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  1. News and updates for 14 April 2016
  2. Blake's 7 star Gareth Thomas dies at 71
  3. Man Booker International Prize shortlist
  4. Music streaming boosts sales of vinyl

Live Reporting

By Chris Long and Victoria Lindrea

All times stated are UK

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Chris Long

Entertainment reporter

That's it for another day on the live page - thanks for joining us. We will return tomorrow morning with more from the world of entertainment.

Before we go, following the news of Gareth Thomas' death earlier, there is only one thing we could leave you with - a trailer for the show that he is best remembered for.

So here, in all its glory, is Blake's 7. Bye for now.

Warning: Third party content may contain ads.

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US critics give Captain America: Civil War the thumbs up

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War looks set to score Marvel an early victory, as the summer blockbuster season unfolds.

Coming in the wake of the desultory reception for Batman v Superman, US critics have given the superhero sequel - from sibling directing duo the Russo brothers - a resounding thumbs up.

"This is the rare Marvel sequel that feels like not just a continuation but a culmination," wrote Variety's Justin Chang. "A decisively superior hero-vs-hero extravaganza that also ranks as the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden said the film was "sure to satisfy devotees", adding that, while it was overlong, "its box-office muscle is beyond question".

The Wrap's Dave White credited the directors with "juggling all the members of their superhero family with a playful touch that both informs character interaction and delivers vital breathing room in between battles", while Dan Jolin, of Empire magazine, called it "the best Marvel Studios movie yet".

The film is released in the UK on 29 April.

Cats on the loose at London Book Fair

Author Judith Kerr has been hanging out with her best-loved creations Mog and the Tiger Who Came to Tea at the London Book Fair.

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The two-day fair has seen a slew of book announcements, including a book deal for 2015 Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain - who appears to be swapping fondant fancies for fiction - a new novel from Ian McEwan and the publication of an English-language sequel to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic book The Little Prince.

Haim tight-lipped over 'important' album number two

BBC Newsbeat


Haim, who topped the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, have pledged their long-awaited follow up to their debut album, Days Are Gone, will be out in 2016 

Danielle and Alana have been speaking to Newsbeat about heading home to LA to write and record it.

But don't expect any spoilers because Danielle isn't giving anything away.

If you remember us around our first record we didn't say anything - we're a very secretive band.

Duran Duran to headline Eden Project for BBC Music Day

Duran Duran
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Pop group Duran Duran will headline a concert at Cornwall's Eden Project at the culmination of BBC Music Day on Friday, 3 June.

The band will play hits from across their four-decade career, including Wild Boys, Rio and tracks from their current album, Paper Gods.

BBC Radio 2 will broadcast the concert live, while highlights will be shown on BBC One on Sunday, 5 June.

The gig will follow a day of musical events across the UK.

In a statement, the band said they were "really proud to be ambassadors for BBC Music Day".

We love the idea of BBC Music Day, it's a fantastic way to bring people together across the country and to promote live music. So, whether it's taking part in one of the events or watching or listening the artists who are part of this year's celebration, we hope everyone gets involved.

Read more on this story.

Grimes reflects on sexist music industry

Rolling Stone magazine

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Canadian electronic artist Grimes has spoken out about sexism in the music industry.

It follows claims by singer Kesha - who is currently involved in a dispute with her former producer Dr Luke, over allegations she was drugged and sexually abused by him - something he denies.

Grimes, whose real name is Clare Boucher, told Rolling Stone she has been put into some uncomfortable positions by male record producers.

I've been in numerous situations where male producers would literally be like, 'We won't finish the song unless you come back to my hotel room'. If I was younger or in a more financially desperate situation, maybe I would have done that. I don't think there are few female producers because women aren't interested. It's difficult for women to get in. It's a pretty hostile environment.

Read more.

Fry apologises 'unreservedly' for abuse remarks

Stephen Fry

Broadcaster and actor Stephen Fry has apologised "unreservedly" for remarks which appeared to suggest survivors of sexual abuse should "grow up".

In a statement on the Mind website, he said: "It distresses me greatly to think that I have upset anyone in the course of the TV interview I had with David Rubin the other week. 

"I of course apologise unreservedly for hurting feelings the way I did. That was never my purpose." 

He added: "There are few experiences more terrible, traumatic and horrifying than rape and abuse and if I gave the impression that I belittled those crimes and the effects they have on their victims then I am so, so sorry." 

It seems I must have utterly failed to get across what I was actually trying to say and instead offended and upset people who didn't deserve to be offended or upset

Fry was criticised for comments he made during a TV interview with talk show host David Rubin, in which he said "self-pity gets none of my sympathy because self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity".

