Archive for April, 2017

The Make A Film Foundation made cancer patient Anthony Conti’s dying wish come true.

Video produced by Jan Bruck

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A new exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s art around the theme of minotaurs and matadors has opened at the Gagosian Gallery in London.

It is curated by the artist’s close friend and life long biographer Sir John Richardson, now 93, in collaboration with Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist’s grandson.

The Today programme‘s Nicola Stanbridge spoke to them about the artist, his views about women and his later life.

You can listen to Nicola’s full report here:

Video produced by Claudia Headon

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Damian Lewis excels at playing the most Alpha of males.

From Henry the Eighth in “Wolf Hall” to Brodie in “Homeland”, Lewis has often shown masculinity at its most bruising.

His return to the London stage, however, will leave quite a few of his fans with their jaws on the floor.

In Edward Albee’s absurdist play, “The Goat”, Lewis plays an architect who falls in love with a goat.

Andrew Marr spoke to him about the play.

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Breakin’ Convention brings together the world’s finest at Sadler’s Wells.

BBC News went behind the scenes.

Video Journalist: Alex Stanger. Producer: Claudia Redmond.

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Amol Rajan

BBC Media editor Amol Rajan is to present Radio 4′s prestigious weekly programme, The Media Show, following the death of Steve Hewlett in February

Hewlett, who died following a diagnosis of cancer of the oesophagus in 2016, movingly shared his experience of coping with his illness on BBC Radio 4.

He had fronted the show since 2008.

Rajan said: “I have been addicted to The Media Show for years and am genuinely humbled at the prospect of sitting in Steve Hewlett’s chair.

“He was a giant of broadcasting and I will do my utmost to maintain the very high standards he achieved.”

Hewlett’s interviews with Eddie Mair on Radio 4′s PM offered insight into his cancer journey, examining issues such as drug trials and reaction to treatment.

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Hewlett had been presenter of The Media Show since its launch

The Media Show is Radio 4′s weekly look back at the latest stories and trends across the media industry both at home and abroad, and Rajan will make his debut on 10 May.

As well as being the BBC’s media editor, he has deputised for Jeremy Vine and Simon Mayo on Radio 2, appeared on BBC One’s Masterchef, presented episodes of Radio 4′s Start the Week and Any Answers and is one of the hosts of Asian Network’s The Big Debate. Rajan is also a former editor of The Independent.

Andrea Catherwood will continue to present some editions of the programme.

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Line of Duty

It’s had the nation gripped and now finally it’s time to find out who Balaclava Man is in the police drama Line of Duty.

Could it be DCI Roz Huntley’s husband Nick? Or lawyer Jimmy Lakewell? There are plenty of other suspects in the mix.

As the climax approaches, we caught up with series creator and writer Jed Mercurio to give him an AC-12 style interrogation.

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Getty Images

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Keeper of secrets: Jed Mercurio

Is it true a sixth series is not confirmed?

We definitely have a fifth, not a sixth… but we haven’t started working on it yet. I need to think what the character is first.

Did you instantly think of Thandie Newton for the role of DCI Roz Huntley or were other people in the running?

It just evolved. I don’t normally think of a specific actor, I concentrate on the character and then when we get into pre-production that’s how names come up.

I always knew Thandie was top talent, she was a real laugh on set. It was the easiest casting process I’ve ever been through.

Did Thandie’s status as a Hollywood star have an impact?

We were flattered she wanted to do the role – most of her career she’s been doing Hollywood movies so it was a boost for the whole team.

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Thandie Newton as DCI Roz Huntley

How do you come up with the plots for Line of Duty?

I come up with the story ideas on my own. I like to sit at my desk… sometimes I get inspiration when I’m going about my normal day-to-day life.

Then when I’ve come up with some sort of story, I get the editorial team on board and we try to develop it.

I then write an outline of the first episode which takes about a week. Only when we are happy with the first episode do we start on the second.

Can we expect any surprises for the final episode?

(pauses, laughs) You will just have to watch!

How do real-life police officers react to the plot?

One of our intelligence advisers for the show said his team have been trying to crack who balaclava man is – it’s quite funny.

What would you like to explore in the next series?

I want to look at the personal lives of all the regulars in series five – they’ve taken a backseat in this series to Roz Huntley, so it would be good to explore that side of things a bit more.

The regulars are definitely up for doing more… that’s if they survive the final episode!

What’s more important, ratings or awards?

I always try and distinguish between facts and opinions. I am just pleased the show is being watched. Ratings are the most important thing.

What advice do you have for budding crime series writers?

Just write, write, write. Watch lots of shows and films in that genre. Read lots and think about story and characters.

Are you tempted to write over in the US?

I actually went over there for a while when my career was quiet over in the UK. I wrote pilots for shows over there for about five years. I like the differences between American and British television dramas.

The final of Line of Duty is on BBC One on Sunday night at 9pm.

