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Monday, January 31, 2011

A mother's grief: The startling images which show how chimpanzees mourn their dead just like humans



Grieving process: A chimpanzee mother tenderly lays her dead 16-month-old infant on the ground after carrying the body for more than 24 hours. Scientists filmed this heartbreaking footage in Chimfunshi, Zambia

Chimpanzees appear to mourn their dead infants just like humans, scientists have discovered.

Chimpanzee mothers establish close physical relationships with their young, carrying them for up to two years and nursing them until they are six.

But now scientists have filmed how one chimpanzee mother, whose 16-month-old infant died, apparently begins the grieving process.

It’s the latest evidence highlighting just how similar chimps and other great apes are to humans.

The ape continued to carry the body for more than 24 hours before tenderly laying on the ground. Then from a short distance she watched over her child.

Periodically she returns to the body and touches the face and neck with her fingers to establish it was dead.

She then took the body to other chimpanzees in the troop to get a second opinion. The following day the chimp had abandoned the body, according to a report by scientists from the respected Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Dr Cronin said the research provided 'unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death'.

Dr Katherine Cronin and Edwin Van Leeuwen together with Prof Mark Bodamer, of Gonzaga University in Washington State, and Innocent Chitalu Mulenga videoed the chimpanzee in Chimfunshi, Zambia.

Devastated: Struggling to take in the news, the mother then moves to a nearby grass bank and watches over the body of her dead child

Dr Cronin said the research provided 'unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death'.

She said: 'After carrying the infant's dead body for more than a day, the mother laid the body out on the ground in a clearing and repeatedly approached the body and held her fingers against the infant's face and neck for multiple seconds.

'She remained near the body for nearly an hour, then carried it over to a group of chimpanzees and watched them investigate the body. The next day, the mother was no longer carrying the body of the infant.'

The report, published in the American Journal of Primatology, said almost nothing is known about how primates react to death of close individuals, what they understand about death, and whether they mourn.

The researchers therefore believe they have reported a unique transitional period as the mother learned about the death of her infant, a process never before reported in detail.

Second opinion: The mother then invites other chimpanzees over to the body, touching the face and neck with her fingers to confirm it is dead

'The videos are extremely valuable, because they force one to stop and think about what might be happening in the minds of other primates,' Dr Cronin said.

'Whether a viewer ultimately decides that the chimpanzee is mourning, or simply curious about the corpse, is not nearly as important as people taking a moment to consider the possibilities.'

Previous reports have documented chimpanzee mothers carrying their deceased young for days or weeks, showing the strength of the mother-infant bond.
The latest research complements these observations and sheds new light on how chimpanzees might learn about death.

Professor Bodamer said: 'These data contribute to a small but growing body of data on how non-human primates respond to death.

'We hope these objective accounts will continue to accumulate and eventually allow researchers to take a comprehensive look at the extent to which non-human primate understand death, and how they respond to it.

'It was only a matter of time, and the right conditions, that chimpanzees' response to death would be recorded and subjected to analysis that would reveal remarkable similarities to humans.'

Chimps are human’s closest relatives in the wild. Like people they can use tools, using sticks to fish out termites, hunt in teams and plan ahead.

They are also one of the few animals that can recognise themselves in a mirror - and realise that they are looking at a reflection.

Chimpanzee mother learns about her dead infant

source: dailymail [endtext]

Yamashita Tomohisa starts his first solo Asia tour


NEWS member Yamashita Tomohisa just started his solo Asia tour, “TOMOHISA YAMASHITA ASIA TOUR 2011 Super Good Super Bad“, at HITEC Star Hall in Hong Kong.

Yamashita appeared on stage, receiving enthusiastic “Yamapi!” calls, and he performed “Daite Senorita“, “Fever to Future“, and “Seishun Amigo” as the opening songs, and grabbed the hearts of 4,000 fans. When Yamashita performed “Seishun Amigo” on the stage, while being surrounded by the audience on all side, almost all of those in attendance were dancing to the song with Yamashita.

A total 25 songs were performed during the live concert, and Yamashita said to the fans, “I knew you guys (fans in Hong Kong) were very powerful, but it was just way beyond my expectations. I will study the language more, and I want to sing Hong Kong songs next time!”

