Share your UK hotel, pub, club or restaurant experience with FeckTV England

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See on Scoop.it - FeckTV.com England

Do you have a pub, club, restaurant or hotel in the UK that you’d like to nominate for a featured spot on http://FeckTV.com, England?
If so, tell us about it, here. Here are just a few guidelines to...

The premise of this venture is quite simple.  FeckTV.com wants to put the places that matter - and I mean really matter to 20-35 year olds - on the map.

We aim to do this by featuring real reviews of pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and b&bs on our pages.  Ireland, where FeckTV.com launched last week - and had 30,000 views in its first week, no less - is ahead of us and already broken down into counties.

When the England page launches next week, it will be a national page, covering seven news topics.  As we zip along - and this will be rocket-ship fast - we'll start adding cities.  All of those cities will then feature on the national page to give the complete picture.

The site makes money by featuring a limited number of the above-listed establishments for each city - a snip at €20 per week - on its local news pages.

Then, when 20-35 year olds search our pages for their chosen destination for the night/weekend/week, the featured pub, club, restaurant or hotel is intuitively placed before them.

Unlike Good Pub Guides or Trip Advisors that host literally thousands of these places and reviews and are difficult to navigate on mobile and hand-held devices, we feature a tailored amount of genuine establishments, each with an in-depth review.

Everyone's a winner.

The establishment has a review it is willing to endorse, the jet-set 20-35 year olds get a verified review they can trust from likeminded partygoers and we get our tiny bit of ad revenue.  Like I say - it is so simple.  And cheap, it has to be said.

But before all this can happen, we need those reviews.

I'm far too feckin' old to do it now, but, in my youth, a gang of ten or twelve of us used to head out everywhere in search of totty (male and female - it was a mixed bag) every weekend.

If there was a town off the M6 that had a pub, club or wine bar, we probably stopped in for one in the late 80s to mid-90s.  And had a drink or two, too.  Mm, tutu...suits you.

What we could have done with was a map telling us where all of the hot-spots were.  Given that Jeff Young's Big Beat on Friday night Radio One was the closest we got to a clubbing community, it's amazing we got to see as many places as we did.

I'm now in a position to compile that map for today's 20-35-year olds in my new role as English Content Manager for aforementioned start-up online TV, news, article and travel channel http://fecktv.com.

To do that, I need your help to compile the reviews.  I'll then offer your review to the establishment you rave about and, if they like it, they may want to cough up €20 per week to have their premises and your review (so you'll be forever a part of the map, yourself) featured on our pages.

Through the link below is a guest post input panel on a site I've created solely for the purpose of collecting reviews, Love Feck In England.  There are guidelines to help you out if you're unsure of whether you can write a good review or not. It genuinely is a piece of piss.

Each post will be edited before being presented to the establishment so that it meets with current Internet publication best practises.  Any spelling or grammatical mistakes will be wiped and you'll look like a smart-arse.  Cool, huh?

Anyway, even if you do get stuck, there's also an 'ANY FECKIN' QUESTIONS?' page link across the top of the site that you can use to shoot me your query.

The bonus is, even if the establishment turns the review down, I can still publish your review on the Love Feck In England site rather than the main FeckTV.com site.  Because it's mine.  If the establishment starts getting traffic from this in time, the proprietors may well choose to promote their business on FeckTV.com, too.

You never know, you may even get a free packet of crisps from your landlord, poppadum from your restaurateur or shower cap from your hotelier by way of thank you next time you visit their establishment.  Can't say fairer than that, can we?

You will have to enter your e-mail address when submitting the review - that's just to ensure you're a real person and that if we need to verify the review, we can.  We will also send you the link to the page if your review gets published on FeckTV.com, and certainly will when it's up on Love Feck In England.  But that's all.

Love Feck In England is neither a sales site nor marketing platform, purely a medium to collect pub, restaurant and hotel reviews.

Okay - I think that's enough said for one night.

Have a great weekend, happy drinking and shagging (you jammy swine); hope to hear from you very soon.

All the very best,

Jason Darrell,

National Content Manager, FeckTV.com, England.

Skype: zebedeerox / jasondarrell@facktv.com

p.s. follow me if you're interested in hearing about the upcoming opportunities for writers for the cities once the national page is embedded.  If you'd like to give the writing a go, you can always submit a sample, now. Drop me a line to the fecktv.com e-mail address above.

See on lovefeckinengland.tumblr.com


Write your hotel, pub or restaurant review on Love Feck In England

Love Feck In England is a new satellite site for global Internet TV Channel, FeckTV.com, which is launching England's page this very week (so rumour has it).

Open to anyone, the site allows people to share their favourite pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants in the UK.  From there, that review is offered to the chosen establishment for them to endorse.

If said establishment is happy to run with the publishing guidelines, both the author of the review and the establishment itself are featured on the main FeckTV.com website.

Until the England page is published, you can see an example of a review on FeckTV.com Ireland's Longford page with the reviews and photos straight across the centre of the page. However, we in England want to make our page the biggest and best in the whole of the FeckTV.com global empire.

With talented writers, article marketing knowledge second to none and a desire to be the best, it will be done.  We still have room on our team for a few more.  If this sounds like something you can do, drop me a line in the comments.

FeckTV England wants to be the best in the world

Sorry, I digress.  Our review criteria, therefore, will be perhaps a little more demanding than the ones uploaded to date.  It's not that we're trying to score points or level criticism at those uploaded, we just know what fussy buggers the English are.  Because we are, too.

If the content is not word-, detail- and picture-perfect, we're leaving ourselves open to Briticism at its most cutting.  No thank you, sailor.

Even if the establishment is unhappy with the review or the terms, fear not; your time will not have been in vain.  The review will be posted on the Love Feck In England site anyway, guaranteeing that you, the review writer, gets your name credited as an author, either way.

And if you know the proprietor of the establishment that you've reviewed, they may even give you a starter or buy you a drink for taking the time out to write it. Win, win, win all around.  You're happy, the proprietor's happy and fecktv.com is happy.

That is, of course, if it is a complimentary hotel, restaurant or pub review.  If you slate it, don't be surprised if you get flat beer, mouth-ripping Masala or the room with the leaky tap or lumpy mattress on your next visit.

Can't say fairer than that, can we?

Never written a review before? Don't Fret.

Comprehensive guidelines for the type of content you could include are included on the Love Feck In England article submission pageThese are guidelines only and although preferred, we realise that not everyone is going to be able to provide everything we ask for.

There are also 'tags' you can tick beneath the box where you input your article.  These tags help the establishment owner realise what sort of atmosphere and ambience their business is portraying.  They may think that they're a 4-star hotel and cheap with it cheap.  Yet you may assess them as 3-star and fecking expensive.  Or vice versa.

[caption id="attachment_24" align="aligncenter" width="300"]fecktv.com has come to england fecktv.com - has come to england[/caption]

Depending on whether you are contributing a hotel review you have stayed at, writing about a pub or club you frequent or if there's a restaurant that has Jalfrezi to die for but gives you ring-sting for a week, there's advice to help you write the review article.

If you do get stuck, just save a copy on a word document and send us your query via the 'Any Feckin' Questions?' page.  We'll do our best to respond the same day, if not, yesterday.  Given the nature of servers, it may be an idea to at least draft the article in a text editor like WordPad or MS Word first and copy and paste it into the Text Box.

And don't worry if it's just spelling or grammar.  Well, unless it's the name of the establishment or location - Brixton is like Bilston and a night at the X-Factor bar could be totally different if the a in X-Factor was replaced with a u.  Just sayin'.

There are Internet content guidelines that we have to adhere to as well as our own drive to at least  resemble a professional outfit as best we possibly can.  We will make all of the corrections necessary to polish the review so that it positively shines amidst all of those other dreary, misspelt travel review articles.

So isn't Love Feck In England like other travel review sites?

No.  There are critical ways in which we differ from Trip Advisor, Google reviews, Cheap Hotels, etc.

[caption id="attachment_7" align="alignleft" width="140"]fecktv.com England FeckTv.com - coming to Ing-er-land[/caption]

We offer a far more personal service for both the reviewee and reviewer. If a review is written on another hotel review site, it's there whether the proprietor likes it or not.

If it stinks, the pompous git who wrote it may well be clinically insane, didn't get laid on hols or have a sense of their own self-worth that has nothing to do with the hotel that happens to be hit with the shitty end of their frustrated stick.

