Archives for category: Celebrity

If you’d just spent 3 weeks in Bali, one of the most famously exotic and beautiful holiday destinations in the world, and then told me you needed to take two weeks to do nothing on a tropical paradise beach in order to recover, I would quite rightly tell you to piss off and get a grip.

Never being one to take my own advice, and more to the point, never being one to tell my girlfriend to piss off or get a grip, we went to a tropical paradise beach, immediately after spending 3 weeks in Bali.

In fairness, between the snorkelling, the mopeds, the dolphins, monkeys, tropical fish and coral reefs, poo flavour coffee, torrential rain storms and waterfall seeking hikes, Bali had been a bit knackering, and we felt like we’d earned ourselves a bit of a sit down.

After a little browsing around the Internet we booked ourselves on to the next plane to Sulawesi. Apparently it’s the world’s eleventh biggest island, but judging by the reception we got we were the first white people to have discovered it.

When we walked out of Arrivals it felt as though we’d stepped on stage at Glastonbury. While a slight murmur greeted the Indonesians who preceded us through the door, when we came out it was like every taxi driver in south east Asia was there to roar their approval. Our own driver and host for the fortnight Eriq, told us that this was quite normal, that we would be celebrities in his little seaside town and we should expect plenty of people taking photos for the next two weeks. Of course we laughed this off thinking Eriq was having a little fun at our self importance, so proud were we to have been the centre of attention at the airport. Not half an hour later, having enjoyed a very good lunch at a roadside cafe, we were surrounded by the whole wait staff, management and their families, posing for pictures for ten minutes.

Just as Eriq had predicted, the next two weeks were full of much the same.

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The girls in the last picture practically had seizures. They ran in to the sea with tears streaming down their faces, screaming, laughing, splashing each other with water, weeing, vomiting and evacuating their bowels with the sheer unadulterated joy of having had their pictures taken with a couple of crackers.

All the boys wanted to ask me about Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and David Beckham, while the girls just wanted to be photographed next to Lovisa and her lovely white skin. While initially great fun and quite hilarious, it’s all really incredibly tragic. These beautiful people, from the most wonderful place on earth, with their own unique culture, desperately want to be just like us; a bunch of overweight, wasteful, arrogant arseholes who have spent the last couple of hundred years trying to fuck up as much of the world as possible.

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Greetings bastards. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the sun or snow or whatever weather conditions you’ve been subjected to over the last week and a bit. I’ve been dosing up on an enormous amount of vitamin D, straight chillin on the beach in Hawaii, like a right spoilt little sod.

Before we get to that though we have some recapping to do, so get comfortable and ready yourself for Chapter 35: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a sprawling enormousness of a city, much more a collection of small towns than anything else. We stayed in Downtown. In pretty much every other city in the world ‘downtown’ means where the action is and where it’s fun to go. In Los Angeles it means where the crack is and where it’s fairly terrifying to go. Ok, maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that, but aside from our very lovely hotel, the surrounding neighbourhood was yet another example of the American antipathy towards its empoverished peoples. Wherever you go in this country, a large community of mostly black, homeless and/or drug addicted people is never far away. For this I would just like to say a few swear words. Fuck you America, you racist wankers. Pay taxes, look after each other, stop pretending to be leaders of the free world when you don’t have your own shit together.

Ahem.

Sixth form politics aside, downtown LA is great, if nothing else for the fact that you can walk to Little Tokyo in around ten minutes and eat unbelievable sushi for an extraordinarily good price, then be home before sundown, when the really scary men come out to play.

If you find abject poverty a little galling it might interest you to know that a short bus ride away live some of the richest people in the world, in a little town called Beverly Hills. And if you’re willing and silly enough, you can pay someone to drive you around and show you their houses. I know deep down that I ought to sneer at celebrity obsession culture, and I appreciate that it is weird and voyeuristic to creep up to people’s houses just to see what vulgar monstrosity they’ve spent their latest royalty check on. But I defy anyone I know not to shit themselves and lose all sense of perspective when they get told they’re sitting just footsteps away from Danny Devito’s front lawn.

Of course you don’t have to go to Beverly Hills in an open top bus to see a celebrity. If you hit the beach down in Venice, among the ‘doctors’ who will give you an on the spot ‘assessment’ and ‘prescription’ for ‘medical’ marijuana, the skateboarders who will give you a massive inferiority complex with all the rad tricks they can pull off while absolutely off their tits, the busking pianist with the cat, and the man with the implausibly relaxed dog whose belly you can rub for a small donation; in amongst all the weirds you can see Will.I.Am making a new music video. Or at least you could if you went last Monday like we did.

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In summary, LA is like everywhere else in America. It has a drinking problem, it has obscene wealth, its inhabitants are accordingly mental and despite all its obvious flaws, I liked it.

So this trip is turning in to quite a celebrity spotters dream. Yesterday afternoon though, things went kerazy. The Nicky Minaj thing was a staged meet and greet that we happened to wonder in to, Peter Andre isn’t really famous or at least he certainly shouldn’t be. But yesterday, straight up in the middle of the street, we walked past this woman.

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Yeah that’s Leonard Hofstadter’s mum from Big Bang Theory, or Tanya from Mamma Mia or Mary Sunshine from Chicago or Christine Baranski, star of stage and screens both big and small for the last 30 years.

But to me, and hence why seeing her in the flesh was so flipping exciting because its one of the best roles in one of the best films of all time, she will always be Becky Martin-Granger, camp director at “America’s foremost facility for privileged young adults,” Camp Chippewa.

Today was an improbably marvellous day. Consider that two days ago, the weather looked like this:

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Furthermore, the forecast for this week was for lots more rain with occasional sunny intervals. Not that I mind. It’s October now and you’d be a bloody fool to think the weather wouldn’t get a bit shit in New York at this time of year. I’ve got a jolly good waterproof jacket with me and will hold no grudge should I have to use it some more.

Today I did not wear that jacket.

Today was sitting outside under a cloudless blue sky, drinking Snapple kind of weather.

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What a beauty.

Today was also spotting Cypro-Aussie reality TV show and some-time-singing celebrities kind of weather.

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Yes friends, that really is Peter Andre filming his latest god awful, who gives a shit?, ITV2 series, right here in New York City. To think I lived in the same city as this shiny bronze clown for over 3 years, and I finally bump in to him on a different continent.

A week ago, I got to play Ghostbusters in TriBeCa. Today, Lovisa got to play Sex and the City in West Village. Here is Carrie Berglund leaving Magnolia Bakery with a box of goodies, just as Miss Bradshaw and her little friends used to.

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It must be said, a visit to Magnolia Bakery is not just for fans of Sex and the City. It is also for cynical old bastards like me who don’t understand what all the fuss is about with cup cakes or why, over the last few years, they’ve become more popular than Jesus (of course now i know that the reason they’ve become so bloody popular is bloody Magnolia Bakery and Sex and the bloody city). When you eat one of their cakes you can no longer be cynical about anything. You can only feel unbridled joy, a sugary peace and spongey contentment stuck in your teeth and almost certainly smeared across your lips and the tip of your nose. Delicious.

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Of course no visit to West Village would be complete without seeing a pig being taken for a walk. Wait, what?

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I forgot to mention that yesterday we found ourselves in a room full of candy floss and unicorns and security guards and photographers when we took the lift the wrong way at Macy’s. Unfortunately we didn’t spend $155 on a gift set including her new fragrance and a VIP Barbie pass, so we didn’t actually get to meet Nicki Minaj, but I took a picture anyway because my life might yet amount to nothing more than having been in the same room as a pint size rapper.

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