Although he has held a live concert with NEWS in Taiwan back in 2007, this was his first solo concert overseas. During the concert, Yamashita gave handshakes on his own accord, and he even went down to the auditorium.

The live concerts in Hong Kong were held on January 29th and the 30th, so Yamashita said that he watched the Japan’s performance in the Asian Cup Final at the hotel room after the concert. Since he is in good contact with one of the Japanese team’s player, Nagatomo Yuto, who had the game winning assist, Yamashita gave congratulations to his friend, saying, “Nagatomo was amazing. He encouraged me. Congratulations.”

It’s been a whole nine years since any Johnny’s Entertainment artist has held a live concert in Hong Kong, however, it seems like the popularity of JE boys, including Yamashita, is still quite high. Since the tickets for the two live concerts in Hong Kong were sold out in an hour, there were two more additional stages. Thus, Yamashita held four stages in total in two days.

With this Asia tour, Yamashita will also visit Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, apart from the five locations in Japan. He said, “I would like to dwindle the distances in this world. I would hope I could make people in other countries think, ‘Idols in Japan are pretty fun.’”

source: tokyohive [endtext]

Girl group Passpo to make major label debut + embark on world tour


Ten member girl group Passpo announced that they would be making their major debut and going on a worldwide tour!

The group cheerfully introduced themselves in front of 1,000 fans on January 30th with a cute “Attention please! We’re Passpo!”, then showed off their major debut song “Shoujo Hikou,” presenting its “air travel” theme and flight attendant-inspired costumes. It was also revealed at the event that member Wakatsuki Chinatsu was responsible for the costume design and “rolling bag” dance for their debut single.

The group will be releasing their major label debut single, “Shoujo Hikou,” on April 6th after releasing four indie singles and an album. The average age of all the members is 17.4 years old, and finds much of their inspiration in popular Korean girl group Shoujo Jidai, their labelmate under Universal Music Japan. When asked about SNSD, Passpo replied excitedly, “We’d love to stand on the same stage as them someday.”

The girls seemed to have high expectations of their major label debut. “Even though we’re making our major debut, we want to give it our all just like the (indies) Passpo,” said the leader, Negishi Ai. She then added, “We want to stand at the top. We have our eye on Oricon’s number one spot!”

Passpo also announced at the event that they would be going on a worldwide tour by the end of the year, featuring stops in America and across Asia.

Check out Passpo’s performance at the Tokyo Idol Festival 2010 below. Do you think the girls have what it takes to make a successful major label debut?

Passpo – Let It Go!! + La La Love Train (Tokyo Idol Festival 2010)

source: tokyohive [endtext]

2PM’s Nichkhun’s “It’s Skin” CF teaser


On January 30th, a short teaser of 2PM’s Nichkhun’s CF for “It’s Skin” was released.

The teaser starts out with the saying, “Don’t believe her”, and then the video goes to several shots of Nichkhun and the ‘mystery girl’ – in what seems to be a kiss scene! At the end, the CF teaser states, “If you are curious about Nichkhun’s kiss: February 1st – TV CF on air.”

Fans showed mixed reactions to Nichkhun’s possible kiss scene, “Can’t say anything because I feel faint…”, “ki ki kissssss!! Noooooooooooooooo”, and “I love this!!”

Check out the teaser of Nichkhun’s kiss below!

source: allkpop [endtext]

Park Jin Young releases “If” for “Dream High” OST


Park Jin Young’s track for the “Dream High“ OST has finally been revealed!

Titled “If“, the song is a gorgeous ballad that utilizes piano and orchestra to give that heavy and dramatic feel.

The emotional lyrics express the sorrow of one man’s lost love, and demonstrate the producer’s ability in not only being able to write and compose, but also pen lyrics as well.

Check it out below!

source: allkpop [endtext]

Battle of the bumps as pregnant Natalie Portman and Jane Krakowski bring their 'plus ones' to Screen Actors Guild Awards



Bumping along nice: Pregnant Natalie Portman showed off her growing bump along with 30 Rock star Jane Krakowski at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Hollywood last night

They're both due to give birth in a matter of months - and it clearly show.

