Oak Ridge Boys frontman Duane Allen enjoyed a double delight at a recent Texas Country Music Hall of Fame gala - he was inducted and then made an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy. The singer was feted in his native state during a ceremony in Carthage on Saturday (09Aug14) at the launch of a new Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to Allen's life and career.
The event also featured an appearance by Governor Rick Perry, who announced the special naval appointment in recognition of Allen's achievements in the music industry, while Allen's bandmates, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, were made honorary Texans.
Allen says, "I am still in the after-glow of a very overwhelming event in my life. It is a huge honour, and I am humbled to the core of my soul."
British pop group S Club 7 have officially agreed to reunite as a seven-piece. The Reach hitmakers split in 2003 after five years together and have been dogged by comeback rumours in recent months.
Three of the members, Jo O'Meara, Paul Cattermole and Bradley McIntosh, began touring small venues in the U.K. under the name S Club 3 in 2008 and were joined by Tina Barrett earlier this year (14).
Now, the remaining three members - Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt and Jon Lee - have agreed to link up for a full band reunion. Their creator Simon Fuller, the former manager of the Spice Girls, will also be supporting their comeback.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The seven have had a lot of big money offers over the years but they only feel the time is right now... Simon wants this comeback to be even bigger than Take That or (British pop group) Steps."
Evanescence star Amy Lee cringes at some of the music she wrote for the band when she was in her teens. The rocker was just 14 years old when she founded the group, and she wrote and recorded all of the original music for its early demo tapes and EPs.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lee, 31, admits the music she wrote as a teenager - despite becoming huge hits - makes her feel uneasy as it reminds her of a time when she was a naive girl.
She explains, "It's funny, people still talk about My Immortal, and it's wonderful, it's so cool, but I was like 14 or 15 when that was happening. When I wrote Bring Me to Life I was 19. Imagine the things that you thought and the way that you spoke and things that you did when you were 19 years old. Even the way that you process relationships and everything, it grows from there. I'm a lot more mature and complex and I have a lot more to say...
"I'd be lying if I didn't admit there's stuff on Fallen or the one we did before that, Origin, that makes me cringe. It's embarrassing. Mainly the lyrical content, oh my God, it's like my old diary. But I can embrace that innocence because I'll never have that again, it's special."
Actor-turned-director James Franco is to be honoured for his moviemaking at the upcoming Venice Film Festival in Italy. The Spider-Man star will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award during the event, which kicks off later this month (Aug14).
The prize recognises Franco's directing work on The Sound and the Fury, an adaptation of William Faulkner's novel starring Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm, and he will pick up the prize on the day of the film's premiere during the festival on 5 September (14).
Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival, says in a statement, "(Franco) is one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene, as an actor in cinema and theatre, director, screenwriter, producer, soap-opera star, video-artist and much more - indeed, a relentless 'manufacturer' of cultural imagery."
Previous recipients of the award include Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Spike Lee.
The Venice Film Festival runs from 27 August until 6 September (14).
Stephen King, John Grisham and James Patterson are among 900 of the world's most famous authors who have waded into an ongoing publishing dispute with bosses at book retailer Amazon. Hundreds of writers, also including blockbuster novelists Lee Child, Philip Pullman and Suzanne Collins, have signed an open letter informing readers about the row and urging Amazon to bring the dispute to an end.
In the letter, the group accuses Amazon executives of using "unusual tactics" in a bid to push through a deal with publishing house Hachette, alleging they have been boycotting the company's authors, refusing to apply discounts to their books and slowing delivery of works by Hachette's writers to customers.
The letter reads, "As writers - most of us not published by Hachette - we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation... Many of us have supported Amazon since it was a struggling start-up... We have made Amazon many millions of dollars and over the years... This is no way to treat a business partner. Nor is it the right way to treat your friends...
"We call on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers."
Hachette boasts some of the publishing industry's biggest names on its roster, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the writer behind the Twilight franchise.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
Filmmaker Lee Daniels has signed on to direct a film about U.S. high school football star Brian Banks, whose sports career was derailed following a false rape accusation.
