The silent movie The Artist and the actress Meryl Streep continued their march towards possible Oscars glory after scooping top awards at Sunday's Bafta awards, the biggest night of the British film industry.
The Artist won seven gongs including best film, best director and best original screenplay for Michel Hazanavicius and best actor for Jean Dujardin. Streep was named best actress for The Iron Lady, although she lost her shoe on the way to collect her award and had to be rescued by a gallant Colin Firth.
There were few surprises in the best supporting actor and actress categories, as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts echoed last month's Golden Globes and awarded them to Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help.
The veteran actor Gary Oldman missed out in his bid for a Bafta for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, although the Cold War thriller won awards for Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Among this year's presenters were Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Penelope Cruz, Billy Bob Thornton and Helena Bonham Carter.
* Agence France-Presse
Egypt's celebrity couples to ignore Valentine's Day
After the recent tragic events that have been gripping Egypt, particularly the football massacre in Port Said that left more than 70 dead, celebrity couples in Egypt have announced they will not be celebrating Valentine's Day this year. reported AnaZahra.com..
The married actors Mona Zaky and Ahmed Helmy said they were still "too depressed about what happened" to consider celebrating. Likewise, the actor Hussein Fahmi and his wife Luqa'a Sweidan said they would be abstaining from any sort of festivities, although the couple has previously used Valentine's as an excuse for a repeat honeymoon in the past.
Whitney Houston's daughter rushed to hospital
Bobbi Kristina, the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, was rushed to hospital on Sunday, suffering from stress, one day after the death of her pop-star mother.
Bobbi Kristina is the offspring from Houston's stormy 15-year marriage to the singer Bobby Brown. She was taken by ambulance from the Beverly Hilton hotel, where Houston was found dead on Saturday. The 18-year-old was released hours later from Cedars Sinai hospital in Beverly Hills.
Brown appealed for privacy for the family. "I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter," he said in a statement.
Investigators worked on Sunday to piece together what caused Houston's death, but told the press they would not release any information from an autopsy, except that there were no obvious signs of trauma on the singer's body. However, they said they were not ruling out any cause of death until they received toxicology results, which would take six to eight weeks to obtain.
* Agence France-Presse
Gwyneth Paltrow offers Valentine's tips
Gwyneth Paltrow is looking out for you, ladies. In a special Valentine's Day edition of her lifestyle newsletter Goop, the actress has included a list of suggestions for husbands and boyfriends, advising readers to print it out and "leave it somewhere they can easily find".
The ideas include pre-loading a special playlist on to an iPod, making breakfast in bed (complete with recipes) and setting an alarm on a smartphone and placing strategic notes to advise of future romantic plans. Visit www.goop.com.
Sanjay Dutt visits recovering Bachchan
The actor Sanjay Dutt visited Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday at the Seven Hills hospital in Mumbai, where the 69-year-old Bollywood actor underwent two successful abdominal operations, Yahoo! India reported.
"As soon as I got the news, I came running to meet Mr Amitabh Bachchan. He should recover soon. I wish him a speedy recovery," Dutt told reporters outside the hospital.
Yesterday, Bachchan posted on Twitter: "Pushing myself to get up ... stinging spasm pain ... back in bed but will try again. Hundreds of messages and calls from all over wishing me well ... I am too grateful for this, and once on my feet shall respond."
Abu Dhabi Festival highlights
Tickets for two eagerly awaited performances at the Abu Dhabi Festival are quickly selling out.
On March 19, Anoushka Shankar will perform an evening of raga-flamenco music featuring pieces from the world-renowned sitarist's first album.
On March 24, the acclaimed Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma teams up with a group of musicians for an ensemble performance that will fuse the music of Spanish guitar, oud, percussion, upright bass, clarinet, harp and piano.
Tickets start at Dh295 and can be purchased online at Time Out Tickets and in person at the Emirates Palace box office.