Still Friends? The trouble with old sitcoms

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The show ran from 1994 to 2004

Ahh, Friends. The US sitcom that took over the world.

Millennials may look back fondly to the heady days of the ultimate 20-something Manhattan lifestyle enjoyed by our favourite flatmates – Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe.

But nearly a quarter of a century – yikes! – since the show began, a new generation of fans are discovering the hit show for the first time on Netflix.

And some of them are clearly finding it a bit uncomfortable.

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Another found herself not enjoying the show as much second time around.

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Freelance writer James Baldock, who wrote about the Friends issue in Metro, told BBC News the backlash against Friends “was inevitable”.

“People my age tend to think of Friends as ‘current’, but it’s as steeped in nostalgia as, say, Miami Vice was 10 or 15 years ago.”

Writer Rebecca Reid told BBC Radio 5 live she “couldn’t believe how badly it has aged”.

“The homophobia is staggering – the punchline of every joke about Ross is that his ex-wife is a lesbian, as if that’s some failing of his and that it’s hilarious that she’s a lesbian

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Will Grace returned to TV screens last year

“The sexism’s pretty rampant as well… [and] it’s the whitest show in the whole world.”

She did acknowledge, however, that “she did sort of love it”.

“It’s really dangerous to start looking at stuff that was written a long time ago through the lens of what we do now.”

Others were less concerned.

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Sound Of 2018 stars to play exclusive gig

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Francesca Allen

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Sigrid joins a list of Sound Of… winners that includes Adele, Haim, Corrine Bailey Rae and 50 Cent

Fans who discovered Norwegian pop star Sigrid when she won the BBC Music Sound of 2018 last week are getting their first chance to see her play in the UK.

The 21-year-old will play an intimate, ticketed set for Radio 1 at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios on 30 January.

She’ll be joined by other Sound of 2018 acts including Pale Waves, Not3s, Yxng Bane and runner-up Rex Orange County.

Sound of 2015 winners Years Years will also play the event, marking their comeback after a year in the studio.

DJ Annie Mac will broadcast the show, dubbed BBC Music Sound of 2018 Live, on BBC Radio 1.

She called it “one of the first opportunities to see and hear some of the most exciting new artists in 2018″.

Fans can register for tickets from now until Thursday, 18 January.

Media captionGet to know the acts on the Sound of 2018 longlist

Sigrid won the Sound of 2018 last week, after receiving votes from more than 170 music industry insiders, including DJs, critics, festival bookers and fellow musicians.

She looks set to enter the UK Top 10 for the first time this week, with her single Strangers climbing to number eight in Monday’s Official Chart Update.

The star said she was “very excited” to play “alongside some great artists” at the first-ever Sound Of… concert.

The annual list was established in 2003, with the aim of highlighting music’s “next big things”.

Previous winners include Adele, Sam Smith, Haim, Jessie J and Ellie Goulding; while the likes of Stormzy, Lady Gaga and Frank Ocean have all featured in the Top 10.

BBC Sound of 2018 – the top five

1) SIGRID

Media captionSigrid gives us a tour of Bergen, where she lives in Norway

Taught to play piano at an early age, Sigrid didn’t consider writing her own music until she was 16, when her brother demanded she stopped playing Adele covers. She quickly discovered a talent for indelible pop melodies, switching confidently between fragile ballads and feisty pop bangers.

2) REX ORANGE COUNTY

Media captionRex Orange County: ‘I chose it ‘cos I like the name Rex’

Nineteen-year-old Alex O’Connor is a former chorister and Brit School graduate, whose bedroom productions were inspired by a love of classic songwriters like Stevie Wonder. His heartfelt vocals have been sought out by the likes of Tyler, The Creator and Skepta, who invited him on stage at last year’s Mercury Prize.

