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Live Reporting

By Mark Savage and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye for now

    Neil Smith

    Entertainment reporter

    That's all we have time for today, but we'll be back tomorrow with news from the Venice Film Festival, the winners of this year's Progressive Music Awards and some thoughts on hoofing, and leotards, from the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

    In the meantime we'll leave you with McBusted's Tom Fletcher, who has spilled the news that he and his wife Giovanna are to have a second child in the most media-savvy way possible - by posting a video on YouTube.


    View more on youtube
  2. Sunset rises in London again

    Susan Booth in Sunset Boulevard

    It's been 18 years since Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard last graced the London stage, with cast members including Elaine Paige and John Barrowman.

    Now the musical, based on the Billy Wilder film of the same name, is making a limited comeback, after Lord Lloyd-Webber gave permission for an amateur production at the Bridewell Theatre off Fleet Street.

    Susan Booth will take the lead role of Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen who's desperate to make a comeback of her own.

    Find out more from the company behind the production, Geoids Musical Theatre.

  3. The poppies return

    Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Part of the mammoth poppies installation that proved such a powerful draw for visitors at the Tower of London last year is to go on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this weekend.

    Wave, part of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, will be on display until 10 January.

    Wave was retained for further exhibition after the installation was dismantled last autumn, as was its breathtaking Weeping Window cascade.

    The latter will be presented at the Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland from 12 September to 1 November, after which it will be exhibited at St George's Hall in Liverpool.

  4. Songs of the summer

    A scene from the music video to Major Lazer's Lean On

    Spotify has issued a chart of the most-streamed songs of the summer... and you might be surprised to hear Ed Sheeran isn't at number one.

    Instead, the honour goes to Major Lazer - a side-project of Madonna's producer du jour Diplo.

    Lean On, featuring vocals from Danish recording artist MØ, topped the chart both in the UK and worldwide.

    View more on youtube

    In the US, The Weeknd's Michael Jackson-esque Can't Feel My Face was the summer's top song.

    View more on youtube

    The full UK top 10 looks like this.

    1. Major Lazer (feat. MØ and DJ Snake) - Lean On
    2. OMI - Cheerleader
    3. Jason Derulo - Want to Want Me
    4. Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
    5. Jack U (feat. Justin Bieber) - Where Are Ü Now
    6. Lost Frequencies - Are You with Me 
    7. Walk The Moon - Shut Up and Dance
    8. Wiz Khalifa (feat. Charlie Puth) - See You Again
    9. Galantis - Runaway
    10. The Weeknd - Can’t Feel My Face
  5. Colin's crustacean comedy

    John C Reilly, Ben Whishaw and Colin Farrell in The Lobster

    "Loopy", "astonishing" and "wickedly funny", Colin Farrell's new film The Lobster won rave reviews at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

    It is set in a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) where single people are whisked off to a hotel and given 45 days to find a partner. 

    If they find a mate with similar attributes, they can return to the city to live in happiness. If they fail, they are turned into an animal of their choice and made to live in the forest. 

    It's out in the UK on 16 October, and here is a trailer to prove it.

    View more on youtube
  6. Smith surgery 'a blessing'

    Sam Smith

    UK chart-topper Sam Smith will be In Concert later, performing an exclusive set for Radio 2 listeners from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

    The 23-year-old took a break from rehearsing earlier to chat to Ken Bruce and sing a couple of songs - something he finds a lot easier after his recent throat operation.

    "In terms of my health and my voice it was actually a massive blessing in disguise." the Stay With Me singer revealed.

    "I went to the throat doctor who looked after Adele and saved [Dame] Julie Andrews' voice and I was in really good hands."

    Listen to the last hour of Ken Bruce's show on the BBC iPlayer to hear the interview - and make sure you check back later for the concert in full.

  7. Man held over Top 40 'fraud'

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegally distributing music from the Top 40 singles chart on the internet.

    The 38-year-old was arrested in the Everton area of Liverpool in a joint operation by officers from Merseyside Police and City of London Police.

