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‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast is crowdfunding to buy J.R.R. Tolkien’s home and turn it into a literary center

‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast is crowdfunding to buy J.R.R. Tolkien’s home and turn it into a literary center

J.R.R. Tolkien’s home in Oxford, England, is where Middle Earth was made. Where Bilbo Baggins first met Gandalf, and orcs and elves and hobbits sparred while one ring threatened to rule them all.

The house on Northmoor Road, where Tolkien penned “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, will soon hit the market. To preserve it for fans and writers, the actors who brought Tolkien’s worlds to film are crowdfunding to buy it.

Actors including Gandalf himself, Ian McKellen, and Martin Freeman, who played Bilbo in “The Hobbit” films, have launched the “Project Northmoor” crowdfunding campaign to purchase Tolkien’s home and transform it into a literary center in his honor.

If the campaign succeeds,the home where Tolkien lived from 1930 to 1947 will be the first center dedicated to the fantasy author anywhere in the world, said John Rhys-Davies, who played beloved dwarf Gimli in “The Lord of the Rings” series.

A Tolkien-esque challenge lies ahead, though — Project Northmoor has just three months to raise $6 million. Author Julia Golding, who’s leading the project, compared their fundraising challenge to the perilous journey of two of Tolkien’s best-loved characters.

“However, we need only to look at Frodo and Sam’s journey from Rivendell to Mount Doom, which took that same amount of time — and we are inspired that we can do this too!” she said in a news release.

Over $5 million of those funds will go toward the purchase of the home, and the rest will be used to renovate it and create the nonprofit that will operate there. If the campaign succeeds, the home will host literary programs for budding fantasy writers and Tolkien fans alike, according to the campaign.

Project Northmoor is asking Tolkien readers — who McKellen called “our fellowship of funders” — to donate what they can to the cause. There are various tiers of fundraising the group hopes to reach — including one that would restore Tolkien’s garden and another that would install a lair for the fearsome dragon Smaug.

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Emmanuel Acho will host ‘The Bachelor: After the Final Rose Special,’ replacing Chris Harrison

Former NFL player Emmanuel Acho will be hosting “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose,” replacing host Chris Harrison who stepped aside following a controversial interview.

Acho, the host of the YouTube series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” announced on Saturday he would host the one-hour special for the 25th season.

“I’ve accepted the Rose & am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year,” Acho tweeted. “It’s been a pivotal season & this episode will be one of the most storied shows in its history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. See y’all then!”

Harrison announced on February 13 he was “stepping aside” from the show “for a period of time” after defending a frontrunner on the current season who came under scrutiny for social media photos from her past.

Harrison apologized after speaking out on behalf of Rachael Kirkconnell, a contestant who was reportedly photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.

It is unclear how long Harrison will be stepping aside.

This is the 25th season of ABC’s enormously popular reality dating franchise and the first in which ABC cast a Black man, Matt James, as the show’s star.

During the episode, Acho “will sit down with Bachelor Matt James to discuss his season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise,” ABC said in a press release.

The on-air personality and bestselling author will also speak to the season’s final three women: Kirkconnell, Michelle Young and Bri Springs.

The special episode will air on Monday, March 15, immediately after the season finale of “The Bachelor.”

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