Billy Connolly made an emotional return to his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday (03Dec13) to visit the site of a horror helicopter crash that claimed nine lives. The Mrs. Brown actor jetted in from New York to pay his respects to customers of the city's Clutha bar who were killed when a police chopper plummeted from the sky and smashed into the venue on Friday night (29Nov13).
Arriving alone, the 71 year old laid a bouquet of flowers at the scene, along with the note, "Rest in Peace friends, Billy Connolly."
The funnyman reveals he felt compelled to make the trip as he had regularly performed at the music venue in his pre-fame days as a folk singer.
He says, "It's very sad but it means quite a lot to me. I have played in all of these pubs. The Clutha was a good music pub. They didn't mind banjo players, which makes a change.
"I had many happy times in there. Glasgow has really risen to the occasion. I have never heard so many nice things about Glasgow.
"I had to do something; I couldn't just let it pass though I have never done anything like this before. I was devastated to hear of what happened, like anyone else. It was weird seeing it happening on TV while I was in New York.
"Everybody's talking about how well Glasgow coped. I was very, very proud to be a Glaswegian. The Clutha's got a very special place in my heart."
Zac Efron has joined his pal Seth Rogen in spoofing Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's sexy music video for the rapper's new single, Bound 2. West recruited his fiancee to play the leading lady in his music video, and she posed topless in silhouette for scenes depicting the lovers riding through a desert landscape on a motorcycle.
On Monday (25Nov13), the Pineapple Express co-stars recreated the clip, with Franco taking on the rapper's role and funnyman Rogen playing his love interest, kissing and cuddling the 127 Hours hunk and reclining topless on the seat of a chopper.
A day later (26Nov13), the High School Musical hunk got in on the fun by posting his own version of Bound 2 on Instagram.com.
The photo shows a toned Efron showing off his six-pack abs while Rogen also stands shirtless next to him, with a protruding gut and the phrase "Bound 4" stamped across the bottom of the picture.
The shot is a new still from their upcoming film Neighbors, and Efron's social media team capitalised on Rogen and Franco's hilarious spoof by promoting the young actor's new movie.
The caption reads, "Whether you're a Kanye West fan or not, fans are Bound 2 get a kick out of this new still from Zac Efron and Seth Rogen's film Neighbors. Check out all the neighborly shenanigans when the comedy hits theaters next May! Uh huh honey."
Film footage showing the last moments of tragic British stuntman Mark Sutton as he leaps from a helicopter on his final jump has been published online. The daredevil, who thrilled billions of viewers around the world by posing as James Bond to parachute out of a chopper during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, died in August (13) when a wingsuit stunt went wrong.
He and a handful of pals made a 10,000-foot jump over Martigny, Switzerland but Sutton was killed when he veered off course and slammed into a mountain in the Swiss Alps.
The group of thrill-seekers was being filmed for Internet extreme sports channel EpicTV and bosses have now released video of Sutton's final moments, following consultation with his family.
The footage shows Sutton wearing his wingsuit - which allows the wearer to glide through the air at high speed - and giving a thumbs-up gesture as he climbs out of the aircraft and leaps into the sky.
Fellow daredevil Tony Uragallo, who jumped from the helicopter seconds after Sutton, says, "Mark was my hero. Mark dying like that was just horrifying."
"The headspace you get on a motorcycle prepares you for making a rock and roll record. Obviously. 'Cos you're concentrating so much on manipulating the machine and not killing yourself. You get as far away from the creative part of your brain that you're set up for walking into the studio." Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner rides his chopper around Los Angeles before recording sessions.
Victoria Beckham chartered a helicopter to fly her across London so she could make it to a parents' evening at her son's school on time. The pop star-turned-fashion designer agreed to take part in a photoshoot and interview for Australia's Vogue magazine at her home in the British capital on the proviso that she would be able to make it to Brooklyn's school for a meeting with teachers at 5pm that day.
The magazine's editor has now revealed the former Spice Girls star requested a helicopter to get her to the school on time.
Australian Vogue's Edwina McCann says, "The shoot almost didn't happen, but in the end her people decided she could make the trip by chopper directly from the shoot if need be."
During the interview with the magazine, Beckham said of her home life, "Honestly, once the children are in bed I'd rather work or shove on a face pack and pluck my eyebrows, by the time Brooklyn's finally gone to bed, it's all I'm fit for. Really, we're much more normal than people think."
Pete Townshend was left riddled with guilt after jokingly wishing a tragedy upon Dame Shirley Bassey just hours before she cheated death in a helicopter horror. The rocker was due to take to the stage at Britain's Glastonbury festival with his The Who bandmates in 2007 but was left feeling extra nervous after seeing Bassey steal the show with her set earlier on the bill.
