Line Of Duty’s long-awaited sixth series finally has a start date, and the countdown is officially on. The BBC have confirmed the hit police drama will return on Sunday 21 March at 9pm on BBC One. Jed Mercurio’s thriller has been eagerly anticipated as it had originally been due to air in 2020, but shooting was halted for six months last March due to the pandemic. Filming eventually resumed in September when the cast and crew formed a bubble on location in Northern Ireland. News of the sixth series’ arrival was confirmed with the release of an exclusive teaser, played out around the Six Nations match on Saturday. It was previously revealed that the new season will also include an additional episode, with seven instalments instead of the usual six. All three lead actors, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar are back as DS Steve Arnott, DI Kate Flemming and Superintendent Ted Hastings.They will be joined by new addition DC Chloe Bishop, played by Shalom Brune-Franklin. The AC-12 team will face their “most enigmatic adversary” yet in the form of Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson – played by Kelly Macdonald – whose suspicious conduct on an unsolved murder case attracts their attention. The fifth series of Line Of Duty concluded in 2019 and revealed legal counsel Gill Biggeloe had been setting up Hastings as organised crime boss “H”.It was later confirmed from a closer examination of DI Matthew Cottan’s dying declaration that “H” was actually a clue, rather than a person, indicating there are four high ranking officers in league with organised crime.So far, Cottan, ACC Derek Hilton, Biggeloe have already been unmasked, with another still at large, which is likely to explored in the sixth series. During filming of the new episodes, Line Of Duty creator and writer Jed Mercurio sparked a theory among fans, after tweeting a series of behind-the-scenes pictures. Some eagle-eyed fans noticed a tiny detail in the snaps that suggests one character has either been demoted, or is heading undercover.Series 1-5 of Line Of Duty are available to watch as a boxset now on BBC iPlayer.READ MORE:Line Of Duty Series 6 Is 'Coming Soon' – Here's Everything We Can Tell YouThe 8 Questions The Line Of Duty Series 5 Finale Left UnansweredThe Line Of Duty Cast Bust Some Moves On TikTok, And It Goes Exactly How You'd Expect
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Sue Perkins has claimed Great British Bake Off contestant Iain Watters “really lost it” during the show’s infamous Bin Gate debacle. In one of the hit baking competition’s most infamous moments ever, Iain dramatically binned his Baked Alaska after it failed to set during the 2014 series. Reflecting on the incident, which made front page news when it aired, former Bake Off host Sue revealed there was also a lot going on behind the scenes that didn’t make it into the show. Appearing on Ed Gamble and James Acaster’s Off Menu podcast, Sue said: “I had to talk to him. Yeah, he was effing and jeffing. There’s a lot of effing and jeffing which was the first time we’ve had that on camera in Bake Off.“Obviously there’s a lot of it going on backstage, mainly because I’m just foul of mouth but normally it’s very mellow, as you know. He really lost it.“And in that moment I was with him, it was life and death, but then slowly this creeping contextualisation of just… I’m with a man in a tent, whose ice cream has melted. This is… Meanwhile in Syria…”  Sue continued: “I had to take him out, and we had to have a little chat, be nice guy, and just say, ‘Come on, let’s bring some perspective to this. Maybe, maybe not, somebody opened the fridge door, it might have affected the temperature.’“But I have to say the aplomb with which he just got the foot on the pedal of the pedal bin. It was like something out of Thelma and Louise, when you see that close up of it going up and down.”The ramifications of #BinGate were huge, mainly for Iain’s fellow contestant, Diana Beard, who found herself on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse, when she was accused of sabotaging Iain’s Baked Alaska.However a statement from the BBC insisted she was not to blame for the ice cream melting. “Diana removing Iain’s ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain’s departure,” the broadcaster said at the time. Sue co-hosted the first seven series of The Great British Bake Off with comedy partner Mel Giedroyc prior to the show’s move from the BBC to Channel 4 in 2017. It is now hosted by Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, while long-serving judge Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith cast an eye over the contestant’s bakes. The latest episode of the Off Menu podcast is available to stream now. READ MORE:Bake Off Unveils Star-Studded Line-Up For New Celebrity SeriesMel Giedroyc Did The Absolutely Unthinkable To Someone's Meal While Working In CateringSue Perkins Rages At 'Utter, Smirking D**k' Matt Hancock Over Squirming GMB Interview
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Only Fools and Horses fans were nearly granted a revival to celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary, one of its stars has revealed.John Challis, who played Boycie in the hit BBC sitcom, said that writer John Sullivan was working on a comeback episode but died before completing the script. The episode would have seen Del Boy celebrate his retirement in the Nag’s Head.Speaking to The Sun, Challis said: “The 30th anniversary was coming up and John was in the process of getting together a Christmas special or something.“It was going to be Del Boy’s 65th birthday, he was going to retire and there was going to be a bit of a get-together in the Nag’s Head. But unfortunately he (John) got ill and didn’t come out of it.”Sullivan died after contracting viral pneumonia in April 2011, five months before the 30th anniversary of Only Fools And Horses’ debut. Recalling his death, Challis said: “It was a complete shock to everybody. We got a phone call from the producers giving us the bad news.”Sullivan wrote all 64 episodes of Only Fools And Horses, which ran between 1981 and 2003. Over 19 million people tuned in to see its final episode on Christmas Day in 2003. Sir David Jason, who played Del Boy in the show, recently admitted he had watched an old episode of Only Fools And Horses during lockdown, and was left in fits of giggles at the iconic moment when his character fell through a wine bar hatch. He told The Mirror: “It gave me great joy. The hatch scene still makes me laugh out loud. Normally I’m very critical of what I do, I don’t enjoy watching very much. But that one just works.”READ MORE:Why Only Fools And Horses Bosses Had To Keep One Of Its Most Iconic Episodes Secret From The BBCSir David Jason Nearly Played A Very Different Character In Only Fools And Horses
