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  1. News and updates for 24 February 2016
  2. Jeremy Clarkson apologises to Top Gear producer
  3. Dermot O'Leary tipped for X Factor return
  4. Brit Awards 2016: News and build-up

Live Reporting

By Steven McIntosh and Neil Smith

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye... for now

    Steven McIntosh

    Entertainment Reporter

    Only a few hours to go now until the Brit Awards - you can catch the ceremony live on ITV from 20:00 GMT.

    You can also follow all the goings-on via our dedicated Brits live page, which kicks off at 17:30.

    In the meantime, why not have a look at the full nominees list and decide whether you'd prefer Ariana Grande or Bjork to win international female.

    It's a tough call - but not nearly as hard a decision as the one Little Mix had to make earlier: which bags to take with them to the ceremony?

    View more on instagram

    Here's another picture, of the sweet shop-style Eton Mess that's being served to guests tonight. Kylie Meringue, anyone?

    View more on instagram

    That's all on this live page, but we'll be back shortly with lots more Brits coverage. Bye for now!

  2. Faintings and walk-outs at National Theatre

    Peter Hobday in Cleansed

    Five audience members have fainted and many more have walked out while watching a graphic play about sadism at the National Theatre in London.

    Previews of Sarah Kane's Cleansed at the South Bank venue saw people pass out at scenes of torture, rape and violence.

    Set on a university campus, the play - whose cast includes Peter Hobday, pictured - features a gay couple, a young woman and a dancer being tortured by a doctor on stage.

    The theatre said audiences members had been warned of "graphic scenes of physical and sexual violence" in its promotional material.

    Read more on this story and read a feature about Kane's life and work.  

  3. Cranberries star fined for attacking police officer

    Dolores O'Riordan with solicitor Bill O"Donnell

    Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan has been told to give 6,000 euros (£4,690) to charity for head-butting a police officer after an alleged air rage incident in November 2014.

    At Ennis District Court in County Clare on Wednesday, a judge said it would be unfair to impose a criminal conviction as the Irish singer, pictured above with her solicitor, was diagnosed after the incident as having bipolar disorder.

    Read more on this story.

  4. Craig David's life lessons

    Craig David - whose career has recently had a new lease of life - has been speaking to the BBC's Green Room, a new online portal with content tailored to young women.

    The singer, it seems, had so much wisdom to share that the team there have made him their resident life coach. 

    In the first in a series of videos, Craig reveals what he’s learned about success and failure since the release of his debut album in 2000.

    Video content

    Video caption: Singer Craig David shares his wisdom with The Green Room.
  5. BFI release railway films

    Steam train

    We have some exciting news for you if you like railways and you like films. And even better news if you like railways IN films.

    The British Film Institute - fresh from awarding a Fellowship to Hugh Grant last night - has unveiled a new collection of rare railway films on its BFI Player.

    The films are all newly digitised, feature "a fascinating range of rare and unseen footage" and include recordings of journeys it would now be impossible to make.

    Find out more on the BFI's website.

  6. Eddie Izzard: Two marathons done, 25 to go

    Comedian Eddie Izzard has completed the second marathon in his 27-marathon Sport Relief challenge.

    View more on twitter

    And it appears he's been afflicted with a very particular ailment - localised sunburn.

    View more on twitter

    Keep track of Eddie's progress via the Sport Relief website.

  7. 'Invite more songwriters to Brit Awards'

    BBC Newsbeat

    Ed Drewett

    The man behind some of Little Mix and One Direction's biggest hits has called on the organisers of the Brit Awards to ensure that more songwriters get invited to the event.

    Ed Drewett said he had received "a couple of texts" from fellow nominated songwriters, asking how he got invited when they themselves did not.

    "If the songwriters aren't worthy, then who is?" he told BBC Newsbeat.

    Read more on this story.

  8. 'We wanted to make a Bedouin western'

    A scene from Theeb

    How did a World War One drama about a 12-year-old boy who gets mixed up in an attempt to blow up a railway line become the first film from Jordan to be nominated for the foreign language film Oscar?

    Naji Abu Nowar and Rupert Lloyd, the director and producer of Theeb, have been explaining how they managed it to the BBC's Vincent Dowd.

    Read the feature.

  9. Kesha thanks fans for support in Dr Luke case

    BBC Newsbeat

    Kesha has thanked fans on Instagram for supporting her in her case against Dr Luke.

