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  1. News and updates for 16 March 2016
  2. Adele welcomes marriage proposal at gig
  3. Thunderbirds co-creator Sylvia Anderson dies
  4. Fifth Indiana Jones film to be released in 2019
  5. Various actors 'in the running' for Han Solo role

Live Reporting

By Lauren Turner and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye for now

Lauren Turner

Entertainment Reporter

That's all we've got time for today. But we'll be back bright and early tomorrow, so be here from 08:30 GMT to see what the day brings.

We'll leave you with a message from Michael Crawford: that you're never too old. 

Crawford, who turned 74 in January, is reprising his role as Frank Spencer for Sport Relief - 38 years on.

Michael said the sketch had been "great" to film, especially the part that saw him recreate the iconic 'Frank on rollerskates' moment from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

"If you start thinking how old you are, you really won't do too much," he told Radio 2's Steve Wright earlier. 

The sketch, which also features Sir Paul McCartney and cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, will be broadcast on BBC One on Friday as part of Sport Relief night.

Bye for now.

Stephen Fry to appear in US comedy pilot

Deadline Hollywood

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry has been signed up to appear in the pilot of new US comedy The Great Indoors.

The writer and broadcaster will play Antonio - the founder of a magazine called The Great Outdoors - in the CBS show. 

Comedian Joel McHale will star as a reporter who becomes head of a team of young people in the magazine's digital department.

Fry previously appeared in Super Clyde, a CBS pilot made in 2013 that was not "picked up" by the network.  

It was reported last month that Fry and husband Elliott Spencer had plans to move to Hollywood.

Read more on this story.

Simon Mayo's debut YA novel to be published

Simon Mayo

BBC Radio 2 presenter Simon Mayo is to have his debut YA (young adult) novel published this summer. 

Blame is the first of three books in a series to be published by Penguin Random House Children's. 

In the book, people can be sent to prison for crimes their parents or grandparents have committed.

Here's what Mayo had to say about the story.

When things go bad, it always helps if we can pretend it's someone else's fault. This book is what happens when we run out of people to blame. It's the story of 16-year-old Ant and her 11-year-old brother Mattie, locked up in Britain's first family prison. Ant might not be everyone's idea of a hero, but she's all we've got.

Mayo, who presents Drivetime on Radio 2 as well as the Film Review programme on 5 live, has also written three books for younger children, about a teenage "element hunter" called Itch.

Theroux to look at brain injury and alcohol addiction

Louis Theroux

Louis Theroux is to appear this year in two UK-based documentaries looking at brain injury and alcohol addiction, BBC Two has announced. 

In Drinking to Oblivion, he spends time with patients addicted to alcohol who are being treated at King's College Hospital in London. 

The second film, provisionally entitled Brain Injury, will see him talking to staff and service users of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust to understand how people cope with the condition.

BBC Two channel editor Adam Barker said he was "delighted to welcome Louis Theroux back to the channel".

The films, he continued, would find Theroux  "covering British subjects with his usual penetrating documentary gaze and commitment to unpicking complex human dilemmas with highly sophisticated film-making."

Michelangelo work to go on display in Nottinghamshire

Michelangelo's Madonna del Silenzio
The Harley Gallery

A Michelangelo work that has not been shown in public for 50 years is to go on permanent display at the new Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire.

The Madonna del Silenzio dates back to 1538 and forms part of the Portland Collection, the arts collection of the Cavendish-Bentinck family. 

A painting of Thomas Wentworth by Van Dyck and a George Stubbs painting of the third Duke of Portland are among the other artworks that will go on display at the gallery, on the Welbeck Estate, from 20 March.

The pearl earring worn by Charles I at his 1649 execution also forms part of the collection.  

The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire

Here's what William Parente, grandson of the seventh Duke of Portland and head of the Cavendish-Bentinck family, had to say about the gallery (pictured).

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have not had an easy time economically since the pit closures, and everyone locally - businesses, council, private individuals - has had to work very hard to make things happen.

Trying to make the area a more attractive place to visit is obviously important, and as part of this we felt that the time had come to welcome the public to see the Portland Collection. It has been painstakingly assembled by my family over the last 400 years or so. These things are our history; each generation learns from them and adds to them as they can.

