Elton John postpones tour due to appendicitis

Plus: SRK's new co-star to be revealed; Amanda Bynes appears in court for drug charges; Zanjeer remake different from the original; Britain heads for highest-ever sales of records; reporter struggles with Selena Gomez interview.

Elton John postpones tour due to appendicitis

Elton John has postponed a summer tour because he is suffering from appendicitis. The 66-year-old singer was due to perform in London's Hyde Park on Friday as part of a European tour, but called in doctors after falling ill. "Sir Elton John is expected to undergo surgery in the UK in the coming weeks," said a statement on his website. The cancelled tour includes shows in Italy, Spain and Monaco. John's spokesman said he will return to play in early September. – Reuters

SRK’s new co-star to be revealed

Ever since Shah Rukh Khan and the director and choreographer Farah Khan announced their forthcoming project Happy New Year, speculation has been rife about who will be cast as the lead actress. While several names – from Katrina Kaif to Priyanka Chopra and Parineeti Chopra – had been put forward, it appears a newcomer has secured the role. The Hindustan Times reports that Farah Khan picked an actress in her 20s – chosen from more than 70 competitors – to play the leading lady. Audiences may have to wait until September to find out her identity. – The National staff

Amanda Bynes in court for drug charges

Amanda Bynes wore a long aqua wig and false eyelashes for a court appearance on Tuesday on allegations that she chucked drug paraphernalia out of the window of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment. The 27-year-old actress did not speak during the hearing but drew a throng of photographers outside the Manhattan criminal court building. Bynes was arrested on May 23 on drug charges after she was reported to police by her building officials. A day later, in her first court appearance, she wore a dishevelled blond wig. In a Twitter post after that appearance, she accused the officers who arrested her of sexual assault. She also has recently taken to social media to criticise a host of celebrities, including Cher, Drake and Rihanna. "Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are ugly!" Bynes tweeted on Monday. – AP

Zanjeer remake unlike the original

The filmmaker Apoorva Lakhia says his new movie Zanjeer, a remake of the 1973 classic, is different from the original. Produced by Amit Mehra, the film has the southern Indian star Ram Charan Teja reprising Amitabh Bachchan's role. Priyanka Chopra takes the role of Mala, originally played by Jaya Bachchan. "I'm very happy with the way the film has shaped up. This project is close to my heart and it's different from the original. It's a commercial film and I'm eagerly waiting for its release," said Lakhia. The film will be out on September 6. – The National staff

Britain heads for highest records sales

This year looks set to be the biggest ever for sales of single records in Britain, thanks in part to smash hits like Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, according to the Official Charts Company. Single sales have risen by six per cent in the past year, making it the fifth consecutive year that the sales record has been broken, the company said. This year, nearly every single in the Official Top 40 chart has sold more than 300,000 copies. Get Lucky is the biggest single of the year, selling a million copies since it was released a little more than 10 weeks ago. – Reuters

Reporter struggles with Gomez interview

When the Toronto Star reporter Vinay Menon went to interview the pop star Selena Gomez, he wasn't prepared for such a highly controlled scenario: mobile phones and digital recorders were collected and put in a plastic bag, note-taking was prohibited and Justin Bieber-related inquiries were forbidden. "Listening to 60-90 seconds of 11 overproduced pop songs while trying to formulate insightful mental questions under duress in a strange hotel room," Menon wrote about the album preview held before the interview. Menon was eventually given 10 minutes with Gomez, where the only good quote from the 20-year-old came after she was asked to describe herself: "I'm super laid-back. I'm from Texas. I love my family. I still live with my parents. I drive the same car that I've driven since I was 16. That's who I am." – The National staff

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