Archive for May, 2017

One Love concert flyerImage copyright
Ariane Grande/Twitter

Fans who bought tickets to see Ariana Grande on 22 May from some online market sites may not be eligible for tickets to the benefit concert this weekend.

Ariana Grande has offered free tickets to fans who went to her concert at the Manchester Arena where 22 people were left dead after a suicide attack.

But some people who bought their tickets from sites including GETMEIN! and viagogo are being told they are not eligible.

Ticketmaster, which own GETMEIN!, told the BBC “We are doing everything possible to extend the offer to all fans we can verify were at the show. All fans should register their details.”

Janine and her 11-year-old daughter from Bradford saw the performance and bought their tickets from GETMEIN!.

But when Janine rang the company to order free tickets for the benefit concert, she was told she was not eligible.

“They just told me, ‘You’re not going’. How is that fair? My little girl was really excited but now she’s been let down.

“They’ve not thought this through properly.

“It’s not fair on the thousands of little girls who might have seen horrendous things. Their parents are hoping this might make them feel better but now they’ve found out they can’t go – it’s outrageous,” Janine told the BBC.

Janine has since been in touch with Ticketmaster and says she has been told she should get tickets if she registers by 16:00 BST on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether this applies to other concert-goers.

Another affected family said: “My daughter and niece attended the Ariana Grande concert but because they got their tickets through GETMEIN! they can’t get the free tickets for the concert on 4 June.

“This is an important stage in their recovery which has been taken away from them. I’m disgusted.”

Some fans who bought tickets from viagogo also say they are affected.

Lisa Phillips was in the Manchester Arena on 22 May with her family. She told the BBC: “We spoke to our girls to see if they would like to go and after initially being scared to go they decided to stand up to these nasty people and go.

“We have registered for our tickets only to be told (not officially) that because we bought our overpriced tickets from viagogo, the tout who actually bulk-bought the tickets originally and sold them on to us would receive the free ones.”

The BBC has approached viagogo but as yet it has not responded to our request for a comment.

Seatwave tickets holders are eligible for tickets to the benefit concert providing that they register by 16:00 BST on Wednesday.

By Georgina Rannard, UGC and Social news.

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Justin Bieber and Ariana GrandeImage copyright

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The concert, which features Justin Bieber and Grande, will be broadcast on BBC One

A benefit concert in aid of the victims of the Manchester bombing is being organised for Sunday, but how much work goes into planning an event in so little time?

“To be honest, it’s possibly the hardest task I’ve ever had to undertake,” says Melvin Benn in an interview with the BBC about the One Love Manchester concert he is co-producing.

Benn, boss of Live Nation subsidiary Festival Republic, is the man behind some of the UK’s biggest music festivals, including Latitude, Reading and Leeds, Wireless and Download.

“We started the conversations on Friday evening, here we are on Wednesday and the concert is on Sunday. It’s eight-and-a-half days to put it together. It’s an incredible amount of work,” he says.

One Love takes place at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday, and will feature in its line-up Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That and Niall Horan.

Ariana Grande will also perform for the first time since last Monday, when 22 people were killed and 64 injured in a suicide bombing after a concert she played a concert at Manchester Arena.

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Coldplay will also perform at the concert this Sunday

Free tickets are being offered to those who attended the original gig, with proceeds from sales to the general public raising money for Red Cross’s Manchester Emergency Fund.

“Clearly there are some families suffering bereavement or who have family members in hospital, and we’re trying to do as much as we can to look after them as a priority, as well as all the rest of the fans that came,” Benn says.

“We felt offering free tickets to everybody that was there on that night was the minimum we could do. The rest of the people that are coming will be the people who will be providing the money for the fundraising, but for those fans that were there we felt this was a good way of honouring those that lost their lives.”

The gig will naturally require a great deal of logistical organisation, but Benn says “everybody is pulling together”.

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Miley Cyrus will join Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas at Sunday’s concert

“Greater Manchester Police, Trafford Borough Council, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, all pulling in the same direction to make this work, as well as the music industry and all the pop stars, it’s incredible really,” he says.

“The way Manchester has responded [to the attack] has been phenomenal, and I think that’s been part of the inspiration for Ariana, to want to come back so quickly.”

