Thursday, January 31, 2013

Acting the Part



WHEN one door closes, another door opens, so they say, whoever they are, and having lived in some drafty places in my time I can relate to that. But with the news on TV that theatres in many towns may face the loss of subsidies due to councils making cuts, new hope has appeared from another direction for Thespians seeking roles.   

"IS THIS BRITAIN'S MOST IRRESPONSIBLE PARENT?" asked the headline in the Daily Mail the other day.

A party-loving mother has admitted giving her daughter alcohol from the age of three so that she would be able to 'drink properly' as a teenager.
Doctors have condemned 35-year-old Shannon Burrows after her startling confession that she gave daughter Jamie Lee, now 20, her first taste of alcohol as a small child.

The youngster was drinking cans of Fosters every weekend and had a bottle of vodka to share with a friend to mark her 15th birthday.

Shannon, from Doncaster, south Yorkshire, pays for her heavy drinking partly with money earned by her landscape gardener husband John, 50, and her £180 per month child benefit.

Husband John looks after their other children - two sons aged 12 and a daughter of nine - while she goes out drinking with unemployed Jamie Lee once a week.

Read more:

It was just the thing to set Mail  readers tut-tutting about these dreadful people (no not MPs and bankers) living it up at public expense, irresponsible and unfit parents paid over-generous benefits, who are to blame for the state the country is in....Just the thing to take attention away from moves to cut benefits and services.

But was Shannon all she seemed? The Mail had pix of mother and daughter in their finery and on the booze, but was either shy or forgetful about mentioning her occupation.  It was left to sceptical blogger Tom Pride to tell us that Shannon, aka Carolyn Burrows, is an actress, complete with her own casting page:

You would think an aspiring star would want to mention it in any publicity she receives. But maybe that wasn't part of the deal.

This was not the first such case that Pride and other bloggers have been looking at. 

Both Murdoch's Sun and the Mail had stories earlier this month about a so-called immigrant single-mother from Lithuania called NATALIJA BELOVA who was claiming £279 a week in benefits but who actually turned out to be a working actress. Here is the story here as told by the excellent PoliticsUK:


For the Sun it was front-page news.  Well, two favourite targets in one, benefits scroungers and immigrants. If World War II had broken out (and let's face it there are some smaller wars going on) it would have had to wait for a space.
But according to Pride, the papers may have missed a real story behind the blonde Belova. 

"Some people are saying that the Sun’s so-called foreign benefit scrounger is in fact the widow of a Russian billionaire oligarch. Five years ago, Leonid Rozhetskin, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, vanished from his £1 million home just outside the Latvian capital Riga.

Just last year, Mr Rozhetskin’s body was found by police in Latvia who say he was most probably murdered. His widow – who is said to be still living in the UK – is a former actress and model also by the name of NATALIJA BELOVA".

Meanwhile, the Mail today has a cautionary tale against anyone thinking that making it as a newspaper story can only be the start of a brilliant career. It features Antonia Sancha, the actress whom it says was paid £30,000 for her amusing vignette back in the 1990s about spanking and toe sucking fun with Tory David Mellor, in his blue Chelsea shirt. The report says she has since admitted making these details up. Still it was enough to make "Minister for Fun" Mellor on his downward slide.

"But approached outside her shabby, one-bedroom flat in nearby Willesden Green, North West London yesterday the woman who was seldom far from the headlines in 1992 was not keen to talk.
She gruffly barked: ‘I don’t want to speak to any journalists,’ before slamming her front door."
Oh dear. I've got friends who live in Willesden Green. It's not all that bad. But as my friends would agree, it is not quite Sunset Boulevard.



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