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  1. Jeremy Clarkson alludes to BBC 'sacking'
  2. Verdict reached in 'stolen Picassos' trial
  3. Anne Kirkbride memorial date confirmed

Live Reporting

By Victoria Lindrea

All times stated are UK

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Happy Friday:

Victoria Lindrea

Arts and entertainment reporter

Culture 24 - happy list
National Museum of Scotland/Museum of London

In celebration of International Day of Happiness, those merry folk at the Culture 24 website have put together

10 UK museum and gallery objects to make you smile.

Which seems a positive note to leave on.

Thanks for reading and remember to come back on Monday, when we will bring you all the arts and entertainment news from across the weekend and lots more besides.

The End is Nigh:

Entertainment Weekly

Sci-fi epic Interstellar was meant to have a different, less happy ending, the film's writer has revealed.

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Interstellar
Film company

Jonathan Nolan - brother of director Christopher - detailed the screenplay's original ending at an event in California ahead of the film's Blu-ray release.

Many had a problem with the way Nolan sacrifices scientific accuracy for an emotional conclusion in the film's featured ending

If you want to find out more,

read the article.

No more New Directions

Glee stars Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer
Getty Images

Don't stop believing, the cast of Glee kept telling us. But there'll be no more Glee to believe in after Friday, when the musical high school TV series draws the curtain on its six-year run.

The sixth and final season comes to a close in the US later with a two-hour send-off that will feature a tribute to Cory Monteith, the original cast member who died in 2013.

At its height Glee was a cultural phenomenon, spawning a concert tour, a film and more than 200 entries on the Billboard Hot 100.

"It was really this generation's game-changer," actress Lea Michele - pictured above with co-stars Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer -

told the Los Angeles Times this week.

"What it did for kids, opening up dialogues between them and their parents, as well as bringing attention to arts education was so unbelievable."

Yet audience interest started to wane when the show's core cast members graduated from McKinley High and moved away, leading broadcaster Fox to confirm

it was pulling the plug.

If you're an ex-Gleek who has tuned elsewhere of late, Billboard have put together

a Top 10 of this season's best performances.

And if you're a fan who never lost the faith, here's a flashback to

how it all began.

Yorkshire tribute to Caro

Anthony Caro: Paper Sculpture No.24 Rendering
Steven Sloman

Four key arts organisations in Yorkshire - the Henry Moore Institute, the Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park - will celebrate the career of sculptor Sir Anthony Caro with a summer programme of exhibitions and events.

Developed in collaboration with the late artist's family and studio, the programme will showcase more than 80 works spanning 60 years of Caro's career, from figurative studies on paper to large-scale sculptures.

A selection of Last Sculptures, created shortly before the artist's death in 2013, will also make their UK debut.

The exhibition runs from 18 July to 1 November.

Kermode and Mayo with Sir Ken


5 live presenters Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo chatted to Sir Kenneth Branagh about his new film Cinderella, ahead of their weekly film show.

During the interview, Branagh revealed he was "very, very hopeful" that a film version of his recent theatre production of Macbeth would be made with Martin Scorsese at the helm.

Here's a picture Mark and Simon have tweeted under the heading "

"Sir Ken with his one-finger surprise."."

Kermode and Mayo with Sir Kenneth Branagh

Anne Kirkbride memorial

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

A memorial service for Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow, will take place on 30 May at Manchester Cathedral.

Anne Kirkbride

Kirkbride died in January following a short illness at the age of 60.

"Cast and crew will celebrate Anne's life, alongside her family and members of the public who would like to pay their respects to the actress who brought so much joy into everyone's lives as Deirdre Barlow," said her family and the show's producers

in a statement on Friday.

Cast members William Roache (Ken Barlow) and Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald) will be among the actors attending the service, which will take place from 11:30 BST.

Taxing times for Cheryl

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Labour supporter Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is considering turning her back on the party because of its proposed mansion tax.

"I feel like a greater responsibility now to vote for who runs our country,"

she told the Telegraph.

"I've always been Labour all my life but I want to hear what they've got to say for myself."