For certain, my wife visits sites like this all of the time and what some people expect for the money being asked is laughable.  That is why we've done away with category ratings.

So instead of asking our reviewers to ponder over impossible rating scales like: was it 4/5 for service, 3/5 for cleanliness, 2/5 for locality, three steps into the nearest bar, etc., we just want words.

It's not just us, either; words provide constructive feedback.  The owner of the pub. club, hotel or restaurant can respond to a well-penned comment, good or bad.  How do they respond to '3/5'?

Future visitors, party-goers and guests also want detail, detail, detail, not scores.  And you, dear reviewer, want to express what you genuinely thought of the establishment without having to fit comments into some outdated ranking system.

FeckTV.com tailoring featured premises to a specific market

Let me ask you this: have you ever tried to look through every hotel on Trip Advisor for Dublin? 

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You could have booked your flight and missed it by the time you've gone through the lot  That is not the type of site FeckTV.com intends to be.

For each page, i.e. city, we have allocated a certain amount of space.  For the different grades of hotels, for restaurants, for pubs and for nightclubs we intend to provide, over time, the best each city has to offer.  There are an awful lot of FeckTV.com staff currently rolling around Ireland half-pissed to bring you this information.  Heroes for the cause, the lot of 'em..

The reason is simple.  The way people use the premises we're featuring has changed.  The 20-35 target demographic we're aiming for wants to search online, find somewhere quickly and effortlessly and get it booked.  Trawling through list after list of hotel is for the codgers who've got all day to do it whilst listening to Terry Wogan in the background.

When young adults hit the town nowadays, even if it's not so far from home, it's more like a City Break than a night out.  They want to park up, check in, get fed, have a new pair of teef, get showered, tanned, changed and then go get rat-arsed without having to worry about driving home.  And, if they've lucked out, finally crash at the hotel they've booked into.

And that's it in a nutshell.  If you're heading somewhere, FeckTV.com expects to be that one stop shop - providing the savvy Saturday night surfer instant access to the hotelier, landlord and restaurateur.  In order to become that, we need the contributions of 20-35-year olds across the UK to build the platform for their convenience now and for future generations.

You can genuinely be a part of the UK's cultural heritage with your name embedded in our review site forever by offering a review on Love Feck In England.  Sod the war, it's now that Your Country Needs You! Get to it, soldier.

What to expect on The Flying Feck

You may all be wondering what The Flying Feck is all about. Yep, so am I.  Nah, only joshin'!

Rather than develop more on the About Flying Feck page - that may give you a clue! - I'll share a selection of news articles that have gone before us on the main fecktv.com website under the England category.

[caption id="attachment_16" align="alignright" width="140"] The Flying Feck is about to take off![/caption]

As well as providing links to the blogs in situ, it will also give me the chance to experiment with BagTheWeb and the chain of topics allegedly available through that medium.

Like I said, this is a pure experiment into the world and power of blogging using curation techniques as the basis of sharing.  With a unique snippet relevant to each of the social media destinations (list below), this will help test the type of content that works on each social media, too.

The one I'm going to struggle with, I think, is the blogging platforms.  Whilst 140 characters or similar is just fine and dandy for facebook, twitter, google+, stumbleupon, delicious and pinterest, sharing to tumblr and wordpress is a whole new kettle of fish.

In order to attract and retain genuine followers on blogging platforms, the content has to be worthy of reading in its own rite to entice followers to click through to read the full article.  No, do you know what?  I've just had a thought.

I'm going to use the

line code beneath the social media snippet with a link to where each of the blogs live so that bloggers can read the full article on the blog platform of their choice.  Feckin' stupendous.  Yes, it may be a little long-winded but let's just see if it's worth the effort.  If not, I'll ditch it immediately if not sooner.

Wait a minute...no, I'm not.  WordPress is now in bed with Tumblr and you can publicise from one directly to the other.  Even better.  That's saved even more time.  How cool is that?  Just got to go set that up.  Hang on...

...Back again.  Done.  The Flying Feck and Love Feck In England are now talking to each other.  The dog's bollocks, or what?!?!

Okay - that's enough blue-skying for one day.  Here are the links where you can find The Flying Feck on the different social media, as intimated above.  For the time being, as facebook has placed a 30-day ban on the official jasondarrell@fecktv.com account, I'll point you to my personable fecktv/england fanpage and change it back in the new year when the ban is lifted:


A quickie, if you please

Whilst I shall do everything I can to keep the pages of this blog free from smut, I cannot guarantee it.  For the first time I have found a medium that not only allows me to be myself through my blogging content but actively encourages it,

The sole intention of this blog is to bring snippets of the best content from fecktv.com's England page, which will be launching w/c 26th November, 2012, to a specific location.  This is a market test of my own capabilities as a blogger, as that's what I purport to be as well being a lead magnet for the fecktv.com England page, proper.

There are keywords I want to test as well as content marketing applications - I mean through content itself and not widgets, adverts or any other third party tricks of the trade.  Yes, there will be outbound links and hopefully many incoming ones, too.

On the fecktv.com site, there are the seven categories for the news articles as well as events and recommendations.  The seven categories are as follows:

  • Tech

  • Sport

  • Music

  • Lifestyle

  • Business

  • Current Affairs

  • Entertainment

On this blog, I hope to bring a more travel-related focus than would commonly be associated with the above topics, certainly as they appear on fecktv.com/england.

Moving on one step from that, my guess is that Google's new refined algorithm, by concentrating the snippets from the main fecktv.com articles I publish into subject-related but more travel-focused content and context, will read and appraise the snippet here and the article on site quite differently.

The other side to all this is that I want to prove to myself and others that content is still the best way of driving traffic to an offer.  Yes, social media does have a part to play and many have written off Google as sole-source for traffic.  In my opinion, that's only because they have tried to beat Google at its own game.

With what Google is trying to achieve combined with a superior insight into their best practises and knowledge of the English (UK) language, I want to prove that blogging still works.  Zebedeerox.com will still be the source for your content marketing know-how.  There will, however, be many opportunities arise via The Flying Feck.

And, yes, I shall pay for the upgrade to go .com if all goes well as I think it may.  So that's me for tonight.  I'll start snippeting away, definitely through the use of Scoop.It or BagTheWeb.  Yet to put the latter to the test but with its branching capabilities I see real mileage in test-running it here.

Until tomorrow, then, adios,

Yours forever, Zebedeerox.



Led Zeppelin 'Celebration Day' O2 gig airing on BB2

In true Fred Flinstone meets Michelle Dubois of Le Resistonce fashion, I will say this only once: "Hold it!" Led Zeppelin Celebration Day is being shown on terrestrial TV!

Whatever you're doing on December the 8th, cancel it. Or at least remember to set your SKY+ to record a concert that less than 0.001% of the people who applied for a ticket got to see.

Arguably the best Rock band - if not the band - of all time, Led Zeppelin, have granted permission for the concert to be aired on BBC2 as well as releasing the iconic Celebration Day show on CD and DVD last week.

If it wasn't for the hugely anticipated 'Unapologetic' album from Rihanna, the star's seventh in seven years, Led Zeppelin would have entered the album charts at number one. For a band disbanded as long as they've been, that just goes to show the global following they have.

For the twenty million people who applied for tickets for the gig at London's O2 Arena five years ago, this has been a long time coming. For the lucky 18,000 who got to see the legendary West Midlands band's first headline performance in almost three decades back in 2007, it will surely invoke memories of what must have been an awesome night of music.

The BBC2 show, which starts at 10:45pm, only shows half of the two-hour set that Led Zeppelin played. In all, the band rattled out sixteen of their tracks, the majority from either Led Zeppelin II or Led Zeppelin IV, in my opinion, their best two albums (wait for the comments, there).

Jason Bonham takes John's place to complete the Led Zeppelin line-up

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from the original line up were joined for the night on drums by the late John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham. Jason himself has strong West Midlands roots and plays in two bands, both centred around Led Zeppelin.

The Led Zeppelin Experience, as you'd guess a cover band, has been working on a new album with the likes of Slash, Robert Plant, Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers. They're diversifying from simply covering Led Zeppelin tracks and taking their own tracks on the road.

Jason also has plans to hit the road with his other band, The Black Country Communion. Again, this supergroup has a classic rock line-up, including Glenn Hughes, formerly of Deep Purple, Joe Bonamassa, Jason himself and making up the quartet, Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater.

