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JK Rowling defends decision to cast South Korean actor as Nagini in Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has defended herself after being criticised for casting a Korean actor to play the character of Voldemort’s snake Nagini in the latest Fantastic Beasts film.

The revelation that Nagini would feature in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, emerged in a promotional video for the film released on Wednesday. The video shows South Korean actor Claudia Kim turn from a woman into a snake. The Fantastic Beasts series has previously attracted criticism for its largely white cast, and while some are excited by Kim’s role in the film, others have raised concerns about a South Korean actor playing the role of Nagini. In the Harry Potter books, the snake is a submissive character that is the property of villain Voldemort, who drinks her milk for strength before he is restored fully to his body. One critic wrote to Rowling on Twitter, saying “Listen Joanne, we get it, you didn’t include enough representation when you wrote the books. But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage.” Rowling responded, writing that Nagini is a Naga, which are “snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology”, adding that “Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including “Javanese, Chinese and Betawi”.

J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍 September 26, 2018 She also wrote that she had been holding onto the secret that Nagini was a “maledictus” – a human who had turned into an animal due to a blood curse – for 20 years. But many thought Rowling’s response was insufficient. One Twitter user shared translated screenshots of posts from Korean viewers, angry about the casting. “An Asian woman who was on exhibit in a circus … Gets beheaded later and dies? She ate people as a snake in [Harry Potter]”, wrote one angry viewer. Another objected to the way race was dealt with in the Harry Potter series. “You can’t be admitted to Hogwarts unless you’re English and we don’t know if there’s any wizarding schools in Asia, home of 4.4 billion people … [and] a homicidal white man traps an Asian woman inside a snake form and brainwashes her.”

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Rowling has previously attracted praise for her support of the casting of Noma Dumezweni, a black actor, to play Hermione Granger in the London production of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In 2015, when the casting announcement was made, Rowling tweeted: “brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione”. Rowling has confirmed there will be five movies in the Fantastic Beasts series. The first film, starring Eddie Redmayne, was released in 2016. The second film, which is scheduled to be released this year has already caused controversy, for its casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, despite accusations against him of domestic violence. It also stars Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, and fans have expressed disappointment that the character – whom Rowling has confirmed is gay – will not be “explicitly gay” in the film. The screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald was written by Rowling, who is also a producer on the film.

 

British actress Jacqueline Pearce who starred in Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who dies of lung cancer aged 74

British actress Jacqueline Pearce who starred in Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who dies of lung cancer aged 74

Blake’s 7 star Jacqueline Pearce has died at the age of 74 shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer, her friend John Ainsworth has said. The actress, best known for playing villain Supreme Commander Servalan in the popular BBC science fiction series, died at her home in Lancashire. Alongside her role in Blake’s 7, which was expanded from a single episode to a regular role over four series due to her popularity, Pearce was also known for her guest role in The Two Doctors, a pair of Doctor Who episodes in 1985.  Her friend John Ainsworth, who had been her friend for 25 years and was with her at the time.

Lovely Jacqueline Pearce has left us. Sublime actress and lady. Class. Will be much missed.’   Pearce’s film roles included White Mischief with John Hurt, How To Get Ahead In Advertising with Richard E Grant and Princess Caraboo with Kevin Kline.  Further TV shows she acted in included a six-part BBC adaptation of David Copperfield in the 1970s, a detective series called The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes and two episodes of Casualty in 2006. Born in Byfleet, Surrey, in 1943, she was also in the 1988 version of The Bourne Identity and appeared as Annabelle Levi in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.   After training at the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt, she appeared in episodes of Danger Man and The Avengers – as well as children’s dramas Moondial and Dark Season, starring a young Kate Winslet and penned by Russell T Davies. In a statement, Davies said: ‘It was a joy, working with Jacqueline on the first drama I ever wrote, Dark Season. The British actress, who died at her home in Lancashire, is seen in publicity pictures from 1972 Jacqueline Pearce pictured in 1968 when she was starring in the television series Man In A Suitcase

The actress in 1966, when she played in the British TV series The Avengers as a character called Marianne  Film and TV highlights of actress Jacqueline Pearce’s career

