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Bruce Forsyth, veteran British TV host and entertainer, dies

Bruce Forsyth, a legendary entertainer, host and quizmaster on English television whose career spanned the history of TV, has died.

The BBC announced that Forsyth, who had brightened its airwaves for decades, died Friday at his home. He was 89.

Dapper and mustachioed, with a toothy smile and cheeky charm, he was a television presence for 75 years, earning him recognition by Guinness World Records in 2012 for having had the longest on-screen television career for a male entertainer.

Most recently he co-hosted "Strictly Come Dancing," a popular dance competition that premiered on BBC One in 2004 and where he delivered such crowd-pleasing catchphrases as "Nice to see you, to see you nice" and "Give us a whirl!" He retired from the program in 2013.

Born the son of a garage owner in a suburb of London, Forsyth took up tap dancing as a lad after seeing a Fred Astaire film. He first appeared on TV in 1939 as a child dancer on a show called "Come and Be Televised" and made his stage debut at the age of 14 with his billed-at-the-bottom act "Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom."

Forsyth's first major TV success came in 1958, when he was signed to host a weekly variety show, "Sunday Night at the London Palladium." It drew a then-remarkable audience of 10 million viewers and reportedly caused pubs to empty out as airtime approached and pub patrons headed home to watch the show. In the process, he was said to be Britain's highest-paid entertainer.

He hosted a number of game shows including "Play Your Cards Right," ''The Price is Right" and "The Generation Game," which at its peak, attracted 20 million viewers.

Decades later, he experienced a career lull, then found a professional renaissance with "Strictly Come Dancing."

Forsyth was knighted in 2011.

Citing Trump remarks, entire president's arts council quits

Another presidential advisory committee appears to be breaking up.

Actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and the entire membership of the President's Committee On the Arts and Humanities have announced their resignation. A letter dated Friday, and signed by 16 of 17 committee members, cited the "false equivalence" of President Donald Trump's comments about last weekend's "Unite the Right" gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump has blamed "many sides" for the demonstrations that left an anti-racism activist dead.

"Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions," the letter reads. "Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too."

The only member whose name did not appear was Broadway director George C. Wolfe. Representatives for Wolfe at Creative Arts Agency said Friday that he was also resigning and that his name would be added to the letter.

Earlier this week, two business advisory councils were disbanded as members left in protest.

The arts and humanities committee was established in 1982 under President Ronald Reagan and, with the first lady serving as honorary chair, works with both government and private agencies in promoting the arts. Others signing the resignation letter included Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri; and Vicki Kennedy, widow of Edward M. Kennedy. All were appointed by President Barack Obama.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Hot stock tip: Chicken Soup for the Soul

"These are the times that try men's souls," was written more than two centuries ago, but given events this week, they could have popped up in any blog or tweet in recent days.

What better time then, for a little Chicken Soup for the Soul?

The provider of positive vibes is becoming a publicly traded company Friday, and not a moment too soon.

The company, called Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc., offered 2.5 million shares for $12 each.

Chicken Soup produces television programs and online videos, but is best known for the books sold under the same name, with more than 250 published titles in 40 languages.

The company was founded by motivational speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen in 1993. They sold what was still essentially a company focused on books in 2008.

Since then, Chicken Soup has turned to video production and distribution. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment CEO William Rouhana described it as a Netflix for Chicken Soup fans.

The positive content offered by the company is important right now given the divisions among Americans, Rouhana said.

Chicken Soup held what is known as a "mini initial public offering," which gives smaller investors and individuals the ability to buy shares.

Startups, through a mini IPO, can raise up to $50 million. Chicken Soup is raising $30 million. Rouhana said that the company's offering is hopefully laying the groundwork for other companies to do small cap IPOs.

Already an investor in Chicken Soup is actor Ashton Kutcher, who has been active with startup companies for years.

Chicken Soup bought Kutcher's media company A Plus late last year, and Kutcher became an investor in Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Other investors weren't feeling cheered on the first day of trading, however. Shares of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment slid about 12 percent Friday.

WATCH: Shania Twain performs her brand new song

Watch Shania Twain perform her new single, “Swingin' with My Eyes Closed" for the Tonight Show audience.

Fox's James Murdoch slams Trump's Charlottesville response

The CEO of 21st Century Fox denounced racism and terrorists while expressing concern over President Donald Trump's reaction to the deadly violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

James Murdoch also told friends in a personal email that he and his wife, Kathryn, will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.

