• Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard make immediate impact on Strictly Come Dancing
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    Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard make immediate impact on Strictly Come Dancing

    The pair made a bit of show history.

  • The 100 casts Supernatural and Smallville star for season 7
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    Digital Spy

    The 100 casts Supernatural and Smallville star for season 7

    As a "bank robber and spree-killer".

  • The Affair s5 to see emotional return of former series regular
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    Digital Spy

    The Affair s5 to see emotional return of former series regular

    A familiar face will return in a few weeks' time.

  • One Direction's Liam never wore stripes because of Louis
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    Digital Spy

    One Direction's Liam never wore stripes because of Louis

    "He was a proper diva about it."

  • Exclusive: Hollyoaks stars speak out on whether Joel and Cleo will reunite
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    Exclusive: Hollyoaks stars speak out on whether Joel and Cleo will reunite

    "They had an amazing electricity together on screen."

  • When They See Us creator explains reason for Korey Wise episode
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    Digital Spy

    When They See Us creator explains reason for Korey Wise episode

    "I knew I needed to find a way to honour that in the story."

  • Taylor Swift pulls out of Melbourne Cup concert amid animal rights backlash
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    The Independent

    Taylor Swift pulls out of Melbourne Cup concert amid animal rights backlash

    Taylor Swift has pulled out of performing at the Melbourne Cup horse racing event amid criticism from animal rights groups.The singer was accused of “endorsing animal abuse” after she was announced as the headline act, but she’s now cancelled her appearance in Australia citing scheduling issues as the reason.

  • Khalid review – teen spirit squandered?
    News
    The Guardian

    Khalid review – teen spirit squandered?

    O2 Arena, LondonIn his meteoric rise from high-school to stadium-filler, the El Paso crooner lost his early radicalism – but he has the time and the talent to rediscover it. Khalid grins broadly at the roiling sea of phones arrayed below him. “Day two at the O2!” exclaims the 21-year-old pop crooner with a bewildered shake of the head. Clad in a cosy argyle jumper, chinos and Converse, he has just finished delivering a pair of songs, 8Teen and Twenty One, that mark the distance the singer has travelled in 24 months. At 18, Khalid was still living with his parents. “Yours are more understanding,” he notes ruefully (his mother is an army sergeant) on what is still one of his most affecting songs. By Twenty One, from Khalid’s latest album Free Spirit, he’s singing about pain, anxiety and the understanding that drinking legally in the US doesn’t solve anything. Even in an era increasingly given to out-of-nowhere successes, Khalid Donnel Robinson’s rise from El Paso teenager to international stadium-filler has been like greased lightning – to borrow a phrase from a distant teenaged past. In the spring of 2016, Khalid uploaded a yearning love song, Location, on to Soundcloud – partly in an attempt to shore up his social status before his prom. It was an instant classic of telecommunications-themed romance, in the vein of every love song previously featuring a telephone. Only now, it was about dropping a pin on to a virtual map. “Send me your location,” it went, Khalid’s caramelised ache cracking in just the right places. By the time Khalid graduated from high school a couple of months later, Kylie Jenner had tweeted the track. The video for Location included a guide to how to pronounce the noob’s name: Kuh-leed. There was, briefly, some confusion between this tall-haired, pointy-bearded, Arabic-named lover boy – whose debut, American Teen, radically rewrote the mainstream in 2017 – and DJ Khaled. That is no longer a problem. In April, Khalid became the single most-streamed artist globally on Spotify – bigger, according to the site’s metrics, than Ariana Grande. Around the same time, a Khalid song held every single one of the top five spots on Billboard’s all-important R&B chart, not to mention eight of the top 10, and 16 of the top 25. It was an extraordinary statistic, not least because Khalid is, at the very least, an untraditional R&B singer. Tonight, you half expect him to update Trac y Chapman’s Fast Car, such is the pastel Springsteen vibe of many of his songs. Although sex does figure in his songs, Khalid is, in many ways, the anti-Weeknd: polite, partial to just a little weed, respectful of women, deep in his feelings, a purveyor of emo R&B. “Can we just talk?” he pleads convincingly on Talk, one of the highlights of Free Spirit. On his second night in this arena, the very top tier of seats may be cordoned off, but the sense of Khalid being a singer very much for our times remains palpable. The previous night fans enjoyed an appearance by Ed Sheeran and their run-through of Beautiful People, a song about being an everyman by two everymen that went to No 1 in the UK earlier this year. Tonight there’s no Ed, but perhaps an even more WTF moment: west London grime MC AJ Tracey bounds around performing his excellent track Ladbroke Grove. As yet, Khalid and Tracey have not collaborated; hopefully they will. Khalid’s extraordinary streaming stats are due to back-scratching hookups with umpteen fellow artists of the moment, but he is spread terribly thin and could use some more credibility. Some of the night’s cheers are loudest for Silence, Khalid’s OK tune with EDM producer Marshmello, and two more collaborations: Eastside, an affecting Benny Blanco song also originally featuring Halsey, and the moodier Love Lies, Khalid’s hookup with Normani. (One recent collaboration that he doesn’t play tonight is genius, though: Right Back, Khalid’s recent tune with A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.) You can’t help but feel Khalid’s talents are being squandered, although his bank balance would probably argue otherwise. He has one of those voices that genuinely could elevate the telephone directory to an Ivor Novello. Tonight his coterie of dancers seem to be his best friends, perhaps the result of so much time on the road; he spends all of AJ Tracey’s appearance lolloping deliriously along with them. But perhaps the most bewildering aspect to this gig is how many of Khalid’s songs are deeply felt disquisitions on regret and longing, just delivered as lightweight wallpaper music. Somewhere in the last two years, it feels like real Khalid got lost. Tonight, the songs from American Teen still sound as immediate and borderline radical as they did in 2017. Young R&B singers do not, traditionally, call their albums things like “American Teen” – that kind of wholesome mainstream trope has most often been left to people like Taylor Swift, or chroniclers of the more contemporary teen experience like Lorde, with whom Khalid toured early on. American Teen was an album of earworm pop songs inevitably inflected by hip-hop and R&B, but not beholden to them; its production was both quirky and designed to let Khalid’s vocal take centre stage. A song like Saved still nails the angst of keeping someone’s number on your phone after you have parted, just in case. Much later in the set list, Young Dumb and Broke remains an anthem for being on the cusp of agency, but not quite having the wherewithal to fulfil your dreams. American Teen’s genreless-ness was genuinely radical, and that Khalid is still in there, you can only hope. Free Spirit attempted to continue in the same vein with less success. Styled like a Marlboro ad for the Instagram generation, all wide open vistas and glowing highways, the album went to No 1 in the US despite being filled with crowded productions by tick-box names: only Disclosure really emerge as heroes (they did Talk). Lacking the charm of its predecessor, Free Spirit makes Khalid’s imperviousness to genre a drag: not a progressive new reality, but a mush-fest, where everything meaningful and distinct we associate with style collapses into a black hole of trap beats and 80s synths and Auto-Tuned backing vocals. The several heartfelt songs Khalid spends on a stool in the third quarter of this long night could be genuinely arresting, if they were stripped of the filtered synth-washes and boring piano accompaniments. The remedy here is more radicalism, not less.

