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Live from Las Vegas: Monday, March 3, 2014

| posted Monday, Mar 3rd, 2014

It’s Vegas, baby! We’re off to the entertainment capital of the world to celebrate my’s 50th birthday!

Monday through Wednesday, BT will be live from The Strip and surrounding attractions where we will be living it up Vegas style!

For behind-the-scenes updates and more, check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram postings using the hashtag #BTvegas.

Ellen DeGeneres brings pizza, breaks Twitter during Oscar hosting gig

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Mar 3rd, 2014

Comedian and talk show star Ellen DeGeneres returned as Oscar host on Sunday, bringing her deadpan affability, and free pizza, to the 86th Academy Awards show while still poking fun at Hollywood royalty.

In a back-to-basics approach to a live, 3 1/2-hour telecast that largely eschewed sophisticated clip montages and lavish song-and-dance productions, DeGeneres displayed her flair for playing informality for laughs.

Shrugging off complaints from some critics that the breezy levity of her first Oscar stint in 2007 was at odds with the Academy Awards’ traditional sense of decorum, DeGeneres forayed into the Dolby Theatre audience several times during Sunday’s show to mingle with the film industry elite, as she did seven years before.

She handed a faux consolation prize – a pair of lottery tickets – toAmerican Hustle star Bradley Cooper after he lost his bid for best supporting actor; took a “selfie” snapshot with a group of nominees that was swiftly re-tweeted more than two million times during the show; and even ushered a pizza delivery guy into the auditorium to hand out slices to the stars, then called on producer Harvey Weinstein to pay the tip.

“No pressure, only a billion people are watching, whatever you feel is right,” she shouted.

While mostly veering away from the ribald streak that marked Seth MacFarlane’s widely panned, and far more provocative, stint as emcee last year, DeGeneres showed she was not above mocking the movie industry’s biggest stars.

In another pithy moment, DeGeneres declared two possible scenarios for the final outcome of the Oscar race: “Possibility No. 1, 12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Possibility No. 2, you’re all racists.”

DeGeneres, 56, made broadcast history in 1997 as the first openly gay lead character on U.S. prime-time television, shortly after she came out publicly as a lesbian in real life.

Her return Oscar engagement came a year after MacFarlane, the creator of the animated sitcom Family Guy, drew critical scorn for a risque performance that included zingers about gays, Jews and domestic violence, and a musical tribute to female frontal nudity called We Saw Your Boobs.

Early reviews of DeGeneres’ latest performance were mostly positive.

Variety’s TV columnist Brian Lowry gave her points for “playful jabs” at the stars that “managed to feel fun without being mean-spirited,” saying that her opening monologue “screamed of a desire to dial back the show to safer terrain.”

USA Today said DeGeneres kicked off her sophomore Oscar run “in uproarious fashion,” and the Washington Post review said that DeGeneres “told jokes that were easy on the ears, gentle on the mind and, for the most part, sparingly nice.”

With files from Reuters

‘12 Years a Slave’ takes top prize at Oscars

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Mar 3rd, 2014

The slavery drama 12 Years a Slave won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, becoming the first film from a black director to win the film industry’s top honor in the 86 years of the Academy Awards.

The film from British director Steve McQueen is based on the memoirs of a free black man, Solomon Northup, who is tricked and sold into bondage in Louisiana in an unflinching account of pre-Civil War slavery in America.

Its biggest competitor, space thriller Gravity took the Oscar for best director, Mexican Alfonso Cuaron, and racked up five other awards for technical achievements like visual effects and cinematography, a reward for its groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness.

Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey was named best actor for Dallas Buyers Club; Cate Blanchett, best actress for Blue Jasmine; Jared Leto, best supporting actor for Dallas Buyers Club; and Lupita Nyong’o, best supporting actress for 12 Years a Slave.

Click here for a full list of the winners.

Nyong’o’s win over Jennifer Lawrence for her role as a loopy housewife in American Hustle injected some drama halfway through the 86th Academy Awards, after early Oscars went to heavy favorites.

Comedian and talk show star Ellen DeGeneres returned as Oscar host on Sunday in an appearance many saw as calculated to project a lighter, more affable tone for Hollywood’s biggest night after the provocative performance of her immediate predecessor, Seth MacFarlane.

She mixed with the star-studded crowd, taking selfies with the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and showed in her opening monologue she was not above poking fun at some of the film industry’s biggest names.

In one of the strongest years for film in recent memory, the 6,000-plus voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were expected to scatter golden Oscar statuettes widely among the many acclaimed movies in contention.

Sunday was the culmination of an unusually long awards season, extended by the Winter Olympics, and for many of the nominees it spelled the end to months of campaigning and years of work on a film.

Bedecked in gowns, tuxedos and even shorts, the world’s top actors and actresses strode down the red carpet right after the sun broke through four days of heavy rain that threatened to put a damper on Hollywood’s biggest night.

With files from Reuters and CityNews.ca

LIVE BLOG: The 2014 Academy Awards

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Mar 2nd, 2014

And the Oscar goes to…

Reporters from 680News, Entertainment City and The Hollywood Reporter are partnering up to provide Oscars coverage in real time, including red carpet highlights and fashion, analysis of the show and updates on the winners, losers and reaction.

