Filmmaker Alan Parker, a towering figure in the UK industry, passed away this morning following a lengthy illness, the British Film Institute has confirmed. He was 76.
Two-time Oscar nominee Parker was best known for directing classic films including Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning and The Commitments, as well as big-budget Madonna movie Evita. Across a glittering career, his feature films won 19 BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and ten Oscars between them.
Parker was a passionate supporter of the UK industry and a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. He was the founding Chairman of the UK Film Council in 2000, a position he held for five years, and prior to that he was Chairman of the BFI. He received a CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002. He was also an Officier des Arts et Letters (France).
Alan Parker was born in Islington, London, February 14, 1944. He began his career in advertising as a copywriter but quickly graduated to writing and directing commercials. By the late 1960s he was one of the small, but hugely influential, group of British directors (including Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne) who revolutionized the look, quality and reputation of TV advertising by combining sophisticated, witty storytelling with cinema aesthetics for the first time. In 1980 he received the D&AD Gold President’s Award.
In 1974, he moved into long form drama when he directed the BBC film, The Evacuees, written by Jack Rosenthal, which won the International Emmy Award and a BAFTA award for direction; the first of Parker’s seven BAFTA awards.
Parker wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975. It was a unique musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930’s with a cast comprised entirely of children, including a knockout performance by Jodie Foster. The film received eight BAFTA film nominations and five awards.
Parker’s second film was the hugely successful and controversial Midnight Express (1977) which won two Oscars and six Academy Award nominations, including for Parker as Best Director. The film received six Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA awards.
This was followed, in 1979, by Fame, a joyful and diverse celebration of youthful ambition in the arts, which won two Academy Awards, six nominations, four Golden Globe nominations and was subsequently adapted into a long-running television series.
In 1981 Parker directed the powerful family drama, Shoot The Moon, starring Diane Keaton and Albert Finney. That same year he also directed the seminal Pink Floyd – The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the phenomenally successful rock album.
In 1984, Parker directed Birdy based on the William Wharton novel, starring Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine, which won the Grand Prix Special Du Jury at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.
Parker’s next film, the occult thriller Angel Heart, made in 1986 and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Lisa Bonet, opened in the US amidst a storm of controversy caused by the ‘X’ rating imposed on the film by the MPAA.
In 1988 Parker directed the civil rights drama, Mississippi Burning, starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Director for Parker and winning for Best Cinematography. Parker was also awarded the D.W. Griffith Award for directing by the National Board of Review. The film was nominated for five BAFTA film awards, winning three. It also won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1989 Parker wrote and directed Come See The Paradise, a moving family story about the treatment of forcibly interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, starring Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita. A year later, he would make The Commitments, the story of a young, Irish, working-class soul band, which was awarded a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture and won Parker the Best Director prize at the Tokyo Film Festival, as well as BAFTA film awards for Editing, Screenplay, Director and Best Picture.
In 1993, Parker wrote and directed comedy-drama, The Road to Wellville, based on the novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle, and starring Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack and Dana Carvey.
In 1996, he garnered plenty of global headlines when he directed, wrote and produced Evita, based on the stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. The much-discussed film won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture.
In 1999 Parker wrote and directed Angela’s Ashes based on the Pulitzer Prize winning, best-selling memoir by Frank McCourt, starring Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle. Parker’s final film was The Life of David Gale, the 2003 thriller about the cruel politics of capital punishment in the US, starring Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney.
Parker was also the author of the best-selling novel written from his own screenplay of Bugsy Malone, published by HarperCollins. In addition he wrote two other published novels, Puddles In The Lane, (1977) and The Sucker’s Kiss (2003). He was also an adept cartoonist and painter.
In 1984 Parker was honored by the British Academy with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. In 1998 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain and the Lumiere Medal from the Royal Photographic Society. He was awarded the 2013 Bafta Fellowship.
Parker is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.
