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  1. Actress Rita Wilson has double mastectomy
  2. Bond star Craig accepts United Nations role
  3. Seven Up director Paul Almond dies aged 83

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Kev Geoghegan

All times stated are UK

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Sunny afternoon

Neil Smith

Arts reporter

Sunny weather

The sun has still got his hat on - hip hip hip hooray! - so we're going to take our leave for the day and go catch some rays.

Whatever the weather tomorrow, though, we'll be back to bring you another day's worth of entertainment and arts news. Hope to see you then.

'Hurtling towards retirement'

The Guardian

One Direction
Syco Music

What does the first Zayn Malik-less promo picture of One Direction say about the future of the boy band?

More than you might think,

according to the Guardian's Harriet Gibsone.

Extreme tiling

A work in progress
Ben Brucker

Bored with your office? Then why not follow the example of Ben Brucker, who jazzed up his workplace with giant superhero murals made from Post-It notes.

"One day I just got so tired of how sterile and boring our office felt, I thought I should do something about it," Brucker explained.

Brucker's colleagues sacrificed an entire weekend to realised a project that required 9,000 Post-Its in total.

Read more about the project or
watch a time-lapse video on Vimeo.

Ben Brucker's artwork
Ben Brucker

Desplat named BMI 'icon'

Alexandre Desplat

Oscar-winning film composer Alexandre Desplat is to receive the BMI Icon Award next month.

The French composer is to be honoured by Broadcast Music Inc at an event in Los Angeles.

Desplat won an Academy Award for best original score for The Grand Budapest Hotel in February.

He has also provided music for such films as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The King's Speech, The Imitation Game and Argo.

More glory for Booker winner?

Richard Flanagan
Getty Images

The winner of last year's Man Booker Prize is one of the titles in contention for this year's Impac Dublin Literary Prize, the world's most lucrative book award.

Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North joins novels by former Orange Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi and one-time Whitbread Prize winner Jim Crace

on the 10-strong shortlist.

Other authors in the running for the 100,000 euro (£72,000) prize include Australia's Hannah Kent, Alice McDermott from the US and the Moroccan Mahi Binebine.

The winner will be announced on 17 June.

Art meets activism

Portraits by Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi, one of the nominees for this year's £30,000 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, specialises in portraits of lesbian and transgender women in South Africa.

Muholi's subjects have harrowing stories to tell about the hate crimes, sexual violence and stigmatisation they have suffered, stories that form part of her work.

"I deal with painful material," she told broadcaster and journalist Bidisha. "I'm an artist who uses visuals for activism to deal with the many political issues that affect human beings."

Read more about the artist and her work.

Musical Mean Girls almost ready

Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan
Getty Images

Tina Fey's composer husband has confirmed that the Mean Girls musical they are writing together should be finished this summer.

But Jeff Richmond said there would be "a lot of rewriting" on the piece before it comes anywhere close to a stage.

Fey wrote and appeared in the 2004 film that saw Lindsay Lohan (pictured above with Fey), Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried form a clique of mean-spirited high-schoolers.

Read more on this story.

Nul points from Iceland?

Maria Olafsdottir
Jonatan Gretarsson

Iceland's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest could be in doubt because of an ongoing legal strike.

Notaries who work at the Reykjavik District Commissioner's office have traditionally overseen and verified the voting process of Iceland's professional Eurovision jury.

But employees are currently on strike, along with other legal professionals, over a wage dispute, and there is no sign of the industrial action ending in the near future.

Iceland, which has never won the contest, is due to be represented by Maria Olafsdottir (pictured) in Vienna next month.

Read more on this story.

Netflix nabs Planet producers


Planet Earth

The production team behind the BBC's landmark wildlife programmes Blue Planet and Planet Earth is migrating to Netflix for its next venture.

Our Planet will take viewers "into never-before-filmed wilderness areas from the ice caps and deep ocean to deserts and remote forests", according to the streaming service-turned-production powerhouse.

Like Planet Earth, which was five years in the making, Our Planet will presumably require a lot of very patient cameramen to sit in the freezing cold.

The eight-part series is due to have its premiere on Netflix in 2019.

Read more on this story.

Grunge match

Associated Press

Chris Cornell
Getty Images

Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell has waded into a legal battle between a record label and a studio boss over the master tapes of a genre-defining album that he made with members of Pearl Jam.

Cornell recorded Temple of the Dog at London Bridge Studios in Seattle with singer Eddie Vedder in 1990.

A&M records is suing Raj Parashar, who co-founded the studio with his late brother, demanding Parashar turn over the recordings.

The label says it bought the album - and the tapes - in 1991. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Cornell agreed.

For Parashar "to pretend he has a right to keep the recordings," he said, "makes no more sense than the owner of a laundromat claiming he owns the clothes you washed in his washing machine."

Read more on this story.

More murders in Midsomer

Gwilym Lee, Manjinder Vir and Neil Dudgeon in Midsomer Murders

Just when you thought it was safe to move to the country, ITV has announced the return of Midsomer Murders.

The popular mystery series has been renewed for six more episodes, with filming already under way on series 18.

The show stars Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby and Gwilym Lee as DS Charlie Nelson, who will be joined this time around by Manjinder Vir as pathologist Dr Kam Karimore.

The new feature-length episodes are due to be broadcast next year.

Ayckbourn auction

Ian Youngs

Arts reporter

Sir Alan Ayckbourn in rehearsals for Surprises
Robert Day

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Britain's most performed living playwright, is offering a day in the rehearsal room at an auction to raise funds for his home theatre in Scarborough.

Sir Alan will let the highest bidder into rehearsals for Hero's Welcome, his 79th play. Fans can also buy costumes and props from his previous shows, such as the gnome from Neighbourhood Watch.

It will all raise money for new writing at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, the venue where Sir Alan stages his new plays, which has also hosted the premieres of such shows as The Woman in Black and Neville's Island.

Find out more about the 26 April auction.

Curiouser and curiouser

Alice in Wonderland illustration by Sir John Tenniel

A century-and-a-half on from her first appearance in print, Lewis Carroll's heroine Alice and the Wonderland she visited continues to cast a bewitching spell.

The BBC's Tim Muffett has been exploring the character's enduring appeal - with help from the cast of a new theatrical production currently being staged beneath London's Waterloo train station.

Watch the report.

Cave drawings


Jessie Cave

Actress and comedian Jessie Cave has signed a book deal for a collection of her single-panel cartoons.

The new book, Love Sick, has been compiled from daily doodles she's been

posting on Twitter to her 73,000 followers since 2010.

As well as stand-up comedy, Cave is known for playing Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter film series and her work in E4 drama Glue.

Art on trial

Megumi Igarashi

A Japanese artist,

arrested last year after building a kayak based on a 3D print of her own vagina, has gone on trial in Tokyo.

Megumi Igarashi said there was nothing wrong with her artwork and that her arrest showed how far Japan was behind the West in terms of sexual equality.

The 43-year-old faces up to two years in jail and fines of up to 2.5 million yen (£14,000) if found guilty of distributing obscene materials.

Her trial is expected to continue for some months.

A design classic

Olivetti Valentine typewriter

Our friends at BBC Culture have been analysing the design success of the Olivetti Valentine typewriter.

The colourful and portable piece of kit fused functionality with 1960s pop art style,

as Jonathan Glancey explains.

Neverland lands on Broadway

Matthew Morrison

A musical version of 2004 film Finding Neverland is to open later on Broadway, with Glee actor Matthew Morrison taking on the role that Johnny Depp played on screen.

The show,

an early version of which was staged in Leicester in 2012, tells of Scottish author JM Barrie and the family who inspired him to create his classic Peter Pan story.

According to Morrison (pictured), the musical - which also stars Kelsey Grammer of Frasier fame - is "really about the power of not being tied down to what you're given in life, but to create your imagination, create your family - just be creative in every sense of the word."

Take That's Gary Barlow was brought in to write some music for the show after its original production failed to take flight.

White to take live 'break'

Jack White

Singer Jack White has announced he is taking a break from playing live.

A post on his Facebook page reads: "After many years of performing in a multitude of configurations, Jack is announcing that he will be taking a break from performing live for a long period of time."

Before he signs off, the White Stripes star will perform some "entirely acoustic" live shows in the "only five states left in the US that he has yet to play".

Here's hoping he comes back soon.

Suffragette gets release date

Carey Mulligan in Suffragette

Suffragette, a new film about the campaign to win women the vote in the early years of the 20th Century, will be released in the UK on 30 October.

Carey Mulligan (pictured), Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep star in the period drama,

part of which was filmed last year inside the Houses of Parliament.

A "teaser" trailer for the film has been released that links the film to the #votingmatters campaign, an effort to encourage women to register to vote in the general election in May.

Watch the teaser.

Mixed Twits

Jason Watkins and Monica Dolan in The Twits
Manuel Harlan

The Royal Court's new production of Roald Dahl's The Twits has divided critics.

Writing in the Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish said the production - adapted by Enda Walsh - was "

mistimed and unwarranted".

The Arts Desk's Aleks Sierz was more positive, giving the show

a four-star review in which he saluted its "fantastic special effects and thrilling zaniness".

"For all its strange playfulness, it feels pretty bloated and plodding in places and it's really hard to know quite who it's being pitched at,"

wrote Natasha Tripney in The Stage.

W1A actors Jason Watkins and Monica Dolan co-star in the London production, which runs until 31 May.

My big break

The Guardian

Ken Loach

With the debate still raging over whether the arts are dominated by the upper-class alumnae of public schools, The Guardian has asked musicians, actors and film-makers from different backgrounds about how they got started.

It follows

an interview former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston gave to the Radio Times this week, in which he spoke about the "pronounced" cultural inequality he saw in contemporary British society.

Ken Loach (pictured), Grayson Perry and Sue Johnston are among those quizzed on their first jobs, their big breaks and what they are doing now.

Read the full article.

Seven Up! director dies

Paul Almond, the Canadian director who initiated the ground-breaking Seven Up! documentary, has died at the age of 83.

The programme, which examined the British class system through the eyes of 14 British seven-year-olds, was continued by director Michael Apted, who decided to catch up with its subjects at seven-year intervals.

Almond's other work included a TV version of Shakespeare's Macbeth starring a young, pre-James Bond Sean Connery and a trilogy of films on mystical themes starring his second wife Genevieve Bujold.

According to his son Matthew, the director died last week in California from complications of a recent heart attack.

Read the full story.

TFI return confirmed


Chris Evans has confirmed on Twitter that TFI Friday will return to Channel 4 for a 20th anniversary special on 12 June.

All together now: "Weeeeel!"

Chris Evans tweet
Chris Evans/Twitter

Inside App-y Road

If you've ever wanted to know what goes on inside London's legendary Abbey Road studios, a new web app could be the answer to your prayers.

Inside Abbey Road offers users an interactive virtual tour of the building's inner workings, complete with interviews, archive photos and music videos.

"We wanted to open the doors... for anyone in the world to step inside and experience the stories, the sounds, the people and the equipment that make Abbey Road Studios what it is today," said Google's Tom Seymour.

Here are just a few of the sights on offer.

Inside Abbey Road
Inside Abbey Road
Inside Abbey Road

'Lost' Robin Gibb album unearthed

Robin Gibb

Sing Slowly Sisters, a "lost" solo album by the late Bee Gee Robin Gibb, is finally to be released, 45 years after it was recorded.

It forms part of a collection of albums capturing Gibb's entire musical output at 19 years old, recorded over a 12-month period from 1969 to 1970.

Gibb had planned to complete the album prior to his death from cancer in 2012.

Saved by the Bell - The Collected Works of Robin Gibb: 1969-70 is released on 1 June.

Florence foots the bill

BBC Newsbeat

Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Florence and the Machine
Getty Images

Florence Welch is paying the price for her exuberant stage antics at the Coachella festival over the weekend - a broken foot.

