No new Tolkien films without family’s consent

Plus: Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keys dead; woman sues Bill Cosby claiming underage abuse; Rowling speech to be issued as a book; Kathy Griffin to step into Rivers's shoes on Fashion Police; and Alan Alda asks scientists to explain sleep to children.
Peter Jackson attends the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies at Odeon Leicester Square. Anthony Harvey / Getty Images
Peter Jackson attends the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies at Odeon Leicester Square. Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

New films based on the works of J R R Tolkien are only possible with the permission of the author’s estate, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson said on Tuesday. The New Zealand director was speaking in London a day after the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final instalment in a trilogy that followed Jackson’s successful The Lord of the Rings series. “The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were sold by Professor Tolkien in the late 1960s,” Jackson said at a press conference. “They are the only two works of his that have ever been sold... So without the cooperation of the Tolkien Estate, there can’t be any more films.” – AFP

Rolling Stones’ sax player Bobby Keys dead

Bobby Keys, a saxophonist and lifelong rock’n’roller known to millions for his blasting solo on The Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar, has died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 70. Michael Webb, who played keyboard with Keys, said Keys died on Tuesday after a lengthy illness. Keys had been out on tour with the Stones earlier this year before his health prevented him from performing. “The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys,” the band said in a statement. “Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed.” – AP

Woman sues Bill Cosby claiming underage abuse

Bill Cosby was sued on Tuesday by a southern California woman who claims the comedian molested her in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15 years old. Judy Huth’s sexual battery lawsuit does not specify how much she is seeking from Cosby, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in recent weeks. Huth’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, however, is the first time that a woman has claimed she was underage when she was abused and it is the first lawsuit Cosby has faced claiming sexual abuse since 2005. – AP

Rowling speech to become a book

A new book from J K Rowling will offer no magic – only words of wisdom. The publisher Little, Brown and Company announced on Tuesday that Rowling’s 2008 Harvard University commencement speech will be released in April as the book Very Good Lives. Proceeds will be donated to Lumos, a charity for disadvantaged children that Rowling founded, and to a financial aid programme at Harvard. In her speech, the Harry Potter author spoke of her early struggles as a writer and the importance of failure as a “stripping away of the inessential”. – AP

Kathy Griffin steps into Joan Rivers’s shoes on Fashion Police

Kathy Griffin is the new face of E!’s Fashion Police. The 54-year-old American actress was appointed as the host of the show on Monday three months after original host Joan Rivers died on September 4 during throat surgery. The programme, which has been off the air, will resume broadcasting on January 11 with Golden Globes coverage. Rivers’s former co-stars Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic will return for 17 episodes of Fashion Police next year. Also on the panel is the celebrity stylist and TV personality Brad Goreski. – The National staff

Alan Alda asks scientists a tough one

The actor-turned-part-time professor Alan Alda has a new challenge for scientists: explain sleep to an 11-year-old. The TV and film star, best known for his role in the 1970s sitcom M.A.S.H., has had a lifelong interest in science. The New York native teaches at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University on Long Island. He started the annual Flame Challenge contest in 2011. It asks scientists to explain complex concepts in ways a child can understand. The first year sought an answer to “What is a flame?” That was followed by challenges to explain time and colour. Scientists have until February 13 to submit their answers about sleep in writing, video or graphics. The winning written and video or graphic entries will receive US$1,000 (Dh3,672) cash prizes. – AP

Published: December 3, 2014 04:00 AM

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