Emily Gray

Steps fail to oust Ed Sheeran from number one – but Clean Bandit succeed

Steps fail to oust Ed Sheeran from number one – but Clean Bandit succeed

StepsImage copyright
PA

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Tears on the Dancefloor is Steps’ first album of new material in 15 years

Not since Blur v Oasis has there been a pop battle this epic.

With the release of their new album, reunited pop group Steps valiantly challenged Ed Sheeran’s dominance of the album charts and, at the start of the week, it seemed they would win.

On Monday, Tears On The Dancefloor was 4,000 sales ahead of Ed’s Divide.

But Ed refused to say Sheerio, overtaking his competitors at the last minute and claiming the number one slot for the seventh week in a row.

Divide eventually finished 16,000 units ahead of the Steps album, beating H, Faye, Claire, Lisa and Lee in both the streaming and physical charts.

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Official Charts Company

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Ed Sheeran’s Divide is the biggest-selling album of the year so far

Steps did, however, have the most-downloaded album of the week.

Their comeback follows a bitter break-up in the early 2000s. Before that, the band clocked up three number one albums and 14 top 10 singles, including three chart toppers.

Top five albums (source: Official Charts Company)
Artist Song
1) Ed Sheeran Divide
2) Steps Tears On The Dancefloor
3) Rag ‘N’ Bone Man Human
4) Imelda May Life Love Flesh Blood
5) Kendrick Lamar Damn.

Other new entries in this week’s album chart came from Imelda May (at number five), Texas (six), Maximo Park (11) and Ray Davies (15).

David Bowie also scored two new entries thanks to Record Store Day. Cracked Actor, which features a rare live performance from the 1970s, debuted at 20; while Bowpromo, an early assembly of tracks from the Hunky Dory album, landed at 38.

Top five singles (source: Official Charts Company)
Artist Song
1) Clean Bandit ft Zara Larsson Symphony
2) Ed Sheeran Shape of You
3) Ed Sheeran Galway Girl
4) Harry Styles Sign Of The Times
5) Drake Passionfruit

In the singles chart, Clean Bandit succeeded where Steps failed – ousting Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You from the pole position with their Zara Larsson-featuring dance hit Symphony.

The song enjoyed a slow, six-week journey to the top and becomes the band’s second consecutive number one, after Rockabye, which topped the Christmas countdown last year.

“We are all amazed,” said the band. “After everything that happened with Rockabye, we didn’t think it would be possible to replicate that but now we’re Number 1 again!

“We’ve been in the US the last few weeks touring with Zara Larsson and we got the chance to tell her it was Number 1. She was so excited!”

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Clean Bandit, who were formed at Cambridge University, have notched up three number ones in the last three years

Clean Bandit’s chart success means a British act has had the number one single for each of the last 30 weeks.

It is the first time this millennium that homegrown acts have dominated the top 40 for so long.

Other artists making waves in this week’s singles chart included Canadian star Shawn Mendes, whose new single There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back, climbed 136 places to number seven; and Lady Gaga, who scored her 17th top 20 hit with The Cure, a non-album track she premiered at the Coachella music festival.

Further down the chart, Paramore’s Hard Times debuted at 34, just ahead of Lana Del Rey’s new single Lust For Life at Number 38.

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Stuart Weitzman’s Secret Sale Has the Chicest Comfortable Shoes

Who says comfortable shoes have to be ugly? Certainly not Stuart Weitzman. The beloved brand makes a ton of stylish and trendy shoes that won’t leave your toes aching. The best part: Several of those comfortable styles are currently on sale. Nope, this is not a drill.

VIDEO: Stuart Weitzman #InOurShoes

It’s called the Hush Hush Sale, but the deals are too good for us to keep it a secret. If you move fast, you can take 30 percent off of the coveted shoes. That means you’ll get to grab a couple of pairs for that trip you have coming up. There’s gorgeous flats, adorable kitten heels, and even cool wedges to stuff into your suitcase. Get to it before they are all sold out, and check out our picks below.

These Celebs Are Loving the New Esprit by Opening Ceremony Collab

These celebrities love the second collaboration between Esprit and Opening Ceremony just as much as we do. Sport the collection head to toe, or work a T into your everyday look. Either way you’ll be hitting the branded activewear trend that’s all over.

Shop the Esprit by Opening Ceremony collection at Opening Ceremony. The pieces range from $40 to $225, and we want all of them!

VIDEO: You Can Order These 13 Treats From the ’90s

13 Movies You Definitely Don’t Want to Miss in May

May is just around the corner, and we are well on our way to summer! This month, we get our first taste of this year’s summer blockbusters, a tragic documentary and enough comedies to keep you laughing all month long. There are plenty of options to see with your mom for Mother’s Day, and even a few selects you’ll be able to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. That being said, we have a feeling you’ll be spending quite a bit of time at the theater this month (three words: Shirtless Zac Efron!). Read on for the pics we’re most excited to see.

