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  1. Madonna dominates Brits coverage
  2. No future for TV licence, MPs says
  3. Lindsay Lohan ordered to redo community service

Live Reporting

By Victoria Lindrea

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good Night, and Good Luck

    Victoria Lindrea

    Arts and entertainment reporter

    So that's it for today - and we've finally stopped talking about Madonna!

    I'll be catching up on Wolf Hall's dramatic finale this evening - and there is still that entire House of Cards season to look forward to when it debuts on Friday. But if you can drag yourself away from the screen, come back tomorrow to check out yet more arts and entertainment news.

    See you then.

  2. Ripley is back:

    Entertainment Weekly

    Entertainment Weekly

    Sigourney Weaver

    District 9 director Neil Blomkamp has confirmed Sigourney Weaver will reprise her role as Ripley in his forthcoming Alien sequel.

    The South African director - who recently finished filming with Weaver on the movie Chappie - said talking to the actress about the role had "informed and changed the film I wanted to make".

    "I started fleshing out the idea for a film that would contain Sigourney," Blomkamp said.

    "Before I knew it, I had this really awesome film with a lot of artwork and a lot of back-story. And then I didn't know whether I was going to make it or not. So I just kind of sat on it for a while."

    Read the full story.

  3. Muting Kanye

    BBC Newsbeat

    Radio 1 and 1Xtra

    Kanye West at the Brits

    ITV is being criticised for muting Kanye West's bad language in his performance of All Day at the Brit Awards.

    The broadcaster bleeped the rapper's set even though it was aired after the 21:00 GMT watershed.

    A spokeswoman defended the decision saying the show targets "a wide audience".

    Read the full story.

  4. Christmas Carole?

    Katie Brayben and Alan Morrissey in Beautiful

    Carole King tribute musical Beautiful may have only had its West End opening night on Tuesday, but its producers are clearly bullish enough about its prospects to extend its current booking period from 13 June to February 2016. (So far away!)

    More than 350,000 new tickets have been released to the song-crammed biopic, which charts King's early life as a hit-maker for hire and her difficult first marriage to fellow songwriter Gerry Goffin.

    King was in attendance herself on opening night, taking to the stage of the Aldwych theatre to deliver a moving tribute to Goffin, who died last year, and sing a few bars of You've Got a Friend.

    Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call. The box office, that is.

  5. Frank binge

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Kevin Spacey

    House of Cards scriptwriter Beau Willimon has been speaking to Radio 5 live ahead of the world premiere of season three of House of Cards, which takes place in London on Thursday.

    The series sees Kevin Spacey reprise his role as Frank Underwood, currently in situ in the Oval office.

    "We've put a full year of work into making these 13 hours as good as they can be," said Willimon.

    "What's wonderful is to know that year of work is going to come to fruition and be released to millions of people; what's horrifying is that many of them are going to be finished [watching it] in one day, after it took us over 300 days to make!"

    Listen to the interview.

  6. Chart change

    Ellie Goulding

    BBC Radio 1's Official Chart show could move from its current Sunday night slot.

    It follows an international agreement to release albums and singles on Fridays.

    The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) hopes an aligned global release day will reduce piracy and "re-ignite excitement".

    Read the full story.

  7. Reading habits

    A report analysing the reading habits of more than half a million British children has revealed that JRR Tolkien's novels have dropped out of the top 20 most popular books for schoolchildren.

    "It could be inferred that he was at his most popular when the Lord of the Rings films were all the rage - and perhaps we'll see a Hobbit effect with current schoolchildren, but it's too early to tell," a spokesperson for the What Kids Are Reading report said.

    The most popular title among secondary pupils was John Green's teen romance The Fault in Our Stars, followed by Catching Fire, from the Hunger Games series, and Veronica Roth's Divergent. All three books have been recently adapted for the big screen.

    In primary schools, the most popular title was David Walliams' Demon Dentist, followed by Liz Pichon's Everything's Amazing (Sort of) and JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

  8. Madonna's Brits bounce

    Madonna's dramatic Brits appearance may not have done her too much harm - in sales terms at least.


    The track she performed, Living For Love, is at number two on the iTunes UK chart following her performance - behind Ellie Goulding, who has been at number one for the past three weeks.

    In the albums chart, the Brits seem to have given a big boost to Royal Blood, who have shot to number one on iTunes since being named best British group.

    Paloma Faith (best British female) has also benefited from her Brits appearance, having risen to number seven on iTunes today.

  9. Fantastic Four - again


    Chronicle director Josh Trank has made a Fantastic Four movie - but not one like the Chris Evans 'n' Jessica Alba version you may remember.

    This one has Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B Jordan and Jamie Bell in it for starters, and what's more, it's distinctly less "cartoonish", to quote the director himself.

    For proof, here are some stills from the upcoming film, straight from the new issue of Empire.

  10. Cover story

    Penguin book covers

    BBC Arts have taken a look at the art behind those iconic Penguin book covers - and their legacy in the publishing world.

    It goes entirely against the premise: "Never judge a book by its cover."

    Read more.