    Police believe his actions could have cost the industry millions of pounds.

    Read more on this story.

  8. Dreamworks 'to split with Disney'

    Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies

    Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks outfit is to end its distribution partnership with Disney next year, at least if reports from Hollywood to be believed.

    The companies have been in cahoots since 2009, when Disney began distributing and marketing films emanating from the studio Spielberg founded with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen in 1994.

    The current arrangement will reportedly not be extended beyond next August, after which DreamWorks looks likely to strike a new deal with Universal.

    Spielberg's next two films - Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies (starring Tom Hanks, above) and his adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG - are set to be the last of his films to be released under the Disney mantle.

    Read more on this story.

  9. 'New kid' Evans on directorial debut

    Chris Evans and Alice Eve

    Having played both the Human Torch (in two films) and Captain America (in six), you'd have thought actor Chris Evans would be too busy saving the world to have time for any other pursuits.

    Yet somewhere between his superhero duties and his Radio 2 breakfast show, the 34-year-old has made his directorial debut with Before We Go, a romantic drama about two strangers who forge a connection after being stranded for a night in New York.

    At a screening of the film in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Evans admitted he was "just getting [his] feet wet" as a director and felt like "a new kid at the first day of school" during the shoot.

    "It was understood that I had no formal training, so it's a matter of trying to not make a fool out of yourself," he told the Reuters news agency.

    Alice Eve, pictured above with Evans, is his co-star in the film, which has a limited US release from this Friday.

  10. Collins recreates album covers

    Phil Collins - Face Value album cover

    Phil Collins has recreated the covers for his hit albums Face Value and Both Sides, which are being reissued just in time for Christmas.

    The sleeves now appear with an older (but wiser?) shot of the pop star, who has been trawling through his back catalogue to uncover live and demo versions of tracks like Against All Odds and Both Sides of the Story.

    "I've always been quite proud of my demos and have often made them available as B-sides," Collins said in a statement. "But with a few exceptions, I have avoided including those on these collections.

    "Instead, I've focused on how nicely the songs developed when played onstage, rather than showing how they originated."

    The albums come out on Atlantic in November. Eventually, all eight of Collins' studio albums will get the reissue treatment.

    Phil Collins - Both Sides album cover
  11. Ja Rule furious with Wikipedia

    Ja Rule

    Rapper Ja Rule, of I'm Real (Remix) fame, is disgusted with Wikipedia, after the online encyclopedia misreported his height.

    Seemingly unaware the site is edited by its users, he sent a series of furious tweets complaining that he was listed as 5ft 6in tall, when he in fact measures a collossal 5ft 9in.

    He even demanded to know how the crowd-funded site could afford "to stay in business". 

    Sadly, most of the tweets are to profane to repeat here. Except this one.

    View more on twitter

    All references to the rapper's stature have since been removed from his Wikipedia entry.

  12. Sky commissions music panel show

    The cast of Bring The Noise

    Fans mourning the loss of Never Mind the Buzzcocks will be glad to hear that Sky 1 has commissioned a musically-themed comedy panel game show.

    Called Bring the Noise (after the Public Enemy track), the 60-minute show will be hosted by Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, with Nicole Scherzinger and Tinie Tempah as team captains.

    Comedienne Katherine Ryan, recently seen hosting Hair on BBC Two, will also be a regular panellist throughout the series.

    The show will see two teams of three answering music trivia questions and making spoof pop videos, ending in a "not to be missed performance battle".

    Here are some quotes from the show's official press release.

    Nicole Scherzinger: "I'm so happy to be involved in this exciting, new, multi faceted show."

    Tinie Tempah: "I feel like TV has been missing a show like this."

    Katherine Ryan: "Ricky Wilson is my favourite Kaiser Chief."

  13. The Weeknd and Take That join Apple Music festival

    The Weeknd and Take That

    The Weeknd, Take That and Chemical Brothers have all been added to the line up of the re-branded iTunes festival this September.

