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Live Reporting

By Steven McIntosh and Keily Smith

All times stated are UK

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The time has come for us to close Thursday's Entertainment Live page and thank you all for your company.

From Countryfile to Carpool Karaoke, Jamie Lloyd to Justin Timberlake, we've covered a lot of ground today, and to make things even more emotional, we're not the only ones saying farewell.

Stephen Mangan tweeted earlier that he's been filming some of the final episodes of Episodes with Daisy Haggard and Joseph May this afternoon. 

The trio posted this picture from the set:

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View more on twitter

Series seven of Episodes, which will have, er, seven episodes, will air in 2017.

The Entertainment Live page, meanwhile, will be back slightly sooner than that - tomorrow morning at 08:30 BST.

See you then.

Penguins reveal what it's like to meet David Attenborough

It's David Attenborough's 90th birthday this Sunday.

To celebrate, the BBC has asked a pair of penguins* what makes the national treasure such a national treasure:

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*Disclaimer: May not be actual real-life penguins

Steve Coogan presented with Alan Partridge cake

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

It's generally accepted that cats and dogs rule the internet, but there's one other subject that always goes down well with readers of the Entertainment Live page: Cake.

Last month we brought you pictures of the cake that Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain made for The Queen's 90th birthday.

This month, it's Steve Coogan's turn.

Last night, the actor was presented with a cake decorated with the face of his most famous creation, Alan Partridge.

There's a GBBO connection here too, as this one was made by previous winner Frances Quinn.

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Coogan was presented with it during a screening and Q&A about his new one-off special Alan Partridge's Scissored Isle, which will screen on Sky Atlantic on 30 May.

Not flying the flag

The Welsh flag is among those that have been banned by Eurovision Song Contest organisers, and for some the decision stings, particularly as one of half of the UK's entry is from Wales. 

There was a heated debate on the Daily Politics show on the issue, with Clywd West MP David Jones notably incensed.

New rules mean there will no flags bearing the Welsh dragon at the Stockholm final.

Your reaction: Director says theatre tickets are too expensive


Earlier, we heard director Jamie Lloyd's comments that high theatre ticket prices in the West End are "creating a divide in the audience between the rich and the poor".

We posted this story on Twitter - and several of you have been sharing your thoughts on what he said. And the vast majority are taking his side

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View more on twitter
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But, writing in The Stage, Alistair Smith says it's more complicated than many audiences understand. He defends producers, and points out they have a lot of overheads:

Producing theatre is more expensive and risky than audiences understand... Theatre has become more expensive to produce. Theatre rental and the amount of money ‘lost’ to ticket agents and other intermediaries has undoubtedly risen. It’s not any easier to create a hit, so when producers have one, it’s understandable they want to make back money they have (perhaps) lost for investors on previous projects. They are not charities, but commercial businesses. They have a duty of care to their investors’ money.

Last minute voting for Bafta award

A Bafta award

There's less than two hours left to vote for your favourite TV show of the year ahead of Sunday's Bafta TV Awards.

The Radio Times Audience Award is the only prize chosen by the public. 

Drawn up by a panel of TV critics, the shortlist includes: 

  • Doctor Foster
  • Great British Bake Off
  • Humans
  • Making a Murderer
  • Peter Kay's Car Share
  • Poldark

Voting closes at 17:00 BST so get in quick.

NHS choir signs film deal after topping chart at Christmas

NHS Choir

The NHS choir that beat Justin Bieber to the UK's Christmas number one spot in 2015 has signed a film deal to tell its story.

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir beat the Canadian singer after he urged his 72 million Twitter followers to buy its charity single, A Bridge Over You.

Producer Julia Verdin, who worked on The Merchant Of Venice starring Al Pacino, has secured the story's rights.

Choir co-ordinator Caroline Smith said the singers were "thrilled".

This is all very lovely, but we think they've jumped the queue slightly. Rihanna has had eight UK number ones and the film about her life has yet to be commissioned. Maybe that could be the next one...

Throwback Thursday

We couldn't resist sharing Joan Collins' special Throwback Thursday tweet.

Just your average outfit for being thrown in the cells. 

In case you're too young to remember, this is Collins as Alexis Colby (formerly Carrington, Dexter and Rowan) in her Dynasty heyday.

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Cameron and Johnson to appear on Countryfile

Time now for some politics news NO WAIT - come back.

It's kind of entertainment-related.

Prime Minister David Cameron and outgoing London mayor Boris Johnson will put their opposing ideas about the future of the UK in the European Union to Countryfile fans. 

