More than 30,000 people followed actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Twitter within 24 hours of him joining the microblogging site.
He joined on Tuesday, on the occasion of Republic Day, and his handle “@ikamalhaasan” is already verified.
His daughter, Shruti Haasan, was the first to welcome him. His first tweet was a video of him singing the national anthem, composed by maestro Ilayaraja.
“India’s freedom struggle remains unique even today. Respecting it is [the] only way to keep it & set new world standards,” he wrote. – IANS
Trevor Noah writing book of essays
Trevor Noah is upholding a tradition set by his Daily Show predecessor, Jon Stewart: he is writing a book.
Publisher Spiegel & Grau has acquired a collection of personal essays by the 31-year-old about “growing up in South Africa during the last gasps of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise”.
“I couldn’t find a good book about myself so I decided to write one,” said Noah. “And just like me, this book doesn’t have an appendix.”
The as-yet untitled book is due out in November. Publishing sources close to the negotiations said the deal was worth more than US$3 million (Dh11m).
Stewart, who left The Daily Show last year, collaborated with the programme’s team on the 2004 best-seller America (The Book). – AP
Kids’ book wins UK’s Costa prize
Britain’s Frances Hardinge has become the first children’s author since His Dark Materials writer Philip Pullman, 14 years ago, to win the prestigious Costa Book of the Year award.
The Lie Tree is a 19th-century detective novel in which teenager Faith tries to uncover the truth about her father’s mysterious death.
Hardinge saw off the competition, including Kate Atkinson’s A God In Ruins, to snatch the Â£30,000 (Dh158,000) prize.
Paying tribute to the book during Tuesday’s ceremony in London, chairman of the judging panel James Heneage said: “I think this brilliantly articulates what goes on in a clever 14-year-old girl’s mind, particularly one who has this deep interest in science.”
Pullman won the prize in 2001 for The Amber Spyglass, the final part of His Dark Materials trilogy. – AFP
Miley Cyrus to star in Woody Allen TV series
Woody Allen’s latest project has an unlikely new female star: Miley Cyrus.
The 23-year-old will appear in the 80-year-old filmmaker’s as-yet untitled TV series for Amazon’s video-streaming service, a spokeswoman for the singer said.
Cyrus will star alongside Elaine May in the six half-hour episodes, which are due to debut this year.
On Instagram, Cyrus posted a painting of Allen that she said had been next to her bed for years. She wrote that she was “looking into his eyes when I got the call to be a part of the cast”.
Allen has voiced regrets about agreeing to make his first foray into streaming television. At the Cannes Film Festival in May, he called it “a catastrophic mistake”. – AFP
Godfather star Abe Vigoda dies at 94
Abe Vigoda, the sad-faced star of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film The Godfather, died of age-related causes on Tuesday. He was 94.
He died at the home of his daughter Carol Vigoda Fuchs in New Jersey. “She went to get him something to drink and when she came back he was gone,” said Vigoda’s manager, Sid Craig, who represented him for decades.
Vigoda was born in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. The actor cut his teeth on Broadway but arguably his greatest on-screen impact came when he played sunken-eyed mafioso Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather.
He also appeared on the TV comedy, Barney Miller, and its spin-off, Fish. – AFP
Conrad Hilton ordered into drug treatment
Paris Hilton’s brother Conrad Hilton has been ordered to undergo treatment for substance abuse after failing drug tests and violating his probation.
A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday ordered Hilton into a residential treatment programme for at least 90 days.
The judge rejected a request by authorities to put him behind bars for 60 days.
The 21-year-old was sentenced to probation and community service last year after pleading guilty to disrupting a British Airways flight. Authorities say he violated probation by trespassing, failing drug tests, failing to complete three treatment programmes and travelling out of California without permission from his probation officer. – AP
Source: art & life