This Friday, Kevin MacDonald’s acclaimed 2012 documentary film Marley will be re-released via virtual cinemas and drive-ins across the country as part of the year-long celebration of Bob Marley’s 75th anniversary. According to film’s distributor Blue Fox Entertainment, information about digital screenings of Marley can be found on MarleyMovie.com starting July 31. (Appropriately enough, Jamaica celebrates Emancipation Day on August 1, one day after the film’s re-release.)
The emotional and inspiring story follows Robert Nesta Marley from his upbringing in the rural Jamaican village of Nine Mile through his journey to Kingston’s tough Trenchtown neighborhood, where his musical career began. Featuring rare concert footage and exclusive interviews with Marley’s family and close friends, MacDonald’s goal was to get behind the legend and show us Marley the man.
At Marley‘s Jamaican premiere at Kingston’s Emancipation Park in April 2012, I was one of the privileged few who attended the special screening that was open to the public. There were many VIP guests, including his wife Rita Marley to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who signed Marley to an international record deal, and of course Kevin McDonald himself.
LOS ANGELES – July 26, 1978: Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Marley and wife Rita Marley, July 26, 1978 at The Daisy In Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
“In this moment of time it’s good for us as Africans and Jamaicans to be here and watch this memorable program tonight,” Rita told the crowd in her opening remarks. “I don’t want to talk too long because Bob has so much things to say. Be prepared because I cried,” she added. “But don’t cry as he said ‘No Woman No Cry.’”
“I think people have a very wrong idea of Bob,” said MacDonald, who called the screening one of the nights of his life. “Everyone thinks he just smoked and the inspiration came to him and he strummed his guitar. No—he worked hard hard hard.” The film also highlighted the fact that Bob’s biracial background led him to be ostracized by some of his fellow Jamaicans.
Rita Marley and director Kevin Macdonald at the 2012 premiere of Marley – A Definitive Story at Emancipation Park, New Kingston. | Photo credit: Courtesy of the Jamaica Gleaner
After the screening Marley’s longtime friend and art director Neville Garrick explained why Marley touched so many people. “Bob Marley is a man that came from humble beginnings,” he said. “Through the color of him skin he get persecuted—red bwoy, half cast all that—but that just make him stronger. Him say ‘I’m not on the white man side and I’m not on the black man side. I’m on God side.”
By overcoming great hardship in his life, Marley became a universal symbol of triumph over adversity. “I think he lift the spirit of people universally that you can make it if you try,” said Garrick, who chose Marley’s “Redemption Song” as the most important in his entire catalog. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,” Marley sang on the track. “None but ourselves can free our mind.”
Longtime Bob Marley collaborator Neville Garrick poses on arrival for the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Marley’, a film by Kevin MacDonald, on April 17, 2012 in Hollywood, California. The definitive life story of Bob Marley opens nationwide in the US on April 20. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
“We are special. It’s our movie. It’s made here. It’s about us,” said Dr. Carolyn Cooper, professor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies and author of many books on reggae culture, who turned out in a dazzling African-inspired dress. “I think this film is really a wonderful way to affirm the cultural power of Jamaica to think that a little island can produce such great people and Bob Marley’s music in particular transcends time and space. Anywhere in the world you go and you say Jamaica, they say ‘Bob Marley.’ I think of ourselves as Island people with a continental consciousness,” she added. “We are not limited by this small island we know we come from a vast continent.”
Cindy Breakspeare, mother of Bob’s youngest child Damian Marley and former Miss World, described watching the film as an emotional rollercoaster. “Anything to do with Bob is always larger than life,” she said. “It is always unifying and the music is so powerful. I think that Kevin really captured the journey from the beginning right through to the end of his life.”
MISS WORLD 1976: 21 year old Cindy Breakspeare, Miss Jamaica, is enthroned at the Royal Albert Hall in London, after winning the 1976 Miss World beauty contest. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The final scenes of the film were particularly painful for Cindy, who was there by Bob’s side during his last days. “He was really suffering and his locks were gone,” she recalled. “I just go back to the night when we cut them and what that felt like, and going to Germany to visit him there, and finally coming to Miami the day before he passed with Damian to see him for the last time.”
