Counter-terror training ‘should be part of venue licence’

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Licensing laws should be changed to force venues around the UK to undergo counter-terror training, a private security expert has said.

Baroness Ruth Henig told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that some venues did not take such training “seriously”.

The former chair of the Security Industry Authority now plans to table an amendment to the 2003 licensing act, to include counter-terror training.

Her comments come near the first anniversary of the Paris attacks.

These saw 130 people killed and hundreds wounded on 13 November 2015, when gunmen opened fire in simultaneous attacks in restaurants, bars and at a concert hall and suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a major stadium.

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American rock group Eagles of Death Metal perform on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris moments before men with assault rifles opened fire

The Bataclan theatre was playing host to the American rock band the Eagles of Death Metal when three gunmen burst in and shot dead 89 people.

Baroness Henig said that “the public should ask questions” about security when they go to venues.

The UK’s terror threat is at “severe” – meaning an attack is deemed to be “highly likely”.

Baroness Henig said: “There are clearly a number of venues, often the larger venues, I think, but not always, who have airport-style security, who, for example, do have metal detectors, who do have very well-trained security personnel and they top up this training regularly.

“But I think at the other end there is a tail of venues who aren’t taking it seriously, we know this from the police, who don’t co-operate, who don’t take up the offers that are made to them and where I think there are some concerns.

“And the issue is how do you get to that tail of venues who are perhaps not doing as much as they should be about security.”

According to a report by UK Music, the body which promotes the interest of the music industry, an audience of 27.7 million attended live music events in the UK during 2015.

It meant a total spend of £3.7bn, which was up 7% from 2014.

Baroness Henig added: “I’ve been looking at the possibility of seeing if I could table an amendment to change the 2003 licensing act in terms of the wording of public protection.

“If it was possible to say public protection and counter-terrorism measures and that would actually potentially make a big difference.

“And there is some legislation going through Parliament at the moment (Policing and Crime Bill) and I’m going to see whether I could table an amendment to that effect.”

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An increased number of firearms officers will be seen at some of the capital’s most famous locations

Back in August, London’s Metropolitan Police service unveiled an increase in the number of armed officers to reassure the public and deter attackers following terrorist attacks in Europe.

Reg Walker, who is the operations director of the security company Iridium, said money could be an issue for smaller venues.

“I think they’re labouring under the misapprehension that it’s cost prohibitive and that they simply can’t afford it. Margins are extremely tight on small venues.

“Many are struggling financially but they can actually seek advice from police on what they should have in place. And that’s absolutely free of charge and smaller venues should be reaching out to the police and vice versa.”

Project Griffin is one of the police initiatives set up to help protect business and communities from the threat of terrorism.

The aim of Project Griffin is to:

  • Help understand the threat from terrorism to the UK
  • Guide individuals on what to do if they find themselves involved in a terrorist incident or event that leads up to a planned attack
  • Enable people to recognise and report suspicious activity

Forces around the country have Counter Terror Security Advisers who can help advise venues and businesses on the best practices on counter-terror protection.

The police advice is free.

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Entertainment venues are seen as potential targets for terrorists

London’s O2 Arena recently increased its security measures with a number of visible and invisible tools, including airport-style security scanners and metal detector wands.

Will Poole works at the Troxy venue in east London and says that “responsible venue operators have the safety and security of all guests and the local residents at our best interests”.

He added that the “whole thing about counter-terrorism is that it evolves, depending on the acts that have happened over the last year”.

“I do think it comes, sometimes, down to the number of hours you have in the day. We as a decent sized venue still have quite a small team. And smaller venues have even smaller teams.

“And they’re probably thinking more about how they are going to run tonight’s show and clear up from last night’s show and booking staff for next week. And whilst I’m sure that terrorism is on the tick list, whereabouts it fits as a priority sometimes might slip down.”

A PRS for Music spokesperson said: “A consultation on the terms of a new live tariff is ongoing. All aspects of the current licence, such as minimum charge and venue size and type, are naturally included as part of the overall review.