All-American high school star Banks had signed to become a college player at the University of South California (USC) in 2002 before he was accused of rape.
He maintained his innocence, but ended up serving over five years behind bars thanks to a hasty plea bargain deal. In 2012, Banks' conviction was overturned with the help of law students at the California Innocence Project and he went on to play four pre-season games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2013.
Now a motivational speaker and activist for the California Innocence Project, he is thrilled Daniels has been picked to adapt his life story for the big screen.
Banks says, "All I ever wanted was to prove my innocence. Telling my story in the form of a feature film is beyond my wildest dreams. Having Lee Daniels come on board to direct the film is so exciting, and such an honour."
Australian TV star Hamish Blake has been hospitalised in South America after a TV stunt involving stinging ants went wrong.
The radio and TV funnyman has been in Argentina and Brazil filming the latest series of his comedy travel show Hamish and Andy's Gap Year South America with his partner Andy Lee. However, filming of the programme's finale came to a halt after Blake took part in an Amazonian ritual involving bullet ants, which give a nasty sting.
He was admitted to a hospital in Manaus, Brazil which specialises in tropical diseases, and was treated for the ant bites and exhaustion. Blake posted pictures of his swollen hands on his Instagram.com page along with the caption, "24 hours after the bullet ants I still gave them exactly no thumbs up (even if I could move my thumbs). On the plus side, no danger of wedding ring slipping off!"
NBC via Getty Images
True pop culture connoisseurs are willing to give just about every genre, series, miniseries, director or film a try. But even though they're just as excited for the new Marvel movie as they are the latest indie from Richard Linklater, or watch both Breaking Bad and The Bachelorette, there's still one genre that most TV buffs are reluctant to sample. We are, of course, referring to the cooking show, likely the preferred Sunday afternoon programming of your parents. But cooking shows are more than just drawn out recipes from stiff, snobby chefs; they're exciting and interesting and sometimes, even dangerous. In an effort to encourage television fiends to expand their horizons even further, we've pulled together some of our favorites and matched them to their pop culture equivalent, so you can find the show or competition that's right for your appetite. Even if you don't find a new addition to your DVR, at least you've got something new to eat during your next Netflix binge.
If You Like Nancy Meyers’ Movies, Try Barefoot Contessa If you’re watching a Nancy Meyers film, you’re probably someone who appreciates a middle-aged romance, a linen pant and an expensive kitchen. Ina Garten’s show is ostensibly about teaching people how to cook delicious, rustic dishes, but it’s really about her beautiful home in the Hamptons, where’s she always throwing together something in her impeccably designed kitchen for an impromptu – but perfectly designed – get together. And since her husband Jeffrey often wanders in to fawn over her, all it’s really missing is Diane Keaton.
If You Like Scandal, Try Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee On Scandal, Olivia Pope can solve even the most intimidating, impossible-looking presidential problems with efficiency, and spends a significant amount of time contemplating her life while drinking wine in an expensive cardigan. Sandra Lee does the exact same thing on Semi-Homemade, only the problem is how to turn a bunch of processed, canned foods into something that’s even remotely edible. Unlike Olivia, unfortunately, she doesn't always succeed.
If You Like Channing Tatum, Try Anything with Bobby Flay Channing Tatum has carved out a niche in Hollywood by being good-looking and likable, no matter what kind of film he’s in. Comedy, romance, action, it doesn’t matter – you’re not really there for the plot, you just want to watch a Channing Tatum movie. When you want that kind of comfortable entertainment from your cooking shows, turn to Bobby Flay. It doesn’t matter which show you choose. He has a million of them, and they’re all just as likable and inoffensive as the others.
If You Like True Blood, Try Nigella Feasts Chances are you lost track of the plot of True Blood about three seasons ago and are now just tuning in for the sheer amount of skin on display. What’s Joe Manganiello saying? Who cares, just look at him. If you’re looking for a cooking show that will be equally uncomfortable to watch with your parents, you’re looking for Nigella Lawson, who treats food the way the rest of us treat Alexander Skarsgaard and Ryan Kwanten. What’s she making? It doesn’t matter. Just look at it.
