For 106 years, Times Square has been the center of worldwide attention on New Year’s Eve

this is how to do a party …

For 106 years, Times Square has been the center of worldwide attention on New Year’s Eve, ever since the owners of One Times Square began in 1904 to conduct rooftop celebrations to greet the New Year. The first Ball Lowering celebration occurred in 1907, and this tradition is now a universal symbol of welcoming the New Year.


4:00 p.m.

The Revelers

Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 4:00 p.m., the Bow Tie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic. Revelers are directed by the NYPD to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, the revelers are directed by police to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers continue to fill the Times Square neighborhood along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to as far as Central Park.

6:00 p.m. to 6:03 p.m.

Opening Ceremonies – Lighting and Raising the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

The celebration begins with the lighting and raising of the New Year’s Eve Ball atop One Times Square. The Event Organizers, Tim Tompkins and Jeffrey Straus will be joined by representatives of the Philips Lighting Company to flip the giant switch which lights the New Year’s Eve Ball and begins its ascent accompanied by special pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square.

6:03 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

FNC’s All American New Year’s Eve: Musical Performance by Rick Springfield

The Times Square New Year’s Celebration gets started with Rick Springfield performing Jesse’s Girl, Venus In Overdrive and Love Somebody at the Nivea Countdown Stage at Duffy Island between 46th and 47th Streets.

6:17 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Bill and Giuliana Rancic share their long distance love story to warm-up the audience at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

6:40 p.m. to 6:48 p.m.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Musical Performance by Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance performs Paparazzi at the Nivea Kiss Stage at Turn-Lane Island between 45th & 46th Streets.

6:51 p.m. to 6:54 p.m.

Toshiba Vignette

Representatives from Toshiba introduce the new Official Times Square Ball App and the opportunity for users of the app to get their photo on the giant Toshiba Vision Screen atop One Times Square.

6:57 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Carson Daly

As we approach the New Year, Carson Daly will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 7 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Carson will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

7:10 p.m.

Times Square 2011 Hats and Balloons

The Times Square Alliance sanitation crew clad in bright red uniforms begin to distribute tens of thousands of fun handouts to the Times Square revelers for cheering in the New Year. Nivea is providing festive blue New Year’s Eve hats and blue balloons tied with silver mylar ribbons along with useful Nivea Lip Care product to keep our lips looking and feeling beautiful for that unforgettable kiss at midnight.

7:32 p.m. to 7:35 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Bill and Giuliana Rancic introduce the winning couples of Nivea’s “Kiss The One You Love” reunion contest at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

7:48 p.m. to 7:55 p.m.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Musical Performance by Broadway Cast of “American Idiot”

Broadway cast of the hit musical “American Idiot” perform a three song medley at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

7:57 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Ryan Seacrest

As we approach the New Year, Ryan Seacrest will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 8 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Ryan will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

8:57 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Anderson Cooper

As we approach the New Year, Anderson Cooper will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 9 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Anderson will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

9:10 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.

Bethany & Geoffrey’s Wedding Ceremony

After reviewing nearly 2,000 submissions, Get Married Media selected Marine Corps reservists Bethany & Geoffrey as the winning couple to Get Married in Times Square. The couple met each other in Iraq. They were engaged on a Bahamian beach, and will now Get Married in Times Square at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:20 p.m. to 9:23 p.m.

Waterford Crystal Wedding Toast

Waterford Crystal Master Craftsman, Jim O’Leary joined by the Times Square revelers will give the newlyweds a heart-warming Times Square wedding toast at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:26 p.m. to 9:37 p.m.

USO’s Liberty Bells Performance

The USO’s Liberty Bells perform a Seventies Medley and a special Service Salute at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

9:37 p.m. to 9:40 p.m.

Stand Up To Cancer

Representatives from Stand Up To Cancer and MasterCard Worldwide make a special announcement about their efforts to find a cure for cancer at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:51 p.m. to 9:54 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Two romantic revelers will be featured at the Nivea Kiss Stage for a special midnight practice Kiss …3..2..1.., Kiss like a billion people are watching!

