Skip navigation

Tag Archives: BBC

Image copyright CC Smugglers
Image caption PledgeMusic gave bands such as CC Smugglers direct access to fans and their money

The founder of a band that was left £20,000 out-of-pocket after the collapse of a crowdfunding website said he was fighting to repay the debt.

CC Smugglers were due to receive the money but PledgeMusic stopped trading and the band called it a day.

Richie Prynne, founder of the Bedford jazz and blues band, said his father had used pension funds to give the band an advance, expecting it to be repaid.

Mr Prynne said he was now selling back catalogue tracks to repay that advance.

Fans of the sextet had donated to PledgeMusic in the hope it would help them produce an album.

Image caption Richie Prynne’s father Tony loaned the band money to make the album

PledgeMusic was set up a decade ago to help acts bypass the traditional record label model by accessing funding direct from fans, but it collapsed in July 2019 owing £7.5m.

Mr Prynne said their crowdfunding total had reached £20,000 and they had started playing bigger venues and festivals – including Glastonbury, Latitude and the Cambridge Folk Festival.

Instead of waiting for the money from PledgeMusic, the band took an advance from Mr Prynne’s father Tony, fully expecting to repay it.

“We invested the £20,000 which came from my dad’s pension,” said Mr Prynne.

Image caption CC Smugglers have played the Glastonbury Festival and Latitude in Suffolk

Using the money, the band released a record that went to number one in the jazz and blues chart.

Since the PledgeMusic collapse and the disintegration of his band, Mr Prynne said he had recouped about £14,000 through selling the band’s back catalogue.

“I am determined to get my dad’s pension back,” he said.

“My career is totally in limbo, but the one thing I have is the music. We have produced a live album we recorded and two other slightly different albums.

“If I can sell a thousand copies of the albums [in a three-disc bundle] I can get the money back.”

Image caption Richie Prynne believes the crowdfunding model can be a good thing for artists to make their music and involve their fans

The Musicians’ Union general secretary Horace Trubridge said his “heart goes out” to the CC Smugglers.

“We would love to rid this industry of people who take risks with the money of musicians,” he said.

The Official Receiver said its investigation into PledgeMusic was ongoing.

Before its collapse PledgeMusic issued a statement, which said: “We deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself.”

This story was broadcast at 19:30 GMT on Monday 23 March on Inside Out East on BBC One and is available on the iPlayer.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-51809068

Image copyright Getty Images

Aah, the 2010s… Do you remember them?

Back in that golden age when we were all still able to listen to music in bars, cafes, shops, stadiums, at the gym and (sometimes) even at the office.

Now with the first Easter of the 2020s on lockdown, PPL and BBC Radio 2 can reveal the top 40 most-played songs on UK TV and radio, of the last decade.

DJ Scott Mills will countdown the list of “absolute bangers” – led by Adele and Bruno Mars, with three appearances each – on the station on Monday.

“The top 40 most-played songs are the sounds that radio producers and broadcasters have consistently played throughout the last decade and will evoke many memories for all of us,” said Peter Leathem, boss of the music licensing company which compiled the chart.

‘Universally loved’

Jeff Smith, head of music at Radio 2, added it’s “packed with universally loved, sing-along pop hits that really do stand the test of time”.

The new data suggests broadcasters mostly favoured songs by male solo artists, with 22 nods compared to 14 solo female tracks, while American stars outweighed home-grown performers by 18-14.

Bands and groups accounted for 12 of the tracks, while that most modern phenomenon of the “collab” yielded seven hits.

And British outlets, it seems, also preferred to give airtime to songs released that decade (34 out of 40), with just a few from the noughties and Natalie Imbruglia flying the flag for the 1990s on her own, with Torn.

Rihanna, Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry all made the top 40, however that’s the last you’ll be hearing of that lot in this article. Because we’re about to dip straight into the top 10, which features two Brits, two women and two Pharrells.

The top 10 most-played songs of the 2010s on UK TV and radio:

10. Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon

First up, pop pickers, is a song that you’ve almost certainly heard a wedding covers band butcher since its release in 2008.

It gave the Nashville guitar slingers their first UK number one, and their first Grammy win too, for best rock performance by a group.

In 2017, they told Radio X how they would one day explain the song’s saucy lyrical content to their kids.

“It’s Socks on Fire,” said drummer Nathan Followill. “Uncle Caleb’s socks caught on fire one night when I was drying them out on the heater.”

Use Somebody, another track off their fourth album, Only by the Night, also made the top 40.

9. Forget You – CeeLo Green

As many of you will have noticed, this is actually the broadcast-friendly version of the Atlanta singer’s 2010 track, written in collaboration with Bruno Mars and several others.

