With his strawberry-blond hair and handsome features, musician-turned-actor Max Beesley vaulted to stardom in the leading role of the 1997 BBC miniseries "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" (shown...
Sometimes you just need some trashy television for frivolous watching. Hotel Babylon delivers that in spades. It blends the class struggles of Downton Abbey, the sultry storylines of Melrose Place and a ton of sexy Brits having sex. Despite its risqué subject matter, the show is still pretty lighthearted and down to earth.
The Hotel Babylon is a luxury 5-star hotel in the heart of London. Hotel Manager Rebecca Mitchell (Tamzin Outhwaite) is ballsy and obsessed with the job at the expense of her personal life. She hires Charlie Edwards (Max Beesley) to be her deputy manager. He’s a good old boy who gets along with everyone on staff especially the ladies. Tony (Dexter Fletcher) is the head concierge and expert at dealing with unsavory characters and procuring blacklist items. Each episode, the hotel staff of oddballs and sexpots must deal with drama both inside and outside the hotel while managing the expectations of their high-end clientele. Whether they are getting vengeance on ornery guests, getting involved in the sexcapades of cheating guests, or just having fun, the staff provide hours of entertainment.
The show is the perfect blend of funny, sexy, and scandalous. Each episode has the perfect amount of drama and suspense to keep you watching. Workers in the business of keeping secrets are great at keeping their own. As the show progresses, you want to know more about the inner workings of the unique crew, including stunning social climber receptionist, Anna Thorton-Wilton (Emma Pierson).
Hotel Babylon is shot in a fast and frenetic way. The colors are lush and there are tons of attractive people walking around. It captures some element of luxury and allows for some vicarious wish fulfillment. The cast is amazing. Beesley, best known for his role in Glitter, is great as the deliciously lower class Charlie. There are some pretty great guest stars, including appearances by John Barrowman (Torchwood), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Paula Abdul and Joan Collins.
This series makes delightfully thoughtless binge watching. For a few hours you can shut off your brain and get caught in the sexy WTF moments and silly storylines of this British soap. All four series of Hotel Babylon are available on Netflix streaming.
The Glitter star has launched a new fashion line, Born For Snow, designed for the slopes, and he reveals a chance encounter during a trip to the Meribel resort in the French Alps spawned the idea.
He tells Britain's Daily Express, "Believe me, I never thought I'd be spending the day sitting, drawing and conceptualising onesies.
"I met my business partner James on the slopes out in Meribel. I loved the hoodie he was wearing and asked him where he'd got it. When he told me he'd designed it, I knew I was on to something."
Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Will Smith also sent recorded video messages for the sombre televised event to lend their support to the campaign, which was launched in the U.S. in 2008 by late Spider-Man franchise producer Laura Ziskin.
A clip by soccer ace Beckham kicked off the telethon, with the star stating, "Tonight you'll help change thousands of lives... it's down to all of us to make a difference", while Aniston added: "This is Stand Up To Cancer and wherever you are in the U.K. this evening, we need your help, because this is the end of cancer."
Girls Aloud star Cole was the first performer, singing hit track Call My Name - although technical difficulties with her microphone meant viewers couldn't hear the first half of the tune - while Lewis also took to the stage later on in the evening.
In a pre-recorded heart-wrenching video, cancer survivor Minogue highlighted the seriousness of the disease: "My grandmother, my father, and me. With one in three of us developing cancer in our lifetime, the odds are that each and every one of us will be touched by cancer in some way - but we're at a turning point and, with your help, we can change the odds. Your money will help guarantee vital research needed to help millions more survive cancer, and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured."
Jackson was in the studio to appeal for viewers' donations, and he declared, "Tonight I am here for one simple reason - to kick cancer's a**! But me standing here on a stage won't bring the treatments we so desperately need - I need you to donate whatever you can to join the fight against cancer."
There was light relief during the night when actors Max Beesley, Stephen Graham, Tom Felton and Warwick Davis took part in an all-star version of hit British quiz show The Million Pound Drop, winning $320,000 (£200,000) for the charity appeal.
Boy band JLS also garnered laughs starring in a clip in which they fooled their singer pal Olly Murs into thinking he had killed group member Aston Merrygold during a cannon stunt gone wrong.
Entourage star Piven appeared on the show later in the evening and opened up about his father's cancer battle, saying, "My father passed away from cancer 10 years ago and so it's been incredibly close to my heart. It's an honour to be here and to be part of this."
At the end of the fundraiser, hosted by presenters Davina McCall and Alan Carr, along with Dr. Christian Jessen, the total raised stood at $10.2 million (£6.4 million).