Natalie Portman and Jane Krakowski showed off their growing baby bumps on the red carpet last night as they put in a stunning turn at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.

The pregnant duo lit up the red carpet in their respective form-fitting gowns.

Natalie, 29, looked angelic in a white maxi dress while 30 Rock's Jane, 42, showed a bit of leg in a sparkly three-quarter-length asymmetrical number.

Tender kiss: Jane shares an affectionate moment with her British-born clothing designer fiancé Robert Godley

Black Swan actress Natalie is due in the summer after falling pregnant with fiancé Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed her in the movie. Jane, meanwhile, is set to give birth at the end of April.

Speaking on the red carpet, Natalie revealed she was wearing Tiffany jewels worth $2million.

She also told E! presenter Giuliana Rancic why she refers to her Black Swan co-star Mila Kunis, who she shares a lesbian with in the film, as 'sweet lips'.

Blooming: Jane is due to give birth at the end of April while Natalie, seen posing with Helena Bonham Carter is due a little later in the summer

Actress Nicole Kidman and her husband musician Keith Urban, who have recently welcomed a new addition to their family, their surrogate baby girl Faith Margaret

Dressed to impress: Nicole put in a head-turning red carpet performance in a flowing black dress, complete with lace detailing around her back and décolletage

'It's very soft to kiss a girl,' Natalie told Giuliana.

Jane, who was wearing a Badgley Mischka design, said that her pregnancy is now becoming a reality to her after entering her third trimester.

'It's just becoming a reality,' she said. 'We're so excited.'

'Sweet lips': Black Swan actress Mila Kunis dazzled in a sizzling Alexander McQueen gown. Her co-star Portman, who kisses her in the film, calls her 'sweet lips'

Starlets: Hollywood star Hilary Swank showed off her toned figure in dress which wrapped tightly against her stomach while Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria wore a daring plunging number

Speaking of cravings, she added: 'I haven't really had bizerko ones. I like to drink a lot of juice. Only good things for the baby.'

Big names of the silver screen and TV lit up the red carpet in an array of colours, with sizzling reds, oranges and pinks proving a popular colour choice.

Luckily the rainy weather cleared up just in time as the celebs made their arrival at the Shrine Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

Leading ladies: Mad Men star January Jones went for black and gold, her co-star Christina Hendricks wore a plunging black gown split to the thigh and, right, actress Susan Sarandon dressed in regal purple

Glamorous: Claire Danes donned a floral dress which she teamed with hot pink lipstick while Jenna Fischer, who stars in the American version of The Office opted for an eggshell colour

Regal: Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara, Mariska Hargitay and reality star Kim Kardashian all looked stunning in their purple and blue gowns

Mila Kunis stole the limelight in a sizzling Alexander McQeen design, which she described as the most comfortable dress she has ever worn.

She also admitted that starring in Black Swan has changed her life.

Mila, who recently split from her long-time boyfriend McCauley Culkin, said: 'It's changed my life. It's all happened so fast and quickly. I'm so grateful for all of this.'

Taking a tumble: Actress Jennifer Lawrence got her bright pink dress caught in her towering heels as she negotiated the red carpet

Pretty in pink: While Jennifer opted for hot pink, Angie Harmon and Kate Mara went for subtler shades

Looking all white: Glee cast members Heather Morris and Lea Michele and, right, Winona Ryder went for the neutral look

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara showed off her curves in a plunging blue gown, and behaved in her customary cheeky way.

Asked by Giuliana if she would change anything about her body, she replied: 'I really have nothing to complain about, I've been very lucky.

'Sometimes I wish I was a size 8 and that I didn't have to go out with a bra. I have to strap everything.

Red carpet style: E! presenter Giuliana Rancic, The fighter actress Amy Adams and her co-star Melissa Leo in a stand out silver number

Ladies together: Melissa, who best supporting actress at the event, poses with her co-stars from The Fighter

'Women are never happy,' she joked.

Hilary Swank looked immaculate in a dress which wrapped tightly against her stomach.
She revealed that she works out for around an hour at least four times a week to keep in shape, saying that she really enjoys exercise.

