Friday, Jan 30th

Last update08:40:03 AM GMT


BB wannabes to learn their fate

Nervous wannabes are due to learn if they will be reality stars in Channel 4's last ever Big Brother.

More than 80 hopefuls will attend the launch for the eleventh and final series of the show.

Only then will they learn - at the same time as viewers - who will enter the house.

Those vying to enter the house include Linford Christie's niece, an Iranian dwarf, a female wrestler and a batch of beauty queens.

Host Davina McCall will reveal the final cut and the rest will be sent home.

Bookmaker William Hill is already predicting that betting turnover for the series will top £20 Million for the first time.

The show has made many of its contestants into household names, most notably the late Jade Goody with some - including winners Brian Dowling and Kate Lawler - carving out broadcasting careers.

Creative Director Phil Edgar Jones has already revealed cryptically that past BB stars will be in attendance in some form. "We will see some old friends in the house on launch night," he said last week.

The first Big Brother winner Craig Phillips and his housemate "nasty" Nick Bateman, who was disqualified from the first series for trying to influence votes, have revealed they may take part in the show this year, during an interview with Radio 4's Front Row. McCall will also unveil the last ever Diary Room chair for Big Brother 11 live on air to viewers.

The fairytale and circus-themed house has only nine beds and the contestants who make it through to the final will spend 13 weeks living by the rules of Big Brother, with every movement recorded on camera.

By The Press Association

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Cheryl Cole named Woman Of The Year

Cheryl Cole thanked her dentist after receiving an award for Woman Of The Year.

The X Factor star, 26, scooped the title at the Glamour Women Of The Year awards for the 12 months during which she ditched footballer husband Ashley Cole.

Cheryl, who dazzled in a light pink Julien Macdonald mini-dress, joked: "Four or five years ago I'd never dreamt I'd be here amongst so many glamorous women - one person I definitely have to thank is my dentist so thank you very much."

Earlier, the Girls Aloud star, who attended with her mother, quipped that it had taken all day to get ready.

The One Show host Christine Bleakley, who's been at the centre of a tug-of-war between ITV and the BBC, cemented her on-screen status with the title of Presenter Of The Year. Later, she said of reports that she was jumping ship to ITV: "I'm very happy where I am. There's been a lot of speculation."

Pregnant X Factor judge Dannii Minogue won TV Personality Of The Year, but wasn't able to attend the ceremony at Berkeley Square Gardens in London.

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl star Billie Piper was named UK TV Actress Of The Year while Florence And The Machine took Band Of The Year. Lily Allen bagged Solo Artist Of The Year and Gavin And Stacey star Ruth Jones won Comedy Actress Of The Year.

US Avatar star Zoe Saldana won the Film Actress gong while Aaron Johnson - John Lennon in the film Nowhere Boy - won Man Of The Year. Aaron's pregnant fiancee Sam Taylor-Wood, who directed him in Nowhere Boy, won the Filmmaker award.

Fearne Cotton, who hosts a Radio 1 show, is Radio Personality Of The Year, and Alexandra Burke won Best Newcomer.

By The Press Association

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Hopefuls vie for Big Brother place

Davina McCall will present the final series of Big Brother

Linford Christie's niece, an Iranian dwarf, a female wrestler and a batch of beauty queens are among the hopefuls who are aiming to take part in the final Big Brother, it was announced.

They also include a one-legged author, a couple who starred in a televised naturist wedding and a Beyonce lookalike who checks herself out in the mirror 100 times a day.

This year, unusually, show bosses have announced a list of 79 people who are in the running to enter the house upfront.

The final line-up will be announced on Wednesday during the live launch programme.

Each of the hopefuls will be present as Davina McCall hosts the launch show from Elstree Studios, the location of the 11th and last Big Brother series on Channel 4.

The contestants themselves will only learn whether they have been chosen as housemates on the night.

But along with the usual collection of show-offs, aspiring models and a sock fetishist, the group includes a PhD student, a former member of the Queen's staff, an architect and a choirmaster.

The most high-profile of the batch announced is Christie's niece Rachel, who made headlines in 2009 when she was stripped of her Miss Great Britain title after being involved in a fight in a nightclub.

The numerous beauty queens hoping to enter the house include 23-year-old Emma from Glasgow, an events manager who finished third in the same contest. Another Emma, this time a 22-year-old mother-of-one, from Morganstown, Cardiff, was Miss UK 2005.

The oldest person jockeying for a place is 62-year-old Faith from Wimbledon, who is now retired but worked as a housemaid for the Queen at Windsor. She describes herself as a "naughty Christian".