Billie Frank is a talented young singer who endures every hardship imaginable as a child. She spends her evenings hanging out in nightclubs with her boozy lounge-singer mother who one night falls asleep with a lit cigarette and burns their house down. Now homeless and penniless she sends young Billie to an orphanage with her orange tabby cat in tote. After clearly spelling out how tough her life has been the film fast-forwards to 1983: bad clothes big hairstyles and head-splitting dance music. Billie starts a career as a backup singer with her two friends Louise and Roxanne. While singing with the dance sensation Sylk Billie gets discovered by an influential New York DJ Julian "Dice" Black. Convinced that he can catapult her to stardom the two form a partnership and eventually become lovers. However tensions begin to mount as Billie is urged by her record label to work with different producers.
It is difficult to gauge Carey's performance in this film since she does not have that many lines. The ones she does have are so clichéd it is almost difficult to keep a straight face when she utters them. Her talents are obviously better expressed in front of the microphone where she spends a better part of Glitter. Had the soundtrack been more inspiring and less a medley of overworked ballads her singing might have brightened this otherwise tacky movie. Instead Carey is resigned to bashfully bat her sparkly eyelids in as industry insiders gush over her talents. As Dice musician-turned-actor Max Beesley's significance in the film almost eclipses Carey's. However his attempts to smother his British accent and take on a genuine New York drawl backfires because of its inconsistency. And like Carey his character suffers the fate of a bad script marred with contradiction.
Set in 1983 Glitter misses the mark in terms of accurate depiction of the materialistic decade. Apart from some of Carey's costumes which include pumps leg warmers and capri leggings and some bad renditions of classic '80s dance tunes like "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On " the film lacks authenticity. For example it's highly doubtful that a white DJ in a dance club would have been using the term "aight" 18 years ago. Drugs are also mysteriously absent from the club-heavy scenery perhaps because of the PG-13 rating. Glitter is also littered with slow-motion shots that are accompanied with dumb swooshing sounds. What was Vondie Curtis Hall thinking when she agreed to helm this project? Nothing redeemable could possibly have come out of Kate Lanier's ill-fated script.
Moved to Manhattan to study acting for nine months (date approximate)
Portrayed an artist who becomes hooked on heroin in "The Last Minute" and a musician who witnesses a murder in "Five Seconds to Spare"
Starred in the BBC TV miniseries "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling"; aired in the USA on A&E in 1998 under the title "Tom Jones"
Dropped out of school to pursue a career as a musician
Was a backup singer and percussionist or keyboardist for a number of singers and groups including Take That, Jamiroquai and George Michael
Raised in Burnage, England
With his strawberry-blond hair and handsome features, musician-turned-actor Max Beesley vaulted to stardom in the leading role of the 1997 BBC miniseries "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" (shown in the USA on A&E in 1998). This son of a jazz musician and a jazz singer, in the words of his stepbrother Jason, would do "anything for a laugh [so] everyone assumed that one day Max would end up on television." Beesley, instead, pursued a career in music. Although he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he dropped out to work as a backup singer and musician for singers and bands ranging from Take That and Jamiroquai to George Michael and Paul Weller. In 1995, Beesley watched the video of Martin Scorsese's 1980 masterpiece "Raging Bull" and was inspired to become an actor. Taking his savings, he flew to NYC and worked with acting coach Sheila Gray. After nine months, he returned to England and eventually auditioned for the role of Tom Jones. Through a combination of talent and charm, Beesley managed to deliver a fine portrayal of the randy hero that matched Albert Finney's in Tony Richardson's 1963 Oscar-winning film. Based on his success, the actor was signed for his first feature role in the romantic drama "The Match" (1999).
Maxton Gig Beesley Sr
divorced from Beesley's mother c. 1972
born c. 1969
born c. 1979
born c. 1975; reportedly dating after her separation from husband Jimmy Gulzar with whom she had a daughter Phoenix Chi
Together from 1993-98; Beesley stated couple was sort of engaged, although he did not believe in marriage
divorced from Beesley's father c. 1972
living together as of 1999; no longer together
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
"Oh, the headline will read ROWDY, BUMPY NIGHT WITH FOUR ROCK CHICKS HELPS MAX WITH HIS ROLES. I had naughty times when I was younger. I'm Monogomy Boy now, but I might have drawn on a couple of those experiences when I was a cavelier young man on the road." --Max Beesley on getting into the character of "Tom Jones", quoted in INTERVIEW, April 1998