The pair will be hoping to win over the five million viewers who regularly tune in to the weekly programme about life in the countryside.

Mr Cameron, who is backing Remain, and pro-Brexit campaigner Mr Johnson will appear ahead of the referendum on 23 June "to discuss issues surrounding the impact of the EU referendum on rural Britain."

David Cameron and Boris Johnson

Beyonce supports 'bathroom bill' reversal

Beyonce performing

Beyonce has become the latest celebrity to call for equality in North Carolina, after the state stopped a law that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as, instead of those designated for their sex at birth.

The singer posted an article about the controversial "bathroom bill"  on her website, directing people to LGBT charities and telling fans:

As The Formation World Tour makes its stop in the Tar Heel state in the midst of such a controversial time, we think it is important for us to bring attention to those who are committed to being good and carrying on the message of equality in this core of controversy.

Her concert in North Carolina state capital Raleigh took place earlier this week and was badly affected by rain and lightning.

Read more

Dawn French novel among Richard and Judy recommendations

Richard and Judy

If you're looking for some good reads to take with you on holiday this summer, Richard and Judy may be able to help.

Dawn French's latest novel is among the books the pair are recommending to readers this summer.

Titled According To Yes, French's third novel follows an eccentric primary school teacher from England who heads to The Foreign Land of the Very Wealthy - otherwise known as Manhattan's Upper East Side. 

Other titles recommended by the couple's Book Club are The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, Sweet Caress by William Boyd, A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton, Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, The Girls by Lisa Jewell, Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville and Cathy Rentzenbrink's The Last Act Of Love. 

Justin Timberlake Can't Stop the Feeling

Justin Timberlake

He's been away for too long but JT fans are rejoicing, for one of our favourite Disney Club star's done good is back with a new track.

Can't Stop the Feeling is due to be played for the first time on Friday.

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It's been reported Max Martin (Britney, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson) is producing and it's from Justin's forthcoming DreamWorks movie Trolls.

Apparently a few people have been lucky enough to hear it early, and the feedback has been positive.

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter
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Why didn't New Day succeed?

New Day newspaper

Time now for some reaction to one of our main stories today - the announcement that the New Day newspaper is to close just nine weeks after its launch.

The Guardian's media commentator Roy Greenslade has written an article explaining why he thinks the paper didn't succeed.

He says it was a combination of factors:

  • "It was a toe-in-the-water, rather than a full-hearted, experiment. It was bold in its concept and timid in its execution. 
  • "Editor Alison Phillips was hobbled by the early deadline. The paper had to be printed on presses used by the Daily Mirror and was therefore published early in the evening. Result: no breaking news and no sports results. 
  • "If the publisher was to have any hope of winning readers over then the obvious requirement was massive publicity over a prolonged period. Instead, there was a very short time between the announcement of The New Day’s coming arrival and its launch. There was some TV promotion, but not enough to create a wave of interest.
  • "To confuse matters, it was free for a day, 25p for a while and then 50p (with a short reversion to 25p in between). What were potential buyers (not to mention retailers) supposed to make of that?"

Here's the statement the newspaper's editor posted on Facebook:

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Many readers of the paper have also been expressing their sadness about its closure, but others say they aren't surprised:

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View more on twitter
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Jodie Foster has finally been given her own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame
After nearly five decades in the movie industry, Jodie Foster has finally been given her own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Royal Exchange searches for 'inventive, urgent' theatre

Chris Long

Entertainment reporter

Royal Exchange Theatre
David Dixon/Geograph

Is your writing "inventive, urgent and unconstrained by pre-existing notions of what theatre can be"?

If it is, then Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre are looking for you to enter it so it can be considered for its 2016 Hodgkiss Award.

Last awarded in 2013, the prize has been "reimagined" for a relaunch, with the hope of bringing a "brand new piece of ambitious theatre" to one of the venue's stages next year.

The artist or company that wins the award will be given a £4,000 prize and support from the theatre to bring their idea to fruition.

Deadline for entries is 1 June, with the Royal Exchange's artistic director Sarah Frankcom and theatre-maker Chris Goode choosing a winner later that month.

There's now a Pharrell doll (Vivienne Westwood ranger hat included)

BBC Newsbeat

He's one of the biggest music stars in the world and now he's joined the list of celebrities who's been made into a doll:

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Pharrell plugged his new figurine on his final series of The Voice.

It's dressed up in the clothes he wore at the Grammys in 2014, including a detachable Vivienne Westwood ranger hat and hands that clasp together as if in prayer.

It even has his angel tattoo on the back of his neck.

Read more.

Flying out to Eurovision

The UK's Eurovision entries Joe and Jake are already making tracks for Stockholm to prepare for next weekend's Eurovision Song Contest. 

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Nothing like getting there early and acclimatising to the one-hour zone difference!

The pair will perform You're Not Alone on the big night, having won the right to represent their country in a public vote. 

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Gourmet menu for Bafta diners


The great and the good of the small screen will be congregating on Sunday night for the Bafta TV Awards. 

The big question of the night is, of course, what will they be tucking into at the swanky dinner?

Well, in the chef's words:

  • Starter - cheese souffle with watercress veloute, 
  • Main - corn-fed chicken, rye and leek stuffing with a fricassee of broad beans, green beans and baby carrots, pomme maxim and mousseron jus 
  • Dessert - Madagascar Sambirano Valley 72 % dark chocolate compressed raspberry delice, raspberry and bell pepper sorbet with black olive soil

We'll be manning a dedicated Entertainment Live page on the night when the menu du jour will likely be fromage-lined baked dough, chipped potatoes with a beef dusting and a sugar-frosted cylindrical bun filled with a strawberry reduction (cheese sandwich, crisps and a doughnut). 


Stefani does Carpool Karaoke

James Corden has taken to the wheel again for a new episode of his Late, Late Show Carpool Karaoke - this time with Gwen Stefani. 

The pair chat about love and emojis in between crooning some of Stefani's bigger hits.

They are then joined by some epic backseat passengers - we won't spoil the surprise but safe to say it's b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

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BBC announces new factual and entertainment programmes

Ore Obuba

Are you a fan of brand new factual programmes on BBC One which feature hard-hitting content, great stories and a range of popular presenters?

Well, good news. 

The BBC has announced five new factual programmes for BBC One which will feature "hard-hitting content, great stories and a range of popular presenters". 

Here's a couple of them:

Dom Littlewood will return to screens for Dom On The Spot, where he will spend time with the officials who dole out fines for criminal offences, such as fly-tipping and speeding, and he’ll meet the victims affected by them.  

In Street Auction, Flog It’s Paul Martin will work with Danny Sebastian and Irena Aggrey to raise funds for a deserving member of a local community, using hidden treasures found in their street.  

But who's that nice looking chap in the picture above you might wonder?

That's presenter Ore Oduba, who will front a new 45-minute format of long-running morning programme Claimed And Shamed. It's been recommisioned for a 20-episode run on BBC One and it will be the first time the show has featured a presenter.


This is all very exciting and everything, you're probably thinking, but what about non-factual programmes, such as entertainment shows - any new commissions there?

Glad you asked, yes there are.

In Debatable, Patrick Kielty will ask members of the public to answer some challenging questions following light-hearted but informative discussions featuring a range of well-known faces.  

And in Make Me An Egghead, viewers will see Jeremy Vine search for two new Eggheads, one female and one male. (Not going to lie, we're massive Eggheads fans here, very excited about this.)  

One of the vacancies has been created by CJ de Mooi's departure from the show to pursue an acting career - something presenter Jeremy Vine has tweeted about this morning:

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Director Jamie Lloyd criticises 'outrageous' theatre ticket prices

Jamie Lloyd
Getty Images

High theatre ticket prices in the West End are "creating a divide in the audience between the rich and the poor", a top director has claimed. 

Jamie Lloyd, who launched Doctor Faustus at the Duke of York's Theatre starring Game of Thrones' Kit Harington last week, called the industry "corrupt" over decisions to charge more than £100 for some tickets. 

He described such high prices as "outrageous" and told The Stage: 

We are creating a divide in the audience between the rich and the poor. People will pay for them, but that does not mean it is right.

His production group The Jamie Lloyd Company runs a £15 Mondays scheme which makes every seat in the auditorium accessible at the reduced rate.   

Lloyd, who has won an Olivier award and an Evening Standard award for past productions, also directed The Maids with Zawe Ashton and Downton's Laura Carmichael and Macbeth, which featured James McAvoy.   

Discussing the failure of large theatres to use high prices to subsidise off-peak tickets, he said: "It's corrupt and it needs to be addressed."  

What do you think about this story? Do high ticket prices stop you from going to the theatre? Let us know on Twitter.

Magic Mike goes live

Contain yourself, everybody! Magic Mike is going to be a real live thing. Unfortunately, it's only going to be in Las Vegas for now. 

Channing Tatum, on whose life the original film was loosely based, made the announcement in a very watchable video, featuring shirtless men and cute puppies. 

Tatum said Magic Mike Live, due to open in 2017, was an attempt to give women the same entertainment as men are used to (i.e. strip clubs).