1964: Played the character of Jeannie in the secret agent show Danger Man

1966: Featured as Marianne in The Avengers, a British espionage series

1971: Acted in The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, an ITV series featuring fictional detectives to rival Arthur Conan Doyle’s character

1974-75: Played Rosa Dartle in a six-part BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield

1978-81: Starred as Supreme Commander Servalan in Blake’s 7, her most enduring role

1985: Guest starred as Chessenne in a two-part Doctor Who episode alongside lead actor Colin Baker and predecessor Patrick Troughton

1988: Received a credit in the TV movie The Bourne Identity, based on the same novel by Robert Ludlum which also inspired the 2002 film

1993: Played Annabelle Levi in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

2006: Appeared in two episodes of the BBC’s Casualty    ‘She was glorious, vivid, passionate, filthy and the most wonderful company. And underneath the style and the laughter, a truly fine actor.’  Blake’s 7 ran between 1978 and 1981. It proved an unlikely hit after initially being mocked as a ‘poor man’s Star Trek’ for its shoestring effects and primitive scenery. Sky One announced in 2008 it was commissioning a revival with computer-generated scenery but it cancelled the relaunch in 2010.  She also starred in West End theatre roles, including a production of Otherwise Engaged directed by Harold Pinter at London’s Queen’s Theatre in 1975.

Pearce was married for three-and-a-half years to Gordon ‘Drewe’ Henley, from 1963 until their divorce. Henley featured in the original Star Wars film in 1977 and footage of him was used in 2016’s spin-off Rogue One. After relocating to South Africa for several years, initially to care for orphaned monkeys, Pearce returned to the UK in 2015. Her autobiography, From Byfleet To The Bush, was published in 2012.

Writer Matthew Sweet paid tribute on Twitter, saying: ‘Some say Darth Vader was the greatest leader of an evil space empire. But Jacqueline Pearce did it arms aloft, in high heels.  ‘Who didn’t secretly yearn to be subjugated by her? Supreme Commander, we salute you.’

Mark Morris, who has written Doctor Who novels based on the BBC series, said: ‘So sad to hear of Jacqueline Pearce’s death at the age of 74.  ‘I fell in love with her as a callow youth when I saw her in The Reptile (still my favourite Hammer movie), and then of course she went on to enduring fame as Servalan, one of SF TV’s most ruthless & memorable villains.’

BAFTA-nominated author James Swallow shared a memory, saying: ‘Many years ago, I met Jacqueline Pearce in an elevator; she swept in and I was instantly shocked silent at the sight of one of sci-fi TV’s greatest super-villains sharing a lift with me.  ‘She favored me with an imperial smile & said ‘Yes, darling. I get that a lot.’

Former Labour MP William Bain joined the tributes, saying: ‘Really sad news. Over 10m people watched Blake’s 7 at its peak & Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan was big part of its appeal. RIP Supreme Empress.’  Admirers of Jacqueline Pearce and fans of the science fiction series Blake’s 7 took to Twitter to pay tribute to the actress Blake’s 7 star Jacqueline Pearce (pictured in 1978) has died at the age of 74 shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer, her friend John Ainsworth has said The actress, pictured in 1967, was a star of the show Blake’s 7 and also featured in Doctor Who Jacqueline Pearce and actor Richard Hansell pictured together in September 1994

Actress Jacqueline Pearce, in 1966, acted in The Avengers playing as Marianne  The actress pictured left at the London Film and Comic Convention in 2005 and right at the Birmingham NEC in 2012 A publicity shot of Jacqueline Pearce from 1972. That year she starred in the TV series New Scotland Yard  The actress in 1980, while she was playing her most famous role as the Supreme Commander in the series Blake’s 7  Jacqueline Pearce at the play Dangerous Corner in 2001 (left) and in a Granada publicity shot in 1972 (right)

 

U2 stop Berlin show over Bono voice issues

Bono was in Germany for the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour U2 fans were left disappointed when their Berlin show was cancelled after Bono lost his voice. The Irish band had played a handful of songs when the singer apologised to the crowd, saying: “I think we can’t go on. It’s not right for you.” Those at the Mercedes-Benz Arena were told there would be a short pause, but were later told the show was over. Bono promised another gig would be arranged. Some fans said Bono had announced that smoke machines had affected his voice. “Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice, ” U2 said in a statement.