Colourful: Modern Family's Sarah Hyland, True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld and Jayma Mays all opted for orange dresses with Hailee slipping into a patterned Prada mermaid-style gown

Smile for the cameras: The 15-year-old star poses in front of the army of photographers

'When I work out I work out hard. It becomes something you miss if you don't do it. It's an endorphin rush. I normally do an hour about four times a week.'

Nicole Kidman, who attended with husband Keith Urban, also spoke out about the birth of her surrogate daughter, Faith Margaret.

She said that Margaret was her grandmother's name, saying: 'She had her last child aged 49,' adding that they decided on the name Faith because the surrogacy journey 'required faith'.

Helena Bonham Carter arrived in a quirky black and white ensemble, and posed with Natalie Portman on the red carpet.

Ladies in red: Mamma Mia actress Christine Baranski, The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies and Nurse Jackie actress Edie Falco

Smiling stars: Glee actress Amber Riley poured her curves into a ruffled black dress while Julie Bowen broke the red carpet tradition by wearing a trouser suit

Asked about her outlandish fashion sense, Helena joked: 'I'm here because I'm supposed to be able to act well, not dress well.'

Pink was another popular colour in the fashion stakes, with actress Jennifer Lawrence opting for a bright pink dress.

But she struggled to negotiate the red carpet in her towering black heels and nearly took a tumble at one point after getting her dress caught in the heel of her shoe.

Clare Danes, who donned a floral dress, brightened up her style with lashing of hot pink lipstick and wore her hair loose.

A shade of blue: American TV host Nancy O'Dell, and actress Cara Buono and Glee's Dianna Agron donned intricate designs

Looking dapper: Actors Jesse Eisenberg, Josh Pence, James Franco all looked smart in their suits

Calm before the storm: The Screen Actors Guild logo is cleaned before the events kicks off

17th Screen Actors Guild Awards * Part 1 * Jan/30/2011

SAG Awards 2011 Main Event - Part 2

'The King's Speech' Leads SAG Awards

SAG Awards 2011

Celebrities SAG Awards Shrine Auditorium

source: dailymail

Britney Spears walks down the aisle for the third time... but this time as a maid-of-honour at gay wedding




Oops she did it again: Britney Spears walked her assistant and friend Brett Miller down the aisle for his wedding yesterday

The blonde looked beautiful in a floor length blue gown for the wedding ceremony, in which Brett married actor, Frank Lionetti.

Oops she did it again...

Britney Spears has walked down the aisle for the third time. But this time the pop star is not tying the knot.

The 29-year-old singer played bridesmaid for her gay assistant and friend, Brett Miller in Miami, yesterday.

All smiles: Britney looked right at home in the Miami church

Flying into Miami on Thursday, the singer and her boyfriend Jason Trawick enjoyed a romantic weekend.

The pair stayed at the Newport Beachside Hotel, alongside several other friends who were part of the wedding party.

Enjoying an ocean-front room for two, the couple decided to spend some time on their own after arriving late on Thursday night.

'During Thursday night's rehearsal dinner, Britney ditched the reception and ordered room service for herself, Jason and her bodyguard,' a source told People magazine.

The wedding setting: the ceremony took place at the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church and The Ancient Spanish Monastry

The pair chose some comfort food from the hotel's menu.

'They had spaghetti bolognese, turkey burgers, chicken noodle soup, a fruit plate and one turkey sandwich,' said the insider.

Seemingly enjoying the hotel surrounds, they then surprisingly left the following day.

Privacy issues forced the couple to move to another hotel, with Britney complaining that the 'pool wasn't private' enough.

But what an upgrade they got...

They settled on a Frank Sinatra Suite at the Fontainebleau in Miami, where the $35 million penthouse rents for $15,000 a night.

Romantic: The church has a beautiful courtyard where guests can gather

With four bedrooms, a kitchen, whirlpool, piano and a large balcony overlooking the ocean, Britney and Jason had all the amenities at hand.

On Friday, they enjoyed a spot of shopping before attending another wedding party.
Keeping with the Sinatra theme, the pair waltzed to the crooner's tunes.

'At one point, during the early evening Jason took Britney's hand and twirled her to a cool Frank Sinatra sound,' the source says. 'It was cute and romantic.'