He added: "Grow up."

Critics attacked his comments as "heartless" and "glib".

In a statement, a spokesman for Mind said: "Stephen was speaking in a personal context, giving his own views as part of a longer discussion on the subject of freedom of speech."

Blake's 7: Gareth Thomas remembered

It's back to the '70s now for a spot of nostalgia ...

Watch the late Gareth Thomas in his best-loved role, as rebel leader Roj Blake in cult favourite, Blake's 7 - with outfits worthy of your first school play...

Tate extension to showcase new collection

Tate Modern has announced plans to rehang the entire collection, ahead of the opening of the gallery's new extension in June.

More than 300 artists will be brought together at the Tate, with the extension showcasing mainly new additions to the collection which have been acquired over the past 15 years.

The most recent work to join the collection will take centre stage in the Turbine Hall: a huge sculpture of a tree almost seven metres tall, created by acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei. 

The new Tate Modern will open on 17 June and will be marked by three weeks of live art, including Tino Sehgal’s gallery attendants bursting into song and Amalia Pica’s actors holding up a string of bunting.

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US cinema chain AMC set to allow customers to text during films

Woman on phone

One of the largest cinema chains in the US is considering letting customers use their mobile phones during films.

AMC chief executive Adam Aron said he wanted to encourage so-called millennials to visit the cinema.

He told Variety magazine: "You can't tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That's not how they live their life."

But he said he would have to find a solution that did not disturb other movie-goers.

AMC operates almost 400 cinemas in the United States, with more than 5,000 screens. The chain also has a UK multi-screen complex in Manchester.

Read more on this story.

Bourne sequel will feature 'best chase ever'


Matt Damon/Paul Greengrass
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Producer Frank Marshall told fans at CinemaCon on Wednesday that the next installment of the Jason Bourne franchise will feature the greatest getaway of all.  

The Bourne films have featured a number of high octane pursuits, from the famous Mini chase through the streets of Paris in The Bourne Identity to the frantic rooftop race through Tangier in The Bourne Ultimatum.

This time, the chase sees Matt Damon roaring past showgirls and right into a casino’s front door on the Las Vegas strip, where CinemaCon itself concludes today.

We are staging what I think is the best Bourne chase ever, so we have that to look forward to.

Frank Marshall

The film reunites Damon with director Paul Greengrass - and sees Tommy Lee Jones and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander join the cast.

It is due out on 29 July - almost 10 years after the last Bourne film featuring Damon was released in cinemas - but Marshall promised fans it would be worth the wait, insisting they "wanted to get the story just right".

The mystery of C-3PO's red arm explained

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If you've seen The Force Awakens (and even if you haven't, this barely counts as a spoiler), you will have noticed that one of Star Wars' most enduring characters, the protocol droid C-3PO, had a slightly different look - one of his usually gold arms was a deep shade of red.

If it's been bugging you just how he came by his scarlet limb, then your prayers have been answered, as the whole thing is explained in a new comic book, Star Wars: C-3PO #1.

The Radio Times reports that the comic sees the droid debate philosophy and the question of whether humanity cares for their metallic helpers, which is apparently answered in the most brutal of ways when his arm gets torn off. 

Anyway, it turns out the red colour is an undercoat or rather a throwback to one of his robotic friend's old lives, from before he had his memory wiped - something which happened to C-3PO at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

Of course, it's not the first time he's had a different look - he's not much more than a bunch of spare parts in The Phantom Menace and parts company with his body for half of Attack of the Clones. 

Safe to say, it's not an easy life being a droid.

Rolf Harris denies indecent assaults

Rolf Harris

Former television entertainer Rolf Harris has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault at London's Southwark Crown Court.

The allegations date from 1971 to 2004, relating to girls and women who were aged between 12 and 27.

Some of the offences were allegedly committed at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane in west London.

The 86-year-old will appear in court for a procedural hearing on 29 July.

His trial has been set to start on 9 January 2017.

Roberts 'didn't copy Wintour's look' in Mother's Day

Julia Roberts and Anna Wintour
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Julia Roberts has insisted she did not copy the style of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in her new film Mother's Day.

The movie, which also stars Jennifer Aniston and Jack Whitehall, sees Roberts cast as a tough-talking TV host with short bob haircut, which has seen her compared to Wintour.

Speaking at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, the Oscar winner said she definitely did not take Wintour's look as inspiration.

I've heard a lot about my look in the movie. There's a lot of interpretation about my look. I wish I could have put that much thought into it. It was kind of quick putting it together.