    The singer has accused the producer - whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald - of sexually and emotionally abusing her.

    The post comes after a judge told the star on Friday she is not allowed to leave her contract with Dr Luke and Sony Music.

    Here's what she posted on Instagram.

    View more on instagram

    She wrote a caption to go with the picture: "I am beyond words in gratitude. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. A million times over and forever thank you. The support I have received has left my face swollen from tears. I love you all so much. ❤️ A statement too large for this format is coming...."

    Read more on this story.

  10. EODM 'overwhelmed' by Brits nomination

    Eagles of Death Metal

    Eagles of Death Metal will be at the Brit Awards later, where the US rock band are up for international group.

    Ahead of the ceremony, the band - whose Paris concert was targeted during last November's terror attacks in the city - have issued this statement:

    Quote Message: It's still overwhelming to think that EODM has been nominated for a BRIT Award. We would like to dedicate this recognition to everyone who has shown us love and support since November, and before then.
    Quote Message: The reception we’ve received since coming back to Europe has truly been humbling and has helped us get back to doing what we do - playing kick-ass, butt-shaking rock'n'roll music. Tonight we're looking forward to celebrating that great music, having fun and hanging with our friends.
  11. Weekend film releases

    Sacha Baron Cohen at Grimsby premiere

    Grimsby arrives in cinemas today, following a world premiere on Monday that saw its star Sacha Baron Cohen walk down the red carpet in London in a dressing gown and underpants.

    Yet the Borat star's comic spy spoof isn't the only new release that will be hoping to attract UK cinemagoers this weekend.

    Take a look at the trailers for some of the others.

    View more on youtube

    Richard Gere plays the title role in The Benefactor, a millionaire philanthropist who becomes addicted to prescription medication after losing two close friends in a car accident.

    Dakota Fanning and Theo James co-star as the young newly-weds who reluctantly become his surrogate family.

    View more on youtube

    Keanu Reeves plays a New York police detective investigating the murder of his partner in Exposed, a thriller that combines an urban cop procedural with a supernatural-themed mystery.

    The director is one Declan Dane - a pseudonymous phantom given the credit after Gee Malik Linton asked his name to be taken off the film.

    View more on youtube

    Natalie Dormer takes a break from Game of Thrones to star in The Forest, a psychological horror in which she plays a twin investigating her sister's mysterious disappearance.

    Her quest takes her to Japan's Aokigahara Forest, a wooded area at the base of Mount Fuji that has a ghoulish reputation.

    View more on youtube

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts are the starry leads of Secret in Their Eyes, a US remake of the Argentine thriller that won the best foreign film Oscar in 2010.

    Relocated Stateside, the film tells of a murder investigation that has a profound impact on the lives of three law enforcement officials. 

    All the above go on release on Friday.

  12. Celine Dion makes Las Vegas return

    Celine Dion with Rene Angelil in 2013

    Celine Dion has performed in Las Vegas for the first time since the death of her husband and manager, Rene Angelil.

    The Canadian singer wiped away tears as she told her audience at Caesars Palace that she had always felt her husband's presence on stage with her and that "nothing will ever change that".

    "Rene was my very best critic," she continued. "He never told me what I wanted to hear; he told me what I needed to hear.

    "Rene is the only man I have known all my life. He always made me feel like we were on our first date."

    Angelil, whom Dion married in 1994, died in Las Vegas last month.

    Watch the full tribute on Dion's official website.

  13. Do the Brits lack diversity?

    Adele at the 2012 Brit Awards

    The Brit Awards take place tonight, with Adele (pictured) nominated in four categories.

    Eyebrows have been raised, though, over the lack of diversity among the British nominees.

    The BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme has been looking into the debate.

    Video content

    Video caption: Are the Brit Awards lacking diversity?
  14. Izzard running second of 27 marathons

    Comedian Eddie Izzard is currently undertaking the second of the 27 marathons he's running for Sport Relief in South Africa.

    Eddie is running a marathon a day over 27 days - one for each year that Nelson Mandela spent in prison.

    He completed his first yesterday and woke up ridiculously early this morning to get started on his second.

    (Very wise, considering it's much cooler earlier in the morning and temperatures soar later in the day.)

    Here he is warming up.

    View more on twitter

    Sport Relief tweeted an update later in the morning, as Izzard reached the halfway point of marathon number two.

    View more on twitter

    He must be nearing the end by now - we'll keep you posted.

