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Amir Khan’s £11.5m luxury wedding venue finally opens for guests

Amir Khan’s £11.5m luxury wedding venue finally opens for guests

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Amir Khan's £11.5m luxury wedding venue finally opens for guests

After a series of delays, Amir Khan’s extravagant £11.5 million wedding venue has finally witnessed its first marriage ceremony.

The grand “Dubai-style” Bolton tower made its debut on May 18, 2024, with a spectacular celebration as the venue’s inaugural bride and groom marked their special day in lavish style.

Amir Khan missed the grand opening of the venue as he was in Saudi Arabia for the Undisputed Heavyweight Title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Dubbed “The Balmayna,” the venue is situated across from a car wash and a fly-tipping spot, drawing previous criticism for its resemblance to an office building and being labeled as “tacky.”

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In January 2024, broken fridges, sofas and dirty mattresses were seen dumped around the venue, sparking criticism from locals.

One said: “The venue is walled off, but all around it is full of fly-tipping.

“It is absolutely awful and needs cleaning up. It is disgusting. There are black bin bags with rubbish spilling out of them as well as old matrasses and everything else, including broken furniture.

But images from the wedding showed how staff had quickly managed to fix these issues as the building’s lavish marble floors and chandeliers were on display for all guests to see.

A Balmayna spokesperson said: “The first love story at the Balmayna.

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“So elegant, so magical, simply a dream.
“We wish our bride and groom the most happiest of blessings. Such a stunning backdrop for your memories.”

Work on the venue has taken far longer than expected, with Amir Khan investing an initial £5 million since plans were first revealed in 2013.

He invested more money into the project and blamed the delays on “unprofessional management”.

But now, the venue is open for couples wanting to get married and it promises a “royal experience” and “a touch of magnificence and excellence in every celebration”.

The Balmayna features a waterfall and palm trees inside, along with a floral design.

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In another posh room with red velvet sofas and an armchair, books about designers Chanel and Louis Vuitton plus butterflies in a domed display case can be seen.

There are also candles and pamphlets about The Balmayna – which translates as Enamelled in Arabic.

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R.E.M. delivers surprise performance at songwriting gala

R.E.M. delivers surprise performance at songwriting gala

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R.E.M. delivers surprise performance at songwriting gala

 R.E.M. performed onstage together for the first time in well over a decade Thursday, reuniting to play their classic “Losing My Religion” as they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills broke up in 2011, and the last time all four members played onstage together — Bill Berry left in 1997 — was in 2007. But entrance into the who’s who of music that is the prestigious songwriting pantheon got the band back together.

“Songwriting is the very foundation of why we came together in the first place,” lead vocalist Michael Stipes told AFP. “We’re really proud.”

The band was inducted by Jason Isbell, who performed a cover of R.E.M’s “It’s The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” at the event. “R.E.M. was greater than the sum of its parts. R.E.M. moved like a single instrument,” Isbell said.

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The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates its inductees with a festive dinner and intimate concert instead of a televised event.

Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael — the duo known as The Bacon Brothers — opened the show with a foot-stomping rendition of “Footloose,” the Oscar-nominated title track of the hit 1984 film of the same name.

Bacon starred in the movie — but Dean Pitchford wrote it and much of its music, and was among the elite group inducted Thursday.

The writer of many hit film and musical tracks, Pitchford thanked the adoring audience “for hearing all these years, and above all, thank you for listening to me.”

Trey Anastasio of Phish inducted Steely Dan, while chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Nile Rodgers — the beloved co-founder of Chic — bestowed SZA with a special award for songwriters “at an apex in their careers.”

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It’s “just beyond all of my wildest dreams,” SZA said, before performing an acoustic rendition of “Snooze.”

Rodgers took his moment onstage to emphasize that “there would be no music industry if there were no songs,” specifically calling out streaming platform Spotify to “acknowledge and make a point of songwriters being your priority.”

Hip hop, country, and Oscar royalty

None other than Missy Elliott had the crowd on its feet as she inducted Timbaland into the coveted class.

“In hip hop, there was certain ways that hip hop music sounds — Timbaland… literally changed the cadence,” she said, adding that the producer, rapper and singer whose hits include “Give It To Me” was a master at marrying sensibilities of rap and R&B.

