Fuelled by tequila, George Clooney tops list of highest-paid actors

Between 1 June 2017 and 1 June 2018, George Clooney made more money than any other actor has ever made in a single year, Forbes magazine has found. The star’s film-based enterprises accounted for only a fraction of his income, however, with most coming from the sale of spirit company Casamigos Tequila. In 2013, Clooney co-founded Casamigos with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, initially as a way to supply them personally with sufficient quantities of high-quality liquor. Last year, British multinational Diageo purchased the brand in a deal worth a £1bn dollars. “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion-dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” said Clooney when the deal was announced. Now 57, Clooney – who also became the father of twins in 2017 – is best known in the drinks world for his endorsement of the coffee brand Nespresso.

Clooney’s booze jackpot bumped Dwayne Johnson – who frequently tops the chart – into the second spot. Johnson doubled his earnings year on year, making $119m (£92m) from his involvement in multiple blockbusters, including Skyscraper and Rampage. Johnson’s Fast and Furious co-star, Vin Diesel, failed to make the top 10 this year, despite topping last year’s chart. Avengers stars including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans all featured, alongside non-American names such as Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan. Clooney earned some $200m more than the highest-paid female actor, Scarlett Johansson, whose $40.5m total is thought to largely derive from her involvement in Marvel titles. She earned four times as much as Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in films by rival comic book outfit DC.

Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid male actors 2018

George Clooney – $239m

Dwayne Johnson – $119m

Robert Downey Jr – $79m

Chris Hemsworth – $64.5m

Jackie Chan – $45.5m

Will Smith – $42m

Akshay Kumar – $40.5m

Adam Sandler – $39.5m

Chris Evans – $34m

Salman Khan – $33.5m

Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid actresses 2018

Scarlett Johansson – $40.5m

Angelina Jolie – $28m

Jennifer Aniston – $19.5m

Jennifer Lawrence – $18m

Reese Witherspoon – $16.5m

Mila Kunis – $16m

Julia Roberts – $13m

Cate Blanchett – $12.5m

Melissa McCarthy – $12m

Gal Gadot – $10m


Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist announced

The shortlist includes Kieran Hodgson – nominated for the third time – for his show, ’75 The shortlist for this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards has been revealed. It includes Kieran Hodgson – nominated for the third time – for his show, ’75. Among the other six nominees for best comedy show are Ahir Shah, Alex Edelman, Felicity Ward, Glenn Moore, Larry Dean and Rose Matafeo.

The prize money for the best comedy show is £10,000 with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner. They will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday. Ciarán Dowd, Maisie Adam, Olga Koch, Sara Barron, Sarah Keyworth and Sindhu Vee have secured nominations for best newcomer. Jobcentre joke is the funniest at the Edinburgh Fringe Nica Burns, director of the awards, said: “A truly international shortlist of extremely talented funny comedians for Best Comedy Show, with female stand-ups dominating an outstanding Best Newcomer shortlist for the first time in the history of the awards.

“Between them, they cover every aspect of contemporary life from why Britain voted to stay in the EU in 1975, to family, personal relationships, love, sex in your 20s, gender and sexual identity, living with your in-laws and being the only Jew at a meeting of the far-right.”


Danny Boyle’s exit from James Bond throws franchise into chaos

The immediate future of the James Bond franchise is in chaos after the sudden departure of the director Danny Boyle. Three months before shooting on the as-yet-untitled film was scheduled to start, the Oscar-winning film-maker behind Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting quit, leaving producers scrambling. A delay to the scheduled release date of 25 October 2019 looks inevitable; there is also speculation the fallout could stretch further, claiming star Daniel Craig as another victim. A tweet from the franchise’s official account announced on Monday evening: “Michael G Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25.” Industry insiders suspect these differences revolve around the script, which Boyle wrote with his long-term collaborator John Hodge. The pair previously collaborated on Trainspotting and its sequel, as well as The Beach, A Life Less Ordinary and Boyle’s debut, Shallow Grave.

The Bond script was reportedly a deal-breaker for Boyle, who took on the project after the departure of Sam Mendes, who directed Skyfall in 2012 before returning (having previously quit) for 2015’s Spectre. Daniel Craig in the most recent James Bond film, Spectre.

