Hit & Run: From hired to fired

The machinations of celebville are as turbulent as the intrigues of a bloodstained Renaissance court this week, with Madonna cast as Henry VIII and her personal trainer, Tracy Anderson, as the unfortunate Cardinal Wolsey.

Anderson, who claims to be able to shrink the body of any woman to that of a ballet dancer's through a punishing regimen of two hours workouts six times per week, was instrumental in helping the 51-year old singer get back into (very enviable) shape after two pregnancies, a hernia and a riding accident. But after three years, the singer has let her go.

"Tracy Anderson is my saviour," Madonna said earlier this year. She was recommended after sculpting famous friend Gwyneth Paltrow to perfection, but word is Anderson brought too much "personal baggage" with her. Roughly translated, this means she was too self-interested to subdue her own career prospects in the face of Madonna and the Divine Right of Celebs. It's a scenario often faced by the star makers and famous faces of the tabloids and gossip mags: losing your best staff to the bright lights is an occupational hazard. And unfortunately, celeb-spotters are more familiar right now with Madonna's sinuous forearms than they are with the tune of her current woeful single – cue Anderson's fall from grace.

Stylist Rachel Zoe found herself in a similar situation, when her skinny cohorts – or 'Zoebots' as they were known – deserted her in droves. Having shrunk most of Hollywood to a size double zero, the press were suddenly more interested in Zoe herself rather than her clients' clavicles, and it all proved to much for the power-hungry (and probably just generally hungry) Mischa Barton and Nicole Ritchie. Zoe now has her own website and reality TV show, while still dressing the likes of Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz, who must be safe in the knowledge that they're famous for more than just being thin, so there's no danger of being eclipsed by their staff.

When a celeb's valet gets more attention than their vocation, you know they're no longer in the ascendant. Britney Spears' former assistant Alli Simms is launching herself as a popstar, and spilling the beans along the way; Cherie Blair knew when she had to dispose with Carole Caplin; and Claudia Schiffer turned on her chef, who used a quote from the supermodel on the front of her new recipe book, by suing her into bankruptcy and out of the celeb-o-sphere. It isn't quite the beheading that Wolsey got, but Henry also took his fancy house off him first, because it made him look cooler. Tracy Anderson better watch out: mortals who mess with the gods always come a cropper in the end. Harriet Walker

Does being free mean falling Standards?

Gone are the cries of, "Get yer Evenin' Standard 'ere," from the capital's street corners. Yesterday, for the first time, vendors were thrusting London's "quality" evening newspaper into people's hands without demanding their pocket shrapnel. So what do the punters think? "I'll start getting the early edition every day," says Victor Maxwell, 69, a taxi driver, in Kensington High St. "I'd normally just drive on by at midday, and wait until later. But this is great, saves me a lot of hassle."

As ever, Londoners are acutely conscious of their purse strings. "I generally don't trust newspapers, but when thelondonpaper shut I considered it a big loss," adds Damian Sinclair, a 58-year-old communications technologist. "That said, this is passing the time nicely while I wait for a friend.

How are they are going to fund it? God only knows." Others observed that the new freesheet – which yesterday boasted 68 pages – had managed to maintain its quality, despite sacrificing its circulation revenue. "I like the news journalism, though I'm less keen on their showbiz stuff, but you can't complain about the overall standard," says Mary Jones, a 49-year-old office manager.

However, Becky White, 28, a publishing assistant, was less enthusiastic. "I wouldn't go out of my way to get one if they weren't just throwing them at passers-by – and the litter is going to be atrocious." Rob Sharp

And the bride wore fangs

Alex Reid – cage fighter, cross-dresser and Jordan's fiancé – will be glad to hear that Woolworths online is stocking a Halloween outfit designed with him in mind.

For just £39.99 he can slide into a replica of his wife-to-be's bridal gown from her 2005 wedding to Peter Andre. Called "Glinda", the dress can be accessorised with tiara, wig, false eyelashes and fangs, which cost extra. Think Bridezilla meets Bride of Frankenstein.

Some might consider Halloween as a time for traditional scares: vampires, werewolves, ghosts. But these days you're likely to find yourself face to face with a rather more topical monster come 31 October.

Last year, masks featuring the face of that inexplicably popular grotesque Sarah Palin were all the rage. This year, why not try dressing as a bloodsucking sub-prime mortgage broker, a Michael Jackson "Thriller" zombie, or, most terrifying of all, John and Edward from The X Factor? Tim Walker

Why 10 days is the greatest escape

When it comes to taking a break, it seems there is such a thing as a perfect 10. It's not the size you have to be to slip into a halterneck bikini though – it's the number of days that holidaymakers have decided is the perfect amount of time away from home. TUI, the owner of holiday purveyors Thomson and First Choice, has reported a 64 per cent rise in customers booking 10-day vacations, wisely choosing them over measly weeks or extravagant fortnights. I'm a big fan of the 10-day break – it's enough time to escape the stresses of real life and feel relaxed, but not long enough to go completely feral and forget how the office email works. Heaven forbid that should happen – how would you earn enough to afford the next trip? Rebecca Armstrong

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'