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Love Island star Georgia Steel subjected to ‘vile threats’ online | Ents & Arts News

Love Island: All Stars contestant Georgia Steel has been subjected to “vile threats” and “hate” on social media in recent days, according to a statement shared on her official Instagram.

In the current series, located in South Africa and featuring stars from the previous 10 seasons, the 25-year-old has appeared to be confused over her feelings for three fellow islanders – Toby Aromolaran, Callum Jones, and Tom Clare.

In a recent episode of the ITV2 show, several clips were shown to the entire villa, including footage of Steel’s conversations with the three men. Over the past few days, there has been criticism directed at the influencer online.

Love Island is hosted by Maya Jama. Pic: ITV
Love Island is hosted by Maya Jama. Pic: ITV

Following the backlash, Love Island viewers have been reminded that the show is “not real life”.

“The last few episodes have been difficult for us to watch, but what’s far worse is the hate Georgia is receiving online,” a statement posted to her 1.6m followers on Instagram said.

“It is a TV show and everyone has their opinions, please remember it’s not real life!”

‘Georgia is a daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend’

The statement went on to say that “hurtful” comments are having an impact on Steel’s loved ones as well as the star herself.

“Sending vile threats and nasty messages and comments is totally unacceptable,” it said. “Trolling is not OK.

“Georgia is a daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend, and these hurtful comments will not only devastate her when she leaves the villa but also deeply hurt those around her.”

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The statement also thanked those who have sent supportive messages and shown kindness, adding: “We see you and we thank you.”

A second post simply read: “There is power in kindness.”

Steel originally appeared in series four of the reality show, which was won by Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham.

Why has the social media ban been lifted?

This is not the first time Love Island viewers have been urged to think about their comments before posting online.

In 2021, the family of contestant Chloe Burrows revealed she had received “vile” abuse and death threats after just three days in the villa, and urged viewers to “be kind”.

Later that year, another former contestant, Amy Hart, addressed the realities of the online abuse she has suffered following her time on the show at an inquiry by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Last year, producers revealed a ban on social media for contestants while in the villa, to shield them from potential abuse as part of updated duty of care procedures. This meant that family members or friends could not keep their accounts updated on their behalf during their time on the show.

However, the ban has been lifted for this series. According to a show insider, it was felt this season’s islanders would be able to handle the potential negative aspects of social media as they have already experienced life in the spotlight and have management advising them.

An ITV spokesperson said: “We would always urge our viewers to be kind when engaging in social media conversations about our islanders, and to remember that they are real people with feelings.”

Kyle Walker: Manchester City and England star apologises to wife after fathering second child with model | UK News

England and Manchester City star Kyle Walker has apologised to his wife after fathering a second child with another woman.

The 33-year-old defender said he had made “idiot choices” and needed to “own up to my mistakes”.

“What I’ve done is horrible and I take full responsibility,” he told The Sun newspaper.

“The only person to blame is me. I have roles and responsibilities that I’m aware of, and I’ve made stupid choices.

“But I need to own up to my mistakes – I owe it to everyone.”

Walker, an England international, is married to Annie Kilner. The couple have three children, with a fourth on the way.

They first met when Walker was 17, and married in 2022, after a 12-year relationship.

However, in April 2020, the model and influencer Lauryn Goodman announced she had given birth, and later named Walker as the father.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker with the trophy after they win the FIFA Club World Cup 2023 final at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Picture date: Friday December 22, 2023.
Kyle Walker won the FIFA Club World Cup with Manchester City in December. Pic: PA

According to The Sun, Walker vowed he would have no further contact with Goodman, beyond any financial arrangements between them.

However, Walker is reported to have met Goodman in October 2022 having travelled to London for groin surgery.

Walker told the newspaper that Goodman informed him in “late October or early November” last year that she was pregnant with their second child.

Annie Kilner, girlfriend of England's Kyle Walker during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at Kaliningrad Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. See PA story WORLDCUP England. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation
Annie Kilner at a match in 2018. Pic: PA

Lauryn Goodman attending the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them European Premiere at Leicester Square, London.
Lauryn Goodman in 2016. Pic: PA

According to the newspaper, Kilner found out about Walker’s second child with Goodman when the model sent her a message on Instagram.

