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Hundreds of butterflies wing their way to the Natural History Museum

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By Daily Mail Reporter

Lucia Wagstaff 8, with a Blue Morpho, found in South America. Their entire life-cycle only takes 137 days.

Young explorers were all of a flutter today, as they came up close to a host of magnificent butterflies at the National History Museum.

Hundreds of the colourful insects from bright Blue Morphos to Owl butterflies were unveiled to school children at a preview of the museum's new 'Butterfly Explorers' exhibition.

Gabriel Wagstaff (left) and Parker Canning study butterflies feeding on oranges at the Natural History Museum's 'Butterfly Explorers.' Adult butterflies can drink but cannot eat

Visitors will see all stages of the butterfly life-cycle in the special enclosure.

They will experience the wildly varied environments in which butterflies live in North America, Africa and Asia as well as the heart of the Amazon rainforest in South America, where there are more butterfly species than anywhere else on Earth

A butterfly emerges from a chrysalis at the exhibition which opens to the public on April 8

Butterflies develop from an egg to a caterpillar before cocooning themselves inside a pupa. They finally emerge as winged adults and set about reproducing.

However, butterflies don't survive for long as they cannot eat and can only drink through a straw-like mouth.

While this entire cycle only takes 137 days for some species like Blue Morphos, arctic butterflies are believed to have a two-year life cycle.

The exhibition includes two hatchery windows where butterflies will emerge from the pupae, as well as feeding tables.

Visitors will also learn strange facts about different species, such as the Glasswing that drinks poisonous sap from heliptrope leaves, to make themselves taste unpleasant to predators.

It will also include information on why some species are under threat and how to encourage butterflies into your own garden.

It comes as conservationists warn that a third of Europe's butterflies are in decline.

The large blue butterfly, which was successfully reintroduced to the UK after dying out here, is endangered throughout Europe, according to the European Red List assessment of species at risk.

And the Duke of Burgundy and Lulworth skipper, which both suffered their worst year in the UK last year, are in decline in many countries across the continent.

Butterfly house manager Luke Brown releases a fresh consignment of butterflies at the Natural History Museum's exhibition

The release of the European Red List, commissioned by the European Commission, also revealed 14 per cent of dragonflies and 11 per cent of a group of beetles which rely on decaying wood were at risk of extinction.

Conservationists said a loss of habitats, including traditionally-farmed grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, was the major factor affecting insect species.

Butterfly Explorers will run from April 8 until 26 September, 2010. For more information visit www.nhm.ac.uk

source: dailymail

Pin-up Raquel Welch was rejected by model agencies until she found fame as an actress

By Daily Mail Reporter

Prehistoric wonder: Raquel Welch in fantasy film One Million Years B.C., the role which made her a sex symbol

Modelling agencies 'hated' Raquel Welch's body when she first approached them for jobs, the legendary pin-up has revealed.

Miss Welch, now 69, said people branded her figure far from perfect after she moved to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1960s to try to make it as a movie star.

'When I tried to do some modelling after I first came to LA - just to get a job - they hated my body. Everything was wrong,' she told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

But the One Million Years B.C. star, who has penned a new autobiography entitled Beyond The Cleavage, said their view rapidly changed when she was thrust - somewhat reluctantly - into sex symbol status.

'I had no idea that was the path I was going to be going in when I started my career, because I wanted to be an actress,' she said.

'When I came to Hollywood I was actually the mother of two small children already and I wanted to be taken seriously.

'It wasn't common knowledge, it wasn't something I paraded around a lot.'

Revelations: Welch was appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show

Pin-up: After finding fame as a Hollywood pin-up, Welch was in demand

In fact, at the age of 18, she had married her high school sweetheart James Welch in 1959 - whom she would divorce five years later.

And the couple's two children she kept quiet about as she tried to launch her career were Damon (born in 1960) and Tahnee (born in 1961).

Arriving in LA during the 'beach party craze' of the early 60s, she landed minor roles in films such as Elvis Presley's Roustabout (1964) and A Swingin' Summer (1965) before being catapulted to stardom with One Million Years B.C. in 1966.

Despite her good looks, Miss Welch told Oprah she did not feel like a sex symbol on a daily basis.

Asked if she felt as good as she looked, she laughed: 'Barely. I'll have my mornings when I really like myself, but 90 per cent of the time it's "Oh my God".

'One of the reasons I look so good is that it takes me about three hours to get ready.'

Far from perfect: When Welch first moved to Hollywood modelling agencies rejected her, until she found fame in films like 1967's Bedazzled

But the film star, who was linked to a string of men in her heyday - including Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and Burt Bacharach - said she would urge women to feel comfortable with growing old.

'I want them to stop being scared of it, because it's just another chapter in life,' she said.

'I want to encourage them not to be disturbed and to really embrace it and go with it.'

'Hated': But Welch, seen in The Biggest Bundle Of Them All in 1968, had the last laugh

source: dailymail

Miranda Kerr's pampered pooch travels in style in his very own doggy bag

By Chris Johnson

Barking: Miranda Kerr arrives at New York's JFK International Airport yesterday with her dog Frankie, carrying him in a specially designed holdall

It seems this lucky dog gets all the creature comforts.

But when your owner is one Miranda Kerr, you'd expect to get model treatment.

The Australian lingerie star was seen carrying her yorkshire terrier Frankie through the airport in his very own specially made holdall.

With his little head poking out of the window hole, the pampered pooch appeared quite happy to let Miss Kerr do all the leg work.

