Monday, January 5, 2009

New Articles on The Daily Dust today

New Articles on The Daily Dust today

Link to The Daily Dust

Andy Murray Rules The World

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 08:44 AM CST

Andy Murray has won the first tournament of 2009 with a win over Rafael Nadal in Abu Dhabi

The British number one followed up Friday’s defeat of Roger Federer with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over Nadal in the final of the exhibition tournament.

Murray collects US$250,000 for winning the event but beating Nadal and Federer will be of greater satisfaction.

“It was a tough match, he made me do a lot of running,” said the Scot.

“In the first game of the year you’re going to feel it a bit, but I thought it was a great match from both of us.”

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Downing Hands In Transfer Request

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 08:36 AM CST

Despite Management at Middlesborough repeatedly stressing they are not selling, Stewart Downing has clearly had enough and handed in a transfer request.

‘Boro Chairman Steve Gibson has stated, however, that no senior player will be leaving in the January transfer window.

“I can confirm that we have received an offer from Spurs for Stewart Downing and I can also confirm that we have rejected that offer,” Gibson told The Times.

“I’ve spoken to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and told him categorically that their interest is not welcome.”

“I’ve also told him that we will not entertain any further offers for Stewart or, for that matter, any other senior member of our squad. The same applies to Tuncay and it also applies to Gary O’Neil.

“I repeat: none of our senior players will be leaving the Riverside Stadium this month.”

Spurs and Harry Redknapp seem keen to sign up a lot of new players with Jermain Defoe looking certain to come back from Pompey..

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Big Brother’s Gangsta Paradise

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 07:28 AM CST

Is Coolio heading back to the top of the charts thanks to Channel 4?

One of the delights of the UK Charts is that by allowing digital sales to be counted, it’s possible for songs that have no record company push to return to the charts. We saw this with the rapid rise of Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah over Christmas, and we here at The Daily Dust are wondering if a certain American rapper is going to return to the charts this weekend?

Coolio is currently one of the house mates in Celebrity Big Brother, and is rightly famous for his Grammy award winning single Gangsta’s Paradise from the movie Dangerous Minds, which reached number one in 13 countries.

Gangsta’s Paradise was sitting at #86 in the iTunes Rap chart before he entered the house, and was #107 in the overall iTunes charts on Sunday. The track is climbing, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some more positive coverage gets him to the top in itunes, and with that counting for official chart sales, into this weekend’s Top 40. At that point anything could happen, but one thing is for sure…

Depending how the rest of the week goes on the Channel 4 highlights, there might be an unexpected royalties cheque to pick up when he get evicted!

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Ulrika First Up For Evicition

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 04:54 AM CST

Ulrika Jonsson may have lost her golden touch as she has been nominated for eviction

After forking out £175,000 to get the Swedish TV presenter on the show, Channel 4 bosses are hoping for more value for money and crossing everything in the hope she isn’t evicted.  Jonsson is the highest-earning contestant yet.

Ulrika, 41, was nominated for the chop when Big Brother told head of house, Manchester DJ and former Word presenter, Terry Christian, that his privileges included nominating which of his fellow celebs should be up for eviction.

He responded by saying Ulrika had the most inflated ego and should go.

Today, Terry, who is immune from the first eviction, will have to choose a second celebrity to face the chop. The housemates will be asked to showcase the skills that have made them famous and the Manchester DJ will decide who displays the least talent.

He is expected to be asked to nominate a third celebrity later in the week. The first eviction, expected to be decided by a viewer phone vote, will take place on Friday.

There is a chance of another two celebrities to join the already full house, with Steve Strange’s Friday no show, and a rumour that a certain Ian Wright (Ex-Arsenal and England Soccer star and now Talksport radio presenter) may join on Wednesday..

More on those rumours as soon as we hear more.

Make sure you get our updates daily by email.

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Review: Oh dear, oh dear, oh Demon.

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 04:34 AM CST

ITV’s Buffy Clone Fails To Impress

This was meant to be the big tent-pole fantasy series for ITV to ancho. This had all the hallmarks of a franchise. How could a vampire hunt, kung fu, demon-fest fail? It even has Philip Glenister in the Mentor role, for crying out loud.

For a long time, this was called "Untitled Van Helsing Project." It then got an upgrade to "Last of the Van Helsings," which at least carried some sort of promise of mythology in the title. But as it reached ITV, it was renamed "Demons."

And it’s absolute rubbish.

The first two minutes held so much promise, with a creepy library, an assistant filing papers, and a small… thing… jumping out and killing her. Perfect. And then the theme tune starts and instead of a broody gothic number with some rock influences, there’s some cheesy music that sounds like Whigfield thought she could write "Phantom of the Opera."

