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Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies aged 63

Pete Shelley, lead singer of punk band Buzzcocks, has died at the age of 63.

Shelley formed the group in 1976 and they achieved commercial success with hits including Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).

His brother, Gary John McNeish, posted on Facebook: “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, is tell you my brother Pete Shelley had a heart attack this morning and passed away.”

The band also confirmed his death on their official Twitter page.

“It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks,” the post read.

Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley has died aged 63

Image: Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley has died aged 63

In another tweet, the band said: “Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.”

Fans and friends are paying tribute to the late singer on social media.

Singer Tim Burgess tweeted: “Farewell Pete Shelley. The first album I ever owned was Love Bites By Buzzcocks.”

One fan wrote: “The world is sad enough right now without the loss of Pete Shelley. Gone way too soon”.

Another fan, named Doug Shaw, tweeted: “Sad to learn of the death of Pete Shelley, The Buzzcocks were one of my favourite punk bands. Loved their ability to write excellent short sharp singles.”

Singer Tracey Thorn, formerly of Everything But The Girl, said: “Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. ‘But after all life’s only death’s recompense.’ RIP”.

Steve Diggle (L) and Pete Shelley performing at Coachella festival, California, in 2012

Image: Steve Diggle (L) and Pete Shelley performing at Coachella festival, California, in 2012

Shelley, real name Peter Campbell McNeish, was born in Leigh, a town in Greater Manchester.

The band, which he formed with Howard Devoto, debuted in 1976 when they opened for the Sex Pistols in Manchester.

Buzzcocks released their first EP, Spiral Scratch, on their own independent label in 1977.

Danny Farran (L), Pete Shelley, Steve Garvey, Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks in 2006

Image: Danny Farran (L), Pete Shelley, Steve Garvey, Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks in 2006

When Devoto left the band shortly afterwards, Shelley took over as lead vocalist and chief songwriter.

Shelley went onto release music as a solo artist in the 1980s and played with various musicians during his career, including The Invisible Girls.

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His best known singles include Homosapien, Telephone Operator and Do Anything.

Shelley briefly reunited with Devoto to make the LP Buzzkunst, released in 2002.

America’s Next Top Model star dies from cancer

Former America’s Next Top Model contestant Jael Strauss has died from breast cancer aged 34 – two months after her diagnosis.

The model, who competed in the eighth series of the talent show, died in a hospice on Tuesday morning, according to TMZ.

Strauss had previously revealed she had been diagnosed with the disease on 2 October.

She wrote in a Facebook post: “I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know, on October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.

“It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable. With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it. I don’t want to die. I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013.”

Strauss had battled drug addiction during her life and celebrated five years of sobriety in August.

In October, she made a plea to her Instagram followers for support and prayers.

Strauss wrote: “I am scared. I really need your help – donations, kind words of support and prayers are completely welcome and absolutely needed. I have stage four metastatic breast cancer, and there is NO cure. “NO CURE?”

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In a statement to TMZ, her family: “The one blessing was that we were able to show her how loved she was before she passed.

“She brought so much light to people.”

Robbie’s regrets at not rejoining Take That sooner

They may not be back for good, but Robbie Williams has said that rejoining Take That onstage felt like Christmas.

The band united for a gala performance of musical The Band – which is based on 30 years of Take That hits – for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Revealing that he will join Take That on their 30th anniversary greatest hits tour next year whenever he can, Williams said he regretted they didn’t call each other sooner but he is glad they’ve “got there in the end”.

Take That remain the biggest-selling British boyband of all time.

Take That performing in Italy in 2011

Image: Take That performing in Italy in 2011

In their first interview together with Robbie in years (minus Jason Orange), Take That told Sky News they’re glad to be a product of the 1990s.

As Robbie Williams challenged the Spice Girls to a dance-off – their fellow 1990s stars – he reflected on Take That’s phenomenal rise to fame, and admitted: “I would never get away now, with what I got away with back then.”