“PRS continues to discuss the new tariff with the entire Live sector as well as those organisations that represent and work to protect small venues, so that a fair and sustainable outcome may be reached for all parties, including, importantly, our members.”

The Victoria Derbyshire programme is broadcast on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.

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Chris Evans and Nick Grimshaw both lose listeners

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Chris Evans and Nick Grimshaw both lost listeners over the last three months, according to the latest industry figures from Rajar.

Evans’s breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 dropped by 414,000 listeners compared with the previous quarter to 9.06 million.

But the programme remained the most popular radio show in the UK.

Grimshaw attracted 5.25 million weekly listeners between July and September, dropping 184,000 on the last quarter.

The drops are likely to be down to fewer people listening to breakfast shows during the summer months.

But digital station BBC Radio 6 Music attracted a new record audience of 2.34 million listeners.

It is the fifth consecutive quarter that the digital station has scored record ratings.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said she was “delighted that more and more people are discovering the station’s irresistible combination of outstanding alternative music and witty presenters”.

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Lauren Laverne is one of the presenters on BBC Radio 6 Music

While Grimshaw’s figures were down, Radio 1 as a whole went up, from 9.46 million last quarter to 9.87 million weekly listeners between July and September.

The figure rose further to 10.9 million when listeners aged 10 to 14 were included in the data. The station is currently trying to attract a younger audience.

Ben Cooper, controller of Radio 1, said the figures “should be seen alongside the increase to 1.5 million views a day on our YouTube channel and our 8.5 million users on social media”.

BBC Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 11.2 million, its second highest audience to date.

The network’s flagship Today programme dropped 250,000 listeners to 7.1 million but its sister programme The World At One reached an all-time high of 3.75 million.

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Rickie, Melvin and Charlie, pictured here with Alan Carr, host Kiss’s breakfast show

In commercial radio, LBC, Heart and Capital all increased their number of weekly listeners compared with the previous quarter – while Absolute Radio added more than half a million.

The breakfast shows on Classic FM and talkSPORT increased their reach nationally, but several commercial breakfast programmes dropped listeners.

Kiss’s Rickie, Melvin and Charlie dropped from 2.13 million national listeners in the last quarter to to 1.83 million between July and September.

The Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio X lost 36,000 listeners in London but increased the overall number listeners across the UK – reaching 703,000.

But Capital’s breakfast show, hosted by Dave Berry, George Shelley and Lilah Parsons, dropped slightly, but remained the most popular commercial breakfast show in the UK.

Overall, Rajar – the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK – said 89% of British people – or 48.2 million adults – listened to the radio at least once a week over the quarter, an increase of 320,000 on last year.

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Great British Bake Off winner revealed

Warning – contains spoilers. Do not read any further if you do not want to know who won.

Media captionThe moment the winner was announced.

Candice Brown has been named as the Queen of Great British Bake Off after a royal-themed final.

The 31-year-old PE teacher said she was in “complete and utter disbelief” at beating finalists Jane Beedle and Andrew Smyth to be crowned champion.

Paul Hollywood said the amateur baker was “one of the best”, while fellow judge Mary Berry said she “excelled”.

It is Bake Off’s seventh series – and the final one broadcast on the BBC after Channel 4 bought the rights.

Candice, from Bedfordshire, said that winning was the biggest moment of her life so far.

Peacock and pub

The finale saw the trio create a three-layered meringue crown for the signature challenge – which Candice filled with prosecco-soaked berries and pistachio jewels, topped with a miniature Queen Victoria crown.

They then had to make a perfect Victoria sponge cake for the technical challenge, set by Mary Berry, with only one instruction and no measurements given.

The showstopper saw them produce a picnic fit for a Queen, with multiple elements including sausage rolls, fruit tarts and a chocolate celebration cake.

Candice offered pig-shaped sausage rolls as part of her showstopper bid to win over the judges.