9:56 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Carnival Cruise Lines

As we approach the New Year, Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, John Heald will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 10 o’clock hour accompanied by a red, white and blue confetti release and colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. John will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

10:09 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz performs a medley of his hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

10:25 p.m. to 10:28 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Two romantic revelers will be featured at the Nivea Kiss Stage for a special midnight practice Kiss …3..2..1.., Kiss like a billion people are watching!

10:37 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Ke$ha

Ke$ha performs a medley of her hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

10:57 p.m. to 11:03 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Raúl de Molina

As we approach the New Year, Raul de Molina will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 11 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Raul will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

11:03 p.m. to 11:10 p.m.

Univision’s Feliz 2011!: Musical Performance by Elvis Crespo

Elvis Crespo performs 15 Inviernos and Suavemente at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

11:38 p.m. to 11:46 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Backstreet Boys & NKOTB

Backstreet Boys & New Kids On The Block perform a medley of their hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

11:53 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.

Special Performance by Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz performs Falling In Love and a special rendition of Imagine at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

11:59 p.m.

The Sixty-Second Countdown

The Times Square 2011 Special Guest and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg push the Waterford crystal button that signals the descent of the New Year’s Eve Ball, and lead the final sixty-second countdown to the New Year at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

The New Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

The lighted Ball descends 70 feet in sixty seconds. The Ball is a geodesic sphere, twelve feet in diameter, weighing 11,875 pounds. The Ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and lit by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs.

12:00 a.m. — New Year’s Day

2011 Sign

At the stroke of Midnight, the lights on the New Year’s Eve Ball are turned off as the numerals of the New Year “2011” burst to life shining high above Times Square.

Times Square Confetti Release and Pyrotechnic Effects

The world-famous New Year’s Eve confetti is released from the rooftops of buildings throughout Times Square creating a celebratory blizzard of colorful confetti as revelers welcome the New Year accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects.

12:15 a.m. – End of Show

Comedy Collection gig on Wednesday 29 December 2010

The Comedy Collection will be putting on its final show for 2010 at Ragazzi Aperitivolounge on Wednesday 29 December 2010.

The line-up includes: The Namibian neutron bomb LNK, the dead pan James Enstrom, the dark Jew Barry Varkel and the half Indian half rapper Tashriq Ahmed.

Address: Ragazzi Aperitivolounge, 1st floor 33 Long Street. Opposite KFC on corner of Long and Strand Streets.
Time: 8.30pm
Entry fee: R30

2010 a great blog from my mate peter Stemmet

Warm greetings once more.

This is usually the time of the year when we reflect on what kind of year it has been. For some it was amazing, for others awful. Whatever year you may have had there is always hope at Christmas time that the next year will bring with it fresh opportunities; a chance to start again and a new dawn .

I was at sixes and sevens at the start of the year after having just gone through a painful break-up. But just as Michael W Smith sings, help was on the way. I am delighted to announce that early in the year I went back to church and started talking to God again after many years of having turned my back on Him. These days when I miss a church service I genuinely feel like I have missed out and if that is the kind of feeling one is going to have then you know you are at the right place.

March was a highlight for me as well. I was out on a story in Soweto when Robin phoned me to tell me that he needed my passport. I was being sent to Abu Dhabi for the Laureus World Sports Awards. Even though I was only in the United Arab Emirates for three days I had the time of my life there. I truly made the most of it. I worked hard during the day and had loads of fun with my new European friends in the evenings. What I especially enjoyed was what happened on the final day of the trip. Zayn and Thuthuka flew to Durban from Dubai and theirs was a morning flight. I hopped in the taxi with them after having less than an hour’s sleep the night before and spent the day touring Dubai. I was even offered a massage by a Filipino lady but declined as I was convinced I would get more than I bargained for. I caught a late afternoon bus back to Abu Dhabi before making my way back to the airport. You will not be surprised to know that I fell asleep on the plane back to Johannesburg before the aircraft even took off.

