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Summary

  1. Album chart to incorporate streaming data
  2. Benefits Street up for major industry award
  3. First image from new James Bond film released
  4. House of Cards 'accidentally' released on US Netflix

Live Reporting

By Mark Savage and Tim Masters

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Auf weidersehen, adieu...

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Sadly, we've run out of time for today - but do come back tomorrow morning, when we'll have news from the London premiere of under-discussed, under-the-radar romantic comedy Fifty Shades of Grey.

Until then, have a great day. And thanks for checking in.

Will spin

Will Smith in BBC Two's Top Gear 'Star in the Reasonably Priced Car'
BBC Worldwide

Will Smith is the "Star in the Reasonably Priced Car" in Top Gear on BBC Two this Sunday.

Smith's latest film is the crime caper Focus, in which he plays a smooth-talking con artist who teaches Margot Robbie's character, Jess, the tricks of his trade. The pair cook up a scam set in the world of motor racing.

Robbie, a former Neighbours star whose Hollywood breakthrough was in The Wolf of Wall Street, also had a spin around the Top Gear track.

Margot Robbie
BBC Worldwide

Kanye's confession

Kanye West
AP

Kanye West has been speaking about his now-infamous stage invasion at Sunday's Grammy Awards.

"Everybody was looking at me, and then people started screaming, 'Kanye! Kanye! Go do it!'" he told Ryan Seacrest.

"OK, that didn't really happen," he added. "These were voices in my head."

"I didn't want to take away from Beck's moment or the time he had to talk... so I just walked back down. It was kind of a joke, like the Grammys themselves."

If you want to read more,

Rolling Stone has compiled the best bits of West's wide-ranging interview.

Take me to the ballet

Sergei Polunin
BBC

A video of "bad-boy" ballet dancer Sergei Polunin dancing to Hozier's Take Me to Church has had more than 1.8 million hits since it was posted online on Monday.

The four-minute film was directed American photographer David La Chapelle.

Polunin was the youngest ever dancer to be made a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, but shocked the ballet world when suddenly quit in 2012.

Writer Alison Pearson is one of many who posted the link to the film on Twitter saying "Ladies, instead of watching Fifty Shades of Taupe, may I suggest this. Wow."

You can watch Polunin dance here.

NME sales drop

The Guardian

Music magazine NME has suffered another decline in circulation, with average weekly sales of just 15,384 in the second half of 2014.

That's a drop of 21% year on year - although the brand continues to be prominent online.

In its heyday, the music weekly sold more than 300,000 copies.

Read the full story.

Neil Patrick Harris - Oscar rehearsals

@ActuallyNPH

Rehearsals are intense for the Oscars. And by rehearsals, I mean me singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror. #Oscars2015 @TheAcademy

Byrne's Meltdown

David Byrne
AP

Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has been chosen to curate this year's Meltdown Festival, an eclectic mix of music and arts at London's South Bank Centre.

The Scottish-born musician said: "This is going to be exciting! I plan to invite performers I've seen - and I do get out - and others I've missed or have dreamed of seeing.

"I really hope to find things that take this beyond sit-down concerts as well - but of course I'm speaking way too early as I'm still working on my wish list."

The festival, which runs from 17-28 August, has previously been curated by Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Jarvis Cocker.

Whirlpool installation

Descension by Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor / Kochi Biennale Foundation

Imagine walking into a gallery where the floor suddenly gives way to a swirling, churning whirlpool.

That's what you will see if you visit the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India.

Anish Kapoor's installation, called Descension, required a week of digging by 50 labourers - and creates a deafening roar as the water churns.

The former Turner Prize winner has posted more photos, and video of the whirlpool in action,

on his website.

Tabby or not tabby?

Kerry Ellis in Cats
Alessandro Pinna

Stage mews now, if you're feline in the mood.

Kerry Ellis, formerly seen in Wicked and Queen musical We Will Rock You, has now joined the cast of Cats, taking on the role of Grizabella following Nicole Scherzinger's departure from the Andrew Lloyd Webber favourite.

Currently booking to 25 April at the London Palladium, the TS Eliot-inspired production has been lapping up applause since 1981 and shows no signs of mange.

If you've got any catty remarks, keep them to yourself.