And in case you were wondering, the film is not out on Mother's Day - which was in March here and is in May in the US - it's released in June. Confused? We are!

Cannes favourites on festival line-up

Pedro Almodovar/Ken Loach/Sean Penn

Pedro Almodovar and Ken Loach are among the favourites to take the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Almodovar's Julieta and British director Loach's Daniel Blake - which may, or may not, be his last film - are among 20 films in competition.

Loach will be joined by fellow Briton, Andrea Arnold, who is one of only three women on the shortlist.

Jim Jarmusch, another Cannes regular, returns to competition this year with his latest, Paterson.

Former Palme D'Or winners the Dardenne Brothers and Romania's Cristian Mungiu also make the cut. 

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The competition shortlist also includes Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, best known for the Hollywood blockbusters Total Recall, Basic Instinct and celebrated turkey Showgirls. He returns to the fold with Elle, a thriller starring Isabelle Huppert.

Hollywood actor Sean Penn is also back in the director's chair - and in competition - with The Last Face, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.

There will be more Hollywood glitterati on the red carpet with Steven Spielberg's The BFG, starring Mark Rylance in the title role, and Jodie Foster's Money Monster, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, screening out of competition. 

Iggy Pop may also make the trip to the Croisette this year, with the Jarmusch documentary Gimme Danger also screening out of competition. 

Woody Allen's Cafe Society will open the festival on 11 May.

Read more on this story.

Katy Perry wins latest round in Los Angeles convent sale

Katy Perry

Katy Perry has won the latest round in her legal battle against a group of nuns in Los Angeles who want to block the sale of their former home to the pop star.

A judge has voided the nuns' sale of the former Catholic convent to a local businesswoman, clearing the way for Katy to purchase the hilltop property. 

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick ruled the group of elderly nuns' attempts to sell the property to Dana Hollister - who wants to turn it into a boutique hotel - were improper. 

Katy has been trying to buy the hilltop property for $14.5m and her offer has the approval of Los Angeles' archbishop, but will still have to be approved by the Vatican. 

Read more about the story.

Ringo Starr cancels North Carolina gig over new LGBT law

Ringo Starr

Former Beatle Ringo Starr is the latest musician to cancel a show in North Carolina over a new state law limiting protection for gay and transgender people.

The new law rolls back on several local anti-discrimination measures and requires people to use public toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates. 

Ringo announced he is to call off his All Starr Tour Show in Cary on 18 June in protest.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said:

I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.

He added: "How sad that they feel that this group of people cannot be defended."

Earlier this month Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in the same state, while Bryan Adams also axed a show in Mississippi over the state's controversial new religious liberty law.

It allows some private businesses and religious groups to refuse service to gay people.

The singer issued a statement saying he could not "in good conscience" perform there.

Read more on this story.

Newcomer touted to play young Han Solo

Alden Ehrenreich, at the Hail, Caesar! premiere in Berlin

Newcomer Alden Ehrenreich - who recently appeared in the Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar! - has emerged as the frontrunner to play a young Han Solo in a standalone film centered on the galaxy's smart-talking smuggler and his furry sidekick, Chewbacca.

If the industry rumours are true, it looks like the 26-year-old actor has well and truly arrived. Following his memorable turn in Hail, Caesar!, Ehrenreich is also down to play the lead in Warren Beatty’s yet untitled 'Howard Hughes project' which is due out this autumn.

The Han Solo film, which is set to be released in May 2018, will be directed by the Lego Movie directing duo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Find out more about Alden Ehrenreich,

Lawyers push for We Shall Overcome to go into public domain

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We Shall Overcome, the "unofficial anthem" of the US civil rights movement, could soon be free for everyone to perform - if the lawyers who successfully fought to get 'Happy Birthday to You' put in the public domain have their way again.

The song, which was sung by supporters of Martin Luther King Jr's campaign against institutional racism, was originally a 19th Century gospel hymn before being taken up by the labour movement in the early 20th Century.

The version that most people know today was made famous by folk singer Pete Seeger (you can listen to his version above), and his arrangement was the basis on which Ludlow Music filed for copyright in the 1960s.

That arrangement has since been performed by many different artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Diana Ross and reggae band The Maytals.

Law firm Wolf Haldenstein Alder Freeman took up the case after Ludlow Music, along with fellow publishers the Richmond Organisation, threatened to charge a Christian group $150,000 (£105,000) if they used the song in a documentary.

The firm was approached after successfully winning a fight over the rights to Happy Birthday to You.