Victoria's Secret model Miranda was pictured at Los Angeles LAX Airport yesterday where she caught a flight to New York's JFK with her pet.

Because it was an internal flight, she was able to bring her little friend with her.

Sorry to disturb: The Victoria's Secret model lifts the Yorkshire Terrier out of the bag at the security check as she departs Los Angeles LAX Airport

At security, she had to remove Frankie from his little carry bag for checks before proceeding to the departures lounge.

The 26-year-old - dressed down in jeans, flats and a hat - was also joined by her actor boyfriend Orlando Bloom, 33.

She made a rare departure from her glamorous photo-shoot and catwalk appearances by sporting an almost make-up free look.

Travelling in style: The pooch waits patiently as a make-up free Miranda looks on

Miranda's pet dog has become something of an accessory for the star and he is often seen accompanying her on holidays and even on her trips to the shops.

Two years after becoming a Victoria's Secret Angel, Miranda's earning power has steadily risen.

She came in at number nine in Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's top paid models.

And from July 2008 until June 2009, she earned an impressive $3million.

So clearly she has plenty of funds to afford Frankie his luxury lifestyle.

Back in his doggy bag: Australian model Kerr was joined by boyfriend Orlando Bloom, seen here arriving together in New York

source: dailymail

Lucky kangaroo hops to freedom after getting its leg trapped in a hubcap

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Mail Foreign Service

Trapped: The young kangaroo was found with its leg trapped in a hubcap at an Australian ce

A young kangaroo has been rescued by wildlife officers after its leg was trapped in a discarded hubcap at an Australian cemetery.

The injured male marsupial was found lying on the ground at the Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park, north of Perth, Western Australia, by families paying their respects.

The unlucky animal appeared to have jumped on to the hubcap, which then broke and became stuck on its left leg.

Lucky escape: The animal was able to hop away after wildlife officers removed the plastic hubcap

Wildlife officer Matthew Swan said the kangaroo was so badly injured he initially thought it would have to be put down.

'He was just lying on the cemetery floor and couldn't move. The hubcap looked like an old-fashioned bear trap,' he said.

'It looked very serious.'

Mr Swan calmed the 1.6m adolescent kangaroo with a tranquiliser dart and carefully removed the plastic hubcap.

'Luckily he wasn't seriously injured.'

'I waited for him to wake up so I could see him hopping about to make sure it was okay,' Mr Swan said.

The officers returned to the cemetery the following day to make sure the animal was alright, but he was nowhere to be seen.

'We’re confident that it was able to move on to a new location. It was a successful rescue and a great result,' Mr Swan said.

'He would certainly have died there

source: dailymail

Just Can't Get Enough of each other: The Saturdays' Rochelle clings on to her JLS man Marvin

By Georgina Littlejohn

New love: The Saturdays' Rochelle Wiseman and JLS star Marvin Humes enjoy a romantic date out in London last night

They're quickly becoming one of the hottest couple's on the pop scene at the moment.
But when you're also part of two of the most sought after pop groups it can be tricky trying to steal a few romantic moments alone.

So it's no wonder that Marvin Humes and Rochelle Wiseman didn't let go of each other as they enjoyed a date in London last night.

The Saturdays' star and the JLS member were snapped leaving a private members' club just after midnight.

With their arms around each other, they beamed for the cameras as they left trendy Shoreditch House and made their way home.

After spending the day with her band mates in Paris, the city of love, yesterday, it was little wonder that Rochelle, 21, wanted to keep up the romantic tempo.

And there was no mistaking that the smile on her faces was one of those showing the first signs of love as she snuggled into her handsome boy band boyfriend.

Happy together: Rochelle can't stop smiling as she clings on to her man

Marvin, 25, also couldn't contain the happiness on his face, as he gallantly steered his new love past the press crowd.

The couple have only been dating for about a month, but have already spoken publicly about their their burgeoning relationship.

Earlier this month, Marvin spoke about his new love and said: 'She is such a lovely girl. I’m very fond of her. We’ve been on a couple of dates, and we’re going to see how it goes. She is really very lovely. That’s all I can say right now.'

Both have been spotted out together several times since they began dating and with their birthdays only a couple of days apart, they celebrated each other's big day with two parties just over a week ago.

Leisurely lunch: Rochelle takes a call as she and Marvin have a bite to eat at the May Fair Hotel

Marvin toasted his 25th with a bash at Soho's nightclub Alto before raising a glass or two to his girlfriend as she celebrated her 21st with a huge party at the May Fair Hotel.

And while celebrating her 21st birthday just over a week ago, Rochelle gushed about her boy band boyfriend, describing him as 'very sexy'.

Speaking to OK! magazine she said: 'I'm really happy. And I just want to carry on feeling like that.

'It's early days, you know. It's exciting and it's fun and we're both really into each other. he's a lovely guy. And he's gorgeous.

Birthday boy: Marvin walks to Alto nightclub in London for his 25th birthday celebrations, closely followed by Rochelle

"Personality-wise, it's that he's really kind and thoughtful. He really looks after people. Whoever he is speaking to, he makes them feel like they are the absolute centre of the

"And I find that caring side just lovely. Physically, oh my! I mean I think everyone loves his stomach, don't they?

"What woman wouldn't like that? Have you seen it? It's rock hard and very sexy."
And she also admitted that he was the one who made the first move.

