Archive for September, 2017

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Clare Balding, Julian Clary and Nadiya HussainImage copyright
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Left to right: Clare Balding, Julian Clary and Nadiya Hussain

Broadcaster-turned-author Clare Balding has said she’s “very proud” to be one of the writers of the £1 titles for next year’s World Book Day.

Balding’s novella The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog will be one of 11 books that young readers in the UK and Ireland will be able to claim.

“It’s a way to reach children who don’t have the access to books we assume they have,” the TV presenter said.

Julian Clary and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain are also writing new books.

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Clary’s title, The Bolds’ Great Adventure, features characters from his popular series about hyenas pretending to be humans.

Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story, meanwhile, is described as “a unique combination of storybook and cookbook… for all the family to enjoy”.

McFly’s Tom Fletcher, children’s author Pamela Butchart and sports journalist Gerard Siggins are among the others writing titles aimed at children from pre-school to teenage years.

The list also includes books featuring the Mr Men, the late Michael Bond’s much-loved Paddington Bear and Marvel superheroes The Avengers.

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World Book Day books 2018

  • The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog by Clare Balding, illustrated by Tony Ross
  • Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum
  • The Baby Brother From Outer Space! by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham
  • The Bolds’ Great Adventure by Julian Clary, illustrated by David Roberts
  • Marvel’s The Avengers: The Greatest Heroes by Alastair Dougall
  • Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries
  • Oi Goat! by Kes Grey by Jim Field
  • Terry’s Dumb Dot Story: A Treehouse Tale by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
  • Mr Men: My Book About Me By Mr Silly, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves
  • Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Clair Rossiter
  • Rugby Roar by Gerard Siggins – Ireland only

The books can be obtained between 26 February to 25 March 2018 in return for £1 tokens that will be handed out in schools and nurseries.

World Book Day celebrated its 20th birthday in 2017, when more than 1.2 million £1 tokens were redeemed.

Balding told the BBC she felt honoured to be asked to participate, especially as she is “relatively new to the children’s literature world”.

The 46-year-old has written two novels to date about a 10-year-old girl who accidentally buys a horse.

“I just wish there’d been something like this when I was a child,” said Clary, who called the scheme “a wonderful thing”.

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Paddington author Michael Bond died in June aged 91

World Book Day is customarily marked by children going to school dressed as their favourite fictional characters.

Balding said she found it “incredibly flattering” when children dressed up as her Charlie Bass character, while accepting “it can be a headache for parents”.

Organisers, though, say they want parents, teachers and children “to go beyond dressing up”.

A new initiative is #ShareAStoryIn10, which will see 10 authors and World Book Day ambassadors invite their followers to write 10-line stories via Twitter chains.

Clary, who will read out some of the stories on a Twitter live stream on Friday afternoon, called the notion “rather progressive and lovely”.

“Everyone can join in,” he told the BBC. “Kids are very au fait today with social media and all of that, so this is a way forward.”

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Nick Grimshaw and Tony Blackburn

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Radio 1′s Nick Grimshaw and Radio 2′s Tony Blackburn hosted the 90-minute joint show

DJs from BBC Radio 1 and 2 have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of the two stations with a joint broadcast.

Radio 1′s Nick Grimshaw and Radio 2′s Tony Blackburn hosted the special 90-minute joint show, which featured music from the last 50 years.

Ex-breakfast show hosts Sara Cox, Simon Mayo and Mike Read were special guests.

Radio 1 has launched a “pop-up” vintage station to feature 50 one-hour themed shows over the next three days.

It will feature archive material from DJs across its history.

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Appearing on Saturday morning’s celebratory breakfast show, Sara Cox – a current Radio 2 DJ who hosted the Radio 1 Breakfast Show for three years from 2000 – described her nerves ahead of her first broadcast.

She said she surprised listeners by taking over the show three days early, on a Friday morning instead of Monday.

“I played Robbie Williams Let Me Entertain You and it went by in a blur,” she said.

“You always want to get the first show out of the way but it is a big job, a big responsibility.”

She said: “It was a rollercoaster few years, it was full-on and it was exciting and it was just one of the best and biggest times of my life.”

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Simon Mayo – who hosted the breakfast show from 1988 to 1993 – spoke about past interviews

Veteran broadcaster Mike Read, who hosted the breakfast show for five years from January 1981, spoke about the former BBC Radio 1 roadshows.