What there was of the plot was telegraphed so far in advance you expect Simon Cowell to pop up and tell you who is going to be Christmas number one come December 2009, the effects wouldn’t look out of place in a Tex Avery cartoon- actually I think Tex Avery would be embarrassed if these showed up on his watch.

Oh and don’t get me started on Mackenzie Crook’s plastic nose – it’s as false and ludicrous as Glenister’s american accent.

One to avoid.

If you can stomach it, Demons will be on ITV next Sunday at 7.20pm.

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A Week Of Freezing Conditions

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 04:28 AM CST

Severe weather warnings of ice on the first day back to work in 2009
Snow, black ice and sub-zero temperatures helped create travel chaos for the big return to work today.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for London and the south-east England this morning, with icy roads and slippery pavements.  It also predicts temperatures as low as -9c in some areas tonight!

These conditions are set to stay all week with a belt of snow, sleet and fog expected for the next seven days.

Benson in Oxfordshire and South Farnborough in Hampshire both hit -9c on Saturday night, making them the coldest places in the UK since 1997.

That is still a long way from the UK’s lowest recorded temperature of  -27.7c (-17f), which was set in December 1995 in the tiny Scottish village of Altnaharra, Sutherland.

Brrrr - don’t get us started on global Warming..

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No Proof Of ID, No Cheese

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 04:13 AM CST

Morrisons require proof of age to buy Whisky flavoured cheese..Hannah Craig, 30, said: "When she put the cheese through the scanner it made a bleeping sound.

"The assistant said she needed to see my ID to prove I was 18 to buy it. I thought it was a practical joke.”

Hannah continued:"Luckily I had my passport with me."

A store spokesman said the cheese's barcode flagged up its alcohol content.

He added: "We take our responsibilities very seriously."

Why don’t the stores look at the children under 10 hospitalised due to alcohol or the happy hours and binge drinking problems currently sweeping the UK.

All sounds a bit cheesy to us.

Hat Tip to the Sun

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Could This Be The Year of Vinyl?

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 03:49 AM CST

Humble ‘45 Striking a Chord with Music Aficionados.

Although it won;t see the commercial heights of 1979, where over 89 million of them were sold, artists and fans alike are returning to the 7" Single format, which is good news, as the BBC has found out today.

With sales of over a million discs, Roy Matthews and his pressing plant company, Portalspace, are seeing a continued demand for the vinyl pressed record that can hold two songs (one per side unless you are Monty Python and put two grooves on one side for a three sided record).

The single was once the gold standard of how you measured a performers popularity, and while recent decades have seen ideas like the concept album, the music video and the ‘greatest hits collection’ be the standard measure, the rise of the MP3 and the public’s fascination with single music tracks that they can play list themselves is surely one of the reasons that artists are returning to the 45rpm format.

Of course having something physical in your hand is one of the advantages of vinyl over the MP3, but the sensible band should be selling both the single, and a voucher to get a free download of the MP3.

And there is a little irony that as the 7" returns to the market, the place that everyone remembers going to buy the latest song, Woolworths, is no more.

(Hat tip to the BBC for The Revived 45).

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Give ‘The Power’ A Knighthood

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 02:56 AM CST

Phil Taylor wins his 14th World Championship Darts Title

In any other sport he would be lauded, have every single tabloid newspaper chasing him, and have been declared BBC Sports Personality of the Year three times (beating Henry Cooper’s record). And last night he extended the majesty of his career as he became the 14 times World Champion.

Phil "The Power" Taylor is probably not only the best Darts player to have ever lived, but the greatest living sportsman certainly in the UK, and maybe even the World.

In a one-sided match, the world number one, Taylor, took on the world number two, Raymond van Barnevald. It;s a match up that has happened many a time, not least in the 2007 final, but a repeat of that nail-biter was never going to happen, as the 48 year old Stoke resident stode out to a two set lead that he never looked like conceeding.

After the sold out final at Alexandra Palace, Taylor said “I’m sorry for Raymond but one of us had to lose and I’m glad it wasn’t me.” With an average score of 109.76 per three darts (another record in a final), he easily added the title to more than 75 career major wins.

For all the fuss over Olympic medals, Knighhoods and other Honours, Taylor (the first Darts player to earn over a million pounds) is still a commoner. Why? He’s been playing at the top of his game for over 20 years, he’s the undisputed champion, and has managed six nine-dart finishes live on TV.

Sir Power has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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Uk Eurovision Contestants Under The Microscope

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 12:01 AM CST

The six Eurovision hopefuls in “BBC 1’s Your Country Needs You” are unveiled.

After patiently wading through thousands of entries from hopefuls, carefully working out the fine points in auditions, and travelling all over the continent to garner votes… it’s now time for Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Graham Norton to get serious about the 2009 Eurovision national final, as the six lucky acts were revealed to the public last night on BBC One. So, who are the six? And what do my fellow contributor Ewan and myself (no strangers to Eurovision…) think of their chances?

