Colors: Red Color

Jo Malone has criticised the perfume brand bearing her name for their treatment of the actor John Boyega. Malone is no longer personally associated with the company, having sold it to Estee Lauder in 1999.

 

The company, Jo Malone London, apologised after replacing the Star Wars actor in an aftershave advert for the Chinese market.

 

"I am so horrified and disgusted about what has been done to John," Malone said. "How dare somebody treat him like that and he finds out he is replaced on social media?

 

"They never spoke to him. That for me is utterly despicable and is disgusting."

 

Jo Malone London re-shot the advert the Star Wars actor made, in his home town of London, for broadcast in China.

 

While the script for the aftershave commercial - which was originally conceived and directed by the British star - remained largely the same, it saw him replaced by another actor, Liu Haoran.

 

The original version, entitled London Gent, showed Boyega hanging out with friends and family in Peckham, where he grew up, but they were also removed for Chinese audiences.

 

Boyega stepped down as an ambassador for the company in protest over their decision.

 

The firm issued an apology to Boyega on Monday, saying: "We deeply apologise for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign."

 

Jo Malone London reiterated their apology on Thursday, clarifying that the founder has not been involved with her former company since 2006.

 

Former owner Malone expressed her dismay at being dragged into the situation on social media earlier this week.

Speaking to Lorraine on ITV, she added: "From a personal level, I feel heartbroken by this and I don't know where to turn."

 

"This has gone global and my name has been associated," she went on. "It's been done in my name but also people think it's me."

 

"If I'd have been standing in those shoes I promise you John this wouldn't have happened.

Malone added: "This man wasn't using his image to just promote something - he brought his creativity to the advert."

 

She said Boyega "brought his life story to people and to that brand and how dare somebody treat him like that and he finds out he's been replaced on social media.

 

“That's the bit that really gets to me."

 

 

Birmingham Hippodrome is set to host the UK premiere of Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory arts and entertainment experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Opening 8 Oct 2020, Van Gogh Alive, produced by Grande Exhibitions, has inspired over 6 million people across 50 cities around the world and is now set to transform Birmingham Hippodrome’s auditorium to display Van Gogh’s work in a spectacular immersive experience.

Van Gogh’s works have been exhibited and admired for over a century – but never like this. The multi-sensory experience provides visitors with the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Van Gogh’s artistry and truly venture into his world through beautifully curated projections accompanied by a stunning classical soundscape.

Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Having been closed to the public since March, and it being financially unviable for Birmingham Hippodrome to reopen for live performance until social distancing guidance is relaxed, we have had to completely rethink how to use the building and how to serve our public. The opportunity to do something completely different with our spaces, and still provide a high quality and compelling cultural experience, came at exactly the right moment. 

"I’m proud we are partnering with Grande Exhibitions to host the UK premiere of Van Gogh Alive. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary art exhibition it is a ground-breaking and breathtaking multi-sensory experience, unlike anything seen before in the region. It gives us the reason we needed to reopen the Hippodrome to the public. Best still, we can operate it safely under social distancing guidelines, and I just know our visitors are going to be absolutely blown away.”

This will be the first time Birmingham Hippodrome has invited the public back into the building after being forced to close in March due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. This large-scale art event provides a COVID safe environment that exceeds government public health guidelines. Controlled visitor capacities and managed visitor flow mean visitors can easily respect government social-distancing guidelines.

Grande Exhibitions, the creator and producer of Van Gogh Alive, use state-of-the-art SENSORY4 immersive gallery technology, combined with a tailored exhibition space to allow crystal-clear projection of over 3000 inspirational images. Set to an evocative classical score, visitors are surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, colour, sound and fragrance that has been called an ‘unforgettable’ multi-sensory experience. The technology brings Van Gogh's masterpieces to life and gives visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings, a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational.

In addition to the main exhibition and gift shop, Van Gogh Alive will also feature interactive art stations, interpretative areas, a re-creation of Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom in Arles’ and the hugely popular ‘Sunflower selfie room’.

Bruce Peterson, Owner of Grande Exhibitions, said: “We are incredibly excited that Van Gogh Alive is set to make its UK debut in Birmingham. The global exhibition is a perfect COVID-aware experience for the whole family that will provide some escapism and education. We find that adults and children enjoy the experience in different ways, finding their own meaning in Van Gogh’s work as they explore the galleries.

"We visited a number of venues in the UK, but as soon as we entered Birmingham Hippodrome, we knew we had to bring our Van Gogh Alive here. It is a unique, iconic venue and we truly believe once we tailor the experience to come alive in The Hippodrome, visitors won’t believe their eyes at the size, scale and beauty within."

Since announcing the opening in Sydney and re-opening in Mexico City with COVID-safe measures in place, demand for tickets has been even higher than pre-lockdown. We are confident that the experience will be extremely popular in Birmingham and we can’t wait to open the doors to our first ever UK showing!”