The producers were reportedly so keen to secure Boyle that they put an already completed screenplay, by the longtime 007 writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, on the back-burner. Purvis and Wade have previously written six Bond films, including all four Craig outings, as well as the final two starring his predecessor, Pierce Brosnan. Hodge and Boyle’s script – which is different in all respects – was thought to have been a work-in-progress until recently, and it is understood its themes were more topical than is traditional for a Bond film. A leaked casting-call sheet indicated that the key villain would be Russian, and Boyle has suggested the film would help the franchise evolve in the #MeToo and #TimesUp era. “You write in real time,” he said. “You acknowledge the legacy of the world of Bond and you write in the world – but you also write in the modern world as well.”

Boyle indicated that the script featured a considerable coup de cinema – “it’s a great idea so hopefully it will work” – which some speculated could involve a high-concept plot in which Bond would be incarcerated for much of the running time – or, potentially, die. The high-stakes nature of such a twist, and the controversial real-life issues the film may have explored may well have proved a sticking point with producers. Bond films have increasingly toyed with topicality, with Spectre hanging on an initiative to axe field agents in favour of virtual espionage. However, grappling with issues such as sexual assault and Russian influence in geopolitics might have been deemed too great a gamble. Although Mendes and Craig’s tenure has put Bond back in favour with liberal critics as well as punters, Eon Productions, the production company behind the franchise, would be unlikely to want to risk the alienation of a large part of its target market to placate talent. With budgets for Skyfall and Spectre exceeding $300m (£232m), little compromise for the film’s commercial prospects can be countenanced. Boyle and Hodge’s script is unlikely to survive the director’s exit, meaning that Purvis and Wade’s draft will need to be polished up for production, and the entire enterprise overhauled to account for a different story, characters and settings. This would add at least a year to the schedule, and the film may not be released until late-2020, at the earliest. Producers would be reluctant to delay further, as a 2020 release date would already mean a five-year gap between the new film and Spectre. Although there were four years between Craig’s second outing, Quantum of Solace (2008) and his third, Skyfall (2012), the longest break between Bond films is only six years – between Licence to Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995) – and that involved a change of actor in the leading role. This makes it yet more likely that Craig, 50, will call it a day.

Until there was confirmation he would return alongside Boyle, speculation had been rife that the actor, a famously reluctant tuxedo wearer, would move on, with Idris Elba and Tom Hardy among those named as possible candidates to replace him. Promoting Spectre in 2015, Craig said he would rather slash his wrists than reprise the role; months later, his departure seemed all but certain following that of Mendes. In 2016, Craig was reportedly offered $150m to star in another two Bond movies by Broccoli, and this year he was confirmed for at least one more. Craig and Boyle have worked together once before: when the former appeared as Bond, alongside the Queen, in a brief film that featured in the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, which Boyle directed. Mark Tildesley, Boyle’s favoured production designer, was also recruited to the Bond film this year. His future on the project is now unknown.

Boyle’s latest film, a romcom scripted by Richard Curtis, is scheduled for release in September 2019 – just a month before the Bond movie was due to come out. It is distributed by Universal Pictures, which recently took on UK distribution rights to the Bond films from Sony Pictures, which was responsible for getting Boyle’s most recent big screen release, T2: Trainspotting, into cinemas. Possible replacements for Boyle include Christopher Nolan, Christopher McQuarrie and Susanne Bier. McQuarrie’s latest film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was widely praised for its Bond-style plot and stunts.

The film, which stars Tom Cruise, has so far made $500m at the box office.


CBB’s Natalie Nunn and Hardeep Singh Kohli to face public vote on Friday

CBB’s Natalie Nunn and Hardeep Singh Kohli to face public vote on Friday

She has already been branded a bully by viewers. So it’s perhaps not surprising that Natalie Nunn has become the first person to be nominated for eviction in Celebrity Big Brother. The brunette, 33, who shot to notoriety on Bad Girls Club, was put up for ejection by eight of her fellow housemates who are all sick of her brash, aggressive rants. She’ll go head-to-head with Hardeep Singh Kohli, who received six nominations, for a place in the Channel 5 surveillance house. Rodrigo Alves landed three nominations, while Chloe and Kirstie getting two each. Nick Leeson, Roxanne Pallett, Sally Morgan, Ryan Thomas and Gabby all got one apiece. Only Ben Jardine and Dan Osborne managed to avoid getting any nominations. Natalie Nunn received eight nominations from her housemates