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Twelve contestants started this series – now one has been crowned overall champion

Berry said the challenge – with the most bakes ever requested for one of the rounds of the show – was an “absolute humdinger”.

She said Candice’s win was “well deserved for her determination and passion”, adding that she used “wonderful flavours, and everything always looked gorgeous”.

Hollywood said: “The standard was exceptionally high. Candice is very much all or nothing.

“When you look back on some of her bakes they have been beautiful. When she nails it, she is one of the best.”

Highlights of Candice’s Bake Off career have included a marzipan peacock and a gingerbread version of the pub she grew up in, complete with a sticky carpet.

‘Can’t stop smiling’

She said of her win: “When they said my name, that means more to me than anyone will ever realise.

“I have low self-belief, even though my friends and family constantly build my confidence up. So it was a big moment in my life, probably the biggest so far.

“I felt that everything happens for a reason, and I did it, and that makes me smile so much. In fact, I can’t stop smiling.

‘When they announced the winner, I almost didn’t hear it, and was in complete and utter disbelief. I was aware of it but I couldn’t take it in. Mary and Paul came over and I thought my knees would give way, I was trembling so much.

“One of the biggest moments for me was when Mary gave me the bouquet of flowers, and Paul handed me the trophy, and Paul said to me ‘take it, it’s yours’ and then I cried. I was in shock but totally elated.”

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Candice adding the finishing touches to her meringue crown

She said she “loved every second” of the final – especially making the sausage rolls during the five-hour showstopper challenge.

“Sausage rolls are always asked for by my family, my signature dish, so to make those in the final was great,” she said. “I made crackling curly tails and I managed to fill the tent with smoke as I was cooking the crackling, and they had to open the panels on the tent.”

Candice, who was named star baker three times during the series, said the final day was “very emotional”.

“At one stage the tent was completely empty apart from me, Andrew and Jane just chatting,” she said.

“We had a bit of a hug and a Polaroid picture which I keep in my wallet. When we had to walk out, I could see my family out of the corner of my eye, and I forced myself not to cry.”

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Host Mel Giedroyc creates a headdress for Andrew Smyth

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Jane Beedle perfects her sausage rolls

She was congratulated by boyfriend Liam and pet pug Dennis after being named winner, and added: “I will remember that squeeze for the rest of my life – what a feeling.”

She said being named star baker was the best part of the show, while her worst moment was bread week – when Hollywood would not eat her bread, as it was raw.

Asked about her future following her success, Candice said: “If I can get my little vintage shop selling tea and cakes with random antiques that would be my ultimate dream.

“Let’s wait and see what will come my way but I will be grabbing it with both hands and running with it, that’s for sure. It would be crazy not to, wouldn’t it?”

In credits shown at the end of the programme, it was revealed that Candice and rival Jane are planning to go on a baking road trip together.

Engineer Andrew, 25 had created a meringue crown with a praline filling during the signature challenge, while garden designer Jane, 61, made a patriotic red, white and blue centrepiece.

Andrew excelled during the technical challenge, coming top of the leaderboard, but Candice was judged to have been the best baker overall.

Bake Off winners: Where are they now?

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Series four winner Frances Quinn has been kept busy since her win

If Candice follows the path of previous champions, she has television shows and cookery books to look forward to in her future career.