He told how he once played Wham! classic Club Tropicana with three kazoos on stage at a roadshow in St Ives, Cornwall, alongside George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

“We had such a great time that we said ‘lets stay for the whole weekend’,” he added.

“It wasn’t exactly George’s kind of weekend so he flew back the following day, but Andrew and myself stayed on and had a crazy time, gatecrashed a few parties and had enormous fun.”

He added: “The roadshows were fantastic. I want to go back and do those all over again.”

Red telephone

Tony Blackburn, who hosted Radio 1′s first ever show, spoke about interviewing The Beatles and Rolling Stones and also of touring with Diana Ross and The Supremes.

“That was the big moment for me. I was standing on the side of the stage and listening to her and watching her. It was fantastic, because I love Diana Ross.

Blackburn also described hanging up on Frank Sinatra, who had the same agent as him.

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He described how a red telephone, usually reserved for Radio 1 bosses to call the studio, started ringing one day.

“I picked up the phone and said ‘who’s that’ and he said ‘Frank’.

“I said ‘Frank who?’ He said ‘Frank Sinatra’ and I said ‘oh very funny’ and put the phone down.

“I thought it was Pete Murray, one of the DJs at the time. He always used to send us up a little bit and do these things – but it was actually Frank Sinatra.”

Meanwhile, Simon Mayo – who hosted the breakfast show from 1988 to 1993 – spoke about his interviews with Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Mick Jagger.

“Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were part of Radio 1 in the 90s as well. Even then you are dealing with a guy who has been responsible for 30 years of hits.”

The show heard archive footage of Jagger appearing on Mayo’s “God of the week” section of his show.

New-look stations Radio 1 and 2 were launched on 30 September 1967, from what had previously been the BBC’s Light Programme.

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Will  GraceImage copyright

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Two seasons of the rebooted show have been commissioned

US TV sitcom Will Grace has returned after 11 years away, and immediately split opinion with an episode heavy on jokes about President Donald Trump.

The comeback saw Grace, an interior designer, consider a job renovating the White House.

Judging by Twitter, many fans lapped it up, but some objected to Mr Trump being lampooned – while others said they were simply bored of politics in everything.

The show also wrote off the climax of the 2006 finale as just a dream.

That finale ended with a flash-forward in which Will’s adult son married Grace’s grown-up daughter.

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Megan Mullally, Debra Messing, Erik McCormack and Sean Hayes are all back

But at the start of the comeback episode, it was explained away by Karen (played by Megan Mullally), who awoke from a trance to say she had just had “the craziest dream” about “the children you had who grew up and got married to each other”.

“That never happened,” Will (Eric McCormack) replied.

The sitcom won 16 Emmy Awards first time around, and was credited with helping to change attitudes to homosexuality through the character of Will, a gay lawyer.

The revival was commissioned after the cast reunited for a 10-minute satirical video during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In the new episode, which screened on Thursday in the US, there was a gag about matching President Trump’s skin tone to Cheetos, while his Make American Great Again campaign slogan became Make America Gay Again.

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One Twitter user named Mona said they were “KILLING it” with the “seriously hysterical” Trump jokes, while another named Avery Powell said the show had “ALWAYS made a political statement”.

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But Ang1969 said she would no longer watch after Debra Messing, who plays Grace, “decided to disrespect MY President”. Scott Gouveia wrote that Trump-bashing was unoriginal, adding: “Liked the old show, not this.”

The Telegraph declared the White House plot “feeble and decrepit”, while The Guardian said the first new episode was “a mess” with “tiresome” Trump jokes.

“There’s no real politics-speak of any substance, and on a show this airy and fun, there probably shouldn’t be,” the paper’s critic Jake Nevins wrote.

“But that renders the discussions that do take place rather witless and misplaced, like jocular dog-whistles to the ‘resistance’.”

The New York Times described the political message as “a glib, clunky effort that manages to be both dismissive of Mr Trump and his voters and flippant about the opposition”.

But the paper’s writer James Poniewozik added: “The revival is steadier in the next two episodes, where it settles into its nimble mode of zingers, farce and slapstick.”

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Holly Willoughby in 2017Image copyright

This Morning host Holly Willoughby has revealed she faced “negative comments” early in her career due to “judgement” about her appearance.

“I think when I started out… a lot of people look at the blonde hair and this and that and the other, and have a massive judgement on you,” she said.

