Britton to serve as envoy
Connie Britton has been named a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program.
The actress famous for her roles in “Friday Night Lights” and “Nashville” on Wednesday became the agency’s tenth such ambassador, joining actor Antonio Banderas, tennis star Maria Sharapova and a handful of soccer stars.
Britton calls her appointment as goodwill ambassador “one of the greatest opportunities of my life.”
She plans to focus on poverty eradication, with emphasis on women’s issues. She pointed out that women do 66 percent of the world’s work but make just 10 percent of the world’s income.
Her experiences abroad include studying Chinese in Beijing and traveling to Africa for documentary work and to adopt her son, Yoby, from Ethiopia. She says China was a turning point in her life.
Kidnapped mascot returned
A stuffed armadillo that serves as an on-stage mascot for country music legend Willie Nelson has been returned after being kidnapped from a Las Vegas-area show.
Officials at the Westin Lake Las Vegas resort in Henderson say the critter, named Ol’ Dillo, vanished while audience members were greeting Nelson after a Monday night concert.
Westin marketing director Matt Boland says Nelson’s crew called in the middle of the night from the road, asking the resort to scour surveillance footage after the mascot went missing.
Boland says he was outside the hotel Tuesday morning when an apologetic man drove up and handed him a shoebox and instructions to return it to Nelson.
Boland says the armadillo was inside.
Strahan coy about new job
Talk-show host and former football star Michael Strahan is coyly talking about, but not confirming, reports that he’s expected to soon join the cast of ABC’s “Good Morning America” on a part-time basis.
Strahan was asked by co-host Kelly Ripa on “Live With Kelly and Michael” Wednesday if he was doing it, and Strahan replied: “I don’t know. If I read the papers I am.”
A person with knowledge of the negotiations who requested anonymity because the deal hasn’t been completed said Tuesday that Strahan will work semi-regularly during the show’s first hour. He will continue as host of the daytime talker “Live With Kelly and Michael.”
“Good Morning America” has lost two male cast members in the past four months: Sam Champion to The Weather Channel and Josh Elliott to NBC Sports, the latter in a deal expected to be formally announced Wednesday. Talks with Strahan reportedly predate Elliott’s departure, announced Sunday.
Scott ties the knot
NBC says Willard Scott, 80, has tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend.
The veteran “Today” show personality and Paris Keena were wed Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. They have been together for about 11 years, “Today” host Matt Lauer said in sharing the news on Wednesday morning’s telecast.
The jovial Scott has been a part of “Today” since 1980.
— From News wire services