Silver starlet: A few days later, Rochelle shows off a stunning dress as she celebrates her 21st at London's May Fair Hotel

Rochelle, who got together with Marvin not long after her split from childhood sweetheart footballer boyfriend Darren Randolph, said: 'When he first asked me on a date, I was really apprehensive. We'd been friends for ages so I knew he was a good guy.

'But I'd decided I was going to have a man-free period after splitting with darren.

My friends said, "go on, just go on a date with him!" They knew I really liked him, I just wasn't sure about the timing. But everyone was like, "oh it's cool, it's Marvin from JLS! You've got to go out with him. He's so hot!

'I didn't want it to look like I was shoving it in Darrens' face so soon after we'd broken up. It's just that when you're dating a pop star, it's hard to keep a low profile.'

Don't rain on our parade: The Saturdays pose in Minnie Mouse hats in Disneyland Paris yesterday

But Rochelle better make the most of her man while she can after the boys revealed today that they are heading into the studio to work on their second album with producer Labrinth - and will be jetting back and forth from the UK to the States.

Speaking on Sunday to the Daily Star, Marvin said: 'We're with Labrinth this week and will be back and forth to LA to work on the album over the summer.

'The quality will step up as now people have seen our sales figures they're more open to work with us.

'We're doing tracks with Stargate and Toby Gad who has worked with Beyonce.'

Back in the studio: JLS will be jetting between London and LA to work on their second album

source: dailymail

Peaches Geldof axed as 'face and body' of Miss Ultimo lingerie after naked pictures scandal

By Simon Cable

Peaches Geldof has been axed as the face and body of Miss Ultimo after naked pictures of her emerged
Representatives have denied claims she had taken drugs and her management team were yesterday locked in talks to try to persuade Miss Ultimo not to terminate her £100,000-a-year contract.

Peaches Geldof was yesterday dropped from her lucrative modelling contract following sordid allegations about her private life.

Bosses for underwear firm Miss Ultimo arranged an emergency meeting yesterday morning to discuss whether the 21-year-old could continue as the face of the brand after it was claimed she had a heroin-fuelled, one night stand last November.

A series of lewd photographs appeared on the internet showing Miss Geldof cavorting topless and wearing a large bloodied plaster covering part of her thigh.

But the company suggested she had been axed because she was setting a bad example to their young female audience.

They immediately ordered pictures of Miss Geldof to be removed from their window displays, website and department stores where their brand is sold.

A spokesman for the company said: 'We have been in meetings all morning with regards to the stories that have surfaced over the weekend about Peaches and unfortunately we have no option but to terminate her contract

Controversial: Peaches Geldof in one of the shots published in the U.S; we have cropped it for decency

'Miss Ultimo is a brand geared towards a young female audience and as a company we have a social responsibility to ensure we are promoting only positive role models that young women can aspire to.

'We are in the process of removing Peaches from the website and we are working with Debenhams to remove her visuals form all Miss Ultimo shops and window displays throughout the UK.'

Michelle Mone, the creator of the Miss Ultimo brand, said: 'We’ve given this a lot of thought, but there’s a point where a business must stick to its principles and as a brand that targets young women, we feel it is impossible for Peaches to continue to work with us as the face of Miss Ultimo lingerie.'

The news comes just ten months after Miss Geldof was signed up to the company and weeks before the launch of her latest campaign, which had already been shot.

Friends of Miss Geldof said she was 'devastated'. 'It was Peaches' most lucrative contract by a long way,' one said. 'Until this point she had a really good relationship with the company, so she wasn't expecting this.

Glazed: Peaches with Ben Mills in one of the pictures posted on the internet

'She had already shot her new campaign which she was really excited about and now its been scrapped and they are erasing any trace of her.'

Last week, 23-year-old American artist Ben Mills claimed he and Miss Geldof had injected heroin together during a short-lived affair in Los Angeles last November.

He alleged the heroin had been brought to the U.S. by Miss Geldof as well as posting naked images of her online.

Miss Geldof, who is the youngest daughter of Live Aid organiser and former Boomtown Rats frontman Bob and late TV presenter Paula Yates, has repeatedly been linked with drugs in recent years.

Parting company: Ultimo owner Michelle Mone with Peaches last month at the launch of a lingerie collection at Debenhams in Glasgow

In July 2008, she was treated by emergency paramedics after an overdose and was believed to have stopped breathing for several minutes until she was revived.

However, she refused to go to hospital for fear her father would find out.

That incident came after she was seen offering a drug pusher cash in May 2008. She was questioned under caution but never charged.Then in December that year she left a 'shopping list' of drugs including Viagra and sleeping pills in a London pub.

Peaches was just 11 when Miss Yates died of a heroin overdose in 2000. Representatives for Miss Geldof, who is thought to be in LA, did not return calls to the Mail yesterday.

source: dailymail

Raw power! Spectacular images as molten lava pours from Icelandic volcano surrounded by glaciers

Monday, March 29, 2010
By Wil Longbottom

Dramatic: The orange glow of lava and ash is visible from miles around above the Icelandic glaciers as Fimmvörðuháls volcano erupts

These spectacular images show Mother Nature at its most raw as a volcano erupts under a cold night sky.

The eerie glow of lava is visible from miles as seismic activity along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge causes a powerful eruption.

Hundreds of tourists have flocked to the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in Iceland after months of small earthquakes caused lava to spurt out of a fissure a third of a mile long.

The eruption, which began under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, caused nearly 600 people to be evacuated from their homes amid fears the seismic activity would trigger more volcanos to erupt.

Geologists had been predicted an eruption for weeks after hundreds of small earthquakes in the region.