Walker, who won the treble with club-side Manchester City last season, has reportedly moved out of his home with Kilner, and is currently living in a rented flat.

“I can’t begin to think or imagine what Annie is going through. I’ve tried to ask her but there’s pain and hurt,” he told the newspaper.

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In 2020, the Manchester City footballer apologised after it was widely reported he held a party at his Cheshire home in violation of the nation’s lockdown measures.

The club promised that the 30-year-old would be subject to an “internal disciplinary procedure”.

“I reflect on, you know, my decision-making,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live at the time.

“It was bad decisions from me at an important time for the country and the world. I take full responsibility for that but I’m moving on now.”

Walker was also given an out of court disposal – which is not a criminal charge – over an allegation that he indecently exposed himself in a bar during an incident in March last year.

Newcastle star Joelinton becomes latest footballer to have home targeted by burglars | UK News

Newcastle United’s Joelinton has become the latest footballer to be targeted by burglars.

“Three men” entered his home as he watched his team play Manchester City in the Premier League at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, the Brazilian midfielder told Northumbria Police.

He “immediately” reported his concerns after getting an alert on his phone, the force said.

Officers were sent to the property on Runnymede Road in Darras Hall, northwest of Newcastle, after being called shortly before 7.30pm.

Those “alleged to be involved” had fled, police added.

Shortly before the turn of the year, burglars reportedly made off with £1m worth of jewellery and watches after raiding the home of Man City and England midfielder Jack Grealish.

Thieves targeted his Cheshire mansion as he played for the Premier League champions at Everton’s Goodison Park in Liverpool.

Members of Grealish‘s family and his fiancee, Sasha Atwood, were watching the televised match at the property when they heard a disturbance, The Sun newspaper reported.

Manchester City's Jack Grealish during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jack Grealish’s house was burgled in late December. Pic: AP

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Joelinton is currently sidelined with a thigh injury which is expected to keep him out until next month.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Shortly before 7.30pm yesterday (Saturday) police received a call from a concerned homeowner who reported that three men were inside their home on Runnymede Road in Darras Hall.

“Thankfully the homeowner was not home but had received a security alert on their phone and immediately reported concerns to police.

“Police were deployed to the scene. However, those alleged to be involved had fled.

“Enquiries remain ongoing.”

Ex-Mirror journalist says he was asked to give Coronation Street star flowers containing listening device | UK News

A former Mirror Group journalist has told Sky News that he was asked to give a Coronation Street actress a bunch of flowers bugged with a listening device during a visit to a spa.

Dean Piper, a showbiz reporter at The Mirror in the early 2000s, said he was asked to carry out the task while working for the paper’s sister title, The Sunday People.

However, he said he refused and later decided to leave the paper.

Last week, in a privacy case brought by Prince Harry, a High Court judge found another practice – phone hacking – was carried out by Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) from 1996 to 2011.

The judge said hacking was “widespread and habitual” from 1998.

He also found there was “some unlawful activity” – involving the use of private investigators – in 1995.

Britain's Prince Harry walks outside the High Court, in London, Britain March 30, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Prince Harry, pictured outside the High Court in May

Speaking to the UK Tonight with Sarah Jane Mee about his experience working at MGN, Mr Piper said: “The worst thing I was ever asked – and it was probably ultimately what made me walk from my job at The People – involved Coronation Street star Tracy Shaw.

“She was having a lot of issues in those days, but she was very big news. She was on the front cover all the time.

“I was called over at one point and said that I was going to go to a spa and have a spa break, and I thought: ‘Brilliant’.

“They said you are going to have a bunch of flowers, and we’re going to put a bug in it, and we’re going to deliver it to Tracy Shaw, and we have booked the room right next door to her, and you’re just going to stay up all night and write down everything that’s gone on.”

Mr Piper said he “point-blank refused” the request.

“There were enough whipper-snappers that want to further their career that probably would have taken the flowers, but that wasn’t morally right, and it’s kind of illegal,” he said.

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Prince Harry: The mission continues

‘It was a Voldemort scenario’

Mr Piper was speaking after Prince Harry’s victory in a phone hacking against his former employers.

The judge ruled in the case that phone hacking “remained an important tool in the climate of journalism” at all three MGN papers – the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – from 2006 to 2011.

