Pop star Gary Barlow has been urged to hand back a top honour from the British Establishment over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme. The singer and two of his Take That bandmates - Mark Owen and Howard Donald - are reportedly facing the possibility of paying millions in back taxes after a partnership they invested in was branded a tax scam by a judge.
All three singers have declined to comment on the report but several leading politicians have called for Barlow to hand back the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal he was awarded in 2012 for services to entertainment.
Margaret Hodge, leader of the U.K.'s Public Accounts Committee, says Barlow "might want to show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE", and another Member of Parliament (MP), Charlie Elphicke, tells The Times newspaper, "People who have seriously abused the tax system should be stripped of their honours."
However, Barlow has since received the backing of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who told TV show Good Morning Britain, "I don't think that's necessary, frankly. Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country... He's raised money for charity, he's done very well for Children in Need so I'm not sure (he should hand back) his OBE in respect of the work he has done."
Barlow, Donald, Owen and their manager are said to have invested $105 million (£66 million) into a partnership company that was later allegedly exposed as an elaborate tax avoidance scheme.
Sigourney Weaver reunited with the cast of her hit sci-fi film Aliens on Saturday (10May14) to mark the 28th anniversary of the movie's release. The actress, most famous for her role as Ellen Ripley in the franchise, joined co-stars Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen and Carrie Henn at the Comic and Entertainment Expo in Calgary, Canada.
The reunion was set up to mark the anniversary of the James Cameron classic, which was released in 1986, and the castmates admitted they are still blown away by how many film fans still ask them about the movie.
Paxton said, "They'll still be asking us about Aliens (in 100 years). Haven’t you people had enough?"
Weaver spoke about picking up a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in the film, and admits she was ill prepared for the amount of attention she received after playing Ripley.
She explained: "I was shocked. I don't think I really understood the significance of the genre, getting recognised like that.
“I was very, very honoured, but it was such an ensemble picture... I was really representing everyone. We were such a family."
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has maintained its hold at the top of the U.K. box office for a third week running. The superhero film, featuring Andrew Garfield as the fictional web-slinger, netted $3 million (£1.9 million) over the weekend (02-04May14), keeping Cameron Diaz's revenge flick The Other Woman in second place again, with takings of £2.2 million (£1.4 million).
Kit Harington's swords and sandals disaster movie Pompeii debuted in third, with $1.7 million (£1.1 million), and animated film Tarzan landed in fourth in its first weekend, taking $1.2 million (£808,000).
Bird buddy movie Rio 2 is still flying high in the top five after five weeks of release, raking in $736,000 (£460,000) over the weekend.
Steven Spielberg is lined up to create a permanent Holocaust memorial in Britain. The Schindler's List director set up the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation in 1994, an institute which aims to capture visual testimonies of Holocaust survivors. The Foundation has filmed around 52,000 two-hour eyewitness accounts in its 20-year history.
Members of the Holocaust Commission, set up by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in January (14), hope Spielberg will help launch a similar project in the U.K., by capturing stories of survivors who now live in the country. These video accounts will create a permanent British memorial, details of which are being kept under wraps.
Britain's Justice Minister Simon Hughes says, "It is our intention to speak to Mr. Spielberg. I think the Commission will want to create a group of volunteers who can capture these audio-visual testimonies from across Britain."
The Commission hopes to create the memorial by April next year (15) to mark 70 years since the British liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where approximately 37,000 prisoners, mostly Jewish, died between 1943 and 1945.
Moviemaker James Cameron and studio executives at 20th Century Fox, Paramount have found themselves at the centre of a bizarre new lawsuit over a Titanic attraction. Faan Qin claims she came up with the concept for the R.M.S. Titanic - The Experience ride, which offers fans of Cameron's film the experience of being onboard the doomed cruise liner as it crashed into an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage in 1912.