She told ITV’s Jonathan Ross show: “I think I have it less now.

“I couldn’t be anyone else and actually the bits where I mess up or I’m just me seem to be the things that work.”

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She presented shows including Xchange on CBBC in 2003

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The This Morning hosts are known for being firm friends as well as colleagues

Willoughby, who co-presents ITV’s This Morning and Dancing on Ice with Phillip Schofield and appears on ITV2′s Celebrity Juice, said the volume of her TV work meant “you can only be you”.

“When you accept that, then that just makes things easier.”

She also spoke of her friendship with Schofield, whose early career began on BBC children’s television, as a continuity announcer in the BBC One “broom cupboard”.

“I love that man. We met on Dancing on Ice, rink side would you believe?

‘Keith is really annoying’

“I’d obviously watched him on the telly lots, he was in the broom cupboard, he was my children’s TV presenter that I used to watch. I was a bit scared when I first met him but that changed very quickly when I realised he was basically me in the male form.”

The pair are famous for “corpsing” on live TV – frequently creasing up with laughter while trying to maintain a straight face for the cameras.

Willoughby was slightly less complimentary about Keith Lemon, who hosts Celebrity Juice.

“Keith is really annoying but you could have guessed that right? He’s like my naughty older brother who flirts with me occasionally,” she told Ross, whose show will be broadcast on ITV on 30 September.

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L-R: Chris Evans, Clara Amfo, Annie Nightingale, Terry Wogan

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L-R: Chris Evans, Clara Amfo, Annie Nightingale, Terry Wogan

On 30 September, 1967, the BBC’s Light Programme split in two. Younger listeners were given Radio 1, while the Light Programme itself morphed into Radio 2, continuing with its mix of big bands, record requests, sport and comedy.

But do you know which DJ inspired the lyrics to I Am The Walrus? Or why Radio 1′s first weather forecast prompted 12 complaints?

Here are 50 facts to celebrate the stations’ first 50 years.

1. The first voice on Radio 1 was Tony Blackburn, right? Wrong. Shortly after 5:30am on 30 September, broadcaster Paul Hollingdale was at the helm, with his Breakfast Special show broadcast simultaneously on both stations.

2. The opening announcement was not what you’d call dynamic…

Media captionJeremy Vine and Johnnie Walker look back at Radio 2′s first broadcast.

3. The two stations split at 7:00am. After a five-second countdown, Tony Blackburn officially launched Radio 1 with a jingle promising “too much fun” and the sound of a barking dog.

4. The first song played on Radio 1 was Flowers In The Rain by The Move. Over on Radio 2, it was Julie Andrews singing The Sound Of Music.

5. George Martin’s Theme One, however, was technically the first piece of music on Radio 1. Blackburn also played Johnny Dankworth’s Beefeaters under his opening link.

6. Blackburn later revealed that the famous film footage of the launch was recorded the night before, and he had to write down the words, so he could replicate them when the station went live.

Media captionDisc jockey Tony Blackburn opens Radio 1 on 30 September 1967.

7. Many of Radio 1′s presenters were drawn from the ranks of pirate radio – but they found the BBC a lot more strait-laced. “I was yelled at when a 10-second link lasted 11 seconds,” recalled Keith Skues. “‘You cannot just ignore Greenwich Mean Time, Skues!’”

8. Weather presenter Rosie O’Day received 12 complaints in the opening weeks of Radio 1 and 2. Why? Because she had the audacity to be a woman. “Please, please spare us from Rosie O’Day reading the weather forecast,” complained one. “It sounds more like a children’s fairy story. I’m sure she is a charming girl, but let us stick to a man for the weather news!”

9. Radio 2′s Ken Bruce has a licence to drive Routemaster double-decker buses, and owns six of them, which he hires out for weddings and funerals.

100 Voices that made the BBC

Sir Terry Wogan named top BBC radio DJ

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Ken Bruce – Busmaster

10. Before his Radio 1 debut, Dave Lee Travis stole the microphone he’d used on Radio Caroline. “The very first pirate broadcasts were made on it, and I thought, ‘I have spent so much of my time on this ship, I’m having a souvenir,’” he said. “I just went and got a pair of scissors and cut the cable.”

11. Radio 1 launched half a decade after The Beatles’ debut single, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the music industry. Trade magazine Record Retailer accused the BBC of “trailing years behind public taste” and warned “the new station must swing if it is to be effective”.