There were many enjoyable experiences as I managed to visit every single province in South Africa during 2010. There was a fantastic weekend in Durban with Andrew and Michael in October. Every moment a friend of mine was up in Joburg for whatever reason. The parties, the laughs, the quiz night emotions and even my fish tank bursting will all count as moments that made 2010 what it was. Kim, Martin and Razia got married and you can imagine the standout moment at Mart and Razia’s ceremony was when Sipho “Hot Stix” Mabuse sat at the piano and started playing “Burn Out”. What a legendary moment.

However, it all pales into relative insignificance after what happened in June and July; the Fifa World Cup. This was the best month of my life. Often we only realise years later that a particular period was the best in our lives but I knew this was true while I was living through it. It started when my mate Brad phoned me 10 days before the tournament kicked off and invited me to go with him to Argentina-Nigeria. When I told him I already had tickets for that match he said, “Well then why don’t you come with me to the opening game?” As if I had to think about that one.

In the end I saw ten world cup matches at eight stadiums in seven cities. I spent time with most of my friends and family during that month and it was a true blessing. There is no other way to describe it. I must have spent around R15 000 during that month on match tickets, petrol, food, merchandise and who knows what else but I can honestly say that I do not feel like I wasted a single cent.

And now for my annual awards.

Song of the Year: Knaan – Wavin’ Flag. Coca-Cola used this song as their theme tune during the world cup and while Shakira’s Waka Waka grew on me, this was the true anthem of the tournament. It captured the very essence of a global competition that unites supporters and I do not think there was a single person who disliked this track. Any given artist could have released their Piano Man in 2010 and it was never going to compete with Wavin’ Flag.

Film of the Year: I think Inception deserves an honourable mention. Leonardo Di Caprio has done wonders in redeeming himself after those early career stutters Romeo & Juliet and Titanic. In fact Leo has emerged as one of my favourite actors. Even so I am a sucker for the action genre and by extension comic book hero films so my favourite movie of 2010 goes to Iron Man 2.

Quote of the Year: Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live following a Facebook campaign. In the aftermath White ironically exclaimed, “ .“ My mate Martin nearly won this accolade. He produced two pearlers. He went ahead and bought our tickets to the quarter-final in Cape Town that turned out to be Argentina versus Germany. We were both supporting the Argies. When he had the tickets he phoned me and said, “Big game, big seats.” By the time the Germans were 3-0 up he mumbled, “These f*cking Germans” which given its comical value is a contender. I was tempted to give it to Brad for his now legendary, “Well then why don’t you come with me to the opening game?” but while that will live in my heart forever I have to give the quote of the year to someone else. It goes to my colleague and friend Chris Maroleng. During a television interview with AWB Secretary-General André Visagie the debate became heated and Visagie put his hand on Chris and it ushered in a quote and moment that would become a YouTube sensation, “Don’t touch me on my studio.”

Moment of the Year: Sipho Mabuse’s impromptu performance at Martin and Razia’s wedding was special and receives a mention here. I was present when Rik De Voest upset Jarkko Nieminen in five sets. I was also there when Jacques Kallis reached his maiden Test double hundred and then saw Sachin Tendulkar score his 50th Test century the very next day. The opening ceremony of the Fifa World Cup at Soccer City is a strong contender as well. The entire June and July would also be. However this one calls for a specific moment and that would have to be in the second half of the opening match of the world cup between South Africa and Mexico. Siphiwe Tshabalala danced down the left wing into the box and hit a sweetly-timed strike into the Mexican ‘keeper’s far post corner. That goal coupled with the insane celebrations that erupted thereafter goes down as my moment of the year. It was as if a bomb had exploded at Soccer City. To try to describe that moment is futile. There are no superlatives that can do it justice.