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Labour leader Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds during a visit to the Portsmouth Gin Distillery in Southsea, Portsmouth." src="https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/603830763f0000ea03a3f089.jpg?ops=scalefit_630_noupscale" />You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening.It’s February 2021 and Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister, leading the UK’s fight against the Covid pandemic. John McDonnell is chancellor, sitting in his Treasury office and putting the final touches to his spring Budget, aka The People’s Budget.That budget has at its centrepiece the second of the socialist Labour government’s rises in corporation tax, taking it from the 19% inherited from the Tories (the fourth lowest among the world’s richest nations) to 24%. Another hike is planned for next year, part of a policy to raise a huge £23.7bn from companies.Treasury officials, who under Philip Hammond had secretly looked at raising corporation tax as a “low hanging fruit” to get the public finances back in order, are relaxed about McDonnell’s latest move. The chancellor even has on his desk a copy of the Little Red Book he once flung at George Osborne, the man whose deep cuts to the tax had given Labour an easy way to raise cash.Yes, it’s a parallel universe that requires some suspension of disbelief. But many Tory backbenchers can now be forgiven for rubbing their eyes, blinking and seeing the prospect of  Rishi Sunak doing exactly what McDonnell planned. Leaks, so far strangely not denied, suggest Sunak will next week set out a “pathway” towards jacking up corporation tax over the next few years.To make matters even more surreal, if any such increase were included in the coming Budget, it looks like Labour would whip its MPs to vote against it. So we would be likely to see a Tory rebellion against the tax rise, and could see a Labour rebellion in favour of the tax rise. And both sets of rebels would say they were being true to their party’s manifesto promises in 2019. Welcome to pandemic politics.As it happened, Hammond popped up on the BBC to warn Boris Johnson that he must risk popularity and tell some “difficult home truths” about how he would balance the books. The problem with that is the public don’t really seem to be listening. I’m told that Tory party HQ has been taken aback by focus groups that show the voters really don’t care yet about repayment of loans by business let alone the state reducing borrowing.While Hammond jibed that “as a populist government, giving money away is always easier than collecting it in”, it seems the punters really do believe in the Magic Money Tree that Theresa May once used to patronise a nurse in the 2017 election (before losing her majority). Boris Johnson himself often appears to splash the cash, and not a Commons statement goes by without him smiling kindly on pleas from Red Wall Tories for a new school, hospital wing, railway station or bypass in their constituency. But plenty of other Tory MPs certainly are worried about borrowing and debt and think that cutting spending not whacking up taxes is ultimately the only way to do it. As former Treasury aide Sonia Khan predicts on our podcast, it may not be long before there’s a fiscal equivalent of the ERG (the FRG?). And its first cause celebre would be a corporation tax hike. Which brings us back to Labour and Keir Starmer. There is a growing unease among Labour MPs, not all of them Corbyn supporters, at the idea that the party would vote against a rise in taxes it had in its last manifesto. But it’s the Left that is certainly most public, with former chair Ian Lavery telling HuffPost UK today it would be “grotesque” to whip its MPs against the rise.In yet another twist to this story, Starmer’s position is backed up by David Cameron, who told CNN that “piling taxes” onto a fragile economy “wouldn’t make any sense at all”. Indeed this is the orthodoxy among think tanks like the IFS and others. A senior Labour source tells me: “Right now is not the time for tax rises, which would choke off the recovery before it has even started. That is the consensus of all major economists.”That phrase “right now” is of course the crux of the matter. Many in Labour suspect Sunak is merely testing the water with those Budget leaks and don’t expect an actual corporation tax rise before the autumn if at all. The party won’t even say it would agree to tax rises once the economy has recovered from the pandemic, because judging exactly when that point is reached is very difficult indeed.Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds however made clear in a Q&A today that Labour was certainly not ruling out corporation tax hikes in future years. “If we’re talking about a longer term trajectory, let’s have that discussion, let’s make sure that we do have that more effective tax system,” she said. A new poll tonight found that voters in every demographic group support a corporation tax rise. Across all voters, 67% support a rise and 10% oppose it.So why is Starmer so insistent on his ‘no tax rises now’ policy? Well, first he and Dodds have spent months trying to get across this message on council taxes and other hikes. Second, this is all about saying Labour has changed. At his 2019 manifesto launch, Corbyn relished the opprobrium, saying. “I accept the opposition of the billionaires...I accept the hostility of the bad bosses”. In his recent speech, Starmer said business should not be “tolerated or taxed” but should be a partner of government.And unlike the Biden administration, which is in power and can enact a huge spending stimulus matched by corporation tax hikes, Labour strategists think the very fact they are in Opposition restricts their room for maneouvre, especially off the back of that disastrous 2019 election result when few promises are believed any more.Starmer has quietly led a 21st century equivalent of the “prawn cocktail offensive” that Gordon Brown used to get business and the City on board with New Labour in the 1990s. Finance firms and others have been impressed with him, and all the links he built up as shadow Brexit secretary with the CBI, Federation of Small Business and lots of sectoral players have built his reputation. Even this week, shadow City minister Pat McFadden went down very well indeed at the ABI’s annual conference. Ultimately, Starmer’s bet is that the voters will see his party no longer looks trigger-happy about tax rises and would only enact them where