WHILE Beyoncé is making waves on her glittering Renaissance tour, her protégé Halle Berry is also in the spotlight as Princess Ariel in the live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Ahead of tomorrow’s UK premiere of the film, Halle announced the superstar for being her “rock” and for giving her advice on how to deal with the racial backlash she received for being the first black actress to play the role.
Following the release of the film’s trailer last year, the hashtag “NotMyAriel” circulated on Twitter, claiming that the fictional mermaid could only be redheaded and white – in a nod to the 1989 Disney animated classic.
In an exclusive chat with Biz on Sunday, Halle told us, “I had a private conversation with Beyoncé who told me not to read the social media comments I post.
“It’s kind of sad – but very good advice for your mental health.
“I started in the industry so young that mental health has always been a priority for me.”
The Atlanta-born starlet added, “It was a shock at first to see the reaction to it — but then it started to bother me less.”
Halle admits supporting Queen Bey along with other big names has given her confidence in dealing with criticism.
She added, “I’ve had superstars like Beyoncé, Zendaya and Nicki Minaj speaking out for me and how excited they were that I was cast – that was really the most amazing thing.”
Halle and her sister Chloe caught Bey’s attention when they released a clip in 2014 of themselves performing their hit song ‘Pretty Hurts’ – which has racked up more than 21 million views on YouTube.
Since then, the siblings have signed a six-album million-dollar deal with Beyonce’s record label, Parkwood Entertainment.
“Beyonce was an absolute rock to me,” says Halle. “I’ve been able to turn to her for creative advice since I was 15 – how many people can say they’ve had it?”
And taking on the role of Ariel has also boosted her confidence.
She said: “It feels a little cheesy, but Ariel honestly taught me things.
“I’m only 23 so I’m still learning and she taught me to be brave and do what I want
DANNY IS IN THE DARK AGAIN
DANNY DYER’s wacky reality show Scared Of The Dark has been greenlit for a second season.
The Celebrity Big Brother-esque show, which saw eight celebrities stumbling around in the dark for a week, proved an unlikely success for Channel 4.
A TV insider tells me, “Scared Of The Dark was a bit of a risk.
“It could have been really boring or intriguing, and luckily for TV executives, it was the latter and Danny had a huge part in its success.”
With Danny as his shrewd host, football legend Paul Gascoigne triumphed over players like Max George, Chris Eubank and Scarlett Moffatt, all of whom suffered trauma in the dark but kept the nation hooked.
The source added: “The film was shot over a couple of weeks over the summer so it’s really easy to get in the can.
“It was a no-brainer for the bosses to order another series – they just have to convince celebs to sign up.
“It certainly won’t be for everyone, especially since it forces some people to face their inner demons.”
A real aha moment.
JAY’S JUDI JINGLE
JAY BLADES has revealed he’s asked Dame Judi Dench to record a radio jingle when he plays music.
After a day repairing antiques, the host of The Repair Shop relaxes by spinning decks at his home in Ironbridge, Shrops.
And Dame Judi isn’t the only superstar to give DJ Jay a plug.
At the Bafta nominees’ party, he said, “Judi is cool. She’s a nice person – really, really cool.
“She made a jingle for me and I have one for Sir David Jason and Dame Mary Berry.
“When I play music, they say, ‘You’re listening to Jay Blades.’ . . ‘
“It wasn’t sampled – she made it for me. When I go home I play music, so I use their jingle.”
AVRIL FANS RELIFE THE POP-PUNK FAME
Wearing fishnet tights and a red tartan skirt, Avril Lavigne reignited the pop-punk era on Tuesday.
Avril opened with a cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation,” hitting a note that sent many millennials back to their teens.
Her heartbreaking 2002 anthem Complicated had Ally Pally fans relive the feelings of their first breakup before My Happy Ending had fans banging their fists to the chords of their electric guitar.
Avril also performed her new hits, including ‘Love It When You Hate Me’ – and she proved she’s still connected to her youth as she yelled ‘I still love skater boys’ before saying ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘ Sk8ter Boi” performed.
At the end of Here’s To Never Growing Up, Avril became the rebellious lover who let her fans indulge in the bewildering feelings of a teenager in love for an evening.
VANESSA HAS RAYA OF LOVE
Just weeks after splitting from Joey Essex, Dancing On Ice pro skater Vanessa Bauer is healing her broken heart by getting back on the dating scene.
I can reveal that the stunning TV star is looking for love on celebrity dating app Raya.
Just days after her split from the reality king, the German ice cream expert uploaded hot bikini shots to her online profile.
The sexy snaps included images of her in full costume on the ITV show, posing with a cute puppy (always a winner), flaunting her body in the sea and riding a motorbike in a swimsuit.
An insider said, “Vanessa doesn’t waste time crying over spilled milk — she leaves Joey behind and doesn’t look back.”
“She’s naturally flirtatious and willing to meet someone, but she’s also keen to show them what’s missing.”
Last week Joey told us he was looking for an apartment in Dubai, that he’s enjoying the single life and that Lily James followed him on Instagram, so it seems he’s moved on too.
Happy swiping, Vanessa.
CLARA’S HIGH VIS
RADIO 1’s Clara Amfo has revealed she loves RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage “with every fiber of my being”.
The DJ, who is hosting the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet tonight with Michelle, told me: “We’ve become really good friends.
“We’re really excited – lots of WhatsApping, lots of FaceTiming.
“I don’t think people realize we’re friends.”
But Clara admits she still gets nervous talking to the kings of show business.
She said: “I was impressed with Emma Thompson. I did the Matilda premiere and it’s just fabulous.
“I really want to see Kate Winslet. I’m a big fan and I think she would pull me in a bit.”
SEVENTIES rocker John Fogerty has revealed he’s still friends with the Rolling Stones and the surviving members of The Beatles.
Ahead of his UK performances this month, the founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival tells me, “I still consider Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney my friends and I see Mick Jagger on tour every few years.”
And despite being in his seventies, John swears by practicing guitar for up to four hours a day.
He said, “It helps me stay in shape.”
HAILEY BLAZER ONE WAY
HAILEY BIEBER looked effortlessly chic in a light blue blazer and baseball cap on a date with husband Justin Bieber in New York City.
Matching his wife’s style, Justin wore a light blue shirt and baggy jeans.
Earlier in the day, the couple were spotted with their Yorkshire Terriers, Piggy Lou and Oscar.
Hailey revealed on Instagram that 2023 was a challenging year.
She said: “I like to joke about how I feel because sometimes it’s easier than admitting I’m having a hard time.
“But since the beginning of 2023 I have experienced some of the saddest and most difficult moments I have ever experienced in my adult life and my spirit and emotions have been fragile to say the least.”