Some wide range of celebrities involved in the event including Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, Christine Bleakley, Fiona Phillips, Richard Wallace, Aled Jones, and Eamonn Holmes.The first award event was held at the Dorchester Hotel in May 1999 in London.The Pride of Britain was organized with Good Morning Britain, Lidl, Daily Mirror, ITV, and The Prince’s Trust.Kate’s floral frock is Stine Goya’s collection of Niki Daffodil worth £330, but the design is available on By Rotation for a rent price of £8 per day.You can buy some fantastic collections of Stine Goya at discounted rates on the official page of The Outnet.The presenter who rented the outfit to Kate from the fashion platform By Rotation appeared during a special meeting of pre-recording with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.The presenter of Good Morning Britain paired the dress up with nude heels and gorgeously blew dried her blonde hair, and she indeed carried her protective face mask.Recently, Kate shared her gratitude through a post about her meeting with the royal couple, Kate Middleton and Prince William, in a social media post.She captioned the picture, “it was an incredible honor to meet with @kensingtonroyal as they contribute to the extraordinary frontline heroes @nhsscotland and @nhsengland who have risked their lives against the global pandemic #covid_19.”Kate also thanked the Daily Mirror and Pride of Britain.She encouraged people to join the campaign to tribute Britain’s heroes and tagged IT in the post.The publication also shared conversations between Kate and Cambridges; Prince William told her that she is doing great, and if it were not the time of social distancing, they both would hug her.Stine Goya is a Danish fashion designer.After her name, she founded her brand, whose signature style is colorful sculptural clothing with distinctive eye-catching patterns.
Kate Garraway has shared the poignant reason that gardening has become a comfort to her while her husband remains in hospital.The Good Morning Britain star’s husband, Derek Draper, was taken to intensive care in March after contracting Covid-19, where he was placed in an induced coma.Derek has been in hospital since then, and Kate has regularly updated viewers about his condition while appearing on GMB.During a new interview on Gardeners’ World, set to air on Friday night, Kate speaks about how gardening has given both herself and her two children Darcey and Billy, a sense of hope throughout their ordeal. “It was rather sad because the radishes came, they’re one of Derek’s favourite vegetables, and we ate them and he still wasn’t better,” Kate explained.“So I then thought, we’ve got to go more long-term, planting things that were going to take longer to bear fruit.“And I’d say, ‘Dad will be better [by the time they grow]’... And of course now that it’s been so long, we’ve got a huge basket of bulbs, so that when dad comes home, the place will be full of colour.”She continues: “When you’re living day-to-day on a knife edge, doing something that gives you a future just helps with a sense of progress, where there is actually none from the direct situation.”“You don’t plant something unless you believe it’s going to come up, so by planting something and believing Derek will see it when it comes up, that gives us a sense of future,” Kate adds.Back in August, Kate fought back tears as she revealed to GMB viewers that her co-presenter Charlotte Hawkins had recently gifted her with a rose bush, which came to flower on Derek’s 53rd birthday.In the last week, Kate has repeatedly criticised Donald Trump amid his comments about coronavirus, following his own Covid-19 diagnosis.On Thursday, Kate admitted she was stunned by the US president’s suggestion that him having contracted coronavirus was a “blessing”, stating: “You can’t say something’s a blessing when more than 200,000 people in your own country and more than a million worldwide have died from it.“It’s not the way we hope our elected representatives feel. You’d hope they can sense the horror before they actually go through it.”Gardeners’ World airs on Friday nights at 9pm on BBC Two.READ MORE: 'It's Heartbreaking': Kate Garraway Blasts Donald Trump Over His Latest Coronavirus Advice Dominic West Apologised To Kate Garraway After Comments About Trump's Coronavirus Diagnosis 'You Don't Want This In Your Life': Kate Garraway Makes Impassioned Plea To Follow Coronavirus Guidelines
Piers Morgan has blasted US president Donald Trump for temporarily leaving hospital during treatment for Covid-19 to stage a drive-by. The Good Morning Britain presenter branded Trump’s stunt “utterly ridiculous” and accused him of endangering others after he briefly left the Walter Reed Medical Centre near Washington on Sunday. Trump was captured on video waving from the back seat of a black SUV wearing a mask, as crowds cheered and waved American flags and pro-Trump banners. Two Secret Service agents could be seen in the vehicle’s front seats.Reacting to the development during Monday’s Good Morning Britain, Piers said: “What’s he doing? The whole thing is utterly ridiculous. The penny may have dropped, the severity of coronavirus, considering he’s now got it and has been having some problems with it...“This is from a president who is in charge of a pandemic which has seen more than 200,000 Americans lose their lives.”Referring to an earlier video message Trump had recorded, in which the president said he had “learned a lot about Covid... by really going to school”, Piers continued: “You are the most powerful man in the world, you have access to the most incredible people in the world – medical and scientific – and you’ve only just discovered coronavirus school?“What’s your reaction because you’ve had this masterclass?... Go out with the secret service and put lives at risk, people that risk their lives for you every minute of every day.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2020Piers’ co-host Susanna Reid said: “That’s because it’s all about him.”“He thinks it’s a reality show,” Piers said. “Honestly, the recklessness of this. “What does this tell people? It tells people, if you have got coronavirus in America, get in your car, go for a little joyride. Go and meet people.“It’s utterly ridiculous.”Trump’s actions were also branded “insanity” by a doctor at the facility where he is being treated.Dr James Phillips said the president had put the lives of Secret Service agents at risk, after sitting in the hermetically-sealed vehicle with two agents, all for a piece of “political theatre”.Patients who test positive for Covid-19 are generally required to quarantine for 14 days, the typical incubation period for the coronavirus to avoid infecting others. Dr Phillips tweeted: “That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of Covid-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures.“The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV. READ MORE: Trump's Coronavirus Drive-By Stunt Branded 'Insanity' For Exposing Secret Service Agents Trump Leaves Hospital To Surprise Supporters Outside Walter Reed Piers Morgan Has Some Strong Words For Those 'Spewing Gleeful Joy' At Trump's Covid Diagnosis
Kate Garraway has made an impassioned plea for people to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of her coronavirus, after her husband Derek Draper remains in intensive case six months after contracting Covid-19.During Thursday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Kate spoke about the nation’s attitude towards the ongoing restrictions, saying she has “huge sympathy” for those who feel “fed up”.“I think, if you haven’t been directly touched by it, and you haven’t seen the devastation, but your life has been devastated – your livelihood, your ability to feel a sense of joy – then of course you’re going to get frustrated,” she said.She then added that she wished she could give those who doubt the seriousness of the pandemic a glimpse at her life as things stand.“It does make me tempted to show a picture of Derek in his current state and say, ‘You don’t want this in your life’,” Kate revealed.“You don’t know who it will affect and how, so stick to it.”Kate also admitted she understands the confusion surrounding what is and isn’t allowed under the current restrictions, blaming misinformation for people’s lack of understanding.She explained: “I think there’s huge confusion around it and we’ve been told different messages at different times.“But we kind of know that wearing a mask, not mixing with people, social distancing…we know the basics and we just have to do our best.”Kate’s husband Derek was first admitted to hospital in March, after contracting Covid-19, and was placed in an induced coma.Kate later said that while Derek is now “Covid-free”, he’s still recovering from the serious damage done by the disease, and noted recently that he’s in a “minimally conscious state”.Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV.READ MORE: 'It's A Tough Day': Kate Garraway Discusses Not Being Able To See Husband Derek On Wedding Anniversary Kate Garraway Discusses 'Difficulties' Of Returning To Work While Her Husband Remains In Hospital Kate Garraway Fights Back Tears As She Discusses Challenges Of Marking Husband's Birthday