But the actual site, one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails, was in the Fimmvörðuháls area - 80 miles east of Reykjavik - which has had no volcanic activity for 10,000 years.

Tourist attraction: Hundreds of visitors flocked to the site, in southern Iceland, to catch a glimpse as the lava poured out

Blowing off steam: Visitors get as close as they can to the lava flow, left, and stop to watch a plume of ash and gas as it emerges from the volcano. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from the area after the eruption in an area which was unused to volcanic activity

When eruptions take place near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, they normally trigger further seismic activity at the Katla volcano. The last eruption was 189 years ago.

Katla is underneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier and a large eruption would likely cause massive flooding.

The vast majority of evacuees have now been allowed to return home and roads have been reopened in the vicinity, although residents of 14 farms are still considered at risk and have been ordered to stay away.

The frequency and intensity of earthquakes in the area have also reduced as a result of a release of pressure caused by the eruption on March 20. Geologists are monitoring the situation, but the danger level appears to have receded.

Attracted by the spectacular scenery, the Fimmvörðuháls eruption has turned into a boon for the island's struggling economy after hundreds of visitors risked their lives to catch a glimpse of lava flow.

Icelandic search and rescue workers warned tourists to be wary of poisonous gases emanating from the crater of the volcano. Sulphur, fluorine, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide were found after the eruption, many of which can be deadly.

source: dailymail

Catherine Zeta-Jones goes from shabby to chic in one day as she changes outfits THREE times

All change: Catherine Zeta-Jones started her day off in cropped jeans, a leather biker jacket and flip-flops (left) before switching into leather 'jeggings', a quilted jacket and beret

Deciding what outfit to wear before leaving the house is a tricky decision, familiar to most women.

But perhaps Catherine Zeta-Jones is more indecisive than most, as she wore three different outfits in just one day while shopping in New York.

The Welsh actress, 40, started the day wearing an Oscars baseball cap, leather jacket, jeans and flip-flops.

She then swapped her casual look for black Christian Louboutin boots, tight leather 'jeggings', a mac and beret.

After deciding she didn't have her look quite right, she returned to her exclusive apartment and re-emerged minutes later with a designer leopard skin wide-brimmed hat.

Earlier this month, Miss Zeta-Jones wore a black leather jacket and military cap that drew direct comparisons with Posh Spice.

And it wasn't the first time she has taken inspiration from Victoria Beckham. In December the mother of two wore a leather and fur combination within days of Posh, 35, donning the same.

OK... I'm happy now: Zeta-Jones leaves her apartment in her third and final outfit

The usually voluptuous Miss Zeta-Jones appears to have lost a considerable amount of weight in recent months while performing in the Broadway musical A Little Night Music.

She has told how she 'ate for Wales' when pregnant with son, Dylan, now seven, which saw her balloon to 13st.

After the birth of daughter Carys five years ago, she used a tough dance-based routine from her movie Chicago to whittle herself into a leaner shape. But these days, she is even more toned.

Miss Zeta-Jones and her husband Michael Douglas, 65, recently moved to New York from Bermuda. They plan to stay there for the next two years.

Putting her best foot forward: Zeta-Jones has relocated to Manhattan with her family while she stars on Broadway

source: dailymail

Simon Cowell and fiancee Mezghan shop for classic cars...and frozen yoghurt

Sunday, March 28, 2010
By Georgina Littlejohn

Sleek and shiny: No, not Cowell, but a classic Jag that caught his eye while out with fiancee Mezghan Hussainy in Los Angeles yesterday

Having been told he's to be given a prestigious award, you can hardly blame Simon Cowell for treating himself to a little something.

But while most people would celebrate with a nice meal out with their family or possibly a new outfit, the X Factor boss went looking for a new set of wheels.

Just days after being told he is to be honoured with an International Emmy award in recognition of his television work, Cowell, 50, was snapped out with fiancee Mezghan Hussainy looking at fancy motors.

As the couple browsed round the at Heritage Classic Cars showroom in Los Angeles yesterday, a couple of vehicles caught Cowell's eye as Mezghan looked on approvingly.

He stopped to admire a silver two-seater 1954 Jaguar XK convertible with red leather interiors and chrome wheels - a mere snip at £65, 789.

The couple also checked out a two-seater convertible black Corvette retailing at £43, 635, as well as a 1961 E Type Jaguar convertible which costs slightly less at £32, 894

What do you think, darling? Cowell and Mezghan check out a convertible Corvette

Of course, it's all a matter of small change for multi-millionaire Cowell, who could have bought all three in one go and not even blinked.

Already in his garage he boasts ownership of a £257,000 Rolls Royce Phantom, a Bugatti Veyron, which is worth £830,000 and a Lambourghini Gallardo Spyder costing £133,000.

But he appeared to walk away empty-handed, possibly not quite ready to add another set of wheels to his already-extensive car collection.

Tempting: Cowell and Mezghan admire a shiny classic Jaguar

Instead, having built up an appetite in the showroom, Cowell treated his make-up artist fiancee, who flashed her huge engagement ring, to a tub of frozen yoghurt at upscale dessert restaurant Pinkberry's.

This weekend it was announced that Cowell will be honoured with the Emmy for 'reshaping 21st century television and music around the world'.

Cowell, who will collect his award in New York on November 22, said he was 'delighted' at the news, and added: 'I've been very lucky to make the shows I love.'

