Showbiz

Lebanese concert promoter: musical boycotts 'ridiculous'

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

A Lebanese concert organiser has called boycotts against musicians that have performed in Israel “ridiculous”.

Entertainment tycoon Jihad al-Murr spoke in the wake of demands by Lebanese protesters that the British rock band Placebo should pull out of an upcoming Beirut concert after also playing in Tel Aviv.

Campaigners had said the group was unwelcome in Lebanon after launching Israel Pic.Nic festival, but Mr al-Murr said it would be foolish to “boycott every minister, official or artist that has ever visited Israel”.

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Bafta for Jewish actress Rebecca Front

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

A Jewish actress has triumphed at the Bafta awards.

Rebecca Front won Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her role in political satire "The Thick of It".

In the programme, which also won two other awards, she plays ambitious but inept government minister Nicola Murray.

She received cheers and applause when she confided that her parents still helped her learn her lines for the notoriously foul-mouthed comedy - particularly that her mother took the part of Malcolm Tucker, whose language is almost entirely blue.

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Pixies cancel Israeli performance

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Rock group Pixies have pulled out of a concert in Israel just days before the event was to take place.

They were said to have been urged to boycott the performance by pro-Palestinian activists following the recent clashes with the Israeli navy on board an aid ship.

The American band, popular in the 1980s for their punk rock music, had been set to perform at a Tel Aviv venue on June 9.

But they surprised fans by cancelling the appearance at the Pic.Nic festival at the last minute.

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Lulu's love of gefilte fish at UJIA dinner

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

Lulu has revealed how she acquired a love of gefilte fish.

The British pop icon addressed a UJIA women's brunch at London's Saatchi Gallery which raised £100,000 for projects for young people in the UK and northern Israel.

Speaking to the JC, the Scottish singer recalled that she was just 15 when her single Shout rocketed up the charts in 1964. Her Jewish manager Marion Massey was anxious to find a protective living environment for her in London and so she ended up staying with Ms Massey's mother in St John's Wood until her marriage to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.

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Sarah Jessica Parker shines at premiere

By Jennifer Lipman, May 25, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker wowed the crowds at the Sex and the City 2 premiere in New York in a fluorescent yellow dress.

The Jewish actress did her alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw proud in a floor length Valentino piece as she launched the much anticipated second film in the popular series.

Sporting a tan and characteristic killer heels, Ms Parker was joined on the blue carpet by fellow cast members Kim Catrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.

After the film the stars enjoyed a Middle Eastern style dinner of hummus and kebabs.

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Brittany Murphy's husband found dead

May 24, 2010

The Jewish husband of actress Brittany Murphy has died age 39 after suffering a suspected heart attack at the couple’s former home in Hollywood Hills.

Screenwriter Simon Monjack’s death comes just five months after Brittany, 32, died in his arms after suffering a heart attack in the shower at the same house.

After Brittany’s death Monjack ruffled feathers when he tried in vain to block plans for a post-mortem examination.

Monjack, who was born in North London, met Brittany through a mutual friend and they married soon afterwards in a Jewish ceremony in LA in May 2007.

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Rachel Stevens pregnant with first child

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

Pop star Rachel Stevens and her husband, the JC MSFL striker Alex Bourne, are expecting their first child.

The former S Club 7 singer, who married Mr Bourne last year, is due to give birth in November.

A spokesman for the couple said: "We are delighted to announce that Rachel Stevens and her husband Alex are expecting their first baby later this year. The happy news comes just a few months before the couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary."

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Mike Leigh wins praise at Cannes

By Jessica Elgot, May 18, 2010

Jewish film director Mike Leigh is a strong favourite for the coveted Palm D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, after a rapturous reception for his new film, Another Year.

If he wins, it would be Mr Leigh’s third award at Cannes; he won the Palm D’Or for his 1996 film Secrets and Lies, and Best Director in 1993 for Naked.

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Elvis Costello to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, May 18, 2010

British musician Elvis Costello has pulled out of two concerts in Israel, saying in a statement that he did not want his performance to be a “political act”.

The move contradicts his comments in an interview with the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago when Costello said that he did not approve of cultural boycotts, and that he believed that “dialogue is essential” to resolve the conflict.

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Mel Brooks' star, finally on the Walk of Fame

By Jessica Elgot, April 27, 2010

He has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award, but now, aged 83, Mel Brooks has finally won a coveted star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

The comedian, scriptwriter, actor and director, most famous for his comedies Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, declared himself so happy to have won the award he burst into song on the podium.

He is the 2406th celebrity to be given a star on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard, which has been celebrating stars for 50 years.

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