“It was really really hard to see such a great human being losing their life,” she remembered. “I won’t know anybody like that in my life that again. The closest is my son and his music inspires me too, but I won’t be lucky enough, I don’t believe, to be that close to that kind of greatness again in my life. That doesn’t come along that often.”
Beyonce’s new song ‘Already’, featuring Major Lazer and Ghana’s Shatta Wale is buzzing online following its recent release and a music video which contains amazing indigenous dance steps.
The talented songstress shared the clip via Instagram as she revealed that the shooting started in her backyard.
She also said that some scenes were shot in Shatta Wale’s hometown, Ghana.
The singer performed a number of Nigerian and African dances in the video, including the popular Leg work and Gbese dance moves.
In the music video, Beyoncé moves through number of locations, from one where she appears with body paint in a tree, to a warehouse where she’s flanked by dancers.
It also features scenes of dancers from around the world interwoven throughout the clip, highlighting the upcoming film’s inspiring celebration of being Black, from its elegant choreography and fashion to the global locations.
Anthony Davis got the Los Angeles Lakers off to a strong start and they recovered from squandering an early lead to finish with a 103-101 win over the L.A. Clippers in a choppy first seeding game of the NBA restart. Davis led all scores with 34 points, but it was LeBron James who had the game-winning basket.
Considered questionable heading into the day because of lingering discomfort as a result of being poked in the eye last weekend, Davis quickly went to work against the interior of the Clippers’ defense.
He drew four shooting fouls within the first seven minutes of the game and went on to pour in 14 points as the Lakers held a 35-23 lead after the opening quarter. LeBron James had five assists as he largely played facilitator, which was a theme that held throughout the night.
Kawhi Leonard picked up two early fouls but quickly found a rhythm and began to turn the tide upon checking back in during the second quarter. Leonard proceeded to score 11 of the Clippers’ 17 points during one stretch.
It was reminiscent of Leonard taking over against the Lakers’ reserves during a regular-season matchup. Paul George also helped stabilize the Clippers and he sparked them early in the second half.
The Lakers led by as many as 14 points, only for it to be cut to two by the start of the third quarter. George connected on back-to-back 3-pointers early on, giving the Clippers their largest lead of the game at 61-55.
The Lakers deficit continued to grow until James connected on a 3-pointer with 6:50 remaining for their first basket in the third quarter. That wound up marking the start of a small rally for the Lakers, which was aided by George and Patrick Beverley each pick up four fouls.
Davis scored eight points in a flurry, helping the Lakers cut the Clippers lead to just 77-74 heading into the fourth quarter. At that juncture, Davis and Kyle Kuzma (10 points) were the only Lakers in double figures.
True to his style of play, James found a way to still impact the game. He found Kuzma for a 3-pointer, forced the Clippers into a turnover on a shot clock violation, and connected from behind the arc.
A 17-3 run helped the Lakers open a 91-80 lead that was cut to one point but never lost. George’s 3-pointer tied the game with 28 seconds remaining, but James answered by following his own shot for a game-winning putback.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the NBA’s youth program in China was allegedly plagued with human rights abuses.
Now, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is targeting the NBA for the report, since the league gave her a “completely inaccurate” statement about the youth program, according to Fox News.
Fox News reports that the ESPN report cited a letter Blackburn received from NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum, which was a response to her inquiry about reports that the league was still operating its training centers in Xinjiang, the Chinese province which Blackburn noted as “one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones.”
Tatum had told the senator that the NBA hadn’t been involved with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year and that the relationship had been terminated. However, two sources disputed this to ESPN.
ESPN reported that “[O]ne coach said the league was still seeking other coaches to move there well into the summer and that the league’s statement to Blackburn was ‘completely inaccurate.’ They were still trying to get people to go out there. It didn’t end because [Tatum] said, ‘We’re gonna end this.’”
A Blackburn spokesperson told Fox News that the senator “intends to follow up with the NBA promptly to get to the bottom of the league’s presence in Xinjiang.” Blackburn said of the ESPN report that it “is disturbing and the NBA needs to voluntarily correct the record of their involvement.”
Tatum stated to Fox News that “the league ended its involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June 2019 and that it is ‘re-evaluating the NBA Academy program in China,’ calling the allegations from ESPN’s report ‘disturbing.’”