“We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice,” the band added. ‘So sorry’ It was the second night of the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour, which had kicked off at the same venue on Friday night. Bono had been singing Red Flag Day when he lost his voice, according to those at the concert. U2 fan Paul Jones said: “During the fourth song, Red Flag Day, Bono’s voice deteriorated massively – he said it was something to do with the smoke that was set off.” He was trying to “soldier on” with the next song, Beautiful Day, when he called a stop to proceedings. In a video posted by a fan of the Saturday night concert, Bono appeared to be coughing and told fans he was “so sorry”. “I’m sure this is not a big, big problem – but I’m going to have to do something.” he said. “If people want to go home, that’s fine – we’ll play another show for you another time.” Bono said he needed a short break “to find out what’s happening” but then did not return. US actress Ashley Judd was at the concert and said “the crowd so felt for him” as he was “powerless and vulnerable”. Many fans said they understood and wished Bono well.

Another said Bono had appeared “visibly distressed” when he announced he was having to take a break. One fan said she had travelled from England for the gig for her partner’s 50th birthday – and was unlikely to be able to return for a rescheduled date. She told BBC News that Bono “complained his voice had gone due to smoke from smoke machines”. He said he would either cancel or take a short break, but after 30 minutes it was announced the concert was cancelled. Sharon said: “Very sad it’s cancelled but can’t be helped if he can’t sing.”

 

‘One of the greatest writers of our time’ VS Naipaul dies age 85

‘One of the greatest writers of our time’ VS Naipaul dies age 85

Leading literary figures have paid tribute to British author and Nobel Prize winner Sir V.S. Naipaul following his death at the age of 85. The writer, who penned more than 30 books over his lifetime, died peacefully at his London home, his family said. Announcing his death on Saturday night, his wife Lady Nadira Naipaul said he had lived a life “full of wonderful creativity and endeavour”.

Naipaul was famously outspoken throughout his career, and notoriously fell out with author Paul Theroux, whom he had mentored. Writer, V.S Naipaul who penned more than 30 books over his lifetime, died peacefully at his London home, his family said. But the pair later reunited, and Theroux spoke fondly of Naipaul as he paid tribute to “one of the greatest writers of our time”. He told the Associated Press: “He never wrote falsely. He was a scourge of anyone who used a cliché or an un-thought out sentence. He was very scrupulous about his writing, very severe, too.” Naipaul, whose books often dealt with colonialism and attacked religion, politicians and pillars of the literary establishment, also had a tense relationship with author Salman Rushdie, once describing the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa on Rushdie as “an extreme form of literary criticism”. In a Twitter post, Rushdie conceded that the pair had “disagreed all our lives, about politics, about literature”, but added: “I feel as sad as if I just lost a beloved older brother. RIP Vidia.”

'One of the greatest writers of our time' VS Naipaul dies age 85
VS Naipaul in 1966

In a statement on Saturday night, Lady Naipaul said her husband was “a giant in all that he achieved”, adding: “He died peacefully surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour.” The author was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 for “having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”. The Academy singled out his 1987 work The Enigma of Arrival, saying he created an “unrelenting image of the placid collapse of the old colonial ruling culture and the demise of European neighbourhoods”. Naipaul was knighted in 1990, and won numerous other major writing prizes throughout his life, including the Booker in 1971 and the David Cohen British literature prize in 1993. Literature Nobel prize winner V.S. Naipaul (R) with Swedish Princesse Christina (L) at the banquet for the Nobel laureates at Stockholm’s City Hall. His 1961 novel, A House for Mr Biswas, is regarded by many critics as one of his most influential works. The book was based on the life of his father Seepersad, who was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian. Naipaul’s books on Islamic fundamentalism – the 1981 work Among the Believers and the 1998 book Beyond Belief – were written after he travelled through non-Arab “converted” Islamic countries.

