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  1. News and updates for 15 April 2016
  2. Bake Off winner to bake cake for Queen
  3. James Cameron announces four Avatar sequels
  4. Music industry prepares for Record Store Day

Live Reporting

By Steven McIntosh and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye for now

Steven McIntosh

Entertainment Reporter

The Lumineers

That's it from us for today, but we'll be back with another live page on Monday from 08:30 BST.

A few things to look out for over the weekend:

  • Tune in to the Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 today at 17:30 BST to find out what's number one. There's quite a battle on the album chart in particular this week, with new entries from Deftones, All Saints and The Lumineers (above).
  • Remember it's Record Store Day tomorrow, so whether you're going to an in-store gig or trawling through the shelves to find that new limited edition Bob Dylan 7" vinyl, have a great time.
  • If you fancy a movie instead, there's plenty to keep you going with new releases like The Jungle Book and Eye in the Sky.
  • Then again, if you'd rather stay in and watch some telly, there are new episodes of BBC One's Undercover and ITV's Home Fires to look forward to. (We may well opt to do that if the weather stays as miserable as it has been where we've been today...)

Thanks for joining us and have a great weekend!

Cinema chain back-spaces on texting proposal

Man using phone

Yesterday our colleagues on the Technology section brought us news the AMC cinema chain in America were thinking of allowing their customers to text during films.

Readers, you will be astonished to hear this announcement went down as well as... well, someone repeatedly sending text messages during a film while seated right in front of you.

In what could one of the fastest turnarounds in US corporate history, AMC's CEO has now given the heave-ho to the scheme before it even got off the drawing board.

"You spoke. We listened," wrote Adam Aron. "Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor."

In an open letter to patrons, he pledged that no texting would be allowed at AMC cinemas - "not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future".

Here's Mr Aron's response in full.

View more on twitter

Read more.

NHS Choir joins Justin Bieber's record company

The NHS Choir

The NHS choir which won the race to the Christmas number one slot has joined the same record company as Justin Bieber.

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir's song A Bridge Over You topped the chart in 2015, ahead of Bieber's Love Yourself.

The deal with Decca Records will see them release their debut album, Something Inside So Strong, next month.

Decca is part of Universal Music... which is also home to Bieber.

The choir won the Christmas battle after the Canadian pop singer urged his 72 million Twitter followers to "do the right thing" and help the charity single reach the top spot.

Read more.

GBBO winner to make Queen's 90th birthday cake

Nadiya Hussain

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has revealed she is baking the Queen's 90th birthday cake. 

The reigning champion of the BBC show will be serving up an orange drizzle cake with orange curd and orange butter cream. 

She revealed the news on ITV's Loose Women, saying the cake would be "very citrussy". 

Hussain said she considered doing a fruit cake but told the panel: "I thought, let's do something a little bit different."

When I told the kids, the boys were great at keeping it a secret. I told my daughter and she said, 'Oh, Mary Berry? You've made lots of cakes for Mary Berry.'

Her culinary delight will be delivered personally next Thursday - the Queen's actual birthday, not her official one - at Windsor Castle's Guildhall.

Showboat sails into London's West End

A few images now from an acclaimed production of Showboat that, having enjoyed much success in Sheffield last year, has just found itself a West End berth at the New London Theatre.

Written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, this classic musical - now in previews - follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard a floating theatre as it traverses the Mississippi at the turn of the 20th Century.

That ol' man river, he just keeps on rollin' along...

A scene from Showboat
Johan Persson
A scene from Showboat
Johan Persson
A scene from Showboat
Johan Persson

What Record Store Day means to shop owners

Mark Savage

Music reporter

View more on twitter

I caught up with Natasha Youngs, proprietor of Brighton's Resident Music, to ask how Record Store Day affects her business. 

Apart from the occasional big spender (see the video above), she says it helps foster a community of music lovers. 

"A huge variety of people queue up, from our regulars, who we see all the time, to regular 'Record Store Dayers' who absolutely love the event, and brand new people. 

"I've had lots of emails this week from people who've never been to Record Store Day and want to check it out. People who don't necessarily buy music any more but are starting to think 'hang on, what am I missing?'"

Natasha established the store in 2004, just as downloading brought the music industry to its knees. She and her partner had to sell their own record collections to fund the shop. 

"When we opened we were CD-only, which seems ridiculous now," she says. "But at the end of last year we doubled in size to cope with what's happened with vinyl."

On Saturday, she'll throw open the doors for a day of live performances and hectic vinyl purchasing, by customers she affectionately refers to as "a load of nutters prepared to queue in the rain to buy records."

Falcone 'asked to stop using long words' on TOWIE

Mario Falcone
Getty Images

How do you think you'd fare on The Only Way is Essex? Well, it might depend on how extensive (or limited) your vocabulary is.

Former cast member Mario Falcone has criticised the show for allegedly forcing him to dumb down his verbiage so the show's putative audience could comprehend him.

He told the Daily Mirror:

I had to dwindle it down a bit when I did TOWIE. Once I said the word 'discombobulated' and the whole crew said: 'Mario, you can't say that,' and I was like, 'why?' They said: 'The people who watch TOWIE won't know what you're talking about.'

Sounds a bit supercilious to us. Read more.

Eliza and the Bear on poetry that inspired their name

Eliza and the Bear
Salt Publishing / BBC

Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Catfish and the Bottlemen... when it comes to new groups or artists choosing their stage name, it's fair to say something of a trend has been developing in recent years.

But the London-based Eliza and the Bear are not jumping on a bandwagon. Their name comes from a poem, as lead singer James Kellegher has been telling us:

We're not massive poetry fans as such, but when we started putting music online we needed a name, and Paul [Jackson, the band's drummer] found a collection of poems called Eliza and the Bear, by Eleanor Rees. It kind of was similar in theme to some of the earlier songs we'd written. So we emailed Eleanor, asked if we could use the name, and she let us.

Find out more.

CinemaCon brings curtain down with awards ceremony

We've been reporting on announcements and appearances from CinemaCon all week, which gives a clue to the increasingly visible niche this Las Vegas convention for cinema owners (formerly known as ShoWest) has carved for itself in the movie calendar.

The four-day event came to a close last night with an awards ceremony which - if not exactly in the Oscars class - at least offers a few pointers as to who's flavour of the month in Hollywood right now.

Jesse Eisenberg

Fresh from his, um, divisive turn as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Jesse Eisenberg - soon to be seen on screen in Now You See Me 2 and on the London stage in his own play The Spoils - was named male star of the year.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard, meanwhile, was given the CinemaCon Excellence in Acting Award - not just in recognition, we hope, of the skill she displayed running away from CGI dinosaurs while wearing high heels in Jurassic World.

Susan Sarandon and Keanu Reeves

Susan Sarandon didn't let her recent ankle injury stop her collecting a Cinema Icon award, while Keanu Reeves marked the latest stage of his Keanu-ssance by walking away with the evening's Vanguard prize.

Jeff Goldblum
Getty Images

Jeff Goldblum, meanwhile, joined fellow cast members of the yet to be released Independence Day: Resurgence to accept CinemaCon's modestly monikered "Ensemble of the Universe" accolade.

Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor to write memoir



Jeffrey Tambor
Getty Images

Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor is writing his memoirs, it has been announced.

His reminiscences will be in the form of a collection of autobiographical essays, to be published in spring next year.

"Books and theatre saved me," said the 71-year-old actor, who also starred in The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development. "I am thrilled to be publishing my first book."

Read more.

Tim Burgess on Howard Marks and Record Store Day

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess is now the owner of his own record label. Tomorrow he's releasing an EP, of drug smuggler turned raconteur Howard Marks performing works by Dylan Thomas. 

Originally conceived for Thomas's centenary in 2014, it was delayed by Marks' battle with cancer. His death this week tinges his Record Store Day release with poignancy - but Burgess says "he was very pleased" with the result.

Burgess, who dropped into BBC 6 Music to play the green-coloured vinyl, told me how his tastes had developed over the years.

View more on twitter

On the importance of Record Store Day, Burgess added: "I spend a lot of time in record shops but the idea, nine years ago, was to get people more excited about buying records and to have a day where people concentrate on that. 

"Obviously I think people should be in record shops all the time. But not everyone's like me."

Pink's new single has been released and it's Just Like Fire


Stop what you're doing right now (unless you operate heavy machinery) and listen to this new Pink single.

It's been three years since the singer last released any new music, but the song she's recorded for the the Alice Through The Looking Glass soundtrack was posted on her official YouTube channel overnight.

It's called Just Like Fire, which is an appropriate title because it's quite a good song. Check it out below.

View more on youtube

BGT hopeful joins EastEnders cast

Now, a quick question. Do you remember this former Britain's Got Talent contestant?

View more on youtube

His name's Shaheen Jafargholi, and he appeared in the 2009 series of the ITV talent show.

In recent years he's been turning his talents to acting, with roles in Casualty and Torchwood - and now he's set to join the cast of EastEnders.

It's fair to say he looks a little different to how we remember him.

Shaheen Jafargholi

Jafargholi will play the role of Shakil Kazemi, the youngest son of Carmel (Bonnie Langford) and brother of Kush.

Here's what he had to say about it.

I'm so excited to be joining the show. I've been a fan since I was a little kid, so to now be a part of something so iconic is an honour.

I'm also really excited to be working with a legend such as Bonnie Langford. I'm having so much fun playing her son and can't wait for people to finally meet Shaki.

Find out more.

Metallica share their love of record shops

Who better to gear us up for tomorrow's Record Store Day than Metallica, who are following in the footsteps of Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Iggy Pop, Jack White and Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters, as this year's official event ambassadors. 

BBC 6 Music's Elizabeth Alker spoke to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich about his love of records and record stores... 

Metallica are also putting out a special Record Store Day release - a live CD called Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France - June 11th, 2003. Proceeds from the release are going to Fondation de France's Give For France charity.

Arts news round-up

It's turning out to be a busy end of the week in the entertainment world. But there have been a few arts-related stories too today that we wanted to bring to your attention.  

James Levine
Marty Sohl/Met Opera
  • James Levine (pictured), music director at New York's Metropolitan Opera for 40 years, is to step down in May for health reasons. [Read more]
  • Four paintings stolen from a gallery in the Netherlands in 2005 have been recovered in Ukraine. [Read more]
  • Italian researchers say they have identified 35 living people who are related to Leonardo da Vinci, using genealogical records. [Read more]

Hugh thanks Military Wives for acting inspiration

BBC Radio 2

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant was on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show earlier to explain how he came to be cast as Meryl Streep's husband in new film Florence Foster Jenkins - the story of a real-life opera aficionado who became infamous for her inability to sing opera.

"I thought I'd largely managed to drift out of show-business and was doing many other things in life," said the Four Weddings, Notting Hill and Love Actually star.

"But then [director] Stephen Frears came along and, almost in a sense of mischief, said I should play this part opposite Meryl Streep."

Grant, 55, went on to explain how Gareth Malone's Military Wives choir had helped him summon up the requisite emotion for one tear-jerking scene.

Listen to the interview below.

Hugh and Meryl will also be sharing the sofa on The Graham Norton Show tonight at 22:35 BST on BBC One.

Norman Cook's vinyl-only DJ set

Mark Savage

Music reporter

View more on twitter

Norman Cook - aka Fatboy Slim - was the first guest on Lauren Laverne's Record Store Day show from Brighton's Resident Music. 

He played a half-hour DJ set, all from a box of seven-inch records. 

One of the first tracks was the very copy of the Just Brothers' Sliced Tomatoes that he sampled on Rockafeller Skank.

Listen to the full set.

London Underground 'Mind the Gap' man dies

Phil Sayer and his wife Elinor

The man who voiced the "Please mind the gap" and "Stand clear of the doors" announcements on the London Underground has died aged 62. 

Voice-over artist Phil Sayer, who previously worked for the BBC as a regional TV and radio presenter, died on Thursday, according to a statement onhis Facebook page

Mr Sayer, dubbed the "voice of reason, radio and railways", announced the warning phrases for multiple London Underground lines and PA announcements at railway stations across the country. 

He was a presenter for BBC North West News and BBC GMR - now known as Radio Manchester - in the 1980s, before setting up a voice-over business with wife Elinor Hamilton. 

 A statement from their company, SayerHamilton, said:

Phil Sayer - voice of reason, radio, and railways. A dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. We are sorry to announce that this service terminates here. 18.5.53 - 14.4.16.

Last month Mr Sayer retired from voicing "due to a sudden decline in health", according to his website. He told the Daily Telegraph in 2010 that he apologised "more than anybody in the UK".

"I do say sorry rather a lot and I'm apologising for lots of things at the moment", he said. "But what can I say, I'm sorry, somebody has to do it!" 

Read more on this story.

Tom Odell on second album - and getting a cat

BBC Radio 2

Tom Odell

Tom Odell is back - and this time, he has a cat.

The singer, whose debut album Long Way Down topped the charts in 2013, spoke to BBC Radio 2's breakfast show this morning to talk about his forthcoming second album, Wrong Crowd, and the fact he now has a cat. 

Listen to a clip from his interview with Chris Evans below.

Diana Ross 'fine' after Penn fender bender

Diana Ross

Diana Ross was involved in car accident on Wednesday after an SUV (which stands for sport utility vehicle, in case you didn't know) crashed into the limousine that was taking her to a concert in Pennsylvania.

Police who were called to the accident scene in the city of Bethlehem said Ross was treated by paramedics for head and neck pain.

The 72-year-old sought further treatment on her own and was taken by another car to the concert venue, where she played as scheduled.

Police said the 22-year-old driver of the SUV was given a traffic citation for running a stop sign.

Here's what the veteran diva told her Twitter followers on Thursday.

View more on twitter

Lady Colin Campbell lands own reality show

The Sun

Lady Colin Campbell
Getty Images

Speaking of I'm a Celebrity, ITV bosses were clearly impressed enough with Lady Colin Campbell's recent appearance on the show to give the socialite her own reality series.

Here's what the 66-year-old told The Sun about The Lady in the Castle, which hits TV screens this summer.

At the moment I'm doing a television programme on me, personally. It's called The Lady in the Castle and it's going to be about me, Castle Goring and of course my children.

I'm a Celebrity presenter quits spin-off show

Laura Whitmore

Ireland's Laura Whitmore has announced she will be leaving Get me Out of Here Now! - the spin-off series of ITV's I'm a Celebrity.

The presenter, who replaced Caroline Flack on the show in 2011, confirmed the news on Instagram post last night:

View more on instagram

No word yet on who will replace her, though one former contestant on the show has already thrown her hat into the ring...

View more on twitter

And we're off...

Mark Savage

Music reporter

View more on twitter

The decks are primed, the audience is here and the broadcast has begun. 

Tune into BBC 6 Music now for a vinyl-heavy morning show with Lauren Laverne. 

Before the show started I sneaked down to the store room at Brighton's Resident Music, where all the Record Store Day exclusives have been delivered and filed, ready for tomorrow. Have a look. 

Record Store Day stock at Resident Music

Bowie's Blackstar best-selling vinyl of past 12 months

Mark Savage

Music reporter

David Bowie

David Bowie's Blackstar is the best-selling vinyl album of the past 12 months, the Official Charts Company has revealed ahead of Record Store Day.

The star's swansong even outsold Adele's 25 - despite the fact it was only released on 8 January.

Bowie died two days later, and many of his albums later returned to the chart.

His Nothing Has Changed and 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust also feature in the top 10 vinyl albums for the first three months of 2016.

Overall classic albums dominate the vinyl market, with Amy Winehouse's Back to Black and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours continuing to sell.

Best-selling vinyl albums 2016

Read more.

Avatar to have another sequel, says Cameron

James Cameron

We already knew that US film-maker James Cameron was planning three sequels to his 2009 blockbuster Avatar. Turns out, though, that you can never have enough of a good (or blue) thing... because he's now revealed he's planning FOUR.

At a 20th Century Fox presentation at the CinemaCon convention in Los Angeles on Thursday, the Titanic director said that in planning to give the original film - an us v them parable about humans and blue-skinned aliens falling out on a distant planet - "we began to bump up against the limitations for our art form."

"We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process," he told an audience of cinema owners. "It's going to be a true epic saga."

Read more on this story.

There were also some awards held on the last day of the Las Vegas showcase, news of which we'll bring you shortly.

Kendrick Lamar sued for 'copying' Bill Withers song

BBC Newsbeat

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is being accused of copying music by the 1970s singer Bill Withers, without permission.

He's being sued over the use of 1975 track Don't You Want to Stay in his song I Do This.

According to court papers filed in Los Angeles, the US rapper added his own lyrics to a "direct and complete copy", making it an infringement of copyright.

The complaint added that Kendrick Lamar had "admitted" to copying Withers, and had ignored demands to stop.

The court case was filed by Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music, who claim to hold the copyright to Don't You Want to Stay.

Read more.

Dame Helen: Women should chase male roles

Dame Helen Mirren
Keith Bernstein

Dame Helen Mirren has said actresses should go after roles written for men.  

In her new film thriller Eye in the Sky, released today, she plays an army colonel, a role originally written for a man.

The actress told us it made her "cross" that many roles were given to men, regardless of whether it was the lead character.

You look at a scene and it's going to be all men around a table, and you think at least half of those could have been women. It's so hard to get a job as an actress, let alone as a star, but just a job - to be a working actress - it's so much more difficult than it is for men.

Read more.

Brighton rocks

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Vinyl sales are projected to hit 3.5m this year, the highest figure since the 1980s, music industry body the BPI reports this morning.

The figures come ahead of Record Store Day tomorrow, when thousands of limited, one-off records will be sold at independent record stores around the UK. 

One of them is Brighton's Resident Music - and Lauren Laverne is hosting her BBC 6 Music show from the store this morning.

View more on twitter

I'll be there to bring you updates from the show - and one very special guest.  

Get involved

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

Got anything to say about today's entertainment coverage? Let us know by tweeting @BBCNewsEnts or emailing

Just so you know, we may embed third party content on the page today which might contain advertisements.

Good morning

Steven McIntosh

Entertainment Reporter

And what a good morning it is. The weekend is in touching distance and new music from Pink and James Blake has been released overnight. The only thing that would make this morning better is a cup of tea (milk and one sugar for us, thank you for asking).

In case you missed any of yesterday’s showbiz news, you can catch up now with Thursday's entertainment round-up.

Between now and 16:30 BST, we'll be bringing you all the news you need to know from the world of music, art, film and TV. Stay tuned and we’ll get started shortly.