Tatum added that “[W]e launched this not-for-profit elite player development initiative in 2016 by working to support three existing basketball development centers in China operated by local sports authorities. Our role was limited to providing three coaches at each academy, none of whom have been alleged to have engaged in any wrongdoing.”
It is no secret that the NBA has been close with China and that it is completely hypocritical when it comes to human rights abuses, as we learned from the deeply negative backlash to the Houston Rockets’ general manager tweeting “Free Hong Kong,” while the league pretends now to stand against racism and “police brutality.” Because the Left has no standards, and is quite shameless about it as well.
General Hospital (GH) spoilers reveal that Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) will look a little different in upcoming new GH episodes since she has been replaced temporarily by Lindsay Hartley.
According to Daytime Confidential’s sources, Lindsay Hartley will serve as a temporary recast. Hartley will slide in the role of Sam, but she’s only supposed to stick around for a couple weeks.
There’s no confirmation on why Monaco wasn’t available, but the good news she’s expected back on set in the near future. In the meantime, Lindsay Hartley fans will enjoy her fleeting visit to Port Charles. This certainly isn’t Hartley’s first rodeo in the soap world.
Passions watchers will remember Hartley for her role as Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, which she portrayed from 1999 to 2008. From 2009-2010, Hartley played Arianna Hernandez on Days of Our Lives. Next, Hartley portrayed Dr. Cara Castillo on All My Children. She was on AMC from 2010-2011 and then reprised the role of Cara in 2013.
Hartley was also featured on The Bay as Sammie Sullivan back in 2014. Her most recent projects include playing Dr. Landford in The House on the Hill and the role of Brooke Jenkins on Deadly Daughter Switch.
Hartley has one more film in post-production called Dawn of 5 Evils, but it’s her upcoming run as Sam that GH fans are most interested in!
When new episodes resume, General Hospital spoilers say Sam will continue to deal with two main problems: parole restrictions and the threat Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober) poses.
Sam and Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) are being kept apart by these issues, but we all know they manage to sneak visits anyway. It’ll be interesting to see Hartley’s version of Sam in some new “JaSam” scenes.
As other GH news comes in, we’ll provide the latest updates. How do you feel about Lindsay Hartley as a temporary Sam McCall recast? Are you looking forward to her spin on Sam?
Jordan Henderson has been crowned Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year for the 2019/20 season.
The Liverpool captain saw off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, as well as team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, to claim the honour.
Liverpool’s dominance in the league was reflected in the voting as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker also received votes, but it was Henderson – with more than a quarter of the votes – who was the clear winner.
Reflecting on his win, Henderson said: “I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general.
“You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.
Football Writers’ Association chair Carrie Brown explains why Jordan Henderson deserved to be crowned the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 2019/20 season
“But as grateful as I am I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own.
“I don’t feel like anything I’ve achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own.
“I owe a lot to so many different people – but none more so than my current team-mates – who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do.
“We’ve only achieved what we’ve achieved because every single member of our squad has been brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just in producing the moments that make the headlines and the back pages but every day in training.”
Henderson’s contribution to Liverpool’s success has been recognised by football writers across the country
Henderson became the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League trophy, as they ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight title.
Henderson has registered four goals and five assists in a league campaign in which Liverpool have only tasted defeat on three occasions and his instrumental contribution has been recognised by football writers across the country.
Kevin De Bruyne and Marcus Rashford were beaten to the accolade by Henderson
Ten other players received votes from FWA members including last year’s winner Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jonny Evans.
The Footballer of the Year trophy has been awarded since 1948 when Sir Stanley Matthews was its first recipient.
Klopp: ‘Exceptional’ Henderson fully deserves award
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Henderson deserves the individual accolade after captaining the club to their first league title in 30 years.
“The question always for footballers is what makes you the player you are? Is it the talent or the attitude? The answer is probably a mix and Hendo is probably the perfect answer for that,” said Klopp.
“He was always a really skilled boy. I saw videos of him when he was young, I think (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain found them somewhere and shared them with all of us. He was already an exceptional player.
