Friday, December 26, 2008

News Round-up

Fans of NBA teams give up their seats for soldiers
J.R. Martinez was one of Atlanta Hawks' first guests in 2004, while still in the midst of the 32 surgeries he would undergo during a lengthy recovery. The 25-year-old has since rebounded to the point that he can loosely (but amazingly) describe himself as a show-business colleague of NBA fans Jack Nicholson, Spike Lee and Eva Longoria Parker, having landed a recurring soap opera role on ABC's ALL MY CHILDREN as a badly burned veteran of the Iraq war.

Yet Martinez, to this day, speaks of his first exposure to the roaring, tearful appreciation of Mavs fans as "the night of a lifetime."

"Celebrities get that kind of attention every time they walk into a building," Martinez said. "For that one night, you get to feel like a celebrity. You really feel like you're on top of the world. For that night, we were the superstars.

"You get these tickets, courtside seats, but on top of that, you've got all these people coming up to you all night long, thanking you for protecting them. All these people are so appreciative and almost worshipping the ground you walk on.

"I always tell them that you don't understand what a night like this does for us. It's worth more than you can imagine. These are things that a lot of these soldiers would never get to do [otherwise], and it's happening to [soldiers] that had lost all hope."

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: B&B's Jeff Trachta now playing a variety of himself
Trachta is playing himself, at least sometimes, with a one-man variety show packed with impressions, songs, skits and more at Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs.

"I've loved every bit of my career," Trachta said in a phone interview last week.

He is doing his holiday show through this weekend and then he returns to his regular show in 2009.

SATIRE: EASTENDERS is real not a made-up soap
"There was confusion then celebration at the BBC tonight, when EASTENDERS, long considered to be a fictional TV soap, was, in fact, discovered to be a genuine East End community complete with actual real life people in real life situations!

The proof came during today's Christmas episode, when a number of the cast were gathered together at Ian Beale's house for Christmas Dinner. As the throng finished eating, the strains of the DOCTOR WHO theme could be heard emanating from the TV in the background."

Y&R's Marcille engaged is reporting that THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS actress Eva Marcille is now engaged to Lance Gross. The two attended the Daytime Emmys together earlier this year.

INTERVIEW: EASTENDERS' John Altman (Nick Cotton)
"Going back for me was a bit like a dream at first. You know when you have those dreams about things you did a few years back and you end up almost reliving the past? But then I realised how much I'd changed - I'd matured quite a bit, too. It didn't take long to slot back in, either. Getting Nick's 'voice' back, getting his gear back on and going back into Dot's front room. It took me about a morning and I was comfortable with it all again."

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