We may not get to see Led Zeppelin again, but as Jason told NME, the new album is likely to "be kind of Zeppelin-esque because of the way the guys play – but there's nothing wrong with that." Couldn't agree with you more sir.


Do not attempt cunning stunts on bouncy castles warning

'This might be the last time we see ya, ma...we're off on the bouncy castle...'

In a modern(ish) step up from seaside trampolines, many of which are now closed due to health and safety issues, as kids we were introduced to the bouncy castle. Fun, exhausting and shoeless, what could possibly go wrong?

The fun police have, however, got in on the act following an "alarming increase" in the amount of accidents suffered by kids on the inflatable amusements.

Over the last seventeen years, the number of injuries occurring on bouncy castles has increased fifteen-fold, according to a report in the Telegraph. But I wonder...

...the article doesn't exactly underline whether the falls resulting in the reported head and neck injuries are commensurate with the amount of actual bouncy castles there are nowadays.

Results must be tempered by increase in bouncy castles at large

You could just as well say "the number of accidents occurring involving laptops has increased twenty-fold in the last ten years."  I doubt that the statement is precisely true, but that type of injury has increased, for sure; who the feck owned a laptop in 2002?

Similarly, when we were growing up in the seventies, sporting brown trousers, orange-and-brown zig-zag tank-tops and matching balaclava a la the heroes of "Why Don't You?", bouncy castles were only ever seen at Carnivals and Fun Fairs.

The report that provoked this new task for the fun police states that, on average, five children every four hours are recorded as having falls, strains and sprains on bouncy castles in the U.S.  In 1995, the date the figures are compared to, I bet those five children wouldn't even have known where to find a bouncy castle, let alone have an accident on one.

However, you have to temper that statistic by factoring into the equation that they can be hired by any Trent, Duane or Larry throwing a garden party, these days.

In comparison in the UK, the Boys' Brigade - you know, that font of medical knowledge and research (?) - have gone on record as stating around 10,000 such injuries occur annually on our shores.

What next? Barbie banned for horse-riding without a helmet?

In support of these UK figures, there is evidence that 40% of accidents happen at private functions, the balance at public events. Now that's data you can verify and deal with.

But you can see it, now. Hanging up in a row next to bouncy castles will be Telly Tubbie-like costumes made out of styrene so that the kids can bounce up and down without fear of 'falling'.

The majority of incidents, strangely, happen when kids are jumping 'off' the bouncy castle, not 'on' it. Put a net across the front then! Not rocket science, is it?

What the feck is a bouncy castle for if you can't come a cropper doing a somersault? Why go on a bouncy castle if you're not gonna pinball off every wall and possibly take out a few smaller kids along the way?

Three cheers for the fun police who've taken away our slides, witch's hats and trampolines. And now the bouncy castle is in the dock too. Whatever next, indeed?

George Osborne to dig deeper into public coffers following IFS study

George osborne's task to bring stability gets graphically harder.

When it was pointed out, under the previous Labour government by Standard and Poors that the economy could be in for a rough ride, George Osborne called for a General election there and then.

Now that the IFS has intimated that the current austerity measures may have to be stretched out until 2017/2018 to get the economy back on track, I wonder if he'll be issuing the same demand?

The good news for the people whose paymaster is the DWP is that the £10bn George Osborne was reported to have been eying from the welfare budget was over estimated last week.

According to MSN News, the figure now stands at a paltry £8bn - there, 20% back in our pockets straight away. The fact that George Osborne was planning to take it without our consent in the first place is seemingly neither here nor there.

George Osborne was pissing into the wind with his '2015 target' for stability to replace austerity

The news is a far cry from The Chancellor's original forecast for the austerity measures to bring stability, even prosperity, by 2015. Something rattles in the back of my head, mm, the words election promises broken. Something like that.

The really bad news comes not in the assessment of the UK's economy as it stands, but what it means long term. Whilst the budget looked to address or at least prepare for external factors, the global economy and our trade into Europe is in greater decline than foreseen in April.

Over the next five or six years, the remainder of this term in Government office and practically all of the next, a further £11bn will have to be raised from taxes and budget cuts to turn this ship around. That's over and above the £8bn already earmarked.

In little over a week's time, we get the Autumn Statement. No doubt George Osborne's plans for tax cuts and the squeezing of the welfare budget will be made public then.

But expect strong resistance from Nick Clegg and Vince Cable to any harsh proposals to taxing the poor over the wealthy. It should be an interesting battle and it wouldn't surprise me if it marked the beginning of the end of the coalition.

Who do you think will secure that next term of office? And more to the point, who would want to given the financial hardships we face if the IFS research is accurate?  Let's hear from yer!

EU summit collapses; UK and Germany bond over budget

Money, money, money. No, I've not got my gold spandex on watching Abba on YouTube - I'll leave that until Saturday - I'm reading about the budget the EU summit tried to agree on for Europe for the next seven years.

[caption id="attachment_7848" align="aligncenter" width="646"]david cameron does uk proud at eu summit the eu summit must think we're nuts![/caption]

The latest meeting of the EU summit in Brussels disintegrated without the nations that make up our wonderful continent settling on a budget for the period 2014-2020.

The sticking point seems to be that the more provident countries formed an alliance rebuffing the €971bn proposed budget, prompting the president of the EU Council, Herman Van Rompuy, to bring the curtain down on this particular EU summit in discord.

Cameron and Merkel spearhead alliance at EU summit

There are aspects of David Cameron I truly detest with every gut-wrenching breath I take. But his stance in Europe has to be admired. Prior to this EU summit, critics lambasted the UK Prime Minister for isolating the UK philosophically in Europe as much as it is physically set adrift from the mainland.

But that all changed in one fell swoop. Standing firmly by Cameron's side, spearheading the alliance that point blank refused the seven year budget was none other that German chancellor Angela Merkel.

On either side of arguably the two most profitable countries' leaders were the Dutch and Swedish Prime Ministers, Mark Rutte and Fredrik Reinfeldt, respectively. The bottom line is that the sum is simply too much to commit to in the current economic climate with Austerity Measures looking set to be around until 2018, which we'll look at in today's business article.

UK is not alone in looking at further taxation

But this wind of change from Germany goes further than just protecting the interests of Das Vaterland. Merkel is reported to have been 'furious' at the EU summit with both Van Rompuy and European Commissioner José Manuel Barroso's attempts to isolate the UK on their stance. It seems the UK has many allies, with Denmark and Finland also offering support.

The real problem lies in the fact that many of the countries who've joined the EU more recently - and some of the more longstanding ones - have never been entirely strict about imposing taxes. Now that they are culpable under EU law, neither do their electorates like paying taxes (who does?) nor can those respective countries handle the responsibility of imposing them.

This was underlined by Cameron's summary following the collapse of last week's EU summit. The PM told reporters,
There were other countries I have worked with; together we're making sure that we were all standing up together for taxpayers and to make sure we have a fair outcome to this budget when we are cutting our budgets at home."

Whilst this new alliance may steal the headlines, don't ignore that very last sentiment. More 'cutting our budgets at home' to come, with Osborne eying another £10bn of the current welfare budget to be deployed elsewhere. More in the next report.

Charlie Sheen wipes away 40% of LiLo's tax bill

We used to have a Mr Sheen in the UK.  Its Hollywood namesake Charlie, like the furniture polish of old, seems to clear up ring-rimmed, tarnished old things with just one swipe.

[caption id="attachment_7465" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan in Scary Movie 5 Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan in Scary Movie 5
credit: Weinstein Company[/caption]

That's certainly the case following the filming of Scary Movie 5, in which Charlie Sheen has a bed scene with everyone's current favourite gossip target, Lindsay Lohan.  It would appear that whatever happened on set between the sheets has certainly had an effect off-screen, too.

According to all sources, LiLo is in hock to the IRS for almost a quarter of a million dollars, stretching back to 2009/2010.  Whilst her expected earnings are likely to be eight times that this year now that she's become employable again, it's not stopped her accepting a cheque from Charlie Sheen for $100,000 to get the IRS off her back, now.

Following her drunken escapades since splitting up with DJ lesbian lover Samantha Ronson, 'off her back' must seem a strange concept to her.  And poor, tortured Charlie Sheen may even be thinking that LiLo has shagged him silly the same way that the two prostitutes he bunked up with used to do in his infamous Tiger Blood days.  Therefore, the $100k he may think is for services rendered.  And who's to say it isn't?