  • Series one – The 2010 winner Edd Kimber has three recipe books – The Boy Who Bakes, Say It With Cake and Patisserie Made Simple. He runs a baking blog, also called The Boy Who Bakes. He writes for magazines and newspapers, and makes regular TV appearances on food shows.
  • Series two – Jo Wheatley now runs a cake-making school from home and has published two books, A Passion For Baking and Home Baking.
  • Series three – John Whaite swapped plans to become a lawyer for life as a chef by setting up his own cookery school. Whaite has published two books – John Whaite Bakes At Home and Perfect Plates In 5 Ingredients. He also writes for the Telegraph, and is resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine.
  • Series four – Frances Quinn has published a recipe book, Quinntessential Baking, and baked for artist Quentin Blake, broadcaster Clare Balding and the Tate’s Matisse exhibition. She also has a blog featuring her latest creations and runs cooking demos.
  • Series five – Retired grandmother of eight Nancy Birtwhistle now writes about the show for the Telegraph. Her website features her tips and recipes.
  • Series six – Nadiya Hussain is now a TV star in her own right, recently fronting her own three-part series, The Chronicles Of Nadiya, and making regular appearances on The One Show. She has published two books – Nadiya’s Kitchen and Nadiya’s Bake Me A Story. Buckingham Palace chose her to bake the Queen’s 90th birthday cake.

Hollywood is following the show when it moves to Channel 4, while Berry and hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have announced they are leaving.

Berry told Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 that she will work with Giedroyc and Perkins again – joking that a future project could involve gardening.

She said: “We have made no decisions whatsoever, we haven’t actually all three got together, but we will do something because we’re good pals, and who knows what it would be?

“Well, it may not be baking, you never know, it could be gardening. I’m a very keen gardener, you know.”

Programme makers Love Productions are yet to reveal who else will front the show alongside Hollywood.

The Great British Bake Off started on BBC Two in 2010 before switching to BBC One in 2014.

Last year’s final, won by Nadiya Hussain, was the UK’s most watched television programme of 2015.

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Emma Rice: Shakespeare’s Globe boss to leave over lighting row

Emma RiceImage copyright
Sarah Lee

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Emma Rice recently said she received different criticism than a man would have had

Shakespeare’s Globe artistic director Emma Rice is to leave the theatre in 2018 after its board decided her methods were not authentic enough.

Rice took charge of the London theatre in January but has come in for fierce criticism, including for her use of sound and lighting technology.

Chief executive Neil Constable said the theatre was founded to stage plays in keeping with Shakespearean traditions.

That “should continue to be the central tenet of our work”, he said.

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The Globe, which opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of a Shakespearean theatre

In a statement, he said Rice’s “mould-breaking work” had brought in “new and diverse audiences, won huge creative and critical acclaim, and achieved exceptionally strong box office returns”.

He continued: “In breaking the mould, this latest season has generated productive debate concerning the purpose and theatrical practice of the Globe, in relation to the use of sound and lighting technology within our theatre spaces.

“Following much deliberation and discussion, the Globe board has concluded that from April 2018, the theatre programming should be structured around ‘shared light’ productions without designed sound and light rigging, which characterised a large body of The Globe’s work prior to Emma’s appointment.”

The Globe, which opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of a Shakespearean theatre on London’s Southbank.

Until Rice’s arrival, actors have usually performed in “shared light”, meaning the performers can see the audience, who feel more involved, as they would have done in Shakespeare’s day.

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Tristram Kenton

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Rice came under fire for a reworking of Cymbeline, titled Imogen

Mr Constable added: “The Globe was reconstructed as a radical experiment to explore the conditions within which Shakespeare and his contemporaries worked, and we believe this should continue to be the central tenet of our work.

“Whilst the realisation of Emma’s vision has been a vital part of our continuing experimentation as a theatre, we have now concluded that a predominant use of contemporary sound and lighting technology will not enable us to optimise further experimentation in our unique theatre spaces and the playing conditions which they offer.”

In a statement, Rice said: “I have had a wonderful time creatively here at the Globe, but I respect the board’s decision for its future direction.”

The Times recently published an article headlined: “The Globe has been a success story – and Emma Rice is wrecking it.”

In a review of a recent reworking of Cymbeline, set in modern gangland Britain, The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish wrote: “I can’t see what this version is doing at Shakespeare’s Globe, or, if this form of hacking about with the canon is to be the new norm under artistic director Emma Rice, what the point of the Globe now is.”

In a review of the same show, the Financial Times’s Ian Shuttleworth asked: “One wonders – in what has already become a mantra during Emma Rice’s first season at its helm – what the hell it’s doing at the Globe.”