We don’t know about you, but when it comes to eyes and people talking about things getting stuck in them, it sets our teeth on edge. Which is why Friday’s Good Morning Britain proved to be an uncomfortable watch, as Kate Garraway discussed an injury she recently suffered at the hands of a rogue contact lens. The presenter said she was left “embarrassed” after a doctor removed a six-day-old lens from her eye that had become stuck.Kate explained that it happened after she’d forgotten to take them out one night, which to be fair, most of us who wear them have done at one point or another. Speaking about her trip to the doctors on GMB, Kate said: “A team of eye nurses were baffled, absolutely baffled. Then eventually, after having drops, they found it was actually a contact lens stuck in my eye that’s been in there for about six days.“I felt embarrassed – I thought I had taken it out, but there was a bit still in there – just by root cause untidiness.“Kate’s diagnosis came after she appeared on the ITV breakfast show wearing glasses, admitting she was having trouble reading the morning news, describing it was “a bit of a lottery” as to what she could see. She said: “Let’s have a look at the front pages now, if, that is, I can see them. If you haven’t noticed [the glasses] ... I’ve injured my eye.“I don’t know what I’ve done to it, but I’m going to get it checked out today. But it means it’s all a bit of a lottery at the moment as to whether I can read anything.”During Friday’s show, Kate also revealed it had been a “tough week” for her husband Derek Draper, who has been in hospital since March after contracting coronavirus. While Derek, who is a former lobbyist and political adviser, no longer has Covid-19, he still remains seriously ill in an induced coma.However, he has shown signs of consciousness in recent weeks, even occasionally opening his eyes. Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV. READ MORE: 'It's A Tough Day': Kate Garraway Discusses Not Being Able To See Husband Derek On Wedding Anniversary Kate Garraway Fights Back Tears As She Discusses Challenges Of Marking Husband's Birthday Kate Garraway Discusses 'Difficulties' Of Returning To Work While Her Husband Remains In Hospital
During his time on the panel, Craig Revel Horwood has earned himself a reputation as the most outspoken of the Strictly Come Dancing judges – and this year he’s started voicing his opinions on the celebrities before he’s even seen them dance.Asked for his thoughts on this year’s line-up during a Mecca Bingo Online appearance (via The Sun), Craig took a jab at contestants Nicola Adams and Bill Bailey.Of the Olympic boxer, Craig admitted he feared she would be “punching above her weight, darling” when it came to dance ability, but did say he was excited to see her performing as part of Strictly’s first ever same-sex pairing.“I am looking forward to seeing a same sex couple,” he added. “That’s going to be cool.” Here’s hoping she can prove him wrong when the series finally gets underway later this year.Meanwhile, Craig was similarly cutting when it came to stand-up comedian Bill Bailey, predicting he would be “terrible”, but noting he was “looking forward to the disasters”.All 12 of this year’s Strictly contestants were announced last week, with actor Caroline Quentin, former NFL player Jason Bell and The Wanted singer Max George competing against Nicola and Bill.Also on the show are broadcaster Ranvir Singh, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, Invictus Games player and presenter JJ Chalmers, pop star HRVY and EastEnders star Maisie Smith.Completing the line-up are former home secretary Jacqui Smith and Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, returning to Strictly after an injury cost him his spot on last year’s series.Due to the coronavirus crisis, the forthcoming series will look a little different to usual, running for less time than previous years and without Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel.Although a start date is yet to be confirmed, Strictly is expected to return to our screens in October.MORE STRICTLY: Opinion: Strictly Come Dancing Is Finally Doing Right By Britain's LGBTQ+ Youth JJ Chalmers' Unbelievable Journey From The Royal Marines To The Strictly Dancefloor Diane Abbott Says She Turned Down Strictly Come Dancing
Cast your mind back to the very beginning of lockdown (we know, it feels like a decade ago), and you’ll remember Piers Morgan making headlines on a fairly regular basis for his interviews with various government ministers on Good Morning Britain.This included showdowns with health secretary Matt Hancock and care minister Helen Whately, which even prompted complaints to media regulator Ofcom.Eventually, MPs stopped appearing on the show full stop, with the divisive presenter claiming that the government had banned its ministers from appearing on the ITV daytime show.During an appearance on Wednesday’s edition of This Morning, Piers reflected on some of his more fiery one-on-ones, admitting that while he may have gone “a little too far” with his approach, he doesn’t regret the way he conducted his interviews.When presenter Phillip Schofield pointed out Piers’ reputation for talking over his guests, he responded: “Sometimes I know that I probably went a little too far but I was genuinely angry.“I had work colleagues... Kate Garraway’s husband, in a coma. I had three friends who lost their parents in care homes. I had others who narrowly escaped and nearly died.“I do feel if you were that closely touched by it... It made me so angry, in my view, the way they mishandled it.”He added: “In terms of the government ban on Good Morning Britain, it has now been 134 days, I don’t regret a damn thing I did with those government ministers.“I think they have been a total shambles in this pandemic, I’ve made no secret of it. I think so many more people died who shouldn’t have died, I think what they did with our care homes is a national disgrace, so I make no apology for holding their feet to the fire.” While MPs have declined to appear on Good Morning Britain, Piers has made no qualms in criticising his BBC counterpart Dan Walker, who has been able to land interviews with key government officials.And back in July, the presenter blasted Matt Hancock for appearing on another ITV daytime show, but only once Piers had gone on his annual summer break from GMB.Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV, while This Morning airs at 10am.READ MORE: Piers Morgan And Denise Welch Clash Over Divisive This Morning Interview Piers Morgan And Wife Celia Walden Burgled As They Slept In French Villa Amanda Holden Rinses Piers Morgan As They Meet Up During French Getaways
You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening.Bluff cove?Brexit’s back and in some ways it feels like it never went away. Boris Johnson threatening to walk away, Brussels talking about peace in Northern Ireland, MEPs accusing London of behaving irresponsibly.There’s more than a little Groundhog Day feel to it all. So much so that one Labour source told me: “I woke up sweating this morning with post-traumatic stress syndrome, just because I heard Katya Adler talking on the radio about Brexit negotiations. Here we go again...” Instead of hearing ‘I Got You Babe’ as the alarm clock hit 6am, what they got was ‘I Got EU, Babe’.For those who don’t follow every twist and turn of life at Westminster, the sudden re-emergence of the B-word was sparked by two events: the PM putting out a statement that leaving the EU without a trade deal would be a “good outcome” for the UK; plus the FT leak that legislation this week will radically reverse key elements of the withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland.There are plenty inside and outside the Tory party who think this is all a bluff, yet more brinkmanship to create the impression that the UK is forcing a change in the pace of talks, when in fact it is preparing for both sides to make pragmatic concessions. The PM talks about 36 days left to sort it, but that’s in fact the EU’s own deadline, it appears.The idea that this is all theatrics is backed up by some government sources who claim that Brexit negotiator Sir David Frost recently confided to colleagues: “We need to have a bust-up with the EU, then get a deal”. The fact that the FT’s story was not subject to any fire and brimstone from No.10 also fuelled suspicions that it was planted in some way or other.On the other hand, there’s genuine anger within No.10 at Brussels’ refusal to engage in talks