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  1. News and updates for 16 June 2015
  2. Actor John Hurt being treated for cancer
  3. Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora sign up for X Factor
  4. Sandi Toksvig says the BBC rejected her as Have I Got News For You host

Live Reporting

By Mark Savage and Emma Saunders

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Au revoir

    Emma Saunders

    Entertainment reporter

    So that's all folks for this Tuesday. Join us tomorrow for more news from the arts and entertainment world. Until then.

  2. Russell Beale role

    Simon Russell Beale

    Simon Russell Beale will be treading the boards in the capital again, this time at the Hampstead Theatre in Mr Foote's Other Leg.

    He'll be joined by Dervla Kirwan and Joseph Millson in the cast of Ian Kelly's new play about the dawn of celebrity.

    Richard Eyre returns to Hampstead following The Last of The Duchess in 2011.

    The play will open on 14 September and run until 17 October.

    Russell Beale's stage appearances include Temple, which he is currently appearing in at the Donmar Warehouse, King Lear, Timon of Athens and Privates on Parade, alongside numerous TV and film roles.

  3. Irvine Welsh's new drama

    Irvine Welsh

    Irvine Welsh fans, lend me your ears.

    The Trainspotting author is writing a TV drama about the true-life story of two Manchester brothers who built a fashion empire on the back of the city's acid house scene.

    Too Much Rock'n'Roll is about Anthony and Christopher Donnelly who founded the Gio-Goi fashion brand.

    Welsh has joined up with his frequent collaborator, screenwriter and producer Dean Cavanagh for the project.

    Welsh and Cavanagh said: "We've been offered many true life stories over the years but what attracts us to this story in particular is the fact that Anthony and Christopher are unbeatable, they won't take no for answer, and we're going to capture that spirit.

    The pair are working with KEO Films, whose recent productions include Skint and The Romanians are Coming for Channel 4.

  4. Sir Ian McKellen's trip down memory lane

    Sir Ian McKellen

    Hobbit and X-Men star Sir Ian McKellen has revealed he is finding it increasingly difficult to remember his lines.

    The 76-year-old actor said he recently spent six months learning his dialogue for BBC period drama The Dresser.

    He told the Radio Times: "We all have intimations, don't we, however old we are? But there are times in life when the memory really does get worse and the mind doesn't work as it should.

    "And if you were to get to the stage where you couldn't remember anything at all, well, that would be very distressing. Fortunately, I'm not there yet."

    But don't worry - Sir Ian is showing no signs of slowing down. He can be seen on the big screen from Friday in Mr Holmes - the actor has the leading role as the famous sleuth. He's also set to appear in family film Animal Crackers next year plus the Disney's live action version of Beauty and the Beast in 2017.

    The Dresser, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, will air on BBC Two later this year.

  5. Culture secretary to be grilled.

    Not literally, of course. That would be barbaric.

    But John Whittingdale will face questions from journalist and ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, it has been announced.

    On the agenda: the BBC licence fee and the privatisation of Channel 4. Expect headlines to be made in August.

  6. Mark Kermode on Christopher Lee

    Sir Christopher Lee

    It's not only Hollywood stars who have been lining up to pay tribute to the revered actor Sir Christopher Lee over the past few days.

    Film critic Mark Kermode wrote in his BBC blog about an encounter he had with the Dracula and Lord of the Rings star, who died last week at the age of 93.

    Mark recalls Sir Christopher's "extraordinary operatic voice" and his heavy metal recordings.

    Listen to the vlog in full here.

  7. Velociraptors can't snarl

    New York Times

    Jurassic World

    There's always someone who wants to spoil the fun, so the New York Times has asked palaeontologist Mark Loewen to detail all the scientific inaccuracies in Jurassic World.

    Read his observations here.

    Next week, a column revealing why you can't get superpowers from a radioactive spider.

  8. TFI album heading for number one

    Straight from the horse(s) mouth(s).

  9. Maleficent 2?

    Angelina Jolie

    Disney are starting to plan the Maleficent sequel, having pinned down Linda Woolverton to write the script, according to Deadline Hollywood.

    The studio will be hoping they can also pin down Angelina Jolie, who starred as the title character in the 2014 fairytale blockbuster.

    The film took more than $750m worldwide so Disney will be hoping for a repeat performance. But how long will Sleeping Beauty be asleep this time?

