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Entertainment: British actors, Rosie's divorce, Caitlyn on 'Transparent,' Nate Berkus
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-04-05

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Out individuals Ben Whishaw, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Sir Ian McKellen were among those receiving nominations for the BAFTA ( British Academy of Film and Television Arts ) TV Awards, according to Deadline. Downton Abbey, despite this being its final eligible year, received no nods; BAFTA did honor it with a special prize last summer, though. The awards will be handed out May 8.

Rosie O'Donnell and ex-wife Michelle Rounds have settled their divorce and planned to make it official, Page Six reported. They reached a settlement late last year, with with O'Donnell joking, "There's peace in the Middle East." O'Donnell filed to split from Rounds in February last year after just more than two years of marriage. Sources confirmed the settlement was in line with the couple's prenup, and the two would share joint legal custody of their daughter, Dakota.

Bette Midler's wit was again on display in a tweet about Justin Bieber's latest nude pic, according to NewNowNext.com . Midler tweeted, "Justin Bieber Instagrammed a nude pic on Easter Sunday. His eggs were hidden, but he was definitely serving two hams." Midler recently made headlines for her nude-selfie-inspired Twitter spat with Kim Kardashian.

Married interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are getting a design show of their very own, Page Six noted. Set to debut late this year, Married to Design: Nate & Jeremiah will follow the couple as they try to help homeowners turn lost causes into dream homes. The couple, who married in 2014, welcomed daughter Poppy to the family last year.

Caitlyn Jenner is joining the cast of the acclaimed Amazon streaming series Transparent in the show's third season, Page Six reported. The show's creator and executive producer Jill Soloway called the news "a dream come true" in an interview April 2 at the GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills. Transparent follows transgender character Maura Pfefferman ( Jeffrey Tambor ) as she comes out as a woman to friends and family.

Country music icon Dolly Parton, film legend Sylvester Stallone and comedian Jim Gaffigan will be honored at the 67th annual Christopher Awards, to be presented in New York City on May 19, a press release stated. The Christopher Awards were created in 1949 to celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work "affirms the highest values of the human spirit."

Eight months after a documentary about out gay diver Greg Louganis inspired an online petition asking that he be belatedly featured on the cover of a Wheaties box, the cereal's maker is announcing that it will do just that, The New York Times reported. The image of Louganis, 56, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, will begin appearing on Wheaties boxes next month; the hurdler Edwin Moses and the swimmer Janet Evans, two other previously overlooked Olympic champions, will appear on boxes separately, too. The boxes will be in stores from May through at least the summer. The campaign to put him on the Wheaties box, a symbol of sports achievement for 80 years, began last August with the release of a documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis, on HBO.

Waylon Smithers Jr., voiced by Harry Shearer, came out as gay to Mr. Burns on a episode of the long-running Fox show The Simpsons, LGBTQ Nation noted. The episode also features Homer trying to find Smithers a boyfriend on Grindr. Later, Marge and Homer host a party full of gay men in the hopes that Smithers will find a significant other. However, some activists were disappointed that Smithers never expressly said, "I'm gay."

Beyonce took to Instagram to announce her latest venture with co-founder Sir Philip Green: an activewear line named Ivy Park, according to Page Six. Meanwhile, Topshop ( of which Green is the chairman ) posted a more direct announcement on its Instagram account, with a photo of the "Love on Top" singer wearing the same bodysuit emblazoned with the brand's logo. It's officially slated to launch April 14.

United States men's national team players Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore made jokes at the expense of Abby Wambach following the former U.S. women's star's DUI arrest, ESPNFC.com reported. Wambach, the world's leading international goal scorer among both men and women, was arrested in Portland, Oregon. Upon the lesbian icon's retirement in December, Wambach had criticized U.S. men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann for bringing in "a bunch of these foreign guys." Referring to that interview, Bedoya tweeted that Wambach's arrest "must've been a foreign American player's fault." Wambach has since apologized for the arrest.

Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe—complete with a new beard and nose ring—recently covered David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" on The Tonight Show, according to Newsweek. It was one of only a handful of appearances the "Losing My Religion" singer has made since R.E.M. ended things in 2011 and, though the nature of the visit was unknown, Stipe was scheduled to participate in two David Bowie tribute concerts on Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1, at New York City's Carnegie Hall.

Patrick Schwarzenegger and Taylor Lautner were among those attending the 2016 Generosity Water Launch Event March 22 at Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, according to Just Jared. The event celebrated World Water Day, which brings awareness to the 663 million people who don't have access to safe water. Through its charity partner, Generosity.org, every bottle of Generosity Water purchased provides access to clean water to two people per month.

Heiress Gloria Vanderbilt's journey is traced in The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Loss And Love—which took shape as a series of emails while planning the new documentary Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper, which premieres on HBO April 9, USA Today noted. Among other things, the book recalls when the sexuality of her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, was questioned in court. ( "My mother was bisexual, and she was accused of being a lesbian," Vanderbilt says. ) Cooper, who came out to his mother while in college ( he told friends in high school ), noted, "My mom had tons of gay friends; I grew up surrounded by gay people."