absolutely necessary. Similarly, he wants to reassure them that their own taxes will be spent well and not wasted. But above all, he wants to embellish his reputation for credibility and competence.Note too that this talk of partnership with business is not a ruse. It’s a break not just with Corbynism but Milibandism and its pantomime “predators and producers” rhetoric. I’m told that the Labour leader is heavily influenced by the factory his father worked in, which was a small firm at the heart of a community. Its demise is seen as yet another example of governments failing to work with business.Starmer sounds serious about his business partnership. When the UK furlough plan was drafted, one option considered by the Tories was a Germany-style short-working to keep people in post rather than fire them. It foundered because the UK simply lacks the close trade union-state-business relationship found in Germany, where short working kept many in work during the financial crisis. Some Starmer supporters think a Labour government could reshape our economy by being more German (on skills, manufacturing too).One senior party source tells me: “The approach being advocated by Ian Lavery and Richard Burgon is an unintended argument for austerity because it suggests you can fiddle with taxes and spending to pay off debt accumulated in an economic downturn. It’s the mirror of the argument George Osborne made a decade ago.” “Labour must be far more ambitious – we should be the party focused on working with business to grow the economy and tackle the long-term weaknesses of our unequal and insecure economy, which is the way Britain will balance the books,” they add. Ironically this idea of “the proceeds of growth” being the answer to the tax/spend problem is exactly what Cameron and Osborne espoused in Opposition before the financial crash.Back in 2006, the modernising Tories were terrified of being seen as “pro cuts” (hard to believe now, I know). Starmer, who wants to shrug off the image of being “pro taxes”, is opting for his own proceeds of growth policy too. The danger is that just as the Conservatives proved they were “the same old Tories” on austerity, Labour would risk being seen as reverting to type with any major tax hikes at the next election.And that’s the real challenge for Starmer: being consistent. Just as the Tories veered between “Demon Eyes” (too dangerous) and “Bambi” (too soft) attacks on Tony Blair, the party still hasn’t quite found a way to damage Starmer in the eyes of the voters. Johnson again this week tried to paint his opponent as a “vacillator” who changes his mind (having tried and failed to make stick the line he’s a jobbing lawyer who easily changes briefs). If Starmer can persuade the public there’s a right and a wrong time to hike taxes, he could avoid the charge of inconsistency. It won’t be easy, with attacks from left and right. But he clearly thinks it’s a prize worth winning.Related...Ex-Labour Chair Says Starmer's Plan To Oppose Corporation Tax Rise Is ‘Grotesque’Rishi Sunak ‘Risks Sparking ERG-Style Tory Rebellion’ If He Delays Tax HikesOpinion: Starmer Must Dive Headlong Into Britain’s Challenges, Not Simply Dip A Toe
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A Scottish Conservative MP has asked members of a parliamentary committee not to refer to his party as the “Tories” – even though the shorthand is used in one of the party’s official Twitter accounts.At a session of the Scottish affairs committee on Thursday, an exchange over the correct names of political parties took place between chairman Pete Wishart, a Scottish National Party MP, and Andrew Bowie, a Conservative MP who sits on the committee.  Wishart moved to make a correction when another committee member referred inaccurately to the “Scottish Nationalist Party”.Wishart conceded the error was probably “totally inadvertent”, but added: ”I don’t think it helps anybody to misname political parties on this committee, and I’m sure (Iain Stewart, junior minister for Scotland, who was being questioned) would never think about doing this.“I know we’re having to correct the prime minister all the time on this. Parties have particular names.”Scottish Conservative Andrew Bowie asks not to be called a Tory after the SNP complain about being called the ‘Scottish nationalist party’....just another normal day on @CommonsScotAffspic.twitter.com/qKcJBOH8PJ— Dan O'Donoghue (@MrDanDonoghue) February 25, 2021The comment prompted an intervention from Bowie, one of six Scottish Conservatives who serves in Westminster.He said: “Chairman, can I just cut in there. I completely agree we should get the names of political parties absolutely right.“So can we make sure we use the name ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’ for the name of our party as we move forward, and not the ‘Tories’ as is sometimes used in conversation.”To which Wishart replied: “Sometimes you refer to yourself as such, Andrew, though we will try to do our best.”But, as one Twitter user highlighted, the handle @ScotTories is used by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party for its official account.Maybe take it up with HQ? https://t.co/ZHvQ8YOEMQpic.twitter.com/fvs1mYuz0a— Joshua Morrison (@JoshuaM1994) February 25, 2021The Scottish Conservatives' Twitter homepage with the @ScotTories handle." src="https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/6037f93b26000038007f75dd.png?ops=scalefit_630_noupscale" /> A BBC feature in 2015 raised the issue of whether it was appropriate to use the term “Tory” as some feared it was deployed as an insult.Ex-Labour Cabinet minister David Blunkett said he used “Tory” to portray his opponents as “backward-looking, negative and reactionary”.But Conservative MP Peter Bone was relaxed, adding “Tory is quite handy if you’re tweeting”. Related...Rishi Sunak ‘Risks Sparking ERG-Style Tory Rebellion’ If He Delays Tax HikesEx-Labour Chair Says Starmer's Plan To Oppose Corporation Tax Rise Is ‘Grotesque’Why Tory MPs' Plan To End Lockdown By May Won't Work
