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Chris Evans reveals cancer diagnosis on his radio show | Ents & Arts News

Chris Evans has revealed he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Announcing the news on his Virgin Radio show, he said it was discovered in the early stages, adding he was told it is treatable.

He said: “We need to discuss what’s going on with this issue.

“It is a melanoma. There’s this phrase called a malignant melanoma – you know once you get something, and you find out all about it – that is a redundant phrase because if it is a melanoma it is malignant.

“But it’s been caught so early, just so you know, that it should be completely treatable.”

He added he will be treated for the condition on 14 September.

Evans, who is an avid runner, said he was told he will be unable to exercise in the month following the treatment, joking he will do nothing but run until his appointment.

It comes after he became concerned about skin cancer back in 2019, saying the high UV levels during the summer heat prompted him to go to the doctor.

However, Evans was told he had “nothing to worry about”, and that he should get checked for the condition once a year.

The broadcaster also spoke about a similar scare in 2015, when he was checked for prostate cancer after developing some symptoms.

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‘You’re an idiot if you chuck bowel cancer kit away’

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Evans joined Virgin Radio in 2018, when he left the coveted BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, taking most of his production team with him.

He had been a mainstay at the BBC, hosting The One Show and a stint on Top Gear, and before that fronting chaotic Channel 4 shows, TFI Friday and The Big Breakfast.

Joe Pasquale reveals he impaled himself on moose antlers in Skegness | Ents & Arts News

Comedian Joe Pasquale has told a podcast he had to get stitches after impaling himself with a set of moose antlers at the end of a show in Skegness.

The star was performing at the seaside town’s Embassy Theatre last month as part of his new tour, The New Normal.

Speaking on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast, he said he tripped on stage and fell on the antlers – narrowly missing his torso.

“I nearly died, I really did. I was that close!”, the I’m A Celeb star explained, adding: “It only got me in the back of the leg.

“In the act I have a great big pair of moose antlers, and they’re huge things. They’ve got these huge prongs sticking out, and the gag is I have to put them on my head and I go ‘I put too much mousse on my hair’.

“But at the end of the act the curtains came down and all my props are strewn all over the stage, and they bring the lights down, obviously.

“As I’m starting to put all my props away, and I literally trip over my moose head.”

Pasquale, who is 61-years-old, insisted how he is “quite nimble for my age”.

Likening the incident to Mission: Impossible, Pasquale described how he avoided a more serious injury.

“So I had one leg on the ground and the other one’s hanging out to the right-hand side somewhere, and I managed to push myself over, my torso went over the moose head.

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Backstage with David Harbour

“It was like Tom Cruise… I actually twisted round on to my back as well, all in a split second.

“It was all in slow motion and as I came down the moose head only got me in the back of the leg. It really hurt, but I thought, ‘oh that’s okay.'”

Opting not to rush to the local A&E on a Saturday night, the venue’s medic patched him up, before he went to Bridlington’s hospital up the coast the next day, where he was given seven stitches ahead of his show that night.

UK Scout leader reveals Jamboree chaos amid South Korea heatwave – with ‘ambulances everywhere’ | UK News

A UK Scout leader at the World Jamboree in South Korea has described conditions as “atrocious and unusable”.

More than 4,000 British attendees – many of them children – are being moved from a camp into hotels due to extreme temperatures hitting the country.

The 29-year-old contingent unit leader claimed there were “ambulances everywhere” – and the event’s infrastructure was ill-equipped to keep people safe in searing heat.

Scout water bottle
Leaky water bottle given to Scouts by UK contingent

Speaking to Sky News journalist Kirsty Hickey, he said his group – which includes 30 children – have been given bad-quality, small water bottles.

“A third have broken and leak even though they tell us to drink a litre every hour,” he said. “Getting water is a 10-minute walk away in the heat.”

The Scout leader, who did not wish to be named, also alleged toilet facilities were unclean, and there have been complaints that the meals offered were not nutritionally balanced.

Toilet block
Toilet block at Jamboree was described as ‘unusable’

He revealed that they had to wait for over an hour in the heat for coaches to take them to Seoul – and claimed the emergency services needed to be called after some children passed out. However, the kids in his group are fine.

“The money hasn’t been worth it as we’re leaving and not getting the experience we paid for,” the Scout leader told us.