Bestival line-up

BBC Newsbeat

Radio 1 and 1Xtra

The Chemical Brothers, Underworld and The Jacksons are among the first acts to be announced for this year's Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

Other artists confirmed for the September festival include George The Poet, Slaves, Tame Impala, Roisin Murphy, Duke Dumont and Jurassic 5.

Lily Allen will be doing a DJ set, as will Norman Jay and Mike Skinner of The Streets fame.

Read the story here.

JK Rowling - seal of approval

@jk_rowling

To all asking whether I've seen the @BBC adaptation of #TheCasualVacancy, the answer is yes and I'm thrilled with it!

Pitch Perfect trailer

Pitch Perfect 2
Universal Pictures

Musical comedy Pitch Perfect was a surprise success for Universal Pictures in 2012, making $113 million (£73.5 million) at the box office, against a budget of $17 million.

That all but guaranteed a sequel - and, sure enough, a trailer for the Anna Kendrick vehicle has just popped up on YouTube.

Coincidentally, in the week that Australia joins the Eurovision, there's a joke about Aussie actress Rebel Wilson representing the US in a singing contest.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Advice from Oscar nominees

Variety

What's the best advice you've ever received? Mine was "don't cry over spilt milk" (I'm particularly clumsy at breakfast time).

But you don't want to hear about me. What do famous people have to say? Luckily, Variety has been asking this year's Oscar nominees for their top tips for life.

Watch their responses here.

Fifty Shades of criticism:

BBC Radio 4 Today

Fifty Shades
BBC

Still not decided on whether to watch Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend?

Well, film critics Camilla Long and Tim Robey debated the merits of the adaptation on Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

Robey, who has seen the film was impressed, saying: "It's been made into a fairly slick Hollywood romance."

But Long was disappointed it left out the book's more fanciful elements.

Listen to their discussion.

Roadblock on Immigration Street:

Broadcast

Last month,

Channel 4 confirmed that the controversial documentary series Immigration Street (a follow-up to Benefits Street) would be truncated after local residents disrupted filming.

Now, it transpires that the six-parts have been cut to just one, 60-minute episode.

The documentary, filmed on Southampton's Derby Road, will now air as a single, 60-minute film on 24 February at 22:00 as part of a season of films exploring immigration.

Read the full story.

Rembrandt in Amsterdam

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (l) and Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes (r) in front of Rembrandt self-portrait at the opening of Late Rembrandt exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Rijksmuseum

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (on left in above photo with Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes) has officially opened the Late Rembrandt exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Late Rembrandt is the Rijksmuseum's first ever presentation of a major exhibition dedicated to Rembrandt's late works.

It covers Rembrandt's output between 1651 and his death in 1669, and features more than 100 works - all of which the artist created in Amsterdam.

The exhibition was created in collaboration with London's National Gallery, where it ran from October 2014 to January 2015.

It was seen by more than 260,000 people, making it one of the most popular shows in the gallery's history.

Brosnan blaze:

Variety

Pierce Brosnan
Getty Images

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan's home caught fire late Wednesday night in Malibu.

The fire reportedly started in the garage, according to Los Angeles radio station KABC, and was later extinguished by firefighters.

No injuries were reported.

Read the full story.

Overnight ratings

Comic Relief Bake-Off
BBC

Dame Edna Everage and Joanna Lumley's appearance on

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off drew 6.4 million viewers to BBC One last night.

The celebrity contestants didn't exactly excel at baking - but Dame Edna's self-assured uselessness gave the show its best moments.

"Mary and Paul aren't the only people in the world," she noted after the first round. "If they don't like my biscuit, that doesn't mean it isn't the best."

Coronation Street was the night's most-watched programme, drawing 7.5 million viewers (excluding ITV+1)

The UNCLE from Guy

The Man From Uncle
Warner Bros

The first trailer for Guy Richie's spy caper The Man From U.N.C.L.E is now available for your viewing pleasure.

The movie stars Henry Cavill as CIA agent Napoleon Solo, who is forced to team up with his former KGB enemy - played by Armie Hammer.

Showcasing the glamorous locations and dodgy accents of the 60s TV show, the trailer also features a fight in a toilet cubicle, a speedboat chase and a nasty-looking incident in an electric chair.

Watch the clip on YouTube.

Last call

It's the end of an era for James Last.

