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British social media celebrity among dead from concert blast

It was not just family and friends mourning Martyn Hett this week. Even Mariah Carey was shocked by his death in the Ariana Grande concert bombing.

Carey posted a picture of Hett — one of 22 people killed in Monday night's bombing at the Manchester Arena — on Instagram wearing a T-shirt bearing her image.

"Devastated to learn that one of the victims in Manchester was part of the #Lambily," Carey wrote in the post, using the name she has given to her legion of fans. "RIP Martyn Hett. We will cherish your memory forever. His family and all the families affected are in my thoughts and prayers."

It was a tribute that surely would have touched the 29-year-old public relations worker who listed the singer's name as his religious view on Facebook and said on Twitter that, "My life peaked when I met Mariah Carey."

Hett's irreverent sense of humor was made for social media and he embraced many different platforms, with more than 12,000 Twitter followers and a half million views on a YouTube film he posted four years ago in which he spliced together scenes featuring one of the stars of iconic Manchester-based soap opera "Coronation Street."

The video showed fleeting scenes of Sue Nicholls, the actress who plays character Audrey Roberts, and a habit she has of saying "Hmm" at the end of sentences.

Britain's ITV network, which airs the long-running soap affectionately known as "Corrie," said on its website that it would dedicate a bench on the set to victims of the bombing.

"The dedication will be planned in the coming weeks following an outpouring of affection for 29-year-old 'Corrie' super-fan Martyn and all those who lost their lives and have been injured following the Manchester Arena bombing," ITV said.

Calling Hett a super-fan was no overstatement. He had a tattoo of one of the show's best-known characters, Deirdre Barlow, inked onto his left calf in the British television show "Tattoo Fixers." He also appeared on another show, "Come Dine With Me."

Hett's family could not be reached for comment Thursday, but in a statement released by Manchester police, they called him "the icon of all our lives."

"His infectious laugh and his niche sense of humor will stay with us forever," the family said.

Hett's sense of humor rang out from the final tweet on his Twitter feed, apparently made during Monday night's concert.

"When you sneak out for a toilet break on the Macy Gray song and the entire arena had the same idea #DangerousWomanTour," he tweeted.

The managing director of Rumpus PR, where Hett worked, paid tribute to him in a statement.

"Martyn loved life and I hope his lasting legacy is that people — in these dreadful times — choose to live their lives with joy not hate, just like he did," Paul Evans said.

'Modern Family' star Sarah Hyland denies anorexia accusation

The 26-year-old says in a social media post that critics have accused her of promoting anorexia in pictures she's posted. Without being specific, Hyland says she has "basically been on bed rest for the past few months" and has lost muscle mass. She says her face is swollen from medication that is saving her life.

She adds that she strives "to be as healthy as possible" but hasn't "had the greatest year."

Hyland stars as Lisa Houseman in ABC's TV movie remake of "Dirty Dancing."

Pattinson, Sandler lead Oscar contenders out of Cannes

It's a long way from May in France to February in Los Angeles, but the Cannes Film Festival has often been a breeding ground for Academy Awards campaigns.

The Oscars aren't much on the minds of the filmmakers or attendees in Cannes; the festival is its own achievement, with nearly as much spectacle and prestige as the Academy Awards. Oscar potential, though, is often born in Cannes, and some early handshaking with the Hollywood Foreign Press, which puts on the Golden Globes, is sometimes sneaked into busy schedules.

Not since 2011's "The Artist" has a Cannes Palme d'Or winner gone on to win best picture. And, if anything, the fall gauntlet of festivals — Telluride, Toronto, Venice, New York — has recently only reasserted itself as the premiere path to the Oscars. Such was the road of most of the recent best-picture winners, including "Moonlight," ''Birdman" and "12 Years a Slave."

Still, Cannes last year kick-started eventual nominees like the best-picture candidate "Hell or High Water," Isabelle Huppert ("Elle"), Ruth Negga ("Loving"), "The Lobster" (which scored a screenplay nod) and foreign-language winner "The Salesman." The 2015 Cannes accounted for nearly 20 nominations, including "Mad Max: Fury Road," ''Carol," ''Inside Out" and "Son of Saul."

This year's festival, which concludes Sunday with the Palme d'Or presentation, might not produce such a haul as that. But standing ovations on the Croisette appear likely to lead to awards consideration for a number of big names — some of whom aren't the usual suspects.

