' And throw me into the street.

From there, I'd stumble the mile-long walk home, occasionally lurching into a hedge.

The next morning, I'd be back at opening time to beg forgiveness from Mary - who would always capitulate, but often only when I'd agreed to do a few shifts behind the bar.

The Royal Oak became, along with cricket, the focal point of my life.

When I chart the funniest ten evenings of my life, at least three or four would involve the Oak. Including the night my Army colonel brother Jeremy beat his own record for drinking a pint of beer, without spilling a drop, while standing on his head. He did it in 4.8 seconds, considerably faster than most of us could do it standing upright.

Unfortunately, he then tried to repeat the exercise later that year in a restaurant called Joe's Brasserie on Wandsworth Bridge Road - using warm lager instead of bitter, and a weird-shaped glass. Halfway through the attempt, the bubbles flew up his nose, and he reared up like a speared gorilla and began to projectile-vomit over everyone.

Fortunately, the staff were on hand to drag him outside, including a barman called Guy Ritchie. Yes, that one. (I met him years later with Madonna, and asked him to 'get me a pint for old times' sake' - he laughed, she didn't.)

On another memorable occasion in the Oak, a local gipsy with very big arms decided the pub needed livening up and started punching everyone he could get his hands on. It was like a scene out of a John Wayne Western as he began smacking my friends over the bar one by one - as I gallantly led the women, and myself of course, to safety.

When the fifth victim was deposited over the bar, and left bloodied on the floor, the police arrived and took our assailant to their van. We later learned that he had beaten up six policemen en route to the station.

Apparently, he'd been in training for a big illegal prize fight, and we were perfect sparring partners.

Barrels of fun: Piers in the cellar of his new enterprise

The big night in the Oak was always the annual bonfire parade. In East Sussex, this is a massive deal, with every village converging on each other's event in tribal colours, clutching burning poles and letting off rook-scaring firecrackers at all and sundry.

I vividly remember sitting amid a huge group of men in blue and white hooped shirts from Lewes chanting their pagan ritual songs: 'Remember remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot...'

As they reached a crescendo, the pub would explode with bangers and Catherine wheels and everyone hurled their beer into the air. It was filthy, dangerous and fantastically entertaining.

The Oak became a sanctuary as I reached my late teens. A place to escape the rigours of college and work. Village pubs are habitual, safe places. Same old faces, in the same old chairs, drinking the same old beer.

I liked nothing better than sitting in the corner by a roaring log fire on a Saturday morning, sipping a pint of the local brew, Harveys, and doing a crossword.

It would always smell of the night before - a toxic bouquetmix of cigarettes, booze and human sweat. But it also smelled of home.

Even now, when I walk into the Oak - sometimes straight from Gatwick Airport after a ten-hour flight from LA - I breathe in the familiar fumes and sigh with relief.

The day after I was fired from the Daily Mirror, I knew exactly where I needed to be to get away from the jubilantly frenzied media stomping on my professional grave. I drove to Sussex, parked my car outside the Oak, and walked down to the front door.

As I entered, a large number of my oldest friends were waiting, and delivered a perfectly timed slow handclap of mocking applause. It was the perfect antidote to the nonsense up in London. I took a bow, the applause increased in volume, then one of them said: 'Right, you may be the most humiliated man in Britain, but it's still your round. Get the beers in, Morgan.'

Three hours later, I retraced my old stumbling walk home (by now I'd bought the other half of my parents' house in Newick) and soaked in the comforting scent of springtime flowers in the village. All the angst and tension of the preceding two weeks dissipated.

Pubs have that effect on you. It's why I always understood why men such as George Best took solace in them.

I met him once, in a pub in Fulham on New Year's Eve. He was sitting in a corner with a friend, sipping white wine and fending off a neverending stream of admirers buying him drinks and wanting pictures. Besty was charm personified.

After midnight, I went over to say hello. He shook my hand, and listened to me reciting the same old 'You're the greatest footballer I've ever seen' mantra he'd heard a million times before.

I suspected he wasn't really listening. But I had my moment with a true sporting legend and he had a moment of cheap gratification from a fan. The kind that I think Best needed, and liked, despite his protestations to the contrary.

One of the best: George Best found solace in the relaxed atmosphere of a pub - something that new landlord Piers Morgan can appreciate

I watched him from afar for another couple of hours and saw a man completely at ease in the pub environment. He was genuinely never happier than when propping up a bar with a drink, among other regulars, chewing the fat and whiling away the time.