The dancing didn't stop there as the couple headed for the Fontainebleau club LIV.

Brit's boy: Jason Trawick was spotted poolside at the Fountainebleau Resort in Miami Beach yesterday

'Britney and Jason were dancing and laughing and having a great time at LIV,' another source told PEOPLE. 'He was very sweet and affectionate with her. And she got very excited when her favorite songs came on.'

Britney's friend's wedding took place at Miami's Spanish Monastery.

source: dailymail [endtext]

Nicole Kidman reveals why she kept surrogacy baby a secret at Screen Actors Guild Awards



Happy couple: Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles last night
But she and her country music singer Urban decided to keep mum until just recently in order to protect all those involved.

Nicole Kidman has opened up for the first time about her new daughter.

The actress and husband Keith Urban revealed earlier this month that they had welcomed Faith Margaret to the family after she was born via a surrogate.

Speaking at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles last night, the 43-year-old star said keeping the surrogacy process quiet was difficult because she wanted to share the exciting news.

Speaking to E! presenter Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet, Nicole said: 'I wanted to be able to tell everybody because I was so excited about her.

'[But] we just decided this was our thing together. It kind of just perpetuated itself.'

'[And] it protects her and it protects everyone in the situation.'

Affectionate display: Nicole opened up for the first time about her new daughter Faith Margaret, who was born via a surrogate

Stunning: The actress looked incredible in a black dress complete with lace panelling around the décolletage and back

The Australian actress presented Colin Firth with his best actor award at last night's glitzy event for his role in The King's Speech.

However despite being nominated herself for best actress for her film Rabbit Hole, she lost out on the honour with Natalie Portman pipping her to the post for Black Swan.

Nicole and Keith released a join statement on January 17, revealing their happy news about Faith Margaret - three weeks after she was born to a gestational carrier at The Women's Hospital at Centennial Medical Center in Kidman and Urban's adopted hometown of Nashville.

Meet and greet: The actress signs autographs for fans, but missed out on winning best actress at the event for her role in Rabbit Hole

Nicole already has a two-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose, with Urban, plus adopted children Isabella, 18, and Connor, 15 from her previous relationship with Tom Cruise.

Kidman added that Faith Margaret's name was inspired by her own family and adopted southern hometown.

'It's that southern double name,' she said, adding that Margaret was the name of her beloved grandmother who had her last baby aged 49.

'She's my inspiration,' Kidman added.

Congratulations: She presented Colin Firth with his gong for best actor in the King's Speech

Nicole Kidman Gushes About New Baby

source: dailymail [endtext]

Bad hair day Beyonce? Singer steps out with her crazy curls hiding under a hood



Crazy curls: singer Beyonce stepped out in New York on Friday with a head full of dishevelled curls

She is known to change her look from time to time.

And in doing so Beyonce always looks polished.

But the singer seems to have had a hairstyle slip as she stepped out in New York on Friday.

Looking somewhat dishevelled, the 29-year-old hid her blonde locks underneath a hoodie.

And it's little wonder why - the singer's hair, which is usually sleek and styled, was out of control.

Looking like she had just rolled out of bed, the wife of rapper Jay-Z couldn't contain her wayward curls.

Beyonce's locks also looked like they had been lightened.

The singer, who is partial to the more paler shade, seems to be struggling to stay away from the bottled bleach.

Known to not be afraid of a tress change, she has tried several different hair colours, including red and brown.

However chic: The singer still looked stylish in her outfit as she made her way around Hells Kitchen

Out and about in Hells Kitchen, Beyonce didn't however disappoint on the outfit front and dressed in a pair of black pants, top and matching boots.

The grey coat covering her curls looked snug and warm with it's fur trimmed hood.
The singer accessorised the ensemble with a pair of military style boots and a chic Chanel bag.

Shy starlet: The 29-year-old hid under her hood as she ran her errands

With full red lips, she was all smiles for the camera and was accompanied by a big burly bodyguard.

Meanwhile Beyonce and Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood are currently in negotiations to team up on a third remake of A Star Is Born.

Warner Bros have confirmed that the pair are in talks for a green-lit fourth version of the classic film, slated for release in 2012.