“The kids are upset that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has gone to waste because of lack of organisation and preparation.”

Police at Scout Jamboree
Emergency services deployed to event

The contingent unit leader added that in comparison to the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan – which also suffered from stifling temperatures – appropriate infrastructure made the event bearable.

It comes after organisers and the South Korean government said water trucks, air-conditioned spaced and medics were being sent to the event.

Temperatures in some parts of the country have topped 38C (100.4F) this week, with at least 600 people at the event having been treated for heat-related ailments, according to officials.

The event in southwestern Buan has attracted around 40,000 participants from 155 countries, most of them aged between 14 and 18.

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Bear Grylls urges Scouts to stay hydrated

‘A complete mess’

Peter Naldrett, who has two children at the World Scout Jamboree, posted on X (formerly Twitter) to say that parents have been asked not to talk to the press.

He revealed that he had raised a total of £9,000 so his kids could attend the event.

Attendees of the World Scout Jamboree lie down. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

“The South Koreans have made a complete mess of organising this. The government took over running the site and it’s still a mess,” Mr Naldrett wrote.

He praised UK contingent leaders for how they have handled the situation and tried to keep morale high.

“If moving all the scouts off site over 48 hours is honestly the best move for the event, then fair enough. But the kids are looking forward to trips out and the famous culture day,” Mr Naldrett added.

Attendees of the World Scout Jamboree cool off. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

The father believes that children should be able to return to the site for key events – and called on corporate sponsors to make donations so their trip isn’t wasted.

Urging the government to help, he concluded by saying: “There needs to be a massive effort to save this experience and it should be a no expense spared job … I do want the 4,000 UK kids to experience the international mixing and activities they have been flown over there for.”

Energy price cap falls significantly as Ofgem reveals new level for average bills | Business News

The energy price cap on household bills has fallen to an annual average of £2,074 between July and September, removing some of the financial pain inflicted by the unprecedented surge in gas and electricity costs.

Industry regulator Ofgem made the announcement against a backdrop of good news for the cost of living crisis – with wholesale energy prices falling.

They spiked last year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which saw both oil and natural gas costs shoot up – a situation that was made worse by the imposition of sanctions on the Kremlin by Western governments.

The new cap figure compares to the £3,280 level set by Ofgem for March-June, meaning a £1,206 reduction in the cap from July and a reduction in average bills by £426 a year.

Updates and reaction as new price cap announced

However, that cap is currently irrelevant.

That is because the government’s energy price guarantee (EPG), which limits the amount suppliers can charge per unit of energy used, ran throughout the autumn and winter months and remains in force until 1 July.

That keeps bills at around an average annual level of £2,500.

There is no further taxpayer support on the table from July onwards.

The price cap, which is reviewed every three months, will take over again from then. A typical bill should be around £500 cheaper on a 12-month basis.

Current projections predict a stable outlook for energy bills at around the £2,000 level but such a sum remains more than £1,000 above the pre-pandemic average and much will depend on the potential for further wholesale market shocks.

Gas supplies remain the core worry for prices ahead.

Day-ahead wholesale costs peaked at an industry measure of 570p per therm last August but are currently at 66p.

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IMF: Cost of living crisis to continue

Longer term contracts are more expensive, with year’s end delivery at double that level at around 129p.

That reflects the likelihood of increased demand as winter approaches.

Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said of Ofgem’s announcement: “Whilst the falling price cap is a relief for households, this gas crisis will linger, with wholesale price forecasts suggesting that the average household energy bill might not get below £1,700 a year for the rest of this decade.

“That’s around £600 (about 50%) above where it was before the gas crisis.”

He also warned: “If we don’t get on with insulating homes, installing heat pumps and building more renewables, gas demand will remain high and that means bills will too.”

The cost of living crisis is set to linger.

While fuel bills have fallen back – with energy set to follow – the latest inflation data showed food costs continuing to rise at an annual rate of almost 20%.

Economists have pointed to a rise in so-called core inflation, which strips out volatile elements such as food, as putting further pressure on the Bank of England to maintain its cycle of interest rate hikes.

They make the immediate pressure on budgets worse by adding to borrowing costs but are designed to dampen demand, and therefore prices, in the economy in the longer term.

Bullying, harassment and discrimination allegations reported in every fire service in England, report reveals | UK News

Allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination have been reported in every fire and rescue service in England, a report has found.

