PICKING UP on something Tattle said last week about reality- TV producers' taking responsibility for messing up lives, Great Britain's culture secretary, Andy Burnham, said his nation's media regulator (Ofcom) should look into the handling of Susan Boyle.
The Hollywood Reporter says Burnham is urging broadcasters to consider their "duty of care" to reality-TV contestants suddenly swallowed up whole by a media feeding frenzy.
Boyle was taken by ambulance to a private clinic over the weekend, after being assessed under Britain's Mental Health Act because of erratic behavior.
Burnham asked whether the network and "Britain's Got Talent" producers had done enough to protect Boyle, who had gotten testy with photogs in the days before the final.
"The contestants' welfare should always come first," Burnham told a meeting of the Broadcasting Press Guild.
Burnham said the 24-hour nature of news coverage means that broadcasters have an obligation to contestants well beyond their time on TV.
"We are living in a world where it is not just about what happens on telly on a Saturday night. There is 360-degree scrutiny, 365 days a year," he said.
"We need to look after people, not just around the camera."
* Speaking of reality TV ruining people's lives, Jon Gosselin ("Jon & Kate Plus Hate") tells People magazine that his eight children have not been hurt by the family's reality-TV series.
Jon says that even in the media glare, the couple's 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets are happy and healthy.
Then again, we all know how hard it is to see clearly when there's glare.
In Touch Weekly, meanwhile, reports that the unhappy couple has been separated for months and acts "together" only when they're in front of the cameras.
"They're married, but it's for the show," said Todd Cruz, a close friend of Jon's brother and a bartender at 3rd & Spruce - a Reading establishment where Jon used to drown his Kate-induced sorrows. "He explained it to us at the bar," Todd told In Touch. "He said he was completely miserable and the marriage was pretty much done."
If you can't trust your bartender not to blab to the media . . .
Richelle Olson is suing NBC Universal and Sacha Baron Cohen, claiming a bit for his upcoming film, "Bruno," left her disabled.
Richelle claims she was severely injured after a struggle with Cohen during a charity bingo tournament. She claims he also used vulgar language (and we all know how disabling that can be), then struggled with her when she tried to reclaim the microphone.
The lawsuit seeks more than $25,000 in damages.
It says Olson fell after retreating, hitting her head on the concrete floor.
It states she now has to use a wheelchair or cane.
Huh? If you're in a wheelchair, who sues a millionaire and a multinational company for $25,000?
* The Hollywood Reporter says Cher
has sued Universal Music Group (part of the same company as NBC Universal so we hope they have more than one lawyer), claiming that the label's creative accounting has shortchanged her and the heirs of her late ex-husband Sonny Bono to the tune of $5 million. Isn't it a shame that the most creative execs in music, movies and TV are the accountants?
The suit, filed Tuesday in L.A., claims an audit of UMG's accounting to Cher from 2000 to 2003 showed that UMG execs "engaged in wrongful tactics" designed to hide revenue from two hit compilation albums.
You know who doesn't believe it? UMG spokesperson Peter Lofrumento. "The claims are meritless, and we are confident that we will prevail in court," he said.
Here's the trouble with Speidi (aka Spencer Brat and Heidi Something or other), aside from the fact that they have no discernible talents.
They got married. No they didn't. Yes they did. They quit a TV show, the horrid "I'm a Desperate Wannabe . . . Look at Me! Look at Me!" (aka "I'm a Celebrity . . . Get me Out of Here"). No they didn't. Yes they did.
No they didn't? After Tuesday's episode, Spencer said, "Super-celebrities don't belong in the jungle. They belong in Hollywood with the paparazzi." Super-celebrities?
Before the Pratts bolted this fiasco, uber-Christian Stephen Baldwin offered to baptize Spencer, who jumped at the chance since wife Heidi actually says stuff like, "My goal is to be a true disciple of Jesus, a Mother Teresa helping the poor and the hungry." Heidi, do you think Mother Teresa was changing her mind every five minutes? Soon after Speidi fled the jungle, TMZ.com and "Extra" reported that Spencer was begging NBC to let the pair return.
* When "Dancing With the Stars"
champs Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas opened their respective mirrorball trophies after a cross-country trip from New York, each was broken.
Each now will have 10,000 years of bad luck.
* 50 Cent said Tuesday that he never would have bought Mike Tyson's house had he realized it would require millions in repairs and renovations.
50 Cent testified in Hartford Superior Court as part of his suit against a Bloomfield, Conn.-based engineering firm.
He said that his attorneys hired the firm to inspect the 52-room mansion in Farmington, Conn., in 2003, before he bought it from Tyson's ex-wife. The company was to make a visual inspection to determine how much it would cost to repair the roof, decks, driveway, etc.
Their fix-up guesstimate was for about $500,000, but 50 Cent spent about $6 million.
Guess they were a little off.
* Cirque du Soleil founder Guy
Laliberte is set to become Canada's first space tourist when he travels on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September.
The Quebec billionaire will become the seventh private citizen to visit the orbiting space lab since April 2001.
For his return to earth Lali-berte promises 400 Soyuz somersaults before landing on the forehead of a tiny Chinese acrobat.
* According to Forbes, Angelina
Jolie has dethroned Oprah Winfrey as the poorly named world's most powerful celebrity.
We hope Forbes does a better job picking stocks.
Angelina may be hotter than Oprah, she may have a hotter boyfriend, she may have more kids and she may have been on more cheesy magazine covers.
But power? Angelina earned $27 million last year. Oprah earned $275 million. Oprah has a daily TV show, a radio channel, a magazine, a stake in Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray, a TV/movies/theater production company and the ability to sell a million books with a mention.
When it comes to "Power," she and Angelina are in completely different leagues.
The rest of the Top 10: Madonna, Beyonce, Tiger Woods, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Spielberg (whatever happened to the Jews having all the media power?), Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Kobe Bryant.
And Kobe sits 39 spots ahead of . . . President Obama, at No. 49.
When Angelina gets her hands on some nukes, call us. *
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.
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