- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 21, 2006

Emmys’ new host

The assignment for hosting the awards show honoring television’s best work is going to NBC’s Conan O’Brien.

The 43-year-old comedian will host the “58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” on Aug. 27. The show will air live from the Shrine Auditorium on NBC.

Mr. O’Brien hosted the Emmys in 2002 and did “a tremendous job,” Dick Askin, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said Friday. “We’re thrilled that he’s returning.”

Mr. O’Brien, host of NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” since 1993, will take over the “Tonight” show from host Jay Leno in 2009.

His nightly hosting duties make Mr. O’Brien an ideal choice for the prime-time special, said Jeff Ross, producer of “Late Night” and co-producer of the Emmy Awards.

“When you’ve done 2,300-plus hours of television in front of a live audience and you do it well, it equips you for the role of playing the host,” Mr. Ross said.

Emmy co-producer Ken Ehrlich called Mr. O’Brien “a student of television” who will bring “credibility and knowledge” to the show.

“He’s funny and he really likes television,” Mr. Ehrlich said. “That bodes well for what we can do this year.”

Celebs duke it out

It was a one-two encounter between Axl Rose and Tommy Hilfiger.

The rocker and fashion designer capped a Thursday evening out at a new club called The Plumm in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood with midnight fisticuffs.

“There was an issue between the two of them,” Plumm owner Noel Ashman told the Associated Press.

The scuffle reportedly started after the Guns N’ Roses frontman moved the drink of Mr. Hilfiger’s girlfriend, Dee Ocleppo.

“I moved his girlfriend’s drink so it wouldn’t spill,” Mr. Rose told the Los Angeles radio station KROQ on Friday. “It was the most surreal thing, I think, that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

According to the 44-year-old singer, Mr. Hilfiger, 55, smacked him in the arm and told him to put the drink back.

“He just kept smacking me,” Mr. Rose said.

Attempts to reach Mr. Hilfiger or a representative were not immediately successful.

Mr. Rose was there to play a surprise set for “Rent” actress Rosario Dawson for her 27th birthday party.

At the time of the dust-up, The Plumm was packed with a celebrity crowd including Lenny Kravitz, Mickey Rourke, Kid Rock, Peter Beard, Molly Simms, Wentworth Miller, Ann Dexter Jones, Lydia Hearst and Damon Dash.

Mr. Rose did perform, and dedicated the song “You’re Crazy” to “my good friend Tommy Hilfiger.”

Ex-Supreme felled

One of the founding members of the legendary Motown group the Supremes will undergo heart bypass surgery today after being hospitalized with chest pains this week, her publicist said.

Mary Wilson, 62, remained hospitalized Friday after being rushed to the hospital by a family member Tuesday, complaining of chest pains, according to her publicist, Jay Schwartz, in Los Angeles.

Miss Wilson suffers from hereditary high cholesterol, Mr. Schwartz said.

Miss Wilson, who sang with Diana Ross in the 1960s trio, still performs about 150 concert dates a year and has been leading a fight in several states to stop copycat groups from profiting from established musical acts.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from Web and wire reports.

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