Cooling off: The couple enjoy some frozen yoghurt

source: dailymail

'I am disappointed. It's a show I'm passionate about': Denise Van Outen on being bumped by the BBC

By Lydia Slater

'I told Andrew Lloyd Webber that if I could do the show, I'd call the baby Dorothy ... but clearly plans changed,' says Denise

Despite her disappointment at being dropped from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new BBC show Over the Rainbow, Denise Van Outen admits that ‘it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been content’. The reason? Pregnancy has given her a fresh outlet for her talents, she tells Lydia Slater

Dressed in a trademark figure-hugging dress and vertiginous heels, Denise Van Outen tosses her blonde mane and flashes a gleaming smile at the camera. She’s done it thousands of times before, but this, she admits, is a photo shoot with a difference. ‘It feels weird not having to suck my tummy in,’ she says with a giggle, patting her neat seven-month bump. Denise, 35, is clearly not suffering from any pregnancy-related ills. Her ankles are racehorse-neat, her tawny limbs cellulite-free. She’s glowing with happiness.

It was a different story when I first met her five years ago. She’d just split up with her nightclub-owning boyfriend of three years, Richard Traviss, and was utterly miserable: brittle, skinny and unashamedly broody. I left wondering why it was that the nation’s TV sweetheart seemed unable to find one of her own.

‘I was a complete mess,’ she agrees. ‘I’d never really found a balance between my relationships and work, so when my personal life went wrong, I’d throw myself into what I was doing professionally. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been content. I’m doing good work and I’m coming home to a nice atmosphere and a nice man,’ she smiles.

The man responsible for her new happiness is her husband of nearly a year, actor Lee Mead. Famously, they met on the BBC’s talent show Any Dream Will Do, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for a Joseph to don the iconic Technicolor Dreamcoat for the revival of his musical. Denise was one of the judges; Lee the eventual winner. Although Denise, the consummate professional, insists that her mind was entirely focused on her work – ‘lusting over the guys in their loincloths is the last thing I’d do’ – it seems as though the attraction was immediate.

‘The first time he performed, I thought he was really good, and there’s actually footage of me commenting, “Cor, he’s nice!”’ she confesses. ‘After his audition, Graham Norton said to him, “Lee, you could have secured more than the role of Joseph – I think Denise is looking for a husband!” The nice thing about [the footage] is that our daughter will be able to see us meeting for the first time.’

De-lovely: Denise with Big Breakfast co-host Johnny Vaughan (left) and Andrew Lloyd Webber

After the show finished, Lee asked Denise for some advice on coping with his new
fame. ‘He wasn’t prepared for how intrusive it would be. So I gave him my number, we started speaking on the phone, and then he asked me out.’

They married in the Seychelles last April in a simple ceremony with their parents and friends, having spurned offers from celebrity magazines for coverage. ‘I did my own hair and make-up and had no shoes on,’ says Denise. ‘I wanted it to feel like the opposite of a photo shoot.’

By the time Denise was appearing in Blondes, a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival last August, she was already pregnant. ‘I had no idea,’ she confesses. ‘I thought I was ill. After every show I just wanted to go to bed, and I had a constant craving for cheese. We had been trying for a baby, but for some reason it never occurred to me,’ she says.

The baby, which they know is a girl, will be born in May, just as Lee returns to the West End to play Fiyero in the Wizard of Oz spin-off Wicked. (He’s determined to be in the delivery room, so if you’re keen to see him in the role, it might be best to book your tickets for later in the run…) ‘I am a bit scared of the birth,’ admits Denise. ‘Hopefully it will be straightforward, but I want every painkiller going.’

‘I’m a bit of a show-off, and when I’ve dated guys with big personalities there could be a clash. Lee calms me down’
Denise has worked pretty well nonstop since she won the role of Cosette in Les Misérables at the age of 12. Born in Basildon into a close, working-class family – her father was a security guard and her mother ran a nursery – Denise set her sights on showbiz as a child, pretending she was conducting interviews as she rode her bike.

She won a place at London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School, paying her own fees from her performing work. Once she graduated, she sang in a band, worked as a model and was even a weather girl before landing a presenting job on The Big Breakfast with Johnny Vaughan.

Having made her name as a presenter, she proved equally successful on stage, first in Chicago, then in the one-woman show Tell Me On a Sunday. In the past few years she’s made a specialty of hosting reality TV talent shows. By 2006, she had moved to LA and was presenting Grease: You’re the One that I Want, the search for a Danny and a Sandy to star in a new Broadway production of the musical. The offer of Any Dream Will Do lured her back to the UK in 2007. She followed that up with a stint as a judge on I’d Do Anything the following year, which saw Jodie Prenger catapulted to stardom as Nancy in the new production of Oliver!

When we meet, she is still hopeful that she will be on the judging panel of Lloyd Webber’s new show Over the Rainbow, to find a Dorothy for The Wizard of Oz, but she is due to give birth in the middle of the series. ‘Maybe I can go off and come back?’ she says. ‘I saw Andrew at the weekend and he said they were doing all they could to get me involved. I told him that if I could do the show, I’d call the baby Dorothy…’

Alas, that wasn’t inducement enough – a few weeks later, the BBC announced a line-up that didn’t include her. A newspaper report alleged that Denise was told by a member of the production team that there was ‘no way’ she could do the show because of her pregnancy – potentially laying the BBC open to a claim of sex discrimination. The BBC then issued a statement insisting that the decision to drop Denise had nothing to do with her baby.

