The PR Guru

December 8, 2010

Corrie at 50: live episode so high-profile it is under Al-Qaeda terrorist threat, following previous fears that Metrolink tram crash actually happened

There are fears that tonight’s Coronation Street 50th Anniversary live episode could be a target for an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack.

Police in Manchester are taking the possible threat seriously, and have issued a statement, “This is a public, high-profile event. The risk is consistent with the UK terror threat, which is currently severe. ITV have taken on a private security firm, and our officers will assist them.”

It’s thought that cast and crew members will undergo airport style security checks when they arrive on set ahead of tonight’s live show.

As well as the potential terrorist threat, Corrie bosses are also fearful that the bad weather could ruin tonight’s live broadcast, and a stand-by recording of the hour-long special has been taped.

Monday night’s Coronation Street was watched by a lot of people who knew that it featured a tram crash (great publicity there), which was apparently so realistic that several people called a travel advice line to check if the real Metrolink was still operating.

At least six calls were made about the tram system by passengers saying they had seen the carnage on television and wanted to check if there was a problem.

It is thought a spoof TV news broadcast after the show – watched by more than 14m viewers – may also have confused some people.

Actor Tom Burroughs, who played the part of the tram driver who actually survives the carnage, has told how it was an honour and dream job to be involved in the historic scenes.

Tom said: “I didn’t get my script until my first day of filming. It was funny because some of the cast were looking at me and asking me what I could tell them. It felt like shooting a film. It’s an honour to be a part of it.

And he revealed it is not the first time he has graced the cobbles. He said: “I did Coronation Street in 2007 and I played a nurse when Leanne Battersby was kidnapped but it was a very brief appearance. It was very different this time.”

The special episode is part of the programme’s 50th anniversary (the anniversary episode being shown as a follow-up tomorrow – 9th December).

The anniversary is also being marked by a special musical, called Corrie!, that is touring theatres.

December 3, 2010

Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall apologises for sleeping with over 1,000 women in 3 years

Mick Hucknall, the lead singer with the band Simply Red, estimates he slept with more than 1,000 women in the three years the band were at their most popular.

He has, today, offer an apology, describing his behaviour as an addiction. “I regret the philandering. In fact, can I issue a public apology through the Guardian? They know who they are, and I’m truly sorry.”

Hucknall is originally from Manchester and he believes it was the brand of romantic soul ballads that won him many female admirers.

“When I had the fame, it went crazy,” he says. “Between 1985 and 1987, I would sleep with about three women a day, every day. I never said no. This was what I wanted from being a pop star. I was living the dream and my only regret is that I hurt some really good girls.”

Hucknall, who in the past was linked among others to Catherine Zeta Jones, Martine McCutcheon and Helena Christensen, is married with a young daughter. He attributes his sexual incontinence to a search for love, after being abandoned by his mother at three.

November 23, 2010

Will not including Joss Whedon in the reboot of Buffy be the worst publicity error ever and was Vicky Entwistle’s attack on a fan really called for?

The news that is shocking the world today is that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is being made into a movie, without the help of Joss Whedon.

Warner Bros. have offically announced they’re doing a reboot version of Buffy, without any apparent involvement by the original creative team for the movie or TV show.

“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen,” says Charles Roven, who will be producing the feature film. “Details of the film are being kept under wraps, but I can say while this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough, and sexy as we all remember her to be.”

According to Warner Bros., Roven, Steve Alexander, Doug Davison and Roy Lee will produce the new Buffy feature film,and Whit Anderson will write the script.

No word yet on whether any original castmembers will take part in the new Buffy film, but Davison and Lee worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar on The Grudge.

Of course, the new movie could turn out to be perfect for the fans, but the producers are going to have to make sure they get their PR right.

More film PR news today, is that a film director in Kazakhstan has shot a sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat in a bid to improve the country’s image.

