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Orlando Bloom joins Katy Perry in special Peppa Pig guest appearance | Ents & Arts News

Orlando Bloom will be joining the cast of Peppa Pig next year, playing a jeweller called Mr Raccoon.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star will play Mr Raccoon the jeweller alongside his fiancee Katy Perry, who it was previously announced will be playing dressmaker Ms Leopard.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom attend the LA premiere of Amazon's "Carnival Row" at TCL Chinese Theatre on August 21, 2019 in Hollywood, California
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Perry and Bloom got engaged in 2019

The couple, who have been engaged for four years and who share a daughter, Daisy Dove, will star in a three-part episode celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary.

According to the show description, Mr Raccoon will assist Peppa and her friends with preparations for Mr Bull and Mrs Cow’s nuptials.

It’s the first wedding to take place on the pre-school show.

Sharing the news of Bloom’s guest appearance, the show’s official social media pages called it “Oinktastic news!” and clarified that both the casting and filming of the episodes had taken place ahead of the US actors and writers strikes which have held up the industry over recent months.

Olivier Dumont, the president of Peppa Pig’s parent company, eOne, said it was an “honour” to have Bloom, 46 on board, adding: “Orlando is an extraordinary actor, dad and philanthropist, and we’re proud to have him join the Peppa roster”.

As well as his three-year-old daughter with Perry, 38, Bloom has a 12-year-old son Flynn with his ex-wife Miranda Kerr.

Peppa Pig first aired in 2004 and has been translated into more than 40 languages and broadcast in over 180 territories throughout its 10 seasons.

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In 2021 it was the second most in-demand cartoon in America (beaten only by SpongeBob SquarePants), with acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino hailing it “the greatest British import of this decade” the following year.

Such is its influence, that it’s been blamed for the “Peppa effect” after American children began saying “mummy” instead of “mommy” and pronouncing tomato in the British way.

Last year, former British Prime minister Boris Johnson was ridiculed after enthusiastically discussing a visit to Pepper Pig World theme park in Hampshire during a speech to business leaders.

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Peppa Pig follows a four-year-old pig who lives with her family – younger brother George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig.

Bloom’s next big screen role will be quite the contrast, having recently landed the lead role in The Cut, a psychological thriller set in the world of boxing.

He will play a former professional boxer who is brought out of retirement to win back his championship title, but spirals out of control due to his gruelling training regime.

Peppa Pig Wedding Party Special will premiere in spring 2024.

UK hosting Eurovision for Ukraine is special moment of unity, say refugees | Ents & Arts News

Ukraine’s Eurovision entry this year was written during the fall of Mariupol.

Electronic duo Tvorchi will be performing the song, Heart of Steel, in the final on Saturday.

The group told Sky News that performing it in Liverpool – despite winning last year, Ukraine is unable to host the event for obvious reasons – feels bittersweet.

“We would be happier if this could happen in Ukraine, and we didn’t experience the war and full-scale invasion,” said Andrii Hutsuliak.

“But we want to say a huge thanks to the UK for hosting it and all the support we received, it means a lot to us.”

Getting to Liverpool meant succeeding in their national competition last year in Ukraine.

The event took place in a converted underground station in the capital Kyiv.

A banner promoting the Eurovision Song Contest near The Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, Merseyside
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The group won a contest held in a Kyiv underground station

It was being used as a bomb shelter but was transformed into a TV studio and stage for the night and was live-streamed as 10 acts performed for a spot in Liverpool.

The UK stepping in to host this year’s competition on their behalf means a lot to the refugees in the North West who have sought sanctuary there over the past year.

Anastasiia Spivak, 23, came to the UK six months ago to live with a host family.

Anastasiia Spivak, 23
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Anastasiia says she feels ‘warm in my heart’ because of all support

Sky News met her as she was fundraising for Ukraine outside the concert venue, draped in the blue and yellow flag.

“I love seeing the Ukrainian signs, Ukrainian flag and colours everywhere I go. I really feel so warm in my heart because everyone here is really supporting our culture in many different ways,” she said.

Tetiana Naimanova, 28, is with her also raising awareness about the conflict in Ukraine.

She said: “We are so grateful to Liverpool and the UK for having us here and hosting on behalf of Ukraine.

“This is really the unity of two countries, two cultures and having all people around the world, around Europe coming here and discovering Ukraine is so special.”

Read more:
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They are both excited and proud that the Eurovision Song Contest is honouring Ukraine. It feels poignant to them both and much needed, as Tetiana explained.

“It’s really important for us to have this moment in the middle of what’s going on to find this opportunity to celebrate and to be together and to remind people that the war is still going on but we have to support each other.

“We have to do whatever we can to support Ukraine and we’re really happy that we have the opportunities here to get that support.”

Liverpool will have love and support in abundance come Saturday when they throw a party Ukraine wishes it could, and one day they hope will be able to again.

Ministry of Defence says leak which claims UK special forces have been operating in Ukraine has ‘a serious level of inaccuracy’ | UK News

The Ministry of Defence says there is “a serious level of inaccuracy” in leaks which claim UK special forces have been operating in Ukraine.

The claims have been widely reported after US classified military documents were allegedly leaked and published online.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson has warned against taking allegations contained in the reported leak at “face value”.