The X Factor judge and former Girls Aloud member bemoaned the fact that she paid "a lot of [expletive] tax".

"I know there are people out there who think, 'Oh yeah, someone with money telling us that money doesn't matter', but the truth is I've experienced both," she said.

"There are big downsides that come with having money. As many as with not having money.

"I mean, they're different types of stresses, but they're both stresses."

We'd love to know what you think of Cheryl's thoughts on how to make a better society, if only for herself. Tweet

@BBCNewsEnts or email us at

Hop to it

Russell Simmons
Getty Images

Music producer Russell Simmons has announced plans for a new stage musical that will celebrate three generations of hip-hop, from Run DMC to Kanye West.

The co-founder of Def Jam Recordings described his forthcoming musical, The Scenario, as "a celebration of hip-hop".

"People will sing along and leave happy," said Simmons. "So many of these songs will reach everybody in the audience. That almost never happens.

"You can't help but mention that it did more to integrate America than any other pop cultural phenomenon," he added.

Simmons stressed there was no comparison between the new musical and Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Tupac Shakur musical that closed last year after less than two months.

Carr does Madonna

Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Channel 4

Alan Carr: Chatty Man returns to Channel 4 this evening, with Carr recreating Madonna's now infamous tumble at the Brits.

In Friday night's episode, he is joined by The Voice judges, actor Antonio Banderas, Steph and Dom from Gogglebox, plus music from Ella Henderson.

Stalin comedy:

The Hollywood Reporter

Armando Iannucci
Getty Images

Comedian Armando Iannucci is writing a film about the death of Russian dictator Stalin.

The British satirist behind the hit US series Veep, and its British forerunner The Thick of It, told an audience at the British Film Institute the "sort of comedy" was still in the planning stages.

Iannucci - who directed and co-wrote 2009's political comedy In the Loop - is currently putting final touches to the fourth season of Veep, which is due to air in the US on 12 April.

They did go to the ball

Lily James and Richard Madden at the Cinderella exhibition

The stars of Disney's new Cinderella film have paid a visit to an exhibition of costumes and props from Sir Kenneth Branagh's upcoming fantasy.

The exhibition, housed in a tent in the middle of London's Leicester Square, features more than 20 of the gowns Sandy Powell designed for the film, as well as Cinders' famous glass slipper.

Lily James and Richard Madden joined Sir Kenneth and other stars from the film on Friday, one day on from Cinderella's London premiere.

Tickets to see the display are free but

must be booked in advance.

Meerkats at the movies

meerkats (generic)

Meerkats are taking over the movies.

A certain insurance comparison website, famous for its cuddly Russian mascots, has taken over the popular 'Orange Wednesdays' cinema deal dropped by EE last month.

From 3 April, the re-named Meerkat Movies will allow comparethemarket's five million customers access to two-for-one cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Customers will enjoy a year's access to the sceme in exchange for purchasing a product via the website.

Simples, as Aleksandr might say.

Read the full story.

Journalists cleared

Four journalists from The Sun have been cleared of paying public officials for stories.

Ex-chief reporter John Kay and former royal editor Duncan Larcombe were cleared of wrongdoing over their contact with two military sources following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Former deputy editors Fergus Shanahan and Geoff Webster were also found not guilty over allegations they signed off payments.

Read the full story.

No tanks

Abbott self-propelling gun

We have been reliably informed that the military vehicle that delivered the Jeremy Clarkson petition to New Broadcasting House was not in fact a tank, but an Abbott self-propelled gun.

We'd like to tank the individual who brought this oversight to our attention.

Watch the petition being delivered earlier.

Game face:


Scene from Pixels
Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures has revealed that the trailer for Adam Sandler's latest film, Pixels, has generated 34.3 million views in its first 24 hours online.

Sandler plays a former arcade gaming champ who must save Earth from an invasion of aliens portrayed as giant versions of classic videogame characters, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

Directed by Christopher Columbus, of Home Alone and Harry Potter fame, the film is out this summer.

Watch the trailer.

Think tank

Tank stunt at Broadcasting House

A petition calling for the reinstatement of suspended Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been delivered to New Broadcasting House.