Charlie Sheen's first offer to pay was refused by LiLo

Initially, the rumour mill has it that Lindsay turned down Charlie Sheen's original bail out offer during their 'bonding' process.  The two, who've both had their share of cohesive problems this last three years, would certainly make for Hollywood's strangest couple, she shagging women and he three-waying with two hookers being their most recent relationships. But it seems they did get close off-screen and LiLo poured her heart out to the 'Hot-Shots' star.  I'm sure he did.

For her part, the 'Liz and Dick' actress (oh, come on, please) seems to have bowed to IRS pressure and accepted Charlie Sheen's very generous offer.  The former Two-and-a-Half Men actor is certainly not short of a few bob.  As he quite openly admitted when queried about his lifestyle with the two prostitutes, who could he trust to love him?  He could afford it, so might as well pay for it without the emotional attachment.

However, last week sources close to TMZ, who broke the news of LiLo's taxing problem in the first instance, said that Lohan didn't refuse a second time around and paid the cheque straight in and down-sized her overdue 2009/2010 by more than 40%, thanks to Charlie Sheen's benevolence.

Adam Ant returns to the road

Despite what the bulging, braided waistcoat was trying to tell him, Stuart Goddard was absolutely adamant that he could recreate his most famous nom de plume, Adam Ant, more than thirty years on from when Prince Charming made Adam and the Ants music royalty.

[caption id="attachment_7550" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Adam Ant 2012 Adam Ant 2012[/caption]

Performing at the Manchester Ritz, Adam Ant is on the march again. Now 58 and somewhat more portly than in his chandelier-swinging days, he proved he can still belt out the hits even if his belt is struggling to keep everything in.

To be fair, he's not in that bad nick, especially considering he's had to combat bi-polar disease. But trying to fit in a pair of pantaloons almost as tight as those famous silver-grey, satin drainpipes exhibited all the extremities one would rather not see.

Adam Ant with cummerbund - fashion statement or necessity?

The famous Ant Rap white stripe is gone, too. In spectacles and outlandish clothing he was more like a Randy Bi-Gay Man than Dandy Highwayman, but Adam Ant was not to be fazed as the 80's gusset-guzzler wowed the crowd alongside 'The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse', The Ants obviously given their marching orders.

So Adam Ant hits the long dusty tour road again. As well as a hectic November in the UK, The Blueback Hussar Tour is also venturing across the North Sea into Holland.

There are still three dates left in the UK if you have fond memories of drawing love hearts on your forehead and daubing your cheek with make up to look like a 70's Ajax home shirt.

Tonight (Nov 27th), Adam Ant appears at the St Albans Arena. The penultimate gig is at Cambridge's Corn Exchange on the 28th. Then there's a day off (is Thursday pension day?) before concluding the UK leg of the Blueback Hussar Tour on Friday 30th at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire.

For ticket information you can visit the Adam Ant official website.


Mic Donet, Najwa and Anisa at London's JazzCafe - Tonight!

Event: A night of chilled soul with Mic Donet and guests

Location: JazzCafé, London

Date: Monday, 26th November

Artists: Mic Donet, Najwa and Anisa

Time: Doors open 7pm

Price: £9, in advance

Mic Donet's soulful voice, a smoother, creamier Michael Bolton it struck me as, has been regarded as one of the best on the circuit today.

Tonight, he plays London's JazzCafe, a venue integral in the super-successful career paths of many well-known recent stars, including Amy Winehouse and Adelle.

Mic Donet's music is mesmerising, haunting even. And it's an unusual fusion that has seen him line up with a variety of performers in his time as a pro artiste.

[youtube width="646" height="422"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NJlq653z9A[/youtube]

Carlos Santana wasn't backward in coming forward; the legendary Mexican guitarist soon had Mic Donet accompany him on tour with his band. The influence crops up in Mic's music, where rock undertones often creep in alongside a melodic soulful ballad producing a unique, rolling quality to his sound.

But don't just take my word for it - international praise and accolades are no stranger to Mic Donet. In 2006, he scooped the International Artist of the year and followed that in 2007 with the MTV 0.1 International Soul/R & B title in the Russian capital.

Travel has broadened Mic Donet's repertoire

The base American sound of smooth soul and "incredible vocal abilities, ranging from gentle hip-hop...deeply moving soul...to even operatic sublimity", (Die Süddeutsche Zeitung) impart influences drawn from his years on the road.

Mic Donet is a polished all-rounder and value alone for the entrance fee of £9. But the German singer/songwriter also offers two support acts of outstanding quality this evening.

Making the event a truly European affair, Mic's joined by French/Moroccan singer/songwriter Najwa. Having lived in London for five years, she has turned her university brushings with gospel and jazz into a life where music plays a very central role.

Whilst she has been the lead singer of several bands and appeared with a host of names in hip-hop, r&b, jazz and gospel, Najwa takes to the stage on her own to support Mic Donet and fellow support act, Anisa.

Anisa reminded me so much of Toni Braxton when I first heard her it was uncanny. And, she is equally as pleasing on the eye as the 'Unbreak my heart' soul singer.

To get a sample of Anisa beforehand - again, you'd pay £9 to listen to her all night long - you can catch a few of her songs on Anisa's official website.  Even if you can't make the show, enjoy Mic Donet's video above and the sample songs from Anisa and drop a comment here to let us know what you think.

It should be a great night and you never know, get a signed beermat or fag packet now and it could be worth a bob or two in years to come. Any footage you take of the event if you're lucky enough to get there, drop me a line.

If I can't fit it on here, I'll certainly post it onto the FeckTV.com/england Google+, facebook and Twitter pages so your name can be shared with our ever-growing following. Mic Donet's in my circles, so he may even want to thank you personally - you can't say fairer than that now, can yer?

Legendary Dallas villian Larry "J.R." Hagman dies at 81

The old saying "let sleeping dogs lie" is an adage producers in soap-land may want to start heeding for the sake of its former stars if Bill Tarmey and Larry Hagman are anything to judge by.

[caption id="attachment_6039" align="aligncenter" width="646"]larry hagman - fort worth texas Larry Hagman reprises J.R.
c/o rattengulasch.de[/caption]

Another huge soap star, almost bigger than Bill Tarmey, has died reprising a previous role. Larry Hagman, a.k.a. J. R. Ewing, has died in hospital aged 81, according to a statement from his family.

Bill Tarmey passed away earlier in the month shortly before a planned reprisal of Corrie's Jack Duckworth with Vera (actress Liz Dawn) for Children in Need. Similarly, Larry Hagman had brought J.R. back to the new Dallas series, 21 years after the original series he made famous was axed.

90 Million Americans watched Dallas in 1980 to see who shot J.R.

The 'Who shot J.R.?' plot line remains, without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest storyline in global soap history. A staggering 90 million Americans tuned in to watch the episode that revealed who'd had the audacity to pull the trigger on Larry Hagman's, J.R.

You have to credit the writers, but it was the manner in which Larry Hagman portrayed the nasty Texan oil tycoon that invoked the truly global phenomenon the story became. And it was his character; originally turned down by Robert Foxworth for being too harsh, Larry took J.R. from the originally cast bit-part to the most renowned character on the box.

Spanning thirteen series between 1978 - 1991, J.R. Ewing, even though he'd been almost killed by...no, I'm not going to say, if you don't know - it will spoil the re-runs bound to be shown at the star's passing...was the only character portrayed in all 357 Dallas episodes, not bad considering the role was only ever supposed to be a cameo.

Yes, in reflection, "Who shot J.R.?" was probably even bigger than the 'Free Diedre Rashid' campaign in the UK a few years ago. Just to give some insight for those of you who don't remember Dallas the first time around.

J.R. Ewing was so different from Larry Hagman, the man.

What was remarkable about Larry Hagman's performance in Dallas was the difference between J.R. and the actor himself. Despite the on-screen bitterness between J.R. and his wife, Sue-Ellen, Linda Gray who played her couldn't be more complimentary.

Speaking of his passing, she said, "Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years...He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew."

And it was in Dallas, the city, that Larry Hagman passed away, having reprised his most famous character for Season 1 of Dallas' second run. It was a place he loved, his family loved and fittingly, the Stetson J.R. made famous is in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

As J.R. said famously, "Lots of men have tried to run roughshod over me; you can visit them in the cemetery."

