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  1. Jessica Chastain admits the film industry 'has a diversity problem'
  2. Bradley Cooper to play the Elephant Man in London's West End
  3. Sundance Film Festival opens with Nina Simone documentary

Live Reporting

By Victoria Lindrea and Mark Savage

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good Night, and Good Luck

Victoria Lindrea

Arts and entertainment reporter

So that concludes today's live page. Thanks for joining us - we hope it's been fun.

We'll be back again on Monday when we'll catch up with the best of the arts and entertainment news from across the weekend, including what happened at Saturday's Producers Guild Awards and Sunday's Screen Guild Awards - two key influences on February's Oscars.

Enjoy the weekend.

Record-breaking McQueen

Portrait of Alexander McQueen
Marc Hom

More than 50,000 additional tickets have been released for the V&A's headline exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which opens this March.

The exhibition has been extended by two weeks to 2 August after pre-sales broke museum records for the most ever advance sales for a V&A exhibition.

The museum has now sold 30,000 advance tickets, with online pre-bookable tickets sold out for the first five weekends of the exhibition.

'Star Wars for girls'

Strange Magic
Film company

Twelve years in the making, George Lucas' latest animated film - Strange Magic - was originally conceived as "Stars Wars for girls".

"A lot of women love Star Wars, but it was designed for 12-year-old boys," Lucas told an audience in New York.

"I have three daughters, and I wanted to make a film that was a little more feminine."

A fairytale about finding unexpected love, Strange Magic features classic pop hits sung by stars including Glee's Kristin Chenoweth and The Good Wife's Alan Cumming.

Not to be confused with Magic Mike, then.

National Gallery strike

Staff at the National Gallery have voted to go on strike over plans to bring in a private company to manage services including ticketing, security and information.

The Public and Commercial Services union said its members at the London gallery had backed walkouts by more than nine to one.

The union's general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This reckless sell-off plan risks damaging the worldwide reputation of what is one of the UK's greatest cultural assets, and we are determined to stop it."

Voice playlist

The Voice logo

The songs being performed on tomorrow night's episode of The Voice have been revealed... and it's good news for fans of Sade.

Her 1985 single, Sweetest Taboo, is on the line-up, along with Taylor Swift's Love Story and Dolly Parton's Here You Come Again.

You can listen to a playlist of the originals (which, crucially, aren't in the same order they'll be performed tomorrow) by going to

The Voice website.

Cheryl's good advice

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has announced plans for a multi-million pound facility for disadvantaged young people in Newcastle.

The singer has set up her own foundation, Cheryl's Trust, and will collaborate with the Prince's Trust to establish the new centre, targeting people who are battling drug and alcohol addiction.

"This has been something I've had in my mind passionately for the past three or four years," said the multi-hyphenate pop star.

Making the

announcement on Twitter, she teased fans who've been speculating she is pregnant.

"I'm happy to announce my exciting news. I will be delivering my first... centre in Newcastle for #CherylsTrust," she wrote.

'Gay to the core'

Cucumber press shot
Channel 4

Russell T Davies' much-hyped Channel 4 drama Cucumber failed to win viewers over when it debuted on Thursday night.

The gay drama - which sees Davies returning to his Queer As Folk roots - was watched by 1.2 million viewers, down 34% on the channel's usual audience in that timeslot.

It faced tough competition from BBC One's perennially popular Death in Paradise, which was seen by 6.5 million people.

But critics were largely in favour of the new drama - one of three interlinked series - with

The Independent's Ellen E Jones calling its "ambitious scope... evidence of a TV maestro on top form".

The Guardian's Sam Wollaston described it as "gloriously, explicitly, triumphantly, cucumberly gay to the core".

"It's also dead funny and - most of all - very, very human," he added.

Driving ban

Barbara Knox

Coronation Street actress Barbara Knox has been banned from driving for a year.

The 81-year-old, who plays Rita Tanner, received the ban after admitting a drink-driving charge, relating to an incident in March last year.

In addition, she was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,750.

Coronation Street said it would not be commenting on the case as it was a "private and personal matter".

Read the full story here

Broken Keys

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys

Rock group The Black Keys have cancelled their European tour after drummer Patrick Carney dislocated his shoulder in a surfing accident.

