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Mum-of-six creates sweet hallway tribute to her kids – for less than £80
'It proves you don’t need to spend lots of money to transform your home.'
7 m
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Coronation Street's Sally Ann Matthews teases more co-stars are involved in Jenny and Johnny stunt
Jenny and Johnny Connor are set to become trapped below the cobbles
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Manchester United players warned 'harsh decisions' are coming after Leicester defeat
Micah Richards criticised Man United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Match of the Day after the 4-2 defeat to Leicester City
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Female directors wait longer than men for their big break, report reveals
A huge equality gap in top jobs and pay has been highlighted between women TV documentary-makers and male colleaguesTelevision documentary teams in Britain today are full of ambitious and capable women but most of them have to wait much longer than their male colleagues to become directors and earn a bigger wage.The findings of the campaigning group We Are Doc Women (WADW), released this weekend, have revealed that gender equality is still a goal, not a reality, in factual programme-making. Continue reading...
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Daniel Craig hilariously crashes James Bond co-star Rami Malek’s Saturday Night Live skit
What a pleasant surprise.
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2 arrested in Athens for protesting Beijing Olympics
Two women attempted to hang a banner from the Acropolis in Athens Sunday morning in protest at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics and were detained by Greek police
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Strictly star Adam Peaty's girlfriend reacts to curse claims after Katya 'kiss'
Strictly Come Dancing fans were in uproar on Saturday night after it looked like Olympian Adam Peaty leaned in to kiss Katya Jones live on TV after their Argentine Tango
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Haiti: Up to 17 American missionaries ‘kidnapped by gang in Port-au-Prince’
US government says it is aware of reports as Christian group sends warning to religious missions
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Government starts takeover of Southeastern trains after £25,000,000 breach
The Department for Transport will now run the trains under the Operator of Last Resort.
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Barcelona reject chance to sign Paul Pogba after Mino Raiola offers Manchester United star
He can agree to leave on January 1st...
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Robert Webb Labels Strictly Come Dancing ‘Brutal’ And ‘Weird’: ‘I Was Almost Weeping As It Is So Intense'
Robert Webb labelled Strictly Come Dancing “brutal” and “weird” just a week before he quit the BBC dance show due to health concerns.On Wednesday, the Peep Show star announced he was withdrawing from the competition.The actor and comedian, who underwent major heart surgery two years ago, said that Strictly “and its demanding schedule” had begun to take their toll on his recovery.Speaking at the Henley Literary Festival last week, Robert opened up about his experience of being on the show. “It is brutal. It is an absolutely weird show,” he said.“It is not like it is an unpleasant environment, but they are long days and it is a long time to be nice.”Robert, who was partnered with Dianne Buswell, admitted that trying to learn the dance moves in such a short space of time often left him on the brink of tears.“Last week I could not get it at all and I was almost weeping as it is so intense,” he said. “It’s like, ‘I have got to do this on Saturday. I am never going to do this bit’. Dianne simplified it for me.”Robert also spoke about the “weirdness” of constantly having cameras around, even during training.“You turn up and there is this reality to it,” he said.“There is always a camera and there is a camera in the rehearsal room. But I trust the people as they are only there to make you look good, but it is a bit weird having this thing of cameras all the time.”In a statement following his Strictly exit, Robert said he had “bitten off more than I could chew”.He said: “I’m extremely sorry to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.“Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery.”Strictly continues on Saturday night at 7pm on BBC One.STRICTLY:Yeah Adam Peaty’s Girlfriend Noticed Him ‘Almost Kissing’ Katya Jones After Their Argentine Tango TooDebbie McGee On Strictly: ‘I Had Messages From Joan Collins And Judi Dench'Strictly's Kai Widdrington Sets The Record Straight After Telling AJ Odudu 'I Love You' Last Week
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It’s the anniversary of my mum’s death – and I’m thinking about space rocks and shell suits
There’ll be more laughs than tears today… as long as you discount tantrums from the three-year-oldMy mother died 30 years ago today. Sometimes I think that number itself shouldn’t mean as much as it does. Days, weeks and years make sense as a way of cohering the sprawling mass of time into something more manageable and I’m happy we have them, otherwise when would I know to put the bins out?I suppose, at the risk of sounding like someone trying to explain why they’ve forgotten their wife’s birthday, there is something arbitrary about anniversaries. To take the love you have for someone, everything they mean to you, and attach that sum total to the implacable movements of giant space rocks, celebrating their connection to you by tallying each indifferent orbit of one planet round an insignificant star. Continue reading...