Usually styled: Beyonce usually steps out with more sleek and polished tresses

Beyonce signed on to the project back in 2008, but was rumoured to have dropped out after lengthy delays.

The Single Ladies hit-maker will take on the role previously held by Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland in the 1976 and 1954 adaptations, and Janet Gaynor in the 1937 original.

She will play up and coming starlet Esther Blodgett, later Vicki Lester, who falls for a has-been rock-star.

Beyonce proved her acting chops in Oscar-winning musical Dreamgirls in 2006, as well as portraying Etta James in Cadillac Records.

source :dailymail

Miley Cyrus voted worst role model for young girls... by young girls themselves




Bad influence: Miley Cyrus, 18, has been voted the worst role model for young girls by an AOL poll beating out competition from Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato

Miley Cyrus has been voted the worst celebrity role model for young girls in a new poll of teenage girls themselves.

The 18-year-old singer and actress has topped the list for the second year in a row due to her scandalous behaviour over the past 12 months.

Miley beat out competition from Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato - despite both of them entering rehab in 2010.

This poll comes a month after Miley was caught on video smoking a bong containing a drug called salvia.

Although not illegal it is listed as a 'drug of concern' by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The survey was conducted by AOL website Just So You Know and was voted on by their core audience of girls aged between nine and 15.

Miley received more than 58 per cent of the 99,000 votes.

Also in the top 10 celebrity with the worst influence were Teen Mom star Amber Portwood, rapper Kanye West and Gossip Girl actor Chace Crawford, who was arrested for marijuana possession.

Growing up: Miley has made a definite effort to shed her good girl image and her Hannah Montana persona

Miley began her career starring on the Disney show Hannah Montana and she acquired a very young fan base.

Despite other celebrities her age also acting out, like Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen, Miley made her fortune through her younger fans so is thought to be held to a higher standard.

Seemingly desperate to shed her good girl image, Miley has been pictured wearing scandalous outfits, dancing provocatively in nightclubs and drinking alcohol abroad despite the legal age in the U.S. being 21 and driving while talking on her cell phone which is illegal.

On her 18th birthday in November, Miley was seen engaging in some very adult behaviour with her boyfriend Aran Jogia, 18.

She was pictured sprawled over the bar of Hollywood club Trousdale while Jogia was straddled on top of her kissing her neck.

Miley has also been caught publicly kissing ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth and has been linked to several other boys including Nick Jonas.

The actress is currently filming her latest movie So Undercover in New Orleans. The action comedy is based in a sorority house and co-stars Entourage's Jeremy Piven.

source: dailymail


Royal flush: The King's Speech beats out tough competition to scoop top honours at the Screen Actors Guild awards



Big prize: Anthony Andrews, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth scoop top honours at the Screen Actors Guild awards

- Colin Firth one step closer to an Oscar as he scoops Outstanding Actor award

- Natalie Portman adds to her haul as she wins Outstanding Actress for Black Swan

- Glee comes away empty handed despite three nominations

The King's Speech beat out stiff competition to win top film honours at tonight's Screen Actor's Guild award, with Colin Firth scooping the Outstanding Actor honour.

The film won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, beating favourites The Social Network and The Fighter.

Its win leaves the race wide open for this year's Oscar ceremony, with many tipping the Best Picture category to be the closest in years.

Top honour: Colin Firth accepts the Best Actor gong from Nicole Kidman, for his role as stammering King George VI in The King's Speech

In his speech, Firth paid tribute to his 'dream cast,' who included Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist Lionel Logue, Anthony Andrews as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother.
'This is really something,' he said.

Geoffrey Rush spoke for the rest of the cast as they all walked up on stage to accept their award.

'It shouldn't be called the SAG Award, it should be called the uplifting award,' he said.

All smiles: Firth holds his two awards aloft following the ceremony at The Shrine Auditorium

The win caps a sensational week that has seen The King's Speech win trophies from the Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
Both are seen as powerful nods as to which stars and what film will collect the top awards on Oscar night.

For several weeks the Oscar front-runner was the Facebook film The Social Network which had been winning prizes on what seemed like a daily basis,including the best film from the Golden Globes.

