Saturday, December 14, 2019

Strictly Come Dancing fans disgusted as the judges swoon over Kelvin Fletcher dancing in a see

STRICTLY Come Dancing fans were left disgusted this evening as the judges swooned over Kelvin Fletcher.

The former Emmerdale actor performed a rumba with his pro partner Oti, which was the judges’ choice for the final.

He left everyone feeling rather hot under the collar while wearing a see-through shirt.

After he performed the judges couldn’t resist commenting on his muscles, with even Craig admitting: “I have to admit I am hot under the collar. I thought it was absolutely tremendous.”

Motsi Mabuse praised Fletcher for his body movement and drew laughter from the audience when she commented she was glad she had seen the number twice.

Shirley, often referred to as the Queen of the Rumba, said: "You are oily, you are like a lava lamp… the perfectly timed synchronised body movement… the technique is superb, you are amazing."


But those watching at home weren’t impressed with the comments and felt they were inappropriate.

Taking to Twitter to comment on it, one person wrote:  2I'm not sure that my foresisters gave their lives for equality so that a bloke in a seethrough shirt could be sexually harassed in front of 10 million people idk  #strictly #scd.”

Another tweeted: “#strictly the way the judges are talking about kevin is vile. imagine if he was a girl instead and the judges were making these comments . grim.”

While someone else added: “Wish they wouldn’t go on about Kelvin’s body the way they do on #Strictly . It’s cringeworthy. They wouldn’t be allowed to talk to a woman like that! #DoubleStandards.”

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I'm A Celeb's Myles Stephenson left devastated as beloved nan Yaya dies

I'm A Celebrity star Myles Stephenson has taken to social media to tell fans his grandmother has passed away after waiting for him to return from Oz "to hear his voice one last time".

In an emotional message on Instagram, the Rak-su singer told his followers that he doesn't know how he'll cope with the loss of his beloved "Yaya", who died at 89 years of age.

Alongside a touching snap of himself with his grandmother, The X Factor star penned: "89 years of life. Today you left this world but your spirit will NEVER leave our‘s.

"The life you had on earth was nothing short of phenomenal. Six children, 10 grand children. Started In Jamaica and gave everyone the tools to conquer the world.

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"The music I make will keep you dancing up there and My restaurant will be named after you down here."

Myles continued: "Ima continue to try make you proud day in day out in everything I do.

"Thank you for holding out on going to heaven till I got back from the Jungle!

"I knew you wouldn’t leave without hearing my voice one last time."

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It went on to say: "I’m not sure how I will deal with you being gone but I know you wouldn’t want me to be alone and to spend it enjoying life.

"I love you to heaven and back! Rest In Love Yaya."

Myles was the sixth famous face to be voted out of the I'm A Celebrity camp.

While on the show he proved himself to be a good chef who jumped at the chance to cook meals for his campmates.

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He told his co-stars that he learnt from his "Yaya" and it is reports that he plans to open restaurant in her name.

Myles touched back down in the UK on Wednesday with the rest of the celebrities at Heathrow Airport.

EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa was crowned Queen of the Jungle with Corrie actor Andy Whyment in second place.

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New train timetable will add 1,000 weekly services

Britain’s railways are set for major timetable shake-up tomorrow – including first non-stop trains between London and Bristol in decades

  • Timetables will feature 1,000 extra weekly services, says Rail Delivery Group 
  • Comes following infrastructure investment and upgraded carriages 
  • Experts says passengers need the industry to deliver a set of improvements 

Britain’s railways are set for a major timetable shake-up with journey times being cut and new routes added across the country.

The changes will include the first non-stop trains between London and Bristol in decades and comes following infrastructure investment and upgraded carriages.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said the new timetable change will feature 1,000 extra weekly services, on top of the 4,000 introduced over the past two years.

Train timetables are changed twice a year, in May and December.

The launch of the May 2018 timetables saw services crippled in parts of the North and the South East, with blame attributed to Network Rail, train operators and the Government.