The petition was delivered by a man dressed as "The Stig" who arrived at the BBC's London HQ in a tank bearing the words "Bring Back Clarkson".

The campaign was masterminded by political blogger Guido Fawkes and now has more than a million signatories.

Public transport is also an option if you wish to visit.

Mystery author

Jane Austin sign
Madelaine Smith

It seems Hampshire County Council are in need of a spell-check button.

The name of one of English literature's most famous figures has been spelt incorrectly on a road sign directing people to the writer's former house.

Eagle-eyed visitors to the Jane Austen's House Museum saw the author's name had been misspelt "Austin".

"It is one of those names you shouldn't spell wrong," said Madelaine Smith, who works at the museum.

Visitors expecting a certain International Man of Mystery are sure to be disappointed.

Read the full story.

Designer theatre

Stephen Wight and Alexander McQueen, pictured in 2005

Following the launch of the V&A's

blockbuster Alexander McQueen exhibition, a new play is set to offer further insight into the life and work of the late British fashion designer.

Set on a single night in London, McQueen is billed as "a journey into [his] visionary imagination and dark dream world" and will see Bluestone 42 actor Stephen Wight (left) in the title role.

Dianna Agron, from US show Glee, will co-star as Dahlia, a devoted fan who breaks into the designer's house to steal a dress and ends up spending a night on the town with her idol.

Dianna Agron and Tracy-Ann Oberman

Tracy-Ann Oberman will play magazine editor Isabella Blow in James Phillips' play, which will have its world premiere in May

at London's St James theatre.

Read the full story.

Clarkson's last lap?

Jeremy Clarkson

Suspended Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson alluded to being "sacked" by the BBC at a charity dinner on Thursday.

The 54-year-old presenter was auctioning what he described as his "last lap" on the motoring show's race track.

"I didn't foresee my sacking, but I would like to do one last lap," he said at the Roundhouse in north London.

"And I'll drive somebody around in whatever I can get hold of," he added. "I'm sacked so it's probably an Austin Maestro."

An investigation into Clarkson's "fracas" with a Top Gear producer is still ongoing.

Read the full story.

Go, West

Kanye West
Jonathan Brady/PA

A petition to drop Kanye West from the Glastonbury Festival line-up "and get a rock band" has amassed more than 82,000 signatures in three days.

"Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world," reads the


"We spend hundreds of pounds to attend Glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment.

"Let's prevent this musical injustice now!"

West is scheduled to headline the 2015 festival on 27 June.

Ford to narrate aviation film

Harrison Ford

Having been stretchered away largely unscathed when his

small plane crash-landed on a golf course earlier this month, Harrison Ford is to lend his sonorous tones to a new documentary about the history of aviation.

National Geographic has announced the 72-year-old will narrate Living in the Age of Airplanes, "an immersive giant screen film experience" that will be shown on Imax screens from 10 April.

Oscar-winning composer James Horner will write the score for the film, which will have its premiere at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC two days before its US release.

A keen flyer, Indiana Jones star Ford has owned and piloted airplanes and helicopters since the 1990s.

Smile, please

The Musee d'Orsay, Parisian home to many of the world's most famous Impressionist art works, has lifted its no-photos policy after France's culture minister took a picture in the museum and

posted it on her Instagram feed.

Fleur Pellerin/Musee d'Orsay

Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin took a picture of a canvas by artist Pierre Bonnard, whose paintings are currently being exhibited in the museum.

The posting prompted an outcry on the internet, with some claiming it was one rule for the general public and another for government officials.

The museum dropped its ban - which came into place in 2009 - on Wednesday.

Its policy is now in line with most major museums, which allow visitors to take photos as long as the flash is not used.

So-called "selfie sticks" remain forbidden.

'Frozen in litigation':

BBC Newsbeat

Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams has insisted he did not copy Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up to create the 2013 song Blurred Lines.

Williams said there was "no infringement" in his first interview since a US court ruled that he and Robin Thicke must pay $7.3m (£4.8m) in damages to Gaye's family.

"If we lose our freedom to be inspired, we're going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation," said the Happy singer.

