The daily gossip: Bruce Springsteen said no to a rest stop, Kristen Bell is bummed her daughter shares a name with a COVID strain, and more

Today's top entertainment and celebrity news

Bruce Springsteen.
(Image credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science)

1. Bruce Springsteen didn't want a New Jersey rest stop named after him

Bruce Springsteen has reportedly turned down the honor of having people associate his name with Auntie Anne's and bathroom door knobs that you don't want to touch with your bare hands. This week, the state of New Jersey announced that it has teamed up with the New Jersey Hall of Fame to name some of the rest stops along the Garden State Parkway after notable Jersey stars, like Whitney Houston, James Gandolfini, Frank Sinatra, Toni Morrison, and Jon Bon Jovi. Notably absent, though, is a "Bruce Springsteen Service Area" — since the Boss apparently snubbed the offer. "Bruce Springsteen respectfully declined to have a service area named after him," a New Jersey Hall of Fame spokeswoman said, without elaborating on why exactly Springsteen is so threatened by gas station coffee. Gawker

2. Kristin Bell admits it's kind of a 'bummer' having a kid named Delta right now

Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard must've thought they were being clever naming their daughter after the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, but six years later "Delta" is now best associated with a new, deadly strain of COVID-19. "It's a big, big bummer," Bell said, probably echoing what parents everywhere thought about naming their kids Isis in 2016, Daenerys in 2019, or Karen in 2020. Bell added that she is "really hoping that the Delta variant won't be as strong as the original COVID," not because it's hypertransmissible and will overwhelm hospitals necessarily, but because it kind of sucks for her kid. So far, though, Delta doesn't seem too upset: "She's six so she's impressed every time she sees a Delta Airlines ad or anything," Bell said, adding "so every time she hears anyone talk about the variant, she's like 'my name!' So she's still excited about it."

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3. Who could be the next Doctor on Doctor Who?

The Doctor is out. Jodie Whittaker is set to exit the popular British sci-fi series Doctor Who, the BBC announced Thursday, sparking rampant speculation about who will replace her. Doctor Who follows a time-traveling alien who can change their appearance via a "regeneration" process, which allows the show to swap out the lead actor every so often while retaining the same continuity. While no announcement has been made, some names that have been floated include Michaela Coel, Kris Marshall, Kelly Maconald, Richard Ayoade, Michael Sheen, and fan-favorite Jo Martin, who was already introduced as an incarnation of the Doctor, the first to be portrayed by a Black actor. Olly Alexander has also been rumored to be in talks for the role, though he has denied those reports. Another popular pick among fans is Hayley Atwell, but she said in 2017 she wasn't interested. Has anyone rung Phoebe Waller-Bridge yet?

BBC The Week

4. Caleb McLaughlin is trying to get Stranger Things co-star David Harbour's number

Caleb McLaughlin might be his Stranger Things co-star David Harbour's biggest fan, especially after seeing him in Black Widow. Despite working together since 2015, they still haven't exchanged numbers, so McLaughlin hasn't told him so yet. "I mean, we've never said, 'Hey, let's get each other's number.' We have just never had that conversation," McLaughlin told Complex. "But when I see him, I'm going to give him a big hug and tell him how great of a job he did." After reflecting on it, the actor decided it's time to have that conversation. "I need to get his number next time. We'll have that conversation, a long enough conversation, and be like, 'Hey, let's… Hey, you know what? Let's get each other's numbers and we'll actually talk off set and let's get lunch or something.'" A friendship is blossoming.


5. Paris jewel thief escapes heist unwitnessed because Jean-Claude Van Damme was nearby

A pair of jewel thieves had a serendipitous day Tuesday in Paris thanks to Jean-Claude Van Damme. They stole approximately $3.5 million in gems from a jeweler, then one suspect fled the scene on a green electric scooter — but potential witnesses at a cafe were completely unaware of the "monumental haul." They told French police they were distracted by Van Damme, who was at a nearby optician. Even without any helpful witnesses, French police were able to turn to security footage to find and arrest the suspects Wednesday and recover a "substantial part" of the gems. Van Damme likely has improved vision after his outing, which, combined with his martial arts skills, could come in handy the next time he's near a heist.

New York Post The Guardian

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.