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Summary

  1. Sir Lenny Henry to receive special Bafta
  2. Prince's Revolution band plans to reform
  3. Absolutely Fabulous movie drops trailer

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Steven McIntosh

All times stated are UK

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That's your lot, folks

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

That's all we have time for, but we'll be back tomorrow with news from tonight's Radio 2 Folk Awards, details about the upcoming Liverpool Biennial and lots more bulletins from the world of entertainment, arts and culture.

In the meantime, we'll leave you with news that Mr Topaze, a lesser-known entry in the Peter Sellers canon, is to be made available to view free of charge on the BFI Player this Bank Holiday weekend.

Peter Sellers and friend in Mr Topaze
BFI

Also known as I Like Money, this 1961 rarity - a comedy about a provincial French teacher who reinvents himself as a cut-throat businessman - was Sellers' first feature as a director and has been newly digitised using the only known surviving prints.

Why not check it out this weekend - for Pete's sake.

Hobbit stars in stalls for Clybourne Park revival

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

The cast of Clybourne Park
Robert Day

There was something of a Hobbit reunion in Richmond on Tuesday, where both Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman) were on hand to see a new touring production of Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park.

The play - a racial satire that revolves around a house in Chicago being sold in 1959 and again in 2009 - was quite the talking point when it was first staged in 2010 and went on to win its author the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The first London production had a Hobbit connection too, thanks to Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) featuring in its original cast. His shoes this time around are filled by Ben Deery, pictured above (in glasses) with other members of the ensemble. 

The Mercury Theatre Colchester's revival runs at the Richmond Theatre until Saturday, before moving on to Guildford, Cambridge, Oxford and Theatre Clywd in north Wales.

It was the second time we've found ourselves sat in Sir Ian's vicinity this week, having had him sat right behind us at Monday's West End press night of Show Boat.  

Newly discovered Beatrix Potter illustration to go on display

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter - a landmark the Victoria and Albert Museum is celebrating with displays about the children's author and illustrator's life and work.

Among them is this recently identified, previously unpublished illustration from the author's Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, thought to have been drawn in 1914.

The illustration, which is unfinished, which will be on display at the V&A in London from 2 May.

Beatrix Potter illustration
V&A

The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots is an unpublished manuscripts for which Potter began "several" drawings.

Until recently, however, only one finished drawing and two rough sketches for the story had been identified. 

Emma Laws, the V&A's curator of children’s literature, has now identified a new drawing from the story that had been part of a privately owned collection. 

How Meryl Streep became Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep in 1980
Getty Images

Did you know Meryl Streep left her first Oscar in the bathroom, moments after winning it in 1980 for Kramer vs Kramer?

That's just one of many anecdotes, revelations and factoids to be found within the pages of Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, a new biog of the award-winning actress that arrives in UK bookstores this week.

This isn't an exhaustive chronicle of Streep's 40-year career, but rather an account of her formative years "as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with love, feminism and her astonishing talent".

Published by Faber & Faber, Michael Schulman's book is out on Thursday.

Quincy Jones honoured for life's work by Jazz FM

Quincy Jones
Reuters

Quincy Jones has been presented with a lifetime achievement award by Jazz FM.

He didn't appear at the awards in London but thanked organisers via a video message, saying: "I'm so moved ... To be so young and receive an award like this, it's astounding. I'm only 83 man!" 

Singer Gregory Porter picked up the Impact Award while Kamasi Washington, the saxophonist who worked with Kendrick Lamar on his latest Grammy-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly, won international artist of the year.

Edinburgh Film Festival to open with golfing drama

Peter Mullan in Tommy's Honour
EIFF

You can't get much more Scottish than Sir Sean Connery and golf... which makes a film about the sport, directed by the legendary actor's son, a fitting opening night attraction for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Shot in Scotland, Tommy's Honour tells the true story of golfing pioneer Tom Morris and his turbulent relationship with Tommy, the son with whom he shared his sporting passion but clashed dramatically on other issues.

Peter Mullan (pictured) is the father while War and Peace's Jack Lowden is the son in a film whose director, one Jason Connery, knows all about the pressures of following in a famous father's footsteps. (And golf.)

Here's what Jason, whose dad was once patron of the festival he'll help launch on 15 June, had to say about the film and the high-profile platform it's been given:

It's so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, 'Tommy's Honour might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival.'

Not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That's fantastic!

Ophelia Lovibond and Sam Neill also appear in a film described by its producer, Keith Banks, as "a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes".

This year's edition of EIFF - the 70th - runs from 15 to 26 June.

Read more on this story.