By The Press Association

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Sandra kisses Scarlett at awards

Sandra: "No matter what you might have seen or heard or read lately, I love what I do"

Sandra Bullock was kissing and telling at the MTV Movie Awards. The actress, wearing a glittery black dress, received a standing ovation as she accepted the MTV Generation Award in her first live TV appearance since she split with cheating husband Jesse James earlier this year.

The 45-year-old used her acceptance speech to clear up tabloid rumours - "number one, I'm not dead" - and kiss fellow Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson.

"No matter what you might have seen or heard or read lately, I love what I do," vowed Sandra, "and I'm not going anywhere."

The Oscar-winner was presented with the show's highest honour by her All About Steve co-star Bradley Cooper, The Proposal co-star Betty White and Scarlett, the wife of her absentee Proposal leading man Ryan Reynolds.

When asked why she was there to help hand over the trophy, Scarlett hinted she wanted to lay one on Sandra, who awkwardly obliged.

"Now that we have done that," said a smiling Sandra, "can we please go back to normal?"

When it came to the main awards at the often-bleeped ceremony at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, The Twilight Saga eclipsed the competition for the second year.

New Moon sucked up trophies for best movie, kiss, female performance for Kristen Stewart and male performance and global superstar for Robert Pattinson. "I guess Twilight is really awesome," said Kristen.

By The Press Association

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"I’m A Londoner" moves to Scoop Theatre Festival!

Palladini Productions brings brand new monologues, brand new characters and a brand new London

So you think you know London - but do you? “I’m A Londoner” explores nine characters and eight fantastic stories of the eclectic and electrifying capital city.

Set in a park in the heart of London, this comedy explores the relationships between ‘Londoners’ and the beautiful vibrancy that’s created from the clashes and capitulations between cultures!

From a soapbox religious fanatic to a libertine fashion socialite, “I’m A Londoner” houses brand new characters and monologues set to send your laughter reverberating around the city! You will recognise but also discover these stories- after all; you are the characters that make up this side-splitting show!

Following the success of its debut shows at Tristan Bates Theatre and Jacksons Lane Theatre, “I’m a Londoner” is now moving to The Scoop Festival on the riverside. With new actors and new monologues, London must be prepared for a brand new, original show.

Directed by Palladini Productions’ creator Saima Duhare and written by Sam Bevitt, Roberto Trippini, Michael Clarkson, and Ben Mcnair, “I’m A Londoner” stars Velile Tshabalala [Dr. Who, My Family], 2005 Tanya Loretta Duff, up and coming actress - (Tanya Harvey in ITV Drama “Law and Order: UK” 2011, “The Bill” as Vanessa Sharples and BBC1 Political Drama “In the Line of Beauty”) and Andrew Ward, BBC Carleton Hobbs actor award finalist, who created and wrote his own character in “I’m A Londoner”.

It also features Avi Nassa, who has acted numerously for the BBC, who also played Salvador Dali in the critically acclaimed “Hello Dali” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Luca Zizzari [The Real Godfather, The Secret Philosophy], an international actor in theatre, TV and film, Amanda Merchant, who recently starred in the West End Hit “The House of Bernada Alba” and Palladini Productions’ “1867”, actress and writer Sanita Simms [dramatised extract for the author John Trevellian’s ‘The  A-Men’], James Rose, a film and theatre actor who starred in “MacBeth” alongside Abi Titmuss and “Your Nation Loves You”, and Mark Heartford, who has appeared at the Tristan’s Bates Theatre playing the lead in Chekhov’s “The Sneeze” as well as Toyer at the Soho Theatre.

Saima is the driving force behind “I’m a Londoner”.  She originally trained as an actress at the London Academy of Performing Arts as well as attending the New York Film Academy before going on to star in two Bollywood films.

She has just completed directing her second show, “1867” which showed at the Brockley Jack Theatre and the Rich Mix Theatre.

Commenting on “I’m A Londoner”, Alex Cameron,  Producer Pinewood Studios said: “[I] found myself laughing throughout, simply from recognizing the familiar stereotypes we all see day to day in the city, including many we just love to hate. There’s something about celebrating our own, often ridiculous, culture that evolves and mutates all around us that we take for granted. A thoroughly enjoyable evening that deserves a bigger stage, longer run and much greater attention.”

16-18th June at 7pm
Scoop Theatre at the More London Festival
The Scoop is situated between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the south bank of the Thames.
For general info visit:
For info on the Story of London Festival visit:

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