Robbie Williams (pictured in 2001) enjoyed a successful solo career following his departure from Take That

Image: Robbie Williams (pictured in 2001) enjoyed a successful solo career following his departure from Take That

Howard Donald agreed – explaining that younger pop stars coming up have a very different experience.

He said: “I’m happy we did it in 90s.

“Now they use social media, Spotify, YouTube, iPhones… We had to physically go to countries and really work.”

“They don’t know they’re born now,” joked Mark Owen.

“We did real hard graft,” laughed Gary Barlow.

It’s rare to have four out of the five piece that formed back in 1989.

Library file, dated 24/2/97. The Spice Girls perform on stage at the Brit Awards ceremony: EMI Group, the music company which numbers The Beatles and The Spice Girls among its artists, confirmed today (Thursday) that it had received an approach over a possible offer for the company. See PA story CITY EMI. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA

Image: Take That challenge the Spice Girls to a dance-off

Recalling how they got together nearly 30 years ago, Barlow said he can hardly believe they’ve made it, let alone still having hits.

Their current record Odyssey has given them their eighth number one album.

Williams added: “We are really proud to have an entertainment career this long and not having to do panto, not that it’s below me, I just don’t have to do it yet.

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“We are five herberts from northern England, things like this just don’t happen to people like us.”

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Lundgren: Stallone is up there with Spielberg and Lucas

Sylvester Stallone is the ultimate Hollywood tough guy – but co-star (and on-screen nemesis) Dolph Lundgren says there are also big brains behind the brawn.

The Rocky foes have reunited 33 years after they first met in the ring in Rocky IV – when Lundgren put Stallone in hospital during an on-set fight – for the latest spin-off, Creed II.

Lundgren, who is back as Ivan Drago, told Sky News he has enjoyed working with Stallone once again, describing him as one of the most intelligent people in the business.

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed II

Image: Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa, while Michael B Jordan plays Adonis Creed

“He’s a good guy, he’s a very clever man, and funny and witty,” he said.

“You know, because he plays these characters who don’t talk much… people think he’s that way, but he isn’t, he’s a very smart guy. One of the smartest in Hollywood.

“You don’t create three franchises – Rocky, Rambo and The Expendables – by being stupid, that’s for sure.

“There’s him and there’s maybe… who else? Maybe Spielberg has done stuff like that… Lucas… He’s up there.”

Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteaunu in Creed II

Image: Lundgren is back as Ivan Drago, while Florian Munteaunu stars as his son, Viktor

This is the second chapter in the Creed story, following the first Rocky spin-off in 2015.

The film comes eighth in the Rocky franchise, which first came to life in the early 1970s, when Stallone – who was a jobbing actor down to his last $100 at the time – wrote the screenplay while waiting for his acting break.

When the script was finally picked up by producers, he then had to fight to play the lead role.

His hard work paid off, and he took home the Oscar for best picture in 1976.

The movie has gone on to be considered one of the best sports genre films of all time.

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Speaking about the infamous Rocky IV punch, Lundgren joked: “I did hit him, I think… but they said it was me, I just don’t think it was me. I think it was an insurance scam or something.”

Lundgren also spoke about the differences between Creed II and Stallone’s The Expendables films, which he also starred in.

“I’ve done five films with him,” Lundgren said. “This was a bit different because now we’re on opposite sides, like in the first one.

“Then we did three Expendables, a little more cartoonish and we’re just cracking a few jokes and firing guns everywhere and running around, on boats or whatnot, helicopters… here we have scenes where we sit down across each other on a table and have a three-page dialogue scene.

“It was more being a fellow actor with another actor.”

Florian Munteanu, who stars as Ivan’s son Viktor Drago, told Sky News it was a “great experience” and “an honour to work with legends” Lundgren and Stallone, as well as the “new generation like Mike [Michael B Jordan, who reprises his role as protagonist Adonis Creed] and Tess [Tessa Thompson, who again plays his girlfriend, singer-songwriter Bianca].