Watch: The Top 5 Most Expensive Movies

Read on for the pics we’re most excited to see.

Cate Blanchett to star on London stage in All About Eve

Cate Blanchett to star on London stage in All About Eve

Cate BlanchettImage copyright
AFP

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Cate Blanchett will play Broadway star Margo Channing

Cate Blanchett is to return to the London stage in a new adaptation of the classic 1950 film All About Eve.

The Oscar-winning actress will take the role of Broadway star Margo Channing, originally played by Bette Davis.

The production will open in Spring 2018, with further details to be announced.

Ivo van Hove, whose recent plays include Hedda Gabler at the National and Obsession at the Barbican, will direct.

The last time she was on stage in London, Blanchett was hailed as “mesmerising”, “magnificent” and “beyond terrific”.

That was in 2012, in a play called Big And Small (Gross und Klein) produced by the Sydney Theatre Company.

Earlier this year, Blanchett received rave reviews for her Broadway debut in New York in The Present, a reworking of Chekhov’s play Platonov.

The plans for All About Eve were confirmed by Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Stage Productions.


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Mum has hit with Ed Sheeran song parenting parody

Video

A parody of Shape of You, which includes the lyrics “I gag at the smell of poo”, is a Facebook hit.

Mum-of-two Sophie McCartney from Warrington sings a parenting parody based on Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You song.

The song details “the every day struggles of being a mum” and has had 14 million views.

It includes lyrics such as “stop wiping snot on my body” and “my bed sheets smell like poo”.

Caution! The celebs who are wary of Twitter

Caution! The celebs who are wary of Twitter

Emma WatsonImage copyright
PA

Image caption

Watson keeps a safe distance from reaction to social media content

Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson has said she does not read social media comments for the sake of her sanity.

Watson is playing the lead role in The Circle, the film adaptation of Dave Eggers’s novel about an all-seeing tech corporation.

She plays a graduate who joins Hanks’s company and soon finds herself joining an experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy and ethics.

Watson said at the New York premiere: “For my sanity, I cannot, I just cannot even go there (reading comments).”

“I have to create some distance because I’m human. I think there’s this way where technology can dehumanise.”

How to keep your kids safe online

She’s not the only celebrity who has had issues with social media in recent years:

Rylan

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PA

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Rylan’s gameshow – a storm in a teacup?

The former X Factor contestant and current This Morning presenter quit Twitter earlier this week after receiving online abuse over his new gameshow.

Fans of successful ITV show The Chase mistakenly thought their favourite show was being taken off air to be replaced by Rylan’s Babushka.

In fact, The Chase was taking its usual yearly contractual break so the next series could be filmed and Babushka will fill that slot.

On Monday’s This Morning, Rylan, sporting an ‘I love The Chase’ T-shirt, told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: “I am not cancelling The Chase, it has not been axed. Please stop hurling abuse at me, it’s not fair, OK?

“I’m just someone doing my job. Everyone this weekend is in uproar that Rylan has ‘axed The Chase’ to make way for my new show. That’s a lie, The Chase has a break every single year guys, calm down.”

Later that day, he took himself off Twitter as the unwanted comments continued.

“Getting a bit ridiculous now. Just doing my job. Enjoy the show. Coming off here for a while. Babushka stars on Monday 1st.”

Lily James

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James also starred in last year’s BBC adaptation of War and Peace

The Cinderella actress felt the social media heat when she starred in ITV period drama Downton Abbey.

Lily – who played Lady Rose MacClare in the series – admitted that she’d left Twitter after being targeted by trolls who mainly criticised her appearance.

Lily, 25, told the Radio Times: “I was surprised people had an opinion about me, but now I don’t want to engage with that stuff. The internet is not a real person, so why would you want to read it? I did at first, but quickly got over it.”

Her last tweet was in 2015.

Stephen Fry

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PA

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Fry has taken several breaks from Twitter over the years

Stephen has had a volatile on-off relationship with Twitter.

He has quit the social media platform several times, including last year when he left after receiving criticism for joking that costume designer Jenny Beavan looked like a “bag lady” at the Baftas.

Stephen said he had not “slammed the door” on Twitter but said the site had become a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”.

The star left the social media site from February to May 2015 without giving reasons. He also pleaded for fans to stop sending him direct messages saying “it was impossible” for him to look at them if he wanted to have “anything close to a life.”

In 2014, Stephen quit the site saying it was “unsafe” for him to tweet, adding he was filming “in a place whence I’ve been advised it is safest not to tweet”.

And in 2009, he said he was going to leave after another user called his posts “boring”.

Stephen is currently back on Twitter.

Lily Allen

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Reuters

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Allen described herself as a “lightweight” after attending last year’s Notting Hill Carnival

The singer left Twitter in February after receiving abuse relating to her son, who died during childbirth in 2010.

