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Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor to retire from darts after farewell tour next year | UK News

Phil Taylor, who has won a record 16 world championships, has announced he will retire from competitive darts next year.

Nicknamed ‘The Power’, Taylor says the World Senior Darts Tour in 2024 will be his final year on the circuit, following an “unbelievable journey over the past 35 years” in the sport.

The 63-year-old star, from Stoke-on-Trent, had originally stepped away from darts after reaching the final of the PDC World Championship in 2018.

But then he returned to competition last year.

He has spent the last two seasons on the senior tour where he reached the quarter-finals in 2022 and 2023, but will aim to go out on a high in 2024.

After his retirement, he will continue to be involved in the tour as an ambassador.

Taylor, who is often named the greatest darts player of all time, said: “I’ll always love performing to the best of my ability, but time waits for no man and I know now is the right time to step away from the tour.

“It’s been an unbelievable journey over the past 35 years and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I’m going to be working just as hard as I always have to make sure I give the fans what they want and go out on top.”

Phil Taylor
Pic: AP

Taylor won his first world championship in 1990 when he beat five-time champion, the ‘Crafty Cockney’ Eric Bristow. His 16th and last world title was in 2013 when he defeated Michael van Gerwen.

The World Senior Darts Tour is made up of 11 events, including the World Senior Darts Championship at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex, in February.

The tour’s Billy Lovell said: “Phil is one of the greatest sports people the UK has ever produced and we would like to place on record how grateful we are that he decided to come out of retirement at the beginning of our project.

“We have absolutely loved having him around and we’re sure his final year on tour with us will be great fun.”

Storm Babet: Woman who died after being swept into river at Glen Esk named as Wendy Taylor | UK News

A woman who died after being swept into a river during Storm Babet has been named as Wendy Taylor.

The 57-year-old’s body was recovered from the Water of Lee at Glen Esk in Scotland.

She had got into difficulty there on Thursday after heavy rain caused by the storm.

Her family said they were “absolutely heartbroken to lose Wendy in such tragic circumstances”.

“Wendy was a beautiful, kind, funny and caring person. She was a ray of sunshine for everyone who was fortunate enough to know her,” said a statement.

“Wendy was the beloved wife, best friend and soulmate in life to George, mother to James, Sally, and Susanna and granny to India and George.”

Police Scotland attended the river at around 1.45pm on Thursday and her body was recovered at around 4pm.

The force said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Read more:
Why Storm Babet brought so much rain

Mrs Taylor is one of four people confirmed to have died as a result of Storm Babet, which brought immense rain and devastating flooding across parts of the UK.

Among the other victims is 83-year-old Maureen Gilbert, whose home in Chesterfield was flooded.

Her son told Sky News how he found her body floating in the water at the property.

Elsewhere, a search continues in Aberdeenshire after a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater.

While the rain has mostly subsided, the Environment Agency has warned major rivers in affected areas, including Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, could be flooded until Tuesday.

Two severe flood warnings are in place around the River Idle, near Retford, meaning risk of death or serious injury.

Train services in parts of Scotland, Yorkshire, and East Anglia also remain disrupted.

Taylor Swift breaks record for most profitable concert film in history – a week before its release | Ents & Arts News

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour blockbuster has become the most profitable concert film in history – a week before it hits cinemas. 

Its distributor AMC said global advance ticket sales have topped $100m (£82m), overtaking the record set by Justin Bieber’s 2011 film Never Say Never which made $99m (£81m).

The film, which was recorded during the tour’s US leg, is set to be released in more than 100 countries next Friday 13 October.

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during the opener of her Eras tour in Glendale, Ariz., on March 17, 2023. Swift released "Speak Now (Taylor...s Version)." Swift re-recorded her sophomore country album, ...Speak Now,... and has 22 songs, including six that were written during the album...s original era, but not recorded until recently. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

“Audience demand for The Eras Tour concert film has been incredible from the moment it was first announced,” AMC said in a statement.

The US cinema chain previously said the film had beaten its record for the highest ticket-sales revenue during a single day in its 103-year history.

Swift‘s blockbuster has also broken the UK record for the most tickets sold during the presale opening week for a music event.

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Taylor Swift arrives at NFL game

FILE - Taylor Swift performs during the opener of her Eras tour in Glendale, Ariz., on March 17, 2023. Swift released "Speak Now (Taylor...s Version)." Swift re-recorded her sophomore country album, ...Speak Now,... and has 22 songs, including six that were written during the album...s original era, but not recorded until recently. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

The title was previously held by BTS’ Permission To Dance film, which was released last year.

Tim Richards, founder and chief executive of Vue International, said: “In the last week since tickets were released, Taylor Swift’s Eras tour has once again broken records, smashing our previous UK presale admit figures as our biggest ever opening week by ticket presales for a music concert event.

“The huge impact of concert films is clear, with Beyonce now following suit with a concert film of her own, following the release of the trailer for her Renaissance World Tour concert movie – it’s an exciting time to be a fan of music and cinema.”

Swift’s tour is also on track to become the biggest in history, with 146 dates across five continents.

It started in March of this year and will run until November 2024.

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She will play in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Liverpool next summer.

Fellow pop star Beyonce’s Renaissance tour will be released in North American cinemas on 1 December.

Mckyla Taylor: Screwdriver killer jailed for inflicting 199 injuries on young mum during ‘relentless’ attack | UK News

A pensioner who murdered a young mum by inflicting almost 200 wounds during a “brutal” screwdriver attack has been jailed for life. 