Sir Kenneth Branagh returns in 'comic firework'

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

Sir Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon in The Painkiller
Johan Persson

Having already tackled William Shakespeare and Terence Rattigan as part of his year-long residency at London's Garrick Theatre, Sir Kenneth Branagh is back treading its boards in a comic confection by France's Francis Veber.

Called The Painkiller, it's a frantic farce that sees Sir Ken and Rob Brydon (pictured) play Ralph and Dudley - two very different men with very different reasons for occupying adjoining rooms in the same hotel on one particular night.

The play may be familiar to some of our readers in Northern Ireland, as Sean Foley's "delicious" production was first seen at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast in 2011.

Here's what Sir Kenneth told us about the show when we spoke to him that year. 

It's a very remarkable comic firework that essentially features these two characters who are in adjoining hotel bedrooms, one with a mission to kill someone, one with a mission to kill himself. There's an adjoining door and mayhem ensues.

It's 90 minutes of very fast-paced, I think rather brilliant writing from Mr Veber with a lot of physical comedy involved. I can't think in terms of acting of anything harder than doing a farce, both physically on the body and in terms of the difficulty of making people laugh. It's a beautifully scary prospect.

The Painkiller runs at the Garrick until 30 April.

Listen: Sylvia Anderson's final interview

Sylvia Anderson, who has died at the age of 88, took part in her last public interview in December. 

The voice of Lady Penelope was on Graham Norton's show on BBC Radio 2 with actor David Graham, who provided the voice of Parker on Thunderbirds.

Anderson, co-creator of the cult show, told Norton she had had copies made of Lady Penelope's outfits.

Listen to the full interview below. 

Adele hails 'beautiful' concert proposal

Getty Images

Adele's first full concert at the O2 in London last night wasn't just special for the chart-topping singer.

It was also a memorable evening for one pair in the audience, who got engaged while she was performing her version of Make You Feel My Love.

"That was the most beautiful thing I've ever witnessed at one of my shows," said Adele as she gave the happy couple a hug.

Here's how NME reported on the proposal on its Twitter feed.

View more on twitter

The pair - later identified as Natalie King and Johnny Biggle from south London - were among several fans the singer invited to join her on stage, with others including a smartly dressed young boy called Seb.

Adele will be back at the O2 later for the second of the eight concerts she is playing at the North Greenwich venue.

Michael Sheen 'sad' about cut Finding Dory role

Michael Sheen

Spare a thought for Michael Sheen, who recently discovered his role in upcoming Pixar sequel Finding Dory will not appear in the finished film. 

Speaking at Tuesday's Into Film awards on Monday, the Welsh actor told Magic Radio his excision had prompted an ego check.  

I got a phone call saying I'm not in [Finding Dory] any more, they cut me out. Unbelievable. I was very sad, I was such a fan of Finding Nemo, but that's the way it goes, especially with animated films - you never know what's going to make it to the final cut.

It's always a good thing to remember - you can always end up on the cutting room floor.

It's not known what role Sheen - who previously appeared in The Queen, Frost/Nixon and the Twilight films - was due to have played in the Finding Nemo follow-up.

Finding Dory - sans Sheen - is out in the UK in July.

Budget boost for North West theatre

Chancellor George Osborne

Between introducing a sugar tax and freezing fuel duty, Chancellor George Osborne found time during his Budget earlier to pledge £5m towards a theatre project in the North West of England.

"In the 400th anniversary of the great playwright’s death, I’ve heard the sonnets from the Right Honourable Member for Knowsley [Labour MP George Howarth] and we commit to a new Shakespeare North theatre there on the site of the first indoor theatre outside of our capital," Mr Osborne told the House of Commons.

That will be music to the ears of Shakespeare North, the charity behind the scheme to build a theatre in the Merseyside town of Prescot on the site of what was once the only indoor playhouse outside London.  

Other projects the Chancellor will provide funding for include the refurbishments of Truro's Hall for Cornwall and Hull's New Theatre and the transformation of Coventry's Drapers' Hall into a music venue. He also said tax breaks for museums that take their exhibitions on tour were "a great idea" that deserved support.

Find out more on the Budget 2016 live page.

Listen to Michelle Obama's charity single

We told you earlier about Michelle Obama's charity single, This Is For My Girls. 

Now you can listen to the track - and find out more about who is featured and what it's in aid of - by watching the video below.

Just don't blame us if you can't get it out of your head for the rest of the day... 

Read more on this story.