Entertainment reporter Eva Fragiskatos will cover red carpet fashion, and film critic Leslie James, news reporter Momin Qureshi and Vancouver Breakfast Television host Riaz Meghi will provide colour commentary throughout the entire show itself.

Follow along below starting at 6 p.m. EST.

In Season: Sweet potatoes

Cityline | posted Sunday, Mar 2nd, 2014

In an online feature from our friends at Cityline.caIn Season, they highlight seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

What they are, the different varieties, their health properties, and how to incorporate them into your cooking.


What: These tubers, with their reddish-brown skin and orange flesh, have more in common with the morning glory flower than they do with your average spud. They’re also commonly confused with yams, although the yam and the sweet potato are also two distinct species. Whatever botanical family they’re classified in, we know we love these sweet-tasting roots!

Varieties: Sweet potatoes are grown in many parts of the world, and both their skin and flesh colour can vary greatly. In North America, we’re most familiar with the brown-skin, orange-flesh variety.

Health properties: Sweet potatoes have a few nutritional advantages over white potatoes — the main one being that they’re a great source of beta-carotene. They’re also rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre.

Plays well with: Sage, onions, maple, other root vegetables, carrots, pecans, black beans, cranberries, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, coconut.

Simple ways to use: The sweet potato can be treated much the same way as white potato — baked, roasted, fried, mashed (you get the idea). You’ve no doubt seen sweet potato as a side dish at Thanksgiving, often sweetened further with brown sugar and/or marshmallows. But we think the tuber has enough natural sweetness on its own. We’re looking forward to subbing it in for carrots in our baked goods — we’ve been told sweet potato muffins, breads and cakes are vastly superior to those made with carrots. Sounds like a challenge to us!

Storage: Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 3-4 weeks.

Get cooking with sweet potatoes!

Sweet potato French toast

Roasted garlic and sweet potato clafoutis

Spiced quinoa, sweet potato, broccoli and cranberry salad

Mexi meatless shepherd’s pie

Roasted sweet potato soup with orange and ginger

Coconut curry with sweet potatoes, chickpeas and spinach

Chicken teriyaki with kale and sweet potatoes

Sweet potato salmon cakes with yogurt dill dressing

Triple-threat superfood burger with sweet potato, walnuts and kale

Curried chicken thighs with sweet potato fries

With files from Suzanne Ellis, Cityline.ca

Week of March 3, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Mar 2nd, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

It’s Vegas, baby!  We’re off to the entertainment capital of the world to celebrate Kevin’s 50th birthday.

On Monday, we’re live from The Strip where Kevin will be playing a little blackjack with Ray Romano. Plus, Entertainment City is in Los Angeles for the Oscars.

Celebrity chef Chuck Hughes stops by the studio Wednesday.

And to end things off on Friday, our Winston Sih will have the latest tech gadgets for travel–just in time for March Break!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Social Stream: Kevin Frankish’s 50th in Las Vegas

Winston Sih | posted Sunday, Mar 2nd, 2014

It’s Vegas, baby! We’re off to the entertainment capital of the world to celebrate Kevin Frankish’s 50th birthday.

Monday through Wednesday, we’ll be live from The Strip and surrounding attractions where Kevin and Jenn will be living it up Vegas style!

For behind-the-scenes updates and more, check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram postings using the hashtag #BTvegas, as well as in the social stream below.

Click here to watch our previous #BTvegas Live Eye segments.

Latest video blog:

Click here to watch all of Kevin’s video blogs.

Rob Ford gets celebrity treatment in Los Angeles

CityNews | posted Sunday, Mar 2nd, 2014

Toronto’s controversial mayor is getting the celebrity treatment on a surprise trip to Los Angeles.

Rob Ford touched down in Tinseltown on Saturday and was greeted by late-night talk show jokester Jimmy Kimmel, who wore a chauffeur’s cap and held a sign reading “FORD.”

The mayor told reporters he’d “love to” to attend the Oscars on Sunday, and will also appear on Kimmel’s show — which has repeatedly ribbed the headline-grabbing Ford — Monday night.

When asked if he was taking Ford as his Oscar guest, a chuckling Kimmel replied “absolutely, wherever he wants to go.”

Ford says that after many requests he finally agreed to be a guest on Kimmel’s show because the host personally asked him.

Passersby snapped photos while Ford and Kimmel bantered as they made their way through the airport.

“I’m happy to have you here,” Kimmel told Ford.

“Thank you, thank you. We’re going to have a good time,” replied the mayor.

An upbeat Ford played along with Kimmel’s gag, slipping him a tip before hopping in a waiting vehicle.

Ford, who is running for re-election, rocketed to the attention of the international media after his bombshell revelation last year that he smoked crack while in office — an admission seized upon by wise-cracking late-night hosts in the U.S.

And in yet another sign he’s become the rare Canadian politician with name recognition stateside, a larger-than-life replica of Ford smoking a crack pipe was featured front and centre Friday in a Mardi Gras parade float sending up Canadian celebrities.

Twitter lit up on news of Ford’s L.A. trip.

“@TOMayorFord pls stay there,” one user quipped.

“THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU,” another posted.

With files from The Canadian Press

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