Downton Abbey dowagers were 'lovers in another life'
Red top tales: previous lives of Shirley MacLaine; Mariah Carey is 'paid $18m in American Idol deal'
DOWNTON ABBEY fans are expecting insults aplenty when Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as the Countess of Grantham's mother for the third series. Her character Martha Levinson is expected to clash with the Earl of Grantham's mother, Dowager Countess Violet, played by Dame Maggie Smith. But off-screen, MacLaine, who has long been fascinated by reincarnation, says she and Maggie Smith were "lovers in another life", reports Us Magazine. MacLaine has previously claimed she is androgynous and slept with Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne in a past life.
MARIAH CAREY'S $18M AMERICAN IDOL DEAL
Mariah Carey has become the highest paid judge in reality television. The singer will be paid $18m for a one-year deal with American Idol, according to sources quoted by TMZ. The deal tops Jennifer Lopez's $12m pay cheque for her first year on the show and Britney Spears's $15m for X Factor USA. Five-time Grammy Award winner Carey confirmed yesterday that she had agreed on a deal with the TV talent show. American Idol is, however, yet to confirm if she has requested any extras in the deal, such as the 20 white kittens and 100 white doves she demanded for an appearance at London's Westfield shopping centre.
HARRY STYLES TRICKED BY 'PREGNANT' WOMAN
Harry Styles rushed to the aid of a pregnant television presenter who appeared to go into labour as she prepared to interview One Direction. The woman screamed that her baby was on the way, prompting a visibly concerned Styles to take action, reports The Sun. Styles helped with her breathing exercises as his band mate Liam Payne phoned her husband. But several minutes later the 'pregnant' woman revealed that Styles had been "pranked". The Sun points out that if his pop career hits the rocks, Styles could have a career in a hospital maternity ward.
THE VOICE TRY-OUT ATTRACTS FIVE PEOPLE
Scouts from BBC talent show The Voice were due to attend an open mic event to pick out performers for the nationwide auditions – but only five people signed up. The session at The Coffee Room Café Bar in Birmingham was promptly dropped because of the low numbers, reports The Sun. The first series of The Voice saw a slump in ratings towards the end, with viewers branding the coaches "boring". Bosses were also forced to cancel its nationwide tour after too few tickets were sold. But last night the BBC insisted that more than 25,000 people have already applied for the official nationwide auditions.
DARING DIVE TURNS TO BELLYFLOP FOR BRIT
A British Casanova was said to be "lucky to be alive" after attempting to dive off a 60-foot platform into five feet of water to "impress girls". The wooden platform had been built to help local fishermen spot tuna fish at Kraljeva in Croatia. But the British tourist was overhead boasting to a group of girls that he could easily dive off it. However, his jump turned into a bellyflop and he hit the water with a "terrific whack". "I thought he would be crippled," one witness told the Daily Mail, "but he swam to the shore and ran off." A coastguard said it was probably his lack of skills that saved his life as he would have suffered serious if not fatal injuries had he entered the water head-first. ·