Trolls questioned her version of the event but the star was back on Twitter the following month.

It’s not the first time Lily has left Twitter temporarily.

Last year, she told her followers she would “steer clear of Twitter for a bit” and that she was going “off grid”.

That was following claims she had collapsed at Notting Hill Carnival, which Lily put down to being “just a lightweight, I had two cans of Strongbow on an empty stomach”.

Matt Lucas

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Getty Images

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Lucas has had a lot of support on Twitter as well as haters

Comedian Matt Lucas had a similarly unpleasant experience at the hand of Twitter trolls back in 2012.

His decision came shortly after another Twitter user tweeted an offensive joke about the suicide of Lucas’ ex-husband Kevin McGee, who killed himself in 2009.

He tweeted: “I appreciate all the support on here over the past couple of years but it’s time to shut down my Twitter account. Xx.”

Matt later rejoined but found himself a target again, telling his followers that he had contacted the police because of online homophobic abuse.

Ed Sheeran

Image caption

Ed Sheeran has a huge 18.3m followers on Twitter

Singer Ed Sheeran announced he was “taking a break” from social media in 2015 – not because of trolls but because he was “seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes”.

Writing on his Instagram account, the singer explained he was “taking the opportunity of not having to be anywhere… to travel the world”.

Ed returned to the social media universe exactly a year later, tweeting just an image of a blue square.

Cryptic, man.

Sue Perkins

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PA

Image caption

Perkins is back on Twitter, describing herself as “mutton dressed as mutton”

Former Great British Bake Off star Sue was hounded off Twitter in 2015 after false rumours spread that she was replacing Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear.

“I am off Twitter for a bit. Love and peace,” Sue wrote after being sent death threats.

She told her followers that one troll had said they would “like to see me burn to death” and that her timeline had been “full of blokes wishing me dead”.

Adele

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Reuters

Image caption

Is Adele a liability on Twitter?

Back in 2015 Adele told the BBC she doesn’t have direct access to her official Twitter account.

“I’m not a drinker any more, but when Twitter first came out I was, like, drunk tweeting, and nearly put my foot in it quite a few times,” she explained.

“So my management decided that you have to go through two people and then it has to be signed off by someone, but they’re all my tweets.

“No-one writes my tweets. They just post them for me.”

But on the Brisbane leg of the tour she revealed how she gets around it.

“I was looking on Twitter last night. They don’t know I have a secret account. Well obviously they do now because I said that. By ‘they’ I mean my management.

“I’m not allowed access to my own Twitter because I’m quite mouthy and I say the wrong thing a lot of the time. So they took that privilege away from me.”

JK Rowling

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Reuters

Image caption

Rowling is more than ready to respond to her online critics

The Harry Potter creator has turned the table on the trolls – she’s become famous for her Twitter takedowns.

Following her criticism of Donald Trump last year, one Twitter user said they would now “burn your books and movies, too”.

To which JK responded: “Well, the fumes from the DVDs might be toxic and I’ve still got your money, so by all means borrow my lighter.”

James Blunt

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Getty Images

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Blunt has never been afraid to poke fun at himself

Singer James Blunt is also a fan of the troll put-down.

One of his corkers pointed to the fact that while some may not like his music or appearance, he was sitting pretty on top of a very healthy bank balance.

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Twitter/Blunt

Along with this self-deprecating gem: “Yup, it’s called “Greatest Hit” in response to a tweet which asked: “There’s a “best of” James Blunt? Really?”


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Lord Sugar splits from Apprentice winner

Lord Sugar splits from Apprentice winner

Lord Sugar and Joseph ValenteImage copyright
PA

Image caption

Lord Sugar invested £250,000 in Joseph Valente’s business

Apprentice winner Joseph Valente has split from Lord Sugar two years after winning the show.

Lord Sugar invested £250,000 into Valente’s plumbing business in 2015.

They’ve now announced that Valente will take full control of ImpraGas – but they’re parting on friendly terms.

Lord Sugar said: “I’ll still be on hand to offer any help and advice required. I wish Joseph and ImpraGas all the very best for the future and will follow their progress with much affection.”

Lord Sugar will now divest himself of his interest in the company, with Valente acquiring his shareholding and taking full control of the business.

Image caption

Joseph Valente beat Vana Koutsomitis in the 2015 final of The Apprentice

Valente added: “I am so grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me and I could not have asked for a better partner in the early stages of my business career.

“I owe him a great deal. I am confident that with the winning business model we created together, I can continue to grow the business successfully.”

So how many Apprentice winners does that leave who are still working with Lord Sugar?

Glad you asked, let’s take a look:


Still with Lord Sugar

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L-R: Alana Spencer, Ricky Martin and Leah Tatton

Of the 12 winners of the UK series of The Apprentice, five are still working with Lord Sugar.

