Veteran British politician Tony Benn has died at the age of 88. Benn, a former Cabinet minister and a popular stalwart of the left-wing Labour party, passed away at his home in London on Friday (14Mar14). He was a Member of Parliament in the U.K. for more than 50 years.
Comedian George Lopez has revealed he has quit alcohol for good after his drunken arrest last month (27Feb14). The 52 year old was taken into custody for public intoxication in Ontario, Canada after security officials at the Caesars Windsor resort found him passed out on the floor of their casino.
Lopez was released hours later after sobering up and no charges were filed, but the incident was a wake up call for the funnyman, who confessed to U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on her show on Thursday (13Mar14) that he will never be in a similar situation again.
He divulged, "Since then, I have not had a drop of alcohol. That was a nice going away party for that guy and I'm the new George sitting in front of you. Just because Mexicans invented tequila, doesn't mean we can handle it."
But Lopez insists he's not taking the boozy incident too seriously, quipping, "You know how they say, 'Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?' But whatever happens in Canada, everybody knows."
He added, "I was a bit intoxicated and the authorities are much politer in Canada. They go, 'Sir, wake up. Sir, you're under arrest... Sir, this behaviour cannot continue and if it does continue we would be honoured if you would be Mayor of Toronto'", referring to disgraced politician Rob Ford, who made headlines last year (13) after he was caught smoking crack cocaine.
Mamma Mia! star Stellan Skarsgard's son was once thrown out of a Hollywood party for using a taboo word as a term of endearment while welcoming a fellow guest. The Thor star is refusing to name the child that uttered the expletive, but admits he had no problem with his young son's foul mouth.
The father-of-eight was asked about the use of the 'C' word at the beginning of his new film Nymphomaniac in an interview with WENN and revealed, "One of my sons was at a party in Los Angeles and he said (to) someone in a very endearing European way... 'Ah, you c**t!' He used the C word and he was thrown out of the party for using that word.
"He said, 'But I said it lovingly'. It seems it doesn't matter. You can't say it."
The veteran star's kids include True Blood hunk Alexander Skarsgard and his actor brothers Gustaf, Bill and Valter, from his first marriage, while he also has two young sons, Ossian and Kolbjorn, with his current wife, Megan Everett.
The owners of the New Zealand bar where Chris Pine had been celebrating before his DUI bust earlier this month (Mar14) have expressed their surprise at the star's arrest, because it wasn't a "wild party". The Star Trek actor was pulled over by police on 1 March (14) after leaving a wrap party at The Blue Pub in Canterbury for his film Z for Zachariah.
He failed a field sobriety test and was subsequently charged with driving with excessive blood alcohol, but venue bosses insist no one at the bash seemed that intoxicated.
A statement issued to Eonline.com reads: "We were thrilled that the Z for Zachariah cast and crew chose The Blue Pub for their wrap party after staying in Methven while shooting scenes at nearby Washpen Falls.
"The pub was closed to the public later in the evening and approximately 80 actors and crew attended the party, which finished at 3am on March 1. This was a well-controlled party, the cast and crew were friendly and it was a great night, not a wild party."
Pine is due to face the charge in court on Monday (17Mar14).
David M. Benett/Getty Images
At a recent convention for the show, a fan asked Doctor Who queen Billie Piper which American series she'd love to guest on. Her answer, without hesitation, was Girls.
Make this happen, Lena Dunham! We can totally see Piper hanging out with the ladies in Brooklyn. Maybe she's a cool, cosmopolitan friend from Jessa's travels, an actress co-starring with Adam in a short film who rubs Hannah the wrong way, or a TA who befriends Shoshanna. Hell, we'd even take her in a cameo as an impossible-to-please coffee shop patron. Though she deserves a multi-episode arc, at the very least.
For one, the effortless beauty could teach the girls something or two about boho-chic fashion. Rompers, slouchy maxi dresses, high-waisted jeans. She would rock them all. And since Billie is a survivor of teen pop and the scrutiny that comes with it, she and Lena can bond over the ludicrous amount of attention paid to everything Dunham wears or doesn't. Thanks to her lead role in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, we know Piper can handle Girls and its frank sex scenes. But it's Billie's range and choices that set her apart from the ingénue set. While "Belle du Jour" was an uber-fab Cher Horowitz of the sex industry, Piper de-glammed in the 100% improvised 2012 miniseries True Love to play a teacher who starts a relationship with a female student. As is required of all British actresses, she has taken her turn in a Jane Austen adaptation. But — unlike some of her contemporaries — Piper is just as comfortable in modern or period pieces. Must be all that time she spent traveling through time and space with the Doctor.
We'll see Piper next in the upcoming Showtime thriller Penny Dreadful. And after that, perhaps a party in a Greenpoint warehouse? Time will tell.
