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Dua Lipa moves album release forward after it leaks online

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The star scolded herself for getting emotional while chatting to fans, saying: “I really didn’t want to do this”

Dua Lipa has announced she is bringing the release date of her new album forward after it leaked online.

Future Nostalgia will come out a week early, on Friday 27 March, said the star in a tearful Instagram live.

But the Brit award-winner said she had mixed feelings about releasing new music during the coronavirus outbreak.

“I’ve been a little bit conflicted about whether it’s the right thing to do during this time because lots of people are suffering,” she said.

“I’m not sure if I’m even doing the right thing,” she continued, “but I think the thing we need the most at the moment is music, and we need joy and we need to be trying to see the light.

“I hope it makes you smile and I hope it makes you dance and I hope I make you proud.”

The star also announced the postponement of her world tour amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I tried to hold out for as long as possible but I can see that, at the moment, things aren’t changing and for the safety of everyone around us, we really need to be careful and cautious,” said the star.

She added that new dates for the UK and European legs of the tour would be published on Tuesday, and all tickets would be honoured for the new dates.

Speaking from her home in London, the star frequently wiped away tears and apologised for getting emotional.

“I’ve been welling up a little bit, just a lot over the past couple of weeks, just with the uncertainty and everything,” she explained.

Future Nostalgia is the follow-up to Lipa’s self-titled debut album, which earned her two Brit Awards and the Grammy for best new artist.

One of 2020’s most highly-anticipated pop albums, it leaked in full over the weekend. It is not known whether this prompted the decision to move the release date forward, although it seems likely, given the potential impact of a pirated version on streams and sales.

Lipa also announced that the album’s third single Break My Heart – which samples INXS’s Need You Tonight – would premiere on Wednesday with a new video.

Government criticised

After announcing the news, she spent half an hour answering questions from fans on everything from her Netflix recommendations (she went for the crime drama Ozark) to whether she has any pets (yes, two baby goats called Funky and Bam Bam).

But she also implored fans to stay indoors and help slow the spread of coronavirus, noting that her co-writer Andrew Watt had diagnosed positive for the disease.

She urged people to “go on his social media and read a little bit about how scary this is,” so they won’t be complacent about falling ill.

“You might think you’re young and you won’t be so affected by the virus [but] I know a lot of young people that do have it and have struggled with it,” said the 24-year-old.

“I don’t think we should be so small-minded. It really does affect you and we really just need to look after each other.”

Lipa also criticised the government’s response to the outbreak, saying more action should have been taken sooner.

“I feel like certain governments around the world, especially in the UK, aren’t really making a massive difference and haven’t put us on lockdown,” she said.

“But I really can’t stress enough how important it is for us to stay inside.”

Her comments came as the UK government debated new emergency powers to tackle the virus and urged parents to keep their children at home unless “absolutely necessary”.

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Coronavirus: Ofcom ‘assesses’ David Icke TV interview

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David Icke on London Live

The UK’s media watchdog is looking into a TV network’s broadcast of an interview with conspiracy theorist David Icke about coronavirus.

Ofcom said it was “assessing this programme as a priority”, following London Live’s screening of the programme on Wednesday evening.

It follows YouTube’s introduction of stricter misinformation rules after a later interview with Mr Icke by the same team was streamed on its platform.

The government has expressed concern.

‘Inaccurate claims’

“Clearly that station is regulated by Ofcom. And I would be expecting Ofcom to take appropriate action,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Clearly they are independent but I will be in touch with them to understand what action they are taking in respect to that.”

A tweet by London Live to promote the programme – produced by an independent company that also offers training services – prompted a backlash ahead of the broadcast.

But Ofcom is able to intervene only after a programme has been broadcast.

And it has now received 19 complaints about the programme from the public.

Last week, the watchdog sanctioned a community radio network for having broadcast a discussion that “contained potentially harmful views about coronavirus”.

“During the current pandemic, it’s important that potentially misleading information about the coronavirus is not broadcast on radio or TV,” Ofcom said at the time.

“This includes inaccurate claims about potential causes, symptoms, and treatments for the virus.”

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London Live screened a warning notice several times during the programme

On Tuesday, YouTube deleted copies of a later interview with Mr Icke – embedded into the production company’s site and hosted on YouTube’s platform – and announced it would wipe any other videos that also falsely linked Covid-19 to 5G mobile networks.

The production company, however, has since reuploaded this interview to another US-based service – Vimeo – to allow it to continue to be seen.

