Take That star Howard Donald secretly wed his longtime girlfriend last week (ends04Jan15). The singer tied the knot with illustrator Katie Halil in an intimate ceremony surrounded by close friends and family on Friday (02Jan15), and he held a proper bash the following night (03Jan15) at stately home Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire, England.
Among the guests were Donald's Take That bandmates Gary Barlow and Mark Owen, and former member Jason Orange, marking one of the first times the whole group has reunited since he quit last year (14).
A guest tells the U.K.'s Daily Mirror newspaper that "Howard looked extremely happy with his bride Katie at his side amongst their guests. There were about 140 people there - it was a kicking do until at least 1.30am... Everyone is so chuffed (happy) for Howard and Katie: they make a gorgeous couple."
Donald and Halil met in 2008 when Take That filmed a Christmas TV advertisement for British retail chain Marks & Spencer, but they didn't begin dating until 2010.
Winter blues got you down? We’re already dreaming of our next vacation. In between cultivating our travel board on Pinterest and casually browsing Lonely Planet for destination ideas, we’re re-watching a bunch of wanderlust-inducing films that make us want to grab our passports and hop on the next plane out of town. Here’s hoping they’ll inspire you too!
1. Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight
Who hasn’t dreamt about meeting a fascinating stranger on a train and roaming around Europe with them? Before Sunrise made us want to spend all night in Vienna, Before Sunset made us want to spend all day in Paris, and Before Midnight made us want to spend the summer in Greece.
2. Eat, Pray, Love
The ultimate leave-everything-behind-and-travel-the-world movie. Julia Roberts plays a woman who drops everything to chow down in Italy, find spirituality in India and fall in love in Bali, Indonesia. We’re quietly making plans to do the same.
3. Midnight in Paris
In this Woody Allen fantasy flick, Owen Wilson travels back in time in Paris every night - first to the 1920s, then to the 1890s. We’re more enthralled with the shots of modern day Paris, because sadly time travel isn't possible.
4. P.S. I Love You
They actually have tours in Ireland that take you past the “P.S. I Love You bridge” in County Wicklow. When Hilary Swank’s character travels to her late husband’s hometown in Ireland, we wanted to get right on a plane and join her for a pint of Guinness.
5. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
We dare you to watch this movie and NOT want to book a trip to Santorini ASAP. The four girls make important discoveries about life and love on the Greek island, but we were too busy ogling the scenery and calling our travel agent.
6. Under the Tuscan Sun
Diane Lane plays a divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany, Italy on a whim. We might not have the means to go that far, but a nice vacation there would suit us just fine.
7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
This film will make you want to go on an adventure – particularly to Iceland. Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) travels there in search of a missing photograph and the scenery could not look more beautiful. Waterfalls, volcanoes and geysers? That’s an adventure we’d gladly take.
8. Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn plays an unhappy princess who escapes her royal duties to explore Rome. She chops off her hair, enjoys gelato, and goes on a moped ride with Gregory Peck. We want to do all of those things. Is there a Roman Holiday tour we can book?
9. A Royal Affair
This historical drama is set in 18th century Denmark and follows Princess Caroline Matilda’s affair with the royal physician. Not only will you learn a thing or two about Danish history, but you’ll be itching to visit Copenhagen by the movie’s end.
10. Letters to Juliet
Amanda Seyfried travels to Verona, Italy, the setting of Romeo & Juliet. There she helps an old woman reunite with her long lost love, and falls for the woman’s grandson in the process. We’d go on a love-seeking mission in Verona any day!
11. In Bruges
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play two Irish hitmen sent to Bruges, Belgium on assignment. Farrell’s character complains about the city incessantly, but it looked incredible to us!
12. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
These films were set in a fictional land, obviously. But everyone knows they were filmed on location in New Zealand. And everyone who’s seen the films wants to visit New Zealand immediately. Can you blame them?
Mia Wasikowska plays a woman who travels across the Australian desert for nine months, with some camels and not much else. While we don’t recommend this treacherous (not to mention lonely) journey, it does showcase some beautiful Australian landscapes. We certainly wouldn’t mind taking a trip Down Under.
14. The Bourne movies
Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) traverses the world throughout the first three films (we’ll choose to forget when Jeremy Renner tried to take over the franchise) and if you pay attention, you’ll notice some really awesome scenery in between all the quick action shots. Paris, Prague, Mykonos, Goa – you name it, Bourne has probably punched someone there.
15. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This movie taught us that there's no better place to get over a breakup than Hawaii. The beaches alone could make even the saddest person forget their heartbreak.
What movies give YOU wanderlust? What's your favorite place to travel? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook!
A joke about Jason Orange's shock departure from veteran band Take That has topped a poll of modern Christmas quips. The singer announced in September (14) that he was quitting the British group, leaving only three members - Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald.
Comedians around Britain were asked to submit jokes about events in 2014 to replace outdated Christmas cracker jokes and U.K. TV network Gold compiled a shortlist of the best.
