After Dreamgirls and Chicago made the successful transition from theatres to cinemas, this summer sees the arrival of Mamma Mia! in multiplexes. The hit musical which has charmed audiences on Broadway and in the West End, is based on the songs of Swedish quartet ABBA and promises to be a must see flick for us ladies. The plot is a generational mix focusing on the mother daughter relationship between Meryl Streep’s Donna and Amanda Seyfried’s (Mean Girls) young bride-to-be Sophie. Never having met her father, Sophie invites the three main contenders to attend the big event, these consisting quite happily of Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård.
Of course, this causes much comic confusion, romantic wrangles and soul-searching. Add to this the fantastic songs, a sunny island paradise and silly sidekick Julie Walters and Mamma Mia! looks set to be a huge girly treat for the summer. Take a peek with the trailer below or swot up on the film at the official site. All together now – “You can dance, you can can jive…”
Coleen McLoughlin has been voted the nation’s most fashionable style icon. The fiancé of Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney topped the poll conducted by Look magazine, beating celebrated fashionistas supermodel Kate Moss and actress Sienna Miller to the crown. Coleen’s fellow WAGs Victoria Beckham and Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole filled out the top five in the survey which quizzed 1,200 women aged between fifteen and forty-five.
Look’s editor Ali Hall commented on Coleen’s success: “Coleen has transformed herself from Puffa-jacket schoolgirl to style icon in just a few years. Women relate to her as she’s more shapely than your average Wag. She doesn’t mind splashing out on a designer ‘it’ item but mixes it with the great stuff available on the high street. She’s not afraid to try out the latest trends but will hold her hands up and admit she gets it wrong sometimes.” To learn more about Coleen, her autobiography ‘Welcome to My World’ is available at Amazon, while her TV programme ‘Coleen’s Real Women’ is being shown on ITV2.
Early single and download sales suggest that she’ll spend a second week at number one this Sunday with the fabulous song American Boy, but who is Estelle? Estelle (Swaray) is a 28-year-old Londoner. She launched her musical career with her debut album The 18th Day in 2004 working from her own record label Stellar Ents. She has since signed to US soul singer John Legend’s label Homeschool Records, through which she will release her second album, Shine next Monday.
Now establishing herself as a major new talent, Estelle is working with the likes of Legend, Kanye West (he features on American Boy), The Black Eye Peas’ Will.I.Am and Mark Ronson. She is confirmed to perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival and so for those of you looking forward to donning your wellies for the event, watch Estelle’s video for American Boy below, or read up on her at her official site.
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For those of you who have missed your fix of dysfunctional LA family the Walkers, there is good news as American drama Brothers and Sisters returns to our screens this weekend. Sadly, there is some bad news as after season one underperformed in the ratings, Channel 4 has now seen fit to relegate the show to its digital channel E4 and at the later time slot of 11pm. This all seems like a bit of a waste – what audiences do they expect to attract in such an apparent graveyard shift?
However for dedicated fans, the excitement of the second season shouldn’t be diminished and the clan is all back with more familial commotion. The action resumes a year after the death of the family’s patriarch and a gloomy shadow is cast over Kitty’s birthday celebrations. Starring Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal), Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under) and Hollywood veteran Sally Field, get familiar with the Walkers at the Channel 4 site.
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Everyone likes to be fashionably dressed, but the new trend for this summer might not be one for the masses – Hammer pants. Named after 80s rapper MC Hammer who famously danced in them to tunes such as Can’t Touch This and Pray, Hammer pants are harem, belly dancer style trousers with a baggy, saggy crotch. The outlandish style of pants had been in the fashion wilderness, but is now enjoying a comeback. They come in various lengths, ranging from knee-length shorts to full-on trousers and different degrees of bagginess.
Such options are in place to help customize the Hammer look to your body shape, but such ballooned clothing might still remain the domain of the most fashion experimental among us. If you like the sound of Hammer pants check out the range at La Redoute (the soft grey harem pants in white, picture above cost £27) or ASOS (Diesel, £50).