The song, which was a dig at the music industry, ironically won him a Grammy award for best urban/alternative performance.

Billboard reviewed it at the time as sounding “as sunny as a ’60s Motown hit and as expletive-laden as an early Eminem song”.

CeeLo was last seen, or heard rather, performing as the monster on the surreal ITV show The Masked Singer.

8. Counting Stars – One Republic

The US pop-rock band topped the UK charts for the first time in 2013 with Counting Stars, which frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder penned when he was trying to come up with something for Beyonce (who is notably absent from this chart).

The song’s accompanying video has now been viewed well over 2.9 billion times on YouTube, making it the streaming site’s 14th most-viewed video ever.

Not enough music videos contain crocodiles these days, do they?

7. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson, ft Bruno Mars

The second biggest-selling song of the decade – on streaming and physical sales – is also the second big royalty cheque on this list for the Mars man, and gives us our first Brit too.

London-born US producer/DJ Ronson, and the Hawaiian singer bagged the Brit award for best British single for Uptown Funk in 2015, when it felt like it was never off the speakers, anywhere.

Fun fact: after its release though, they were legally made to credit The Gap Band as co-writers, due to the song’s resemblance to the their 1979 party hit, Oops Up Side Your Head.

Bruno’s other songs, Locked out of Heaven, and Just the Way You Are, also appear on the top 40.

6. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas

“Tonight’s the night / Let’s live it up” sang B.E.P in their 2009 hit, and I’m sure we all intend to follow that advice if we’re ever allowed out again.

The track was produced by superstar French DJ David Guetta and arguably saw them both at the peak of their powers.

After singer Fergie left in 2015, the band went on to perform the song as part of a medley before the 2017 Champions League Final in Cardiff. However, the performance, which included fireworks, ran over time and forced the kick-off to be delayed by several minutes.

Fair to say they’ve had better nights.

5. Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake

As well as singing the film Trolls’ lead song, JT played the worrywart Branch in the DreamWorks animation.

In an interview with TheWrap, he said, like his character, he was pulling his hair out over the prospect of producing a hit for some colourful mythical creatures.

“This wasn’t just like writing a song for a movie – it was writing a song for characters that are going to sing it in the movie,” he said. “That part had to work, and that’s the part that made it a task that none of us had ever done.”

He needn’t have worried, as the song – which he debuted live at the Eurovision song contest – won the Grammy Award for best song written for visual media.

Having been released in 2016, this is actually the most recent track in the top 10, which is weighted in favour of older songs – because its surveying plays over a whole decade – and perhaps helps to solve the mystery of the missing Ed. Sheeran’s stellar 2017 track, Shape of You, came in in 38th.

4. Get Lucky – Daft Punk, ft Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

Combining the musical might of the French electronic duo, the US hip-hop star and the legendary guitarist, it was only ever going to end one way, wasn’t it? Choon.

Stevie Wonder even added to the talent pool by joining them on-stage to perform the modern disco-hit at the 2014 Grammys, where it won record of the year and best pop group performance.

It topped almost every chart in the world, selling a million equivalent copies in the UK in just 69 days.

“When I think how it happened, too, with people who I like a lot, that we just decided to go into the studio and do something,” Rodgers told the Official Chart Company. “And then it turns out like this? It’s absolutely remarkable, because no-one was prepared for this!”

While attempting to Get Lucky is very much against current government guidelines, dancing around your kitchen to that funky bass-line is not.

3. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5, ft Christina Aguilera

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine attempted to brighten up one of the dullest Super Bowls in recent history by going topless as sang this ode to his hip-thrusting abilities, last year in Atlanta.

The 2010 track peaked at number two in the UK but topped the US charts, meaning Christina Aguilera became only the fifth female to score number one singles in three different decades, after Janet Jackson, Madonna, Spears and Cher. But it still wasn’t enough for her to get invited back to the “greatest show on earth” to perform.

Incidentally, last year, Sir Mick Jagger – the 76-year-old Rolling Stone referenced in the song’s title – posted a video of himself dancing at home following heart surgery, to prove he still had his signature moves.

The Los Angeles band’s other big hit of the decade, Payphone – featuring rapper Wiz Khalifa – also gets a mention in the top 40.

2. Rolling In The Deep – Adele

The opener from Adele’s Brit award-winning second album, 21, was essentially her big comeback track following the breakthrough success of her debut, and also the moment she became a real star in the States too.

The gospel-tinged vibes of the pounding 2010 track saw her pick up three Grammys – record and song of the year, plus best short-form music video.

The visuals found her alone in an abandoned room which soon began to fall apart, like the relationship she was singing about.

After Mark Ronson, the Londoner is the only other British-born artist (and second woman) to appear in the top 10… and he mostly grew up in New York.

