British singer James Arthur has confirmed reports suggesting he has parted ways with Simon Cowell and his record label Syco. Rumours suggested Cowell and other executives at the company had dropped the U.K. X Factor winner after he wrote a song about terrorism, and now it seems the stories are true.
Arthur took to Twitter.com late on Tuesday to confirm he had moved on, writing, "Just to clear things up - I am no longer with Syco. I would like to thank all at the label for making a great record with me.
"I now have to move on and do something different - the future is bright!"
Arthur sparked controversy with the lyrics to his song Follow the Leader, in which he sang "I'm gonna blow up your family like I'm a terrorist", and then attempted to play down the fuss, insisting he was "not promoting terrorism".
Arthur has become the latest X Factor winner to depart Cowell's label - Matt Cardle, Joe McElderry and Steve Brookstein were all dropped and last week (ends06Jun14), Leona Lewis announced she had left the company after seven years, signing a new deal with Island Records.
British singer James Arthur's girlfriend took the heat off the controversial star at the X-Men: Days Of Future Past premiere in London when she suffered a wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet. The former X Factor winner was among the celebrities invited to attend the screening in Leicester Square on Monday night (12May14) alongside the movie's stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen.
But it was Arthur's girlfriend Jessica Grist who caused a stir in front of photographers after her revealing black dress fell back to expose part of her left nipple.
It is usually Arthur who hits headlines in his native U.K. - he entered crisis talks with record label boss Simon Cowell last month (Apr14) after causing a storm when one of his tracks allegedly featured lyrics about terrorism. He has also come under fire for using homophobic language in a rap.
Music mogul Simon Cowell has denied reports reality star James Arthur has been dropped from his record label, but admits he is planning crisis talks about the singer's behaviour. The X Factor U.K. winner was reportedly dropped from Cowell's record label Syco earlier this month (Apr14) after recording a new track called Follow The Leader, which critics claimed featured lyrics about terrorism.
Arthur denied the allegation, insisting the song is about an obsessed fan, and Cowell has now spoken out to reveal the musician is still signed to Syco.
Cowell says, "I think him and I need to sit down and have a conversation, to be honest... I haven't phoned him but I'm going to have to sit down with him. Apart from anything else, this silly 'You said this, I said this...', it's all nonsense. He's just got to calm down a bit."
British singer James Arthur has reportedly been dropped from Simon Cowell's record label. The musician landed a deal with Cowell's Syco management company in 2012 after winning his TV talent show The X Factor.
He has received a barrage of criticism after becoming embroiled in a homophobia row and blasting his own promotional team, and now Arthur has reportedly been axed from the label.
It comes after he recorded a track called Follow The Leader, which critics allege features lyrics about terrorism.
A source tells Britain's The Sun on Sunday, "It seems James is self destructing. He has done himself no favours with his outbursts. It's as if he's almost willing Syco to drop him."
The singer took to Twitter.com on Saturday night (05Apr14) to insist the song is about an obsessed fan similar to Eminem's hit Stan, writing, "The song 'follow the leader' from the mixtape is not promoting terrorism, it's a story, a reciting of a Stan Esc (sic) letter from a demented fan. Just for the record."
The original cast of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy have returned to the theatre where they created the show more than 30 years ago for a one-off performance. The show began on radio in 1978 before becoming a hit TV programme, series of books and a Hollywood movie.
Simon Jones, who played hapless hero Arthur Dent in the 1980s TV series as well as in the long-running BBC radio show, reprised his role for the special live radio broadcast.
Also returning were Mark Wing-Davey, who played the two-headed Zaphod, Geoff McGivern as undercover alien Ford Prefect and Stephen Moore as Marvin the Paranoid Android.
The special radio show was performed live at London's Broadcasting House Radio Theatre on Saturday (29Mar14) and simultaneously aired on BBC Radio 4.
Music mogul Simon Cowell has warned embattled pop star James Arthur to be more careful about what he says if he wants his pop career to last. Arthur, who won Cowell's U.K. talent show The X Factor in 2012, has found himself in trouble on several occasion as a result of his controversial comments and became embroiled in a homophobia row in November (13) after using a slur in a rap he posted online.
