Connect with us

Entertainment

The Chase: Paul Sinha reveals Parkinson’s diagnosis

Published

on


Paul Sinha (far right) with Jenny Ryan, Mark Labbett, Anne Hegerty and Shaun WallaceImage copyright
ITV

Image caption

Sinha (far right) has been a “chaser” on The Chase since 2011

Paul Sinha, one of the professional quizzers on ITV’s The Chase, has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.

“I will fight this with every breath I have,” tweeted the 49-year-old comic, going on to share further details of his diagnosis in a blog post.

Sinha, a former GP, said he was told he had Parkinson’s – a degenerative brain condition – last month.

He said it had been “a really, really tough two weeks” but said he did not “consider himself unlucky”.

“Whatever the next stage of my life holds for me, many others have it far worse,” he continued.

ITV said it was sending him “lots of love”, while digital channel Dave told him to “give it hell“.

Sinha said he intended to “keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy [and] keep quizzing” while joking that appearing on Dancing on Ice was probably “out of the question”.

“A lot of people have asked ‘What can I do to help?'” he concluded. “The answer is to treat me exactly the same as before.”

Image copyright
ITV/Shutterstock

Bradley Walsh hosts The Chase, which Sinha joined in 2011. His fellow “chasers” are Anne Hegerty, Mark Labbett, Jenny Ryan and Shaun Wallace.

Last month the BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones revealed he has Parkinson’s, whose symptoms include involuntary tremors.

Sir Billy Connolly and actor Alan Alda have also spoken about how they deal with the illness since being diagnosed in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.





Source link

Entertainment

Vienna opera house stages first opera by woman

Published

on

By


Kate Lindsey as OrlandoImage copyright
Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

Image caption

Kate Lindsey will play the title role of Orlando

For the first time in its 150-year history, the Vienna State Opera is staging an opera by a woman.

Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth has written a new opera based on Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando which deals with themes of gender fluidity and duality.

The title role is played by the singer Kate Lindsey.

Orlando lives for centuries, beginning as a man in Elizabethan England and then changing into a woman.

Image copyright
Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

Image caption

The story by Virginia Woolf has been updated for the 21st Century

Olga Neuwirth says androgyny and the rejection of gender stereotypes have inspired her ever since she first read Woolf’s novel as a teenager.

“Not only is it a journey through centuries, but it is a journey of constant questioning of imposed norms by society, and society is made by man,” she told the BBC.

Olga Neuwirth

Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

Orlando, for all of us, should be a symbol of freedom, humanity and freedom of opinion, but in a very playful and ironic way – which I like so much

“Each human being is allowed to choose what they feel is inside them,” she said. “There is no binary role model anymore.”

Conductor Matthias Pintscher says the ‘in-betweenness” of the story of Orlando is reflected in the music.

“She is mixing it all up,” he said. “We have a traditional orchestra in the pit. On top of that we have three keyboards, a jazz band and a lot of pre-recorded samples that interestingly, beautifully blend into the texture of the live instruments.”

Olga Neuwirth says “it feels a little bit strange” to be the first female composer to have a work staged at the Vienna State Opera.

The opera house cancelled her previous attempt to put on an piece with a libretto by the Nobel Prize winning author Elfriede Jelinek.

Image copyright
Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

Image caption

The opera has special significance for Justin Vivian Bond, who plays Orlando’s child

“One hundred and fifty years is a long time. But I’ve always said it’s never too late. So it’s good that they finally have thought about it. And at least if you’re the first, there has to be a second and a third and so on. So it’s always good to have a starting point.”

The costumes are by another woman, designer Rei Kawakubo, of Commes des Garçons.

The story has been brought up into the 21st Century.

For transgender and trans-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond, who plays the role of Orlando’s child, this opera has a personal significance.

“Conceptually, I am the legacy of what the novel Orlando began to express about gender and transgression and about the difference between what it’s actually like to be a man or a woman, if indeed there is that much of a difference,” said Bond.

“And since I’m a non-binary person who’s trans-feminine, I guess you could say I am happily stepping into a moment and I’m the sort of representation of where we’ve come.”

You may also be interested in:

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionLucia Lucas tells the BBC what it’s like to be a transgender opera singer but still have to play male roles
  • Child prodigy’s opera thrills Vienna
  • Royal Opera House fires tenor after ‘brawl’



Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Panipat: The Bollywood battle over a 400-year-old war

Published

on

By


The film posterImage copyright
Panipat film

Image caption

Sanjay Dutt (R) plays Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Abdali

The argument over a 400-year-old war began in a modern way: with a tweet.

“Death strikes where his shadow falls,” wrote Sanjay Dutt, the veteran Bollywood actor who plays the Afghan leader, Ahmad Shah Abdali, in the film Panipat, which opened in cinemas on Friday.

It was supposed to stir up excitement for the film, which was released on Friday. Instead, it came close to instigating an international incident, angering an entire country of once-loyal Bollywood fans.

But what exactly has got Afghans so riled up?

Panipat tells the story of a 17th Century battle between an Indian empire and an Afghan army, led by Abdali, with the trailer leaving viewers in no doubt that this will be a high-octane ride from start to finish.

But it was certain to cause some controversy: after all, to Afghans Abdali is their founding father and hero, but to Indians he’s an invader who killed thousands of Maratha warriors in the historic battle of Panipat, north of Delhi.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Arjun Kapoor (L) and Kriti Sanon also appear in the film

Concerns were initially raised when the film was first announced. In 2017 the Afghan consulate in Mumbai reached out directly to the Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

“Ahmad Shah Abdali holds great regard in the hearts and minds of Afghan people,” said Naseem Sharifi, Afghanistan’s consul general in the city. “When the film was being made we requested to watch it without exposing the plot. Despite our constant efforts, we didn’t get any response from the filmmakers.”

