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The Fake Sheikh and me: Tulisa talks

36 minutes ago

She's lost friends, work, her reputation but last week the case against Tulisa Contostavlos was thrown out. In her first newspaper interview since the Sun on Sunday's sting, the former X Factor judge opens up

It's the end of the day at the end of a week that Tulisa Contostavlos hopes she never has to go through again. She sits down, and exhales like a slow puncture. "I've had to stay silent for a year," she says. "I've had to sit back and look like the bad guy, while my whole life was ripped apart."

In June 2013, Contostavlos was "exposed" by the Sun on Sunday's Mazher Mahmood, aka the Fake Sheikh, in a front-page splash alleging she had fixed a cocaine deal for him. Even by Mahmood's standards, it was an elaborate sting, involving first-class plane tickets between London and Las Vegas, luxury hotel suites, the prospect of a £3.5m »

- Simon Hattenstone

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The Secret History of Our Streets review

1 hour ago

Duke Street in Glagow is Britain's longest but as history repeats, it feels like a roundabout

The second episode in The Secret History of Our Streets (BBC2) took us down Duke Street in Glasgow. It is the longest in Britain, running from the High Street to the very eastern edge of the city. Along its 1.6 miles is strung Glaswegian history, from the stately villas and manses built by the Dennistoun family to attract the professional classes there in the mid-19th century, after a typhus epidemic had ravaged the overcrowded streets, past the tenement blocks that went up during the Victorian boom years to house the shipyard, steelworks and factory labourers who poured into the city, and survived Glasgow Corporation's desire to raze the place to the ground a century later, to the high-rise concrete blocks and housing schemes.

Like the crime, poverty and disease-ridden tenements before them, the Easterhouse »

- Lucy Mangan

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The Great British Bake Off is back, get out your bunting

2 hours ago

Filipa Jodelka: If there is an edge to Bake Off, its buried beneath layers and layers of patriotic puff pastry. So why is it so moreish?

Those of us who like to pretend we are preoccupied with more important things than biscuit-related, floral print TV talent contests probably wont be overly moved by the reappearance this week of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and 12 very, very eager cake enthusiasts. They wont care about the 10 weeks of rising tension channelled into swirly icing and chocolate glazes. Their hearts wont be wrenched asunder by baking tragedy, encapsulated by a lingering shot of some lumpy petits fours and ultimately soothed by plinky lullaby music and incidental twee. They couldnt care less about Mel and/or Sue spitting cake puns through mouthfuls of nicked offcuts. Their minds arent troubled with thoughts of fondant, nor sausage rolls, fruit tarts and sheep among daisies, never mind grand »

- Filipa Jodelka

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The new Andrex advert

2 hours ago

Clean as a butterfly! says one moppet, an image that leaves them open to playground taunts when the schools go back

Considering their long-standing marketing approach has essentially been would you like to see some puppies? it was only a matter of time before Andrex started hanging around primary schools. The bumwipe behemoth with a soft, strong and very, very long association with adorable Labradors chasing unfurling bog roll has transitioned to interrogating schoolkids instead. How clean do you feel after going to the loo? is the question, one that seems both alarmingly personal and borderline inappropriate.

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- Graeme Virtue

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Look away now: Anna Paquin endures bad sex scene with Larry King

15 hours ago

The talkshow hosts obsession with the True Blood stars love life on and off screen makes uncomfortable viewing

Larry King is a little hung up on sex. (Which is not that surprising considering he has been married eight times, twice to the same woman.) Actually, a lot hung up on sex, in a most inappropriate, repressive, cisnormative way. And in a recent interview on his Ora TV programme Larry King Now, the suspendered interviewer sat down with True Blood star Anna Paquin and couldnt seem to stop asking her about every single sexual thought that popped into his fuzzy, balding head.

The interview kicks off with King repeatedly circling back to the number of sex scenes on True Blood, and asking Paquin what its like to shoot them and how she feels about all of them.

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- Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

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Aereo says company is 'figuratively bleeding to death'

15 hours ago

Startup urged federal judge on Thursday to let it operate like a cable system, saying it needed emergency help

Aereo Inc, the video streaming company that suspended service after the Us supreme court found it violated copyrights of television broadcasters, has urged a federal judge to let it operate like a cable system, saying it likely would not otherwise survive.

In a Thursday night filing with the Us district court in Manhattan, the start-up backed by billionaire Barry Diller said it needed emergency help because it could not continue incurring staggering costs without having revenue come in, and required some time to make the necessary technological changes.

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- Reuters in New York

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Downton Abbey fans offered chance to bid for night at Highclere Castle

16 hours ago

Taste of Crawley family life under hammer in auction coinciding with first world war centenary and in aid of armed forces charities

Downton Abbey fans are being offered the opportunity to live like a Crawley for an evening.

