Showbiz News

It’ll be Alright on the Night host Denis Norden dies

Former TV host and comedy writer Denis Norden has died aged 96, his family has said.

The It’ll Be Alright On The Night host died on Wednesday morning after spending “many weeks” at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, a statement from his children, Nick and Maggie Norden, said.

It added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the dedicated staff and doctors who have looked after him – with much devotion.

“A wonderful dad, a loving grandfather and great great-grandfather – he gave his laughter mongering to so many.

“He will be in our hearts forever.”

Born in London’s East End in 1922, Norden’s writing career began during the Second World War penning troop show sketches while serving in the RAF.

During his time in the armed forces he got to know many of the writers and performers who would feature on radio and TV in the post-war years.

Preparing for a troop show in northern Germany in 1945, he went in search of stage lighting with fellow performers Eric Sykes and Ron Rich at what they believed to be a nearby prison camp.

It turned out to be the recently liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. So moved were they be the plight of the inmates that they organised a food collection amongst their comrades for the camp’s victims.

After being demobbed Norden began writing for radio, teaming up with Frank Muir in 1947. Their first show together, as writers and performers, was Take It From Here on which they collaborated for 11 years.

He continued to write and perform in many successful TV and radio shows throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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In 1977 he began presenting It’ll be Alright on the Night, which featured outtakes from films and TV shows.

He retired in 2006 at the age of 84, although in 2008 he published a sequence of autobiographical sketches called Clips From A Life.

Game of Thrones, Claire Foy and Thandie Newton scoop Emmys

Claire Foy and Thandie Newton were among the winners at the 2018 Emmys on a night of British success at television’s biggest awards show.

Game of Thrones saw off heavyweight competition to win the prize for outstanding drama series, beating the likes of The Crown, Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld.

Peter Dinklage, one of the stars of the fantasy drama, was also named best supporting actor in a drama series for his role as Tyrion Lannister.

Peter Dinklage won for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister

Image: Peter Dinklage won for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister

Foy scooped the award for best lead actress in a drama series for her portrayal of the Queen on Netflix show The Crown.

She dedicated the prize to her co-star Matt Smith and the drama’s new cast, including Olivia Colman who replaces her in the forthcoming third series.

Claire Foy

Image: Claire Foy won best actress in a drama series

“I had the most extraordinary two and a half years of my life,” Foy said on stage.

Newton won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama series for her role on Sky Atlantic’s sci-fi western Westworld.

Collecting her prize, Newton said: “I don’t even believe in God but I’m going to thank her tonight.”

Thandie Newton

Image: Thandie Newton won her role on Westworld

Other British winners included comedian John Oliver, whose show Last Week Tonight won the prize for outstanding variety talk series.

Reading-born Charlie Brooker took home the Emmy for best writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special for his work on Black Mirror with co-writer William Bridges.

preview image 0:43 Video: Emmy winner John Oliver on news satire

And Welsh actor Matthew Rhys collected the gong for best lead actor in a drama series for his role in The Americans.

Another notable winner was former Happy Days star Henry Winkler, who won an Emmy 42 years after he was first nominated.

The veteran actor, 72, collected the prize for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as acting coach Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry.

The Americans star Matthew Rhys 0:30 Video: Americans’ Matthew Rhys wins best lead actor

“I only have 30 seconds but I wrote this 40 years ago,” Winkler said during his acceptance speech.

He told the audience he was once told that if you stay at the table long enough “the chips come to you”, adding: “Tonight I got to clear the table.”

70th Primetime Emmy Awards - Show - Los Angeles, California, U.S., 17/09/2018 - Henry Winkler for Barry wins the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy series. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Image: Henry Winkler won an Emmy 42 years after his first nomination

It was the sixth time that Winkler had been nominated for an Emmy, including three nods for his portrayal of Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli on Happy Days in the 1970s.

One of the most memorable moments of the night came when a director stunned the audience by proposing to his girlfriend on stage.

Glenn Weiss proposes to his girlfriend after winning his Emmy 0:23 Video: Emmy winner proposes on stage

Glenn Weiss popped the question to his girlfriend Jan Svendsen after winning the award for outstanding directing for a variety special for The Oscars.

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The audience erupted into loud cheers after she agreed to marry him and the camera panned on to crowd members wiping tears from their eyes.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, co-hosted by comedians Colin Jost and Michael Che, were handed out live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Scott Morrison ‘definitely keen’ to attend concert by US rapper Fatman Scoop

The prime minister Scott Morrison has deleted a social media video using a sexually charged song, but the song’s artist, Fatman Scoop, has questioned why, saying it’s a “fun party song that has no negativity or harm”.

