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Summary

  1. Red Nose Day kicks off for Comic Relief
  2. Broadcasting Press Guild presents awards
  3. Andy Samberg to host 2015 Emmys

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Keily Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

End of the line:

Neil Smith

Arts reporter

That's all the live news we have for you today. But we'll be back on Monday with another live page that will have everything you'll need to know in the world of entertainment, media and the arts. In the meantime... Go Dermot!

Dermot O'Leary
BBC

News round-up

Before we sign off for the day, and the week, here are some other stories we've been reporting on:

  • Actress Sadie Frost has revealed she asked close relatives to sign confidentiality agreements because she did not know where tabloid stories about her were coming from. [
    Read more on this story]
  • A Tennessee Williams biography, a cartoonist's autobiography and an anthology by the poet Claudia Rankine were among the recipients of the National Book Critics Circle's annual awards. [
    Read more on this story]
  • Fans of author Sir Terry Pratchett have started a petition asking 'Death' - a recurring character in the late writer's work - to bring him back to life. [
    Read more on this story]
  • Politicians in Wales are distancing themselves from a decision not to allow the new James Bond film Spectre to be shot in the Welsh assembly's debating chamber. [
    Read more on this story]

Back to Broadway for Chenoweth

Peter Gallagher and Kristin Chenoweth
AP

Kristin Chenoweth has opened on Broadway in musical comedy On the Twentieth Century, the revival of which has not been without incident.

According to the New York Times, the Glee and Good Wife star has been performing with a cracked rib, while co-star Peter Gallagher has been laid low of late by a severe sinus infection.

It was all smiles at Thursday's opening night, and not only because the critics are being kept out until a performance later this week.

We loved meeting Kristin when she was in London last year, so we wish her all the best for the rest of the run. We'd say "break a leg" but that might be tempting fate.

'Health and safety gone mad'

Al Murray
PA

Comedian Al Murray, who is standing for parliament in his guise as The Pub Landlord, has been forced to cancel a parachute jump - because he is too heavy.

Murray was expected to plunge 12,000ft (3,658m) into Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent but learned when he arrived that he was heavier than the 14st 7lb (92kg) limit.

"My life is being held back by health and safety gone mad," he said. "Gone are the days that a British citizen could throw themselves out of a plane regardless of the risk."

Murray is contesting the South Thanet seat, where he is taking on UKIP leader Nigel Farage in the general election.

Read more on this story.

Lee 'delighted' by book release

Harper Lee, pictured in 2010
AP

Harper Lee's agent has said the To Kill a Mockingbird writer is "in full possession of her mental faculties" following the

closure of an inquiry into whether the reclusive 88-year-old was pressured into publishing a sequel.

"We have had wonderful discussions ranging over many subjects from the state of contemporary politics to university life in England," continued Andrew Nurnberg.

"The fact that she is hard of hearing and suffers from some macular degeneration... has no bearing whatsoever on her quick wit or of speaking her mind on all manner of things."

The agent said Lee, pictured above in 2010, was "delighted and enthused" that Go Set a Watchman is to be published later this year and that any suggestion she was not being looked after was "as shameful as it is sad".

Clarkson 'grateful' for support

Jeremy Clarkson
AP

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has thanked fans who have supported him since his suspension from the BBC's motoring show.

"I am very grateful to everybody," said the broadcaster, who is understood to have informed bosses personally of the alleged "fracas" that led to his suspension.

BBC News understands that the star phoned the BBC's head of television, Danny Cohen, to report the incident.

Interviews are expected to be held with the star and other parties next week.

Read more on this story.

Scotland welcomes pop art

In the Car (1963)
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2015

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has opened the doors of its

Roy Lichtenstein exhibition.

Three rooms at Edinburgh's Modern One have been given over to the late American who helped define the pop art movement.

This piece, In the Car (1963), is among the works on display in the free exhibition, which runs until 10 January.

Lichtenstein originals can be worth millions, with the auction record set at £27.8m in 2012 when

Sleeping Girl was sold.

On the box

Sandra and Sandy from Gogglebox
PA

Gogglebox's Sandra and Sandy were among the stars in attendance at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in London earlier.

The best friends from south London, who are among the Channel 4 show's featured "TV critics", collected the award for best factual programme on behalf of the Gogglebox team.

It is the second year in a row it has won the award at the event, organised by journalists who work in the TV and radio industry.

'Quite overwhelming'

Michelle Williams with Dame Kristin Scott Thomas
AFP

Michelle Williams has told the BBC she felt "a responsibility heaped" upon her when she came to be cast in the film version of Irene Nerimovksy's epic novel Suite Francaise.

Undiscovered for 60 years after its author died in a concentration camp, the book - written during the French occupation in the early years of World War Two - became a worldwide bestseller upon its publication in 2004.

"It's quite overwhelming, the level of emotion you feel when you even think about Irene's story," says Williams, pictured above with co-star Dame Kristin Scott Thomas.

"As soon as I read the script, I could see Irene, and hear her voice around me. It very rarely happens, but her words sounded like music to me."

Read the full interview.

Dermot speaks!

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Dermot O'Leary
BBC

I've just had a brief chat with Dermot O'Leary as he reaches the home stretch on his 24-hour dance marathon (and yes, I had to dance with him during the interview).

He seems weary, but in good spirits, although his knees are starting to give him trouble.

"I'm strictly opposed to going anywhere below knee height now, just in case I don't get back up," he said.

And the star also revealed his family hadn't been entirely encouraging about his dancing feat.

"I spoke to my mum yesterday and she just said to me: 'You know what, you've never been a natural dancer but I'm sure you'll do very well,'" he laughed.