Examples included two male firefighters joking with a female colleague that they were “going to rape her,” and the three of them acting out the rape together. On another occasion a senior officer referred to a black colleague using the n-word.

Inspectors found examples of racist, homophobic and misogynistic behaviour in a quarter of services in England, with the behaviour often excused as “banter.”

The sector is described as a “boys club,” and people said they felt uncomfortable about reporting bad behaviour for fear of reprisals. The fire inspectorate warned that recent headlines about misconduct may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Roy Wilsher, of His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services, said on misconduct cases over the past 12 months: “More than half of those concerned inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying and harassment, associated with a protected characteristic. This is shocking enough but I am not confident that this is even the whole picture.”

“Our findings shine a light on deeply troubling bullying and harassment in fire and rescue services across the country – and I fear this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

“I can’t guarantee there’s no predators or racists, homophobes or sexists within the Fire Rescue Service. But what I can guarantee that if our recommendations are implemented, things will improve,” he told Sky News.

The report calls for background checks on all firefighters and staff, and new misconduct standards to be introduced. This is to include a national barred list. The sector needs to “get a grip” on how it handles misconduct, the inspector said, adding it “cannot wait another day before it acts.”

‘I did get pressured into sleeping with a colleague’

Sky News spoke to a female firefighter who said she was pressured into sex by a male colleague.

“I haven’t discussed it before, but there was a time after an evening out that I did get pressured into sleeping with a colleague when I didn’t want to. If I was sober I would never have consented to it,” she told Sky News.

“After that, my mental health was really bad. I regretted it so much that I let myself get that drunk – I didn’t expect to get upset… last year I actually made an attempt to take my own life because of how he made me feel.”

The firefighter said she was repeatedly sent explicit photographs from male colleagues.

“I try and avoid people that have sent me pictures like that now. And I try and act as normal as possible… but it’s always at the back of my mind.”

One of the images shows a male firefighter sitting on a toilet showing his private parts. He is wearing a navy blue t-shirt that appears to be his uniform.

The female firefighter said: “A lot of sexual favours asked for. A female colleague was pinned in the corner by more than one firefighter and demanded sexual favours. Another was sexually assaulted by a colleague as he walked past. Then he took photos of her changing.

Sky News has seen text message exchanges between female colleagues which paint a disturbing picture of their experiences.

The Home Office called the findings in the report “deeply concerning” and promised to address bad culture across the sector.

NatWest reveals profits surged by more than a third to £5.1bn last year | Business News

Profits at 45% state-owned bank NatWest have risen to their highest since the global financial crash.

The bank recorded profits of £5.1bn before tax in its 2022 full-year results, a high not seen since 2007.

Shareholders will get a payout of 10p each per share, as an £800m share buyback scheme was announced meaning the bank can increase its own stake.

Higher interest rates, imposed on lenders by the Bank of England following the mini-budget market turmoil in an effort to lower inflation, have benefitted NatWest.

Profit has been boosted by those rates. Money earned on loans, minus the amount it pays in interest, increased. The margin rose from 2.3% in 2021 to 2.85% last year.

As interest rates rise and cost of living pressures weigh on households, NatWest has put aside £337m – less than the £434m forecast – for the year to prepare itself for the hit of customers who may default on loans but says levels of default remain low.

NatWest became state-owned in the wake of the global financial crash when the government bailed it out. At the time it as known as the Royal Bank of Scotland group.

Higher profits and a rising share price may mean the government sells more of its stake.

Labour condemns ‘culture of lavish spending’ under Rishi Sunak as party report reveals government debit card purchases | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has been accused of failing to rein in a “culture of lavish spending” across government departments as Labour published details of thousands of purchases over the past two years on taxpayer-funded debit cards.

The opposition party’s report on Government Procurement Cards (GPCs) showed 14 departments spent at least £145.5m in 2021 compared with the £84.9m spent a decade before, an increase of 71.38% in 10 years.

It follows the rules around GPCs being relaxed at the start of the COVID pandemic, with card holders able to spend up to £20,000 per transaction and £100,000 a month across all spending categories.

Labour said the increase in spending was driven by the Ministry of Justice, which went from spending £36.9m a year in 2011 to £84.9m in 2021.