Unfortunately, despite being the least popular resident, it seems that the housemates will be forced to share their living space with Natalie for a bit longer. According to Betfair, Hardeep is most likely to be evicted first with odds of 3/1. This is despite the fact Natalie launched into another huge tantrum during the nomination process, which saw her demand her housemates admit what their ‘storm’ is. “I want to know who I’m living with. I would like to know thing about people; who the f*** is married, who the f*** isn’t married, why you don’t have a ring on…” she said. “I am going to ask and that’s fine. I can ask and I will ask. It’s not just me, but the viewers at home probably don’t know who any of the motherf*****s are in here either.” Hardeep has constantly clashed with Natalie and some fans have branded her a vile bully

Some fans have branded Natalie a bully on Twitter, insisting that she’s reminiscent of Jade Goody. One viewer said: “It’s uncomfortable to watch Natalie. She best be careful before someone calls it bullying.” Another said: “Natalie’s a nasty piece of work.” However, others fear the show would be boring without her boorish attitude. “If Natalie gets evicted the show will be dead,” said one fan. Natalie and Hardeep will both face the public vote on Friday.


Star Wars actress breaks silence on abuse

The actress is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and the first lead woman of colour in the franchise. Writing in the New York Times, Ms Tran says the abuse revived feelings she experienced growing up. The article addresses her feelings of cultural shame, racial stereotypes and society’s narrow definitions of beauty. “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was ‘other’, that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them,” Tran writes. “I believed those words, those stories, carefully crafted by a society that was built to uphold the power of one type of person – one sex, one skin tone, one existence.” Tran also reveals she and her parents changed their first names after coming to the US so they would be easier for Americans to pronounce. The actress began to receive abuse after being cast as mechanic-turned-Resistance fighter Rose Tico in 2017’s The Last Jedi. She writes that their comments “awakened something deep inside me – a feeling I thought I had grown out of. The same feeling I had when at nine, I stopped speaking Vietnamese altogether because I was tired of hearing other kids mock me. ”

Tran’s co-stars have spoken up in her defence against abusive fans But the actress says she came to realise she had been brainwashed, and shared her hopes for the future. “I want to live in a world where children of colour don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. “I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.” She ends the piece by listing her achievements and writing: “You might know me as Kelly… My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”

Tran deleted all of the posts on her Instagram page The honest opinion piece comes at a time of renewed discussion in the US about the importance of racial representation. Crazy Rich Asians topped the US box office on its debut and Netflix’s new teen rom-com adaption To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is being praised for keeping the novel’s Asian-American lead. Fans online welcomed Tran’s honesty in the New York Times piece on Tuesday.

One social media user wrote: “HIRE KELLY TRAN FOR EVERYTHING!!! AND USE HER REAL NAME!!!” Another said: “Immature misogynistic fan boys can’t ruin Star Wars, as much as they’d like to try.” Tran is not the first Star Wars star to fall victim to cyberbullying. Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley also deleted her Instagram account temporarily in 2016, reportedly due to abuse she received. The Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson described some of the franchise’s fans as “manbabies” for abusing Tran. A “man-only” fan edit of the film, which cut out female characters, was also mocked by Tran’s co-stars Mark Hamill and John Boyega. Boyega has called on fans to stop abusing actors, tweeting: “If you don’t like Star Wars or the characters, understand that there are decisions makers [sic] and harassing the actors/actresses will do nothing. “You’re not entitled to politeness when your approach is rude. Even if you paid for a ticket!”


Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Fans in UPROAR over ‘unfair’ Hardeep and Natalie clash

Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Fans in UPROAR over ‘unfair’ Hardeep and Natalie clash

Tonight’s Celebrity Big Brother became tense from the moment the contestants woke up as Natalie struggled to sleep the night before.

Irritated and tired, the housemate initially ranted over Hardeep’s snoring, claiming she’d “never heard” anything else like it. Already off to a tough start, the housemates focused on their next task to stop all pretend intruders from entering the Big Brother garden – wearing masks ranging from Vladimir Putin to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Despite their best efforts, the housemates failed the task and were faced with a basic shopping budget for the next week. With the entire group gathered round the table, Natalie appeared annoyed when Hardeep requested some items on the list to cook everyone’s meals with. Demanding he take tomato juice off the shopping list, Natalie then fumed: “You’re not making me anything anymore just to be honest with you.”