Having enjoyed enormous success in iconic cities such as Madrid, Singapore, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Milan, and Rome, to name a few, the experience is set to place Birmingham firmly at the heart of the UK’s cultural recovery and provide a welcome morale boost to the whole Midlands region.

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We have a long and proud history in Birmingham of celebrating art and culture and Van Gogh Alive is a great opportunity to continue to support this vibrant and important industry. Like many other cities and communities across the UK, the Midlands has faced many challenges over the past few months, and it is important for us to get back inside our much-loved institutions and lift our spirits.

"I know I can speak on behalf of  Birmingham and the wider region when I say how excited I am that we are hosting the UK premier of Van Gogh Alive and I cannot wait to visit and experience it myself.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “Many sectors are going through an incredibly difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the arts is no exception. Birmingham Hippodrome has had its challenges, but it is a critical venue for the West Midlands, and it is great to see how it is adapting and thinking outside the box to overcome these challenges.

“The arrival of Grande Exhibitions and Van Gogh Alive is not only a boost for the Hippodrome, but it will also be great for the wider West Midlands economy, helping to draw visitors back to our region.”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from vangoghaliveuk.com.

 

 

Pop legend Madonna has announced she will direct a film about her own life and career. The star is also co-writing the movie with Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno and Young Adult. The script is expected to chart her rise from the slums of New York to global superstardom, via songs such as Like A Virgin and Vogue.

 

She said the film would focus on music, adding: "Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive." The as-yet-untitled project will be Madonna's third as director after 2008's Filth and Wisdom and 2011's WE, which was based around King Edward VIII's affair with Wallis Simpson. The latter film was panned by critics, and bombed at the box office, making just $2m (£1.5m) against a budget of $11m (£8.5m).

 

However, with huge successes for Elton John's Rocketman and the Freddie Mercury film Bohemian Rhapsody - for which Rami Malek earned an Oscar - rock and pop biopics are in the middle of a purple patch. Madonna's entry to the genre will be made by Universal Pictures - which previously attracted the artist's anger by snapping up an unofficial script based on her life. No casting or production timeline for the film has been announced, but the megastar has charted the early stages of scripting on her Instagram account.

 

In a Q&A with fans, she said the biopic would be about her "struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man's world," adding that the journey covers a range of emotions: "happy, sad, mad, crazy, good, bad and ugly". She added that the plot would address her relationship with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, the fallout from her controversial Like A Prayer video and her experience filming Evita.

 

In a statement confirming her directorial role Madonna said: "I want to convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer - a human being, trying to make her way in this world.

"It's essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision."

 

Birmingham Hippodrome is set to host the UK premiere of Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory arts and entertainment experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Opening 8 Oct 2020, Van Gogh Alive, produced by Grande Exhibitions, has inspired over 6 million people across 50 cities around the world and is now set to transform Birmingham Hippodrome’s auditorium to display Van Gogh’s work in a spectacular immersive experience.

Van Gogh’s works have been exhibited and admired for over a century – but never like this. The multi-sensory experience provides visitors with the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Van Gogh’s artistry and truly venture into his world through beautifully curated projections accompanied by a stunning classical soundscape.

Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Having been closed to the public since March, and it being financially unviable for Birmingham Hippodrome to reopen for live performance until social distancing guidance is relaxed, we have had to completely rethink how to use the building and how to serve our public. The opportunity to do something completely different with our spaces, and still provide a high quality and compelling cultural experience, came at exactly the right moment. 

"I’m proud we are partnering with Grande Exhibitions to host the UK premiere of Van Gogh Alive. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary art exhibition it is a ground-breaking and breathtaking multi-sensory experience, unlike anything seen before in the region. It gives us the reason we needed to reopen the Hippodrome to the public. Best still, we can operate it safely under social distancing guidelines, and I just know our visitors are going to be absolutely blown away.”

This will be the first time Birmingham Hippodrome has invited the public back into the building after being forced to close in March due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. This large-scale art event provides a COVID safe environment that exceeds government public health guidelines. Controlled visitor capacities and managed visitor flow mean visitors can easily respect government social-distancing guidelines.

Grande Exhibitions, the creator and producer of Van Gogh Alive, use state-of-the-art SENSORY4 immersive gallery technology, combined with a tailored exhibition space to allow crystal-clear projection of over 3000 inspirational images. Set to an evocative classical score, visitors are surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, colour, sound and fragrance that has been called an ‘unforgettable’ multi-sensory experience. The technology brings Van Gogh's masterpieces to life and gives visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings, a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational.

In addition to the main exhibition and gift shop, Van Gogh Alive will also feature interactive art stations, interpretative areas, a re-creation of Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom in Arles’ and the hugely popular ‘Sunflower selfie room’.