Someone Like You and Set Fire to the Rain, from the same blockbuster album, also made the top 40 mix.

1. Happy – Pharrell Williams

So there you have it! An upbeat and inoffensive top 10.

The appearance of Mr Williams’ second ubiquitous earworm of the 2010s confirms there is no room at all at the top table for Drake, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande. Possibly as while they are popular with younger audiences, radio and TV has to appeal to a much broader listenership.

Happy was another track written for an animated film; namely Despicable Me 2, and it fast became the eighth biggest-selling song in UK chart history.

A live rendition of the song eventually scored the singer/rapper a Grammy, after he previously lost out in the best original song category to Let it Go, from Disney’s Frozen. “When they read the results, my face was… frozen,” Pharrell told GQ magazine. “But then I thought about it, and I just decided just to… let it go.”

With Lucky and Happy enjoying great success, we look forward to seeing which of the remaining seven dwarves he’ll name his hits after in this new era.

(Joke… we know Lucky isn’t one really).

Scott Mills presents the Most Played Songs of the Decade on Radio 2, at 14:00 BST on 13 April.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52212579

Image copyright PA Media

Boris Johnson is “responding to treatment” for coronavirus as he approaches a fourth night in hospital.

The prime minister was being kept in St Thomas’ Hospital in London “for close monitoring” and remained clinically stable, his official spokesman said.

Downing Street said he was not working but could contact those he needed to.

No 10 said a review of lockdown rules would go ahead next week, but the public must “stick with” the measures at what was a “critical time”.

A ban on public gatherings of more than two people and the closure of shops selling non-essential goods were among the series of restrictions announced by Mr Johnson on 23 March to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Downing Street said a relaxation of the rules would be considered “on or around” the three-week mark on Monday.

According to the government’s coronavirus legislation, the health secretary must review the need for restrictions at least once every 21 days, with the first review to be carried out by 16 April.

But health minister Edward Argar said the peak in cases must pass “before we can think about making changes”, adding: “It’s too early to say when we will reach that peak.”

The lockdown in Wales will be extended and not lifted next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said it seemed “likely” the rest of the UK would follow suit.

The prime minister was admitted to St Thomas’ on Sunday, on the advice of his doctor, after continuing to have a cough and high temperature 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson was in “good spirits” as he continued to receive standard oxygen treatment. He was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.

The Queen and other senior royals sent messages to Mr Johnson’s family and his pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, saying they were thinking of them, and wished the PM a full and speedy recovery.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Mr Johnson, said on Tuesday he was “confident” the PM would recover from this illness, describing him as a “fighter”.

In the latest figures across the UK:

  • The total number of people who have died with coronavirus in English hospitals is 6,483, a rise of 828 on the previous 24 hours
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 70 people had died with the virus in Scotland in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 366. Scotland has changed the way it counts deaths to include deaths where the virus was a probable contributing factor – and people who were not in hospital when they died
  • In Wales, 33 more people have died after testing positive for the virus, bringing the Welsh death toll to 245. Public Health Wales said case numbers would be “lower than usual” on Thursday as officials move back the time when they count new cases
  • Five more deaths in Northern Ireland brings the NI total to 78

The latest UK-wide figures – which use a different timeframe to those of individual nations – said the number of coronavirus hospital deaths rose to 6,159 on Tuesday – a record increase of 786 in a day compared with 439 on Monday.

However, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told Tuesday’s Downing Street briefing the number of coronavirus cases in the UK “could be moving in the right direction”.

Spikes or dips in recorded cases and deaths may in part reflect bottlenecks in the reporting system, rather than real changes in the trend.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A photo of the Queen and quotes from her Sunday speech are shown at Piccadilly Circus
Image copyright Getty Images/MoD/Cpl Watson
Image caption The armed forces are helping ambulance services, including the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Ahead of a spell of sunny weather forecast in some parts of the UK later this week, Mr Argar urged people to stay at home “however lovely the weather this Easter weekend”.

“If we are, as the statistics appear to show, making a little bit of progress, now’s the time to hold to it,” he told BBC Breakfast.

Regarding a review of lockdown measures, he said: “We need to start seeing the numbers coming down and that’s when you’re in the negative.

“That’s when you have a sense when that’s sustained over a period of time, that you can see it coming out of that. We’re not there yet and I don’t exactly know when we will be.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think we’re nowhere near lifting the lockdown.

“We think the peak – which is the worst part of the virus – is still probably a week and a half away.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Workers are building the new NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in the SEC in Glasgow

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionManchester Central conference centre has been converted into a new hospital

Meanwhile, the first patients have been admitted to the NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London – a temporary facility set up at the ExCel conference centre.

