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Parlour MAVEN: Meet Mad News UK’s Janice Spence

Mad News UK’s founder Janice Spence

It’s rare to come across a woman in the British blogosphere who speaks her mind. This is especially rare when the woman is black and popular in an environment where online celebrity smooching is an unspoken rule for success.

That said, Janice Spence and her Mad News blog certainly isn’t typical. Her off the record approach to entertainment news reporting is engaging and hysterically funny. Since the launch of Mad News in 2008, Janice has steadily built a reputation as a fearless, charismatic blogger with a unique critique of the UK urban scene, all whilst holding down a 9-5 job as an editorial assistant for a healthcare communications company. It’s no surprise then that Spence, also known as the most “hated woman in urban music,” is today’s Parlour Maven.

Parlour: How did the idea for Mad News begin?

Janice Spence: Back in 2006, when MySpace was the most popular social networking site and American entertainment blogs like Perez Hilton and Sandra Rose began to steadily enter the arena. These bloggers reported entertainment news in a new, fresh and fearless way. I joined them, initially using MySpace’s blog feature to post my own rants about celebrity and people began subscribing. I built up a small following, then in 2008 I created my blog and Mad News was born. I want to provide readers with the latest in entertainment news, and to create a forum where they could freely share their views. Another objective was to give those who don’t know much about events happening outside their own countries an insight into social, cultural and political events in the UK.

As a fulltime healthcare company employee, moonlighting as a blogger, any tips on juggling your duties?

Update your blog when you can. If you have lunch at your desk while at work, then search for content and update your blog then or do it all after work.

You criticized Kanye West and Jay Z’s Watch the Throne concert, what’s the best show you’ve ever seen?

Mary J. Blige, when she performed at the Hammersmith Palais in the 1990s. I was a teenager, going to my first ever concert and a huge Mary fan. When a slightly disheveled Mary with a lopsided weave ran out on to the stage, the noise almost blew the roof off the building and I almost lost my mind.

You’re quite the controversial blogger, what’s it like being the most “hated woman in the urban music scene”?

It doesn’t bother me. My only crime is saying out loud what most people say behind closed doors. I don’t believe in pussy footing around when it comes to certain subject matters. I am too old for that game, so if this makes me the most hated woman in the urban music scene, then so be it.

How do you react to negative criticism of your blog?

It makes me laugh, it doesn’t bother me. Mad News is always being criticized for being negative, not balanced enough and I have been called a hater on numerous occasions for simply stating the obvious. Some in the entertainment industry don’t like reading the truth, but those same people keep coming back to my blog. I really don’t know why they continue to do it to themselves. I will continue to post the content I feel like posting and will continue to air my views and rant for England.

What’s coming up next for Mad News?

I have never been a planner but I do have a few ideas in my head at moment. I don’t want to say too much, just in case my plans flop spectacularly.

– Reah Brown

To learn more about Janice, visit here at MadNews.

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