They are Tom Pellereau, Ricky Martin, Leah Totton, Mark Wright and Alana Spencer.

Interestingly, all five won the show after a format change which saw Lord Sugar invest £250,000 in a business idea, rather than offering the winner a job in his own company.

After his time on the show, Pelleraeu used the investment to invent and bring to market a curved nail file, which is now stocked by major supermarkets.

Martin runs a science and technology recruitment company while Totton now has two cosmetic clinics offering botox and wrinkle reduction.

Wright is still working with Lord Sugar on his company which uses digital marketing to help small businesses grow.

And Spencer, who won the most recent series, is in the process of launching her own bakery firm.


Parted company

Image copyright
BBC / Getty

Image caption

L-R: Michelle Dewbury, Lee McQueen, Stella English

Seven of the 12 winners have since parted company with Lord Sugar – many on perfectly good terms… others less so.

The very first winner, Tim Campbell, worked for Lord Sugar for a year before leaving (with his boss’s blessing) to set up a male grooming business, and more recently a digital marketing agency.

Michelle Dewberry worked for Lord Sugar for 11 months but left to set up her own company and a media career, appearing regularly on news programmes such as Sky’s weekly discussion show The Pledge.

Simon Ambrose worked for Lord Sugar for three years but left to pursue his own ventures, while Lee McQueen also left after two-and-a-half years to start his own sales recruitment and training agency.

Yasmina Siadatan stayed in her job with Lord Sugar for a year but became pregnant while she was there and didn’t return after maternity leave. She later set up her own restaurant.

Stella English’s departure from her job with Lord Sugar was far less friendly – she unsuccessfully sued him for constructive dismissal.

But she went on to work as a TV presenter and management consultant.

Lord Sugar has previously called on the BBC to commission a new TV series to catch up with former contestants and find out where they are now.

If such a show ever came to fruition, it certainly wouldn’t be short of material.


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Museum of the Year: Tate Modern to race horse museum for £100,000 prize

Museum of the Year: Tate Modern to race horse museum for £100,000 prize

Hepworth Wakefield (top left), Sir John Soane's Museum (centre), National Heritage Centre for Horseracing (top right), Tate Modern (bottom right) and Lapworth Museum of Geology (bottom left)Image copyright
Marc Atkins

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Hepworth Wakefield (top left), Sir John Soane’s Museum (centre), National Heritage Centre for Horse-racing (top right), Tate Modern (bottom right) and Lapworth Museum (bottom left)

Britain’s most popular contemporary art gallery and a new horseracing heritage centre are in the running to be named the UK’s Museum of the Year.

Tate Modern in London and The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket, Suffolk, are both nominated for the £100,000 award.

They are joined in the contest by the Hepworth Wakefield gallery and the Lapworth Museum of Geology, Birmingham.

Sir John Soane’s Museum in London completes the five-strong shortlist.

The Lapworth Museum of Geology

Image copyright
Marc Atkins

This museum, operated by the University of Birmingham, re-opened last June after a £2.7m redevelopment that was designed restore it to its 1920s grandeur and create three new galleries.

It holds 250,000 specimens, ranging from dinosaur skeletons to volcanic rocks.

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art

Image copyright
Marc Atkins

Officially opened by the Queen in November, this complex is home to the National Horseracing Museum, the Fred Packard Museum and Galleries of British Sporting Art, and a yard for the Retraining of Racehorses charity.

It is also home to two of the Queen’s former racehorses and a virtual Clare Balding.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Image copyright
Marc Atkins

Housed in the former home of 19th Century architect Sir John Soane, this gallery and museum has completed a £7m restoration intended to open up “lost” areas and return it to how it looked when he died and left it to the nation in 1837.

That includes creating 33 per cent more space and putting 10 per cent more objects on display.

Tate Modern

Image copyright
Marc Atkins

Seventeen years after it opened on London’s South Bank, Tate Modern had a record 5.8 million visitors in 2016.

That was partly down to the opening of a 10-storey extension, the Switch House, and exhibitions of photographs owned by Sir Elton John and artwork by Georgia O’Keeffe.

Hepworth Wakefield

Image copyright
Marc Atkins

The West Yorkshire gallery celebrated its fifth birthday last year and saw a 21% rise in visitors.

It also launched a major new award for British sculpture and staged exhibitions by Martin Parr, Stanley Spencer and Anthea Hamilton.


The winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year will be announced on 5 July.

Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said: “Each of these museums has had a remarkable year, reaching – in a range of ways – new heights in their efforts to serve and inspire their visitors.

“Whether unveiling new buildings, galleries, displays or public programmes, all the finalists have shown a real commitment to innovation and experimentation, offering fresh perspectives and new ways of seeing and understanding their collections.”

Last year’s prize was won by the Victoria and Albert in London.


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