Great Western Railway is making the biggest timetable change on its network since the 1970s

Chief executive of the passenger watchdog Transport Focus, Anthony Smith said passengers needed the rail industry to deliver a smooth set of timetable improvements, so they can ‘reliably use both new and existing services’.

‘Many passengers should have a greater choice of services with more seats as result of these changes. However, there will also be some who lose out with fewer or slower services.

‘Train companies must have plenty of visible staff on hand to guide passengers, to answer questions on how these changes will affect them, and to explain what travel choices they have.’

The RDG sought to reassure passengers over the upcoming timetable, stating that the industry has put ‘years of work into drafting, consulting and planning for these changes’.

Robert Nisbet, the organisation’s director of nations and regions, urged passengers to check their journey details in advance as many times are changing.

He added: ‘Train operators and Network Rail will be working together to run a reliable service and respond quickly to any teething problems as people get used to the change.’

Sunday will see the biggest timetable change on the Great Western Railway network since the 1970s, taking advantage of Network Rail’s electrification of the line between London and Bristol, and the operator’s new intercity express trains.

Non-stop trains between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway will have journey times as short as one hour and eight minutes, shaving 12 minutes off the existing quickest services.

Fastest journey times between the capital and Bristol Temple Meads – near the centre of the city – will be cut by 17 minutes to one hour and 19 minutes.

The frequency of trains on this routes will be increased from two per hour to three during the morning and evening peaks.

There will be major improvements on the ScotRail network, with additional services in north-east Scotland and extra seats between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A new station, Robroyston, will open in north-east Glasgow on the line between Queen Street and Cumbernauld.

Other operators introducing new services are Greater Anglia, London North Eastern Railway, Northern, TfL Rail, Thameslink, Transpennine Express (TPE), Transport for Wales, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.

TPE admitted last week that the frequency of its new direct Liverpool-Edinburgh trains will initially be lower than the planned hourly service.

The firm blamed a maintenance backlog and infrastructure problems for delaying crew training, as well as the late delivery of new trains.

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Privacy expert reveals why she only keeps Alexa downstairs

Alexa, you’re banned from the bedroom! Privacy expert reveals why she only keeps smart microphones downstairs

  • Dr Hannah Fry revealed she keeps Amazon’s Alexa in downstairs rooms only
  • Follows revelations that Amazon has eavesdropped on homes across Britain
  • Whistleblowers said people working for Amazon had tapped into conversations

Gadget fans who worry about their smart speakers eavesdropping have been urged to banish Alexa from the bedroom.

Dr Hannah Fry, the first female mathematician to deliver Christmas lectures from the Royal Institution, has revealed she keeps Amazon’s voice-activated assistant in downstairs rooms only.

Dr Fry, 35, says families should consider similar limits on which rooms the devices are kept in.

Her advice follows revelations that Amazon has eavesdropped on homes across Britain. Whistleblowers said earlier this year that people working for Amazon had tapped into conversations through Alexa speakers to check the devices work, picking up moments such as a woman singing in the shower and bank details being read out.

Whistleblowers said earlier this year that people working for Amazon had tapped into conversations through Alexa speakers to check the devices work

It is estimated that more than two million UK households own Alexa devices. Dr Fry, an expert on tech company algorithms, says there is a slow ‘creep’ of allowing the gadgets – and similar ones from Apple and Google – to invade our privacy.

Amazon’s voice-activated assistant activated by a trigger word [such as “Alexa”]

The associate professor at University College London said: ‘I think there are some spaces in your home, like the bedroom and bathroom, which should remain completely private.

‘This technology is activated by a trigger word [such as “Alexa”] but it keeps recording for a short period afterwards. People accept that, but we should all spend more time thinking about what it means for us.’ Amazon has repeatedly denied that its gadgets are spying on people, but earlier this year insiders told Bloomberg that scores of workers based in Costa Rica, India, Romania or the US could each hear as many as 1,000 audio clips a day.