Sportsman of the Year: Diego Forlan is a strong contender after his magnificent performances at the world cup. However I do not want to give this award to a sportsman based on the strength of one month. Therefore, and not for the first time, I am giving the accolade to Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard won three of the four Grand Slams this year and in so doing completed a Career Grand Slam as well as a Golden Slam, which includes his 2008 Olympic gold medal. My favourite statistic is this: It took Roger Federer 40 Slams to complete the winning of all four. It took Nadal just 26 and even more telling is that Federer has yet to beat Nadal at Roland Garros. Nadal won his first Wimbledon by beating Federer in the final. You can argue that the courts have been slowed down something terrible at the All England Club. You can say that it is impossible to compare eras and therefore impossible to say who is the greatest of all-time. Nadal and Federer have gone toe-to-toe and we have seen the best of both in this era and perhaps most pleasing of all is that we have seen them bring out the best in each other.

Person of the Year: Julian Assange. In a year where media freedom has been threatened in South Africa the Wikileaks founder created an international stir of note. His trial in London had nothing to do with his website as we know. Wikileaks plays to the point that the public has the right to know and seeks to publish confidential documents and information. Assange made the news this year more for the rape accusations against him but his website provided enough news this year to upset American politicians and for him to be my standout newsmaker of 2010.

May you have a blessed Christmas and remember to always do what you can to heal the world.

could this be the basis of U2 setlist for 2011 in SA

U2 360° Tour

360° Tour 4th leg: New Zealand and Australia

2010-12-19: Subiaco OvalPerth, Western Australia, Australia

« 2010-12-18 – Perth | 2011-02-13 – Johannesburg »

Support Act: Jay-Z

  1. Return Of The Stingray Guitar
  2. Beautiful Day / Rain (snippet)
  3. New Year’s Day
  4. Get On Your Boots
  5. Magnificent
  6. Mysterious Ways / Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (snippet)
  7. Elevation
  8. Until The End Of The World
  9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (snippet)
  10. All I Want Is You / Never Tear Us Apart (snippet) / Need You Tonight (snippet)
  11. Love Rescue Me
  12. Desire
  13. In A Little While
  14. Miss Sarajevo
  15. City Of Blinding Lights
  16. Vertigo
  17. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight / Discothèque (snippet)
  18. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  19. Scarlet
  20. Walk On


One Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet) /Singing In The Rain (snippet) Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me With Or Without You Party Girl (snippet) / Moment of Surrender Comments: This show is the first time U2 have ever played two stadium gigs on the same tour in Western Australia. All I Want Is You and Love Rescue Me are played for just the second time on the 360° Tour; for the latter, this is just its second performance in 21 years. Desire appears at an actual 360° Tour concert for the first time in 2010. A verse of Party Girl is sung by Bono before Moment Of Surrender in response to a request shouted from the audience.

sipho mabuse piece in kulula magazine

sipho mabuse piece in kulula magazine

sipho mabuse piece in kulula magazine

KATHERINE JENKINS TO TOUR SA IN MARCH 2011… and tv special on M -Net on 15 Dec from 20h30

Catch International Singing Superstar Katherine Jenkins Live in Concert with a Special 1 Hour TV Show on Mnet / Channel 101 TOMORROW NIGHT (Wednesday 15 December 2010)

from 20h30 – 21h30 pm


Great news for followers of classical-popular crossover music . . . . Famous Concerts is proud to announce that mezzo-soprano singing superstar Katherine Jenkins, introduced by Rand Merchant Bank, will be making her first much-anticipated visit to SA with a short tour in March next year, appearing in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Gauteng fans of Katherine Jenkins will be treated to two performances at the Sandton Convention Centre – one on Thursday 10 March, where Miss Jenkins will headline a star-studded cast of top South African artists as she performs at a Gala Charity Banquet to raise funds for various children’s causes. And on Friday 11 March, she’ll perform a full-length concert for a seated audience, accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra under the baton of the inimitable Richard Cock.

