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  1. News and updates for 12 February 2016
  2. Independent newspaper to close in March
  3. Greg James in final push for Sport Relief
  4. Disappointing reviews for Matthew Perry play

Live Reporting

By Victoria Lindrea and Lauren Turner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye!

    Baftas 2016

    So that's all for today - but just before we go, a massive congratulations to Radio1 DJ Greg James who has completed his Sport Relief challenge of completing five triathlons in five days. 

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    Good work sir, time for a well earned rest we think.

    Now, we will be back here on Sunday evening, with a Bafta live page special - bringing you all the news from the red carpet, the star-studded ceremony and behind the scenes in the press room.

    Be the first to find out the winners - and what happens next.

    Hope you can join us!

  2. Simon Callow in search of his inner clown

    On Friday's The One Show, actor Simon Callow - whose grandparents worked in the circus - channels his inner clown and goes in search of the fascinating story of the greatest clown of them all, 19th Century slapstick sensation Joseph Grimaldi.

    Video content

    Video caption: Actor Simon Callow explored the art of clowning for The One Show
  3. Kanye West defends Taylor Swift lyrics

    Kanye West has defended lyrics about Taylor Swift in his new song Famous.

    If you missed our earlier post, the controversial lyrics are: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that b**** famous."

    Swift's team said, in a statement, that she had "cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message".

    Kanye has since sent a series of tweets about the matter. In them, he says he did actually get Taylor's blessing: 

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    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    He then says that the word he used to describe Swift "is an endearing term in hip hop". 

    And he added that Swift apparently inspired the lyrics, after telling one of Kanye's friends: "I can't be mad at Kanye because he made me famous."

    Finally, he concluded: 

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  4. Gwen Stefani releases new single

    View more on youtube

    Gwen Stefani's released another track from her forthcoming album. 

    Make Me Like You, the second single from This is What Truth Looks Like, is a bouncy pop tune and much more upbeat than her first track, Used to Love You. 

    There's been speculation it's about her new boyfriend, Blake Shelton. 

    She's going to be recording the music video live from the Grammys on Monday - the first time that's ever been done.

  5. Tom Hardy is 'most attractive leading man'

    Tom Hardy

    Well, Tom Hardy certainly has something to smile about - he's been voted the most attractive British leading man in the world of film and TV. 

    The star of The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road topped the poll of 2,000 women, for digital channel Drama. 

    Colin Firth was second, with Orlando Bloom coming in third. 

    Daniel Craig and Idris Elba complete the top five.

  6. Rita Ora wants X Factor and The Voice to 'keep fighting' over her

    The Sun

    Rita Ora

    Rita Ora says the X Factor and The Voice are "fighting" over her - and that she likes it. 

    She was first a coach on The Voice, on BBC1, before switching sides and joining the X Factor for last year's series.

    Ora told the Sun: "I hope they keep fighting over me, I don't mind that at all. I don't know what is going on, but I like it."

    She's not made her mind up yet, adding: "I haven't made a decision. Because I've been focusing on recording my new album, I haven't started discussions over anything."

    Read more

  7. Springsteen to release autobiography

    Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen will release his autobiography later this year.

    The singer has spent seven years writing Born to Run, which he has promised will "show the reader his mind", charting his personal struggles and how they inspired his award-winning career.

    Publisher Simon & Schuster called him "a captivating storyteller with a unique way of expressing himself”.

  8. Clooneys meet Merkel in Germany

    Angela Merkel with Amal and George Clooney

    We told you before how George and Amal Clooney were going to be meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany. 

    Well, here's a picture from that private meeting, in which they discussed the war in Syria and the migration crisis. 

    They were accompanied by former UK foreign secretary David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee. 

  9. Rolf Harris indecent assault charges

    Rolf Harris

    Rolf Harris is to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

    The CPS said it had "carefully considered" evidence gathered and had authorised police to charge the 85-year-old former entertainer.

    The alleged offences date from 1971 to 2004 and relate to seven complainants aged between 12 and 27 at the time of the alleged incidents, the CPS added.

    Mr Harris is currently serving a prison sentence for sex-related offences.

    He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 17 March.

    Read more.

  10. Spielberg 'surprised' at Oscar nomination omissions

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Steven Spielberg

    Steven Spielberg has spoken about the Oscars race row. 

    The director, nominated this year for Bridge of Spies, was "surprised" at some of the omissions from the nominations list. 

    Spielberg singled out Idris Elba's performance in Beasts of No Nation and NWA film Straight Outta Compton as being worthy of recognition.  

    But he's not totally behind the way the Academy has handled the controversy.

    He said: 

    Quote Message: I don't believe that there is inherent or dormant racism because of the amount of white Academy members.
    Quote Message: I'm also not 100 percent sure that taking votes away from Academy members who have paid their dues and maybe are retired now and have done great service - maybe they've not won a nomination, which would have given them immunity to the new rules, but they have served proudly and this is their industry, too - to strip their votes? I'm not 100 percent behind that.