The admissions come two weeks after the hospital with a planned capacity of 4,000 was formally announced – although an NHS spokesperson stressed limits had not been reached at other sites in London.

The second NHS Nightingale Hospital, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, is to be opened on Friday, Downing Street said. It will have capacity for up to 2,000 patients if needed.

The prime minister’s official spokesman added a third Nightingale Hospital was expected to open in “the next week or so” in Manchester.

The armed forces are working on plans to build a further five temporary hospitals to deal with the pandemic, BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said.

There are plans to build up to 17 temporary hospitals if needed.

In other developments:


How have you been affected by the issues relating to coronavirus? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52208156

Image copyright Getty Images

Singer Duffy has opened up about a four-week ordeal during which she says she was drugged in her own home, raped and taken to a foreign country.

It’s the first time she’s given details of the terrifying experience, which led to her retreating from the spotlight.

“Rape is like living murder, you are alive, but dead,” she wrote.

“All I can say is it took an extremely long time, sometimes feeling never ending, to reclaim the shattered pieces of me.”

Duffy had the UK’s best-selling album of 2008 and won three Brit Awards and a Grammy, but she virtually vanished after releasing her second album in 2010.

Her lengthy written account, in which she does not name her attacker, comes a month after she posted the first details on Instagram.

She wrote: “It was my birthday, I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country.

“I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me.”

The star said she then “could have been disposed of by him”. She contemplated running away but was afraid he would call the police.

“I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days, I did feel the presence of something that helped me stay alive.”

‘Life in danger’

She explained that she flew back to the UK with him but “knew my life was in immediate danger” because he made veiled threats to kill her.

“It didn’t feel safe to go to the police. I felt if anything went wrong, I would be dead, and he would have killed me. I could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger.”

Afterwards, the singer was at high risk of suicide, she revealed.

“I would not see someone, a physical soul, for sometimes weeks and weeks and weeks at a time, remaining alone,” she added. “I would take off my pyjamas and throw them in the fire and put on another set. My hair would get so knotted from not brushing it, as I grieved, I cut it all off.

“In hiding, in not talking, I was allowing the rape to become a companion.”

Image copyright Getty Images

She said she considered changing her name and appearance and disappearing altogether to live in another country.

“I thought the public disclosure of my story would utterly destroy my life, emotionally, while hiding my story was destroying my life so much more. I believe that not singing is killing me,” she wrote.

“So, I just have to be strong and disclose it and face all my fears head on. I’ve come to realise I can’t erase myself, I live in my being, so I have to be completely honest and have faith in the outcome.”

She concludes: “I can now leave this decade behind. Where the past belongs. Hopefully no more ‘what happened to Duffy questions’, now you know … and I am free.”

If you would like help and support on these issues, a number of organisations are listed on the BBC Action Line website.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52177265

Image copyright Getty Images

Self-employed workers facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus are set to be offered a package of support from the government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil the measures later.

He set out plans for 80% wage subsidies for staff kept on by employers last week – and the PM has said he wants similar protection for freelancers.

However, Boris Johnson added he could not promise the UK would beat the virus “without any kind of hardship at all”.

The total number of people in the UK to die with Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, has reached 475.

Mr Sunak said last week that the government would cover wages of up to £2,500 a month for staff being kept on by their employer, as part of “unprecedented” measures to prevent workers being laid off.

The chancellor later said drawing up plans to help self-employed people had proved “incredibly complicated”.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “For many people that have seen their businesses disappear in the blink of an eye, things like statutory sick pay or universal credit just isn’t enough.

“It doesn’t need to be perfect – we just need a system in place,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

John Healey, a self-employed driving instructor from Lancashire, said: “We don’t need a lot, we just need something.

“But by doing nothing, we just go to the wall, basically,” he told the Today programme.

BBC business editor Simon Jack said calculating a support wage for the self-employed was so difficult because their income could be lumpy, irregular and intermittent.

Government sources said they had struggled to find a way to avoid paying people who do not need help.

Tory ex-health minister Steve Brine said government aid for self-employed people needed to be universal.

He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme that “if it needs to be more universal than targeted, and if there is a challenge, if there’s a problem, let’s face it, HMRC are not adverse to clawing back”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionRishi Sunak: Government will “step in” to help pay staff members’ wages

As Parliament shut down until 21 April at the earliest due to the escalating pandemic, Mr Johnson told MPs: “We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country.”

He said there were “particular difficulties” for freelancers who are not on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) schemes, but that he wanted to achieve “parity of support” across the workforce.

In the UK, more than 9,500 people have tested positive for the virus – although the actual number of cases is likely to be far higher.

The peak of demand for intensive care is expected to come in two to three weeks.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals in England, said London hospital bosses were telling him they were already struggling with the high numbers of critically ill patients, likening the situation to a “continuous tsunami”.

