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16/12/2019 01:37:38  

Freddie Fox chose not to speak to the convicted criminal before playing him in White House Farm.
14/12/2019 10:31:14  

The actor and singer-songwriter on brushes with the law, not being Bond and lying to his children

Born in Yorkshire, Laurence Fox, 41, studied at Rada. He appeared in Gosford Park, and on television played DS Hathaway in Lewis from 2006 to 2015. His recent work includes ITV’s Victoria and the upcoming Netflix series White Lines. A singer-songwriter, he has just released his second album, A Grief Observed. He lives in London and has two sons with his former wife, Billie Piper.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My mum, because she raised five children. I am raising two and it’s hard work.

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14/12/2019 00:31:38  

Fellow Emmerdale actor Claire King describes Mercier as show’s ‘beating heart’

Sheila Mercier, who played Emmerdale’s matriarch, Annie Sugden, for more than 20 years, has died aged 100.

ITV confirmed the veteran performer’s death in a statement on Friday night.

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13/12/2019 11:30:03  

Speaking on ITV shortly after the exit poll was announced, Alan Johnson absolutely took Momentum founder Jon Lansman to pieces: “I’m afraid the working classes have always been a big disappointment for Jon and his cult” Bang on.

The post Alan Johnson Demolishes Momentum ‘Cult’ appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

12/12/2019 23:31:04  

Boris Johnson’s election lies had kept coming, and left Labour’s core messages struggling for airspace

As the clocks moved ever closer to 10pm, the pollsters held their breath. Then a collective sigh of relief was expelled, as the exit poll revealed that the Tories were heading for a massive majority of 86. The polls throughout the campaign had been near enough right. The credibility of the polling companies was safe for the time being. They wouldn’t be laughing stocks. Barring the unthinkable of the exit poll itself being seriously wrong – the first time it would have happened since 1992 – we were certain to have a Boris Johnson government for the next five years.

There had been a similar tension in the spin room of the ITV studios in the two hours prior to the polls closing. Back in 2017 the atmosphere had been very different. Relaxed to the point of being laid-back. The serious political journalists and commentators were all convinced that the Tories were heading for at least a 40-seat majority and had been happy to say as much. Now no one was taking any chances by making rash predictions in public. Private thoughts were best kept private. Once bitten, twice shy.

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12/12/2019 21:31:01  

Exit poll, first results and the biggest winners and losers after Britain votes in the ‘most important poll in a generation’

Good evening and welcome to the general election results blog. The polls close in just under an hour, at 10pm, and at that point broadcasters will announce the results of the combined BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll. We will then have to wait a few more hours to find out if the results are confirming the exit poll predictions but, over the last four elections, it has twice predicted the size of the eventual majority with 100% accuracy, once been out by four seats, and once wrong by 22 seats (in 2015). Generally it is a much more robust, and accurate, exercise than a standard opinion poll.

And so at that point we will get the first proper steer of the day into whether Boris Johnson has achieved his goal and obtained a working majority. If there is a consensus Westminster/commentariat expectation, this would be it. It is what the bookmakers are anticipating, and the one opinion poll (rightly or wrongly) seen as most authoritative, the YouGov MRP poll, has the Conservatives on course to win a majority of 28. But, in truth, there is no firm consensus and the 2017 general election result – which came as a total surprise not just to journalists, but to most campaigners, even at the very top of political parties, on all sides – has left most of us who follow elections very wary of making any predictions with much confidence.

Related: What time will we know who won? Hour-by-hour election night guide

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12/12/2019 18:31:20  

We should judge politicians by their values – not by their charisma

Coverage of elections, including this one, inevitably depicts them as a popularity contest between the party leaders – focused on fluctuations in opinion polls and satisfaction ratings. Even where issues rather than personalities seemed to occupy the agenda – with Brexit in the case of Conservatives and the NHS in the case of Labour – the analysis remained concentrated on the respective leader’s handling of these questions. We focus on individuals rather than institutions, on leaders rather than movements.

