The Fix

George Michael snapped trolling for sex? Jake Gyllenhaal to play Lance Armstrong? Plus: David Hasselhoff, the musical!


Salon Staff
July 24, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
George in the jungle? The U.K. tabloid News of the World has been trailing George Michael again, and this weekend photographed him in the London park Hampstead Heath reportedly trolling for sex. The paper's photographs seem to show a very upset Michael at a park at night, alongside a photo of the man who claims he hooked up with the pop star in the underbrush, a "pot-bellied, 58-year-old, jobless van driver" named Norman Kirtland. Kirtland tells the paper, "I don't even like George Michael ... OK, I admit I was there for sex. But I'm astonished a man as famous as George should even think about doing it. It's potentially so dangerous." As for Michael, the paper quotes him as saying: "Are you gay? No? Then f*** off! This is my culture! I'm not doing anything illegal. The police don't even come up here anymore." (News of the World)

David Hasselhoff, the Musical: It's painful to imagine a show tune about a futuristic talking car, but that's exactly what David Hasselhoff hopes to bring to the world. He's planning a stage production based on his own life, from "The Young and the Restless" through "Knight Rider" through "Baywatch" and beyond. "I am also doing a heart-rendering [sic] set on my life and the mistakes I have made," says Hasselhoff. "It sounds like a bad joke, but it is really going to be a good show ... totally campy. It's written by the same people who wrote Bette Midler's show and produced by the people who produced 'Chicago' in London." The musical is expected to debut in Melbourne, Australia, though no date has yet been set. (Celebrity Week)

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From Jack Twist to Lance Armstrong: It's no accident that Jake Gyllenhaal and Lance Armstrong have been spotted out cycling together a lot recently -- Gyllenhaal is vying to portray Armstrong in a biopic Sony reportedly has in development. And why not turn Armstrong's life into a film? As Deadline Hollywood writes: "Given Armstrong's unhappy youth, his sports prowess (first as a triathlete and then as a cyclist), his cancer battle, his Live Strong yellow wristband campaign and his cancer foundation work, his epic seven [Tour de France] titles, his rivalry with cocky Jan Ullrich and upstart Ivan Basso, his love-hate relationship with the French, and his battle against doping accusations, it's a heckuva tale." (Deadline Hollywood Daily)

Couric not afraid of war zone coverage: "Access Hollywood" somehow got it exactly wrong last week when it reported Katie Couric had said she wouldn't travel to the Mideast to cover the fighting in Lebanon. In a story on its Web site (which has since been corrected), "Access Hollywood" pulled an old quote of Couric talking about how she wouldn't travel to Iraq right after CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier was injured there. According to Page Six, Couric, speaking about traveling to Lebanon, told reporters last week, "Clearly, if it's going to serve the story, advance the story and be helpful to the story, I would like to be there." (Page Six, Access Hollywood)

Also:
Head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Tina Fey is leaving "Saturday Night Live" after nine years to focus on her upcoming sitcom, "30 Rock," in which she plays the head writer of a sketch comedy show. (N.Y. Daily News) ... It's getting kind of old, but "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was the top box office film again over the weekend, bringing in $35 million and becoming the fastest film to make it past the $300 million mark; its total domestic earnings are now $321.7 million in 17 days. (Associated Press) ... Supposedly retired hip-hop impresario Jay Z is back in the studio, with an album that should be out sometime between Thanksgiving and early 2007. (Rush & Molloy) ... A source tells Star that last week's rumor that Tori Spelling is pregnant has no basis in truth: "No, she is definitely not expecting," the source says. "But she finds it amusing how all this talk even got started." (Star) ... Elizabeth Hurley denies that she and boyfriend Arun Nayer are to be married shortly: "It's not true; it's all fiction. I'm in the country at the moment and I have about 50 helicopters circling overhead, but all I've done is feed the chickens and water the flowers." (FemaleFirst) ... Emmy-winning actor Jack Warden -- who appeared in films including "All the King's Men," "Shampoo" and "Twelve Angry Men" -- died July 19 in New York. He was 85. (People)

Money Quotes:
TV producer Aaron Sorkin -- who was famously arrested for cocaine possession in 2001 -- talking about the influence of television: "When things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV, I think it's [like] bad crack in the schoolyard ... Why did I use that word?" (People)

Oprah Winfrey relates the story of how she met her best friend, Gayle King: "When I was 22 years old and working as a TV anchor in Baltimore, there was a young production assistant in the newsroom, Gayle King. One night there was a snowstorm and she couldn't get home. I said 'Hey, you can spend the night at my house.' She said, 'I don't have any panties.' I said, 'Well, I do. I have clean panties, and once I give 'em to you, you don't have to give 'em back.'" (Jossip)

-- Scott Lamb

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Turn On:
Bravo premieres "Tabloid Wars" (9 p.m. EDT), a new reality series set at the New York Daily News, while BBC America debuts "Life on Mars" (10 p.m. EDT), starring John Simm as a modern-day detective who wakes up in 1973. Also, ABC presents the "CMA Music Festival" (9 p.m. EDT).

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Sen. Byron Dorgan, "The Long Tail" author Chris Anderson
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Colin Farrell, India.Arie
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Kyra Sedgwick, Arctic explorers Lonnie Dupree and Eric Larsen, Taking Back Sunday
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Ray Romano, Sue Johanson, Jose Gonzalez (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Eddie Izzard, the Buzzcocks
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Rosario Dawson, Jesse Metcalf, the Flaming Lips
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Sen. John McCain
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Howell Raines

-- Lamar Clarkson

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