A former classmate of rocker Ian Brown has addressed a court to challenge the Stone Roses star's testimony in the trial of U.K. TV weatherman Fred Talbot. Talbot is fighting 10 counts of indecent assault dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, when he taught biology at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in Greater Manchester, England, where Brown was a pupil.
The singer, who is not among Talbot's accusers, took the stand in court last month (Jan15) to testify that Talbot made his class watch adult films during lessons and encouraged students to masturbate.
Graham Ford, who attended Talbot's classes alongside Brown, has now challenged the star's claims and told the court their teacher addressed sex education in a "professional" way.
Speaking to Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court via a video link from his home in Ohio, Ford said, "I sat next to Ian Brown in those biology classes. He was introverted and quite shy then... In our first year Mr. Talbot taught us the facts of life in a very professional, calm and respectful way."
When asked whether the boys were instructed to perform sex acts at home, Ford responded, "No, not at all."
He also denied pupils were shown adult films in class, adding, "It never happened and I never heard any other pupils talk about such a lesson. Nothing at all. It was a film about childbirth."
Talbot, 65, denies all 10 counts of indecent assault.
The trial continues.
Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown testified in court on Tuesday (27Jan15) in the trial of U.K. TV weatherman Fred Talbot, who faces sex abuse charges. Talbot is fighting 10 counts of indecent assault in cases dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, when he taught biology at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in Greater Manchester, England.
Brown, 51, was a pupil at the school but is not one of the five men who have come forward with allegations against the weatherman.
The singer appeared at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court as a witness for the prosecution on Tuesday and detailed Talbot's alleged behaviour when he taught at the school.
Brown stated in court that his former teacher made students watch an adult film during a lesson and asked students if they masturbated before suggesting they "go home and try it".
Talbot denies all 10 counts of indecent assault.
The trial continues.
Theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber is teaming with Glenn Slater and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to bring Jack Black's hit movie School Of Rock to Broadway next year (15). The stage production will be based on Richard Linklater's 2003 film, which starred Black as an energetic music teacher, and will feature music from the movie as well as new tunes written by Lloyd Webber.
The English composer says, "It is a joy for me to return to my Jesus Christ Superstar roots.
"When Deep Purple's Ian Gillan was recording Jesus for Tim Rice and me at London's Olympic Studios, Led Zeppelin was recording next door and a glimpse of a (Rolling) Stone or two was routine! School of Rock is hugely about how music can empower kids."
The show will be directed by Laurence Connor and is slated to begin previews on 2 November (15) at the Winter Garden Theatre.
Casting will begin in January (15), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
There are some celebrities that are so cute together, we immediately "ship" them, meaning we want two people to be in a friendship (bromances for life) or real relationship. Some of them are together, some of them are broken up, and some of them are just best friends. Either way, we are waiting for the day that they get finally get together.
1. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gyosling
Yes, we know they started off hating each other. Yes, we know they did try dating in real life only to break up. But THIS is still playing over and over in our minds.
2. Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders
We know, Neil is married with kids and ladies aren't his thing, but their characters on How I Met Your Mother were so gosh darn perfect for each other that we can't help but ship them!
3. Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles from One Direction
Their friendship is the cutest thing ever and it's 90% of the reason we love One Direction.
4. Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
While filming a movie together they took a break to make this little duet and we never stopped shipping them since!
5. Drake and Rihanna
Their relationship history has some drama to it, but in the Chris Brown, Rihanna, and Drake love triangle there is no doubt which one is the better choice.
6. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
It looks like this relationship is over for good and we're totally bummed about that.
7. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton
Is there a celebrity pairing that has a better back and forth than this one? We think not!
8. Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder
Another cute co-star couple that had to bite the dust. But we will always have The Vampire Diaries to give us our fix.
9. Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog
This might be the first celebrity couple we have ever shipped and it still stands today!
10. Tom Felton and Emma Watson
When news of Emma's crush reached Tom he said he saw her like a sister, but we still argue that they would make a great couple in real life.
11. Jay Z and Beyonce
We die every time we get a glimpse into their perfect life together.
12. Taylor Swift and Lorde
They are such an odd pairing, and we love them for it!
13. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield
I mean a couple that can dance like this together has to stay together forever!
14. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
They need to stay best friends forever and then invite us over for dinner. THIS IS OUR FANTASY!
15. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Because we all want a man to do this for us...
Which celebrities do you ship? Tweet us your answers by using the Twitter handles below!