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Delaying tax rises to the autumn risks giving Tory rebels time to “get some wind behind them” and build an ERG-style low tax movement, a former Treasury special adviser has warned.Sonia Khan told HuffPost UK that Rishi Sunak has a “real challenge” ahead of next week’s Budget amid reports that he may look to hike taxes to fill the huge black hole the coronavirus pandemic has blown in the public finances.Tory MPs are believed to be considering rebelling against plans reportedly under consideration by the chancellor to hike corporation tax from 19% to 24%, with borrowing forecast to hit £394bn in March.But MPs have been warned by Downing Street that they could be sacked from the party if they vote against the Budget, because it would be seen as a confidence issue by the government.Khan said Sunak may choose to delay tax rises to his autumn statement because HM Revenue and Customs would not be able to implement any announced next week in time for the new financial year from April 1 anyway.But this could create problems for Sunak as it would allow low-tax campaigns to “get some wind behind them” and potentially build a backbench faction in the mould of the insurgent hard Brexit ERG (European Research Group), she warned.Khan, who was an adviser to chancellors Philip Hammond and Sajid Javid, told HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast: “One of his big challenges is, I think firstly, you’re not going to get any new taxes between now and April because the turnaround time is just too short and HMRC will never be able to implement them. “So maybe we’re sort of looking at the autumn Budget as the tax Budget.“But that gap means you are leaving space where the people in your party who feel like they are not represented, they are sort of these fiscal conservatives who believe in low tax, free market and whatever else, to sort of galvanise a bit of a campaign and get some wind behind them.” She went on: “You can see the development of another ERG, but an economic research group, (with) partnerships with the think-tanks, making the case for the competitive economy.“So he’s going to have a real challenge when he starts to come to make some of those harder decisions if he does defer them to November, possibly.”  Tory grandees on Thursday clashed over what approach Sunak should take.Lord Hammond urged Boris Johnson to risk unpopularity by telling the public “some difficult home truths” about the damage the coronavirus pandemic has caused to the economy.But former prime minister David Cameron warned that tax rises “wouldn’t make any sense at all” as the nation opens back up from lockdown.Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also said “now is not the time” for tax increases, raising the prospect of low-tax Tories and the opposition joining forces to vote against Wednesday’s Budget.Cameron, who is no longer a Conservative MP, warned against tax rises as he defended his own austerity policies, telling US broadcaster CNN: “Today we do face very different circumstances.“So piling, say, tax increases on top of that before you’ve even opened up the economy wouldn’t make any sense at all.“I think it’s been right for the government here in the UK and governments around the world to recognise this is more like a sort of wartime situation.”Hammond urged the prime minister to level with the public amid rising unemployment and the economy being hit by the biggest annual decline on record.He told the BBC: “My fear is that, as a populist government, giving money away is always easier than collecting it in.”The Conservative life peer, who resigned as chancellor when Johnson became prime minister, urged ministers to focus on growth and to ditch “very extravagant” promises from the manifesto.“Not all of those commitments can now sensibly be delivered on and that’s going to be a big challenge for a government that regards its short-term popularity as very, very important,” he said.But Hammond added he was “not sure” the “top leadership” has the “appetite for being unpopular, in order to do the right thing”.The prime minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton responded: “I don’t recognise the picture the former chancellor makes.”She cited “difficult” policy decisions made by Johnson, including to cut foreign aid, and to order people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.“This is a prime minister who is prepared to take difficult decisions and is weighing up very hard choices at the moment,” Stratton added.She insisted “we are committed to the manifesto” but declined to comment on specifics until the Budget.Related...Ex-Labour Chair Says Starmer's Plan To Oppose Corporation Tax Rise Is ‘Grotesque’Opinion: Labour Voting Against A Tax Rise For Big Business Would Be GrotesqueUK’s Covid Alert Level Should Be Lowered, Say Chief Medical OfficersTory Leavers Call For Key Brexit Deal To Be Scrapped – Despite Voting For It
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Former Labour Party chair Ian Lavery has warned Keir Starmer to ditch “grotesque” plans to vote against corporation tax rises in the Budget.Writing for HuffPost UK, Lavery said that it is “mind blowing” to even think that his party would oppose a hike in taxes on company profits.Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely expected to signal next week moves to increase the tax to help foot the bill of the Covid pandemic.Treasury officials are considering putting up corporation tax from its current 19% rate to as high as 25% over the next few years, generating billions of pounds for the public coffers.But even though a pledge to raise the tax was a centrepiece of Labour’s 2019 manifesto, Starmer has suggested his party would oppose any tax rises “right now” because of the fragility of the economy.One senior Labour backbencher said that if Starmer imposed a three line whip on his MPs “there would be a sizeable rebellion”, and some shadow frontbenchers have expressed deep unease at the idea.Lavery, a key figure under Jeremy Corbyn’s reign, said that party activists were already wondering when its new leadership would throw off its “timidity”.“Many people are already questioning what Labour stands for, the much-trumpeted relaunch has not provided an answer,” he said, a reference to Starmer’s big speech on the economy last week when he called for a new partnership with business.“If the rumours are correct and we end up with the grotesque sight of Labour whipped into voting alongside right wing Tory rebels, to defeat a meagre corporation tax rise that would only affect those who’ve done well out of the pandemic, then I fear for the future.”Lavery added that his own “No Holding Back” group had recently proposed Labour should be going further than a corporation tax rise, and pushing a “Covid profiteering tax” and an “outsourcing tax” to tackle head on those who have exploited the crisis for financial gain.“A Labour Party comfortable in its own skin would have no hesitation in backing the taxation of high level spivvery, to fund a better future. To think we are potentially lining up to vote down an even milder measure is mind blowing.