After asking tech firms to provide the data they had collected on her, Dr Fry found recordings of everyday conversations within her home.

She said: ‘There are people who are very senior in the tech world who will not have so much as a smartphone in their bedroom.

‘If a company is offering you a device with an internet-connected microphone at a low price, you have to think about that very carefully.

‘I have both an Alexa and a Google voice-activated device and I regularly turn them both off. People really must set their own limits.’

Dr Fry’s Christmas Lectures will examine our changing attitudes towards privacy, as well as how to avoid the distractions of the digital sphere. They will be shown on BBC Four on Boxing Day, December 27 and 28.

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Friday, December 13, 2019

STEPHEN GLOVER: Self

STEPHEN GLOVER: Self-satisfied Jo Swinson was the head prefect who was too bossy to warm to

Many eyes are naturally fixed on Labour’s disastrous electoral performance. But the Lib Dems’ self-immolation was no less spectacular.

Here was a party which began the campaign at almost level-pegging with Labour in the polls. The self-satisfied Jo Swinson, leader since July, insisted she could be Prime Minister, though some of us could not stifle a laugh.

Now she has lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire, and resigned. Although her party slightly increased its share of the vote since the 2017 election, it ended up with only 11 MPs, one fewer than two years ago.

The Liberal Democrats self-immolation was spectacular and Jo Swinson’s insistence to become Prime Minister could not help but stifle a laugh

Many of its supposed stars crashed and burned. The charismatic ex-Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who was a Lib Dem candidate, failed to win the Cities of London and Westminster constituency. He was so grand that he was late for his count.

Ex-Tory Minister Sam Gyimah flopped in Kensington and Chelsea, while former Labour MP Luciana Berger came second in the north London seat of Finchley and Golders Green.

All the other MPs who had defected to the Lib Dems from Labour and Tory benches also bit the dust: Angela Smith, Phillip Lee, Sarah Wollaston and so on.

A rare bright moment in an evening of pretty unremitting gloom for the party was its ousting of Tory minister Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park in south-west London.

Swinson (pictured on December 13) lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire, and resigned. Although her party slightly increased its share of the vote since the 2017 election, it ended up with only 11 MPs, one fewer than two years ago

Yet the Lib Dems did not find much favour with the wider British public.

So why was the party unable to mobilise anti-Brexit forces much more successfully than it did – especially given that Labour’s own position on Brexit was nebulous?

The answer can be given in one word: arrogance. This disagreeable trait was written all over the face of Jo Swinson, and it was encapsulated in the Lib Dems’ disastrous policy of vetoing a second referendum in the event of winning power.

That’s right: if Ms Swinson had fetched up as Prime Minister, as she assured us was on the cards, she would have ignored the result of the 2016 EU referendum without even bothering to hold another so-called People’s Vote. A more breath-taking repudiation of democratic principles could scarcely be imagined. And this from a party which calls itself Democratic. Non-Liberal anti-Democrats would be closer to the mark.

As it became clear that she had no more chance of winning power than of circumnavigating the moon, Ms Swinson began to distance herself from her calamitous policy. But the damage was done. Not only were Leave voters appalled. Many Remainers couldn’t stomach such high-handedness.

Has a party ever fought an election on such an unappealing platform? Probably not. But then it is doubtful whether a major party has ever produced such a pitifully unqualified leader – and I don’t exclude Jeremy Corbyn.

Some pundits have compared Jo Swinson to an overbearing headmistress. Actually she is more like a bossy and supercilious head prefect with a maddening sense of her own importance.

When she lost her seat, I was inclined to feel sorry for her. But I’m afraid her characteristically supercilious and graceless response soon smothered my sympathies. She said she felt ‘dread and dismay’.