3) IAMDDB

Media captionIAMDDB takes third place on the BBC Music Sound Of List 2018

Manchester’s Diana DeBrito, aka IAMDDB, fuses reflective, soulful vocals with trap beats and jazz melodies. She dropped her first track just over a year ago, on the same day she quit university after just an hour.

4) KHALID

Media captionKhalid shares the secrets of his success

Aged just 19, Khalid is already a star in the US, where his debut album American Teen has sold more than a million copies. His emotional, relatable songs are a diary of his high school years, full of love, loss, loneliness and longing.

5) PALE WAVES

Media captionGet to know Pale Waves, who’ve taken fifth place in the Sound of 2018

Manchester goth-pop band Pale Waves were formed at university by best friends and musical soulmates Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals, guitars) and Ciara Doran (drums). Championed by The 1975, who took them on tour last year, they describe their sound as “90s-inspired indie-pop feels, drenched in reverb and glitter”.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42693641

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dies suddenly aged 46

Dolores O'RiordanImage copyright
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The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly at the age of 46, her publicist has confirmed.

The Irish musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 90s with singles including Linger and Zombie.

A statement from her publicist said: “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session.

“No further details are available at this time.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the police were called to a hotel in Park Lane at 09:05 GMT on Monday, where “a woman in her mid-40s” was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death is, at this stage, unexplained.

Her current band mates in The Cranberries – Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler, and Mike Hogan – paid tribute to the lead singer on social media.

The message said: “She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to been part of her life from 1989.”

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Her publicist added: “Family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

The Cranberries shot to international fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide.

Media captionDolores O’Riordan led The Cranberries to international success in the 90s

In 2017 The Cranberries announced a tour including dates in Europe, the UK, and the US.

However, in May – shortly into the European tour – the group had to cancel the remainder of the European dates as a result of O’Riordan’s health issues.

The official Cranberries website cited “medical reasons associated with a back problem” preventing singer Dolores O’Riordan from performing.

But just before Christmas O’Riordan had posted on Facebook saying she was “feeling good” and had done her “first bit of gigging in months”, leading fans to believe she would soon be performing again.

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O’Riordan tweeted a picture of herself with her cat to fans in early January saying she was “off to Ireland”.

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O’Riordan split from her husband of 20 years, Don Burton in 2014. She and Burton, who is the former tour manager of Duran Duran, have three children together.

The singer was arrested over an alleged air rage incident in 2014 but was released without charge, after a stewardess was reportedly attacked on a flight from New York to Shannon, County Clare.

O’Riordan was taken to hospital in Limerick after being questioned by police and later discharged.

Two years later, O’Riordan was ordered to pay 6,000 euros (£5,300) to charity for headbutting a police officer after an alleged air rage incident.

She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015, which she said explained why she was in a “manic” state on the plane.

In an interview in 2013 she said that she had been abused as a child, which led to her developing an eating disorder, and eventually she suffered a breakdown.

She described her family, especially her children, as her “salvation”.

Irish president Michael D Higgins called her death “a big loss”, and added O’Riordan’s work with The Cranberries “had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally”.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said she was probably “Limerick’s greatest ever rock star”, and that her band “captured all of the angst that came with your teenage years”.

‘Unforgettable voice’

The Kinks guitarist and singer Dave Davies paid tribute to O’Riordan, saying he was “shocked” and that he had seen her “a couple weeks before Christmas”.

He added “she seemed happy and well”.

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Irish rock band Kodaline were among the first to pay tribute on social media.

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Duran Duran’s official Twitter feed posted a message saying the band was “crushed” to hear of the singer’s death.

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Others to pay tribute include The Late, Late Show presenter, James Corden, who said meeting her when he was 15 years old “made his day”.

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Jim Corr from Irish band The Corrs tweeted offering his “deepest sympathies” to O’Riordan’s family.

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A book of condolence will be opened in her home town of Limerick on Tuesday, at the city council’s headquarters.

O’Riordan, the youngest of seven children, had written her own songs since she was 12.

