Archive for November, 2017

Chris Riddell's Mr UnderbedImage copyright
Andersen Press

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Mr Underbed was first released in 1986

Chris Riddell, who accused John Lewis of “helping themselves” to his book Mr Underbed for its Christmas ad campaign, is enjoying a sales boost.

Riddell’s book has now sold out, and so publisher Andersen Press is printing 10,000 more copies.

Both the book and the advert feature a small boy who discovers a giant cuddly monster under his bed.

John Lewis has said its advert’s story was “utterly different to Chris Riddell’s”.

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The John Lewis ad was launched on 10 November

The retailer is also selling a Moz the Monster book based on the advert in its stores.

The extra copies of Mr Underbed will be available from 6 December.

A statement from Riddell’s publicity team on Thursday appeared to acknowledge that all’s well that ends well.

“The Monster Mash between Mr Underbed, the original big blue unthreatening hairy monster that lives under a little boy’s bed – and Moz (from the John Lewis ad) – resulted in the public once again falling in love with the 30-year-old book – and across the kingdom, every last printed copy of Mr Underbed sold out.”

Riddell himself said: “I have been so heartened by the wonderful support that my picture book, Mr Underbed, has received after I pointed out similarities with the John Lewis Christmas ad.

“I think this has sent a powerful message to John Lewis who I hope will work more directly with picture book authors in the future.”

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Riddell’s other books include the Goth Girl series and he is a three-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration

Riddell’s story features a small boy whose attempts to find another place for Mr Underbed to sleep lead to the discovery that he shares his bedroom with various other hidden creatures.

Writing on Tumblr two weeks ago, the popular author said it was “very generous of John Lewis to devote their Christmas advertising campaign to my 1986 picture book… in this age of shrinking publicity budgets”.

In response, John Lewis said: “The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many years.

“Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz the Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night’s sleep.”

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RihannaImage copyright
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Rihanna has already won praise for refusing to test her make-up range on animals

Rihanna has never been shy of speaking her mind and her latest views, on the status of transgender models, have been widely praised on social media.

The singer was asked by a fan to consider using a trans woman to promote her Fenty Beauty make-up range.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women over the years,” she replied, “but I don’t go around doing trans castings!”

“I respect all women. Whether they’re trans or not is none of my business.”

The star went on to criticise firms who hire models from minority groups as a “token” gesture.

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“I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool,” she said.

“Too often I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike.

“There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy! It’s sad!”

  • Rihanna dominates NERD’s comeback single
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The conversation took place between Rihanna and a fan called @lbertootero via private messages Twitter. He then took a screen grab of the star’s comments and made them public.

Media captionFenty Beauty is not the only brand to stock a wide range of foundation shades

Many fans praised the pop star’s stance.

“As a trans woman I have so much admiration and respect for Rihanna,” wrote one user. “She worded all of that so perfectly and respectful and kind. She’s a true angel.”

“Good on Rihanna to not want to exploit trans women just for the sake of marketing,” added @silbiee, who posts under the name Heart Shaker.

“I’m proud of my idol,” said a Chilean user called Francisca , while US fan Jason simply called Rihanna “queen of lgbt“.

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The star was nominated for a Grammy this week for her duet with Kendrick Lamar, Loyalty

Rihanna has already received praise for her Fenty Beauty line, which caters to a wider range of skin tones and types than most mainstream brands.

She also refuses to test her products on animals, meaning the range will not be available in China where animal testing is required by law.

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Russell SimmonsImage copyright
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Russell Simmons, the music mogul who co-founded Def Jam Records, has stepped down from his companies after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Jenny Lumet has said he directed his driver to take her to his apartment after she’d said she wanted to go home, before they had sex, around 1991.

Simmons said her memory of that evening is “very different from mine”.

But he apologised for being “thoughtless and insensitive” in some relationships over the years.

In a statement, he said: “While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologise.”

Feeling of ‘dread’

Lumet, a screenwriter who wrote Rachel Getting Married and The Mummy and is the daughter of film-maker Sidney Lumet, gave her account to The Hollywood Reporter.

She said she had known Simmons before he offered her a ride home one night.

When she gave his driver her address, she claims Simmons told his driver “no”. When she questioned his response and told the driver her address again, she said the mogul repeated the word “no” and the car doors locked.