Jurgen Klopp says Henderson deserves to be named FWA Footballer of the Year after an ‘exceptional’ season for Liverpool
“But then at the highest level you have to be ready to fight every day and that is what he did. With all the things that people said about him in the past, before I came, I don’t know what it was exactly… but he made his way and it is absolutely deserved.
“Yes there are other players that have an exceptional season, 100 per cent, but if you want to have a guy who really fought his way through… it is absolutely deserved.
“One of the best players in the league and this year everybody acknowledged that. I am really happy about that, it is so well deserved. I am really happy for him and proud of him because he is an exceptional person.”
Henderson has shrugged off the doubters
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright…
At 30, having added a Premier League title to the Champions League trophy he lifted in June, he is emerging as one of the most decorated captains in Liverpool’s recent history. Jordan Henderson, more than any other player, has been the driving force behind their success.
Henderson is now FWA Footballer of the Year and his importance to Liverpool is universally acknowledged. But before all this, he had to withstand years of near-relentless criticism.
Henderson has been doubted and disparaged like few others. His move to Liverpool in 2011 was met with mockery. He was not up to it, they said. Overpriced and not good enough for England either. In his 2013 autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson even questioned his running style.
There were plenty who doubted he would ever achieve that status. Plenty who would have scoffed at the very thought of it. But Jordan Henderson was not one of them.
“I’m not just gonna put it out just because people are waiting,” the singer says.
Fans have been waiting four years now since Rihanna dropped her eighth album, “Anti.” In that time, she’s built and expanded her Savage X Fenty fashion empire and with every announcement, they ask her where “R9” is.
Now, as she prepares to expand the Fenty brand into skin care, Rihanna assured her fans that she hasn’t abandoned what first brought her to fame, despite what some of them might be thinking or saying about her recent brand moves.
“I am always working on music,” she told ET. “And when I am ready to put it out in the way that I feel fit, it’s gonna come out. And you’re not going to be disappointed when it happens. It’s going to be worth it.”
The 32-year-old icon also reminisced on her long career in the spotlight, beginning with “Pon de Replay” when she was just 17 years ago. It’s amazing to think that it’s been 15 years since she first hit the spotlight.
“I thought that was just a few years ago, now it’s like a decade plus,” she said of the early smash hits of her career. “But I’m also really grateful to still be here and being able to expand into other ventures. I’m grateful. It’s been fun and I can’t even complain.”
Her monumental success as a music artist has given her the flexibility to express her creativity in these other arenas, even if those self-same music fans are equally excited about all of her products, but impatiently anxious for new music.
But, Rihanna explains, “I’m not just gonna put it out just because people are waiting. It’s taken this long, I’m gonna make it worth it.”
She certainly can’t build the anticipation any higher. She also can’t tease her upcoming ninth album any harder. At this point, her fans are combing through every social media post to see if its a clue about a new single or about when the album might drop.
For now, though, they might just have to settle for great skin at an affordable price. “I want these things to be different from anything that is on the market,” she said of her newest product line, Fenty Skin.
“I want it to be simple. I want it to be accessible, but still with the high level of ingredients that some of these other brands do but they’re so expensive.”
So does this mean she’s working on a new single about a three-step skin care regimen? … What? Too big of a stretch?
“[Women] show up while you’re singing, running up to you as if you’re not,” he laughs when I ask him about his devoted female fans. “They’ve got old pictures in your face of when they were 18. They’ve got memorabilia that you’ve signed, all over the world.”
A few days after the show, Anka and I walked the hallways of a downtown Toronto photography studio. When I told him how much I enjoyed his concert, it struck me that he genuinely appeared to appreciate the sentiment — never mind that it was coming from someone too young to have heard his chart-topping singles when radio disc jockeys had them on heavy rotation. It mattered what this audience member thought. And that, I realized, is the key.
By the end of the show, Anka stands on stage, legs apart, fists firmly planted on his hips, soaking the adulation in. He evokes an image of Peter Pan: ageless and brimming with the joy of performing, having honed the tricks he learned from hanging with the pirates and lost boys of Las Vegas — the Never-Never Land where adults flee to feel like kids again.