The political know-all discerned a ‘wave of nationalism’ sweeping ‘both sides of the border’. This may be a fair description of the SNP’s successes, but it was an unpleasantly lofty description of those millions of patriotic ex-Labour voters who backed the Tories.

Swinson (pictured arriving at a counting centre in Bishopbriggs, on December 13) resembles a bossy and supercilious head prefect with a maddening sense of her own importance. Upon losing her seat, she felt ‘dread and dismay’

That’s the trouble with Jo Swinson and many Lib Dems. They are often more at ease with fellow members of the disembodied political EU elite than they are with their fellow countrymen.

So what happens now? The party will have to find a new leader. One candidate is the stolid Ed Davey, a Cabinet minister in the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition.

Less dull, but irritatingly superior, is Layla Moran, who might have rolled off the same production line as Jo Swinson. In her constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon (which happens to be where I live), she increased her majority from 816 votes to 8,943.

Volunteers count ballots from the UK general election in East Dunbartonshire on December 12 

Ms Moran may go down well in a heavily Remainer university city with many thousands of students, but she is too rarefied a creature to make much impact in the rougher corners of our country.

Do the Lib Dems aspire to being a national party again, as they were in 2005, when they won 62 seats, from the Shetlands to Cornwall? Or are they content to be a niche party with a very limited appeal?

On the evidence of yesterday’s results, they are now a peripheral force. And they have at least as much thinking as Labour to do before having any hope of recovery.

 

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Hormone replacement therapies can lower risk of breast cancer, study reveals – The Sun

SOME forms of hormone replacement therapy lower the risk of breast cancer while others increase it, a study found.

Women who were taking or had taken oestrogen-only menopause drugs were 23 per cent less likely to develop the disease.

And their odds of dying from breast tumours were 44 per cent lower than those given dummy pills.

But scientists from the University of California say an alternative treatment combining oestrogen and progestin may be harmful.

Women on this more common form were 29 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than those on placebo.

They also appeared at greater risk of death but the difference was not statistically significant.

The average age of menopause is 51, with common symptoms including hot flushes, mood swings and loss of sexual desire.

One million women in Britain currently take HRT to help tackle them and also boost bone health.

Researchers led by Prof Rowan Chlebowski analysed data on 27,347 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79.

Those who had undergone a hysterectomy received oestrogen or placebo for 7.2 years and were monitored for 16.1 years.

And those with an intact uterus were given combined therapy or placebo for 5.6 years and tracked for 18.3 years.

Women with a uterus are typically given combination therapy because oestrogen alone increases their risk of womb cancer.

HOPE FOR BREAST CANCER

A Lancet study earlier this year found both forms of HRT increase breast cancer risk for more than a decade after treatment ends.

Regulators recommend HRT is used for the shortest time needed.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, from charity Breast Cancer Now, said: “We’ve long known that certain forms of HRT can increase breast cancer risk, and this important study offers new insight on how different types of HRT may influence this risk in different ways.

“It’s really interesting that this research suggests oestrogen-only HRT may actually reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who have undergone a hysterectomy.

“While this may seem reassuring, this finding does contradict what has been suggested in other studies and so further research is now needed to clarify its effect and help provide clear information to this group of women.

“Taking HRT is a really personal decision, and it’s vital that everyone has the information they need on the benefits and risks, discusses them with their GP and is supported to make the choice that’s right for them.”

Dr Melanie Davies, from University College London Hospitals, said: “Oestrogen and progestin have opposite effects on the breast, so standard combined HRT increases cancer risk but oestrogen-alone reduces risk.

“This adds to the information available for women considering HRT, and in particular can reassure women who have had a hysterectomy and take oestrogen.”

Dr Davies said HRT drugs have improved since the trial started in 1993 and now act more like the body’s own hormones.

This may make them safer, she added.

 

Following previous cancer scares, HRT uptake has fallen sharply. Annual NHS prescriptions were 2.24million in 2014, compared to 6million in 2000.

