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‘Game Of Thrones’ star The Mountain makes his boxing debut in Dubai 

Game of Thrones actor Hafthor Bjornsson made his boxing debut last week in Dubai.

The actor, who played The Mountain in the HBO series and was crowned World’s Strongest Man in 2018, took on Irish boxer Steven Ward in an exhibition match.

Yahoo! reports that the referee declared both Bjornsson and Ward winners at the end of the match.

Describing his opponent, Belfast cruiserweight Ward said Bjornsson “shook me to my boots,” per The News.

Bjornsson played Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in Game of Thrones for five seasons, and was first introduced in the fourth season in 2013.

The role marked Bjornsson’s acting debut, and he was the third person to play the role after Conan Stevens in season one, and Ian Whyte in season two.

In other Game of Thrones news, Olivia Cooke recently admitted she had not watched the series before being cast in spin-off show House of The Dragon.

“When I read the script, I hadn’t seen any Game Of Thrones,” Cooke told Variety. “But then I binged it and now I’m obsessed.”

Cookie will be playing Alicent Hightower, who is described as “the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms.

“She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.”

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Tim McGraw reflects on Taylor Swift naming her debut single after him 

Tim McGraw has reflected on how he initially felt “apprehensive” upon learning that Taylor Swift had named her debut single after him.

Released back in June 2006, ‘Tim McGraw’ saw the popular country musician being namechecked by Swift during the song’s chorus.

Speaking to Apple Music in a new interview, McGraw admitted to being “a little apprehensive” about Swift’s song when he first listened to it.

“Then I thought: ‘Have I gotten to that age now to where they’re singing songs about me? Does that mean I’ve jumped the shark a bit? Is everything still cool?'”

“Then I realized that somebody had told me that [Swift] was in her 7th grade math class when she wrote the song, so it made me feel a little bit better about that because she was so young writing it,” he continued.

“So I didn’t feel like I was that terribly old!”

McGraw later collaborated with Swift on the track ‘Highway Don’t Care’, which also featured Keith Urban, in March 2013.

McGraw is among the performers who will play during Celebrating America later tonight (January 20), a TV special honoring Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration today.

Earlier this month Swift became the first artist to have the top-selling album of the year in the US on five separate occasions since data tracking first began in 1992.

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How ‘Batwoman’ storyline explains Ruby Rose’s departure 

The first episode of season two of Batwoman has addressed how Ruby Rose’s departure connects with Javica Leslie taking over the role.

Rose confirmed last year she would be stepping down from the show, in which she played the title character, also known as Kate Kane.

Season two introduces Leslie’s new character, Ryan Wilder, by showing her mother being murdered by the show’s antagonist Alice in a flashback.

Ryan comes across Kate’s suit when rushing to help survivors at the scene of a plane crash, while Mary and Luke realize that it is the plane Kate was on that crashed into Gotham.

However, there is no confirmation as to Kate’s fate just yet, and showrunner Caroline Dries confirmed Rose’s exit would continue to be addressed throughout the season.

“We have two major stories this season as we come into season two,” Dries said (via DC FanDome). “The first one is: Where is Kate? What happened to Kate? Is she alive? Is she dead? Is she missing? Is she on the run? Is she held captive? Is she lost?

“These are all huge mysteries that push us deep into the season,” Dries continued. “All of our characters are going to have different perspectives on that.

“Different conspiracy theories, different points of view, and it will create a lot of drama, tension, mystery, intrigue. And it will be shocking, awesome, and amazing.”

Reading about Kate’s disappearance in the Gotham City Gazette, Ryan thinks at first that she won’t be able to replace her, saying: “That suit is bigger than me. Kate was a hero. I’m not,” although she then changes her mind.

Addressing her decision to leave the show last year, Ruby Rose said, “Being the lead in anything is tough” and added: “In [this] particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery.”

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Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins reunite on ‘Silence of the Lambs’ 30th anniversary 

Silence of the Lambs actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins have reunited for the film’s 30th anniversary.

The pair, taking part in Variety‘s Actors on Actors series, sat down for an hour over video chat to talk about their new projects. Foster is starring in The Mauritanian, while Hopkins plays the lead role in The Father.

Hopkins recalled receiving the script, saying: “After 10 pages, I phoned my agent. I said, ‘Is this a real offer? I want to know. This is the best part I’ve ever read.'”

“I was naturally nervous, an Englishman — a limey like me, a Welshman — playing an American serial killer,” he added of his experience playing serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

“And I remember Jonathan [Demme, director], when the camera picked me up, he said, ‘Oh, my God. That’s it. Hopkins. You’re so weird!’ And I said, ‘Why, thank you.'”

Foster described hearing Hopkins first read the part by saying “I felt a chill come over the room. In a way, it was like we were almost too scared to talk to each other after that.”

Meanwhile, Silence of the Lambs spin-off series released a new trailer earlier this month.

Clarice is set a year after the events of the film and focuses on FBI agent Clarice Starling, played here by Rebecca Breeds.

The show is described as “a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high-stakes political world of Washington DC”.

Clarice will premiere on CBS on February 11, 2021. There is no release date confirmed for the UK as of yet.

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The Rolling Stones are set to release their own chocolate bars 

The Rolling Stones are reportedly set to launch their own branded chocolate bars next week.

The band’s apparent venture into confectionary appears to be the latest move in their overall merchandising strategy, which saw them opening their very first flagship merch store in central London last year.

According to The Daily Star‘s ‘Wired’ column, a milk chocolate bar (called ‘Brown Sugar’) and a dark chocolate bar (‘Cherry Red’, inspired by the lyric “my favorite flavor, cherry red” from ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’) will both go on sale on the Stones’ merch website from Monday (January 25).

The paper also claims that each chocolate bar will cost £5.95, plus postage.

The Rolling Stones

Back in November, the Stones launched an online e-store to tie in with their flagship shop in London.

John Habbouch, GM and CFO of Bravado, said of the band’s fully immersive, 360-degree “virtual shopping experience”: “We are excited to be able to take the brand new RS No.9 Carnaby store to the world and to allow customers and fans to shop the collection from the comfort of their own homes through an immersive and unique online experience of this exciting retail space.”

In other Stones news, Keith Richards recently spoke about how he’s taken up gardening to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I spent the whole summer actually admiring the garden and also doing a bit of gardening myself – watering the veggies and the stuff,” he said. “I got into a more normal way of life, which is un-normal.”

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