Stormzy eyes a move into film as Netflix & Amazon clamour to sign star
HE is wildly popular as a recording artist and performer but STORMZY could soon be moving from behind the microphone to star in front of the camera.
The grime rapper has been approached by both Netflix and Amazon Prime about making adaptations of titles published by his link-up with Penguin Random House, #Merky Books.
While they are keen for him to be a producer for the potential releases, the Vossi Bop star has also been offered the opportunity to act in them too.
It comes after the success of East London-based Netflix crime drama Top Boy, which was revived by the streaming site in 2019 after it was dropped by Channel 4.
Stormzy launched #Merky Books, described as the “home for under-represented voices”, in July 2018 with his first book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far, charting his own success.
A music insider said: “Netflix and Amazon are currently courting Stormzy as they think he’d be the perfect person to front a new black British series.
“Shows like Top Boy play very well overseas and Stormzy has developed an immaculate reputation as a storyteller.
“The streaming services want to have him on board, with the potential for a multi-series deal like the one Shonda Rhimes has with Netflix.
“That deal gave them Bridgerton, so there are high hopes for what Stormzy can do.
“#Merky Books now manages several titles so they are looking into those to see if there’s a film or series to be made out of one.”
Meanwhile the artist, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter last month, surprised fans in March on the first night of his arena tour as he announced a third album was in the works.
In a video screened to the crowd in Cardiff, he said: “This is the album of my dreams.
“This album is deeper than man could ever imagine. I’m free.”
The Croydon-born artist confirmed it would be released this year, following 2019’s Heavy Is The Head and his debut Gang Signs And Prayer in 2017.
With less than six months left of the year, it can’t be far off.
Single life a Payne
HE has wooed attractive women including Cheryl Tweedy and Naomi Campbell over the years but just like those failed relationships, Liam Payne hasn’t been able to make his latest romance work.
Just weeks after the star went public with US model Aliana Mawla, right, I can reveal the pair have already parted ways.
Aliana is now back in Miami after a making short trip to the UK with Liam in May.
A source said: “To say they were boyfriend and girlfriend is far too strong but obviously they were seeing each other.
“They both had fun but it’s fizzled out and are now very much single. There’s no bad blood.”
Seemingly keen to ride the wave of a new batch of followers, Aliana has now joined OnlyFans where she is flogging X-rated snaps.
There had been controversy when Liam hooked up with Aliana, as it was not public knowledge that his engagement to another US model, Maya Henry, was off.
She was hurt by the fallout but is channelling her heartbreak into her studies.
Maya is hoping to follow in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps by becoming a lawyer after starting a course earlier this year.
By his own account, ex-One Direction star Liam struggles with relationships.
Speaking last summer while on a break from Maya, he said: “I feel like more than anything at this point, I’m more disappointed in myself that I keep on hurting people. That annoys me.”
Cardi B shoes cause chaos
CARDI B caused more carnage at her second performance in the UK this weekend, all while looking incredible in this see-through red outfit.
Following a stand-out set at Wireless Festival in North London on Friday, she took to the stage at the event’s second site in Birmingham on Saturday as the headline act.
But one person admitted there was a fight in the crowd during her set after she threw her shoes into the audience.
The fan tweeted: “As if a n**** BIT ME over Cardi B’s shoe? I’m lost for words.”
Cardi replied: “No wayyy . . . I saw y’all tussling but I didn’t see all that.”
She brought out her husband Offset on stage and also paused her set to invite the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to their four-year-old daughter Kulture.
Meanwhile, Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock was seen enjoying the music at the London event on Saturday, where SZA and Summer Walker were in the line-up.
If she gets a move on with her own new music, she could be on that stage this time next year.
Solo Jade moving to the next stage
SHE is enjoying some well-earned downtime after wrapping up a decade at the top with Little Mix.
But Jade Thirlwall is already plotting her return to the stage.
The Shout Out To My Ex singer has told her friends and inner circle she wants to perform at next year’s Mighty Hoopla Festival in London – and wants to have music out by then.
A source said: “Jade has been enjoying her time off over the summer but she’s also thinking about what comes next. She’s been in the studio loads already and has about an album’s worth of tracks in the can.
“She’s told friends she wants to be doing live shows by next summer.
“Jade loves Hoopla and is very much a friend of the festival, so it would be the perfect fit.”
Keen to fly under the radar during this year’s two-day event in South London, Jade rocked a long blonde wig and cap to go incognito in the crowd.
She will be wanting to stand out on stage by the time she returns.
Foals fuming at The Strokes
ROCK bands Foals and The Strokes aren’t on the best of terms after both performed at TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow on Saturday.
Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis clearly took issue backstage.
He tweeted: “Hey, one of the five unnecessary tour managers of @thestrokes – come meet me in catering & eat my a**.”
Jump start for Ciara
CIARA has bounced back with a new single – looking better than ever on the cover art.
She leapt into the air wearing trainers and a bodysuit in a shot for the track Jump, her first new music since 2019 album Beauty Marks.
As well as dropping the song on Friday following weeks of rehearsals for the video, she has been celebrating her wedding anniversary with NFL star Russell Wilson at Lake Como, Italy.
Ciara said on Instagram: “I’m back on my mission to make the world dance.”
Ailing Liam a lot less vocal
LIAM GALLAGHER has apologised to fans after ending a headline festival performance early due to vocal issues.
He was on stage in northwestern France on Friday when he started to struggle and had to abandon his mic.
The Better Days singer said: “Apologies to everyone who came out to Festival Beauregard last night, I was so disappointed to have to cut the set short. I’ve been diagnosed with laryngitis and am on doctor’s orders to get some rest.
“Unfortunately that means I have to cancel my upcoming show in Cognac.
“I never want to let anyone down so I am really sorry for any disappointment but I have to put my health first, LG x.”
Ex-Oasis singer Liam isn’t the only star struggling with the pressures of touring again after the long Covid break.
Olly Alexander of Years & Years had to cancel his set at Scotland’s TRNSMT Festival this weekend after coming down with an infection.
And Shawn Mendes has halted his US tour for three weeks after struggling with his mental health.
He wrote on Instagram: “I’ve been touring since I was 15 and, to be honest, it’s always been difficult to be on the road away from friends and family.
“I felt I was ready to dive back in, but that decision was premature and unfortunately the toll of the road and the pressure has caught up with me.”