MNEK hits back at Rishi Sunak’s ‘insensitive’ comments about jobs
MNEK urged Rishi Sunak to put his heart before his head as he blasted the chancellor for seeming to suggest that artists should retrain for other jobs during the pandemic.
The singer — whose collab with Joel Corry, Head & Heart, was the song of the summer — told Guilty Pleasures why art should take priority over sport.
‘I have friends that are not guaranteed payment from anything that they are doing,’ said the 25-year-old.
‘They put all their eggs in one basket.
‘They don’t want to be told by a rich dude that is worth £200million that they should go get a normal job. It’s insensitive.’
Mr Sunak, whose father-in-law is a billionaire, has since denied suggesting that people in the struggling creative industries retrain and find other jobs after telling ITV last week: ‘I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis.’
Asked if he was telling those from the arts and music world to find a new job in a different sector, he added: ‘That fresh and new opportunity for people — that’s exactly what we should be doing.’
MNEK fumed: ‘The issue lies in all the money that the government put into other things like f***ing sport! That could go into the arts because the arts is one of the main things that has kept everyone going through this pandemic. Whether it’s music or set design or music videos, TV. It’s all art. Even the sofas these rich-arse people are sitting on are a result of art. It just doesn’t happen by chance.’
Back with new single More Than Words, featuring Sleepwalkrs, MNEK is grateful to see the offers coming in. He will be performing Head & Heart on Strictly Come Dancing’s launch episode later this month. ‘It’s a nice feeling to feel wanted,’ he said. ‘I am very thankful.’
More Guilty Pleasures…
■ The airwaves are turning completely Dotty. No, things haven’t gone even more mad in these crazy times — radio star Dotty is launching a show celebrating the best in British black music and more from around the world at her new home, Apple Music.
Dotty, 32, who jumped ship from her 1Xtra gig earlier this year, called her new two-hour afternoon slot from Monday to Thursday her ‘dream job’, adding: ‘I started in this business as an artist myself, so to be taking on a role that allows me to empower musicians is incredible.’
Nordic but nice… I’m a psycho, says Astrid
Scandinavian pop sensation Astrid S sometimes felt ‘like a psychopath’ while recording her new album at home in Norway.
The Hurts So Good singer says she was mentally put through the wringer while working on Leave It Beautiful. The album was sparked by a break-up and Astrid, 23, told GP: ‘It’s about all the nuances of wanting to be better, losing someone, meeting someone, falling in and out of love… a little bit about AirPods and feeling like you’re a psychopath!’
She wants the record’s overall message to be ‘to cherish the memories and time you got to spend with someone, not feeling resentment, but rather feeling grateful and leaving it as something beautiful you were lucky to have in your life’. Her lockdown heartache was made easier by the fact that her country has taken good care of its population.
‘I’ve realised how lucky I am to live in Norway, have a support system, financial support and healthcare during the pandemic,’ she said. ‘I know it’s not like that for many others.’
Ed plagued by bantam menace
Eddie Redmayne is being driven clucking mad after taking in too many Fantastic Beasts during lockdown.
Eddie, 38, dad to Iris, four, and two-year-old Luke, said: ‘We had five chickens and my daughter named them. They were battery chickens, so they did not look that well; we nurtured them to health. I spent much of the lockdown running into people’s gardens trying to retrieve chickens that were causing havoc!’
Admitting he ‘loathes eggs’ Eddie added the family were also adopted by two stray moggies ‘great except I am deeply allergic to cats’.
Pete condemns JK over her trans jibe
Pete Davidson tore into his former idol JK Rowling following her controversial comments on trans women.
The Saturday Night Live star, 26, took aim at the Harry Potter author after she mocked an article which used the term ‘people who menstruate’ instead of women.
Davidson, who said he now regrets his Harry Potter tattoo, referred to Orange Is The New Black’s trans star Laverne Cox when he said of Rowling: ‘What’s wrong with her? She creates a seven-book fantasy series about mythical creatures living in harmony with wizards and elves, and the one thing she can’t wrap her head around is Laverne Cox?’
Jax can cope with an up all-nighter
Jax Jones reckons a clubbing lifestyle is perfect training for becoming a parent.
The 33-year-old musician became a first-time dad last month when his wife gave birth to a daughter, Lawana — and he doesn’t care that she disrupts his sleep.
‘I’m used to this!’ he told GP. ‘DJ life makes you used to broken sleep. I’ve been preparing for this for years!’
Jax, whose new single i miss u, featuring Au/Ra, is out now, says Lawana has affected the way he looks at life, adding: ‘Babies don’t give a f***!
‘They’re just going to cry and they will let you know about it. And I think, as adults, we could learn something from that. It’s okay to say how you feel.’
He admits he does fear for the future of the world his daughter will grow up in.
‘There are nights where I sit up late with my daughter and she’s sleeping on me and you have some time to think,’ Jax said.
‘I care about the future and where we are heading.’
My 007 will be from flusher with love
David Walliams has chucked his hat in the ring to write the next Bond film — but he wants to see 007 spend a (money)penny.
The BGT judge and kids’ author is a James Bond superfan and, sharing his script idea with GP, said: ‘I’d love to show Bond on the toilet.
‘In 60 years and 25 films he has never once needed the loo. Being asked to write the next James Bond would be my absolute dream job, but I have never been asked.’
David, 49, added: ‘Now I’ve said I want to portray him on the toilet I imagine I never will!’
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