3D images show damage to Glasgow School of Art building

3D visualisation of fire-damaged Mackintosh Building

Glasgow School of Art has released 3D images of its fire-damaged Mackintosh Building as it looks to appoint a main contractor for its restoration project.

The Grade A-listed art nouveau building was badly damaged by fire in May 2014.

Read more on this story.

James Dean Bradfield on Manics' anniversary tour

BBC Radio 2

James Dean Bradfield

James Dean Bradfield was on Chris Evans' Radio 2 breakfast show earlier, talking about the Manic Street Preachers tour taking place to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Everything Must Go. 

Yes, folks: in May it will be two whole decades since the classic album - featuring A Design for Life, Kevin Carter and Australia - came out.

Here's what Bradfield had to say about the passage of time.

I think anybody in a band that's still going and had success in the '90s is pretty much of the same opinion - they still feel the same in their heads, but their body's a different story, really.

Bradfield, 47, said he was "match fit" and enjoying rehearsals for the tour, which kicks off on 13 May. 

"It's still the best job in the world," he added.

Listen to the interview.

Happy Valley writer 'wants time' before third series

BBC Breakfast

Sally Wainwright

The finale of series two of Happy Valley was broadcast last night - and fans will be relieved to hear there is likely to be a third. 

Writer Sally Wainwright (pictured) says she just has to dedicate enough time to come up with the perfect plot, while admitting on BBC Breakfast there might be a bit of a wait before she has time to do so. 

I'm so busy with other projects at the moment, I haven't got time to sit down and come up with stories. What I'd hate to do is do a third series and people say it wasn't as good, so I want time to go away and really come up with stories that I think are going to make a third series.

"So there might be one but there might be a wait?" asked presenter Louise Minchin. 

"I think that’s probably a good way to sum it up, yes", the writer replied. Read more on this story.

The climax of the series, featuring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, attracted an average of 7.4 million viewers - a 33.5% share of the available audience.  

Before the final Happy Valley was aired on Tuesday, Radio 4's PM programme took a look at how the show reflects the realities of rural policing.

Glastonbury 'Emerging Talent' finalists announced

The Glastonbury Pyramid stage

Here are the eight finalists for this year's edition of Glastonbury's Emerging Talent competition:

  • Bossy Love
  • Early Ghost
  • Gillbanks
  • Hattie Whitehead
  • Henry Green
  • Lady Sanity
  • Marcus McCoan
  • She Drew The Gun

The acts were chosen from a longlist of 120 artists, which had been put together by 40 of the UK's online music writers.

Thousands of people had applied to be considered for the prize, posing quite a challenge for Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis.

Once again, we've been impressed by both the quality and quantity of new music out there in the UK and Ireland, with thousands of talented acts entering this year's competition. It was extremely tough to narrow the 120 acts on the longlist down to eight finalists, but we're really pleased with the group of acts we've ended up with.

The finals will be held in April ahead of this year's festival, which runs from 22 to 26 June.

The winning act will perform on one of the main stages at this year's festival and will also be awarded a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize.  

Listen to the shortlisted acts below.   

View more on twitter

Patrick Ness in running for third Carnegie Medal

Patrick Ness
Getty Images

Patrick Ness is in contention to become the first author to win the Carnegie Medal three times.

The 44-year-old writer has been shortlisted for the children's book award for The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which follows the lives of a group of teenagers.

Frances Hardinge, who won the Costa Book of the Year award for The Lie Tree, is also shortlisted.

Three illustrators, meanwhile, are in with a chance of winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for a record third time.

Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, former Children's Laureate Anthony Browne and Helen Oxenbury - who first won the award for outstanding illustration in a book for children in 1969 - have all made the shortlist, which is dominated by traditional picture books this year.

Check out the full list of nominations for this year's medals, which will be presented in tandem on 20 June. 

Kanye West updates latest album - and befriends paparazzi

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Kanye West

Kanye West is continuing to tinker with his recently released album The Life of Pablo, updating several of its tracks via streaming service Tidal.

Wolves receives the biggest overhaul, gaining guest vocals from Sia and Vic Mensa and extending its running time by over a minute. 

Frank Ocean's contribution to the song has also been hived off and turned into a stand-alone track, simply called Frank's Song.

West explained the tweaks on Twitter.

View more on twitter

Meanwhile, West has seemingly repaired his relationship with the paparazzi.

The star, who was sentenced to two years probation over an assault on a photographer in 2013, recently praised the "paps" (as he calls them) for keeping him "relevant".

