Wasting our life on pop culture blogs and gossip sites, so you don't have to.
Quick poll! On 31 December, are you:
A) Heading to a friend's house party, which you're already dreading because Christmas was so boozy that the merest whiff of Listerine makes you gag. Why didn't you get organised and book a stunning countryside retreat with close friends?
B) Driving to a sodding cottage in the middle of nowhere, which you're already dreading because it's costing £300 per person and the weather looks crap. Why didn't you opt for a cheap and cheerful house party?
C) Being paid a million dollars to sing at some hotel in Vegas?
If you answered (c), congratulations, you are Stevie Wonder! The R&B legend is the latest in a long list of celebs reported to be earning a tad more than time-and-a-half this New Year's Eve. The NY Post reports that he's been booked to play the Cosmopolitan resort, although Wonder is a bargain compared to last year's tab at the same hotel, which saw Coldplay and Jay-Z saunter offstage with a million bucks each.
In terms of debauchery and extravagance, the New Year festivities in Las Vegas make Hogmanay in Edinburgh look like a DVLA driving test. If you're an A-F lister with a modicum of business nouse (or even a Twitter account) you can start 2012 in style. Kim Kardashian, for example, is being paid $600,000 to host a bash at Tao in The Venetian. This makes Fergie seem mightily ripped off with a fee of $100,000 to open the new nightclub at the Mirage.
The NY Post also report that Mariah Carey is looking at offers over $500,000, but so far there have been no takers. If you fancy a bit of light stalking this New Year's Eve, here's a rundown of the lucrative appearances happening around town in Vegas.
Incidentally, Stevie Wonder is worth every penny. A few years back, when I worked at a men's magazine, I asked him, "We've all read that you're considering pioneering eye surgery which might restore your sight. Which female celebrity are you most excited about seeing for the first time?" He could have had a publicist kick me out of The Savoy. Instead he smiled broadly, guffawed and said, "Man, there's so many good-looking women out there. Just give me my eyes, and I'll go crazy."
Sex Sells, As Does Sex & The City, Still
The US Audit Bureau of Circulations (or ABC, if you want to sound like a journalist, but this would be a poor decision right now, because you wouldn't be able to attend a party without people asking if you can hack a phone) have released their data for the monthly mag sales of 2011. This gives us a fun excuse to consider the relative popularity of various celebrities. For example, as Ohnotheydidnt reports, "Sarah Jessica Parker pops up on the cover of Elle back in January, Vogue in August and Marie Claire in September and delivers each monthly its second or third best seller of the year."
The ubiquitous Jennifer Aniston was Marie Claire's top seller of the year in the notoriously low-selling month of July, and she also gave Elle one of its best-selling issues of the year in November. Bieber, on the other hand, proved a poor cover choice for both Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. Loser!
Helen Mirren: Nakedness We Can All Feel Good About
It's a funny thing, nakedness. Lindsay Lohan's nakedness in Playboy, for example, made us feel a bit like we'd just eaten a Big Mac Meal and then scoffed our companion's chips. Scarlett Johansson's nudity in those leaked phone pics was lovely, but it also made us feel a bit like a pervy old actor preying on young starlets. Which is fine, as it goes, but I don't enjoy feeling old.
However, there is one person's nakedness which has been given the seal of approval by British society, guaranteed 100% guilt-free: Helen Mirren's. It's totally fine for us all to gawp at her body over a cup of tea in the office. It's even considered normal that these pics, taken for NYmag last year, trended this week.
I'm not exactly sure what makes Mirren's nakedness feel so perfectly proper. Is it because admiring the bod of a 60-plus woman makes us feel both sexually liberated and politically correct, two sources of smugness which rarely mingle? Or is it simply because we're used to it, and Dame Helen Mirren's nakedness is now as cosily familiar as the scent of Pears soap?