on state aid and other areas. Cabinet minister George Eustice captured that frustration when he said this morning “they are in denial about what it means to be an independent country”. Some close to the PM point out his Greenwich speech way back in February explicitly raised the prospect of the UK “prospering” with an “Australia” deal (ie no deal).Genuine too is Dominic Cummings’ belief that UK freedom on state aid is needed for investment in hi-tech industries and artificial intelligence. Don’t forget that early on in his job, the PM’s chief of staff told bemused spads that the government could be remembered more for “radical science” than for Brexit itself. State aid allows him to align his twin interests.One Brexiteer former cabinet minister told me recently: “Singapore-on-Thames was all [Phillip] Hammond. In reality, we may need more state aid, not less, in some areas.” If the UK got its way it could indeed look like Berlin-on-Thames, given that Germany spends much more of its GDP on state aid than even France (and certainly more than the UK has).Then again, despite Cummings’ lofty ambitions for a new British Apple or Tesla, some in Whitehall believe the real agenda is about paving the way to prop up ailing firms in the Midlands and north. Which brings us to the raw politics and for some in government the extra byproduct of all this Brexit chat: forcing Keir Starmer’s Labour to break its Trappist silence on matters Europe.With even new Lib Dem leader Ed Davey saying the idea of his party campaigning at the next election to take the UK back into the EU is “for the birds”, some senior Tories are determined to hammer Starmer on just what he would do if he was PM right now. In a nutshell, what’s his message to the ex-Labour voters who are now the mortar in the Blue Wall?Conservatives thought it significant that the person who spoke for Labour overnight and through today was not Starmer, not Rachel Reeves (who shadows Michael Gove, himself the Brexit secretary in all but name), but shadow Northern Ireland secretary Louise Haigh.None will say it publicly, but some Tories think that most Brexit voters simply don’t care much about the Irish question, or the peace process, and have no real clue about the “NI protocol”, just as long as the UK got the heck out of the EU.Similarly on ‘no deal’, these Tories think Brexit voters see things very simply: if the EU won’t play ball, then sod ’em. Moreover, the two CCHQ attack lines against Starmer are that he’s both too “lawyerly” (code for lacks passion, is too finickity, is a London liberal) and an entrenched “Remainer” who had the gall to ask them to vote again. Even some on the Left of Labour have suggested Starmer formally “apologise” to Red Wall voters for backing a second referendum so enthusiastically.Labour’s line overnight, that tearing up the Withdrawal Agreement would mean reneging on “the UK’s legal obligations” internationally, is seen by some Tories as further proof of the lawyerly approach. They think the politics on Brexit instead often comes down to not laws but gut dividing lines: ‘whose side are you on, ours or Brussels’?’So, what will Starmer do? And is this the one ‘culture war’ issue on which he can be finally nailed by Johnson? Well, I’m told he intends to stick to what’s defined his leadership so far, combining strategic patience and a focus on the next election with a determination to fight battles on his own terms, not those laid as a trap for him.Earlier this summer, Starmer repeatedly avoided answering whether he would back an extension to Brexit rather than ‘no deal’. His line was that the government has a majority of 80 and the country’s fate is in Johnson’s hands, not his. Expect more of that. Just as he hasn’t come up with an alternative roadmap on coronavirus, he won’t be coming up with his blueprint for UK-EU relations this far out from a general election.But Starmer also knows that some Tory MPs in Red Wall areas fear that no-deal Brexit will hit their constituents hardest. Manufacturing, including carmaking, will be hit hard just when it’s on its back from Covid. Eustice was candid enough to admit today that no-deal would mean huge tariffs on our farming exports.“He does things on his own terms, that’s his style of leadership, and it’ll be the same on this” one key ally says. During the Labour leadership, the trans issue was a case in point, when he had his own line that “trans rights are human rights” rather than endorse a list of others’ demands. A snap YouGov poll tonight suggested that among Tory voters and Leave voters overall, only 50% backed no deal.Add in the inevitable Starmer charge that no-deal will expose Johnson’s untruths about an “oven ready deal” in the last election, and there’s a distinct sang froid among the Labour leader’s team. The focus is on the next election, and on making sure there’s no Groundhog Day of 2019.Quote Of The Day“I will not back down”Boris Johnson, on the prospect of ‘no-deal’ in EU trade talks, in an email to Tory party membersMonday Cheat SheetFor the second day running, the UK saw nearly 3,000 recorded cases of Covid-19.Richer young people are one of the biggest drivers of the recent spike in coronavirus, Matt Hancock said, as he urged people “don’t kill your gran”. But some experts believe stats for young people were massively underestimated earlier in the pandemic.People arriving in England from seven Greek islands will have to quarantine for 14 days, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced. He also suggested he was looking at cutting the two-week quarantine period to around 8 days with new testing regimes.No 10 confirmed the new UK Internal Market Bill will be published on Wednesday but denied it would tear up the Withdrawal Agreement and featured “minor clarifications in extremely specific areas”.As home office minister Kit Malthouse floated tougher laws for Extinction Rebellion protestors who blocked newspaper printing presses, Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael wondered if the doughty fight for free speech would see ministers on “Good Morning Britain anytime soon?”Foreign secretary Dominic Raab summoned the Russian ambassador to register the UK’s “deep concern” over “the poisoning of Alexey Navalny with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group”.What I’m ReadingCan Europe Learn From Japan? - CapXGot A Tip?Send tips, stories, quotes, pics, plugs or gossip to [email protected] Subscribe To Commons PeopleEach week, the HuffPost UK Politics team unpack the biggest stories from Westminster and beyond. Search for Commons People wherever you listen to podcasts and subscribe.Related... Is Boris Johnson Really About To Blow Up The Brexit Negotiations? Brexit With No Trade Deal Will Be A 'Good Outcome', Says Boris Johnson Tony Abbott Appointed UK Trade Envoy
Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities may have been less trusting of Covid-19 health advice due to a lack of inclusive messaging, caused in part by the scarcity of non-white experts at the Downing Street briefings.A recent report by the Wellcome Trust found fewer than half (45%) of BAME people had “complete” or a “great deal of” trust in information from government scientific advisers, compared to 65% of white people.The survey of more than 2,650 people, carried out at the height of the outbreak in the UK, found just 38% of Black respondents said they trusted the government’s scientific advisers, compared with 52% of Asian people.Of the 92 daily Downing Street press conferences that took place between March 16 and June 23, just two BAME scientific advisers or public health officials appeared – England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, and Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s medical director for primary care.On the ministerial front, chancellor Rishi Sunak, home secretary Priti Patel and business secretary Alok Sharma were the only BAME figures to address the public at the coronavirus briefings. Not one Black person was seen behind the Downing Street podiums.This lack of representation could play a part in why people from marginalised groups feel “disconnected” from the government’s coronavirus messaging, says Prof Kamaldeep Bhui, a psychiatry and epidemiology expert at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.“Emotionally, we connect with and are influenced by people who are more like us – not just by ethnicity, but by age and gender. So in this case, people from marginalised groups are asking, are these people like us – and largely they’re not,” he told HuffPost UK. “If minorities are living in positions of precarity, they’re less likely to trust from the start.“This isn’t irrational. This is built on an experience of society where people experience multiple disadvantages and face inequalities and discrimination. They’re going to be less likely to trust the messaging if it’s coming from the authorities.”A crucial problem with the government’s public health messaging was that it failed to take into account the needs and levels of health literacy of various communities.