The 85-year-old German big band leader (real name Hans Last) has announced that his upcoming European dates will be his... well, last.

The musician's final UK concerts will be at London's Royal Albert Hall on 31 March and 1 April; while his final live date will be on 26 April 2015 in Cologne's Lanxess arena.

Last, who is thought to have sold in excess of 100 million records, said: "The concerts themselves will mark the end of this chapter in my life. The main thing is that my fans have the best concerts of their lives and we will make this our "happiest" concert yet!"

James Last
James Last

According to

Last's website: "His serious illness, which took a life-threatening turn last September, forced him to face the fact he, too, a man full of plans, needs to not just slow down but give up his life on tour altogether."

Late Night nerves

James Corden
AP

The New York Times has a fascinating insight into the preparations for James Corden's debut as a US chat show host.

Granted behind-the-scenes access, journalist Dave Itzkoff finds the creative team torn between ripping up the rule book and meeting audience expectations.

CBS chairwoman Nina Tassler isn't too worried, telling the paper: "A lot of those things are not decided until, oh, very soon before a series airs."

While Corden says the key is confidence: "Nobody wants a host who's begging you to come to their party."

Read the full story on the New York Times.

Will Gompertz on the ENO

@WillGompertzBBC

The ENO is cut from Arts Council England's National Portfolio. That is a big deal, way beyond the naughty corner. Is the fat lady tuning up?

Opera funding

ENO
BBC

The English National Opera (ENO) has been dropped from the Arts Council's national portfolio of organisations for 2015-18 and placed "under special funding arrangements".

The Arts Council England (ACE) said the arrangement would run for two years during which it would review ENO's business models and "set rigorous milestones" to monitor its progress.

The ENO's chairman and executive director

both announced recently they were stepping down.

Last year, ENO had its annual funding cut by 29%, as part of a shake-up of how the Arts Council distributes its money.

Terry Gilliam's Faust at the ENO
BBC

Harry Brunjes, acting chair of ENO, said: "We are very grateful to Arts Council England for awarding ENO £30.5m over two years and thank them for their acknowledgment of our exceptional artistic programme.

"The ENO board will continue to work closely with Arts Council England to inspire confidence in our future plans, the management of the company and the London Coliseum."

Story round-up

Rattle and hum

Sir Simon Rattle
EPA

One of the world's most eminent conductors has told the BBC that London's concert halls are not up to international standards.

Sir Simon Rattle said "the music lovers of London and the country deserve to have something where the orchestras can flourish".

"You have no idea how wonderful an orchestra like the London Symphony Orchestra can sound in a great concert hall."

Sir Simon has three years left on his current contract with the Berlin Philharmonic, and is rumoured to be considering a return to the UK.

Watch the report.

Trainwreck trailer

Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
Universal Pictures

Yesterday, we noted that US comedian Amy Schumer is being talked about as a

potential replacement for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

Well, with impeccable timing, she's just released the trailer for her first ever film - Trainwreck - which she's co-written with Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This is 40).

In the comedy, she plays the titular "trainwreck," a magazine writer who doesn't believe in monogamy - until, guess what? She meets Mr Right - a surgeon whose best friend happens to be basketball legend LeBron James.

The preview is crammed full of jokes, but our favourite moment is when James asks his friend: "Are you watching Downton Abbey later?

"Well, I'm watching it tonight. 'Cos I'm not going to go to practice and all the guys are talking about it and I'm left out."

Watch the trailer here.

Emergency call?

Fifty Shades film
Film company

Fifty Shades of Grey is continuing to whip up headlines ahead of its release.

Firefighters say they are anticipating an increase in call-outs from people being trapped in handcuffs or rings.

Since April London Fire Brigade has attended 393 such incidents. It said people should use "common sense" but always call 999 in a genuine emergency.

Read the full story

Album chart changes

Music streamed on services like Google Play and Spotify will count towards the album chart from next month - and for good reason.

This chart shows how audio streaming has exploded in the UK over the last three years.

Chart illustrating the growth of audio streaming
BBC

But it turns out that those raw figures are hard to convert into data that's meaningful for the charts. Luckily, we had chart company boss Martin Talbot sit down and explain all of the rules to us.

Read what he has to say.