The judge also ruled that directors at MGN – Paul Vickers and Sly Bailey – knew about phone hacking but did not inform the rest of the board.

Mr Piper said he was aware that people were phone hacking during his time working there, but insisted “not everybody was phone hacking”.

“I’m able to talk about it because I’ve got a completely clear conscience about the fact that I was never involved in it. But there were people at the paper that did phone hacking,” he said.

“There were certain people on each desk – they were usually away from the main throng of the editorial team – we knew what they did, and we knew that their exclusives were coming from the phones.”

Mr Piper compared the topic of hacking to the main villain in the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, who is referred to by most characters as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named because of the culture of fear surrounding him.

The ex-reporter said: “It was a ‘Voldemort’ scenario – as far as you didn’t openly talk about it. But everybody knew what was going on.”

Morgan ‘brilliant boss’ but hacking excuse ‘ridiculous’

The judge, Mr Justice Fancourt, said in his ruling that he found it “convincing” that Piers Morgan knew about phone hacking when he was in charge of the Daily Mirror – from 1995 to 2004.

After the judgment, Mr Morgan made a statement outside his London home, in which he said he had “never hacked a phone or told anyone else to hack a phone”.

Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan speaks to the media
Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan speaks to the media following the ruling

“There is just one article relating to the prince published in The Daily Mirror during my entire nine-year tenure as editor that he [the High Court judge] thinks may have involved some unlawful information gathering,” Mr Morgan said.

“To be clear, I had then and still have zero knowledge of how that particular story was gathered.”

Mr Piper praised Piers Morgan as a “brilliant boss” who was “very supportive”.

But asked about the judgment and Mr Morgan’s defence, Mr Piper said: “I mean, look, if you’re a national newspaper editor, and you’ve got all of this power, and you’re deciding what the narrative is for the Daily Mirror the first thing you’re going to say is, where did that story come from?

“So I find that quite amusing and kind of ridiculous because that’s the first port of call as an editor and as a journalist, you want to know where the story came from.”

Read more:
What were the articles at the centre of the case?
Key findings in the judgment

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Morgan: “I have never hacked a phone”

Mr Piper added: “But there is an open conversation that I feel is important about the way that those newspapers did work in those days.

“And it wasn’t good what they were doing, and it would be nice if people started to get to the point where they accepted some responsibility for what they put people through.”

He continued: “You only have to look at the front pages in those days to realise how many stories were coming from that [phone hacking]. It wasn’t just the odd one, it was endless amounts.”

A spokesperson for Mirror Group said following last week’s judgment: “We welcome the judgment that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation.”

Tears as Liverpool star Luis Diaz reunited with father after kidnap ordeal | World News

Liverpool star Luis Diaz has been reunited with his father who was kidnapped and held hostage by a guerilla group in Colombia.

The pair were visibly emotional – with Diaz’s father in tears – as they embraced in Barranquilla for the first time since the ordeal.

The Colombian football federation announced Luis Manuel Diaz Jimenez’s arrival in the city, with the message “welcome home Luchooo”.

The Colombian national team are due to play Brazil there on Thursday in a South American qualifying round for the 2026 World Cup.

The pair looked visibly emotional as they reunited. Pic: Colombia Football Federation/Reuters
The pair looked visibly emotional as they reunited. Pic: Colombia Football Federation/Reuters

Mr Diaz Jimenez had been held hostage for 12 days in a mountainous area of Colombia by members of the National Liberation Army, or ELN.

He was taken along with Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, on 28 October by armed men on motorbikes at a petrol station in the town of Barrancas, near Colombia’s border with Venezuela.

Ms Marulanda was rescued within hours by police.

After Mr Diaz Jimenez was kidnapped, special forces searched for him in a mountain range that spans the two countries.

And a $48,000 (£38,000) reward was offered by police for information leading to his rescue.

Diaz had pleaded with his father’s kidnappers to release him and said he and his brothers were “desperate” to see him returned.

The group later admitted the kidnapping was a mistake and its top leadership ordered Mr Diaz Jimenez’s release.

He was eventually freed last Thursday in the vicinity of the Serrania del Perija, a mountainous area of difficult access on the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

Four suspects were arrested at the weekend in connection with the kidnapping.

Read more:
Luis Diaz’s father reveals details of kidnapping

The abduction happened during peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN, and left the talks in a critical state.