She joined the band while still in her teens, after spotting an advert for a female singer for rock band The Cranberry Saw Us.

Later changed to The Cranberries, the band’s most successful tracks include Linger (1993), Zombie (1994) – a protest song about bombings that took place in relation to the conflict in Northern Ireland – as well as No Need To Argue (1994) and To the Faithful Departed (1996).

O’Riordan briefly pursued a solo career after the band split in 2003, before The Cranberries reunited in 2009.


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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42696376

Dua Lipa makes Brit Awards history

Dua Lipa

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Dua Lipa was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2017

Dua Lipa leads the charge at this year’s Brit Awards with five nominations, including best album.

The pop star, whose single New Rules was one of last year’s breakout hits, is also up for best female, best video, best single and breakthrough.

The 22-year-old also makes Brits history. Until now, no female artist has ever received five nominations in a single year.

“How is this real?” she tweeted as the shortlists were announced.

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Ed Sheeran also fared well, with four nominations, while J Hus and Rag’n'Bone Man scored three apiece.

All four artists are up for best British album, as is Stormzy for his debut record, Gang Signs and Prayer.

One notable absence from this year’s shortlist was Sam Smith. His album, The Thrill Of It All, was the third biggest seller of 2017 but received no nominations.

However, its November release date means it will be eligible again next year – and Smith will perform at this year’ ceremony, at London’s O2 Arena on 21 February, along with Rag’n'Bone Man, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran.

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Liam Payne’s Strip That Down has been the most successful solo single by a former One Direction member

The fan-voted best video category sees a fight between three former members of One Direction.

Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times will go up against Zayn and Taylor Swift’s I Don’t Wanna Live Forever and Liam Payne’s Strip That Down.

“That’s fantastic,” Payne told BBC News.

“The fact that we’ve just come out of our band and everyone’s already up for these things, it’s fantastic.

“I’m not going to put a bet on myself,” he added. “There was some fantastic music out last year. I’m just happy to be part of that.”

The star also revealed the last time he had been to the Brits, he and his partner Cheryl Tweedy “were still in hiding with our relationship”.

“We snuck out of the Brits together, and we bumped into every single newspaper person we could possibly bump into – which I thought was really hilarious!”

Dua’s domination

Dua Lipa, 22, was raised in the UK but at the age of 13 she moved with her parents to their former home of Kosovo.

Two years later, she returned to London alone to pursue music, while scraping a living in bars and pubs.

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Youtube post by Dua Lipa: Dua Lipa - New Rules (Official Music Video)Image Copyright Dua Lipa
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After a series of increasingly popular singles, she found success with last summer’s female empowerment anthem New Rules, in which the star writes a four-step plan for avoiding her ex.

She ended the year as the UK’s most-streamed female artist on Spotify, while her eye-catching New Rules video has been watched more than 892 million times on YouTube.

Her competition in the best female category comes from Jessie Ware, Kate Tempest and former winners Laura Marling and Paloma Faith.

It is Faith’s fifth nomination, much to the star’s astonishment.

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Paloma Faith performed at the nominations show

“I keep pinching myself because I feel like it’s a very fickle industry,” she said.

“There’s so many people over the years that I’ve been on this particular carpet with that I don’t see any more.”

Other returning nominees include Gorillaz and Wolf Alice, up for best British group, while Liam Gallagher gets his first nomination as a solo artist in the best British male category.

‘It’s just crazy’

East London MC J Hus picked up three nominations for his debut album Common Sense, a border-hopping brew of the music that inspired him – from G-funk to bashment via afrobeat, UK garage and RB.

“Three nominations. I at least have to take home one,” the 21-year-old said.

Last year’s Brit Awards were hailed for the diversity of their nominees – but in the end, no black British artists took home an award.

  • Brits 2017: The real winners and losers
  • Brit Awards 2017: David Bowie dominates

J Hus, whose real name is Momodou Jallow, said he hoped the situation would be corrected in 2018.