Murdoch writes that the events in Charlottesville last weekend and Trump's response "concern all of us as Americans and free people."

"I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists," Murdoch added. "Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so."

Trump has put the blame for the violence on both white nationalists and those protesting the gathering last weekend, saying there were "very fine people" on both sides.

Murdoch is the son of 21st Century Fox's co-executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, a Trump ally who The New York Times reported recently dined with the president at the White House. The company is the corporate parent of Fox News Channel, which has given friendly coverage to the president.

The email was first reported by the Times Thursday.

Tina Fey returns to 'Weekend Update' to talk Charlottesville

Tiny Fey has returned to "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live" to discuss the violence surrounding a white nationalist rally near her alma mater's campus in Charlottesville.

Fey sported a University of Virginia sweatshirt Thursday on "Weekend Update: Summer Edition."

She says it broke her heart to see "these evil forces" descend on Charlottesville.

She also criticized President Donald Trump for blaming "both sides" for the violence. She says, "Nazis are always bad. I don't care what you say."

She noted that another white nationalist rally is planned for Saturday in New York and joked that she hopes neo-Nazis in the city "get the ham salad kicked out of them by a bunch of drag queens."

Fey co-hosted the "Weekend Update" segment from 2000 to 2006.

Robin Thicke's girlfriend announces pregnancy

April Love Geary made the announcement on Instagram Thursday alongside a sonogram image. She writes that "the due date is March 1st, Alan's birthday!" The actor died in December at age 69.

Robin Thicke has been dating the 22-year-old model since his divorce from actress Paula Patton in 2015. This would be the second child for the 40-year-old Thicke. His son with Patton, Julian, was born in 2010.

Thicke's publicist didn't immediately return a request for comment.

NASA, PBS marking 40 years since Voyager spacecraft launches

Forty years after blasting off, Earth's most distant ambassadors — the twin Voyager spacecraft — are carrying sounds and music of our planet ever deeper into the cosmos.

Think of them as messages in bottles meant for anyone — or anything — out there.

This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of NASA's launch of Voyager 2, now almost 11 billion miles distant. It departed from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 20, 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn.

Voyager 1 followed a few weeks later and is ahead of Voyager 2. It's humanity's farthest spacecraft at 13 billion miles away and is the world's only craft to reach interstellar space, the vast mostly emptiness between star systems. Voyager 2 is expected to cross that boundary during the next few years.

Each carries a 12-inch, gold-plated copper phonograph record (there were no CDs or MP3s back then) containing messages from Earth: Beethoven's Fifth, chirping crickets, a baby's cry, a kiss, wind and rain, a thunderous moon rocket launch, African pygmy songs, Solomon Island panpipes, a Peruvian wedding song and greetings in dozens of languages. There are also more than 100 electronic images on each record showing 20th-century life, traffic jams and all.

NASA is marking the anniversary of its back-to-back Voyager launches with tweets, reminisces and still captivating photos of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune taken by the Voyagers from 1979 through the 1980s.

Public television is also paying tribute with a documentary, "The Farthest - Voyager in Space," airing Wednesday on PBS at 9 p.m. EDT.

The two-hour documentary describes the tense and dramatic behind-the-scenes effort that culminated in the wildly successful missions to our solar system's outer planets and beyond. More than 20 team members are interviewed, many of them long retired. There's original TV footage throughout, including a lookback at the late astronomer Carl Sagan of the 1980 PBS series "Cosmos." It also includes an interview with Sagan's son, Nick, who at 6 years old provided the English message: "Hello from the children of Planet Earth."

Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco — who joined Voyager's imaging team in 1980 — puts the mission up there with man's first moon landing.

"I consider Voyager to be the Apollo 11 of the planetary exploration program. It has that kind of iconic stature," Porco, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

It was Sagan who, in large part, got a record aboard each Voyager. NASA was reluctant and did not want the records eclipsing the scientific goals. Sagan finally prevailed, but he and his fellow record promoters had less than two months to rustle everything up.

The identical records were the audio version of engraved plaques designed by Sagan and others for Pioneers 10 and 11, launched in 1972 and 1973.