David Jackson, 68, hid the body of Mckyla Taylor, 27, under a duvet on the bedroom floor of his flat in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, after killing her on 16 August last year.

A few hours after police discovered Ms Taylor’s remains, Jackson arrived at the scene asking if he could retrieve a jumper from the property, in Lowtown Street.

He then casually informed an officer that he had killed someone upstairs.

Jackson, described by police as a “drug user”, and Ms Taylor, who had known each other for some time, met up a day earlier on 15 August.

Her family contacted police when she failed to respond to their calls and messages.

Her body was discovered with weights and pushbikes stacked on top when officers forced their way into the flat around 2am on 16 August.

She was pronounced dead around 2.30am, with a post-mortem investigation showing she had suffered 199 separate injuries to her head and body in what police described as a “relentless” attack.

Most of the injuries were inflicted in the bedroom by two screwdrivers found in the living room.

The body of Mckyla Taylor, 27, was found at a flat in Worksop last August
The body of Mckyla Taylor, 27, was found at a flat in Worksop last August

Jackson was jailed for a minimum of 17 years after pleading guilty to murder at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.

He was silent in police interviews and continued to deny murder until a trial was due to begin, “inflicting further pain and anxiety on her loved ones”, Nottinghamshire Police said.

In a statement issued via the force, Ms Taylor’s mother, Emma Sentence, 45, hailed her daughter and “best friend” as a “fun-loving girl” with a smile that would “light up the room” and who had a “contagious laugh”.

Mckyla Taylor pictured with her mother and "best friend", Emma Sentence
Mckyla Taylor with her mother and ‘best friend’, Emma Sentence

“I still remember the weekend she was killed as if it was yesterday,” she said.

“We had a lovely weekend sunbathing, listening to music and doing our nails and then she left and that was the last time I saw her.”

Ms Taylor’s brother, Callum Taylor, 26, will now be taking care of her one-year-old daughter in the same home her mother grew up in.

“It is like a part of Mckyla is coming home,” he said.

‘No sentence will ever be enough’

“Mckyla had always wanted to be a mum and was so thrilled when she found out she was pregnant. I just want to do my best to bring up her daughter and give her a normal, loving life.”

Ms Taylor was a “lovely and loving person who always put other people first,” Mr Taylor added.

“If she was in a house fire Mckyla was the sort of person who would be the last out.

Mckyla Taylor pictured with her older sister, Nicole, and younger brother, Callum
Mckyla Taylor as a child with her older sister, Nicole, and younger brother, Callum

“No sentence will ever be enough for what happened to Mckyla.

“I will never forget waking up that day and hearing she had been killed.

“I cannot understand why anyone would want to hurt someone that kind.

“I don’t really feel like I have been through the grieving process yet. I’ve just wanted to stay strong for others.”

Her older sister, Nicole, 29, described her as the “life and soul of the party” and said she was “always bubbly, always singing, always dancing”.

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Sentencing judge James Sampson said Jackson would not be eligible for parole for 16 years and 135 days – taking into account the 230 days served in custody.

He also praised the family for their dignity throughout the court proceedings.

Speaking after the sentencing, Nottinghamshire Police detective chief inspector Clare Dean said: “Mckyla was a young woman who was loved and adored by her family and many friends.

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“Her life was taken away from her in the most brutal fashion by David Jackson, who has shown very little remorse and would not give any account in interview.

“The attack Jackson inflicted on Mckyla was relentless, causing catastrophic injuries which ultimately led to her death.

“Today’s sentence will not bring Mckyla back, but it does mean that Jackson will spend a considerable part of his life behind bars, and I hope this gives her family some comfort.”

Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor forced to miss Hall of Fame induction due to stage 4 cancer treatment | Ents & Arts News

Duran Duran’s original guitarist Andy Taylor was forced to miss the band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame due to ongoing treatment for stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.

The British new wave group revealed Taylor, 61, was ill by reading a letter from him to the audience at the ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Taylor had been due to reunite with his former bandmates – singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor – but they said he had suffered a setback that would not allow him to travel to Los Angeles from his home in Ibiza.

The ceremony was set to be the first time the five-piece band from Birmingham had played together in 17 years, having last reformed for a world tour and the album Astronaut in 2004.

John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran on stage in LA
John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran on stage in LA

The group were the first act inducted during Saturday’s ceremony and took the stage by performing their 1981 breakthrough hit Girls On Film.

They continued with a set that included Hungry Like The Wolf and Ordinary World before addressing Taylor’s absence by reading the letter.

Taylor wrote: “Just over four years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.

“Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.

“I have the ‘Rodgers and Edwards’ of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on.

“Although my current condition is not immediately life-threatening, there is no cure.”

Rodgers and Edwards refers to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the pop producers and founders of Chic, who worked with Duran Duran throughout their career.

Taylor added that he was “truly sorry and massively disappointed” he could not attend the ceremony, noting he had even bought a new guitar for the occasion, but that he was “very proud of these four brothers” and “overjoyed” they were accepting this award.

“I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day”, he added.

Also inducted during the ceremony were Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, Eminem, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Harry Belafonte, Judas Priest and Dolly Parton.

Duran Duran formed in Birmingham in 1978 and were one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, with hits including Rio, Wild Boys and Bond theme A View To A Kill. The three Taylors are not related.

The group has risen to prominence again recently, releasing their 15th studio album, Future Past, last year and undertaking a 40th anniversary celebration tour, including headlining the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park this year.

They also performed at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace and starred in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Birmingham.