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Keepin’ it coun­try with Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus is the per­fect per­son to ad­vise trou­bled Justin Bieber on how to han­dle his crazy fame. A break­out singing phe­nom­e­non him­self, Billy then helped guide his daugh­ter Mi­ley through the tra­vails of teenage su­per­star­dom.

‘ It’s tough for Justin to be that age and in the mid­dle of that rocket ride, one that goes crazy what­ever you do,’ he told me. ‘When peo­ple love so pas­sion­ately, there’s al­ways go­ing to be an op­po­site reaction, too. The bad news, as Kris Kristof­fer­son once said to me, is: “The turkey with the long­est neck is al­ways go­ing to be the one ev­ery­one’s shoot­ing at.”’

Billy’s new au­to­bi­og­ra­phy has a chap­ter en­ti­tled Life Ain’t Fair. ‘That’s be­cause when my par­ents were di­vorc­ing, I asked my dad why ev­ery­thing was so messed up. And he told me, “Son, life ain’t fair, and the sooner you re­alise that, the bet­ter.” ’

The same ad­vice I give my three sons ev­ery time they ask me why I com­pelled them to be Arse­nal fans. ev­ery dish con­tains breath-rav­aging quan­ti­ties of gar­lic — even the ice­cream. Top mo­ment of a bizarre night (the food is ac­tu­ally re­ally good) came when we donned huge fake gar­lic hats as wait­ers sang: ‘Happy An­niver­sary to you, Happy An­niver­sary to you, Happy An­niver­sary, dear stinkies, Happy An­niver­sary to you.’ Who said ro­mance is dead? The best bas­ket­ball team on the planet are the Mi­ami Heat, a con­tro­ver­sial band of mainly mer­ce­nary su­per­stars as­sem­bled at huge ex­pense to win cham­pi­onships — which is ex­actly what they’ve been do­ing.

Last week, led by the mer­cu­rial LeBron James, they lifted the NBA ti­tle for the sec­ond year in a row. And tonight, I in­ter­viewed their power for­ward Chris Bosh — a 6ft 11in Texan.

Bosh ex­e­cuted one of the crit­i­cal mo­ments of the se­ries: a won­der re­bound from a James miss, with an in­stant flick to his col­league Ray Allen in the cor­ner — who scored to snatch vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat in the dy­ing sec­onds of Game Six.

As one who shot the hoops a bit my­self (my school team nick­name was ‘ Mead­owlark Mor­gan’ in hon­our of the Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ter), I won­dered what went through their minds in this mo­ment of ge­nius. Bosh laughed. ‘I had two con­ver­sa­tions, very short. Ray asked, “How did you get that re­bound and see me?” I said I didn’t

Great to see Kenny Rogers rock Glas­ton­bury tonight. He must have spawned more karaoke trib­utes than any­one bar Elvis and Si­na­tra, and he re­cently told me a hi­lar­i­ous story.

‘I was in Vegas,’ he said, ‘and as a joke I went into one of those things where they have the im­per­son­ators and I didn’t tell any­body it was me. So I go up on the stage and I’m singing with this girl who looks like Dolly, sang great like Dolly. We did Is­lands In The Stream and when it was over, this man comes up to me and says, “I’ll tell you one thing, you’re a hell of a lot bet­ter than the real guy.”’

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