According to her lawsuit, which has been obtained by TMZ.com, Qin accuses Cameron and his partners of copying her idea, and she is demanding $1 billion (£593 million) in damages.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Throughout his career, James Cameron has explored the verdant valleys of Pandora and the post-apocalyptic streets of Los Angeles, but his next adventure might take place somewhere that's a little more familiar. Cameron has commissioned scribe David S. Goyer to write a treatment for a remake of the 1966 classic, Fantastic Voyage. In the original film, a group of scientists miniaturize themselves and enter the body of a fellow scientist to remove a blood clot from his brain, but they only have an hour to do so before the process reverses itself and un-shrinnks them. If you've spent a single Saturday morning watching cartoons over the past 30 years, that plot should sound terribly familiar. Every cartoon worth its salt had done at least one Fantastic Voyage parody episode (some have done several, in fact). It's almost a rite of passage. Flinging through the leaky canals of the body and dodging over-eager immune systems is material that's just begging to be animated. We've decided to collect some of our favorite Fantastic Voyage cartoon parodies from over the years.
The Magic School BusEpisode: "For Lunch," "Inside Ralphie," "Goes Cellular," "Works Out," and "Makes a Stink."Ms. Frizzle has taken her class on many field trips spelunking through the human body. Arnold, Ralphie, Janet, and even Ms. Frizzle herself have turned into the subject of a field trip in various episodes.
Captain Planet and the PlaneteersEpisode: "An Inside Job"The planeteers shrink themselves in order to battle microbes inside Kwame.
The SimpsonsEpisode: "Treehouse of Horror XV"The Simpsons clan go after Maggie after she is accidentally ingested by Mr. Burns.
FuturamaEpisode: "Parasites Lost"After Fry eats a disgustingly old egg salad sandwich, Professor Farnsworth make miniature robotic version of themselves to ward off an infestation of super smart parasites.
Family GuyEpisode: "Emission Impossible"Stewie infiltrates Peter's body in order to stop his parents from having another child.
Dexter’s LaboratoryEpisode:"Fantastic Boyage"Dexter tries to enter Dee Dee's body to find the cure of the common cold, but he ends up inside the dog by mistake.
Phineas and FerbEpisode: "Journey to the Center of Candace"In a reverse of the Dexter's Laboratory plot, Phineas and Ferb try to enter the body of a dog, but accidentally end up in the body of their sister.
Pinky and the BrainEpisode: "Brainwashed Part 1: Brain, Brain Go Away"Pinky and the Brain shrink themselves in order to foil an evil plot, but get eaten by the wrong guy.
Batman: The Brave and the BoldEpisode: "Journey to the Center of the Bat"After Batman is struck down with a mysterious disease, the Atom and Aquaman shrink themselves to combat the illness.
Rick and MortyEpisode: "Anatomy Park"Morty creates a Jurassic Park-style amusement park inside the body of the homeless man. He shrinks Morty and himself to save his creation once the homeless man starts to die.
The Fairly Odd ParentsEpisode: "Tiny Timmy"Wanda and Cosmo shrink Timmy so they can explore the body of his evil babysitter, Vicky. Vicky's body soon starts attacking the foreign invaders.
Spongebob SquarepantsEpisode: "Squidtastic Voyage"With the help of Sandy, Patrick and Spongebob use a shrinking submarine to enter Squidward's body and retrieve a clarinet reed.
Regular ShowEpisode: "Cool Cubed"Mordecai and Rigby travel inside Thomas to thaw his brain out after a slushie gives him a vicious brain-freeze.
ArthurEpisode: "Buster's Breathless"Buster gives his friends a tour of his body so they can learn about asthma.
RugratsEpisode: "The Inside Story"The babies travel inside Chucky after he swallows a watermelon seed, thinking a watermelon will grow inside the toddlers stomach.
Osmosis JonesThis film is basically one long Fantastic Voyage parody. White blood cell/detective Osmosis Jones and his cold pill partner Drix battle a malicious virus inside the moist caverns of Bill Murray. The film also spawned a spin-off television series.
Actress Candace Cameron-Bure was forced to seek therapy with her Dancing With The Stars partner Mark Ballas after becoming overcome with anxiety while competing on the U.S. reality show. The former Full House star reveals she began experiencing extreme stress and felt like she was "cracking under (the) pressure".
She tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "I just started getting in my head just thinking, 'I'm not as good as everyone else,' you start doubting yourself. My nervousness and anxiety had just kept building up each week and it was so bad..."
The nerves became so crippling, Cameron-Bure and her professional dance partner Ballas sat down with sports psychologist Dr. Jenn Berman to talk her through her insecurities.
She continues, "I think I felt like I was not performing at my best. That I was not only letting myself down, but I felt like I was letting my partner down. I don't like disappointing people."
