x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Today's entertainment news: Bollywood's Sanjay Dutt invests in MM

Plus: The Artist leads Bafta field; George Lucas says he'll retire; chef Paula Deen confirms diabetes; and Turkish Desperate Housewives to air on MBC4.

The actor Sanjay Dutt has invested in MMA. Manpreet Romana / AFP
The actor Sanjay Dutt has invested in MMA. Manpreet Romana / AFP

Sanjay Dutt has become the latest film personality to venture into the sports arena, launching a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting league in partnership with the actress Shilpa Shetty's businessman husband, Raj Kundra.

Called Super Fight League, the venture will feature seven fights every night, with each fight consisting of three sets of five-minute rounds. The first event will be held on March 11 in Mumbai followed by Chandigarh and New Delhi. Bollywood celebrities will perform and the fight night will be followed by a VIP party.

"MMA is a combat sport involving 36 different styles of fights including karate, judo and kung-fu," said Kundra at a media conference with Dutt.

Although Kundra and Shetty own the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals, this is Dutt's debut as the owner of a sports franchise. His Bollywood colleagues Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Juhi Chawla co-own an IPL cricket team.


The Artist leads Bafta field with nominations in 12 categories

The nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards were announced on Tuesday and leading the pack is The Artist.

With 12 nods, the French silent movie is fresh from its Best Picture win at the Golden Globes last weekend. It also maintains its momentum a week before the Oscar nominations are announced.

The latest adaptation of John le Carré's classic spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy had 11 nominations, while Hugo scored nine.

Vying for the Best Picture award are The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, The Help and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The shortlist for Best Actress includes Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Viola Davis (The Help).

The Best Actor category is made up of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Michael Fassbender (Shame).

The Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe presented the nominations and openly declared his favourite for the acting prize, reported Reuters. "I'd love Gary Oldman to get one for Tinker Tailor, because he's fantastic and it's a great film," he said.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is in there, too, with four nominations for make-up and hair, production design, sound and special visual effects.

The Bafta awards will take place on February 12 at London's Royal Opera House.


George Lucas says he's retiring - to make movies

In an interview with The New York Times published on Tuesday, the veteran filmmaker George Lucas said he'd had enough of the movie industry.

"I'm retiring. I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff," he was quoted as saying.

Curiously, Lucas admitted he was open to the possibility of a fifth instalment in the popular Indiana Jones franchise. He also said he was keen on directing experimental films that would be shown only in art houses.

Turkish Desperate Housewives to air on MBC4

Songul Oden, the actress who will forever be known as Noor, returns to TV screens today with the premiere of the latest Turkish drama series to take over our lives.

Nesa'a Ha'erat, which translates as Confused Women, will be broadcast every Thursday on MBC4 for two hours, starting at 8pm, with a repeat on Fridays at 5.30pm.

The story revolves around Oden and four other main female characters, each with a unique personality. The series comes from the creators of the award-winning US series Desperate Housewives and will be similar in plot, only localised to suit a Turkish and Middle Eastern audience.

Paula Deen confirms she has diabetes

The bestselling cookbook author and Food Network host Paula Deen admitted on NBC's Today show on Tuesday that she has type 2 diabetes. She said she had learnt that she had the disease three years ago during a routine physical exam, Reuters reports.

"I'm here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence," she said.

Deen is best known for her high-calorie Southern comfort food, with butter a staple of her recipes.

However, she told Today she does not eat what she cooks on her television shows and would not encourage others to do so, either.

Deen also disclosed that she would become a paid spokeswoman for the diabetes-treatment company Novo Nordisk and its new Diabetes in a New Light programme.

This drew the ire of her fellow culinary host Anthony Bourdain, who criticised Deen on Twitter for trying to profit from her illness.

"Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later," Bourdain posted.

Last year Bourdain called Deen the "most dangerous person to America" who was "proud of the fact that her food is bad for you".