Sir Ian Mckellen has urged theatre bosses to provide a minimum wage to help struggling actors.
The Lord of the Rings star wants thespians at the lower end of the pay scale to receive more money for their work to keep them above the poverty line, and he urges stage producers to do more to support them financially.
McKellen tells Britain's Radio Times magazine, "Most actors are not rich - they are very poor indeed. What keeps them going is that they just love the job."
"I know actors who have had to turn down good roles because they just don't pay enough. It's hard. The one thing you can ask, I think, is that actors get paid a living wage. I would like it if all the repertory theatres that currently exist could do that. It would make a huge difference."
McKellen's plea follows the publication of a report which showed only one in 50 actors in the U.K. earns more than $34,000 (£20,000) a year.
Rocker Ronnie Wood's ex-wife Jo has spoken out to defend the behaviour of Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger following the death of his girlfriend L'Wren Scott. Scott committed suicide at her New York home in March (14) and last month (Jun14), Jagger sparked speculation he had moved on from his partner of 13 years after he was photographed on a hotel balcony in Switzerland with 27-year-old American ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick.
The images drew harsh criticism from Scott's sister Jan Shane, but the late designer's brother, Randy Bambrough, defended Jagger, insisting there was no reason to doubt the love he had for Scott.
Now Jo Wood, who split from Jagger's bandmate in 2008, has also defended the rocker's behaviour, insisting the singer is simply carrying on with his life the only way he knows how.
She tells Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, "This is the only life Mick knows after all these years. He's the epitome of rock and roll. He will always have a wild streak, but I say good luck to him. He should grow old disgracefully. When I am 70, I hope I will still be going out with guys. I am sure most men would say, 'How fantastic'. He's 70, go for it. What do people want him to be doing? Sitting in a rocking chair?"
Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has revealed he is homosexual during a TV interview. Speaking with British TV journalist Sir Michael Parkinson for a chat to be aired on Australia's 10 Network on Sunday night (13Jul14), the five-time gold medallist explains he only felt comfortable opening up about his sexuality over the past fortnight after previously insisting he was straight.
He tells Parkinson, "I've thought about this for a long time. I'm not straight. And this is only something that very recently, we're talking the past two weeks, I've been comfortable telling the closest people around me, exactly that. I've wanted to (come out) for some time but I couldn't, I didn't feel as though I could. What happened was I felt the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity."
The revelation stands in stark contrast to Thorpe's insistence of heterosexuality in his 2012 autobiography This Is Me, in which he wrote, "For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I'm attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day... I know what it's like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realising that it's not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was."
The conversation with Parkinson also covers Thorpe's battle with depression, which led to a stint in a rehabilitation facility earlier this year (14).
Sir Elton John is hoping to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the country's controversial stance on gay rights during his upcoming trip there.
The openly gay star defied protests to perform two concerts in the country last year (13) amid a storm over the country's law which bans the promotion of homosexuality to minors.
Putin subsequently described the star as an" extraordinary person" adding that "millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation," but the singer hit back, urging the leader to change the anti-gay laws.
The Rocket Man hitmaker has now revealed he plans to return to the country in November (14) and he wants to set up a meeting with Putin.
He tells Sky News, "I am going to Russia in November and I will try and meet Putin and I will try and talk to him. I don't know what good it will do." The music veteran adds, "It's no good putting up a wall and saying I'm not talking to these people; the only way things get solved is by talking to people."
Getty Images/Jason Merritt
Sir Elton John has urged religious leaders around the world to throw their support behind gay marriage because "times have changed".
The music superstar entered into a civil partnership with film producer David Furnish in his native Britain in 2005, and the couple is planning to marry next year (15) after gay marriage was officially legalised in the U.K. in March (14). Elton John has now declared religious institutions need to accept same-sex unions in order to cement equal rights for gay couples.
He tells Sky News, "The church hierarchy, the traditionalists, might be up in arms about it but times have changed. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about."
