If this seems like a publicity stunt, that’s because it is. The Evening Standard was recently acquired by a Russian businessman and former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev for the whopping price of a pound. Moreover, like U.S. papers, the Evening Standard is facing stiff competition from free publications which has eaten away its circulation revenue.
Unlike its rival tabloids, the Evening Standard is not known for outrageous stunts such as the “sting” engineered by the News of the World to “buy” one of the child stars of the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” In fact, as Roy Greenslade, a journalism professor and blogger for The Guardian points out, the Evening Standard’s reputation is not bad at all.
“If you take away the politics, the rest of the newspaper is pretty good,” Greenslade told the Daily Finance.
What may have prompted the Evening Standard to “apologize” was its role in driving London’s controversial mayor Ken Livingston from office. U.S. readers should note that the tradition of journalists being objective is an American phenomena, and a fairly recent one at that. Papers in the U.K. and in other parts of the world take on avowedly partisan tones.
According to Greenslade, market research by the paper’s new owners found that Londoners found it to be too negative. When it comes to Livingston, a controversial politician nicknamed “Red Ken,” the criticism was justified.
“The campaign against Ken Livingston was over the top,” Greenslade said.
The Evening Standard is taking its campaign directly to the people of London with signs saying sorry and sorry for being negative, for taking you for granted, for being complacent and for being predictable appearing on the city’s public transportation system.
Unfortunately, many of the paper’s journalists worked there under the old ownership. This has made them wonder whether they owe anyone an apology and has damaged morale, Greenslade said.
“It’s unprecedented,” he said. “I have never known any newspaper that would dare do such a thing.”
But if it works, expect American newspapers to start apologizing in droves.
Well it’s that time of year when all the votes counted (over 10 million) from men and women in the world who vote for FHM UK’s Sexiest Woman In The World, here is the top 10 list - remember this is the UK version of FHM.
10. Freida Pinto
This year’s highest new entry, the Mumbai model made her film debut in Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire last year and rocketed straight into number two on everyone’s list of favourite Indians (Sachin Tendulkar remains strong in first position, but she nudged Gandhi down to third, who can only expect to drop further if he continues his stubborn refusal to contemporise his image like Madonna does). Now BAFTA-nominated, the 24-year-old had previously been presenting a television travel show and appearing in Skoda adverts.
Last year’s shock entry was Elisha Cuthbert, reaching the No.4 spot simply by dint of breathing. This year, another 26-year-old crashes into the Top Ten – again, it seems, solely on the basis of TV nostalgia. It can’t be Kristin’s role in Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li. Nope, us neither. So it must be her role as Superman’s girl in Smallville driving the votes. Or Superman himself, repeatedly pressing the “submit” button on FHM.com like a demented supersonic jackrabbit.
7. Elisha Cuthbert
She’s been beaten, kidnapped and shot at. Hell, she’s even been chased by a cougar. But you can’t keep a good girl down, so, come ‘Day Seven’, Kim Bauer’s back, pouting provocatively and running chestily. And, fantastically, 24 isn’t this coquettish, Top Ten stalwart Canadian’s only showcase. No, the 27-year-old also stars in The Six Wives Of Henry Lefay, a ‘comedy’ where she juggles six stepmothers at her father’s funeral. Hmmm, maybe you should stick to 24, or download The Girl Next Door – Elisha plays an ex-porn star.
6. Adriana Lima
Now entering her tenth year on the catwalk, Brazilian supermodel Lima is so perfect that her government uses her picture to make Brazilians not mind about all that City Of God stuff. A strict Catholic, she was believed to be the only 28-year-old virgin left on the planet until she married on Valentine’s Day this year. Lima volunteers in an orphanage in her home town where the small boys ask her for cuddles, look down her top and then high-five each other the second that her back’s turned.
5. Keeley Hazell
It’s a mystery of modern times that Keeley, despite consistently featuring in the 100 Sexiest’s Top Five, has never nabbed the top spot. Is it because she’s too nice? Has her green campaigning diluted the appeal of what is, without doubt, the UK’s most revered frontage? Or is she just in limbo? She’s overtaken David Beckham as the most Googled Brit in the US. The 22-year-old is taking drama and psychology classes. She’s started her own modelling agency. And she’s single. Our girl’s doing just fine.
4. Britney Spears
Like a slightly unhinged chameleon, Britney Spears can change her appearance at the drop of a hat. From schoolgirl to diva, through doting mother to… well, yes, there may have been a slight blip when she and K-Fed split, what with the hair shaving, bingeing and showing off the contents of her ‘purse’ to all and sundry. But Britney’s stormed back up the list and – after a rumoured Â£60,000 makeover – she’s looking, if not her best, then a pretty good approximation of what she once was.