Bruce Peterson, Owner of Grande Exhibitions, said: “We are incredibly excited that Van Gogh Alive is set to make its UK debut in Birmingham. The global exhibition is a perfect COVID-aware experience for the whole family that will provide some escapism and education. We find that adults and children enjoy the experience in different ways, finding their own meaning in Van Gogh’s work as they explore the galleries.

"We visited a number of venues in the UK, but as soon as we entered Birmingham Hippodrome, we knew we had to bring our Van Gogh Alive here. It is a unique, iconic venue and we truly believe once we tailor the experience to come alive in The Hippodrome, visitors won’t believe their eyes at the size, scale and beauty within."

Since announcing the opening in Sydney and re-opening in Mexico City with COVID-safe measures in place, demand for tickets has been even higher than pre-lockdown. We are confident that the experience will be extremely popular in Birmingham and we can’t wait to open the doors to our first ever UK showing!”

Having enjoyed enormous success in iconic cities such as Madrid, Singapore, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Milan, and Rome, to name a few, the experience is set to place Birmingham firmly at the heart of the UK’s cultural recovery and provide a welcome morale boost to the whole Midlands region.

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We have a long and proud history in Birmingham of celebrating art and culture and Van Gogh Alive is a great opportunity to continue to support this vibrant and important industry. Like many other cities and communities across the UK, the Midlands has faced many challenges over the past few months, and it is important for us to get back inside our much-loved institutions and lift our spirits.

"I know I can speak on behalf of  Birmingham and the wider region when I say how excited I am that we are hosting the UK premier of Van Gogh Alive and I cannot wait to visit and experience it myself.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “Many sectors are going through an incredibly difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the arts is no exception. Birmingham Hippodrome has had its challenges, but it is a critical venue for the West Midlands, and it is great to see how it is adapting and thinking outside the box to overcome these challenges.

“The arrival of Grande Exhibitions and Van Gogh Alive is not only a boost for the Hippodrome, but it will also be great for the wider West Midlands economy, helping to draw visitors back to our region.”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from vangoghaliveuk.com.

 

 

The annual Strictly Come Dancing special in Blackpool will not take place this year, the BBC has confirmed.

 

A BBC spokesman said while contestants would not physically go to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom in 2020, they would still be "celebrating the iconic venue" from Elstree studio.

It follows changes made to the show due to coronavirus restrictions.

 

Beginning in October, the forthcoming series will be shorter than usual.

Contestants will be staying in a hotel for two weeks ahead of pre-recording all the group dances.

 

Strictly's annual special at Blackpool, filmed in one of the country's most historic ballrooms, is seen by contestants and the professional dancers alike as one of the highlights of the series. The show has filmed at the venue since 2004, taking regular breaks. However, since 2013 there has been a Blackpool special annually.

 

Blackpool is renowned for being a home for ballroom dancing, having hosted the Blackpool Dance Festival since 1920. That event is taking place online this year as a result of coronavirus.

 

A BBC spokesman said: "Blackpool is a milestone moment in every series of Strictly that our audience, our celebs and professional dancers look forward to.

 

"Whilst we'll be unable to physically go to Blackpool this series, we'll still be celebrating this iconic venue and bringing it to life from our studio in Elstree." It comes after former home secretary Jacqui Smith was confirmed as the 12th and final celebrity contestant for 2020.

 

Smith will join with stars including Bill Bailey, Clara Amfo, and HRVY.

 

Tributes were paid to legendary actor Dame Diana Rigg, following her passing.

 

Best known for her roles in ‘The Avengers’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and the Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, she died of cancer, which was diagnosed in March.

 

Her acting career on stage and screen stretched out over more than 60 years. She first found fame in the mid-’60s when she was cast in ‘The Avengers’ as secret agent Emma Peel, an iconic character who was embraced as a style icon and a feminist role model. After quitting the series in 1968, she starred opposite George Lazenby in the 1969 Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, in which she played 007’s wife, Countess Teresa di Vicenzo.

 

She later won a BAFTA TV Award for her performance as a difficult mother-in-law in the 1989 miniseries ‘Mother Love’ and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Mrs Danvers in a 1997 adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier‘s ‘Rebecca’.

 

For her more recent role as cunning matriarch Olyenna Tyrell in ‘Game of Thrones’ she earned four Emmy nominations, taking her career tally to nine.

 

She also appeared opposite her daughter Rachael Stirling in the 2013 Doctor Who episode ‘The Crimson Horror’.  

 

Her final movie role came in Edgar Wright‘s upcoming psychological horror movie ‘Last Night In Soho’, which is set for release in 2021.

 

She was also a highly revered stage actress who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in a 1994 Broadway production of the Ancient Greek tragedy ‘Medea’. That same year, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to drama.

 

The Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright Sir Tom Stoppard shared a heartfelt tribute to her, saying: “For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a Trouper.

 

“She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous.”

 

Passed away peacefully, she was 82.