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What’s the value of a confirmatory PCR test? | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters
A positive lateral flow test, followed by a negative PCR, still means a reasonable chance of Covid-19After a wave of cases in which a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test was followed by a negative PCR test, a private laboratory handling swab tests has been suspended.But conflicting results are not a new problem. Back in June, when secondary school students with a positive LFD were retested with a PCR check, over one in eight came back negative. And even without laboratory problems, it is unclear why a negative PCR should trump a positive LFD. Continue reading...
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Joan Collins: ‘I’m absolutely a feminist but I’ll let somebody carry my bags’
The original vamp on 70 years of showbiz life, having Boris Johnson as a boss and why partying is a dying artDame Joan Collins, 88, was born in Paddington and trained at Rada. She began appearing in films while still in her teens, with more than 70 credits including Our Girl Friday, Land of the Pharaohs, The Virgin Queen, The Stud and The Bitch. During the 80s, she found fame as Alexis Colby in the US soap Dynasty, a role that won her a Golden Globe. In recent years she returned to TV with the likes of The Royals, Benidorm and American Horror Story. Her new memoir, My Unapologetic Diaries, is out now.Did returning to your 90s diaries whisk you back in time?Absolutely. They weren’t written in the usual way. I never put pen to paper. Between 1989 and 2006, I talked into a Dictaphone practically every night when I got home, then put it away and forgot about it for years. When I mentioned these tapes to my agent, he thought it might make an interesting book. Because it was all spoken, people say it feels like they were there.My Unapologetic Diaries by Joan Collins is published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson (£20). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply Continue reading...
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The week in TV: Angela Black; Squid Game; Scenes from a Marriage; Reservation Dogs
ITV’s domestic abuse drama and Sky’s Ingmar Bergman remake fumble their subject matter – but there’s comedy gold from Taika Waititi and we catch up with Netflix’s moreish gore-festAngela Black ITV | ITV HubSquid Game NetflixScenes from a Marriage Sky AtlanticReservation Dogs Disney+I’d been looking forward to Angela Black, the latest from Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing; Liar), starring Joanne Froggatt; leastways, as much as it is possible to “look forward” to a drama about a wife and mother suffering from domestic violence. Here was an opportunity to showcase the pernicious nature of coercive control, which is the death of the soul by thousands of psycho-emotional papercuts, and which doesn’t always involve physical violence (though, confusingly, it also can). Is a primetime ITV thriller the right place for such dark themes? Absolutely: the more publicised the issue, the better. Continue reading...
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Why battles over race and sex now take centre stage at UK drama schools
Britain has long been seen as a crucible of performing excellence, but new issues have come to the fore in our stage schools. Are centuries of stagecraft about to be sacrificed?Dame Eileen Atkins, that great performer, is a forward-thinker. At 87 she remains open to changes in the world around her. Those changes have seen her established as “a grand lady of the British stage”, despite having started out in Tottenham as the tap-dancing “Baby Eileen”. More recently, she has become “an actor”, just like the lads.Yet in her new memoir Will She Do?, Atkins takes a moment, amid the funny theatrical anecdotes, to mourn the loss of training in core acting skills at Britain’s leading drama schools. Aware that she may sound like a fuddy-duddy, she says: “I know the acting style has changed, but I am both sad and ashamed that actors are mic’d now, even in our smallest theatres. When did drama schools stop teaching students how to throw their voice to the back of the stalls and be natural at the same time? It is possible.” Continue reading...