Mr Icke does not mention 5G by name in the interview broadcast by London Live, although at one point he does refer to an “electro-magnetic technologically generated soup of radiation toxicity”, which he claims has damaged old people’s immune systems. Scientists have previously rubbished suggestions mobile networks cause such harm.

London Live is owned by the Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, who also owns the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers.

It screened a notice during advert breaks, saying the views expressed in the programme were “not necessarily those” of the network and displayed the address of the government’s Covid-19 website.

BBC News has asked the network for comment.



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Paul Lambert: Ex-BBC producer who was ‘fixture of politics’ dies

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Paul Lambert

A former BBC producer described as a central character at Westminster and master of interviewing politicians on the street has died aged 61.

Paul Lambert, affectionately known as “Gobby”, was often heard on TV shouting questions at ministers.

He left the BBC in 2014 to become communications director of UKIP.

His daughter Danni said on Facebook the family were “devastated”. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg described Mr Lambert as a “fixture of politics”.

Writing on Twitter, she added he was a “friend of everyone for so long – such sad, sad news”.

‘Master of the doorstep’

Based on Downing Street, Mr Lambert’s voice was heard on countless news reports putting ministers on the spot as they went about their business.

The nickname “Gobby” was a reference to Mr Lambert’s booming voice, which he used to project awkward questions towards politicians as they entered cars or walked down the street, known in broadcasting as a “doorstep”.

“The point really is to fill in the pieces of the TV bulletin piece that you haven’t got pictures to fill in. You know someone isn’t going to say anything, you just need something to happen,” Mr Lambert explained in 2013.

Others paying tribute on Twitter included political journalist Michael Crick, who said Mr Lambert was a “master of the political doorstep”.

Trade Minister Conor Burns said: “I remember the first time he shouted questions at me as I walked into Parliament. Went inside with a feeling I’d properly arrived.”

Former leader of UKIP Nigel Farage said Mr Lambert was a “unique man and great fun to work with”.

Craig Oliver, a former editor of flagship BBC News bulletins and ex-director of communications at No 10, said: “The start of a thousand TV news reports was Gobby shouting, ‘Are you going to resign?'”

Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, said Mr Lambert was a “gent of the old school” who had “the best nose for a story”, while Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge described him as a “legend”.

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Media captionNewsnight compiled clips of Mr Lambert’s work when he left the BBC in 2014

BBC health editor Hugh Pym said Mr Lambert “always went the extra mile and asked the right question”, and BBC news presenter Reeta Chakrabarti said he was “such a central character in our Westminster newsroom for years… and a thoroughly nice man”.

Mr Lambert – who started his working career as an electrician – left the BBC ahead of the 2015 general election to lead communications for the UK Independence Party.



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Disney Plus racks up 50m subscribers in five months

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Ming-Na Wen arrives for the premiere of Disney+'s The MandalorianImage copyright
Albert L. Ortega

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The Mandalorian featuring Ming-Na Wen is a Disney+ offering

Disney’s new video streaming service has hit more than 50 million subscribers since its launch five months ago.

When Disney Plus last announced viewing figures in February it had reached 26.5 million subscribers.

Since then, this has almost doubled as more people are online and stuck at home due to virus clampdowns.

Disney Plus, which rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime, rolled out to the UK and other parts of Europe last month.

All three streaming platforms are enjoying a huge boost in viewing figures as cinemas remain closed and people are forced to stay indoors.

Disney Plus originally set a target of 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, when it was first launched in the US in November.

“We’re truly humbled that Disney Plus is resonating with millions around the globe,” said Kevin Mayer, a Disney spokesman.

Its subscription figures were given a boost by its audience in India, where Disney Plus was launched last week. Disney reported eight million new subscribers in India.

After the announcement on Wednesday evening, shares in Disney jumped 7% on Wall Street. The entertainment group has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, having to close its theme parks across the globe.

It has also had to stop production on new content and delay releases for potential blockbusters like Mulan and Black Widow.

Disney Plus is still behind both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in terms of global subscriptions. Netflix added almost nine million net global subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2019. At the end of last year, it had over 167 million paying subscribers globally. Amazon now has more than 150 million viewers.

But Disney Plus, which includes films and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic, has grown much faster than its rivals.

“What Disney Plus has achieved in five months took Netflix seven years,” said Chris Fenton, a movie industry analyst. “Disney Plus possesses all the ammunition needed to surpass Netflix, and it also has the potential bazooka of China. If any American streaming service can gain access to the 1.4 billion people of China, it’s Disney Plus.”



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