    The artists join the likes of One Direction, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine and Little Mix at the 10-day Apple Music Festival at London's Roundhouse.

    The opening act is still to be announced but Oliver Schusser, vice president of iTunes International, told the BBC to expect "something really special".

    The festival is "a who's who of who is currently around," he said.

    "Some new artists, some established superstars. That was really the thinking behind it."

    Read more on this story.

  14. Everest comes to Venice

    Stars of Everest in Venice

    Real-life disaster movie Everest opened the Venice Film Festival last night and, as tradition dictates, its stars travelled to the red carpet by speedboat.

    The film, which charts two ill-fated expeditions to the summit of earth's largest mountain, stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin and Zero Dark Thirty's Jason Clarke.

    Speaking to the BBC, Brolin said he got involved in the project thanks to a "midlife crisis".

    "At the time I needed something like this in my life," he said. "I needed to be confronted with something more than the psychological roles I've done - I needed the physical as well."

    You can read our interview here... or simply admire the red carpet photos below.

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal signing autographs.

    Josh Brolin

    Josh Brolin with his fiancee, Kathryn Boyd.

    Emily Watson

    British actress Emily Watson.

    Diane Kruger

    German actress Diane Kruger, one of this year's festival jurors.

    Elisa Sednaoui

    Festival hostess Elisa Sednaoui.

    French actress Clotilde Corau, Princess of Venice and Piedmont

    French actress Clotilde Corau, Princess of Venice and Piedmont.

  15. Prog rock gets its own chart

    Tame Impala

    Forty years since the heyday of Rush, Tool, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, the Official Charts Company has launched a Prog Albums Chart.

    The first chart-topper is Currents, the new album by Aussie psychedelic rockers Tame Impala - which opens with an eight-minute epic called Let It Happen.

    The chart will be published in Prog Magazine and coincides with this year's Progressive Music Awards, which will be take place tonight at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.

    Read more.

  16. Taylor Swift video defended

    Joseph Kahn and Taylor Swift

    After being accused of perpetuating black stereotypes in her Shake It Off video and her Twitter row with Nicki Minaj over this year's MTV VMA nominations, you'd think Taylor Swift would be ultra-cautious on matters concerning race. 

    Yet the 25-year-old pop star has landed herself in hot water again, this time over a video that has been accused of depicting a whitewashed version of Africa. 

    The promo for her single Wildest Dreams, filmed in Botswana and South Africa and set in the 1950s, has been called "beyond problematic" for showing Swift and actor Scott Eastwood in what has been described as a "white colonial fantasy" of the continent. 

    Director Joseph Kahn, pictured above with Swift at the VMAs, has defended his work, claiming it would have been "historically inaccurate" to feature more black actors. 

    Read more on this story.

    View more on youtube
  17. Bake Off says goodbye to...

    • Warning - this update contains spoilers.

    The Great British Bake Off continues to be a ratings winner for the BBC, with an average audience of 9.8 million tuning in to watch Wednesday's instalment.

    Figures peaked towards the end of the programme, with 10.6 million switching on to find out who would the latest baker to get his or her marching orders.

    That person was Lithuanian body builder Ugne Bubnaityte, whose dairy-free ice cream roll failed to cut the mustard with judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.

    "It's a terrible moment when you know that your baking has failed and your dreams are crumbling around you," said Bubnaityte, displaying an impressive command of cookery-based pun-making.

  18. Jack Bauer to be honoured in Zurich

    Keifer Sutherland

    Actor Kiefer Sutherland, best known as Jack Bauer in the TV series 24, is to receive the Zurich Film Festival's Golden Eye award later this month.

    The star will pick up his lifetime achievement prize on 25 September, after which he'll attend a gala screening of his new film, Forsaken, in which he stars with his father, Donald.

    "The way Kiefer Sutherland has reinvented himself throughout his career is a testament to the rare acting skills he exhibited at a young age and honed as his roles evolved through various mediums," said the film festival's directors, Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht.

