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Summary

  1. Musicals lead Olivier award nominations
  2. More reaction to UK Eurovision song
  3. Latest on Comic Relief Red Nose Day

Live Reporting

By Genevieve Hassan and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all folks!

Genevieve Hassan

Entertainment reporter

Our time is up. Thanks for joining us today, but be sure to return tomorrow for the latest news and updates in the world of arts and entertainment.

In honour of Eurovision, we bid you farewell with a simple au revoir, auf wiedersehen and ciao. Adios amigos!

UK Eurovision entry - Your views

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

We dare say Electro Velvet's song is starting to grow on some of you, as reaction coming in has swung in a more positive direction.

  • Louise Beattie emails: "I think the song is great! What a change from the usual churned out rubbish. Very up to the minute - lots of swing type bars popping up! Surprised there has been such a negative response."
  • Will Drake tweets: "I love this year's song! It's going to stand out a lot from all the slow ballads that are in it this year!"
  • Amanda Worf: "I have to say I like it! It's catchy and I love the 20's spin on it. It's also fun like it should be!"
  • Jenny: "I listened to it. We might as well bring back Scooch."

Sisters are doing it

Sunday was International Women's Day and millions of people around the world marked the occasion. A number of celebrities also took part in a number of events including:

Emma Watson
PA
Femme Fierce street art festival
Presser
  • All-female street art festival Femme Fierce featured more then 150 artists - including Greece's Simoni Fontana and France's Ashes57 - who took over London's Leake Street tunnel.
Paul Bettany and AnnaLynne McCord
Getty Images
  • Actors Paul Bettany and AnnaLynne McCord attended a march in New York.
Gemma Arterton, Paloma Faith and Laura Pankhurst
PA
  • Gemma Arterton, Paloma Faith and Annie Lennox took part in the Walk in Her Shoes march in London with Laura Pankhurst, the great-great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
Lupita Nyong'o
Twitter
  • A number of celebrities, including Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Lupita Nyong'o, replaced their usual pictures on their social media accounts with the logo for campaign
    Not-There.org, symbolising the need for gender equality.

Muggles play Quidditch

Quidditch tournament
University of Nottingham

Hundreds of players have competed in the UK's biggest ever Quidditch tournament, the fictional sport portrayed in the Harry Potter books.

Twenty-three teams competed in this year's British Quidditch Cup, held at Wollaton Hall and Park in Nottingham - which happened to double as Wayne Manor in 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

In case you were wondering, the players don't fly around - though they do run with broomsticks between their legs.

Read more on this story.

Olivier Awards analysis

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

Tamsin Greig
Presser

Commenting on the Olivier nominations list, theatre industry expert

Terri Paddock told me it was indicative of a "very strong" year for new musicals.

"I'm sure Made in Dagenham and Urinetown will feel a bit snubbed," he said. "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown gets recognised for its performances for Tamsin Greig (pictured) and Haydn Gwynne but doesn't get a look-in for new musical.

"There have been so many new musicals in London in this past year, it's difficult to fit them all into the shortlist where they rightly belong."

Hanks really likes Carly

Tom Hanks in the video for I Really Really Like You
Interscope Records
Tom Hanks in the video for I Really Really Like You
Interscope Records

Yes, that's actually Tom Hanks, lip-syncing to Carly Rae Jepsen's new single, the irritatingly catchy I Really, Really Like You.

The unlikely collaboration came about when Jepsen met Hanks at the wedding of Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun.

"Scooter was telling the story [of the video] to Tom over dinner, and Tom apparently said 'Why not me? Why didn't you ask me?'"

The Castaway star then handed over his phone number and said: "Call me, maybe?" (Okay, so we made that bit up.)

You can see the video, which also features a cameo from Bieber,

on YouTube.

The writing's on the wall

Still from the NPG's behind-the-scenes video
National Portrait Gallery

Ever wondered how a major gallery exhibition is put together? You've come to the right place.

The National Portrait Gallery in Washington has been filming behind the scenes as it hangs a retrospective of Elaine de Kooning's portraits.

The paintings feature such well-known Americans as poets Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg, critic Harold Rosenberg, choreographer Merce Cunningham and painters Willem de Kooning and Fairfield Porter.