But over the past couple of weekends, The King's Speech halted The Social Network's advance when its producers took the PGA award.

Oscar favourite: The Social Network's stars Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg introduce the film on stage , but they ultimately lost out to The King's Speech

Fighting funny: The Fighter stars Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg share a laugh on stage

And on Saturday The King's Speech director Tom Hooper surprised Hollywood by winning the DGA main award for best director.

The awards are voted for by members the American film actors union.

It is a highly significant indicator as to who will at the Oscars next month as the acting branch represents the largest voting block in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars.

Success: Natalie Portman adds to her awards haul as she accepts the Best Actress gong from Jeff Bridges

In the Outstanding Actress category, favourite Natalie Portman cemented her position as Oscar favourite when she took the big prize for her role as a tortured ballerina in Black Swan, accepting the award from Jeff Bridges, who lost out to Colin Firth.

She thanked her parents 'who taught me to work my hardest, and to my fiance Benjamin Millepied. I love you very much,' she said.

The actress is expecting her first child by Millepied, who also appeared in Black Swan.

Stunning: Eva Longoria poses in a backless gown prior to presenting an award at tonight's show

Nominees: Both Hilary Swank and Nicole Kidman presented awards but lost out in the Best Acting category

Elegant: Susan Sarandon joined the ranks of celebrity presenters at the ceremony

Meanwhile, Christian Bale added the SAG Award for Supporting Actor to his Golden Globe and Critics Choice gongs for his role as drug addicted boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter.

He was joined on stage by the real life Eklund who he thanked for 'Living the life and letting me play you.'

Favourite Melissa Leo took the prize for Female Actor in a Supporting Role, also for The Fighter, paying tribute to the seven actresses who played her daughters in the film.

Victorious: Outstanding Supporting Actor Christian Bale is joined on stage by former boxer Dicky Eklund, who he plays in The Fighter

Triumphant: Melissa Leo holds her award aloft after emerging victorious in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category

'This has been an extraordinary season for me. I'm here with six out of the seven actresses who played my daughters. Thank you for helping me get a man I can take home with me,' she said, referring to the statuette.

Alec Baldwin surprised the audience by winning for the fifth consecutive time, beating Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer for the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy series.

'I don't know what to say. This is ridiculous,' he said.

Bemused: Betty White and Alec Baldwin were both surprised by their wins in the TV comedy category in Los Angeles on Sunday

Funny family: The cast of hit TV comedy series Modern Family look delighted at their win for Outstanding Comedy Ensemble

Betty White was visibly stunned to receive the Outstanding Comedy actress gong for her role in Hot In Cleveland, beating the likes of Glee's Jane Lynch and Tina Fey from 30 Rock.

'I must say, this is the biggest surprise I've ever had in the business,' she told the audience.

The cast of hit TV series Modern Family were also triumphant, beating favourites Glee for Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy series.

Other winners included Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi for Outstanding Actor in a TV series for his portrayal of the fictitious gangster Nicky Thompson, while Julianna Margulies for legal drama The Good Wife.

TV winners: Julianna Magulies accepts the award for Outstanding Female Actor in a drama series for The Good Wife, while Steve Buscemi collects the ale equivalent for Boardwalk Empire

Best ensemble: The cast of HBO's prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire pose with their SAG award for Outstanding Cast

Boardwalk Empire also won for Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama.

Al Pacino took the accolade for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Mini Series for You Don't Know Jack, although he was not at the ceremony.

And Claire Danes took the Miniseries gong for her role as Temple Grandin, thanking her husband Hugh Dancy in her speech.

'Thank you to my husband, my favourite man,' he said. 'My Hugh.'

Tribute: A delighted Claire Danes thanked her husband, actor Hugh Dancy, as she accepted the gong for Outstanding Female Actor in a TV movie or miniseries for her role as Temple Grandin

Glitzy: The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where this year's SAG awards took place

Award Season 2011: SAGs 2011: Cast of Hot in Cleveland - Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli & Wendie

SAGs 2011: Kim Kardashian of The Kardashians

SAGs 2011: Mark Wahlberg of The Fighter

SAGs 2011: Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire

SAGs 2011: Mila Kunis of Black Swan

source: dailymail [endtext]

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