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  1. News updates for 12 August 2015
  2. Uggie, the dog from The Artist, dies at 13
  3. Artist grows ear on arm for people to hear him online via microphone
  4. Mixed reaction to new Strictly contestants
  5. Downton Abbey gets special Bafta

Live Reporting

By Genevieve Hassan and Kev Geoghegan

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all folks!

    Genevieve Hassan

    Entertainment reporter

    Parting is such sweet sorrow, but that's where we must leave it for today.

    Join us again tomorrow from 08:30 BST for your next daily dose of entertainment and arts updates.

  2. Hollywood Vampires descend on LA

    Rolling Stone

    Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp

    If you're a fan of Johnny Depp or Alice Cooper, listen up.

    Hollywood Vampires - the supergroup which the pair have created with Joe Perry and Guns N'Roses' Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum - have announced their first live dates.

    The concerts will take place at the Roxy on Sunset Strip in Hollywood on 16 and 17 September.

    The group has also planned an appearance in Brazil on 24 September as part of the Rock in Rio festival.

    They're also releasing an album on 11 September, featuring a mix of cover songs like The Who's My Generation and some original tracks.

    Read the full story.

  3. 'Our beloved Ian'

    Singer Annie Lennox has paid tribute to Ian Jones, her daughter Tali's boyfriend, who died when their kayak capsized in the Hudson River in New York.

    She linked to a picture of a Buddha statue, posted on her Facebook page.

    A statue of Buddha
  4. Tributes to Uggie

    Many people have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Uggie the dog, who has died aged 13.

    Missi Pyle and Beth Grant, the pooch's co-stars in The Artist were among the first to pay their respects.

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    Other high profile dog-lovers also paid tribute.

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    View more on twitter
  5. Taylor dismisses castle rumours

    Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift has denied reports she's buying a luxury £4.6m castle in Scotland.

    Presumably the rumour mill went into overdrive given the singer is currently dating Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris.

    She tweeted a lyric from her track New Romantics, which references a castle, but added she wasn't actually buying one.

    So there.

    View more on twitter
  6. Chinese sculpture is 'blatant plagiarism'

    Artist Anish Kapoor has said he is "shocked" at a new sculpture commissioned in China, calling it a "blatant plagiarism" of his work Cloud Gate.

    The sculpture in the Xinjiang town of Karamay has drawn criticism for its similarity to Kapoor's famous work which has been in Chicago since 2006.

    See if you can spot the difference - here is Cloud Gate.

    Cloud Gate

    And this is the new Chinese sculpture:

    Oil bubble

    Kapoor said:

    Quote Message: It seems that in China today it is permissible to steal the creativity of others. I feel I must take this to the highest level and pursue those responsible in the courts. I hope that the Mayor of Chicago will join me in this action. The Chinese authorities must act to stop this kind of infringement and allow the full enforcement of copyright.

    Chinese official Ma Jun said he had heard of Cloud Gate, but any similarity was coincidental. He added the Karamay sculpture looked "like an oil bubble," whereas the Chicago landmark "has a bean shape".

  7. From Yorke to Broadway

    Thom Yorke

    Radiohead's Thom Yorke has written new music for an upcoming revival of Harold Pinter's play Old Times, starring Clive Owen, Eve Best and Kelly Reilly.

    In the play, which will begin previews on Broadway in September, a married couple welcomes the wife's old friend for a visit, stirring old memories.

    Douglas Hodge - who recently played Willy Wonka on the West End stage - will direct the play.

    Hodge said Yorke's music is "epic, heartbreaking, irresistible and complex".

  8. "Books required!"

    Aman views books at the new Library of Birmingham

    BBC West Midlands has reported libraries in Birmingham have been asking people to donate new books because cuts to their budgets mean they can't afford to buy them.

    The city council insists it's faced with huge savings targets and all requests for new purchases are "on a case-by-case basis depending on demand".

    One user commented: "This council does make me laugh, I'll be asked to donate light bulbs to the street lamps soon."

  9. Old Vic casting news

    Nikki Patel

    We've had the first bit of casting news from the opening production at the Old Vic theatre under the new stewardship of Matthew Warchus.

    Former Coronation Street star Nikki Patel will star in the lead role in Future Conditional, which Warchus is directing.

    She will play a young Pakistani refugee called Alia "who is the newest member of Britain's Education Research Board with a radical solution for Britain's schools, to restore the nation's place in the world education league".

    She said: "I hope that through this production we will raise the awareness of equality of education for women around the world."

    Warchus takes over from Kevin Spacey, who was the Old Vic's artistic director for 11 years.

  10. Rocky Horror guest narrators

    Mel Giedroyc, Stephen Fry and Emma Bunton

    Stephen Fry, Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc and Spice Girl Emma Bunton have been announced as guest narrators in a charity performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at London's Playhouse Theatre on 17 September.