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Priti Patel suggests scrapping anonymity online amid 'relentless' abuse of MPs
The Home Secretary hits out at the "coarsening" of public debate as the UK is left reeling by the brutal killing of MP Sir David Amess
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How Manchester United dressing room reacted to dismal Leicester defeat
Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic spoke out after Man United's 4-2 defeat against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium
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Gambian Toufah Jallow tells of surviving rape by dictator
Toufah Jallow first became popular as Gambia’s scholarship winner in a contest for young women with academic promise
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Priti Patel could remove your right to anonymity on social media
The Home Secretary would not rule out the move in the wake of Sir David Amess' killing.
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Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz heartbroken after their dog Frankie
Brooklyn Beckham and his fiancée Nicola Peltz are mourning the loss of the their beloved pet pooch who passed away over the weekend
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Terror suspect’s family have been left ‘traumatised’ by arrest
The father of the man suspected of killing Sir David Amess said he had been left traumatised by his son’s arrest.
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Trevor Lawrence striving for NFL lift-off in London as winless Jaguars revisit home from home
The No 1 pick this year’s draft, who has struggled through five games this season, will hope to snap the team’s 20-game losing streak against the Miami Dolphins
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Cristiano Ronaldo intervention avoids repeat of Man Utd outburst
Cristiano Ronaldo was left gutted at the full-time whistle against Leicester as he immediately headed straight for the tunnel, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made sure it wasn't a repeat of his Everton gesture
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Melanoma Australia: Meabh Feerick criticises Irish health system over terminal skin cancer care
Terminally ill Meabh Feerick, 25, believes she is 'losing time' after returning to Ireland and its shambolic health system. The mum-of-one says she regrets leaving Australia.
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David Amess killing latest: MPs discuss security arrangements following death
Latest updates on the aftermath of the killing of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess on FridayThe home secretary, Priti Patel, said this morning “we need to close any gaps” in the safety arrangements for MPs (quotes from PA).She said “there are practical measures” being taken around the safety of MPs and politicians, giving as examples “booking appointments in advance, checking the details of the individuals that you are seeing, checking the locations in advance that you are going to, making sure that you are not on your own. I could go on - there are other things, linked to policing and security as well.“There are things already in place but I’m now very much, and Lindsay Hoyle the speaker of the House and I, with the police, and with others as well, we need to close any gaps basically where we feel that you know there are concerns.” Continue reading...
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How Leonard Cohen mined sacred texts for lyrics to his songs
New book reveals extent of the musician’s fascination with scriptures of Judaism and Christianity“She tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne and she cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah...” No one hearing these lyrics from the song Hallelujah could doubt that Leonard Cohen knew how to write and sing about love, sex and desire. But fans of his music could be forgiven for not realising exactly what he was trying to convey about religion and the intricate references he was making to biblical stories, Talmudic legends and the Mishnah, a third-century Jewish text.Now, an analysis of Cohen’s work sets out to reveal how extensively the revered songwriter used both Christian and Jewish stories and imagery to express ideas in his songs. Continue reading...
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Man City player ratings vs Burnley as Bernardo Silva brilliant but Raheem Sterling struggles
Manchester City eased past Burnley without too much fuss but the win was down to two or three good performances
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Saturday Night Live mock Adam Driver’s voice during comedy sketch
‘An actor whose voice sounds like it’s been changed to protect his identity’
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Manchester United player ratings: Harry Maguire struggles and Cristiano Ronaldo frustrated
This is how the Man Utd players rated during their dire weekend defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League.
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Priti Patel outlines potential new safety arrangements for MPs 'We need to close any gaps'
PRITI PATEL has outlined potential new safety arrangements for MPs following the brutal murder of Sir David Amess.