  11. Play inspired by victims of undercover policemen opens in Nottingham

    Any Means Necessary - now running at the Nottingham Playhouse, was inspired by the real-life accounts of female victims of undercover policemen who forged real relationships in order to put them under surveillance.

    Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight, 'Lisa' the former partner of undercover officer Mark Kennedy said:

    Quote Message: All the time I thought he was at home with me, that was him at work.

    Listen to a clip from the interview below.

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  12. First music video shot in zero gravity

    Upside Down & Inside Out

    The first music video to be shot in zero gravity has been released by OK Go - and has already been watched about 23 million times.

    The Chicago band filmed the promo for the song, featuring the line "gravity's just a habit", during eight flights over Russia. 

    Amazingly, it was filmed in a single take, the band said on their website.

    OK Go took a total of 21 "parabolic" flights, including training, and the band said the crew became a bit ill, shall we say. 

    Or as they describe it, "there were 58 puke events". 

    You can watch it on Facebook.

  13. Lady Gaga and Nile Rodgers rehearsing Bowie tribute

    Rodgers has tweeted saying he and Lady Gaga had a "great day" rehearsing their David Bowie tribute for next week's Grammys ceremony.

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    Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich has said the tribute will last approximately seven minutes and cover "at least three or four" Bowie tunes.

    He told the New York Times is would be "a true homage to who David was, particularly musically, but not ignoring his influence on fashion and pop culture in a broader way".

  14. Strictly Ballroom musical to premiere in Leeds

    Strictly Ballroom: original Australian production

    Strictly Ballroom The Musical will have its UK debut at the West Yorkshire Playhouse later this year.

    The stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's 1992 cult film will premiere in Leeds on 30 November 2016. It will be directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. 

    The film - originally based on a drama school play - told the story of a championship dancer who defies the rule book. It is credited with inspiring the TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

    Luhrmann premiered the original musical production in Sydney in 2014.

    Quote Message: Strictly Ballroom has been an almost 30-year journey for me. I have often marveled at how this story, born so long ago, has been in my life for so many years and has managed to touch, move, entertain and uplift so many different people from so many different backgrounds.
    Quote Message: I think the simple truth is that, despite all the sequins, outrageous hairdos and classic Hollywood musical plotting, the simple message that ‘there isn’t only one way to cha cha cha'. from Baz Luhrmann
    Baz Luhrmann
  15. Sacha Baron Cohen film clip 'too graphic' for TV

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    Sacha Baron Cohen has a new film out - and apparently it's too graphic to be shown on TV. 

    He went on US show Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote The Brothers Grimsby, which is just known as Grimsby in the UK. 

    In it, Baron Cohen plays football hooligan Nobby who finds out his brother (played by Mark Strong) is a spy.

    Kimmel told the audience that a clip from the film was "unacceptable for broadcast television", as it was "very graphic". 

    So instead, just a few seconds were shown before the camera cut to the studio audience watching the clip, to show their reaction instead. 

    Some had to cover their faces as the action unfolded on the screen, with shocked laughter and screams leaving TV viewers only guessing as to what was actually being shown. 

    The official trailer for the film can be found online, but be warned - this is a Baron Cohen-scripted film, so some people may find it offensive...

  16. Independent owner says "the future is digital"

    Evgeny Lebedev

    Independent owner Evgeny Lebedev said: "The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers. 

    "They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms."

    The Independent and i newspapers

    There will be 25 new digital content roles created, said ESI Media. 

    Its chief executive Steve Auckland said: "Following this decisive move to digital, we will be as focused and uncompromised as any start-up, but with all the authority and trust of an established newsbrand – a truly unique proposition."  

    The i newspaper is being sold to Johnston Press. 

  17. Print edition of The Independent to close

    The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers are to close. The last print editions will come next month - but there will still be an online version.

    An Independent reporter tweeted the news: 

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    There will be "some redundancies among editorial employees", said parent company ESI Media. 

  18. Glenda Jackson to star as King Lear

    The Daily Mail

    Glenda Jackson

    Glenda Jackson is returning to the theatre to play King Lear. 

    Her role in the Shakespearean tragedy is her first stage role in more than 25 years. 

    The former MP says she's excited to be performing in such a challenging play. 

    She starred in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Emile Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart last year, after leaving the world of politics. 

    Asked if Jackson would play Lear as a man or a woman, director Deborah Warner said:  

    Quote Message: I think she’s playing Lear, full stop. He, or she, who takes the words into their mouth of any Shakespearian character, becomes the character. Boom. Done.

    The play will open at the Old Vic in October, with rehearsals starting in late August. 

    Read more.

  19. Greg James in final push for Sport Relief

    Greg James is on the final day of his triathlon challenge, and he has already raised £513,308 for Sport Relief, including "over £100,000 just this morning".

    Greg was left speechless by the news of his total so far, saying: "I really am in shock."

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    The BBC DJ has already completed this morning's swim, but still has a 46-mile bike ride around Norwich and 10-mile run to complete.

    Coldplay and James Corden are among those who have tweeted their support of his "Gregathlon".

    Best of luck, Greg! 

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