Later on, with the shopping list completed, Natalie came to speak to Hardeep in the bedroom while he had a lie down. The pair couldn’t agree and their exchange quickly turned heated. “We’re not all in this together,” Natalie declared, before insisting everyone was on the show to win. What’s more, the conversation ended sourly as Hardeep stated his housemate had made it “very clear” they weren’t on the same side, before walking off. Taking to Twitter, viewers were angry at how the situation panned out.

“Natalie…you are a nasty piece of work #celebbb #CelebrityBigBrother @Celebrity_BB #nataliecbb,” one person wrote.

Another said: “Natalie is really unpleasant #CelebrityBigBrother.”

“F***’s sake! Guy tries to make amazing food for everyone night after night and makes a few rubbish jokes along the way. Go on Hardeep. Get in son. #CelebrityBigBrother,” a third raged.

While some viewers were simply disappointed at the latest turn of events, as one tweeted: “#CelebrityBigBrother #CBB It’s a shame that the housemates lost this week’s shopping task. It’s gonna be interesting to see nominations tomorrow. I can guess who certain people will nominate.”

“Finally! A housemate who has seen how creepy Hardeep is. #CBB⁠ ⁠#CBBUK #CelebrityBigBrother,” another added following Psychic Sally Morgan’s conversation with Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett.

Sally admitted: “I don’t really like how he talks to Chloe. I don’t like the way he looks at her when she’s in a costume and that.” “No one should ever make anyone feel uncomfortable,” Roxanne replied. “I just think it’s a shame because he’s so smart – he’s so smart.”

West End star and BBC actor Layton Williams kicked out of Edinburgh Fringe venue in ‘racial profiling’ row

West End star and BBC actor Layton Williams kicked out of Edinburgh Fringe venue in ‘racial profiling’ row

Layton Williams, 23, who played Stephen in Jack Whitehall’s BBC comedy series Bad Education, posted a video on Twitter claiming he had been turned away from the Assembly Hall venue on Sunday. Mr Williams, who has also performed the lead role in Billy Elliot in London’s West End, said he was told he “looked like” somebody who had jumped the fence two weeks earlier. Speaking to the camera, he said: “These people over here [the security] think I was here two weeks ago because I look like another mixed race b***h. “I can prove I wasn’t here two weeks ago. But I’ve just been kicked out of a venue for looking suspicious because I look like somebody else. But that’s not me. “I’ve got the receipts to prove it but they don’t want to see the receipts.” In the clip, he is seen telling security staff: “This is going on Twitter y’all.”

One member of staff, in George Square Gardens, appears to then raise their middle finger towards the young actor. Me Williams adds: “Want to talk about racial profiling? Here it is in the flesh.” Assembly Festival, which is responsible for events at the venue during Edinburgh Fringe, has apologised to Mr Williams for the way its security staff handled the incident.  Layton was previously in Bad Education on the BBC (BBC)

He later tweeted: “Call it profiling or call it racial profiling. Whatever it is, it was a joke and I hope they don’t do this to anyone else again.” He went on to described his so-called “suspicious” outfit, adding: “I wonna [sic] show you my “Suspicious” outfit. If you look closely my socks are GLITTERY! GLITTER SOCKS & a COW JUMPER.”

A number of people responded to the actor with some fans branding the reported incident “disgusting”.  A fellow actor and friend wrote that their night had been “flipped upside down” following the issue.

He was the first mixed race person and the second non-Caucasian to undertake the role. Assembly Festival apologised to the actor. A statement, released on social media, read: “We would like to apologise to Layton Williams for how the incident in George Square Gardens was handled by our staff and security last night. We are currently looking into the situation with our security contractor and will be investigating this further. “We would also like to reassure all performers and audiences that we are committed to making sure that our spaces remain welcoming for everyone attending shows and using our venues.” A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “The Fringe Society believes that everyone should feel welcome at the Fringe, and we are liaising with Assembly who are investigating the incident that took place in Assembly Gardens last night.”


Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is seen as a turning point for Asian representation in Hollywood Crazy Rich Asians beat expectations to take the top spot at the US box office on its opening weekend.

The Warner Brothers film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding is the first romantic comedy in three years to take the top spot. Since it opened five days ago, the film – which cost $30m (£23.5m) – has made an estimated $34m at the box office.

It is the first Hollywood film since The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast. Adapted from Kevin Kwan’s bestseller, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an Asian-American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend’s ultra-wealthy family in Singapore. Analysts have said its universal themes and entertainment value proved popular with moviegoers. ‘Culturally significant’ Jeff Goldstein, Warner Brothers head of domestic distribution, said word of mouth had been key to the film’s success. “This movie is so culturally significant and so unique in that there hasn’t been a cast that’s predominately Asian [in years]. This is one of those few projects that a whole studio comes together with lots of passion.”

