CNN to Air Jay Leno Special…

The 30-minute “Mr. Comedy” program, featuring highlights from his career, airs one week before the host’s final “Tonight Show.”

CNN is setting a Jay Leno special, one week before he hands over The Tonight Show to successor Jimmy Fallon.

Jay Leno Reveals His Biggest ‘Tonight Show’ Blunder, Advice to Seth Meyers.

Jay Leno: Mr. Comedy, highlighting Leno’s “amazing life and successes,” will debut Friday, Jan. 31, at 10 p.m. ET, the cable news channel announced Wednesday. CNN’s Nischelle Turner will serve as host.

According to the announcement, the 30-minute special will look at Leno’s career, beginning in the 1970s when he was starting out in comedy clubs, and continuing through to his TV debut in the ’80s and the challenges of succeeding Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in the ’90s.

CNN plans to re-air the special on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Leno’s final Tonight Show airs Thursday, Feb. 6, with final guest Billy Crystal, who was also his first interviewee in 1992.

Leno insists he is ready to hand over the reins to Fallon. “It’s not really sad,” Leno said when asked about his emotions about the final show. “It’s been a really good run and you have to be realistic. I think it’s safe to say if NBC didn’t have somebody in the bullpen, I might be here a little bit longer and I get that.”

The cable news channel has been active in producing specials around headline-makers. Most recently, CNN slated a Justin Bieber special following his arrest in Miami Beach.

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, who once ran NBC, has been one of the executives interested in working with Leno when he exits Tonight Show, though Zucker has downplayed reports that he is courting Leno.
“We have some other things that I’d like to concentrate on first,” he said of the Leno speculation Jan. 10 at the winter TCA. “That’s not in the cards anytime soon. I have a longtime relationship with Jay — I think he’s a terrific talent — but that’s not where our priorities are.”

Godolphin: Certify Wins At Meydan On Return From Drugs Ban!

Former 1,000 Guineas contender Certify won on her return from a six-month ban from racing after the Godolphin doping scandal.

The unbeaten filly came back from a 489-day absence to claim the Group Two Cape Verdi at Meydan in Dubai.

Certify, a 2-1 winner for trainer Charlie Appleby, last ran as a two-year-old in September 2012.

She was one of 22 horses suspended from April to October 2013 after being given banned anabolic steroids.

Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was given an eight-year ban, and the horse is now trained by his former assistant Appleby, who took over at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket last July.

Victory in Dubai was the fifth career win for Certify, who scored by three-quarters of a length under Mickael Barzalona from the grey L’Amour De Ma Vie.

Eddie Lynam’s Pearl Of Africa was third, with the favourite Flotilla a disappointing fourth behind the winner.

SriLankan Airlines Seeks US$275mn In Foreign Financing!

Sri Lanka’s state has promised a 500 million US dollar injection to the airline over five years to recapitalize the airline.

Chief executive officer Kapila Chandrasena says the airline had already received 225 million US dollars over two years but the airline needed ‘front ended’ financing for its business plan.

The government’s remaining financing commitment of 275 million US dollars could be converted to quicker cash through foreign financing, he said.

SriLankan has made losses and it has devised a business plan involving the acquisition of a fuel efficient Airbus A330 and A350 fleet in a bid to return to profitability.

“To execute the business plan in time we are looking at bridging options,” Chandrasena said.

“We have received 225 million of the 500 mn as Treasury bonds. We want to utilize the balance available in the time it is needed in the business.”

“So are we are going and raising debt as a bridging facility.”

Aviation minister Priyankara Jayaratne has sought approval from the Cabinet of Ministers to raise up to 325 million US dollars from a bond issue and syndicated loan with an additional 50 million US dollar Treasury guarantee.

A 275 million US dollar bond issue will be used to make advance payments for Airbus aircraft, the newspaper said.

Standard Chartered Bank is to syndicate another 150 million US dollar international loan with the guarantee and use 130 million US dollars to pay down an existing loan arranged by Dubai-based Mashreq Bank, the report said.

“We are talking to some international banks, investments houses in order to find what the most optimum mechanism is for Sri Lankan,” Chandrasena said without elaborating on details.

“On this we are encouraged that the markets are liquid. We are looking at the least cost option. Loans or any other instruments are considered.”

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” is a soul single by Stevie Wonder, recorded for Motown’s Tamla label. Released in June 1970, the song spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at number three on the U.S. Pop chart.[1] In the same year, the song was also released on the album Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

The song was a series of firsts for the 20-year-old Wonder: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” was the first single Wonder produced on his own, and was also the first to feature his female backup singing group composed of Lynda Tucker Laurence (who went on to become a member of The Supremes), Syreeta Wright (who also co-wrote the song), and Vanetta Fields.

During a 2008 appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he credited the song title and chorus “signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours” to his mother Lula, who exclaimed the words after listening to her son experiment with the melody. This song also marked Wonder’s first Grammy nomination. The award went to Ronald Dunbar and General Johnson for writing the Clarence Carter song “Patches”.

Louise Hazel: Commonwealth Champion Comes Out of Retirement…

English heptathlete Louise Hazel has confirmed to BBC Sport she has come out of retirement in a bid to defend her Commonwealth title later this year.

The 28-year-old, who won gold in Delhi in 2010, says the lure of competing in Glasgow was too strong to resist.

She had already admitted Jessica Ennis-Hill’s pregnancy, which means she will miss the Games, was a “game changer”.

“I’m in better shape than I thought I was in. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started,” she said.

Hazel announced her retirement from heptathlon in September, but added she was “not ruling out other sports”.
But after a series of tests on Wednesday, involving sprint work, the long jump, shot put and sessions in the gym, she confirmed her return.

“I was really pleasantly surprised by my tests. It’s a thumbs-up for Glasgow, if I’m selected,” said Hazel, who will now put together a “plan that involves coaching and sponsorship”.
She added: “I also have to chat to Commonwealth Games England to discuss the selection process and to see what hurdles have to be overcome.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could successfully defend my Commonwealth crown – I’m definitely targeting the podium.”

After making her major championship debut for Great Britain at the 2006 European Championships, Hazel finished 14th at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

Her personal best of 6,166 points, set in Germany in 2011, makes her the seventh best British heptathlete of all time, but she could only finish 27th at London 2012, where Ennis-Hill took gold and another fellow Briton, Katarina Johnson Thompson, was 15th.

In March, she called England Athletics’ selection policy for the Commonwealth Games “elitism gone mad”, saying it would deny young athletes the opportunity to gain vital experience of a multi-sport event ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics. Glasgow 2014 begins on Wednesday, 23 July.