Hawking books reprinted:

The Bookseller

A 15,000-copy reprint of Jane Hawking's memoir Travelling to Infinity has been ordered, following the film version's triumph at the Baftas last Sunday.

The book, which tells of her marriage to Professor Stephen Hawking, was the main source material for The Theory of Everything.

It has already sold close to 17,000 copies in the UK.

Read the full story.

Oscar presenters

Ben Affleck and Jessica Chastain
Getty Images

More presenters have been announced for the Oscars.

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will all be reading awkwardly from an autocue at next week's event.

They join an ever-increasing line-up of stars including Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, David Oyelowo, and Chris Pratt.

John Travolta will also be taking to the stage, a year after introducing Frozen singer Idina Menzel as "Adele Dazeem".

Hotel play

Langham hotel
Langham

Former S Club 7 member Hannah Spearritt and Finty Williams lead the cast of new play The Armour at London's Langham Hotel next month.

Ben Ellis's play was commissioned to mark The Langham's 150th anniversary. Three inter-linked stories set in different centuries will play out in different rooms around the venue.

Spearritt plays the role of Poppy, an international pop-star with "more twitter followers than the population of Venezuela" who is on a comeback tour after a period of self-destruction.

Williams plays Eugenie, the wife of Emperor Napoleon III, who is seeking refuge at the Langham whilst in exile from France in 1871.

Another part of the play is set in 1973 - when the hotel was used by the BBC.

The Armour will run at the hotel from 3 March to 4 April.

Netflix leak

Kevin Spacey leads the cast of House of Cards
Netflix

The third season of House of Cards has been leaked two weeks ahead of its scheduled release.

For 30 minutes on Wednesday afternoon on Netflix, America got a glimpse of life under the iron fist of Francis Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey).

But as news spread the series was pulled quickly. Netflix made light of the leak,

tweeting: "This is Washington. There's always a leak."

Read the full story on Newsbeat. - and drop us a line if you saw any of the series before it was pulled down.

Rudimental remix Ed Sheeran

Rudimental and Ed Sheeran
Emma Lynch / AP

Dance collective Rudimental have given Ed Sheeran's new single the once over.

Blood Stream, which you may recognise from Sheeran's platinum-selling album x, now comes with clattering drum and bass loops and a much heavier sound.

Speaking to MTV about the track before it was released, Sheeran said: "We've just re-done it and it's heavy, it's going to be great. They've re-done it, it's going to be sort of their first single off their new record... It's really good."

Listen to Blood Stream here.

First look at Bond

Daniel Craig as Bond
Eon

And all because the lady loves Milk Tray...

The first footage from the set of new Bond film Spectre has been released, along with a photo of Daniel Craig as 007 in action in the Austrian mountains.

"We have to deliver an amazing sequence and this is going to be one of the major action sequences of the movie," says associate producer Gregg Wilson. "It's going to be spectacular and Austria seemed to offer everything that we needed to pull it off."

The behind the scenes footage also features actors Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista and director Sam Mendes.

Watch the video on the James Bond website

Amy Pascal speaks

Amy Pasacl
Reuters

Six days after stepping down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal has been speaking about the cyber-attack that saw her emails leaked and Hollywood's dirty laundry aired in public.

"There was this horrible moment when I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do about whether I'd hurt people, whether I'd betrayed people," she told the Women in the World conference in San Francisco.

In one email, producer Scott Rudin called Angelina Jolie a "minimally talented spoiled brat" but Pascal insisted the film star "didn't care".

"Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood," she said. "If we were all actually were nice, it wouldn't work."

She also addressed the claims Jennifer Lawrence had been underpaid for her role in American Hustle.

"I've paid [Jennifer] a lot more money since then, I promise you… Here's the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money…Women shouldn't be so grateful. Know what you're worth. Walk away."

Read more from the interview.

Get involved

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Did you manage to see House of Cards during its 30-minute leak? Do you think Benefits Street deserves an award?

Get in touch and let us know your thoughts about those, or any other stories of the day. Tweet

@BBCNewsEnts or email
entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Good morning!

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Hello and welcome to another day of news from the worlds of culture and celebrity. We'll be dissecting Daniel Craig (or a photo of him, at least) and wondering what the changes to the album charts mean.

Any breaking news will be found first on this page, too, so stick around.