Friday, April 03, 2009

Exclusive: British guy comes to America to write book on US-UK relations-- and to meet 500 celebs

We don't subscribe to the idea that British people all have bad teeth. We understand that the island nation discovered fluoride sometime in the Seventies, just as they managed to spin out a chef or two and learn to cook in the past fifteen years. We do hold the belief that all British men have had at least one gay experience, and that even the most lady-killing British male is overcompensating for a buggering in his schooldays-- a prejudice enforced over the weekend when we cracked open Victor Spinetti's book and later on the Virgin America flight home read an Esquire UK article about some hot tart named Rosamund Pike who claimed her hottest romance was with a guy who turned out to be gay and that they and his new boyfriend now go on threesome vacations together, not that there's anything wrong with any of that but which simply isn't so taken for granted in America.

Which leads us to Jules Segal, a young British guy who's arrived in the States to research a new book and embark on a stunt crusade to get 500 US celebrities "to sign a British flag with messages of support for the British people" (the flag will be auctioned for a kids' charity).

Jules pulled off a similar stunt in the UK, in which he got celebs like Cheri Blair, Ian McLellan, Jonathan Ross and Chris Martin, the bedwetting guy from Coldplay and a lot of people we're not familiar with (but who are very familiar in the UK) to shake his hand. He got a lot of publicity and a book out of the deal: Greeting The 500.

Now, like Sacha Baron Cohen, Toby Young and Marco Pierre White (well, not Marco Pierre White...) he's headed across the pond, and like de Tocqueville and Allan Whicker before him, will take the pulse of the big country while exploring the "special relationship" between the UK and the US, and speaking to Americans about their views on all things British, "our accents, our bad teeth, the Beckhams, our music, our common foreign policies, whether we should always go to war together..."

And then there are the 500 celebrities, a list he gathered from a Facebook poll and whom he's approaching quite formally, quite British, actually, through letters and proper channels as opposed to the good old American tradition of stalking.

We like the idea that Jules' project started out as a bet. Jules' mate gave him a list of 500 UK celebs and six months to get his photo taken shaking hands with as many as possible. He need to meet 20% of them to win the bet. Gambling comes into play this time as well:

"Jules has very little money, no full-time job and the residue of a gambling habit. In order to finance his trip, he has placed two bets with the William Hill bookmaking firm. One of these bets relates to how many of the 500 he will manage to meet in 90 days, the other bet will be paid out if amongst others, he meets Tiger Woods, Scarlet Johansson, Kanye West, Emeril Lagasse and Daniel Negreanu and completes a pre-arranged task with each of these individuals..."

The list follows. If you are on it or have an in with someone who is, you can reach him here. We spoke to Jules this week, he comes recommended by our pals at Anorak and we'll be keeping track of his progress.

Jules in in Los Angeles now. He's got quite a task ahead. Some of his target celebs are in prison; one or two may be dead.

Fellow journos: go out and do your jobs, run a feature on The US-Say project and book this guy for your shows.