  19. Prince deal could mean more music


    Prince releases his 37th album, HITNRUN, on Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service next week - the first outpourings of what could be a flood of new material from the Minneapolis musician.

    Speaking to the BBC, Prince's 25-year-old producer Joshua Welton said: "I believe Tidal is a great avenue for us to put out music non-stop. The relationship with Jay-Z [means] I can definitely see it being that way."

    Welton, who is married to the drummer in Prince's band 3rdEyeGirl, also discussed how Prince works in the studio, where music is created 24 hours a day.

    "He's walking music, so we always have to be ready to record. That's just the heartbeat of any musician."

    Read the full interview.

  20. Trauma drama not 'softened', insists Sony

    Will Smith

    Last year's hack of Sony Pictures' emails continues to throw up embarrassing revelations, the latest of which concerns the release of Will Smith's new drama Concussion.

    Out in the US on 25 December, the film tells the story of Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist from Nigeria who uncovered the fatal effects of repeated head trauma suffered by many American Football players.

    Leaked emails between Sony's executives and lawyers saw them express concerns over whether the film would antagonise the NFL (National Football League) and whether it should be altered to forestall their objections.

    Earlier this week, the New York Times accused Sony of "softening" the film, a claim that has since been rebuffed by Sony Pictures.

    "As will become immediately clear to anyone actually seeing the movie, nothing with regard to this important story has been 'softened' to placate anyone," it said in a statement.

    You can get a taste of the film (and Will Smith's Nigerian accent) from the trailer put out on Monday.

    Read more on this story.

  21. Meghan Trainor "survives" vocal surgery

    View more on instagram

    All About That Bass star Meghan Trainor recently had surgery for a hemorrhaged vocal cord - the same problem that has plagued Sam Smith, Adele, Jess Glynne and Steven Tyler in recent years.

    But all seems to have gone well in the operating theatre, according to an Instagram message posted on Tuesday.

    "I look so hurt haha I survived tho!" she wrote. "Thank you Dr. Nasseri for being my hero.

    "Now just napping all day long on the couch with mama and getting free head rubs. Any movie suggestions?"  

    We suggest she avoids Pure Country 2 - a little-seen 2010 drama about a singer who loses her voice.

    View more on youtube
  22. Cut-price Beatles CDs binned

    The Beatles in 1964

    Earlier this year, The Beatles' Love Me Do became the top-selling CD at Walmart stores in Canada.

    The reason? Until very recently, sound recordings were only protected by Canadian copyright law for 50 years - after which time, they'd fall into public domain.

    A company called Stargrove Entertainment exploited that fact, snapping up rights to print CDs with the Beatles' earliest tracks and putting them on sale at the bargain price of 5 Canadian dollars (£2.47).

    Then, abruptly, they were made to stop.

    In a 408-page complaint filed on Tuesday with the Canadian Competition Tribunal, Stargrove claims its CDs were blocked by music industry giants Universal and Sony.

    It says the companies refused to clear publishing rights - which are usually granted automatically - for the Beatles' songs, effectively putting a stop to their cut-price CDs.

    Stargrove argues that the labels are artificially extending copyright and also alleges that Universal employees posted negative reviews of their CDs on the Walmart website.

    Since Canada's lawmakers recently agreed to extend copyright to 70 years, though, it seems the opportunity to get the Beatles' back catalogue at bargain bin prices has passed.

  23. EastEnders' barmaid finds her voice

    Jane Slaughter

    Tracey is an EastEnders legend - the barmaid at the Queen Vic who never says anything more than "Cheers" or "Ta".

    But now, after 30 years of silence, actress Jane Slaughter is to get her own storyline and a few lines of dialogue,

    In scenes to air later this month, Kathy Beale - missing and presumed dead - will phone her old mate Trace, believing she's one of the few people she can trust as she returns to Albert Square.

    Speaking to Inside Soap magazine, Jane said the scene makes her pivotal to the story.