His attacks on the religion prompted leading English professor Edward Said to say: “It is hard to believe any rational person would attack an entire culture on that scale.” In the 1990s, Naipaul concentrated on non-fiction, and it was in 1994 that his long awaited novel appeared, A Way in the World, an autobiography and a fictional history of colonialism, presenting stories from the times of Sir Walter Raleigh to the 19th century revolutionary Francisco Miranda. There developed a decades-long friendship between Naipaul and Theroux, but in an angry and unforgiving book, Sir Vidia’s Shadow, Naipaul rejected Theroux. The feud lasted until the pair finally buried the hatchet in 2011, when writer Ian McEwan persuaded them to shake hands at the Hay literature festival.

Theroux told the Associated Press that there had been a “great satisfaction in reconnecting”, adding: “It took him a long time to make his mark, but when he did, it happened in a big way.” Naipaul – whose full name was Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul – was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad, and his family moved to the country’s capital, Port of Spain, when he was six. It would later become the setting for his first novel, written in 1959 and titled Miguel Street. In 1948 he won a government scholarship to read English at Oxford’s University College, where he suffered a nervous breakdown. He married Patricia Hale, whom he met at Oxford in 1955. She died in 1996 and he went on to marry Lady Nadira, who was some 20 years his junior, shortly afterwards.

Last month, Naipaul’s 1971 work In a Free State was shortlisted for the one-off Golden Man Booker, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Booker Prize.

His most recognised work was “A House for Mr Biswas” –

Some people, shared their feelings on twitter:

Paul Chuckle looks emotional at a Rotherham football match

Paul Chuckle looks emotional at a Rotherham football match

Paul Chuckle was seen for the first time since the death of his brother and comedic partner Barry on Sunday. The children’s entertainer, 70, looked emotional as he attended a football match between their beloved Rotherham and Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Paul – who with Barry was named honorary vice president of the club in 2017 – took part in a minute applause before kickoff. Scroll down for video  Paying tribute: Paul Chuckle looked emotional as he’s seen for the first time since brother Barry’s death aged 73 at a Rotherham football match on Saturday Paul – dressed in a black suit with a tie in the Rotherham red and white colours –  pointed to heaven in a touching tribute to his late brother as the crowd cheered for the much-adored comedy performer. During the 73rd minute of the match, the audience erupted into the Brothers’ celebrated catchphrase ‘To Me, To You’ in memory of Barry, who passed away aged 73.  Barry and Paul were lifelong fans of the football team, who won the game 1-0 against Ipswich in a fitting tribute for one of the biggest fans. Rotherham FC shared their own social media tribute to Barry, writing: ‘FT| Millers 1 v 0 Ipswich. To you, Barry #rufc’ alongside a snap of the star holding his own personalised jersey.

 

Barry’s death at the age of 73 was announced on Sunday after a battle with heart disease, and tributes have since poured for the TV star (L) (pictured together in 1993) Days after his brother’s death, Paul vowed to ‘carry on’ working in showbusiness as he spoke publicly for the first time since his brother Barry’s death. Taking to Twitter on Thursday, the children’s comic thanked fans for their support, confirming he will continue to perform as a solo act because it is what his late sibling would have wanted. Barry’s death at the age of 73 was announced on Sunday after a battle with heart disease, and tributes have since poured for the TV star.  Emotional: Paul – dressed in a black suit with a tie in the Rotherham red and white colours – blew a kiss as the crowd cheered for the much-adored comedy performer In memory: During the 73rd minute of the match, the audience erupted into the Brothers’ celebrated catchphrase ‘To Me, To You’ in memory of Barry, who passed away aged 73 His full tweet read: ‘I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for all your messages they’ve been hard to read but I read every one. ‘It’s the worst feeling ever but I have to carry on as I know Barry would want me to having always been so supportive of each other in both work and our personal lives (sic).’   It was the first time Paul had spoken publicly since his brother’s death, though his wife Sue did take to Twitter on Sunday to thank fans for their support, adding that he was ‘absolutely devastated’ about Barry’s death. ‘To you’:

Rotherham FC shared their own social media tribute to Barry, writing: ‘FT| Millers 1 v 0 Ipswich. To you, Barry #rufc’ alongside a snap of the star holding his own personalised jersey Heartwarming moment: Paul – who with Barry was named honorary vice president of the club in 2017 – took part in a minute applause before kickoff Jubilant:

Barry and Paul were lifelong fans of the football team, who won the game 1-0 against Ipswich in a fitting tribute for one of the biggest fans The message read: ‘Paul has asked me to send a message to thank EVERYONE for your lovely messages this morning, he is absolutely devastated so unable to respond himself but your messages really do help and he knows Barry would so happy to know how much he was loved, Sue X (sic).’ Barry is thought to have kept his ill health a secret for more than a year so that he could continue to perform.   He knew from last summer he only had months to live but didn’t tell anyone outside his immediate family, Barry’s older brother Brian said.  Smiles: Paul looked in great spirits as he watched his beloved team score, and threw a thumbs up at other fans from the stands Barry left behind younger brother Paul, who starred alongside him as Britain’s favourite children’s comedy duo, and older brothers Jimmy, 86, and Brian, 83. ‘We’ve known for a while Barry was very ill’ Brian told The Sun. ‘I drove up this week and saw him for two hours. We knew the end was very near. He was on morphine but we chatted. I gave him a kiss goodbye at the end. There were tears, of course.’

Comedy duo: Veteran entertainer Barry, one half of the Chuckle Brothers, died on Sunday aged 73, following a battle with heart disease ‘Up until this last year he’d been fine. But he’s been a smoker all his life. It’s been very rough. Especially keeping it from people.’  He died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones, his manager Phil Dale said. The pair were best known for their hit BBC show ChuckleVision which ran for 21 series from 1987 to 2009.  Fan favourite: The pair were best known for their hit BBC show ChuckleVision which ran for 21 series from 1987 to 2009

 

Eddie Mair abruptly ends BBC career by calling in sick for last two days

Eddie Mair abruptly ends BBC career by calling in sick for last two days

Eddie Mair abruptly ended his two-decade run at the helm of the BBC’s flagship radio programme PM by calling in sick two days before his scheduled final show.

In an email to staff, Mair, who has presented the late-afternoon Radio 4 show since 1998, said he had “picked up one of those 48 hour bugs. Atishoo”. He was due to present Thursday and Friday’s PM but instead, he bowed out on Wednesday afternoon.  Presenter Eddie Mair reveals he was attacked in London “I’m sorry I’m not in the office today as planned. I seem to have picked up one of those 48 hour bugs. Atishoo,” he wrote. “No fuss or faff, just as I wanted… Perfect. Or as close to perfect as we’re likely to get.” He added: “From what I know of the plans for the department, PM is about to get a brilliant editor. The show, about which I care so much, is about to get even better. So this old fart is buggering off and leaving you to do what you all do brilliantly.”

Mair will host a new LBC show from September and will continue to present the Grenfell Enquiry Podcast for the BBC. Eddie Mair on Boris Johnson: ‘You are a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?’ The 52-year-old broadcaster revealed earlier in the summer he was assaulted while getting on a bus in London last year but felt too ashamed to report it to the police. Mair said he had decided to speak out in the wake of the recent attack of comedian Michael McIntyre who was robbed by two hammer-wielding thieves on a moped while he waited to pick his children up from school.

 

BBC ‘will NOT appeal against Sir Cliff Richard privacy ruling’

BBC ‘will NOT appeal against Sir Cliff Richard privacy ruling’

The BBC will reportedly not appeal against the Sir Cliff Richard privacy ruling over fears it would be slammed for the £2million cost to taxpayers if it were to lose, according to a new report.  Already the broadcaster is facing a massive bill, agreeing to cover £850,000 in legal costs to the singer, in addition to £190,000 in damages, on top of its own legal fees.

Last month, a High Court judge ruled the corporation breached the 77-year-old’s right to privacy after broadcasting police searching his £3million home in Sunningdale, Berkshire. A judge shot down the BBC’s appeal bid last Thursday and the company is reluctant to appeal again, fearing the wrath of taxpayers, according to the Telegraph. Last month, a High Court judge ruled the BBC breached Sir Cliff Richard’s right to privacy after broadcasting police searching his £3million home in Sunningdale, Berkshire The BBC will reportedly not appeal against the privacy ruling over fears it would be slammed for the cost to taxpayers if it were to lose The spiralling costs of the BBC’s legal battle with Sir Cliff The costs of the case for the BBC are mounting by the day. – They have been ordered to pay the star £190,000 to cover the ‘general effect’ of the coverage. – Plus £20,000 because the BBC had aggravated harm by nominating coverage for an award.  – The BBC has also agreed to pay £850,000 towards Sir Cliff’s legal costs, a figure which could rise. – The corporation is also going to pay £315,000 to South Yorkshire Police for legal costs. – The costs don’t include the amount the BBC has paid for its own QC, and any costs of continuing to appeal.