He said: “100% we can turn it around this year. But even if I don’t take anything away, I’m happy to be amongst so many big artists. It’s just crazy.”

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J Hus said he was “honoured” to be nominated

The nominations were revealed in a live programme on ITV1, featuring performances from Paloma Faith, J Hus, Liam Payne and Clean Bandit.

Soul singer Jorja Smith also performed her new single Let Me Down alongside best British male nominee Stormzy.

Walsall-born Smith, who featured on Drake’s More Life mixtape last year, was also presented with the Brits Critics’ Choice Award, which singles out an artist to watch in the coming year.

The prize, which has previously gone to the likes of Adele and Florence and the Machine, is one of two awards to be announced in advance.

The other – best producer – has gone to Little Mix and Liam Payne collaborator Steve Mac.

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This year’s winners will receive a specially designed statue by Anish Kapoor

Despite Dua’s domination of the shortlist, it seems probable that Sheeran’s massive commercial success will be recognised on the night.

As well as being the favourite for best album and best male, he is likely to receive the Global Success award, which goes to the artist who makes the most impact overseas.

Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall will host the ceremony for the first time.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42677238

Ashley Judd: I was not frightened of Harvey Weinstein

Actor Ashley Judd has said she believes Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sabotaged her career after she refused his advances.

“I was not frightened of Harvey Weinstein and I think that was why he blackballed me,” she told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur.

“I think that is why he blacklisted me and did unfortunately as we know now such a successful job sabotaging my career,” she added.

Weinstein has denied these allegations and any accusations of non-consensual sex.

(This interview was recorded on Wednesday 10 January 2018)

Watch the full interview on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel on Monday 15 January 2018.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42661243

Wendy Salisbury: My mid-life sex life is now a musical

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Manel Ortega

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“Having done my procreation, I was looking for recreation. And I found it with younger men.”

“There are moments when I disapprove of what I’ve done,” admits Wendy Salisbury, reflecting on the rehearsals for a new musical based on her middle-aged romantic liaisons with a string of (much) younger men.

“Which obviously I shouldn’t – I should own it and be proud of it.”

Although she’s approaching her 72nd birthday and is a grandmother of five, Salisbury has never been embarrassed about her exploits – yes, sexploits – as a middle-aged woman.

In 2007, she published The Toyboy Diaries, the title of which pretty much speaks for itself.

Now, that book has been turned into The Toyboy Diaries: The Musical, which has its premiere at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre this week.

The book and musical detail Salisbury’s love life in her 40s and 50s following her second divorce.

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Claire Bilyard

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Johanne Murdock plays Wendy’s character in the show, with Matt Beveridge as a toyboy

As well as featuring lashings of raunch and tongue-in-cheek humour, there’s a personal story of Salisbury’s quest for fulfilment and determination to challenge society’s ideas about the role of women of a certain age.

An antiques dealer as well as a writer, Salisbury says she wants to change attitudes about women who hook up with younger men.

“A lot of it is my wishing to inspire other women that, if they are divorced or widowed or on their own for any reason, their choices are broader than what society would dictate, which would be a man between two and seven years older,” she explains.

“Because in society, that is the norm. But, having done my procreation, I was looking for recreation. And I found it with younger men.”

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Manel Ortega

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Salisbury’s teenage granddaughters think “it’s very cool to have this barmy grandmother”

It’s unusual for a show to be revolve around a middle-aged female character, let alone one so defiantly in control of her destiny.

In the musical, Wendy’s name is changed to Lily, and the men’s names have been changed too. They range from “Tom”, an estate agent in his early 20s with whom she stayed for seven years, to “Sam”, 20, with whom she shared a night of passion.

In real life, her partner of the past decade is now 48 – she thinks. “We absolutely don’t do the numbers any more,” she says. “We’re just two people. Two grown-ups.”