On Tuesday, after leaving the gym, West hitched a ride with the paparazzi after growing bored waiting for his taxi to arrive.

"I don't need Uber any more, I just have the paps take me where I want to go," he declared.

View more on youtube

Jeremy Irons 'would decline knighthood'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Jeremy Irons

Actor Jeremy Irons, who can be seen alongside Sienna Miller in the aforementioned High-Rise, has revealed he would reject a knighthood if one was offered, saying the title would feel uncomfortable as he had entered the acting profession to become "a rogue and a vagabond".

Speaking to BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones, Irons revealed he had worked as a builder and social worker when he was younger to sustain his acting career.

The actor, a former donor to the Labour Party, also said he had become disillusioned with politics.

Listen to the interview below. 

Sienna Miller on JG Ballard's 'prophetic' High-Rise

Sienna Miller in High-Rise
Aidan Monaghan

British actress Sienna Miller has been speaking to entertainment reporter Holly Rubenstein about her role in High-Rise, the new Ben Wheatley film based on the JG Ballard novel of the same name. 

She said there was a "prophetic" nature to Ballard's cult work, adding: "The self-promotion and the filming and the documenting of the demise of people - that's really become a part of our culture." 

It's an examination of humanity and the way people behave if they're given enough rein and I think that our culture is really heading towards that - it's alarming.

Read the feature.

Missy Elliott and Michelle Obama - together at last

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Missy Elliott and Michelle Obama
Getty Images

Ahead of her keynote speech at the SXSW festival later, US First Lady Michelle Obama has put out a single called This Is For My Girls.

She doesn't actually sing on the track, though, instead recruiting stars like Missy Elliott, Janelle Monae, Kelly Clarkson and Kelly Rowland - one third of Destiny's Child - to perform the up-tempo, empowering anthem.

It's aimed at raising awareness (and money) for her Let Girls Learn initiative, which hopes to bring education to the estimated 62 million girls around the world without schooling.

You can buy the song exclusively on iTunes and read more about its creation here.

Obama is not the first resident of the White House to make an assault on the charts.

In 1956, Dwight Eisenhower released an album called The President's Favourite Music that featured nine of his favourite tracks - including Beethoven's Coriolan Overture and Marian Anderson's rendition of He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Academy announces new governors amid diversity row

Cheryl Boone Isaacs

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has added three new members to its board of governors in a bid to increase diversity, following this year's Oscars race row. 

President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (pictured) named the new members as Reginald Hudlin, Gregory Nava and Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

Additional Academy members have also been appointed to each of its oversight committees - including actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who joins the awards and events committee, and producer Effie Brown, who joins the museum committee.

Changes to the board were announced following a backlash over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, prompted by the all-white make-up of the four acting categories.

The Academy has also released a statement saying it "regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive", after complaints were made that some jokes made during the ceremony were racist. 

A group of 25 Academy members of Asian descent, including Star Trek actor George Takei and film director Ang Lee, wrote to the Academy this week, asking: "We'd like to know how such tasteless and offensive skits could have happened."

Last month's awards featured host Chris Rock introducing children of Asian descent as AMPAS accountants - and an ad-libbed insinuation by Sacha Baron Cohen that Asian men were not well-endowed.

Read more on this story.

More weigh in on BBC Breakfast 'sofa row'

Several of today's newspapers are weighing in on "Sofagate" - the escalating row over whether it is appropriate for new BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker to be seated on the left of the screen, instead of co-host Louise Minchin, a long-standing fixture of the programme.

"In broadcasting circles, the so-called 'camera left' position signals seniority [because] viewers... subliminally associate the left-most presenter with pre-eminence," writes the Daily Telegraph.

Walker, who replaced long-serving presenter Bill Turnbull last month, appeared to play down the matter in a tweet he posted earlier.

View more on twitter

But it's clear this debate isn't going away anytime soon, with Chris Evans becoming the latest to air it on his Radio 2 breakfast show.

Where do you stand - or, rather, sit?

Grimes 'electrocuted' on stage in Dublin

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Alternative pop star Grimes - aka Claire Boucher - was reportedly electrocuted by a faulty effects pedal on stage in Dublin last night.

Writing on Twitter, the Canadian singer said: "Dublin! 1 mil apologies that my pedal failed and I was electrocuted, but there r tears in my eyes that y'all were so so wonderful."