“The country depends on Labour to argue for and point the way to a better future. Quite simply this must be built on a partnership with society, paid for by taxation not a partnership with business, paid for by society.”The backlash against Starmer came as Downing Street warned Conservative MPs they could be stripped of the Tory whip if they vote against the government at next week’s Budget.Asked if the votes will be considered a confidence issue for Tory MPs, the prime minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, said: “Yes.”Several backbenchers have been highly critical of the plan to raise corporation taxes, particularly as former chancellor George Osborne steadily cut the rates and many Brexiteers hope for further cuts to help the UK attract investment.Starmer has tried to pivot from the Corbyn era by opposing tax rises of all kinds, focusing on council taxes and business rates ahead of the local elections but also other levies during the pandemic.Yet while think tanks like the Institute of Fiscal Studies have also said higher taxes would choke off any recovery, several Labour MPs including supporters of Starmer are pointing to the US where the Biden administration is looking at hiking corporation tax to raise cash.Starmer raised the issue in prime minister’s question time this week, stressing: “Now is not the time for tax rises on families and businesses.”Soon afterwards, shadow Treasury minister James Murray told BBC’s Daily Politics that his party would not back any tax rises. “We’re in the middle of an economic crisis, and this is not the time to do it,” he said.Grassroots pro-Corbyn group Momentum pounced on the remarks. “During the pandemic big corporations like Amazon have cashed in while working people struggle to get by. Labour should support both raising corporation tax and a special Covid-19 windfall tax for sectors that have made super profits,” a spokesperson said.A party source appeared to leave open the option for Labour to support corporation tax rises later in the parliament, while stressing that “right now” was the wrong time.They told HuffPost UK: “The Chancellor is flying kites in the media on tax to see how they land, but Labour is clear that right now is not the time to be hitting families and struggling businesses with tax hikes.“We’ll need to see what comes out of the Budget, but we already know the Chancellor is hitting families up and down the country with a triple hammer blow to their pockets of council tax rises, cuts to Universal Credit and pay freezes.“The problem for businesses right now isn’t corporation tax, it’s business rates. That’s why the shadow chancellor is calling for the government to ensure its much-delayed review of business rates leads to wholesale reform so that high street shops compete on a level playing field with their online competitors.“And that we end the gulf between how businesses based in bricks and mortar are taxed compared with those based largely on the internet”.Related...Opinion: Starmer Must Dive Headlong Into Britain’s Challenges, Not Simply Dip A ToeWhy Teachers Won’t Get Fast-Tracked In Boris Johnson’s Covid Vaccine RolloutPublic Don't Want Matt Hancock To Resign, Says Keir Starmer
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s forthcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey is one the whole world is going to be paying attention to.The 90-minute special marks the couple’s first TV appearance since it was confirmed they won’t be returning to their positions as senior royals, and will see Meghan speaking candidly about “marriage, motherhood, and how she handled life under public pressure”.Initially, the interview will serve as a one-on-one between Meghan and Oprah, after which they’ll be joined by Harry, as the pair reflect on their move to the US, as well as discussing their “future hopes and dreams”.For those hoping to watch the interview, here’s how it happens…It’s set to air in America firstOprah With Meghan And Harry will air on Sunday 7 March, with US broadcaster CBS showing the interview.The 90-minute show will air after 60 Minutes, which is usually on at 7pm, meaning the interview will be shown at 8pm in the US (which will be the wee small hours here in the UK).But will the interview then be shown in the UK?It looks that way, yes. Although these reports remain unconfirmed, Variety has claimed there was something of a bidding war between ITV and Sky for broadcasting rights to Oprah With Meghan And Harry.They claimed that the BBC was not involved in this process, with The Mirror pointing out that the corporation is showing a rare broadcast from the Queen on the same night as Meghan’s interview.According to Variety, ITV – who previously aired the 2019 documentary Harry And Meghan: An African Journey, following the couple on a tour of southern Africa – won out in the end.ITV had no comment when contacted by HuffPost UK, so we suppose we’ll just have to watch this space...READ MORE:Harry And Meghan Confirm They Will Not Return As Working Members Of Royal FamilyThree Sweet Details You Missed From Harry And Meghan's Baby NewsHarry and Meghan Announce Goal To 'Build A Better World'
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Drag queens from across the world are set to come together for a brand new global spin-off of RuPaul’s Drag Race.Production company World of Wonder has announced a Eurovision-style competition, which will see performers from around the world competing against one another on the main stage. Entitled Queen Of The Universe, bosses said it promises to be a “high heels, high octaves,” and “high competition” that “will blow your wig off”, according to Entertainment Weekly.Queen Of The Universe will air in the US on streaming service Paramount+, and while a UK broadcaster is yet to be confirmed, all regular series of the original Drag Race air on Netflix, with the latest All Stars editions also streaming on the platform too. Along with the announcement of Queen of the Universe, the makers of RuPaul’s Drag Race confirmed that a sixth All Stars series is also coming later this year. RuPaul’s Drag Race is currently airing its 13th season alongside the second run of the UK series, which streams on BBC Three.A third season of the UK version is set to begin filming in the coming weeks. Drag Race also has international editions in Canada, Chile, Thailand and Holland, while there are upcoming versions set for Australia and New Zealand and Spain. READ MORE:Drag Race's Tina Burner Reveals Judgement She Faced During Graham Norton RomanceThe Definitive Ranking Of Drag Race's 20 Most Memorable Snatch Game Performances EverBimini Bon Boulash's Katie Price Impression Was So Good Even Bafta Has Endorsed It
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State-owned SAIC Motor sold almost twice as many of its budget EVs in China in January than Tesla did of its Model 3, the BBC reported.