"This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas."

Read the full story.

Picasso prison sentence:

Hugh Schofield

BBC News, Paris

Pierre Le Guennec, with his wife Danielle

An electrician who worked for Pablo Picasso and stole 271 artworks from him has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

The court ordered the paintings, sketches and collages - worth tens of millions of euros - to be handed over to Picasso's heirs.

Pierre Le Guennec, now in his seventies, said the collection - which he kept hidden at his home in Grasse, France - was a gift from Picasso's last wife, Jacqueline.

In 2010 he took them to Paris to be authenticated by Picasso's son, who alerted the authorities.

Read the full story.

Music man

Getty Images

It's been claimed that if Prince was to die tomorrow, he has so much unreleased music he could release an album a year for the next 100 years.

So just how much unheard material does the Purple Rain star actually have in his legendary Minneapolis vault?

The BBC's Mobeen Azhar has been trying to find out with the help of some of the enigmatic performer's many collaborators.

Read the full article.

Quiz-ard master

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe will host the opening episode of the new series of Have I Got News for You.

The Harry Potter star will present the BBC current affairs quiz show on 10 April.

Earlier this week, it was reported that suspended Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has also been invited to present a show during the course of the upcoming series.

"The BBC has not told me what to do yet," Jimmy Mulville, from production company Hat Trick,

said on Tuesday. "It will be an interesting conversation."

The BBC declined to comment.

Fraggle film:


Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Getty Images

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is to produce and star in a live-action version of Fraggle Rock on the big screen.

The musical puppet series, created by the late Jim Henson, has been in the works for nearly a decade.

Inception star Gordon-Levitt will collaborate with Henson's daughter Lisa on the project.

"Jim Henson's characters make you laugh and sing, but they're also layered, surprising and wise," said the Dark Knight Rises actor.

"From Oscar the Grouch to Yoda to the Fraggles, I've never stopped loving his work."

Gordon-Levitt will be seen later this year as Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's film about the intelligence-leaking whistle-blower.

Read the full story.

New direction?

One Direction

Bookmakers Coral have slashed the odds that One Direction will split up this year after Zayn Malik (middle) temporarily quit the band's tour of Asia.

Coral said they had witnessed a flood of bets on the five-piece calling it a day, slashing the odds from 6-1 to 3-1.

"The latest scandal surrounding Zayn has sent the betting into meltdown and the odds on the group going in different directions have been cut in half," a spokeswoman said.

Read more on this story.

Don't lose your head

Gemma Arterton

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton has been speaking to BBC News about her role in black comedy horror The Voices, part of which sees her play a disembodied speaking head.

"It's a bizarre and twisted tale," admits Arterton. "I was so desperate to do it, it's something quite different for me."

Ryan Reynolds plays the lead role in the film, a seemingly ordinary Joe who is in reality a serial killer. (He also thinks his pets are talking to him.)

"No one says Ryan Reynolds when you're bringing up the names of actors to play serial killers," says director Marjane Satrapi.

"He really had to convince me to do it, but when we met, his thoughts on the movie completely corresponded with mine."

Read the full article.

In the pink

Cbeebies: Clangers

Seventies favourites The Clangers made their return to children's TV on Thursday, as part of CBeebies' Stargazing show.

Everybody's favourite knitted space rodents showed how to safely watch a solar eclipse... complete with special Clanger-style eclipse glasses.

Now all we need is the Soup Dragon. The whistling knit-wits return to CBeebies later this year.

Watch and learn.

Vote Dame Judi

Dame Judi Dench
Getty Images

Dame Judi Dench has joined the cast of an innovative new stage play set in a fictional polling station on the night of this year's UK general election.

The Vote will make theatrical history when it is broadcast live on TV as polls close for real on 7 May.

Its ensemble cast, which consists of about 50 actors, includes Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate and Timothy West.

Read the full story.

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Neil Smith

Arts reporter

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That Friday feeling:

Victoria Lindrea

Arts and entertainment reporter

Good morning! Welcome to Friday's live page, bringing you the best of today's arts and entertainment news in bite-sized form. And you don't even need to wear special glasses...