‘Over the Rainbow is a new show with new judges,’ it said. ‘Neither Denise Van Outen, John Barrowman nor any of the previous judges will be on the panel.’ Instead it will feature Charlotte Church, John Partridge (Christian Clarke in EastEnders) and Sheila Hancock.

‘I am disappointed not to be a part of it,’ she tells me when we catch up later. ‘It’s a show that I’m passionate about and, after all, it’s through the show that I met my husband and I’m becoming a mum,’ she says. ‘There was some press saying I was never involved in the show, yet in the last talk I had with anyone, my name was in the frame. But clearly plans changed.’

Denise is diplomatic about her feelings and insists that she still has a good relationship with the BBC, but she wouldn’t be human if she wasn’t miffed with the way it’s been handled, and sounds rather tight-lipped when she reveals ‘I only discovered I wasn’t doing it through the press.’ The BBC subsequently offered her a smaller role within the show, but she turned it down. ‘It wasn’t the right thing for me to do.’

But work-wise, Denise has no intention of taking a career break when she becomes a mum. The happiness of her home life has, she says, made her realise how much she loves her job. ‘It’s just that, until now, I’ve never been in the right head space to enjoy it fully.’ She’ll be back on our screens a mere two months after the birth, and has three new TV projects lined up this year.

What’s more, her pregnancy has given her a new outlet for her career: ‘Shopping for maternity ranges, I found that the materials looked great but weren’t very comfortable,’ she says. Inspired by fellow TV presenter and friend Fearne Cotton, she collaborated with the online department store very.co.uk, arriving at the initial meeting with armfuls of the sort of clothes she liked. ‘They were amazing and worked quickly to draw up designs based on my ideas. Within ten days, I had the collection in front of me.’ It will be launched tomorrow.

With husband Lee Mead

She’s also in the middle of writing a book on pregnancy. ‘It’s not just a celebrity diary,’ she assures me. ‘I wanted to combine a diary with something more informative.’

She’s enlisted the help of her personal trainer, Nicki Waterman, along with nutritionist Amanda Ursell, who will be contributing advice on how to exercise and what to eat throughout the nine months. But she also wants to tackle the more controversial aspects of conception and fertility, she says.

‘I want to be honest with the fact that I left it till I was 35 to get pregnant, and perhaps talk to women in their 20s about how it’s good to start preparing then, because we all want to be career women and leave it till the last minute.’

Not that Denise regrets her decision to wait until the right man came along. As well as Richard Traviss, she had a relationship with Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay. ‘I’m a bit of a
show-off,’ she admits, ‘and when I’ve dated guys with big personalities, there could be a clash. Lee calms me down.’

She once said in an interview that her perfect man would be ‘shy and mysterious’, and, despite his star qualities, Lee is nearer to that ideal. There is a seven-year age gap between them, but she says she’s never noticed it. ‘Lee is mature for his age.

He’s very disciplined, like me. There are lots of similarities: his family are from Southend, mine are from Basildon, and we all feel comfortable together. That’s helped, because I can really be myself.’

But can her marriage cope with the pressures of celebrity? The demands of their separate careers certainly mean that they spend a lot of time apart. After their honeymoon, Lee flew to New York to study drama at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute while Denise returned to London to work on a promotional campaign and visited him at weekends.

‘Lee is seven years younger than me,’ she says. ‘Seven years ago, I was very ambitious.

I wouldn’t want him to miss out on all those fabulous experiences. I know it could seem alien to other people; my parents do everything together. But you have to accept it if you’ve both got careers. I’ve always been independent.’

When we meet, Lee is on tour with a play based on Oscar Wilde’s novella Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime. ‘Lee was more worried than me,’ she says. ‘He said, “What if you go into early labour while I’m away?” And I said, “It’s fine, we’ll deal with it.”’ What worries her more than the separations is having her relationship in the spotlight, so she and Lee have turned down numerous offers of work together. ‘I’ve learnt that it’s crucial to keep things separate, otherwise your home life becomes about work, and we’re not together for work reasons. We’re very normal.’ And what do they talk about? ‘At the moment, it’s all baby stuff,’ she says.

You won’t see them at the celebrity parties either – they prefer to snuggle up at home, either in Denise’s Hampstead flat or their 17th-century Kent farmhouse. And although her own career is riding high, Denise admits she’d rather her child took a different path. ‘I think people expect me and Lee to get her an agent straight away, but we’d rather see her focus on a great career doing something else,’ she says. Given the baby’s genes, I suspect that, in this matter at least, Denise is doomed to disappointment.

Denise’s DVO Maternity range will be available from very.co.uk from tomorrow

source :dailymail

Peaches and 'a night of drugs and debauchery' with a stranger that ended up all over the Net

Saturday, March 27, 2010
By Sara Nathan

Glazed: Peaches Geldof with the mystery man in one of the pictures posted on the internet

Eyes glazed and head lolling on a stranger's tattooed chest, Peaches Geldof gazes up at the camera in a picture that will provoke fresh drug fears over the daughter of Bob Geldof.

That is just the first in a series of increasingly lewd images of the Live Aid founder's 21-year-old daughter taken during what was claimed to be a heroin-fuelled one-night stand last November.

In another photo, Peaches cavorts topless, flaunting the 20 tattoos that cover her body

Topless: Another one of the snaps of the 21-year-old

Worryingly, she also clearly sports a large bloodied plaster that covers part of her thigh.

Peaches has repeatedly been linked with drugs in recent years and this is just the latest debacle to hit the second of Geldof's three daughters by his ex-wife, TV presenter Paula Yates.