Benn added that Grande was “traumatised, absolutely traumatised immediately after the gig, in complete shock, but she knew she had to do something”.

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Ant  DecImage copyright

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Ant Dec host Britain’s Got Talent, which concludes this weekend

ITV has moved the final of Britain’s Got Talent so it won’t clash with Ariana Grande’s benefit concert in Manchester on Sunday.

The broadcaster will now broadcast the BGT final at 19:30 BST on Saturday, when it was originally due to show the British Soap Awards.

A spokesman said ITV had “no desire to distract from the important cause” Grande’s concert is raising money for.

ITV will instead broadcast the British Soap Awards on Tuesday at 20:00 BST.

Grande’s One Love Manchester concert, which will be broadcast on BBC One, will raise money for those affected by the suicide bombing last Monday which left 22 people dead.

The gig, which takes place at the Emirates Old Trafford stadium, will feature Katy Perry, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Take That and Usher.

The Black Eyed Peas have also just been added to the line-up.

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The Black Eyed Peas are the latest act to be added to the One Love Manchester line-up

ITV said: “Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit concert is bringing artists and the public together, and will raise funds for the Red Cross’s Manchester Emergency Fund.

“We have no desire to distract from this important cause, so we have taken the decision to move the Britain’s Got Talent Final from Sunday night.”

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Singer Olivia Newton-John attends the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on 2 November 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.Image copyright
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Olivia Newton-John has been suffering severe back pain

Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John has revealed she has breast cancer again, 25 years after recovering from her original diagnosis.

The Grease star has postponed upcoming tour dates after discovering that severe back pain she has been suffering is a result of the disease spreading to her spine.

The 68-year-old was due to perform across the US and Canada next month.

She will have treatment and expects to return to the stage later in 2017.

Last week, the four-time Grammy award winner cancelled planned meet-and-greet events for the upcoming tour dates due to “severe back pain”.

A statement on Tuesday said: “The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum.

“In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows.”

  • Proton cancer therapy ‘proves effective’

After surviving her initial cancer diagnosis in 1992, Newton-John became a prominent campaigner for others facing the disease, as well as on other health issues.

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As well as having a career spanning over 45 years, Newton-John is a health and environmental activist

She set up the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness research centre in Melbourne, Australia. It was partially funded by a sponsored walk along the Great Wall of China, aided by celebrity friends including Sir Cliff Richard and Joan Rivers.

Tuesday’s statement advised ticket holders for her upcoming concerts to contact the venue about refunds.

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Comedian Kathy Griffin speaks during the 24th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, CaliforniaImage copyright
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Kathy Griffin has been a staunch critic of US President Donald Trump

A US comedian has apologised for a photo shoot in which she appeared holding a fake bloodied head that resembled US President Donald Trump.

In a video message posted on Twitter, Kathy Griffin “begged” for forgiveness and said she had “crossed a line”.

She said she was asking celebrity photographer Tyler Shields to remove the photo from the internet.

The gruesome image brought a storm of online criticism, including from Mr Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Disgusting but not surprising,” he tweeted. “This is the left today. They consider this acceptable.”

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Mr Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary, also condemned the image, calling it “vile and wrong”.

“It is never funny to joke about killing a president,” she tweeted.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also waded in, tweeting: “Our politics have become too base, too low, too vulgar, but Kathy Griffin’s post descends into an even more repugnant vile territory.”

The 56-year-old Emmy award-winning actress and comedian has been a staunch critic of President Trump.

In her video apology, she said: “I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic, I crossed the line. I moved the line and then I crossed it. I went way too far.

“The image is too disturbing. I understand how it affects people. It wasn’t funny, I get it. I beg for your forgiveness.”

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Liam GallagherImage copyright

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Twenty-two candles on the stage behind Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher told Manchester that “normal service has resumed” after he debuted his first solo material – and covered six Oasis classics – at an emotional hometown gig on Tuesday night.

Gallagher, 44, donated all proceeds from the sold-out concert at The Ritz to the victims of last week’s Manchester Arena concert blast.

The singer applauded as heartfelt cries of “Stand up for the 22″ rang out from the crowd in reference to those killed at the Ariana Grande concert last week.