ABC Television Network
Nashville, the brainchild of Academy Award-winning writer Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), started off with a ton of promise. The pilot was heavily promoted and the audience that tuned in was treated to an inside look at the clashing generations within the country music industry... a real life storyline that has been repeating ever since the advent of rock-and-roll. Connie Britton seemed to take her Friday Night Lights character and make her a successful music icon along the lines of Reba McEntire, while Hayden Panettiere schemed convincingly as the up-and-coming singer who's part Taylor Swift, part ice princess.
Early on, the show focused on the yin and the yang of Britton and Panettiere's relationship, with the former's Rayna Jaymes stuck in a career rut and Panettiere's Juliette Barnes more interested in kicking the established Queen of Country while she's down than helping her get back up. Throw in Charles Esten's caught-in-the-middle guitarist and there was plenty of drama to go around. Certainly, there were some soap opera elements — the parentage of Rayna's older daughter and the political machinations of her husband and powerful father among them — but as long as Britton and Panettiere were at the center the show stayed fairly even keel.
Then came the back half of the first season and things started to go off track. After initially steering clear of cameos, despite shooting on-location in Nashville, suddenly every member of the Grand Ole Opry started popping up to squeeze in a line or two. Juliette's mother appeared and brought a little too much crazy, while Rayna's husband became the mayor and left her for Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Season 2 became even more scattered as the focus shifted to ancillary characters like Clare Bowen's Scarlett and Sam Palladio's Gunnar. Next thing you know, there are assassination plots and a murder-suicide, Juliette is ostracized for questioning the existence of God, and Rayna finds her Tim McGraw in Will Chase's Luke.
Enough! While it's fine that the show has some soap opera elements — so do Scandal and Grey's Anatomy — Nashville has gone so far off-course that some fans have already abandoned it. It's not completely a lost cause, though. With the second season winding down, there are still ways to fix it.
For starters, keep the cameos to a minimum. Just because Rascal Flatts or some NASCAR driver is available doesn't mean that you need to put them on the show. Once and a while is fine, but not every episode... and not when there really isn't any purpose to their being around. Next, lose the political intrigue. No offense to Eric Close, but we don't really care about Mayor Teddy.
Most importantly, put the focus back on Rayna and Juliette. Britton and Panettiere aren't just capable actresses, at their best they are both mesmerizing. Preventing them from engaging with each other — whether in conflict or in country congeniality — is like moving Scandal's Olivia Pope out of D.C.; the whole reason for the show would be lost. Keeping Juliette down too long is a mistake, just as it would be to tone down her ego or her conniving. We don't need her in a happy relationship with Jonathan Jackson's Avery... we need her using all of her assets to get back to the top.
Similarly, Britton needs a good, juicy storyline to sink her teeth into. Having a happy and contented Rayna is not in the best interest of the show. She should be scraping and clawing to maintain her career, not chit-chatting with other country music royalty about her fledgling record label.
The show is teetering on the brink of oblivion — or, worse, irrelevance — and needs to act fast to bring back into focus the stories that drew us in at first. Otherwise, it will be a tough sell to get viewers to come back for season three… if there even is one.
Beyond just sharing a city with Seinfeld, The Real Housewives of New York also shares a theme: it, too, is a show about nothing. There is a lot of sitting in restaurants, talking, and tons of rhetorical questions. What’s the deal with Ramona Singer? If this was any other franchise, Ramona aka Eye-Lander would be laughing maniacally on mountain of empty Pinot Grigio bottles. After all, she is the only one. The last surviving original New York Housewife.
The episode starts off so bland it makes rice cakes jealous. Heather Thomson stops by Carole Radziwill’s photo shoot. The original singer for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem needs an author photo for the book she plugged last season. Heather is serving as her stylist. She also wants to assert her place as the most annoying backseat photographer in history. She annoys the poor photographer so much the woman literally tries to push Heather away. Holla!
Heather is having a birthday party and guess who’s invited? If you guessed the entire secretarial pool from Sean Jean’s 1998 sales team, you’d be right... and bored. Heather has dusted off her Rolodex to remind everyone she worked for P. Diddy. But everyone at the party is so dated and uncool they still call him Puffy. Her party is the first time all the ladies will be in the same room since the reunion.
Sonja Morgan shows up with her new boyfriend, Ben Benalloul. By new we mean 23 years young. Not only is she dating this Pretty Little Liars extra. Mrs. J.P. Morgan is also spending the hours of 2:00 to 2:45 AM with Aviva Drescher’s ex-husband Harry. Ben stumbles right into Kristen Taekman the new housewife. She gets her montage in the sun. She’s a wacky model, an absentee mother, and a trophy wife!
Back at the party, Aviva arrives in a flurry of black smoke. Ramona confesses she couldn’t see it but she felt “black smoke” all of a sudden. If you couldn’t see it... why does it have to be black? Apparently, when Countess LuAnn de Lesseps left the show a part of her soul went into Aviva. It was the horcrux LuAnn never intended to make. That must be why the entire group declared a fatwa on Aviva.
