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  1. Critics' Circle Theatre winners revealed
  2. BBC 6 Music Festival unveils line-up
  3. New Fantastic Four trailer launched
  4. Demis Roussos funeral announced

Live Reporting

By Sarah Jane Griffiths and Mark Savage

All times stated are UK

Get involved

So long, farewell

Sarah Jane Griffiths

Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Well it's certainly been a day jam-packed with musical announcements, but that is your lot for now. Who knows what will unfold when we return from 8:30 GMT tomorrow? Please join us then.

We'll leave you with the latest acts to make the 6 Music festival lineup: The Charlatans, Jungle and Gruff Rhys have been added to a list that includes Hot Chip, The Fall, Sleater-Kinney, Maximo Park and Neneh Cherry.

More details in our

full story here and 6 Music will be making announcements right through to 21:00 GMT.

Disclosure and Rudimental

via Twitter

Two of the UK's biggest dance acts,

Disclosure and
Rudimental have been teasing a special collaborative announcement of their own (with the hashtag #WL15). The big reveal is imminent, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul

Breaking Bad fans still reeling from the loss of the show now have a date for their 2015 diaries - the first episode of spin-off Better Call Saul arrives on Netflix in the UK on Monday, 9 February.

Unlike most series on the service, binging won't be an option as it's being released in instalments. Episode two will arrive the following day (10 February) with the following episodes then released every Tuesday.

In the US, the show, about Breaking Bad's smooth-talking lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), will premiere on AMC on 8 and 9 February, with the whole season available on Netflix once the season finale has aired on TV.

You can watch the trailer


Strong words

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Mark Strong
Uli weber

More from behind the scenes at today's Critics' Circle Theatre Awards in London.

Best actor winner Mark Strong, who plays MI6 chief Stewart Menzies in The Imitation Game, definitely won't be travelling to the Oscars in February.

The WW2 biopic, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as code-breaker Alan Turing, is up for best picture on 22 February.

Strong, meanwhile, will be starring in the West End transfer of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge which opens a week earlier at Wyndham's theatre.

"I don't know if you get invited if you're cast," he told me, "and frankly I wouldn't want to go unless I'm nominated."

"I wish Benedict all the best, and the guys that made the movie, because I think that film was made with heart - it has important things to say and it's also very entertaining. But the Oscars aren't the be all and end all."

UK box office

American Sniper
Warner Bros

American Sniper has topped the UK and Ireland box office for a second week in a row, in a fairly static week at the cinema.

The highest new entry was sci-fi Ex Machina, at five, while Johnny Depp's Mortdecai limped in at seven, taking just £484,878.

The star has had a bad run recently - but that's likely to change with the sequels to Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean in 2016 and 2017.

Box office top five

  1. American Sniper
  2. Taken 3
  3. The Theory of Everything
  4. Into The Woods
  5. Ex Machina

Source - Rentrak

Hay line-up:

Huw Thomas

Arts correspondent, BBC Wales

Stephen Fry, Jacqueline Wilson and Kazuo Ishiguro
Getty Images / BBC / PA

Stephen Fry, Jacqueline Wilson and Kazuo Ishiguro are among the speakers who will appear at this year's Hay Festival.

The annual festival of literature and the arts takes place in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye from 21 - 31 May this year.

On a previous visit, Bill Clinton referred to the festival as the "Woodstock of the mind".

Tickets to a small number of events have

gone on sale today, ahead of the publication of the full schedule later this year.

Mvula on the big screen

Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula's heading for the big screen, with a global cinema release for a special live performance of her debut album Sing To the Moon.

The singer - who came fourth in BBC's Sound of 2013 - recently re-cut the record with 52-piece Dutch orchestra the Metropole Orkest in Amsterdam.

Her "incredible" experience will be shown at cinemas across the UK, Europe, Latin America and North America on 5 March - you can see

which ones here.

