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Golden Globes 2020: Phoebe Waller-Bridge wins twice for Fleabag

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Phoebe Waller-BridgeImage copyright
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This was Waller-Bridge’s first Golden Globe

The 77th Golden Globe Awards are under way in Los Angeles, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge among the early winners.

The British star was named best actress in a TV series (musical or comedy) for her BBC sitcom Fleabag.

“This really comes down to Andrew Scott,” she said, thanking her Irish co-star for bring “so much fire” to the show’s second season.

“He could have chemistry with a pebble,” she said of the actor, who played the “Hot Priest” in the show.

Fleabag went on to be named best TV series (musical or comedy) at the star-studded ceremony.

“This means a huge amount to all of us,” said Waller-Bridge, who thanked Barack Obama “for putting us on his list”.

This was a reference to a recent tweet from the former US president, in which he called Fleabag “a TV show [from 2009] that I considered as powerful as movies”.

  • Golden Globes: The red carpet in pictures
  • Golden Globes: 2020 winners and nominees

Russell Crowe was another early winner, receiving the award for best actor in a limited series or a motion picture made for television for The Loudest Voice.

The Australian actor was not at the ceremony, instead sending a message about the devastating bush fires ravaging his homeland.

“Make no mistake, the tragedy taking place in Australia is climate change-based,” he said in a message read out by actress Jennifer Aniston.

Pierce Brosnan, whose sons Dylan and Paris are serving as this year’s Golden Globe ambassadors, also sent a message of goodwill to those affected by the fires.

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Ricky Gervais opened the show with a risque monologue

Ricky Gervais, hosting the event for the fifth time, kicked off proceedings with a salty monologue that poked fun at James Corden, Felicity Huffman, Martin Scorsese and others.

Yet the comedian also took Hollywood’s great and good to task for expressing political opinions while simultaneously accepting money from multinationals with questionable business practices.

Tom Hanks is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award during this year’s ceremony, which began at 01:00 GMT.

The actor was seen during the telecast looking less than impressed by Gervais’s opening monologue.

Other British winners include Brian Cox, who was named best actor in a drama series for Succession.

The Dundee-born actor offered his apologies to his fellow nominees, which included Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington and The Crown’s Tobias Menzies.

There was also success for Sir Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, who won best film song for their Rocketman composition I’m Gonna Love Me Again.

As expected, South Korean satire Parasite – winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes – was named best foreign language film.

“Just being nominated with fellow international film-makers was a huge honour,” said director Bong Joon-Ho in a speech delivered in his native Korean.

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he went on to say via his translator.

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Reuters

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Ellen DeGeneres received a special award at the ceremony

One notable surprise came in the best animated film category, where stop-motion film Missing Link beat out such hit sequels as Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4.

There was no surprise, though, when perennial Globe favourite Laura Dern was named best supporting film actress for Marriage Story.

Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the Globes is the biggest ceremony of the annual awards season outside of the Oscars.

Many of the award recipients traditionally go on to enjoy success at the Academy Awards, to be held this year on 9 February.

Television stars and shows are also recognised at the ceremony, which is being held at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

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Michael Medwin: Shoestring actor dies aged 96

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Michael Medwin in Shoestring

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Medwin’s screen career spanned seven decades

British actor Michael Medwin has died in hospital in Bournemouth at the age of 96.

Best known for playing radio station boss Don Satchley in TV’s Shoestring, he was a prolific supporting player who appeared in films with Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Albert Finney.

Alongside Finney, he also produced such films as Lindsay Anderson’s If…., O Lucky Man! and Charlie Bubbles.

Born in London in 1923, he was made an OBE for services to drama in 2005.

Theatre producer David Pugh, with whom Medwin produced plays for three decades, was among the first to mark his passing.

Medwin, who trained at the Italia Conti stage school in London, made his film debut as a radio operator in 1946’s Piccadilly Incident.

In the six decades that followed, he appeared in such films as A Hill in Korea, Doctor at Large, Carry On Nurse and The Longest Day.

Often cast as cockney spivs at the start of his career, he moved on to authority figures like the doctor who treats Connery’s James Bond in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

He also played the nephew of Albert Finney’s title character in Scrooge, despite being 12 years Finney’s senior.

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Medwin appeared alongside Trevor Eve in 21 episodes of Shoestring

As Don Satchley, Medwin would occasionally find himself at odds with Trevor Eve’s phone-in private investigator Eddie Shoestring.

Based in the West Country, the BBC TV series ran for two series spanning 21 episodes between 1979 and 1980.

“Acting was something I wanted to do, and by good fortune I found I could do it quite well,” he told The List in 2009.

The previous year he made one of his final screen appearances as a speechmaker who extols the virtues of Keira Knightley’s title character in The Duchess.

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Clive Cussler: Dirk Pitt novels author dies aged 88

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Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total during his lifetime

Clive Cussler, the US author of the popular Dirk Pitt novels, has died at the age of 88.

He wrote 25 books in the adventure series, including Sahara and Raise the Titanic, and sold more than 100 million copies of his novels in total.

Writing on Twitter, Cussler’s wife said: “It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that my husband Clive passed away [on] Monday.

“It has been a privilege to share in his life.”

She added: “I want to thank you, his fans and friends, for all the support. He was the kindest most gentle man I ever met. I know, his adventures will continue.”

The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

‘Soft spot in my heart’

Cussler’s 1992 thriller Sahara was adapted for the big screen in a 2005 film starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.