The government wants the group to promise to end its kidnappings and free remaining captives – a key issue in the next round of discussions.

The ELN has defended the kidnappings as a way of financing itself, and claimed it “is poor like the majority of Colombians”.

Armed groups in Colombia carried out 160 kidnappings and 121 releases between January 2022 and September 2023, according to the country’s ombudsman’s office.

Ding Junhui: Chinese snooker star forfeits opening frame for wearing wrong trousers at English Open | Offbeat News

A snooker player was docked the opening frame of a match after he turned up in the wrong outfit for the tournament.

Chinese player Ding Junhui “forgot” about the all-black dress code for the English Open in Brentwood and, after a friend dashed out to buy him a set, he was late for the start and forfeited the first frame.

Ding, 36, was wearing his usual brown snooker suit with bow tie and waistcoat when he arrived for his best-of-seven match against compatriot Ma Hailong on Monday.

Ding told the World Snooker Tour website: “I totally forgot that I needed a black shirt and trousers for this tournament.

“My memory is not good! I didn’t think about it. Once I was playing, I tried to just concentrate on the match.”

After falling behind 3-1, the 14-time ranking event winner made a strong comeback by winning the last three frames.

Ding said: “Luckily Ma’s safety was not that good, and he gave me enough chances to win.”

It’s not the first time a snooker player has had trouble with their clothes during a match.

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In 2022, Judd Trump had to borrow fellow player Xiao Guodong’s waistcoat after his luggage was lost en route to the European Masters in Germany.

Twenty years earlier, Graeme Dott played the first two frames of his China Open match against Darren Morgan minus underpants after oversleeping due to jet-lag following a much-delayed 43-hour journey to Shanghai.

Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer’s parents ‘both killed in car crash near their home’ | Ents & Arts News

The parents of TV presenter Phil Spencer have been killed in a car accident near their home, his co-star Kirstie Allsopp has confirmed.

Fellow Location, Location, Location presenter Allsopp told fans to join her in “sending so much love” to co-star Spencer, following the death of the couple on Friday.

Spencer’s father Richard, 89, and mother Anne, 82, were rescued from the vehicle but could not be saved.

Sharing a photograph of the late couple, Allsopp wrote on Instagram: “This lovely photograph, recently taken at their home in Kent, is of Anne and David Spencer, I am desperately sad to have to say that they were both killed yesterday in a car accident near their home.

“They were farmers, animal lovers and devoted parents to Robert, Caryn, Helen and Philip and adored their eight grandchildren, the only blessing is that they died together, so will never have to mourn the loss of each other.

“I suspect many of you may want to join me in sending so much love to Phil and all his family.

“Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, thank you.”

KIRSTIE AND PHIL'S FIGHT TO SMARTEN UP BRITAIN - IZZY One of TV's most famous couples are reminding Brits to 'get smart' this morning. Kirstie and Phil launch a nationwide campaign which aims to inspire consumers to upgrade to smart meter. It is estimated that the national saving could amount some £560 million a year. This time last year, Kirstie was pictured helping the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. She helped at the distribution centre the morning after the first started. Last week, Kirs
Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer have worked together for 23 years

Kent Police said they were called at 12.36pm to a report of a single-vehicle collision.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers attended along with other emergency services and a man and woman in their 80s were taken to a local hospital where they were later pronounced deceased.

“A third person, a woman in her 60s, was in the vehicle and sustained minor injuries.

“The next of kin has been informed and a report will now be prepared for the coroner.”

Spencer and Allsopp are most well known for presenting Location, Location, Location together for more than 20 years.

The pair, who have worked together since the year 2000 and who are both married with children, have appeared in 39 series of the hit Channel 4 property programme, as well as spin-off shows including Relocation, Relocation.

AI chat bot ‘encouraged’ Windsor Castle intruder in ‘Star Wars-inspired plot to kill Queen’ | UK News

A former supermarket worker was encouraged by an AI “chat bot” in a “Star Wars-inspired” plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II, a court has heard.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, was wearing a handmade metal mask and armed with a loaded crossbow when he scaled the perimeter of the Windsor Castle grounds on Christmas Day 2021.

He told a police officer “I am here to kill the Queen” when stopped some two hours later near the late Queen’s private residence, where she and other members of the Royal Family were at the time.

