• The List
  • 20 December 2006

Plucking fruits from the cultural bush

Oprah Winfrey will be taking some very long, very deep breaths at news that Kitty Kelley is working on a book about the broadcasting queen’s life. After all, the controversial biographer got the world into a flap over her books about Frank Sinatra (a philandering mobster) and Nancy Reagan (an astrology fiend with a taste for more than just Sinatra’s music), and as Kelley begins her intensive research for the unauthorised work, Oprah will be musing over some serious hibernation . . . Ed Harris has been added to the cast of upcoming thriller The Cleaner which already stars Samuel L Jackson as a man who mops up crime scenes. Harris plays the detective involved in one crime scene mystery which leaves Jackson as a suspect. Renny Harlin is directing . . . After his well-deserved success at the British Comedy Awards last month, word is up that Stephen Merchant is pondering a return to the stand-up scene he left before The Office job took up too much of his time . . . After a busy old 2006, Irvine Welsh is hard at it on two new books. The first, due out in August, is a bunch of short stories under the title of If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work while the second, entitled Crime, is planned for publication in late 2008 . . . Less of an enjoyable prospect is more Ant and Dec on Saturday night telly. This summer they will front Britain’s Got Talent, another Simon Cowell brainwave borrowed from America which has everyone from singers to fire-eaters trying to impress Cowell and his co-judges David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan. Save our souls.

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