Liam, who was joined on stage for one track by ex-Oasis bandmate Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, also performed in front of 22 candles in tribute.

“Manchester, I love you,” he said, after closing the 14-song set with a moving a cappella rendition of his old band’s hit song Live Forever, before adding: “Look after yourselves”.

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Earlier in the night, details emerged of Ariana Grande’s benefit concert, alongside the likes of Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Take That.

Members of other Manchester bands The Courteeners and Blossoms, plus local boxing legend Ricky Hatton and stars of Coronation Street, were among the 1,400 crowd.

Daniel Moores, guitarist from The Courteeners – who themselves played an emotionally-charged show at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Saturday – said: “They’re massively important these gigs, to bring a bit of solidarity to Manchester.

“We’re all in same boat aren’t we? We all love each other. But he’s the main man, Liam Gallagher.”

Blossoms bass player Charlie Salt said: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The candles were a nice touch, the new tunes sounded great and his voice was top notch.

“The support has been amazing. What more can you expect from Manchester?”

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Gallagher once said that he would never go solo, as he was not an idiot (shall we say, as we can’t bring you the actual naughty word here).

But things change, and eight new solo tracks from forthcoming album As You Were, like Wall of Glass – which was partially leaked last week – were greeted with warm cheers and applause.

The most rapturous noises of the night were, of course, reserved for the epic Oasis songs that helped the snarling singer make his name, performed well by his new backing band (which includes ex-Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell).

Opening duo Rock ‘N’ Roll Star and Morning Glory got the party started, and versions of D’You Know What I Mean, Slide Away and Bonehead’s joyous cameo for Be Here Now also provided highlights.

Liam, who will play three further gigs in London, Dublin and Glasgow over the coming weeks, returned to the stage for an encore.

He applauded the crowd for their spontaneous chorus of “Stand up for the 22″ and “Manchester la la la” then delivered a defiant rendition of Live Forever, without any real musical accompaniment.

As the much-loved singer disappeared into the Manchester night the crowd stayed behind to sing impromptu versions of Oasis tracks that were not in the set, like Stop Crying Your Heart Out and Don’t Look Back In Anger.

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Liam Gallagher fans sang “stand up for the 22″ and “Manchester la la la…” throughout.

The latter was originally sung by Liam’s brother Noel but this week became the soundtrack to a city attempting to move on.

And while there was no surprise appearance from the older Gallagher brother, who turned 50 this week, neither sibling had to sing it anyway. Manchester sang it for them.

Last week Liam told the Manchester Evening News: “I want to try and help pick people up. People like me, doing what we do, it’s our duty to give people a good time.”

Job done, then, for the man who proved he can still belt out a rock ‘n’ roll banger, shake a tambourine, and wear a cagoule indoors as convincingly as anyone – as well as capture the hearts of the people of Manchester and beyond.

As you were everyone…

Listen to the radio premier of Liam’s debut solo single Wall of Glass with MistaJam on Radio 1 tonight at 19:00 BST.

Set list in full:

…In The Bushes – Oasis (walk on music)

Rock ‘N’ Roll Star – Oasis cover

Morning Glory – Oasis cover

Greedy Soul

Wall of Glass


Paper Crown

D’ You Know What I Mean? – Oasis cover

Slide Away – Oasis cover

All I Need

I Get By

You Better Run

Universal Gleam

Be Here Now – Oasis cover, featuring Bonehead


Live Forever – Oasis cover, a cappella

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St Patrick's choirImage copyright
St Patrick’s Primary School

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St Patrick’s Primary School choir had to restart their performance after a technical issue

Ant and Dec stepped in to rescue a primary school choir from County Down after a technical hitch on Britain’s Got Talent.

St Patrick’s Primary School from Drumgreenagh, near Rathfriland, was taking part in the ITV talent show when there was an issue with their music.

Music teacher Patricia McCaughey said the legendary Geordie presenting duo “came to the rescue”.

It meant the choir could start again, without any further glitches.

The 39 children – aged eight to 12 – received praise from the judges for their performance of Katy Perry’s hit song Roar, in the semi-final of the show on Monday night.