There'll be a few tortured souls looking over their shoulders now that Larry Hagman has gone to join them.

Rihanna unapologetic as she cancels Radio One interview


BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show presenter Nick Grimshaw and his producer Matt Fincham have come out in solidarity, refusing to play Diamonds, the latest single from pop sensation Rihanna.

Rihanna was due at the studios to promote her new album, ironically entitled Unapologetic, ahead of its release on Sunday. But cancelling hours before the broadcast was due to be aired live has caused both Nick and Matt to throw their teddies right out of the Radio 1 pram.

In a blanket ban on even mentioning the singer's name, the pair have replaced her single in their promotional 'Record of the Week' slot. Grimshaw seems to have taken this personally.

Rihanna banned indefinitely from Breakfast Show

[youtube width="646" height="422"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWA2pjMjpBs[/youtube]

The ban on the Diamonds singer (video above) will be upheld on the Breakfast Show until such a time as the star, fresh in the UK following her whistlestop 777 world tour, commits to a date to deliver the promised interview.

Grimshaw has not made his disappointment a secret, either. Whilst admitting that Rihanna was "[his] favourite pop star", he was going to "have a tantrum", anyway. Which he duly did, on air, to his listeners.

According to the DJ, the show had been, for want of a better expression, held to ransom (he didn't say by whom) and "forced into having Rihanna as [their] Record of the Week." The barrel that the crew found themselves over crumbled to sawdust as soon as the interview was cancelled and Diamonds was taken off air, forthwith.

Rihanna needs to watch whose hands she's biting

This is the second time in a week Rihanna has angered the media. For the majority of the aforementioned 777 tour, she refused point blank to even acknowledge the 150 fans and journalists aboard the specially-chartered jet that spirited her to Mexico, New York, the UK and Germany.

With Unapologetic was fully expected to become the star's fourth number one album, incredibly her seventh studio album in as many years, Rihanna is probably justified in acting the Diva she has been.

But what she must also bear in mind is that, without the media she has so royally pissed off this week, a lack of airplay and/or exposure will scupper chances of repeating this level of success.

That still doesn't excuse Nick and Matt for being such cry-babies and airing their dirty washing in public, though. Yes, it's a bitch, but shit happens. Get over it, why don't you?

Floods ravage the UK - 273 alerts, failed £1m pumps and two dead

There are some big events coming up this week; local elections in places, the findings of the Leveson Inquiry, the launch of Fecktv.com to name but a few. But for those suffering from some of the worst UK floods on record, more pressing matters are at hand.

[caption id="attachment_6334" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Stone Henge submerged in water UK floods 2012 Stone Henge submerged in water UK floods 2012
credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net; duron123[/caption]

The south of the country has been deluged by rain, with many counties still on high alert as there's much more to come. The Environment Agency has posted workers to man the £1m pumps in Kempsey, designed to protect from flooding.

After they failed, no chances are being taken in light of the 273 UK flood warning alerts still posted around the UK.

UK floods likely to worsen as more rain en route

It's a far cry from the drought earlier in the year. What is seemingly becoming an annual event, especially in the lower wetlands between the Midlands and the West Country, has claimed two lives already.

On Saturday night, a pensioner near Earith, CAMBS, failed to respond to CPR after crashing his car into the River Nene. Hours later in Exeter, a woman was killed by a falling tree.

Devon and Cornwall have taken a battering, too. Literally hundreds of homes are awash this morning (Sunday), prompting David Cameron to tweet,

"shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country."

Yep, thanks for those words of comfort, Mr Cameron. That helps.

Check your local media for regional flood alerts

Whilst the Prime Minister's twittering did assure us that everything possible is being done to help, there are 220 further UK flood warnings in place over and above the 273 on high alert. It's impossible to tell where's going to be affected next by local flash flooding.

The forecast from the BBC doesn't bode well. For many parts of the UK, floods are going to be a feature of the next few days. There will be a temporary respite in the South, but nowhere near long enough for the saturated ground to dry our before the next torrents grace us.

Expect a wet week to see November out. It will be worth checking local information for travel updates, particularly in regions prone to flooding. Road and rail networks are likely to be severely affected over the coming days.

If it's too wet to travel to work, stick with us in the run-up to the launch of FeckTV.com. We guarantee that there won't be a dry eye left in the house once we launch, irrespective of how damp things get outside. Turn on, tune in, rinse out.

Victoria Beckham up for auction to raise Sandy fund

How do you fancy rubbing shoulders with the world's fashion elite and getting to meet "Posh Spice," Lady Victoria Beckham, herself?

[caption id="attachment_6106" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Victoria Beckham Elle Nov 2012 with pearl necklace Victoria Beckham in pearl necklace - was it from Golden Balls?
Elle sharealike 3.0[/caption]

Well it's a very real opportunity. Along with Vogue magazine and other fashionistas from the world's most expensive catwalks, Victoria Beckham is looking to raise over £100,000 for victims of America's biggest natural disaster this year, Hurricane Sandy.

To be fair, I'd be a bit scared of breaking Stick-toria in half, but according to the ladies Becks himself is a bit of alright so she must have something going for her.  Judging by the state of that pearl necklace she's sniffing in Elle's pic above, David's in for a night and a half after the game.

Win a week-long stay at a star's private house

All of the prizes are listed on charitybuzz.com and include week-long stays at some of the designers' private homes and exclusive VIP tickets to fashion events.

Victoria Beckham's prize, expected to raise over £12,500 on its own, gets you into her New York Fashion Week show and backstage to a 'meet and greet' afterwards.  At time of writing, the bid stands at $0, so get in there, my son!

I wonder if Kate Moss will be there? Get Kate and Victoria Beckham to stand at each end of a javelin and Becks could practice his penalty-taking between the two waifs before he winds up his L.A. Galaxy career in a couple of weeks' time.

Victoria Beckham may want to remain Stateside

Posh and Becks have taken to life in the U.S. with a grace that belies their busy lifestyles. Too often we see Hollywood kids left with nannies for weeks on end but David and Victoria Beckham, despite their individual careers, seem to make ideal partners and even better parents.  You have to admire them for that.

So where will they head off to now that he's hanging up the Herbalife t-shirt? I doubt very much whether there'll be a return to the posh part of Cheshire to take up permanent residence in a Beckingham Palace.

The rumours that they're heading down under have been quashed, too. For my money, New York looks the best bet if Posh gets her skeletal hands around David's golden balls.

You know, Becks can whip on one of his famous skirts and play mommy while Victoria Beckham goes out to work to be the man of the house. Mind you, there are many who'd swear Posh has worn the trousers in the Beckingham household for a long time already...

Boxing legend Hector Camacho murdered in drive-by shooting

"Macho" Hector Camacho certainly lived up to his nickname, both in and out of the boxing ring. His showboating fearlessness may have won him admirers, but outside of the sport it made enemies, too.

[caption id="attachment_6097" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Hector Camacho - title winner - Reuters Hector Camacho in boxing glory days
credit: Reuters[/caption]

Last Tuesday night, 20th November 2012, Hector Camacho and friend Adrian Mojica Moreno were shot in a drive-by shooting whilst sat outside a bar in a car containing a sizeable amount of cocaine.

Moreno was murdered outright in the attack. Hector Camacho technically survived, but the shot to the head vegetablised the former 4-time champion of the world. He never regained consciousness.

Mother turns off Camacho's life support against Hector Jr's wishes

It's believed that Hector Jr, Macho's son, wanted the life support left running. Hector's mother, whose decision it came down to, wanted the machine turned off after Hector Camacho went into cardiac arrest.

Shortly after her wishes were carried out, the boxer's organs simply stopped responding. He died in San Juan's Rio Piedras Medical Centre near to his hometown of Bayamon, also the place of the fatal drive-by shooting.

Hector Camacho boxed amongst greatest of our generation

In the ring, Hector Camacho had an enviable record. Scared of no one, he took on everyone of renown who'd fight him during his thirty-year career, much of it boxing pay-per-view gold.

It's genuinely sad that a pure boxing talent like Macho's (79W - 6L - 3D- 38KO) will see his accomplishments overshadowed by the life he led beyond the sport.

To some, his out of the ring exploits will only further his legend. The boxing purists, however, will turn their collective backs on his huge contribution to a sport that could certainly do with a character with half of Hector Camacho's showmanship to liven it up.