Peaches was just 11 when Miss Yates died of a heroin overdose in 2000, leaving Geldof to look after her and her sisters Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie, as well as Tiger Lily, Miss Yates's daughter by INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

The photos surfaced yesterday after an American college student, identifying himself only as Ben, wrote a detailed message on U.S. internet site Reddit.com which was asking users for their most bizarre one-night stands. This was then picked up by internet site Gawker.com.

Ben, from Madison, New Jersey, claimed he met Peaches when they were staying with a mutual friend while Peaches attempted to record her debut album.

He alleges the pair spent the night together on Thanksgiving, on November 26, and drove around Los Angeles looking for syringes and cotton wool - as well as lemons to dissolve heroin that he says Peaches claimed she had brought from England

He says: 'She had a cute English accent and wasn't bad looking at all. The tattoo discussion leads to us deciding we should get each other's names tattooed on each other.

'At 3am I grab my friend's car keys, and head out. We drive all over Hollywood looking for a tattoo parlour, with no luck. While driving around we get on the topic of drugs. At this point in my life I was very into all drugs, as was she. She told me she had a bit of heroin she brought with her from the UK and asked me if I was game. I was so the hunt began.

Controversial: Peaches Geldof in one of the shots published in the U.S; we have cropped it for decency

'We drove all around LA looking for the supplies we needed. We drove to various pharmacies looking for needles and cotton.

'We get them and begin the drive home. On the way back she mentions this is heroin base, meaning we need to dissolve this in lemon (I guess this is a British thing, I never have seen this in my years in NYC).'

He claims that by 5am, 'I was high as a kite and we start to watch a movie. Things get hot and heavy and before I know it we're naked'.

Bizarrely, he claims that after sleeping together the pair then woke up in a Scientology centre, where fresh convert Peaches had taken them to undergo a detoxification programme called Purif.

He added: 'This girl ended up being a hardcore Scientologist and a D-List celebrity, and we were doing a process called Purif.'

Perhaps fearing reprisals, Ben had yesterday taken off his links on the website and also from his MySpace page.

Peaches was instantly recognisable in the pictures which were originally posted on website Reddit because of the distinctive tattoos all over her body

Peaches has long been linked to drugs. In July 2008, she was treated by emergency paramedics after an overdose and was believed to have stopped breathing for several minutes until she was revived. However, she refused to go to hospital for fear her father would find out.

That incident came after she was seen offering a drug pusher up to £190 in May 2008. She was questioned under caution but never charged.

Geldof, 58, had publicly said he would go 'ballistic' if Peaches ever turned to drugs.

In August 2008, she admitted she took drugs but insisted: 'It's something people go through in their lives, especially growing up in London.'

Then in December that year she left a 'shopping list' of drugs including Viagra and sleeping pills in a London pub. She soon left London and moved to New York.

At the age of 19 she married wannabe drummer Max Drummey, 24, in Las Vegas without her father's knowledge. The marriage lasted just six months.

She has attempted to launch a music career, while Disappear Now, the style magazine she launched, has flopped and her column on trendy New York magazine Nylon has been slated by readers.

Now living in Los Angeles, Peaches is dating 37-year- old actor and horror director Eli Roth, most recently seen in Quentin Tarantino's hit film Inglourious Basterds.

Roth, whose films such as Hostel have been described as 'torture porn', has boasted about scaring girls into bed with sick horror films.

Last night, Peaches' lawyers said: 'The incident and photos concern private issues and activity; the photographs were taken for private purposes only.'

They added: 'The allegations that our client was carrying and injecting heroin are denied, our client having consumed alcohol with the other individual leading to the "highs" described and portrayed in the photographs.'

They also said the alleged visit to a Scientology centre was ' fictitious', adding: 'Nobody who is not a member of that organisation is permitted into such buildings.'

A tawdry, sleazy story... surely now it's time for Bob Geldof to step in if these allegations are really true?


Just what, one wonders, will it take before Bob Geldof - the self-styled saviour of Africa’s starving masses - decides to step in to save the fast unravelling life of his daughter Peaches?

He cannot deny that he has been given more than enough wake-up calls. The latest comes in a sleazy and worrying internet post by a man who claims to have had sex with the Live Aid founder’s 21-year-old daughter while they were high on heroin.

It is a tawdry and worrying tale of a one-night stand with a man she had just met and their search through the seamier streets of Los Angeles for needles and other drugs paraphernalia.

Devoted mother: Peaches with her mum Paula Yates in the early Nineties

As with much of what is posted online, of course, we must view his claims with some scepticism. Indeed, the drug allegations have been strenuously denied by Peaches' lawyer.

But certainly, the anonymous man’s distasteful tale is given weight by the series of pictures of a naked and stoned looking Peaches in a series of grubby poses. The writer- who styles himself only as ‘Thatcoolguyben’- has published these on American social news website Reddit.

Worryingly, in one shot a topless and heavily tattooed Peaches has a plaster, with the signs of blood seeping through it, stuck to her upper thigh. In others she is pictured bleary-eyed and nuzzling up to the tattooed torso of a pasty-looking man on a bed.

Within hours of the online post appearing, it was picked up by the gossip website Gawker, which ran its article under the headline, ‘Peaches Geldof’s Heroin-fuelled One-Night Stand’.

Seven words that will surely send a shudder down the spine of her famous father. And lest we forget, Paula Yates, the drug-addicted mother of the deeply troubled Peaches, died of a heroin overdose in 2000 when Peaches was just eleven.