But we're more interested in the woman whose job it is to stencil the blurb on the walls. She must surely have the steadiest hand in the world.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Ian McMillan's pick of the pops

@IMcMillan

Ian McMillan
BBC

"

Excited about Composer of the Week this week on @BBCRadio3: Five women composers under 35, one each day; new music at prime time!"

'Excited and relieved'

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

James McAvoy and Lesley Manville
Getty Images

James McAvoy, who announced

today's Olivier nominations alongside Lesley Manville, said he was "dead excited" to be nominated for best actor for The Ruling Class.

"I'm also relieved," he told me. "Reading out a list of names in a year I was under consideration would have been a bit embarrassing if I wasn't on it!"

McAvoy's fellow nominees are Tim Pigott-Smith (King Charles III), The Hobbit star Richard Armitage (The Crucible) and Mark Strong (A View from the Bridge).

"I'm up against the king of England, the king of the dwarves and Mark - the strongest man in [actors union] Equity!" he joked.

McAvoy also said it was a priority for the theatre industry to nurture new audiences. "The most important thing in any industry is to look for your new market - and that means new audiences. It is something theatre has to do.

"Non-subsidised theatre sometimes has very expensive tickets. Those audiences are going to dry up in a couple of decades - maybe even sooner - if we don't start reaching out.

"And that doesn't mean just putting on plays that have got rap songs in them."

Creative Sparks

FFS
Record Label

Franz Ferdinand have never made a secret of their admiration for 1970s pop oddballs Sparks.

So the fact they're collaborating isn't entirely a surprise. (Presumably, this town is big enough for the both of them.)

They've spliced their DNA to form a new entity called FFS which, we're assuming, stands for Franz Ferdinand Sparks.

According to XFM, the group are currently in the studio with producer John Congleton and will play at the Benicassim festival in Spain later this year.

In the meantime, they've posted a miniscule snippet of their collaboration

on YouTube.

Neil Patrick Harris on The Audience

@ActuallyNPH

Neil Patrick Harris
Getty Images

"

Just saw The Audience on Broadway. All hail Helen Mirren! Phenomenal! Reignited my love for the theatre. #masterclass #bravo."

Poison Penn?

Sean Penn
Reuters

Sean Penn has lambasted the "flagrant stupidity" of those who criticised his reference to the ethnicity of Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu at the Oscars last month.

The actor made a controversial quip - "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?" - as he declared Birdman the winner of the best picture award at the end of the ceremony.

"I have absolutely no apologies," Penn said on Saturday. "In fact, I have a big [expletive] you for anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony."

What's the definition of irony? Like an iron. The next Oscars host can have that one for free.

Read more on this story.

Return of the Mac:

The Independent

Annie Mac
BBC

Tonight, at 19:00 GMT, the faders open on Annie Mac's first Evening Session for Radio 1.

She replaces Zane Lowe, who's off to work at iTunes Radio after a decade in the hot seat.

The DJ says her mission is to "represent the landscape of new music honestly" - even if that means playing Madonna, whose current single was omitted from Radio 1's playlist.

"I'm a lifelong Madonna fan and I played her on my Friday show. She was produced by Diplo, who is one of the biggest artists on my show. If I'm excited by a song, then I think it's going to be all right to play it."

Read the full interview.

Dame Helen rules Broadway

Judith Ivey, Helen Mirren and Dakin Matthews
Getty Images

Dame Helen Mirren has received warm reviews for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the Broadway transfer of The Audience.

The New York Times described the actress as "smashing", the Huffington Post called her "marvellous" and the New York Post said she was "absolutely terrific".

Read more on this story.

Happy 451st birthday

Rufus Wainwright
Getty Images

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is to mark the 451st anniversary of Shakespeare's birth with a special concert featuring music written for some of its many productions.

Music by George Fenton, Guy Woolfenden, Leslie Bridgewater and Paul Englishby will be included in the programme, as will a setting of Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 by Rufus Wainwright (pictured).

The winning entry from the RSC's current Shakespeare's Birthday Song Competition will get its first public performance at the event, to take place on 26 April in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It's all part of a weekend of events at the RSC's home to celebrate the Bard's birthday. After all, you're only 451 once.

UK Eurovision entry - Your views

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

Electro Velvet have welcomed criticism of their Eurovision entry, Still in Love With You.

