Screen queen, golf kingsget royal honors


After
playing the mother of Queen
Elizabeth in “The King’s
Speech,” actress Helena
Bonham Carter will take
part in a real-life royal
performance when she
receives an honor from the
monarch herself.
The actress is among close
to 1,000 people from all
walks of life whose
achievements are recognized
in the annual New Year’s
Honors List.
Northern Irish golfers Rory
McIlroy and Darren Clarke,
who won the U.S. and British
opens this year, are also on
the list, capping an
outstanding year for UK golf.
Most of the people honored
with knighthoods or a
variety of slightly lesser
traditional titles such as
Commander, Officer or
Member of the Order of the
British Empire (CBE, OBE and
MBE), are unknown to the
public.
Among them is former
teenage drug dealer and
gang member Chris Preddie,
now 24, who renounced
crime after his brother was
shot dead and now
campaigns against knife and
gun crime among black
youths in London.
Preddie is related to two
brothers who murdered a
10-year-old boy in 2000, a
crime that shocked Britain.
The victim’s father told
British media he objected to
Preddie being honored with
an OBE.
TV producer Peter
Bazalgette, credited with
popularising the “Big
Brother” reality show format
across the globe, will receive
a knighthood – becoming Sir
Peter – which may please
legions of Big Brother fans
but dismay critics who say
the show is vulgar.
PALACE POMP
Novelist Penelope Lively, a
past winner of the
prestigious Booker Prize for
her 1987 novel Moon Tiger,
is also on the list. She
becomes a “Dame,” the
female equivalent of a
knighthood.
A rung down from a Dame
with her CBE award,
Bonham Carter received one
of her two Oscar
nominations for portraying
Queen Elizabeth’s mother in
Oscar-winning film The
King’s Speech.
She will experience true
royal pomp when she
receives her award at a
ceremony at Buckingham
Palace next year, but she is
no stranger to nobility,
coming from an aristocratic
family. Her great-
grandfather, the Earl of
Oxford and Asquith, served
as prime minister under
Elizabeth’s grandfather, King
George V.
Also honored at a high point
in a long career is golfer
Clarke, who won the last
British Open at the age of
42, on his 20th attempt. He
will receive an OBE, one step
down from CBE.
It was a particularly
emotional win for Clarke,
who has gone through hard
times since losing his wife to
cancer in 2006. He was the
oldest winner of the Open
since 1967 and the first
home champion in 12 years.
McIlroy will have an MBE to
show for his efforts during a
rollercoaster year that saw
him throw away victory at
the U.S. Masters in April only
to bounce back by clinching
his first major at the U.S.
Open in June.
At 22, McIlroy was the
youngest winner of the
championship since 1923.
Queen Elizabeth, whose
sporting interests lie more in
the world of horse-racing
than of golf, does not draw
up the Honors’ List herself.
Government officials seek
out worthy recipients, who
can also be nominated by
members of the public.

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Celebrities may temperTwitter comments after2011 blunders