Consider the disproportionate attention given to leadership debates and the criteria used to assess them. Which of the candidates “won” the debate? Did Boris Johnson convince people he is “fit for office”? Did Jeremy Corbyn look “prime ministerial”?

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12/12/2019 13:31:18  

While overshadowed by the other David – and out of step on both the EU and climate change – the naturalist and presenter will be remembered for his unbridled enthusiasm for botany

The jolly, bearded, accessibly scholarly botanist David Bellamy, who has died aged 86, was for many years one of TV’s most effective popularisers of science. That was, until his career stalled when he found himself on the wrong side of the political and environmental climates.

There has always been a tension in British television between the founding aims of the nation’s broadcasting, expressed in the BBC charter – “to inform, educate, and entertain” – with the first two often struggling to compete with the third. One solution to this conflict was the expert who was also eccentric. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, Bellamy was a member of this group of wacky specialists, along with futurologist James Burke, dog psychologist Barbara Woodhouse, and scientists Dr Magnus Pyke and Professor Heinz Woolf, with the last of whom Bellamy appeared in the high-rating ITV scientific brains’ trust formats, Don’t Ask Me (1974-78) and Don’t Just Sit There (1979-80).

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12/12/2019 10:27:17  

ITV sign a new five-year deal for Britain's Got Talent, but The X Factor is only confirmed for 2020.
12/12/2019 06:30:59  

Both Labour and Conservatives say vote offers stark choice between the two parties. Follow the latest developments, live

And because it really deserves a post of its own, let’s remember that yesterday, Johnson’s final day was marred by accusations he hid in a fridge in order to avoid an interview with Good Morning Britain.

Here’s the moment:

Time for a historical perspective, perhaps: despite having an underground bedroom as part of the war rooms complex, Boris Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill declined to sleep in it any more than four or five times in the entire second world war, including during the blitz when London was under sustained nightly bombardment. Without wishing to go out on a limb, then, it is difficult to imagine Winston Churchill fleeing a lone Pathé news camera to conceal himself inside a refrigerator. Johnson’s move forces an urgent reordering of the top three most embarrassing places British politicians have hidden because they couldn’t handle the consequences of their actions. This now goes: 3. Edinburgh pub – Nigel Farage. 2. Disabled loo – Ken Livingstone 1. Fridge – Boris Johnson.

Good Election Day morning everyone!

We made it, we’re here, the campaign is finally over. It’s been a whirlwind six weeks, let’s have a wrap of some the happenings and absurdities we’ve witnessed in that time: the leaders have travelled across the country, stolen phones, hidden in fridges, refused to apologise for their party’s handling of antisemitism when repeatedly asked by Andrew Neil, refused to be interviewed by Andrew Neil at all, posed in boxing rings, posed bulldozing a menacing tower of styrofoam blocks, watched as their confident promise of becoming prime minister quickly became a vanishingly small prospect, or as their pledge to help the Tories by pulling out of seats backfired.

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11/12/2019 22:30:57  

With this twist, Simon Cowell clearly thought he could breathe new life into a cursed franchise on its last legs. Well ... it’s a big no from me!

Strictly Come Dancing has managed to maintain its status as a national institution for 15 years, while its old rival The X Factor, which also started in 2004, has seen its cultural dominance slowly slip away. There are countless reasons for its decline. The pop industry is always shifting and the old gatekeepers have far less clout than they once did. A hit can happen whether they want it to or not, just as a career can tank, no matter how much is thrown at it. (Try to name the last three X Factor winners.)

It is understandable, then, that Simon Cowell can’t resist tinkering with the format. But endless nips-and-tucks have left it worse off. The X Factor: Celebrity managed to sour even the usual winning formula of taking something popular and adding famous people. An All Stars version (bringing back former contestants to compete again) has been pushed back indefinitely. Now The X Factor: The Band (ITV) looks set to continue this cursed run. Presumably, Cowell was hoping to breathe new life into the franchise; instead, he appears to be keeping it on life support against doctors’ best advice.

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11/12/2019 11:31:10  

During a live broadcast on ITV's Good Morning Britain, an aide to Boris Johnson seemingly mouthed 'oh for fuck's sake' when approached by a reporter.