He was in the spotlight again this month (Feb14) when a model posted pictures of a text message conversation, seemingly with Arthur, in which the person sending her messages became aggressive when she snubbed his request for sex.
Arthur insists the messages were sent by an assistant who he has since fired.
Cowell is adamant he supports Arthur as a musician, but has urged the singer to be more careful about what he says and to quit Twitter.
He tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "James has my full support as an artist but he has to keep his mouth shut and stay off Twitter. He also has to stop feeling sorry for himself because winning a show like that is is a really cool thing if you handle it right. He's obviously a little bit troubled just now but you can't get into these public wars and say the things he has said and get away with it. He has got to calm down and take yoga classes and please stay off Twitter."
A new tour of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy starring the original TV show's lead actor Simon Jones has been axed due to poor ticket sales. Jones, who played hapless hero Arthur Dent in the 1980s series as well as in the longrunning radio BBC radio show, had reprised his role for a U.K. wide trek this month (Oct13), but bosses at The Radio Production Company have pulled it from the stage with immediate effect.
A statement from the team reads, "The Radio Theatre Company deeply regret to announce the immediate cancellation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show 2013 Tour.
"Although a well-loved show, Hitchhiker's Live has been subject to the same extreme economic pressures as many productions touring the U.K. this autumn... As a result in the last 24 hours we have had no option but make the extremely hard and painful decision to stop the tour."
The story was adapted for the big screen in 2005 and starred Martin Freeman as Dent, alongside Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, and Zooey Deschanel.
Sir Michael Gambon and Melanie Laurent are among the stars who have stripped off to show their support for a sustainable fishing campaign. The Harry Potter star sheds his shirt and holds a blowfish to promote the Fishlove project, which aims to raise awareness of over-fishing in Europe's seas.
Laurent, who is pregnant with her first child, poses topless with only a crab to preserve her modesty, while famous faces including actors Arthur Darvill and Simon Callow, theatre director Steven Berkoff and actress Zoe Tapper also take part in the campaign.
Inglourious Basterds star Laurent says, "The fishing crisis is quite complex and difficult for people to understand, but this was so simple. It said everything that anyone needed to know about the fishing crisis: if we don't start protecting fish, they will die out."
With the mass of apocalyptic films that have hit theaters in the past few years — action/adventures, science fictions, comedies, romances, existentialistic dramas — we've seen the world taken down in a number of ways. Such a variety exists in the wake of this craze that we can never really tell how the end will come about in a newly announced movie on the subject. Debris falling from the skies and hordes of glowing-eyed monsters could mean anything: aliens, Judgment Day, an approaching meteorite that somehow affects people's brainwaves (don't scoff, people went nuts in Melancholia and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World).
As such, the mystery runs rampant in the new poster for The World's End, the latest union of comic actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with director Edgar Wright.
This trio has taken on cinematic tropes in Shaun Of The Dead (tackling zombie films), and Hot Fuzz (the buddy cop genre), and will presumably continue to explore the follies of Hollywood in the third chapter of their so-called Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. But what sort of global disaster are they taking on this time?
Both Pegg and Frost have had their share of extraterrestrial fun (together, in Paul, and separately, in Star Trek and Attack the Block respectively). As such, we're hoping for something more along the lines of an Armageddon-style end of the world. But do those glowing eyes, and Wright's assignment of this film as his "mint chocolate chip" movie (Shaun was called the "cherry," due to the bloody zombie motif, and Hot Fuzz the blue original, regarding the cop theme) mean we'll definitely be seeing aliens? Either way, it'll probably be good for a laugh.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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Update: Rumors are now surfacing that claim none of the Idol judges will return next season.
Earlier: American Idol's ratings have been in a steady decline since 2008, and its 12th season has reached a low point. Just 12 million viewers have tuned in for the past four weeks, a far cry from the more than 30 million in Idol's prime. But instead of examining the deeper reasons for such a steep fall in viewership, Idol brass are once again hoping a judging shakeup will bring in the eyeballs they need. Jennifer Lopez back, Mariah Carey gone? That's the new plan, according to The Hollywood Reporter (which Fox has refuted). But there's some faulty logic at work there, because the judges aren't the problem.