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“I was very eager to watch them and learn from them, to evolve myself and improve myself as an actor and a person,” he said.

:: Creed II is out in cinemas now

Chopra and Jonas marry in India’s ‘wedding of year’

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra has married US singer Nick Jonas in a Christian ceremony attended by close family and friends in a royal Indian palace.

Fireworks lit up the sky as the celebrity couple exchanged vows on Saturday at the opulent Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, in the western desert state of Rajasthan.

Dubbed India’s “wedding of the year”, the two-day event also includes a traditional Hindu ceremony.

The couple, who went public with their romance in May, were joined by their families, including Jonas’s brother Joe Jonas and his fiancee, British actress and Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner.

In identical posts on social media, Chopra, 36, and Jonas, 26, said the occasion had “kicked off the celebrations in the way we both dreamed”.

They added: “One of the most special things that our relationship has given us is a merging of families who love and respect each other’s faiths and cultures.

“And so planning our wedding with an amalgamation of both was so so amazing. An important part for the girl in an Indian wedding is the Mehendi. Once again we made it our own.”

The accompanying photos showed the smiling couple in traditional Indian dress, with Quantico star Chopra wearing a bright multi-coloured gown.

A view of the illuminated Umaid Bhawan Palace, the couple's wedding venue

Image: A view of the illuminated Umaid Bhawan Palace, the couple’s wedding venue

Both Chopra and Jonas wore bespoke designs by Ralph Lauren.

“Ralph Lauren is honoured to have dressed the couple as well as the members of their wedding party,” the designer label posted on Twitter.

While the bride wore vibrant Indian colours, the groom was dressed in an embroidered kurta, an elaborate tunic.

The couple announced their engagement in August and is the first marriage for them both.

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Chopra, who won the Miss World pageant in 2000, is one of Bollywood’s most identifiable stars, and one of the few to achieve success in the West.

Jonas first found fame when he was a child as the frontman of The Jonas brothers with his two siblings. He has since enjoyed success as a solo artist.

Jolie and Pitt reach child custody agreement

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have come to a final agreement over the custody of their six children, according to the 43-year-old actress’s lawyer.

The announcement follows more than two years of drawn-out negotiations between the Hollywood stars.

However, a statement on Friday did not say how custody of the couple’s six children would be divided and a spokesperson for Jolie declined to reveal any further details.

Her lawyer Samantha Bley DeJean said: “A custody arrangement was agreed to weeks ago, and has been signed by both parties and the judge.

“The agreement, which is based on the recommendations of the child custody evaluator, eliminates the need for a trial. The filing and details of the agreement are confidential to protect the best interests of the children.”

The couple at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, February, 2009

Image: Jolie filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences

Representatives for Pitt, 54, had no immediate comment on the development.

The Mr and Mrs Smith stars – who were once one of Hollywood’s most celebrated super couples – separated in September 2016 after more than 10 years together and a two-year marriage.

Jolie filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, and had been seeking primary custody of their children.

A trial date in the custody case had been tentatively set for Tuesday before a judge in Los Angeles.

According to the Reuters news agency, a source close to Jolie said the actress was “very pleased to be entering the next stage and relieved with progress for the health of their family”.

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The divorce proceedings triggered a bitter custody battle which saw Pitt investigated and later cleared of child abuse.

Both sides accused each other of attempting to manipulate media coverage in their favour.

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The pair – who began dating in late 2005 and became collectively known as “Brangelina” – are yet to reach a final divorce settlement.

Pitt and Jolie are parents to Maddox, 17, Pax, 15, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and 10-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

Manchester ‘impossible to fully recover from’ – Grande

Ariana Grande has described the Manchester Arena terror attack as something “that seems impossible to fully recover from”.

The singer had just finished performing in the city for her Dangerous Woman world tour in May 2017 when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device in the arena foyer, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Grande, 25, was physically unharmed in the attack but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards.

In the fourth episode of her docu-series, Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries, the star shares a letter about the attack.