However, on Monday (28Apr14), the 38 year old redeemed herself with an impressive performance of an Argentine Tango, which wowed the judges.
She says of the dance, "I was reminding myself, 'I can do this, I know the choreography.'"
Cameron-Bure wasn't the only competitor facing challenges on Monday's show - actress Danica McKellar danced her way through the pain of a broken rib and U.S. paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy was hospitalised after her performance due to a back injury.
Actress Cameron Diaz and U.S. late night host Jimmy Fallon shocked tourists during a pre-taped segment for his show on Wednesday (30Apr14), when they 'photobombed' a series of picture sessions on the top of the GE Building in New York. Fallon set up a fake announcement to attract the tourists to take their photos atop the building, so he and Diaz could prank them.
Actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth is set to follow in Angelina Jolie's footsteps by taking on the role of fairytale villain Maleficent in an upcoming TV movie. The Glee star has been cast to play the evil queen in Disney's Descendants, a live-action film which centres on the offspring of villains created for the movie studio's most-beloved films.
Chenoweth will star opposite Dove Cameron, who will take on the role of Mal, Maleficent's teenage daughter.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn star Booboo Stewart will play Jay, the son of Aladdin's Jafar, and newcomer Mitchell Hope will portray the product of Belle and the Beast's romance post Beauty & the Beast.
High School Musical and This Is It director Kenny Ortega will take charge of the film, which will debut next year (15).
Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie will hit the big screen as Maleficent on 30 May (14).
As the standard TV season winds down, mid-season and summer shows come back with a vengeance. Orphan Black, which features a woman (Tatiana Maslany) who discovers that she is a clone created by a secret organization, is a runaway hit. Continuum, in which Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is a cop from the future that gets sent into the past to stop terrorists from her time, is back for a third season and is both smart and action packed. Both series are chock full of twists and turns but also really smart premises but which is the show that should be your new obsession?
THE SCIENCE IN THE SCI-FI
Continuum is pretty smart about the science fiction of time travel. One of the main sources of drama in the series is the tension surrounding the science of the space-time continuum. Is Kiera helping to create the future where her son and husband are waiting for her, or is she changing that future with everything she does in the past?
The series boasts a startlingly realistic vision of the future (big business buys out the government and creates a technocratic police state), but also shows off tons of cool gizmos.
Orphan Black, on the other hand, is a little light on the science despite being about clones. Cosima Niehaus, one of the clones in question, is an evolutionary development student... but is basically treated as an all-purpose science expert.
Winner: Continuum. The show actually conscribes logic to time travel and presents startling technological developments for the future.
Both series feature actors doing double (sometimes quintuple!) duty. Part of the appeal of Orphan Black is that Maslany plays so many characters. There are not only so many clones you don’t know what will happen next, Maslany also breathes them all to life with unique personalities and distinct characteristics. She even sometimes has to play one clone impersonating another. It’s like the acting Olympics.
Thanks to Continuum's heavy use of time travel, Nichols plays Kiera both in the present and in her original future. In addition to this (spoilers!), we've seen a recent development introducing a two versions of Kiera’s confidant Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), from two different timelines. It’s an interesting twist but the show isn’t capitalizing much on having the actors exist in two different time periods as far as performance goes.
Winner: Orphan Black. Maslany is a powerhouse and deserves an Emmy, while Kiera hasn’t gone through much of a transformation despite being in the present for three seasons.
TRUST VS. UNCERTAINTY
The suspense and tension of Orphan Black comes from the characters' (and viewers') inability to trust anyone. Any character could be a monitor, an agent sent to spy on the clones. Everyone’s motivations are suspect, and any new characters and developments come equipped with WTF shocker moments.
Continuum is built on uncertainty. No character knows that the changes they make will create the shocking future Kiera came from or make things better or worse. But the tension exists primarily on a scientific level, rather than a human one.
Winner: Orphan Black is more fun because the story unfolds at a terrific pace, while Continuum can be irritating because, for some reason, the terrorists from the future have never questioned if they are creating the future they tried to escape from.
AND THE ULTIMATE WINNER IS...
Both shows are insanely addictive. However, Orphan Black wins by a nose. It’s the right blend of action, mind-bending surprises, and a good sense of humor.