Their job was being complicated by staff sickness rates of up to 50% in some hospitals and a shortage of ventilators, he told the Today programme.

Prof Neil Ferguson, a key government adviser on the country’s response, said he expected “a very difficult few weeks particularly in the hotspots”, including London.

However, he said while the health service would be “particularly stressed, it won’t break”.

A 21-year-old woman from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, who died with the virus last week, had no underlying health conditions, her family said.

On Wednesday, it emerged that Prince Charles has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The 71-year-old, who is self-isolating at his Scottish home Birkhall in Aberdeenshire, has since received hundreds of messages from well-wishers and was working at his desk as usual, Clarence House said.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen last saw her son, the heir to the throne, on 12 March, but was “in good health”.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Buckingham Palace releases a photograph of the Queen speaking to the prime minister from Windsor Castle

Meanwhile the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that doctors and patients will die without adequate protective equipment across the NHS.

The BMA said doctors were risking their lives due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) – and said many health workers could go off sick unless urgent action is taken.

Health Minister Edward Argar said 24 million pairs of protective gloves and 13 million protective face masks had been delivered in “the last few days”, while an extra 8,000 ventilators were expected to be available within two weeks.

In other developments:


How have you been affected by coronavirus? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52044542

Image caption Shoppers at Heaton Park in Manchester showing how it’s done

The supermarket shop suddenly looks a little different. So how are people managing under the new restrictions?

Britons are known around the world for our queuing skills, and it would seem we still love to line up even when maintaining social distance.

Social media has been full of people sharing their experience of shopping while keeping 2m (6ft 6in) apart.

While supermarket bosses have been sending guides to the new shopping etiquette designed to protect employees and customers.

Image copyright Kassi McFarlane-Ellis
Image caption Supermarkets have introduced floor markers to show customers how to queue while social isolating

In an email to Asda customers, CEO Roger Burnley said new measures included extra staff at the front of stores limiting the number of shoppers inside, distance floor-markers reminding them to keep 2m (6ft 6in) apart and Perspex screens on checkouts.

He also asked people to only touch items they intended to purchase.

So no more picking through fruit and veg to find the best ones, or grabbing a packet and reading the back before deciding to add it to your trolley.

Image caption Thursday’s scene outside Asda in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham

On Thursday, outside Asda in Kings Heath, Birmingham, a queue of shoppers snaked back along the High Street.

Those waiting could be seen keeping a safe distance, and waiting patiently to be allowed inside.

A staff member on the door said a maximum of 75 shoppers were allowed inside at any time.

Its a similar story across all of the big supermarket brands, with floor-markers and Perspex screens becoming as familiar a sight as an unexpected item in the bagging area.

Image copyright Kassi McFarlane-Ellis
Image caption Kassi McFarlane-Ellis said she was impressed by how people shopped in Wellington

But what is it like to step inside a supermarket while under lockdown?

Kassi McFarlane-Ellis went shopping in Morrison’s in Wellington, in Shropshire on Tuesday.

She shared some pictures of the new store measures on Facebook, including cars spaced out in the car park and floor-markers showing people where to stand at the checkout.

“It was calm, well-stocked, people were adhering to social distancing and the queues went quickly,” she wrote.

“Also, the music was BANGIN!!! Well done Wellington Morrison’s and well done people of Wellington.”

Image copyright Kassi McFarlane Ellis
Image caption Its not just shoppers that are keeping apart at this supermarket in Wellington

Adrian Barrowdale said he had felt nervous before a shopping trip in Manchester but was relieved by how well the supermarket managed shoppers.

He said: “I’ve just been to Aldi in Sharston and have to say I was really impressed.

“It was queuing out the door, which gave me the fear, but it turns out they are just doing one in, one out, and keeping no more than approx 30 people in the store at any one time.

“It was very quiet, very peaceful and well-stocked.”

Image caption The scene at Tesco in Stretford, Manchester, on Friday as shoppers prepare for the weekend

BBC Radio Shropshire journalist Elaine Muir, who is on maternity leave, went to two different supermarkets in Shrewsbury to shop for herself, her parents, and a friend having to self-isolate.

She said Aldi was a particularly good experience, while shoppers at Tesco could use wipes and spray from a station at the entrance to clean trolley handles before their shop.

“The mood felt very respectful. Most people were very good at observing social distancing, even though it’s difficult in aisles sometimes,” she said.

She said a majority of shoppers were following the rules but there were some exceptions.

“I saw people in Tesco standing next to each other to chat, rather than two trolley distances.

“And at one point when I was picking some veg an older gent reached over my head to pick something up!”

