x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Tom Cruise goes home alone for his 50th birthday

Plus: Andy Griffith dies at 80, JK Rowling releases new book's cover, Lily Allen is back, Simon Cowell fascinated by shy Britney, and Alec Baldwin quits Twitter - again.

Tom Cruise. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Tom Cruise. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Tom Cruise headed home from Iceland to California on Tuesday, his 50th birthday, reported Us Weekly magazine. The actor was in Reykjavik filming his new film Oblivion when his wife Katie Holmes filed for divorce in New York last week. According to reports, Cruise was blindsided by the separation. He will be staying in their Beverly Hills mansion, while Holmes and their six-year-old daughter Suri are at a new Manhattan apartment Holmes secured before filing for divorce.

Andy Griffith dies at 86

Andy Griffith, whose homespun mix of humour and wisdom made The Andy Griffith Show an enduring TV favourite, died on Tuesday in North Carolina. He was 86. His show, where he played a small-town sheriff, was one of the top hits of the 1960s and a perennial in reruns. He solidified his TV-fixture status in another successful series, Matlock. * AP

Rowling releases novel cover

Publishers have released the cover of the JK Rowling novel set for worldwide release in September. The Casual Vacancy will be the Harry Potter author's first offering aimed primarily at adults. The novel is set in the fictional English town of Pagford and deals with the unexplained death of a village resident. * AP

Lily Allen back from break

Lily Allen has ended her break from music after making an appearance with the rapper Professor Green on stage at the Stone Roses reunion concert last week in Manchester. After the show, she posted on Twitter: "No, Professor Green was not swinging a cat around on stage. That was me trying to sing. Loved it." Allen, 27, took an indefinite break from the industry in 2010 to start a family with her then-boyfriend, the painter Sam Cooper. The couple married in June last year and she gave birth to daughter Ethel in November. Allen revealed she has been recording new tracks since April. * IANS

Cowell fascinated by shy Britney

Simon Cowell says he's "fascinated" by the down-to-earth nature of Britney Spears, his new co-judge on The X Factor, which is holding auditions in Hollywood. "She's not on the show to be Britney Spears on a TV show," Cowell told People magazine. "She's actually there to prove to the world there's more to her. You think she's going to be very confident, but in real life she's shy. There's kind of a mystique about her."

Alec Baldwin quits Twitter, again

Alec Baldwin has closed down his Twitter account, bidding farewell to thousands of followers on the micro-blogging site with the words "it's been fun". The newlywed actor had been busy tweeting until his nuptials last Sunday, even posting a photograph of his wedding ring. Baldwin first quit Twitter last December after he was removed from an American Airlines flight for allegedly refusing to stop using his mobile phone. * IANS