Her friends have been “very supportive” of her telling her story – but her daughters have been “less so”.

“But then I don’t think children really want to know about their parents’ sex lives, do they?” she says. “They haven’t read the book, and I’m sort of glad that they didn’t. They always come first and they know that.

“My granddaughters, funnily enough, are much more supportive, the two older ones [aged 17 and 19]. They think it’s very cool to have this sort of barmy grandmother.”

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Other reaction has been similarly mixed. Lots of people were positive about the book, but she says: “There was a lot of tut tutting and, ‘Do you think this is appropriate behaviour for a woman of your age?’

“The worst hate mail that I’ve ever received has been from older men, interestingly.

“I’ve had, ‘Good on you girl’ from women and younger men, and I’ve had, ‘You’re disgusting, you don’t know what you’re doing, older men are so much better’.

“They’re obviously feeling threatened, thinking there’s a danger of them losing the ability to have power over us, and that is very relevant right now, isn’t it? Older men do not like strong women. It threatens their egos.”

She has lots of older male friends – but says she finds the attitude towards women among many of them “quite arrogant”.

She explains: “The dates that I’ve had with older men, in my pursuit of normality, when my close friends say, ‘Don’t you think you ought to find someone your own age?’… The men are really quite boring. They talk about themselves incessantly. They rarely if ever ask a question about me.”

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Claire Bilyard

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The show has a script by Simon Warne with music and lyrics by Andy Collyer

One line in the show has Salisbury’s character exclaim: “Although I deal in antiques, I never sleep with them!”

So she finds younger men more attractive in more ways than one.

“They’re positive. They are optimistic. They are looking to the future,” Salisbury says. “They talk about the future, whereas older men only talk about the past.

“Obviously the sex has to be taken into consideration because that is a big part of a relationship.

“Where we come a cropper is often with music – we don’t share the same tastes in music – and films and things like that.”

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Toyboy Warehouse

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Wendy Salisbury’s profile on Toyboy Warehouse

Salisbury always asks younger men why they’re looking for a more mature lady.

“I do say, ‘Shouldn’t you be looking for a wife and having children?’ And a lot of them say the girls that society says they should be with are very focused on marriage and babies, and the men are very focused on their careers.

“And they feel that to settle down would impede them from progressing in their careers.

“That’s why an older woman is a better option for them as a partner because she’s done all that. She’s not going to want babies or marriage. So that kind of balance is for certain people.”

But she adds: “I’m not saying this is for everybody. Far from it. A lot of women would not be the least bit interested in dating younger men.”

Fun and frolics

So what’s her advice to women who are on their own and want to follow her example?

“It depends on their attitude,” she replies. “If they’re looking for another life partner, a younger man might not be it. But if they’re looking for fun and frolics, then yes why not?”

She recommends internet dating – there are sites dedicated to this kind of thing (she mentions the bluntly-titled Toyboy Warehouse).

“Be brave,” she continues. “Make the best of yourself in the first instance so you feel good. A lot of women haven’t got the courage because they think, ‘My hair’s not good and my figure’s not good.’

“Work on yourself. Make yourself the best self that you can be.

“Then put it out there and see what happens.”

The Toyboy Diaries is at Hope Mill Theatre from 18 January-10 February.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42651921

Mark Wahlberg donates reshoot fee to Time’s Up defence fund

Mark Wahlberg (L) and Michelle Williams at the premiere of All The Money In The World on December 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.Image copyright
Getty Images

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Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5m to do a reshoot of All The Money in the World, but his co-star was paid $80 a day

The actor Mark Wahlberg has donated $1.5m to the Time’s Up legal defence fund.

The move comes after it emerged that Wahlberg was paid $1.5m to reshoot scenes for the film All The Money in the World.

His co-star Michelle Williams was paid $80 a day for the extra work.

Scenes had to be reshot after Kevin Spacey was removed from the completed film following the allegations of predatory sexual behaviour against him.