Jonathan Swain pressed the prime minister on whether he would appear on the programme, prompting him to retreat into a walk-in fridge to avoid further questions

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10/12/2019 17:30:56  

Mackenzie Crook writes and stars in two one-hour specials about kind-hearted scarecrow

Worzel Gummidge, the popular and kind-hearted scarecrow character in British children’s fiction, will return to screens this Christmas with a strong and unapologetic message: protect the environment.

A children’s television classic since Jon Pertwee portrayed him on ITV between 1979-81, Worzel, the nattily dressed Scarecrow of ten acre field, has been rebooted for BBC one by the writer and actor Mackenzie Crook.

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09/12/2019 19:26:54  

ITV reporter Joe Pike asks the prime minister to look at a photo of a sick boy on a hospital floor.
09/12/2019 18:30:41  

Faced with evidence of NHS overcrowding by a reporter, the PM simply pocketed it

“What are you getting Carrie for Christmas?” Boris Johnson was asked by BBC Radio West Midlands. And the prime minister replied: “I’m going to get Brexit done.” Wow. I feel like I know how this fairytale ends. Guest vocals by the late great Kirsty MacColl.

Yet even by his own standards of thermonuclear disingenuity, Johnson’s turn on ITV news on Monday morning reached new depths. In a fish market in Grimsby, ITV News reporter Joe Pike asked Johnson about newspaper reports featuring Jack Williment-Barr, a four-year-old boy with suspected pneumonia, who was pictured being forced to sleep on a concrete floor in an overcrowded NHS hospital this weekend. “I haven’t had a chance to look at the photo,” Johnson said. Look at it now, said Pike, who had it up on his phone. At which point Johnson simply took the reporter’s phone and stuffed it in his pocket.

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09/12/2019 16:31:15  

Plucked from obscurity by Ken Loach, the Scottish actor has gone from working-class kid to star of the UK’s favourite drama. Now, he’s in a new thriller – and, for once, without an English accent

Every actor has a war story about a disastrous audition, but Martin Compston’s is particularly chaotic. In 2002, the Scottish actor – then in his late teens – flew down to London to audition for a guest role in an ITV period drama. Just one problem: he had been sent the wrong lines. “So they gave me what I was supposed to do and asked me to come back in 15 minutes,” he says. “It was a three-page monologue from a suicidal kid telling a doctor why he wanted to take his own life. I was so angry, it was all a blur.”

The experience was enough to make Compston consider chucking in his fledgling acting career. “My agent at the time called and I told him: ‘I don’t think this is for me.’ And then he said, ‘you got the part.’ I felt like maybe I can do this, maybe there’s something there.”

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09/12/2019 15:30:42  

Boris Johnson accused of not caring after first refusing reporter’s repeated requests

Boris Johnson has been accused of not caring after he repeatedly refused during a TV interview to look at a photo of a four-year-old boy forced to sleep on the floor at an overcrowded A&E unit, before pocketing the reporter’s phone on which he was being shown the picture.

In an ITV interview during a campaign visit to a factory in Sunderland, the prime minister was challenged about the plight of Jack Williment-Barr, who was pictured sleeping under coats on a hospital floor in Leeds as he waited for a bed, despite having suspected pneumonia.

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08/12/2019 23:26:44  

The former EastEnders star becomes the latest queen of the Jungle on the ITV reality show.
06/12/2019 10:30:35  

Minister says Labour proposal to enfranchise 2m EU nationals would be ‘assault on democracy’

Michael Gove has said that allowing EU citizens to vote in another Brexit referendum would represent “an assault” on democracy.

Gove’s comments came after Boris Johnson wrote to Jeremy Corbyn accusing him of seeking to “fiddle” a second referendum vote in favour of remain by proposing to enfranchise 2 million EU nationals, in effect undermining the outcome of the 2016 vote.

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05/12/2019 20:29:53  

Perhaps the leader’s wife Laura Alvarez should take over the housekeeping in the party, too

Just two hours before Jeremy Corbyn’s ITV interview with Julie Etchingham aired, it emerged Boris Johnson wouldn’t be doing his version of it after all. But of course. After this election, will any politician risk doing the right thing as far as scrutiny is concerned? Another short-term win for Johnson, where we all end up the losers in the end.