Segal's List
‘500 Americans’
50 cent Aaron Sorkin Adam Sandler Adam West Al Jarreau Al Roker Al Sharpton Al Gore Al Pacino Al Unser Jr Alan Dershowitz Alan Alda Alan Greenspan Alex Trebek Alex Rodriguez Alexi Lalas Alice Cooper America Ferrera Andre 3000 Angelina Jolie Ann Coulter Anna Wintour Anne Rice Annie Liebowitz Anthony Bourdain Antonio Fargas Ariana Huffington A Schwarzenegger Arsenio Hall Art Garfunkel Ashley Olsen Axl Rose Barack Obama Barbra Streisand Barbara Walters Barry Bonds Ben Stiller Beth Ditto Betty Ford Betty White Big Bird Bill Bryson Bill Cosby Bill Maher Bill Clinton Bill Gates Bill Murray Billy Crystal Billy Graham Billie Jean King Billy Ray Cyrus Bo Derek Bo Jackson Bob Beamon Bob Dylan Bob Woodward Brad Pitt Bret Easton Ellis Britney Spears Bruce Campbell Bruce Springsteen Bruce Willis Burt Reynolds Butch Harmon Calvin Klein Cameron Diaz Carl Lewis Carly Fiorina Carrie Fisher Carson Kressley Casey Kasem Charles Barkley Charles Manson Charlie Kaufman Cheech Cher Chevy Chase Chris Rock Christopher Gardner Christian Bale Christian Slater Christina Aguilera Christy Turlington Chubby Checker Chuck Norris Chuck Palahniuk Cindy Crawford Clint Eastwood Colin Powell Condoleeza Rice Courtney Cox Courtney Love Dale Earnhardt Jr Dan Rather Dan Brown Dan Aykroyd Dan Castellaneta Dan Marino Dan Quayle Dane Cook Daniel Libeskind Daniel Negreanu Danielle Steele Danny de Vito Dave Brubeck Dave Chapelle Dave Grohl Dave Lee Roth David Duke David Geffen David Blaine David Copperfield David Hasselhoff David Letterman David Lynch David Mamet David Schwimmer David Soul Debbie Harry Debbie Gibson Dennis Hopper Dennis Rodman Denzel Washington Derek Jeter Diana Ross Diane Sawyer Dick Cheney Duane Chapman Dolly Parton Don King Donald Rumsfeld Donald Sutherland Donald Trump Donna Karan Donnie Wahlberg Donny Osmond Doris Day Doyle Brunson Dr Dre Dr John Dr Ruth Dr Phil Drew Barrymore Dustin Hoffman Ed Moses Eddie Murphy Eliot Spitzer Ellen DeGeneres Emeril Lagasse Eminem Evander Holyfield Fats Domino Fergie Florence Henderson Frank Oz Frank Gehry Fred Savage Garth Brooks Garry Shandling Gary Busey Gary Coleman Gary Larson Gene Simmons Gene Wilder George Foreman George Lucas George Romero George Lopez George Pataki George W Bush George Clooney Gilbert Godfrey Gore Vidal Grace Jones Greg Louganis Gwyneth Paltrow Harper Lee Harrison Ford Harry Connick Jr Harvey Weinstein Harvey Keitel Hayden Panettiere Heidi Fleiss Henry Winkler Henry Kissinger Hilary Hahn Hillary Clinton Howard Stern Hugh Hefner Hulk Hogan Ice Cube Ice T Iggy Pop Isaac Mizrahi Jack Nicklaus Jack Black Jack Nicholson Jackie Chan Jackie Mason James Gandolfini James Horner James Earl Jones James Ellroy James Hellwig James Woods Jane Fonda Janice Dickinson Jason Bateman Jasper Johns Jaws (Richard Kiel) Jay Leno Jay-Z JD Salinger Jeff Gordon Jeff Goldblum Jeff Koons Jeff Skoll Jenna Jameson Jennifer Aniston Jennifer Lopez Jermain Jackson Jerry Rice Jerry Bruckheimer Jerry Springer Jesse Draper Jesse Jackson Jesse Ventura Jessica Simpson Jessica Alba Jim Brown Jim Davis Jim Carrey JJ Abrams Joan Rivers Jodie Foster Joe Montana Joe Pesci Joe Torre John Glover Roberts John Williams John Irving John Bobbit John Cusack John Daly John Glenn John Grisham John Malkovich John McEnroe Jon Stewart John Travolta John Wooden Johnny Depp Jon Bon Jovi Jordin Sparks Jordy Chandler