As I hit my 20s, I hit London and discovered bars. They seemed to me like lesser mortals to pubs - harsher, lighter and less, well, dirty. You had to wear smarter clothes and jostle with the throng to get a drink.

The truth is I've never liked bars the way I like pubs. I bought a house near Wimbledon with three of my old village mates, and we soon located the best local pubs. One gloriously rough dive in the centre of town was so disgusting the grime from the never-cleaned carpets would corrode your shoes like a flesh-eating bug.

But it felt real and authentic. And we'd happily lounge at the bar all night telling stupid stories and laughing our heads off before seeking a kebab or curry as blotting paper for our alcoholraddled bodies.

One night, Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins came in and drank us under the table. No, he really did end up under a table, gurgling but with a smile on his face.

Last summer, the same village mates and I went to a Test match at Lord's - as we do every summer - and ended up afterwards in Gordon Ramsay's nearby pub.

Ale and hearty: Piers enjoys a pint outside his pub

After calling him on location in the Borneo jungle to get his staff to find us a cigar cutter (my bold move worked - they did), we then conducted an impromptu armwrestling competition outside. You couldn't do this kind of thing in an American bar, you'd get arrested.

But in a British pub, anything - short of frightening the horses and upsetting the children - goes. So there we sat, grunting and groaning into our pints as we tried to break each others' arms. Very silly, yet very amusing too.

A couple of years ago, my little brother Rupert (he's actually 6ft 4in, but will always be little to me) became manager of the starry Punchbowl pub in Mayfair, co-owned by the aforementioned Guy Ritchie.

It was a perfect country-style place - no jukebox, video games or tawdry decor. Just a good old-fashioned drinkers' pub with good food out the back if you wanted it. The twist being that loads of celebrities went there, from Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to David Beckham and Sting.

Rupert's finest hour came when he answered the phone to me saying: 'Sorry bro, can't talk now, serving Clint Eastwood.'

My own favourite night there came after Freddie Flintoff had skittled the Aussies in the 2009 Ashes at Lord's. A few hours later he and his wife Rachael arrived at The Punchbowl in a taxi and he was wearing the biggest grin I've seen since Cherie Blair got lockjaw.

'Good day at the office, Mr Flintoff?' I enquired.

'Not bad, thank you, Mr Morgan,' he chortled. 'In fact, very satisfactory indeed!'

'Drink?' 'A pint of Guinness please.' He drank it like I imagine Guy the Gorilla used to drink his morning supply of milk at London Zoo, very fast and without seeming to touch the sides.

'Another?' 'Seems rude not to!' We spent the next few hours guzzling more beer, fine French claret, steak and chips and chocolate-chip pudding - followed by Amaretto chasers. Freddie was exactly as you'd imagine him to be - funny as Hell, the kind of guy you'd always want to find in a pub.

When my brother decided to move on from The Punchbowl a few months ago, I decided it was time to make a move into the pub ownership business myself - along with Rupert and another partner called Tarquin Gorst, who also co-owns The Punchbowl.

We looked at a number of places in West London before discovering that one of my local pubs, The Hansom Cab, was up for grabs.

It suited our purposes perfectly. Slightly run-down, but in a great area, with loads of potential. The roles of each partner is clearly defined: Rupert to manage it, Tarquin to do all the finances, and me to bring a bit of stardust to proceedings through my thirsty celebrity friends. (Incidentally, there must be pubs with a trio of owners with names posher than Piers, Tarquin and Rupert - I just haven't encountered one yet.)

It's been great fun getting stuck in to turning it round: painting walls, changing furniture, sticking up old photos and bringing in Ollie Couillard, a hot shot chef who used to cook at renowned restaurants Chez Bruce and La Trompette. It's important to offer seriously good pub food if you want to run a seriously good pub in London these days. I think we do that.

Two weeks ago, on the night that CNN threw a big party to launch my new American show, Piers Morgan Tonight, I took a load of guests down to The Hansom Cab afterwards. It was amusing seeing Dragons' Den stars Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones fighting to get served in my own pub against newsgirls Emily Maitlis and Sophie Raworth.

But not quite as amusing as watching Steve Jones, the disturbingly good-looking Welsh television heartthrob, stage-whispering to me: 'Where did you get those barmaids from? They're so fit!'