“Just who is Jeremy Corbyn?” wondered the ITV programme’s opening question. “He’s just the sort of guy who likes to hang out on his allotment,” said the first commentator, “watch a film and talk about football.” Is he? When GQ asked him for his favourite film two years ago, Corbyn sighed. “I’m not a great cinema attender.” Last film he saw? “I haven’t been to the cinema in ages.” Fair to say he wasn’t a film fan? wondered the mag. “I mean, I don’t mind the cinema …”

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05/12/2019 19:30:06  

Last-minute campaigning may have little impact. Instead, the changing make-up of towns and cities holds the keys to No 10

What is the point of political campaigning? It’s bordering on heresy even to ask this question, let alone to suggest that six manic weeks of battle buses and TV debates and leaflets destined only for the recycling bin might not be worth the millions they cost. So we political junkies carry on parsing every throwaway remark for meaning, obsessing over every stunt and gaffe, searching for that one mythical moment that will in retrospect seem to have changed everything. If nothing else, it’s comforting to think there must be some kind of logic to it.

Related: Labour has a week to turn this election into a winter war on austerity | Frances Ryan

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05/12/2019 13:30:05  

Raising children can be a tiring, lonely slog – cue a new wave of audio shows aimed at mums and dads. But are podcasts really a parent’s best friend?

Whether you’re a parent or not, if you listen to podcasts you may well have noticed a huge glut of shows aimed at people with kids, clogging up the iTunes chart like families packed into your local Tesco on a Saturday morning. Currently riding high is Here We Go Again, the new show from Loose Women panellist Stacey Solomon (premise: ‘Stacey Solomon has just had a baby … several years after her last baby!’) From the same producers, there’s also Confessions of a Modern Parent, in which Nadia Sawalha – also from the ITV daytime staple – talks about ‘[navigating] the minefield of parenting teenagers into well-adjusted adults’. Elsewhere, there’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby – in which celebrities tell Giovanna Fletcher about the challenges and triumphs of raising children – and the comedian Josie Long’s show Josie and Johnny Are Having a Baby (With You!) among many, many others.

There are now so many of them that parenting podcasts have become a genre of their own, like true crime or middle-aged comedians getting angry about the word ‘woke’. It’s easy to see why. Having kids can simultaneously be overwhelming and lonely, and nothing helps like knowing that other people feel the same way, especially via a medium as intimate as podcasting. The touchstones – especially during the early years – are so universal that it can be genuinely helpful to hear other people struggle with the same thing without fear of judgment.

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05/12/2019 12:29:53  

PM apologises over piece describing Muslim women who wear veil as looking like letterboxes and bank robbers

Boris Johnson has apologised “for any offence caused” by his article describing Muslim women who wear a face-covering veil as looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.

The prime minister was confronted over the issue on ITV’s This Morning by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who said Muslims had been hurt and offended by his remarks.

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05/12/2019 09:29:19  

Angela Rayner had a shocker this morning on GMB. The Shadow Education Secretary seemed incredulous that she was being asked questions about her leader’s bizarre ITV interview where he lied about watching the Queen’s Speech. When asked how Corbyn could watch the speech (which airs at 3pm) on Christmas morning, Rayner genuinely said ‘he could […]

The post Angela Rayner Suggests Corbyn Watches Queen’s Speech on Catchup… Before it’s Aired appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

04/12/2019 16:29:48  

Labour leader asked about his ‘most reckless’ romantic acts and if he watches Queen’s speech

It was the Labour leader’s Theresa May moment – and it was about as risqué as his former rival’s memory of running through a field of wheat.

Two years after May was asked by ITV’s Julie Etchingham to share the naughtiest thing she had ever done, the broadcaster urged Jeremy Corbyn to reveal “the most romantic … wild and reckless” moment of his life – and eventually drew the answer that he had enjoyed some “wonderful holidays” with his wife, Laura Álvarez.

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