The Time’s Up legal defence fund will offer support to people who have experienced sexual harassment, abuse or assault in the workplace.

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The Time’s Up campaign is a movement against sexual harassment that was founded at the start of January as a response to recent sexual harassment allegations in the media, film, and broadcasting.

The issue of sexual harassment and abuse has risen in prominence after allegations were made in 2017 against figures such as the film director Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.

In December 2017, the prominent Time magazine named the “Silence Breakers” as its “Person of the Year”.

The “Silence Breakers” were women and men who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment.

In 2017, the #MeToo hashtag led to women and men from all walks of life opening up on social media about their experiences of these issues.

At the Golden Globes awards ceremony last week, stars such as Oprah Winfrey spoke candidly about the discrimination that women face.

The issue of the equal pay and a “gender pay gap” has become a prominent issue across many sectors in recent months.

Last week, the BBC’s China Editor, Carrie Gracie, resigned from her post saying she felt that she wasn’t being paid the same amount as similarly prominent correspondents who are male.

The BBC said in a statement that there was “no systemic discrimination against women” at the corporation.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42678768

9 highlights from Celebrity Big Brother so far

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Emma Willis has returned to front the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother

We’ve had tears. We’ve had tantrums.

Celebrity Big Brother has proved to be just the kind of guilty pleasure-TV that cosy January nights in were made for.

This year’s house started out with all-female housemates, a move Channel 5 said was to celebrate the centenary of women over 30 being given the vote.

But it wasn’t long before they were joined by a few men – including Boyzone’s Shane Lynch, dancer Wayne Sleep and Love Island’s Jonny Mitchell.

  • Who’s in the new Celebrity Big Brother house?
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In the interests of taste and decency, there are a few moments which we sadly can’t bring you in this highlights round-up, such as Rachel Johnson’s dance moves, Courtney Act’s apparent wardrobe malfunction and a conversation about drag queens and “tucking”.

But for those who need to catch up on the series, here’s a quick round-up of some of the other water cooler moments so far:

1. Andrew Brady as a drag queen

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Youtube post by Big Brother UK: Courtney Act introduces Andrew aka 'Betty Swollocks' | Day 6 | Celebrity Big Brother 2018Image Copyright Big Brother UK
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We’re not sure what Lord Sugar would’ve made of Betty Swollocks.

But former Apprentice candidate Andrew Brady’s drag alter-ego sure made for some entertaining television.

Sadly, India didn’t think so, sitting in silence and generally looking scared as a result of her apparent phobia of drag queens.

(Naturally, Twitter was quick to dredge up several historic photos of India with drag queens.)

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2. Ann saying Meghan Markle is “trouble”

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You may have heard about Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle in November – the pair are due to marry on 19 May.

But, in a conversation about the couple, Ann Widdecombe said she didn’t like Markle’s “background” or “attitude”.

“I worry. I add it all up and I’m uneasy,” she added.

But she faced a backlash from viewers, who were quick to jump to Markle’s defence.

3. Shane paying tribute to his former bandmate Stephen Gateley

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Viewers took to social media to say they were tearing up shortly after Shane Lynch discussed the death of his former bandmate Stephen Gately in 2009.

“There will always be five [members of Boyzone],” Shane said. “Regardless of what you see, he will always be there.”

4. The debate about the Hollywood sexual abuse scandal

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The string of allegations against entertainment figures such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in recent months sparked discussion among the female contestants on the first evening in the house.

Ann and Amanda Barrie were firmly of the opinion that actresses could simply choose to decline if propositioned by a powerful Hollywood figure.

But Rachel, Malika Haqq and Jess Impiazzi said many stars, particularly when they’re young and less famous, feel under intense pressure in such situations.

5. India discussing gender reassignment surgery

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Early in the series, India likened her transition from male to female felt “like having a tooth out,” adding how much of a “relief” it was becoming a woman after years of feeling “stressed and exhausted” as a man.