Music teacher Patricia McCaughey told the BBC that technical problems “happen to the greatest artists in the world”.

“The children didn’t notice there was anything in particular wrong, they just knew the little introduction hadn’t been played.

‘Performance of their lives’

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School principal praised Ant and Dec who “came on stage to the rescue”

“They stood and waited and the section of the song that was played, wasn’t what they were waiting for.

“Thankfully Ant and Dec came on stage to the rescue and it all started again.

“They had rehearsed for hours, days and months and gave the performance of their lives. Their little personalities shone through”.

Dec even posed for photographs, wearing one of the school’s emerald green jumpers.

“Our school uniform is quite distinctive; we’re known far and wide for it,” said headmistress Sorcha Lyness.

“It was suggested that we might like to bring over a school jumper for Dec. We did have to get him a slightly bigger one!

“He was such a good sport. When we saw him dressed with his shirt and jumper over it, we were delighted”.

After completing their song, St Patrick’s was praised by judge Simon Cowell for their “calm” in the face of technical difficulties.

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Simon Cowell said he “loved” the choir’s personalities

“I know the chaos that was going up in the gallery, where they direct the show, when this going wrong and you were so calm,” he told them.

“You sounded amazing and you know what I love about you lot? I love your personalities.”

David Williams said it was a “fantastic performance” and that all the members were “singing with passion”.

Alesha Dixon said the choir should be “extremely proud” while Amanda Holden added that the choir “represented your school brilliantly”.

The school was knocked out of the competition following Monday’s semi-final.

However, Ms McCaughey said it had not dampened their sprits, as they had had a fabulous time and had been thoroughly “spoiled”.

Singer Kyle Tomlinson and magicians DNA were voted through to the final.

The choir was previously named BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year in 2016.

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Gal GadotImage copyright
Warner Bros

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Gal Gadot takes the leading role in the Patty Jenkins’ film – Jenkins is the first woman to direct a superhero film with a female protagonist

It’s nearly here! The much anticipated live action superhero movie, Wonder Woman, is out in the UK on Thursday. The film stars Gal Gadot in the title role and Chris Pine alongside as US spy Steve Trevor.

So what do the critics make of it?

Sheri Linden – The Hollywood Reporter

Had it really broken the mould and come in below the two-hour mark, Wonder Woman could have been a thoroughly transporting film. As it stands, it’s intermittently spot-on, particularly in the pops of humour and romance between the exotically kick-ass yet approachable Gadot and the supremely charismatic Chris Pine as an American working for British intelligence, the first man the Amazon princess has ever met. With eager fans unlikely to bemoan the film’s length or its lapses in narrative energy, Wonder Woman will conquer their hearts as it makes its way around the globe.

Read the full review.

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Israeli actress Gal Gadot has also starred in the Fast Furious films

Andrew Barker – Variety

Wonder Woman is the first major studio superhero film directed by a woman, and it shows in a number of subtle, yet important ways. As skimpy as Gadot’s outfits may get, for example, Jenkins’ camera never leers or lingers gratuitously – Diana is always framed as an agent of power, rather than its object. When she finally unleashes her full fighting potential in an extended battle sequence on the front lines, the movie comes alive in a genuinely exhilarating whirl of slow-motion mayhem, and Diana’s personality is never lost amid all the choreography.

Read the full review.

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Warner Bros

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Pine (left) is known for his role as Kirk in the Star Trek films

Steve Rose – The Guardian

Those hoping a shot of oestrogen would generate a new kind of comic-book movie – and revive DC’s faltering movie universe – might need to lower their expectations. Like many people out there, I had no shortage of excitement and goodwill towards this female-led superhero project, but in the event it’s plagued by the same problems that dragged down previous visits to the DC movie world: over-earnestness, bludgeoning special effects, and a messy, often wildly implausible plot. What promised to be a glass-ceiling-smashing blockbuster actually looks more like a future camp classic.

Read the full review.

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Gal Gadot first appeared as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year

Robbie Collin – The Telegraph

Hit or not – and you’d better believe its box-office results will be scrutinised under a microscope – Wonder Woman is close to a knockout on its own ambitious terms. Patty Jenkins’ film officially belongs to the DC Extended Universe, the same sunless and woebegone realm that brought us Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.