But The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner said Rice was “not ignoring tradition but boldly investigating how the theatre can remain relevant for modern audiences”.

Rice recently said the way people have talked about her since she took over the theatre has made her “blood boil” because critics did not use the same language about men.

Rice replaced Dominic Dromgoole when she arrived from the innovative and acclaimed theatre company Kneehigh. She will leave the Globe following its 2017/18 winter season.

Responding to the news:

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Gregory Doran, executive director Catherine Mallyon and deputy artistic director Erica Whyman said they were “dismayed and disappointed to hear the news”, according to The Stage.
  • Choreographer Matthew Bourne wrote on Twitter: “Shame on @The_Globe Board! #EmmaRice got me to #TheGlobe for the 1st time. I doubt I will return once she has left. A very dull bwds [backwards] step!”
  • Daniel Evans, artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, wrote: “Shocked to hear that the brilliant Emma Rice is stepping down @The_Globe. The place is poorer without her.”

More Twitter reaction

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Hugh Laurie honoured with Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Hugh Laurie with his star on the Hollywood Walk of FameImage copyright

British actor Hugh Laurie said he had “lived a life of extraordinary good fortune” as his star was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Laurie made his name in the US for his award-winning lead role in the medical drama House between 2004 and 2012.

Long-time collaborator Stephen Fry was guest speaker at the Pig ‘n Whistle British pub on Hollywood Boulevard.

Laurie joins Britons including Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Sir Ridley Scott and Dame Helen Mirren to have stars.

His star is number 2,593 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Laurie became TV’s highest-paid actor and won Golden Globe awards in 2006 and 2007 for his portrayal of doctor Gregory House.

The 57-year-old from Oxford was already well-known in Britain for his TV sketch show with Fry, and other series such as Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster.

More recently he starred opposite Tom Hiddleston in BBC drama The Night Manager.

‘Incredibly lucky’

Laurie said: “This is not a fair world. I’m 57 now and I’ve lived a life of extraordinary good fortune from start to finish, so much so I’m anticipating a piano falling on my head to redress the balance.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky. I’m going to bask in this extraordinary honour and my extraordinary good luck and I’ll set to work first thing tomorrow on the global unfairness problem.”

Fry paid tribute to his former comedy partner, saying: “While he may not be the first wise and kind star to be set in a paving slab in old Hollywood, I venture to suggest no star was ever wiser or kinder.

“I can say like Doctor Watson of his friend Holmes, the kindest and wisest friend I ever knew.”

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Man Booker Prize: Paul Beatty becomes first US winner for The Sellout

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The Sellout is American author Paul Beatty’s fourth novel

Paul Beatty has become the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize with his racial satire The Sellout.

His novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges, said the book managed “to eviscerate every social taboo”.

Beatty’s win was announced at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday.

Picking up the £50,000 prize from the Duchess of Cornwall, Beatty, 54, was clearly overwhelmed with emotion and struggled for words as he began his acceptance speech.

“I hate writing,” he admitted later in the speech.

“This is a hard book,” he went on. “It was a hard for me to write, I know it’s hard to read. Everyone’s coming at it from different angles.”

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Paul Beatty with the Duchess of Cornwall

This is the third year that the £50,000 prize has been open to writers of any nationality. The shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.

The Sellout beat five other novels, including Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, the bookies’ favourite, and Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Scottish crime thriller His Bloody Project.

‘Top of their game’

Foreman said the judges took about four hours to reach their unanimous decision.

She said The Sellout was “a novel for our times” that contained “an absolutely savage wit” reminiscent of Jonathan Swift or Mark Twain.

“This is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon,” she elaborated. “But while you are being nailed you are being tickled.”

Beatty was “someone writing at the top of their game”, she added.

“This is a first-class piece of serious literature wrapped up in a shawl of humour.”