He put Sugar Ray Leonard into retirement, caned the outstanding Roberto Durán not just once but twice, and lost to and regained the WBO light welterweight title from Greg Haugen -- the former being the first of only six losses as a pro.

Apart from the loss to Saul Duran in 2010 when Hector Camacho tried to make a comeback at 47, three of his other four losses were in world title fights across the different divisions.

A Macho-Man possessed outside the ring

In 2007, Camacho was handed a seven year custodial sentence for burglary, which he pleaded guilty to, conceding that he was under the influence at the time. This was reduced to a suspended sentence, during which he did serve two weeks behind bars for breaking his parole terms.

That was the lowest point of Hector Camacho's life, which was an endless parade of super-fast living. Drugs, fast cars, faster women, hollow legs when it came to beer and a wife who had a restraining order imposed on him were the cause and effect of the legend's eventual downfall.

As one commentator reported, "...it was a miracle he made it to fifty."Maybe, but what he fitted into those five decades many can only ever dream of.

Rest in Peace, Hector Camacho, something you never quite found in your fifty years on Earth.

Blackberry 10 may be too little too late for RiM

A little over twelve months ago, many UK towns were quite literally held in a vice-like grip of fear. Yobs took to the streets in scenes reminiscent to early-eighties Brixton and Toxteth, looting and rioting, using their Blackberry phones to stay ahead of the police at every turn.

[caption id="attachment_5895" align="aligncenter" width="646"]blackberry 10 from RiM blackberry 10 from RiM - CC ShareAlike[/caption]

As soon as the riots were quashed, investigations found that the use of BBM, the free Blackberry messenger service, had been used to coordinate the disruption, with devastating stealth.

It was decreed that, should any such occurrence happen again, the state would have the authority to shut down all such IM platforms. This including BBM, Twitter, Skype and GTalk to prevent the spread of criminal intent before situations got out of control once more.

Blackberry devices were the choice of the rioters

BBM was certainly not alone in enabling the real-time communication, but it was the choice of the masses during that week of mindless violence. News from the U.S. this week, however, may well mean the threat of Blackberry IM is wiped out for good.

Long the choice of American Government agencies and state authorities, the Blackberry has served its manufacturer, RiM, extremely well over recent years. But a combination of recent failures and improvements in competitors' devices is ringing a death knell for what is still one of the most popular handsets on UK streets today.

Notice of Intent highlights Blackberry's issues

The NTSB has posted a document online giving notice that, despite the imminent launch of the 'fabulous' Blackberry 10 at the end of January next year, its employees will switch 100% to the iPhone 5 upon release.

Apple has upgraded the security features in the upcoming handset to meet with Federal demands, built in as standard and ready to be activated. In contrast, the Blackberry models in use by the NTSB have 'been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate'.

It is these failings, combined with the upgrades on board other handsets and operating systems, that have prompted this Notice of Intent from the NTSB onto the Federal Business Opportunities site. And they are not alone.

Security firms, the U.S. equivalent to Customs and Excise, Customs and Immigration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have all jumped ship to the iPhone in recent months.

Whilst domestic sales in other countries may hold up in the short term, without the huge volumes of sales to corporations and enterprises such as those listed, RiM looks to have had the very foundation of its business model, its backbone, whipped away.

Regardless of the Blackberry 10's capabilities, the corporate market that brought the phone into everyday use here in the UK may well have switched by the time the next generation phone from RiM hits the streets on January 31st.

So, if you're looking for something for your Blackberry-using offspring this Christmas, you may just want to look for an alternative. RiM, if it indeed cannot hold on to the power-users, "is doomed".



How to get Nexus 4 working on LTE - it can be done

In another online incarnation, I wrote last week about the dejection felt by the Android faithful following the realisation the Google Nexus 4 does not operate on LTE wavelength, limiting its capibilities.  It seems I was wrong.  Or perhaps premature is a better word.  Say nothing.

Whilst in the UK a HSPA+ network has the capacity to be at least as fast as LTE, there can be no guarantees that battery life will not be affected. Following a similar issue with the iPhone 3, this should have been one of the key considerations in developing the LG Nexus 4 concept.

However, experts in Canada have been playing around with the Nexus 4 since its launch some ten days ago. In the aftermath of Anandtech at least proving that the much-awaited handset could theoretically support Band 4 (AWS), XDA Developers members are physically demonstrating that notion.

Legality of operating Nexus 4 on LTE

When asked why LTE connectivity hadn't been included in the Nexus 4 in the first place, Andy Rubin simply referred to 'tactical issues'. In truth, for LG to have knowingly incorporated the function in its handset may well have increased the value of the handset.

Running LTE on the Nexus 4 legitimately would also have provided the headache of more licensing for Google. Given the ability to run on LTE Band 4 demonstrated in Canada, this may be something Google has to face up to now, anyway.

Alternatively, Google may choose to deploy a patch to block the ability to connect. This decision will all depend upon reaction from the network enforcement agencies across the world, bodies like the FCC, and the pressure they apply on Google to do so.

How to get the Nexus 4 to connect to LTE

Access to the LTE network is found through the debugging menu, forcing the handset to pick up signals on Band 4. Whilst AT&T and Verizon LTE networks are incompatible, operating on Bands 17 and 13 respectively, T-Mobile customers stand the best chance of using the Nexus 4 on LTE.

[youtube width="646" height="422"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXOY9EVZ4vA[/youtube]

Since the revelation from XDA Developers and subsequent footage from TekGadg demonstrating how to access LTE radio on the Nexus 4 on TELUS (as per the video above), Anandtech have gone back to their original research.

They are now in a position to declare, quite categorically, that Band 4 LTE seems to be fully supported by the OEM choice of power amplifiers and transceivers.

As the TekGadg video points out, Google has probably known this all along. Perhaps not having the carriers' blessings, it has waited for the texperts to figure it all out. Not taken them long, has it?

And it's not cost Google a dime. That's just one of the reasons why Google will, one day, take over the world...you have been warned.

Fantasy football gamer appointed manager of real-life Premier League club

Ten solid years as a devoted Football Manager - the games console version - have landed Vugar Guloglan oglu Huseynzade the top coach job for real at Azerbaijani Premier League outfit, Baku FC.

[caption id="attachment_5534" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Vugar - new baku fc football manager the new face of Baku FC, football manager Vugar
c/o bakufc.com[/caption]

Vugar, who's "played Football Manager since 2002" has been advising the club for nine months, a period which has seen two other gaffers shown the door.

If you're a follower of European football, Baku FC will be a commonplace enough name. Thanks to recent successes in their domestic league, Europa League qualification has been a regular experience for club and fans alike.

New Football Manager Vugar third this season for Baku FC

However, with rivals Inter Baku currently sitting on top of the Azerbaijani Premier League and Baku FC outside the relegation places on goal difference only, the pressure is on for Vugar to bring his Xbox experience to the playing field.

The failure of a succession of football managers to repeat the glory days has opened the door for 21-year old Vugar, who's never even played professional football, let alone had any managerial experience.

Experienced football managers were available

It's not as if no one else was interested in the job, either. Jean-Pierre Papin, former French and European Player of the Year, with football manager experience under his belt to boot, was just one of the failed applicants beaten off by by Vugar's appointment.

You have to admire the youngster's ambition, even if the reality of managing human players rather than pixelated ones is a completely different ball game. From their lowly position, Vugar is eying a return to European football competition in three short seasons.

With the Azerbaijani Cup kicking off this week, it will give Vugar the perfect opportunity to put his managerial 'experience' to the test. From a financial point of view, whether the appointment works out or not, this is probably the greatest PR coup in modern football since Birmingham City appointed Karren Brady as director, the first female in the Premier league to hold such a position.

As for me, I'm off to buy Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball...hey, it could happen!

Lindsay Lohan talks straight about toxic relationship

The chequered life of Lindsay Lohan is perhaps more well known to the general public than to herself, such was the extent of her abuse of drink and drugs.

In and out of prison, rehab and love, it's fair to say that the child star, even now only 26, has had a rough few years. Driving under the influence, possession of cocaine and shoplifting jewellery have seen 'Li-Lo' subjected to intermittent periods of enforced cold turkey behind bars rather than getting smashed at them.

For some, bending to the will of others just doesn't work. Lindsay Lohan is one of those 'some'. It seemed that the rebel within would never cede to changing her ways unless it was of her own volition.

