NEW YORK – Longtime “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart said Thursday she’s leaving the show after her upcoming 30th season.

The leading syndicated newsmagazine for entertainment had no immediate comment on reports that Lara Spencer has already been selected as Hart’s successor. Spencer anchors “ET’s” sister broadcast, “The Insider.”

Hart, a former English teacher from Sioux Falls, S.D., joined “Entertainment Tonight” in 1982, with the show not even a year old. She was paired most famously at the anchor desk for 10 years with John Tesh, who left in 1996 to concentrate on his music career. Mark Steines is her current co-anchor.

Hart, 59, said she had mixed sentiments about leaving.

“I only meant to be at ‘ET’ for three years,” she said. “Suddenly, it’s almost 30. I’ve reached a point when I clearly realize it’s time for a change. There are many things I want to do in my life and I’d better get on with them.”

Japanese eating champion gets out of legal trouble, gets his appetite back

NEW YORK – Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi is out of hot water following his arrest over a Fourth of July frank fracas.

A judge in Brooklyn court said Thursday that the case will be purged from Kobayashi’s record if he stays out of trouble for six months. A relieved and jovial Kobayashi said afterward that he would.

“I’ve been up all night, nervous about the outcome,” he said through an interpreter. “So now, I’m thinking about what I want to eat. … Steak.”

His legal trouble started when a contract dispute kept him out of the annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, but he showed up anyway.

Kobayashi had been charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Cousteau hosts ocean documentary series

NEW YORK – Two generations after Jacques Cousteau introduced television viewers to an undersea world, his grandson is becoming a go-to environmentalist for TV.

Philippe Cousteau hosts a series of documentaries with his sister Alexandra this month for what the Planet Green network calls its “Blue August.” The centerpiece is a six-part series starting Sunday, “Oceans Blue,” where Cousteau and other marine explorers tell stories about secrets of the ocean.

Cousteau was a frequent guest on news programs to discuss the Gulf oil spill, particularly on CNN. He dove into the Gulf of Mexico for ABC’s “Good Morning America” for a story on how oil was spreading away from the surface.

Pink Floyd anthem transformed for Iran

NEW YORK – The Pink Floyd rock music classic “Another Brick in the Wall” has been transformed by a Canadian band to reflect dissent young Iranians feel for their government.

The song replaces the teacher reference with “Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone!” It’s performed by a Toronto-based rock band fronted by two Iranian brothers called Blurred Vision.

Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters gave Blurred Vision permission to use the song. Proceeds will go to Amnesty International.

The Blurred Vision version of the song expresses discord between young people and the government of Iran, where it’s illegal to play rock music.


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