Carney had to have his shoulder reset after a wave slammed him into the ocean floor on 3 January, but the injury is taking longer than expected to heal.

The full list of cancelled dates, including six shows in the UK, is on the band's

official website.

Hobbit shrunk

Martin Freeman in The Hobbit

An anonymous Tolkien fan has created a four-hour cut-down of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.

"I enjoy many aspects of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy," he writes. "Overall, however, I felt that the story was spoiled by an interminable running time, unengaging plot tangents and constant narrative filibustering."

In the new edit, the character of Tauriel is completely excised, as is the prelude with the older Bilbo Baggins, while the climactic Battle of the Five Armies is substantially trimmed.

"My main goals in undertaking this edit were to re-centre the story on Bilbo, and to have the narrative move at a much brisker pace," wrote the fan on his blog.


more information on Design Taxi but, obviously, we don't endorse downloading the copyright-infringing edit.

BreakingBreaking News

Broadcasters have published new plans for TV election debates, including leaders of seven UK political parties.

Read more here.

Depp's dilemma:

The Hollywood Reporter

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp's latest film, Mortdecai, has been getting

negative reviews, and box office tracking suggests it might make less than $10 million in the US this weekend.

That would make it the actor's third straight flop in a leading role, after 2014's Transcendence and 2013's The Lone Ranger.

So is his A-list status at risk?

Read the full article.

Fergie's confession:

The Guardian


"When you perform songs every night, you do tend to get sick of listening to yourself," says the sometime Black Eyed Pea as she gets ready to release her second solo album.

Read the full interview.

The Staves, sprayed:

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Jessica Stavely-Taylor in the video for Black and White
Atlantic Records

Folk-rock trio The Staves have been pimped and crimped for the video to their new single, Black and White, which is produced by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

The clip is set in a 1980s TV studio where, moments before going on air, a newsreader is informed her husband co-presenter is having an affair with the weathergirl.

"There was so much hairspray," says singer Camilla Stavely-Taylor. "So much."

"They kept changing my hairstyle as the day progressed," adds her sister Jessica, who plays the seductive meteorologist (above).

"After eight hours, I'd been in the chair four times. And every time they were like, 'I think it should be a bit bigger'.

"By the end, it was literally a huge crown of hair that was cemented in place."

Watch the video here., and stay tuned for a full interview with the band in the coming weeks.

Tut, tut

King Tutankhamun
AFP/Getty Images

One of Egypt's most admired antiquities has been "kragled".

The burial mask of King Tutankhamun was recently found to have had his beard broken off, then glued back on.

It is not clear whether the mask was damaged during cleaning or if the beard was removed because it was loose, but BBC correspondent Orla Guerin reports that a glue-like substance was clearly visible along the join between the beard and the rest of the mask.

The botched repair job occurred last August, apparently in front of tourists visiting Cairo's Egyptian Museum.

"The mask should have been taken to the conservation lab but they were in a rush to get it displayed quickly again and used this quick drying, irreversible material," a curator at the museum told the Associated Press.

Lord Business, we know you're out there...

Hat'll do the trick

Pharrell on The Simpsons

Pharrell Williams and his oversized headgear are being immortalised in The Simpsons.

The Happy singer will make a cameo as himself in an episode called Walking Big And Tall,

reports Entertainment Weekly.

The plot is inspired by the true story of a US TV station who hired a composer to write a theme song for their city in the 1970s - only for him to produce knock-offs for 160 other cities.

You can read more about

Frank Gari's Hello Milwaukee here.

Big Weekend reaction

via Twitter

There's lots of excitement on Twitter about Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich this May.

Jonsheard: "#BigWeekend Is going to Norwich, this is the biggest thing to happen there since Alan Partridge!!"

Lisa Kirsten: "Maybe the first and last good thing to happen in Norwich!"

James Hayward: "Finding out that Radio 1's big weekend is happening in Norwich has made today even better than it already was."

Georgia Butterworth: "I knew it was only a matter of time before they realised the glory of Norwich."

Huw Sayer: "Years ago I'd have enjoyed @BBCR1 #BigWeekend in Norwich - now I'm so old I'll enjoy complaining about 'those noisy kids'."