The driver took the pair to Simmons’ apartment, she claims. Lumet recalled that she said she wanted to go home but felt “dread”.

“You didn’t punch me, drag me or verbally threaten me,” she wrote. “You used your size to manoeuvre me, quickly, into the elevator.”

‘Did what I was told’

Afraid of Simmons and his driver, she said she then “simply did what I was told” because she “desperately wanted to keep the situation from escalating”.

Simmons co-founded Def Jam with Rick Rubin in 1983, signing artists like LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. He has also co-produced films including 1996′s The Nutty Professor.

More recently, he has been chief executive of Rush Communications.

In response to Lumet’s account, he said: “I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991.

“I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described.

‘A distraction’

“While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”

He added: “This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard.

“As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded.”

He added that he would “step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening”.

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Michael Ball and Alfie BoeImage copyright
Decca Records

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The stars’ first album sold an impressive 607,000 copies

“You wouldn’t want to sing with someone you didn’t like. That would be miserable.”

Michael Ball is reflecting on his partnership with Alfie Boe – an Avengers-style meeting of musical superheroes, which has become one of the industry’s biggest success stories.

The duo first became friends after they appeared in a disastrous staging of Kismet at the English National Opera, but it wasn’t until last year that they had time to make an album together.

Together went on to become the biggest-selling album released in 2016, and a Christmas number one, to boot.

“It outsold the Stones, Elvis, Gaga, Little Mix,” says Boe, still sounding slightly bewildered.

“You felt a bit guilty about that,” observes Ball. “I was fine.”

This is how Ball and Boe talk. They’re a linguistic tag-team, riffing off each other’s answers and competing to make the pointiest barb.

Media captionMichael Ball Alfie Boe perform a medley from Les Miserables.

Their second album, imaginatively titled Together Again, has just gone to number one, beating The Stereophonics by the narrowest of margins (just 35 copies separated them).

“It’s a little bit potty, isn’t it?” says Ball. “We had no clue all this was going to happen.”

Settling in for a chat on London’s South Bank, the singers seem supremely relaxed – their combined 51 years in showbusiness inoculating them against media-trained stock answers.

As you’ll soon see…

Aflie, it sounds like you’re suffering from a cold.

Alfie: I know I got it from meeting and greeting fans.

Michael: Did you see that woman at HMV? [coughing and spluttering]. ‘I’m dying but I couldn’t miss you. Can you sign that? Could I have a kiss?’

And now you know why Michael Jackson wore a surgical mask in public.

Michael: But also because his nose was falling off…

Ahem. You toured together for the first time last year. What did you learn from that experience?

Alfie: Well, we travel on separate buses now… and we stay in different hotels. Sometimes different cities.

Michael: Genuinely? I learned it’s better to share. We were carried along on this wave of excitement every day as the statistics came in, and new tour dates were added. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it on my own. I would have felt a lot more pressure.

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Getty Images

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The duo broke a world record by flying to five UK cities to sign copies of their album in just 24 hours

Why do you think Together became the biggest-selling release of 2016?

Alfie: We get asked that quite a lot but it’s not something I want to focus on. Instead of analysing it, I just appreciate it.

It felt like there was an appetite for the music. Bradley Walsh had the best-selling debut album of the year, too, with a similar selection of covers.

Alfie: It wasn’t that similar, was it?

Michael: No, he was more swing music.

Alfie: And he’s ugly.

Michael: Nasty as well.

Alfie: The amount of botox he’s had is ridiculous.

Do you realise you’ve now libelled two people in the space of five minutes?

Michael: Oh, we can libel Bradley. [Leaning into the microphone] Bring it on, Bradders.

Your new album opens with an incredible suite of songs from West Side Story. Did you record it live with the orchestra?

Michael: We did it the same way we do all the tracks. We sit and work the structure of it, then we put down a guide vocal…

Alfie: …And then we play each individual instrument in the orchestra. Michael starts on percussion and I’m on the bassoon.

Michael: Do you know, my music teacher at school once asked me what instrument I wanted to play, and I said, ‘the piano’. He looked at my hands and said, ‘Hmm. Have you thought of the bassoon?’ So I never learned an instrument.

Why the bassoon?

Michael: Because I have huge hands. Look at the size of those fingers! I mean, they’re chipolatas.

Alfie: But big hands are good for the piano, aren’t they?

