January 02, 2024
Declan Donnelly leaves pubgoers completely speechless as he takes to the stage
I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! presenter Dec Donnelly stunned his local pub on New Year's Eve by taking to the mic and belting out a hit by Billy Joel. Back home in his native North East, the 48-year-old treated regulars at The Badger in Ponteland, Northumberland to a performance of Piano Man alongside local band, The Optics. In a video shared online, punters could be seen cheering as the ITV star read the 1973 ballad's lyrics on his phone and impressively managed to reach the high notes. Dressed in a smart blue shirt, Dec sang, "Now John at the bar is a friend of mine.. He gets me my drinks for free..." in the clip, prompting those looking on to raise their glasses in support. The crowd appeared to be delighted by the return of one of the area's most famous sons following his month in the Australian jungle. Dec joined local band The Optics at Ponteland's The Badger pub ( Image: theopticsmusic_/Instagram) Dec is reportedly a regular at the pub this time of year following his stints with best pal Ant McPartlin Down Under ( Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images) Jeans loved by Frankie Bridge are perfect for Christmas parties and have 50% off One pub-goer told the Sun : "Dec was in on New Year's Eve with his family. They seemed to be having a great time. He is such a lovely person. Exactly like he is on TV. It was a fantastic atmosphere. He comes here a lot. His sister also comes. You could actually say Dec is a regular and he often sings on New Year's Eve." Later in the evening, meanwhile, Dec headed back to the three-bedroom home of his mum, Annie, where he grew up with his six siblings. In somewhat less modest circumstances, meanwhile, last week it was reported that Dec had splashed out £2.25 million on an "eyesore" property next door to his massive £7 million mansion in West London. According to insiders, Dec has applied to renovate the boarded-up property after his neighbours feared it would go to "rack and ruin". Per sources, documents show Dec and his wife Ali Astall have applied to build a single-storey side and rear extension on the property in the UK capital. "The street Dec lives in is very swanky and lined with large detached houses and his place is one of the most impressive mansions there," said an insider close to the Donnelly family. "But other neighbours have taken less care of their properties and the one bang next door to Dec had been allowed to become a bit of an eyesore," they told The Sun. "Most people would have to live with seeing it go to rack and ruin but Dec has taken the initiative and snapped it up when it came on the market. "The front has already been secured and boarded up ready for the rebuild and the planning application has gone in. And if it’s a patch on Dec’s place when it’s done, it’ll be a terrific investment." *Follow Mirror Celebs on Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads .
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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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