At 15, he worked part-time at the local IGA when Campbell Soup Company promoted a contest awarding the person who collected the most soup can labels a recording session in New York City. Familiar with the customers who bought the brand, Anka cleverly arranged to collect all of their labels in addition to his own. He won.
The song he recorded wasn’t a hit, but it gave him that taste of showbiz he’d been salivating for. A year later, in 1957, he made his way back to the Big Apple to pitch another tune — one he wrote about a 19-year-old girl from church named Diana.
Paired with ABC-Paramount Records producer Don Costa — whose understanding of Anka’s brand of teenage ballad Dalton calls “a perfect match” — “Diana” shot to No. 1 in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, landing the 16-year-old on both Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show that same year. He also went on the road, touring the U.S. with the likes of Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly.
He embarked on his first European tour in 1958 and, in June 1960, at the age of 18, he became the youngest performer to ever headline New York’s iconic Copacabana nightclub — made famous by his idols Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack — lending him a measure of respect that proved crucial when he started playing Vegas shortly after.
After a string of chart-toppers in the late 1950s, his only top 10 hits on U.S. radio in the 1960s were “Puppy Love” (No. 2 in 1960) and “Dance On Little Girl” (No. 10 in 1961). By 1962, he’d switched record companies and, in a move that Dalton deems “absolutely revolutionary,” bought his entire catalogue back from ABC-Paramount.
“If you own the masters, you own those songs lock, stock and barrel. He made money every time somebody bought a record [or] played it … and I’m sure that sustained him through the shallow parts of his career.”
Whether headlining sold-out shows or partying with his Rat Pack pals and their high-rolling friends, Anka — one of the first pop stars to play Vegas — became a fixture in the town through until the 1980s. Yet, as popular as he was as a performer on the strip and abroad, he achieved a new level of fame by writing for others.
Anka’s resumé of more than 900 songs includes the theme to the 1962 film The Longest Day and an adapted version of his song “Toot Sweet,” now known as the iconic opening theme for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Buddy Holly’s final hit was an Anka tune — “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” (1959) — though he never lived to see it, perishing in a plane crash before its release. Anka also wrote one of Tom Jones’ biggest singles, “She’s a Lady,” in 1971. While he composed music for Sonny & Cher, Connie Francis, the Doobie Brothers and others, the song Feldman calls “the pinnacle of [Anka’s] songwriting talent” remains “My Way.”
Of all the celebrities, royalty and heads of state that Paul Anka has rubbed shoulders with, it’s Frank Sinatra — the Chairman of the Board — people want to hear about. His antics, alone or alongside his Rat Pack buddies, are the stuff of show business lore.“There wasn’t enough room in the book,” he admits of his autobiography, “to tell them all.”
“When you write ‘My Way’ and you’re attached to Sinatra … [it’s] perception,” Anka explains, when discussing his success as a songwriter. “You pass a line where you become somebody who has substance. And [your audience] supports that.
“I subscribed to the fact that what I did back then [could] come back and haunt me,” Anka explains. “So I eat a certain way, I exercise, I don’t drink heavy liquor, I’m not a smoker. I rest my voice. Little things that enable me to over-punch my weight.”
Anka’s will to stay in tiptop shape serves him well both on stage and at home, where he’s got a little boy to chase after. While the singer’s first marriage produced five daughters and, ultimately, eight grandchildren, he and his girlfriend, Lisa, currently raise his only son, seven-year-old Ethan Paul, from his second marriage.
“The love and the focus is the same, the time consumption is probably different,” Anka says about the difference between raising his girls and his son. “Time, today, is very important to me. [It’s] my biggest asset.”
In his prime, Anka was on the road an estimated 230 dates a year. “He probably played as many nights a year as Bob Dylan — only on key,” Dalton quips. These days, the touring is pared back considerably, allowing Anka to bring Ethan to and from school and spend time together playing basketball or riding his motorcycle.