Around the BBC

Here are a few stories being reported around the BBC today:

  • Stone Roses singer Ian Brown
    tells a court his former teacher Fred Talbot showed pupils what he later realised was "probably a gay porn film".
  • Former singer Gary Glitter has started
    at his trial for an alleged string of historical sex offences against young girls.
  • The theft of a six-foot sculpture statue of a Celtic sea god in County Londonderry has
    a missing persons appeal by police.
  • A lost painting by one of the Scottish Colourists
    on the back of another artwork.

Stoppard for dummies:

The Daily Telegraph

Not got tickets to see the new Tom Stoppard play, The Hard Problem, at the National Theatre? No need to worry - Charlotte Runcie has written an (hysterical) guide to creating your own Stoppard masterpiece.

"Let's brainstorm," she says. "What job does your character do?

"That was a rhetorical question. Your character is a gifted academic with a haunted past."

Read the full story here.

Rickman rocks:

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Video for Start a Family
Play It Again Sam / Texas

Have you, like us, always thought that every pop song ever written could be improved by a spoken-word verse from Alan Rickman?

If so, you're in luck - he crops up in the new single by Scottish rockers Texas, Start a Family.

Rickman recites a verse about a crumbling relationship in his best Professor Snape drawl, then briefly breaks into song before handing back to Sharleen Spiteri for the chorus.

The Die Hard star previously appeared in the band's video for

In Demand, giving Spiteri a saucy dance in a petrol station.

Watch the video for Start a Family on Vevo.

Bafta inferno

via Twitter

Joel Ryan tweets: "Bafta masks are created by hand at a west London Foundry ahead of the award ceremony on Feb 8th."

Bafta trophies in the furnace
Joel Ryan

Fantastic Four trailer

Fantastic Four trailer
20th Century Fox

No sooner have we mentioned the rebooted Fantastic Four franchise, than the first trailer pops up online.

It's a sombre affair - with a portentous voice-over promising "there is risk, there is sacrifice and there are consequences". So, just a standard bus journey home, then.

You can watch the full trailer, including Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell as a giant rock creature called The Thing,

on YouTube.

The Fall for 6 Music

The latest addition to the bill for the BBC Radio 6 Music festival are station favourites The Fall.

Ghost Poet and Villagers will both be performing new material at the event next month, with a special collaboration from Mercury Prize nominee Kate Tempest and Eliza Carthy also planned.

See the full the line-up so far


Going Strong

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

A View From the Bridge
Nigel Norrington

Zero Dark Thirty star Mark Strong has been given a best actor award for his first stage role in 12 years.

Strong played Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic - winning praise for the seething intensity of his performance, as the character's world disintegrates around him.

His win came at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, which have just been announced in London.

Click here to read more about the winners.

Glass is fantastic

Avant-garde composer Philip Glass is to write the soundtrack to superhero film Fantastic 4,

reports The Collider.

The musician is better known for his minimalist classical pieces - but has been nominated for three Oscars, for Kundun (1997), The Hours (2002) and Notes on a Scandal (2006).

Director John Trank said Glass signed up after watching his previous movie, Chronicle, and paying a visit to the set.

"He was blown away by the scale of the film. I've been working with him for almost a year now and he's so inspiring," Trank said.

"He's such a humble, amazing guy."

Ann Maguire tribute

Jewels - Royal Ballet
Royal Ballet

Sadler's Wells Theatre will be hosting the inaugural Ann Maguire Gala in March, in honour of the teacher who was stabbed in her Leeds classroom in April last year.

Ann's daughter Emma Maguire is a Royal Ballet soloist and just one of the dance stars who'll perform at the event on 22 March, hosted by Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope.

"My mother was an inspirational teacher for generations of young people in Leeds," said Emma.

"As a family we felt that setting up a charity that continues her dedication to helping young people is what she would have wanted."

Teenage Cancer Trust gigs:

via Twitter

Paul Weller

Line-up announcements are like buses today, with the artists for The Teenage Cancer Trust's gigs at the Royal Albert Hall now

revealed through the magic of Twitter.