The 55 greetings for the Voyager Golden Records were collected at Cornell University, where Sagan taught astronomy, and the United Nations in New York. The music production fell to science writer Timothy Ferris, a friend of Sagan living then in New York.

For the musical selections, Ferris and Sagan recruited friends along with a few professional musicians. They crammed in 90 minutes of music recorded at half-speed; otherwise it would have lasted just 45 minutes.

How to choose from an infinite number of melodies and melodious sounds representing all of Earth?

Beethoven, Bach and Mozart were easy picks. Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven represented jazz, Blind Willie Johnson gospel blues.

For the rock 'n' roll single, the group selected Chuck Berry's 1958 hit "Johnny B. Goode." Bob Dylan was a close runner-up, and the Beatles also rated high. Elvis Presley's name came up (Presley died four days before Voyager 2's launch). In the end, Ferris thought "Johnny B. Goode" best represented the origins and creativity of rock 'n' roll.

Ferris still believes it's "a terrific record" and he has no "deep regrets" about the selections. Even the rejected tunes represented "beautiful materials."

"It's like handfuls of diamonds. If you're concerned that you didn't get the right handful or something, it's probably a neurotic problem rather than anything to do with the diamonds," Ferris told the AP earlier this week.

But he noted: "If I were going to start into regrets, I suppose not having Italian opera would be on that list."

The whole record project cost $30,000 or $35,000, to the best of Ferris' recollection.

NASA estimated the records would last 1 billion to 3 billion years or more — potentially outliving human civilization.

For Ferris, it's time more than distance that makes the whole idea of finders-keepers so incomprehensible.

A billion years from now, "Voyager could be captured by an advanced civilization of beings that don't exist yet ... It's literally imponderable what will happen to the Voyagers," he said.

Shawn Mendes to headline return of ‘MTV Unplugged’

“MTV Unplugged” is returning to television, and Shawn Mendes will be the first singer to appear on the show, Variety reported.

>> Read more trending news

Mendes will appear in the season premiere in a performance shot at Los Angeles’ Theater at Ace Hotel. The show will air on Sept. 8, Variety reported.

Mendes currently holds the No. 1 spot in Top 40 radio with his single, “Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.”

“MTV Unplugged” ran on the music video station from 1989 to 2009 and featured artists playing acoustic versions of their songs. Past performers included Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Eric Clapton.

Mendes told Variety he was excited to be a part of the show after seeing Pearl Jam’s 1992 session.

“It wasn't so much about the commercial, showman side of it; It was really about the music,” he said.

Acclaimed modernist architect Gunnar Birkerts dies at 92

Gunnar Birkerts, an internationally acclaimed modernist architect who designed buildings including the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and the University of Michigan Law Library, has died. He was 92.

His son, Sven Birkerts, said his father died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at his home in Needham, Massachusetts.

Birkerts was born in Riga, Latvia, on Jan. 17, 1925, but fled during World War II when he was in his teens. He made his way to Stuttgart, Germany, where he began studying architecture. In 1949, Birkerts emigrated to the United States. He was based in the Detroit area for much of his career and worked for several different architecture firms before he and a colleague, Frank Straub, founded Birkerts and Straub in 1962. He eventually went on to lead his own firm, Gunnar Birkerts and Associates, for decades. He also taught architecture at the University of Michigan from 1959-1990.

Birkerts was widely known for his use of light in his designs.

Some of his other notable buildings include the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, the IBM headquarters in Sterling Forest, New York, and the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela.

His final work, the National Library of Latvia in Riga, opened in 2014 and is now widely known as "The Castle of Light." The American Institute of Architects awarded the library its 2017 Library Building Award.

Birkerts is survived by his wife, Sylvia, a fellow Latvian who he met in Germany and married in 1950, their three children and seven grandchildren.

Stand-alone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie may be in works

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that an Oscar-nominated director is in talks to direct a new “Star Wars” film about , the mentor to Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

>> Read more trending news 

Director Stephen Daldry directed “Billy Elliott” and “The Hours,” among other works. There’s reportedly no script yet — it is very early — but if the project goes forward Daldry would work with Lucasfilm to write, develop, and cast the story.

>> RELATED: Some genius improved this already awesome “Game of Thrones” scene by replacing the swords with lightsabers

According to Entertainment Weekly, the movie (or movies) would fall between the very first film in the “Star Wars” franchise and “Revenge of the Sith,” released in 2005.

