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Hitchhiker’s actor Stephen Moore dies aged 81

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Stephen Moore in the Student Prince

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Stephen Moore was described as the “most sweet, charming and affable of men”

Stephen Moore – known as the voice of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s Marvin the Paranoid Android – has died aged 81.

He also played Adrian Mole’s father on TV, and the dad to Harry Enfield’s grumpy teenager Kevin.

Hitchhiker’s producer and director Dirk Maggs said Moore was the “most sweet, charming and affable of men”.

He paid tribute to “an amazing, varied career”, adding that he was best known for the role of Marvin.

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Moore was the voice of Marvin for five series of Hitchhiker’s on radio, and the 1980s TV adaptation

The first series of Hitchhiker’s appeared on Radio 4 in 1978, and after being adapted for TV in the 1980s, it returned to the airwaves in 2003.

In it Marvin is a failed prototype robot with “genuine people personalities”, which has led him to struggle with severe depression.

Maggs said: “That was the thing that won the hearts of people, Marvin is the most miserable character but people seem to love him.

“It was Stephen’s voice that made that happen.”

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The prolific actor also played teenage diarist Adrian Mole’s father George on TV

Alongside the paranoid android, Moore had a successful career on stage, TV and in film.

He was Major Robert Steele in Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge Too Far.

He played teenage diarist Adrian Mole’s father George on TV, and the dad of Melody and Harmony Parker on children’s show The Queen’s Nose.

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He also played the dad of grumpy teenager Kevin in Harry Enfield sketches

Maggs said: “I’ll always remember the story of him getting locked in a mic cupboard in the Paris studio at the BBC, and they forgot he was in there and went out to lunch.

“He was an infinitely professional actor, would put up with any discomfort and waited to play his part.

“And then outside the working situation he was the most sweet, charming and affable of men.”

Actor Ben Barnes – who worked with Moore in a West End production of The History Boys – wrote on Twitter that “he was a sensitive, brilliant actor and a funny, lovely man”.



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Rylan raises £845,000 with 24-hour Children In Need karaoke feat

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Media captionRylan’s karaoke challenge: The best bits

Rylan Clark-Neal has raised more than £845,000 for Children In Need by singing non-stop karaoke for 24 hours.

The presenter sang 231 songs, assisted by more than 90 celebrity guests, including Rick Astley, Nicole Scherzinger and Craig David.

He ate spoonfuls of honey every hour to keep his vocal cords coated – along with the occasional Pudsey donut.

“I am in such a state this morning,” Clark-Neal told Radio 2’s Zoe Ball as he approached the end of the challenge.

“It doesn’t feel real. None of it feels real.”

The crooning marathon was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and the BBC red button. In the last half hour of his challenge alone, the star raised more than £200,000 – with the tally reaching £845,239 by the time he finally finished.

“That’s unbelievable, thank you so much,” said the star.

Donations continued to flood in after Rylan took a well-deserved rest. The grand total will be revealed during Friday night’s Children In Need broadcast on BBC One.

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Rylan was joined by Denise Van Outen and Kimberley Walsh during his 24-hour challenge

Along the way, Rylan duetted with Dermot O’Leary on You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, rapped with Trevor Nelson and DJ Spoony on a version of Rapper’s Delight, and danced with Strictly contestants Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard.

Rylan said he was inspired to keep singing by the memories of a recent visit to a Children In Need-funded youth club.

The star met the disadvantaged children helped by the Southend Association of Voluntary Services (Turning Tides) project in Essex – playing Hungry Hippos and taking part in arts and crafts lessons.

“It was amazing and, do you know what, I didn’t actually think about this when I signed up to do this,” said the Strictly: It Takes Two presenter.

“I didn’t really think that I would need that, but actually visiting the project and meeting all the kids and volunteers and speaking to them and understanding how much this money impacts their lives, when I am sort of dying at four o’clock in the morning trying to garble together a song I know what I’m doing it for now.”

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Media captionRylan Clark-Neal is reliving his X Factor days as he takes on a singing marathon.

His final song, shortly after 9:15 on Wednesday morning, was Tina Turner’s The Best – for which he was joined by M People star Heather Small.

As it ended, the 31-year-old sank to the floor in relief and Zoe Ball played him the bells of St Margaret’s Church in his hometown of Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, which were ringing in his honour.

Rylan’s charity feat came eight months after Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman danced non-stop for 25 hours on Radio 2 in aid of Comic Relief.

In 2017, Sara Cox also boogied for 24 hours in an 80’s Danceathon, while Dermot O’Leary kicked off the challenges in 2015 with another 24 hours of dance – live on the plaza outside BBC New Broadcasting House.

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Le Mans ’66: Christian Bale and Matt Damon reveal truth behind Hollywood auditions

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Christian Bale and Matt Damon have teamed up for the first time in their latest movie – but the men reveal how they often go head-to-head for Hollywood roles.

In Le Mans ’66, the pair star as British racing driver Ken Miles and American car designer Carroll Shelby, who work with Ford Motor Company to try and end Ferrari’s dominance in the 24-hour race.



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Mel B: ‘Miscommunication’ led to Tesco advert complaint

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The image showed Mel B performing at the Brit Awards in 1997

Melanie Brown has clarified that a “miscommunication” with Tesco over the use of an image of her led to her complaining to the supermarket giant.

Tesco pulled an advert for Clubcard Plus which featured her as Scary Spice after she voiced objections on Monday.

The ad read: “Stop right now. You get 10% off two big shops a month for £7.99,” a play on the hit single Stop.

“I did this campaign for Women’s Aid to raise awareness and to raise funds,” Brown wrote in a new Instagram post.

“There was NEVER any issue about me being unhappy with my image being used and there was NEVER any issue about Tesco being given permission to use the image.”

It’s understood Brown had expected the charity, which supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence, to feature more prominently in the advertising campaign.

In a comment on the original post, Brown’s mother said the advert “should have had the Women’s Aid charity on it”.

But she said she could “hardly see the writing at the bottom” where it featured on the finished product.

Brown said: “There was a miscommunication between some of the parties dealing with it but luckily Tesco has been amazing. Women’s Aid sadly lost funding a few weeks ago which was why I decided to do this campaign.

“I’m really pleased that Tesco understands how important Women’s Aid is to me, and has agreed to match my fee in donation to the charity.”

Brown originally used her Instagram account to ask Tesco’s CEO to contact her “urgently”. Tesco said the image was cleared for use but pulled it as Brown was “unhappy”.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Here at Tesco we are really big fans of Mel B and were excited to feature her photo in our campaign.

“We had authorisation to use this image, but we’re sorry Mel B is unhappy so we’ve stopped using it.”

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Mel B pictured wearing leopard print earlier this year

The image was purchased by Tesco through Getty Images and a contract was signed with Getty and Brown’s agent.

The advert was part of Tesco’s latest campaign, featuring cultural references from the past century for its 100th anniversary with the tagline: “Prices that take you back.”

The photo of Brown in a leopard print catsuit was taken at the Brit Awards in 1997, during the Spice Girls’ heyday.

Other celebrities, including Morecambe and Wise, have also been used in the campaign.

The comedy duo replaced Mel B on Tesco’s Twitter banner on Monday evening.

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