The Who guitarist Pete Townshend warned Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair not to court friendships with celebrities ahead of his famous 'Cool Britannia' event in 1997. The U.K.'s current leader David Cameron mimicked Blair's stunt by hosting his own star-studded bash at the Foreign Office in London on Tuesday (01Jul14), welcoming guests including actress Helen Bonham Carter and Townshend's bandmate Roger Daltrey.
However, Townshend, who was not invited to Cameron's event, insists politicians should not seek approval from stars, and reveals he warned Blair against his party plans.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "My advice was: 'Don't let f**king Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher come and talk to you, because as soon as things go a little bit difficult - and as soon as they get their tax bill - they'll drop you like a stone.' Which is exactly what happened."
A Downing Street spokesperson said this week's (beg30Jun14) event, which was also attended by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes among others, was held to mark the creative industry's contribution to the economy.
Actress Sandra Bullock and pop superstar Justin Timberlake were the toast of the 2014 People Choice Awards after each taking home a handful of top honours. The Hollywood beauty claimed the first three prizes of Wednesday's (08Jan14) ceremony as she picked up the title for Favorite Movie Actress and was handed trophies for Favorite Comedic and Dramatic Movie Actress, too.
Her space disaster film, Gravity, was also named Favorite Dramatic Movie and her onscreen work with George Clooney landed her the Favorite Movie Duo award.
Timberlake was a triple threat at the Los Angeles ceremony, claiming Favorite Male Artist, R&B Artist and Favorite Album for The 20/20 Experience.
Robert Downey, Jr. was another big winner - he walked away as the Favorite Action Movie Star, while his superhero blockbuster Iron Man 3 was named Favorite Movie and Favorite Action Movie.
Newlywed Kaley Cuoco was given another couple of reasons to celebrate - she was handed the Favorite Comedic TV Actress honour for The Big Bang Theory, while the sitcom was also the winner of the Favorite Network TV Comedy category.
As she accepted her acting accolade, Cuoco, who wed tennis player Ryan Sweeting on New Year's Eve (31Dec13), gave a special shout out to her new husband, saying, "This is the second best thing that happened to me all year; the first was marrying you baby! I love you."
Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson fought back tears as she was hailed the Favorite Humanitarian for her work with the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, the children's organisation she founded in 2008 to help underprivileged kids following the murder of her seven-year-old nephew.
She stepped onstage with her sister Julia to accept the award and paid tribute to her late mother and brother, who were also killed in the family tragedy, telling the crowd: "We wanna dedicate this to our mother, who taught us... that without family, you have nothing, and our brother, who was the most giving."
Awards co-hosts Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs kicked off the show with a skit straight from the diner of their hit sitcom 2 Broke Girls, featuring guest appearances by The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder, The Crazy Ones' Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christina Aguilera, Ian Ziering, The Big Bang Theory co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, and talk show host Arsenio Hall. Cuoco also made a cameo in the opening sketch, handing over the honour of presenting the prizegiving after joking that she was going to be busy on the night of the event.
Musical performances came from the likes of Brad Paisley and OneRepublic, and presenters included LL Cool J, Zac Efron, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba and Malin Akerman.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Favorite Movie - Iron Man 3
Favorite Movie Actor - Johnny Depp
Favorite Movie Actress - Sandra Bullock
Favorite Movie Duo - Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (Gravity)
Favorite Action Movie - Iron Man 3
Favorite Action Movie Star - Robert Downey, Jr.