A US federal judge ruled the song to be out of copyright in September last year.

Read more on this story.

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Tributes paid to 'proud Welshman' Gareth Thomas

Tributes are being paid to Gareth Thomas, the star of cult sci-fi show Blake's 7 who has died at the age of 71.

His friend and fellow Blake's 7-er Stephen Greif said Thomas had been a "proud Welshman", while actor Peter Egan said Thomas had been a "terrific actor".

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Elsewhere, comedian and presenter Robin Ince shared his memories of the show, while author and journalist Muriel Gray said she was "miserable" having heard the news.

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And television magazine What's On TV shared a suitably Blake 7-themed tweet.

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A brief history of Roj Blake

Blake's 7, series 2, episode 1

Despite early roles in series such as The Avengers, Z Cars and Coronation Street, Gareth Thomas lodged in the public conscious as Roj Blake, the leader of a group of rebels fighting against the totalitarian Terran Federation in the cult series Blake's 7.

The show ran on BBC One from 1978 to 1981, and at its peak, the series was watched by 10 million viewers.

Thomas claimed never to have watched a single episode of the Terry Nation show, which was derided by some for its shaky sets and basic special effects.  

The Welsh actor reportedly insisted his character was killed off after two series, but later reappeared -  not dead after all - for the show's climactic final episode, in which he was finished off... though some fans still dispute this.

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BreakingBlake's 7 star Gareth Thomas dies

Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas, star of cult sci-fi show Blake's 7, has died at the age of 71, from heart failure.

Official fan website Blake's 7 Online first reported the news, following the actor's death yesterday.

"It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Gareth Thomas passed away this morning, 13th April 2016, from heart failure. 

"Our thoughts are with his wife Linda, and his family and friends."

The tribute called Thomas "a fine actor, a real gentleman and always generous to his many fans".

His death was later confirmed by his friend Andrew Mark Sewell, who worked as a producer on the reboot of Blake's 7.

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Nobel Prize winner on Man Booker International Prize shortlist

Orhan Pamuk

A Nobel Prize winner and an author who writes under a pseudonym are among six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, is nominated for his book A Strangeness in My Mind.

Italian writer Elena Ferrante, which is not her real name, is nominated for The Story of the Lost Child.

Yan Lianke, author of The Four Books, was previously a finalist in 2013, but the other five authors are nominated for the first time this year.

The finalists also include two recipients of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize - Pamuk and José Eduardo Agualusa, who has been nominated for A General Theory of Oblivion.

Rounding off the shortlist is Han Kang's The Vegetarian and A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler.

The winner of the prize will be announced on 16 May at a formal dinner at the V&A Museum.

Read more on this story.

Cumberbatch to become voice of The Grinch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Yesterday, we got our first look at Benedict Cumberbatch as a superhero saving the world in the upcoming Doctor Strange film. 

Today, we hear he's taking on a role from the other side of the spectrum, as one of the world's most well-known grumps: Dr Seuss' The Grinch.

Variety reports that the Sherlock star has been signed up as the voice of new animated version of the classic children's book, about an ill-tempered character who tries to steal Christmas from the people of Whoville.

The tale was famously told on the big screen in 2000, when Jim Carrey took the title role in a live-action version.

We'll just have to wait and see whether Cumberbatch's Grinch is quite as crackers as Carrey's was.

The Grinch

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Victoria Lindrea

BBC Entertainment and Arts reporter

You can share your thoughts on today's news by tweeting @BBCNewsEnts or emailing Your comments may be published, so keep it clean please!

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Music streaming boosts sales of vinyl, survey shows

A man browses records in The Boiler Shop record store in Newcastle

Music streaming sites are helping to drive sales of vinyl, new research suggests. 

Half of consumers say they have listened to an album online before buying a vinyl copy, according an ICM poll, shared exclusively with the BBC.

The behaviour is more common for people who use ad-funded services such as SoundCloud or YouTube, suggesting free access to music can drive real-world sales.

However, 48% of people who bought vinyl last month admit they have yet to play it - and 7% of those surveyed say they do not even own a turntable.

Vinyl buying statistics

Read more on this story.

Good morning

Chris Long

Entertainment reporter

Hello and welcome to Thursday, a day so close to the weekend, you can almost taste it.

As always, today's page will be chock-full of entertainment stories from all over the globe, including the shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction and the attempt to get US protest song We Shall Overcome out of copyright and into the public domain.

And there's the somewhat staggering revelation that nearly half the people who bought vinyl last month haven't actually played it yet - with 7% not even owning a turntable.

Strap yourself in, this one could get interesting.