Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Top Gear cleared over 'pikey' pun
  2. Attenborough memorial service held
  3. Reactions to Kanye at Glastonbury

Live Reporting

By Helen Bushby and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Signing off:

Helen Bushby

Entertainment and arts reporter

That's it for today, so may the luck of the Irish be with you! Thanks for joining us and please come back tomorrow for more live entertainment and arts news throughout the day.

In the meantime, here is a picture of some St Patrick's Day celebrations in Dublin. Slainte!

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Dublin

Regional round-up

Before we sign off for the day, here are a few of the entertainment and arts-related stories our colleagues in the regions have been covering:

  • The future of the Theatre Royal in Workington, Cumbria, has been secured thanks to a funding package worth more than £500,000. [
    Read more on this story]
  • The decision to reject a request to film scenes for the new James Bond movie in the Welsh National Assembly chamber has been defended by its presiding officer. [
    Read more on this story]
  • A train has become a massive "artwork on wheels" in order to promote the new Borders Railway throughout Scotland. [
    Read more on this story]
  • A group of Lionel Richie fans were stuck in a shopping centre lift for about 45 minutes after the singer's concert in Cardiff. [
    Read more on this story]

Top Gear cleared over pun

Not a day goes by, it seems, without Top Gear hitting the headlines. And today is no exception, following the BBC Trust's rejection of a complaint about the use of the term "pikey" in an episode last year.

Travellers' groups complained that the term - used on a placard reading "Pikey's Peak" - was racist. But the BBC said that, in this instance, it merely meant "cheap".

One of the complainants, the Traveller Movement, said it was "horrified" the BBC had given the "abusive" term a "green light".

Read more on this story.

Can you keep a secret?

RCA Secret

Keen art lovers can try their chances at this year's

RCA Secret sale, where 3,000 postcard-sized artworks are up for grabs - if you can spot them.

The artworks, on display at the Royal College of Art in south London, cost £55 and are available from 08:00 GMT on 21 March.

Paula Rego, David Bailey, Sir Paul Smith, Bob & Roberta Smith and Jeremy Deller are among those involved. But their pieces will remain unattributed until they have been bought.

This is the 21st year for the sale, which raises money for the Royal College of Art's Fine Art Student award fund. Last year's sale raised £120,000.

Comfortable shoes and an early start are advised.

Balding on the Beeb

Clare Balding

The Clare Balding Show has been acquired by BBC Two from BT Sport in a deal that will see it broadcast on both channels.

Balding interviews top international sports-people on the show, with past guests including Sir Alex Ferguson, Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova and Dame Kelly Holmes.

The next series will be filmed at the BT Sport studio in London before a live audience, who will be invited to put questions to the sport stars featured.

"I really hope people will appreciate the relaxed, fun nature of the programme and that it appeals to non-sports fans as well as committed enthusiasts," the presenter said.

The 12 episodes in the series, which starts on 2 April, will air on BT Sport on Thursdays, with an edited version to follow on BBC Two on Fridays.

Read the full story.

Sopranos stars reunite:


Vincent Pastore and David Proval
Getty Images

Two former Sopranos actors, Vincent Pastore and David Proval, are reuniting for a mafia-themed play having its world premiere off-Broadway.

A Queen for a Day, by Michael Ricigliano Jr, sees Proval play a "made man" - a member of the mafia - wrestling with giving up his crime boss brother (Pastore).

The title of the play is a reference to the deal which gives a criminal immunity in exchange for a confession that helps the police with a prosecution.

Read more on this story.

Vote Art:

BBC Arts

Vote Art by Bob & Roberta Smith

A project called Vote Art has been launched to encourage people - particularly those aged between 18 and 23 - to vote in the upcoming general election.

Artworks have been specially created by Bob & Roberta Smith (pictured above), Jeremy Deller, Fatima Begum and Janette Parris for the project, which also includes a

contest for aspiring artists.

The winner will have their work exhibited alongside the other pieces on 10 commercial billboard sites across England, on 10,000 postcards and across social media.

Read more about the campaign.