Paul Weller, Stereophonics and Van Morrison are among the acts joining Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, who were previously announced for the fundraisers in March.

Johnny Marr, The Who, Wilco Johnson and comedian Kevin Bridges are on the line-up too.

Benedict's apology

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has apologised for "being an idiot" - after he used the term "coloured" during a US television interview.

The Sherlock star had been talking on The Tavis Smiley Show about encouraging greater diversity in British acting.

He says he regrets using the "outmoded terminology" and is "devastated" to have caused any offence.

Here's our

video report on the incident.

X-Men TV series:

The Hollywood Reporter

An X-Men live-action TV series is thought to be in the works.

The team who'll be taking the Marvel comic series and film franchise to the small screen for Fox are reported to include the producers behind 24, Evan Katz and Manny Coto, and Star Trek 3 writing duo Patrick McKay and JD Payne.

Read more about the potential series


Take the Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter fans on a replica Hogwarts Express in 2007
Getty Images

Good news for Potter fans -

The Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros Studios is undergoing a 20,000ft expansion to include the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a complete recreation of the famous Platform 9 ¾.

When it opens on 19 March, visitors will even get the chance to push a luggage trolley through the walls and board the famous express, although it's unlikely you'll end up in Hogsmeade.

According to JK Rowling's

Pottermore website, the origins of the Hogwarts Express have "never been conclusively proven".

However, she writes: "It is a fact that there are secret records at the Ministry of Magic detailing a mass operation involving one hundred and sixty-seven Memory Charms and the largest ever mass Concealment Charm performed in Britain."

Train-spotters may also like to know that the engine used in the films is the

GWR 4900 Class 5972, Olton Hall.

So now you know.

Sleater-Kinney for 6 Music


The announcements keep rolling in for 6 Music's second ever festival - which this year is happening on Tyneside - with Sleater-Kinney's first UK performance in almost ten years just added.

The US (grrrl) band join Maximo Park, Neneh Cherry, Interpol, Jon Hopkins, Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers and The War on Drugs - whose Lost In The Dream claimed 6 Music's album of the year in December.

Hot Chip will also be at the festival which is happening from 20-22 February, performing exclusive new material.

Listen to BBC 6 Music or
follow the station on Twitter as the rest of the line-up is announced between now and 21:00 GMT.

Polar scare

Polar bear on the tube in London

A polar bear has been spotted out and about in London - but it's nothing to do with global warming, it's just a publicity stunt for Sky Atlantic's new "Arctic-noir" series, Fortitude.

The thriller - which stars Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sofie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston and starts on Thursday - is set in a fictional town which is home to 3,000 polar bears for every 713 residents.

19 prop specialists spent two months designing and building the replica bear, whose movements were controlled (from the inside) by two puppeteers from the hit National Theatre play War Horse.

The 8ft-long creature was spotted on London's South Bank and even on the tube - check out

today's Big Picture for more sightings.

Dahl's writing advice:

The Independent

Roald Dahl
Getty Images

When Jay Williams contacted Roald Dahl in 1980, asking for feedback on a short story he'd written for his A-Levels, he didn't expect to get a reply.

Instead, the Fantastic Mr Fox writer typed out a critique, telling him to stop using so many "beastly adjectives".

The author wrote: "Surely it is better to say 'She was a tall girl with a bosom' than 'She was a tall girl with a shapely, prominent bosom', or some such rubbish. The first one says it all. Yours sincerely, Roald Dahl."

Williams, who

posted the letter on Twitter last week, tells The Independent that Dahl's missive taught him "a worthwhile lesson".

Read the full story.

Penn's French film honour

Sean Penn
Getty Images

Sean Penn is officially "living legend" of the cinema - according to organisers of France's answer to the Oscars, the Cesars.

They'll be handing the 54-year-old a special award at their ceremony in Paris next month, two days before the actual Oscars in Los Angeles.