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Waggoners Walk starred Edward Cast, Ellen McIntosh and Elaine Stritch

12. Radio 2′s own soap opera, Waggoners Walk, launched in 1969. Set in Hampstead, it was often controversial, covering story-lines like contraception and homosexuality.

13. The show was cancelled at short notice in 1980. Some of the cast heard the news on the radio, and the writers responded by having aliens invade Hampstead Heath.

14. Terry Wogan made his Radio 2 debut in 1967, presenting show Late Night Extra – “on the beat with music and news [and] off the record with pop”.

15. The Radio 1 Roadshow began in July 1973 with a Land Rover pulling a converted caravan around British holiday resorts. It’s now morphed into the Big Weekend, with up to 100,000 fans watching acts like Jay-Z, Foo Fighters and Madonna playing unlikely towns like Swindon, Dundee and Norwich.

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The Radio 1 Roadshow in 1987, with pop stars Pepsi and Shirley alongside shorts enthusiasts “Ooh” Gary Davies and Mike Read

16. Between 1967 and 2004, John Peel brought more than 2,000 artists into the BBC to record one of his fabled Peel Sessions. First up were psychedelic rock band Tomorrow, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, The Smiths, Nirvana, Pulp and The White Stripes coming after.

17. But it was The Fall who recorded the most Peel sessions – 32 in all.

18. These days, DJs are expected to know everything about music – but no-one can be right all the time. Revealing the Radio 1 Top 40 in March 1981, Tony Blackburn announced a new entry by pop newcomers “Duhran Duhran”. After several phone calls, he corrected the mistake, saying: “None of us are too big to apologise.”

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Duran who?

19. Kenny Everett recorded several interviews with The Beatles for Radio 1 and 2 – but he also helped inspire one of their lyrics after taking an acid trip with John Lennon on the Weybridge golf course (of all places).

“A couple of months after my psychedelic round of golf with John I was in the Abbey Road recording studios where the Beatles were recording I Am The Walrus,” wrote Everett in his autobiography. “When he got to the line about getting a tan from standing in the English rain, he stopped and said to me: ‘Reminds me of that day on the Weybridge golf course, eh Ken?’ to which I replied: ‘What’?’ I’m sure he thought I was a complete lemon… or was it a bird?”

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Kenny Everett – psychedelic golf clubs not pictured

20. Chris Evans has presented both the Radio 1 and Radio 2 Breakfast Shows – but he got his start in radio as Timmy Mallet’s assistant on Manchester’s Radio Piccadilly, playing a character called Nobby No Level, whose catchphrase was: “What I don’t know – I don’t know!”

21. To celebrate its fifth birthday in 1972, Radio 1 released hundreds of balloons from the top of Broadcasting House. Attached to each balloon was a form on which the finder could write their favourite record title and return it to their favourite DJ, who would play it on air.

22. In 2015, Elaine Paige helped Pieter – a regular listener to her Radio 2 show – propose to his boyfriend live on air.

Media captionElaine Paige helps a listener propose to his partner on Radio 2

23. Derek Jameson, who presented Radio 2′s Breakfast Show from 1986 – 1991, became a broadcaster late in life as a consequence of suing the BBC. The former newspaper editor accused Radio 4′s Week Ending of libel for saying he was “so ignorant he thought erudite was a type of glue”. He lost the case and was ordered to pay £75,000 in costs – forcing him to accept a job with the corporation he had sued.

24. Many songs have been “banned” by BBC Radio over the years – but one of the first to be censored by Radio 1 was Pink Floyd’s It Would Be So Nice. A reference to the Evening Standard newspaper in the opening verse was enough to breach the BBC’s strict no-advertising policy.

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Mike Read – did he ban Relax, or not?

25. DJ Mike Read got the blame for banning Relax – but he says the decision wasn’t in his power. “I didn’t ban Relax,” he said, “the BBC banned it. I was just a BBC employee.” Defending the decision, he added: “The video did have that big fat Buddha bloke urinating from the balcony into somebody’s mouth. Even now, that’s not terribly good.”

26. Read later made up with the band and provided a voice-over on the TV advert for their debut album.

27. Jimi Hendrix, Madness and The Who have all recorded jingles for Radio 1 and 2.

Media captionRock stars record jingles for Radio 1 and 2

28. On December 6, 1980 Radio 1′s Andy Peebles interviewed John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, just two days before John was assassinated.

