British comedy stars including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Edmondson turned out to remember funnyman Rik Mayall as he was laid to rest on Thursday (19Jun14). Around 140 mourners gathered at St George's Church in the village of Dittisham in Devon, England for the funeral of the beloved performer, who died aged 56 on 9 June (14).
Among the congregation were French and Saunders, who landed their big break alongside Mayall in 1980s TV sketch series The Comic Strip Presents..., and comedienne Ruby Wax.
Nigel Palmer, who starred in U.K. sitcom The Young Ones with the late actor, was also in attendance, while Mayall's longtime comedy partner and friend Edmondson was among the pallbearers who carried the wicker coffin adorned with red flowers into the church.
Before the funeral, Mayall's widow Barbara Robbins thanked fans for their support, saying, "We would like to let you, the fans, know that we will be having a private family funeral for Rik, as I am sure you will understand.
"Thank you again for all your love and support to all our family, it brings great strength."
A public memorial service for Mayall is scheduled for September (14).
Actors Eric Idle, Chris O'dowd, Russell Brand and David Walliams are among the stars who have paid tribute to beloved British funnyman Rik Mayall, who died on Monday (09Jun14) at the age of 56. The shocking death has rocked the U.K. entertainment industry and tributes have since flooded in for Mayall, who established himself as a stand-up star in comedy troupe The Comic Strip, a group which also featured his college pal and future professional partner Adrian 'Ade' Edmondson and Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
He rose to national fame as one of four students sharing a house in hit sitcom The Young Ones in 1982 and went on to enjoy a slew of iconic roles, including as a mean-spirited politician in The New Statesman and an arrogant military officer in Rowan Atkinson's comedy Blackadder. He also re-teamed with Edmondson to play a pair of hopeless single men in slapstick show Bottom.
Fellow funnyman Walliams was among the first to take to Twitter.com to express his sadness at Mayall's loss, sharing a video clip of his role in Blackadder and writing, "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian."
Simon Pegg simply posted YouTube footage of Mayall in The Young Ones with fans, while Brand tweets, "And all the grown-ups will say, 'But why are the kids crying?' And the kids will say, 'Haven't you heard? Rick (sic) is dead' RIP".
Irish actor O'Dowd adds, "Very sad to hear about Rik Mayall's passing. 'Bottom' was a huge part of my youth", and director Edgar Wright posts, "Shocked and saddened that a comedy hero is gone; for those who grew up on The Young Ones, Rik Mayall was one of funniest performers ever."
Monty Python veteran Idle tweets, "Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man", and Blackadder producer and writer John Lloyd tells the BBC, "It's really a dreadful piece of news. He was the most extraordinarily good actor as well as being an amazing stand-up comics. Apart from being great company, he was a great professional."
Meanwhile, his close friend Edmondson has also issued a statement about the years they spent working together, declaring, "They were some of the most carefree, stupid days I ever had and I feel privileged to have shared them with him."
Mayall's cause of death has yet to be determined, but a spokesman for Scotland Yard police reveals paramedics were called to the comedian's house in Barnes, south-west London at 1.20pm local time, when "a man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene". His passing is not believed to be suspicious.
His death comes 16 years after the comedian was left in a coma for several days in 1998 following a quad bike accident near his home in south-west England. He survived the scare but suffered memory problems as a result of the crash.
In recent years, Mayall had concentrated mainly on voiceover work and TV shorts.
Justin Timberlake, Imagine Dragons Robin Thicke and Jennifer Lopez were among the big winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14), each taking home top honours. The SexyBack hitmaker, who is currently on his world tour, emerged victorious in a total of seven categories, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist, while he also claimed the title for Top Billboard 200 Album for The 20/20 Experience.
Imagine Dragons and Robin Thicke were also multiple winners on the night, while Lorde had double the reason to celebrate as she was named Top New Artist and her hit Royals earned her the Top Rock Song prize. It was also a big night for Jennifer Lopez, who opened the Las Vegas ceremony by joining Pitbull and Claudia Leitte to perform their official 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer anthem, We Are One (Ole Ola).
She returned to the stage almost three hours later to close the show with her new song First Love as she was feted with the Icon Award by pal Ricky Martin and rapper Iggy Azalea, while video tributes from the likes of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Mary J. Blige were shown on a big screen. She grew emotional as she gave thanks to her friends, family and key colleagues and she wrapped up her acceptance speech by addressing all the youngsters watching the awards on TV, telling them, "Have faith, think big, dream big and know that anything is possible. You never know where you might end up. Thank you, I love you."
Other show highlights included Ricky Martin's energetic Vida and Lorde's first TV rendition of her new single Tennis Court. There was also a pre-taped Birthday surprise from Katy Perry, who recorded a segment from her recent gig in Newcastle, England, where she plucked a real birthday girl from the audience and serenaded her onstage, for the awards show, while footage from Miley Cyrus' concert in Manchester, England last week (14May14), when she sang a cover of the Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds with the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, also aired.