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Shortlisted authors (from left) Paul Beatty, Deborah Levy, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Ottessa Moshfegh, David Szalay and Madeleine Thien,

The novel is narrated by Bonbon – a resident of the fictional “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, which has been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment.

Bonbon is on trial in the Supreme Court for attempting to reinstitute slavery and segregation in the local high school as a means of bringing about civic order.

Frances Gertler, web editor at Foyles bookshops, described The Sellout as “a smart satire with a memorable narrator”.

“Brave and funny – it takes a bit of getting into but once there, you don’t want to leave,” she said.

Waterstones fiction buyer, Chris White, said: “The Booker judges have awarded the most significant of literary prizes to what feels like the most significant novel to have emerged in these strange and difficult times.”

Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Beatty’s three previous novels are Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle. He now lives in New York.

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner receives a further £50,000.

This is the second consecutive Man Booker Prize success for independent publisher Oneworld, following Marlon James’s win with A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2015.

The Man Booker 2016 shortlist:

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  • Paul Beatty (US) – The Sellout
  • Deborah Levy (UK) – Hot Milk
  • Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) – His Bloody Project
  • Ottessa Moshfegh (US) – Eileen
  • David Szalay (Canada-UK) – All That Man Is
  • Madeleine Thien (Canada) – Do Not Say We Have Nothing

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John Cale to play Velvet Underground and Nico live

John CaleImage copyright
Andy Hughes

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John Cale said it was time to put the album ‘into perspective’

The Velvet Underground’s John Cale is to perform the band’s legendary album The Velvet Underground and Nico live in Liverpool and New York next year for the 50th anniversary of its release.

Cale and guests will play the seminal rock group’s debut album in full.

The Liverpool date will take place at Clarence Dock on 26 May.

Cale told BBC News: “We were all really proud of what we did so it was time to have a look at it with some new voices and new presentations.”

The Velvet Underground and Nico, with its famous banana LP cover designed by Andy Warhol, was not a commercial success when it was released in March 1967.

But it has come to be seen as one of the most influential albums of all time, with tracks including I’m Waiting for the Man, All Tomorrow’s Parties and I’ll Be Your Mirror.

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Andy Warhol designed what has become one of the most famous record covers in rock

Brian Eno once said that the album only sold 30,000 copies during its first five years but that “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band”.

The Velvet Underground formed after Cale moved from his home in Carmarthenshire, south west Wales, to New York and met singer Lou Reed in 1964. Thursday will be the third anniversary of Reed’s death.

Cale, who played viola, piano and bass guitar on their first album, said it was time to put the record “into perspective”.

Special guests

He continued: “I’d shied away from looking at it for a long time but it really deserved to get its due.

“It stands up. It still encapsulates everything we were trying to do, which was take rock ‘n’ roll in a different direction and talk about subject matter that generally wasn’t talked about, and using arrangements and atmospheres and noises that weren’t generally in the vocabulary of the day.”

Speaking about next year’s shows, he said: “We’re going to do our best to keep everything as it was, but not keep out any new ideas of what the songs are about.

“There will be a lot of characters. I’m going to find some really good personas to come and join and it will be great.”

Cale performed the album in Paris in April with special guests including The Libertines, Animal Collective, Mark Lanegan and Lemon Jelly.

Tickets for the Liverpool show go on sale at 09:00 BST on Friday 28 October. Details of the New York leg have yet to be announced.

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Bobby Vee: 1960s pop singer dies aged 73

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Bobby Vee was born into a musical family in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1943

Bobby Vee, best known for hits including Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, has died at the age of 73.

Vee released more than 25 albums during his career, retiring in 2011 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Vee’s son Jeff Velline said the singer died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday.

It was “the end of a long hard road”, Mr Velline said.

He described his father as “a person who brought joy all over the world”, adding: “That was his job.”

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Jeff Baenen

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Vee, pictured in 2013, lost his wife Karen last year

Vee’s big break came about in 1959 at the age of 15 when he filled in for Buddy Holly after the singer’s death in a plane crash.

Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were also killed in the accident in Iowa, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson.

A call went out for local acts to replace Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Vee and his band, which had only formed two weeks previously, volunteered.

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Getty Images

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Vee had his first hit in 1960

Vee, born Robert Velline, also gave a young Bob Dylan his start.

Dylan played briefly with Vee’s band and he was the one who suggested Velline change his last name to Vee.

Bobby Vee and the Shadows were signed in autumn 1959 and Vee had his first hit in the Billboard charts in 1960 with Devil or Angel.

A string of hits followed, including The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Come Back When You Grow Up, Please Don’t Ask about Barbara and Punish Her.

Vee and his wife Karen were married for more than 50 years and had four children. She died of kidney failure in 2015, aged 71.

Vee had been in a care home near Minneapolis for just over a year and had been receiving hospice care before his death, Mr Velline said.

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Pete Burns: Dead or Alive singer dies aged 57

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The singer was described as “a cross between Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker”

Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns has died aged 57 after suffering a cardiac arrest, his management has said.

A statement on Twitter said it was with “greatest sadness” that it had to break the “tragic news” that Burns died suddenly on Sunday.

Burns had a hit with You Spin Me Round in 1985 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

The management statement said: “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star.”

It continued: “He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories he has left us with.”

‘Great true eccentric’

Burns appeared on reality television shows Celebrity Wife Swap and The Body Shocking Show in recent years.

Politician George Galloway, who was on Celebrity Big Brother with Burns, tweeted: “Sad to hear of the demise of Pete Burns. He was a cross between Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. You don’t get more brilliant than that. RIP”.

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Burns appeared on a number of reality TV shows in recent years

Stars paid tribute to the singer on Twitter, with Boy George saying: “Tearful about the passing of @PeteBurnsICON he was one of our great true eccentrics and such a big part of my life! Wow. Hard to believe!”

Celebrity Big Brother presenter Davina McCall said: “So so sad to hear about Pete Burns… we partied hard in the 90s… RIP Pete x”

Soft Cell musician Marc Almond tweeted: “We’ve had some mad times with Pete but he was a one off creation, a fabulous, fantastic, brilliant creature and always sweet to me.”

Ordinary Boys frontman Preston, who also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother with Burns, said: “Heartbroken to hear about Pete Burns. He was a true punk rocker and one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever know. Gutted.”

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Strictly Come Dancing denies mystery bug reports

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have denied reports that a mystery bug has struck down six of its professional dancers.

Brendan Cole will be missing from tonight’s show with a lung infection but the rest of the dancers are fit to take part.

Cole missed rehearsals this week after being admitted to hospital with a bad cough.

His partner Anastacia will dance with Gorka Marquez instead.

“Brendan Cole is recovering from a lung infection and he has been advised to rest and will not be dancing this weekend as per doctor’s orders,” show bosses said in a statement.

“We wish Brendan a speedy recovery.”

Brendan Cole and Anastacia

It was feared the New Zealander could have had a reoccurrence of the bout of pneumonia he suffered earlier this year.

But Cole told fans that wasn’t the case.

“I’m still not 100 percent, although I do feel much better compared to how I felt earlier in the week.

“I am to continue resting for a couple more days in the hope I am fighting fit ready for Monday to gear up for next week’s Halloween show, my favourite of the series.

“In some ways, it will be better for Anastacia to do what she has been learning and rehearsing all week with the lovely Gorka.”

The pair will perform a quickstep to Frank Sinatra’s My Kind Of Town.

Katya Jones, who partners Ed Balls, was another dancer rumoured to be missing tonight’s show through illness.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones

But she is said to be “on the mend” after losing her voice.

The pair, who last week scored a series low of 16, will dance the American Smooth to Is This The Way To Amarillo? by Tony Christie.

Meanwhile last week’s leading duo, sports presenter Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton will be dancing the Waltz to I Will Always Love You.

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