  10. Winona on Netflix

    Winona Ryder

    Winona Ryder is the latest actress to land on planet Netflix. The 80s and 90s Hollywood star will join David Harbour in an upcoming untitled Netflix series from Wayward Pines creators Matt and Ross Duffer.

    The supernatural show will take place in 1980s Long Island and will chronicle the search for a young boy who has gone missing.

    Ryder will play Joyce, the missing boy's mother.

    The series is set to debut in 2016.

  11. Berkoff: White actors should be allowed to play Othello

    Steven Berkoff

    Actor Steven Berkoff has criticised the "fiends of political correctness" who have made Shakespeare's Othello a "no-go-zone" for white actors.

    His comments come in a Facebook post, written in response to The Independent's review of the RSC's latest production of Othello - in which critic Paul Taylor said: "The days when it was thought acceptable for a white actor to black up as Othello are well behind us."

    Berkoff replies that his life would have been "considerably poorer" if he had not witnessed Laurence Olivier's "utterly spellbinding" interpretation of the lead role in the 1960s.

    "Great drama is colour-blind and goes far deeper than the colour of a person's skin, white or black," he says.

    Not all of his Facebook followers agree.

    "Maybe if you were on the receiving end of racial discrimination you would perhaps realise that actually this is not the time," said one.

    "If great drama is colour blind why is it that so many of my non-white actor friends have to leave this country to get work?" asked another.

  12. AMC to land in UK

    Fear the Walking Dead

    Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead have been some of the most talked about US TV dramas of the last few years.

    And now the channel that commissioned them - AMC Networks - is coming to the UK.

    BT TV customers will be able to pick up the channel via YouView, a pay TV platform.

    AMC in the UK will debut in September with the UK television premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, the new companion series to The Walking Dead.

    Other new dramas are set to be announced shortly.

    The channel will also feature a selection of films.

    Read more.

  13. Get your dancing shoes on

  14. Thumbs down for X Factor?

    Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora

    Not everyone is keen on Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora joining The X Factor, it seems.

    Meanwhile, X Factor expert Stu Heritage has written a column for The Guardian bemoaning the new line-up. 

    In it, he describes Rita Ora as being "the fifth-best thing about the last series of The Voice - a series which, incidentally, contained no good things."

    Oh dear.

  15. Your messages to John Hurt

    Many of you have been getting in touch to wish John Hurt a speedy recovery after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.

    We send him our best wishes too.

  16. John Hurt's career

    John Hurt

    Very few actors can claim to have played Caligula, Jesus Christ and Doctor Who - but John Hurt is one of them.

    Here's a profile of the actor we published in December when he was knighted in the New Year Honours.

  17. Terminator trailer

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    It's not long until we're reunited with Arnie in Terminator Genisys, which is released on 2 July.

    And here's a short trailer to give you a taster. It's titled Bus on the Bridge.

    Hold on to your hats.

  18. Jurassic World makes £19m in the UK

    Jurassic World

    Yesterday, we learnt that Jurassic World had broken box office records - by becoming the first film to make half-a-billion dollars in its opening weekend.

    The UK and Ireland figures have just been released, and show that the dino-movie made a monster £19,350,727 over here.

    By our calculations, that's the seventh biggest opening weekend in UK cinema history - behind Toy Story 3, Skyfall, Shrek the Third and three of the Harry Potter movies.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two) still holds the record - taking £24.5 million back in 2011.

    The full UK Top 10 for this week looks like this:

    1. Jurassic World
    2. Spy
    3. San Andreas
    4. Insidious Chapter 3
    5. Pitch Perfect 2
    6. Mad Max: Fury Road
    7. The Empire Strikes Back (Secret Cinema)
    8. London Road
    9. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
    10. Tomorrowland - A World Beyond
  19. James Joyce - Bloomsday

    James Joyce

    As admirers of the James Joyce celebrate Bloomsday, BBC Culture's Kevin Birmingham recalls Ulysses' scandalous passages - which inspired legal challenges and outright bans.

    Read the full story here.

  20. BreakingBreaking News

    John Hurt diagnosed with cancer

    John Hurt

    Actor John Hurt has been diagnosed with cancer, he has told the Press Association.

    The 75-year-old, who starred in Alien, The Naked Civil Servant and Doctor Who (pictured), says he is "more than optimistic" about his future.