Nominee preparations underway for Radio 2 Folk Awards

In just a few hours the Royal Albert Hall in London will be playing host to the UK's best folk artists for Radio 2's annual Folk Awards.

Joan Armatrading is being honoured with a lifetime achievement award at this year's event.

Earlier, best duo nominees Gilmore & Roberts tweeted themselves getting on their best "game faces". 

View more on twitter

So did Nancy Kerr, winner of last year's folk singer of the year award:

View more on twitter

Singer Lowri Evans went for a more artistic shot:

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Horizon award nominee Sam Kelly is starting his evening with a pledge. 

View more on twitter

We'll have the winners and some gossip from the awards on Thursday's Music News LIVE page.

Dame Barbara Windsor unveils 'serious' portrait

Vincent Dowd

Arts reporter

Dame Barbara Windsor with Dan Llywelyn Hall
BBC

Dame Barbara Windsor has told the BBC that when one gets to her age - 78 - there are few things one experiences for the first time.

Up to now, though, she said there was one thing that she had never done - unveil a portrait of herself.

That all changed at L'Escargot restaurant in Soho earlier, when a new portrait of the actress by Welsh artist Dan Llywelyn Hall was revealed.

Dame Barbara Windsor expressed delight at the serious expression she had been given, adding: "If my mum could see it, she would love it."

Her husband Scott Mitchell, meanwhile, said the image caught how the EastEnders star looks at home, away from the cameras.

The portrait will go on sale in Hall's upcoming Great Britons exhibition in London, with proceeds benefiting the Victoria Cross Trust and the War Memorials Trust.

Beyonce and the politics of Lemonade

BBC Radio 4

Beyonce
AFP/Getty

By now you may well have had a chance to listen to Beyonce's Lemonade, watch the accompanying short film and even indulge in a bit of "how naughty IS Jay Z"-style banter - but how much thought have you given to the album's feminist politics? 

Radio 4's Woman's Hour had a discussion on exactly that with cultural commentator Emma Dabiri and feminist researcher Sekai Makoni. 

Catch up on their thought-provoking chat with presenter Jane Garvey.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery needs to expand its premises in Trafalgar Square to have more space for temporary exhibitions, its director says.

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Minaj, Lamar and Hamilton among 2016's most influential people

BBC Newsbeat

Nicki Minaj
BBC

Nicki Minaj, Donald Trump, Lewis Hamilton and Kim Jong-un all have something in common - they have all been named in Time 100's most influential people.

The magazine's list for 2016 also features Hillary Clinton, Kendrick Lamar, Caitlyn Jenner and Adele.

Last night, some of those on the list - not Kim Jong-un, obviously - trooped along to a gala in New York.

Find out more.

Led Zeppelin 'can exit Stairway case for just $1'

Led Zeppelin
Getty Images

Lawyers suing members of Led Zeppelin say their client is willing to settle a lawsuit over the band's most famous song, Stairway to Heaven, for just $1.

The catch is that band members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would have to give late rocker Randy California a writing credit on the 1971 rock ballad, a claim potentially worth millions of dollars, according to Bloomberg.

If they agreed it would head off the copyright infringement trial, scheduled for 10 May in Los Angeles.

It's claimed the song came about after they heard another band Spirit perform the instrumental Taurus while touring together in the late 1960s.

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page
Reuters

Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter claims Plant and Page scored some key victories this week, after a judge ruled the jury won't hear about Jimmy Page's drug use nor about "serial plagiarism."

He has also excluded many of the Taurus sound recordings, with only those transcribed from the copyrighted sheet music to be heard by the jury.

Read more.

Lewis hopes Hillsborough inquests 'will bring closure'

Damian Lewis
AP

Damian Lewis was in Los Angeles last night, talking up his new role as an ambitious hedge fund manager in US TV drama Billions.

But the Liverpool FC-supporting actor also took time to pay tribute to the families of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, following the jury at the inquests concluding on Wednesday that they were unlawfully killed.

My heart goes out to all the families who have been involved over this long time. It will bring some sort of closure, but of course it won't bring anyone back. That's the bottom line.

Meanwhile, the Sun and Times newspapers have come under fire for not featuring the Hillsborough inquests on their Wednesday front pages.

Read more on this story.

A.Dot becomes first ever solo female 1Xtra breakfast host

BBC Newsbeat

A Dot
BBC

Twin B and Yasmin Evans are to leave the BBC Radio 1Xtra Breakfast show.

They're going their separate ways with Yasmin presenting the weekday 1-4pm show on the station and Twin doing the 4-7pm slot on Saturday afternoons.