Michael: No! I hit two keys at once.

Alfie: Les Dawson could play piano and look at the size of his hands. What about Fats Domino?

Michael: Literally, I’m about to punch him.

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Getty Images

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The singers’ success led to a slew of celebrity cover albums this year, from the likes of Jason Manford, Nick Knowles and Anton Du Beke

Did you get any encouragement in school?

Alfie: I wasn’t encouraged to sing.

Michael: My school didn’t want me in the choir because I couldn’t blend! But luckily there was an English teacher who used to put on plays and I would get involved in those.

What was your first production?

Michael: It was actually King Lear. The sixth form were putting it on because they were studying it for A Level – and they brought me in to play the fool.

I’d already been to see it, actually. My dad took me to the RSC to see Donald Sinden do it with Judi Dench, and it just made Shakespeare come alive for me, before they ruined it at school. So I talked to this teacher about that and he said, ‘Right, we’re putting you in this production.’ It was kind of a coup that a young whippersnapper was allowed to join the sixth form.

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“I was a really big fan of George Michael,” says Boe

When we spoke last year, you said you wanted to do a Wham! medley. After George Michael’s death, I thought you might have recorded one for the album – but I guess you decided against it?

Michael: Oh, but come to our tour and see what happens. I’m making him do it!

Which songs are you doing?

Michael: We’re still working on it.

Alfie: I think we’re starting with…

Michael [singing]: J-j-j-jitterbug!

Alfie: No! It starts with a real quiet one…

Michael: You know, the one that goes “do, do, dooo, dooo… had I been there.”

A Different Corner

Michael: Yes! It’s an amazing song. He was 16 when he wrote that. [Singing again] “They say loooove is a curious thing.”

Alfie [scornfully]: You don’t have to do that now.

Did you ever see George Michael play live?

Michael: Many times, and he was a brilliant live performer. That voice was clear as a bell.

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Decca Records

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“We’re both pretty good at slotting back into real life,” says Ball. “We know what our job is, but we love home.”

There are a lot of really moving lyrics on the album. What’s the one that resonates with you the most?

Michael: The Rose. It’s a very personal song for the family. I recorded it for charity when my sister-in-law died. We started a charity for her – ROC, research into ovarian cancer – and I think the lyric is so beautiful and so poignant. And I’m so pleased Alfie did it, because he takes it over into a whole new dimension. I love it.

Do you hear songs and think ‘this would be perfect for us to perform together?’

Michael: Yes, exactly. But we’re both going to be doing solo projects next year, so obviously both of us are keeping things in the back pocket.

Will you be competitive about whose album does best?

Michael: I think we’ll actually record the same tracks. The same album, same arrangement.

Alfie: And my album will be the harmony lines, so you’ll have to buy both and play them together.

After Together and Together Again, will those sole albums be called Alone?

Alfie: Or, ‘Having a Break’.

Michael: ‘I Need Some Space’.

And will there be a third duets album?

Michael: We’ll call that one ‘Not Again’.

Alfie: I think a Christmas album would be cool.

Michael: Together at Christmas!

You could do an album themed around The Christmas Carol, with the songs of Christmas past, present and future.

Alfie: That’s a really good idea.

Michael: I know one we’d have to do, because it’s my favourite Christmas song: Oh, Holy Night!

Alfie: No, I’m not doing that one.

Michael: And for songs of Christmas future we’d have to have new songs. Let’s write a Christmas song, Alfie!

Alfie: That’d be good. I can see the cover now. Bad sweaters, a golden retriever with antlers on, me dressed as Scrooge and Michael as the fairy on the tree.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s new album, Together Again, is out now. They tour the UK from 30 November.

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Media captionSeventeen years after His Dark Materials, author Philip Pullman reads from its new “equel”

Philip Pullman’s latest novel, in which he returned to the world of His Dark Materials, has been named the best book of 2017 by book chain Waterstones.

La Belle Sauvage was published in October, 17 years after he finished the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Waterstones staff nominated books they found “truly outstanding and which they have felt most pride in recommending and selling”.

Pullman said he was “very happy” to be given a prize given by a bookseller.

He said: “Booksellers are an absolutely necessary part of the complex ecology of the book world.

“These days the pressure of so many kinds of digital and social and economic and political change is forcing the world of books, like so many others, to evolve more swiftly than is sometimes comfortable.”