But then came Sanjay Dutt’s tweet, complete with a picture of his character, the man Afghans refer to as Ahmad Shah Baba (father). The uproar was immediate.

“He’s vicious. He wears kohl. Abdali wasn’t like that. From the way he dresses to the way he speaks; it’s not even Afghan, he’s portrayed as an Arab,” Elaha Walizadeh, an Afghan blogger, told the BBC.

For generations, Afghans have grown up with Bollywood films such as Khuda Gawah, starring Amitabh Bachchan as a brave and patriotic Afghan protagonist. They were a source of joy and hope for many refugees during the dark Taliban era. They played the songs at their weddings, danced to the tunes, memorised famous dialogue and even learned Hindi from it.

But then came films such as the 2018 epic Padmaavat, which saw superstar Ranveer Singh playing Alauddin Khilji, a Turko-Afghan ruler who invaded and ruled Delhi in the 12th Century. Though the film garnered positive reviews, the portrayal of Khaliji as a cruel and vicious ruler offended many Afghans – although they were far from the only group to take issue.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionDeepika Padukone received death threats for her role in Bollywood epic Padmaavat

Similarly Kesari, a 2019 period drama about an epic battle between 21 Sikh soldiers from the British Indian Army and more than 10,000 Afghans, was criticised for stereotyping and vilifying Afghans as invaders who forcibly took land.

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook mean those offended can easily find others who share their disillusionment.

“People are seeing the issue of misrepresentation because of social media. More young Afghans are noticing a trend and having conversations about it,” Walizadeh said.

“Whereas before they were elated at the slightest mention of Afghans in Hindi movies, they now watch it with scrutiny. Though misrepresentation is a global problem, given Afghans’ relationship with Bollywood they expect better.”

More on Bollywood

Some film critics say however that the changing portrayal of Afghan characters could be down to more than just rising awareness on the part of Afghan filmgoers.

Instead they link the rising number of films with negative Muslim characters as an attempt by Bollywood executives to align the industry with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – a Hindu nationalist party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We have a Hindu majority party which is quite conscious of exploiting the soft power of Bollywood,” said Ankur Pathak, entertainment editor of Huffington Post India.

“Whether that is the prime minister clicking selfies with the top stars, organising meet-and-greet events or the ruling party encouraging Bollywood to show films about nation-building, there’s an invisible incentive to make films to depict India in a positive light – and by India that means it’s Modi’s idea of India or the BJP’s idea of India, which is pro-Hindu.”

It is a dangerous path, Pathak adds.

“Misrepresentation of any community does immense damage. Given the current climate it’s something we need to steer clear from,” he said.

Film director Ashutosh Gowariker has dismissed the claims.

He told online channel Film Companion: “This film is not about a Hindu-Muslim battle. It’s about stopping an invader. It’s about protecting your borders, your land, that’s the patriotic theme of the film. In the wake of that we have to show that Abdali did invade but we have kept the dignity of the character.”

But Mr Sharifi, the Afghan consul-general, remains worried about the possible fallout from Panipat – despite assurances from Sanjay Dutt that he would not have taken the role if the portrayal was negative.

The consul-general, who also acts as an advisor to the Afghan president, says he wants a panel of experts from both countries to review the film before its release.

The BBC asked Sanjay Dutt for a response to the criticism but did not receive a response.

For some of Bollywood’s most loyal Afghan fans, the film is likely to disappoint.

“Historically Indian cinema has been instrumental in strengthening Indo-Afghan ties,” Dr Shaida Abdali, the former Afghan ambassador to India, tweeted.

“I very much hope that the film ‘Panipat’ has kept that fact in mind while dealing with this important episode of our shared history!”



Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

R. Kelly faces bribery charge over 1994 marriage to Aaliyah

Published

on

By


R. Kelly arrives for a hearing on sexual abuse charges at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in June 2019Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The singer has faced allegations of underage abuse for two decades

R. Kelly has been charged with bribing a government official in order to get a fraudulent identification document to marry an under-age girl in 1994.

The girl, named only as Jane Doe in the documents, has widely been identified by US media as singer Aaliyah.

They got married when she was 15 and R. Kelly was 27. The certificate, leaked at the time, listed her age as 18.

R. Kelly is facing several sexual abuse charges with trials in Chicago and New York next year. He denies wrongdoing.

The latest criminal indictment was filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, and expands on charges filed against him in July.

  • R. Kelly denied bail as second trial date set

They say he and his entourage headed up a racketeering operation, across two decades, which recruited women and under-age girls for illegal sexual activity.

What is the new charge?

R. Kelly, real name Robert Kelly, is accused of paying a bribe to an unnamed Illinois government employee to obtain a fake ID.

That identification was then used to obtain a marriage licence which listed her age as 18, the New York Times reports.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001

Court documents reportedly say the bribe was paid on 30 August 1994 – just one day before the marriage licence to Aaliyah, first reported by Vibe magazine.

Their marriage was annulled months later because the teenager, whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, was under age.

The singer died in a plane crash in 2001. Her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, was produced and written by R. Kelly.

Steven Greenberg, R. Kelly’s lawyer, told ABC News earlier this year that his client had “no idea” Aaliyah was 15 when they married.

Responding to the New York Times on Thursday, Mr Greenberg said the new charge “does not appear to materially alter the landscape”.

More on the R Kelly allegations

  • The history of allegations against him

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionLanita Carter explains why she decided to speak out publicly against R Kelly

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending