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Bake Off to Inside No 9: what to watch instead of the Euros

A football-free cultural guide to the week ahead, from comedy podcasts to Sean Bean dramasListen, I’m with you. I have no interest in Euro 2020 either. But luckily, over the years I’ve perfected the art of finding other things to do. Here’s a day-by-day alternative viewing guide for the first week of the tournament (after that, you’re on your own). Continue reading...
Tags: Games, Music, Television, Podcasts, Culture, Television & radio, Euro 2020, Sean Bean dramasListen


Eurovision winners Måneskin: ‘Cocaine? Damiano barely drinks beer!’

Already multiplatinum in their native Italy, the swaggering rock quartet now have two singles in the UK chart. They discuss their rise to success – and that drug-taking allegationBefore their momentous Eurovision victory with Zitti e Buoni, placing Italian rock back on the world stage and earning praise from Simon Le Bon and Miley Cyrus; before a baseless accusation of snorting cocaine almost veered into a full-blown diplomatic crisis; and before their post-win ping-pong tournament became a twee...
Tags: Music, UK, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Italy, Miley Cyrus, Eurovision, Rotterdam, Simon Le Bon, De Angelis, Damiano, Måneskin, Zitti, Victoria De Angelis


On my radar: Omari Douglas’s cultural highlights

The It’s a Sin actor on loving Eurovision, going back to 1971 with Asif Kapadia, and Channel 4’s female Muslim punk comedyActor Omari Douglas was born in Wolverhampton in 1994 and trained at the Arts Educational Schools in London, graduating in 2015. Earlier this year he made his TV debut playing Roscoe Babatunde in It’s a Sin, Russell T Davies’s Channel 4 drama about the 80s Aids crisis. His theatre credits include Rush (King’s Head theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air) and ...
Tags: Music, London, Apple TV, Culture, Television & radio, Channel 4, Wolverhampton, Eurovision, Jesus Christ, Russell T Davies, Davies, Vic, Asif Kapadia, Emma Rice, Vintage Fashion, Omari Douglas


Eurovision 2021: Måneskin triumphs for Italy in Rotterdam

Contest returns for its 65th edition after being postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemicMåneskin, representing Italy, have won the 65th Eurovision song contest, which was held in Rotterdam on Saturday night. Their entry, Zitti e buoni, scored 524 points in the grand final, which was broadcast across Europe and around the globe.The UK’s entry, Embers, sung by James Newman, finished last, failing to win a single point. It was the only Eurovision act to receive 0 after the juries of all...
Tags: Europe, Music, UK, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Italy, Eurovision, Rotterdam, James Newman, Zitti


Eurovision: songs from 26 nations compete in Saturday night’s final

A live audience of 3,500 will watch as the UK’s James Newman hopes to pull off a victory in Rotterdam Acts from 26 nations are getting ready to perform at the Eurovision song contest, the world’s most popular live music event.The final of the competition, which returns after being cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, is taking place in the Netherlands. Continue reading...
Tags: Europe, Music, UK, UK News, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Netherlands, Eurovision, Rotterdam, Netherlands Continue, James Newman


Sing about war and cluck like a chicken: tips from the pros on how to win Eurovision

After an enforced hiatus, the contest is back. As the hopefuls don their sequins, here’s how to succeed at the gloriously OTT pop jamboreeTo some, it’s a cultural cringefest. To others, it’s the World Cup of music. But no matter your spin, the Eurovision Song Contest remains one of the world’s most-watched television programmes, with the last edition, in 2019, attracting more than 180 million viewers. Founded in 1956, it has inspired and outlasted countless reality singing franchises owing to it...
Tags: Europe, Music, Australia, Culture, Austria, Television & radio, Switzerland, Eurovision, Celine Dion


‘It has stood the test of time’: was 1971 the greatest year in music?

In Asif Kapadia’s new Apple TV+ docuseries, the music of the year, and its cultural and political impact, receives much-deserved attentionVolume is paramount on the new Apple docuseries 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, both in the play-it-loud sense as well as the sheer-quantity sense. The watershed social and artistic moment explored across the eight episodes contained a staggering amount of genius, to the point that an interview quickly dissolves into the same awed name-cataloguin...
Tags: Music, Television, Documentary, Apple TV, Culture, Television & radio, TV streaming, Factual TV, Asif Kapadia, James Gay Rees


Vampires, naked apes and free booze! The 20 wildest Eurovision performances ever

Baffling stunts and bizarre lyrics are de rigueur at europop’s premier competition – so it takes quite something to make this listAt Eurovision, you have three minutes to impress the world. While an unforgettable song and stonking vocals are key to getting douze points, how else can you make your performance stand out? With bewildering stunts, surreal lyrics and distracting props, of course! With the biggest event in europop returning this week, let’s revisit some of the weirdest performances ov...
Tags: Music, Television, Culture, Television & radio, Terry Wogan, Eurovision, Graham Norton


Eurovision 2021: the good, bad and weird songs to look out for

Amid the German ukuleles, anti-colonial Dutch anthems and Ukrainian folk-techno, can the UK’s James Newman reverse a long run of disappointment?Future scholars of camp will pen entire counterfactuals about the great cancelled Eurovision of 2020 and what might have been: while the majority of last year’s contestants are back for 2021, they must all perform different songs. It feels especially cruel to Daði Freyr, the Icelandic act who would surely have won with viral hit Think About Things, a cha...
Tags: Europe, Music, UK, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Eurovision, JENS LEKMAN, Napoleon Dynamite, James Newman, Daði Freyr, European television, Freyr


Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix: ‘Being Black is my power. I want young Black girls to see that’

In her early days with the girl band, Pinnock felt invisible and couldn’t understand why. Then the role of race became clearLeigh-Anne Pinnock has been living the pop star dream ever since she was 19 and stepped on to a stage to audition for The X Factor, singing Rihanna’s Only Girl (In the World). She has now spent almost a decade in one of the UK’s biggest girl groups. But she had a difficult start with Little Mix, and not because she didn’t get on with her bandmates. She felt “invisible”, and...
Tags: Music, UK, Television, Celebrity, Rihanna, Race, Life and style, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Surrey, Black, Andre Gray, Little Mix, Leigh Anne Pinnock, Pinnock


‘It’s currently 1991’: why old Top of the Pops reruns continue to enchant

Fifteen years after it was axed, the iconic show is a drawing in nostalgia junkies by offering eclectic music, dodgy lip-syncing ... and lockdown escapismFor many of us, it was the soundtrack to our childhood. The opening riff of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love still inspires an atavistic excitement in full-grown adults decades on. On Thursday – and later Friday – evenings, warbling singers and preening boybands would be beamed into homes across the nation as we waited to see which artist would ...
Tags: Music, Television, Culture, Television & radio, UK charts, Top Of The Pops, Zeppelin


Why stars should think twice before calling out their critics

From Lizzo to Lana Del Rey, celebrities have taken umbrage with reviews online. But arguing with journalists only warps the public’s view of the media, and puts writers under siege In 2018, while working as a freelance writer, I travelled three hours outside of London on a train, and then a coach, to review a music festival. I camped in the cold and the rain, waking up at 8am each morning to make sure I didn’t miss anything. When I got home, I filed what I thought was a generous review. I did no...
Tags: Music, London, Lana Del Rey, Television, Film, Culture, Television & radio, Carey Mulligan, Armie Hammer, Lizzo, AO Scott, Camilla Long Reviews


Russian man 'trapped' on Chinese reality TV show finally voted out after three months

Vladislav Ivanov says he regretted his decision to join Produce Camp 2021 but fans refused to vote him outThe reality TV ordeal of a Russian who joined a Chinese boy band show by accident – and made it to the final despite urging fans to vote him off – has finally ended after nearly three months.Vladislav Ivanov, a 27-year-old from Vladivostok, was kicked out of the Produce Camp 2021 on Saturday after viewers ignored his pleas to leave and backed him all the way to the final. Continue reading...
Tags: Europe, Music, Reality TV, Television, China, Russia, World news, Culture, Asia Pacific, Television & radio, Music TV, Vladivostok, Vladislav Ivanov


Morrissey hits back at The Simpsons over ‘hurtful and racist’ parody episode

Manager posts critical statement on singer’s behalf after Panic On The Streets Of Springfield airsThe Simpsons has earned the wrath of Morrissey after it parodied the former Smiths frontman in an episode of the show.The singer was satirised during the episode Panic On The Streets Of Springfield, which aired in the US on Sunday night. In the episode, Lisa Simpson becomes obsessed with a fictional band called the Snuffs and befriends its frontman, Quilloughby. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Television, US, UK News, World news, US news, Culture, Television & radio, US television, Smiths, The Simpsons, Morrissey, Springfield, Lisa Simpson, Animation on TV


‘I won’t allow myself to be broken’: Russia’s Eurovision candidate Manizha takes on ‘the haters’

The singer’s fight against domestic violence and homophobia and her body-positive posts on Instagram have led to a torrent of abuse – some from very powerful peopleRussia’s 2021 Eurovision candidate breezes into a conference room, Channel One documentary film crew in tow, offering a simple tea of mint leaves brewed in hot water. “On days like today, I want something calming,” Manizha says, pouring two cups, as a boom mic hovers over us. No pressure.The Tajikistan-born singer, who will perform he...
Tags: Europe, Music, Human Rights, Instagram, Russia, World news, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Tajikistan, Eurovision, Rotterdam, Women's rights and gender equality, Manizha


If you enjoyed that, you will like this: but can we break free from the algorithms' grip?

Two new subscription services are aiming to restore serendipity to our cultural habitsAre you reading this by pure chance? Or are you on the lookout for articles about the value of serendipity and random encounters?In an age of online shopping, commercial algorithms and streamed entertainment, most of us are rarely confronted by things that have not been digitally matched to our previous interests or prejudices. Few will have avoided the suggestion “if you’ve enjoyed X, then you’ll like Y and Z”...
Tags: Books, Music, Media, Newspapers & magazines, Radio, Culture, Magazines, Digital Media, Television & radio, Trade magazines


Hell Bent for Metal: the podcast for LGBTQ rock fans – with 'horny German werewolves'

Tom Dare’s hilarious podcast celebrates what he calls a ‘really gay’ scene – and has tackled its homophobiaBack in November, the Hell Bent for Metal podcast (HBFM) put out their first episode, called Gay Satanic Love Songs. If you’re worried that they played their trump card too early, this was followed by an edition entitled BDSM Gear and Black Metal, and another named Horny German Werewolves.It quickly became clear what you were getting: it’s gay, it’s about heavy metal, and it’s very, very fu...
Tags: Music, Metal, Podcasts, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Sexuality, LGBT rights, Black Metal, Tom Dare, HBFM


Tina review – celebration of a singer who is simply the best

Made with the full cooperation of its 81-year-old subject, this one-off about the astonishing life of Tina Turner is not a gritty documentary, but rather a loving swan songSky Documentaries’ two-hour film Tina, a retrospective on the now 81-year-old Tina Turner’s career is stuffed full of footage of her performances over the years. Black and white film of Anna Mae Bullock (as she was then) in the late 50s singing with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm. Then on into the 60s, after he had realised what...
Tags: Music, UK, Television, Beyonce, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Grammys, Tina Turner, Mary, Tina, Ike Turner, Nutbush City, Anna Mae Bullock