The Welsh beauty and vocal sensation will also be making two special guest appearances in Cape Town at Rand Merchant Bank’s highly popular Starlight Classics events at Vergelegen Wine Estate during the first weekend of March 2011.

SA fans are invited to experience the extraordinary and exquisite Katherine Jenkins live in concert as she sings a combination of popular light classics, a selection of familiar favourites such as “Nella Fantasia”, and “La Vie en Rose”, plus such modern greats as Sarah Maclachlan’s “Angel”, and Evanescence’s “Bring me to Life”, gearing her to a much broader audience.

Katherine Jenkins, who has signed the biggest ever record deal in the field of classical music, certainly comes to South Africa with a huge well-earned reputation. She has won two consecutive Classical Brit Album of the Year Awards for her excellent albums and five of her albums reached number one in the UK classical charts, selling more than four million copies. She was the first British classical crossover artist to have two number one albums in the same year. Miss Jenkins’ superstar status has been endorsed by performances for Her Majesty the Queen, and at the prestigious Sydney Opera House, as well as at the legendary Royal Albert Hall. She recently sang to sell-out audiences and rave reviews at London’s top venue, the spectacular O2 Arena.

The stunning beauty and friendly and charming broad appeal of Miss Jenkins even stretches into the world of sport, and is confirmed by the fact that she has regularly sung the national anthem at Welsh rugby tests as well as performed to a world-wide television audience at the recent opening ceremony of Golf’s legendary Ryder Cup Tournament.

Katherine Jenkins’ latest recordings are produced by multi Grammy award-winning guru, David Foster, who is responsible for the recording success of such other musical luminaries as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli. Prior to her first South African tour early next year, Warner MusicSA has just released a new version of Katherine Jenkins ‘Believe’ on CD/DVD, entitled Believe – The Platinum Edition. The new version includes the wonderful new single Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming and three new songs. Also included in the new package is A Year Of Believe, 60 minutes of interviews, concerts and behind-the-scenes footage.

Clearly, Katherine Jenkins’ unique and unforgettable live concerts promise a not-to-be-missed experience for fans of popular and light classical music alike.
Miss Jenkins’ SA tour is presented by Famous Concerts.


Fully seated concert on Friday 11 March 2011: Book at Computicket. Call 083 915 8000 or Website
Ticket prices from R263 to R668.

Gala Charity Banquet on Thursday 10 March 2011: To book, call 072 419 5777, or email Adrian or Tohira
Ticket prices from R15,000 to R35,000 for a table of ten.


For further information, please contact Ashley at Famous Concerts. Tel: 011 616-6507. Email ashleyv

Visit Katherine Jenkins’ official website:

CHARITY FUNDRAISER: Evolver One Unplugged… for Reach for a Dream Foundation on Boxing Day at Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa

: CHARITY FUNDRAISER: Evolver One Unplugged… for Reach for a Dream Foundation on Boxing Day at Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa

Joburg-based rock band Evolver One will be performing an exclusive Unplugged set to raise money for the Reach for a Dream Foundation. The gig is on Boxing Day on the pool deck at Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa at Century City. The show begins at 18h30 and tickets are R100. Availability is limited. Please support this great cause.

Crystal Towers Gig.pdf

My good friend Peter Stemmet is a fantatical Newcastle man …read this please

My good friend Peter Stemmet is a fantatical Newcastle man …read this please

As I type this it is midnight. I am trying not to be emotional however when it comes to Newcastle United it is impossible. This is the team I have loved and supported since I was a boy. I grew up admiring the likes of Peter Beardsley, Robert Lee, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer. One of the highlights in my career as a journalist occurred in March 2010 when I actually got to interview Shearer. The snapshot of ‘Super Al’ and I is proudly displayed on my living room’s wall.