A spokesperson said in a message posted on Twitter: “The widely reported leak of alleged classified US information has demonstrated a serious level of inaccuracy.

“Readers should be cautious about taking at face value allegations that have the potential to spread disinformation.”

Media outlets have reported that a document, dated 23 March, indicates as many as 50 UK special forces personnel have been deployed to the country alongside other western special forces.

But the document reportedly does not state where the allegedly deployed forces are located or what they are doing.

Chris Meagher, a spokesman for the Pentagon, has urged caution in “promoting or amplifying any of these documents”, adding that “it does appear that slides have been doctored”.

The documents may first have been published in a chatroom on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, Associated Press reported.

An unidentified chatroom user shared documents that were allegedly classified, first typing them out with their own thoughts, then, as of a few months ago, beginning to post images of papers with folds in them.

The posts appear to have gone unnoticed outside of the chat until a few weeks ago, when they began to circulate more widely on social media.

Many details shared by the person have not been independently verified and the original chatroom has been deleted.

Asked on Monday if the US government was effectively waiting for more intelligence documents to show up online, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby replied: “The truth and the honest answer to your question is: We don’t know. And is that a matter of concern to us? You’re darn right it is.”

It comes after the US defence department began investigating who is responsible for the potentially damaging leak.

Read more:
Russian ambassador has ‘evidence’ UK special forces involved in attack

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From 5 April: Putin – US-Russia relations ‘in deep crisis’

The New York Times, which first reported the breach, quoted military analysts as saying the files appear to have been modified in certain parts, which could point to an attempt by Moscow to spread disinformation.

Wall Street Journal correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov said Russian propaganda channels appeared to have photoshopped at least one of the documents after the original ones were posted.

Mr Trofimov noted how there was suddenly a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian casualties and equipment losses recorded and a massive decrease in the Russian battle damage.

Ukrainian presidential official, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the leak looked like a Russian disinformation operation, saying that it contained a “very large amount of fictitious information”.

Click to subscribe to Ukraine War Diaries wherever you get your podcasts

The act of stealing secret documents and leaking them either with or without modifications is a long-standing weapon of information warfare designed to undermine an opponent.

It would benefit Russia for information about Ukraine’s battle plans and Western support to be leaked online.

The classified files – including one marked “top secret” and another marked “secret” – are dated from late February and early March.

They do not reveal specific dates or details about Ukraine’s anticipated spring offensive in the east and south of the country.

But they do offer clues about the kind of military formations that Western allies are helping their Ukrainian partners build up.

The New York Times said US officials were trying to have the files taken down off the social media sites.

However, as of last Friday morning, versions of the leaks were still being widely shared.

Paul O’Grady death: Tributes for ‘really special’ comedian and TV presenter | Ents & Arts News

Tributes are being paid to Paul O’Grady after the TV star died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening.

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly described O’Grady as “a really special man” adding that it was “such sad news”.

She said he was “funny, fearless, brave, kind and wise” and “will be sorely missed”.

paul o'grady

Commenting on O’Grady’s affectionate nature towards animals she added: “I always think dogs are the best judge of character and they ADORED him.”

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell echoed the ITV host’s sentiments, adding how much O’Grady contributed to the LGBT+ voice.

Mr Tatchell said: “Paul wasn’t just a brilliant comedian and broadcast personality but a much-admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights.”

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis tweeted his sadness at Mr O’Grady’s death, saying: “Quite shocked and saddened to wake up to the news of Paul O’Grady passing. A funny man, with incredibly quick wit, who made millions laugh.”

Charlotte Hawkins of Good Morning Britain said: “Oh no, such sad news… What a warm-hearted, hugely talented and funny man he was. Plus a dog-lover of course.”

“Already giving them raucous, ripping up the rulebook, mischief making, calling it out, loving hell in heaven,” wrote Carol Vorderman.

“Paul, what are we meant to do without you?”

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home described O’Grady as a “devoted animal lover” and a “champion for the underdog”.

The organisation, for which the TV star was an ambassador, praised his “razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth”.

File photo dated 17/03/15 of Queen Elizabeth II looking at a Corgi as Paul O'Grady looks on during a visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London.

Its chief executive Peter Laurie said: “Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.

“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.

He continued: “Paul had an extremely hands-on approach as a Battersea Ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages.

“He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life. He will be dearly missed.”

EDITORIAL USE ONLY File photo dated 07/05/13 of Paul O'Grady with rescue dogs Razor a German Shepherd, Moose a Rottweiler and Dodger a Terrier at London's Battersea Park.

Comedian Sooz Kempner said: “We all grew up watching Lily Savage (I can remember watching her on The Big Breakfast and my mum proper laughing) but it’s only in more recent years I realised what an incredible life Paul had had. What a loss!”

Actor John Barrowman said: “I am totally shocked and sad to hear the awful news that Paul O’Grady has died. An awesome talent stretching decades. From watching him as Lily Savage at the Vauxhall Tavern to sitting with him laughing backstage at West End Bares to being a guest on his @itv Paul O’Grady show…”

TV presenter Les Dennis said O’Grady was “a true comedy great”, adding his twinkly, mischievous presence” would be missed.