29. In 1976, Tony Blackburn fell to pieces on air, after his wife Tessa Wyatt, star of hit sitcom Robin’s Nest, left him. With millions listening, he played Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now over and over again, begging for Tessa to return. He has called this his “one big broadcasting mistake”.

30. In 1991, Radio 1 managed to persuade Whitney Houston to cover for Simon Bates while he was on holiday.

31. Nowadays, almost every show has some sort of interactive element, but Annie Nightingale’s Sunday Night Request Show was Radio 1′s first request show. It ran for 12 years from 1975.

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Annie Nightingale was Radio 1′s first female DJ

32. Taping songs off the radio was a rite of passage days before streaming. It was illegal, of course, but Annie used it to her advantage. “I used to say: ‘In a few minutes, I’ll be playing Is That All There Is by Cristina,’ so it gave people a chance to set up their tape recorders,” she laughs.

33. Nigel Ogden, the host of Radio 2′s big organ bonanza, The Organist Entertains, first featured on the show as a player in his teens, before taking over as a presenter in 1980.

34. “Hi there, pop pickers”. “Quack Quack, Oops“. “Stop!…. Carry on”. “One Year Out”. “It’s Another True Storeeee!” “Not ‘Arf”.

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Chris Evans – who’s a naughty boy, then?

35. After a Christmas Party got out of hand in 1995, Chris Evans “phoned in sick” for the following day’s Breakfast show. He was duly docked a day’s pay – reportedly in the region of £7,000. The following morning, he was back on the airwaves, telling listeners: “I feel like I’ve had a holiday in Bermuda – although it was more expensive than a week in Bermuda, obviously.”

36. Simon Bates’ first job at the BBC was as a Radio 4 continuity announcer. “I was very bad at it too,” he told The Independent. “I never mastered the art of saying ‘Radio 4′ between the end of one programme and the start of the next. If you try it, it’s really very difficult.”

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Radio 1′s 1970s line-up: Stuart Henry, Dave Lee Travis, Ed Stewart, Tony Blackburn, David Hamilton, Alan Freeman, Rosko and John Peel

37. Early DJs were hired for their skills as presenters, rather than an interest in music. John Peel, the one exception, remembered attending a party at Dave Lee Travis’s house when he “suddenly realised that DLT didn’t own any records”. He asked him about it and Travis replied, “Oh no, it’s too much trouble… Anything I really like I’ve copied on tape. I’ve got quite a lot of tapes and I play them in the car, you see.”

38. Chris Moyles opened his first Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 2004 with a five-minute song crammed with clips of his predecessors. The song concluded with the prescient declaration: “From now until they fire his ass, the saviour of Radio 1 is here”.

Media captionChris Moyles’ opening jingle from 2004

39. Moyles clocked up eight years in the hot seat before bowing out in 2012 – making him Radio 1′s longest-serving Breakfast presenter.

40. Terry Wogan managed 27 years on Radio 2′s Breakfast show, before bowing out in 2009. Bidding farewell, he said: “Thank you for being my friend,” before cueing up The Party’s Over by Anthony Newley, which features the lyrics: “Now you must wake up, all dreams must end.”

Media captionTerry Wogan’s final Breakfast Show

41. In 1976, Noel Edmonds presented the Radio 1 Breakfast show live from a flight from London to Aberdeen. During take-off, he played Fifth Dimension’s Up Away In My Beautiful Balloon, the needle on the record skipping as the plane’s wheels left the ground.

42. Except they didn’t… the whole programme was an elaborate hoax for April Fool’s Day.

Media captionNoel does his Breakfast Show live while flying from London to Aberdeen… on 1st April 1976

43. Jeff Young pioneered Radio 1′s first dance music programme with his “Big Beat” show in 1987. Pete Tong and Dave Pearce picked up the mantle with Dance Anthems and the weekend Recovery Session – a breakfast show for clubbers – in the 1990s.

44. Amy Winehouse’s Live Lounge cover of Valerie by The Zutons was so popular it was later turned into a single in its own right, produced by Mark Ronson. It became one of her biggest hits, charting at number two (higher than the original, which peaked at nine).

45. Emma Freud once introduced a song by an artist she called “PJ and Harvey” – raising the enticing prospect of indie queen PJ Harvey duetting with Ant and Dec’s alter-egos PJ and Duncan.