Supporting Newcastle United is truly unlike backing any other team. Just like Forrest Gump’s mamma said life is like a box of chocolates, so too is a Toon season. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Since Kevin Keegan resigned in January 1997 (after a five year stay) the Magpies have seen the coming and going of Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Keegan Part Two, Joe Kinnear, Shearer and now Chris Hughton. If my mental arithmetic does not fail me that is 10 appointments in under 14 years. That is excluding the caretaker spells of Terry McDermott, Steve Clarke, Nigel Pearson and Hughton himself. Peter Beardsley has been placed in temporary charge now until a new manager is found.

The Newcastle rollercoaster has resulted in a sequence of Premier League finishes that read as follows: 2nd, 2nd, 13th, 13th, 11th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 14th, 7th, 14th, 12th and 18th. As you can see zero consistency. The lack of consistency stems from a lack of stability in my view. Apart from Robson, who also had five years like Keegan, none of the aforementioned managers were at the helm for much longer than 18 months.

What did Chris Hughton do wrong? Nothing really. He was asked to take care of first team affairs for the start of last season’s Championship campaign. After establishing an early lead in the league Hughton was handed the job on a permanent basis. The Magpies romped to the Championship title by scoring more goals than anyone else, conceding fewer than anyone else and clocking more than 100 points in doing so. The new season has been relatively inconsistent. A 6-0 hammering of Aston Villa, a 5-1 destruction of local rivals Sunderland and away wins at Chelsea and Arsenal are highlights among home defeats to Blackpool and Blackburn.

Even so the side is 11th which granted is 4 points off relegation but also just 4 points off a Europa League place. If Newcastle finish the season 11th I would be thrilled. However the stability the side has had under Hughton has now been foregone in favour of the traditional Toon rollercoaster. It was there for all to see that the squad was happy under Hughton. They were playing for the manager as well as for each other. Now we are left to ponder the future. Who will succeed Hughton?

It is pointless to bash owner Mike Ashley. As a fan you can protest all you like. It will inevitably fall on deaf ears. Ashley is the owner. He runs the show whether the Geordies like it or not.

First I hear about Martin Jol resigning at Ajax and become excited about Jol as a replacement. That said he had lost the plot in Amsterdam and you will remember that after a few good seasons at White Hart Lane he lost the plot there too. My reasonable excitement then turned to despair. I had to reach for a wet cloth after hearing that Alan Pardew is being lined up. This is a man who jumped ship twice in London before his sides (West Ham and Charlton) were to be relegated. The goals of Carlos Tevez is what saved the Hammers. Charlton had no Argentine goal scorer.

Forget Jol. Ignore Pardew. Just pick up the phone and call Terry Venables or Martin O’Neill. One of them is bound to be interested or at least gullible enough to be persuaded to take a job that is such a black hole it is not surprising that nobody would want it anyway.

Give Venables or O’Neill a four-and-a-half year contract. Leave the chosen one alone to do his job and this is what will happen. Newcastle will: Avoid relegation. Cement themselves as a mid-table team while gradually pulling off upsets against the bigger sides. Perhaps even qualify for the Europa League and maybe, dare I dream, win a Carling Cup or get lucky like Portsmouth and win a FA Cup.

More than that you cannot hope for. However if we see a managerial rollercoaster as was seen in 2008/09 rest assured the result will be the same. Another season in which I cannot watch Newcastle on TV but instead their match highlights on The Football League Show and quite frankly, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH THAT SHOW EVER AGAIN!

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, 29, has been named the IRB player of the year

The All Blacks have been rewarded for a stellar 2010 campaign by sweeping the International Rugby Board (IRB) awards, which were announced this morning (NZT).

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, 29, has been named the IRB player of the year and becomes the first player to win the award three times since its inception in 2001.

The No 1-ranked All Blacks were predictably named team of the year after winning 13 of 14 tests this year and bagging the Tri-Nations title, Bledisloe Cup and European Grad Slam, while Graham Henry was unveiled as coach of the year for a record fourth time after previously winning the award in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

McCaw faced stiff competition for the player of the year award with teammate Mils Muliaina, South African lock Victor Matfield, No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, of France, and rising young Australia stars David Pocock and Kurtley Beale all performing well during the year, but McCaw consistently impressed the IRB’s awards panel with some outstanding performances.