Emperors Of Soul

These five black close-harmony singers from London are named after a Temptations album, which hints at their roots - lead singer Gerod started the group as a Temptations tribute band, but changed the line up to include his friends, including an ex-member of 1980s acapella singers The Flying Pickets, who scored the 1983 Christmas #1 in the UK with their cover of The Platter’s “Only You”.

Well, they certainly have the experience in the music industry, but their big problem is their genre of music - despite Lord Webber saying he could have a lot of fun with writing and arranging music for them, soul is not a particularly popular style at Eurovision (we had arguably Dave Benton & Tanal Padar for Estonia in 2001, but that was a much more poppy sound compared to what we’ve heard of these boys) Also, Lordi being the obvious exception, bands aren’t in vogue and haven’t been for a while - not including groups such as Katrina & The Waves, which are really a singer and backing vocalists, you have to go back over 20 years for the last group to win Eurovision - and that was Bobbysocks, a duo rather than a five part harmony group. The form is not good…

Charlotte Finlay-Tribe

This Essex girl is the youngest of the sextet of hopefuls, and has been a dancer in various adverts. A former pupil at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London (as well as the likes of Amy Winehouse and Emma Bunton), she also has West End stage experience (in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and despite admitting “I’m a little bit worried about my words, because I only learned them yesterday…”, she wowed Lord Andrew with her performance of Duffy’s “Mercy” at the final audition.

She’s certainly pretty and willing to put the work in - but the advice given to Lord Andrew time and time again on his fact finding mission was “take it more seriously - you must be more professional in your outlook“. It remains to be seen whether she will be professional enough - and her dislikes are listed as “pre-show nerves” which can kill a performance stone dead…

Damien Flood

A songwriter and resident singer at a bar in Charing Cross, this Londoner is no stranger to public performances. As well as his regular gig, he’s been on the stage in three musicals and is a Performing Arts graduate from Middlesex University. He’s also appeared on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV1 last year, doing backing vocals for the legendary Tom Jones.

This guy certainly has the experience. A pub crowd is not the easiest of audiences to work and he’s also clearly comfortable with appearing on television. He put in a rousing performance of “Who Wants To Live Forever” at his final audition, which impressed me for one. And, on a more frivolous note, his father is Irish - probably the nation most associated with Eurovision! Between us, we think he will do very well.

Francine and Nicola Gleedall

19-year old identical twin sisters from Sheffield are the classic “twin stereotype” - they even work the same shift at Morrison’s Supermarket! They’ve done work as extras, and sang in a band at school. They are no stranger to the reality TV mill having already auditioned in the 2008 X-Factor, and have appeared on Myspace as part of the five piece group “Sdollz”.

You really cannot fault these ladies for trying, putting the failure to make an impact on one reality show behind them, and having another go with this one; but, watching the show last night showed up what must be their main weakness - they have terrible trouble with nerves and seemed to be always in floods of tears. They won’t get away with that at BBC Television Centre - never mind in front of an audience of thousands at the Moscow Olympic Arena.

Mark Evans

A young Welshman, Mark went to London to seek his fortune and found it on the stage, appearing in West End musicals like Spamalot and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. He’s also had dance tuition and has strutted his stuff for the likes of Will Young, Liberty X and Gareth Gates. His latest stage appearance was in pantomime, but his rousing performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at his final audition showed he was no stranger to the serious side of singing.

Another strong contender, already being tipped in internet forums as the likely candidate. His current gig in pantomine practically writes it’s own headlines, not to mention his appearance in the Monty Python musical “Spamalot” but his background in more serious musicals should sway the doubters. Definitely one to watch.

Jade Ewen

This Plaistow girl is the former singer with R&B band Trinity Stone, and was a late choice for the final six. “She needs a lot of [vocal] work…but she’s got a good basic voice and she’s very willing”, was Lord Andrew’s opinion of Jade, who’s also got TV work in shows like The Bill and West End stage experience behind her as a teenager. She’s also another Sylvia Young theatre school graduate.

Well, she appeared as a surprise very late in the day, and while she’s had not one but two recording contracts behind her already (with Sony BMG and RCA), she’s not been able to make any impact on the music scene with them. She is an unknown quantity - but I can’t stop seeing the 2005 UK representative Javine in her - and whether she could improve on the 22nd we got then, well, I don’t know.

So, the six hopefuls have been chosen - it’s now down to the Great British Public to decide who will have a date with destiny in Russia…

“Your Country Needs You” continues on BBC One at 6.45pm on Saturday, January 10. Stay tuned to the Daily Dust for updates, opinions and the latest news during our National Final for Eurovision

The BBC Eurovision site

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