Entertainment briefs – February 9

Ian Brown has won the Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction. The Globe and Mail journalist picked up the $25,000 award for his book The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search For His Disabled Son.

Brown wins Charles Taylor Prize

TORONTO — Ian Brown has won the Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction.

The Globe and Mail journalist picked up the $25,000 award for his book The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search For His Disabled Son.

Three other authors were in the running.

University of Waterloo professor John English made the short list for Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000.

Montreal author and literary translator Daniel Poliquin was in the running for Rene Levesque.

And Kenneth Whyte, the publisher and editor of Maclean’s magazine, was a finalist for his book, The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst.

Last year’s winner, Tim Cook, was among the jury members.

The three runners-up each receive $2,000.


Gervais to receive Banff comedy award

TORONTO — British comic Ricky Gervais is being recognized with this year’s Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award at the Banff World Television Festival.

The creator of the hit U.K. TV show “The Office” will be feted at the festival in June, when he’s also set to discuss his career and success.

Gervais says the award is “probably the greatest honour” of his career, adding that “only the Nobel Peace Prize can top this.”

The award acknowledges outstanding comedic performances. Previous recipients include John Cleese, Bob Newhart, Martin Short and Tracey Ullman.

Gervais shot to fame after starring and creating “The Office,” considered one of the most successful British TV comedies ever. It spawned the U.S. remake starring Steve Carell.

The Banff World Television Festival runs June 13 to 16.


Pitt, Jolie sue tabloid for split report

LONDON — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have begun legal action against a British tabloid that reported the celebrity couple was going to split, a lawyer acting on their behalf confirmed Monday.

Keith Schillings, of London-based Schillings lawyers, said in a statement that the couple had begun legal proceedings against the News of The World, a Sunday tabloid and Britain’s highest selling newspaper.

He said the newspaper had made “false and intrusive allegations” when it reported Jan. 24 that Pitt and Jolie had agreed to separate, to divide assets worth $344 million and had made arrangements regarding the custody of their six children.

Lawyers for the couple lodged a claim at London’s High Court on Monday to begin a legal case against the newspaper, Schillings said.

“The News of the World has failed to meet our clients’ reasonable demands for a retraction of and apology for these false and intrusive allegations which have now been widely republished by mainstream news outlets. We have advised them to bring proceedings which they have now done,” Schillings said.


Super Bowl most watched TV show

NEW YORK — The Super Bowl was watched by more than 106 million people in the U.S., surpassing the 1983 finale of M-A-S-H to become the most-watched program in television history.

The Nielsen Co. estimated Monday that 106.5 million people watched the New Orleans Saints upset the Indianapolis Colts.

That beats the M-A-S-H finale, which had 105.97 million viewers in an era when there were fewer television sets.

Compelling story lines involving the city of New Orleans and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the quest for a second Super Bowl ring for Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning propelled the viewership.

The game also obliterated the previous record viewership for a Super Bowl — last year’s game between Arizona and Pittsburgh in which 98.7 million people watched.

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