Adele and SpongeBob triumph at Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

Adele, Jennifer Lawrence and Justin Bieber were among those who scooped up gongs at the Nickelodeon 2016 Kids' Choice Awards. Popular television programme The Voice and cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants also saw off competition to take home a coveted orange trophy.

During the show, singer-songwriter Charlie Puth and hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa performed a medley of One Call Away and See You Again, before taking home the award for Favorite Collaboration. Rapper Silento sang the hit Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), and DNCE closed the event with a performance of their chart-topping single Cake by the Ocean, that culminated with a slime dousing of the audience.

This year’s show handed over some decision making to children watching at home via an interactive digital application that allowed them determine what happened during the live show, including celebrity pranks.

Nickelodeon’s 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards will be available to view on Nickelodeon On Demand on Wednesday, 16 March, at 19.35pm in the UAE.

Varun Dhawan says “fame has mixed blessings”

Varun Dhawan, son of filmmaker David Dhawan, made his glittering Bollywood debut in 2012 with the film Student of the Year alongside Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra. The trappings of fame in recent years, however, have taken their toll says the actor.

“It did take me by surprise. I wasn’t ready for this type of scrutiny but I am learning to deal with it”.

After his film Dilwale, which featured Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, failed to elicit the expected response, there were rumours about him falling out with director Rohit Shetty.

Dhawan took to Twitter to set the record straight with a post that read: “Rohit Shetty has always been one of my favourite directors ... I had such a good time doing ‘Dilwale’ with Rohit sir and sincerely hope I get a chance to work with again.”

The 28-year-old has much to look forward to in 2016 as he will be part of Karan Johar's production Shuddhi and director Sajid Khan's Judwaa 2, which is the remake of Salman Khan's 1997 film Judwaa.

Dhawan has also just wrapped filming in Abu Dhabi of his upcoming release Dishoom in which he shares screen time with John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez.

No stranger to the UAE, Dhawan will return here this week to attend the The Times of India Film Awards in Dubai Sports City from March 17 to 19.

The star has been nominated in the Best Male Actor category for his role in the Indian psychological thriller Badlapur.

Dhawan will also take part in a celebrity performance — following headline act Shah Rukh Khan — at the main awards gala on March 18.

Tickets for TOIFA 2016 Dubai are available on and cost from Dh199. — IANS

Vicky Donor remake in the pipeline

Writer, filmmaker and actor Tanikella Bharani will reprise Bollywood actor Annu Kapoor's role in the yet-untitled Telugu remake of the 2012 comedy-drama Vicky Donor. The upcoming movie will also feature Indian actor Sumanth and actress singer Pallavi Subhash in lead roles.

“Originally, the makers wanted to rope in a popular Bollywood actor. However, since nobody fitting could be found to do justice to the role, they decided to go ahead with Bharani, who they feel is very talented,” a source from the film’s unit said.

Debutant director Malik Ram was very particular that the most apt actor was cast for the role, which earned Annu Kapoor his first National Award in the original film.

Sumanth, who will play the lead, portrayed by Ayushmann Khurrana in the original, is also producing the film, which is expected to hit screens later this year. — IANS

Hollywood race debate continues

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has voiced her concerns about racial inequalities and disparities in Hollywood and its film industry.

The 33-year-old Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens star shared her views in an interview to InStyle magazine.

“There is a real imbalance, from the very creation of the stories and who’s telling them, how and why.” she said “Change has to happen with the writers, the studio, the marketers, the directors. That’s got to be diversified because there is a hunger for the expansion of the role of people of colour in the centre of narratives.”

The 33-year-old star had previously expressed her disappointment over the lack of diversity at the 88th Academy Awards. Amid the diversity row over lack of racial diversity in the nominations, the Oscars ceremony was held here last month. — IANS

Eagles of Death Metal frontman apologises for Paris attack comments

Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has apologised for suggesting security guards at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris may have had advance knowledge of the Islamic State attack at the venue that left 89 people dead.

The California-based Eagles of Death Metal were playing at the Bataclan on November 13 last year when gunmen stormed the venue and shot and killed concertgoers.

Hughes told Fox Business Network in an interview that aired on Wednesday that he learnt six security guards failed to appear for work at the Bataclan the night of the attack and that “it seems rather obvious they had a reason not to show up.”

The owners of the Bataclan had disputed the suggestions Hughes made in the Fox Business Network interview, saying in a statement he had made “grave and defamatory accusations” even though “all the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage” of the guards, according to the entertainment trade publication Variety.

Hughes later apologised for the comment in a statement on the band’s Facebook page.

“I humbly beg forgiveness from the people of France, the staff and security of the Bataclan, my fans, my family, friends and anyone else hurt or offended by the absurd accusations I made in my Fox Business Channel interview,” Hughes said. He said the accusations were “unfounded and baseless”. Indicating he was under stress, Hughes said he has dealt with nightmares and attended therapy since witnessing the attack. — Reuters


Rapper 50 Cent probed by secret service

He’s already explained himself to a bankruptcy court judge, but 50 Cent says the Secret Service is now asking about the wads of “prop” money he used in social media posts.

The rapper, whose name is Curtis Jackson III, wrote in an Instagram post that the Secret Service has asked if the fake money was counterfeited. Making his point with a couple expletives, 50 Cent says he didn’t know.

50 Cent was ordered to appear in bankruptcy court in Hartford on Wednesday, after the judge and US trustee’s office raised questions about his finances, including what looked like cash bundles in his Instagram photos. The pictures included ones of him sitting next to piles of cash arranged to spell “broke,” him in a bed with wads of cash and cash stacks in a refrigerator.

Lawyers for the rapper told Judge Ann Nevins on Wednesday that the cash was fake and used only as marketing props, and they denied suggestions he wasn’t fully reporting his assets. The US trustee’s office is asking Nevins to appoint an independent examiner to review the entertainer’s finances.

The rapper, who burst onto the music scene in 2003 with his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation, citing debts of $36 million and assets of less than $20 million. He and his top creditors have reached a preliminary deal for him to pay at least 74 per cent of his debt to them.

50 Cent also complained in Instagram posts over the weekend about being treated unfairly by the court system. He added he would also be terminating his Instagram account. — AP

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