Ladies and Gentlemen, the impossible has happened. TV yackmeister Jonathan Ross has managed to make Scott Weiland (above, right) seem like a sympathetic figure. From the Independent’s Arifa Akbar.
Five months ago, Jonathan Ross was the media anchorman for the Live8 Concert in Hyde Park where a line-up of famous artists performed to raise awareness of Third World debt.
Dressed in a characteristically flamboyant suit, he interviewed music icons such as Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and Annie Lennox and spoke of the urgent need to “make poverty history”.
But this weekend, the television presenter was sounding a rather different note. Speaking to the singer, Damon Albarn, on his chat show, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he admitted he was filled with “regret” at not having spoken out against the lack of African performers at the event on 6 July and singling out bands such as Velvet Revolver and Pink Floyd’s reunion as part of his criticism.
“It was, at times, very patronising. I could have swapped Velvet Revolver for just about anyone. I can understand why they did it. They wanted maximum exposure in the Western media and to do that they need stories. Pink Floyd reforming gets you an awful lot of attention.
“Other acts were chosen to attract different parts of a Western audience, certainly to get the media attention, which they achieved and which they wouldn’t with African musicians,” he said.
But Michael Eboda, editor of the black newspaper, New Nation, which ran an investigation into how many blacks acts had been asked to perform, said Ross’s comments were too little, too late.
“Everyone’s forgotten about Live8 now. It’s a shame he [Ross] didn’t say this at the time. It may have had some impact, whereas now, it has very little effect,” he said.
I’m not sure what the big deal is. Surely Tim McGraw qualified as an African performer?