The Daily : Duchess of Cornwall portrait
Friday, 11 January 2013

The Daily: January 11

Written by Alesha Bonser
Academy Award nominations: British films Les Mis and Anna Karenina on the shortlist
The nominations for the biggest awards ceremony in Hollywood have been announced and British films 'Les Misérables' and 'Anna Karenina' have both received several nominations with 'Les Mis' appearing in a number of categories, including Best Picture, Actor and Supporting Actress. The film adaptation of the popular musical, which is released in the UK today, will be facing American blockbusters 'Lincoln', 'Django Unchained' and 'Life of Pi' in the Best Picture category as well as 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'. Ben Affleck's widely acclaimed film 'Argo' also made the shortlist.

This year's Best Actor category is made up of several strong contenders, including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix while Best Actress nominees include the oldest and youngest ever nominations in the category with 85-year-old Emanuelle Riva competing against Quvenzhane Wallis who is just 9 years old.

Anne Hathaway is hotly tipped for Best Supporting Actress winner for her role as the destitute Fantine in 'Les Mis'. She will compete against Amy Adams, Sally Field, Helen Hunt and Jacki Weaver.

British singer-songwriter Adele received a nomination for the Best Original Song of 2013 for the James Bond theme 'Skyfall' but Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench missed out on nominations for their roles in the film.

The 85th annual Oscar ceremony will air on the 24th February.

Duchess of Cambridge 'thrilled' as her first official portrait is unveiled
Following her 31st birthday earlier this week, the Duchess of Cambridge had another reason to celebrate this morning as her first ever official portrait was unveiled at the Nation Portrait Gallery in London. Both the Duke and Duchess arrived in central London this morning for a private viewing of the portrait before it goes on public display this afternoon. Painted by award-winning artist Paul Emsley, the large head-and-shoulders portrait is an 'almost photographic' reproduction of the duchess set against Emsley's trademark dark background. The couple had nothing but high praise for the painting with Prince William calling the portrait 'absolutely beautiful'.

Archers actress returns to Ambridge after 30 years
Actress Heather Bell is set to return to much-loved Radio 4 soap 'The Archers' to reprise the role of Clarrie Grundy – a part she played more than 30 years ago. The actress will replace Rosalind Adams in the role after Ms Adams quit the show following 25 years as Clarrie Grundy. Commenting on the cast change, programme editor Vanessa Whitburn said: 'We were set the challenge of finding an actress who could continue with the great work that Rosalind Adams has done down the years, ensuring Clarrie retains her special place in listeners' affections, and we are incredible lucky to have tempted Heather back.' Archers fans can expect to hear the return of Clarrie Grundy on the 10th February.

Allergic to art: New York's Museum of Modern Art to be carpeted in pollen
Ai Weiwei did it with sunflower seeds, now German artist Wolfgang Laib is to carpet the floor of the prestigious MoMA in New York with grains of pollen. The artist, who has been collecting the grains from his hometown in south Germany since the 1990s, will take over the Marron Atrium at the museum and cover the floor entirely with the yellow pollen. This installation, called 'Pollen from Hazelnut', will be the artist's largest to date, measuring 18 by 21 feet. However, while some hay fever sufferers might well dismiss the value of a room full of pollen, Laib commented: 'Pollen is the potential beginning of the life of the plant. It is as simple, as beautiful and as complex as this...I think everybody who lives know that pollen is important.'

Sneezy the Squirrel goes nuts for homemade hats
A university student from Pennsylvania has developed such a close relationship with a tiny squirrel that it has allowed her to dress it in an array of eye-catching hats. Mary Krupa, 18, struck up a relationship with the squirrel by feeding it nuts until it became comfortable enough to eat straight from her hand. However, the animal-loving student didn't stop there: 'I had a tiny doll hat with me and tried it. Amazingly, she sat there with it on long enough for me to take a picture. It was so cute.' Since this first experiment, Mary has made a number of novelty hats for her friend including a miniature fez, top hat and mortarboard. This amazing relationship has sparked a lot of local and online interest in Sneezy, with Mary reporting: 'People call me the 'Squirrel Whisperer', which I find hilarious'.

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