“Different ethnic groups have different perceptions of what illness is, what infection is or what a pandemic is,” said Bhui.“Marginalised groups, which include but are not limited to ethnic minorities, are particularly challenged because they may not have the same beliefs and health model. So the messaging should have been tailored to different literacy groups.”The Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Saves Lives slogan used at the peak of the outbreak also failed to account for all the key and frontline workers who continued going into work while the rest of us could stay in the safety of our homes.Instead, some of the initial messaging actually made things worse. “By pathologising them and suggesting they were drivers of problems, there was increasing levels of discrimination against minorities,” Bhui adds. “We’ve seen this with some Chinese people or some Muslim people in the northern parts of the UK, where they were perceived as not conforming to public health advice.”The problem with the government’s initial one-size-fits-all approach to public health messaging is that it rarely works, says Dan Wellings, of the policy team at the King’s Fund. He says that needs to change.“The results of this study show how important it is for clear and effective messaging to start with those communities,” he said. “In order to gain credibility in those communities, you need to understand from the first instance what’s going to work for them and who they will trust.“A lot of this work needs to be done at local level by people who are connected and familiar with the communities that they serve.”If the government’s coronavirus messaging or its messengers haven’t been inclusive enough, then neither have the reporters on the other side of the podium. Of the more than 550 questions at the Downing Street briefings, only a handful of them came from BAME journalists – among them were HuffPost UK’s deputy political editor, Arj Singh, and news reporter Nadine White.Anne Alexander, senior political producer at Good Morning Britain, was the first ever Black female Lobby journalist in Parliament. Eighteen years on, she remains the only Black female Lobby journalist. And she can count the number of BAME colleagues she’s worked with using just one hand.“We like to think the news is objective and impartial, but in reality news is subjective,” she told HuffPost UK. “How we decide what is important and how it should be reported is coloured by our upbringing and our background. That’s why it’s important to have a mixture of backgrounds.”Although BAME journalists do not always have to ask questions only relating to “BAME issues”, they can often call attention to topics that are neglected or considered of secondary importance to the overwhelmingly white, middle class reporters.When our reporter pressed health secretary Matt Hancock for a response on a study that found BAME people were disproportionately fined under coronavirus rules, Alexander says there was “much celebration” on social media.“If you look at the stories that emerged about the amount of ethnic minorities who were being adversely impacted by the coronavirus, a lot of that came from journalists like Nadine and other who kept on highlighting it. This was an important issue and it was being pushed by Black journalists.”Bhui said the pandemic served as a “wake-up call” for the government to recognise the gross inequalities and social injustice that already existed long before the pandemic.“Covid-19 just made things worse, and it’s minorities who are getting it in the neck. Not only as frontline workers, but as citizens.”Related... Exclusive: BBC Staff Accuse Corporation Of Being 'Institutionally Racist' I’m A Black Police Officer. This Is What I Know About Racism And Inequality 'My Biggest Concern Is A Sudden Outbreak': How Teachers Feel About Schools Reopening
Last year, Strictly Come Dancing broke new ground as two male professionals danced together to Emili Sandé’s Shine. These three minutes of LGBTQ+ representation were immediately countered by 189 official complaints that it was “offensive to show two men dancing together”. Twitter was alight with those who cried sacrilege against the tradition of men and women dancing together. Dancing on Ice stirred similar controversy earlier this year when it was announced that pop star Ian Watkins was to be paired with professional Matt Evers for his stint on the show. Broadcast regulator Ofcom received 16 complaints after their first performance – based, again, on the violation of tradition.It is against this background that today the BBC announced Nicola Adams OBE as the sixth member of their 2020 cast – but most importantly, as the first contestant in the show’s 16-year history to dance with a professional of the same sex.Strictly's cross-generational appeal is why this representation is so important.This is already being labelled as “absurd” with the BBC lambasted for “bias” and “pandering”. A number of comments ask why she can’t “just dance with a man even if she doesn’t fancy him” – seemingly missing the fact that dancing and sexuality are separate (Strictly curse aside, I don’t think it is a pre-requisite for dancers to “fancy” one another).There are also those who declare that this “isn’t news”, missing the point entirely. Of course, we wish it wasn’t news, but – at least for now – it needs to be.Growing up, it was near impossible to normalise how I felt inside. At school it was never mentioned except as an insult in the playground. There was nothing in books, on the radio, or on television that suggested there was any other way of existing than in the straight and narrow.When I hit my teens, I began to see LGBTQ+ storylines on television – but they were unanimously tragic. I’d watch young gay characters become ostracised from society – stereotypes driving home how “other” I was. We still have a long way to go, but the winds have begun to change. LGBTQ+ stories are becoming more visible, expanding to fill the breadth of their experience. The impact of this representation is huge but is also often silent.Competing on The Great British Bake Off, my sexuality was never addressed on the show – but hundreds of people saw themselves in me. I regularly receive private messages from young people who don’t know how to express how they feel and just need to talk to somebody like them. These people, some children, are going through some of the most momentous changes people can experience and often feel so alone. Many feel unable to discuss their feelings with their loved ones, regardless of how accepting they might be.Related... Here Are All The Celebrities Who've Been Rumoured For Strictly Come Dancing 2020 Here's A Rundown Of The Celebrities Confirmed For Strictly Come Dancing 2020 So Far Television is more than a window into living rooms across the country – it is a door that opens minds and conversations. Many are complaining that Strictly is “a family show” and that this move sexualises the competition (the classic “we accept that you exist but don’t rub it in my face” line) – but its cross-generational appeal is why this representation is so important.Families who can sense a young person’s distress may find an opening through the lens of the show to create safe spaces and initiate conversations. At the very least, young people will see people who are like them, and it will provide a light at the end of the tunnel. Far from a box-ticking exercise in diversity, this casting choice will inspire and create genuine change – entertainment doubling as education. Even better, Nicola is a Black bisexual woman representing a community that is all too often fronted by white gay men, with the other letters forgotten. Tackling this lack of diversity is a huge challenge, and this platform offers much-needed visibility.It’s worth noting that Nicola herself was the one to suggest a same-sex partner to producers, who have honoured her request (so not “box-ticking”, then). Nicola will likely be aware of the criticism she will face – and we must be vigilant against insidious homophobia (masked as concern over “traditional values”) and stand tall beside her. With all of that said, recognising the importance and value of Nicola’s place in the competition, let’s not reduce her to her sexuality. Nicola is a brilliant, bold and brave role model to many – retiring from boxing at 36 with an undefeated record and two Olympic gold medals, having swept all competitions open to her. Who knows if she’ll be a good dancer – her TikTok certainly suggests she might be – but we must allow her the chance to prove herself on a level playing field with the other contestants. Nicola says it best: “It’s a big step for the show and nice to see that we are able to move on.” Let’s recognise this historic stride forwards and go with it into a world where representation is so normal that it doesn’t need to be news.Michael Chakraverty is a writer and former Great British Bake Off contestant. Related... Here Are All The Celebrities Who've Been Rumoured For Strictly Come Dancing 2020 Here's A Rundown Of The Celebrities Confirmed For Strictly Come Dancing 2020 So Far Good Morning Britain's Ranvir Singh Confirmed For Strictly Come Dancing Nicola Adams Will Be Strictly’s First Ever Same-Sex Celeb Pairing As Boxer Confirmed For New Series