Townshend joked to a pal that he hoped the chopper Bassey was using to ferry her to and from the site would crash, but he regretted his words hours later after discovering the aircraft had been forced to make an emergency landing after suffering a mechanical failure.
The guitarist tells The Times, "Our challenge was a strange one: Shirley Bassey. She went on before us and did a storming set, full of humour and irreverence - at the age of 70 she went down on her knees and got back up again, which I tried and failed to do - and it was like we were following Elvis.
"When she came off someone said to me: 'Good luck following that'. And I replied - joking, I should add - 'I hope her helicopter crashes.' And it did! She... had to make a landing in a field."
Bassey and five others on board the helicopter escaped the incident unscathed.
Speaking at PaleyFest 2013 a few weeks ago, Revolution co-creator and show runner Eric Kripke seemed very aware of the sluggish pace with which his show moved through its first ten episodes. "We see that fall run as…almost a prologue to a much larger story. Trust me, I was feeling a degree of impatience myself!" He went on to discuss what we're going to see this spring — namely the other militias that have sprung up post-Blackout — promising it would all be happening with great speed.
So there are worse ways you could kick off your second run of episodes than with a barrage of machine gun fire and the death of a character no one cared about!
Really, "The Stand" lived up to Kripke's proclamations. And if it's not so bold to suggest, reset the game board for what will hopefully be an exciting and story-rich Spring. It's cold to suggest that all a show needed to do to get back on our good graces was kill a poor teenager, but jettisoning Danny — the recovery of whom drove the plot of TEN FULL EPISODES — is the best thing Revolution could do at this point to move forward, and maybe generate some shading for its female lead. Charlie? She's great with a crossbow, and a decent foil for her uncle, Han Solo/Miles Matheson. But independent of those things she's a boring character, who was made all the more so by her constant calls to "FIND DANNY." He was found; now's he dead. And we can all move on with our lives, maybe more interestingly than before!
While I'm sure it's costing producers a pretty penny, the introduction of helicopters offered some much-needed action as well as selling the near-insurmountable threat the Rebels (just call yourselves the Rebel Alliance guys, it's totally fine) face in trying to take down Monroe. They straight-up fired missiles at Miles & Co.! It was awesome! The biggest tactical error this show made last fall was in assuming we were so invested in the characters, we could deal with long action-less stretches between benchmark episodes. You can give us thin characters — that's fine. But you can't be boring while you're doing it. Firefights go a long way to remedy this kind of imbalance.
We picked up right where we left off last fall — fleeing from the prison camp where Rachel and Danny were being held, tailed by newly powered-up helicopters. "We need to get as far away from Philly as we can get!" screamed Miles (but more accurately everyone, all the time) as they dodged missiles, a militia checkpoint, and passionate Nora kisses en route to the nearest rebel camp in, you guessed it, Annapolis, Maryland. How fast are these guys walking? Is that some sort of post-Blackout evolutionary adaptation?
Then: TWO ROADS DIVERGED. Having just reunited with her children after 15 long years, Rachel of course needed to get away from them as quickly as possible, and enlisted Miles to join her in a gun run to her buddy John's house. "I'm so proud of you guys!" she cooed to Charlie and Danny right before leaving, the oldest trick in the absentee parent book.
More great parenting soon followed when we caught up with Jason and Neville, staking out the rebel base. Their orders from Monroe: kill everyone they find. "There are too many people in there!" Jason cried, thinking of his girlfriend from camp, Charlie. Neville offered the kind of response any dad would, "bitch has you soft as a kitten," before slapping his son across the face. Like a dad. THAT'S IT — Jason tackled Neville. Neville tackled him back. Jason got in one solid punch. Then Neville pretty much took his son to the friggin' cleaners. "Don't ever come home again." Honestly that is perfectly okay with me, dad! I think you have some stuff to work through!
Rachel's friend John, like her a Keeper of the Power Necklaces, offered Rachel and Miles a tour of his weapons workshop. Rocket launchers. Submachine guns. A "sonic cannon," which fires noise. "I've got a lot of free time on my hands" John told us, deflecting criticism before we could dish it out. Then: betrayal. "Randall got to me." Before Miles could say something Han Solo-ish John had already knocked him and Rachel out with the sonic cannon. (Raise your hand if you saw that coming. Congratulations! You have seen television before.)