Alec bares all

Alec Baldwin

Asterisk button alert! Alec Baldwin is writing his memoirs. The famously excitable actor "opens up in an unflinchingly honest way about his life and times", his publisher promises.

In a statement, Jonathan Burnham describes the memoirs - due out in 2016 - as "funny, occasionally combative, often moving".

Alec Baldwin "combative" - who'd have thought?!

Walliams Whirlwind

The Bookseller

Best-selling children's author David Walliams will mark World Book Day (5 March) by touring the UK's primary schools in a helicopter.

Primary schools can compete to take part in the #WalliamsWhirlwind tour by registering on the author's website and explaining in 50 words why they should receive a visit.

Bradley Cooper - Your views

Tweet @BBCNewsEnts or email

Sam tweets:

"Bradley shall be a treat to watch..his performance in American sniper was cathartic..thumbs up."

Square eyes

Pam St Clement

Former soap adversaries Pam St Clement and Barbara Windsor spend a night in on the sofa watching old EastEnders clips and reminiscing over life in Walford for a Gogglebox-style show, Back To Ours, beginning on iPlayer next week.

The spin-off series forms part of anniversary celebrations for EastEnders, which celebrates 30 years in February.

30 Rock follow-up

Screenshot from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's new series

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the new comedy series from 30 Rock producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

It tells the story of a woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult and starts a new life as a nanny for an Upper East Side socialite.

The trailer, which just popped up on YouTube, includes a throwaway joke about discrimination in the news media - as you can see above.

You can see the whole trailer

by clicking here.

Suchet's handbag

David Suchet as Lady Bracknell
Hugo Glendinning

Hercule Poirot star David Suchet will swap his moustache for a handbag as he prepares to play Lady Bracknell in a new production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

The Oscar Wilde comedy, directed by Adrian Noble, will tour the UK in May and June, ahead of opening at London's Vaudeville Theatre on 1 July.

Bjork's nightmare:


One Little Indian

Earlier this week, Bjork rushed out her new album Vulnicura two months early, after the entire record leaked online.

Her record label boss has been telling Billboard about the scramble to beat the pirates, calling the whole situation a "nightmare".

"Bjork ideally wanted to get the whole record out," he recalls, before describing the complex licensing arrangements that made that harder to achieve than he first thought - including the moment Amazon pulled out of selling the album.

Read the full story here.

Get involved

Will you be heading to Norwich to check out Taylor Swift? Can Sylvester persuade you to swap your daily bread? If you have any thoughts to share on today's entertainment news, get in touch at or tweet us as


Library protest planned:

Birmingham Post

Birmingham City Library

A rally will be held in Birmingham next month, demanding that the city council reverses its decision to cut the opening hours of the city's flagship library.

The £189m building faces losing half its workforce if proposals to slash its annual budget go through.

Local crime writer Judith Cutler and historian Professor Carl Chinn will be guest speakers, while Birmingham-born poet Benjamin Zephaniah has sent a message of support which will be read out at the event on 7 February, also National Library Day.

Read the full story.

Dragon disappears

Dragons' Den

Interior designer Kelly Hoppen has announced she is leaving the BBC show Dragons' Den.

The businesswoman is stepping down after just two series, saying she could not commit to filming commitments.

"What's left to say, but I'm out," she quipped.

No word yet on who might fill her shoes. The new series resumes on Sunday.

Sylvester Stal-loaf

Sylvester Stallone

As Rocky, he was heavyweight champion of the world. As Rambo, he rescued prisoners of war in Vietnam. Now Sylvester Stallone has a new role... Selling bread.

According to The Sun, he's going to shoot a series of commercials in the North of England for Warburtons - one of which will copy his famous run up a flight of steps, this time clutching two loaves.

The Grocer adds that bakery boss Jonathan Warburton will also appear in the adverts, and is "delighted to be starring alongside [a] Hollywood superstar".

Warburton's role in the next Expendables movie is yet to be confirmed.

Sharing the spoils

Theaster Gates

Artist Theatster Gates has shared this year's Artes Mundi prize money with all nine of his fellow nominees.

