The Baltimore Sun

Daniel Radcliffe invites Obama girls to 'Potter' set

They've already been invited to hang with Hannah Montana, now Malia and Sasha Obama also have the chance to meet Harry Potter. Describing President Barack Obama as "everything the rest of the world liked about America and now likes again," Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe offered to show the first daughters around Hogwarts. "I would be honored to be their personal tour guide," Radcliffe told

Quartet did 'right thing'

Pianist Gabriela Montero says she and the other members of the Obama inauguration quartet were not trying to fool anybody by having recorded music played in the biting cold.

Shaken by comparisons to lip-syncers Milli Vanilli, the pianist insists she and fellow musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Anthony McGill, who teaches at the Peabody Conservatory, "did the right thing."

"What is upsetting me these days is the fact that we put so much love into this," the Venezuelan-American pianist said. " ... Unfortunately, some people have chosen to focus on the wrong thing."

Just before Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20 with temperatures in the 20s, the quartet appeared to play "Air and Simple Gifts," a short work composed for the occasion by John Williams.

Montero said the quartet actually did play, but the music was drowned out by the recording of the music the four had made two days earlier.

Would she do anything different?

"I thought, 'Should there have been an announcement?' But there wasn't the right time to announce something like that," Montero said. "We were so excited and so happy, and we still are," she said. "We're very sure we did the right thing as professional musicians."

TV's top 10

American Idol keeps Fox on top of the ratings heap for the week of Jan. 19-25, according to Nielsen Media Research. The results show on Wednesday drew 25.9 million viewers, while the show the night before drew 22.8 million.

The rest of the top 10 (in millions): CSI, CBS, 17.6; Two and a Half Men, CBS, 16.1; House, Fox, 15.0; CSI: Miami, CBS, 14.6; Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 14.4; 60 Minutes, CBS, 14.2; Criminal Minds, CBS, 13.8; Cold Case, CBS, 13.3.

Old dogs, new tricks

Zak George is a big dog among dog trainers. And he could soon get even bigger, thanks to a TV series that Animal Planet plans to introduce in July.

Tentatively titled Fetch Me a Beer, it will invite dog owners to propose a trick that George can help them teach their pooch. The show has begun casting calls in Boston and Miami.

George, a 30-year-old from Atlanta with a multitalented border collie named Venus, has made numerous TV guest appearances and has a popular YouTube site.


Musician Acker Bilk, 80.

Actor Alan Alda, 73.

Singer Sarah McLachlan, 41.

Actress Kathryn Morris, 40.

Singer Joey Fatone Jr., 32.

Actor Elijah Wood, 28.

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