Ms Muir said it felt “slightly odd” when she spotted a neighbour and the pair had a quick chat while standing 2m apart.

But the hardest thing, she said, was dropping off her parents’ shopping without being able to hug them or go in for a cuppa.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52051322

Image copyright Getty Images

“I’m Dua, and I’ll be your instructor today.”

With its lycra, leotards and sweatbands, the workout video for Dua Lipa’s Physical is a camp and colourful homage to the TV exercise classes of the 80s.

The track itself is heavily inspired by the disco and electronica which defined the decade’s sound.

Same goes for the biggest song in the world right now: The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights, with its super synth-pop keyboard hook.

The 1980s is inspiring pop music once again – and influencing artists who weren’t even born then.

Its sound can currently be found everywhere in mainstream pop – from Little Mix’s Break Up Song to The 1975’s back catalogue to Heartbreak Weather, the title track from Niall Horan’s new album.

It’s perhaps most obvious throughout The Weeknd’s After Hours, especially in the saxophone crescendo of In Your Eyes.

“For me the definitive 80s sound is a splashy snare and a kick drum with a lot of kick,” says Tim McEwan, one half of US electronic duo The Midnight.

The group have been creating 80s-sounding pop with all the hallmarks of the decade – including big soundscapes, dreamy vocals, and saxophone solos – for years.

Known as Synthwave, it’s a style of electronic music that’s defined the sound of 1980s film and game soundtracks.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Midnight say the 80s had an “innocence that a lot of people yearn for”

“You then throw in these dreamy synth pads which create these hyper melodic songs.”

While The Midnight agree all music is cyclical, the current wave of 80s nostalgia might be because we “miss the simplicity of a different time”.

“Technology has taken over to such a degree that there’s something very tactile about the 80s and 90s that people are rediscovering… that could be cassette tapes, vinyl, old game cartridges.”

Some of the defining pop songs of the 1980s

A-Ha – Take On Me

New Order – Blue Monday

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Madonna – Into The Groove

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

DeBarge – Rhythm Of The Night

Spandau Ballet – Gold

Lionel Richie – All Night Long

The 80s has always been a “significant music period” but the decade’s influence” has “really stuck” this time round, according to the Independent’s music correspondent Roisin O’Connor.

Born in the 1990s, she remembers finding 80s music through film soundtracks such as Back To The Future.

“We discover something our parents were into and it seems like you’re discovering hidden treasure.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Madonna found fame in the 1980s and created a look copied by millions. She’s pictured here on her 1985 Virgin tour

She says one of the qualities of the 1980s was the distinct vocals – from “the dramatic baritone of Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan to Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto in Bronski Beat“.

Dua Lipa’s vocal on Physical reminds Roisin of Debbie Harry (from Blondie) – and says the Weeknd “is famously obsessed with Michael Jackson”.

For Dutch DJ Oliver Heldens, who was born in 1995, the 80s sound is “futuristic, melancholic but uplifting”.

Growing up on disco and Eurodance, he recently re-versioned the 1983 Italian dance-epic Take A Chance.

He also sampled the staccato keyboards from Yazoo’s 1982 hit Don’t Go on Turn Me On, his collaboration with Riton.

“Good music from the past will always be there in the future,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

The hook on Turn Me On was created by Vince Clarke who – as a member of Yazoo, Depeche Mode and Erasure – helped pioneer the sounds of the 1980s.

“He approved the sample… thankfully,” says Heldens.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Vince Clarke still performs as one half of Erasure, who remain one of the 80s’ biggest selling groups

Vince Clarke has also been a major influence in the life and career of producer and singer Jack Antonoff, who has made music with Taylor Swift, Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen.

The pair worked together on Antonoff’s Bleachers albums Strange Desire and Gone Now.

Speaking to Buzzfeed in 2014, Antonoff said: “Modern pop music should just write Vince a cheque for a billion dollars.”

TV has done its bit too – with the colours and aesthetic of the Starcourt Mall in Netflix’s Stranger Things acting as perhaps the most visually in-your-face representation of the 80s.

The show “came at the perfect time”, according to Tim from The Midnight. “We definitely live in the same universe.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The theme tune to Stranger Things is a perfect example of the typical sound that emerged from the 1980s

He thinks the Duffer brothers, who created Stranger Things, “nailed an aesthetic that enhances whatever else is going on around it”.

“Our last album, Kids, came out in 2018 – which was around the same time as the third season. A lot of people have been rediscovering us since it came out.”

The band are now preparing for the release of a new album later this year, which The Midnight’s Tyler Lyle says represents their “strongest songs” to date.

“We are trying to make music that feels authentic to us.”

The 80s throwback is perhaps at the peak of its influence right now and, as with anything in music, music critic Roisin O’Connor thinks that the sound could “peter out over the next year or so”.