  15. Flaming Lips and Plant to headline Wilderness


    The Flaming Lips

    The Flaming Lips and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant will headline this year's Wilderness Festival, it has been announced.

    It's thought The Flaming Lips (led by Wayne Coyne, pictured) may use the slot to play their album The Soft Bulletin in full. That's all well and good, but we hope they include some classics in there as well.

    Crystal Fighters, Lianne La Havas and Goldie will also play at the festival, which takes place at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire in August.

    Read more on this story.

  16. Beavan honoured at Costume Designers awards

    Jenny Beavan

    Jenny Beavan, the British costume designer who was the target of Stephen Fry's much-criticised "bag lady" remark at this month's Bafta film awards, has another honour to add to her collection.

    Beavan, who won an Oscar in 1987 for the costumes she made for A Room with a View, received the award for "excellence in fantasy film" at the 18th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road, boosting her chances of landing another Academy Award later this month.

    Near-namesake Jenny Eagan received the guild's contemporary film prize for Netflix drama Beasts of No Nation, while the "excellence in period film" award went to Paco Delgado for The Danish Girl.

    Actress Cate Blanchett and director Quentin Tarantino were among the non-fashion designers recognised at Tuesday's event, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

    Read more on this story.

  17. Brit Awards: Adele tipped for top prize

    Ant and Ded

    Adele is expected to win the top prize - album of the year - at the Brit Awards later.

    She is also in the running for best British female, with bookmakers predicting she will lift both trophies at the O2. 

    Adele will also perform at the show, as will Rihanna, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Little Mix.

    Ant and Dec are hosting the bash for what they've said will be the last time.

    Read more on this story.

  18. Jeremy Clarkson apology: BBC statement

    Jeremy Clarkson

    The BBC has released a statement following the news that Jeremy Clarkson has apologised to Oisin Tymon, the Top Gear producer he punched in March last year.

    Quote Message: The action involving Mr Tymon and the BBC has been resolved. Oisin is a valued member of the BBC who behaved with huge integrity in dealing with the very difficult circumstances last year - a situation in which, as Tony Hall has stated, he was completely blameless.
    Quote Message: We are pleased that matters have now been resolved. Oisin has made an important contribution to the BBC in his 12 years with us, and we hope to see him continue to realise his potential in his role as a Development Executive. We believe Oisin has a very exciting future at the BBC.

    Oisin Tymon launched his action against Clarkson and the BBC after the presenter gave him a bloody lip.

    Clarkson called Mr Tymon "lazy" and "Irish" and used a four-letter expletive during the widely reported "fracas", which took place at a hotel in North Yorkshire.

    An internal BBC investigation found that Mr Tymon was subject to an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack" that lasted "around 30 seconds".

  19. Statement from Oisin Tymon's lawyer

    Oisin Tymon

    Oisin Tymon's lawyer, Paul Daniels from Slater & Gordon, has released this statement following the conclusion of his legal action against Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC.

    Quote Message: The action involving Mr Tymon has been concluded. Oisin is keen to put the matter behind him now that it has been brought to a close. Oisin greatly appreciates all of the support he has received, including from the BBC. He remains focused on the creative work he loves at the BBC.

    Following the "fracas" in March last year, the BBC dropped Clarkson from Top Gear and did not renew his contract. His co- presenters, James May and Richard Hammond, also left the popular motoring programme. 

    Clarkson, May and Hammond subsequently signed up to launch a rival programme on Amazon's streaming service.

    Chris Evans is currently filming a new series of the BBC's Top Gear show with a new presenting line-up that includes actor Matt LeBlanc.

  20. Jeremy Clarkson apology in full

    Jeremy Clarkson

    Here's the full text of the apology that's just been issued by Jeremy Clarkson.

    Quote Message: I would like to say sorry, once again, to Oisin Tymon for the incident and its regrettable aftermath. I want to reiterate that none of this was in any way his fault. I would also like to make it clear that the abuse he has suffered since the incident is unwarranted and I am sorry too that he has had to go through that.
    Quote Message: I am pleased that this matter is now resolved. Oisin was always a creatively exciting part of Top Gear and I wish him every success with his future projects.

    Oisin Tymon launched a legal action against Clarkson and the BBC after the presenter gave him a bloody lip in a bust-up last March. 

    Clarkson reportedly flew into a rage during a confrontation at a hotel in North Yorkshire, after being told he could not order a sirloin steak after a day of filming.