  • Pullman return ‘a stunning achievement’
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But he said he could not foresee a time when “visiting a bookshop is not one of the greatest pleasures life can give us”.

La Belle Sauvage is the first instalment in a new trilogy, which Pullman has described as an “equel” to His Dark Materials.

The full Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist:

  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli Francesca Cavallo
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
  • The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow
  • Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis

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Stormzy was the success story of the 2017 Mobos – picking up three awards.

He was named Best Male Act, Best Grime Act and won Best Album for Gang Signs Prayer.

The London star smashed into the mainstream this year with a number one album and top 10 single, Big For Your Boots.

It was a ceremony dominated by male winners, with Stefflon Don the only woman to pick up an award for Best Female Act.

Other stars who took home awards were J Hus who won Best Song for his track Did You See and Giggs who won Best Hip Hop Act.

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Stefflon Don

Weird facts from 1Xtra Live in Manchester

The Best Newcomer Act award went to south Londoner Dave.

Stefflon Don

Other winners included Mist for Best Video, Craig David for Best RB/Soul Act and Wizkid for Best International Act.

This was Craig David’s sixth Mobo Award – he won three in 2000, one in 2001 and one more recently in 2016.

Davido won Best African Act, Damian Marley was named Best Reggae Act, Moses Boyd took home Best Jazz Act and Volney Morgan New-Ye won Best Gospel Act.

The award ceremony took place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds and featured performances from the likes of Cardi B, Krept and Konan, Stefflon Don, Yungen and Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers.

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Media captionWhy Meghan Markle was written out of Suits

The creator of Suits has said the decision was taken to write Meghan Markle’s character out of the TV series as long as a year ago.

Aaron Korsh told Radio 4′s Today programme he “took a gamble” on Ms Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry working out.

Ms Markle plays lawyer Rachel Zane in the American legal drama.

She confirmed this week that she would leave the show after announcing her engagement to the prince.

‘Two people in love’

In the interview, Korsh said: “I knew from a year ago that this relationship was burgeoning.

“And I had a decision to make because I didn’t want to intrude and ask her, ‘hey what’s going on and what are you going to do?’.

“So collectively with the writers, we decided to take a gamble that these two people were in love and it was going to work out.”

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Getty Images

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Aaron Korsh says he anticipated Meghan Markle’s departure from Suits

Korsh added: “What we decided to do (was to) say, ‘look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life’ – which would likely mean her leaving the show.

“So let’s plan on that and it’s much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she’s going to go.

“And the only way to write a character out like that would be if they got hit by a bus or something.”

Ms Markle has played the paralegal turned lawyer since the first series of Suits in 2011.

The current series will be her last and – in instance of art imitating life – will show her character marrying boyfriend Mike Ross, played by Patrick J Adams.

After hearing news of the engagement, Adams joked on Twitter he thought his on-screen partner had just popped out for milk.

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He later posted a glowing tribute to Ms Markle, telling Prince Harry: “Your Royal Highness, you are a lucky man and I know your long life together will be joyful, productive and hilarious. Meghan, so happy for you, friend. Much love.”

The royal wedding will take place at Windsor Castle in May.

Asked how he thought Ms Markle would deal with the pressure of royal life, Korsh said: “She is just a natural in front of the camera, and her intelligence and poise… I mean if anyone could handle it I’d say it was Meghan.”

On the couple’s engagement, he added that “the whole thing is like a fairytale” describing it as “like a dream come true”.

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Jennifer LawrenceImage copyright

Jennifer Lawrence says she becomes “incredibly rude” to avoid fan attention in public places.

The actress was speaking to fellow actor Adam Sandler in a filmed interview for Variety magazine.

The 27-year-old described how she dealt with being one of Hollywood’s most recognisable figures during a conversation with the comedian.

She said her behaviour was intended to “defend” herself from unwanted attention.

“I just, generally, once I enter a public place, I become incredibly rude,” the Hunger Games star said.

“That’s kind of like my only way of defending myself.”

She demonstrated some of the methods she uses to discourage fans if they approach her table in a restaurant, by wagging her finger and pulling a face.

Lawrence also revealed how she bluntly says “no!” if a fan asks for a selfie.

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Lawrence, who was the world’s highest paid actress in 2015 and 2016 according to Forbes, said another approach is to say: “I’m not working today.”

