English actor Daniel Radcliffe, star of Harry Potter arrives to attend the screening of a new movie.AFP
Spotify and author JK Rowling on Tuesday announced the release of free weekly recordings narrated by celebrities of the first book in the wildly popular "Harry Potter" series.
The decision was made to help children and perhaps adults cope with confinement measures, Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played the beloved wizard character in the books' cinematic renditions, voiced the first chapter of the series' premiere novel, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers' Stone."
He will be joined by a coterie stars including soccer legend David Beckham along with actors Stephen Fry and Dakota Fanning, who will lend their voices to the book's subsequent chapters.
All 17 chapters will be out by mid-summer, Spotify said, and the recordings will be available cost-free on the music platform, which recently began making strides in the audio book and podcast realms.
Videos of the celebrity recordings will stream on the website Harry Potter At Home.
"Parents, teachers and care givers working to keep children amused and interested while we're on lockdown might need a bit of magic," said Rowling in launching that site last month.
Rowling's seven-part "Harry Potter" series is the best-selling book collection ever, with more than 500 million copies sold to date.
The first novel, published in 1997, is the series' best-seller, with more than 120 million editions purchased.
A version of the book is already available for free streaming on Amazon's Audible, narrated entirely by Fry.
The novel is also available on that platform in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese.
The series' publishers have also temporarily relaxed licensing restrictions, which allows teachers to read the "Harry Potter" books to their students during remote classes.
J.K. Rowling, the creator of the immensely popular Harry Potter series, on Tuesday launched the online serialisation of a new 34-part series, 'The Ickabog', aimed primarily at 7-9-year-olds as bedtime stories but which will appeal to readers of all ages.
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“The exhibition reveals that though we come from different cultures and have diverse personalities, art portrays the beauty of this country through lives lived together in harmony,” says Jesno Jackson, co-founder of the gallery.
"Most of these youngsters grew up at the time when JK Rowling's work was being presented in the novels and then later on in the films," Dr Asghar Zaidi, the university's vice chancellor and a "Potterhead" himself said.
Shehzad Roy, one of Pakistan’s top pop stars, singer and social worker who visited the Expo 2020 Dubai said: “This is truly larger than life. To be here at the Expo is an experience, which I can’t really express in words. Words become a barrier when you’re trying to express what you’ve seen. It’s so beautiful.”