    "It is fantastic to be involved at this level," she said. "My scenes for this were with Danny Dyer and Steve McFadden, both of whom I love working with. I was chuffed to bits."

    Slaughter, though, doesn't have her sights set on a bigger role.

    "I am not a main character and don't have the storylines, but they get it right," she said.

  24. No action to be taken against Gibson

    Mel Gibson

    Police in Australia have confirmed they do not intend to charge Mel Gibson over an allegation that he shoved and abused a newspaper photographer in Sydney last month.

    Kristi Miller accused the Oscar-winning actor and director of verbally abusing her when she took pictures of Gibson and his girlfriend on 23 August.

    In a statement, state police said the matter was "investigated thoroughly'' and that "no formal action" would be taken.

    Gibson's many films include the historical epic Braveheart, which is to have a special screening in Stirling later to mark the 20th anniversary of its release.

  25. Blanchett to play Ball

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Cate Blanchett and Lucille Ball

    Cate Blanchett is to star as Lucille Ball in a biopic penned by West Wing and Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin.

    The film will revolve around the life of the comedy actress, who starred in such classic TV sitcoms as I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show.

    Sorkin, writer of upcoming biopic Steve Jobs, has yet to start work on the script, so there could be a long wait for this one.

    Read more on this story.

  26. Tributes to Dean Jones

    Dean Jones

    Dean Jones, who has died aged 84, was a Disney stalwart, starring in the Herbie films as well as Blackbeard's Ghost, The Million Dollar Duck and That Darn Cat!

    He also had roles alongside Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock and originated the role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim's Company.

    Tributes to the actor, who had Parkinson's, have come from Goonies star Martha Plimpton, Chicago producer Craig Zadan and Glee's Darren Criss, among others.

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  27. New Wave film put forward for Oscar

    Speaking of the Oscars, it's been decided that a disaster film based on a real-life tsunami is to be Norway's official candidate for next year's best foreign-language feature award.

    Roar Uthaug’s Bolgen (The Wave), which will screen at this year's Toronto and London film festivals, imagines that an infamous deluge from 1934 happens again.

    Check out the film's spectacular trailer, which contains Norwegian text and screaming.

    View more on youtube
  28. Oscars aim for two hosts

    Entertainment Weekly

    Oscar statuettes

    As we revealed yesterday, the Oscars have two new producers - which is something of a blessing, after this year's ceremony collapsed like a flan in a cupboard.

    David Hill and Reginald Hudlin have been discussing their plans to revitalise the ceremony and have raised the prospect of having dual hosts in 2016.

    "There will be multiple hosts for sure," Hill said. "Two is better than one.

    "Just imagine, you're in there," he went on. "One of your hosts drops dead from cardiac arrest.

    "What do you do? Second host goes on! And you keep going... Note to self. Check out their heart rates."

    The last time the Oscars split hosting duties was in 2011, when James Franco and Anne Hathaway presided over the glittering awards event. And we all remember what an unbridled success that was, don't we?

    Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the 2011 Academy Awards

    Read more on this story.

  29. Avril Lavigne and husband split

    Singer Avril Lavigne has announced on social media that she and Nickelback's Chad Kroeger have separated after two years of marriage. 

    View more on instagram

    The singers met in July 2012 and tied the knot a year later in France.

    Here's how Avril announced the unhappy news.

    Quote Message: It is with heavy heart that Chad and I announce our separation today. Through not only the marriage, but the music as well, we've created many unforgettable moments.
    Quote Message: We are still, and forever will be, the best of friends, and will always care deeply for each other. To all our family, friends and fans, thank you sincerely for the support.

    Read more on this story.

  30. Good morning

    Neil Smith

    Arts reporter

    What time is it? It's Thursday o'clock! Time for another live page featuring all that's hip and happening in the world of arts, media and entertainment.

    Today we'll be bringing you news on Taylor Swift's latest video gaffe, the latest departure from The Great British Bake Off and reaction to the death of Disney stalwart Dean Jones.

    What's that, Herbie? Yes, we'll miss him too.