I looked to where he was pointing, and raised an eyebrow.

'Seriously, man, you don't see barmaids that hot in pubs normally...'

And on and on he drooled for quite some time, until eventually I felt compelled to clarify the situation as one of the objects of his fantastical lust re-emerged into view to pour him another pint of Harveys real ale.

'Steve,' I said, calmly.

'Yes Piers.'

'Meet Celia.'

'Hi Celia...'


'She's my wife.'

There was a deliciously long silence as the full horror of his behaviour dawned. At which point Jones collapsed into a curled-up ball of shame, moaning: 'No, no, no, no.'

Yes, my friend. Celia's now considering an offer to pull the pumps once a week.

Welcome regulars: Cricketer Andrew Flintoff and TV presenter Steve Jones have enjoyed Piers Morgan's hospitality

Later that evening, Lord Lloyd-Webber turned up with his wife Madeleine, and sat in a corner devouring a fine bottle of Mersault. Meanwhile, my CNN presidents, all three of them (Worldwide, International and America), drank real ale and saluted the unique magic of an old-fashioned British pub.

Thanks to the wonders of Twitter, word got out that a load of stars were in The Hansom Cab and locals began arriving in droves to join in the fun. I cranked up the music, got Celia to pour me another pint, and led the party.

Then came my most testing moment as a new pub owner - closing time. 'Lock-in?' asked one guest, desperately.

I looked at Rupert, who shook his head. 'No chance, bro, the police station's right next door.'

Near anarchy broke out as others realised that there would be no post-midnight drinking. But my horror at being the bad guy soon turned to joy at this new power I had.

'Get out, Bannatyne!' I ordered.

'And you, Jones!' They laughed, and went on their way. God, it felt good.

A few nights ago, I invited another load of friends down to The Hansom Cab for a party, including Freddie Flintoff (obviously), Amanda Holden, Katherine Jenkins and James Corden.

As we stood all night, laughing and joking over a few pints and bottles of wine, I realised that I'm simply never as happy as when I'm in a pub with friends and family.

There are 53,500 pubs in Britain, but the number is declining every year and nearly half the country's smaller villages no longer have a pub. This is a tragedy. Samuel Pepys described the pub as the heart of England, and he was so right. It's something we have that no other country does in the same way. The pub is a part of our fabric of society that should be protected at all costs.

Of course, things have moved on from Anglo-Saxon ale houses. There are now karaoke pubs, strip pubs, gothic pubs, biker pubs, rock pubs, Irish pubs and sports pubs. But the pub, in all its guises, remains an essential fixture of British life.

Not that I don't continue to experience humiliating moments in them. Strolling up to another local, The Crown, in my village of Newick last New Year's Eve, I was confronted by two security guards at the door.

'We're full up,' they said.

'But I've lived here 33 years,' I protested. 'Surely I can get a drink with my friends?'

One of the guards stared at me as if I'd just asked if I could run off with his daughter.

'What part of "full" don't you understand?' he sneered.

I looked inside and saw a number of my oldest friends having the time of their lives. Then it started to rain. All the celebrity status in the world wasn't going to save me now. I began the long, slow trudge home.

Piers Morgan Tonight begins on CNN on January 17.


From £32m to £269,000: Was huge fall in Robbie Williams’s income the real reason he rejoined Take That?

By Andrew Buckwell

He is one of pop’s most successful solo stars and is worth an estimated £80  million.

But Robbie Williams may have had more than musical motives when he rejoined Take That in July.

New figures suggest that his earnings from recording and touring dipped significantly in 2009, even though he released a solo album, Reality Killed The Video Star, at the end of that year.

Income from his business, The In Good Company Co, which was set up in 2002 to handle his recording and tour revenues, fell from a high of £32 million in 2006 to just £269,566 in 2009.

The company’s cash reserves dropped from £1.6 million in 2008 to £800,000 and profits from £708,000 to £555,000.

Williams’ music publishing business, Farrell Music, recorded losses of £536,000, while another of his companies, Little Youth, posted a loss of £65,000. Only the firm recorded a healthy profit of £400,000.

But while the star may not be as popular as in his heyday, he is far from impoverished. Industry sources point out that the new figures do not include his earnings from other sources, including the sale of merchandise, and said the figures reflected the ups and downs of a pop star’s income between albums.

