Sleb Safari: Jason Statham's acting chops are going to be scrutinised and celebrated in a new book

Riding around in his automobile...

STUPENDOUS news for Jason Statham fans with confirmation that a book is being written about his star quality and written by academics no less.

Crank it Up! will contain 13 essays showcasing the diversity of this steely eyed, steely ab-ed action hero. Quite right. Why has it taken so long? Sleb Safari is cross that it didn’t think of this first.

With 15 million Instagram followers Jason is practically a Kardashian. If every one of those 15 million people bought a copy of the book Sleb Safari didn’t think to write it would currently be Googling ‘houses for sale in the south of France’ and drafting its letter of resignation.

Professor Robert Shail from Leeds Beckett University is one of the editors of Crank It Up! and told The Telegraph that each contributor has given Jason’s career “a different voice”.

“By focusing on his diversity, the book analyses his personality across a variety of media platforms.”

The most personality Sleb Safari has ever seen Jason display on screen was in the Paul Feig film Spy where he parodied himself.

For the uninitiated, Jason is a former market trader, model and competitive diver who took part in the 1990 Commonwealth Games – an older, more weather-beaten Tom Daley if you will.

Sleb Safari really, really hopes someone hasn’t been messing about on Wikipedia because this backstory is too good to be true.

We have Guy Ritchie to thank for bringing Jason to global attention via Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. From there it’s been a rollercoaster of action movies with Jason hurtling through The Transporter and Fast and the Furious franchises and oodles of other box office treasures.

In a nutshell Jason’s role in any movie is this: he’s the man who can out-stare a dead dog and take down an assassin with a flick of his wrist.

In return Jason is laughing all the way to the bank and then home to his wife, the model, Rosie Huntington-Whitely.

Jason Statham doing what he does best

You know who else deserves this treatment from the academics at Leeds Beckett University? Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let’s have 13 essays explaining the learnings from his performances in Twins, Junior and Kindergarten Cop.

And Liam Neeson, surely his work of recent times deserves a collection of essays, each entitled “Seriously, what the…?”

Sleb Safari has big love for Liam Neeson and knows he commits to whatever cookie cutter role he’s signed up to but seriously, sham, you have to read the other scripts you’re being sent. You are more than the man who saves passengers on a plane or a train and there are only so many times a family member can be kidnapped by Albanian gangsters and you produce your fists and a gun before we’re going to start thinking of you as Jason Statham's dad and the man who can't accept that he needs to hand over the reins of the family business to his son.


Paging Brooklyn Beckham

WITH Mario Testino and Bruce Weber suspended by Condé Nast amid allegations of sexual assault, who can the fashion world call upon to take photos of gorgeous people for Vogue?

Rather than a panic hire Vogue should use the opportunity to nurture budding talent who deserve to get a foot in the door.

Sleb Safari is thinking here of Brooklyn Beckham and other young photographers like him who just can’t get a break. If only they knew someone who could introduce them to the right person. If only there was some way they could show off their portfolios. If only.


Zayn Malik has a new tattoo. Two to be precise

CREEPY tattoo alert – Zayn Malik has added a pair of eyes to his collection.

The eyes are on his chest and after too long staring at his girlfriend’s very beautiful face Sleb Safari has come to the conclusion that they are indeed Gigi Hadid’s eyes.

It’s an unusual location for an unusual tattoo. And what is the fascination former members of One Direction have with getting their partner’s eyes inked on to their flesh?

Liam Payne has Cheryl’s eye on his arm. Whether or not the three other band members have similar markings on their body remains a mystery. Sleb Safari will update you as and when information filters through.


Competition winner

The winner of the RSPB prize was Pádraigín Herron from Belfast. Congratulations!


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