Favorite Comedic Movie - The Heat
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor - Adam Sandler
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress - Sandra Bullock
Favorite Dramatic Movie - Gravity
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor - Leonardo DiCaprio
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress - Sandra Bullock
Favorite Family Movie - Despicable Me 2
Favorite Horror Movie - Carrie
Favorite Thriller Movie - Now You See Me
Favorite Network TV Comedy - The Big Bang Theory
Favorite Comedic TV Actor - Chris Colfer (Glee)
Favorite Comedic TV Actress - Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Favorite Network TV Drama - The Good Wife
Favorite Dramatic TV Actor - Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Favorite Dramatic TV Actress - Stana Katic (Castle)
Favorite Actor in a New TV Series - Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries)
Favorite Actress in a New TV Series - Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones)
Favorite TV Crime Drama - Castle
Favorite Competition TV Show - The Voice
Favorite Cable TV Comedy - Psych
Favorite Cable TV Drama - The Walking Dead
Favorite Premium Cable TV Show - Homeland
Favorite Cable TV Actress - Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars)
Favorite TV Anti-Hero - Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)
Favorite TV Bromance - Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (Supernatural)
Favorite TV Gal Pals - Lea Michele and Naya Rivera (Glee)
Favorite On-screen Chemistry - Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show - Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor - Ian Somerhalder
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress - Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast)
Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries - American Horror Story
Favorite Daytime TV Host - Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show)
Favorite New Talk Show Host - Queen Latifah (The Queen Latifah Show)
Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host - Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report)
Favorite Streaming Series - Orange Is the New Black
Favorite Series We Miss Most - Breaking Bad
Favorite New TV Comedy - Super Fun Night
Favorite New TV Drama - Reign
Favorite Male Artist - Justin Timberlake
Favorite Female Artist - Demi Lovato
Favorite Breakout Artist - Ariana Grande
Favorite Pop Artist - Britney Spears
Favorite Country Artist - Taylor Swift
Favorite Country Music Icon - Tim McGraw
Favorite Hip Hop Artist - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Favorite R&B Artist - Justin Timberlake
Favorite Band - One Direction
Favorite Alternative Band - Fall Out Boy
Favorite Song - Roar by Katy Perry
Favorite Album - Justin Timberlake (The 20/20 Experience)
Favorite Music Video - Roar by Katy Perry
Favorite Music Fan Following - Demi Lovato's Lovatics
Favourite Humanitarian - Jennifer Hudson.
Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson is to be handed the Favourite Humanitarian trophy at the upcoming People's Choice Awards in recognition of the foundation she launched in honour of her slain nephew. The Dreamgirls star will be presented with the special accolade at the annual prizegiving on Wednesday (08Jan14).
Hudson will be recognised for her work with the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, the organisation she founded in 2008 following the murder of her seven-year-old nephew. The foundation works to foster stability and productive experiences for children so they can be positive influences on their communities.
Hudson shares her gratitude for the award in a statement that reads: "Thank you for honoring me with the Favorite Humanitarian Award. My sister Julia and I were raised with the belief that helping others was always very important.
"This spotlight will provide us with the opportunity to share all the amazing work being done by the Julian D. King Gift Foundation for children in the city of Chicago and around the United States."
As well as the trophy, Hudson will receive a $100,000 (£60,950) donation to her foundation.
Filming has begun on the annual Doctor Who Christmas special, which will see current star Matt Smith regenerate into new lead Peter Capaldi. For the uninitiated: one of the rules of the long-running British sci-fi series is that the Doctor can dodge death by altering every cell in his body, allowing the show to continue even as Ryan Gosling steals Smith away to embark on a promising film career.
The Scottish Capaldi will be the 12th actor to take on the role of the traveling Time Lord. At 55, he ties first Doctor William Hartnell as the oldest man in the part. But what else should we know about the new captain of the TARDIS? Read on to meet the new man of mystery behind the universe's ultimate man of mystery.
He's an Oscar Winner!The next actor to whisk us across time and space is the only one who can boast an Oscar! Peter Capaldi won the Live Action Short Film Academy Award in 1995 for directing Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life. Confident from his win, he claims to have taken one disappointing meeting in Los Angeles before getting on the next plane back across the pond.
He's Totally Punk Rock!While in art school in Glasgow, Capaldi was the lead singer of a post-punk band called The Dreamboys. The drummer? Future chat show host and Doctor Who superfan, Craig Ferguson. Ferguson introduced Capaldi on his show as a guest with whom he's "dropped acid." Wouldn't you have liked to have partied with those guys?
