NewsFebruary 27, 2015

The Week in News: Killers, Fillers and Cowell


Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.30.25 pmThat Girl is a Monster
After her luxury Sound of Music showcase at the Oscars on Monday, it was confirmed yesterday that Lady Gaga has signed on for the latest season of American Horror Story: Hotel, the fifth series in the Ryan Murphy anthology. Little else is known about the project, with Gaga that first cast member to publicly check in. One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be psycho.

Rest in Peace, Meep
In other American Horror Story news, one of the latest season’s stars was tragically killed in a car accident this week. Ben Woolf, age 34, was killed on Thursday night whilst crossing the road in Hollywood. He played the role of Meep on American Horror Story: Freak Show, a character who met his own end far too soon. Woolf had pituitary dwarfism and worked as a part-time preschool teacher.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.31.20 pmKiller vs Cowell
The real Slim Shaedy (™ Duncan Greive) of The X Factor NZ made it to the front of The Herald this week, with the nation realising that his emotional back story wasn’t quite what the music and editing had made us think. Brider was convicted of manslaughter, spent spent six years in prison, and is now through to X Factor NZ boot camp. The story snowballed throughout the week, and has finally rolled into the clammy billionaire palms of Simon Cowell, X Factor creator and white t-shirt enthusiast. He is claiming to ‘take this matter very seriously’. It has also been revealed that Shae’s circumstance required a unique dispensation that was not acquired by MediaWorks. Stay tuned to see if it’s a “no” from Cowell.

Yanika to Prime News
With the Prime News team disbanding after being sucked into the wealthy bosom of MediaWorks, it’s only fitting that the new anchor be TV3 rising star/Paul Henry Show alumni Yanika ter Ellen. The fresh new look for Prime News will take hold on March first, and will include fresh faces and fresher graphics. Yanika will be joined at the newsreader desk by Wayne Hay, a Prime stalwart due to his contributions to current affairs programme 60 Minutes.

unnamedThunderbirds Are Go! Launching Soon
The much-anticipated reboot of the 1960s classic will be blasting onto our televisions in April. TV2 have just announced that they will be screening the show, and that it will be closely following its international debut in the UK. Network programmer Jeanneane McKay has said “many New Zealanders will remember the original Thunderbirds series. It is already generating much excitement both at home and abroad.” The series has been a co-production between ITV and Pukeko Pictures, in association with Weta Workshop.

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox


Residents pay respect by placing flowers for the victims of the mosques attacks in Christchurch on March 16, 2019. (TESSA BURROWS/AFP/Getty Images)

Hatred lives in New Zealand

The warning signs for yesterday's atrocity were everywhere, if only we'd looked – or listened to New Zealand's Muslim community, writes former race relations commissioner Susan Devoy.