The broadcaster was given until August 17 to decide if it will continue on with another appeal.  However, it reportedly decided not to move forward after seeking independent legal advice. Another appeal bid is estimated to cost a further £200,000.   A spokesman for the BBC told the Telegraph: ‘We are still deciding whether to appeal or not.’ Sir Cliff’s lawyer Justin Rushbrooke QC, said the BBC shouldn’t appeal, adding: ‘It is about time the BBC took a realistic view of these facts.  ‘The last thing my client wants is more time and money spent dealing with this.’ The BBC’s bill for the case already tops £1.8million, taking into account the £20,000 ‘aggravated damages’ they were ordered to pay for nominating the coverage for a ‘scoop of the year’ award. Last month, lawyers representing the BBC said the case had widespread implications and should be examined by three senior judges. Barrister Gavin Millar QC, who leads the BBC legal team, said the damages award was ‘wrong in law’ and would have a ‘chilling effect’. He added: ‘The risk is a severe chilling effect on the freedom of the press in relation to reporting police investigations.’ The police raid, which emerged after an exclusive tip off by officers and led to a TV helicopter being flown in, was part of a 2014 investigation into historical child sex allegations – but Sir Cliff was not arrested or charged.

The police raid, which emerged after an exclusive tip off by officers and led to a TV helicopter being flown in, was part of a 2014 investigation into historical child sex allegations – but Sir Cliff was not arrested or charged.  Pictured: BBC coverage of Cliff Richard house raid Sir Cliff has suggested that senior BBC executives deserved to lose their jobs for putting him through ‘the most horrible thing that’s ever taken place in my life’. After winning a landmark court battle over the broadcaster’s coverage of a police raid on his home, the singer said a handful of BBC managers had acted as his ‘judge, jury and executioner’. Sir Cliff wept with relief after a judge ruled that the BBC had seriously infringed his privacy with its ‘sensationalist’ reporting of a historic child sex claim against him. The broadcaster named the 77-year-old star as the subject of a police investigation – which was dropped two years later without Sir Cliff ever facing arrest or charge – and used a helicopter to cover the search of his home. The BBC claimed it represented a ‘significant shift against Press freedom’, while experts suggested that it could enable criminal suspects to block disclosure of their arrests.

From mansion raid to High Court: Timeline of the case March 2014: South Yorkshire Police (SYP) receive an allegation against Sir Cliff Richard from Operation Yewtree – a Metropolitan Police investigation into historical sex offences in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. The complainant alleges he was molested by Sir Cliff during an event led by US preacher Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground in the 1980s.

June 2014: BBC reporter Dan Johnson receives a tip from a confidential source about Sir Cliff being investigated by police. The tip leads him to believe South Yorkshire Police is the force involved in the investigation.

9 July 2014: Dan Johnson has a conversation over the phone with SYP’s head of communications Carrie Goodwin. Towards the end of the conversation, he asks her if Sir Cliff is ‘on their radar’.

15 July 2014: Dan Johnson meets at police headquarters with Carrie Goodwin and Superintendent Matthew Fenwick, who is leading the investigation into Sir Cliff.

13 August 2014: Dan Johnson is notified that police will carry out a search of Sir Cliff’s home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, the following day.

14 August 2014: Police officers carry out a search of the singer’s home. The BBC broadcasts from the scene, using a helicopter to obtain footage of the search being conducted in the penthouse apartment. Sir Cliff sees the footage from a hotel in Portugal where he is on holiday.

September 2014: Sir Cliff withdraws from a fundraising concert at Canterbury Cathedral which was due to be broadcast by the BBC. June 2016: The Crown Prosecution Service announces its decision not to bring any charges against Sir Cliff.

July 2016: Sir Cliff instructs lawyers to seek damages from the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over their handling of the police raid.