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Poet Paul Muldoon has revealed how Sir Paul McCartney managed to fool him with a prank phone call impersonating then-US president Donald Trump.The Irish writer has collaborated with the Beatles star on his forthcoming book The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present, interviewing the music legend multiple times over the past few years.During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Muldoon recalled: “Shortly after I met [Paul McCartney], I had a phone call from – of all people – Donald Trump, asking me to come down to Washington to act as his poetry zsar for the next four years.“This would have been in 2016. And, of course, I was rather taken aback.”Muldoon continued: “And it turned out, needless to say, that this was Paul McCartney doing an extremely good impression.”He added: “Paul McCartney is a very serious person but he’s very far from being a solemn person. He’s a great believer in fun.“This is absolutely clear from his catalogue, if we may describe it as such. He’s more inclined to see the upside of things and to be joyous, rather than anything else.”During Trump’s four-year presidency, Paul McCartney was among the then-US leader’s many famous critics, most notably because of his attitude towards climate change.He previously told the Evening Standard: “Normally I go along taking notice of politics but not really feeling I have to get involved.“But when Trump said climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, I just thought: ‘Woah, wait a minute. That’s a leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world… That just sounds like a mad man. Just like mad talk.’”Sir Paul’s 2018 album Egypt Station features a song taking aim at Trump, on which he’s heard singing: “Despite repeated warnings of dangers up ahead, the captain won’t be listening to what’s been said.”He also sings: “Those who shout the loudest, may not always be the smartest.”READ MORE:Paul McCartney Reveals The Label He 'Hated' From His Beatles DaysJames Corden Roasts Trump With Musical Coronavirus Parody, Maybe I'm ImmuneDave Grohl Says Taylor Swift Saved Him At Paul McCartney's Party
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Industry’s Premier Virtual Conference Will Be Held April 22; Registration and Call for Speakers Now OpenZenoss Inc., the leader in AI-driven full-stack monitoring, today announced that GalaxZ21 will be held virtually on April 22.The one-day online conference will offer attendees a fully immersive interactive experience with free access to all keynotes, track sessions and networking opportunities.Since 2015, the GalaxZ user conference has hosted a rapidly growing audience of IT Ops, DevOps and site reliability engineering (SRE) professionals from some of the world’s largest enterprises, including Google, AWS, BBC, United Airlines, PepsiCo, Dish Network, Nintendo, NetApp, Guardian Life, Nutanix, Saudi Aramco, Cisco and more.GalaxZ21 will feature industry luminaries, real-world customer case studies, and opportunities to network and connect with peers.“We just completed the most successful year in company history by far,” said Greg Stock, chairman and CEO of Zenoss.“We added many great organizations to our customer list, and we look forward to bringing them together in April and delivering an incredible digital experience with some of the sharpest minds in the world.”Designed for newcomers as well as the most advanced professionals, GalaxZ21 will facilitate attendee collaboration to address the increasing challenges of modern IT environments and showcase customers who have developed elegant solutions that solve complex problems.Here is a preview of what attendees will experience at the virtual GalaxZ21:Expert sessions with cloud and infrastructure leaders, practitioners and industry expertsStrategies for optimizing application health in complex hybrid IT environmentsThe latest how-tos and best practices from Zenoss subject matter expertsOne-on-one meetings with Zenoss technical experts, solution strategists and executivesZ Awards that recognize exceptional innovation, leadership and collaborationNetworking opportunities throughout the event
The revolutionary new automated video creation software “VidBullet” is now LIVE!Get Your Private Beta Access Here: https://bit.ly/3pSfYw6Announcing... VidBullet!VidBullet is making its public debut; it’s the world’s first and fastest COMPLETELY automated video creation software - and it’s now available to you at a special launch price.This means you can create literally hundreds of high quality videos to use in your marketing with ZERO EDITING… automatically publish to YouTube & Vimeo for instant traffic… and even add voiceover with a single click so you never have to appear on camera!This changes everything!And it’s never been done before...VidBullet automatically creates attention-grabbing videos using a proven and powerful new video format for getting high engagement: Video Bulletins (like the ones news sites like CBS and the BBC use!)It takes just 3 minutes – again, with ZERO editing.Get Private Access To VidBullet Here: https://bit.ly/3pSfYw6P.S.-- Your Launch Special invitation expires in a few days, this is the big debut and you have access (I hooked you up!)
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Ellie Goulding is expecting her first child with husband Caspar Jopling. The 34-year-old singer and songwriter revealed the news in an interview and photoshoot with Vogue, revealing she is already 30 weeks along. “You’re the first person I’ve spoken to!” she said during the interview. “I haven’t been photographed!”She was pictured for Vogue sitting glamorously on the side of a bathtub, and on a window ledge, wearing a long cream gown. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine)Goulding says she and her partner found out about the pregnancy during their one-year anniversary.“That was not the plan,” she said. “The thought of getting pregnant didn’t seem like it could be a reality. Becoming pregnant kind of made me feel human. I want a better word than womanly, [but] – I have curves I’ve never had before.”The mum-to-be said she couldn’t believe the news at first and was “in denial” in the early stages of the pregnancy. But as the weeks went by, and her body started changing, it really set in what was happening. Discussing being pregnant in a pandemic, Goulding said it can feel “lonely” – and her solitary journey made her feel “secretive” and “protective” over her baby news.“It wasn’t something I had planned for right now... the sickness and tiredness was nothing I’d ever experienced before,” she added. “I feel like it’s a taboo to talk about pregnancy as being challenging.”Goulding said she wouldn’t be doing a gender reveal, adding that it’s “not a focus” for her. She and her husband found out by default when they had a scan, she said, “but we just wanted a healthy baby – there wasn’t much more to it”. The couple got engaged in 2018 after 18 months together and married in 2019. In July 2020, Goulding, whose previous partners include BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James and Dougie Poytner of McFly, said in an earlier interview that having kids wasn’t the “be all and end all” of life. “I am so happy right now and I want to have kids later, but it’s not encouraged to wait,” she said.During an Instagram Q&A in 2019, when asked if she was thinking of having children soon, she said: “Not particularly. As you can imagine it’s been a non-stop question. I hate being made to feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing on this earth. I guess technically I am.“But I see things differently in today’s world.”Related...Pregnancy Sickness Took Over Our Lives. Here's What Got Us Through3 Sweet Details You Missed From Harry And Meghan's Baby NewsHere's How To Weigh Up Any Major Life Changes Right NowHow To Get A Covid Test If You Don't Have Any Symptoms
