News on Toast: February 13, 2012
The world farewells Whitney, King Kyle’s crown slips and Peter Harvey goes to the dogs: Today’s hot topics in bite-sized pieces just right for dunking.
Goodbye, Whitney – we will always love you
You could almost hear the collective intake of breath around the globe yesterday afternoon as millions learned, almost simultaneously through online social media, that Whitney Houston had died.
The 48-year-old singer was found dead in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel room around 4pm on Saturday, just 24 hours before the Grammy Awards at which she was scheduled to be the opening act. Houston was reportedly seen drinking with friends at a hotel bar just hours before she was discovered by a member of her entourage. Paramedics tried to resuscitate her for 20 minutes before pronouncing her dead at the scene.
The tragic news is sure to cast a sombre mood over today’s Grammys ceremony, already a slightly funereal affair after the July death of Amy Winehouse, with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson scheduled to perform a tribute. Ironically, Houston is likely to be the weekend’s top selling recording artist with her Greatest Hits album predictably shooting to the No.1 spot on both iTunes and Amazon.com on Sunday.
Of course, news moves quickly these days so yesterday’s reports of shock and sadness are already being replaced by theories of drug abuse and loneliness – family members reportedly told gossip website TMZ that Houston was taking depression drug Xanax, which can cause severe sedation when mixed with alcohol, and other outlets are reporting a host of prescription drugs found in the singer’s room.
As we experienced with Michael Jackson in 2009 and last year with Winehouse, the news about Houston’s death will continue to unfold for weeks and the stories are unlikely to get any prettier. Her battle with drugs was well known, her performances infamously erratic. Sadly, we’ll never know if her 2012 Grammy performance could have been the start of her comeback.
>> Has Whitney Houston’s death inspired you to buy more of her music? How do you think she should be celebrated at today’s Grammys?
Is King Kyle coming undone?
Many have tried to bring down shock jock Kyle Sandilands over the years, but now it seems the controversial TV and radio star could be doing it all by himself. News.com.au reports the Australia’s Got Talent judge “called in sick” for yesterday’s Melbourne auditions of the show and had to be replaced by Dancing with the Stars’ Todd McKenney, delaying production by almost two hours and sparking “crisis talks” by network management about his future. The Austereo star has also been absent from his breakfast radio show for the last three days as his health problems “spiral out of control”, apparently chain smoking and putting on weight. Some have speculated that Sandilands is “depressed” about ex wife Tamara Jaber’s new relationship with American investment banker and amateur footballer Ken Aseme – and why wouldn’t he be? Have you SEEN Ken Aseme? In furniture terms: if Kyle Sandilands is IKEA, Ken Aseme is Chippendale. Plus outside of furniture terms, Ken Aseme could actually be a Chippendale.
Now look, far be it from me to feel empathy for the man who called a fellow female reporter a “fat slag” and a “piece of s***” for just doing her job, made jokes about Magda Szubanski losing weight in a concentration camp and made a teenager talk about being raped live on air, but… actually, I’ve forgotten what I was going to say there. Huh. Maybe I don’t feel any empathy for Kyle here.
>> What do you think about Kyle Sandilands? Are his 15 minutes up? Should Todd McKenney permanently replace him on AGT?
This is Peter Harvey…………. in hospital
This week’s award for the article most likely to make readers say “What the…?” goes to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph for the story that TV newsman Peter Harvey was attacked by dogs.
The veteran Channel 9 journo has been known to report on a few political dog fights in his time, but yesterday Harvey had to be rushed to hospital after being injured in a real one. The reporter famous for his baritone voice and iconic “This is Peter Harvey, Canberra” sign-offs sustained a “massive 25cm wound” to his left shin after getting in the thick of a dog fight in Sydney’s Centennial Park.
Harvey’s daughter told the Telegraph her father was holding her dog Jake on a lead when two English bulldogs at a nearby picnic table started to attack. She said it was unclear whether the “deep gouge” in her father’s leg was caused by a tooth or a claw, but that Harvey will likely require “plastic surgery and a skin graft”.
It sounds like he’s going to be alright, which is good news because I predict the crass Twitter jokes about this are going to start, ooh… about… NOW.
And that’s your News on Toast for this morning – bite-sized hot topics to get you through that awkward coffee queue chat with Sandra from accounts. Come back tomorrow for another dose and, in the meantime, tell us what you think in the comments!