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Bruce Springsteen beats Madonna to top UK album chart

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Springsteen (left) last topped the UK album chart in 2014

Bruce Springsteen has beaten fellow US music veteran Madonna to top the UK album chart with his latest release.

Western Stars – The Boss’s 19th studio album – racked up 25,000 more combined sales than Madge’s Madame X, which had to settle for second place.

The two new entries saw last week’s chart-topper, Lewis Capaldi’s debut album, knocked down to three.

In the singles chart, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber’s I Don’t Care held onto the top spot for a sixth straight week.

  • Sheeran and Bieber duet tops the charts

Taylor Swift claimed the week’s highest new entry with You Need To Calm Down, which entered the chart at number five.

Little Mix have the only other new entry in this week’s Top 10 with Bounce Back, the girl group’s first release since leaving Simon Cowell’s Syco record label.

The song incorporates elements from Back to Life, a chart-topper for Soul II Soul in 1989.

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PA

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Bounce Back is Little Mix’s first release since signing to RCA Records

Western Stars – Springsteen’s first album of new material since 2012 – is now the 69-year-old’s 11th UK chart-topper.

That’s one less than Madonna has achieved over a 35-year career that has seen her notch up the most UK number one albums by a female artist.

The promotion trail for Madame X has taken the 60-year-old singer from the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas to the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

  • Madonna makes a statement at Eurovision

Madonna’s last studio album, 2015’s Rebel Heart, also made its UK debut at two on its first week on sale.

British four-piece Bastille were another top five new entry with their third studio album Doom Days, which entered the chart at four.

That was one space ahead of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, the 40th anniversary reissue of which saw it attain a Top 40 placing for the first time since its 1979 debut.

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Newly-discovered Rembrandt work to go on display in Oxford

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Art handlers moving the painting at the Ashmolean Museum in OxfordImage copyright
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The exhibition featuring Let The Little Children Come To Me opens at the Ashmolean Museum on Thursday 27 February

A newly-discovered Rembrandt painting will go on display for the first time, nearly 400 years since it was created.

Let The Little Children Come To Me will be shown at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as part of its Young Rembrandt exhibition.

The painting was discovered in 2014 by Amsterdam art dealer and historian Jan Six.

He identified a young man in the painting’s background as a self-portrait by Rembrandt.

The exhibition will explore the early years of the artist’s work from 1624-34.

Let The Little Children Come To Me is believed to have been painted around 1627-28.

The exhibition will feature 31 paintings by Rembrandt, 13 by his notable contemporaries and a further 90 drawings and prints from international and private collections.

Among those on display will be Rembrandt’s earliest known work, The Spectacles Seller (1624-25), which is described by the museum as a “crude, garishly coloured painting by an artist struggling with his medium”, as well as Jeremiah Lamenting The Destruction Of Jerusalem (1630), hailed as an “acknowledged masterpiece”.

The Young Rembrandt exhibition runs from 27 February until 27 June in the John Sainsbury Exhibition Galleries.



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Dot Cotton: Actress June Brown says she has left EastEnders ‘for good’

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June Brown as Dot Branning in EastEnders, sitting in an armchair drinking a cup of tea

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“You should appreciate your fans,” Brown told the podcast

Veteran EastEnders actress June Brown has said she has left her role as much-loved character Dot Cotton after 35 years.

“I’ve left for good,” said the 93-year-old in an interview with podcast Distinct Nostalgia.

She is one of the BBC soap’s longest-running characters and has become a firm favourite with viewers.

Her character Dot has not been in an episode since January. An EastEnders spokesman said the “door remains open”.

Brown joined the show in 1985, the year it was created.

In the last episode she featured in, aired last month, Dot Cotton – or Dot Branning – left a voicemail message for character Sonia Fowler saying she had moved to Ireland.

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Brown told the podcast she is hoping to do a documentary next

Asked by interviewer and former co-star Rani Singh whether EastEnders had put her on a retainer, Brown replied: “I don’t want a retainer. I’ve left. I’ve left for good.

“I’ve sent myself to Ireland and that’s where she’ll stay. I’ve left EastEnders.”

One of EastEnders’ best-known stars, Brown was in her late 50s when she joined Albert Square.

Actor Leslie Grantham, who played Dirty Den, suggested her for the role. Until then, Brown’s career had incorporated stage, film and television, with appearances in Coronation Street and Doctor Who.

“I think I got it because they thought I was a punctual actress,” Brown told the podcast, which aired a special episode to celebrate 35 years of EastEnders.

“I’m not really but I became so. In fact I became so punctual I used to be in an hour before I should be.”

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Media captionJune Brown: 90 years in 90 seconds

She said it “was a very strange feeling” leaving the soap.

“I was feeling rather down the other day,” she said. “I thought, ‘what’s the matter? Why do I feel so sad?’ It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved.

“I’ve played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn’t me, but spiritually she probably was.”

Brown took a four-year break from the soap between 1993 and 1997

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An episode from 2008 shows Dot being teased by a gang as she walks to the Tube

In 2008, Brown became the first actor in a British soap to carry an entire episode alone, with an emotional monologue dictated to a cassette for her screen husband to listen to in hospital following a stroke.

That same year she was made an MBE for services to drama and charity.

Last year, Brown revealed she was losing her sight after being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and could no longer recognise her friends.

An EastEnders spokesman said: “We never discuss artists’ contracts, however as far as EastEnders are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has if the story arises and if June wishes to take part.”



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Caroline Flack: Met refers itself to watchdog over contact with star

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Caroline FlackImage copyright
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The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog following the death of TV star Caroline Flack.

Scotland Yard’s directorate of professional standards (DPS) reviewed all previous contact with Ms Flack, 40, before it made Wednesday’s referral.

It was standard practice for a referral to be made when a person who had recent contact with police died, the Met said.

Ms Flack was found dead at her London flat on Saturday as she awaited trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend.

An inquest into the former Love Island host’s death was opened and adjourned on Wednesday.

A statement from the Met said: “No notice of investigation has been served on any officer and no conduct issues have been identified by the DPS. No officer is on restricted duties or suspended.”

An Independent Office for Police Conduct spokesman said: “We will make a decision on the level of our involvement after carefully assessing the information we have received.

“Receipt of a referral does not mean an investigation will necessarily follow.”

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Reuters

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Flowers were left outside Caroline Flack’s former house

Ms Flack left her role presenting the ITV2 dating show after being charged with assaulting her partner Lewis Burton in December and was due to stand trial next month.

In an unpublished Instagram post shared by her family, she said her “whole world and future was swept from under my feet” following her arrest.

Ms Flack pleaded not guilty to assault by beating at a court appearance in December, when it was heard her partner did not support the prosecution.

She was released on bail but was ordered to stop any contact with Mr Burton ahead of the trial.

Love Island did not air on Saturday or Sunday but returned on Monday with a tribute to the former X Factor presenter and Strictly Come Dancing winner, who started hosting the programme in 2015.



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