LIAM Neeson has said he was compelled by a “primal” and “medieval” desire for revenge when he had violent thoughts about killing a black person after someone close to him was raped, but has denied being racist.

The Hollywood star provoked widespread criticism after he said in an interview with The Independent that he had walked the streets armed with a cosh, hoping he would be approached by someone “so that I could kill him” after his friend told her she was attacked by a black man.

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The Academy Awards will be without a host for the first time in three decades after preferred choice Kevin Hart stepped down amid a row over homophobic tweets.

Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, the network which broadcasts the Oscars, said the February 24 ceremony would “just have presenters”.

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Controversial singer R Kelly has announced a new tour amid accusations of sexual assault against the R&B singer.

The Grammy-winner tweeted, “NEW TOUR ALERT” on Tuesday, revealing he plans to perform in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

No dates were given and the poster announcing the news said, “coming soon”.

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