Ariana Grande was amazed by the strength of the people of Manchester and her fans 1:12 Video: Ariana Grande’s praise for Manchester

The letter says: “I’m writing to you this February 22, 2018. It’s been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It’s impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part. May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life.

“Music is an escape. Music is the safest thing I’ve ever known. Music – pop music, stan culture – is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves. It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe.

“When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that… it is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from.”

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The docu-series gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at her life on tour.

It does not include any footage from the Manchester Arena bombing, but does give viewers a look at the One Love Manchester benefit concert Grande organised to raise money for victims and their families.

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The letter adds: “The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated.

“To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment. The people of Manchester were able to change an event that portrayed the worst of humanity into one that portrayed the most beautiful of humanity. Like a handprint on my heart, I think of Manchester constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.”

First gun ever featured in Bond movie is up for auction

An iconic pistol held by Sean Connery in the first James Bond film is expected to fetch up to £80,000 at auction.

The weapon appeared in an early scene of Dr No in 1962, with spymaster M scolding 007 for carrying a Beretta handgun.

Bond is then given the Walther PPK pistol instead.

The Walther pistol was actually owned by Bernard Lee who played M

Image: The Walther pistol was actually owned by Bernard Lee who played M

The weapon itself had belonged to the English actor Bernard Lee, who played M in the first 11 Bond films.

The gun that was supposed to appear in the scene was not available on the day of filming, so Lee brought his own “live and unregistered” pistol into the studio to be used instead.

Walther PPKs were 007’s choice of firearm in several of the movies and novels.

The gun was given to the vendor by Bernard Lee

Image: The gun was given to the vendor by Bernard Lee

Lee’s was the first one to appear in the franchise, and will go up for sale at the Humbert and Ellis auction house in Whittlebury, Northamptonshire, on Thursday 6 December.

It will be sold along with a letter that appears to have been sent to the vendor’s mother in 1974.

It reads: “Dear Jane, I know you will not accept anything in return for all your help and the kindness that you and John have shown to me throughout these trying times but my conscience will not let it go unrewarded.

Bernard Lee (far left) played spymaster M in the first 11 Bond movies

Image: Bernard Lee (far left) played spymaster M in the first 11 Bond movies

“Enclosed is a small token of my gratitude that I would like your boy to have as and when you see fit.

“This Walther pistol numbered 149894 is a small piece of 007 history.”

Lee adds that the weapon was fully functional when it was used during filming but he had since removed the firing pin.

It is known among 007 lovers that a Walther PP, not a PPK, was used in other scenes in the film.

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Humbert and Ellis states on its website that this is likely to be because Lee’s PPK was inappropriate for filming on location, and the production company’s PP was the only substitute available.

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The Walther PPK is being sold in a presentation case that also features a Dr No poster and photographs of Connery holding the weapon.

The opening price is £30,000 and the auctioneer estimates it will fetch between £50,000 and £80,000.

Who is the highest-paid TV host in the world?

The highest-paid TV hosts in the world have been revealed, with the stars of the small screen pocketing hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

The Forbes list is made-up entirely of US daytime presenters, whose sky-high ratings mean their salaries outstrip those of their prime-time counterparts.

We take a look at the top five highest-paid hosts and how they earn their millions.

Who are the highest paid TV hosts in the UK?

The salaries of Britain’s top-earning presenters fail to even come close to those across the Atlantic.

Ant and Dec reportedly made £29.5m in the year leading up to June 2017, while the X-Factor’s Dermot O’Leary is said to have annual earnings of £3m.

The BBC published the salaries of its highest paid stars in 2017.

Ant McPartlin is to continue with his break from the show

Image: Ant and Dec were said to have earned nearly £30m in the year leading up to June 2017

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was revealed to be paid between £1,750,000 and £1,799,999 a year.

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Graham Norton was paid a salary of between £850,000 to £899,999 in 2017, but this did not include the pay for his Friday night chat show.

The BBC’s top-earner overall was the radio host Chris Evans, who was paid more than £2m a year.