Sandler laughed at the actress’s comments, asking her: “You get icy?”

He revealed he was more accommodating to fans, letting them pull up chairs to his table.

The actor joked: “I sit them down, I feed them. I let them hang out with my kids.”

He said he sometimes tries to dissuade people from taking selfies with him however, telling them: “You don’t want that, man. What are you going to do with it?”

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Sandler says he takes a more friendly approach to fans

But Lawrence said she thought the attention was worse for comedians, like Sandler, because people “just assume they’re your best friend”.

She went on to say that she frequently walks her dog in New York’s Central Park, but that she gets far more attention whenever she is with her comedian friend, Amy Schumer.

Sandler joked that since his career is nearer the end than Lawrence’s, he wanted to make the most of the attention from fans.

“My life’s nearing the end,” he joked. “I want to meet as many people as I can.”

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Media caption‘Beauty comes in all colours’

Last Christmas, the best-selling calendars for 2017 included Little Mix, Justin Bieber, Kelly Brook and, umm… Cliff Richard.

But it’s fair to say that most of the celebrity calendars you see every year on the supermarket shelves don’t have quite the same status and history as the Pirelli calendar.

The prestigious publication, which has been released annually since 1963 (with an eight-year gap from 1975), is sent out to customers and celebrities of the Italian automotive company every Christmas.

And it’s a pretty big deal.

“The Pirelli calendar would be a dream project for any photographer,” says Caryn Franklin, professor of diversity at Kingston School of Art and former fashion editor at i-D magazine.

“It’s a high-status platform for photographers of note to be given the space to promote their own aesthetic. It’s big budgets and top models.”

But for decades that aesthetic has often meant female stars, albeit artistically photographed, in nude or highly-sexualised positions – an approach which Pirelli has been moving away from in recent years.

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Getty Images

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Tim Walker has photographed this year’s models, who include Jaha Dukureh, Duckie Thot and Thando Hopa

“For me, the Pirelli calendar was always something I was conflicted about,” says Leah Sinclair, online editor at The Voice, a newspaper which primarily caters to BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) audiences.

“You’d check to see who would be featured in a particular calendar, who the photographer was, what the vision was for it. So it was something you engaged with, but whether you agreed with it was debatable.”

She adds: “For the first 10 years of the calendar, women were fully-clothed, and there wasn’t such an emphasis on their naked bodies, that only came about around the 1980s.

“And that’s when it became more popular and pivotal in people’s lives on a year-to-year basis.”

Photographers to have taken the reins of the Pirelli calendar over the decades have included Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh and Robert Freeman, while Sophia Loren, Kate Moss, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss have modelled.

Until as recently as 2015, which had a latex theme (we’d include a link to the images here if they weren’t so post-watershed), the calendar mostly featured eroticised images.

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Peter Lindbergh / Pirelli

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Nicole Kidman and Dame Helen appeared in 2017′s calendar wearing minimal make-up

But, as Sinclair points out: “In the last couple of years, there’s been a notable shift in the approach to the calendar. I’d say it’s taken on a more positive tone as they’re now addressing different issues.”

For last year’s publication, some of the world’s top actresses including Dame Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman and Jessica Chastain were photographed wearing minimal make-up and in black and white, giving the calendar a classy, purer and more natural look.

For 2018′s calendar, which is published this week and styled by Vogue’s new editor Edward Enninful, the theme is Alice in Wonderland.

Tim Walker has photographed this year’s models and the calendar features an all-BAME cast including Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg and Lupita Nyong’o.

Franklin says: “Here’s a Pirelli calendar where we can see a range of characters, all of whom are black. How often do you see that? For me that’s really exciting.

“It shows we are beginning to tackle entrenched thinking, you know a mostly white perspective, or women who are posturing to the male gaze. That’s old school.”

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Tim Walker / Pirelli

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L-R: Diddy, Naomi Campbell, Thando Hopa and Whoopi Goldberg

She continues: “As we move forward now, business begins to recognise that diverse perspectives are valuable, exciting, and they have currency. So the last three Pirelli projects have all shown some recognition of that.”

Sinclair points out: “Even with it being an all-black cast, you’ve got so much variation in there.

“You’ve got people like like RuPaul and Diddy, and also this younger generation of talent like Duckie Thot, who is one of the big rising dark-skinned models.”