Idol ratings have been in free fall for years, and no judging shakeup has managed to change that. Season 8 saw the first change, with the introduction of Kara DioGuardi and the four-judge panel, yet ratings started to slip with both the premiere and the finale seeing about a 3 million drop in viewership. Season 9 didn't fare much better when beloved comedian Ellen DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul while DioGuardi, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell continued on. Swapping out Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez for Cowell, DioGuardi, and DeGeneres the next season couldn't provide ratings stasis. And now, the panel comprised of Jackson, Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj is failing to prop up Idol's droopy legacy. Sensing a pattern?
Anyone who thinks bringing in more stunt judges is the key to an Idol uptick is off their rocker: It doesn't matter who's in those judges' seats. It's the formula. It's the contestants. It's the feeling. It's the fact that Idol has been at it for 12 years and there is another dog (The Voice) doing new tricks.
And, if we're being completely honest, it's the fact that Idol's desperation is showing. It's like every fiber of the series' being is screaming "love me!" at every single turn. First, there's the series' quest to crown a lady the champion this season, pushing aside all their cute boy failures and hearkening back to the era of Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and even Jordin Sparks. It's something many fans have been crying out for (ahem, Hollywood.com included), but this year's effort has been so hamfisted. First, the series delivered a set of boys doomed to fail. It wasn't even fair. There wasn't a single young man who could stir up audiences a la Phillip Phillips. Instead, we were given Burnell Taylor, who only managed to wow a few stalwart fans much like the fallen Deandre Brackensick before him.
Without that glue, we're left with a set of very talented ladies – now whittled down to a pretty quartet – and it almost doesn't matter who wins. We like them all, they're all gorgeous and talented, and the battle has already been won. There's no drama, no intrigue. Idol wanted a lady victor and Idol will get one. It might have been more exciting or satisfying if we hadn't known Nigel Lythgoe was sitting in the wings and smiling at how his girl-centric plan had come together. It doesn't feel like a victory; it feels like a prescription that's been filled, and that's not why Idol fans love this series. Sure, you can often tell who's going to be standing on stage at the finale, awaiting his or her fate, but never before has it felt like a master puppeteer and his subjects loping towards a forseeable conclusion. That's on Idol, not the judges, who've provided a great deal of entertainment for viewers this season.
But if the obvious lady-centric mission wasn't enough, Idol is also jumping through hoops to be "fresh" and "different," yet the biggest moves consist of mirroring its competitors The X Factor and The Voice and changing up the process and intensity of its Thursday night results shows. Sometimes we find out the top three, sometimes we get zero results until the last five minutes, you just have to tune in to find out! It's an attempt at freshness that just feels like Grandpa trying to make a pair of Justin Bieber's famous harem pants work. At times, the secondhand embarrassment is almost unbearable.
Finally, it's the show itself. After 12 years, it makes little sense to drop the familiar pieces that fans react to in an almost Pavlovian sense: Ryan Seacrest's "THIS... is American Idol" and "Dim the lights, here we go," plus the classic, yet dated theme song and opening credits. Without these elements, the show isn't really American Idol, it's just some other singing competion, yet it's these elements that ensure Idol is a relic, slowly slipping toward retirement age, instead of being a young, spry competitor for the fresh face of NBC's The Voice.
The producers may or may not have tried to shake up the judging panel as a means of raising the ratings a la NBC's recent acquisition of Usher and Shakira and the magic they've worked for The Voice's numbers, but that plan, however real, would be misguided.
This year's panel has incredible chemistry. They're wildly entertaining, so much so that they've managed to rejuvinate the appeal of Jackson (even if it's only in the way that they all respond to him the way my brother and I respond to our father's dad jokes). And no amount of stunt casting at the last minute or next year will best their performance enough to boost viewership.
Nothing can last forever, and 12 years is quite a run. Idol is best accepting that it's no longer top dog, dawg, and slip quietly and gracefully towards what will be its eventual retirement. After all, it's far better to go out with style and grace than kicking and screaming in some fiery downfall marked with gaudy baubles and stunts.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
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