Jimmy Barnes calls for children to be removed from Nauru: ‘It’s not the Australian way’

The Australian rock musician Jimmy Barnes had some strong words for the Australian government ahead of a rally on the Parliament House lawn in Canberra to remove children and their families from indefinite detention on Nauru.

Tuesday’s rally saw the delivery of a petition of 170,000 signatures to the government by the newly elected member for Wentworth, independent MP Dr Kerryn Phelps.

Barnes pointed to his own heritage: “I’m an immigrant,” he said.

“I came to Australia in a boat. We were running away from poverty and violence in Scotland, and what we fled was nothing compared to what these people have tried to get away from.

“We should be helping them. Taking these people and sticking them on an island, indefinitely, is not the Australian way.”


We are with @drkerrynphelps and @JimmyBarnes for #KidsOffNauru

November 27, 2018

Since the launch of the Kids off Nauru campaign three months ago by refugee advocacy groups, around 110 of the 119 children and their families had been brought to Australia after five years in detention on the island.

The Asylum Centre Resource Centre estimated only 40% of Australians were aware children were being held in detention at the time the campaign was launched. Many had spent their entire lives on the island.

That figure has since been raised to 80%, boosted by medical professionals including Phelps and international charity organisations World Vision, Save the Children and Oxfam.

A woman and her daughter hold up a sign during a rally demanding the resettlement of kids held on Nauru.

A woman and her daughter hold up a sign during a rally demanding the resettlement of children held on Nauru. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

A statement from Save the Children, which was contracted by the Australian government in 2013 to provide education and welfare services to children on Nauru before its workers were removed and its role taken over by Transfield in October 2015, said the organisation had “seen first-hand the distress and hardship endured by children languishing indefinitely on Nauru”.

“One day in effective detention for a child is unacceptable; five years is a disgrace,” the statement said.

Barnes, one of 65 ambassadors for Kids off Nauru, said he had reached a point where he felt he had to stand up.

Jimmy Barnes (centre) with his wife Jane Mahoney.

‘I hate fear politics’: Jimmy Barnes (centre) with his wife Jane Mahoney at Tuesday’s protest. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

“You can’t blame governments because we’ve allowed this to happen. The government represents us,” he said.

“I am ashamed that our government has allowed this to happen. And I’m ashamed of myself, because the government represents us, and that’s all of us, and we have to stand up and demand that this be changed … This has to stop.”

Asked how he responded to the view that ending offshore detention risked putting people smugglers back in business, Barnes said: “I think that’s rubbish.”

“There’s got to be better ways to stop that. Let’s tackle that problem on the ground in Indonesia, or wherever. But holding people up as hostages to stop people smugglers, that’s not the way to do things. That’s like two wrongs making a right … This has to stop.

“Politicians have been spreading fear, saying if we’re letting in refugees we’re letting in terrorists. It’s not the truth. We’ve got to recognise the difference between terrorism and people who are refugees; people who are struggling.

“I hate fear politics. And if you look at the Victorian election, that didn’t work and I think the tide is turning, people are changing and they’re not going to fall for that one any more.”

Protesters hold up signs during the Kids off Nauru rally on Tuesday.

Protesters hold up signs during the Kids off Nauru rally on Tuesday. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Barnes has become active in humanitarian causes in recent years, especially since the release of his memoirs Working Class Boy and Working Class Man.

“I had enough of my own problems before,” he said. “I can see a lot clearer now, and I just don’t feel comfortable sitting around not speaking out and saying what I want to say. These are kids, these are families, and they’re people who need help … I can’t sit by any more.”

Asked how he would respond to those – hypothetically, home affairs minister Peter Dutton – who might tell him to stick to singing, Barnes said: “I wouldn’t give Peter Dutton any of my time. It’s a waste of time speaking to someone like him, because they just spread lies and propaganda. He doesn’t represent me, he doesn’t care about people, and I wouldn’t give him the time of day, to tell you the truth.”