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Cate BlanchettImage copyright

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Cate Blanchett will play Broadway star Margo Channing

Cate Blanchett is to return to the London stage in a new adaptation of the classic 1950 film All About Eve.

The Oscar-winning actress will take the role of Broadway star Margo Channing, originally played by Bette Davis.

The production will open in Spring 2018, with further details to be announced.

Ivo van Hove, whose recent plays include Hedda Gabler at the National and Obsession at the Barbican, will direct.

The last time she was on stage in London, Blanchett was hailed as “mesmerising”, “magnificent” and “beyond terrific”.

That was in 2012, in a play called Big And Small (Gross und Klein) produced by the Sydney Theatre Company.

Earlier this year, Blanchett received rave reviews for her Broadway debut in New York in The Present, a reworking of Chekhov’s play Platonov.

The plans for All About Eve were confirmed by Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Stage Productions.

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Mum-of-two Sophie McCartney from Warrington sings a parenting parody based on Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You song.

The song details “the every day struggles of being a mum” and has had 14 million views.

It includes lyrics such as “stop wiping snot on my body” and “my bed sheets smell like poo”.

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Leather jacket Patrick Swayze wore in 1987's Dirty Dancing filmImage copyright

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The leather jacket was bought on Friday by a Hollywood memorabilia collector

A leather jacket that the late US actor Patrick Swayze wore in Dirty Dancing has sold for $62,500 (£48,270) at an auction in Los Angeles.

Hundreds of other items belonging to Swayze – including a surfboard from Point Break and a shirt he wore in Ghost – also went under the hammer.

His widow Lisa Niemi said she had “a lot of mixed feelings” about selling the items.

Swayze died in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

The leather jacket was bought on Friday by a Hollywood memorabilia collector, who only identified himself as Glenn.

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Getty Images

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Patrick Swayze received three Golden Globe Award nominations during his acting career

Speaking about the sale, Niemi told the Press Association: “No matter what, it’s still a letting go. There’s always a little bit of loss associated with that.

“While it’s a very positive thing to do, it’s a difficult thing to do.

“I’m such a lucky woman to have had a man who loved me as much as Patrick did.”

The auction went ahead despite strong opposition from Swayze’s niece.

“These were family heirlooms,” Danielle Swayze told the Press Association.

“It’s a slap in the face that she’s selling these precious memories,” she added.

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StepsImage copyright

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Tears on the Dancefloor is Steps’ first album of new material in 15 years

Not since Blur v Oasis has there been a pop battle this epic.

With the release of their new album, reunited pop group Steps valiantly challenged Ed Sheeran’s dominance of the album charts and, at the start of the week, it seemed they would win.

On Monday, Tears On The Dancefloor was 4,000 sales ahead of Ed’s Divide.

But Ed refused to say Sheerio, overtaking his competitors at the last minute and claiming the number one slot for the seventh week in a row.

Divide eventually finished 16,000 units ahead of the Steps album, beating H, Faye, Claire, Lisa and Lee in both the streaming and physical charts.

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Official Charts Company

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Ed Sheeran’s Divide is the biggest-selling album of the year so far

Steps did, however, have the most-downloaded album of the week.

Their comeback follows a bitter break-up in the early 2000s. Before that, the band clocked up three number one albums and 14 top 10 singles, including three chart toppers.

Other new entries in this week’s album chart came from Imelda May (at number five), Texas (six), Maximo Park (11) and Ray Davies (15).

David Bowie also scored two new entries thanks to Record Store Day. Cracked Actor, which features a rare live performance from the 1970s, debuted at 20; while Bowpromo, an early assembly of tracks from the Hunky Dory album, landed at 38.

In the singles chart, Clean Bandit succeeded where Steps failed – ousting Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You from the pole position with their Zara Larsson-featuring dance hit Symphony.

The song enjoyed a slow, six-week journey to the top and becomes the band’s second consecutive number one, after Rockabye, which topped the Christmas countdown last year.

“We are all amazed,” said the band. “After everything that happened with Rockabye, we didn’t think it would be possible to replicate that but now we’re Number 1 again!

“We’ve been in the US the last few weeks touring with Zara Larsson and we got the chance to tell her it was Number 1. She was so excited!”

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Clean Bandit, who were formed at Cambridge University, have notched up three number ones in the last three years

Clean Bandit’s chart success means a British act has had the number one single for each of the last 30 weeks.

It is the first time this millennium that homegrown acts have dominated the top 40 for so long.

Other artists making waves in this week’s singles chart included Canadian star Shawn Mendes, whose new single There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back, climbed 136 places to number seven; and Lady Gaga, who scored her 17th top 20 hit with The Cure, a non-album track she premiered at the Coachella music festival.

Further down the chart, Paramore’s Hard Times debuted at 34, just ahead of Lana Del Rey’s new single Lust For Life at Number 38.

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