    The show - in aid of Amnesty International - will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and Europe.

    Rocky Horror creator Richard O'Brien is also returning to the show for the first time in 20 years.

    Stephen Fry said "to be joining Richard and the cast on stage for this special evening is a dream come true".

    Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton added: "I am so excited about being involved in the legendary Rocky Horror Show. Richard O'Brien has written something that is a huge part of British culture.

    "I'm looking forward to shaking my tush to the Time Warp!"

  11. Artist's social m-ear-dia

    Stelarc sporting a "partly surgically constructed and partly cell-grown" ear on his arm

    An Australian artist is to connect an ear which he has been growing on his arm to the internet so that people can hear and track his movements.

    The artist, known as Stelarc, has previously created an exoskeleton and inserted a sculpture into his stomach.

    A miniature microphone with wireless internet connection will be inserted into the ear which was "partly surgically constructed and partly cell-grown", while people will be able to track it through a GPS device placed on the body part.

    "There won't be an on-off switch... the idea actually is to try to keep the ear online all the time," he said.

  12. Apatow 'can joke about anything'

    Kev Geoghegan

    Arts and entertainment reporter

    Judd Apatow

    Judd Apatow has been speaking about his controversial, much-talked-about impersonation of Bill Cosby on The Tonight Show in the US. 

    His routine, broadcast in July, referenced claims made by more than two dozen women that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted them.

    Rolling Stone called the impression "perfect".

    Apatow told the BBC:

    Quote Message: I was very happy. I've wanted to do stand up on The Tonight Show since I was like 10 years old, so to get to do it now was really fun.The fact that clip of me seemed to go viral and a lot of people saw it was great, because a lot of people don't see so much of the stand ups on chat shows. It was exciting that it went well because it could have gone terrible. That would be awful, going viral for bombing.

    The director of films including Knocked Up and Trainwreck has been a vocal critic of Cosby's following the accusations made by women over the last several decades.   

    Quote Message: I think you can joke about anything as long as your intentions are good and your heart’s in the right place.
  13. Chris Evans flogs motors

    Chris Evans

    In preparation for his new role as the host of Top Gear, Chris Evans has decided.... to sell his car collection.

    Well 13 of his cars anyway, including his replica Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car which he bought and restored.

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car

    The 1936 vehicle was same model as the one used in the 1968 children's film. It even has multi-coloured "wings".

    Also up for grabs is a mint green 1966 Ferarri.

    The classic cars, and 140 other bits of car-memorabilia, will be sold with the proceeds going to Children In Need.

  14. Welcome to FriendsFest


    If you're missing Friends (... and why should you, it's still on. Every. Single. Day), then you can visit Monica's New York apartment which is being recreated as part of a new FriendsFest exhibition in east London.

    Visitors to Brick Lane's Boiler House in September will be able to visit a Central Perk-themed cafe and a pop-up hair salon where you can get an iconic "Rachel" haircut.

    "It's great to give something special to fans" said Comedy Central's Jill Offman.

  15. Strictly contestant reaction

    Strictly Come Dancing fans have been treated to not one, but two contestant announcements since last night.

    Celebrity cook Ainsley Harriot and EastEnders actress Kellie Bright will be strutting their stuff when the series returns soon.

    There was mixed reaction to both participants though. 

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  16. FKA Twigs among independent music nominees

    FKA Twigs

    FKA Twigs, Mercury-winners Young Fathers, Courtney Barnett and Alt-J are leading the way with three nominations at the fifth annual AIM Independent Music Awards.

    Bjork, JME, Wolf Alice, and Ghostpoet all have two each.

    The winners will be unveiled by XFM's John Kennedy and Radio 1's Alice Levine in London on 8 September.

  17. Meghan Trainor scraps tour

    All About That Bass singer Meghan Trainor has cancelled her US tour after ongoing problems with her vocal cords. 

    She cancelled a couple of dates last month on doctor's orders, but now she's been forced to scrap the remainder of the tour. 

    The singer posted an apology on Instagram, saying she was going to have surgery to "finally fix this once and for all".

    View more on instagram
  18. Body confirmed as missing photographer

    Tali Lennox and Ian Jones

    US authorities have confirmed a body found in the Hudson River is Ian Jones, the boyfriend of model and artist Tali Lennox.

    The 22-year-old daughter of singer Annie Lennox said yesterday her "heart is shattered", describing the photographer as the "love and light" in her life.

  19. Truck driver caused Morgan crash

    Tracy Morgan

    The Walmart truck driver who crashed into a vehicle carrying 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan has been held responsible for the collision.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said Kevin Roper - who had been awake for 28 hours at the time of the crash - could have avoided causing the accident had he been driving at the posted speed limit.