ADAM SANDLER — When Sandler has waded into drama, he's often won raves. But even more than his turns in "Punch Drunk Love" and "Spanglish," Sandler's tender, rumpled performance as a recently divorced father in Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" was hailed as a new high point for the Sand Man. The Netflix release could also earn some attention for Dustin Hoffman, who with typical distinction plays the prickly father of Sandler in the film.

NICOLE KIDMAN — It's less a question of whether Kidman will be back in the Oscar hunt than for which film. She had two in competition in Cannes: Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Lobster" follow-up "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" and Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled," a remake of Don Siegel's 1971 Civil War thriller. While the nod for "The Lobster" suggests considerable support for Lanthimos' grandly demented comedies, the handsome period piece "The Beguiled" — in which Kidman plays the headmaster of a Virginia girls' boarding school — is probably the more likely shot. If the movie, which opens June 30, earned enough buzz, it could lead to attention for others, too, like Colin Farrell (Kidman's co-star in "Sacred Deer"), Kirsten Dunst and Coppola's directing.

ROBERT PATTINSON — Pattinson's former "Twilight" co-star, Kristen Stewart, has used Cannes to show a new side to herself in films like "Clouds of Sils Maria" and "Personal Shopper." Now, Pattinson has, too. His scruffy, scuzzy performance as a Queens bank robber in Benny and Josh Safdie's "Good Time" was immediately hailed at a career-best for the 31-year-old actor.

WIND RIVER — As the writer of "Hell or High Water" and "Sicario," Taylor Sheridan's Texas tales have already earned him a reputation for intense and weighty crime dramas. "Wind River," which first premiered at Sundance in January, makes it three in a row for Sheridan, now making his directorial debut. The film is about a murder investigation on an Indian Reservation and its lead, Jeremy Renner, is also a standout.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT — Sean Baker's previous film, "Tangerine," didn't make it to the Oscars, but it nearly did, landing on top-10 lists and taking critics awards — all despite being shot on an iPhone. For "The Florida Project," Baker switched to 35mm for this story about a pair of poor 6-year-old girls living in Orlando budget motels and in the shadow of Walt Disney World. It was one of the few runaway hits of the festival.

WONDERSTRUCK — Todd Haynes' "Wonderstruck" might not boast awards-friendly lead performances like Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in his last film, "Carol." But "Wonderstruck," Haynes' adaptation of Brian Selznick's young-adult book, is every bit as finely crafted in stitching together two parallel story lines between 1927 and 1977. Large parts of the film are also mostly wordless — there have been "The Artist" comparisons — with Haynes using all his cinematic abilities to weave his magic. Carter Burwell's score, at the least, should be an automatic.

AND OTHERS — Cannes entries will surely help fill the foreign-language category, and early possibilities include the French AIDS drama "120 Beats Per Minute"; Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan" follow-up, "Loveless"; and Ruben Ostlund's "The Square." And it would be difficult to ever count out Tilda Swinton, who — as she did in the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" — plays twin sisters, this time in Bong Joon-ho's "Okja."

Few would have guessed that Huppert or, for that matter, "Mad Max," would become such an awards force coming out the last two festivals. But with eight months to go until the Oscars, the bounty from Cannes surely holds more surprises in store.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at:

Pattinson, Sandler lead Oscar contenders out of Cannes

It's a long way from May in France to February in Los Angeles, but the Cannes Film Festival has often been a breeding ground for Oscar campaigns.

Standing ovations at Cannes, which concludes Sunday with the Palme d'Or presentation, appear likely to lead to awards consideration for a number of big names, including Adam Sandler, Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson.

Kidman had two films in competition — Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" and Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled." Sandler's performance as a recently divorced father in Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" was praised as a new high point for the actor. And Pattinson's scruffy, scuzzy performance as a Queens bank robber in Benny and Josh Safdie's "Good Time" was hailed as a career-best.

Queen Elizabeth visits young survivors of concert blast

Queen Elizabeth II met Thursday with children injured in the Manchester concert bombing, consoling them and pronouncing the attack at an event attended by so many young people "wicked."

The 91-year-old monarch visited Evie Mills, 14, Millie Robson, 15, and other youngsters recovering from severe shrapnel wounds at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

"It's dreadful. Very wicked, to target that sort of thing," the queen told Evie and her parents.

Millie, wearing an Ariana Grande T-shirt, told the queen she had won VIP tickets to the pop star's Monday night concert at Manchester Arena and been injured in the bombing attack after the end of the show. The teenager said she felt fortunate to have survived.

"I have a few, like, holes in my legs and stuff, and I have a bit of a cut, and my arm and just a bit here, but compared to other people I'm quite lucky really," she said.