He Has ExperienceCapaldi has already been seen in Doctor Who, playing a desperate father dealing with a ready-to-pop Mount Vesuvius right outside his front door in Season 4 episode "The Fires of Pompeii." He also played a significant role in the third season of Who spinoff Torchwood. Tissues required for that one.
The Cumberbatch ConnectionHe costars with Hollywood's current Brit obsession Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming Julian Assange flick The Fifth Estate. But they've also played the same suspicious angel in two different adaptations of fantasy author Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Capaldi's was a charmingly low-budget 1996 miniseries, while Cumberbatch's is a 2013 radio play co-starring James McAvoy.
He's Most Likely Not in Harvey Weinstein's RolodexCapaldi tells reporters that he based his breakout role as the fabulously foul-mouthed Malcom Tucker in comedy series The Thick of It and spin-off film In The Loop on blustering Hollywood heavyweights, particularly Weinstein.
His Last Role Was Creepily PropheticCapaldi was last seen by American audiences in the Brad Pitt-fronted summer blockbuster World War Z, credited as a "W.H.O. Doctor." We know that acronym stands for World Health Organization, but still, hmmmm...
He's a BeatleSort of. He played George Harrison in the 1985 TV movie, John and Yoko: A Love Story.
He's a Grown-Up Fanboy.During the initial, classic run of Doctor Who, UK magazine The Radio Times published a fan letter from 15-year-old Capaldi congratulating them on a recent special edition focusing on the show. Now he's all grown up and essentially becoming his childhood hero, giving faith to Whovians everywhere.
Oh My God, He Totally Knows Brangelina!After fighting zombies with Brad, Capaldi joins Angelina Jolie on the darker side of one of our favorite fairy tales. He spent six hours in makeup every day for his upcoming role as King Kinloch in Maleficent, the origin story of Sleeping Beauty's evil witch.
The Silver Fox EffectThe Doctor is regenerating in December, but his companion is staying put. Jenna Louise Coleman, who plays the Time Lord's current best pal Clara Oswald, is 28 years Capaldi's junior, making their age difference the largest in the show's history.
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The organizers of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival have released the full list of films they're planning to screen during the Sept. 5 - 15 fete. It's a decidedly more down to earth list of titles than appeared at Cannes in May but may boast even more Oscar contenders: films like August: Osage County, The Fifth Estate, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and one very special new film from Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises. Here are five takeaways we had from this year's TIFF lineup, and below that, you'll find a list of select titles from the lineup for which we're especially excited.
1. Character is King — Deeply felt character studies dominate the lineup this year rather than movies driven more by visual flash. Some are more or less traditional biopics like Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. Ron Howard's Rush emphasizes the clash of personalities between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) as much as it does the races. And Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, perhaps the biggest visual spectacle on the TIFF lineup, is notable for being a portrait of a female astronaut (Bullock) and her struggle to survive after an accident while also dealing with her lingering emotional distress following the death of her daughter. Toronto this year is truly an actor's market. Even more so because...
2. A Bunch of Actors Are Trying Their Hand at Directing — Jason Bateman is making his feature-film directing debut with the spelling bee revenge comedy Bad Words, while James Franco is following up his (pretty much unwatched) Hart Crane and Sal Mineo biopics with his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. And of course Joseph Gordon-Levitt will unspool his directorial debut, Don Jon, which is also the first time we've seen him with a gelled-up pompadour.
3. Cory Monteith Is Well Represented – The late Glee star has not one but two films at TIFF, Gia Milani's All the Wrong Reasons and Josh C. Waller's McCanick, both of which will make their world premiere at the fest.
4. This is the Place for Smaller, More Personal Films — While Cannes can still celebrate movies that might not otherwise find an audience (like Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, also at TIFF), Toronto goes all-in for small films. Just this past May Cannes got showy movies from big, flashy directors like Roman Polanski, the Coen Brothers, Baz Luhrmann, Nicolas Winding Refn, Stephen Soderbergh, and Takashi Miike. But this year Toronto will draw Steve McQueen, Kelly Reichardt, Stephen Frears, Jason Reitman, and Alex Gibney, often the makers of quieter, more introspective films — films that may not even have found a distributor yet. That's ultimately why...