“When you have artists as big as The Weeknd and Dua Lipa doing it, you’ve reached your top levels. I wouldn’t be surprised if artists soon try exploring other avenues.

“However, it’s so significant we’re never not going to hear influence from that time in our music.”

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

Related Topics

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-52109397

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Les Miserables is among the shows that have closed for the foreseeable future

Theatres in London’s West End and around the UK have shut after PM Boris Johnson advised people to avoid such venues as coronavirus spreads.

“You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues,” he said.

However, he stopped short of forcing venues to close, leaving some in the affected industries in limbo.

The Society of London Theatre, which represents the West End, said theatres would close from Monday night until further notice.

Sister organisation UK Theatre said its 165 venues around the country would take the same step.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionBoris Johnson: “It look as though we are now approaching the fast growth part of the upward curve”

Speaking during his first daily news briefing on Monday, Mr Johnson said the government advice was that “public venues such as theatres should no longer be visited”.

He added: “The proprietors of those venues are taking the logical steps that you would imagine, you are seeing the change happen already.

“As for enforcement, we have the powers if necessary but I don’t believe it will be necessary to use those powers.”

Mr Johnson said that from Tuesday mass gatherings were something “we are now moving emphatically away from”.

He also said people should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others.

‘Huge uncertainty and confusion’

But many figures from the worlds of theatre, music and other live entertainment were angry that Mr Johnson advised people to stay away while not forcing venues to close, which could have given them financial protection.

UK Music, which represents the music industry, said the hundreds of likely gig and festival cancellations would cause “immense damage”, and Mr Johnson’s comments risked exacerbating the problem.

“The prime minister’s latest advice on mass gatherings has resulted in huge uncertainty and confusion over what exactly it will mean for the music industry,” acting chief executive Tom Kiehl said.

“The government must spell out whether there will be a formal ban, when that might come into effect, which venues and events will be impacted and how long the measures will remain in place.

“The virus is having a catastrophic impact on the UK music industry and will threaten many jobs and businesses across our right across our sector.”

Patrick Gracey, producer of Tom Stoppard’s latest play Leopoldstadt, said the prime minister “has just doomed an entire industry by telling people not to attend the theatre”.

He added: “By not enforcing a shutdown, production insurance will not apply so producers and shows will go bankrupt, and tens of thousands of people will be without pay.”

London nightclub owner Fraser Carruthers echoed those concerns.

Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird said: “Closing venues is not a decision that is taken lightly, and we know that this will have a severe impact on many of the 290,000 individuals working in our industry.”

The Royal Opera House also shut down immediately after the prime minister’s press conference.

In other developments in the entertainment world:

A number of plays and gigs had already been scrapped as the virus continued to spread.

Earlier, Daniel Radcliffe’s new play Endgame became the first major London production to be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Citing travel and other restrictions, the Old Vic said it was “becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Endgame, starring (left-right) Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Horrocks, Alan Cumming and Karl Johnson, was cancelled

The theatre warned that giving full refunds for all lost performances would be “financially devastating for us”, so asked ticket-holders to consider the ticket price as a donation.

The Royal Court has postponed all performances “during these difficult months”, and the Young Vic theatre has cancelled all remaining performances of Nora: A Doll’s House.

In New York, Broadway shut down last week and will stay dark for at least a month in a move that could cost $565m (£455m) in lost revenues, based on takings for the equivalent period last year as reported by The Wrap.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber has already postponed the opening of his new musical Cinderella from August to October, blaming coronavirus.


Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51906370

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hudd starred in Coronation Street on and off between 2002 and 2010

Roy Hudd, who hosted BBC Radio 2’s The News Huddlines for 26 years and also starred in Coronation Street, has died at the age of 83.

In a statement, his agent said: “We are sad to announce the passing of the much-loved and amazingly talented Roy Hudd OBE.

“After a short illness, Roy passed away peacefully on Sunday 15 March, with his wife Debbie at his side.”

The all-round entertainer also starred in Coronation Street.

His agent added: “The family would ask you to respect their privacy at this very sad time.”

Rory Bremner described Hudd’s death as a “great loss”.

The team at Have I Got News For You also tweeted a tribute.

“Hopefully Roy Hudd’s death will not go unnoticed in the current crisis,” the tweet read.

“Roy was a very generous comic who went out of his way to encourage young gag writers. Many producers and writers working in comedy today owe him a great deal.”

Sandi Toksvig also paid tribute.

Comedy writer Simon Blackwell, who is best known for his work on The Thick of It, In The Loop and Veep, said he got his start thanks to Hudd.

“Very sad indeed to hear that Roy Hudd has died,” Blackwell tweeted. “A really lovely bloke, a great comedian, excellent straight actor. And a comedy historian too.