The movie Borat follows an uncultured journalist from the country who travels to the US where he pursues the actress Pamela Anderson (who was herself recently been seen in the ‘Bigg Boss 4’ House where she learnt Hindi words and expressed an interest to do a Bollywood movie). It outraged people in Kazakhstan and was eventually banned in the country.

So the sequel My Brother, Borat hopes to counter balance the country’s image.

Following the success of the original Borat movie which made £150 million at the box office, it is believed the sequel will also be a huge success when it is finally released next year.

In other news, the husband of Coronation Street actress Vicky Entwistle, who plays Janice Battersby, has been found guilty of attacking a fan (by punching him on the face) who was seeking a picture on a train.

The 23 year old fan was knocked unconscious by Andrew Chapman, a black belt in karate, who had denied common assault.

Ms Entwistle said she was intimidated by the approach, which had sparked her decision to quit the soap.

The defendant claimed the fan looked menacing and had lurched at his wife while they travelled home on a train from Manchester after a beer festival on 12th April.

Ms Entwistle told the court it was the first time she had used public transport for 13 years because of unwanted attention from people who recognised her from the programme.

Chapman, who is paid £200 a week to look after the couple’s home, was convicted of common assault and fined £1,250.

November 12, 2010

Ghost the musical casting confirmed, we celebrate our 6th birthday at a children’s play centre and Pink could be pregnant

I thought I would balance out my blog today by posting a much more light-hearted entry now.

The highly anticipated casting for the world premiere of Ghost the musical has been confirmed. It will open in Manchester in March next year before a June opening in the West End.

Playing the role of Sam Wheat (played by Patrick Swayze in the film) is Coronation Street and Legally Blonde the musical star Richard Fleeshman. He will be co-starring with Broadway actress Caissie Levy (as Molly Jensen) who shot to fame by taking on the role of Elphaba (in Wicked) in New York before coming to the West End earlier this year in the Broadway transfer of Hair.

This casting has come as a shock to many who believed that the roles would be played by West End performers Oliver Tompsett and Laura Michelle Kelly – who took on the roles in workshops.

The role of Oda Mae Brown (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film) will be taken on by West End legend Sharon D Clarke, whilst original Sky in Mamma Mia! Andrew Langtree will play Carl.

Criticisms have already started to come in regarding the casting of Fleeshman, saying he is too young and not right for the role. However, many seem happy with the casting of Levy as Molly, even if it was completely unexpected. I suppose she is hoping the show will transfer to Broadway where she will be able to originate the role there.

Also, in a first for a West End musical, the Live & Unchained Abbey Road press launch of Ghost the musical (as well as footage from the Royal Exchange Theatre event held in Manchester the following day) will be streamed to Facebook users, on a special application, on Friday 25th November 2010, at 1pm, 7pm and 9pm. This gives potential fans the chance to see the cast perform songs from the musical for the first time. Three teasers from the recording have already been released to entice people to watch.

In other news, mentioned on our Twitter page last night, we have just confirmed that we are going to be holding our 6th birthday party at Fenton Fun Factory (a children’s play centre) on Friday 3rd December between 4pm and 6pm, giving grown adults the chance to recapture their youth on the slides and ball pools.

There will also be a host of party games including pass the parcel, musical chairs and Simon Says, music from 2004 (when the agency was established), and a buffet including jelly and ice cream, cheese and pineapple sticks, and party ring biscuits.

We are looking for business owners with a sense of fun to join us. For further information call us on 01782 472035 or visit info@richardswancottassociates.co.uk.

Finally, we have heard that singer Pink could be pregnant, having received a congratulatory tweet from Good Day L.A. Host Jillian Barberie Reynolds on her Twitter.

The tweet included, “Ps. You know your man whispered it to us at dinner. See I CAN keep a secret!!”, well – obviously she can’t. Did she tweet this on purpose for the papers or what?

No news has come from the singer and her personal Twitter page has been silent on the matter.

This isn’t the first time she’s faced pregnancy rumours. Last spring she shot down speculation, joking that she was carrying “a 600-lb. baby.”

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