Ann was quick to share her own thoughts on having such surgery on the NHS, commenting: “Well the fact is the NHS can’t do everything, isn’t doing everything.

“And you’ve got to ask yourself what the priorities should be… match [gender reassignment surgery] with someone going blind, children with cancer.”

India argued it was the high suicide rates amongst transgender people meant that giving them such surgery for free was “money well spent”.

6. Big Brother means Brexit

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Get any group of people together for more than five minutes these days and it’s inevitable that the conversation will eventually turn to Brexit.

During one discussion in the kitchen, Ann explained her decision for choosing to vote for the UK to leave the European Union, while Jess revealed that she didn’t actually vote.

“We’re celebrating 100 years of women having the vote,” Ann pointed out. “And you’ve just told me you didn’t bother voting?”

Awkward.

7. The ballad of Ginuwine and Ashley

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Youtube post by Big Brother UK: Ashley declares that she doesn't cheat | Day 9 | Celebrity Big Brother 2018Image Copyright Big Brother UK
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Big Brother history is littered with romances – only last week Grace and Mikey, who got together on Big Brother in 2006, announced they were expecting their third child.

This time around, we have model and DJ Ashley James getting friendly with RB singer Ginuwine.

She has already reassured him that she “doesn’t cheat” and the pair even discussed marriage (above).

At this rate we’re expecting children by Christmas.

8. The musical performances

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Watching Ginuwine perform Pony as Ann Widdecombe watches on is certainly an early contender for cringiest TV moment of 2018 so far.

John Barnes’s World In Motion rap was also a wonderful sight to behold – but sadly both videos are absent from YouTube for music rights reasons.

(Possibly for the best.)

9. Ann leaving a party because the music is too loud

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We all have that one friend.

“I have good hearing, and you [Big Brother] are trying to damage it. You have a duty of care.”

Having woken up hoarse after many an evening out, we do sympathise – but given Ann’s Strictly Come Dancing experience we can’t help but wish she’d thrown some shapes.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42660497

Dua Lipa leads the Brits nominations

Dua Lipa

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Dua Lipa was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2017

Dua Lipa leads the charge at this year’s Brit Awards with five nominations, including best album.

The singer, whose hit single New Rules was one of the breakout hits of last year, is also up for best female, best video, best single and British breakthrough artist.

She narrowly beat Ed Sheeran’s four nominations, while J Hus and Rag’n'Bone Man have three apiece.

They are all up for best British album, as is Stormzy’s Gang Signs and Prayer.

The fan-voted best video category sees a fight between three former members of One Direction.

Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times will go up against Zayn and Taylor Swift’s I Don’t Wanna Live Forever and Liam Payne’s Strip That Down.

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Liam Payne’s Strip That Down has been the most successful solo single by a former One Direction member

“That’s fantastic,” Payne told BBC News.

“The fact that we’ve just come out of our band and everyone’s already up for these things, it’s fantastic.

“I’m not going to put a bet on myself,” he added.

“There was some fantastic music out last year. I’m just happy to be part of that.”

The star also revealed the last time he had been to the Brits, he and his partner Cheryl Tweedy “were still in hiding with our relationship”.

“We snuck out of the Brits together, and we bumped into every single newspaper person we could possibly bump into – which I thought was really hilarious!”

Dua’s domination

Dua Lipa, 22, was raised in the UK but at the age of 13 she moved with her parents to their former home of Kosovo.

Two years later, she returned to London alone to pursue music, while scraping a living in bars and pubs.

After a series of increasingly popular singles, she found success with last summer’s female empowerment anthem New Rules, in which the star writes a four-step plan for avoiding her ex.

She ended the year as the UK’s most-streamed female artist on Spotify, while her eye-catching New Rules video has been watched more than 892 million times on YouTube.

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Her competition in the best female category comes from Jessie Ware, Kate Tempest and former winners Laura Marling and Paloma Faith.