It’s still not clear exactly what this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing is going to look like, but we now know some of the celebrities who’ll be hitting the dance floor when the show returns to our screens in October.So far, a total of six celebrities have been unveiled, ranging from actors and broadcasters to athletes and musicians.And there are still a lot more to come.Here’s a rundown of all of the stars who’ve been confirmed so far…Nicola AdamsBest known for her efforts in the boxing ring, Nicola Adams is a two-time Olympic gold medallist.She said: “I’m really excited to be joining this year’s incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts.”Excitingly, Nicola will make up one half of Strictly’s much-awaited first ever same-sex pairing, dancing with one of the show’s female professionals when filming gets underway.The Olympian added: “I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”Clara AmfoUndoubtedly one of the most exciting Strictly signings in years, Clara Amfo is known to many for presenting her Radio 1 show from 10am, which is the home of the Live Lounge.She’s also cropped up on TV plenty of times, most notably presenting the Brit Awards nominations show and hosting from Glastonbury.“As we know this year has been a real challenge,” she said. “And escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can’t wait to fully embrace.” Ranvir SinghCurrently a presenter on Good Morning Britain, Ranvir Singh recently joined the Loose Women panel, and is now giving dancing a go on Strictly.“The initial feeling of being confirmed for Strictly is one of complete terror,” she admitted. “[It] feels like embarking on a rollercoaster, where you really want to do it but you are equally scared.“Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!”Max George A former member of The Wanted, Max George is following in the footsteps of his bandmate Jay McGuiness, who won Strictly back in 2015.Although he suggested “there’s no chance” he’ll live up to Jay’s success on the dance floor, Max said he’d give it a go, revealing he was “buzzing” to be part of the line-up.As well as his work in The Wanted, who topped the UK singles chart with tracks like All Time Low and Glad You Came, Max was also briefly a member of the cast of Glee.Jason Bell A former NFL football player, non-sports fans might know Jason Bell as the former partner of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, with whom he has a six-year-old daughter.Jason said: “Strictly is the epitome of British television and this year, more than ever, I’m so proud and humbled to be participating. Strictly was the first show I ever watched when I moved to the UK and I’m a massive fan.”He added: “My six-year-old daughter never got the chance to see me run out on the field at an NFL game but she is very excited about me taking to the dance floor. I hope I can do her proud.” Caroline Quentin With credits like Men Behaving Badly, Life Begins and Jonathan Creek to her name, Caroline Quentin was the first of this year’s Strictly stars to be revealed.Confessing she was “thrilled and terrified in equal measure to be taking part”, Caroline has also already admitted to having trained as a dancer as a young child, but pointed out on The One Show that her “knees are 50 years older” than when she last danced.This list will be updated with more Strictly stars as they are announced.MORE STRICTLY: Just What Is Going On With This Year's Strictly? Here's Everything We Know So Far Strictly Come Dancing Bosses Confirm How Bruno Tonioli Will Be Involved In New Series Live Audiences Are Finally Returning To TV Studios – This Is How It's Working
Boris Johnson and his culture secretary Oliver Dowden have warned the BBC against any moves to drop Rule Britannia from the Last Night of the Proms.The broadcaster is reportedly considering ditching the flag-waving anthem from the end-of-summer classical music concert, amid concerns that the song’s refrain “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves” is racist.But the prime minister’s spokesperson said while scheduling was a matter for the BBC and the Proms organisers, he was clear in his view that “substance” was more important than “symbols” on such issues.And Dowden went even further, revealing he had raised concerns with the BBC and declaring that “confident forward-looking nations don’t erase their history, they add to it”.The PM’s spokesperson pointed to the PM’s previous remarks on the toppling of statues of slave owners and colonialists earlier this summer, when Johnson said it was wrong to “censor our past” and claimed protests had been “hijacked by extremists”.The Sunday Times revealed that the BBC is looking at axeing both Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory from this year’s Proms finale in three weeks’ time.Conductor Dalia Stasevska is said to believe this year’s ceremony without an audience is “the perfect moment to bring change”, while academics, musicians and campaigners have said the “racist propaganda” of both songs should be ended.Dowden tweeted that both songs were “highlights” of the event and he shared the concerns expressed by some about the planned change.Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory are highlights of the Last Night of the Proms Share concerns of many about their potential removal and have raised this with @BBCConfident forward-looking nations don’t erase their history, they add to it— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) August 24, 2020Asked directly about the row, the PM’s spokesperson said: “The specific decision on this case is a matter for the organisers of the Proms and the BBC.“But the PM has set out his views on like issues previously and has been clear while he understands the strong emotion involved in these discussions, we need to tackle the substance of problems, not the symbols.“The PM’s words on like issues previously stand.”Asked whether he was referring to statues, the spokesperson said: “Yes. You have his words on similar issues previously.”Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Kehinde Andrews, a black studies professor at Birmingham City University, said it was time the anthems were ditched.“I don’t think it’s about banning the songs – it’s about saying what songs are appropriate,” he said.″‘Britons never, never, never shall be slaves’ – that’s racist propaganda at a time when Britain was the leading slave trading nation in the world.”Musicians Chi-chi Nwanoku, who founded the first BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) majority orchestra in Europe, and Wasfi Kani, founder of Grange Park Opera in Surrey, have also expressed their opposition to the language in the songs.When No.10 has been pressed previously on whether the PM would apologise for his own controversial comments on ethnic minorities – such as referring to Black Africans as having “watermelon smiles” – his official spokesperson has said such remarks were “addressed during the election campaign”.The BBC said in a statement: “We are still finalising arrangements for the Last Night Of Rhe Proms so that we are able to respond to the latest advice in regards to Covid-19 and deliver the best offering possible for audiences.“We have announced that conductor Dalia Stasevska, soprano Golda Schultz and the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Last Night Of The Proms this year. Full details will be announced nearer the time of the concert (September 12).”Related... 5 Times Boris Johnson Most Definitely Did Believe In Gestures Sculpture Of Black Lives Matter Protester Removed From Edward Colston Plinth Iconic Black Radio Station Choice FM To Get Blue Plaque – After Rebrand 'Erased' Its History
Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.Boris Johnson has made a personal plea to parents to send their children back to school in September.The prime minister said the risk of catching coronavirus in schools is “very small”, and that pupils face greater harm by continuing to stay at home.On Sunday the chief medical officers and deputy chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales issued a joint statement reassuring parents it was safe to send their children back to school.They said “very few, if any” children and teenager would come to long-term harm from catching Covid-19 by attending school.But shadow education secretary Kate Green criticised the government for being “asleep at the wheel” and having failed to provide the necessary details to schools to reopen.“The government has to make the conditions suitable and safe for staff, for students,” Green told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday. “It’s been asleep at the wheel. It’s been not paying the attention that schools need, to the details of how they’re going to re-open.“There hasn’t been information for school leaders, so that they can’t plan what they might have to do if there was a sudden spike in the local infection rate and the guidance that has come out I think has been – it’s been contradictory, it’s been confusing, it came very late, shortly before the summer holidays.“So I think better support for schools would have made the lives of staff much, much easier and of course over the last couple of weeks… we wouldn’t have been in quite the position we’re in if the Government hadn’t had to waste time sorting out its exams fiasco.”Teaching unions have also called for greater clarity on what to do if there is a spike in cases as well as to provide extra funding for school cleaning after it was discovered that heads were struggling to make premises Covid-secure.In a statement released on Sunday evening, Johnson said: “I have previously spoken about the moral duty to reopen schools to all pupils safely, and I would like to thank the school staff who have spent the summer months making classrooms Covid-secure in preparation for a full return in September.“We have always been guided by our scientific and medical experts, and we now know far more about coronavirus than we did earlier this year.“As the chief medical officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.“This is why it’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.”Johnson said earlier this month that getting all children back to school full-time in England in September is the “right thing for everybody”, insisting they are “safe” and “Covid secure”.However, teachers, scientists, opposition politicians and the children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield have previously called for improvements to testing before pupils return.Labour leader Keir Starmer said government incompetence and the “week of chaos” over exam results was putting the plans to get all children back to school at “serious risk”.Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “Government advice needs to cover the possible self-isolation of bubbles and, in extremis, moving to rotas or to more limited opening.“It needs to cover advice to heads about the protections needed for staff in high-risk categories if infection rates rise.”Schools in Northern Ireland opened on Monday, while those in Scotland reopened earlier this month. English and Welsh schools are due to reopen their doors in September.Analysis published on Sunday by Public Health England (PHE) showed there were 67 single confirmed cases, four “co-primary cases” (two or more linked cases diagnosed at the same time) and 30 coronavirus outbreaks in schools during June. It said the majority of cases were among staff and added further school closures may be necessary but should “be considered only in extremis”.Related... The Reopening Debate: Is It Safe To Send Kids Back To School? How To Talk To Your Kids About The Return to School Schools Reopening Could Increase Covid Cases But 'Missing Lessons Worse For Children'
Things might be a bit awkward the next time Piers Morgan and Carol McGiffin bump into one another in the corridors of ITV, after he blocked his fellow daytime star on Twitter.The pair clashed on the social media site on Friday night in a row about coronavirus, prompting Piers to hit the block button on the Loose Women panellist. The Good Morning Britain presenter riled Carol after he tweeted: “To everyone on here deluding themselves that Covid is ‘over’, take a look at Spain’s case & death rate in the past week. Then wake the fu*k up. This pandemic has barely started.”She then responded, tweeting: “Piers. The only deluded person around here is you. No one’s buying your hysterical bullshit anymore. You did a brilliant job of scaring the nation into paralysis but it’s over now.”To everyone on here deluding themselves that Covid is ‘over’, take a look at Spain’s case & death rate in the past week. Then wake the f*ck up. This pandemic has barely started.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 21, 2020Piers. The only deluded person around here is you. No one’s buying your hysterical bullshit anymore. You did a brilliant job of scaring the nation into paralysis but it’s over now.— Carol McGiffin (@McGiff) August 21, 2020While Piers did not reply, shortly afterwards, Carol discovered he had blocked her. Tweeting a screengrab showing that she was no longer able to view Piers’ tweets, she wrote: “Touched a nerve???”Touched a nerve???— Carol McGiffin (@McGiff) August 21, 2020On Saturday morning, Piers then tweeted: “Having to block a few T-list (and falling...) ‘celebs’ who’ve been driven bonkers by the pandemic & spew utter nonsense about the virus. They can now howl into the wind, and I will be spared their ignorant, deluded & foul-mouthed blatherings.“It’s a win-win for all of us.”Having to block a few T-list (and falling...) ‘celebs’ who’ve been driven bonkers by the pandemic & spew utter nonsense about the virus. They can now howl into the wind, and I will be spared their ignorant, deluded & foul-mouthed blatherings. It’s a win-win for all of us.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 22, 2020Piers has just returned home after cutting short his holiday when France was put on the UK’s quarantine list for travellers. He is set to return to Good Morning Britain alongside co-presenter Susanna Reid on 1 September. READ MORE: Piers Morgan And Wife Celia Walden Burgled As They Slept In French Villa Amanda Holden Rinses Piers Morgan As They Meet Up During French Getaways Piers Morgan Blasts Matt Hancock For 'Sneaking Back Onto ITV' Now He's On Holiday From GMB
Kate Garraway has announced she’s taking a short break from presenting on Good Morning Britain, to focus on looking after her family.Earlier this year, Kate took three months off work after her husband Derek Draper was taken to intensive care, after contracting Covid-19.The daytime presenter returned to GMB in July, and revealed during Friday’s show that she’ll be taking next week off to spend time with her children, William and Darcey.“I’m actually not here next week,” she explained. “I’m taking a bit of time off to help Billy get sorted for secondary school. Darcey as well. And also Derek, look after things on that.”She continued: “I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for absolutely being brilliant since I’ve come back through challenging times.”Earlier this week, Kate revealed that she and her family had an emotional weekend as they marked Derek’s birthday while he remains in intensive care.She told co-host Adil Ray: “[It] was obviously a challenging one under the circumstances.“We managed to FaceTime him and sing happy birthday, and we had a cake, which we had on FaceTime. So we tried to mark the moment.”When Adil questioned whether it had been a difficult day for the couple’s two children, Kate told him: “It’s very challenging, they’re doing brilliantly with it, though.“We managed to do it with Derek’s family as well, we managed to technically hook up and sing happy birthday and just hope that the love seeps through.”Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV.READ MORE: Kate Garraway Discusses 'Difficulties' Of Returning To Work While Her Husband Remains In Hospital Kate Garraway ‘Shaken’ After ‘Utterly Terrifying’ Ordeal That Saw Her Car Tyre Blow Out On Motorway Kate Garraway Shares Hopeful Update On Husband Derek Draper's Recovery From Coronavirus
