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Hurrah and huzzah, he of high trousers, ridiculous man nipples and square hair has thrown down the biggest X Factor challenge yet.

Forget having to tease your hair into an oblivion for Disco week or being forced to work with choreographer Brian Friedman without punching him full in the face... Simon Cowell has reportedly banned the cliché.

I am GP and this is my blog about the song I've got in my head each day.

To kick things off, I thought I'd share what I consider to be the greatest song ever written: Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

That may sound like a bold claim - one that only a fool would make, in fact - but believe me, ladies and gentlemen, when I say that I am that fool.

Things are starting to hot up at the Sunderland Empire this week, as panto time has not so much crept up on us, but rather jumped out before anyone could shout 'it's behind you!' It's a really exciting time with our star studded Aladdin cast, including Paul Michael Glaser, Sheila Ferguson, Masashi Fujimto and Anthony Kavanagh, arriving from all corners of the globe very soon.

It's all go this week with Paul Michael Glaser flying into the UK (possibly on a magic carpet) and ready to be thrown into a whirlwind of television appearances, interviews, launches and light switch ons! There's even a rumour he's going to be joining Fern and Phil on their sofa on This Morning on Friday 14th November!

View imageIt was a very exciting time for the Sunderland Empire last week as we revealed the final gems in our Aladdin cast. We held a great event at the Best Western Roker Hotel in Seaburn, where we announced that teenage heart throb, singer and finalist in ITV's Grease Is the Word, Anthony Kavanagh is going to be our Aladdin.

Anthony gave a great performance at the launch, proving himself to be a more than worthy pantomime hero.

The last time I saw Mercury Rev, the singer shambled off stage and came to stand near me in the crowd, as the gig continued seemingly unhindered up front.

The sad truth is, most bands have a comfort zone and they don't often feel like leaving it.
So when at the end of nearly two hours of noisemaking you see singer Jonathan Donahue fall to his knees, his arms flapping convulsively in time with the music before letting himself slip to the floor, you know you've seen a band unafraid to use everything they've got.

Smelling of Rosies

By Sam Wonfor on Nov 7, 08 02:14 PM

The student argument that your hair actually starts cleaning itself if you don't wash it for long enough is being supported to impressive effect on Coronation Street.

Rosie Webster, her of the pouting lips, irritating voice and middle-class hooker dress sense, has been holed up in John's gran's attic for bloody weeks now with only her self-importance for company.


This is the right set up for Mr Frame.

Not just the cosy luxury of The Sage's Hall Two, but the one man with acoustic guitar
set-up that allowed his songs to be showcased in all of their fragile glory.

I blame Nicky Campbell

By Matt McKenzie on Nov 7, 08 01:19 PM

I blame Nicky Campbell.

Each morning, by the very act of listening to Radio Five, I am reminded of a formative stage in my music-loving career by listening to the man who amuses me and irritates many over breakfast.

I've got something in my ear

By Matt McKenzie on Nov 6, 08 01:19 PM

The Germans have a word for it, a pithy and poetic word for which there's no direct translation.

And it describes a condition from which I've suffered for years.

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