A kiss from Elizabeth Hurley sold for $85,000 (£50,000) at a fundraising auction for Sir Elton John's AIDS Foundation on Thursday (04Sep14). The smooch was bought by lucky winner Julian Bharti as part of the auction and dinner at the music legend's Woodside End of Summer Party, which brought in money for the singer's charity.
Guests including Sir Ian McKellen, Ellie Goulding and Lulu splashed out $5,100 (£3,000) each on tickets to the exclusive gala, which was held in the grounds of Elton John's mansion in Berkshire, England.
Chrissie Hynde, Gary Barlow, James Blunt, opera singer Alfie Boe, DJ Fatboy Slim and singer/songwriter Tom Odell performed at the bash, and Elton John himself also took to the stage to celebrate the 21st anniversary of his charity.
Guests also included British singer Pixie Lott, comedian David Walliams and his model wife Lara Stone.
Canadian actor Patrick J. Adams turned wedding officiant on Sunday (10Aug14) to preside over the nuptials of two close friends. The Suits star, who is an ordained minister, reveals he combined his love of photography with his role in the Los Angeles ceremony to capture the special moment in a unique way, using a special Widelux camera, which takes full panoramic shots on film.
He says, "I actually married two friends of mine this weekend and, because I'm a photographer, I'm usually the guy who's running around the outside of weddings, so I begged them to let me start the wedding by taking a picture of the perspective of being the person marrying them."
Adams, who is engaged to Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario, isn't the first star to preside over a wedding - Sir Ian McKellen, Lady Gaga, Ian Somerhalder, Emma Stone and Jason Segel are just some of the other celebrities who are qualified to marry couples, while Jonah Hill recently helped childhood pal Adam Levine wed his model fiancee Behati Prinsloo.
Veteran actress Kathleen Turner is teaching Tai Chi backstage at her West End play to help the show's crew relax. The Romancing the Stone star is currently appearing in Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre in the British capital, and she has been sharing tips on the ancient martial art with the show's company so they don't feel stressed out before shows.
She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I practise Tai Chi to calm my own (nerves)... I'm teaching them all (crew) as it pulls the company together."
However, Turner admits her co-star, Star Wars actor Ian McDiarmid, is not participating in her Tai Chi sessions.
She adds, "I can't get Ian McDiarmid to do it. He's too set in his ways."
YouTube/IGN, MGM/Paramount Pictures
For those looking for another glimpse of The Rock in Brett Ratner's upcoming Hercules, you're in all sorts of luck. There are two different versions of the first full-length trailer for Hercules floating around the Internet today. Both versions feature a burly version of Hercules played by the Dwayne Johnson, with traps bigger than mountains and abs cut like craggy Greek cliffs. But beyond the rock's demi-god physique and similar encounters with ancient beasts and hellish creatures, differences start to emerge between the two. While much of the narrative and action is the same, the tone of the two clips are pretty different, and seeing two versions of the same film has us wondering which one will be more indicative of the final product come July.
This first version of the trailer takes itself rather seriously. Here, a grieving Hercules seeks justice after the gods murder his family. This trailer is a tale of vengeance, and Hercules is given a darker agency. The music that swells beneath the action is ominous; even a mournful version of a Queens of the Stone Age song finds its way all the way back to Ancient Greece. Hercules' struggle has extra gravity, but there's a certain disconnect between the trailer's tone and the visuals. Slo-mo boar killing and a hero with a lion for a hat probably shouldn't be taken so seriously, and a good joke or two would make everything feel more balanced here.
Here, the second version of the trailer seems a lot more fun. This take doesn't feature Hercules' family being murdered, and all mentions of vengeance and justice are left at the wayside. What's left is a Hercules film that feels more bracing, perhaps even swashbuckling. We are also more thoroughly introduced to the supporting players, most notably, Ian McShane, a soothsayer who has foreseen his death, and embraces his coming demise with open arms, and much to Hercules' annoyance, embracing death means willfully standing in the path of flaming spears. This version seems a lot more self-aware at how ridiculous the story really is, and is willing to crack jokes at itself and the source material. The other trailer feels like it's missing the camp that this version is serving up. We're hoping the full-length film veers closer to the tone of this second trailer.
Which version of Hercules would you rather see?