  11. Banksy in Gaza

    Street artist Banksy has posted a video and pictures documenting his trip to Gaza on his website.

    He appears to have visited the region to create artworks on damaged buildings. They include a kitten, which Banksy explains he painted because people are only interested in looking a pictures of cats on the internet.

    In the video, he sarcastically depicts the conflict-torn region as a tourist destination.

  12. Wolf Hall wraps up

    Wolf Hall

    If you weren't watching Madonna falling off a stair at the Brits last night, you may have been watching the finale of Wolf Hall on BBC Two.

    More than two million people tuned in for the final episode, which has been showered with praise.

    "An ending so great we forgot we knew it was coming," was the conclusion of Lucy Mangan in The Guardian.

    "This was simply brilliant television," declared Chris Bennion in The Independent. It was "superb drama from another age," Jasper Rees wrote on The Arts Desk.

    If you need to catch up, it's on the BBC iPlayer.

  13. Power Rangers dispute

    A music video director whose short Power Rangers film was posted online earlier this week claims he is being "harassed" by Haim Saban, who owns rights to the franchise and is jointly producing his own Power Rangers film with Lionsgate.

    Joseph Kahn's 14-minute Power Rangers take-off, starring Dawson's Creek's James Van Der Beek, quickly went viral - only to be taken down by Vimeo a day later after a copyright take-down complaint from Saban Brands. The short is currently still available on YouTube.

    "Saban is trying to shut Power/Rangers down," Kahn tweeted. "If you'd like to keep watching, tell them to stop harassing me."

    He asserted that there was "no copyrighted footage in the short" and told Deadline: "I just wanted to make Power Rangers good for once. It's kind of a silly franchise."

  14. Peter Kay's sitcom premiere

    Peter Kay

    Fresh from his Phoenix Nights live reunion, Peter Kay has announced that his new BBC sitcom Car Share will premiere at the end of March.

    A premiere screening will take place at Blackpool Opera House on 28 March, raising money for the Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire. Tickets go on sale on Saturday.

    The show is then expected to go on the BBC iPlayer before being screened on BBC One.

  15. Love Story stars reunited

    Ali MacGraw/Ryan O'Neal

    Hollywood veterans Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal - who starred in the 1970 Oscar-winning film Love Story - are reuniting on stage.

    The pair will star in a US tour of AR Gurney's Love Letters, about two old-timers who have never relinquished their passion for one another.

    Love Story earned both stars an Oscar nomination, and turned them into household names. It also gave us the memorable line: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

  16. Joshua Tree vandalised


    The Joshua tree immortalised by U2's award-winning 1987 album has been damaged, Billboard reports.

    Countless fans have made the pilgrimage into the Mohave Desert to gawp at the tree, which appeared on the cover of the band's fifth album The Joshua Tree.

    "I've been visiting U2's Joshua Tree in the California desert for nearly 20 years now; the Mojave is my home," notes the user in a post on the U2 Forum website.

    "This past Sunday, I made my proverbial yearly hike out to the Tree with my dog to reminisce only to find that some hack and I do mean hack, decided it was a bright idea to take a hacksaw to one of the Tree's limbs - evidently to remove an inch thick cross section as a souvenir. Are you kidding me?"

  17. No smoke without fire

    Imagine Dragons

    Imagine Dragons' second album Smoke + Mirrors has gone straight to number one on the US Billboard 200, following a major promotional push.

    The marketing campaign included a fan concert on board a US flight and a four-minute live performance that was broadcast in an ad break during the Grammys at a reported cost of $8m (£5.2m).

    Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late is at number two.

  18. The King and I:

    The Bookseller

    Edward St Aubyn

    Author Edward St Aubyn - best known for his Patrick Melrose novels - is to reimagine King Lear for a new series of books that will see Shakespeare's plays re-told.

    St Aubyn joins previously announced authors including Jo Nesbo, Tracey Chevalier, Jeannette Winterson and Margaret Atwood.

    "Who better to take on the ultimate family tragedy?" said Chatto & Windus and Hogarth senior editor Juliet Brooke.

    The series launches in October with the release of The Gap of Time, Winterson's reinvention of The Winter's Tale.

    Read more on The Bookseller.

  19. Train-spotting

    Eddie Redmayne

    Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is to provide the voice for one of the engines on a new Thomas the Tank Engine DVD.

    The Theory Of Everything star, fresh from picking up his best actor Oscar last weekend, will feature in Sodor's Legend Of The Lost Treasure as the voice of a new engine called Ryan.

    He's seriously chuffed with his new role, saying: "I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures."

    "I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast."

  20. Gaga hotel horror

    Fresh from her Sound of Music medley at the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga is swapping her nun's habit for some gothic robes, with a forthcoming role in American Horror Story.

    Lady Gaga

    She released a teaser trailer on Twitter, showing the singer removing an elaborate black mask. The fifth season of the series, entitled Hotel, marks Gaga's first regular acting role - following in the footsteps of Horror Story stalwarts Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.

    Hotel, to be broadcast in October, follows the critically lamented Freak Show season, which lost almost seven million viewers over the course of the series.

