Featured TV and Film

Chris Rock Asked to Host Oscars Again After Controversial Slap

Hopefully this time Chris Rock won’t face any nasty surprises

Comedian Chris Rock has stated that he was asked to host the 2023 Academy Awards next year after actor Will Smith slapped him on stage while he was presenting an award at the ceremony in March. 

Rock revealed the news to his audience during his August 28th stand-up show in Phoenix, Arizona. He also announced that he had been asked to do a Super Bowl commercial but that he had turned both opportunities down. He did not reveal which brand had asked for him to front the commercial. 

According to The Arizona Republic, Rock compared returning to host the Oscars to ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ and also told the crowd that the slap from Smith ‘hurt.’ Aside from briefly mentioning the slap during his stand-up shows, the comedian has noticeably kept quiet about the controversial incident. 

Chris Rock asked to host 2023 Oscars
Chris Rock © Getty Images

Will Smith famously slapped Rock on stage during the Oscars earlier this year after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife’s hair. Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss due to alopecia, an autoimmune condition that can cause hair loss and, as a result, maintains a shaved head.

Smith apologized for his actions during his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. The following day, he apologized to Rock via an Instagram post. 

The actor later addressed the incident and answered fans’ questions in late July, through an Instagram video. He also reiterated his apology to Rock. He stated, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

Soon after the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy and was banned from the award show for the next 10 years. 

According to sources, the two men have not yet spoken. 


Featured LGBTQ TV and Film

National Television Awards: LGBTQ+ Stars Dominate Nominations

On September 15th, the small screens’ biggest stars all descend on Wembley Arena to celebrate the year’s biggest TV triumphs at the National Television Awards

The nominations for 2022’s National Television Awards have been announced and LGBTQ+ talent leads the pack. Amongst the nominees are Bridgeton’s, Jonathan Bailey and Heartstoppers Joe Locke, and Kit Connor. Jonathan is up for one of the biggest awards of the night, Best Drama Performance, and the queer coming-of-age series, Heartstopper is up for the prestigious New Drama award. 

Heartstopped nominated at National Television Awards
Heartstopper cast (

Heartstopper was an unexpected triumph for Netflix. The relatively low-budget adaptation of Alice Coleman’s young adult comic book quickly went viral and gained a huge fanbase that’s eager for a second season. Heartstopper is essentially a love story between teens Charlie and Nick, played by Joe Locke and Kit Connor. The pair navigate coming to terms with their sexuality in the context of a turbulent school environment. The charm of this series is its positivity. It’s one of the first queer love stories, made for teenagers, that shows LGBTQ+ life in an honest but beautiful way.

The Heartstopper team recently reacted to the news of being added to the NTA’s longlist on Instagram. The spokesperson shared, “we’re so excited to be on the National Television Awards longlist for New Drama and to see our very own @joelocke03 and @kit.connor longlisted for Rising Star!” The series has huge potential for taking home best Drama, which will undoubtedly help share the wonderful message to more teens who are seeking acceptance.

Bridgeton nominated at the National Television Awards
Jonathan Bailey in Bridgeton (The Hollywood Reporter)

It’s also a big night for Bridgeton. Charithra Chandra (Edwina Sharma) is up for the career-boosting Rising Star Award and will battle it out alongside Heartstoppers, Joe and Kit. Bridgeton is an American historical romance series that’s based on author Julia Quin’s works. With just two seasons, Bridgeton broke Netflix streaming records, becoming the “most watched English Language television series” at the time on the platform, debuting at number 1’s most watched in 92 countries. Jonathan plays one of the main characters, Anthony, the eldest Brigerton son and head of the family. It’s great to see the NTA’s recognising British talent that’s making waves across the pond. 

But, Bridgeton is up against some stiff competition from the likes of Peaky Blinders, Call the Midwife and the Split. The evening will be hosted by Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here winner, Joel Dommett, and will see live musical performances from some of Britain’s biggest musical talents.

Alison Hammond nominated at National Television Awards
Alison Hammond (Huffington Post)

And, it seems Briggerton and Heartstopper are not the only dramas at this year’s NTA’s, as it has been revealed that Alison Hammond has been nominated for the award of Best TV Presenter, meaning that colleagues Holly Willoughby and Phillip Scholfield have been snubbed. Hammond shared her delight at the news on Twitter: “Me being nominated for A NTA and believing my own Hype!!!” A humble Alison continued, “thanks to everyone who nominated me honestly over the moon.” Could this be the year Ant and Dec hand over the gong to me #dreams.” If Hammond takes home the award, it will break Ant and Dec’s winning streak of 20 wins, as the double act has snatched the prize every single year since the NTA’s started in 2001.

Tune in to ITV on Thursday 15th September for the winners. In the meantime, cast your vote online to ensure your favourite star doesn’t go home empty-handed.