New Angry Birds television series being hatched

US actor and producer Josh Gad poses on May 10, 2016 during a photocall for the animated film “The Angry Birds Movie” on the eve of the opening of the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, southern France. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 13 October 2018

New Angry Birds television series being hatched

CANNES, France: Producers are laying plans for a new “Angry Birds” television series based on the cult video game, its distributors said Saturday.
The game, about a furious flock of multi-colored birds protecting their eggs from a tribe of green pigs, has already inspired a blockbuster movie franchise, a game show and a theme park in Qatar.
Now its Finnish creators Rovio are planning to expand its hit TV shorts into a full-length series based on characters from the game, which has been downloaded more than four billion times.
The series is likely to screen next year just as the second “Angry Birds” film rolls out in cinemas across the world.
The first “The Angry Birds Movie” grossed more than $350 million (302 million euros).
The news of the series aimed at 6- to 12-year-olds broke as the MIPJunior global children’s entertainment market opened in Cannes, France.
The British-based producers of the series, Cake, have not said how long the episodes will be.
Each episode of the existing shorts series “Angry Birds Toons,” and its two spin-offs, “Angry Birds Stella” and “Piggy Tales,” which star the birds’ nemesis, Bad Piggies, lasts only three minutes.
“Long-form content marks the obvious next step in extending the ‘Angry Birds’ brand on the small screen,” Cake’s CEO Tom van Waveren told Variety.
Cake signed a distribution deal with Rovio in June after which its managing director Ed Galton said, “We are looking forward to catapulting these iconic characters to television audiences around the world.”


Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

This file photo taken on March 6, 2003 shows bulbs at the flower market in Amsterdam. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

  • Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring

THE HAGUE: Tourists are being ripped off at Amsterdam’s famous flower market, with just one percent of all bulbs sold at the floating bazaar ever producing a blossom, investigators said Tuesday.
A probe commissioned by the Dutch capital’s municipality and tulip growers also found that often only one flower resembled the pictures on the packaging like color, and that there were fewer bulbs than advertised.
“The probe showed that there is chronic deception of consumers,” at the sale of tulip bulbs at the flower market, the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) said.
“Millions of tourists and day-trippers are being duped,” KAVB chairman Rene le Clercq said in a statement.
Amsterdam and the KAVB have now referred the matter to the Dutch consumer watchdog.
The Amsterdam flower market is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and dates from around 1862, when flower sellers sailed their barges up the Amstel River and moored them in the “Singel” to sell their goods.
Its fame inspired the popular song “Tulips from Amsterdam,” best known for a 1958 version by British entertainer Max Bygraves.
Today the market comprises of a number of fixed barges with little greenhouses on top. Vendors not only sell tulip bulbs but also narcissus, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies and orchids.
But of 1,363 bulbs bought from the Singel and then planted, just 14 actually bloomed, the investigation said.
Investigators found a similar problem along the so-called “flower bulb boulevard” in Lisse, a bulb-field town south of Amsterdam where the famous Keukenhof gardens are also situated.
Since first imported from the Ottoman Empire 400 years ago, tulips “have become our national symbol and the bulb industry a main player in the Dutch economy,” said Le Clercq.
But the “deception about the tulip bulbs is a problem that has been existing for the past 20 years,” he added.

The victims are often tourists, KAVB director Andre Hoogendijk said.
“A tourist who buys a bad bulb is not likely to come back,” he told Amsterdam’s local AT5 news channel.
Vendors at the market told AT5 that complaints were known.
“There are indeed stalls here that sell rubbish. That is to everyone’s disadvantage, because it portrays the whole flower market in a bad light,” one unidentified vendor said.
But a spokesperson for the City of Amsterdam said that all vendors were being investigated “and that the results are shocking.”
“So to say that it is only a few stalls is not true,” the spokesperson told AFP in an email.
The probe took place earlier in the year during springtime, the spokesperson said.
“The issue is that you shouldn’t even sell tulip bulbs during the spring. No decent florist shop in Holland does that.”
Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring.