x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Today's entertainment news: Spice Girls to reunite

Plus: judges argue over first Arab Idol cut; Youssou Ndour lends golden voice to politics; Etta James remembered and is Matthew Broderick reprising Ferris Bueller role?

The Spice Girls in their heyday, from left, Sporty (Melanie Chisholm), Ginger (Geri Halliwell), Baby (Emma Bunton), Scary (Melanie Brown), Posh (Victoria Beckham) in 1996.
The Spice Girls in their heyday, from left, Sporty (Melanie Chisholm), Ginger (Geri Halliwell), Baby (Emma Bunton), Scary (Melanie Brown), Posh (Victoria Beckham) in 1996.

The 1990s pop group the Spice Girls is set to reunite for a one-off performance, revealed Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown during a recent interview on the Australian television programme Sunrise.

US Weekly reported the reunion will take place at Buckingham Palace on June 4, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign.

The 36-year-old reportedly didn't intend to spill the beans and told The Sun after her TV appearance: "I am going to be in such strife for saying that ... It's all so totally bloody top secret still."

The news comes hot on the heels of rumours the Spice Girls will be reuniting at the London 2012 Olympics.

Brown also told Sunrise: "For me to get my Scary hair on and my big platforms - any time! I'm a Spice Girl through and through."

She and her band mates - Victoria "Posh" Beckham, Geri "Ginger" Halliwell, Emma "Baby" Bunton and Melanie "Sporty" Chisholm — last performed during a 2007 reunion tour.

Judges argue over first Arab Idol cut

The Arab Idol judges were left in a heated dispute when the surprising results of the first elimination of the 10 finalists were announced on Saturday night. The 27-year-old Yehia Zakaria Sayed Yakoub from Egypt had the lowest number of audience votes, but the lead judge Ragheb Alama fought to save him by using the wild-card option. He argued: "We were not going to use the wild card the first evening but I think that tonight, we should."

However, the Lebanese singer was out-voted when fellow judges, the Emirati singer Ahlam and the Egyptian music producer Hassan El Shafei, voted to hold on to the wild card, leaving Alama noticeably frustrated and Yakoub out of the competition.

Despite his disappointment, Yehia thanked the viewers and judges. "We all knew there could only be one Arab Idol," he said. "If I leave tonight, it is because Egypt did not vote enough for me."

Is Matthew Broderick reprising Ferris Bueller role?

A 10-second video clip, purportedly a Super Bowl advertisement, has taken the web by storm. It features the actor Matthew Broderick, clearly playing his famous Ferris Bueller character, opening window curtains, looking into the camera and asking, "How can I handle work on a day like today?"

Then plays the classic "bow-bow-chicka-chicka" sound effect from the 1986 John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The clip ends with "2.5.12" flashed on the screen - that's the date of this Sunday's Super Bowl.

MTV News tried to reach Broderick for comment, but the actor did not respond.

The automotive blog Jalopnik.com reported the teaser is not for a Bueller sequel, but for a Honda ad: "Honda is pouring a lot of money into this ad and, according to our source, hired The Hangover writer/director Todd Phillips to put it all together."

Etta James remembered

The rhythm and blues legend Etta James was remembered at a service on Saturday, attended by hundreds of friends and family, as a woman who broke down cultural and musical barriers.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, eulogised James in a rousing speech, then read a statement from the US President Barack Obama.

"Etta will be remembered for her legendary voice and her contributions to our nation's musical heritage," Obama's statement read.

The Grammy-winning singer died on January 20 after battling leukaemia. She had retreated from public life in recent years, but on Saturday her legacy was on display as mourners of all ages and races converged on the City of Refuge church in Los Angeles.

Among the stars who performed tributes to James were Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera, who told the gathering she has included At Last in every concert she's performed as a tribute to her musical inspiration.

James is survived by her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills, and two sons.

* Associated Press

Youssou Ndour lends golden voice to politics

Can a Grammy-winner win an election?

At a concert in November last year, Senegal's music icon Youssou Ndour announced he had put performing on hold and formed his own political movement, Fekke ma ci bolle ("I am involved" in the Wolof language).

In January, the 52-year-old leapt into a heated presidential race. While Senegal's top court ruled on Friday that his application to run for presidency was inadmissible, Ndour has vowed to challenge his disqualification and insists he will take part in the February presidential polls.

The musician has long been involved in humanitarian issues, and in recent years has become more outspoken about the current regime.

"I have listened, I have heard and I am responding favourably," Ndour said on January 3 when he announced his political intentions.

Best known internationally for his 7 Seconds hit collaboration with Neneh Cherry, Ndour has also collaborated with the likes of Sting, Wyclef Jean and Bruce Springsteen.

* Agence France-Presse

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