One said that the £80 million deal he signed with EMI Records in 2002, the biggest in British record history, was now at an end, so the accounts no longer included advances from the record company.

The source added that Mr Williams, 36, was now being pursued by ‘every major record company’ but has yet to sign a new deal.

Moreover, his reunion with Take That is expected to net him £15 million from the release of the band’s new album, Progress, and next summer’s tour, the first to feature all five band members for 16 years.

Reunited: Robbie with bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen

In its first year, the In Good Company Co reported sales worth £34.9 million in what was a highly successful period for Williams.

The singer, whose solo hits include Angels, Let Me Entertain You and Rock DJ, enjoyed peaks in his earnings in 2004 and 2006 as he released and toured with his Greatest Hits and Rudebox albums.

When he signed his deal with EMI Mr Williams declared: ‘I’m rich beyond my wildest dreams.’

But the singer, who married American Ayda Field, 31, in August, later said: ‘Money is nothing to do with happiness. Sometimes I feel like cashing everything in and giving it all away.’

LOW POINT: Robbie Williams saw a significant drop in his earnings in 2009


Kate Middleton raises a smile... despite spending Christmas without William as his RAF duty calls

By Daily Mail Reporter

Home, Kate: Prince William's fiancee spent a family Christmas with her parents in Berkshire

It was their first Christmas as a betrothed couple – but Prince William and Kate Middleton did not spend it together.

Kate was with her family in Berkshire, while William volunteered to be on call with his search-and-rescue squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

It will probably be the last Christmas Kate will spend with mother Carole and father Michael – as next year she will be expected to be with the Royal Family.

The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday held up their wedding as a symbol of hope.

In his Christmas sermon, he said: ‘It is certainly cause for celebration that any couple, let alone this particular couple, should want to embark on the adventure of Christian marriage.

Top Guns: William joined his colleagues in the search and rescue squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey over Christmas
‘In this coming year, we, as a society, might want to think through, carefully and imaginatively, why lifelong faithfulness and the mutual surrender of selfishness are such great gifts.’


Kelly Brook's playing the field: Model holidays with ex Danny... but is still making a pitch for former rugby star Thom Evans

By Katie Nicholl

'Just good friends': Kelly Brook and Danny Cipriani are enjoying a sunshine break in the Maldives, pictured here before their split back in June in Los Angeles

Kelly Brook seems to be playing the rugby field.

The 32-year-old enjoyed a break in the Maldives with England star Danny Cipriani last week, yet all is far from over with former Scotland winger Thom Evans.

‘Kelly likes both Thom and Danny which is awkward as they have played rugby together.’ says a spy.

Playing the field: Kelly with former rugby star Thom Evans in London last month

‘She was trying to play down her holiday with Danny as she believes she has unfinished business with Thom.’

A spokesperson for Danny said: ‘They are not back together but remain good friends.’

Old flames: Kelly and Danny have reunited and are currently on holiday together

Gwyneth Paltrow's plans for first album

Gwyneth Paltrow is planning her own debut album after a foray into country singing.

The 38-year-old actress wife of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sang live on stage at last month’s Country Music Awards in Nashville.

Now outspoken country singer Toby Keith wants to help Gwyneth, left, with her album.

A pal said: ‘Politically, Gwyneth couldn’t be more different from Toby who writes songs about guns and strippers and even 9/11.

‘But he has offered his services as a back-up singer and writer for her album. She is open to the idea.’

Gwyneth plans to involve Beyonce, Jay-Z and Faith Hill on the album.

Her spokesperson said: ‘She doesn’t rule out recording, but there are no firm plans in place.’

Merry Ex-mas for Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard spent Christmas Day with former fiancee Elen Rives while his TV presenter girlfriend Christine Bleakley returned to see her family in Northern Ireland.

Elen, 35, invited the footballer to join her and their two daughters Luna, four, and Isla, three.

‘Frank had the kids to stay with him for a few days and then spent time with them at Elen’s,’ a source close to the family tells me. ‘They had a real family day together.’

Lampard is due to play for Chelsea against Arsenal tomorrow while Elen is preparing for her debut in ITV’s Dancing On Ice on January 9.

Kylie Minogue to put career before having children

Kylie Minogue may want children but she has put her career first.

Just two weeks ago the pop princess admitted that she was hopeful of becoming a mother through an egg donor, but those plans have changed.

