December 10, 2023
Annabel Crofts heartbreaking Strictly exit speech leaves children in tears
Annabel Croft gave an emotional speech that left her children in tears as she became the 10th celebrity eliminated from on Sunday night. The 57-year-old former Tennis player lost out following a dance-off with star Bobby Brazier, 20, and professional dancer Dianne Buswell. Annabel, , thanked her dance partner Johannes Radebe and told him he had given her “a reason to get out of bed” as she mourned her husband of 36 years. Her speech came as presenter Tess Daly had asked Annabel if she had any final words. The former tennis champion said: “It’s been the most life-changing and extraordinary experience of my life. I have to congratulate Bobby and Dianne and all the contestants that took part in it. “But obviously, it’s been an amazing, magical experience for me. Johannes, you have been absolutely extraordinary. You have given me a reason to get out of bed and come and dance with you, distract me and to heal me. “I can’t thank you enough for that. You have been so patient, so caring and so loving. You are an unbelievably special human being. I simply adore you. Thank you so much.” Johannes told her: “I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making the decision to come here. Thank you to Strictly Come Dancing for sending her my way. My life is richer with you in it. I hope we dance long after this has ended. You know my heart and I just want to tell you thank you, Annabel.” Annabel added: “It’s been the most incredible rollercoaster ride, I have had every single emotion you can imagine. “I really want to thank Strictly for letting me take part in this competition. Thank you to the judges, for your amazing comments and guiding us all along. “But I also see this as a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and I wish that everyone in the public could see what goes on behind the scenes because it’s quite extraordinary the machinery that makes it work and makes the show what it is. The most wholesome family entertainment magical show with so much glitz and glamour and so much enjoyment for everybody. “It has been amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough. Thank you so much Johannes, for the most special time I have had with you.” The camera cut to her three children, who were in tears. previously admitted she wished her husband could have met her partner . Speaking on in November she spoke about losing her beloved husband, who sadly passed away from stomach cancer in May. She said it has been a "horrific year" and admitted she wishes she could speak to him about Strictly and introduce him to professional dancer Johannes. Annabel said: "It has been a horrific year, it was something I've never anticipated, this was never meant to be how life was going to be, I thought I had a future with my husband, we'd been together since I was 21, 36 years together and I miss him terribly, there is no question about it." "I so want to speak to him about what we are doing, I miss his humour and I really wish that Johannes had met him because I feel like they would have got on so well," she heartbreakingly added. Annabel met her husband Mel in the 1980s and they were happily married for 30 years before his tragic death. Mel was a millionaire from his day Job, while Annabel was a tennis ace who made a name for herself at just 15 before retiring early due to career setbacks. Annabel, who shared children Amber Rose, Lily and Charlie with Mel, made it her mission to honour her late husband on Strictly with Johannes. During the results show, the Strictly professionals performed a group number and Take That performed their new single This Life. Actor Layton and his dance partner Nikita Kuzmin had topped Saturday night’s leaderboard with a combined score of 116 points from their two dances and last week’s performance – including a 40 for their Charleston, which earned a rare standing ovation from Revel Horwood. Soap star Ellie Leach and partner Vito Coppola were second on a combined 111 points, with Brazier in third on 107 and Croft fourth on 98, from the judges’ votes. The remaining three couples will take to the dancefloor next week for the final time. Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air live on Saturday December 16 at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Annabel will be joining host Fleur East on Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two on Monday December 11 at 6.30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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