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PJ and Harvey and Duncan – together at last

46. Laura Sayers, a former Radio 1 producer, met her husband through a feature on the Scott Mills show, which she was working on at the time. One Night With Laura saw Scott and the team scour the country to find a listener to be her new boyfriend. After trying to impress a panel of judges, the contestants were whittled down to a final four, before an eventual winner was chosen. However, Laura actually ended up marrying one of the runners-up, James Busson.

47. In 1992, a poll conducted by Radio 1 saw listeners vote Stars by Simply Red as their favourite album.

48. The most popular video on Radio 1′s YouTube channel is Miley Cyrus’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness – which has more than 35 million views.

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Miley Cyrus’s record-breaking performance

49. In 2011, Radio 1 entered the Guinness World Records when Chris Moyles and his then-sidekick Comedy Dave presented the longest music radio show by a DJ team or duo, clocking in at more than 51 hours. Their record has since been broken and is currently held by Belgian DJs Eva Daeleman and Peter van De Veire, who broadcast non-stop for a staggering 100 hours in 2015.

50. When it was first launched, the Radio 1 website had a considerably longer URL than it does now, as Pete Tong found out when he attempted to read it out on air.

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Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Lynda CarterImage copyright
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Lynda Carter (right) has been supporting the new Wonder Woman’s director Patty Jenkins (left) and its star Gal Gadot

Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s, has hit back at Avatar director James Cameron’s criticism of the recent hit movie reboot.

The actress told him to stop his “thuggish jabs” at the new film, which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

Cameron has repeatedly described it as a “step backwards” in the portrayal of strong female characters.

He told Hollywood Reporter that Gadot’s character was “drop-dead gorgeous… to me that’s not breaking ground”.

It followed his saying in August that Wonder Woman was “an objectified icon”.

The film’s director Patty Jenkins hit back then, saying “there is no right or wrong kind of powerful woman”.

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Lynda Carter/Facebook

In a Facebook post, Carter told 63-year-old Cameron to “stop dissing” Gadot’s Wonder Woman and called him a “poor soul” who “perhaps didn’t understand the character”.

“Like all women we are more than the sum of our parts,” said the 61-year-old actress, who played Wonder Woman on TV from 1975 to 1979.

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Warner Bros

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Gal Gadot in her guise as the new Wonder Woman

“Your thuggish jabs at a brilliant director, Patty Jenkins, are ill-advised. This movie was spot on. Gal Gadot was great.”

“I know, Mr Cameron – because I have embodied this character for more than 40 years. So – STOP IT.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter this week, Cameron noted that Gadot was a former Miss Israel, adding: “She was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting. She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.

“To me, that’s not breaking ground. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the 60s.”

In August, he compared Wonder Woman unfavourably with the character Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, in his 1991 Terminator movie.

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James Cameron did say he thought Wonder Woman was “a good film”

“Linda looked great. She just wasn’t treated as a sex object. There was nothing sexual about her character.

“It was about angst, it was about will, it was about determination. She was crazy, she was complicated.

“She wasn’t there to be liked or ogled, but she was central, and the audience loved her by the end of the film,” the director said.

He continued with comments about director Jenkins.

“As much as I applaud Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, ‘letting’ a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn’t think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman. I thought it was a good film. Period.”

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Media captionSome of the memorable moments from Liz Dawn’s career as Vera Duckworth

The funeral of former Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn is to be held at Salford Cathedral next Friday.

Dawn, who became one of the best-known and best-loved faces on British TV playing Vera Duckworth for 34 years, died on Monday at the age of 77.

The Requiem Mass will take place at 14:00 BST and will be followed by a private family committal.

Cast members who appeared with Dawn during her years in the ITV soap are expected to attend the service.

The funeral will be conducted by Father Brendan Curley, the former dean of Salford Cathedral and a friend of Dawn and her family, alongside the cathedral’s current dean Father Michael Jones.

Dawn played the battleaxe Vera from 1974 until 2008, when an episode featuring Vera’s death attracted more than 12 million viewers. She was diagnosed with emphysema in 2004.

She is survived by her husband Don, four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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Yasmin Evans, Hacker T Dog and Jonny Nelson - Saturday Mash Up!

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Yasmin Evans, Jonny Nelson and Hacker T Dog will be let off the leash

The hosts of the BBC’s new live Saturday morning children’s TV show are promising to bring back the giddy chaos of classic shows like Going Live! and Live and Kicking.