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“Thank you for giving me a seat at the table,” Timbaland said in a lengthy acceptance speech, before conducting a house band through a medley of his hits and those he produced for the likes of Elliott, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce.

Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban performed in honor of Hillary Lindsey, a Nashville songwriting star who’s written for artists including Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Shakira.

And Diane Warren — the songwriter who’s earned 15 Oscar nominations, including for “Because You Loved Me” performed by Celine Dion and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” — received the night’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer award.

She, like all of the inductees, said being honored by her peers was particularly special. “It’s songwriters — what’s cooler than that?” she said. 

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King Charles’ portrait defaced by animal rights protesters

King Charles’ portrait defaced by animal rights protesters

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King Charles' portrait defaced by animal rights protesters

King Charles’ first completed official portrait since his coronation in May 2023 has been defaced by animal rights activists in London.

On June 11, two supporters from the group Animal Rising approached the King’s dramatic portrait by Jonathan Yeo at the Philip Mould Gallery and affixed posters inspired by Wallace and Gromit to the image.

The protesters overlaid the King’s face with the character of Wallace, adding a speech bubble reading, “No Cheese Gromit. Look At All This Cruelty On RSPCA Farms!”

The stunt was meant to draw attention to the findings of a new report by Animal Rising, which describes itself as a nonviolent organization working towards a more sustainable future “where humanity shares a positive relationship with animals and nature.”

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The report, published on June 9, claimed that “cruelty and suffering” were found across 45 randomly sampled farms affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (RSPCA) Assured program, a statement said.

The RSPCA Assured is the organization’s non-profit farm animal welfare assurance initiative, upholding higher farm animal welfare standards from birth to slaughter.

King Charles, 75, is the royal patron of the RSPCA, following in the footsteps of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

“The lighthearted action played on the King’s love of Wallace and Gromit and his status as Royal Patron of the RSPCA,” Animal Rising said in the statement.

“Animal Rising has called on the King to suspend his support for the charity until they drop the Assured Scheme.”

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The activists defaced an image significant as the King’s first portrait since his ceremonial crowning last spring.

The fiery red portrait by Yeo was revealed at Buckingham Palace on May 14, unveiling a commission in the works for four years.
The artwork was commissioned in 2020 to celebrate Charles marking 50 years as a member of The Draper’s Company in 2022.

Yeo is considered to be one of the world’s leading portrait artists and joked on social media that the image “sparked a million memes” after it was unveiled.

Queen Camilla reportedly had a thoughtful reaction when she saw it for the first time, telling Yeo, “Yes, you’ve got him,” according to the BBC.

The piece measures about 8 ½ by 6 ½ feet, framed to fit in with the architecture of Drapers’ Hall, the hub of the historic guild. It has been displayed to the public for free at the Philip Mould Gallery in London since May 16 and was scheduled to be on view until June 21.

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Behroze Sabzwari draws flak for his recent ‘controversial’ statements

Behroze Sabzwari draws flak for his recent ‘controversial’ statements

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Behroze Sabzwari draws flak for his recent 'controversial' statements

Eminent TV host and actor Nadia Khan appearing on her show has taken famous veteran actor Behroze Sabzwari to task for his controversial statements about women and PIT founder Imran Khan.

Nadia Khan called out Behroze Sabzwari for his recent disputed statements.

Nadia Khan said, “I think it is okay if he only talks about himself, I have a problem when he passes statements on women.

In a recent podcast, he talked about his ex-daughter-in-law. Some time, he talks against other women. He criticises women for their dress. He keeps an eye on how women dress up.

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Sometimes, he talks against me. It has become a pattern now.”

On a show, Marina Khan said, “Actors are ambassadors as they represent themselves. They represent media fraternity and they should not talk against anyone.”

Behroze Sabzwari once had said Nadia Khan used to degrade her guests on her morning show.

Nadia Khan is a super gorgeous, famous and talented Pakistani television host & actor.

She has so far appeared in many notable television dramas which include Des Pardes, Bandhan, Kaisi Aurat Hoon Main, Dolly Darling, Aisi Hai Tanhai and Kamzarf.

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The talented host is happily married and has adorable kids. Nadia Khan is also known for her YouTube channel Out Style With Nadia.

She is currently appearing in the show Kia Drama Hai as co-host and reviewer. Nadia Khan is a fearless celebrity who always speaks her heart out.

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