Linda Lusardi has said she and her husband Sam Kane are still feeling the after-effects of Covid-19, almost five months after first being diagnosed with the illness.The couple were both taken to hospital in the middle of March, after showing symptoms of coronavirus, with Linda remaining under medical care for a little longer than Sam.During that time, he regularly posted updates about her condition, claiming at one point she’d been taken to “death’s door” during her illness.After leaving hospital near the end of March, Linda has now told The Sun that she is still feeling the effects of Covid-19 five months on, which has included “distressing” hair loss on her part.She explained: “Sam’s had heart palpitations quite badly, and he’s under a cardiologist at the moment. They can’t see anything specifically wrong.“I’ve had some hair loss which has been a bit distressing.”The former glamour model and Loose Women panellist added that she’d also struggled to get her energy levels back to how they were before she contracted coronavirus, but noted: “I’m getting there. Every week’s a bit better.”She added: “It’s quite frightening when they’re talking about the long-term effects and how it can damage your kidneys and your liver and so on. But I’m just glad I’m here.”Linda also spoke about the mental and emotional effects of Covid-19, saying: “The mental trauma of it has touched us all even though it was me who was sick. My children had to deal with the fact they might lose both of us and then me, and the mental effect it’s had on us has been very traumatic really.“I think we’re still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a little bit.”Idris Elba, who also contracted coronavirus early on in the pandemic, recently made similar comments about how the illness had affected his mental health.“Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it,” he told Radio Times. “I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown.“So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic.”READ MORE: Alyssa Milano Says She 'Felt Like She Was Dying' During Covid-19 Battle Pink's Husband Recounts Singer And Three-Year-Old Son's 'Intense' Coronavirus Battle Linda Lusardi Breaks Down In Tears As She Discusses Coronavirus Battle On Good Morning Britain
The BBC has rejected complaints made about a same-sex kiss in children’s drama The Next Step.The broadcaster stood by the inclusion of a romantic moment between teenage characters Jude and Cleo in the Canadian series – which airs on CBBC – stating that it is “proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives across our factual and fictional output”. The scene was widely praised online for providing LGBTQ+ representation to a younger audience when it aired last month, but Metro reported the BBC had also received “more than 100” complaints about the kiss. Responding to the complaints, the BBC also pointed out misconceptions that it was the first time a same-sex kiss had aired in one of its children’s series, noting this actually happened in drama Byker Grove in 1994, with many same-sex relationships also featuring in other series. In a statement, the BBC said: “The decision to include this moment, as part of a longer storyline throughout series seven which has been tracking the development of a romantic relationship between two of the characters, Jude and Cleo, was taken very carefully and with much consideration, and came about after CBBC and Boatrocker (the production company who make the show) acknowledged that the series could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBTQ+ young people.“This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be.” It continued: “We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo’s developing relationship and I’m afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age – CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing, and it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.   “At Children’s BBC, we are proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives across our factual and fictional output.“Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O’Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and (contrary to what was reported in the press about The Next Step) the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.”The statement finished: “This moment in The Next Step is merely one story among a myriad of voices and experiences across our output.”The Next Step follows the members of a dance troupe from a dance studio, as they train for and compete in various championships. Beginning in 2013, it is now in its seventh series and the show has spawned a number of international tours featuring the cast. READ MORE: Strictly's Graziano Shuts Down 'Silly' Same-Sex Routine Complaints: 'They Will Change Their Minds' Piers Morgan Admonishes 'Bigoted' DUP MP In Strictly Same-Sex Couples Row
Make the most of your time indoors with a daily dose of celebrity news and guides to the best shows. Sign up to the entertainment newsletter.Kate Garraway has revealed how Jeremy Kyle has stepped in to help as her husband Derek Draper continues to be treated for the effects of Covid-19.The former host of The Jeremy Kyle Show, which was axed last year, gave Kate the use of his driver to take the couple’s children, Billy and Darcey, to their grandparent’s home after she put stringent safety measures in place to keep them all safe.Speaking on Monday’s Good Morning Britain, Kate said: “My children for the first time are staying away from home. They’ve gone to stay with Derek’s mum and dad.“They’ve been shielding since the beginning of March because they both feel vulnerable so this is a very big deal to have the children stay.“One of the things we did was plan over several weeks what to do. They isolated the days before they needed to travel. I washed and packed clothes and sealed them.“They travelled up not with me, because they’ve not even had contact with Derek’s sisters, so I didn’t want to be an extra person coming into their lives.“So thanks to Jeremy Kyle they travelled up because he said my driver has been isolating and keeping the car very clean so I’ll take the children up.”She added: “Very, very kind of him, thank you very much Jeremy.”Derek is still in intensive care following his coronavirus battle and remains stable. On Monday’s Good Morning Britain, Kate revealed he had missed their son’s birthday.“I did go and see him yesterday and it was quite a tough visit,” Kate said.“He’s had a tough couple of weeks and you know it’s the first birthday he has missed. It’s Billy’s birthday today so I think I was extra emotional.“And you think of you know, he was there when (Billy) was born and how Derek would like to be present today.”She added that doctors had assured her Derek’s condition had not worsened.“They said sometimes a day when nothing has gone backwards, and nothing has gone wrong is a positive day.“I am desperate for a step forward and I’m sure he is always too. But it’s always lovely to see him and so it’s wonderful to have the chance to do that.”Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.READ MORE: Kate Garraway ‘Shaken’ After ‘Utterly Terrifying’ Ordeal That Saw Her Car Tyre Blow Out On Motorway Kate Garraway Shares Hopeful Update On Husband Derek Draper's Recovery From Coronavirus Kate Garraway Returns To Present Good Morning Britain After Three-Month Absence
Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.There’s a *lot* riding on vaccines right now.While the fate of the world as we know it rests with scientists battling to find an inoculation that will tackle Covid-19, ministers are relying on the flu jab to save the NHS this winter in the face of a second surge in coronavirus cases. But despite this – and ministers having previously indicated they were keen to make some childhood vaccinations mandatory – the government has been quick to distance itself from talk it could make a coronavirus vaccine compulsory.So why is it so controversial?Which vaccines are we talking about? With the world unlikely to get back to normal until a vaccine is found for Covid-19 – which has killed almost 650,000 people around the world – all eyes are on trials for a jab that could offer immunity to the virus.Last week, findings from the first phase of the Oxford University trial suggested “promising” results, with early indications suggesting the vaccine was “safe, causes few side effects, and induces strong immune responses”. Meanwhile, on Friday the government announced it was expanding England’s flu vaccination programme to another 30m people to help stop the NHS becoming overwhelmed this winter in the face of another wave of coronavirus. Under the new plans, free flu jabs will also be offered to over 50s, people who are shielding because of coronavirus – and their households – and schoolchildren aged 11. That is in addition to the groups who are already eligible for the flu vaccine.  The PM thinks anti-vaxxers are ‘nuts’On Friday, while promoting the new flu vaccination programme Boris Johnson called people who are actively-opposed to vaccinations “nuts”. Speaking to staff at a GP surgery in London, the prime minister said: “There’s all these anti-vaxxers now. They are nuts. They are nuts.” Johnson is not the only one in the cabinet who has shared similar sentiments. In September, health secretary Matt Hancock revealed to HuffPost UK he had received legal advice about how vaccinations for children could be made compulsory. “There is a very strong argument for having compulsory vaccinations for children for when they go to school – because otherwise they are putting other children at risk,” he said.“Actually, I’ve received advice inside government this week on how we might go about it. And I’m looking very seriously at it.”But when health minister Helen Whately was quizzed about potentially making the flu vaccine compulsory for NHS and care staff, it’s fair to say she was rather less forthcoming.