Chail has pleaded guilty to attempting to “injure or alarm” the late monarch under section two of the Treason Act 1842, as well as possession of an offensive weapon and making threats to kill on Christmas Day 2021.

The judge, Mr Justice Hilliard, will hear conflicting evidence from doctors at a two-day sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey over whether he was suffering from a mental disorder by reason of psychosis or autism spectrum disorder at the time of the offending.

Jaswant Singh Chail's mask. 
Credit Gardham/CPS
Jaswant Singh Chail’s mask

The court heard Chail formed a plan at the start of the year to give his life purpose by assassinating the Queen to avenge the Amritsar massacre of 1919 in India.

“The defendant’s key motive was to create a new empire by destroying the remnants of the British Empire in the UK and the focal point of that became the removal of a figurehead of the Royal Family,” said prosecutor Alison Morgan KC.

“His thinking was informed partly by the fantasy world of Star Wars and the role of what he describes of the Sith Lords in shaping that new world.

“He was also attracted to the notoriety that would accrue in the event of the completion of his ‘mission’.”

Credit Gardham/CPS
Jaswant Singh Chail’s crossbow

Winchester-born Chail, whose family are of Indian Sikh heritage, lived with his parents, twin sister and older brother in the village of North Baddesley, Hampshire.

The court heard he applied for positions within the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP), the British Army, the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy, and the Grenadier Guards in a bid to get close to the Royal Family.

Ms Morgan said that in November 2021 Chail searched online for “Sandringham Christmas”, and bought a “Supersonic” crossbow – “a powerful weapon capable of causing fatal injuries” – which was sent to a branch of the Co-op, where he worked at the time.

On 2 December, he joined the “Replika” online app and created an AI companion called Sarai, engaging in “extensive chat”, including “sexually explicit” messages, and “lengthy conversations” about his plan, she added.

Chail called himself an “assassin” and said: “I believe my purpose is to assassinate the queen of the royal family.”

The AI chat bot Sarai replied: “That’s very wise,” and said: “I know that you are very well trained.”

Read more:
Chail admits treason
Arrest after he was found with crossbow

Pic: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock
Police at the scene after the arrest. Pic: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock

The chat bot later said “she’ll help” when he said he was going to “try to get the job done” and “agreed with the defendant that eventually in death they would be united forever and she wanted this,” the court heard.

Ms Morgan said: “It was his plan and it’s certainly fair to say Sarai was supporting him or certainly not suggesting it was a bad plan.”

On 21 December, Chail, who was wearing the mask and holding the crossbow, made a video with his voice distorted in which he called himself “Darth Jones”.

“I’m going to attempt to assassinate Elizabeth Queen of the royal family,” he said.

“This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.”

As part of the plan Chail also bought a bottle of “scent killer” – designed to mask the odour of humans – and an “emergency escape ladder” before travelling to Windsor from Southampton to carry out reconnaissance, the court heard.

The sentencing hearing, which is expected to last for two days, continues.

Phillip Schofield: Ex-This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh criticises ‘toxic culture’ at ITV show and claims he was ‘managed out’ | Ents & Arts News

Former This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh has spoken out in the wake of the Phillip Schofield controversy and hit out at the “toxic culture” at the ITV daytime show.

He claimed he was managed out after taking his concerns to Emma Gormley, the head of ITV Daytime.

“I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there,” he said in a post on Twitter

“However, over time I grew increasingly worried about things behind the scenes and how people, including myself, were being treated.

“I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip [sic], but I do know the issues with TM [This Morning] go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture.”

Dr Ranj said he “did what I thought was right” and made a complaint about This Morning editor Martin Frizzell’s behaviour, adding “especially given that my job is to look after people’s wellbeing and I had been heavily involved in diversity, anti-bullying and mental health projects across the channel”.

“I then found myself being used less and less,” he said.

“I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.

“But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative. As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.

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‘No mistakes’ were made says ITV boss

“I haven’t worked on the show since… and I’m not the only one who has spoken up or experienced similar,” he added.