As expected, the Aviva apology tour goes horribly. She says she’s writing a book and asks Carole for help, which evolves into a passive aggressive assumption she’ll do the editing. She apologizes to Sonja and makes peace but Sonja is too drunk she thinks she’s Fran Drescher. Then she punches Ramona in the throat... okay, she doesn’t really, but you can tell that she thought about it. She apologizes to Ramona and references her age as a reason she should forgive Aviva.
The show takes a brief trip to Sonja’s House of Mysteries. How is this house being paid for? How can someone staff their entire house with unpaid interns working for college credit? Who keeps a dog under a red sheet on their mantle? Who is the battiest woman to ever be on Bravo? Sonja has her minions make tea for the girls. The afternoon quickly devolves into dissecting Sonja’s bad hostess skills and the question of how Ramona should handle Aviva. There is nice color commentary by Sonja’s spiritual guide, Ally Sheedy’s twin sister. Hardly Lucid. Apparently, Sonja has embraced a spiritual path since she has no other marketable skills.
Ramona decides to have drinks with Aviva. She tries to dress away the extra years in an outfit she picked up at Forever 21. The two bond over Ramona’s favorite activity: binge drinking. Apparently, "turtle time" is ancient Sanskrit for "alcoholism." The expression goes back to old cave paintings when early man actually drank out of turtles.
It looks like the season is going to be filled with tons of drama, batty ladies yelling, and Aviva flips her leg!
Cracks 5th Avenue: Best Lines of the Night
"When I see Ramona losing it, I’m like, she gets too Ramotional." – Sonja’s witty rambling
"For me, age is just a number. I went from 80 to 20 in six seconds. My ex is in his 80s and Ben’s in his 20s. People are ageless to me." – Sonja doesn't grasp irony
"Sonja has as many men as she has interns. And some of them are the same age." – Heather
"I think I need to write a book called I Love My Kids But This F**king Sucks." – Model parent Kristen
"What can I say, Big Ben. He’s the Big to my Bang." – Unused dialogue from Sonja’s toaster oven porno
"I mean, not only is she tall and pretty, but she’s weird. That’s like the hat trick of fun for me." – Carole about Kristen
"When you’re early I’ll start back up on the b***jobs." – Kristen’s feminist mission statement
"Aviva is a charmer. She’s suckin’ up my ass big time." – Ramona mixing metaphors
"The shot wasn’t bad. I’ve swallowed much worse." – Oh Aviva...
Neil Young's online fundraising campaign for his new Pono music service and player reached its target amount in less than 10 hours. Young launched the Kickstarter.com appeal on Tuesday (11Mar14) with the aim of raising $800,000 (£500,000) by 15 April (14), and he included testimonial messages from stars including Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty in an effort to convince fans to donate.
Less than 10 hours after the campaign went live the target amount had already been reached, and the Like A Hurricane hitmaker and the PonoMusic team are now free to keep any surplus donations.
As of Wednesday (12Mar14), supporters of the new device had donated more than $1.5 million (£928,719).
Rewards for the most generous donors include a VIP dinner with Young and the chance to attend a listening party with the musician, as well as special editions of the PonoPlayer signed by its various celebrity supporters.
Young promises the Pono download service and personal music player will recreate the purest sound of music, presenting songs as they are first heard during the recording process.
Former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts is expanding her business empire with the launch of her own perfume. The Dancing On Ice judge unveiled her Ashley by Ashley Roberts fragrance with a launch party at a central London bar on Wednesday morning (12Mar14).
The pop star, who has already masterminded her own line of dresses, later took to her Instagram.com account to share pictures of herself at the launch, writing, "At my perfume launch!!! So excited!! #grateful!!"
Chris Pine has been arrested on suspicion of driving while drunk in New Zealand. The Star Trek actor's car was pulled over by cops on 1 March (14) after he reportedly left a wrap party for his film Z for Zachariah in Canterbury.
Pine, 33, allegedly failed subsequent sobriety tests and was charged with driving with excessive blood alcohol. He is due in court on Monday (17Mar14).
A statement from Canterbury Police reads, "A 33-year old American national was stopped during a routine drink-drive operation near Methven, Mid-Canterbury, early on Saturday morning, March 1.
"He has been charged with driving with excess blood alcohol and will appear in the Ashburton District Court on Monday 17 March.
"Given that the matter is now before the court police will not be releasing any further information."
Pine has been working on the post-apocalyptic film for several months. The project co-stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Margot Robbie.
Host Jacqueline M. Wood travels to various locales around the globe, spending 48 hours in each spot, checking out the incredible vistas, tasting the delectable cocktails and cuisine and trying out the often extreme activities that make each destination one-of-a-kind. Along the way, Jacqui will meet celebrities, jetsetters and local legends who will join her two-day adventure and keep the party going as she experiences the best of the best of each hotspot.