Friends of the 42-year-old Australian singer, say she is going ahead with her huge European tour.

Earlier when talking about a family Kylie, who has been dating Spanish model Andres Velencoso, 32, for two years, said: ‘I do need to look at what might be potential paths that lead to a family. They can do incredible things now, especially in America.’

But my Aussie mole now reports: ‘She’s decided that she’d like to get one more tour out for her latest album Aphrodite.

‘A baby will take up a huge amount of her time, so while she’s seriously considering various fertility options she’s scrubbed her calendar for the tour.’

Kylie’s younger sister Dannii, 39, gave birth to her first child, a boy, in July.


Will Courteney Cox ring in a Happy New Year? Actress wears wedding band to festive bash... as estranged husband David Arquette parties in Hollywood

By Daily Mail Reporter

Not much Christmas cheer: Courteney Cox appears to be missing the Christmas spirit as she heads to a holiday party wearing her estranged husband David Arquette's wedding ring on her finger

Is Courteney Cox hoping for a New Year's reunion with her estranged husband David Arquette?The 46-year-old Cougar Town star was spotted heading to a Christmas Eve party in West Hollywood last night...wearing her wedding ring.
Cox removed the band from when the couple split back in October and this is the first time she's been seen out in public displaying the rock again.

However, Arquette may not be quite ready to kiss and make up. He was seen last night partying at the risqué Hollywood nightclub Voyeur, renowned for its semi-naked women hanging in nets from the ceiling.

After being pictured with her Cougar Town co-star Brian Van Holt at a party the night before, Cox turned up to last night's celebrations without a date.

Dressed in a plain back outfit with a white frilly shirt, the Friends actress brought her six-year-old daughter Coco as her 'plus one' instead.

While Coco happily skipped up to the front door of the private home, Cox looked decidedly glum and not as though she was in the mood to party.

Putting on a brave face: Courteney is doing her best to keep up the Christmas spirit for her six-year-old daughter Coco, but has always said that she hopes she and David will reunite

Cox and Arquette, 39, met on the set of the Scream movie in 1996. They were married for 11 years before splitting two months ago.

Arquette then went on Howard Stern's radio show and stated that the couple had not had sex for four months, and then added he had cheated on Cox with a waitress saying it made him feel "pretty manly."

While Cox has spent the last couple of months trying to remain low key about the split, Arquette has consistently been in the headlines with his partying, drinking and all-round bad behaviour.

Coco on the go: David has confessed that he 'pines' for Courteney and that he's signed all his Christmas cards from David, Courtney and Coco

In a recent appearance on the George Lopez television talk show, Arquette defended his behaviour, saying, 'That's my thing, I'm a fun-loving, great person.

'I refuse to let these magazines vilify me, make me a demon. I'm one of the best people you will ever meet. I've always been wild and crazy.'

However, last week Arquette was back on Howard Stern's show and confessed that he 'pines' for Cox 'once in a while,' and that he sent out his holiday presents and signed the cards, "David, Courteney and Coco."

When Stern asked Arquette if he was having a nervous breakdown over the split, Arquette replied: 'Absolutely.' He also said he's trying to give up drinking because he know when he does drink it turns him into 'a maniac.'

However, the following day he took to his Twitter account to backtrack on some of those comments. 'It is being reported that I'm having a Nervous Breakdown,' he tweeted. 'I assure you I am not. This stemmed from a joke I made.'

However, Arquette also tweeted that he had no intention of apologising for some of his other statements during the interview, including that he'd like to have a child with his ex - Drew Barrymore.

'I always speak my mind and I really don't care what people that don't know me may say,' he tweeted. 'I'm a good person with a huge heart. I thank those that have been on my side during this rough time.'

Yet despite Arquette's antics, Cox has always been hopeful that the two might reconcile, stating that their split is only a trial separation, which may explain why she's started wearing her wedding band again.

She recently told TV Week magazine: 'I don't know what will happen, but this is not like we're getting divorced.'

Party animal: David Arquette was spotted leaving the risque Hollywood nightclub Voyeur, where semi-naked dancing women are a part of the club's draw


It could be you: Ice Queen Kara Tointon gets frosty as she urges people to check their Christmas Eve Euromillions tickets

By Georgina Littlejohn

It could be you: Kara Tointon shimmers and sparkles as an Ice Queen as she crosses her fingers and urges Euromillions players to check their tickets today

She posed as a cabaret star and a pantomime character to promote last night's Euromillions Millionaire Raffle draw.