5. Toronto Is More Important Than Cannes — Actor and Lars von Trier repertory member Jean-Marc Barr once told me, "Cannes is now like the G8 summit." It's pretty corporate and not as essential these days for films really looking for a distributor. Looked at another way, Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color still doesn't have a North American distributor. However, Toronto is the perfect laboratory for testing out films with a North American audience — if Franco's Child of God doesn't get a distributor after TIFF, it might not get one at all. You can also see Toronto as the first stop on the Oscar circuit. If there's a groundswell of support for Sandra Bullock for Best Actress consideration for Gravity, it'll be because buzz was first generated among potential Oscar voters at Toronto, not Cannes.
Here are some of the most notable films appearing TIFF 2013. What are you looking forward to?
The Fifth Estate Bill Condon, USA (World Premiere) OPENING NIGHT
Life of Crime Daniel Schecter, USA (World Premiere) CLOSING NIGHT
August: Osage County John Wells, USA (World Premiere)
Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom Peter Chadwick (World Premiere)
Rush Ron Howard, United Kingdom/Germany (International Premiere)
All the Wrong Reasons Gia Milani, Canada (World Premiere)
The Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney, USA (North American Premiere)
Bad Words Jason Bateman, USA (World Premiere)
Blue Is The Warmest Color Abdellatif Kechiche, France (North American Premiere)
Child of God James Franco, USA (North American Premiere)
Dallas Buyers Club Jean-Marc Vallée, USA (World Premiere)
Don Jon Joseph Gordon-Levitt, USA (Canadian Premiere)
Gravity Alfonso Cuarón, USA/United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
Labor Day Jason Reitman, USA (World Premiere)
McCanick Josh C. Waller, USA (World Premiere)
Night Moves Kelly Reichardt, USA (North American Premiere)
Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch, USA (North American Premiere)
Philomena Stephen Frears, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen, USA (World Premiere)
The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) Hayao Miyazaki, Japan (North American Premiere)
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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Jennifer Hudson broke down in tears at VH1's Do Something Awards on Wednesday (31Jul13) as she was honoured for setting up a foundation in memory of her slain nephew. The singer/actress was one of the main honourees at the event at Los Angeles' Avalon venue, where celebrities and members of the public were feted for promoting social change.
Hudson picked up one of the prizes in recognition of the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, a charitable organisation she set up to help children following the death of her nephew, who was shot dead by his estranged stepfather William Balfour in 2008. Hudson's mother and brother were also killed by Balfour.
Ne-Yo stepped onstage to present the Oscar winner with her trophy, and a video montage featuring pictures of her late relatives left Hudson struggling to hold back her tears.
She then went on to perform with J. Cole and took to Twitter.com after the show to write, "Thank you DSAwards & VH1 for the recognition. Performing with j cole was like performing with prince to me. He's such a good guy. So honored."
Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson was also presented with a Do Something accolade for his work with Tie The Knot, the group he set up to promote civil rights for the gay community. He walked the red carpet with his partner Justin Mikita for the first time since the pair married in New York last month (Jul13).
Other honourees included Kelly Osbourne, who was recognised for raising awareness of multiple sclerosis following her brother Jack's diagnosis with the condition last year (12), while LL Cool J picked up an accolade for his summer athletic camp scheme for underprivileged kids.
If you're a Neutral Milk Hotel fan, prepare to do backflips. If not, prepare to have your socks rocked off. After 15 years, NMH is reuniting for a brand new tour.
In case you didn't realize, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the greatest album of all time. Jeff Mangum and his band Neutral Milk Hotel may not have the legendary fame of acts like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. Nor is Over the Sea an album where all the stars aligned, like The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. But I'm telling you: it's the greatest. The. Greatest.