Breast cancer affects around 55,000 Brits a year, with nearly 12,000 dying.

The findings were presented at the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

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JAN MOIR: Were we all hallucinating in the battle of Big Beasts?

JAN MOIR: Were we all hallucinating in the battle of Big Beasts and bucket heads?

For hour upon hour, the nation’s airwaves were filled with the roars of the real BBC — the Big Beast Collective.

Broadcasting stars jostling for supremacy during the rolling election coverage included the Andrews Neil and Marr, Sir Tom of Bradby, HRH Laura Kuenssberg, destroyer of princes Emily Maitlis, Jeremy De Vine, Robert Peston — and even new pundit John Bercow losing it live on Sky News.

The former Speaker raged and told Nigel Farage that his arguments were ‘copper-bottomed rubbish’.

Laura Kuenssberg was one of many broadcasting stars who jostled for supremacy during the election coverage

Pot. Kettle. Emily Maitlis.

She joined in the general Nige-kicking on BBC1, telling Farage that he was ‘a strange beast’, as if they were on a blind date together that had gone horribly wrong. No wonder the poor old thing looked more frog-eyed than ever.

Throughout the long night, the big names of the Collective jostled for position, fangs poised for the killer soundbite, ever ready to chow down on the juiciest nugget of news.

On BBC1, Andrew Marr said his ‘jaw was on the floor’ at some of the Conservative gains. Pesto (ITV) was oddly marooned at a desk in a corner of the studio, rather like a budget-hotel receptionist. There, he could trot out tru-facts in his usual staccato Mekon-speak, between checking in guests for the weekend.

Andrew Marr said his ‘jaw was on the floor’ at some of the Conservative gains. He claimed ‘the last time they had a leadership election almost immediately led to the election of Jeremy Corbyn’

‘The debate within hours will be do they have a leadership election almost immediately, because the last time they had a leadership election almost immediately it led to the election of Jeremy Corbyn,’ he beeped. ‘No, breakfast is not included.’

Andrew Neil (BBC1) was an agreeable turn, heartlessly landing blows upon the reddening bruise as the Labour vote collapsed in its former heartlands. ‘Is it time for you to stand down? It must surely be game over,’ he said to John McDonnell, who looked as chirpy as a freshly dug-up corpse.

The blowhard Conservative MP Mark Francois fared little better, when he compared the fall of the so-called Labour ‘Red Wall’ to the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Maitlis and John Bercow (pictured) jostled for the upperhand in last night’s election debate

‘Are you hallucinating?’ Neil barked.

It was a question I asked of myself when BBC reporter Clive Myrie appeared at dawn in Downing Street. He wore a nice woolly scarf with matching gloves and looked suitably solemn.

Yet, although there were serious matters afoot, Clive’s innocent but unerring gift for innuendo could distract the most focused political mind. ‘Has he pulled it off?’ he wondered, before answering his own question in the positive. ‘Boris Johnson is inside No.10, savouring the moment.’

BBC reporter Clive Myrie (pictured in May, 2018) distracted the mind when he said ‘Boris Johnson is inside No.10, savouring the moment’ at midnight

Along with anchor Emily, he was waiting for the Prime Minister to leave for Buckingham Palace for his audience with the Queen. Suddenly we were caught in that terrifying news abyss where nothing happens, but the airways still have to be filled.

‘Are the curtains twitching?’ wondered Emily, but Clive’s mind was elsewhere. ‘We are all twitching ourselves here in the media pack,’ he said. It must have been super-enjoyable, because five minutes later he added: ‘I have lost all feeling in my right leg.’

But where, oh where, was Boris? Still rearranging salad bags in the crisper drawer of the fridge? He had been spotted earlier in his constituency, standing alongside fellow candidates Lord Buckethead, Count Binface and a giant Elmo at the count. It was worrying how perfectly at home he looked in that freaky line-up.

Sleuthing Emily had her eyes on the prime ministerial car, which had purred into Downing Street. ‘The Jag is heading off,’ she reported. ‘No, it is reversing back.’