May 2017: The singer accepts £400,000 damages from South Yorkshire Police. The force offers its ‘sincere apologies’ to Sir Cliff.

April/May 2017: Sir Cliff’s case against the BBC is heard by Mr Justice Mann in London.

 

Loyal wife of John Lennon’s murderer tells why she is hoping he will be released

Loyal wife of John Lennon’s murderer tells why she is hoping he will be released

Gloria Hiroko Chapman has revealed husband Mark told her he was going to murder John Lennon two months before he shot dead the Beatle on his New York doorstep. But she claimed he never carried out the threat at the time because of his love for her and insisted he had dumped the gun he was going to use. Yet as soon as news came through that Lennon had been killed, Gloria said she knew Chapman was the assassin. Now she is hoping that after 38 years behind bars, her husband may soon be free as he faces a parole hearing for the 10th time. Gloria, 67, said: “It didn’t matter how long Mark was in prison. I would wait for him.” Gloria Hiroko Chapman and Mark Chapman snapped in December 2014. Father-of-two John Lennon was just 40 years old when he was killed.

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She has had to wait nearly four decades so far, after Chapman, 63, was given 20 years to life for murdering Lennon on December 8, 1980. But she told how she has still been allowed to have sex with him during prison visits in a caravan on the grounds. Gloria was 5,000 miles away at home in Kailua, Hawaii, when the devastating news came in that the 40-year-old was dead. She said: “I knew it was Mark. How did I know? Two months earlier, Mark had travelled to New York. “He came home scared, telling me that to make a name for himself he had planned to kill Lennon. But he said my love had saved him.” Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles in 1963. Gloria knew ­Chapman was ­planning to return to New York but she had no idea he was on a murder mission for real this time. She added: “The only reason I was OK with Mark making another trip was because I had believed him when he said he needed to grow up as an adult and husband, and needed time to think about his life. “He wanted me to sacrifice being alone for a short time so that we could have a long, happy marriage together. “He said he threw the gun into the ocean, and I believed him. “But he had lied to me.” Along with music fans across the world, Gloria was stunned when reports of Lennon’s death flashed across screens. The .38 calibre handgun used by Mark David Chapman to kill John Lennon. She said: “December 8, 1980, was one of the darkest nights of my life. I remember it was a Monday. “I had come home from work, fixed dinner, and was watching Little House on the Prairie. On the show, Mary had just found out she’d become blind when suddenly, words ran across the bottom of the screen: ‘John Lennon has been shot in New York City by a male Caucasian.’ “My life changed dramatically that night. “I was now Mrs Mark David Chapman, the wife of a murderer and not just any murderer but one whose victim was known and loved by millions around the world.” Mark David Chapman posing for his original mugshot when he was arrested for the murder

After her husband was arrested, Gloria’s friends urged her to divorce him. The killer himself even told her to leave. But, by now deeply religious, she refused, citing the vows they exchanged when married on June 2, 1979. Speaking through her church, former travel agent Gloria said: “I admit when I got lonely and depressed in that first year of being apart from him, I thought maybe divorce was the right thing to do. “Ultimately, I prayed and searched the Bible to read what God says about divorce. “Finally, in the book of Malachi, I read, ‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.’ “That settled it, and I closed my Bible. From that point on, I decided I would wait for Mark.” Gloria Chapman lives on the east coast of Hawaii. Gloria’s devotion to killer Chapman comes despite admitting she was violently abused during their one year of marriage. And he cut her off entirely for a year, while not allowing her to see him in jail for almost four. The couple met in early 1978 in Hawaii. She was 26 and, like Chapman, dedicated her life to the church and hospitals. He was 22 and a ­maintenance worker at Castle Medical Center in Kailua. A year earlier he had travelled to Hawaii on a one-way ticket before trying to gas himself inside his car. But the vacuum cleaner hose he had used melted in the exhaust and the attempt failed. Chapman was admitted to the hospital where he worked, but made what his psychiatrist and the unit’s staff perceived as a rapid recovery. Gloria told how their love grew after that first meeting. John Lennon signs an autograph for a man later identified as Mark David Chapman the night before he returned to shoot him. She said: “As I was a travel agent, he wanted my help to plan a vacation around the world. My love for Mark began and grew with each postcard I received. When Mark returned to Hawaii I met him at the airport. “We started dating the following night. By the end of that year, Mark and I felt as though we had known each other forever.