3. Jessica Alba
Motherhood causes strange things to happen. Things like the Razzie-nominated The Love Guru. But, sprog dropped, it’s back to business as usual for our 2007 champ. After a guest appearance in the US version of The Office, she’ll be dusting down her leather chaps and gyrating her way back into nerdish hearts as Sin City 2‘s Nancy Callahan. But does she take her work home with her? “Most nights I end up wearing a wife beater T-shirt and boxers.” Shame. But at least you’ve got more in common than you thought.
2. Megan Fox
After a winning debut in last year’s competition, the fire’n'ice beauty has spent the year waltzing, clothes-free, around Simon Pegg in How To Lose Friends & Alienate People, playing a possessed cheerleader in the forthcoming Jennifer’s Body and generally making good boys want to be very, very bad: “I like the bad-boy types. The guy I’m attracted to is the guy in the club with all the tattoos and nail polish. He’s usually the lead singer in a punk band and plays guitar.” Well, he sounds like a cock to us.
1. Cheryl Cole
Nadine. Kimberley. Sarah. Nicola. The other members of Girls Aloud, in case you’ve forgotten. But it’s a forgivable slice of amnesia, given that 2008/09 has been all about Cheryl – never mind the bandmates. In the last 12 months, thanks to taking The X Factor by storm, the gorgeous Geordie has become Britain’s most wanted star. And it’s easy to see why. With her flawless skin, high cheekbones, wafer-thin waist, perfect pins and criminally underexposed cleavage, it’s like God himself decided her native Newcastle was looking a bit dowdy, and needed a beacon of angel-like beauty at its centre. Add a dirty laugh and ability to repel Simon Cowell, and it’s no wonder that the 25-year-old has usurped even the mighty Keeley Hazell as the UK’s sexiest female. She’s also been named Britain’s Best Dressed Woman by Tatler, won a Brit Award, graced the covers of FHM and Vogue, climbed Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief and claimed the title of Heat’s ‘most fanciable female’.
And now, she accepts perhaps the ultimate accolade for womankind: the wide-eyed, reverential acclaim of FHM’s readership. Such was the enormous surge in votes during the early weeks that, within a fortnight of the polls opening, she had an insurmountable lead. Seriously: at this rate of nationwide domination, it can only be a matter of time before the country converts en masse to a new religion: Cherylanity. We’re imagining black and white Toon Army monk habits, and prayers that end in “howay”. In fact, there may only be one question left: is she perfect? No, she has a flaw. His name’s Ashley. Just say the word, Cheryl. Just say the word.
And that’s that, I think Cheryl Cole definitely deserves the top spot. Thoughts?
Freida Pinto has been tipped to be the next Bond girl in the up coming James Bond movie.
Apparently she first got Bond executives while they were casting for the latest movie, Quantum of Solace, but according to a source she was “too young at the time to have a part as a love interest for a secret agent. ”
The source added “but she has blossomed into an incredibly stunning young woman and would look perfect on Daniel Craig‘s arm”
Of course what that last statement means is that since Slumdog Millionaire became a huge success and cleaned up at all the awards shows, Freida’s hollywood star has also risen and Bond execs know it is in their best interest to get her.
On top of that , Slumdog director Danny Boyle is expected to direct the next Bond movie, her chances are a lot higher to grab the role.
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Isn’t it funny how Hollywood works? They won’t look at you twice while you are trying to make it but then once you have one successful hit, your career shoots up and everyone wants a piece of you. This is whats happening to Freida Pinto, she is also expected to be in the new Woody Allen movie.
“Watchmen” is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity… but who is watching the Watchmen?”
I don’t know much about superhero movies, but I’d watch this for Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He’s hot.
Nabbing third place on the chart was “Slumdog Millionaire“, which is in it’s 16th week on the box office charts. Coming in at fourth place was “Taken“, starring Liam Neeson, which pulled in $9,950,000 in it’s fifth week on the charts. Rounding out the top five is “He’s Just Not That Into You“, which I’ll be running out to see very soon.
Tyler Perry has really outdone himself this time, taking the top spot with a nice $41,120,000. In the second spot was “Taken” which is in it’s fourth week on the chart, taking in $11,400,000. The number three spot was held by “Coraline“, with a $11,031,000 haul. Fourth place in the weekend chart was “He’s Just Not That Into You“, having taken in a cool $8,540,000. Taking the fifth spot for the weekend was “Slumdog Millionaire” which brought in $8,050,000 in it’s 15th week on the charts.