Jorge Posada Josh Holloway Judd Nelson Judith Sheindlin Julia Roberts Justin Timberlake Kanye West Karl Rove Kate Hudson Kathleen Battle Kathy Ireland Kathie Lee Gifford Katie Couric Kato Kaelin Keanu Reeves Kelly Slater Kelly Clarkson Ken Starr Kenny Rogers Kevin Bacon Kevin Federline Kevin Smith Kiefer Sutherland Kim Cattral Kirsten Dunst Kobe Bryant Laffit Pincay Lance Armstrong Larry King Larry Seinfeld Larry Craig Larry David Larry Hagman Lee Corso Leonard Nimoy Leonardo di Caprio Linda Carter Lindsay Lohan Liza Minnelli Loretta Lynn Lou Ferrigno Lou Reed Louis Farrakhan Lucy Liu M N Shyamalan Macaulay Culkin Madeleine Albright Madonna Magic Johnson Malcolm Glazier Marc Jacobs Marie Osmond Marilyn Manson Marc McGwire Mark Zuckerburg Martha Stewart Martin Scorsese Martina Navratilova Mary-Kate Olsen Matisyahu Matt Damon Matt Groening Matthew Broderick Maya Angelou MC Hammer Meatloaf Mel Brooks Michael Bloomberg Michael Chertoff Michael Dell Michael Douglas Michael Griffin Michael J Fox Michael Jackson Michael Johnson Michael Jordon Michael Moore Michael Phelps Michelle Kwan Michelle Wie Mike Judge Mike Tyson Mikhail Baryshnikov Missy Elliot Moby Molly Ringwald Monica Lewinsky Mookie Wilson Morgan Freeman Morgan Spurlock Mr T Muhammed Ali Nadia Comaneci Nancy Cartwright Nancy Pelosi Neil Armstrong Neil Diamond Nicole Richie Noam Chomsky N Schwartzkopf OJ Simpson Oliver North Oprah Winfrey Oscar de la Hoya Owen Wilson P Diddy Pamela Anderson Paris Hilton Pat Sajak Patricia Arquette Patty Hearst Paul Auster Paul Shaffer Paul Teutul Paul Wolfowitz Paula Abdul Pauly Shore Pee Wee Herman Penn Jillette Perez Hilton Pete Sampras Peter Falk Peyton Manning Phil Mickleson Philip Glass PJ O’Rourke Prince Queen Latifah Q Tarrantino Quincy Jones Ralph Lauren Ralph Macchio Ray Liotta Reese Witherspoon Reggie Bush Regis Philbin Revered Al Green Richard Gere Richard Petty Rick Warren Ricki Lake Robert Rauschenberg Robert DeNiro Robin Williams Rodney King Roger Clemens Roger Ebert Ron Howard Ron Popeil Ron Jeremy Rosanna Arquette Rose McGowan Rosie Perez Ross Perot Roy Innis Ru Paul Rudolf Giuliani Rush Limbaugh Ryan Seacrest Samuel L Jackson Sara Silverman Sarah Jessica Parker Sarah Michelle Gellar Scarlett Johanssen Scooter Libby Sean Penn Siegfried & Roy Serena Williams Seth Macfarlane Sharon Stone Sheryl Crow Smokey Robinson Sophia Coppola South Park guys Spike Jonze Spike Lee Stephen Sondheim Stephen Colbert Stephen King Steve Buscemi Steve Carell Steve Guttenberg Steve Jobs Steve Martin Steve-O Steve Williams Steve Wynn Steven Spielberg Stevie Nicks Stevie Wonder Susannah Hoffs Sylvester Stallone Ted Danson Ted Koppel Ted Turner Teddy Kennedy Terry O’Quinn The Fridge The Rock Thomas Mesereau Tiffany Tiger Woods Tila Tequila Tim Gunn Tim Robbins Tim Sale Timbaland Tom Anderson Tom Brokaw Tom Clancy Tom Cruise Tom Hanks Tom Selleck Tommy Franks Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Moe Tony Danza Tony Hawk Tony Robbins Tony Romo Tonya Harding Traci Lords Ty Pennington Tyra Banks Uma Thurman Vanilla Ice Vanna White Vera Wang Verne Troyer Vince Vaughan Vincent Gallo Walter Kronkite Warren Buffett Weird Al Yankovitch Wentworth Miller Wes Andersen Whoopi Goldberg Will Ferrell Will Smith William Shatner Willie Nelson Wolfang Puck Woody Allen Zach Braff Zsa Zsa Gabor

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