Sadly, while the 58-year-old Geldof will be horrified by the latest dismal turn in the life of his increasingly out of control daughter, he will not be surprised.

Doting dad: Bob Geldof with daughters Pixie, left, and Peaches in 2003

For many months, concerned family friends – plus even some of Peaches’ own circle – have been contacting the former Boomtown Rats singer will tales of her dangerous excesses.

His intervention came several months after she admitted to London’s King’s Cross hospital after taking an alleged overdose and after a ‘shopping list’ of drugs including, Viagra and sleeping pills, was discarded by Peaches in a London pub.

The previous year, Peaches was filmed allegedly trying to buy drugs from Amy Winehouse’s dealer.

Given the fragile and often fiery relationship that exists between father and daughter, it is something of a miracle, friends say, that she ceded to his wishes on that occasion.

Particularly as for most of last year she was living in a room at the exclusive Mayfair hotel in central London rather than staying with her father and two of her three sisters at his mansion block apartment a few miles away in Battersea.

But those close to Peaches say that if anything her life has unravelled even more since she gave up London and an apartment she also kept in Williamsburg, New York, to move to Los Angeles at the end of last year.

On the West coast she is said to have fallen in with a set that one friend described to me last night as ‘no more than druggies and dossers’.

She is telling friends she has moved to Hollywood to work on her debut album, though as one who has had the misfortune to hear her singing voice, the chances of a successful career in pop would seem limited at best.

She has also fallen prey while in Tinseltown to the cultish tentacles of the Church of Scientology to which she has become an eager convert.

Equally worrying for her father, Peaches has recently been gadding around Hollywood in the company of her latest boyfriend ‘torture porn’ film director Eli Roth, 37.

The sleazy Roth, who directed slasher flick Hostel and starred as Nazi in Quentin Tarantino’s blood-soaked Inglourious Basterds, likes to boast about his taste for taking his female dates to porn theatres and alleyways.

He recently said of his taste in movies: ‘I want lots of violence, nudity. I want sex and violence mixed together.’

Which, needless to say, makes him sound like every father’s nightmare and not someone who should be allowed within a hundred miles of the deeply immature Peaches.

Divorced Peaches, who had a 156 day marriage to Max Drummey, an American wannabe singer she married in a Las Vegas publicity stunt in August 2008, has seen her career take a nosedive in recent months.

Disappear Now, the style magazine she launched and gave herself the role of as editor-at-large of, has spectacularly flopped despite a series of expensive relaunches and her column on trendy New York magazine Nylon has been slated by its own readers.

Her efforts to break into pop is just the latest of a long line of attempts to find something she is actually good at.

The real tragedy is that in the skewed mind of the lonely and mixed Peaches, she will, it is safe to say, be secretly relishing the latest negative headlines about her troubled life.

What she desperately requires is the guidance of someone with her best interests at heart. She will not find it among the high-living, debauched and pathetic crowd she calls her friends in Hollywood.

If she is not to go the same way as her tragic mother, what the vulnerable and deeply troubled Peaches urgently needs right now is the intervention of her father before it is too late.

source: dailymail

Revealed: The real Man Utd dietary plan as stars Rooney and Carrick tuck into junk food

Friday, March 26, 2010
By Georgina Littlejohn

Dim sum anyone? Wayne Rooney leaves his favourite Chinese takeaway in Manchester today

With a huge Champions League match on the horizon, is this really the kind of food we want our Premiership athletes gorging on?

We certainly wonder what Sir Alex Ferguson would make of his top stars tucking into fish and chips and Chinese takeaway just days before their quarter-final clash with German side Bayern Munich for a place in the semi-final.

Striker Wayne Rooney and his midfielder team mate Michael Carrick were both caught out enjoying a high-calorie meal near their homes this week.

And while Rooney smirked at the cameras as he left Wings Chinese takeaway in Manchester this afternoon, Carrick seemed less than impressed that his picture was being taken as he and his family dined out at Fosters Fish & Chips in Alderley Edge, Cheshire yesterday.

Rooney was snapped leaving the restaurant with two huge bags of food while wife Coleen waited patiently in the couple's £130,000 Range Rover.

And while you'd be mistaken for thinking that noodles and dim sum was a one-off treat for the Rooneys, this was actually their second visit there in a matter of days, after dining there on Sunday night

Gotcha! Michael Carrick doesn't look happy about being caught tucking into a fish and chip supper, although pregnant wife Lisa didn't seem to mind

It's one of the couple's favourite restaurants in the city, so it's just as well Rooney can burn it all off on the pitch.

Although he's better not gorge too much on it as he's got a lot to live up to in the next few months, with a Champions League semi-final place beckoning and the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

So it might be back on the salads and high-protein food for him, especially after former Germany striker and coach Jurgen Klinsmann tipped him as prime candidate to win the European Player of the Year award.

Hurry up, Wayne: A hungry Coleen Rooney waits for her husband as they head home to tuck into their lunch

The same dietary advice also applies to former Spurs player Carrick who will find himself in the spotlight this summer when he is called up for England in South Africa.

Or maybe he'll be called to task by wife Lisa Roughead, a WAG with not only a brain - she has a business degree - but is also a pilate teacher, so she'll be able to bend her childhood sweetheart into shape as the summer approaches.

Of course, there'll be no stretching and tightening for her just yet, not until after she's given birth to the couple's second child, due in the next few weeks.

Burning it off: Carrick, Lisa and their daughter Louise, walk off their fattening lunch with a stroll round Alderley Edge

source: dailymail