April 19, 2000 09:26am
UK: The Lighter Side - A naked Barbie on horseback
SUMMARY: Ken doll display scandalizes Scottish town; Somerville takes "chintzy" role for laughs; pastoral beefcake calendar aids "mad cow" farmers; gays fling in Inverness.
While it may be fine to wear a kilt, when in Scotland take care what you do with Ken and Barbie. Galloway police warned Marcelle Bremner of Moniaive, Dumfriesshire to "clean up" her window display of more than a dozen dolls in a variety of outfits. It featured a naked Barbie on horseback -- as well as two shirtless Kens sitting a little too close together for some neighbors' taste. Bremner reported one constable saying, "Get those Ken dolls dressed, and I don't want them standing next to each other." Thus far no charges are being brought against Bremner, but at one point she was vowing to go to court if necessary to defend her tableau.
Gay British singer Jimmy Somerville (formerly of Bronski Beat and The Communards) will be making his British TV debut on April 19 as "Chintz" in the Sci-Fi Channel's drama series Lexx (the tenth episode of series three, to be exact). The producers came to Somerville to ask him to join the show, which is filmed in Germany. He told the Press Association that, "I did it for a laugh. I'm game for anything so long as it doesn't involve children, animals or [BBC game show host] Dale Winton."
One of the more successful calendars in the U.K. this year has been Meat British Beef, with a dozen nearly nude County Devon farmers in pastoral poses: driving a tractor, riding a horse, and doing chores in such a way that hay bales, corn stalks and even cauliflower preserve the photos from an "X" rating. Fourteen thousand copies have been mail-ordered since November. But there's a serious side to this "beefcake" as well, as proceeds support a farmers' charity and the photographed farmers' cooperative, as Britain's livestock industry struggles in the wake of the "mad cow" disease disaster.
If you're sorry you didn't don your rainbow tartan for the U.S. celebration of Tartan Day on April 6, it will truly break your heart to know there was a three-day gay celidh in Inverness this past weekend. A score of gay men came from Brussels and Zurich as well as all over the U.K. to don their kilts and sweaters each night and indulge their taste for Scottish country dances: Highland flings, eightsome reels, dashing white sergeants, and of course, Gay Gordons.