Sure, hearing Anka sing Kurt Cobain’s “A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido” lyrics to a jazzed-up horn section takes some getting used to, but this is no humiliating William Shatner recites “Rocket Man” redux. The album went gold in a number of countries, followed by a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, proving Anka’s musical instincts as sharp as ever.
Remarkably, there are still artists Anka hasn’t collaborated with but would like to, including Elton John, Beyoncé and John Mayer. In the last 12 months, he’s “written more than I have in years,” and his latest album, Duets, features artists as varied as Willie Nelson, Leon Russell and Michael Jackson.
“I harken back to Sinatra. He said, ‘Kid, I always get excited about putting a record out and having a hit.’ And I absolutely subscribe to that,” Anka says. “In my mind, I haven’t put my flag in the mountain. I do it to stay healthy and to stay aware and I don’t want to ever just sit back. It’s a great life. It’s a great occupation. I just want to stay on this journey.”
For quite some time now, I’ve wanted to do a review of the very first episode of Battlestar Galactica, season 4. This is essentially on the grounds that the new Galactica rules. In any case, since the second episode has come and gone, all my Battlestar Galactica pals will have seen the new season and understood that it will be absolutely amazing. Therefore, a review is somewhat late. So how should I deal with this in a way that will keep me both self-satisfied and delighted? Bingo! I’ll go in for some good humored ribbing. Here goes…
1. Decision Making
The episode begins. Our TV screens are loaded with pictures of dials and blinky things. Furthermore, somebody, maybe your standard Data or Dualla character, tells the man in control that they have a decision to make. The choice is; they can either save a billion people from an asteroid or one young girl with braids and a candy the size of Commander Riker’s head. What might the leaders of these particular shows do when offered such a decision? Here’s how it would go…
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Picard turns to Data and Geordi and orders them to solve the impasse in 40 minutes even though the whole Starfleet Core of Engineers and numerous teams of scientists haven’t solved it in the last 40 years. Three commercial breaks later, everyone is alive and sipping Picard’s earl grey while enjoying cartoons on thedeck. No repercussions on the characters what-so-ever. Data goes back to making lame puns while Geordi bemoans Reading Rainbow. “Why?” he screams, “Why?!?” Deanna Troi wears something hot and slinks around while she talks in an annoying voice. Her mother tries to bang Picard, but the Captain’s a priest or something, so no go. Riker gains more weight. Meanwhile, I’m left sighing and wanting more.
The new Battlestar Galactica: The universe has one less pigtailed girl in it. So it’s for the best, really. Only a million of the billion people are actually saved because a single bolt was missing from the contraption used to perform the rescue. A grieving Adama starts bawling like a chick and staring at pictures of his dead wife. Colonel Tigh gets drunk and takes a swing at Baltar. Baltar runs away and deals with his problems by getting laid way more in a single night than I will in my entire life. President Roslin shoves someone out an airlock. Starbuck gets laid, then gets drunk and kicks Tigh in his gristled old-man nards. Then she has her first homosexual experience with Dualla. Later, we find out that the million people they saved are actually Cylons who nearly destroy the fleet. It’s a cliffhanger! Awesome! The whole thing becomes a painful affair that has lasting repercussions for at least two seasons. We all find out that Dirk Benedict is God. Now that’s a show! Correct. This alone has me incline towards Battlestar Galactica. Which show is more emotional? Which has more guts? Now, that is just the starting.
The early 21st century was something of a golden age of television. The Sopranos ushered in an era of prestige TV that just kept delivering great show after great show. Depending on how you look at it, the golden era ended when Game of Thrones wrapped last year, but no matter how you feel about shows that are currently airing, there’s a strong collection of shows from the first two decades of this century that can lay claim to “Best Show Ever” status.
LadBible asked people to vote for their favorite.
In a competition that played out over a series of tweets, LadBible posted a variety of polls asking people to vote for the greatest TV show of the 21st century. They did not include The Sopranos, the Godfather (sorry) of modern television because the series debuted in 1999.
The shows that were included in the polls included Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, The Wire, Black Mirror, and The Office (UK and US).