    "Make your reservation now," intones the singer.

  21. Brits ratings

    Ant and Dec

    An average of 5.3 million people tuned in to watch the Brit Awards, hosted by Ant and Dec on ITV at 20:00 GMT last night, according to overnight ratings.

    That rose to 5.8 million when ITV+1 viewers were added in. That is more than watched the ceremony in 2014 - but less than in 2013.

    In the first hour of the ceremony, the Brits were beaten by The Great Comic Relief Bake Off on BBC One.

    Six million people watched actor Michael Sheen (below) create a magnificent three-tiered pavlova to triumph over David Mitchell, Jameela Jamil and Sarah Brown.

    Michael Sheen
  22. Frozen fever

    Frozen Fever

    Let it Go! The Frozen Fever trailer is here!

    The seven-minute spin-off film will be shown ahead of screenings of the forthcoming live action Cinderella film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, which is released in March.

    Frozen Fever follows Queen Elsa as she plans a birthday party for her sister, Princess Anna. Until Elsa catches a cold...

    "Elsa doesn't get a cold in the usual way," director Jennifer Lee told USA Today. "She's special. Surprising things occur that wreak a little havoc."

    The short film is sure to wreak plenty of havoc too. Frozen is the fifth highest-grossing film of all time - so this little number is sure to draw in wannabe princesses everywhere for this double bill.

    And like recent Academy Award winner Feast - which was shown ahead of Big Hero 6 last year - it's almost certain to find itself nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short film next year.

    Watch the trailer here.

    But we can't be talking Oscar nominations again already, can we?!

  23. Stage presence

    Stephen Merchant

    Stephen Merchant - lesser-known ego to sidekick Ricky Gervais - will make his West End debut in The Mentalists this summer.

    Not to be confused with TV's The Mentalist, the play - from One Man, Two Guvnors playwright Richard Bean - sees Merchant playing opposite Gavin and Stacey star Steffan Rhodri in a two-hander about friends Ted and Morrie "and how they deal with their frustrations as working men battling against the world".

    It will open at London's Wyndham's Theatre on 3 July.

  24. Avengers assemble again

    Robert Downey Jr has put out a new poster for this summer's new Avengers: Age Of Ultron blockbuster.

    Robert Downey Jr

    The actor reprises his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel movie, which is directed by Joss Whedon.

    "And don't tell 'em I told you, but there's a big announcement coming in 8 days… Shhhhhhh… ‪#‎getexcited" he wrote on Facebook.‬

  25. Get Involved

    You have also been having your say about that Madonna moment (I promise, we will move on to something else soon - at least until we find out what happened to THAT cape puller/stylist!)

    Linda Pepper emailed to say: "Looked like she was too slow undoing the Cape herself. They pulled at the right time in the song but she was still attached? That's what I saw!"

    Lesley Bowers: "True professional Madonna, we love you!"

    Rob Brown: "Oh dear! Ze fallen Madonna with ze big boobies!!" (echoing a later Sun headline)

  26. Mixed feelings for Madge

    Gaby Logan tweeted her support for Madonna by showing a picture of her child falling over in a Harry Potter-style cloak: "Anyone can fall over in a cape. (Taken yesterday before school). Premonition."

    Gabby Logan on Twitter

    "What a legend" tweeted Jason Manford, while Suzi Perry just stated: "Ps I have fallen back in love with #Madonna".

    Others were predictably less kind.

    "Still laughing. (nearly 2hrs later..)" tweeted Piers Morgan, while Jim Sheridan pictured the star in a stair-lift: "Fair play to #Madonna just off stage and despite the fall she's headed up to the afterparty at the #Brits"

    As many have asserted, Madge should have taken advice from Edna of The Incredibles fame: "No Capes!"

  27. Material love

    Madonna at the Brits

    Lots of tweets about the Material Girl's sensational cape incident - including several suggestions that it was all an elaborate PR stunt.

    But showbiz buddy Liza Minnelli's defence even ran to denying that the incident happened: "Somebody told me that my friend Madonna fell while performing, but she is incapable of doing such a thing. You couldn't keep Madonna down if you tried," she wrote on Facebook.

    That's blind devotion for you.

  28. Get in touch:

    Ian Youngs

    Entertainment reporter

    What did you make of last night's Brit Awards? What were the highlights, and did the right acts win? And has Madonna lost her touch - or did she earn your respect for carrying on?

    Let us know your thoughts on that or any of today's arts and entertainment news. Tweet @BBCNewsEnts or email

  29. Post update

    Victoria Lindrea

    Arts and entertainment reporter

    Good morning and welcome to Thursday's live page.

    It's going to be hard to topple Madonna's tumble at the Brits as a talking point, but stay with us for any fall-out...

    Also in the news, actress Lindsay Lohan has been told being on stage in London does not constitute community service, so it's back to mopping floors for everybody's favourite Mean Girl.

    And will there be a BBC licence fee in 10 years time? The debate is on.

    Stick with us for all the day's arts and entertainment news.