Earlier this month, Diddy said: “I think Pirelli was smart enough to see the future. This is the future. Black excellence.

“To see us all together and to be standing tall and proud and to be able to be seen as kings and queens and part of an empire, that’s something I want my little girls to see.”

But taking on the subject of diversity could be seen by some as a cynical move, taking on a topical issue to maximise publicity.

“It’s trendy in a sense – there’s the hashtags like #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackExcellence going around at the moment, there’s a real celebration of black culture right now,” Sinclair says.

“So there’s an element of catching on to something that is popular, but is also embracing of something that’s new.”

Analysis by Will Gompetz, BBC Arts Editor

Image copyright
Tim Walker / Pirelli

The Pirelli calendar has always been about two things – the first is glamour, the second is photography.

It has developed in the recent past, away from nude for nude’s sake, to a more considered editorial theme being explored in a more considered way. It points towards a far more visually literate consumer, who is au fait with the aesthetics of Instagram, selfies, and photography as an everyday language.

But also, the way the photographers are selected to make the calendar and the way in which they’re doing so shows a shift away from the hackneyed, 1970s, page three-type approach, to something which is much more visually sensual and less overtly sexual.

But regardless of whether it’s been done to make a political statement or attract column inches (or both) – Franklin says it’s a welcome move.

“The world is moving on. And the voices of women and people of colour are now changing the game and we reject the previous incarnations of what a woman could look like or what someone of a diverse ethnicity could look like, which would be having a marginalised presence in a calendar like this.”

“The question that makes me ask is whether there’s perhaps a more diverse perspective now amongst the controllers, the people who decide if they will employ an Annie Lebowitz or an Edward Enninful.

Media captionNaomi Campbell, speaking earlier this month, features in the calendar

“Because, for these people to get through, they have to get commissioned. So what that might imply is that there is no longer a table of middle-aged white men imposing their perspective on the content of the calendar.”

Sinclair agrees: “The calendar is now about addressing different issues. One of the portraits shot by Annie Lebowitz in 2015 was Amy Schumer, who some might say isn’t necessarily your stereotypical idea of beauty, and they had her sitting down naked. And they really pushed forward what the Pirelli calendar is.”

She adds that it’s a sensible move for Pirelli to have shifted the tone of the calendar in recent years.

“The way the Pirelli calendar was done between the 1980s until recently, this objectification of women, isn’t really something that people would accept going forward, so I think it’s just a smart idea for them to evolve,” she says.

“I think they want to draw in a younger audience who are a lot more conscious, you’d be surprised at how much this Generation Z are really engaged in what’s going on. So I think it’s a smart move to address issues like body image, race and female empowerment.”

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Jack MaynardImage copyright
Jack Maynard YouTube

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Maynard has more than 1.2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel

YouTube star Jack Maynard has apologised for a tweet he posted in 2011 in which he joked about rape.

The Sun reported the tweet, posted when Maynard was 16, said: “If you get me to 1500 followers by tomorrow, I will kiss you… most likely rape you though.”

The newspaper also referred to another tweet from the same year, in which Maynard replied to a fan with the phrase: “I raped her… ha ha.”

Maynard tweeted on Tuesday: “Nothing can justify the language I used.”

Skip Twitter post by @Jack_Maynard23

End of Twitter post by @Jack_Maynard23

He added: “There is no defence – I am truly sorry.”

“If I had just thought for a moment, about how stupid they were, I would never have sent them.

“My childish attitude back then is not a representation of my thoughts and feelings now.

“I was young, naive and stupid – but as I said previously, age is no excuse. My immaturity meant that I didn’t stop for a second to think whether these comments would hurt or harm anyone – something I have learnt is entirely wrong.

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Maynard left ITV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

He continued: “I take full responsibility and regret my mistakes. As an adult, I understand the effect my words have on people, whether I have a big or small platform to speak from. Again, I am so sorry to anyone I have offended or disappointed.”

Last week, Maynard – who recently left I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! when offensive tweets he posted in 2012 emerged – apologised for saying some “pretty disgusting things”.

The tweets, which prompted allegations of racism and homophobia, were published in the Sun newspaper while Maynard, 23, was in Australia.

He said he was “young” and “careless” when he posted them and in an online video, added: “I’ve been really stupid in the past.”

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