"I like the fact it divides opinion. It's better than everyone having apathy for it," singer Alex Larke told the BBC.

Divide opinion it does. Here are some more of your thoughts on the track:

  • Dimi tweets: "I don't actually think it's that bad, it's got a ring to it. Strictly goes Eurovision."
  • Phillip Greenan: "Why have we not seen them sing live yet? You know, it's kind of essential. Awful song by the way."
  • TomTom: "We'll be lucky to get any votes. So embarrassing."
  • John Lucas: "Y'know who else divided opinion? Daz Sampson."
  • Gabriel Butler emails: "This song is BRILLIANT... at last some REAL music... but winning Eurovision is irrelevant."

Read more on Electro Velvet defending their song.

Mirth with Morph

Morph
Comic Relief/YouTube

Beloved cartoon character Morph has become the latest celebrity to join the Comic Relief fundraising drive, releasing a special short for Red Nose Day.

The minute-and-a-bit skit sees Morph tormented by his mischievous pal Chas, who takes a novel approach to this year's charity slogan: "Make your face funny for money."

Watch the full short on YouTube.

Sleeping beauty

Some people can sleep through anything. Case in point? A roadie working on Jessie J's tour in Jakarta who managed to take a nap during one of her shows.

The singer

posted this picture on Instagram of the snoozing chap, whom she saw after she ran off stage for a costume change.

"I look down and notice this guy having a full blown nap during the show?! How??!! It was SO LOUD!" she wrote.

"He was right next to the sound desk. So I could have left him but instead I took a selfie with him right before I ran back on."

Jessie J Instagram post
Instagram/JessieJ

Olivier nominations

Gillian Anderson and Nicole Scherzinger
Getty Images

There are some big names up for this year's Olivier Awards, among them former X-Files star Gillian Anderson and former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.

The former is shortlisted for her role as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire - one of 11 nominations received by London's Young Vic theatre - while the latter is recognised for her recent Grizabella role in Cats.

Memphis the Musical leads the nominations for individual productions, having been recognised in eight categories including best new musical.

Kevin Spacey will receive a special award at this year's ceremony, to be held at the Royal Opera House on 12 April.

Read more on this story.

Fight to save film

Christopher Nolan
Getty Images

Interstellar director Christopher Nolan has made a plea to preserve the film medium in the face of digital domination.

Nolan - who is known for favouring 35mm film over digital technology - told a panel at a Los Angeles event: "We need projectors and film prints - forever.

"We want to see a world where there's a choice; it's important to preserve it for future generations."

Read more on this story.

To pay or not to pay?

The Bookseller

Joanne Harris
Getty Images

Authors should be paid for festival appearances, because "authors are professional and deserve professional treatment".

That's the view of writer Joanne Harris, best known for her novel Chocolat, who said she had recently been contacted by festivals asking her to waive an appearance fee.

"[Festivals] expect to pay the caterers, the printers, the people in charge of the venues, the interviewers," she told The Bookseller.

"No one would expect these people to work for free. Why are authors different?"

Read the full story (subscription site).

Wellcome Book Prize:

BBC Radio 4 Today

Author Bill Bryson has announced the shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize, which celebrates the best new books that feature some aspect of medicine, health or illness.

Bill Bryson
Handout

The six nominated books - which include two novels and four non-fiction works - are:

  • The Iceberg by Marion Coutts
  • Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
  • Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss
  • The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being by Alice Roberts
  • My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Bryson, who is the chair of the judges, said it was important society had an understanding of science and the work being carried out in the field.

Watch the interview.

Captain America visits:

The Hollywood Reporter

Last month, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt

visited a Boston cancer charity dressed as his Star Lord character as part of a bet with actor Chris Evans over which of their respective teams would win the Super Bowl.

On Saturday Evans made his own visit to the Seattle Children's Hospital, dressed as his Captain America alter ego.

Chris Evans
Twitter/@seattlechildren

Read the full story.

UK Eurovision entry - Your views

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

Electro Velvet
PA

There's not much love for Electro Velvet's UK Eurovision entry, judging by some of the comments you've tweeted and emailed us:

Overnight ratings

Aidan Turner in Poldark
BBC

The BBC's new take on classic drama Poldark, starring Aidan Turner, attracted 6.9 million viewers on Sunday night.