Meanwhile, alerted to an impending Monroe airstrike by the now fatherless Jason, Charlie, Danny, Nora, Zak Orth (whose name I've forgotten. Preston?), and the rest of the rebels gathered to make their stand. And sure enough, not one but two heavily-armed helicopters showed up to take care of business. Could this be it for the nascent Rebel Alliance?
NO! screamed Miles as he and his horse-drawn pile of insane weaponry came to the rescue. You guys need a rocket launcher? Now you've got a rocket launcher! Consistent, desensitizing violence filled the screen for a few minutes before Miles took aim with his new toy at one of the choppers. But not before the other one fired on him, knocking Miles out. Danny grabbed the rocket launcher instead. Fired away. And BLEW THE BIRD OUT OF THE FRIGGIN' SKY. Without the power amplifier contained on the just-exploded chopper, the other one immediately went down.
That is, before it fired about a thousand bullets into Danny's chest, making sure we understood there is absolutely no way in which this kid was alive.
Again — great, necessary move for the show. Less so for characters Charlie and Rachel (you know, his family) who grieved like no one was watching. But hey — plan of vengeance SOLIDIFIED. And no need for me to make a single joke about the returned power finally allowing Danny to get a buzz cut. Except that one, sorry.
QUICK POST-DRAMA BUSINESS: That "Randall" character everyone had been talking about showed up to Monroe's offices, asking if he could do anything to help stem the rebel tide. And Rachel, inspecting her son's body, cut deep into his pelvis to pull out…some sort of blinking device. As long as it doesn't take us nine episodes to start talking about what it is? We are all good.
RIP Danny. RIP Revolution 1.0!
[Photo Credit: Brownie Harris/NBC]
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Peter Barnes, 50, was one of two people who died when the aircraft he was in charge of struck a crane in Vauxhall on the bank of the River Thames and plunged to the ground where it burst into flames.
Barnes boasted a 25-year career as a pilot and was one of the most trusted flyers in Britain, often working on movie sets and transporting celebrity clients.
He worked on helicopter scenes in a number of movies including Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan, and was involved in the shooting of aerial images broadcast during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Barnes was also behind the controls of the helicopter used in a recent TV advert for make-up brand Rimmel, which featured supermodel Kate Moss on top of a building preparing to board a chopper.
The other victim in Wednesday's crash was Matt Wood, a 36-year-old office worker killed by falling debris after the chopper hit the crane. Thirteen others were injured in the tragedy.
The Big Fish star was cruising around on his chopper a few weeks ago when he took a nasty spill and banged up his precious ride.
A concerned passerby notified the police, and McGregor confesses he was mortified when a fleet of first responders arrived at the scene to survey the accident.
He tells U.S. TV host Jay Leno, "I made a real idiot of myself. I was in front of my mate Craig, we were two minutes away from my house... and we were going into a left hand (lane). And when you get the side stand on the ground, it sprays sparks up behind you, and that looks really cool. But what doesn't look so cool is when you follow the sparks and the bike slides out that way, which is what happened to me, 'cause I sort of pivoted the bike on the side stand 'til the wheels came off the road...
"It slid nicely and I thought, 'OK, it's not too bad, I didn't hurt myself very much,'... and then the bike went boom - so it... damaged both sides of this expensive and really beautiful motorbike.
"(Then) a jogger ran up... and said, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?' And I said, 'I'm fine, thank you very much,' and so I pulled the bike around the corner - I didn't want any paparazzi. I thought, 'This is embarrassing enough as it is'. And I guess the jogger phoned the police and said, 'There's a guy that's had an accident'. So, two seconds (later) around the corner, a fire engine arrived, the sheriff, and the cops. All three. It was a triple whammy. Literally, they said, 'Are you OK?' I said, 'I'm fine,' (and) they went, 'Can we get a picture?'"
However, the thrill-seeking actor insists all is not lost: "It's (bike) being fixed as we speak in Brooklyn (New York)."
McGregor's biking escapades have become legendary - he filmed two globe-trekking TV documentary series with pal and fellow motorbike enthusiast Charley Boorman.
The actor took a break from shooting his latest movie All You Need Is Kill in London to charter the chopper to Manchester, where he and movie veteran Robert Duvall visited the Etihad Stadium to see Manchester City play rival team Manchester United.
The Mission: Impossible star told reporters his "good friend" David Beckham, who started his sporting career at Manchester United, had urged him to watch the big match.
He added, "It is my first game in England, but I've been following British football since the 1980s. I am expecting a great game. David wishes he was here. I got an email from him - he's jealous."
Cruise and Duvall also posed for photos with the Premier League trophy before the game, which was won 3-2 by Manchester United.