The Florence and the Machine singer said her performances would have to "stripped back" as a consequence but pledged to be "back on her feet" in time for Glastonbury.

Read more on this story.

Everything's Coming up Roses

Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver in Gypsy
Johan Persson

Gypsy, the classic musical about striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and her overbearing mother, opens in London's West End later having wowed audiences at Chichester last year.

Imelda Staunton (above left) plays ambitious matriarch "Momma Rose" in Jonathan Kent's production, whose cast also includes former Doctor Who star Peter Davison and Lara Pulver, of Sherlock and Spooks fame.

In her role as Louise Hovick, the shy youngster who becomes the most famous stripper in history, Pulver (above right) is required at one point to perform an elaborate, suggestive dance number.

The BBC's Vincent Dowd has been speaking to the show's choreographer, Stephen Mear, about how he pulled it off.

Read the interview.

Whedon sued over horror film

The Wrap

Joss Whedon
Getty Images

Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon and Lionsgate Films have been slapped with a $10m (£6.8m) legal action over 2012 horror film The Cabin in the Woods.

According to papers filed on Monday, author Peter Gallagher claims the film "borrowed heavily" from The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines, a novel he self-published in 2006.

"In many respects, the elements in the two works are virtually identical," his action alleges.

Read the full story.

Award for BBC reporter

Mishal Hussain

Congratulations to the BBC's Mishal Hussain, who was named broadcaster of the year at the London Press Club Awards on Tuesday.

The presenter of Radio 4's Today programme was shortlisted for the award alongside two other BBC journalists, Alison Holt and Tulip Mazumder.

The Daily Mirror received the daily newspaper prize, while Andrew Lloyd Webber was named the year's top Londoner.

Read more on this story.

Craig accepts new mission

Daniel Craig with Ban Ki-moon

Daniel Craig is heading back to the set of the latest James Bond film

after his recent knee surgery, but not before paying a visit to the United Nations in New York.

The 47-year-old met up with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday to accept a new role: as global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards.

"As 007, you have a licence to kill," said Mr Ban. "Today, we are giving you a licence to save."

"I'm honoured to accept this role [and] humbled that I'll get the chance to work next to people who are risking their lives every day to help ordinary people live ordinary lives," said Craig.

Watch the appointment ceremony.

Corrie 'explosion' sparks fire alert

Coronation Street set
Stephen Ryder

Fire fighters were called to a blaze at the Coronation Street set in Trafford, Manchester last night - only to find out that it was all just special effects.

Read the full story.

Glasto line-up


Twitter screengrab

The Glastonbury Festival

reveals its 2015 line-up on a new poster.

Crime pays... sort of

James Patterson
Getty Images

Rich, successful and generous to boot, US crime writer James Patterson has doubled his donation to independent UK and Irish bookshops and efforts to improve child literacy.

The 68-year-old has now pledged £500,000, from which any store with a dedicated children's book section can apply for a grant of between £250 and £5,000.

The money can be used for refurbishing or expanding children's sections and can also go towards bigger projects.

Read more on this story.

Rita Wilson has double mastectomy

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Tom Hanks' actress wife Rita Wilson has had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Wilson, 58,

revealed to People magazine that she had undergone the procedure - the same one that
Angelina Jolie underwent in 2013 - and was "expected to make a full recovery".

The actress, who took a break from her Broadway play Fish in the Dark last week to have surgery, said she had been diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma after seeking a second opinion from pathologists.

"I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health," she wrote. "You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found."

Wilson, who appeared with her husband in Sleepless in Seattle and has a recurring role in TV's The Good Wife, is expected to return to Fish in the Dark on 5 May.

Get involved

Kev Geoghegan

Arts and entertainment reporter

Got something to say or something to share? If so we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch by tweeting

@BBCNewsEnts or sending us an email at

A warm Wednesday welcome

Neil Smith

Arts reporter

It's the middle of the week and the sun is shining, at least where we are. What does the day hold? Stick with us to find out as we bring you all the arts, media and culture news that's fit to print.