Mayall honoured in Leicester

Alexei Sayle with festival director Geoff Rowe
Scott Choucino

The late Rik Mayall has been honoured with a Legend of Comedy award at this year's Leicester Comedy Festival, sponsored by TV channel Dave.

The award, presented by festival director Geoff Rowe, was collected by his friend and fellow Young Ones star Alexei Sayle, who said such accolades "continue to keep his memory alive".


who died suddenly last year at the age of 56, was also known for his roles in Bottom, The New Statesmen and The Comic Strip Presents.

Nick Wisdom, son of comedy great Norman, was also honoured

for the exhibition he mounted in his father's honour at this year's event.

EastEnders pays tribute to Neighbours

The cast of EastEnders have

paid tribute to fellow soap Neighbours as the latter celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.

The video spoof sees ex-Neighbours star Jason Donovan visit Walford's "Ramsay Square" where he receives an unfriendly greeting from EastEnders stalwart Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt).

A scene from EastEnders' Neighbours tribute

The tribute also sees Walford regular Kat (Jessie Wallace) telling Alfie Moon to shove her wedding ring "down under" and the Carters smuggle a dead body into a car.

Last month, Neighbours recorded a similar tribute to EastEnders on its 30 anniversary.

The three-minute film saw the cast adopt Cockney accents while re-enacting famous Walford scenes.

Jason Donovan and Annette Badland in EastEnders' Neighbours tribute

'He'd have loved it'

Dame Penelope Keith

Richard Attenborough's memorial service has come to an end at Westminster Abbey, where guests have since been speaking to reporters.

"I think he'd have loved it," said Dame Penelope Keith (pictured) of the "marvellous" ceremony, which lasted just under an hour.

"I thought it was absolutely perfect," said Dame Judi Dench, while Sir John Hurt called it "very moving" and "excellent".

"It was very uplifting and it was a testimony to his amazing gift," said Robert Lindsay, revealing that he "used to call him [Attenborough] 'the magician.'"

Read more about the service.

Folds to make Opera House debut

Ben Folds
Getty Images

Ben Folds is to make his debut at the Royal Opera House in August as part of the venue's summer season of pop shows.

The US singer-songwriter follows on from performances by Rufus Wainwright in 2011 and Antony and the Johnsons in 2013.

The multi-platinum selling Folds will play a mixture of new songs and familiar hits with musical sextet yMusic, with whom he recorded his upcoming album.

Folds is a long-time advocate of orchestras and sits on the board of directors of the Nashville Symphony.

Blue star joins Priscilla

Duncan James
Getty Images

Blue singer Duncan James is to make a colourful return to the stage in the musical version of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

James, whose previous stage credits include Legally Blonde and Chicago, will play Tick, the role played in the 1994 film by Hugo Weaving.

The musical tells of two drag queens and a transsexual who travel across the Outback in a bus, performing their cabaret act en route to a not always receptive audience.

First staged in Sydney in 2006, the show opens in Manchester in August before going on tour.

Attenborough memorial service

Lord Attenborough's wide and varied contribution to public life is reflected in the guest list of today's memorial service.

Lord Archer, Ed Balls and Sue Barker
Getty Images

Novelist and life peer Lord Archer, shadow chancellor Ed Balls and tennis player turned broadcaster Sue Barker are among those also in attendance at Westminster Abbey.

Attenborough memorial service

Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sir Michael Caine and Sir John Hurt have also arrived at Westminster Abbey to remember Lord Attenborough, who died last year at the age of 90.

Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sir Michael Caine and Sir John Hurt
Getty Images

Also among the attendees are actress Patricia Hodge; Sir Ben Kingsley, who famously worked with "Dickie" on Gandhi, and the actor David Suchet.

Patricia Hodge, Sir Ben Kingsley and David Suchet
Getty Images

Attenbourgh memorial service

Stars have been arriving for a memorial service at Westminster Abbey,

held in honour of the late Richard Attenborough.

Lord Bragg, Dame Judi Dench and Robert Lindsay
Getty Images

Lord Bragg, Dame Judi Dench and Robert Lindsay are among those in attendance.

Maureen Lipman, Alan Rickman and Jane Seymour
Getty Images

Maureen Lipman, Alan Rickman and Jane Seymour are also among the celebrity guests.