A chance for three couples to stay at stay in Highclere Castle, where the ITV period drama is filmed, is to go under the hammer in an online auction by Christie's. The evening in the grand house in Berkshire, includes cocktails and dinner before bedding down in the quarters used in the period drama by Lady Sybil, Lady Cora and Lady Edith. However, the experience comes with a hefty price-tag, with the lot estimated to go for upwards of £10,000.

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- Hannah Ellis-Petersen

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PewDiePie launches official iPhone app for his YouTube fans

16 hours ago

Gaming star hoping to reach more of his 29m subscribers on the go with free app created by Maker Studios

With more than 29m subscribers, PewDiePie is the biggest star on YouTube. Now hes launched his own mobile app to keep fans watching his videos.

The free app was released for iPhone this week by multi-channel network (McN) Maker Studios, the company to which PewDiePie aka 24 year-old Swede Felix Kjellberg is signed.

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- Stuart Dredge

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Shameless creator Paul Abbott starts filming new police drama No Offence

20 hours ago

Joanna Scanlan, Alexandra Roach and Will Mellor are among cast of blackly comic show to be aired on Channel 4

Shameless creator Paul Abbott has announced further details of his new Channel 4 show No Offence.

Like Shameless, it is centred around a group of vividly dysfunctional characters, but this time you might expect them to be rather more disciplined: they're a team of Manchester cops, tackling "drug labs, arsonists, neo-Nazis and notorious murderers", according to Channel 4, who will be screening it in 2015.

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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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The Inbetweeners Q&A  post your questions now!

21 hours ago

What with The Inbetweeners 2 coming out on 6 August, weve rounded up its stars to get knee deep in... your questions. Join them at 2.15pm BST on Tuesday 5 August

10.43am BST

Since it first hit TV screens in 2008, The Inbetweeners has become a beloved British comedy thanks to its quartet of clueless and mostly virginal suburban lads. Their travails were as muscle-spasmingly embarrassing as they were familiar, from driving crap cars and failing to chirpse girls to masturbating in an old peoples home (ok, we never did that last one). Even their influence on our lexicon has been profound, with clunge, briefcase wanker and fwend! all still happily chanted.

Their success cleared the way for a film in 2011, in which their hapless exploits were transplanted intact to the Med and it was a massive success, grossing over £50m worldwide. So here comes a sequel, with the boys heading to Australia for gap year misadventures. »

- Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Sian Cain

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Utopia and The Honourable Woman's reinvention of the flashback

23 hours ago

The flashback device has a troubled history in screen fiction. But both series have shown how it can be used to great effect

The dramatic fashion of the summer seems to be the entire-episode flashback. After the first part of the current series of Utopia (Mondays, Channel 4) took place 35 years before the main action, the whole of last week's fourth part of The Honourable Woman occurred "eight years ago", which is where this week's instalment (Thursdays, BBC2) picked up and spent most of its time.

This is one of the ways in which Hugo Blick's compelling Middle Eastern conspiracy thriller has been influenced by the American series Homeland. The opening season of that show in which Damien Lewis's Sgt Brody returned from years of captivity in Iraq was essentially a flashback waiting to happen, as most of the energy and jeopardy of the story came from what had »

- Mark Lawson

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X Factor gets the Game of Thrones treatment for new promo | Media Monkey

23 hours ago

The X Factor has taken battles of the bands to the next level with its latest promotional video based on HBO and Sky Atlantic series Game of Thrones. The Sun reports that the £1m commercial, the most expensive in the series history, used CGI technology and hundreds of extras to give the ITV talent show a Westeros feel. Judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez Versini (takes longer for Monkey to type following her wedding, but its great for the word count), Mel B and Louis Walsh are seen leading armies into battle in a bid to take the X Factor throne. Rallying her troops, Mel B is heard to roar: Things are about to get loud! Sort of puts you in mind of the battle speech from Henry V, doesnt it?

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- Monkey

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Kids and Guns review a terrifying look at the heart of American culture

31 July 2014 3:05 PM, PDT

Francine Shaw's documentary targets the relationship children and families in the Us have with firearms, highlighting the appalling reality that these lethal weapons are treated like toys

Firearms companies in America are marketing guns real guns at children: pink for girls, blue for boys. Incredible, isn't it, in the 21st century? Gender stereotyping like that is so tired and out of date. Let the kids decide what colour guns they want.