Why Crazy Rich Asians could never please all Seen as a turning point for on-screen representation, high profile, affluent Asian-Americans started a social media movement known as the #GoldOpen campaign. The campaign offered free screenings across the US to promote the film and raise awareness about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. The film took more than $25m at the box office over the weekend, which appears to validate the filmmakers’ decision to turn down a lucrative Netflix deal in favour of a riskier cinema release through a Hollywood studio.

The Meg

In second place was the shark thriller The Meg, which earned $21.2m, while the Mark Wahlberg-led action movie Mile 22 placed third, with $13.6m.


Sir Billy Connolly’s Parkinson’s battle taking its toll as comedian ‘no longer recognises close friends’

Billy Connolly’s Parkinson’s battle taking its toll as comedian ‘no longer recognises close friends’

Comedy legend Sir Billy Connolly’s battle with Parkinson’s disease is taking its toll as he struggles to recognise even his oldest friends, Sir Michael Parkinson revealed today. The chat show host spoke of a “sad and awkward” encounter between him and the 75-year-old comedian , who struggled to remember who he was. The news shows just how much the neurodegenerative disorder is taking its toll on Billy’s health – five years after going public with his diagnosis, as the Mirror reports. Michael had flown into New York to present his old friend Billy with an award, but admitted to ‘Saturday Morning With James Martin’ that the comedian couldn’t place him, and questioning how long the pair had known each other. Sir Billy Connelly struggles to place his closest friends, says Sir Michael Parkinson.

“The sadness of Billy now is that wonderful brain is dulled,” Sir Michael said. “I saw him recently – he’s now living in America – and it was very sad, because I was presenting him with a prize at an award ceremony. We had an awkward dinner together, because I wasn’t quite sure if he knew who I was or not.” He went on: “But we were walking out after the presentation to go down and have our picture taken, and he turned to me and put his hand on my shoulders.” Sir Michael said Billy “wasn’t sure where [the dinner] was or what context at all”. The Scottish comedian went public with his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2013

“To know someone as long as I knew and loved Billy… it was an awful thing to contemplate, that that had been taken from him in a sense. “He was just a genius and the best thing that happened to me on the show.” Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s after having surgery for his prostate cancer , and went public with it in 2013 at a Downing Street reception to raise awareness of the condition. Parkinson’s affects the brain and causes involuntary shaking, slow movement and stiff muscles. It can also affect smell, disrupt sleep patterns, cause balance and memory problems and spark depression and anxiety. There is no known cure for the condition. Sir Billy recently said he ‘can’t think about the darkness’

Sir Billy was knighted in October 2017 for services to the world of entertainment and for his charity work. “When I’m in front of people and performing, I don’t give it much attention,” he explained in April last year. “And I perform in spite of it. That’s why I put on the song A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On – just to stick two fingers up to it. “There’s a whole lot of shaking going on. It’s kind of weird, this instability. The only time it stops is when I’m in bed and then I can’t roll over. I’m like a big log. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning because getting out of bed is quite hard.” The only time Sir Billy can stop shaking is when he’s in bed

He went on: “It’s a weird thing because it stopped me playing the banjo and it stopped me smoking cigars. “It seems to creep up on everything I like and take it away from me. It’s like being tested: ‘Cope with that, cope with life without your banjo. Now I’m going to make your hand shake so you can’t tie your fishing flies any more’.” He added: “It’s weird. I’m trying to stay on the light side because the dark side is unthinkable.”


Liam Gallagher joined on stage by Richard Ashcroft as the two remember victims of the Manchester bombing

Liam Gallagher joined on stage by Richard Ashcroft as the two remember victims of the Manchester bombing

In front of 50,000 people at the sold-out Emirates Old Trafford ground, Ashcroft joined Gallagher on guitar and vocals as the two paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing last May.

During their performance, a Manchester bee and the number 22 appeared on the screen to remember those who lost their life.

The former Oasis frontman also paid tribute to Aretha Franklin at the gig during a performance of the Beady Eye song ‘Soul Love.’ On Friday (August 17), Gallagher paid a similar tribute whilst headlining Rize Festival saying Franklin had “the best voice in the universe.”