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Channel 4 has announced its new line-up of shows for the summer season and there are some treats in store – whatever your televisual appetite. The big news is that Bafta-nominated chef Heston Blumenthal is waving farewell to the BBC to join Channel 4 in a two-year deal that will see him trying to resuscitate the ailing Little Chef chain of roadside cafes. Foul-mouthed favourite Gordon Ramsay returns with The F Word, while Davina McCall will be back for Big Brother 9.
Chat show fans are well served, with Charlotte Church returning to screens for the first time since the birth of her daughter Ruby in September last year. Come Dine With Me has earned itself a primetime slot, while it will be the last stint for husband and wife duo Richard and Judy. Channel 4 retains its commitment to comedy with Peep Show and the raucous The Friday Night Project set to return. Co-host Justin Lee Collins will continue his reunion themed shows, this time focusing on the Star Wars films and style guru Gok Wan will again teach people How to Look Good Naked.
For news on upcoming and current shows on Channel 4, head on over to the network’s official site.
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Having proved popular across the Atlantic, the animated film Horton Hears a Who! has repeated its box office success here in the UK, topping the charts. The comedy which features the vocal talents of comics Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell earned just less than three million pounds on its opening weekend. It beat off stiff competition from another family friendly film, The Spiderwick Chronicles as the cinemas played host to children over the Easter break. Other new entries filling out the top four were dance drama Step Up 2: The Streets and spoof comedy Meet the Spartans starring Sean Maguire.
Last week’s number one, 10,000 BC fell to number five. Will Katherine Heigl in all her bizarre bridesmaid dresses knock the Dr. Seuss adaptation from its perch atop the box office or will comedy reign supreme over romance? Head on over to the Internet Movie Database on all current and new releases.
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Hands up who misses The O.C. Good news as the latest teen-based American show, Gossip Girl, is debuting on British screens on ITV2 at 10pm on Thursday. The drama, based on the best-selling series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, clearly seeks to fill the void left by the likes of Seth and Summer and has been a huge hit stateside. So what’s the gossip on Gossip Girl? Quite simply it’s the emotional highs and lows of a pack of privileged and beautiful youngsters on New York’s Upper East Side. Everyone is rich, attractive and about to realise that their seemingly perfect worlds are far from idyllic, most especially Blair Waldorf who is shocked by the surprise return of a face from her past.
There’ll be lots of girly bitchiness, sexy hook-ups and new man candy to savour, with leading man Chace Crawford already establishing a heartthrob following in the US. Can’t wait until tomorrow night? Learn more about Gossip Girl at the ITV website.
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There seems to be a sudden influx of American programmes hitting British airwaves at the moment (not that we’re complaining, keep it coming please!) and this Wednesday marks the return of an established Stateside favourite – Desperate Housewives. The ladies of Wisteria Lane return to Channel 4 at 10pm for their fourth season and they promise plenty of their trademark dark drama and quirky laughs.
Season three ended with many unresolved plots that will require attention, including Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) trying to kill herself, Gabriella (Eva Longoria Parker) realising that her new husband was a scoundrel, Susan (Teri Hatcher) marrying Mike, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) being diagnosed with cancer and Bree (Marcia Cross) pretending to be pregnant – while there will also be a new crop of residents to keep things even more exciting. To refresh your memory of all things DH or to swot up on the new series, head on over to the Channel 4 website.
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Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl proved herself a bona fide movie actress in last year’s Knocked Up and now she is the entering more traditional rom-com fare with 27 Dresses. The concept of the film is pretty simple – Katherine as nice girl Jane is always the bridesmaid and never the bride and guess how many times she’s done this? Yep, a whopping 27! She plans the wedding of her sister to the man she loves (played by Ed Burns), only to meet a handsome stranger (Enchanted’s wonderful James Marsden.) Of course this being a rom-com, the ending seems pretty obvious – I suspect love and a happy ending, but isn’t that the charm of it all?
27 Dresses performed well in the US and is set to captivate romance-starved audiences here in Blighty when it opens this Friday. See the trailer below or head to the movie’s official site.
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