A celebrated hat designer who provided headwear for British royals including Queen Elizabeth II and a long line of Bond girls has died. Milliner Philip Somerville passed away on Sunday (14Sep14) aged 84. No more details about his death were available as WENN went to press.
Somerville spent decades making hats for the British monarch, and he also created designs for Diana, Princess of Wales and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as the Swedish and Dutch royal families.
He also made hats for Joan Collins, opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and he worked on a number of James Bond movies.
Somerville's creations were seen on Famke Janssen in Goldeneye and Sophie Marceau in The World Is Not Enough.
He retired in 2008.
Dame Helen Mirren is to return to the Broadway stage after more than a decade to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. The actress won an Olivier Award for her portrayal of the British monarch in the play in London's West End last year (13) and now she has joined Stephen Daldry's production at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, which is slated to begin on 8 March (15).
The show centres on the Queen's weekly meetings with British prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.
The play marked Mirren's second turn as Elizabeth II - she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award, among other accolades, for her portrayal of the royal in The Queen.
The actress last appeared on the Broadway stage in 2001's Dance of Death with Ian McKellen.
Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan's new movie Suffragette is to become the first film shot in Britain's Houses of Parliament. The crew behind the movie, which focuses on women's fight for the right to vote, have been given permission to film scenes in the iconic building in London, marking the first time a commercial production will be shot in parliament.
The filming will take place while parliament is in recess over the Easter break in April (14).
Sir Alan Haselhurst, chairman of the cross-party administration committee, has revealed the move could lead to more movies being shot in the building, adding, "Films will only be allowed if their subject matter is appropriate."
Streep plays women's rights icon Emmeline Pankhurst in the new movie. The actress previously won an Oscar for playing former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The drama featured numerous scenes set in the parliament building, but none were filmed in the real location.
Suffragette also stars Mulligan, along with Brits Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw, and is due for release in 2015.
Harry Potter pals Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were celebrating on Sunday (23Feb14) after picking up honours at the WhatsOnStage Awards in Britain. Radcliffe was named Best Actor in a Play for his role in The Cripple of Inishmaan, while his former co-star took home the Newcomer of the Year Award for his West End debut in a revival of Mojo.
Ironically, Radcliffe previously won Grint's award in 2008, following the success of his stage breakthrough in Equus.
Other winners at the Prince of Wales Theatre awards ceremony in London included Dame Helen Mirren, who was named Best Actress in a Play for The Audience, which also landed the Best New Play; David Walliams, who picked up a Best Supporting Actor for his role in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was named Best Shakespearean Production, and The Book of Mormon, which dominated the musical categories and came away with four awards, including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical (Gavin Creel).
Scarlett Strallen's turn in A Chorus Line earned her the Best Actress in a Musical honour. The production also won Best Ensemble Performance. Haydn Gwynne was also a winner - she scored a Best Supporting Actress in a Play award for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Audience.
Meanwhile, Matilda the Musical was honoured with the Best West End Show title and Australian entertainer Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) was handed the Best Solo Performance prize for his Eat Pray Laugh! show at the London Palladium.
Meryl Streep is set to play another British Iron Lady after signing on to portray early 1900s women's rights icon Emeline Pankhurst in a new movie. Streep, who won an Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher, will play the political activist in upcoming drama Suffragette.
The project, which also stars Carey Mulligan, will start shooting in the U.K. next week (beg24Feb14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mulligan will lead the cast as a young feminist who becomes violent after growing frustrated with the Suffragette movement's peaceful protests.
Prankster George Clooney's penchant for sending out cards and letters from his famous friends began at John Krasinski's wedding in 2010. Matt Damon recently discovered that his Ocean's Eleven co-star has been sending stationery with his name on it around Hollywood for several months as a practical joke, but Brad Pitt was the first star to suffer.
During an appearance on fellow prank lover Jimmy Kimmel's U.S. TV show, Clooney revealed the comedian had been involved in the elaborate joke that began when they met up at their mutual friend's wedding party, which was held at Clooney's villa in Italy.
He said, "You sent me a thank you gift card... it actually said Brad Pitt on it, which set the wheels in motion... I've been sending letters to people as Brad Pitt for four years.
"Don Cheadle was trying to do the Miles Davis story and I sent him a letter from Brad, because Brad produces films, and I said, 'You know, I'm producing this Miles Davis/Charlie Parker thing and Jamie Foxx is gonna play Miles Davis, but you'd you'd be great as Charlie Parker?'
"Don wrote me, like, six months later and said, 'Did you do something dirty to me?'"
Clooney revealed his most elaborate 'note' prank came when he sent Meryl Streep a package of dialect tapes from Pitt and urged her to use them to help her perfect the role of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
The Michael Clayton star chuckled, "I said, 'To Meryl, I hear you're gonna play The Iron Lady and this guy really helped me with my dialect in Troy'. I never told either of them I did that. Now they know."