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Everton vs West Ham live stream: How to watch Premier League fixture online and on TV today
Everything you need to know about the top-flight game
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Is Everton vs West Ham on TV today? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Premier League fixture
Everything you need to know about the top-flight game
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Newcastle vs Tottenham live stream: How to watch Premier League fixture online and on TV today
All you need to know ahead of Sunday’s match
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Is Newcastle vs Tottenham on TV today? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Premier League fixture
All you need to know ahead of Sunday’s match
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David Amess murder suspect’s home on celebrity street searched by police after stabbing
Detectives have included Ali Harbi Ali's council flat as one of three properties they are searching as part of the investigation into the brutal killing of Tory MP Sir David Amess
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Thiago Silva slams Edouard Mendy’s Ballon d’Or snub after Man of the Match display for Chelsea
The goalkeeper gave a superb display against Brentford on Saturday.
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Travis Barker joins Young Thug on Saturday Night Live for energetic performance of ‘Tick Tock’
The pair appeared on the third episode of SNL’s 47th season as musical guests
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Countryfile star Julia Bradbury thanks sister for ‘sharing tears’ after mastectomy amid cancer battle
The TV presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer in September.
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As the killers who terrorised their families face execution, relatives disagree on whether that adds up to justice
While some see the death penalty as offering a measure of closure, others have been moved to campaign against the ultimate punishment
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Jurgen Klopp confident there is still more to come from Mohamed Salah
Salah produced his latest dazzling display at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
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Dan Burn bemused that Brighton’s penalty claim was turned down at Norwich
The Seagulls extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches.
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The puzzling marriage of mint and choc
Somehow it works really well, especially at Christmas Mint and chocolate are a curious pairing. One seems so pure and medicinal, the other hedonistic and dissolute. It is a coupling that instantly makes me think of Christmas (69 days to go).Summerdown (behind whom is Sir Michael Colman, formerly of mustard fame) is no stranger to the marriage of mint and chocolate, it does a great range; I particularly love its peppermint fondants. But new to the party are three bars, £3.25/100g, all containing single-origin Colombian cocoa and peppermint oil. There are two 70% bars, one with sugar crystals for a nice minty crunch, and a milk. Continue reading...
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Elizabeth Strout: ‘I’ve thought about death every day since I was 10'
The novelist took the slow road to success but is now a Pulitzer-winner and a bestseller. As she returns to her much-loved creation Lucy Barton, she discusses childhood, loneliness – and perseveranceThree years ago, Elizabeth Strout was in New York sitting in on rehearsals for the stage version of her novel My Name Is Lucy Barton (a show that came to the Bridge theatre in London, directed by Richard Eyre) and was watching Laura Linney, an actor for whom she has the fondest regard, inch her way into the part. Linney stepped into the rehearsal space, pushed her spectacles on to the top of her head and started to murmur something about her character’s ex-husband – William. Strout, overhearing, exclaimed: “Oh William!” It was as if Linney had given her permission: she would write another Lucy Barton novel because William deserved a story of his own. Oh William! became the title of her new book and it has all the familiar pleasures of her writing: the clean prose, the slow reveals, the wisdom – what Hilary Mantel once described as “an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue” – the qualities that led to Strout winning the Pulitzer for fiction. But did she ever find out what was in Linney’s mind? “Laura has no memory of the moment at all, she was in her zone, doing whatever she was doing,” she laughs.She is talking on Zoom – and as women of more or less the same age (she is 65), we find ourselves bonding instantly, commenting on our lame reflexes with technology, marvelling that we are able to talk at what seems an arm’s stretch and with the Atlantic between us. We confess to a dislike at having to look at ourselves on screen and reassure each other we look fine. Strout is sitting in what I guess to be her study, with pale yellow walls, books and paintings – a calm, civilised room. It feels absurdly easy to talk to her, as if we were catching up after a long gap. Continue reading...