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Boris Johnson has said Michael Gove will lead a government review into the possible use of vaccine passports for entry into venues such as pubs and theatres.The prime minister said Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, would ask for the “best scientific, moral, philosophical, ethical viewpoints” before reaching a conclusion.But speaking to broadcasters on Tuesday, the day after unveiling his roadmap for ending England’s lockdown, Johnson said there were “deep and complex” ethical issues involved in introducing domestic vaccine passports.“We’ve never thought in terms of having something that you have to show to go to a pub or a theatre,” he said.“We can’t be discriminatory against people who for whatever reason can’t have the vaccine, there might be medical reasons why people can’t have a vaccine.”He said when it came to foreign travel there was “no question” a lot of countries would demand proof people had received a Covid vaccine before being allowed entry.“It’s going to come on the international stage whatever,” he said.In December, Gove ruled out the introduction of vaccine passports. “I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports, and I don’t know anyone else in government who is,” he told Sky News.Asked if there was a possibility they could be introduced, he added: “No.”Johnson also said on Tuesday he was “very optimistic” that he will be able to ease all the restrictions by the June 21 target date.But he said “nothing can be guaranteed” and warned the date could slip if people were not “prudent and continue to follow the guidance in each stage”.“Some people will say that we’re going to be going too fast, some people will say we’re going too slow,” he added.“I think the balance is right, I think it is a cautious but irreversible approach, which is exactly what people want to see.”The relaxing of rules is heavily dependent on the progress of the vaccination programme. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme the government is working “incredibly hard” to ensure as many people as possible receive a jab.“We want to see that vaccine uptake go as high as possible. But it’s absolutely on all of us to come forward and get the vaccine. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.Related...How Boris Johnson Will Lift The Coronavirus LockdownBoris Johnson Is Finally Being Cautious, But Has He Really Changed?Relaxing Lockdown As Planned Could Trigger Worst Hospital Peak Yet, Sage Warns
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Caroline Quentin has called out the “humiliation” that she says some celebs on Strictly Come Dancing are subjected to by their professional dance partners.The Men Behaving Badly star, who competed on last year’s series of the BBC dance show, said some of the pros “don’t care what they put their guests through”.Speaking on the My Time Capsule podcast with Michael Fenton Stevens, Caroline noted: “Some of those people are so ambitious to do well that they don’t care what they put their guest through. They really don’t. There’s all manner of humiliations that go on.”Caroline added that she and her professional dancer partner Johannes Radebe would likely be “friends forever” and that she “values him so hugely”.Because of the pandemic, the actor also discussed how being isolated from the other celebs on last year’s show had affected her.“We built a different kind of community,” she said.“But I do think the isolation was one of the harder things about it, actually. Because you never had that opportunity to meet up and go for a pint...”She continued: “I’m an outdoor person and I struggled very much with living in a bedsit. And I lived on my own, I found that difficult, I know Bill [Bailey] did as well, not being in touch with nature was hard for that period of time.”Caroline also hinted that the show may have been affected by Covid-19 more than was let on.“We only had one dancer go down with it,” she said. “I think there were probably other things going on, not that I know this, but I imagine there were other things with the wider crew and stuff.“I’m sure people were not well and things but that was kept very much in its own bubble and dealt with and we were all sent back with a different pair of shoes on the next day and learnt another dance.”While she was still on Strictly, Caroline revealed that her and Johannes had once come to blows during training.During an appearance on This Morning, Johannes was full of praise for his celebrity partner, telling hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she was “a fantastic student” who takes directions so well”. Laughing, Caroline appeared surprised, saying: “It’s very nice of [him] to say that when we had our first barney yesterday.“We’re both still slightly ‘ouchie’ from it, because I got a bit – OK, it’s quite hard sometimes to be told all the time by someone that is always genuinely right, it’s quite frustrating.“I offered an opinion about a dance step, and I was entirely wrong but rather than back down gracefully, I just banged on about it.“He just got really annoyed with me [laughs]. I was like, ‘Well I know I’m right about this’. And then about 10 minutes later I suddenly realised I was entirely wrong.”READ MORE:Alan Carr Lays Out What It Will Take To Get Him To Finally Sign Up For Strictly Come DancingJonathan Van-Tam’s Self-Deprecating Answer About Doing Strictly Is Classic JVTStrictly's Gorka Marquez And Gemma Atkinson Had An Extra Special Reason To Celebrate This Valentine's
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Sir David Attenborough is to warn world leaders that this year’s climate change talks are the last chance to prevent “runaway” global warming.In a video address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the veteran broadcaster and naturalist will declare that the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November marks a key moment to avoid damage to the planet becoming “unstoppable”.Attenborough has been invited to speak by Boris Johnson, who will chair the virtual meeting and will call on fellow leaders to tackle climate change to help avoid countries sliding into conflict over increasingly scarce natural resources.The 94-year-old BBC broadcaster will tell the UN meeting: “If we bring emissions down with sufficient vigour we may yet avoid the tipping points that will make runaway climate change unstoppable.“In November this year, at COP26 in Glasgow, we may have our last opportunity to make the necessary step-change.“If we objectively view climate change and the loss of nature as world-wide security threats – as indeed, they are – then we may yet act proportionately and in time.”The security council is currently made up of the UK, US, Russia, France and China, as well as India and Mexico.Its latest session will be the first leader-level discussion it has held on climate, and is the first time it has been chaired by a British prime minister in nearly 30 years.It comes as countries increasingly face the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather, which is forcing populations to move and creating competition over increasingly scarce resources.Of the 20 countries ranked most vulnerable to rising global temperatures, 12 are already in conflict, officials said.Ahead of the meeting, Johnson said: “From the communities uprooted by extreme weather and hunger, to warlords capitalising on the scramble for resources – a warming planet is driving insecurity.“Unlike many issues the security council deals with, this is one we know exactly how to address. By helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change and cutting global emissions to net zero, we will protect not only the bountiful biodiversity of our planet, but its prosperity and security.”Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, Dr Kat Kramer, added: “Millions of the world’s poorest people are already living with the impacts of climate change, which is forcing displacement, devastating livelihoods and putting pressure on communities who are competing over resources such as land and water.“In some countries these impacts become the drivers of local conflicts which can be instrumentalised by leaders and escalate into violence and war.”Related...Try David Attenborough's 10-Minute Rule To Connect With NatureSir David Attenborough Has One Simple Request For Any Fans Who Want To Get In Touch With HimMichael Palin Shares One Of David Attenborough's Most Hilarious Blunders
