British TV icon Stephen Fry stunned guests at a political fundraiser on Wednesday (09Jul14) by taking aim at a high-profile investigation into allegations of sex abuse against some of the U.K.'s most popular stars. Operation Yewtree was launched following the shocking revelations of TV and radio host Sir Jimmy Savile's widespread historic sexual abuse, and it has led to the successful prosecution of stars including entertainer Rolf Harris, TV host Stuart Hall, and PR guru Max Clifford for offences committed in the 1960s and '70s.
However Fry, who was hosting the Labour Party event at London's Roundhouse, reportedly reminded guests that "fewer than half" of those held in the probe have been convicted, urged attendees to remember "people are innocent until proven guilty", and called for tougher punishments for those who make false claims.
Attempts to prosecute comedians Jim Davidson, Jimmy Tarbuck and Freddie Starr, as well as Coronation Street actor William Roache, failed after months of negative publicity.
One guest at the event tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "It was all a bit awkward. There was a smattering of applause, but mostly there was just this deadly silence."
Fry's friend, BBC DJ Paul Gambaccini, was arrested in October (13) under Operation Yewtree on suspicion of historical sexual offences but was released on bail and was later cleared of any wrongdoing, and Fry is understood to be angry that the failure to charge Gambaccini has received less publicity than his initial arrest.
British rapper Dappy lashed out at a fan in an unprovoked attack during a guest appearance at a nightclub in England, a court has heard. The former N-Dubz star is accused of assaulting a reveller during an altercation outside Chicago's nightclub in Chelmsford, England in February (14).
He arrived for the first day of his trial at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (18Jun14), and the court heard how the 27 year old allegedly hit out at a reveller in the club's smoking area without provocation during a paid appearance at the venue.
Prosecutor Jaqueline Carey said, "When the defendant lashed out, he was not under any threat or any perceived threat of violence.
"The CCTV suggests he had no genuine and honest belief that he needed to use force to defend himself."
The star, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, denies one count of assault by beating.
Dappy had some moral support in court from British comic Jim Davidson, who turned out to watch the first day of the trial from the gallery. The pair grew close during their stint on U.K. reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year (14).
Outside the court, Davidson said, "Dappy is a good friend of mine. We became close on Big Brother. I don't know what's happened in this case but I'm just here to show him my support."
The trial continues.
The Nolans star Linda Nolan worries her recent portrayal as a "baddie" on British reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother will adversely affect her standing as a foster parent. Nolan was approved as a foster parent in 2013 after a lengthy vetting process and has since cared for a four-week-old baby and a two-year-old boy for short periods as a respite carer.
She is keen to take on more foster children in the future, but fears she was portrayed in such a negative light during her time on the show, on which she was made to look like "a moaning b**ch" during arguments with fellow housemates, that it could affect child service authorities' opinion of her.
She tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "Every reality show has to have the stereotypes and I was cast as the baddie because the public wanted Jim (Davidson, who won the show) to win. I'm a huge fan of the show and I know how it works and how it's edited. But the audience was seeing 46 minutes of 24 hours... I knew I'd get booed again at the final - but I hope this won't cause any problems with my fostering... I've been very up front and they know me very well now.... I don't think it will be anything horrendous - except perhaps some of the language - but I never swear in front of children anyway."
British comedian Jim Davidson beat rapper Dappy to win U.K. reality show Celebrity Big Brother on Wednesday night (29Jan14). Former boxing champ Evander Holyfield, singer Linda Nolan, and Blue star Lee Ryan also took part on the hit series.
Legendary boxer Evander Holyfield has become the first contestant to be evicted from Britain's Celebrity Big Brother, days after hitting headlines for making homophobic comments on the reality TV show. The five-time world heavyweight champion entered the house to huge cheers last week (03Jan14), but he quickly fell out of favour with the public and his fellow housemates after he suggested homosexuality could be "fixed" by a doctor.
The former fighter was being asked about his views on openly gay stars in sports by fellow housemate Luisa Zissman when he replied, "But that ain't normal (sic)."