Celebrities may resist the
urge to send a stream of
consciousness on Twitter in
the new year, after famous
people tweeted their way
into trouble on everything
from boxer briefs to breast-
feeding in 2011.
NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne
became the latest celebrity
to blunder on Twitter, when
he recently had to apologize
for a tweet critical of public
breast-feeding.
But Kahne has been far from
alone in discovering Twitter’s
pitfalls. The year 2011 saw
Congressman Anthony
Weiner resign in a scandal
that began with an errant
tweet, and the musings of
Hollywood stars such as the
tech savvy Ashton Kutcher
and comic Gilbert Gottfried
generated public
controversy.
As a result of those and
other scandals, 2011 may be
seen as a turning point when
more celebrities and
politicians saw the dangers
of Twitter and quit sending
unfiltered messages, pop
culture experts said.
The public already knows
speeches and even snappy
quips from public figures are
often scripted, so fans are
likely to understand if the
handlers of celebrities play a
larger role in managing their
Twitter accounts.
“There was a time from 2008
to 2011 where Twitter was
like, whatever was on your
mind you tweeted about it —
literally mindlessly,” said
radio host Cooper Lawrence,
author of “The Cult of
Celebrity.”
“Now you’re going to see
the other side of the bell
curve, where people are
more cautious. Politicians
are already more cautious,”
she said.
In Washington, D.C., no
better example of a Twitter
train wreck can be found
than the career of former
Rep. Anthony Weiner, a once
influential Democrat from
New York.
The spark that led to
revelations about Weiner
and his resignation in June
was a tweet he sent to a
female college student, with
a lewd photo of his bulging
boxer underwear.
“That guy has become now
the patron saint of warning
people that communicating
from the id, which is exactly
what Twitter is designed to
do, can end up being a
really, really bad idea,” said
Bob Thompson, professor of
television and pop culture at
Syracuse University.
DUCKING OUT
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried
did not have his career
ruined by Twitter, but it cost
him a lucrative gig.
Gottfried fired off several
joke tweets in March about
the devastating earthquake
and tsunami in Japan. In one
message, he said: “Japan is
really advanced. They don’t
go to the beach. The beach
comes to them.”
Gottfried was roundly
criticized in the media, and
insurance company Aflac Inc
fired him as the voice of its
iconic duck in television
commercials.
“Being the Aflac voice was a
large portion of his income,
and not being able to do
that for years and years to
come is going to cost him
millions of dollars,” said Jo
Piazza, author of the book
“Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous
People Make Money.”
More than other celebrities,
actor Ashton Kutcher has
been a master of Twitter.
Kutcher became the first to
have a million followers on
the site. He also created the
online production company
Katalyst and embarked on
lucrative promotion
campaigns for such products
as Popchips.
All of that made it believable
when Kutcher in September
was given a starring role as a
billionaire technology guru
on hit television comedy
“Two and a Half Men.”
Kutcher took over from
actor Charlie Sheen, who
clashed with the show’s co-
creator and raised eyebrows
on Twitter with descriptions
of himself as “winning.”
In November, Kutcher
created a public uproar
when he tweeted a defense
of Penn State football coach
Joe Paterno, who was fired
in the fallout from a sexual
abuse scandal that centered
on assistant coach Jerry
Sandusky.
Kutcher apologized in a blog
post, and said he did not
know about the abuse
scandal when he sent the
off-the-cuff tweet that read,
“How do you fire Jo Pa?” He
also pledged to have his
staff at Katalyst manage his
Twitter account, as opposed
to posting on his own as he
had done before.
The 33-year-old actor wrote
that Twitter has turned into
a “mass publishing
platform” in which tweets
can quickly “become news
that is broadcast around the
world and misinformation
becomes volatile fodder for
critics.”
Experts say Kutcher’s Twitter
mistake and his decision to
alter the way he uses the site
could serve as a lesson to
others. “Because after all, he
is a master of the form,”
Thompson said.
The recent controversy
surrounding Kasey Kahne
shows that not only a
celebrity’s tweet, but also
the response to other online
commentators can generate
trouble.
He originally posted a
comment about
encountering a mother
breast-feeding at a
supermarket. “Took second
look because I was obviously
seeing things. I wasn’t!” he
wrote.
But Kahne faced just as
much heat for a crude
comment directed at a
woman online who criticized
his view on public breast-
feeding. The racer later
apologized for both
messages.
Other notable Twitter
controversies of 2011
include film critic Roger
Ebert’s tweet, “Friends don’t
let jackasses drink and
drive,” which was sent in
response to the impaired
driving death of “Jackass”
star Ryan Dunn.
In a less inflammatory
Twitter misfire, Charlie
Sheen in December revealed
his phone number, in an
apparent attempt to send it
privately to teen singer Justin
Bieber.

Michael Jordan engagedto model Yvette Prieto


Basketball legend
Michael Jordan is engaged to
his long-time girlfriend
Yvette Prieto, his
spokeswoman said on
Thursday.
Jordan, 48, considered the
greatest U.S. basketball
player of all time, proposed
to Cuban-American model
Prieto, 32, over the
Christmas holidays, the
spokeswoman told TV
station WCNC in Charlotte,
North Carolina.
The couple have been dating
for about three years. It will
be the second marriage for
Jordan, who divorced his
wife Juanita in 2006 after 17
years.
Jordan spent almost 19 years
with the National Basketball
Association (NBA), retiring
twice from the Chicago Bulls
before finally quitting the
game and the Washington
Wizards in 2003.
He endorsed the successful
line of Nike Air Jordan
athletic shoes and appeared
as himself in the 1996 movie
“Space Jam.”
Jordan is currently the
majority owner of the NBA’s
Charlotte Bobcats.