Here’s how it played out:
What is the greatest TV show of the 21st century? Semi-Final 1
No big surprise there, unless you count the fact that Mad Men finished behind two shows that shouldn’t even be in this competition. The finals featured a fantasy epic that saved its worst for last and a crime saga that got better every season and culminated in a murderer’s row of final episodes.
Over 11,000 people voted for the winner, and still, the outcome was tight, as befits these two amazing shows:
What is the greatest TV show of the 21st century? Final
Deepika Padukone grabbed all the headlines when she visited the JNU campus during the peak of anti-CAA protests as she stood in solidarity with the leftist goons of the JNU. She didn’t utter a single word and stood silently perhaps because she had no knowledge about either CAA, NRC or the violence at JNU. Of course, it was no co-incidence that her visit coincided with the release of her then upcoming movie ‘Chhapaak’. It was a huge PR disaster as people quickly saw through this PR stunt and decided to boycott Chapaak. In a shocking development, ex-RAW officer NK Sood has alleged that Deepika received Rs 5 crores from a Pakistani businessman Aneel Mussarat to attend the protest at JNU.
At a time when links of Bollywood stars with the underworld have resurfaced in the wake of the tragic demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, former RAW officer NK Sood has levelled shocking allegations against Deepika Padukone as Sood in his YouTube video alleged that Deepika was paid a sum of Rs 5 crores by prominent Pakistani businessman Aneel Mussarat to attend the protest at JNU.
Sood further claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already started investigations into the matter. In what seemed as a publicity stunt to promote her next film, is much more serious and reveals the extent of how deep the anti-India forces have penetrated if Sood’s allegations have an iota of substance and evidence.
Aneel Mussarat who currently resides in Manchester is known to be close to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and has also invested in Khan’s election campaign. Sood in his video claims that Deepika received two calls before her visit, one from Karachi and one from Dubai. It is important to note that Deepika’s visit was greatly celebrated in Pakistan with the then Pakistan Army spokesperson, Asif Ghafoor taking to Twitter to praise Deepika for her move.
To provide further backing to his claims, Sood claimed that Mussarat is close to many Bollywood stars was also seen in the wedding of Sonam Kapoor as he claimed that Anil Kapoor has family relations with Mussarat’s wife.
Sood further alleged that during the wedding of Mussarat’s daughter in Manchester in 2017, along with the likes of Imran Khan and other important officials, Anil Kapoor, Karan Johar, Sonam Kapoor, Hritik Roshan, and Suniel Shetty were also in attendance.
Sood claimed that Aneel Mussarat played a key role in financing the anti-CAA protests and that Sonam Kapoor posted a statement against CAA after Aneel’s request.
Sood had made some shocking allegations which must be investigated as Bollywood can’t be allowed to become a front for the anti-India forces.
Ellen left a less-than-DeGeneres impression Down Under.
The television host’s staff were walking on eggshells as they made a series of “bizarre” demands during a 2013 appearance on Australia’s “Today” show, a former producer on the morning program claimed.
“[Ellen DeGeneres’] producers called us aside … and said, ‘Now, Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her,’” Neil Breen said this week on radio station 4BC, where he’s now a host.
The demands came after Ellen’s staff already had “watered down” her appearance on “Today” from a spot co-hosting the Sydney-based show to doing just a sit-down interview in Melbourne, which meant the production had to relocate 443 miles, Breen said.
“‘She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard and then Ellen will leave.’ And I sort of said, ‘I can’t look at her?’ I found the whole thing bizarre,” he added.
He also said her team controlled how the interview would be conducted, from lighting to seating. Breen said he couldn’t tell what type of person DeGeneres was, as he “never got to talk to her.”
“I have no idea whether she’s a nice person or not, I wouldn’t have a clue,” he added. “But I can tell you the people who worked with her walked on eggshells the whole time, and the whole thing was totally bizarre.
“We’re there to do an interview to promote what she’s doing, but you can’t look at her? Someone get real.”
A rep for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” didn’t immediately return Page Six’s request for comment.
How Ellen and Portia’s relationship has withstood rumors and hardships
How Ellen and Portia’s relationship has withstood rumors and hardships