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I rejoiced in Blair’s triumph in ’97. Will I ever get the chance to cheer again? | Will Hutton
A TV series reminds us of Labour glories past. But polls suggest history may not repeat itselfThat first Saturday of May 1997 after New Labour’s stunning election victory and after we’d seen the second edition of the Observer off-stone – “Goodbye xenophobia” ran the huge, now sadly doleful headline – we took to the courtyard of a local pub for a celebratory drink. We shared the same ache for change as our readers, and Tony Blair’s top pollster Philip Gould, along with an eclectic bunch of new cabinet ministers, showed up to celebrate with us. It was a joyous moment. But the open question, prompted by watching the riveting if flawed BBC Two documentary series Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution, is whether any of us will ever experience it again. Do we live in a de facto, one-party state under “King” Johnson? Continue reading...
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The Storyteller by Dave Grohl – a Foo Fighter pulls his punches
The pre-fame years of the stadium rocker take precedence over tensions in Nirvana in a family-friendly but lively collection of vignettesIf you are curious about Dave Grohl, drummer from “tragic grunge poster boys” Nirvana, whose Nevermind album has just turned 30, The Storyteller might not be the memoir for you. The band’s legacy remains overshadowed by the 1994 suicide of singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain. Were they so inclined, Nirvana’s surviving members – Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic – could rehash the most painful time of their musical lives in perpetuity, such is the insatiable appetite for Cobain-themed rock’n’roll rubbernecking.There’s relatively little here about all that. Cobain’s death was preceded by disenchantment, heroin addiction and a tempestuous marriage to Courtney Love. Grohl deals with the addiction factually and sadly, and steers round the latter entirely. In 2014 Grohl, Novoselic and Love ended years of suits and counter-suits over the rights to Nirvana’s music with a very public show of solidarity. It seems obvious that Grohl would not want to tear open cauterised wounds. He also has three daughters who will in all likelihood read this; the book feels like an intentionally PG take on what could be a much rowdier, more hair-raising tale. “Some day I’ll have to tell you the rest,” he writes in the acknowledgments. But it sounds like that might be over coffee – Grohl loves coffee, to the point of nearly having a heart attack – with his publisher rather than inside a dust jacket. Continue reading...
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Dance Umbrella: Extra Time; Nowhere review – a game of two halves
Bell Square, Hounslow; available onlineDance Umbrella’s football-themed piece fails to score, but Dimitris Papaioannou’s 2009 work saves the dayNever let it be said that dance doesn’t broaden your horizons. Last week it took me to Hounslow in west London, where I sat outside a pleasant pub called the Bell in Bell Square and watched one of Dance Umbrella’s live events.Founded in 1978, Dance Umbrella used to be a must-see festival for those interested in the cutting edge of dance, introducing eager audiences to works by choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Michael Clark. More recently, it has focused on site-specific works and dance inclusivity.Nowhere is available online until 24 October Continue reading...
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Shannon Lay: Geist review – quietly elegant songs with hidden depths
(Sub Pop)Contemplative and full of subtle touches – and a Syd Barrett cover – the LA singer-songwriter’s fifth album dives deepA veteran of in-your-face garage rock bands – LA’s Feels, Ty Segall’s Freedom Band – Shannon Lay solo has done a full 180 from her previous sonic incarnations. Lay garnered rapt attention for August, her hushed folk album of 2019. With Geist, her fifth overall, she has returned with a set of songs even more assured and contemplative.This is no mere indie-folk musician foregrounding a stripped-back aesthetic. Lay’s voice may often be sun-dazzled and multitracked, but it is also confident, privileging harmonics and atmosphere over DIY spit and sawdust. The instrumentation swirling around her is both lush and reserved, with countermelodies and subtle organ rubbing up against Lay’s finger-picking on the standout single Rare to Wake. The liner notes credit the keyboard player as a “dimension revealer”. Likewise, the more these quietly elegant songs play out, the more intricacies they reveal. Continue reading...
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