The writer, whose books have been published in more than 40 languages, was married to Barbara Knight for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003, and they had three children, Teri, Dirk, and Dayna.

He later married Janet Horvath. His son Dirk, named after the character, co-wrote his final three novels.

“Dirk will always have a soft spot in my heart because he started if off,” Cussler said in an interview with Working Mother in 2013.

“I hope readers see Pitt as a normal, average guy who is down to earth. He likes the Air Force, tequila, and an occasional cigar.

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“I used myself as a model for Dirk. We are both 6’3″, have green eyes, and at that time were the same weight and the same age.”

He added: “The only differences are that he is better with the girls and he has aged about 10 years while I have aged about 50.”

  • Cussler brands adaptation ‘silly’
  • Movie makers in film ‘flop’ fight

After selling the Sahara story to the billionaire Philip Anschutz, Cussler later sued, telling a US court in 2007 Hollywood “tore the heart out” of the book.

The movie grossed $119 million (£92.1m) worldwide but was still considered a box-office failure as it failed to recoup its own filmmaking costs.

The novelist said the company broke its contract by changing the story without his consent.

“I thought it was just awful,” he said of the film, adding that he considered the re-written dialogue to be silly.

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Cussler, pictured in 1977, was born in Illinois

One his earlier works, Raise the Titanic! was also made into a movie in 1980. The film, starring Jason Robards, Richard Jordan, David Selby, Anne Archer, and Sir Alec Guinness, proved to be a similar flop.

Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total, including the Isaac Bell Adventures and Fargo Adventures series.

Known as an expert in shipwrecks, Cussler founded the non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency.

His non-fiction book Sea Hunters was so extensive in its underwater knowledge the Maritime College in the State of New York gave him a doctorate.


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Why Bob Iger’s long goodbye to Disney is a very big deal

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Bob Iger with 'Mickey Mouse' in 2017Image copyright
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Disney under Iger has been anything but a Mickey Mouse outfit

The news that Disney boss Bob Iger is stepping down as the company’s CEO has taken the movie world by surprise.

Since becoming chief executive in 2005, Iger led the company through several blockbuster acquisitions and the launch of the Disney+ streaming service.

Viewed by many to be the most powerful man in Hollywood, Iger had previously announced plans to retire only to push back his departure date.

Iger will remain Disney’s executive chairman until the end of 2021.

In a statement, the company said Iger would direct its “creative endeavours” while ensuring “a smooth and successful transition”.

Bob Chapek, who joined Disney in 1993 and previously ran the company’s parks and products division, has been appointed the company’s new CEO.

  • Disney boss Bob Iger steps down as chief executive

During Iger’s tenure as CEO, Disney took over animation studio Pixar, comic book company Marvel, Star Wars originator LucasFilm and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

These acquisitions, combined with the launch of Disney+, amusement park openings and other factors, saw the company’s market value increase five-fold.

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Disney

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Disney+ launches in the UK on 24 March

Of the 20 highest-grossing films of the 2010s, 13 were Disney releases. Three of these titles made more than $2 billion (£1.54 billion) worldwide.

The most lucrative of the three, superhero blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, overtook 2009’s Avatar in July 2019 to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

  • Avengers overtakes Avatar at all-time box office

Last year Iger published a memoir, titled The Ride of a Lifetime, in which he wrote about the lessons he had learned from his 15 years as Disney CEO.

While promoting his book he gave his only UK interview to BBC media editor Amol Rajan, during which he reflected on his experiences and accomplishments.

“It would be nice to know that it’s going to turn out as well as it has, because I probably would have been just a little bit more relaxed,” he mused when asked what advice he would offer his younger self.

“But then again if I had been a little bit more relaxed, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard and it might not have turned out. So because you can’t go back and do it over in anyway, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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Media captionBob Iger says he’s proud of his achievements at Disney

The 69-year-old also expressed pride about the number of jobs he said had been created at the Disney company during his time as CEO.

“I’m proud of our efforts for our employees – for cast members as we call them – around the world. Of which there are now about 230,000,” he said.

“There are tens of thousands more of them today, by the way, than they were when I got the job. So we’ve created a huge number of jobs. And for hourly workers.

“I am proud of their compensation. I’m proud of the benefits that we’ve bestowed upon them. I’m proud of the opportunities we’ve created for them.

“There’s been huge upward mobility in our company by the very people that start at the bottom – I’m one of them – and enable themselves to not only work their way up, but to work their way up and to earn more.”

In other departments, however, Iger did concede mistakes had been made.

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Iger oversaw Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm in 2012

“I have said publicly that I think we made and released too many Star Wars films over a short period of time,” he told Amol Rajan.

“I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I’ve not said that I’m disappointed in their performance.

“I just think that there’s something so special about a Star Wars film, and less is more.

“The nice thing about Star Wars is the future is unlimited in terms of the places we can go, the stories we can tell and the characters we can introduce people to,” Iger said during a subsequent visit to the UK for the European premiere of the most recent Star Wars film.

Last December’s event also saw him reveal that his favourite character from the long-running sci-fi film saga was Chewbacca the Wookiee.

“I’ve always been a ‘Chewie’ fan,” he told the BBC’s Colin Paterson. “I don’t understand a word he’s saying, but he always makes me laugh.”

No doubt Iger’s departure would have seen the character utter one of his trademark mournful moans.

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