If You Like Glee, Try 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray Only a few people have stuck with Glee this long into its run. They’re the kind of people who are willing to ignore just about anything in favor of upbeat dance numbers, familiar characters, and bright colors. They’re also the kind of people who would love 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, another acquired taste. You want questionable dialogue? People talking enthusiastically in the loudest, most theatrical voice possible? Comfortable guilty pleasures? A set designed in shades of tangerine? This is the show for you.
If You Like Everything Michael Bay's Created, Try Guy’s Big Bite You’re a person with simple tastes: you want loud, explosive action scenes, very little plot, lots of incoherent shouting and as many punching robots as humanly possible. Sure, you might get teased by friends who think they have better sensibilities, but you know you’re not alone in your preferences. Luckily, there’s a cooking show just for you, hosted by the culinary equivalent of Michael Bay – Guy Fieri – in which he makes loud, obnoxious, potentially explosive food that forgoes any kind of subtlety for punching you in the face with flavors.
If You Like True Detective, Try Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown This isn’t a straightforward cooking show, but then True Detective isn’t a straightforward murder mystery show. Both feature a complicated, charming anti-hero with a penchant for foul language, who sets out in search of meaning and mystery. it just so happens that instead of solving a crime, Anthony Bourdian is hunting down obscure delicacies. All of the action, adventure, beautiful cinematography, and potential for weird crushes are still in tact, though. Don’t you worry.
If You Like The Hunger Games, Try Top Chef Do you like televised competitions in which one person must outsmart, outwit, and out-maneuver everyone else, please judges who have the ability to bestow gifts and advantages on them, utilize their individual skills in creative ways, form alliances and teams in order to support one another, all in hte interest of coming out on top? The only difference between The Hunger Games and Top Chef is that nobody dies on the latter. Although, someone did cut off a finger once…
If You Like Harry Potter, Try Jamie Oliver For many people, the Harry Potter series was an introduction to a lifelong love of reading, British culture, fantasy worlds and fandom, among other things. Likewise, Jamie Oliver is often an entryway into the world of cooking shows. He’s handsome and charming, easy to follow, and cooks simple, classic meals with all of the manic enthusiasm of Daniel Radcliffe. The first time you ever saw someone make traditional British food? It was probably Jamie Oliver. Plus, like Harry, he’s the star of an epic series of his own, with somewhere between two and 12 shows airing on some channel at any given time.
If You Like Friday Night Lights, Try Chuck’s Day Off As many Friday Night Lights fans know, sometimes the best programs are the ones very few people are watching, and that’s true of the Cooking Channel show Chuck’s Day Off. In this series, our culinary Tim Riggins, Chuck Hughes, takes us through the process of cooking classic, simple food with his laid-back, good ol' boy charm. At some point, before you’re entirely ready, you’ll be done with all the episodes, feeling empty, hungry, and a little bit in love. And like with Friday Night Lights, you’ll spend a significant amount of time trying to convince your friends to give it a shot, promising it’s “not just about cooking, I promise!”
Frozen writer/director Jennifer Lee is set to develop a big screen adaptation of science fantasy novel A Wrinkle In Time. The Oscar winner will write the script for the Disney film, which will be based on Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 book, about a group of children who travel back in time to find their missing scientist father.
The project has been in development since 2010, when Bridge to Terabithia writer Jeff Stockwell was hired to pen the script.
A director has yet to be chosen for the film, according to Variety.com.
British soap star David Easter is "ecstatic" after a rape case against him was dropped. Easter, who has starred in U.K. soaps Brookside and Emmerdale, was interviewed under caution at a police station in Surrey, England in May (14) on one allegation of rape, which is said to have occurred 17 years ago involving a woman who was aged 30 at the time.
The actor, who was married to British TV personality Denise Welch for five years in the 1980s, denied the allegation and was allowed to leave the station hours later.
The case against the 54 year old has now been dropped due to lack of evidence.
His lawyer Julian Lee tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "David is obviously ecstatic... thankfully (the claims) didn't get anywhere - I hope David can get on with his life now."