Around 2,000 Brits were asked to choose their favourite from the final ten and results showed the Take That gag came out on top.
The joke reads, 'What will be missing from Take That's Christmas stocking this year? An Orange.'
Other topics in the list include fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, U2's iTunes free music release stunt, and English cooking show The Great British Bake Off.
Pop star Robbie Williams thrilled fans of British band Take That on Monday (01Dec14) by confirming plans to reunite with the group. Williams quit in 1995 to pursue a successful solo career, but he rejoined in 2010 for the recording of a new album and reunion tour.
He subsequently drifted away from his bandmates again, and they were reduced to a three-piece in September (14) when Jason Orange announced he had stepped down from the line-up.
Remaining members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen are confident Williams will rejoin them in 2017 to mark the 25th anniversary of their chart breakthrough in 1992 - and now Williams has revealed a reunion is in the pipeline.
He tells fans on Facebook.com, "I'm pretty sure I'll be re-joining Take That. When and where, I don't know..."
Earlier, Barlow revealed he was confident of working with his former bandmate again, telling British newspaper The Sun, "It would be nice to put all the music from the Nineties and now on one compilation and do a tour that would have to be bigger...
"Rob will be back soon. We have a good time with Rob. He adores being in the studio and he loves the process of writing with us."
British boyband Take That's first album since becoming a three-piece has broken pre-order records on Amazon.co.uk. Bandmate Jason Orange quit the group in September (14) and the remaining members - Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald - will release their first disc as a trio, the aptly-titled III, on Monday (01Dec14).
It has now become the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon U.K., knocking Pink Floyd off the top spot after less than a month. The veteran rockers held the record ahead of the release of The Endless River on 10 November (14).
It is Take That's third album on the most pre-ordered chart - their 2008 disc The Circus sits at number 10 and 2010's Progress, the only reunion album featuring original member Robbie Williams, is in fifth place.
The boyband has withheld III from music-streaming service Spotify until January (15), favouring rival Google Play Music instead.
"This is obviously the first time we've done a video without Jason so... it's strange, but it has been a quick video so you've not had much time to dwell and think about it. But he would have really enjoyed this because there's quite a lot of movement and the energy is good... He would have enjoyed this video." Take That star Mark Owen admits making the promo for new single These Days was tough without newly-departed member Jason Orange.
Take That stars Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald kicked off the holiday shopping rush in London on Sunday night (16Nov14) when they switched on the Regent Street Christmas lights. The singers, now part of a trio following Jason Orange's departure this summer (14), revealed it was a special night for them.
Owen said, "This is the first time we have been on stage together for four years."
The big switch-on also featured performances from Jessie J and Jessie Ware.
Gary Barlow is convinced Take That fans are not interested in the group's tax avoidance scandal. The veteran British boyband hit headlines in May (14) when it emerged that Barlow and his bandmates, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, had sheltered around $32 million (£20 million) in a controversial investment scheme.
However, Barlow is confident the scandal will not tarnish the group's popularity.
He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "It's a problem. It's something we've got to get to the bottom of and sort. Our fans, they want to buy our records, and watch our tours. They're not interested."
Despite his certainty that their fans will remain loyal, he insists he cannot discuss the issue for legal reasons: "We can't talk about it. And to be honest it's actually a private thing."
Owen adds, "It has been a bit tricky what's gone on - it's not the easiest. Hopefully by this time next year, the tax thing will be sorted out, we'll be doing live shows and it will be a positive time for us."
The comments come after Jason Orange announced his departure from the group last month (Sep14).
Orange was the only member who was not involved in the scheme and Donald is adamant the scandal had "absolutely nothing" to do with his exit.
The remaining members of British boyband Take That begged Jason Orange to stay in the group. Orange announced his departure last month (Sep14), leaving Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald to press ahead with the release of the band's next album without him.
Speaking to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, Barlow says, "We've known for a while that Jay was like 'I don't know if I'm doing this or not.' At the end of last year we said, 'We're going to start, is that OK?' You can see how you feel during the year. We left a big space for him on the record."
Donald explains the group played Orange some of the new music in a bid to entice him to stay, adding, "Me and Mark played it to him in the hope he'd think. 'Yeah, I'll get onboard.'"
Despite attempts to keep the group together, Owen admits they had to face up to the reality of the situation: "We hit the point where we could do nothing else. Then it became real."
Orange's departure is the second the group has suffered after Robbie Williams left in 1995 and embarked on a solo career before briefly rejoining in 2010.
Legendary hitmaker Jeff Lynne has replaced Jason Orange in Take That, becoming the group's secret fourth member. The Electric Light Orchestra leader, who recently staged a comeback show in London's Hyde Park, has been working in the studio with Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, hoping to get them back to the top of the charts.
Lynne has quite a pedigree as a producer - he was also the mastermind behind supergroup the Traveling Wilburys and he has worked with living legends Sir Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.
Take That's new album, III, will be released in December (14). A new single, called These Days, will debut on Friday (10Oct14).
Orange announced he was leaving the group last month (Sep14).