“This year, I’m confident that people will realise the importance of getting a flu vaccination, and they’ll realise that this year it really, really is imperative to come forward if you’re eligible and get it, so we expect to see higher take-up rates,” she told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, dodging the question spectacularly. Asked again whether ministers would make it compulsory, Whately said only: “We will look at what we need to do.” Meanwhile, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “In the UK, we do not currently have mandatory vaccination but operate a system of informed consent – it is everyone’s responsibility to seek NHS advice to get the right information to make an informed choice. “Our priority is to ensure any potential new Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and that the balance of benefits outweighs the harm from Covid-19.”Are there are any compulsory vaccines in the UK already? At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of rumours circulated on social media suggesting that a Covid-19 vaccine would be mandatory under the Coronavirus Act. These were untrue. In the UK, vaccines are not currently mandatory under law, with the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 ruling out compulsory medical treatment – including vaccines. Why do people object to mandatory vaccines?Most arguments against mandatory vaccines centre on the individual freedoms and the right to choose.A lot of rhetoric from anti-vaccine campaigners, particularly in the US, uses phrases such as “my body, my choice”, more commonly associated with the abortion rights movement.But Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, points out that by refusing a vaccine, people are taking away choice from others, and the rest of society as a whole.“If anti-vaxxers have their way herd immunity will be breached and those vulnerable people who cannot get vaccinated (but want to) risk catching the germs of those who simply refuse to”, he told HuffPost UK.“That’s a violation of their freedom.“And there’s nothing unique at the idea of governments mandating vaccines, in the same manner that governments already mandate a great many things in our lives in the interest of public safety and security.”Would compulsory vaccination work in the UK? Professor Julian Savulescu, whose title is Uehiro chair in practical ethics at the University of Oxford, has argued that if a coronavirus vaccine is found it must be made compulsory. “Large numbers of people are dying from the virus, but also from the strategy,” he said on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, referring to the UK’s lockdown. “What people don’t realise is that we’re going to have large number of cancer deaths over many years because of delayed treatment. Already the estimates are that 200,000 people will die.“So the cost of going slow are also significant and that has to be balanced in this case.”Should the coronavirus vaccine be compulsory?'If the vaccine is safe, it's like putting on a seatbelt.'Prof @juliansavulescu says that given the 'grave situation' we're in, making the vaccine compulsory in the same way wearing seat belts is mandatory could help protect people— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 21, 2020But Dr Doug Brown, who is the chief executive at the British Society for Immunology, disagrees. He told HuffPost UK that in most of the countries where mandatory vaccination has been introduced, it’s because of high anti-vaccination sentiment. For example, a 2018 Wellcome study revealed that in France – where compulsory vaccinations have been introduced – one-in-three people disagree with the idea that vaccines are safe. That is the highest percentage for any country in the world. In comparison, the survey found that 75% of Brits agree that vaccines are safe, with 9% disagreeing.“What we have seen is that in countries that have introduced mandatory programmes, that’s often off the back of there being quite a high anti-vaccine sentiment in those countries and lots of misinformation floating around,” Brown said. “What we need to be doing in the UK is to be tackling the issues we face, which are not around vaccine confidence, which is very high.” Instead, the UK must launch public health awareness campaigns about the importance of vaccines and how they work, he said. “We must ensure we have very high public awareness of vaccines, vaccine development, the value of vaccines – in particular with the coronavirus vaccine,” Brown said.“We need to take the general public on a journey with us so they can understand and trust that an eventual vaccine is safe and effective.”  Meanwhile, the UK must make sure it has the services on the ground to deliver vaccines. “One of the problems we have had in recent years is in the disinvestment in local vaccine services to make these vaccines accessible and openly available to everybody in the community who should be benefiting,” said Brown.“With those two issues solved, we’re confident that there will be a high enough uptake of flu vaccine and a potential vaccine for coronavirus.” Brown – along with other scientists – are also worried that making vaccines mandatory could increase health inequalities. “If you penalise people who aren’t having the vaccine [...] you’re penalising parts of the population who will really struggle,” he said. It could increase health inequalities if people are barred from other health services, or if children are unable to attend nursery or school without certain jabs.Which countries already have compulsory vaccinations? While there are no mandatory vaccines in the UK, in other countries there are compulsory vaccination programmes. In the US, children must be vaccinated before they can attend school or nursery, with each state deciding which vaccinations are required. There are some exceptions to the rule based on factors such as health issues and religious beliefs. However, New York banned religious exemptions for school vaccines in 2019 after an outbreak of measles. Last year, Italy introduced a new law which allowed parents to be fined up to €500 if they sent their unvaccinated children to school. Among the mandatory vaccinations are jabs for chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, the BBC reported. Children under the age of six can be turned away from school if their parents can’t provide proof they have had their vaccines. In recent years, France has also added extra vaccinations to the list of jabs children must have.  Related... Boris Johnson Says Anti-Vaxxers Are 'Nuts' Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine 'Safe' And Showing 'Promising Results' Matt Hancock Reveals Vaccinations Could Be Made Compulsory
Emily Maitlis has revealed Dominic Cummings sent her a message of solidarity after her Newsnight monologue about his conduct during lockdown sparked controversy. In May, Emily opened the current affairs programme with a speech addressing the backlash the government aide had received after it was revealed he’d taken a 260-mile trip to his parents’ house in Durham during lockdown.In the opener, Emily said that Cummings “broke the rules – the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot”. The BBC later said the episode “did not meet our standards of due impartiality”.Amid the furore – which saw nearly 24,000 people complain to the broadcaster – Emily has now revealed Cummings sent her “a text of support”.Speaking to Tatler magazine, she said: “It was peak surreal getting a message of support from him in the middle of all the crazy stuff.”Emily also said she was overwhelmed by the public support she received amid the controversy. “I think that was the biggest I’ve had – more than Andrew, more than anything. I was overwhelmed by it,” she said.“I wasn’t expecting such a flood of warmth.”The BBC’s decision to publicly reprimand Emily and the show sparked criticism, most notably from Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who said the corporation was “chucking one of its best journalists under the bus for telling the truth”.During her Tatler interview, Emily spoke of her friendship with Piers, praising him for being “incredibly loyal”. “I know if I was in prison, Piers Morgan would come and see me,” she said.“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but he’d be there. And I like the fact that I can have a row with him without it affecting our friendship – I don’t think I’ve ever had dinner with him without it ending in a massive row.“I think that’s a good thing.”The full feature is in the September issue of Tatler available via digital download and newsstands on Thursday 30 July.READ MORE: BBC Received Almost 24,000 Complaints Over Emily Maitlis' Dominic Cummings Speech Naga Munchetty Says News Broadcasters Are 'Not Robots' Who Are There To 'Blankly Read The News' Piers Morgan Blasts 'Utterly Disgraceful' BBC For 'Chucking Emily Maitlis Under The Bus'