“It’s going to be an absolute zoo on set, and I don’t think anyone, including ourselves, is ready for what’s going to happen.”

Yasmin Evans is speaking less than two days away from co-presenting two hours of silly games, sillier sketches, celebrity interviews, viewer phone-ins and cartoons on Saturday Mash-Up! on BBC Two and CBBC.

With a script on the table in front of her but without a full rehearsal until the day before she and co-host Jonny Nelson go live, the pair are dizzy with seat-of-your-pants anticipation.

“Being too prepared, especially when it’s a live show – I don’t think that’s the right way to do it,” Evans says. “Well it had better not be, because I’m not!”

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In the gunge on Going Live! Left-right: Doc Cox, Peter Simon, Sinitta and Ruth Madoc

As the BBC 1Xtra DJ and soon-to-be children’s TV star lists the features that will be in Saturday Mash-Up!, Nelson chips in with an essential ingredient: “Anarchy.”

“Anarchy,” Evans repeats, before adding: “A lot of gunge.”

If that formula sounds familiar, you’re probably old enough to fondly remember Saturday morning TV of yesteryear – from Multi-Coloured Swap Shop through Saturday Superstore, Going Live, Live Kicking, The Saturday Show, Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow and TMi.

ITV went from Tiswas to SM:TV Live via the Wide Awake Club, but it’s a decade since the Saturday morning zoo TV format was finally abandoned.

“I like the anarchy thing,” Nelson continues. “Because it’s live, and event-type TV hasn’t been done for so long. Not like this. I think it’s going to give them [the viewers] something very different to what they’re used to.”

Classic BBC Saturday morning children’s TV

The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (1976-82)

Saturday Superstore (1982-87)

Going Live (1987-93)

Live Kicking (1993-2001)

The Saturday Show (2001-05)

Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow (2003-06)

TMi (2006-09)

There is one presenter missing from our interview – Hacker T Dog, who Evans and Nelson admit is more experienced than both of them, and who is likely to provide the biggest dose of anarchy.

Before Hacker T Dog, there was Going Live’s Gordon the Gopher and of course Spit the Dog from Tiswas, and the new show unashamedly harks back to what made those older shows so well-loved.

The first thing Evans did when she found out she got the presenting job, she says, was to turn to YouTube to watch 45 minutes of Wonky Donkey – Ant and Dec’s crazed phone-in game show from SM:TV.

Evans says the new show will have a game that she describes with some pride as “Wonky Donkeyesque”.

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Can Evans and Nelson tempt young viewers to stay for two hours?

For Nelson, he went back and watched lots of Live and Kicking, whose host pairings included Jamie Theakston and Zoe Ball, which he said “got me excited, but it also made me understand the scale of how important this is”.

With hours to fill with riotous games and unpredictable guests and callers, the best bits often came when things didn’t go to plan and the presenters had to somehow muddle through while attempting to suppress laughter.

“Those are the elements that we remember certainly from our childhoods,” Nelson says. “A lot of the time you tuned in because it was going to be mad.

“You didn’t know what Jamie Theakston, Zoe Ball or Ant and Dec were going to do on that morning – who was going to make the other one laugh, or who was going to get their lines wrong, or what bit of the set’s going to fall down, or what someone on the phone’s going to say.

“I think the second the first thing goes wrong on the show and we style it out, God willing, that’s going to be quite a relief.”

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Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston ruled Saturday mornings on Live and Kicking

Evans and Nelson may not have had much rehearsal time, but they do already have the warmth of old friends, and with their infectious mix of nerves and enthusiasm it’s not hard to imagine one or both dissolving into giggles as another piece of the set topples over.

But can the formula appeal to a young generation of viewers?

The reason that was always given for the disappearance of live Saturday morning TV was that kids today have so many other channels to choose from, and so many devices, so it could no longer be the focal point that it once was.

Phillip Schofield, who was Going Live!’s ringmaster in the late 1980s and early 90s, recently told BBC 5 live that if they tried to do the same programme today it would make for “a very different show”.

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Phillip Schofield said there would be more pressure today

“It would be a lot faster, it would be a lot cooler, it would be absolutely alive with social platforms,” he said on 5 Live’s I Was There.

“If I’m honest, I’m very glad that that was my time because I still think of those as the glory days of TV, when there were less channels, and people had more time, and they were less likely to get bored, and they’d give you the benefit of doubt on something but stick with you.