A.Dot will take the helm of the breakfast show on 4 July and is the first solo female to do so.

View more on twitter

Twin explained it's been difficult juggling the show with his other commitments outside of 1Xtra.

Waking up with the 1Xtra audience has been amazing and leaving the show with more peeps listening to it than ever is brill. Juggling the show alongside my other commitments has been challenging so, 5am alarm off, let's have vibes and good music on a Saturday afternoon."

Read more.

New trailer for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie released

We've had teasers, we've had photos. Now the first full-length trailer for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie has been released by the film's distributor. 

There are plenty of celebrity cameos to enjoy, including Kate Moss, Jon Hamm and Rebel Wilson. So why not have a watch below, sweetie darling?

Warning: Third party content may contain ads and bad language.

View more on youtube
Alicia Keys

Singer Alicia Keys is to become the first major star to perform at the opening ceremony of the Champions League final.

Read more

Mixed fortunes for Idris at UK box office

Idris Elba
AP

There's good news and not so good news for Idris Elba in this week's UK box office chart, which sees one film he's involved in flying high and another he stars in struggling to make an impression.

The good news is that The Jungle Book, in which his voice can be heard growling out from Shere Khan the tiger's computer-generated jowls, remains in pole position, having made an impressive £8.09m in its second weekend in UK and Ireland cinemas.

The not so good news is that Bastille Day, a Paris-set thriller in which he has a leading role, could only manage third place in this week's chart with takings of just over £762,000.

Oh, well: at least that's enough to put it one rung above Zootropolis - a Disney animation in which the Luther star, ubiquitously enough, also makes a vocal contribution.

Here's this week's top five in full.

  1. The Jungle Book - £8.09m
  2. Eye in the Sky - £0.82m
  3. Bastille Day - £0.76m
  4. Zootropolis - £0.67m
  5. Friend Request - £0.62m

Stevie Nicks gives surprise performance at School of Rock

Stevie Nicks
Getty Images

Broadway theatregoers were treated to a surprise rendition of Fleetwood Mac mega-hit Rhiannon in New York last night, as Stevie Nicks appeared on stage at School of Rock. 

She performed after the cast did their curtain call, backed by the show's young band. 

"I have Fleetwood Mac, and then I have my solo band that I've been playing with since 1980, and now I have one more fantastic band to add to my roster, so I'm very happy," she said afterwards. 

Stevie Nicks and cast of School of Rock
Getty Images

She also took the time to share memories of recording with Prince, on her 1980s hit Stand Back. She told reporters the idea for the song came to her while listening to Little Red Corvette in the car and she called him up about it:  

I asked him if he would come over to Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. Never in a million years expecting that he would say yes, or that he was even in Los Angeles, and he was there in like twenty minutes. I didn't have to call and tell him that I kind of ripped off his song, but I did because I'm honest. So it turned into a really amazing relationship. Is my heart broken? Absolutely.

Sir Anish Kapoor: Mayor 'foisted' slide on sculpture

Sir Anish Kapoor and Carsten Holler
Getty Images

Sir Anish Kapoor (above, left) has issued a warning that his Olympic Park sculpture must not become an "amusement park", claiming plans to install a slide around it were "foisted" on him by the Mayor of London.  

The Turner Prize-winning artist's Orbit sculpture is currently being transformed in collaboration with artist Carsten Holler (above, right), in a project that will see the addition of the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide.  

Sir Anish Kapoor and Carsten Holler
Getty Images

It is hoped the revamped ArcelorMittal Orbit will rejuvenate visitor interest in the sculpture, with £17 tickets for adults recouping its multi-million-pound installation costs.

Yet while the project has been trumpeted as an innovative collaboration between two leading artists, Sir Anish has revealed the project wasn't entirely of his choosing.

The Mayor foisted this on the project, and kind of insisted, so there was a moment where we, or rather I, had to make a decision: do I go to battle with the Mayor, or is there a more elegant, more astute way to do this?

Sir Anish said he had immediately turned to Holler, whose slide installations at the Hayward Gallery and Tate Modern were big draws for both institutions.

The artist said it would have been “very problematic” to build a slide without Holler's involvement, adding an essential balance between "public participation and art".

Read more on this story.

Paul McCartney to record Mastertapes special

Paul McCartney
Getty Images

It's just been announced Paul McCartney will record a special edition of Radio 4 music series Mastertapes next month. 

Ahead of the release of a major Macca retrospective album, he'll talk to presenter John Wilson about his career and answer questions from the audience at the BBC's Maida Vale studios - as well as performing. 