Lindsay Lohan back home in native New York

In a reflective mood, back in The Big Apple with and around people with whom she trusts and feels safe, Lindsay Lohan has opened up about her two-and-a-half year relationship with DJ Sam Ronson.

It's little coincidence that these desperate times began towards the end of Lohan's relationship with her English lover. The young Disney starlet's life has been spiraling out of control ever since; up until now, at least.

What is very clear in her mind is that, no matter how much Lindsay Lohan was in love with the London-born DJ, nine years her senior, individually the two were toxic. And despite them now being friends, she accepts fully that 'toxic people cannot be together'.

Lohan has to learn to love herself

It's hardly surprising that, during these last three years of self-indulgent addiction, Lindsay Lohan has had no other serious relationships. There have been dalliances, for sure, but her split from Ronson left her heartbroken.

[caption id="attachment_5430" align="alignright" width="646"]London DJ Sam Ronson Lindsay Lohan heartbroken at spilt with Ronson, pictured
(CC wikimedia commons)[/caption]

The heartbreak remains all the more poignant for having come out of the closet and admit that she was in love with another female when their relationship first went public. Not being able to love herself for who she'd become made her question her readiness to even consider loving anyone else.

What she doesn't seem to be able to get into her head is that it was her fault. If Lindsay Lohan is to eventually see beyond the bottom of the bottle, she cannot keep blaming the 'sycophants and bad influences' she credits for leading her astray.

Whilst I've no doubt that there were hangers on who had ulterior motives for getting Lindsay stoned, pissed or worse, it is not, as she puts it, 'human nature' for kids to try 'cigarettes, drugs and drinking'. It's a very personal choice, one that only insecurity forces you to make.

Blaming loneliness isn't the answer either. We can only imagine the hell of being photographed from the minute you walk out of your front door until you get back through it at night. "Lonely" is not a word you associate with that situation.  Guilt, frustration and insecurity all seem to fit the bill more readily.

Even if an element of loneliness was involved, being back in her native New York may help get her back on her feet.

If, on the other hand, New York is where the shenanigans all started, what's to stop it happening all over again?

Peterborough - full of ugly dogs and bookworms

There had to be a reason why the Peterborough United Football Team were called 'Posh'. Looking at their lifestyle guide, I'm starting to get a hint.

Billed as an 11-day celebration of free events, I got truly excited when I saw this article pop up in my feed this morning.

[caption id="attachment_4872" align="alignright" width="646"]the building formerly known as Peterborough library The building formerly known as Peterborough Library
(credit: wikimedia commons)[/caption]

This article from the Peterborough Telegraph was the only one to populate my 'UK Lifestyle' inbox this morning - what's up? Has England finally quit trying to be stylish? Yeah, thank you, Giuseppe. Did it ever start? Smart Arse.

Anyway - back to Peterborough, the beating heart of Lincolnshire. Or is it? I swear this is the truth - and if you've never been to Peterborough because you don't know where it is, it's no surprise; even the people who live there don't.

Seriously, if you put 'Peterborough Lincolnshire' in Google, the first thread, #1, page 1, is people on Rootschat (must be a farming community - can't beet it, can you?) arguing over whether it's in Cambs, Northants, Lincs or Leics.

That probably goes a long way to explaining why there's fuck all going on there.

Back to my fleeting moment of excitement. It didn't last long and goes to prove why you should never put your faith in headlines.

Peterborough must be the dullest place in England

The first of the rip-roaring free events in Peterborough is hosted by...The Central Reading Group. What, it's in Berks, now? Oh, Reading as in ree-ding. Even worse.

Oh, but hang on - it says here that it's a 'very unconventional reading group'...Wednesday 28th November (check) at 8pm (ooh, I'll miss Emmerdale, but okay) in Woodston (Tom Tom will find that) at the Coalheavers Arms (getting better) this 'lively' group of men and women (mm, what else would they be??) have a pint, read a book and stay until closing time.

Is that it?  It looks like it.

Apparently, The Central Reading Group is just one of sixty-four across Peterborough. And even though they've got eleven libraries (fuckin' eleven?!?), there's obviously still not enough room as these bookworms spend all night in the pub, pretending to read Jane Eyre with "Lady Chatterley's Lover" discreetly tucked between the well-thumbed pages. You know very well what I mean.

No, hang on. I didn't just read that, did I? Shit the bed, I did.

The entertainment's turned up a notch, now, folks!  If you're near the Peterborough Central Library on Monday, December 3rd, between 1:30-2:30pm, you can go along to see...wait for it...

...the world's ugliest dog.

And that's not all, oh no.  To add value, local schoolchildren will be 'reluctantly' reading the ugly mutt a story.

Reluctant my arse.

They're all practising to be like their parents and, if the people of Peterborough finally work out where their asses are at, just want to spend their entire lives watching drunks thumb Lady Chatterley in The Coalheavers Arms.

One final note.  Do you know the meaning of the word "opportunity"?  If you're a UK businessman and you've got anything at all about you, you'll be straight over to Market Deeping (a hamlet in the wild Peterborough suburbs where I actually used to live) to open a Kindle and Tom-Tom store.   Drop me a line saying thank you when you're a millionaire.

Pitbull says 'thank you' to UK for banning explicit video

Just when you thought that the Mary Whitehouse effect had disappeared for good, Pitbull, a.k.a. Mr. Worldwide, goes and gets his "Don't stop the party" video banned for featuring complete nudity. Tsk!

It serves as a cool reminder of the censorship that saw 'Relax' and then 'Two Tribes' get banned for Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the eighties. Both songs became number one hits.

Whilst constraints may have relaxed on broadcastable content since Whitehouse's passing in 2001, we've still a way to go before we are as at one with our nudity as... the sultry Scandinavians, or sexy Spanish senoritas, say. (But not with a mouthful of digestives.)

Pitbull still targeting world chart domination

With a name like Pitbull, you wouldn't expect a little thing like a UK video ban to derail his self-declared plan to, quite simply, take over the world of rap. And right you'd be.

Rather than see it as a setback, Pitbull has actually expressed his gratitude, saying "bet that up" (slang for thank you if you're from Miami, apparently) for being slapped on the same exclusive list as Madge, 2 Live Crew and Birmingham crooners Duran Duran for having a vid too hot to air. No mention of Frankie, funnily enough.

[caption id="attachment_5131" align="alignright" width="646"]pitbull banned for full nudity; image naked dancer in disco light shadow Nudity just too much for us Brits as Pitbull's video gets banned
credit: duchessa, sxc[/caption]

The cool customer sees the whole banned video saga as just another stepping stone. When interviewed by BANG, he laid down the path to success quite succinctly.

The five-year Pitbull domination plan

2009 saw Pitbull's release from record label TVT, which the rapper translates as his 'freedom in the music business' phase. True enough, his first commercial successes came shortly after he and TVT parted company.

In 2010, he launched an 'invasion' on the music industry before '[building] an empire' in 2011 following the invasion's success. This year has all been about capitalising on those opportunities to 'grow wealth'.  You'd have to say he's done that, looking at the star list lined up to perform with him on his next album.

His plans for next year are to fit all of those pieces together to complete the jigsaw. From where we're stood, the borders are certainly in place, it's just a couple of fiddly bits in the middle that Pitbull may have to bang down in 2013 to make the perfect picture.

Anyone doubting his capacity to realise that dream need only look at those stars already committed to performing on 'Global Warming', said to be his next album. I doubt very much whether the title refers to green issues, rather a reflective statement encompassing his last four years' activity, accomplished with the skill of long-term strategist, it has to be said.

For our delight, we'll hear Pitbull perform with Christina Aguilera and J-Lo (now there's a thought) as well as Enrique, Usher and Chris Brown. I have to say, I'm warming to it already.

I wonder if he could make the video with Xtina as explicit as the UK-banned 'Don't stop the Party' flick? Oops...that's one thought too many...

Entrepreneurship needs support to save UK job market

In yesterday's business article we revealed that Justin King, current CEO of Sainsburys and serial entrepreneur in his own right, is looking to employ 10,000 more staff in 2013 and a staggering 20,000 over this Christmas and New Years.

Results gleaned from Global Entrepreneur Week reveal that he may well have a job on his hands (no pun intended) if he's scouring the upcoming teenage market to fill those positions, certainly the long term ones.