The Chicago-based winner announced that he would divide the £40,000 among his shortlisted colleagues, saying yesterday that he hoped they would "party with me tonight and have a lot of fun".

Part-sculptor and part-social activist, Gates makes a point of reinvesting money earned from his artwork back into the deprived south side area of Chicago where he lives.

You can watch BBC arts editor Will Gompertz's report on the Artes Mundi prize

here or via the key video tab at the top of this live page.

Birmingham art plans

Shelved plans to build a gallery "the size of the Tate Modern" in Birmingham could be resurrected if funding is found, the BBC has been told.

The original proposals were scrapped in favour of an HS2 terminal, but the director of the city's Ikon gallery, said the idea was "hibernating and waiting to be woken up".

Read more on this story.

Cooper's London ambitions

Tim Masters

- Entertainment correspondent

"Bradley Cooper told me in 2012 he was keen on a stint in the West End - see the bottom of

this interview".

Being a contender:

Deadline Hollywood

Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris

Documentary filmmaker Stevan Riley got the chance of a lifetime when he was granted access to more than 200 hours of audio tapes Marlon Brando made during the course of his life.

The enigmatic actor had hoped to turn the archive of musings, acting studies, self-hypnosis and insights into an autobiographical film before his death in 2004.

Riley picked up the baton and made the documentary Listen To Me Marlon, which premieres on Saturday in competition at Sundance.

Read the full story.

Brand new X-People

Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp
Getty Images

There's been a lot of speculation over who would play the younger versions of Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey in next year's X-Men: Apocalypse.

Well, director Bryan Singer put an end to that last night, announcing that Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp had won the roles.

In earlier movies, the parts were played by Halle Berry, James Marsden and Famke Janssen respectively.

Bryan Singer's tweet

The three actors will join Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in the latest instalment - although it was

recently confirmed that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will not be reprising their roles as Magneto and Professor X.

Trunk call

Bradley Cooper and Alessandro Nivola in The Elephant Man

Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson will be coming to the London stage this May in The Elephant Man.

The production is transferring to Theatre Royal, Haymarket following a record-breaking run on Broadway.

Cooper - now on his third Oscar nomination in as many years - will make his UK theatre debut in the title role of John Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th Century London.


told the Mail's Baz Bamigboye: "I'm bringing him home, to London."

50 shades of Goulding:

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding has just released a video for Love Me Like You Do, her contribution to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

The catchy ballad mirrors the film's steamy subject matter ("touch me like you do," Goulding purrs) - but, more importantly for impatient fans of EL James erotic megaseller, the video features new footage from the movie, including a dance scene between Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

You can watch it here.

Fifty Shades gets its world premiere at the Berlin film festival next month.

Sundance shines

The Sundance Film Festival opened last night in Utah.

Now in its 37th year, the independent film festival has established a track record for finding early awards contenders such as Little Miss Sunshine and Reservoir Dogs.

Last year it premiered Boyhood and Whiplash - now both Oscar nominees for best picture.

Among the films to watch this year are Being Evel, a documentary about the legendary US stuntman Evel Knievel; gymnastics drama The Bronze, and A Walk in the Woods, based on Bill Bryson's bestseller and starring 'Mr Sundance' himself, Robert Redford.

Disney song spotlight:

Entertainment Weekly

Alan Menken is one of Disney's most prolific latter-day songwriters, with credits on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Enchanted, to name a few.

He's picked out some of his favourite compositions for Entertainment Weekly, and fondly remembers Robin Williams' full-throttle approach to playing Aladdin's Genie.

"My God, he went crazy on 'Prince Ali.'" Menken recalls. "He was doing the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Arab-style."

Read the full article here.

Radio 1 goes Partridge

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is the first artist confirmed for Radio 1's Big Weekend, once she picks herself up off that carpet.

The station's annual free music festival will take place in Norwich - the home of Alan Partridge and Delia Smith - on 23 and 24 May 2015.

Big Weekend tweet

Last year's event, in Glasgow, was opened by One Direction and headlined by Coldplay and Katy Perry.


Victoria Lindrea

Arts and entertainment reporter

Good morning - it's Friday! You've made it to the end of the week and you deserve a treat, so stay tuned for the best of today's entertainment and arts news.