And today, with a world record on the verge of being broken, she shimmered in ice and diamonds as she and the National Lottery urged people to check their tickets.

Tointon, 27, who won this year's Strictly Come Dancing competition, looked like a sexy Ice Queen as she crossed her fingers and posed for a special shoot after the draw.

The Christmas Eve EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle will break the existing world record for the most millionaires in a single draw once more than 18 players have come forward, according to the National Lottery.

And today it urged players to check their tickets after 25 prizes of £1 million were won last night.

A Lottery spokesman said: 'It is great that we have four claims staked already, even with people busy celebrating Christmas.
'We urge everyone to check their tickets.'

Ice Queen: Kata clings to a group of huskies to promote last night's Lottery draw

Last week, Kara kept her fingers crossed for players when she posed for a couple of pictures to promote last night's draw.

The former Eastenders star was made the face of this year's Euromillions Millionaire Raffle draw and said hoped some of her recent good luck would rub off on anyone who took part.

In one she emulated Liza Minnelli in her 1972 film Cabaret as she poses on a chair in a halterneck waistcoat, hot pants, suspenders and a bowler hat, her fingers held up and crossed in front of a huge 25 sign made out of yellow lightbulbs.

The Money Song: Kara Tointon takes on Liza Minnelli as she adopts a Cabaret pose to promote this Friday's Euromillions Millionaire Raffle Draw

In another, she went for a completely different look as she gets in the festive spirit and dresses for pantomime in a glittery gold dress trimmed with faux white fur and knee-high boots.

And as she posed for the pictures, she said: 'What a draw, 25 people will wake up with £1million for Christmas, that would be the best Christmas present ever.

'I’ve had some amazing luck this year and I hope that I can pass some of that on to the country – I’m crossing my fingers for everyone. If I won I would be trying to find a plane to take me somewhere very hot, I need some time with my feet up!'

'Tis the season: Kara gets into the panto spirit in another shot for this weekend's draw

According to the National Lottery, Christmas Eve is the luckiest day of the year with more lottery jackpots of a £1 million or more won on December 24 across the past 16 years than on any other day in the year.

Kara and Artem beat off stiff competition from Pamela Stephenson and Matt Baker on Sunday to take home the coveted Strictly glitter ball trophy.

And she also managed to waltz into a love affair with Russian Artem, 28, as they shared a passionate kiss live on TV after weeks of 'are they, aren't they?' rumours.

Winners: Kara and Artem were crowned this year's winners of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing


Queen of chic: Her Majesty is a vision in fur as she leads Royal fashion parade at Christmas service

By Andy Whelan

Fur Queen and country: Her Majesty was all wrapped up as she attended the traditional Christmas service at Sandringham

At 84, no one would really expect the Queen to be a fashion icon.

But as she attended the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham, she was the picture of stylish elegance in co-ordinated fur hat and fur-trimmed coat.

The ‘Snow Queen’ look was completed with ultra-fashionable high-heeled boots, a chic white scarf and clasp, and black designer handbag.

She certainly turned heads among the 1,000 well-wishers who had gathered on the Norfolk estate, while her look also seemed to inspire the Duchess of Cornwall, who attended the service at St Mary Magdalene Church in similar Dr Zhivago-style headgear – but a much bigger version.

The Royal party also included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Observers say they could not remember so few Royals attending the Christmas Day service.

Princess Anne was notably absent, although her son Peter Phillips and wife Autumn are expecting their baby – the Queen’s first great-grandchild – any day now. Buckingham Palace also announced the engagement this week of Peter’s sister, Zara, to rugby star Mike Tindall.

Family affair: Her Majesty with granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

Sister Act: Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice looked cheerful and stylish as they arrived at the Sandringham church

Prince William was absent as he volunteered to work at RAF Valley on Christmas Day.

The Duke of Edinburgh decided to walk the quarter-mile from Sandringham House to the church with Prince Harry, while the Queen arrived by car. After the service, she was presented with photographs and flowers by local schoolchildren.

The Queen chose sport as the theme for her televised Christmas Day message, describing how it can teach values such as honesty, respect and a sense of community.