  • John Humphrys blasts BBC ‘liberal-left’ bias
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    PA Media: Entertainment

    John Humphrys blasts BBC ‘liberal-left’ bias

    The broadcaster recently departed from the Today programme.

  • Celebrity MasterChef 2019 confirms two more semi-finalists
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    Digital Spy

    Celebrity MasterChef 2019 confirms two more semi-finalists

    Here's who's joining Neil Ruddock, Joey Essex, Jenny Ryan and Dom Parker.

  • Daisy May Cooper's wedding day tribute to 'This Country' actor who died of cancer
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    Danny Thompson

    Daisy May Cooper's wedding day tribute to 'This Country' actor who died of cancer

    Sleggs died aged 33 in July after being told by doctors he had terminal cancer in May.

  • Slowthai says he does not 'condone violence' after Mercury performance with 'severed head' of Boris Johnson
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    Danny Thompson

    Slowthai says he does not 'condone violence' after Mercury performance with 'severed head' of Boris Johnson

    The Northampton-born rapper defends Mercury Prize ceremony performance, saying it was a 'metaphor for what the Government is doing to our country'

  • Big Brother boss addresses the show's future in the UK
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    Digital Spy

    Big Brother boss addresses the show's future in the UK

    "We're really enjoying the rest period."

  • Kelly Osbourne provides health update on father Ozzy and hints at stage return
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    PA Media: Entertainment

    Kelly Osbourne provides health update on father Ozzy and hints at stage return

    The former Black Sabbath singer, 70, was forced to postpone all his future tour dates due to a fall at home.

  • Celebrities walk red carpet to show support for British Heart Foundation heroes
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    Celebrities walk red carpet to show support for British Heart Foundation heroes

    The awards celebrate people who have made a significant impact in helping those living with heart and circulatory diseases.

  • Acclaimed drama Chernobyl was nearly a very different show
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    Acclaimed drama Chernobyl was nearly a very different show

    Chernobyl has been a huge hit with critics and viewers.

  • Another Life star teases hopes for season 2
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    Digital Spy

    Another Life star teases hopes for season 2

    "I'm so proud of everyone and how it came together."

  • Cardi B and Offset celebrate their second wedding anniversary
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    Cardi B and Offset celebrate their second wedding anniversary

    Grammy Award-winner Cardi B, 26, has since given birth to the couple's only child, a daughter named Kulture.

  • Will Smith's Bright 2 on Netflix given disappointing update by star
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    Digital Spy

    Will Smith's Bright 2 on Netflix given disappointing update by star

    You may have to wait a while.

  • DJ Dev Griffin not scared of Strictly judges after years on radio
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    DJ Dev Griffin not scared of Strictly judges after years on radio

    He has received pages of criticism via email.

  • Anneka Rice reveals ‘anxiety dream’ ahead of Strictly live launch
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    Anneka Rice reveals ‘anxiety dream’ ahead of Strictly live launch

    The stars of Strictly have revealed their feelings ahead of taking to the dancefloor for the first time.

  • Who is favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing?
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    Who is favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing?

    David James has not been tipped for success.

  • Long-term Love Island couple share views on Amber and Greg after split
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    Long-term Love Island couple share views on Amber and Greg after split

    Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen have also spoken about their own relationship.

  • Spots and a six pack? Chris Ramsey on the side-effects of Strictly Come Dancing
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    Spots and a six pack? Chris Ramsey on the side-effects of Strictly Come Dancing

    Dancing with Karen Hauer has had an impact on his physique.