In a genre where fanboy entitlement regularly calls the tune, Wonder Woman’s feminism – in its eagerly daubed poster-paint strokes – feels like a rarity. Time will tell whether Hollywood is about to find itself in the thrall of a heroine addiction. But as the credits rolled, I was already craving another hit.

Read the full review.

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Warner Bros

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Gadot is a former beauty queen – she was crowned Miss Israel in 2004

Kelly Lawler – USA Today

It’s Gadot’s film and she is electric as Wonder Woman, a role she debuted in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to wide acclaim. Unshackled from that film’s dreary baggage, the Israeli actress is able to shine as brightly in Wonder Woman’s smaller moments as she does when she lifts a tank with her bare hands. Her expressive face is magnetic as she witnesses the horrors of the world for the first time. Her optimism is at times heartbreaking – we, unlike Diana, know how evil the world truly is – but it is also inspiring.

Read the full review.

Emma Simmonds – Radio Times

Although Jenkins doesn’t avoid the traditional effects-swamped finale, she manages to work emotional impact into the climax.

Most importantly, she delivers a heroine who lives up to the majesty of her moniker and stands apart from her superhero brethren, not just in her gender but in her well-communicated ideals.

Wonder Woman reminds us that, at their finest and most enduring, such films inspire us to be all that we can be.

Read the full review.

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Ariana GrandeImage copyright

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Grande said she wanted to “hold and uplift” her fans

Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Katy Perry are among the stars who will join Ariana Grande at a benefit concert following the Manchester attack.

The One Love Manchester show will raise money for the victims and families of those affected by the blast at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead.

Take That, Miley Cyrus and Pharrell will also play at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground gig on Sunday.

Grande is offering free tickets to those at her Manchester Arena show.

Others performing include One Direction’s Niall Horan and Usher, with more to be announced. The venue has a 50,000 capacity and the gig will be broadcast live on BBC TV and radio.

Tickets for the tribute concert go on sale on Thursday, with prices yet to be announced. Those attending are asked not to bring bags.

Proceeds will go to the We Love Manchester emergency fund, which has been set up by Manchester City Council, in conjunction with the British Red Cross. Organisers expect at least £2m to be raised from the event.

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Ariana Grande/Twitter

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Ariana Grande tweeted details of the concert after details were announced

Seven children were among the victims who died when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb on 22 May.

Grande, 23, suspended her Dangerous Woman tour, including cancelling two shows at London’s O2 Arena, following the attack.

But the US singer had promised to return to Manchester, saying: “I don’t want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans”.

“I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honour and raise money for the victims and their families.”

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Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Coldplay will be taking to the stage this weekend

Earlier on Tuesday, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins told BBC Radio Manchester: “When the idea of the concert came up, my first reaction was, we need to speak to the families of the victims and see what they feel.

“It’s fair to say that the majority of them are very much in favour, there are some that clearly aren’t and that is absolutely understandable.”

After the attack, the singer posted her condolences on Twitter, saying: “Broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

Fifty people injured in the attack were still being treated in hospital – including 17 in critical care.

Manchester Victoria station reopened on Tuesday. The station, which is connected to Manchester Arena, suffered structural damage in the incident.

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Well-wishers left tributes at St Ann’s Square for the victims of last Monday’s attack

As well as BBC radio, the show will be broadcast on Capital Radio networks.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: “Bringing the nation together, the BBC is proud to be broadcasting what will undoubtedly be a moving tribute to the victims and their loved ones.”

The kick-off for Manchester United player Michael Carrick’s charity testimonial, taking place in Manchester on the same day as the tribute concert, has now been moved to an earlier time so it does not clash with the gig.

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Flowers and tributes have been left at St Ann’s Square in Manchester

Police say their investigation into the attack is “making good progress” and has around 1,000 people working on it.

In total 16 people have been arrested – but a woman and a 16-year-old boy were later released without charge.

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Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa has performed a traditional Maori Haka with members of Auckland’s Ultimate Fighting Championship team.

The good luck gesture was done in support of New Zealand fighter Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt, who is gearing up for a major MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight on 10 June.

Produced by Heather Chen and Yashan Zhao.

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