Meryl Streep gets glowingreviews as UK’s Thatcher


Meryl Streep looks set for an
unprecedented 17th Oscar
nomination after earning
glowing reviews for her
performance as Britain’s
Margaret Thatcher in the
movie “The Iron Lady”.
“Virtuoso”, “translucent”,
and “compelling” were
among the words used by
U.S. movie critics this week
to describe Streep’s turn as
Britain’s polarizing, and only
female, prime minister.
“Is there anything that Meryl
Streep can’t do as an
actress? One can only
marvel at her virtuoso
performance as Britain’s
Margaret Thatcher,” said
Rolling Stone reviewer Peter
Travers.
“The Iron Lady”, in which
Streep plays Thatcher both
as a rising politician and as a
confused, elderly woman
looking back on her 1979-90
period in office, opens in
New York and Los Angeles
on Friday, and reaches
British movie theaters on
January 6.
Streep, 62, already has a
record 16 Academy Award
acting nominations. But she
has won the Oscar only
twice, for “Kramer vs
Kramer” in 1979 and
“Sophie’s Choice” in 1982.
Her turn as Thatcher has put
her on the short-list for
Golden Globe and Screen
Actors Guild awards in
January, ahead of the Oscar
nominations announcement
on January 26.
Time magazine’s Richard
Corliss called Streep’s
performance as Thatcher,
who is now 86, “a triumph”;
Leah Rozen, writing for
TheWrap.com, said Streep
was “astonishingly accurate
in mimicking the look, voice,
gait and mannerisms of her
real life character.”
However “The Iron Lady”
itself won fewer fans,
scoring a 63 percent positive
rating on movie aggregator
website Rotten Tomatoes.
New York Magazine’s David
Edelstein described the film
as “shallow but satisfying,
largely because of Meryl
Streep and her big fake
English teeth and gift for
using mimicry as a means of
achieving empathy.”
Writing in the New York
Times, A.O. Scott praised the
brilliance of Streep’s
performance and said the
movie was “likely to be the
definitive screen treatment
of Mrs. Thatcher, at least for
a while.”
But Scott added; “You are
left with the impression of
an old woman who can’t
quite remember who she
used to be and of a movie
that is not so sure either.”

Bey bounces back


During an interview with
AOL’s Boombox, The Dream
gave new insights on where
Beyonce is at creatively for
the follow-up to her latest
album, 4. The hitmaker said
of the pregnant diva, “She’s
ready to work. She’s crazy!
She never stops doing
anything. I don’t know if
[pregnancy] is going to slow
her down. She’s just
incredible with doing things, I
don’t know how she’s going
to do it, and she’s just a
maniac… in a good way.” The
producer is expected to
contribute to her fifth solo
album. We’ll keep you
posted.

Nicki name drops?


After leaking “Roman In
Moscow,” Nicki Minaj has
released a new song called
“Stupid Hoe.” The fem-cee
name drops Angelina Jolie
and Jennifer Anniston and
once again declares herself
as the female Weezy. While
you can download the tune
via iTunes now, fans should
look out for her much
anticipated sophomore
effort, Pink Friday: Roman
Reloaded, which arrives on
Valentine’s Day 2012.

Kim Kardashian ToEarn N97M ToHost New Year Gig


Kim Kardashian at the grand opening of the
Kardashian Khaos store at the Mirage Hotel &
Casino
Popular TV reality star and
top socialite, Kim
Kardashian, will earn $
600,000 (N97M) to host
multiple events including a
New Year Party at TAO
Nightclub in The Venetian
in Las Vegas, the Herald
Wire Service has reported.
The 31-year-old model,
brokered a deal with TAO,
while other celebs like Katy
Perry, Mariah Carey, and
Diddy had their New Year’s
Eve party pitches turned
down by other venues who
didn’t want to dole out over
six figures for a celeb host.
Tickets to TAO’s New Year’s
Eve Bash we hear, costs $
225 (N36,500) which
includes ‘heavily passed hors
d’oeuvres and open bar
from 9PM. to 11PM,
followed by a champagne
toast at midnight’.