5 reasons why we love Sophie Ellis-Bextor

By Carron Stacey

1. Groovejet

I know she attributes an awful lot of her subsequent musical opportunities to this track, with Spiller, and this 2000 summer track must surely sit somewhere in your life soundtrack. Indie kids will have known her from Theaudience and dance lovers will adore what the NME called this “slip of irresistible ice-filtered summer funk”.

  • Read on for reasons including Kitchen Disco, Spinning Plates podcast and Crying At The Discotheque

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Top 5 Greatest Eurovision Winners of the 21st Century

  1. Loreen Euphoria (Sweden, 2012)

‘We’re going up, up, up, up, up, up!’ Euphoria is a song which is well-titled. A number 3 hit in the UK, it was also memorably performed in a Kate Bush-fashion ripe for lampooning years later in best interval act ever Love, Love, Peace, Peace. The song itself is a credible piece of electro pop which only narrowly missed out on our greatest ever winners list but did make it to the Melodifestivalen top 5.

  • Read on for reasons including Conchita rising like a phoenix, a fairytale and some flying on the wings of love

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Top 5: Greatest Eurovision Runners-Up Ever

  1. Verka Serduchka Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Ukraine 2007)

We were at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki in 2007 when this had the misfortune of following immediately after eventual winner Molitva by Marija Šerifović. We hadn’t fancied it much before we left London for Finland but when we arrived it was clear what a fan favourite it was. Multiple key changes, a riot in Bacofoil and a simple, insistent hook, it defeated Šerifović in a recent Eurovision Again vote. ‘Let’s speak dance!’

  • Read on for reasons including the UK’s greatest runner-up, Chiara and why Selma was All Out Of Luck

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TOP 6: Best read monstagigz content of 2019 starring Sheridan Smith

  1. When Sheridan Smith stole the show in Joseph at the Palladium 

Thank you to our tens of thousands of readers who drove up our traffic by more than 12 per cent in 2019 and welcome to a top six of the most popular content of the year.

Sheridan Smith won our Best Theatre Actress monsta in 2015 and here stole the show in Lloyd Webber’s Palladium revival of one of his biggest hits. We said in our review: ‘We know we’re in safe hands when the always reliable Sheridan Smith channels Eric Morecambe from behind a fake moustache, confiding to the audience: ‘It’s still me.’ It was such a success that it returns to the Palladium for a second run next summer. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including what Carrie Hope Fletcher did next and the return of Dame Maggie Smith

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TOP 6: Best read monstagigz content of 2018

  1. We weren’t very, very, very keen on new Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh features twice in this list and wrote/directed the Oscar-winning film Three Billboards in 2018. We were at the 2nd preview for this new play at the Bridge Theatre and weren’t keen: ‘Our problem with A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter is that, while McDonagh could be argued to be skewering the lazy racism of 18th Century Europe of the time, it makes for a very uncomfortable and politically incorrect watch in 2018.’

  • Read on for the rest of the top 6 including Saara Aalto, Aidan Turner, Heathers & Suranne Jones

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Alison’s Party: Q&A: Alison Steadman: Alison Steadman’s Top 5 TV characters

WHERE: BFI

WHEN: 5/1

It’s 40 years since Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party pricked a nation’s consciousness through a cheesy-pineapple skewer, we’re here with the Oscar-nominated director and much of the cast to celebrate the TV career of its star, Alison Steadman.

  • Read on for reasons including Alison Steadman’s top 5 of her TV characters and TV’s 1st lesbian kiss

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THEATRE REVIEW: Motown The Musical

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Shaftesbury Theatre

WHEN: 15/9 (matinee), booking to October 2017

We’re sitting on the end of the third row and there’s a moment in the second act when the actress playing Diana Ross appears in the audience looking for someone to duet with and is stood directly in front of us.

  • Read on to discover whether monstagigz made its West End stage debut

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