The tweet has since been deleted, but she subsequently posted the following Simpsons still on Instagram.

View more on instagram

One audience member appears to have caught the painful-looking incident on camera.

View more on instagram

"Grimes I'm so sorry you got electrocuted so many times," wrote Emma D alongside her post. "But you really did make my life."

Read more on this story.

Matt LeBlanc co-star on Top Gear Cenotaph stunt

Earlier this week, Top Gear was criticised after new co-host Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver performed "doughnuts" near the Cenotaph in central London. 

Co-host Chris Evans has since apologised, while the BBC has said the Cenotaph will not be shown in footage filmed over the weekend.

At an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Stephen Mangan, LeBlanc's co-star in Episodes, told the BBC's Sophie Van Brugen what he made of the incident - as well as his views on the US actor being hired for the BBC's motoring show.  

Indiana Jones to return for fifth outing in 2019

Harrison Ford

Speaking of Harrison Ford (pictured), it's been confirmed that he and Steven Spielberg are to team up on another Indiana Jones film.

The fifth episode of the franchise will be released in 2019 - 38 years after their first collaboration, Raiders of the Lost Ark, introduced the world to the whip-cracking, fedora-wearing, daredevil archaeologist.

Raiders was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and - after a 19-year hiatus - 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

What do you think the next instalment should be called? And are you looking forward to it? Please send your thoughts via the usual channels.

Search for young Han Solo 'almost over'

The Hollywood Reporter

Harrison Ford with 'Chewbacca' in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It was announced last year that a Star Wars spin-off film is in the works that will reveal the origins of space smuggler Han Solo - pictured above, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with his loyal Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca.

Speculation began immediately as to who would be cast as the younger version of Harrison Ford's character, with Chris Pratt - of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy fame - appearing to be the preferred choice of many.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, though, there are some fresher faces in the frame for what's undoubtedly one of the most sought-after roles in Tinseltown.

Here are some of the names it claims have already been screen-tested:

  • Emory Cohen, Saoirse Ronan's 26-year-old co-star in the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn
  • Taron Egerton, the 26-year-old Welsh star of Kingsman: The Secret Service and the upcoming Eddie the Eagle
  • Alden Ehrenreich, also 26, who can currently be seen as a slow-witted cowboy actor in the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar!
  • Jack Reynor, the 24-year-old Irish actor who appeared with Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction

Apparently, these aren't the only the actors being considered in what is shaping up to be this century's version of the search for Scarlett O'Hara.

Read more on this story.

Thunderbirds co-creator Sylvia Anderson dies at 88

Sylvia Anderson with 'Lady Penelope' in 1966

Sylvia Anderson, best known as the voice of Lady Penelope in TV show Thunderbirds, has died at the age of 88 after a short illness, her family has confirmed.

Anderson, pictured above in 1966, co-created the hit science-fiction puppet series with her then husband Gerry.

In a career spanning five decades, she also worked on such shows as Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet, as well as for US TV network HBO.

Her daughter Dee Anderson said:  

Her intelligence was phenomenal but her creativity and tenacity unchallenged. She was a force in every way.

Nick Williams, chairman of Fanderson - a fan club dedicated to the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson - told BBC Breakfast she had been a "huge influence" on the entertainment industry.

"She was one of the first really prominent women in the film and television industry," he said, adding that Anderson leaves behind "an amazing legacy of fantastic television, really groundbreaking entertainment."

Anderson died at her home in Buckinghamshire. Gerry Anderson, whom she divorced in 1981, died in 2012.

Get involved

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

As ever, we'd love to hear your thoughts on today's news - and perhaps also your memories of Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame. 

Feel free to get in touch by tweeting @BBCNewsEnts or emailing

Good morning

Lauren Turner

Entertainment Reporter

Welcome to the middle of the week - but certainly not the middle of the road - as we bring you all the latest from the world of entertainment and the arts. 

We start with some sad news about Thunderbirds co-creator Sylvia Anderson, the voice of Lady Penelope, who has died after a short illness.

We'll also being you the latest on the Oscars diversity row, as well as who's in the running to play the young Han Solo - the role, of course, made famous by Harrison Ford, who, it has just been announced, is to star as Indiana Jones for a fifth time. 

And if you missed anything yesterday, don't worry - it's not too late to catch up by reading Tuesday's Entertainment Live page.