x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Plus: Anthony Hopkins writes fan letter to Bryan Cranston; Thai bar owner arrested following Rihanna's tweets; McCartney admits soft spot for One Direction.

Rihanna performs at the Mawazine music festival  in Morocco in May. Fadel Senna / AFP
Rihanna performs at the Mawazine music festival in Morocco in May. Fadel Senna / AFP
The producers of Fast & Furious 7 are running a competition to win a part in the forthcoming film, albeit only a walk-on role. According to a clip posted on YouTube, narrated by the film's stars Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez and Ludacris, fans should follow @FastandFuriousMovie on Instagram. They should then upload a video, titled with the hashtag #UltimateFastFan, explaining why you deserve a part in the film. Disappointingly, though, while some of Fast & Furious 7 is being shot in the UAE, the contest isn't open to residents of the country. Only US citizens aged 18 and over may enter. The competition ends on November 30.

Anthony Hopkins writes fan letter to Bryan Cranston

Two weeks after Breaking Bad broadcast its series finale, Sir Anthony Hopkins has written a letter to the show's star, Bryan Cranston, praising his portrayal. "Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen - ever," wrote Hopkins. "I know there is so much smoke blowing in this business and I've sort of lost belief in anything really. But this work of yours is spectacular - absolutely stunning." The letter first surfaced on the Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada's Facebook page, then was later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter as indeed authored by Hopkins. - The National staff

Thai bar owner arrested following Rihanna's tweets

Thai authorities have arrested a bar owner in connection with a lewd sex show mentioned in tweets by Rihanna during her recent trip to Thailand. Phuket officials said the bar owner faced charges of obscenity and operating an entertainment venue without a permit. This isn't the first arrest triggered by Rihanna's postings on social media. A photo of her with a slow loris on Instagram led police to arrest a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, who could face charges of possession of protected animals. Rihanna performs at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. - AP

McCartney a fan of One Direction

The British boy band One Direction have the seal of approval from Sir Paul McCartney. "I like One Direction. They're young, beautiful boys and that's the big attraction," the 71-year-old told Sky News. "But they can sing, they make good records, so I think that's what I would see in common [with The Beatles]." He cautioned against taking the comparison too far, however. "I always think it's a little bit unfortunate when you call a band the new Beatles. It can be the kiss of death because people expect you to live up to what we did." McCartney said he also liked Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars - but admitted many of his listening habits these days were formed by his 10-year-old daughter Beatrice. "For what it is, I think they're really good records," he said. - AFP