A survey of almost 18,000 school leavers and teenagers in further education (16-19) conducted by Amway suggests that 9 out of 10 respondents who expressed a preference believed entrepreneurship was the most valuable tool Britain has for fathoming a way out of the economical troubles it finds itself.

Entrepreneurship the way forward for UK students

And that's not simply the outlook of pipe-dreaming adolescents. University graduates are almost as emphatically certain that unprecedented self-employment will be a dominating aspect of the UK workforce in the near future.

Those who have been there and done it, however, feel that the British Government is simply not equipping this generation of would-be UK entrepreneurs with the tools it needs to realise those ambitions.

Shed Simove, ideas man and entrepreneur of much repute himself, cannot see 'enterprise' on UK education curricula anywhere, a certain barrier to future self-sufficient success in his opinion.

[youtube width="646" height="422"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_5GkjVCNQQ&ytsession=L0HypJEcpb4KJg9StYJ6d98s2Wc-TiTH0h5j4SZ0Lg-YQQ6rFRxYmzdOpFKrfpW6-gxa1DPA33zrBcX3oXdh_9ogSGaII1Tb63bsx70yI0ZcSMwZc_k7sAq7VCnQtHbaYDalt73UuVGNj3mP5wTxDIhwDCsr5y0VjK-gQ3u8msTBxdk1i6ywhXZ-nu_l1S3HJSWS3Ktdmj3ObB1B37lbp5OiW0Z2wnWv7I65xmmmcGgGiiw6gBIdYwIENB3FiQVdkJ_YwhVpl6DbW3lWIC-GBNF30feT8-UC3cSRLjzsI1U[/youtube]

And this guy knows an opportunity when he sees one. Not only did he invent the Flying Fuck as per the video above, he had 300 special edition coins made of himself in America, his face one side, arse the other, and is selling them on his website - now that's coining it in.

Sorry - I don't know where these God-awful puns coming from tonight.

Politicians not taking research into success stories seriously

Despite there being a plethora of white papers detailing how entrepreneurs have made it and the secrets of their success, Simove accuses politicians of not giving those reports the priority and importance they deserve.

According to the Amway report, the role of the entrepreneur is no longer craved by the male of the species alone. Almost three quarters of women surveyed believe in their own talent and aptitude enough to carve a niche in the business world.

What's more, women have the edge of being less afraid of failure than their male counterparts, a key aspect in achieving entrepreneurial success.

If we're all cocked and ready to go (no, don't say it) (I think you just did - ed) then we need the Government to take the initiative and restore national pride at a time when there is so very little.

Our future is in our own hands; we just need Parliament to put the tools into them to dig us out of this mess.


Filthy rich King's revolutionary euphemism for 'give me a tax cut'

Justin King, in his ninth year of tenure as boss of Sainsburys, appears in The Independent twice today. With one eye on the Christmas/Seasonal wage bill, I guess, he's made (what I consider to be, at least) an out-of-character request to Number 11, Downing Street.

[caption id="attachment_4129" align="aligncenter" width="646"]Justin King, Sainsburys boss Justin King, Sainsburys boss
(credit martinstabe)[/caption]

Okay, let's play a little game; can you spot the cryptic connection between these two headlines, laid out here as they appeared in my stream today:

Sainsbury's to create 10,000 jobs
• Sainsbury's boss calls for cut in National Insurance contributions

Got it?  Hit me between the eyes, too.  If not, read on...

If King would have just come out and said: "George, old bean...I need to employ an extra 20k workers for Christmas. Oh, and a possible 10k full-time next year. How's about looking into the old National Insurance, hey, what, what?" - then that would have been fine.

Yes, they'd have been maligned for abusing the Old Boys network, for sure, but it's what we've come to expect.

But Justin King must think we're all doolally-fruitcake if we think his plea to the Chancellor is a genuine one to help out 'the health of the economy'.

Justin King? Stephen King's more believable!

I know it's stating the fecking obvious, but all Justin King wants is to cut his company's expenses. I know, no shit, Sherlock 'n' all that. But it has to be said.

This is what Sainsbury's King pin actually said:
Nothing does more for the health of the economy than having more people in jobs – it builds confidence, reduces the burden of unemployment on the state and increases retail expenditure.
It is up to the Government to decide the best way to achieve it, but one option could be a national insurance holiday on new jobs for twelve months."

What utter bollocks.

Now, I'm not against a holiday from N.I., per se. That 8-9% amounts to...hang on a bit...fingers and thumbs... FYI, I was born with eight arms like an octopus...who's also bad at maths, obviously.

So, yeah - that saving would surely buy me a few pints in Dublin at the Christmas party. So it's got to be good, right?

Justin King classes National Insurance a 'tax on jobs'

Whether George Osborne considers the proposal or not (with his eye on £10bn worth of welfare budget, I doubt it), I don't know how quickly Justin King expects the Chancellor to react. But the Sainsbury's boss made one thing pretty clear by announcing his 'stance' now. Again, there's little coincidence in the timing.

The Autumn statement is next month (I still can't get my head around that) and Justin King is getting twitchy-ring about employing the 20,000 seasonal workers for December and the January sales.

Furthermore, whilst profits have been superb this year for Sainsburys, considering the climate, in his plans for expansion, he wants to save a little bit more.

The greedy bastard.

I know it's biting my nose off to spite my face, but I hope he gets what he, 'king, deserves.

I've been converted! -- how iPad Mini is changing the world

I'm utterly convinced, after my own experience and from what I've gathered in the technology columns, that tablets will one day replace all personal computers. Desktop, laptop, phone even.

[caption id="attachment_4339" align="aligncenter" width="646"]iPad Mni and iPad tablets compared next to a deck of playing cards ipad and ipad mini tablets - repair_labs - cc sharealike[/caption]

It's a safe bet too that we'll have more than one each, certainly every household will, and not before too long either. Here's why.

Last month, we were going to Lanzarote for my birthday. Who wants to spend the middle of October stuck in the West Midlands when you can be in the Canaries, right? Too right!

Anyhow, prior to our vacation, I'd been commissioned to write an e-book and, conscious of having a bit of cash in my account when we got home, I bought a tablet. I never even gave it a second thought: it was, after all, a means to an end.

The idea of taking a tablet PC on holiday didn't phase me

I'd never even considered taking our chunky laptop anywhere with us before, no matter how much work would be waiting after the vacation was over; getting the laptop to load in the UK was bad enough. In Spain? Nu-huh! More trouble than it's worth.

However, after my wife had taken the plunge and bought a tablet to enhance her HTC Wildfire experience earlier this year, I'd no reservations about buying one, too. Well, certainly not with the concept of taking a tablet pc to work on in the sun,anyway.

My better half had opted for a 7" - I've just not been the same since the op - and my old, squinty eyes are similarly not what they used to be. So I went for a 10" tablet. It was Android, yes. But a top-named brand?  No.

It does seem that I'm in the minority when it comes to being budget-conscious about tablets if the scant details revealed in recent research into tablet-buying habits have merit.

iPad and iPad Mini tablets look set to rule the roost

Ben, over at TechPinions, was summarizing a study they'd undertaken into market conditions and consumer opinions regarding tablets of all descriptions. Whilst there was an element of those on lower incomes going for non-Apple models, the iPad and iPad Mini were clearly on the wish-list of the majority.

Of those Apple devotees, price only became a consideration when the factor decided whether it was the full-blown iPad experience the individual could afford or if they'd settle for the smaller Mini version. Even the fact that the next generation was expected to have retina display had not put Apple fanatics off buying their favourite brand.

The ecosystem must be so overwhelming that one becomes instantly intertwined and a die-hard fan the moment they commit to the iCloud. Am I being tight?  Or unfaur?  If you're into your i-everything, be sure to let me know what I'm missing, won't you?

I digress; when I was growing up, my brother (and sometimes sister) got my hand-me-downs. It looks as if the iCloud generation has taken that tradition to a whole new level.

Rather than a pair of hardly-worn trainers (he was brave, my brother) or a "Frankie say Relax" t-shirt, tablets are now the commodity being passed down through the saplings of the family (Apple) tree to the siblings.

The overriding factor for those surveyed, in Ben's opinion, was summed up in that time-honoured adage: you get what you pay for. So Lord help me if my good lady wife finds out I've been palming her off with a standard 7" when there's more active tablets that give you a longer battery life at hand.

Did that sound like an ad for Viagra? Come on, keep up.