The French Academy of Cinema called Sean - a well-known campaigner on gay marriage and Haiti's earthquake relief effort - a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director", not to mention "a standalone icon in American cinema".

Broadchurch ratings


It looks like Broadchurch fans remain unconvinced by the hit drama's second series - it reached the halfway mark with 5.6 million viewers last night (including figures from ITV+1).

That's the lowest audience yet for the ITV show,

according to Broadcast - however the episode (featuring the return of Pauline Quirke as the sinister Susan Wright) still managed to leapfrog BBC rival Silent Witness, which this week attracted 5.5 million viewers.

Tatou joins jury

Audrey Tautou and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have been summoned for jury service at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

The Amelie actress and Don Draper's designer will help decide which films get the coveted golden and silver bear trophies.

As previously announced, Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky will head the jury, with other panellists including German actor Daniel Bruhl (Rush) and Italian producer Martha De Laurentiis (Hannibal).

The festival line-up is as eclectic as ever. Highlights include Wim Wenders 3D drama Every Thing Will Be Fine, starring James Franco and Charlotte Gainsbourg; Terrence Malick's Hollywood fable Knight of Cups, featuring Natalie Portman and Christian Bale; and Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, which stars Nicole Kidman as British explorer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell.

EastEnders turns spooky

Lucy Beale in EastEnders trailer

It looks like the EastEnders team have been watching a lot of horror movies, as the soap ramps up the suspense ahead of its 30th anniversary week (beginning 16 February), when Lucy Beale's killer will finally be unmasked.

After revealing a clue in a music box during last week's National Television Awards, the soap has now posted a

spooky new trailer online.

It even features the ghost of Lucy. Just don't watch it when you're alone in the house.

More chocolate on tap:

The Stage

Cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Helen Maybanks

West End smash Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is extending its run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

At a time when new musicals are struggling - Made In Dagenham announced it was to close yesterday, despite the star power of Gemma Arterton - the Roald Dahl adaptation has been breaking records.

Producers say the show took more than £1.1 million at the box office over Christmas, when every performance sold out.

Read the full story.

Smith and Petty

Sam Smith

Sam Smith's colossal hit Stay With Me now features a writing credit for Tom Petty.

It's because of similarities to Petty's 1989 hit I Won't Back Down, which Smith's camp called "a complete coincidence" - but "acknowledged" after Petty's publishers got in touch.

You can take a listen to what the two tracks sound like together in

our full story.

6 Music on the Tyne

6 Music festival

We're awash with festival news this morning... But BBC 6 Music have just announced they're bringing their very own event to Tyneside next month.

More than 50 bands and artists will appear, with three days of live music and conversation, "reflecting the spirit of 6 Music", it says here.

War on Drugs are the first act to be announced. More will follow throughout the day.

You can keep track on the

6 Music Festival site, or on Twitter

Taken at Midnight

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Penelope Wilton in Taken at Midnight
Manuel Harlan

Penelope Wilton is back on the West End stage for the first time in five years in a powerful new play, Taken at Midnight.

Wilton plays Irmgard Litten, the mother of a Jewish lawyer, Hans Litten, who cross-examined Hitler in court in 1931 as the Nazis rose to power.

When the new regime used the Reichstag fire in 1933 as an excuse to suspend civil liberties, Litten was among those rounded up and held in a succession of notorious concentration camps.

With a steely determination, Irmgard fights for her son's release against the might of the Nazi regime.

Mark Hayhurst's play, first seen at Chichester last year, opened at London's Theatre Royal, Haymarket last night. It was also the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Speaking afterwards, Wilton said the play chimed with contemporary events such as the rise of the right in Europe and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

"I'm an actress not a politician. But the basic thing is 'lest we forget'," she said.

Seeing the play for the first time was actress Patricia Litten, 60 - Han's niece and the granddaughter of Irmgard.

Speaking tearfully, she said she had been "touched" to see the story told on stage. "It's important to tell this story now and to carry on speaking about people who have been so brave and courageous."