The Rocket Man star also lavished praise on Catholic leader Pope Francis, calling him "wonderful" and hailing him as a forward-thinking Pontiff, adding, "He's excited me so much by his humanity... He's taken everything down to the humility of faith. He's stripped it down to the bare bones and said it's all basically about love and inclusiveness. That has to be encouraged by the Church of England as well."
The Rolling Stones served up a special treat for fans in Rome, Italy on Sunday (22Jun14) when they were joined onstage by John Mayer. The Your Body is a Wonderland singer, who had just completed the European leg of his tour in the Netherlands on Friday (20Jun14), was invited to jam with Sir Mick Jagger and his bandmates on the song Respectable as the group's 14 On Fire trek touched down at the Circus Maximus venue.
Mayer later took to his Instagram.com page to share a photo of himself and Jagger performing together, writing, "What a way to end a tour. Thanks to the Stones for sharing their stage and their crowd with me. I'm going to sleep, can't imagine what else there is to dream about..."
It's not the first time Mayer has hit the stage with the Stones - he teamed up with the British rock icons to belt out the same track at their 50th anniversary show in New Jersey in December, 2012.
Fans in Rome were also treated to a rendition of the Stones' Streets of Love tune, which they have not performed since 2007.
Neil Sedaka, Sir Tim Rice, and Diane Warren have led tributes to legendary songwriter Gerry Goffin following his death on Thursday (19Jun14). Carole King's ex-husband and former songwriting partner passed away aged 75 at his home in Los Angeles, and his contemporaries are mourning the loss of one of music's most influential lyricists.
Veteran singer Neil Sedaka was among the first to pay tribute. He dated King in high school and was instrumental in the duo's success by first bringing them to New York City's iconic Brill Building, where some of the most popular American music tunes were written. He says in a statement: "I am saddened to hear about the passing of Gerry Goffin.
"We all started together in The Brill Building. As a matter of fact, I was the one who brought Gerry and Carole King up to the offices of Aldon Music where they signed with (producers) Don Kirshner and Al Nevins.
"I remember when we were all growing up in Brooklyn; singing on the street corners, at the local hops. Gerry was a brilliant lyricist in our business. The great Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Up on the Roof and Saving All My Love For You were over and above the typical pop song of the day. Every time one of his songs is played on the radio, he will live on.
"My condolences to his wife and his family."
Another of Goffin's collaborators, pianist and composer Barry Goldberg, says, "Gerry was one of the greatest lyricists of all time and my true soul brother. I was privileged to have had him in my personal and professional life."
Meanwhile, fellow songwriters Sir Time Rice and Diane Warren also sent their condolences via Twitter.com.
Rice writes, "Oh no - Gerry Goffin RIP. Will You Love Me Tomorrow one of the greatest songs of the 20th century + he wrote many other classics", and Warren adds, "Rest in peace Gerry Goffin. Your songs will live on forever even if U (sic) couldn't. Thank U for the songs and for showing how it's done (sic)."
Singer Tony Orlando paid tribute to the writer of his hit 1961 track Halfway to Paradise, offering, "I lost my friend Gerry Goffin today. He is no longer 'halfway to paradise.' He is in paradise. The world will miss this great lyricist. My sympathy and prayers go to his wife, Michele, and his children. And to Carole King as well. This man was some kind of wonderful."
King and Goffin's former relationship has since become the subject of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and on Thursday, the cast dedicated their performance Goffin.
L'Wren Scott's brother has thrown his support behind the tragic fashion designer's longtime lover Sir Mick Jagger in a bid to silence "ridiculous" gossip about the singer's private life. The designer committed suicide at her home in New York City in March (14) while the Rolling Stones star was on tour in Australia, prompting the singer to jet back to the U.S. and put the band's trek on hold.
Jagger was recently photographed on a hotel balcony in Switzerland with 27-year-old American ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, sparking suggestions he has moved on following the death of his partner of 13 years.
Scott's brother Randy Bambrough has now moved to dismiss speculation about Jagger's personal life, calling the gossip "completely ridiculous" and adding to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I continue to have a very warm relationship with Mick and have never questioned his love for L'Wren and how important she was in his life."