“I got my start in comedy writing via his Radio 2 show The News Huddlines. He was a total joy to write for. All good wishes to his family.”

The Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford also posted a tribute on Twitter.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss tweeted: “Farewell to the wonderful Roy Hudd. A great comic and actor. One of those joyous people who feel like they’ve been with us forever.”

Hudd played Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap for several stints between 2002 and 2010.

In the 1990s, he won praise for his roles in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on your Collar and Karaoke.

He also starred in acclaimed crime drama Ashes to Ashes (2010), alongside Keeley Hawes and Philip Glenister.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Playing a pantomime dame for the first time at the age of 79

In 2015, he played his first pantomime dame in Dick Whittington and His Cat, the first show at the then newly renovated Wilton’s Music Hall in London.

Other recent credits include ITV’s murder mystery Broadchurch, Benidorm and Casualty.

He also co-wrote and played the part of Bud Flanagan in the musical Underneath the Arches.

Image caption The News Huddlines ran from 1975 to 2001

Hudd was born in Croydon, Surrey, in 1936.

One of his earliest jobs was as an artist working under Harry Beck, who produced the famous London Underground map.

Hudd made his professional debut as a comedian in 1957 at the Streatham Hill Theatre.

In 1958, he joined the Redcoats at Butlin’s Clacton and worked alongside Sir Cliff Richard and Dave Allen.

But it was in satirical comedy that Hudd made his name after he began his TV career in 1964 with the BBC series That Was The Week That Was.

He also appeared on the BBC’s Not So Much A Programme, More A Way of Life, alongside David Frost, William Rushton, John Bird, Michael Crawford and Eleanor Bron.

Hudd was also an authority on music hall and was president of the British Music Hall Society,

“The songs were terrific. They told good stories,” he told the BBC earlier this year.

“The music hall songs have always appealed to me. I was brought up by a gran who always used to sing songs.”

Hudd, who has a son, Max, from his first marriage, lived with his second wife, Debbie Flitcroft, in south London.

The pair met while working together in panto in Nottingham.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51906543

BBC 1xtra’s DJ Ace says he’s fully recovered after testing positive for coronavirus.

The presenter is on the waiting list for a new kidney – meaning he’s at a higher risk of getting severe symptoms from the virus.

He’s posted on Instagram reassuring people with underlying health problems that getting Covid-19 doesn’t always mean “the worst case scenario”.

But he stresses it’s important to “do everything [experts] tell you to do”.

Chronic kidney disease is on the list of conditions considered “higher risk” by the government.

Higher risk people are being “strongly advised” to follow social distancing rules.

Ace has been waiting for a new kidney for two years.

This means going to hospital for regular dialysis sessions – where he’s hooked up to a machine that filters his blood.

“You might have noticed I haven’t been on the radio for the past two weeks,” he says in this latest post.

“It’s because my condition puts me in a high risk and vulnerable category, so I’ve been advised not to go back to work for now.

“But I have had to continue having my dialysis sessions three times a week and about 10 days ago I had fever and I had some real body aches.”

He explains that he was sent to a dialysis session in isolation and was tested for the coronavirus.

Ten days later, he says, that test came back positive.

“I’m just putting this video out there for people who are like me who have underlying health issues to say you can get the virus and you can still be fine,” he adds.

“I had symptoms for like two days, I had fever and I had body aches, I didn’t have the cough and I’ve come out of it very well.”

Following official advice, he’s now gone back into self-isolation.

Image caption Faizan says staying inside is “for the greater good”

Like Ace, 34-year-old Faizan Awan from Blackburn is waiting for a new kidney.

But he does his dialysis treatments himself, at home, and this means he hasn’t left his house – at all – in nearly a month.

“It’s been a month, but it’s felt like a year,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“It can get tiresome, it can start to play with your head a bit. Days drift into each other after a while but it’s for the greater good.”

He says he’s “not scared” of coronavirus – and agrees with Ace that the most important thing is to follow official advice.

“I live with my family and my mother is getting older and my brother has asthma so although they’re healthier than I am I wouldn’t want to put them or myself at risk by not listening to guidelines.”

Image caption Faizan does his dialysis treatment overnight in his bedroom

A spokesperson for kidney support charity The National Kidney Federation has told Newsbeat: “We know the current Covid-19 pandemic is a worrying time for patients.

“Government guidelines are to be followed by everyone, but kidney patients have extra concerns about keeping themselves safe.

“The National Kidney Federation operates the only UK helpline dedicated to kidney patients and their families, for help and advice in this worrying time, call free of charge on 0800 169 09 36.”

If you’re worried about what the UK government advice on coronavirus is for you, visit here.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-52119338