British boyband One Direction are the most powerful stars on Twitter.com, according to a new poll. Liam Payne tops the PeerIndex countdown of the U.K.'s most influential tweeters with more than 13 million followers. The rest of the group - Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik - respectively take up the rest of the top five.
Other Brits to make the top 10 include Ed Sheeran, Prime Minister David Cameron, newsman Piers Morgan, comic Stephen Fry, writer Caitlin Moran, and funnyman Ricky Gervais.
PeerIndex founder Azeem Azhar says, "As Twitter has become more mainstream, the top 140 starts to resemble the contours of popular culture and power, the footballers, politicians and boy bands."
The results are based on the amount of followers, use of the site and how many re-tweets their posts receive.
The star, who passed away at the age of 68 on Friday (27Jul12), is believed to have been battling prostate cancer, according to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.
Hughes' fellow celebrities paid tribute to the actor on Saturday (28Jul12), with Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson saying, "Geoff wasn't just an actor. He was my mate. I used to call him every few weeks but hadn't spoken to him in about a fortnight. It's such a loss."
William Roache, who appeared alongside Hughes in British soap Coronation Street, adds, "I am so sorry to hear about Geoffrey. He was a warm loveable actor with great comedy timing. He will be greatly missed. He was one of the Street's memorable characters."
The TV legend, born in Wallasey, England, began his career in theatre before landing television roles in the 1960s.
He provided the voice of Paul McCartney in Beatles cartoon film Yellow Submarine, starred as Onslow in comedy Keeping Up Appearances and also featured in U.K. shows Heartbeat and Skins.
The Mike Bassett: England Manager star was using the luxury vehicle as a base in Chester, England while he filmed a wildlife documentary - and he was shocked when the holiday home went missing last week (13Jun12).
He tells Britain's The Mirror, "I can't believe it's happened. It must have been a well-organised gang as it (had been) two feet off the floor and resting on railway sleepers and breeze blocks because it was parked on a flood plain.
"The caravan was also down a lane over a mile long within a gated meadow. They lifted the gate off its hinges and must have had a decent-sized vehicle to take it away."
Tomlinson adds, "I am gutted (saddened) because I was in the process of letting one of my mates use it for a little outing for his two kids."
"She is wonderful and won't let me do anything, I call her Saint Reet. She makes sure I take my tablets every day. She is like a nurse but she won't wear the uniform anymore." British actor Ricky Tomlinson is full of praise for his wife Rita, who takes care of the star following his quadruple heart bypass operation in 2007.
The Mike Bassett: England Manager star pledged the cash to his native Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital, where bosses will use it to help pay for a 15-apartment extension to house the families of sick kids.
He says, "I have been very lucky in my life and it is such a worthwhile charity. The charities I support are all for kids, they are our future. When it comes to money you can only spend so much, I'm not into cars or racehorses or anything like that.
"The house provides a vital lifeline to parents and families who come to hospital with their critically ill children. These apartments will be able to give them much needed support during an incredibly difficult time."
It isn't the first time Tomlinson has given up his hard-earned cash to charity - in 2008, he donated $300,000 (£200,000) to the Human Milk Bank Appeal at a Chester, England hospital to help provide breast milk for premature and sick babies.
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.
The Illusionist is also a bit sluggish sort of like a complicated magic trick building to its climatic conclusion. It starts at the turn of the century when mysterious stage magician Eisenheim (Edward Norton) arrives in Vienna and begins performing his astounding illusions. He arouses not only the curiosity of the people who believe he has otherworldly powers but of the ruthless Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) an unsavory fellow who’d like to prove the man a fraud especially after he witnesses a budding attraction between his beautiful fiancé Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) and the magician. What Leopold doesn’t know is that Eisenheim and Sophie were once childhood sweethearts—and now that they’ve reunited a dormant and forbidden love affair has been rekindled. Now it’s up to Vienna's shrewd Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) to uncover the truth charged by Leopold to intensify his efforts to expose Eisenheim. With Uhl doggedly pursuing the man behind the magician Eisenheim prepares to execute his greatest illusion yet. The stars of The Illusionist all shine. Yes even Ms. Biel who may not be of the same caliber as her cast mates but certainly doesn’t embarrass herself either as the aristocratic Sophie with a feisty spirit. Norton who has always prided himself on choosing his projects wisely is sad and wonderful as The Illusionist’s regal and masterful purveyor of chimera. Oscar could come calling. Gold might also be in Giamatti’s horizon who seems unable to turn in a sour performance in whatever he does (even if its swimming with water nymphs). As the steadfast policeman Uhl Giamatti takes the brilliantly juicy part and runs with it. He really comes alive when trying to figure out Eisenheim’s trickery but is continually baffled by it at the same time. Sewell (The Legend of Zorro) plays the bad guy once again. Guess he doesn’t really care to try something new so long as he gets the job done. The reason The Illusionist feels like an independent film despite its opulent art direction and period costumes is because writer/director Neil Burger is a newbie. And it’s obvious the story is something close to his heart. Taken from a short story called “Eisenheim The Illusionist ” Burger has cleverly interwoven an intimate murder mystery with a grand and romantic saga of two lovers torn apart by class struggles all within the frame work of magic. It’s a brilliant first effort. Burger’s inexperience does show up at times especially in how the film plods a bit in the beginning but once it gets going you’re hooked. It’s also interesting to note there are TWO 19th century period movies about magicians coming out in the same year. Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as rival magicians is due out in October. Magicians and their tricks can certainly be cinema worthy it’s just funny to see how those Hollywood execs all think alike: “Hey did you hear about that new guy doing a movie about a turn of the century illusionist or whatever? Let’s do one too!” “OK and let’s release it two months after the first one!” “OK!” Oy.