Russia's Eurovision entry to be investigated for 'illegal' lyrics

Manizha’s song Russian Woman incites hatred towards men and should be banned from the contest, say criticsRussian investigators said they will examine the lyrics of the country’s entry to this year’s Eurovision song contest after it angered conservative groups who accused its Tajikistan-born singer of inciting hatred towards men.Manizha Sangin, known as Manizha, is set to perform the song Russian Woman at Eurovision in the Netherlands in May. The song praises the strength of Russian women, urgin...
Tags: Europe, Music, Russia, Women, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Netherlands, Tajikistan, Eurovision, Manizha, Manizha Sangin


When you're a Jet and a Shark: West Side Story's George Chakiris

The Oscar-winning star portrayed rival gang leaders in the stage and screen versions of the classic musical. He remembers dancing with Marilyn Monroe, playing Dracula and his role as a trombone“I don’t think I was good enough,” confesses George Chakiris. “I was too nervous.” Zooming from Los Angeles, the 86-year-old star is not appraising his Oscar-winning role in West Side Story or his stints as a chorus dancer in golden age musicals with Marilyn Monroe and Cyd Charisse. He is recalling appeari...
Tags: Books, Music, Television, Film, Theatre, Los Angeles, Dance, Culture, Television & radio, Stephen Sondheim, Stage, Ballet, Oscar, Broadway, US theater, Marilyn Monroe


On my radar: Aidan Moffat's cultural highlights

The Arab Strap vocalist on late-night horror chats with his mum, spending time with Alan Partridge, and bingeing on SuccessionBorn in Falkirk, Scotland, in 1973, Aidan Moffat is the vocalist of indie rock band Arab Strap, which he founded in 1995 with Malcolm Middleton. Characterised by Moffat’s half-spoken vocals over lo-fi instrumentation, the band gained international acclaim with 1996 single The First Big Weekend; they went on to release six studio albums before splitting in 2006 and reformi...
Tags: Books, Music, Television, Podcasts, Film, Culture, Television & radio, Indie, Comics and graphic novels, Mogwai, Manga, Alan Partridge, Pierre, Moffat, Aidan Moffat, Arab Strap


Eurovision blocks Belarus entry from pro-Lukashenko band

The song, I’ll Teach You by the vocal regime supporters Galasy ZMesta, appears to mock protestersEurovision has banned Belarus from entering a song to this year’s contest called I’ll Teach You, which appears to mock protesters who have taken to the streets against the dictator Alexander Lukashenko.The song, performed by the five-piece group Galasy ZMesta, was chosen by Belarus’s national broadcaster to compete in the Netherlands in May, rather than by a public vote as other entries have been in ...
Tags: Europe, Music, Protest, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Netherlands, Belarus, Eurovision, Alexander Lukashenko, Lukashenko, Galasy ZMesta


UK's 2021 Eurovision entry revealed: Embers by James Newman

Newman, a successful pop songwriter for Rudimental, Calvin Harris and others, returns after missing out on 2020’s cancelled eventThe UK’s entry to the 2021 Eurovision song contest has been revealed: a high-energy dance-pop track by James Newman, entitled Embers.Newman was due to perform for the UK at 2020’s event, before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. His song My Last Breath hasn’t been carried over to the 2021 event. Continue reading...
Tags: Europe, Music, UK, UK News, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Eurovision, Newman, James Newman, Rudimental Calvin Harris


Clara Amfo: ‘Don’t make me dim my light’

For Clara Amfo, success is nothing without honesty, integrity – and a pinch of impostor syndrome. Here, the broadcaster talks about race, relationships and becoming a Barbie dollClara Amfo makes me want to join in with life. When she talks about the new series of Drag Race UK, I itch to go and watch it. When she’s dancing on Strictly, I want to tune into a show that doesn’t usually hold my attention. And when she’s describing the party scene in her parents’ home country of Ghana, “fast becoming ...
Tags: Music, Reality TV, UK, Television, Bbc, Culture, Television & radio, West Africa, Strictly Come Dancing, Hackney, Ghana, Ibiza, Broadcasting House, Clara Amfo, Amfo, Entertainment TV