And she hoped that the play might be one day be performed in Germany and that she would like to take on the role of Irmgard.

The play's director Jonathan Church said: "What's felt special about this play is that you see the impact on normal people. This could have been a courtroom drama but instead it chose to look at a mother and her son."

Elton in theatre land

Elton John
Getty Images

The hunt is on to find the next Billy Elliot - as Elton John launches a new theatre production company that will focus on creating original musicals.

The musician and his husband David Furnish have teamed up with Old Vic Productions (co-producers of Billy Elliot the Musical, for which Elton wrote the music) in a £10m joint venture called Rocket Stage,

reports The Stage website.

The company's currently working on five new musicals - one of which is a family show featuring songs from Elton's back catalogue, plus a show with an entirely new score from the Rocket Man himself.

Get involved

We want to know what you think about today's stories so please get in touch with your views. Is there anyone you're hoping to see top a festival bill this year? What movie's do you want rush-released? Tweet @BBCNewsEnts or email

The Great Escape

Singer Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes
Getty Images

Brighton's The Great Escape has announced the first 150 acts who'll be playing the festival in May - in its special 10th anniversary year.

Southern US quartet Alabama Shakes will take to the festival's biggest stage, the Brighton Dome, after playing to just 400 people at the 2012 festival when hype was just building for their debut album Boys & Girls.

The band said they were "very happy" to be heading back, adding: "We had a blast last time. We just finished our new record and very excited to share it with the TGE audience."

Django Django are also in the first wave of acts for the 3-day festival which champions new bands as well as more established acts. Slaves, Dan Bodan, Pretty Vicious and Seinabo Sey are also in the line-up, which you can check out


Mission possible

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 5

We hear about movies being delayed all the time: James Cameron recently put the brakes on his Avatar sequel, while Ron Howard's ocean-going drama In The Heart Of The Sea has been shifted back from March to December.

But blockbusters are rarely moved forward - so it's a surprise to hear that Mission Impossible 5 is going to appear on our screens a whole five months early.

Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner star in the action thriller, while Christopher McQuarrie - of The Usual Suspects - has written the script.

The film has been moved from Christmas to July, 2015 - when it will go up against Warner Bros' remake of Point Break.

Tennant goes to the dark side

- The Hollywood Reporter

David Tennant

David Tennant has signed up to play the villain in upcoming Marvel / Netflix series AKA Jessica Jones.

The 13-part comic book drama stars Krysten Ritter as Jones, whose superhero career comes to a tragic end, forcing her to rebuild her life as a New York detective.

Tennant will play Kilgrave, an enigmatic figure from Jessica's past whose reappearance sends shockwaves through her world.

Read the full story.

Florence returns

Florence Welch

A new Florence and the Machine album is now a dead cert for this year, after the British singer was announced at the top of the bill for the Benicassim Festival in Spain this July.

The long-awaited follow up to 2011's Ceremonials was teased

earlier this month, so UK dates should follow soon.

Florence shares the Benicassim bill with The Prodigy, Bastille, Crystal Fighters and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Check out

Newsbeat's story for more details.

Farewell Demis

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Demis Roussos

A funeral for Greek singing star Demis Roussos will be held on Friday, 30 January in Athens, his manager Denis Vaughan has told the BBC.

"We will miss the amazing Demis, whose singing brought sunshine to the world," Vaughan added.

"He was a legend. He played hard, he worked hard. The world is a less fun place without Demis".

You can read more about the crooner's surprising career - which involved kidnappings and diet books -


Good morning!

Sarah Jane Griffiths

Entertainment reporter, BBC News

We'll be bringing you the latest and greatest stories from the world of entertainment and the arts today, so why not keep this page open on your phone or computer?

We've nearly made it through January so it's probably about time we gave some serious thought to which festivals we'll be attending this year. BBC 6 Music will be announcing the line-up for theirs throughout the day. We'll also have the verdict on Penelope Wilton's new play, Taken at Midnight - and that's just for starters...