The rapper tagged the prime minister in a Facebook post, inviting him to come backstage at a concert on his upcoming tour of Australia. To which Morrison responded on Twitter that he was “definitely keen” but “send me the PG version next time”.

Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP)

Definitely keen for R&B Fridays, @fatmanscoop.
Btw, probably best to send me the PG radio version next time.

September 14, 2018

The 11-second clip from question time in parliament showed MPs raising their arms sound-tracked to the 1999 club banger Be Faithful by the US rapper.

The suggestive lyrics were not included in the brief video, but the full song contains expletives and strong references to casual sex.

The clip was posted to Morrison’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts on Thursday and had thousands of likes and comments before being taken down.

The PM told reporters on Friday it was a “bit of fun” and he will stick to listening to Australian singer Tina Arena.

“It’s quite clear that it’s not a song that’s on my playlist and I think I might stick to my regular playlist,” Morrison said.

Fatman Scoop

US rapper Fatman Scoop has invited Scott Morrison backstage to discuss politics after his song was used in a now deleted video by the prime minister. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/PA/PA

“We’re just trying to connect honestly with people and some of the narcs will get a bit worked up about this sort of thing.

“I think people think politicians can take themselves a bit too seriously at times.”

Fatman Scoop appeared to agree, writing on Facebook on Friday that the video was “a fun PARTY SONG that has no NEGATIVITY or HARM in it” and was clearly “an attempt to reach out to a younger audience”.

The rapper said he had to remain apolitical but was humbled to have his voice “rocking in the highest offices of the Australian government”.

Fatman Scoop then invited the prime minister to be his guest at his next Australian show and discuss politics with him.

“I don’t have to agree with your policies but we can have spirited DEBATE about them and you can attempt to walk me through why you think like that,” he wrote.

After deleting the video, Morrison sent out another tweet close to midnight apologising for posting it following puzzled and critical comments.
Despite the video being deleted from all of Morrison’s accounts, social media users retained the clip and it’s still easily accessible on Twitter.

The original footage came about following Morrison asking Liberal Party members in question time if they had worked in small businesses or the private sector.

The bizarre use of the song could deliver invaluable promotion for Fatman Scoop’s tour of Australia in November where he will play shows in five capital cities.

Willie Nelson upsets fans with plans to perform at Beto O’Rourke rally

Country music legend Willie Nelson has enraged some of his most conservative fans by announcing plans to play at a huge rally on behalf of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic insurgent threatening an election upset in Texas.

The 85-year-old star will headline a free outdoor show in Austin, Texas, in support of the Democrat who is pushing to unseat the Republican senator Ted Cruz in November’s midterms.

“My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said in a press release announcing the event, which his publicist suggested was his first-ever rally on behalf of a politician.

“Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

The move seems to have surprised and upset some of Nelson’s fans – even though he has a long record as an activist on a range of liberal issues.

One Texan wrote on Twitter: “Someone buy my Willie Nelson ticket for Friday, November 16. I am no longer willing to watch that hippie guitarist who supports that damn socialist running for Senate.”

A woman wrote on Nelson’s Facebook page: “Just cause you can write a song, sing a song, play a guitar and smoke weed – doesn’t mean you know what’s right for this state!!! Entertainers should stay out of politics & stick to entertaining.”

Another disgruntled fan said: “You should stay out of politics. I’m a lifelong fan this is not a smart move.”

That fan was quickly shot down by a Nelson supporter, who replied: “Lifelong fan unaware of Willie’s decades of political activism.”

From campaigning to legalize marijuana to supporting the LGBT movement, Nelson has scarcely hidden his progressive credentials during his long career.

As well as being co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Nelson was a critic of the Iraq war, an advocate of biofuels and a supporter of animal rights campaigns.

Peter Blackstock (@Blackstock360)

So @BetoORourke not only stuck around to sing with @WillieNelson, he played guitar with him.

July 5, 2018

O’Rourke, who was once a member of a punk rock band, joined Nelson on stage at the singer’s Fourth of July picnic, playing guitar and singing harmony on songs including Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.

O’Rourke has been accused by Cruz of running from the “hard, hard left like Bernie Sanders”. But Cruz, who was the last man standing against Donald Trump in the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination, is feeling the heat. A rash of summer headlines have asked whether he is facing an upset defeat. Latest polling suggests his lead is down to 3.2%.

Last week the New York Times reported that Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, had told donors Cruz could lose because he is not “likable” enough.

More than 20,000 people have already signed up for Nelson’s outdoor show in support of O’Rourke, which will be staged at Austin’s Auditorium Shores on 29 September.