Gasp! Blaine’s dream was to stop breathing
DAVID BLAINE HAS done some funny old things in his time, from starving himself while suspended in a glass box above the River Thames to not sleeping for over 11 days. Now, though, the magician and “endurance specialist” has set a new world record for the relatively mundane achievement of holding his breath. Mind you, he did it for a, er, breathtaking 17 minutes and four seconds, beating the previous mark by 30 seconds. And if that wasn’t hard enough, he broke the record while appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show — which made for great television, we’re sure. Blaine said that he had accomplished a “lifelong dream”. Does anyone else have dreams like that?
Could this be the last time Amy Winehouse appears in Showbiz Schmooze? It appears the troubled singer is abandoning her Jewish roots and embracing Catholicism. A picture of her in The Mail on Sunday saw her sporting rosary beads, and a pal of hers told the paper: “She was given the rosary beads by a friend and wears them in devotion to Blake [Fielder Civil, her husband].”
That Mark Ronson is a busy chap. He has already proved himself the coolest music producer on the planet — now he’s taking on a new challenge. He’s set to rework 1980s hits by Duran Duran, including Save A Prayer, Wild Boys and Rio, in a one-off concert with the iconic band in France. Ronson has admitted to being quite a fan of Simon Le Bon and the gang. “They were the only band I ever idolised,” he confesses. When I spoke to Le Bon, he told me of his sadness over media intrusion into Amy Winehouse’s life. He described her pal Ronson as “one of the biggest talents to have emerged in recent years”, adding: “He’s taking popular music in a new, exciting and fresh direction. He also looks great in a well- cut suit, and has the blood and voice of an Englishman.” The concert will be invite-only, but screened worldwide.
Bar Rafaeli, the Israeli model, who famously pretended to be married to avoid doing national service, says she is now collaborating with an anti-draft-dodging group, the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden. Why the change of heart? Could it have something to do with the Forum’s threatened boycott of the Israel-based Fox fashion chain, whose clothes Rafaeli models?
Celebrity photographer Annie Liebowitz has taken some highprofile portraits — from the Queen to John Lennon in his final photo session. But everyone is currently talking about her image of 15-year-old acting sensation Miley Cyrus, aka TV teen idol Hannah Montana. Cyrus was forced to apologise for agreeing to pose with only a towel to cover her modesty. “You can’t say no to Annie,” she explained. “She’s so cute. She gets this puppy-dog look, and you’re like, OK.” Apparently, the Queen said very much the same thing.
The multi-platform entertainer that is Scarlett Johansson has taken time off from acting to release her debut single, a cover of Tom Waits’s hit Falling Down. And making a cameo appearance in the accompanying video is none other than Sir Salman Rushdie. The Satanic Verses author is seen nuzzling Johansson’s neck and whispering in her ear, which it looks like she’s enjoying (but then, she is a fine actress). Any hopes Rushdie may have had of seeing more of Johansson will have been dashed by the news that she has got engaged to her actor boyfriend Ryan Reynolds. Lara Lewington is Five News showbusiness and weather presenter
David Blaine: waiting to exhale