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Monday, July 11, 2005

Big spender floored by big hitter

Shirley Bassey's rather uncalled for remarks about 'our Charlotte', her binge drinking and her new singing style, have been roundly demolished by the formidable Carolyn Hitt in today's Western Mail.

Carolyn starts by identifying what these two Cymric celebrity goddesses have in common:

While Shirl and Charl may be separated by almost 50 years, I've always thought they have a lot in common - forceful personalities with genuine charisma and that peculiarly Cardiff brand of feistiness. They share a talent for singing big belters; they're both gay icons and they both had star billing in the 1999 Rugby World Cup ceremonies.

But the experience of singing for the Rugby World Cup ceremony may well have driven a wedge between them:

The Pocket Size Diva was only 13 at the time, but she stole the sparkle from the Queen of Tiger Bay by simply singing. Who can forget Bassey's out of synch miming that day? Not to mention the moment of melodrama when she received her public with outstretched arms. She was so busy basking she nearly tripped over a schoolboy rugby player. It would have taken hours to extract him from that giant flag dress.

She continues:

Bassey isn't impressed, having obviously fallen for the tabloid tales of the vices of an angel, "I think Charlotte has let herself down. When I was that age, there was no such thing as binge drinking. It was totally different. We had an adventure. We used to say, 'Let's go to a dance and see what gorgeous fellows we can meet.' Now, girls like Charlotte say, 'Let's go and see how many drinks we can knock back.' I think it is dreadful."

This from the woman who hasn't exactly lived the convent life herself. Pregnant at 17, Bassey endured a tempestuous relationship with boyfriend Pepe Davis who once tried to stab her in a jealous rage; married the openly gay film director Kenneth Hulme twice and had an affair with Peter Finch.

By contrast, Charlotte's excess Cheeky Vimto consumption is the picture of innocence. She hasn't done too badly on the meeting gorgeous fellows front either. And while we're on the subject of appropriate behaviour for a 19-year-old, a surfeit of bling, animal prints and thigh-high slits isn't Dame Classy when you're pushing 70.

Obviously, Carolyn Hitt is not somebody you want to get on the wrong side of!
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