You could say that isn't the main controversy in Kids and Guns (Channel 4), though. Little Kaylin in Kentucky has been given a .22 rifle for her fourth birthday by her dad Jd, who lost his legs and an arm to an Ied while serving in Afghanistan. You might have thought that would put him off weaponry. Not one bit; it made him realise his purpose, what he's supposed to do, and that's to teach his little girl everything he knows about guns and hunting. »

- Sam Wollaston

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The Honourable Woman recap: episode five Two Hearts

31 July 2014 2:00 PM, PDT

Kasim's identity is revealed, deals are made, and exposing positive prejudice puts someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the drama finally finds its pace

"What the fuck's going on here?" Patience, Shlomo. With some deep background now established, the pacing of this series is impeccable, even if naming this episode after a Phil Collins song is a low blow (I know, I know, it's a reference to Nessa's comments to the imam last week). That said, previous episodes could easily have been named after entries in the great man's oeuvre: Another Day in Paradise, Mama, Easy Lover, Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, Against All Odds

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- Gabriel Tate

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Kenny Ireland obituary

31 July 2014 11:07 AM, PDT

Stage and screen actor who brought laughs to the ITV sitcom Benidorm

The actor Kenny Ireland, who has died of cancer aged 68, crowned a long career on stage and screen by playing the outrageous, Speedos-clad Donald Stewart in the popular ITV sitcom Benidorm. He and Janine Duvitski played Donald and Jacqueline, members of the Middlesbrough Swingers Association looking for other sexually adventurous holidaymakers in the Spanish resort. The fictional couple were Derren Litten's first creations when he started writing Benidorm and they appeared in all six series (2007-14).

"Half the things I don't understand," Ireland said of his character's lines to Radio Times last year. "There was one episode where I had to say, '[Jacqueline prefers] the sausage in cider.' I said, 'What's funny about that?' and had to have it explained to me."

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- Anthony Hayward

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Breaking Bad and Arrested Development stars line up for new animation BoJack Horseman - video

31 July 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

See the first trailer for the new Netflix original show BoJack Horseman, which has been exec-produced by and stars Arrested Development's Will Arnett and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul. This dark animated comedy follows the misfortunes of failed 90s sitcom star (and horse) BoJack, who is attempting to stage a comeback. The cast also features Alison Brie (Mad Men/Community), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and Paul F Tompkins (Best Week Ever)

All 12 episodes of BoJack Horseman will premiere on Netflix on 22 August

Aaron Paul and Will Arnett on the set of BoJack Horseman in pictures Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Jon Snow Gaza video backed by Channel 4

31 July 2014 8:36 AM, PDT

Channel 4 reaffirms support for anchors video blog, revealing that it prompted one child to write to UK foreign secretary

Channel 4 has backed Jon Snows unusually direct and emotional online video about the Gaza conflict and revealed that it prompted one child to write to the UK foreign secretary.

In the video, published on YouTube on Saturday and the Channel 4 News website the following day but not broadcast on TV, Snow speaks directly to camera about how what he saw in Gaza was still etched in my mind and appeals directly to viewers to take action to stop the conflict.

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- Jason Deans

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The Honourable Woman's Maggie Gyllenhaal on The Daily Show video

31 July 2014 8:03 AM, PDT

The star of Hugo Blick's eight-part Middle East thriller talks to Daily Show host Jon Stewart about the inspiration for the drama, how it has been received in the UK so far and whether it has 'gone too far to one side or the other' in its treatment of the conflict

The Daily Show is on in the UK at 00.30am, weekdays, Comedy Central Extra Continue reading »

- Guardian TV

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Inside No 9: a gutsy dark comedy of misery and mayhem box set review

31 July 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, makers of The League of Gentlemen, return with a collection of unrelated tales of morality and mortality, and a legion of ghoulish mishaps

There's something about these short, sharp shockers that gets under the skin. The BBC has already repeated A Quiet Night In, the remarkable, almost dialogue-free instalment of the series, which is starting to accrue awards. This DVD release should help spread the word: it's very lendable.

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the show's creators, writers and stars eschew the current TV trend for long, involved story arcs, choosing instead to resurrect the once-popular anthology format. In the 70s and 80s, there were plenty of TV short-story strands, from Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected to Nigel Kneale's Beasts, not to mention Hammer House of Horror. Here, over six episodes, we get unrelated 30-minute tales of morality and mortality, all with different characters, »

- Phelim O'Neill

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What do Peter Pan, Sharknado 2 and James Franco have in common? You love to hate them because you have to | Emma Brockes

31 July 2014 4:15 AM, PDT

Yes, hate-watching can be fun

Between the two poles of entertainment experience mindless fun and serious engagement is a category that used to be thought of as so-bad-its-good. But it now has its own prefix: the hate-watch (or hate-read or, more rarely, the hate-listen although music, at its most abstract, is less vulnerable to mockery and the kind of heated debate that follows a truly stirring contribution to the hate genre).

It is with joy, therefore, that we received news this week of an NBC follow-up to last years hate-watch par excellence the Sound of Music Live in the form of Allison Williams, from the HBO show Girls. Shell be taking the lead in Peter Pan Live, which will air later this year, and god-willing! treat us to more of her singing.

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- Emma Brockes

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