Clooney's interview with Kimmel aired in the U.S. on Thursday night (06Feb14).
The former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who sued comic Alan Davies over a libellous tweet, has died. Conservative politician Lord Robert McAlpine passed away at his home in Italy on Friday (17Jan14), aged 71.
McAlpine was a longtime adviser to Britain's only female leader during her time at Downing Street during the 1970s and '80s.
He was also a hugely successful fundraiser for the Conservative Party.
McAlpine hit headlines in 2012 when BBC editors ran a report on its Newsnight programme about allegations of sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
Jonathan Creek star Davies then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The political adviser launched legal action against the British actor and was awarded $24,000 (£15,000) in damages in October (13).
Paul Walker has topped the 2013 Google U.K. searches survey, just weeks after his death became headline news. The Fast & Furious star was killed when the sports car he was travelling in crashed into a tree and exploded on 30 November (13).
Fans rushed to the web to find out about the tragic story and pushed him to the top of Google's annual end-of-year Zeitgeist countdown.
The release of the latest Apple iPhone was the second most-searched topic ahead of the birth of British royal baby Prince George in July (13) in third place. The death of another celebrity - Glee star Cory Monteith, who died of an overdose in July (13) - was fourth in the countdown.
The passing of global figures made up the majority of the top 10 searches, with the deaths of Nelson Mandela earlier this month (Dec13) and former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in April (13) coming in at six and nine.
Claudine Beaumont from Google U.K. says, "Our annual Zeitgeist survey provides a fascinating snapshot of our interests and obsessions for the year.
"Celebrities always get a lot of interest and the passing of well-known figures makes people want to learn more about them."
Veteran musician Van Dyke Parks has risked causing outrage by insisting controversial world leaders Richard Nixon and Margaret Thatcher should have died sooner. The songwriter/producer, who is best known for his groundbreaking work with Beach Boys star Brian Wilson in the 1960s, has previously told how he was devastated by the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
He is adamant Kennedy was a force for good in the world and insists shamed President Nixon - who was run out of office in the wake of the Watergate scandal - and former British Prime Minister Thatcher encouraged materialist thinking.
However, Parks has risked upsetting friends, family, and supporters of the political heavyweights by revealing he wishes they had not lived so long.
He tells NME magazine, "I mark this event (the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death) with the knowledge that we would live in a better world if the Kennedys had not been assassinated. It would be a more kindly world. It would be a less materialistic world. It would be a world not so riddled with material girls and greed. There would not be this celebration, this eroticism of wealth, had the Kennedys lived.
"So... I regret that John Kennedy was assassinated... I believe that a lot of people can die late in life and still die prematurely. A lot of people don't die soon enough - I would put in those ranks Dick Nixon (sic) and Margaret Thatcher."
U2 star Bono has penned a tribute essay for Time magazine honouring his friend Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday (05Dec13). The rocker reveals that the former South African leader was his mentor and hero - and the leading figure behind his decision to become an activist for world change as a teenager.
In the 1051-word piece, titled The Man Who Could Not Cry, which was published on Time's website hours after the news of Mandela's death was released, Bono writes, "As an activist I have pretty much been doing what Nelson Mandela tells me since I was a teenager."
The singer, who has become a leading light in the fight against AIDS and world poverty and an international rights advocate, calls Mandela a "forceful presence" in his life, adding his idol was a "hardheaded realist" and a "compromiser without being compromised".
And he recalls confronting Mandela about accepting money and friendship from his former foes, like late British leader Margaret Thatcher.
He writes, "He told me once how Margaret Thatcher had personally donated £20,000 to his foundation. 'How did you do that?' I gasped. The Iron Lady, who was famously frugal, kept a tight grip on her purse. 'I asked,' he said with a laugh. 'You'll never get what you want if you don't ask.'
"Then he lowered his voice conspiratorially and said her donation had nauseated some of his cohorts: 'Didn't she try to squash our movement?' they complained. His response: 'Didn't (former South African leader F.W.) De Klerk crush our people like flies? And I'm having tea with him next week... He'll be getting the bill.'"
Bono also recalls one touching moment with his late friend - when he joined Mandela at his former prison home on Robben Island.
He adds, "It was... in the courtyard outside the cell in which he had spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. He was explaining why he’d decided to use his inmate’s number, 46664, to rally a response to the AIDS pandemic, claiming so many African lives.
"One of his cellmates told me that the price Mandela paid for working in the limestone mine was not bitterness or even the blindness that can result from being around the bright white reflection day after day. Mandela could still see, but the dust damage to his tear ducts had left him unable to cry.
"For all this man’s farsightedness and vision, he could not produce tears in a moment of self-doubt or grief. He had surgery in 1994 to put this right. Now, he could cry. Today, we can."