    Morgan was left with brain injuries while his friend, comedian, James "Jimmy Mack" McNair died.

    Read more.

  20. Britney Spears returns to 'acting'

    Britney Spears

    It's the comeback that everyone has been waiting for.

    After sterling performances in Crossroads and How I Met Your Mother, Britney Spears is returning to acting.

    She has announced she will appear on US hit show Jane the Virgin.

    Oops, she did it again.

  21. 'Exhausted' Aretha cancels shows

    Aretha Franklin

    Soul legend Aretha Franklin is cancelling her Friday-night show in Las Vegas because of exhaustion.

    The 73-year-old singer blamed a hectic schedule which sees her travel from Detroit to the west coast of the US for concerts.

    She has recently performed in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Oakland.

    Franklin said the gig will be rescheduled and wrote: "I thank all of my fans, friends and supporters who bought tickets. I hope to see you all soon."

  22. The Notebook on TV

    Entertainment Weekly

    Ryan Gosling

    It was a film which helped kickstart the Cult of Gosling.

    Now a TV version of Nicholas Sparks' weepy romantic drama The Notebook is in the works at US network The CW.

    It was given the big screen treatment in 2004 and starred Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

    Apparently the new show "will follow the romantic journey of the two beloved central characters Noah and Allie, at the outset of their blossoming relationship as they build their lives and their future together against the backdrop of the racial politics, economic inequities, and social mores of post-World War II of the late 1940s in North Carolina."

    Read more.

  23. 'Right time to end Downton'

    Hugh Bonneville

    Fans may be upset Downton Abbey is coming to an end after its upcoming sixth series, but Hugh Bonneville says it would have been "a misstep" for the period drama to have gone on any longer. 

    Although the show could have been "squeezed out" for another few series, the star said he thought creator Julian Fellowes "would have run out of ideas".

    Lord Fellowes agreed it was time to call it a day, telling the BBC:

    Quote Message: I think you want to finish when people are still a little bit sorry that its over. You don't want to wait until it's a huge relief all round, so we decided at [series] six people would be sorry there wasn't a [series] seven and that seemed right.

    However he said he wouldn't be against the prospect of a Downton Abbey film.

    Quote Message: I'd like the idea of a film because with a film budget you could do things you can't do on television. You could open the whole thing up in a way that rather appeals to me. But we'll have to see.

    Read more on this story.

  24. News round-up

    Jack Gold
    • British director Jack Gold, a three-time Bafta winner, whose work included Goodnight Mister Tom and The Naked Civil Servant, has died aged 85.
    • Director Ken Loach and former Labour party member has been ruled out of voting in the leadership election.
    • The ashes of Colombian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez are to be permanently exhibited in the city of Cartagena. Garcia Marquez set several of his works in the city, including Love in the Time of Cholera.
  25. Degree for 'dropout' Ed

    Ed Sheeran

    Congratulations to Ed Sheeran who now has a degree to go with his massive new lion tattoo.

    View more on instagram

    The singer, who left school at 16, is to be presented with an honorary degree for his "outstanding contribution to music" by University Campus Suffolk (UCS) later this year.

    Read more.

  26. Downton stars honoured by Bafta

    The stars of Downton Abbey were in London last night, where the show was given a Bafta special award for its global success.

    Lily James, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern all walked the red carpet.


    Joanne Froggatt, Hugh Bonneville and Penelope Wilton were all in attendance.


    Dame Maggie Smith and Dan Stevens (right) also attended, while Allen Leech carried his five-year-old co-star, Fifi Ward, down the red carpet.

  27. EastEnders star joins Strictly

    Kellie Bright

    EastEnders actress Kellie Bright is the latest celebrity to join the new line up of Strictly Come Dancing.

    Bright plays plays Linda Carter, Landlady of The Queen Vic.

    She could be an early favourite as her first ever role was appearing on stage in Les Miserables and she went on to train at the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

    She said: "There are two main reasons I want to take part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. The first is that as I will be turning 40 next year, I think it is the perfect time for a new, exciting challenge.

    "The second reason is because if I said 'no' Linda Carter would never forgive me!"

    She joins broadcaster Jeremy Vine and chef Ainsley Harriott, who was announced last night on The One Show.

  28. RIP Uggie


    Some sad news this morning that Uggie, the real star of The Artist (sorry Oscar-winning Jean Dujardin) has died at the age of 13.

    The tiny terrier whose dancing and playacting won hearts across the world was put down after suffering from a prostate tumour, reports TMZ.

  29. Good morning!

    Genevieve Hassan

    Entertainment reporter

    Welcome to another day of entertainment and arts news.

    Stick with us as we'll be bringing you the latest on Downton Abbey's Bafta tribute and sad news about Uggie the dog - who won our hearts in Oscar-winning film The Artist.