'I was worried Lindsay, Paris or Britney would die': why the 00s were so toxic for women

Body shaming, media harassment, relentless cruelty – it’s time to reassess the decade that feminism forgotI went to university in 2007. On my first day, every fresher had their photo taken; the pictures were pinned to a bulletin board in my halls. That evening, older male students scrawled on the photographs of the girls, rating our attractiveness. No one got in trouble. Later, the same men published a gossip magazine that Photoshopped images of female students on to porn stars, dissected our se...
Tags: Music, Reality TV, Television, Culture, Television & radio, Britney Spears, Britney, Lindsay Paris


Taylor Swift rebukes Netflix over 'deeply sexist' joke about her love life

The pop star accused sitcom Ginny & Georgia of ‘degrading hardworking women’ with outdated attempts at humourTaylor Swift has criticised the Netflix sitcom Ginny & Georgia for making a “deeply sexist” joke about her dating history.In a scene where the mother and daughter characters argue about relationship, Ginny tells her mother: “You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Television, Media, Taylor Swift, Celebrity, Relationships, Women, Netflix, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Ginny, Ginny Georgia


'I take music seriously': Drag Race stars begin crossover chart success

The Eurovision homage UK Hun has entered the charts ahead of Rita Ora and Pink, and leads a new wave of drag queens sashaying away from novelty popIf you’ve spent the past fortnight with the words “Bing-bang-bong sing-sang-song ding-dang-dong” reverberating around your brain, Freddy Scott would like to apologise. “To those who say they can’t sleep because they have UK Hun? stuck in your head,” the songwriter says, “I’m sorry–ish.”Scott and his co-writer Leland are the creators of the viral hit f...
Tags: Music, Reality TV, UK, Television, Culture, Television & radio, Rita Ora, Pink, Drag, Scott, Rupaul, Leland, UK Hun, Freddy Scott, United Kingdolls


Everything but the football: the Super Bowl ads, music and celebrities – live

Surrounding the big game will be a host of big ads, a string of new movie trailers and a half-time performance from The WeekndYou can follow the primary Super Bowl liveblog here 11.21pm GMT Exciting news for anyone who has ever heard Jazmine Sullivan’s voice before: she’ll be performing the National Anthem alongside country singer Eric Church. It’s an odd duet on paper (and only the second in Super Bowl history) but let’s wait and see how it turns out. Reports suggest that the performance wi...
Tags: Music, Television, Media, Film, Culture, Television & radio, US television, Super Bowl, The Weeknd, Eric, Jazmine Sullivan, Super Bowl LV


Massive Attack: 'You resurrect ghosts when you bring something back from the past'

Robert Del Naja, of the Bristol pioneers, talks about the power and danger of nostalgia as well as his work collaborating with Adam CurtisMusicians have been faced with an impossible puzzle since March 2020: with gigs and festivals mothballed for the foreseeable future, how to maintain a profile? For Massive Attack, a solution was probably less of a reach than for many artists. After all, for the Bristolian pioneers, sound and vision have been interacting in unconventional ways for decades. Rel...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Bristol, Adam Curtis, Massive Attack, Robert Del Naja, Adam CurtisMusicians


Toyah Willcox: 'My mother always wanted me altered in some way. I was never right'

The singer and actor has had a productive pandemic – and gone viral from her kitchen. She talks about escaping her childhood, sexual harassment and persuading her rock star husband to dress in a tutuOf all the celebrity offerings that have come out of the pandemic, the gloriously weird videos made by Toyah Willcox and her husband, Robert Fripp, are surely the most compelling. It is possible, within each short clip, to cycle through every feeling from wanting to cover your eyes while being unable...
Tags: Music, Television, Film, Culture, Television & radio, Punk, Stage, Derek Jarman, Worcestershire, King Crimson, Willcox, Robert Fripp, Fripp, Toyah Willcox, Swan Lake Fripp



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