Paul Ross's Diary


31st August 2005

Paul Ross is the movie reviewer for top UK tabloid the News of the World. Here, he gives you an exciting insight into just one week of one of Britain's most notorious film and TV personalities.


I wake up at around half past 8 in the morning, and race down to my local newsagents eagerly for the delivery of the News of the World (or the NOTW, as we refer to it). I read my reviews of the week's movies in the shop with Edgar the newsagent, before going home to have some breakfast and to get dressed. I check my emails (one from Craig Charles, yet another one from Rory McGrath - get the message, Rory!) then invite my Senegalese neighbour, Otsembor, over for a morning cappuccino. Otsembor moved into my building a few months ago and can't speak much English, but he's figured out what I do and always laughs and points when he sees my picture in the paper. I think he lives off benefits, but I like him.

In the afternoon, I drive into London and pop into HMV (I buy a James Blunt and Faith Less album), sign an autograph for an Eastern European woman who wanted directions and meet Jimmy Nail in Soho for a light lunch. I lose track of time and race home to check that Challenge TV are keeping up their end of our contractual obligation and are re-showing the first series of Jeopardy UK, which I hosted for 18 months. I ignore the missed call on my Sony Ericsson mobile from Clive Anderson and go to bed.


I have a message on my answer phone from my brother Jonathan. For those of you who don't know, Jonathan is my brother and is trying to get into the film reviewing industry. He tells me that I am still invited to come to his wedding vow renewals with his wife Jane, but I don't phone back. Much as I shouldn't admit it, Jane has a mad crush on me. She hides it behind a mask of hatred, but the signs are as clear as day - her refusal to have physical contact with me, her coded messages in the NOTW personals section ('JR Luvs PR' indeed!) - but I could never do anything to hurt my brother, despite our differences. Plus her breasts are too big.

I have a small dinner of ocean pie, then go to my local cinema for a showing of the hit Michael Bay movie, Stealth (two words - 5 stars!) then retreat back to my flat and watch LivingTV until midnight.

I leave the house to find my car has been keyed again, so take it to Darren the local mechanic (I get a 15% discount because they know me there) and decide to get the bus to the NOTW offices in Wapping. A retarded man sits next to me and must recognise me because he keeps staring at me, but I don't say anything. I share an office with the paper's other film reviewer, Sheba Ronay, and as we set to work on the week's edition, we chat about various things and flirt outrageously. Sheba is nice but a bit too old for me - I fancy Kerry from supplements and am currently engaged in some randy email back and forth with her. Sheba makes a joke about Muslim women and I laugh but I see David the Features editor staring at me so I tell her it was inappropriate and get back to work. I ride the bus home, but unfortunately the retarded man has gone.

No work today, but I do contact Mark, a Bravo TV executive. He's seen my fine work on talking head programmes like Sky TV's Top 100 Celebrity Mingers and wants to recruit me for their team. I tell him I'll consider it if they go ahead with my idea of a UK version of World's Most Dangerous Police Chases, and he says he'll get back to me. I have another email from McGrath and several spam messages (I have to change my address every week due to my popularity). I watch Finding Nemo and Toy Story, check Challenge TV, then read FHM cover to cover.

I pick up the car and on the way to work, notice my Faith Less CD has disappeared from the glove compartment so I make a mental note to buy another when at work. I get to my desk and find free tickets to a press screening of Crash (a movie about racists, which I hate) and a promotional Madagascar toy, which I annoy Sheba with. I get distracted and order eight CDs from Amazon and get Kerry from supplements in trouble when they check her messages.

I get home and forward an email of funny road signs to my friends (Craig, John Thompson, Steve Penk, Michela Strachan, Jonathan, Jeremy Clarkson, Otsembor, Ricky Gervais, though his keep bouncing back) and order a Chinese takeaway. Bo, our Swedish doorman, brings it to my flat and I give him some prawn crackers as a tip. I play my well-worn DVD of Phenomenon again and fall asleep on my sofa, forgetting that I'm naked and the curtains are open. I hope no one takes any photos of me.

I phone up Georgina from Challenge and put it to her that Bravo are gunning for me and are offering me cold hard cash to front one of their new prime time entertainment shows, but she sounds uninterested so instead I make small talk with her and we share a few brief double entendres before she hangs up. I go and see Crash (which is boring and too long, but has Brendan 'George of the Jungle' Fraser in it, who is one of my favourite actors, and my good friend Stuart Maconie is at the premiere) and make brief eye contact with comedian Tony Hawk in the McDonald's afterwards.

In the evening I work on my screenplay, about a middle-aged man who quits his job to go on a gun-toting rampage in the inner-city. It's like Falling Down but set in London, and starring me in the central role. People don't know but I used to be an actor and had a bit part in The Bill before I became famous, not to mention some amateur dramatics and some Crimewatch work, which paid well but had no prospects. I watch Blade Runner before bed, but don't get what all the fuss is about.

Who does Jonathan think he's talking to? So I forgot his stupid wedding vows thing, big deal. If I'd have gone, Jane would probably have only ruined everything by declaring her love for me - sometimes I think jealousy is clouding the poor guy's eyes from the truth. How many times has he been on Celebrity Big Brother? How many TV Quiz Weekly awards has he won? My problem with Jonathan is that he thinks just because he's got his own chat show, production company and regular comedic quiz show panellist slot, he thinks he's too good to return my text messages.

Challenge don't call back, so I phone Bravo and let them know I'm available. I have three frappuccinos and send three flirty emails before I remember Kerry got the sack, and I didn't watch one of the films my editor Steven asked me to, so I make it up and give it 5 stars just to be on the safe side.

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