UK box office

It was a battle of the old-timers at the UK and Ireland box office this week, with Liam Neeson's latest action vehicle Run All Night held off the top spot by reigning The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The latter made almost three times as much in its third weekend in cinemas as World War Two romance Suite Francaise made in its first - a testament to the pulling power of Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench and the rest of the film's grey pound-pleasing cast.

Here are this week's top five films, with their respective takings between Friday and Sunday.

  1. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (£1.41m)
  2. Run All Night (£0.82m)
  3. Focus (£0,80m)
  4. Suite Francaise (£0.50m)
  5. Fifty Shades of Grey (£0.49m)

Reactions to Kanye at Glastonbury

Kanye West

So what sort of reaction has Kanye West headlining Glastonbury had? Mixed, to say the least.

Fans have taken to Twitter with comments including "

Woooo see U at Glastonbury Kanye!!!!!!!" and "
I think him headlining Glastonbury is cool".

The Guardian called him "the world's most mercurial and unpredictable pop star, a man convinced of his own genius and prone to gestures so grand they rather take the breath away."

It added: "Kanye West isn't just a pop star. He's an event. Having him headline Glastonbury - in front of huge live crowd and a massive TV audience - makes Saturday night at Glastonbury the pop event of the year."

According to NME, though,

more than 600 people have signed a petition against West performing at the festival, while the Mirror adds that some comments on the Glastonbury Facebook page are
not particularly complimentary either. (One wrote: "Been going 20 years and actually thinking of blowing it this year.")

BBC Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley has come to the rap star's defence,

tweeting: "Am honestly surprised that people are having a problem with @kanyewest at @GlastoFest.

"He's a showman with epic tunes. It'll be an event!"

Here's what Newsbeat had to say about it.

Walking On Sunshine:

BBC Radio 4 Today

Louis Armstrong

Mr Blue Sky, Twist and Shout, Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World - just a few of the songs that listeners of the Today programme have said make them happy.

But why is it songs can have such a positive effect on our mood and emotions? John Humphrys has been finding out with the help of BBC Radio 1's Gemma Cairney and music therapist Liz Coombes.

Take a listen to the segment.

Zoella to publish second book:

The Bookseller


Popular YouTube blogger Zoella - real name Zoe Sugg - found herself in the centre of a media storm last year when she admitted she had some help writing Girl Online, her hit debut novel.

But it hasn't stopped her pressing ahead with a follow-up, to be published in hardback on 19 November.

Read more on this story.

Ooh, Betty!

Betty White
Getty Images

Golden Girl Betty White is to be garlanded with another prize - a lifetime achievement award

at the Daytime Emmys.

White is no stranger to accolades. She already holds the Guinness World Record for the longest TV career for a female entertainer (74 years and counting). And in 1983 she became the first woman to receive an Emmy for outstanding game show host, for the show Just Men.

In 2010 she also became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live, at the age of 88.

Now 93, the actress is best known for playing Rose in The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985 to 1991. She is the sole survivor of the sitcom after the 2010 death of Rue McClanahan, aka Blanche.

Previous recipients of the honour, which White will receive next month, include Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and Regis Philbin.

Read more on this story.

'Prince of Letters' discovered

Idealised image of Miguel de Cervantes
Getty Images

Forensic scientists in Madrid say they have found the tomb of Miguel de Cervantes, Spain's much-loved giant of literature, nearly 400 years after his death.

Lost for centuries, the remains of the country's "Prince of Letters" are believed to have been discovered in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians, along with those of his wife.

Published in two parts in 1605 and 1615, Cervantes' The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is one of the world's most widely read and translated books.

His crypt will be opened to the public next year to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the author's death.

Read more on this story.

Stig dumps on Clarkson:

Radio Times

The Stig (left) and Ben Collins

Top Gear could thrive without Jeremy Clarkson according to Ben Collins, the racing driver who was 'The Stig' on the show for eight years.

Clarkson is currently suspended following a "fracas" with a producer and an internal investigation into the incident is underway.

"Top Gear will always continue," said Collins, who famously had a dispute with the BBC when it launched a legal action -

which it did not win - to stop him publishing an autobiography in which he revealed his identity.