His comments prompted Zissman to add, "That's just the way some people are born", to which he hit back, "It don't make no difference (sic). If you're born and your legs were turned this way, what do you do? You go to a doctor and get it fixed back right (sic)."
Holyfield was reprimanded for his controversial response by Big Brother bosses, and he was the first celebrity to be booted from the show on Friday (10Jan14) after scoring the fewest votes from the public.
Speaking after his eviction, he told host Emma Willis, "Of course I thought I would be loved here. I got a few votes, but not enough."
British pop star Lee Ryan, comic Jim Davidson, rapper Dappy and singer Linda Nolan are among the contestants still competing in Celebrity Big Brother.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Boxing legend Evander Holyfield has been reprimanded by U.K. TV bosses after he made homophobic comments on reality show Celebrity Big Brother. The five-times world heavyweight champion entered the house to huge cheers on Friday night (03Jan14), but is already facing a backlash after he suggested homosexuality could be "fixed" by a doctor.
In a conversation with fellow housemate Luisa Zissman about openly gay stars in sport, he replied, "But that ain't normal."
Zissman, who found fame on another U.K. reality TV show, The Apprentice, added, "That's just the way some people are born."
Holyfield then insisted, "It don't make no difference (sic). If you're born and your legs were turned this way, what do you do? You go to a doctor and get it fixed back right."
The 51-year-old sports star was then ordered into the Diary Room to answer to the show's producers, who warned him that his comments would be "extremely offensive" to a "large section of society".
Holyfield answered, "I thought I was just, I forgot about the thing (sic). I was just telling her my opinion but it's not like I was going to mention (it) to anybody else. It was just our conversation."
The fighter's remarks have sparked outrage among viewers, including openly gay singer Boy George, who tweeted: "Shame, I had such admiration for Mr Evander Holyfield, he seemed dignified and I was sure he was a cool, smart, giant!"
Holyfield is in the house alongside stars including comic Jim Davidson, rapper Dappy and singer Linda Nolan.
Boxing great Evander Holyfield, embattled British comedian Jim Davidson and veteran entertainer Lionel Blair have entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in England for the latest season of the reality TV show. The trio joined former Blue star Lee Ryan, rapper Dappy and singer Linda Nolan, among others as the latest series began on Friday night (03Jan14).
British funnyman Jim Davidson has spoken of his relief after police decided to drop an investigation into sex offence allegations. The 60-year-old TV veteran was arrested in March (13) after he was accused of assaulting a woman while entertaining British troops in the Falkland Islands in the 1980s.
Police told him on Monday (16Dec13) that he will not be prosecuted over the claim due to insufficient evidence.
Speaking on Davidson's behalf, his lawyer Henri Brandman says, "My client Jim Davidson is delighted to have received news that there will be no further action relating to an allegation of historic sexual nature in the Falkland Islands."
The star was first arrested on separate allegations in January (13) by detectives connected to the Operation Yewtree probe, which was set up after hundreds of abuse claims were made against late BBC broadcaster Jimmy Savile.
Davidson was cleared of those allegations in August (13).
Veteran BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini has been arrested and quizzed about historical sexual offences as part of a wide-ranging U.K. police investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile child abuse revelations. The 64-year-old DJ was held in custody at his home in South London on Tuesday (29Oct13) to answer questions regarding Scotland Yard's Operation Yewtree.
He was bailed until January (14) and has since denied any wrongdoing after the news emerged on Friday (01Nov13).
A statement released by his spokesman reads: "Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative. He denied all allegations."
Gambaccini's arrest was not directly connected to the hundreds of child molestation claims brought against late TV host Savile following his death in 2011.
In light of the police investigation, Gambaccini has temporarily stepped down from presenting his Saturday show on BBC Radio 2.
A host of veteran celebrities, including publicist Max Clifford, comedian Jim Davidson and former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis, have all been questioned over the past several months in connection with Operation Yewtree.