    "I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement," he said.

    "I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.

    "I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (one of life's small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4."

  21. Janet Jackson - she's on the road again

    Janet Jackson

    In other tour news, Janet Jackson has announced a world tour, commencing on 31 August in Vancouver.

    So far, the Grammy-winning singer has only published the Canadian and US dates of the Unbreakable tour - but more concerts will be announced later.

    Tickets go on sale on 22 June. The venues are of a similar size to her "up close and personal" tour in 2011, with capacities of between 3,000 and 10,000.

    The live shows coincide with the release of Janet's first new album in seven years through her own Rhythm Nation Records.

    The album is as yet untitled but could the Unbreakable tour moniker be a clue?

  22. Blur US dates


    Some music news for you now - and if you're a Stateside Blur fan, it's all good.

    They're playing two of America's most notorious venues - the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on 20 October and Madison Square Garden in New York on 23 October.

    Blur are set to play Hyde Park in London on Saturday, having performed at the Isle of Wight festival last weekend.

    Lead singer Damon Albarn only just made it through the set, after losing his voice the day before.

  23. Edina and Patsy

    Radio Times

    Absolutely Fabulous

    The upcoming Absolutely Fabulous movie will introduce a new character alongside Patsy and Edina.

    Edina's long-suffering daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha) is getting a daughter of her own. Casting agents are looking for a 13-year-old mixed-race girl for the role.

    According to sources, they want someone who is "self-assured and cool and naturally finds her mother embarrassing - but her Granny amuses her".

    Read more.

  24. Depp pays tribute to Lee

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Sir Christopher Lee and Johnny Depp

    Hollywood star Johnny Depp has paid tribute to Sir Christopher Lee, who died last week at the age of 93.

    "Sir Christopher Lee, a wonderful man. A profoundly kind, generous, warm and fascinating man. The consummate gentleman. He was an inspiration in both life and art. In the time we spent together, I had the honour and good fortune of being welcomed into his illustrious proximity. His friendship is one that I will always hold close and dear to my heart.

    "He was the last of his kind. A rare specimen. Hypnotic and commanding, as noble and gallant as he was wise. A brilliant mind with a beautiful heart whose strength of spirit will, in turn, live on in the hearts and minds of many, many generations to come.

    "My eternal respect, love, admiration and thanks to my cherished friend, his family and his dearly beloved Gitte, the woman he worshipped.

    The pair appeared alongside each other in five Tim Burton films.

    And Depp surprised the Hammer horror star when Sir Christopher received his British Institute Fellowship from his friend and colleague in person.

    Lee said at the time that it was "a very emotional moment. I didn't know you were going to be here. I must try and pull myself together."

  25. I drink your milkshake!

    There Will Be Blood

    Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood will perform his score for There Will Be Blood as part of this year's Meltdown festival.

    The musician will use an early electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot, which creates an eerie sound, much like a musical saw, in his recital of the Grammy-nominated soundtrack.

    He'll be accompanied by the London Contemporary Orchestra at the gig, at London's Royal Festival Hall on 19 August.

    This year's Meltdown has been curated by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, and also includes shows by Anna Calvi and Brian Eno.

    You can see the full line-up here.

  26. Star Wars news from E3

    Star Wars Battlefront

    E3 - the annual video game conference and expo - is in full swing over in Los Angeles. Here are just some of the major announcements from the last 24 hours.

    • Star Wars: Battlefront - EA confirmed a November release for their latest Star Wars game, which features digital copies of props and locations from the original film trilogy. [Read more]
    • Sony has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a third instalment of cult action game Shenmue. [Read more]
    • Old XBox 360 games will finally be playable on the XBox One. [Read more]
    • British developer Rare is releasing a compilation of its old games - from Sabre Wulf to Perfect Dark to Banjo Kazooie - to mark its 30th anniversary. No sign of Goldeneye, though. [Watch trailer]
    • Ubisoft acknowledged it had had a "hard" year, but unveiled new Assassin's Creed and South Park games. [Read more]
    • A new gameplay trailer for Naughty Dog's blockbuster action game Uncharted 4 was unveiled. [Watch trailer]
    • And a new multiplayer mode for first person shooter Halo 5 was revealed. [Watch trailer]
  27. Vincent van Woof

    Art Car Boot Fair

    It was a dog day afternoon at this year's Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair in London, with canines at the centre of attention.