"It will carry on and continue to be successful because millions of people watch it. I don't think it can be only anchored in one person."

But not all ex-Stigs are in agreement. Perry McCarthy, who took the role from 2002 to 2003, said losing Clarkson would take "the fire out" of the show.

"I think you're going to have a diluted product," he said. "I don't think it will have the value that it did, here and overseas."

Read more on this story.

Special announcement:

Entertainment Weekly

Steven Moffat
Getty Images

Ever since the makers of Sherlock released a picture of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Victorian clothing, fans have been speculating as to why.

Now they have an answer, and it's far from an elementary one. Holmes and Watson are not playing dress-up in the forthcoming special episode, it seems, but are actually appearing in a period adventure.

"The special is its own thing," co-creator Steven Moffat (pictured) has revealed. "It's kind of in its own little bubble."

Read the full story.

Comedy 'legends' to tour:

Radio Times

TV comics Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse are planning their first ever live tour together, under the working title Legends.

Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse

"All the stuff we have done on telly has never been done live," they said. "Before we die, or before another comedian puts a contract out on us, we thought we'd do a live show. Hopefully in the autumn."

The pair have had numerous successful sketch series both together and apart and have created a wealth of characters, including naff '80s DJs Smashie and Nicey. Who knows if they will make a reappearance?

Read the full story.

Perry's portraits

A record quarter of a million visitors flocked to see artworks at the National Portrait Gallery

by the inimitable Grayson Perry.

Grayson Perry in front of his artwork Comfort Blanket

The portraits were created as part of his Channel 4 series, Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, which was broadcast last year. In it he interviewed people about their lives, beliefs and how they felt they fitted into modern Britain.

His subjects including former politician Chris Huhne, a young female-to-male transsexual, a couple living with Alzheimer's, a young Muslim convert and former X Factor contestant Rylan Clark.

The resulting and often surprising artworks were based on what he had learned about them.

Anyone out there with the X Factor?

Ben Haenow

Has it really been three months since Ben Haenow was crowned winner of The X Factor? It must be, because the show's producers are already planning for the 2015 series with what they say will be their

biggest "audition tour" to date.

Open auditions will be held in eight UK cities (plus Dublin), with the show's mobile audition van making additional stops in 41 towns stretching from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight. Budding hopefuls can also

send in their own video audition should they be so inclined.

"If you think you have the potential to be a world-class star, this is your chance to prove it," says Simon Cowell. "You really could be the next pop superstar." And even if you're not, you could conceivably end up meeting Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. Win win!

Beastly news

Emma Thompson and Kevin Kline have joined the cast of Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, set for release on 17 March next year.

Thompson will play tuneful housekeeper Mrs Potts, who was voiced by Dame Angela Lansbury in the 1991 animated version.

Emma Thompson
Getty Images

Kline, meanwhile, will play Belle's father Maurice, originally voiced by Rex Everhart. (Bizarre fact: the latter also played 'Enos the truck driver' in the original Friday the 13th.)

Production on the film, which stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, will kick off at Shepperton Studios in May.

Read more on this story.

Big Breakfast:

ET Online

For all you readers of a certain, ahem, age, here are Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy celebrating the 30th anniversary of their classic teen film The Breakfast Club.

Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
Getty Images

Ringwald said at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, that the film's "universal message" still rings true. "It still speaks to a lot of different people because the essential message is we are all outsiders not matter who we are, and we all feel alone."

Sheedy added: "I think if you're a young person and you see the movie, at the end of the movie you feel really affirmed and loved. And for some reason I think that's been a big part of it."

Read more on this story.

Get involved:

Neil Smith

Arts reporter

Got something to say on today's news? Get in touch and let us know. Tweet

@BBCNewsEnts or email

Top of the morning:

Helen Bushby

Entertainment and arts reporter

And a very happy St Patrick's Day to you all! We're going to bring you all the latest from the world of entertainment and arts, with Kanye West headlining Glastonbury kicking off the day's news. Later on there will be coverage from the service of thanksgiving for Lord Attenborough at Westminster Abbey, where Tom Hiddleston, Sir Ben Kingsley and Penelope Wilton will give readings.