The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s spending was 3.7 times higher in 2021 – at £34.4m – than the Foreign Office and Department for International Development’s combined spending of £9.3m a decade prior, according to the report.

Nine of the 14 departments analysed spent more in the last month of the financial year than any other month of the year, with overall GPC spending more than two-thirds higher in March 2021 than the monthly average for the rest of the year.

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A worrying trend is emerging for the Tories in by-elections

Labour also found there were 34,661 transactions of over £1,000 in 2021 across the 14 departments.

The party named the largest suppliers to departments through GPCs in 2021 too – they included: Banner Stationery (£3.3m); Amazon (£1.51m); Enterprise-Rent-a-Car (£414,785); IKEA (£237,683); Posturite Chairs (£131,652); John Lewis (£105,832); KPMG (£105, 014); and Apple (£101,467).

It said the biggest was BFS Group, which provides food supplies to the Prison Service, with sales over £500 worth an overall £54.9m.

Labour plan to ‘get tough on waste’

Labour said it was concerned about “lax controls” over GPCs and “unchecked spending sprees engaged in by multiple departments across Whitehall at the end of each financial year”.

It claimed there was “excessive spending” on “extravagant events, expensive restaurants, high-end catering, five-star hotels, lavish gifts and hospitality, luxury furnishings and fabrics, unnecessary corporate branding, non-essential training, high-priced awayday venues, and the purchase of alcohol at taxpayers’ expense”.

Angela Rayner says she 'doesn't want to see industrial action'
Angela Rayner called the revelations ‘shocking’

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said her party would create an “Office of Value for Money” to “get tough on waste”.

“Britain may be facing the worst cost of living crisis for decades, but whether as chancellor or prime minister, Rishi Sunak has failed to rein in the culture of lavish spending across Whitehall on his watch,” she said.

“Today’s shocking revelations lift the lid on a scandalous catalogue of waste, with taxpayers’ money frittered away across every part of government, while in the rest of the country, families are sick with worry about whether their pay cheque will cover their next weekly shop or the next tranche of bills.”

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Cost of living crisis: how are young people coping?

Tories hit back at Labour report

Meanwhile, a senior Conservative source hit back at Labour and its report.

“Awkwardly for Labour HQ they’ve forgotten that they introduced these ‘civil servant credit cards’ in 1997,” they said.

“By 2010 Labour was spending almost £1bn of taxpayers’ money on everything from dinners at Mr Chu’s Chinese restaurant to luxury five-star hotels.

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“The Conservatives swiftly stopped their absurd profligacy, cutting the number of cards, introducing a requirement for spending to be publicly declared and introducing controls.

“Typically, Labour’s ‘big idea’ is to spend millions to establish yet another quango, stuff it with thousands of bureaucrats and give them gold plated pensions.”

Treasury reveals ‘world-first’ proposals to regulate cryptocurrency | Science & Tech News

The Treasury has revealed proposals to regulate cryptocurrency, following widespread calls for action after the spectacular collapse of one of the world’s largest trading exchanges.

Promising a “robust” approach to digital assets consistent with traditional finance, the government says it wants exchanges to have fairer and tighter standards.

Under the plans, crypto platforms would become responsible for defining the demands that a currency must meet before being admitted for trading.

Exchanges will also be held accountable for safely facilitating transactions and keeping customer assets safe.

It comes after the deputy governor of the Bank of England told Sky News that crypto trading is “too dangerous” to remain outside mainstream regulation.

Speaking in light of the sudden bankruptcy of crypto platform FTX, Sir Jon Cunliffe described the market as “incredibly volatile” and said investors needed more protection.

Some 80,000 UK-based customers were impacted by the collapse of the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, with one British investor left with a £1m hole in his finances.

FTX‘s disgraced founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has since pleaded not guilty to stealing billions of dollars in customer money.

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‘Regulate crypto before systemic problem’

Are the government’s plans sufficient?

The proposals – which Labour said had arrived too far too late – come as the crypto industry seeks to regain the confidence of spooked investors.

Since FTX collapsed, wider market turmoil has seen Bitcoin, the world’s biggest token, fall to a five-month low and major exchange Coinbase cut 20% of its workforce.

Less than a year ago, Rishi Sunak, then chancellor, said he wanted the UK to be a “global crypto asset hub”.

Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, said the government was still committed to enabling crypto, but stressed the need to “protect consumers who are embracing this new technology”.

The plans will first be submitted to a consultation, but the Treasury claims the regulation will be a “world first”, suggesting it should arrive before the EU’s expected crypto legislation in 2024.

In the meantime, the Treasury announced it would be introducing a time-limited exemption to let more crypto asset companies issue promotions following a crackdown on “misleading” adverts.

Firms that are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority for anti-money laundering purposes will be allowed to while the broader regulation is being introduced.

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What is the main aim of cryptocurrency?

‘We’ve been waiting a long time’

Crypto fraud expert Louise Abbott, a partner at Keystone Law, welcomed the proposals.

She told Sky News that the lack of regulation in crypto made it “hugely attractive to fraudsters”.

“We have been waiting in this industry for a long time,” she said.

“I deal with fraud and have seen a dramatic increase in crypto scams and fraud in the past 10 years. Last year, I was getting daily enquiries from potential victims who have been defrauded through a crypto scam.”

Ms Abbot hopes the regulation could be in place as soon as the summer, adding that it was in the interests of both exchanges and investors for greater oversight of the market.

Major industry players including Binance chief Changpeng Zhao, who saw his platform banned in the UK in 2021, and Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong have previously welcomed the prospect of more regulation.

“Unless we become a safer environment, investors will not invest in the way we have seen,” Ms Abbot added.

Varun Paul, former head of fintech at the Bank of England, now of crypto infrastructure provider Fireblocks, also described the plans as a “positive step”.

He told Sky News that industry turmoil meant there was a need for “clear rules”, and expressed hope that the UK’s regulation would do the job while still encouraging innovation.

Esther Rantzen, 82, reveals she has lung cancer – but remains ‘optimistic’ | UK News

Dame Esther Rantzen says she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The 82-year-old broadcaster, long-time activist and founder of charities Childline and The Silver Line, confirmed the news on Sunday.

Dame Esther added that her cancer had “spread”, but that she was due to undergo tests to assess possible treatments and that she remained “optimistic”.

“In the last few weeks I have discovered that I am suffering from lung cancer which has now spread,” she said in a statement.

“At the age of 82, this diagnosis has prompted me to look back over the years, and I want to express my profound thanks to everyone who has made my life so joyful, filled with fun, and with inspiration.

“First and foremost my family. My three children Miriam, Rebecca and Joshua have been the most wonderful support, company, and source of love and laughter and I am deeply grateful to them.

“My friends have been amazing and have created memories which sustain me and give me strength.

“My colleagues with whom I have worked, and continue to work with in broadcasting, journalism, the voluntary sector, and in many other organisations, have been a constant pleasure, and have amazed me with their tolerance of my wild ideas and awful jokes.

Esther Rantzen (right) with Queen Consort Camilla (then the Duchess of Cornwall) during a visit to the Blackpool offices of the Silver Line, a charity which offers a free, national and confidential helpline for lonely older people which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

“I have been continuously inspired by the courageous children, older people and viewers who have trusted me with their life stories. I have always tried to live up to that trust.

“As I am sure you will understand, while I am awaiting the results of the tests, I am unable to answer questions.

“Thanks to the extraordinary skills of the medical profession there are wonderful new treatments, so I am remaining optimistic.”

A trailblazer for female broadcasters, Dame Esther became a household name during her career at the BBC.

Esther Rantzen after she was made a Dame by the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 25, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Investiture. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

From 1973 to 1994, she presented the satirical consumer affairs programme That’s Life! which featured investigations and offered advice.

She also founded the children’s charity Childline, which offers support for children and young people in the UK, in 1986, before setting up a second charity, The Silver Line, for elderly people struggling with loneliness, in 2013.

She was made a DBE in 2015 for services to children and older people.

In 2021, Dame Esther received the lifetime achievement award at the Women of the Year Awards for her philanthropy.

Forensic psychologist tells of ‘terrifying’ stalking ordeal – and reveals why some celebrities are targeted | UK News

When Kerry Daynes discovered the words “Jill Dando” scrawled on her fence, shortly after her cat was found dead in her garden with its neck apparently broken, she believed her life was in danger.

The forensic psychologist has come face-to-face with some of the UK’s most notorious criminals, including Moors murderer Ian Brady and violent inmate Charles Bronson, through her work in maximum security prisons.