The main list of winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, presented by rapper Ludacris, is as follows:
Top Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top New Artist - Lorde
Top Male Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Female Artist - Katy Perry
Top Duo/Group - Imagine Dragons
Top Touring Artist - Bon Jovi
Top Billboard 200 Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Billboard 200 Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Hot 100 Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Hot 100 Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Radio Songs Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Radio Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Digital Songs Artist - Katy Perry
Top Digital Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Social Artist - Justin Bieber
Top Streaming Artist - Miley Cyrus
Top Streaming Song (Audio) - Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
Top Streaming Song (Video) - Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball
Top Christian Artist - Chris Tomlin
Top Christian Song - Matthew West, Hello, My Name Is
Top Christian Album - Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Volume II
Top Country Artist - Luke Bryan
Top Country Song - Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, Cruise
Top Country Album - Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
Top Dance/Electronic Album - Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Top Latin Artist - Marc Anthony
Top Latin Song - Marc Anthony, Vivir Mi Vida
Top Latin Album - Marc Anthony, 3.0
Top R&B Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top R&B Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top R&B Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Rap Artist - Eminem
Top Rap Song - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, Can't Hold Us
Top Rap Album - Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Top Rock Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Rock Song - Lorde, Royals
Top Rock Album - Imagine Dragons,
Night Visions Milestone Award - Carrie Underwood
Icon Award - Jennifer Lopez.
Miley Cyrus is back with a bang after a miserable month of ill health forced her to scrap a string of North American tour dates - she has revealed she'll be performing at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas via satellite on 18 May (14).
The pop star was hospitalised for 10 days after suffering an allergic reaction to medication she was taking for a sinus infection, but she's set to pick up her Bangerz world tour in London on Tuesday night (06May14), and she's celebrating her good health by announcing she'll be a part of the Billboard awards, alongside Ricky Martin, John Legend, Florida Georgia Line, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, who will be feted with the night's Icon Award.
The Wrecking Ball singer, who is a finalist in eight categories, will perform remotely from a tour stop in England between scheduled dates in Birmingham and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
David Beckham has teamed up with another sports superstar as he attempts to get a Miami, Florida soccer team off the ground. The former England, Manchester United and L.A. Galaxy star is reportedly trying to recruit Miami Heat basketball star LeBron James as an investor in his new venture.
A source tells the New York Post, "The two have had several secret meetings in the past few weeks. LeBron would be to the soccer team what Jay Z was to the Brooklyn Nets."
Jay Z was a former shareholder in the Nets.
If Beckham lands a series of sports names to help him fund and promote his Miami soccer team, he will rival billionaire developer Steve Ross' superstar line-up of investors at another city sports franchise, the Miami Dolphins - Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are backers of the American football team.
Reports suggest Beckham has invested $100 million (£62.5 million) of his own money into the new Major League Soccer venture.
Veteran British comedian Ken Dodd was hailed as a Legend of Comedy at the 2014 Leicester Comedy Festival, held in Leicester, England. The 86-year-old star saw off competition from fellow Brits Jennifer Saunders, Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood to land the award.
Jennifer Lawrence and her boyfriend Nicholas Hoult are preparing to move in together after making an offer on an English country house, according to a U.K. report. The Oscar-winning actress has been dating her X-Men: First Class co-star on and off since 2011, and she is now reportedly stepping up the relationship by moving from her native America to set up home with the Brit.
The couple has reportedly made an offer on a seven-bedroom barn conversion near Hook in Hampshire, England, according to Britain's The Sun.
They reportedly decided to buy the property after viewing it together over the Christmas holidays (13), but it is not known if their offer on the $2.1 million (£1.3 million) home has been accepted.
The house is close to Hoult's parents, who live just a few miles away.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence has received an apology from editors at America's OK! magazine over a false engagement story. An article suggesting the Hunger Games star was engaged to her actor boyfriend Nicholas Hoult was published earlier this month (Feb14); the publication's bosses have cleared up the error in their latest issue.
The clarification reads, "(We have) learned that Nicholas was back in his native England during the holidays (when he reportedly proposed). We apologize for the error."
A follow-up statement from Lawrence's representative reads: "(They) recklessly published (the story) without ever checking with a representative of Lawrence or Hoult."
Singer/songwriter James Taylor is set to hit the high seas for a gig in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in August (14). The You've Got a Friend star will perform two shows onboard the Queen Mary 2 during a Cunard Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton, England.
The five-time Grammy Award winner will also participate in an autograph signing session for fans.
Taylor becomes the latest of many stars set for ocean gigs this year (14) - Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Newton-John and LeAnn Rimes have already signed up for the new concert cruise initiative launched by Carnival Cruise Lines bosses.
The new music series will offer fans floating gigs from Florida to Mexico and the Bahamas.
Joining the women at sea are Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, Martina McBride, Chicago, Jewel, Trace Adkins, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Kansas, REO Speedwagon and STYX.
Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and her movie star boyfriend Nicholas Hoult stunned diners at a traditional English country pub by dropping in for a festive drink over the holidays. The Hunger Games actress and her British boyfriend were in the U.K. for an end-of-year break, and they decided to visit the Jekyll and Hyde pub in the quaint village of Stratfield Turgis, south England on Sunday (29Dec13).
The superstar couple enjoyed a meal and a drink before happily posing for photographs with fans while wrapped up against the cold in coats and scarves.
One onlooker, the venue owner's daughter Emma Morris, posted a snap of herself with the actors on Twitter.com alongside the message, "This is the happiest day of my life. What are the f**king chances of Jennifer Lawrence eating at my pub?"