Why Ex­tras had An­nie in stitches

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - MATT BEN­DORIS

SEx­tras Christ­mas Spe­cial UK TV (Fox­tel), Fri­day, 4pm Bri­tish com­edy clas­sic Du­ra­tion: 1 hour INGER An­nie Len­nox watched the Christ­mas edi­tion of Ex­tras and fell about laugh­ing, es­pe­cially at a scene where Andy Mill­man (Ricky Ger­vais) met Ge­orge Michael, who was moan­ing about hav­ing to do com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Michael said in the show he copped the com­mu­nity or­der for rais­ing the ire of Len­nox.

Len­nox, who lives in a five-storey house in Lon­don’s plush Not­ting Hill, ex­plains: ‘‘Ge­orge moved next door a few years ago and was al­ways putting his rub­bish out at the wrong time. It would lie there for days. His bins were a real eye­sore.

‘‘I felt he was tak­ing down the tone of the neigh­bour­hood. I went to com­plain to him, but got his house­keeper in­stead.

‘‘Soon af­ter­wards Ge­orge moved out. Maybe I scared him off. That’s why I found Ex­tras so funny. It was Ge­orge’s way of get­ting back at me.’’

Len­nox also found her­self agree­ing with Ger­vais’s rant against celebri­ties in the Ex­tras episode.

‘‘Celebrity has be­come a huge in­dus­try,’’ she says. ‘‘Even B-list and C-list celebri­ties can make a lot of money. It seems we love to see or­di­nary peo­ple do well, then we get re­sent­ful and jeal­ous about it. Then we like watch­ing them go­ing into re­hab— it’s voyeuris­tic. We all have that streak, though.

‘‘Look at Amy Wine­house. The fo­cus is now on her strug­gles with her demons. That has now sur­passed her mu­sic, which is strange be­cause I think she is phe­nom­e­nal. The in­ter­est in Amy is will she or won’t she die — it’s not about her mu­sic any more.’’

Len­nox, 53, in a 25-year ca­reer has sold 80 mil­lion records with pop duo Eury­th­mics and as a solo artist.

Her face is known all over the world, but she in­sists she’s no celebrity.

‘‘You don’t see me turn­ing up to ev­ery red-car­pet event, do you?

‘‘Just to be fa­mous for fa­mous’s sake is a dodgy place to be, be­cause once it’s over there’s noth­ing sad­der than be­ing the last one at the party. Sud­denly you don’t know who your friends are.’’

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