She said: ‘Apart from developing physical fitness, sport and games can also teach vital social skills. None can be enjoyed without abiding by the rules, and no team can hope to succeed without co-oper­ation between the players.

Snowy stroll: The Duchess of Cornwall linked arms with husband Prince Charles as they walked to the church with Prince Harry and the Duke of Edinburgh

‘This sort of positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds.’

But there was no mention of the forthcoming wedding of Prince ­William and Kate Middleton in the speech, which was filmed at Hampton Court Palace for the first time, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

Furry Christmas: The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall leave the church with Prince Philip - but many of the Royals were absent from the service


Torchwood star John Barrowman beats Fern Britton and Vince Cable to win Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special

By Daily Mail Reporter

'It's about time she won!': Torchwood star John Barrowman and 'Kristina Rihanoff are crowned the winners of the Strictly Come Dancing 2010 Christmas special

Torchwood star John Barrowman was crowned the winner of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special tonight.

The 43-year-old and partner Kristina Rihanoff gave an energetic and festive performance of the quickstep which thrilled the judges on the show which also included a guest performance from series ten winners Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev.

The former EastEnders star took to the stage with rugby player Gavin Henson, psychologist Pamela Stephenson and TV presenter Matt Baker.

Their performance came after Barrowman, dressed in a silver waist and matching waistcoat, won praise from the judges with Bruno Tonioli exclaiming, 'Do dazzlers come any more dazzling than John Barrowman! Is there anything you can't do?'

While an enthusiastic Len Goodman remarked, 'John, you jingled my bells. That was a great way to start the show.

But Craig Revel Horwood was slightly less than impressed by the performance.
'You did lose a bit of body contact and there was one kind of stumble moment,' he said.

Next to dance was impressionist Ronni Ancona will partner Anton du Beke who danced the Venetian Waltz.

Christmas treat: The pair gave an energetic performance of the quickstep

Leaning to the right: Business Secretary Vince Cable with partner Erin Boag

Then Anconer, who was dressed in a stunning red and white ball gown, joked: 'I had to play them all' when she received a standing ovation from the crowd.

But the judges had a mixed reaction, with Alesha Dixon commenting that she 'was a little bit shaky at times and a little bit skippy' at times.

Revel Horwood offered the harshest criticism, 'You had a major balance issue throughout,' he said. 'The spins were a little bit of a disaster.'

However Goodman was full of praise, calling Anconer: 'An absolute Christmas cracker.'

Although he did remark that she looked like 'a duck on ice' at times.
Business Secretary Vince Cable and partner Erin Boag were third to dance, performing the foxtrot.

Cheek to cheek: EastEnder's veteran June Brown performed an elaborate Tango routine with Vincent Simone

Alesha Dixon on June and Vincent: 'Loved the nose to nose action. It was so funny and June, I just want to say you're an inspiration'

The judges couldn't resist a few digs about the government with Revel Horwood joking, 'You do have a tendency to lean slightly to the right.'

Goodman also joked: 'I'm happier than a banker counting his Christmas bonus.'

Dixon said that she was especially pleased with Cable as she had danced with him previously.

The MP seemed nervous throughout the judges comments and later compared the former Prime Minister to Revel Horwood, joking: 'Gordon Brown is a pussycat compared to him.'

Former This Morning presenter Fern Britton and Matthew Cutler were fourth on the dancefloor, performing the jive.

Waltzing away: Anton Du Beke and Ronni Ancona during the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Fancy footwork: Ex-This Morning presenter Fern Britton and Matthew Cutler performing the jive

Britton looked stunning in a figure hugging peach costume and Tonioli was thrilled with her dance.

'You've got a really good sense of musicality and lovely legs,' he said.
'The kicks and flicks were a little lame,' said Revel Horwood.

'I thought you coped very well with all of those changes of rhythm.'

While Goodman said the dance was like a trifle, 'fruity up top and spongy on the bottom.'

Taking to the floor: Fern Britton and Matthew Cutler

EastEnder's veteran June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton in the BBC soap opera, performed an elaborate Tango routine with Vincent Simone.

'Loved the nose to nose action,' said Dixon. 'It was so funny and June, I just want to say you're an inspiration.'

But Revel Horwood pointed out that 'there wasn't a lot of dancing,' to the routine.

Host Tess Daly later praised June for being 'our most senior Strictly contender'. To which the 83-year-old joked, 'Will you stop it!'