Bambrough's comments follow remarks by Scott's sister Jan Shane, who publicly criticised Jagger, saying, "These pictures (of him in Switzerland) make me wonder what Mick is really thinking and feeling. His daughter says that he is still heartbroken and devastated about losing my sister, and then you see these these photos - he will never change."
This post contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.
Just as we were recovering from the death of Oberyn Martell, another fan favorite met her untimely end on this week’s Game of Thrones. The Wildlings finally mounted their attack on Castle Black, and Ygritte finally found Jon Snow, intent on murdering him as revenge for breaking her heart, betraying her and the rest of the Wildlings and defecting back to the Night’s Watch. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned all too recently, plots of vengeance rarely go well in Westeros, and Ygritte’s hesitance to kill Jon resulted in her getting an arrow through the heart.
During her time on Game of Thrones, Ygritte was known for three things: her red hair, her fearless attitude, and her constant need to remind Jon that he knows nothing. She even used her final words to drive the point home with one last “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” But while they may have been fitting last words for Ygritte, they had to be harsh for Jon to hear as his love died in his arms. It’s not the first time that Ygritte’s used that phrase at the wrong time, and she’s often used it to bluntly make a point, when other words would have been just as effective, and not nearly as rude. So what should she have said instead? We have a few ideas:
The First Time – Season 2, Episode 7 Context: After Ygritte is captured by Jon Snow after a raid, she lectures him about why the Free Folk are better than the rest of Westeros, and taunts him about his inexperience with women. What She Says: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What She Should Have Said: “You think that you can take me prisoner just because you’re a Crow, but that doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want. Our society functions a lot better than yours does, but because you have a king and a Wall you think you’re superior. Also, I’m really upset that you’ve taken me hostage, but I’m starting to feel like there might be something between us, and I feel we should explore that possibility.”
The Second Time – Season 3, Episode 5 Context: Jon and Ygritte hide out in a cave so they can be alone, and she attempts to convince him to prove that he’s no longer a “Crow” by breaking his vow of chastity. What She Says: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What She Should Have Said: “Apparently, you know a few things, Jon Snow, and I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions just because you’re inexperienced and spend all of your time in a giant castle with nothing but other men and snow. Also, there is definitely something between us, and we should definitely continue to explore it further.”
The Third Time – Season 3, Episode 7 Context: After the Wildlings scale the Wall, they prepare to make their attack on Castle Black. As they wait, Jon attempts to dissuade Ygritte from attacking, telling her that Mance’s army will fail just as every Wildling army before them did. What She Said: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What She Should Have Said: “You know, everyone thinks you’re still not on our side and when you say things like that, it makes me question you as well. You might know the North, but you don’t know us and what we’re capable of and we’re going to win and then you and I can live in your castle together as Free Folk. Just trust me on this.”
The Fourth Time – Season 3, Episode 10 Context: After it’s revealed that Jon is still loyal to the Night’s Watch, Ygritte confronts him over his betrayal. He admits that he loves her, but that he is ultimately loyal to his Brothers and needs to go back to them, so she shoots him with three arrows. What She Says: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What She Should Have Said: “I don’t care what your reasons are, you lied to me and your betrayed me and you broke my heart. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to forgive you, so please stop acting like we can just move past this and everything will be okay, even though you’re going to sell out my friends and family. I sincerely hope one of these arrows pierces your heart. Good day, sir.”
The Fifth Time – Season 4, Episode 9 Context: Jon and Ygritte’s reunion is interrupted by Olly shooting her with an arrow, and as she lays dying in his arms, they reminisce about the cave. Jon promises that they’ll get back there one day. What She Says: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What She Should Have Said: “I’ve very clearly about to die here, and while I appreciate your attempts to comfort me in my final moments, we both know that what you’re saying is garbage, so how about I just bleed out in peace while you brood over my lifeless body. I’m going to miss you, Jon Snow.”
The adventures of Paul Cameron, an idealistic American exchange teacher in London. In the pilot episode, Paul faces his first crisis when Trevor, one of his students, steals a horse to save it from its certain demise at the glue factory.