It easily beat the competition on rival channels in the same time slot at 21:00, with 3.2 million watching Mr Selfridge on ITV and 2.5 million tuning in to BBC Two's Let's Play Darts for Comic Relief.

Channel 4's Indian Summers attracted one million viewers - a drop of 500,000 viewers on last week's episode - while 1.1 million opted for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill comedy 21 Jump Street on Channel 5.

Figures do not include +1 audiences.

Smith teams up with a Legend:

BBC Breakfast

John Legend and Sam Smith
PA

Sam Smith has recorded a special version of his single Lay Me Down with John Legend for Comic Relief.

The singer told BBC Breakfast he was also working with the charity to set up a project for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Africa.

He added working with Legend was "a dream come true".

The pair will perform the song on Comic Relief night on 13 March at the London Palladium.

Watch the interview and see the video.

Starship trouper:

Sunday Times

Sarah Brightman
PA

Singer Sarah Brightman has said she is training 16 hours a day as part of her mission to perform in space.

She told the Sunday Times her regime included four-hour Russian lessons every day and weekly tests on her space knowledge.

"I haven't been tested on things since I was a schoolgirl," said the original star of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera musical.

"To be in front of a group of people explaining what happens on a Soyuz control panel or explain the life support system alarms - it's pretty scary."

The 54-year-old is expected to take part in a tourist flight to the International Space Station later this year.

Read the full story (subscription site).

Sniper takes box office crown

Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper
Reuters

Bradley Cooper film American Sniper has become the highest-grossing movie to be released in the US in 2014, overtaking The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.

After a couple of late US festival appearances, the Clint Eastwood-directed film was given a limited one-week release at the end of 2014 to qualify for the Oscars. However, most of its money has been earned in 2015.

It has now grossed $337.2m (£223.4m) domestically, surpassing the penultimate Hunger Games film's $337m (£223.3m) tally.

Here are the top five films at the North American box office this weekend:

  1. Chappie - $13.3m
  2. Focus - $10m
  3. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - $8.6m
  4. Kingsman: The Secret Service - $8.3m
  5. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water - $7m

Read the full story.

Mole musical

Cast of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole
Curve

A musical version of Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ has opened in Leicester.

The author worked on the production before her death last April and her family attended the opening night at the Curve Theatre, in the city where Townsend lived.

The show runs until 4 April.

Read more on this story.

Lady? Is that you?

Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum/Instagram

Country superstars Lady Antebellum have posted this rather eerie-looking shot of the band on stage of London's O2 arena at the close of this year's

Country 2 Country weekend.

Radio 2 covered the event on a special

pop-up digital radio service where you can see clips of The Shires, Ward Thomas and others in session.

Dancing for Comic Relief

A host of celebrities and fundraisers will be waking up with sore feet this morning after dancing for six straight hours to raise money for Comic Relief.

Claudia Winkleman
Presser

Claudia Winkleman (above) hosted the Danceathon at London's Wembley Arena, which saw the likes of former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt (below), DJ Jo Whiley, comic Rufus Hound and choreographer Arlene Phillips bust some moves.

Kimberley Wyatt
Presser

Participants were kept on their toes throughout, with the dance style changing every 30 minutes.

Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound
Presser

Viewers were also able to watch Hound and fellow comedian Marcus Brigstocke throw some shapes via the BBC Red Button.

Danceathon at Wembley
Presser

Top of the pops

Years & Years
BBC

We begin with music news. In case you missed it last night, Years & Years - the BBC's Sound of 2015 winners - scored their first number one on the UK singles chart.

They sold 101,000 of their latest song, King, bumping Ellie Goulding into second place.

Well done, boys!

Read the full story.

Get involved:

Neil Smith

Arts reporter

With the UK announcing its Eurovision entry over the weekend, we want to know what you think of this year's effort. Love it or hate it? Get in touch by tweeting

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

If you've not heard Electro Velvet's song yet,

watch the official video and read more about them.

Happy Mondays:

Genevieve Hassan

Entertainment reporter

It's the start of another week, which means it's time for another five-day fix of entertainment and arts news.

Stick with us as we'll bring you the Olivier award nominations around noon and the rest of the news making headlines today.