A representative for British rockers the Stone Roses has fuelled rumours suggesting the band is preparing to split again by refusing to comment on the break-up reports. A user on discussion forum I Am Without Shoes Too posted a message on the blog on Monday (19May14), claiming he had received insider information suggesting the Fools Gold hitmakers will officially reveal plans to disband next week (begs26May14).
The note read in part: "Just had word from a friend who works at (their label) Universal Records and announcement will be made next week regarding the bands (sic) future. Says the band's representatives and Universal's are working on ending the contract and the guys (are) going their separate ways..."
Frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary 'Mani' Mounfield and drummer Alan 'Reni' John Wren have remained silent on the split speculation, and now a spokesperson for the group has also failed to put a stop to the gossip.
When approached for a response by NME.com editors, the representative declined, simply stating, "No comment".
The news emerges eight months after rumours surfaced alleging the Stone Roses were working on new material, with Mani raising fans' hopes of a 2015 release by saying, "Yeah we've been working on a few bits... 2015 man, 2015!"
The rockers reformed in 2011, 15 years after their original split, and embarked on a global comeback tour which kept them on the road throughout 2012 and 2013.
ABC Television Network
Something is off about ABC’s new drama Black Box. By day, Dr. Katherine Black (Kelly Reilly) is an accomplished neuroscientist. But by night she rides the high of her manic-depressive episodes and goes on hypersexual binges or dances to music only she can hear. This honestly sounds like a pitch meeting in an episode of Family Guy or an after-hours movie on Cinemax. Mental illness is a serious issue, and the way the show is handling it so far does not bode too well. Filling the void left by Scandal, this series could portray a strong woman and her heartfelt and gut-wrenching journey in and out of psychosis. Instead, it feels like a lost television show inspired by the artistic masterpiece that is Showgirls.
The story is wrought with plot holes. We see Katherine in the middle of a session with her therapist, played by Vanessa Redgrave. They handle all the exposition and we learn she’s top of her field, has a fiancé, and is also prone to hypersexuality, mania, delusions of grandeur, and hallucinations when not on her meds. In one episode, she delivers a sloppy speech to colleagues, goes home with a cab driver, gets robbed, and nearly falls to her death. Not only is she a medical professional with an illness that could cause her to hurt others, but her therapist, is legally obligated to report her if she is at risk of hurting herself or others. All this happens in the first 15 minutes. The rest of the series degrades into part medical drama — she corrects an erroneous schizophrenia diagnosis and schedules surgery… in the middle of the night… at a private practice — and part soap opera, as she reveals a daughter/niece and a sexual tension with a douchey neurosurgeon.
One challenge the show has is Reilly. Although she gave a great performance in Flight, resting a series that explores the good, the bad, the sexy, and the icky about mental illness on this actress might be a tall order. The series calls to mind Eli Stone and Ally McBeal by showing the protagonist's auditory and visual hallucinations. Reilly’s accent is a challenge. She’s chosen a sexy baby voice rather than one of an authoritative doctor. Being able to sound cogent and together while in the throes of a mental health meltdown seem to be a prerequisite. She doesn’t deliver the range of wide personality shifts associated with true manic-depressive episodes. Costar Laura Fraser, for example, does a much better job at portraying an American and having sides to her personality… and she’s only in a few minutes of the show.
But it’s not all Reilly’s fault. Her character isn’t the strong woman you’d expect to be a neuroscience wunderkind that would inspire a therapist to risk her job. She calls herself a “b**ch,” spends more time focused on her relationship than her health, and stops taking her meds for the hell of it. It doesn’t have the same take on self destructive behavior as a show like Nurse Jackie that captures both sides of the coin.
The show deserves some props for making the attempt to explore mental illness, though. People are familiar with the manic-depression but rarely see the reality of it. This series tries to cinematically manufacture mania with frenetic sexy moments, show her hallucinations through special effects, and even provides the jazzy soundtrack for the music in her head. It’s a tough sell. Mental, a failed Fox drama, tried to replicate House but with psychological issues. Shameless has two main characters, Ian and Monica, who are manic-depressive. Both of those series succeeded in provided the proper brevity and reverence for mental illnesses. A manic episode may send someone into an erotic episode but the gratuitous sex seems to trivialize the disease in the way that cursing and tic jokes do to Tourette’s syndrome.
Puns aside, Black Box deserves at least a second glance but it does have an uphill battle. Riding the line between series medical drama and campy sex opera is a tough sell. Luckily, if it goes the way of mid-season replacements Scandal will be back in a few months.