The film is one of several spinoffs that tell stories within the “Star Wars” universe without involving the primary plot, according to the Reporter. That includes a Han Solo spinoff currently in shooting and potential films centered on Yoda and Boba Fett.

Cafe no longer being probed in death of Chris Berman's wife

Connecticut officials say they have closed an investigation of a restaurant after finding no violations in connection with a car crash that killed the wife of longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman.

The state Liquor Control Division investigated whether 67-year-old Katherine Berman was served alcohol at the Good News Cafe in Woodbury before the May 9 crash. Officials announced Thursday that no violations were found.

Restaurant owner Carole Peck said the cafe was closed on the day of the accident.

State police and liquor control officials are still investigating the crash.

Katherine Berman, of Cheshire, was killed when her vehicle hit the rear of an SUV and flipped over in Woodbury. The 87-year-old SUV driver also died.

The results of toxicology tests on Katherine Berman have not been released.

Spotify pulls white supremacist music from the service

Spotify pulled more than three dozen artists and bands from the streaming music service after they were identified as supporting ideas of white supremacy in a post on a music news site.

>> Read more trending news 

The post, published Monday on DigitalMusicNews.com, identified dozens of musicians and groups on the streaming music platform that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had named “hate bands” in a 2014 list

According to Digital Music News, the SPLC compiled the list in an effort to urge Apple to remove the bands’ music from its platform.

The music news site found at least eight other related bands on Spotify with help from its algorithm for recommended music and artists.

“In the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville and an increasingly vocal, post-Trump white supremacy voice, the presence of white supremacy music on Spotify takes on a different light,” Digital Music News writer Paul Resnikoff wrote in an effort to call attention to Spotify’s musical offering.

Less than 24 hours after the article was published, Spotify scrapped the music from its platform.

“Illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us,” a Spotify spokesperson said. “Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention. We are glad to have been alerted to this content and have already removed many of the bands identified ... whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”

According to CNN, Spotify uses government lists of offensive music and bands to help police its platform. 

The streaming service said it would review any content “that is in clear violation of (Spotify’s) internal guidelines which includes content that clearly incites hatred or violence,” CNN reported.

Read more at DigitalMusicNews.comCNN and Billboard.

LeToya Luckett engaged a year after divorce

Former Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett has a lot to celebrate.

A year after ending her marriage to relationship expert Rob Hill Sr., she is engaged to a new man she has quietly been dating.

Essence reported that, according to photos and videos posted on Instagram, the original member of Destiny’s Child became engaged to Dallas entrepreneur Tommicus Walker after throwing him a surprise birthday party.

Luckett confirmed the news on her own Instagram page early Thursday.

“I said , ‘Yes yeeeesssss’ on his Burfday!” she captioned the photo.

In August 2016, TMZ reported that the “In the Name of Love” singer quietly got  a divorce after getting married in January “but split after just 2 months and change.”

Ebony reported that Luckett’s brother, Gavin Luckett, posted a video of the proposal on his Instagram page hours after Luckett confirmed the news.

From the video, it’s clear Luckett got a hefty-looking sparkler that she was happy to show off. 

Congrats to the couple!

HBO regains control of hacked social media accounts

HBO says it has regained control of its social media accounts after the latest security breach to hit the entertainment company.

The hacking group OurMine on Wednesday night took over several of HBO's Twitter accounts, including ones for "Game of Thrones" and John Oliver's show. The group posted that "we are just testing your security" and asked HBO to contact it for an upgrade.

HBO said in a statement Thursday that "the infringement on our social media accounts was recognized and rectified quickly." It declined further comment.

OurMine has a history of similar hacks showing companies' security vulnerabilities.

It caused far less damage and appeared unrelated to another group of hackers who broke into HBO's computer network and have been doling out stolen information and unaired episodes for several weeks.

Johnny Depp surprises patients at British Columbia Children’s Hospital

Captain Jack Sparrow left the high seas for a special meet and greet.

But it wasn’t some look-alike.

It was Jack Sparrow himself, er, make that Johnny Depp.

>> Read more trending news 

Depp, who has been known to visit hospitals around the world dressed as his pirate alter ego, stopped by BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, Monday to bring smiles to the patients and their families.

He spent more than 5 ½ hours meeting with kids from the oncology, general pediatrics and neurology areas.

The starstruck children and parents said that he never broke character and spent time making each child feel special.