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Keir Starmer has said the public do not want Matt Hancock to resign after the health secretary’s department was found to have acted unlawfully.Speaking to LBC on Monday morning, the Labour leader said while Hancock should “apologise”, he should remain in post.“At the moment in the middle of the vaccine, my strong feeling is that the vast majority of the public would say, for heaven’s sake what you should be doing here is making sure he’s working really hard to get that vaccine rolled out properly, rather than calling for him to resign,” Starmer saiid.“He should apologise and come and explain to the House, of course he should.”Starmer also rejected the suggestion from a member of the public on the call-in show that he was “tap dancing for the Tories”.“I get attacked for supporting the government, I get attacked for attacking the government,” he said.“Which makes me think, it’s a difficult judgment, probably we are getting it about right.”Last week the High Court ruled the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds’ worth of coronavirus-related contracts in time. The government is required by law to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000.Hancock has refused to apologise and suggested ensuring the transparency returns were published in the required timeframe would have cost lives.“People can make up their own view about whether I should have told my team to stop buying PPE and spend the time bringing forward those transparency returns by just over a fortnight,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.“Or whether I was right to buy the PPE and get it to the front line. You tell me that that is wrong. You can’t. And the reason you can’t is because it was the right thing to do.“Legal cases about timings of transparency returns are completely second order compared to saving lives.”Some Labour MPs have said the health secretary should be removed from post.Richard Burgon, who served as Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow justice secretary, said: “Matt Hancock broke the law over PPE contracts He needs to resign. If he won’t, he should be sacked.”Nadia Whittome, the MP for Nottingham East, said: “The government awarded public contracts to Tory friends and donors. Matt Hancock acted unlawfully keeping it secret. He should resign.”Rachel Reeves, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, has written to Hancock asking him to commit to “publishing all outstanding contracts, winding down emergency procurement powers and reintroducing tendering”.Related...Pfizer And Oxford Vaccines 'Reduce Hospital Admission By Up To 85% And 94%'Outdoor Socialising ‘Pretty Safe’, Official Scientific Adviser SaysI’m Young And Disabled. Getting A Vaccine Shouldn’t Have Been This Hard
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RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Tina Burner has opened up about her previous relationship with Graham Norton, revealing she was accused of being with him for his money. The drag star, whose real name is Kristian Seeber, dated the chat show host on and off in the 2000s. During the latest episode of Drag Race, Tina was quizzed on her romance with Graham as the queens discussed trolling and social media.After Rosé alerted the queens to Tina’s “fling” with Graham, she responded: “I love how you say fling. I was in a relationship.”She continued: “Graham is so famous, he’s at that level where your life is just like put on a platform. He’s such a great guy and it never ever got to him. It was the most amazing thing.”In a confessional VT, Tina then said: “I remember people passing judgement on me right away when they don’t even know me: ‘Are you after his money? Are you this? Are you that?’ I mean people want to draw their own opinions.”Tina joked that there were some “horrible pictures of me with flat-ironed hair” taken during her time with Graham. Graham described the relationship as a “whirlwind romance” in his 2014 memoir, The Life And Loves Of A He Devil.However, his friends weren’t quite as enamoured, and he admitted that if Kristian “were to be judged solely on his behaviour, then I concede he was not great boyfriend material”.Graham added: “What they couldn’t see was the special spark that fires within him: when he decides to shine his light on you, it makes you feel as special as he is.”The romance lasted several months before the couple split, only for them to get back together again when Kristian moved into Graham’s London home, which the chat show host said ended up being a “disaster”.Eventually Kristian broke off the relationship, with Graham admitting he was left “heartbroken” by the split.READ MORE:Graham Norton Says He Was Left ‘Heartbroken’ When Romance With Drag Race Star Tina Burner EndedGraham Norton Gets Stitched Up By Big Red Chair Guest As She Recalls Mortifying Story About HimGraham Norton Had A Body Part Removed Unnecessarily After A Childhood Lie Went Too Far
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Alan Carr has claimed he’s “lucky to be alive” after accidentally finding himself swimming with sharks while on holiday in Hawaii.The RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge has revealed the incident took place a few years ago after having a drink or two during his trip away.While interviewing singer Rufus Wainwright on his new podcast Life’s A Beach, Alan recalled: “This was back when I was drinking a lot. I went to Maui and I ended up skinny-dipping.“Of course, I tell the waitress over breakfast, ‘Guess what I did last night? I skinny-dipped!’” He continued: “Her face went white. She went, ‘What? In that bay? There are so many tiger sharks down there’.” “I’m so lucky to be alive,” Alan added.Last week, it was revealed that Alan was working on a new sitcom based on his childhood, which was previously detailed in his early-stand up shows and his autobiography, Look Who It Is.We’re delighted to announce that we are developing a BRAND NEW sitcom with #AlanCarr! We’re looking to cast a young Alan, watch the video for more details and if you think you know the perfect candidate, please visit: https://t.co/VLgYP5sx9bpic.twitter.com/dUFn2RyOXT— babycow productions (@babycowLtd) February 15, 2021“I’ve been developing a sitcom based on my life, with Baby Cow, about me growing up in the 80s in Northampton,” he told his Twitter followers. “And, guess what? We need to cast a young Alan.“Now listen, put away your fake comedy teeth and glasses away, we don’t want a caricature. This is about a young boy on the cusp of puberty, starting his journey in this very masculine world of lower league football.”As well as Drag Race UK, Alan can currently be seen as the new host of Interior Design Masters on BBC Two.Listen to Alan’s travel podcast Life’s A Beach here.READ MORE:Alan Carr Is Developing His Own Autobiographical Sitcom And It Already Sounds IconicPriyanka Chopra Mistakes Alan Carr For An Interior Designer In Hilarious One Show ClipAlan Carr Lays Out What It Will Take To Get Him To Finally Sign Up For Strictly Come Dancing
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