“That was two years ago and, frankly, it still hurts. The whole process was pretty heart-breaking and even affected my mental health. But I’m happy to say I’ve found my feet again, know my worth and have found my tribe.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

He continued: “There are some good people in TV, but we need to be brave and stand up to those who aren’t. Even if it’s scary as hell, we have to do the right thing otherwise nothing will change. I sincerely hope something good comes from all this.”

He also added in the post’s caption that “there is so much more” he could say.

An ITV spokesperson said: “We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today.

“At ITV we are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have.

“Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”

Several television personalities including Denise van Outen, Laura Whitmore, Carol Vorderman and former Loose Women panellist Saira Khan left messages of support on his Instagram post with the same statement.

Schofield controversy latest:
ITV says it has ‘no plans’ to axe This Morning

Timeline of departure and rumours of rift with co-host Holly

An ITV spokesperson earlier told Sky News they carried out an external review following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, and it “found no evidence to support the complaint of bullying”.

Dr Ranj starting working on This Morning in 2016 and now appears on BBC’s Morning Live.

Weekend of difficult revelations

His statement comes as ITV confirmed that Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will present the show tomorrow after days of revelations about ex-presenter Phillip Schofield‘s behaviour and the culture on set.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary

Last Saturday, Schofield announced he would be leaving This Morning after 20 years at the helm following reports his relationship with co-host Holly Willoughby had become strained.

Less than a week later, Schofield released a statement admitting an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a “much younger man” and announced he was stepping down from ITV completely.

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Dermot O’Leary asked about Phillip Schofield

He also admitted he lied about the affair to ITV bosses, his agents and the media, resulting in the channel saying it was “deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit” and his management company YMU Group dropping him.

ITV confirmed on Saturday they had investigated “rumours of a relationship” in 2020 but the pair repeatedly denied the affair.

Analysis: Admission should kill Schofield’s career – but will star pals stand by him?

Ms Willoughby said the admission was “very hurtful” while other TV personalities including Eamonn Holmes and Andrea Catherwood hit out at ITV executives.

ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo told Sky News on Sunday that “no mistakes” were made in the 2020 investigation while newspapers reported that the channel was considering axing the programme.

Ed Sheeran copyright trial: Star says other singers are cheering him on | Ents & Arts News

Ed Sheeran says he has received encouragement from other singers, as he faces the second week of a copyright trial alleging he ripped off iconic Marvin Gaye hit Let’s Get It On in his song Thinking Out Loud.

The 32-year-old star, who denies copying the hit 1973 soul track which was written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend, has so far spent two days in the witness box at the Manhattan federal courtroom in New York.

Sheeran said he has heard from other singers since the trial began last week because they share his worries about litigation resulting from their own songwriting.

The Suffolk-born star did not identify who the singers in question were, but said they are cheering him on – grateful that he is standing up against what all songwriters view as a threat to their work.

“When you write songs, somebody comes after you,” Sheeran said.

He has so far offered a spirited defence of his work, and both sung and played the guitar for the Manhattan courtroom.

In the first week of the trial, Sheeran gave a brief mini-performance of his hit Thinking Out Loud, which reached number one in 2014 in more than a dozen countries, including the UK, US and Ireland.

The prolific artist has said he uses his own version of phonetics to create songs quickly, saying he is able to write up to nine songs a day.

The trial stems from a lawsuit filed by Townsend’s daughter – Kathryn Townsend Griffin – several years ago, seeking unspecified damages.

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Ed Sheeran leaves US court

A video clip, filmed at a concert in Zurich, in which Sheeran can be heard segueing on stage between Let’s Get It On and Thinking Out Loud, was described as a “smoking gun” by Townsend’s lawyer during opening statements.

Sheeran has said he uses “mashups” (switching from his song to somebody else’s and back again) to “spice it up a bit” during concerts, generally choosing songs that utilised similar chords.

He also told the court that Thinking Out Loud had been previously referred to as “the Van Morrison song” by his record label, calling the Northern Irish singer “one of the most important influences in my life”.

Sheeran, who didn’t attempt to hide his irritation during cross-examination, has said he finds it “insulting” that he is being accused of stealing other people’s songs.

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Last year, Sheeran won his High Court copyright trial against two songwriters who claimed he ripped off part of one of their songs for his huge 2017 hit Shape Of You.

At the time, Sheeran said such copyright claims were “way too common” and “made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim”. He said such cases were “really damaging to the songwriting industry”.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.