But it was after her appearances on television that she says made her the target of a stalker.

After taking part in several crime documentaries, Daynes was contacted online by a stranger offering her the chance to buy domains for websites set up in her name.

She declined the offer but he “immediately turned” and responded with “anger and vitriol”, she says.

He “bombarded” her with messages and comments were posted online accusing her of being a liar and remarking on her appearance in different outfits, she says.

“I knew he had my address, he knew what clothes I was wearing, he knew I lived alone,” Daynes tells Sky News.

“It was a really terrifying time.

“I didn’t have any knowledge of him. I didn’t know who he was.

“He could have been any man who walked past my house or who was behind me in a queue in Tesco’s.

“Every time a man looked at me, I thought: ‘Is that him?’

“I was rushing into my house at night, trying to get my key in the door quickly… and then living with the curtains closed.”

Forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes was a victim of stalking
Kerry Daynes would lie awake at night fearing for her life

‘Fixated, unwanted, persistent’

Daynes, from Greater Manchester, says she would lie awake at night thinking was this “somebody who was likely to kill me”.

“What was disconcerting about it was the level of obsession this man had about me,” she adds.

“I’d never spoken to him. As far as I was aware, I’d never set eyes on him.

“Fixated, unwanted, persistent – he was clearly a stalker.”

Daynes says the man’s behaviour meant she stopped appearing on TV or at public speaking events and stayed off social media.

She finally came face-to-face with him in a civil court case, which resulted in the websites in her name being taken down.

But years later, while out walking her dog, she says a parked car suddenly sped up and nearly hit her.

A week later, she received a letter from the man with a demand for more than £26,000. Shortly after that, her cat was found dead.

Jill Dando was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999 - the murder remains unsolved
The name ‘Jill Dando’ was scrawled on Daynes’s fence. Dando was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999

‘Death threat’

“My cat – who had been absolutely fine 10 minutes previously – I found dead, seemingly having had its neck broken, and looking like he’d been thrown over my fence,” Daynes says.

“When I went round to the other side of the fence, somebody had written the words: ‘Jill Dando’.”

Daynes believes the mention of Dando – the TV presenter who was shot dead outside her London home in 1999, in a murder that remains unsolved – was meant as “a death threat”.

“I walked into the police station and said I want to speak to your specialist officer in stalking,” she says.

Daynes says the man later received a harassment warning from police.

The celebrities targeted by stalkers

Emma Raducanu, Claire Foy and David Beckham
Emma Raducanu, Claire Foy and David Beckham have been victims of stalking

On Friday, a stalker will be sentenced for targeting the actress Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix series The Crown.

Foy described the actions of Jason Penrose as “deeply frightening” after he sent more than 1,000 emails in just over a month, knocked on the door of her home and contacted her sister.

It follows a string of high-profile victims of stalking in recent months.

David Beckham said he was “frightened” for his family’s safety after Sharon Bell sent him “threatening” letters and turned up at his daughter’s school.

She was charged with stalking and detained under the Mental Health Act in July last year.

And in February 2022, a stalker who trekked 23 miles to the home of tennis star Emma Raducanu and stole her father’s shoe as a souvenir was handed a five-year restraining order.

Emma Raducanu

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which supports victims of stalking, says cases involving celebrities are “by no means the majority”.

About 45% of people who contact the charity’s helpline are being stalked by ex-partners, and a further third have had prior contact with their stalker.

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Singer Billie Eilish asks for restraining order

Stalker terrorised 121 victims after making ‘rape list’

Official figures show there were more than 718,000 stalking and harassment offences in England and Wales in the year to June 2022 – a 45% rise compared with the year ending March 2020.

However only 5% of stalking cases in England and Wales result in a charge, according to the National Stalking Consortium.

In November, anti-stalking campaigners submitted a super-complaint – which is designed to consider complaints about systemic issues in policing – after arguing that forces are failing to launch effective probes into stalking crimes.

The five ‘types’ of stalker

There are generally five stalker types, according to forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes.

However the behaviour of stalkers is complex and shifts, meaning they won’t necessarily behave within the confines of one “type”, she adds.

1) The rejected stalker – this is the most common and involves someone attempting to reconcile with a former partner or exacting revenge for perceived rejection. Rejected stalkers can become violent when stalking does not produce their desired outcome.