Mastertapes looks at the nuts and bolts of song writing and draws back the curtain on what can often be a private and sometimes lonely art. Having interviewed McCartney many times before, I know he offers great insight into that process.

John Wilson

There are a limited number of audience tickets available but be quick, they're only on offer for 24 hours from 12:00 BST today via the Mastertapes pages on the Radio 4 website

If you don't manage to bag one, the hour-long special edition of the programme will broadcast on Radio 4 at 10:00 BST on Saturday 28 May - with a version also being filmed for the iPlayer.

In the meantime you can check out the back catalogue - featuring the likes of Noel Gallagher, Robbie Williams, Sinead O’Connor and Paul Weller. 

Captain America cast pose for selfie

Captain America selfie
PA

Every fan who troops along to a film premiere hopes to grab a selfie with the stars on the red carpet.

One lucky person at last night's European premiere of Captain America: Civil War, though, got the chance to grab a selfie with all of them at once.

Lottie French, from Chigwell in Essex, went along to the Westfield shopping centre in west London with no clue she would be chosen to join Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and the rest of the film's cast for the ultimate social media moment.

Lottie, however, wasn't the only person taking and posing for pictures on Tuesday. Here's Paul Bettany, Samuel L Jackson and Tom Holland - aka the new Spider-Man - doing the same.

Paul Bettany
EPA
Samuel L Jackson
Reuters
Tom Holland
PA

Keys to debut new music at Champions League Final

Alicia Keys
AP

Alicia Keys will debut new music from her next album during the first ever live musical performance to form part of the opening ceremony of the UEFA Champions League Final.

UEFA announced that the Grammy-winning singer will be the first musical act to perform as a part of the final, which will be broadcast to more than 220 countries from Italy next month. 

The singer has been working on a follow-up to her 2012 studio album Girl on Fire. But she was coy about the new songs she'll be performing on 28 May. 

I have to leave it as a surprise for sure 'cause that's... part of the fun of it, but you're definitely going to hear some new music.

It's pretty insane. I know there is going to be 80,000 people there in person and people all over the world are going to witness it and watch this and celebrate. It's a huge space to fill.

It's a busy time for Alicia, as she's also gearing up to appear as a coach on the new US series of The Voice alongside Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus.

Read more on this story.

Rory Reid to host Top Gear spin-off

Rory Reid
BBC

The new series of Top Gear will have a sister show called Extra Gear, the BBC has confirmed.

The new spin-off will bring fans exclusive footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes access to the main show.

It will be presented by Rory Reid, who has already been announced as one of the seven new Top Gear presenters.

Here's how Reid - the only presenter to have been chosen via the show's open auditions - spread the news on Twitter.

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Extra Gear, which begins in May, will be made available on BBC Three and distributed on BBC Worldwide.  

Read more on this story.

Prince's Revolution band to reunite

Prince
Getty Images

Members of Prince's former band The Revolution have announced they will reunite for a series of concerts. 

The announcement was made in a video on band member Brown Mark's Facebook account. 

"We have decided, after spending three or four days together now grieving over the loss of Prince, that we would like to come out and do some shows," guitarist Wendy Melvoin said. 

"We want to let you know that we'll be there soon." 

The band look set to tour the line-up that existed when the ensemble broke up in 1986, one that consisted of Mark, Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z and Matt Fink.

Read more on this story.

Sir Lenny Henry to receive special Bafta

Sir Lenny Henry
Getty Images

It's been announced that Sir Lenny Henry is to receive a special accolade at the Bafta TV awards on 8 May.

The actor and comedian will be presented with the Alan Clarke award, named in honour of the late film and TV director, for his outstanding contribution to television.

Here's what Sir Lenny, an active campaigner who has repeatedly called for more diversity in the industry, had to say about his latest honour.

This is fantastic. I am truly humbled and truly hopeful that this award is a pan-industry acknowledgement that diversity must be at the heart of our industry if we are to reflect British society now and, most importantly, in the future.

Read more on this story.

Good morning

Neil Smith

Entertainment reporter

It's the middle of the week, which means we're as near to next weekend as we are to last weekend.

It's perceptive insights like that you can rely upon as we once again bring you everything that's hot to trot in the world of entertainment, arts and culture.

Today we'll be bringing you snaps from last night's European premiere of the new Captain America film and bringing you the winners of this year's Jazz FM Awards, as well as looking ahead to the Radio 2 Folk Awards that take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London later.

In the meantime, why not check out Tuesday's live page, as well as the brand new Music News LIVE page we now have running alongside it.