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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

Dec. 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM   |   Comments

Queen Elizabeth has traditional Christmas

SANDRINGHAM, England, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth II of Britain enjoyed a traditional Christmas at Sandringham, her estate in eastern England, including church with her family.

But Prince William, second in line to the throne, and his pregnant wife, the former Kate Middleton, spent the holiday with his in-laws at their estate in Berkshire, The Sun reported. The Middletons and their son-in-law attended a service at St. Mark's in Englefield, passing a gauntlet of photographers.

In Norfolk, the queen, her husband, Prince Philip, her four children and an assortment of grandchildren and other family members were greeted by about 3,000 well-wishers outside St. Mary Magdalene Church in Norfolk. The queen spoke to 80 children, including Freedom Tansely, a Boy Scout who gave the queen a teddy bear decorated with badges celebrating her Jubilee.

William's younger brother, Prince Harry, was also missing from Sandringham. He is serving with the military in Afghanistan.

In her Christmas message, broadcast for the first time in 3-D, the queen talked about the excitement of the London Olympics and praised volunteers.

Last year, Philip spent the holiday in a Cambridge hospital recovering from heart surgery. This year, the 91-year-old prince was at his wife's side.


Dan Stevens leaving 'Downton Abbey'

LONDON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- British actor Dan Stevens has confirmed he will not return for a fourth season of the popular costume drama "Downtown Abbey."

The storyline for Stevens' character was wrapped up in the Season 3 Christmas special of the show, which has already aired in the United Kingdom. It won't premiere in the United States until next year.

"We were always optioned for three years," Stevens told The Telegraph newspaper about his job playing romantic lead Matthew Crawley on the show. "And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things. It is a very monopolizing job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be."

Stevens can now be seen on Broadway in "The Heiress."


BBC America orders 'The Nerdist' series

NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- BBC America says it has ordered a full season of "The Nerdist," a comedy-variety talk show based on Chris Hardwick's hit "Nerdist Podcast."

The 10-episode season will tape in Los Angeles and will premiere on the cable network in the spring. It will feature celebrity guests, U.K.- and U.S.-based correspondents, as well as stand-up and musical performances.

"We could not be more pleased to be expanding our relationship with Chris by ordering 'The Nerdist' series with an exciting new format," Perry Simon, general manager of channels for BBC Worldwide America, said in a statement. "Ever since early 2011, Chris has brought his loyal legion of fans to BBC America through his successful 'Nerdist' specials and, as America's No. 1 'Doctor Who' fan, hosting countless 'Doctor Who'-related events for our channel."

"As a huge fanboy of nerd culture stuff, we at the 'Nerdist Podcast' gush about the things we love constantly, and the fact that BBCA lets us do that as our jobs puts me forever in their debt," Hardwick said. "They have been exceptional at allowing us to grow the show and its audience. Plus, I've met three Doctors since I started working there. Perry Simon doesn't know this yet, but I'm going to hug him really hard next time I see him -- until it gets awkward. Six extra seconds oughta do it."


Perry brings beau Mayer home for holiday

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. pop star Katy Perry brought her new beau John Mayer to her parents' house for Christmas, People.com reported.

The couple have been dating for a few months.

"They're happy together and with her family for the holidays," a source told People.com.

"John really likes getting to know Katy's family better," the insider said. "They've spent a lot of time together and really enjoy each other's company. ... John is entirely focused on Katy."

Perry's divorce from British comedian Russell Brand was finalized in July.

Mayer's exes include Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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