"I was quite nervous anyway, and I'm thinking, 'Thanks a bunch, mum.' I know I'm not the greatest dancer in the world, but I'm not that bad."

You can follow Dermot's progress on

Radio 2's live video stream.

'A precious gift'

Jimmy Somerville
BBC

Jimmy Somerville was on the BBC Breakfast sofa earlier, where he revealed how ambivalent he once felt about his distinctive falsetto voice.

"As I kid I thought it was unmasculine and not very manly, so I was a bit scared of it and hid it away," said the former Bronski Beat and Communards singer.

"But it's quite a precious gift, and a rare thing for men to have a countertenor voice. So when we became famous, it was like, 'There's no turning back now.'"

Now 53, the Scottish performer has just released Homage, his sixth solo album.

Watch the full interview.

Talbot sentenced

Fred Talbot
PA

Former TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been sentenced to five years in jail for indecently assaulting two boys while working as a teacher.

Talbot, who used to work on This Morning, was found guilty of abusing two boys at Altrincham Grammar School in Greater Manchester during school trips in 1975 and 1976.

The 65-year-old was cleared of eight other charges of indecent assault, after a three-week trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court in February.

Read the full story.

First Terry, now Geri:

Mark Savage

Entertainment reporter

Geri Halliwell with Dermot O'Leary
BBC

Geri Halliwell has just left BBC HQ after helping Dermot O'Leary with his all-day dancing marathon. After 20 minutes of dancing she was already looking tired - so how must he be feeling?

"I think Dermot's at that stage where you're beyond tired and the adrenalin just kicks in," she says. "I think he's amazing. I'm really proud of him."

Geri first got involved with Comic Relief when the Spice Girls' Who Do You Think You Are became the official song in 1997.

"It's been a long time!" she laughed. "The thing that's important to remember is that, as well as Africa, it's supporting kids in inner cities in England. It's brilliant."

Kane comes home

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane
AP

Fifty film fans on the west coast of America have paid $1,000 (£675) each to watch Orson Welles' 1941 classic Citizen Kane in the home of the man who partly inspired it.

The special screening will take place later in the private movie theatre that US tycoon William Randolph Hearst built at his Hearst Castle residence at San Simeon, California.

Welles based the character of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane on Hearst, whose home became the fictional Xanadu in the film.

Hearst's great-grandson Stephen Hearst said he had agreed to allow the event -

organised by the San Luis Obispo Film Festival - in order to "clarify the record" and "draw the distinction" between his distinguished forebear and Welles' creation (pictured).

If you ever get the chance to visit

Hearst Castle, you should - it's spectacular. And the film's not bad either, if you've yet to see it.

Superhero surprise

Robert Downey Jr and Alex
other

The touching moment Robert Downey Jr presented a working prosthetic arm that looks just like Iron Man's to a seven-year-old boy has been documented on

YouTube.

Alex, who was born with a partially developed right arm, was surprised by Downey Jr - dressed as superhero Tony Stark - with the red and gold prosthetic that had been developed especially for him.

The arm was created by engineering student Albert Manero, who builds and donates 3D-printed bionic limbs to children around the world as part of

The Collective Project.

Smith and Jones recognised

Sheridan Smith and Toby Jones
Getty Images/BBC

Sheridan Smith and Toby Jones are being recognised by the Broadcasting Press Guild at its annual awards bash, for dramas that saw them both play real people.

Smith, 33, has won best actress for her performances as the young Cilla Black in ITV's Cilla and as Claire Webster, whose murder by husband Malcolm was dramatised in The Widower.

Jones, meanwhile, is being honoured for playing football kitman Neil Baldwin, the subject of BBC Two's Marvellous, as well as for his role in the sitcom Detectorists.

Marvellous has won best single drama at the London event, while The Honourable Woman is the recipient of the guild's drama series prize.

Read the full story.

Three Dog Night's Greenspoon dies

Jimmy Greenspoon
AP

"Jeremiah was a bull frog, Was a good friend of mine. I never understood a single word he said, But I helped him drink his wine."

If those lyrics from Three Dog Night's Joy to the World ring a bell, you're sure to be saddened by the news that Jimmy Greenspoon, the rock band's long-time keyboardist, has died of cancer at the age of 67.

Greenspoon joined the band - who also scored a hit with their cover of Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - in 1968 and remained with them until October last year.

During his long career, he also performed with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and the Beach Boys.

Dermot does the Floral Dance

Sir Terry Wogan with John Bishop, Dermot O'Leary and others
BBC

Dermot O'Leary has been joined by a special guest outside the BBC's Broadcasting House - no less a great than Sir Terry Wogan.

Sir Terry gave a boost to Dermot's 24-hour dance marathon for Comic Relief by performing a jovial, if not always tuneful rendition of The Floral Dance.

Watch them and the Greensleeves Morris Men in action.

It has Bean

Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean
BBC

Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean is just one of the favourites set to take part in this year's Comic Relief appeal, which kicks off on BBC One at 19:00 GMT.

Dawn French's Vicar of Dibley, Little Britain's Lou (played by David Walliams) and James Bond stars Daniel Craig and Sir Roger Moore will also be seen in sketches alongside a host of special guests.

It's all for charity of course, with organisers setting their sights on topping 2013's whopping total of £100m.

Read the full story.

Clapton plans birthday celebration

Eric Clapton in 1968
BBC

Eric Clapton will mark his impending 70th birthday by playing

two shows at Madison Square Garden.

Clapton, who turns 70 on 30 March, will play the New York venue on 1 and 2 May.

He first performed there with Cream in 1968 (this is him pictured in that year) and has revisited it 46 times.

This time Slowhand will be accompanied by his band, which includes Paul Carrack, Steve Gadd and Nathan East.