“We talked about everything, including his mental illness and how he had come to Hawaii to kill himself and ended up at a local hospital’s psychiatric ward. “He explained that he had gotten well enough to get a job at the hospital as a housekeeper. It seemed to me his mental illness was behind him.” Mark David Chapman, now 55, posing for a mugshot. But Gloria said her husband soon started to change. Speaking to The Alliance, a ­“Christian-centred global movement”, she added: “First, Mark lost his new job at the hospital after a run-in with a nursing supervisor. “He got angry with me more easily, and on a couple of occasions he hurt me physically. He started drinking and came home drunk. But I took our vows seriously. “I said I will love Mark ‘for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in ­sickness, and in health, so long as we both shall live.’” For the past 25 years, Gloria and Chapman have only been allowed to spend 44 hours each year together during conjugal visits, holed up in the caravan. She said they spend their time making pizzas, watching Wheel of Fortune on TV and making love. Chapman’s parole hearing is due to be held the week starting August 20. How the Mirror covered Lennon’s shooting in 1980. And Gloria hopes, despite ­objections from Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, her wait to have him home is a few weeks from ending. Recently, the New York State parole board has been more willing to place heavier emphasis on an inmate’s ­behaviour behind bars than focus on the severity of the crime. As a result, several police killers and other ­notorious murderers who had been long denied parole have been set free. Gloria has been praying for Chapman’s release. He was denied freedom at the last hearing in 2016 after officials said he would re-offend. But they commended his ­“acceptance” that his crime was “premeditated and evil”. And Chapman has told his wife to have faith in his freedom. Gloria said: “Mark often says, ‘All I need is Jesus.’ And it’s true.”

 

Moscow 17 rapper Incognito killed in triple stabbing at scene of friend’s shooting in Camberwell

Moscow 17 rapper Incognito killed in triple stabbing at scene of friend’s shooting in Camberwell

A gangster rapper who featured on the former BBC DJ Tim Westwood’s YouTube channel has been stabbed to death two months after a member of his group was shot dead in the same street.

Best of Moscow17 Incognito:

The last snapchat of Incognito:

Sidique Kamara, 23, was ambushed in front of residents in Camberwell, southeast London, at 7.20pm on Wednesday. Two others were injured. He died near the spot where Rhyhiem Barton, 17, was shot dead in May. Both belonged to the rap group Moscow 17. Last week, Mr Kamara, also known as Incognito, wrote on Snapchat that he regretted not going to the aid of his friend Latwaan Griffiths, 17, who died after a moped rider dropped him, bleeding from knife wounds, outside a local hospital. Mr Kamara wrote: “When bro called me…

 

Tony Bullimore: Sailor who was ‘legend on the water and the music scene’ dies aged 79

Tony Bullimore: Sailor who was ‘legend on the water and the music scene’ dies aged 79

Bullimore became world famous after he survived for four days in the upturned hull of his boat when it capsized in the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean in 1997. He was a founding member of the Bamboo Club in Bristol, which he opened with wife Lalel, in 1966. The nightclub hosted stars including Bob Marley and the Wailers, as well as Ben E King, before it closed 11 years after opening because of a fire. Bullimore rose to fame in 1996, when he went missing while taking part in the Vendee Globe single-handed around the world race in his boat, Exide Challenger. He was approximately 900 miles from Antarctica and 1,400 miles off the coast of Australia, when the then 57-year-old sailor was feared to have drowned after his weather-battered and upturned yacht was spotted in the extremely cold Southern Ocean seemingly without him on board.

On 9 January 1997, he was dramatically rescued by the Australian navy. Naval crews found Mr Bullimore underneath the hull of the vessel where he had been surviving in a makeshift hammock inside the cabin, existing on meagre rations of chocolate and water. At the time, an Australian military spokesman said his survival was “remarkable”.  Bristol’s Lord Mayor Cleo Lake paid tribute to Bullimore on Twitter. She wrote: “A Bristol legend both on the waters and on the music scene. Everything you did to break down racial barriers. Sleep well Tony Bullimore and thank you”. PA