Huw Edwards took the helm for BBC’s overnight coverage of the general election before being joined by Laura Kuenssberg, Katya Adler, Faisal Islam and Amol Rajan, along with Professor John Curtice for the results

Darling, this is a manoeuvre called ‘parking’ which most viewers might be familiar with, although it was nice to have it explained.

There was a super-embarrassing moment when Emily thought a bald security man of vaguely Asian appearance was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, somehow weirdly demoted to opening car doors for the leader. ‘Here come Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid,’ she said. Oops.

All too soon it was time for BBC royal expert Nicholas Witchell. He was stationed outside the Palace, speculating wildly about what the Queen might be saying to Boris.

Maitlist mistook a bald security man of vaguely Asian appearance as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and announced ‘here come Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid’

‘She can be very astute in her questioning — she is very curious,’ he ventured, as if he were talking about a bright toddler or perhaps even a budgerigar called Queenie.

Emily echoed this rather patronising theme about a monarch who has seen 14 prime ministers serve under her. ‘The Queen is very politically interested. She reads the political gossip of Westminster avidly,’ she said. Good to know!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks after retaining his seat at Uxbridge and South Ruislip, at the count at Brunel University, on December 12

Throughout Election Night, the Collective were keen to express how hard they were working. ‘We have several hours to talk about this,’ said Huw Edwards on BBC1. This was his first time as election anchor and he had a new haircut to celebrate. I liked it!

It was a kind of silver foxy demi-quiff, held in place by a quart of seal oil. Underneath this glory, Huw was a solid and granite presence throughout. One solitary flicker of emotion sparked in his Welsh breast when the Wrexham result appeared. ‘Which just happens to be my birthplace,’ he gasped.

Sophie Raworth was skipping about outside the studios on a giant map of the UK, with coloured tiles representing each constituency. Like some incomprehensible game of Twister, she would pull them up and re-lay them as the results came in.

Throughout the long night, the big names of the Collective jostled for position, fangs poised for the killer soundbite, ever ready to chow down on the juiciest nugget of news

‘The blue heart in the red circle, that is Tom Watson,’ she said, tapping the tile with her toes.

Actually, Watson was a guest on C4’s alternative election show, where host Krishnan Guru-Murthy promised: ‘We will talk about both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, we have eight hours.’

Although it did the heart good to see the glum expressions of Left-wing smugerrati such as David Baddiel and Nish Kumar, I turned over when a female comedian made a ghastly, unfunny quip about sanitary products and Workington Man.

Why would anyone turn back when the BBC had something far funnier — Naga Munchetty at the Blyth Valley count, stating the obvious about counting votes.

ITV’s general election coverage (pictured, ITV newsroom) had a lot of energy and good guests but the graphics were less impressive than the BBC

‘It is very much about accuracy,’ she opined. And she wonders why Jeremy Vine, bristling with information, gets paid so much more.

ITV had a lot of energy and good guests, but less impressive graphics than the BBC. On Good Morning Britain (ITV), someone called Harry ventured that Boris ‘could stuff a sausage roll in his mouth and it looked like it belonged there’.

‘It is going to be a long morning,’ said host Piers Morgan and it certainly was. On the BBC, Emily now had Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly in her studio.

‘James, were you expecting anything of this size?’ she murmured. Oh, where was Clive Myrie when we needed him most? Still in Downing Street, contemplating what was going on behind closed doors. ‘David Cameron tried it once, Theresa May tried it once and now Boris is trying it once, too,’ he informed viewers.

Now look. That’s quite enough sauce from everyone. Until the next election, at least.

 

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Strictly Come Dancing fans disgusted as the judges swoon over Kelvin Fletcher dancing in a see

STRICTLY Come Dancing fans were left disgusted this evening as the judges swooned over Kelvin Fletcher. The former Emmerdale actor performed...