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Hilary Mantel: Billboard hints at new novel

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Hilary Mantel

A new billboard advertisement hinting that Hilary Mantel is ready to release her next novel has sprung up in London.

The long-awaited book, the title of which has previously been announced as The Mirror and the Light, will complete the author’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy.

The first two novels in the trilogy – Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies – each won the Man Booker Prize.

The author’s publishers have not yet confirmed the billboard is connected to the release.

However, fans on social media have spotted the font and the flower symbol are similar to the styles of the first two book covers.

The Mirror and the Light is expected to cover the last four years of Cromwell’s life – from Anne Boleyn’s execution in 1536 to his own execution.

Speaking during her Reith Lectures for the BBC in 2015, Mantel explained the reasons for the delay in publishing the follow-up to 2012’s Bring Up The Bodies.

“It is 10 years’ worth of effort and it is lovely to have the encouragement of people who are waiting for it, but that’s why I want to deliver them something that is the very best,” she said.

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Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is the fastest-selling album of 2020

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The star’s sixth album was originally due out in April, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Lady Gaga’s new album, Chromatica, has entered the UK charts at number one, after outselling the rest of the top 10 combined.

The record, which sees Gaga return to the rocket-powered pop of her debut, sold 53,000 copies, the biggest opening week of the year so far.

It is also the star’s fastest-selling album since 2013’s Artpop.

The album follows Gaga’s performance in A Star Is Born, for which she won an Oscar for best song in 2019.

Critics have called the record a return to form, after the country-leaning acoustics of her fifth album Joanne and the misfiring experiments of her Artpop project.

“Song for song, it’s her best yet,” wrote Variety magazine, adding: “She sounds like she knows exactly who she is, what she wants to say and how she wants to say it.”

“Her pop renaissance couldn’t come at a better time,” agreed Rolling Stone, while The Independent praised the star’s “anthems of self-doubt, self-reflection, self-destruction and self-reclamation”.

Gaga, who has suffered with chronic illness and depression, said the record was intended to be an antidote to hard times.

“I’m making a dance record again and this dance floor… it’s mine, I earned it, and all that stuff that I went through,” she told Zane Lowe in a recent interview.

“The beginning of the album really symbolises, for me, what I would call the beginning of my journey to healing,” she added, “and what I would hope would be an inspiration for people that are in need of healing through happiness, through dance.”

Top 5 albums – 5 June 2020

According to the Official Charts Company, Chromatica was the week’s most popular album in every format – physical, streaming and downloads – as well as the year’s fastest-seller on vinyl, with 8,500 copies sold.

Three of the tracks also made it into the singles chart, led by the Ariana Grande duet Rain On Me at number two.

Sour Candy, a collaboration with K-pop band Blackpink, debuted at 17; while Alice, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, was at 29.

Gaga is also expected to top the US Billboard charts next week, with projected sales of 250,000.

Top 5 Singles – 5 June 2020

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Abbey Road Studios re-opens after 10 weeks of closure

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Abbey Road Studios, the recording venue made famous by The Beatles, has re-opened.

It was forced to close ten weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first time it has closed in its 89 year history.

Special measures were taken, to allow for a recording of an album by jazz musician Melody Gardot.

The BBC’s arts editor Will Gompertz listened in.



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Alan Partridge to return with podcast from Norwich shed

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Each episode will be recorded in Alan Partridge’s shed, which he calls is Oasthouse

Alan Partridge is set to return with a podcast produced from his shed.

Steve Coogan will again take on the role of the Norwich-based DJ for an 18-part series titled From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast.

The podcast will unveil a “more reflective Alan” as he tries to attract a young and diverse audience.

“All national treasures have a podcast”, Partridge said. “If David Dimbleby has one, then of course I needed to make one.”

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Steve Coogan brought his cult character back to the BBC in 2019 for mock TV magazine show This Time with Alan Partridge

“With this series, I want to give my fans an intimate view of who I really am,” said Partridge.

“You may think you know me, but trust me, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors at my podcast innovation studio.”

The Bafta award-winning character, born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, made his debut appearance in 1991 as a sports presenter on BBC Radio 4’s On the Hour.

He moved on to to television with programmes including The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge.

Partridge had his big screen break in 2013 with the film Alpha Papa before in 2019 returning to TV with This Time with Alan Partridge.

The full series will be on Audible from 3 September while a free episode will be available on Amazon Alexa between 6 and 12 June.



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