The queen broke her normal custom of wearing a matching outfit by visiting the children in a blue coat topped with a jaunty orange hat — as if to try to lighten the gloom.

Elizabeth told Millie she thought Ariana Grande was a "very good singer," adding, "She sounds very, very good."

Millie was one of 12 children under the age of 16 taken to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital by ambulance after the blast that killed 22 people and the suspected bomber.

She said she was walking toward the exit to meet her father when the bomb went off. She remembers the explosion, an intense ringing in her ears, and people screaming. Millie didn't know it right away, but she was bleeding badly from her legs.

"My dad ran over to me and picked me up and then like, we tied jumpers (sweaters) and stuff around the main wounds in my leg," she recalled Thursday. "He just picked me and we ran outside and then a lot of paramedics outside and strangers were just helping us, really."

It was a parent's nightmare. Her father, David Robson, said he was with his partner waiting for Millie when the explosion happened.

"It was surreal, it was just quiet," Robson said. "And I saw Millie, at the bottom of the stairs, I just ran down, picked her up."

He was running from the scene when he noticed her bleeding legs. They used a sweater and a shirt to try to staunch the flow and keep her alive.

"I just said, 'Look at me, just don't look anywhere else,'" the father said. "Because it was just, obviously as you can imagine, carnage, bodies and stuff."

Emergency teams eventually helped treat Millie and got her to the hospital. She was well enough Thursday to enjoy the queen's visit.

"She is lovely," the teen said. "It's like mind-blowing, really."

London premiere for 'The Mummy' scrapped after attack

Universal Pictures has scrapped plans for the London premiere of Tom Cruise's "The Mummy," the latest big, glitzy event canceled following the terror attack in England.

In a statement, the studio says it was "devastated" by Monday attack's at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester: "Out of respect to those affected by this tragedy we have decided not to move forward with the London premiere."

That move comes a day after Warner Bros. scrapped its London premiere of "Wonder Woman" on May 31. Stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright had been scheduled to walk a red carpet.

Bands like Blondie and Take That canceled shows in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, and Netflix scrapped a few screenings. Grande's concerts through June 5 have been canceled.

Russian activist fined for posting segment of US comedy show

A Russian opposition activist has been fined for posting a segment from an American comedy show on social media because the Islamic State group's flag was displayed.

Russian news agencies said on Thursday a court in the city of Cheborksary has fined Semyon Kochkin, coordinator at the campaign headquarters of t opposition leader Alexei Navalny, 1,500 rubles ($27) for public display of outlawed insignia. Kochkin last year posted on VKontakte a segment from John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" where the IS banner was shown. Russian law forbids public display of symbols of terrorist organizations.

Rights groups have documented a rise in convictions for social media posts in Russia in recent years. Moscow-based Sova group, which studies human rights, nationalism and xenophobia, said in a statement that Kochkin's prosecution was unlawful.

Ariana Grande's manager: 'Fear cannot rule the day'

Scooter Braun writes on Twitter that "the wish of terrorism is to take away that feeling of freedom and joy." Braun says that can't be allowed and "fear cannot rule the day."

He says "extraordinary evil" must be fought with "extraordinary greatness."

A suicide bomber killed 22 people during the attack outside the arena in Manchester, England, just after Grande's show ended Monday. Grande tweeted that she was "broken" after the bombing.

GLAAD reports slim increase in LGBTQ representation in film

The advocacy group GLAAD says the representation of LGBTQ characters in major Hollywood films increased nearly 1 percent in 2016, but the group says many of the portrayals weren't positive.

GLAAD's annual study released Thursday surveyed 125 releases from the seven major Hollywood studios and found them again to be severely lagging behind strides made in television and independent film, which produced the LGBTQ-friendly best-picture winner "Moonlight."

Three of the major studios, Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios, were given failing ratings. No studio received positive marks because many of the LGBTQ characters were used as mere punchlines.

The report did note signs of progress, however, in films from 2017.



Gold Star father Khizr Khan plans book for young people

Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who became a national celebrity after speaking at last year's Democratic National Convention, has a book planned for young readers.

Khan's "This Is Our Constitution" comes out Nov. 14, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers told The Associated Press on Thursday. The book arrives the same day as his memoir "An American Family," announced last fall.

Khan is an immigrant from Pakistan whose son Capt. Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004. At the convention, Khizr Khan taunted Donald Trump for his divisive comments about Muslims and held up a pocket-sized edition of the Constitution, wondering if the Republican candidate had read it. According to Knopf, "This is Our Constitution" will help educate readers ages 10 and up about American history.

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