“Rugby is fortunate to have a player and person of the calibre of Richie McCaw,” said awards panel convenor John Eales, the former Wallabies captain.

“He is an outstanding captain, a world class player and a role model for our sport. In winning the award three times, Richie has truly cemented his place right up there amongst some of the greats.”

McCaw who alongside Muliaina is the most-capped All Black with 94 test caps, said: “It’s been a good year and everyone has made a huge effort, from the coaches right through all the players. It’s been a lot of fun as well to work with quality players, and I just love playing rugby and especially international rugby.”

Henry said his award reflected the “hard work” of the team.

“It is also an award for team manager Darren Shand who does a fabulous job, and for the exceptional coaching team (assistants Steven Hansen and Wayne Smith) who work with me.

“I am extremely fortunate to have a group of guys who are exceptionally good at what they do.”

The IRB awards panel of judges, comprising former internationals Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphal Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustn Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga, Paul Wallace and Eales, watched more than 78 hours of action from 59 matches, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.

The accolades cap a good year for New Zealand on the awards front with Julian Savea winning the IRB junior player of the year in June and Carla Hohepa named IRB women’s personality of the year in September after New Zealand claimed the women’s World Cup title.

The New Zealand winners in the 2010 IRB Awards were:

Player of the Year: Richie McCaw
Team of the Year: New Zealand
Coach of the Year: Graham Henry

Women’s Personality of the Year: Carla Hohepa
Junior Player of the Year: Julian Savea

Previous Winners of IRB Player of the Year Award:
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

Previous Winners of IRB Team of the Year Award:
2009 – South Africa
2008 – New Zealand
2007 – South Africa
2006 – New Zealand
2005 – New Zealand
2004 – South Africa
2003 – England
2002 – France
2001 – Australia

Previous Winners of IRB Coach of the Year Award:
2009 – Declan Kidney (Ireland)
2008 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2007 – Jake White (South Africa)
2006 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2005 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2004 – Jake White (South Africa)
2003 – Clive Woodward (England)
2002 – Bernard Laporte (France)


Nokia Gives Jozi A Global Push

Nokia Gives Jozi A Global Push
December 01, 2010 – Global | Digital and Mobile | RB Hip-Hop

By Diane Coetzer, Johannesburg,from

Johannesburg-based hip-hop duo Jozi has become the first South African band to use Nokia’s Ovi Music platform in multiple territories to promo its latest single.

The two-week free giveaway (Dec. 6-19) of new single “Diva” takes place through Ovi Music stores in South Africa, Italy, Middle East, Finland, Singapore, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Indonesia. It is part of a multimedia package that highlights the group’s music, videos and achievements.

“Releasing a new single is a big thing in the music world and offering the song for free via an online music store is a huge step forward for digital music,” Dominque Silva, Ovi Music Manager for Nokia South Africa, said in a statement.

Lance Stehr, owner of Jozi’s Johannesburg-based label, Ghetto Ruff, said Jozi “have what it takes to go global.”

“The group has been together for four years and has shown it has real staying power in the urban market through albums ‘Muthaland Crunk’ and ‘Wildlife,'” he told Billboard.Biz. “The fact that Jozi has won or been nominated for awards outside South Africa – like the MAMAs and the Mobos – is also an indication of the accessibility of its music. I have no doubt the group is ready to go global.”

Jozi are in the running for artist of the year at the third MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAS) which take place in the Nigerian city of Lagos on December 11. The group was named best live performance winners at the MAMAS inaugural event in Abuja, Nigeria in 2008.

The Ovi Music package is based around the track “Diva” which will feature on Ghetto Ruff’s compilation, “Muthaland,” released this month. Also included in Ovi Music’s Jozi online feature is a “making Of” documentary that offers a comprehensive look at the group’s emergence to become one of the strongest players in South Africa’s urban music market.

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