    The event saw dozens of artists, including Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk and Bob and Roberta Smith turn up to sell their artwork at prices more commonly found at a car boot sale.

    And this year's theme? You guessed it. Doggies.

    Check out our picture gallery.

  28. Clangers make stellar debut

    The Clangers

    A new series of The Clangers made its debut on CBeebies yesterday, a mere 40 years after the last episodes were made.

    But it proved to be a massive hit - 484,000 tuned in to see the moon mice at 17:30 last night.

    That's double the audience for CBeebie's highest-rated programme (Alphablocks) last month.

    Interestingly, 65% of The Clangers' viewers were adults.

  29. Pitch Perfect 3 coming in 2017

    Pitch Perfect 2

    With global box office takings of $260m (£166m), it's no surprise that Universal wants a follow-up to aca-comedy Pitch Perfect 2.

    So, just one month after it hit cinemas, a threequel has been announced for 21 July, 2017.

    Star Anna Kendrick has already signed up. She confirmed the news on Instagram in a post labelled "Happening #3".

    Anna Kendrick

    Rebel Wilson - aka Fat Amy - will also return; while screenwriter Kay Cannon, who brought the first two films to the big screen, is in talks to write the script.

    Speaking to the BBC last month, director and producer Elizabeth Banks said the next film in the franchise would have to turn its attention away from ever-bigger a capella competitions.

    "I think we have to do a big right turn and do something completely different, otherwise we'll be facing off against aliens," she said.

    "We'll be the Avengers of a capella."

  30. X Factor: New judges reaction

    It was rumoured for days, but now it's confirmed: Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora will join Simon and Cheryl on the X Factor judging panel.

    Here's a selection of the reaction on Twitter.

    We're just wondering how long it'll be before the tabloids manufacture a FEUD between Cheryl and Rita. One week? Two? Wednesday?

  31. Perry and Kudrow reunite

    Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow

    Matthew Perry was joined by former Friends co-star Lisa Kudrow at a gala where he was honoured for his work helping young people to overcome substance abuse.

    Lisa presented Matthew with the Phoenix Rising Award on behalf of US rehab charity Phoenix House.

    The comedian, who had a long battle with drug and alcohol addiction, was described as a hero to young people at the event but he said: "It's very gratifying but I'm not a hero, I'm just a guy who got sober and I'm passing along the message the best I can and I think that maybe because I was on a TV show more people listen."

    Asked how he would describe addiction, he said: "It means you need to take something, a mind-altering substance. That's what it sort of means."

    He said he said it felt good to be reunited with his former co-star.

    "It's great having Lisa here, it sort of feels like no time has passed, we pick up where we left off."

  32. Game of Thrones ratings

    Game of Thrones

    The finale of Game of Thrones drew 1.4 million people to Sky Atlantic last night, just shy of the series' best ever ratings.

    A shocking and brutal episode, it nonetheless drew 6.9% of all television viewers between 21:00 and 22:00 BST.

    The audience was only slightly behind that of the series premiere in April, which drew 1.6 million viewers.

    That might be because hardcore fans stayed up late on Sunday night to watch the 02:00 BST simulcast (a concurrent with the HBO broadcast in the US) in the hope of avoiding spoilers.

    That screening garnered 554,000 viewers, bringing the episode's total to a bloodsoaked 2 million viewers.

  33. Fantastic Beasts casting

    Katherine Waterston

    Another Brit has been cast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the highly anticipated Harry Potter spin-off film.

    Katherine Waterston, who appeared with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice, will play the female lead - a witch called Porpentina (Tina) - opposite Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne

    According to Warner Bros, Porpentina meets magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures.

    Brits abroad? We can't wait. But we'll have to - it's not released until November 2016.

  34. Is X Factor targeting younger audiences?

    Mark Savage

    Entertainment reporter

    Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora

    Dermot O'Leary and Louis Walsh are out. Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Olly Murs are in.

    The new appointees for The X Factor suggest Simon Cowell is chasing a younger audience as the show enters its 12th year.

    At the moment, the programme has a broad reach, but only 8.9% of the viewers are in the 16-24 age range.