“It was harder to click off and click on to something else. The pressure I think would be immense now.”

Saturday Mash-Up!’s hosts and producer stress that they are bringing the format up to date – taking some ideas from the heyday and adapting them for the pace and technology of modern life.

“Television as a whole is a lot faster than it was 20 or 30 years ago,” says series producer Jamie Wilson. “Life is faster isn’t it?

“An interview on Going Live might have been 12 minutes, whereas an interview on our show might be four minutes or five at a push.”

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Saturday Mash-Up! will have pop stars – but surely none with better hair than Kajagoogoo on Saturday Superstore

Some ideas haven’t grown old, though. “I think the idea of phoning in and chatting to your idol is just as exciting now,” Wilson says.

“There are some really timeless ideas within those old formats that we’re keen on, but there’s a big dose of new stuff, like the digital interaction that just didn’t exist in the 80s and 90s.”

He rightly points out that, in today’s fragmented media market, live event shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away have managed to remain some of the biggest fixtures on TV.

“Saturday mornings always had that kind of feel,” Wilson says. “There’s something for everyone, and it was a real ‘in the moment’, live, exciting place to be.

“So I’m not sure why it went away in the first place, but it definitely felt it was just as relevant, and will hopefully be just as entertaining now.”

Saturday Mash-Up is on BBC Two and CBBC from 09:00-11:00.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, 17 SeptemberImage copyright

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Ms Louis-Dreyfus won another Emmy earlier this month

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the award-winning star of US TV comedy series Veep, has announced she has breast cancer, in a message posted on social media.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” she wrote. “Today I’m the one.”

“The good news”, she said, was that she had a “glorious group” of family and friends supporting her and “fantastic” insurance through her union.

The actress, 56, has also featured in Saturday Night Live, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Seinfeld.

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Earlier this month, Louis-Dreyfus picked up a record-breaking sixth Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a row for her role in HBO series Veep.

In Veep, her character begins as an ineffectual US vice-president whose attempts to expand her role are continually thwarted.

  • Veep star ‘would relish’ drama roles

Louis-Dreyfus’ announcement was met with an outpouring of support from other actors and celebrities.

Her Veep co-star Tony Hale retweeted the announcement, appending the message: “We love this woman.”

Christina Applegate, who had a double mastectomy in 2008 following her own breast cancer diagnosis, told Louis-Dreyfus to contact her if she wanted to talk.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his son Beau to cancer in 2015, sent his family’s best wishes.

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HBO, the network behind Veep, also issued a statement, saying: “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.”

‘Universal healthcare’

The US actors’ union SAG-AFTRA provides health insurance as a membership benefit, which union members earn credits toward as they work on accredited productions.

“The bad news is that not all women are so lucky,” Louis-Dreyfus said in her statement, “so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality”.

Her call for universal health care – at a time when US President Donald Trump is pushing through healthcare reforms – is not the first time she has made targeted political comments.

Accepting the award for outstanding performance for a female actor in a comedy series at the SAG Awards earlier this year, she referenced Mr Trump’s controversial travel ban, saying: “I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France.”

“I’m an American patriot, and I love this country… this immigrant ban is a blemish and it’s un-American.”

Breast cancer: The facts

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the world.

The rates of breast cancer vary from country to country – about one in eight women will get breast cancer during their lifetime in the US and the UK.

About 55,000 people are diagnosed with the condition in the UK every year – about 150 people a day. It is far more common among women, affecting just one in every 870 men.

Image copyright
Science Photo Library

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Mammograms are recommended on a regular basis for women over 50

Medical experts recommend women be aware of what their breasts normally look and feel like, so they can be aware of any abnormal changes.

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • Changes in the outline or shape of the breast, especially those caused by arm movements or by lifting the breast
  • Changes in the look or feel of the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
  • Any new lumps, thickening or bumpy areas in one breast or armpit, with or without pain, that differs from the same part of the other breast and armpit
  • Discharge from the nipple (may be bloodstained)
  • Moist, red areas on the nipple that don’t heal easily
  • Any change in nipple position, such as being pulled in or pointing differently
  • A rash on or around the nipple

Recovery chances are good if the cancer is discovered in its early stages. Breast screening programmes use a mammogram – a type of X-ray – to sweep for small cancers in their infancy.

Sources: World Health Organization, NHS, Cancer Research UK

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