The final installment of the hit singing competition American Idol—scheduled for April 6-7—will include a send-off song from Jennifer Hudson, EW.com reported. ( The Dreamgirls star who finished in seventh place in season three is pre-taping her performance, as she is now starring on Broadway in The Color Purple. ) Season-one champion Kelly Clarkson and season-four winner Carrie Underwood also will be seen singing in the finale. ( Clarkson pre-taped her performance due to her pregnancy. ) Ruben Studdard, David Cook, Tamyra Gray, Melinda Doolittle, Kimberley Locke, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia and Justin Guarini are among some of the other Idol alumni slated to perform.

In the new documentary The First Monday in May, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival April 13, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour presides over the Met Ball seating chart, swapping around nearly 600 luminaries—including George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, labelled "Olivia Munn's BF," according to Page Six. For Wintour, there's no room for error when it comes to the $25,000-per-ticket bash, which marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute's spring exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

UTA has signed openly gay actor-comedian Billy Eichner, the star, executive producer and creator of truTV's Funny or Die-produced variety sketch series Billy on the Street, Deadline reported. Eichner also stars opposite Julie Klausner on the Hulu original comedy series Difficult People, executive produced by Amy Poehler, which is returning for a second season on July 12.

Jim Parsons ( The Big Bang Theory ) is in talks to star in the magic comedy Man-Watch for Warner Bros., TheWrap reported. He will also develop and produce the project alongside Neal Moritz. Parsons will play a schoolteacher who discovers he has magic powers. A coven of witches takes him in, sending him to "witch school," where he is surrounded by little witch girls.

Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine's classic tracks will take on a new turn with the release of the original Broadway cast recording of On Your Feet!, the musical based on Gloria and Emilio Estefan's life, Billboard reported. The album, out April 29 on Masterworks Broadway, was recorded live at the Broadway Marquis Theatre and produced by the Estefans. The album has hits such as "Conga," "1-2-3," "Get On Your Feet" and "Mi Tierra" as well as the original song "If I Never Got To Tell You."

E! Entertainment's #RichKids of Beverly Hills is expanding the franchise with EJ and the City ( working title ), a six-part spin-off premiering June 19, a press release stated. The series features glitz and glam from an all-new perspective with celebrity heir EJ Johnson ( son of Earvin "Magic" Johnson ) and his #Glamtourage, which includes sister Elisa Johnson, Samaria Smith ( daughter of LL Cool J ) and real-estate development heir Sanaz Panahi.

During a recent Reddit AMA, actor Jonathan Schaech revealed that he escorted Ellen DeGeneres to events in the 1990s, Queerty reported. Schaech ( That Thing You Do; TV's Legends of Tomorrow ) said, "My manager asked me to accompany her to events. She was scared people would not watch the show, Her sitcom Ellen, because she was gay. It was an honor. I grew up with two gay aunts and a gay uncle." He also said he was supposed to be in DeGeneres' coming-out episode "but I ran the marathon and couldn't walk the next day. The netowrk fired me cause they thought I was lame."

Las Vegas' Chippendales at the Rio announced ts latest celebrity guest host: Actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr. Sabato Jr.'s limited engagement with the popular, long-running male revue is May 5-June 5, The Las Vegas Sun reported. Sabato Jr. joins a Chippendales celebrity guest-host roster that includes Tyson Beckford, Ian Ziering, Joey Lawrence, Jake Pavelka, Jeff Timmons and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro.

Real Housewives of Orange County co-stars Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson are recovering from injuries following an accident in the desert, Page Six noted. The stars were driving an off-road vehicle in the sandy dunes in Glamis, California, when they made a wrong turn, causing it to flip. Heather Dubrow and a friend of the ladies, Kelly Mezadodd, were also in the vehicle but were not injured.

Nick Carter spoke with Entertainment Tonight at the premiere for his SyFy film, Dead 7—and revealed the Backstreet Boys' plans for a "trial run" residency in Las Vegas, US Weekly noted. Carter said, "We have a deal with Live Nation, which is the touring company, and we just signed a nine-show deal to do sort of like a test run in Vegas with the residency." All five original members—Carter, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean—are on board to participate.

Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, known for his San Francisco restaurants, has been accused of sexually harassing at least two now-former servers, SFist.com reported. Among other things, Chiarello allegedly compared a new sandwich on an eatery's menu to a woman's genitals by stating that the sandwich looked liked a "woman's underparts" while making a triangle with his hands and placing it over his crotch. Although the suits are from females, a suit also describes Chiarello inappropriately touching and harassing a gay male employee.

After successfully spinning off its Chicago franchise, NBC is looking to do the same with its drama The Blacklist, Deadline noted. The network is pursuing a potential offshoot series headed by X-Men star Famke Janssen, Janssen will be introduced in the episode before the planted spinoff.


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