    That's more than The Voice UK but less than ITV's other reality behemoth I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

    Add in the fact that Kiss FM presenters Rickie and Melvin are being tipped to host The Xtra Factor spin-off, and it seems like ITV is aiming for a more streetwise, credible feel.

    Which all makes sense: The show's reputation lives or dies on the success of the winning acts. With younger audiences casting votes, the chances of producing another Little Mix or One Direction increase.

    Tell us what you think: Email or tweet us on @BBCNewsEnts

  35. James Fenton wins PEN prize

    James Fenton

    British poet James Fenton has been awarded the prestigious PEN Pinter Prize.

    A former Oxford Professor of Poetry, the writer is known for his politically engaged poems, which often reflect on the history of war.

    His volumes of poetry include Terminal Moraine, The Memory Of War, Children In Exile and Out Of Danger.

    Maureen Freely, President of the English PEN, said: "Throughout his long and distinguished career, James Fenton has spoken truth to power - forcefully, fearlessly, and beautifully.

    "In this age of privatised art, it is increasingly rare for writers to retain this degree of public commitment, and that is one reason why we so pleased to be awarding him this prize.

    "But the main reason, of course, is that James Fenton is one of the finest poets of his generation."

  36. Benedict - bye bye, baby

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    No rest for the wicked - Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch got no time for paternity leave, as rehearsals for Hamlet got underway yesterday.

    Just two days after the birth of his son, Cumberbatch was back at work - he plays the title role in a new production of the renowned Shakespeare play, so we can understand why he needs to start learning those lines pronto.

    Hamlet will run at the Barbican in London from August to October. It will be Cumberbatch's first stage role since 2011 when he played Frankenstein at the National Theatre.

    Let's hope the sleepless nights don't make it too tricky for him.

  37. X Factor announcement

    As soon as it was announced she'd be joining the X Factor, Rita Ora popped up on Twitter to post a picture of herself with Nick Grimshaw and fellow panellist Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

    She and Grimshaw also gave some Syco-approved quotes in a press release about the show.

    Quote Message: I love X Factor and have watched the series religiously since it started, so obviously I'm hugely excited to be joining the show. Music is my job and my passion and I'm really looking forward to seeing what talent we can find and nurture this year. I can't wait for judges' houses in Oldham!" from Nick Grimshaw
    Nick Grimshaw
    Quote Message: "I am excited to be coming back to The X Factor – I had a ball here in 2012. This is a journey I can't wait to embark on to find some talented singers. It’s the new generation taking over. Booooom" from Rita Ora
    Rita Ora

    Booooom indeed.

    Read more on this story.

  38. BreakingBreaking News

    CONFIRMED: Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora will be judges on this year's series of The X Factor.

  39. Toksvig's BBC sexism claim

    Radio Times

    Sandi Toksvig

    Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has said the BBC turned her down for the job of Have I Got News For You host because she was a woman.

    The presenter, 57, said she was asked to audition for the role 25 years ago.

    "They made two pilots - one with me and one with Angus Deayton," she told the Radio Times.

    "I was told by the producers that they preferred my version, but the channel decided they couldn't have a woman in charge."

    She added: "It also made me feel inadequate and question whether I was really up to it."

    Luckily, she didn't let it hold her back for too long - she later went on to present Radio 4's The News Quiz and has appeared on numerous panel shows, including Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Mock the Week, and QI. She was also a team captain on Call My Bluff.

    A corporation spokesman said: "We're proud of the fact that the BBC of today has a huge range of women presenters across TV and Radio including Tess (Daly) and Claudia (Winkleman), Mary Berry, Anne Robinson, Fiona Bruce, Clare Balding, Kate Humble, Clemency Burton-Hill, Clara Amfo, Annie Mac, Louise Minchin, Sophie Raworth, Emily Maitlis, Ritula Shah and many others." Ok, ok!

  40. Get involved

    If you'd like to drop us a line about a running story - or if you think there's one we've missed - you can get in touch on or on Twitter via @BBCNewsEnts.

  41. Good morning!

    Emma Saunders

    Entertainment reporter

    Hello, and welcome to another day in the world of arts and entertainment, as Sandi Toksvig says the BBC turned her down as the host of Have I Got News For You because she was a woman, and poet James Fenton wins the PEN Pinter prize.

    Stay tuned for more on both of those stories, and live updates on any of the day's breaking stories.