Adding to the allure of Mangum's 11-track poetic demonstration of alternative rock n' roll (which many believe is inspired by the life of Anne Frank) is the fact that Neutral Milk Hotel never followed it up. After Over the Sea arrived in 1998 the band went on tour and then… an extended hiatus. Since then, Mangum has been all but mum on the future of Neutral Milk Hotel, leaving fans to replay the wailing vocals, lines of horns and guitar, lo-fi recording of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea over and over and over again. Who knew MP3's could form grooves?
Now, in a true mysterious-rock-star move, Netural Milk Hotel is set to return for a tour of unspecified length — and there are already a few dates and locations locked for the reunion. Mangum, along with his broadly talented In the Aeroplane Over the Sea ensemble Jeremy Barnes, Scott Spillane, and Julian Koster, will hit the road this Fall with a portion of their tour proceeds going to the Children of the Blue Sky charity. Who is lucky enough to live in….
10-22 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club10-23 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club0-25 Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium11-28 Taipei, Taiwan - Hostess Club Festival12-01 Tokyo, Japan - Hostess Club Festival
The Neutral Milk Hotel website promises more shows to follow, so start crossing those fingers. The update also includes this bit of contextless ruminating:
and of water course womb rume is a wandering the welkin woman whose fune caul is all umbilical cord code that comes equipped with read volve vît curtains that čun seel my văl én tich radio reason in remembrance of mademoiselle gabrielle and her wone tym pad lock of burd language as it borders on twin tolk the wolk king wall of woolpack pigeons pointing to the fly blind readers riddle and his rian boh
No, this isn't quite a In the Aeroplane Over the Sea follow-up. But as a defining album of rock music, the chance to see the original band reform to play it live may be more vital. Hearing "Oh Comely" recorded is necessary. Hearing Magnum preach the song in person feels essential.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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Writer Julian Fellowes' Abbey has just been picked up for a fourth season and the Brit is now focusing his attention on 19th century America for what will be his first direct U.S. TV series.
Fellowes, who will write and produce The Gilded Age, says, "This was a vivid time with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king."
Meanwhile, Fellowes has also been tapped to host a new U.K. show about English stately homes.
Great scott! Julian Fellowes has announced perhaps the greatest news for American Downton Abbey fans since the confirmation of a fourth season. Fellowes is teaming up with NBC to create an hourlong drama titled The Gilded Age, which he will write and produce. Centered around the opulence of late-19th-century New York. It is said to be an epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made and spent. "This was a vivid time," Fellowes explained to The Wrap. It will highlight the "dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king." Hollywood.com has reached out for comment, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
For fans of Fellowes' work, this new series falls nicely in-step with his previous series. Additionally, the news comes on the heels that similarly-themed breakout novel Rules of Civility was acquired by Lionsgate to be turned into a motion picture (though Civility focuses more on New York's post-Depression eta, the upper-crust, society-held opulence is the same). Seems everyone loves to write about old New York, eh?
For fans of Downton, though, we can't help but wonder: will the New York ladies of the Abbey make an appearance? Will we see a young Martha or Cora Levinson strolling down Fifth Avenue? Will the characters be fictional or true-to-life? There's certainly enough drama from the era to write about. So many questions! We're just dying for answers, aren't you?
Are you excited about this new series? Sound off in the comments!
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Two months after the initial verdict, an Illinois judge ruled Tuesday against a retrial for Jennifer Hudson’s ex-brother-in-law, William Balfour. And, because there will be no retrial, Balfour is still sentenced to life in prison.
Balfour was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder after shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson; brother, Jason Hudson; and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, in 2008. He is also charged for the kidnapping of Julian King, who was found dead in Jason Hudson’s SUV three days after he was abducted.
Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns has given Balfour three life sentences as well as 120 years for other miscellaneous charges, including home invasion and kidnapping (Illinois does not have the death penalty).
After the verdict was initially revealed, Hudson and her sister Julia put out a statement to the Balfour family saying, “We have all suffered terrible loss in this tragedy… it is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday.”
[Photo Credit: Wenn.com, Cook County Sheriff's Department]
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