British funnywoman Dawn French has been named chancellor of Falmouth University in England. The Harry Potter star insists she "jumped at the chance" to take on the role at the institution in the English county of Cornwall, where she lives with her husband Mark Bignell.
The announcement was made in a message posted on the university's website and the comedienne will be officially inducted into the role at a ceremony in March (15).
French says, "It's a beautiful place with so many subjects that are close to my heart. I'm already bursting with ideas and want to make sure that my chancellorship is an active one, working with the many talented students."
The university's vice chancellor, Professor Anne Carlisle, adds, "Dawn is the perfect figurehead and inspiration for our students. Her passion and enthusiasm for the role and the university has already been infectious and she has a life-long association with, and total passion for, Cornwall."
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George Clooney has been handed a pre-wedding career gift from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - he will be the recipient of next year's (15) Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes.
The movie star-turned-director learned he would be the man picking up the coveted honour for his outstanding contributions to filmmaking earlier this month (Sep14), and the HFPA announced he would be the 72nd recipient on Monday (15Sep14). President Theo Kingma says, "The HFPA is honoured to bestow the Cecil B. DeMille Award to George Clooney to celebrate his outstanding contributions both in front of and behind the camera."
Clooney, who is scheduled to wed fiancee Amal Alamuddin later this month (Sep14), will follow in the footsteps of Woody Allen, who was this year's (14) honouree.
Past recipients have included Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Steven Spielberg, and the late Robin Williams. The Gravity star will pick up his latest accolade at the Golden Globes on 11 January (15).
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Actor Liam Neeson is urging U.S. officials to bring in a curb on gun possession to prevent another high school massacre.
The Schindler's List star is adamant lawmakers need to act to avoid a repeat of bloodbaths such as the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 when 20 children and six staff were gunned down. Neeson has branded the current way of dealing with gun control in the U.S. "crazy" and insists officials should follow the U.K., where handguns were swiftly outlawed following the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland in 1996.
He tells British magazine Radar, "I am totally for gun control in the U.S. The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying. Every day we're seeing some kid running rampant in a school. And do you know what the gun lobby's response to Newtown was? The National Rifle Association's official response was, 'If that teacher had been armed...' It's crazy. "I'll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun... It is the right to bear arms which is the problem. I think if the Founding Fathers knew what was happening they would be turning in their graves with embarrassment at how that law has been interpreted."
Comedian David Spade opted to forego dumping ice water on himself for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and instead donated $100,000 (£61,518) to the ALS Association in honour of his uncle who passed away from the motor neurone disease. The viral challenge has raised more than $112 million (£68.9 million) to fund research and support for the charity.
Sharon Osbourne was soaked with freezing cold water on Wednesday (10Sep14) after accepting a dare to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on live TV. The rock matriarch had previously avoided getting wet by opting to donate to motor neuron disease charity the ALS Association, but, during an episode of her U.S. daytime show The Talk, she agreed to fulfil the dare. However, the star had to endure four buckets of water being dumped on her head instead of just one to match the number of times she had been challenged by her TV co-hosts.
Comedian-turned-gameshow host Drew Carey is offering up a $10,000 (£5,882) reward to help track down a group of cruel high school students who pulled a dirty prank on an autistic teen participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. A 14-year-old student in Bay Village, Ohio was challenged to take on the chilly charity dunk to raise funds and awareness for motor neuron disease organisation the ALS Association, but instead of using iced water for the mission, his high school peers dumped a bucket filled with urine, faeces and spit all over him.
The outraged family of the autistic teen reported the incident to local police after video footage of the sick stunt was posted on social media.
News of the prank and the local community's efforts to promote tolerance following the incident caught Carey's eye and on Friday (05Sep14), he made his feelings about the bad behaviour known.
Taking to his Twitter.com blog, he wrote, "WTF (what the f**k)? Just saw this. Horrendous. These kids should be arrested and expelled."
He then offered to put up the reward money to help cops hunt down the culprits, adding, "If the Bay Village PD (Police Department) wants to start a reward fund to find who did this, contact me. I'll donate $10,000."
Cops have yet to identify those responsible, but vowed to bring charges against the culprits for the "heinous" act.
Carey later promised to donate the $10,000 to the Autism Speaks charity if authorities manage to find the pranksters without offering the reward.
Retired basketball icon Shaquille O'Neal is embarking on a new career after applying to join the police department in Miami, Florida. The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar-turned-TV sports analyst filed paperwork to become a reserve cop in the neighbourhood of Doral on Wednesday (03Sep14), according to the Miami Herald.
O'Neal, who has attempted to reinvent himself as a rapper, actor and most recently, as a club DJ in recent years, previously worked in the same position with authorities in Miami Beach back in 2005.
The towering 42 year old now faces physical and psychological testing before he can be approved for the reserve role.
City spokeswoman Christina Baguer says, "If he passes, he will then have to do everything else to be certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just like any of our other officers, reserve or not reserve."
O'Neal retired from playing basketball in 2011 after 19 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Style guru Tim Gunn took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the catwalk on Friday (05Sep14) during Project Runway's New York Fashion Week presentation. The 61 year old's reality TV co-star Heidi Klum had the honour of dousing Gunn, who was dressed in a pinstripe suit and tie, in freezing cold water as part of the charity stunt, which aims to raise funds for motor neuron disease charity the ALS Association.
Pregnant singer Carrie Underwood is set for a double celebration this week (beg01Sep14) after landing a top nomination at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards just days after announcing she is expecting her first child. The Before He Cheats hitmaker, who is married to ice hockey player Mike Fisher, confirmed her happy news on America's Labor Day holiday on Monday (01Sep14), and now she is celebrating a top nod at the CMAs after the nominations were announced on Wednesday (03Sep14).
Underwood will do battle with pop star Taylor Swift for the Female Vocalist of the Year title along with Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Martina McBride.
Country veteran Lambert is also nominated for the Album of the Year prize for her Platinum record, which will compete with Luke Bryan's Crash My Party, Fuse by Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley's Riser and Eric Church's The Outsiders.
Lambert is also the only woman nominated for the coveted Entertainer of the Year prize. She will take on her husband Blake Shelton, as well as Luke Bryan, George Strait and Keith Urban.
The Male Vocalist of the Year will be a battle between Bentley, Church, Bryan, Urban and Shelton, while the award for Vocal Group of the Year will be contested by Lady Antebellum, the Zac Brown Band, The Band Perry, the Eli Young Band and Little Big Town.
Underwood will host the prizegiving with fellow country star Brad Paisley in Nashville, Tennessee on 5 November (14).
Arctic Monkeys and Sophie Ellis-Bextor were among the big winners at Tuesday night's (02Sep14) AIM Awards in London. The British band picked up the Association of Independent Music's Album Award for AM, while singer Ellis-Bextor was named Best Live Act.
Other winners included London Grammar, Ben Watt and Twin Atlantic, while Richie Hawtin picked up an Outstanding Contribution honour.
The full list of winners is:
Independent Album: Arctic Monkeys - AM
Independent Track: Twin Atlantic - Heart And Soul
Independent Breakthrough: London Grammar
Outstanding Contribution: Richie Hawtin
Best Live Act: Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Hardest Working Artist: Ghetts
Independent Video: Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - You Will See Me
Best Difficult Second Album: Ben Watt - Hendra
PPL Award For Most Played Independent New Act: London Grammar
Best Independent Festival: Barn On The Farm
Special Catalogue Release: Various - Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound
Independent Label: Domino
Indie Champion: John Doran
Pioneer Award: Martin Mills
Best Small Label: Hyperdub
Innovator: Steve Goodman
Special Recognition: Alison Wenham