It is Faith’s fifth nomination, much to the star’s astonishment.

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Paloma Faith performed at the nominations show

“I keep pinching myself because I feel like it’s a very fickle industry,” she said.

“There’s so many people over the years that I’ve been on this particular carpet with that I don’t see any more.”

Other returning nominees include Gorillaz and Wolf Alice, up for best British group, while Liam Gallagher gets his first nomination as a solo artist in the best British male category.

‘It’s just crazy’

East London MC J Hus picked up three nominations for his debut album Common Sense, a border-hopping brew of the music that inspired him – from G-funk to bashment via afrobeat, UK garage and RB.

“Three nominations. I at least have to take home one,” the 21-year-old said.

Last year’s Brit Awards were hailed for the diversity of their nominees – but in the end, no black British artists took home an award.

  • Brits 2017: The real winners and losers
  • Brit Awards 2017: David Bowie dominates

J Hus, whose real name is Momodou Jallow, said he hoped the situation would be corrected in 2018.

He said: “100% we can turn it around this year. But even if I don’t take anything away, I’m happy to be amongst so many big artists. It’s just crazy.”

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J Hus said he was “honoured” to be nominated

The nominations were revealed in a live programme on ITV1, featuring performances from Paloma Faith, J Hus, Liam Payne and Clean Bandit.

Soul singer Jorja Smith also performed her new single Let Me Down alongside best British male nominee Stormzy.

Walsall-born Smith, who featured on Drake’s More Life mixtape last year, was also presented with the Brits Critics’ Choice Award, which singles out an artist to watch in the coming year.

The prize, which has previously gone to the likes of Adele and Florence and the Machine, is one of two awards to be announced in advance.

The other – best producer – has gone to Little Mix and Liam Payne collaborator Steve Mac.

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This year’s winners will receive a specially designed statue by Anish Kapoor

One notable absence from this year’s shortlist was Sam Smith. His album, The Thrill Of It All, was the third biggest seller of 2017 but received no nominations.

However, its November release date means it will be eligible again next year – and Smith will perform at this year’ ceremony, at London’s O2 Arena on 21 February, along with Rag’n'Bone Man, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran.

Despite Dua’s domination of the shortlist, it seems probable that Sheeran’s massive commercial success will be recognised on the night.

As well as being the favourite for best album and best male, he is likely to receive the Global Success award, which recognises the artist who makes the most impact overseas.

Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall will host the ceremony for the first time.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42677238

Royal Albert Hall referred to Charity Tribunal

Royal Albert Hall

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The charity was being referred due to an “unresolvable conflict of interest”

The Royal Albert Hall has been referred to the Charity Tribunal due to conflict of interest concerns on its council.

The Charity Commission said seats given to families that financed the hall’s construction in the 1860s were being sold on for considerable profit.

It said that as seat holders held a majority on the hall’s governing council, this raised “an inherent unresolvable conflict of interest”.

A spokesperson for the hall said it was disappointed by the decision.

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said: “The question is whether these arrangements enable the council to be perceived as furthering the purposes of the charity for the public benefit.

‘Complex issues’

“We have been engaged with the hall for some time and, while progress has been made in some areas, the central issue of how to deal with the conflicts of interest, and suggested private benefit, remain unresolved and the hall has shown minimal appetite to address these.

“Due to the complex nature of these matters, we gained the consent of the Attorney General to refer a number of questions to the Charity Tribunal.”

A spokesperson for the Royal Albert Hall said: “We are disappointed to hear that the Charity Commission has taken this route.

“Over many years, the hall has engaged in a meaningful way to resolve what is a complex set of issues, however the commission has chosen to refuse to meet us, whilst pursuing what has been a costly and drawn out route.

“Whilst we will, of course, cooperate with this process, our focus will remain on entertaining audiences and to enhance our considerable charitable activities.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42664644