Tatum won't be starring in the show but hinted he might make a guest appearance.

If I'm ever in shape enough to do that again, I'll absolutely go out and have a fun night or two.

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The show, a partnership with Cosmopolitan magazine, could eventually tour other cities. 

It's the pregnant principle

Janet Jackson and her husband Wissam Al Mana
Getty Images

Janet Jackson is expecting her first child, it has been reported, just two weeks shy of her 50th birthday.

The news was broken by Entertainment Tonight, who quoted "a source" as the... er, source of the story. It comes a month after the star postponed her world tour to start a family with her husband Wissam Al Mana.

Janet has yet to comment - instead using her social media accounts to premiere a video for her new single, Dammn Baby.

Taken from her seventh US number one album, Unbreakable, the video features a simple set-up, focussing on the star's snap-pop choreography. 

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Associated Press went behind the scenes on the video shoot... which is more interesting than it sounds, thanks to interviews with the star's choreographer and songwriters.

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New Day newspaper to close 'after poor sales'

New Day newspaper
Getty Images

Daily newspaper the New Day is set to close on Friday, just nine weeks after it was launched.

Publisher Trinity Mirror said it was "disappointing" but circulation for the title was "below our expectations".

Editor Alison Phillips said "we tried everything we could", adding that the paper had had a good reaction from readers, "but the reality was we didn't have enough of them".

It had hoped to sell about 200,000 copies a day, but sales are reported to have fallen to about 40,000.

The paper was launched in February and was said to be politically neutral and aimed at "time-poor" readers. Although the title had a social media presence, it did not have a website.

Read more.

Media personalities have been offering their thoughts on the paper's demise.

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View more on twitter

Victoria Wood funeral held

The Sun

Victoria Wood

Comedy legend Victoria Wood was remembered by family and friends at a private funeral yesterday, according to The Sun.

Wood's death last month shocked the entertainment world after she chose to keep her cancer battle private from all but those close to her.

The paper reports that among the mourners at Golders Green Crematorium were Julie Walters, alongside Wood's children and ex-husband Geoffrey Durham, aka The Great Soprendo.

Get involved

Twitter was not just invented to complain about bad customer service and tell people what you had for breakfast.

It was also intended for you to tell us what you think of today's Entertainment Live page.

Why not share your thoughts on the stories we're covering by tweeting us @BBCNewsEnts

Or,  you could send an email, 2002 style, to

We may even feature some of your comments on this page.  Fame will be yours at last.

Spotlight and The Jungle Book win at Golden Trailer Awards

Still from Spotlight

We love a good trailer here on the Entertainment Live page.

Just about every day, you can guarantee a new film teaser will be released that makes us even more excited about it than we already were.

In the olden days, trailers were about 15 seconds long and ran on TV.

Nowadays, they've become something of an art form, usually more than two minutes and posted on YouTube. 

A good trailer will whet the fans appetite while also not revealing too many plot spoilers.

So it's only fair that trailers get an awards ceremony of their own, and last night, the Golden Trailer Awards were held in Beverley Hills.

This trailer for Spotlight won the best of show prize and best independent trailer:

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The Jungle Book was the top winning film, collecting trophies in four categories.  

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You can read the full list of winners on The Hollywood Reporter.

Bafta Fellowship for comedy duo

Galton and Simpson

Celebrated comedy writing duo Ray Galton and Alan Simpson will be honoured with a Bafta Fellowship at the academy's television awards on Sunday. 

The fellowship, awarded annually, is the highest accolade handed out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The pair's collaborations include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son, as well as writing for the likes of Frankie Howerd.

We are extremely delighted to receive the Bafta Fellowship. We always wanted a Fellowship, even though we did not know what a Fellowship was. Not the sort of thing one associates with a couple of Cockney lads, apart from Alfred Hitchcock of course.

Alan Simpson

Having created some of the most iconic characters and programmes over the past few decades, it comes as no surprise that Alan Simpson and Ray Galton will be receiving the Bafta Fellowship this year. "They are rightly considered the trailblazers of the situation comedy format.

Anne MorrisonBafta chair
Steptoe and Son

Good morning

Steven McIntosh

Entertainment Reporter

Welcome to Thursday's Entertainment Live page. 

Here are our top three favourite things about Thursdays: 

1) It's almost Friday 

2) You're firmly past the halfway point of the working week 

3) It was named after Thor, the God of Sky and Thunder - i.e. "Thor's Day".

On this particular Thursday, we'll be bringing you all the entertainment news we can, from the world of film, TV, music and art.

Stay tuned and we'll get started shortly.