The hospital treats 86,000 children each year and is the province’s only full-service acute care pediatric hospital.

Cash family: Keep Johnny's name away from 'hateful ideology'

The children of Johnny Cash are asking white supremacists and other hate groups not to wear or use the country singer's name or image.

In a Wednesday night Facebook post shared by Cash's daughter Rosanne and son John Carter Cash, the siblings say they were "sickened" to learn a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi was wearing a T-shirt with their father's name at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted into deadly violence.

The man in question was interviewed Saturday on Fox News Channel.

The post says the late country music legend's heart "beat with the rhythm of love and social justice" and adds that Cash would be "horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred."

They requested his name "be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology."

The post, also signed by Kathy, Cindy and Tara Cash, says the family values love and kindness, respects diversity and cherishes "our shared humanity."

Johnny Cash died in 2003.

Helen Hunt and boyfriend Matthew Carnahan split after 16 years

Actress Helen Hunt and boyfriend Matthew Carnahan have broken up after a 16-year relationship, according to reports.

>> Read more trending news 

“She has been split up with Matthew for several months. They had a rocky relationship and many offs and ons over the years. They stayed together as long as they did because of their daughter,” an unnamed source close to the actress told E! News. “They’ve split up before, but this time seems to be different.”

RELATED: Anna Faris gave a fan heartfelt relationship advice in the wake of her split from husband Chris Pratt

Hunt, 54, and Carnahan, 56, had been dating since 2001 and share a 13-year-old daughter together. Carnahan has a 20-year-old son from a previous relationship.

Another source confirmed the news to PEOPLE, indicating that the former couple have broken up before in the past and “have had trouble getting along for several years.”

“Friends were shocked. Helen and Matthew always appeared to be super in love,” another insider told In Touch. “Their married friends would joke that they were jealous of their relationship.”

The breakup comes two years after Hunt announced that she and Carnahan were developing a TV series together, but she hasn’t spoken of the project since.

Katy Perry changes tour dates due to 'production delays'

Katy Perry says she's pushing back the start of her new tour because of "unavoidable production delays."

The pop star's "Witness: The Tour" will now begin Sept. 19 in Montreal. Perry said in a statement Thursday that "major elements of my tour stage design could not be available for me to rehearse on until this week."

The tour was originally planned to kick off Sept. 7 in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets purchased for the original concert dates will be honored at its new date. Refunds are also available at point of purchase.

Perry said that she's "sorry for any inconvenience this causes."

The singer also announced that Carly Rae Jepsen, Noah Cyrus and Purity Ring will open for her on the road.

_____

Online:

https://www.katyperry.com/

Nobel winner shot for promoting education to study at Oxford

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls' rights to an education, has been accepted by the University of Oxford.

The 20-year-old activist shared word of her acceptance on Twitter and included the screenshot of her "Congratulations" notice. She plans to major in philosophy, politics and economics, the favored degree of many of Britain's top leaders.

"So excited to go to Oxford!!" she tweeted Thursday.

Yousafzai will study at Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford college whose notable alumni include the late Benazir Bhutto, the one-time leader of Pakistan and a hero of Yousafzai's, and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Yousafzai won international renown in 2012 after she was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as a teenager for speaking out for the right of girls to go to school, a topic she started raising publicly as an 11-year-old with a blog.

After being treated at a hospital in Birmingham, England, she continued her education in the city and went on to win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

"As far as I know, I am just a committed and even stubborn person who wants to see every child getting quality education, who wants to see women having equal rights and who wants peace in every corner of the world," she said on the day she collected the Nobel. "Education is one of the blessings of life, and one of its necessities."

Her acceptance to such a famed university marks a milestone in Malala's steady progression to achieve her dreams. Social media erupted into the technological equivalent of rounds of applause.

Among those offering accolades were author J.K. Rowling and Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian newspaper who is now the principal of Lady Margaret Hall. He tweeted: "Welcome to @lmhoxford, Malala!"

Others pointed out that Oxford was about to get a Nobel laureate not on the faculty but in the student body.

"To be fair, I think we should be congratulating Oxford," novelist Julian Furman tweeted.

Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, all but burst with pride.

"My heart is full of gratitude," he tweeted. "We are grateful to Allah & thank u 2 al those who support @Malala 4 the grand cause of education."

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