2) The incompetent suitor – this refers to stalkers who target strangers or acquaintances with the aim of sexual encounters. Action Against Stalking says some people think the term “incompetent suitor” minimises criminal behaviour that is often born out of an attitude of entitlement.

3) The erotomanic or intimacy-seeking stalker – this is fuelled by stalkers’ delusional beliefs that they are already in an intense relationship with the victim. It often involves targeting celebrities or public figures.

4) The resentful stalker – this is motivated by anger where the stalker is convinced they have been mistreated or humiliated by someone, even having had little contact with them. The stalking is vindictive and designed to cause distress or damage to the victim’s reputation.

5) The predatory stalker – this is where stalking is part of a violent or sexual offence pattern. It can involve targeting strangers, with stalkers following victims, watching them and collecting information on them.

Why are celebrities targeted?

Daynes says the most common type of stalker is “the rejected stalker” and most people will know those targeting them.

“Stalking is a pretty gendered crime – more often than not, it is men who stalk their female ex-partners, although that’s not to say you don’t have female stalkers,” she says.

“What we find is that those who stalk people in the public eye, they tend to have low-level mental health problems, they tend to be unemployed, or under-employed, and they’re struggling with various difficulties in their lives.

“I think it’s easy for them to become obsessed with someone they don’t know, because they turn to fantasy to deal with that.

“For people who are inclined to fantasise a relationship with somebody they’ve never met, the fact they’re able to view lots of photographs of them on Instagram or they’re able to look into their home on TikTok videos, it all adds to that faux intimacy.”

Ex-newsreader tells of ‘psychological rape’

Stalking survivor Alexis Bowater was targeted while working as an ITV newsreader. PIc: ITV Westcountry/Home Office
Alexis Bowater was stalked while working as a newsreader. PIc: ITV Westcountry/Home Office

Former newsreader Alexis Bowater, who was the victim of stalking, described the crime as “psychological rape”.

She was working as a presenter on ITV Westcountry when she was bombarded with emails from stalker Alexander Reeve, who made threats against her and her then-unborn child and falsely claimed a bomb had been placed in the studios.

“It’s barbaric, isn’t it, for a human being to want to torture a pregnant woman,” Bowater tells Sky News.

“I had a Home Office-approved alarm installed in my home and we were linked up to the local police station.

“It was a race against time at that point between them getting him and him getting us.”

Stalking survivor Alexis Bowater was awarded an OBE for her campaign work
Bowater was awarded an OBE for her campaign work

Reeves was jailed in 2009 for four years but Bowater, who received an OBE for her work to combat violence against women and girls, believes stalking is still “not taken seriously”.

“The sentences are not long enough and not enough people are prosecuted for it,” she says.

“This is a horrific psychological crime which destroys lives.

“When I first start campaigning 10 years ago, people were still making jokes about stalkers. Thank heavens that’s not happening now.”

The private investigator hunting stalkers

Laura Lyons set up a private investigation agency after she was the victim of stalking herself.

Her company – Are They Safe – helps victims of online stalking identify the perpetrators and receives “at least 30 calls” every week about this form of crime.

“It’s a huge, huge problem,” Ms Lyons tells Sky News.

“The landscape of stalking has changed significantly since online communications.

“A lot of the time, until (the stalker) is outside their house, victims don’t know who the stalker is online.

“Sadly, online provides stalkers with the weaponry to stalk anonymously who they want, when they want.

“We’re seeing now that 99% of stalking cases start online.”

Read more:
Stalkers ‘have become increasingly obsessive’
The ‘powerful tool’ to protect stalking victims

Social media makes it ‘easy’ for stalkers to hide

Ms Lyons says she works with “a lot of people in the public eye” who are victims of stalking.

“They have to have active social media,” she adds. “You would be hard-pushed to find a presenter with a closed social profile.”

Ms Lyons says stalkers are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to prevent authorities finding them; sending spyware to victims’ emails; hacking into CCTV cameras and using Apple Air Tags to track victims.

She adds that it is also “easy” for stalkers to set up fake profiles on social media sites and hide their information.

“There are so many tools for stalkers to use,” she says.

“It’s so easy for stalkers to remain anonymous and hidden. It’s very difficult for the police.”