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Phoebe Waller-Bridge lampoons Love Island on Saturday Night Live debut

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge appeared as Bella Rosa, from Essex

Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosted Saturday Night Live in the US for the first time this weekend and took the opportunity to take a swipe at Love Island.

The Fleabag star appeared as “Bella Rosa” in a skit of the UK reality show, which has also spawned a US version.

Waller-Bridge appeared caked in fake tan and with lip fillers, looking for love with somebody “proper fit”, with “tattoos” and “really great banter”.

“But at the same time I’d go with anyone,” she added, in an Essex accent.

The Fleabag and Killing Eve creator is a big name on both sides of the Atlantic, having won the prizes for best comedy actress, best comedy series and best comedy writing at last month’s Emmy Awards.

Introducing herself on SNL’s spoof Love Island, Waller-Bridge joked that her “dad’s a boxer and mum’s a pub”.

She shacked up with Finlay – who was “just looking for the right woman to cheat on for the rest of his life”.

  • Fleabag at the Emmys: How America fell in love with a ‘dirty’ British comedy
  • Love Island USA: What did viewers and critics think?

Unsurprisingly, her character was then dumped, leading her to burst into tears and declare she’s “absolutely gutted”, before realising the ordeal had helped her gain 1.2 million Instagram followers.

She added: “Well, I don’t have to be a stupid paediatric nurse anymore, do I?! Kerching!”

The Telegraph said the sketch was “one of the highlights” of the programme. “Yes, depressingly, our fixation with the tackiest of reality shows has spread across the Atlantic.”

Vulture said the segment “hits all the right notes”, while IndieWire described it as “especially good”.

Waller-Bridge appeared in the sketch alongside US cast members of Saturday Night Live, who tackled British and Irish accents.

Vanity Fair said it “mostly made fun of accents that were neither English nor Irish, but were so strange that even the other contestants couldn’t understand one another.”

Saturday’s programme also saw Waller-Bridge appear in sketches about the royal family, a TV news bulletin, a game show and a bar. “The other sketches in the show were an absolute disaster,” Vanity Fair said.

Waller-Bridge’s presence “only served to highlight the material that wasn’t up to her level”, the magazine’s critic Jordan Hoffman wrote.





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Sport Relief: Nick Grimshaw back after break due to heat exhaustion

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Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw is set to climb the tallest dunes in the world for Sport Relief, after taking a day off with heat exhaustion.

Nick sat out of Tuesday’s The Heat Is On challenge after advice from medics, and told Radio 1 he was feeling “fighting fit”.

In an Instagram video he says his body temperature had reached 40 degrees at the end of Monday’s event.

Nick said: “It was really scary. It was horrible.”

He’s travelling across the Namib desert in Namibia, alongside other celebrities like Frankie Bridge and Rob Rinder to raise money for mental health services.

The challenge, which started on Monday, will see them cross the desert by walking, cycling and skiing.

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BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw cycling through the Namib desert

Nick says he “felt great” when they set off, but as soon as he was stopped by a medic for a temperature check just two kilometres before the finish line, he felt “really, really bad”.

“It was horrible, I’ve never experienced that before.”

The presenter was told he couldn’t finish the day’s challenge, and had to take time out to recover.

He saw doctors and received treatment for heat exhaustion, but said not being able to participate was “really hard to deal with”.

The challenge lasts over four days, and ends at a shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.

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The celebrities originally trained on ice

It was originally supposed to be in the freezing temperatures of Mongolia, but was moved to Namibia because of Coronavirus fears.

Nick says he hopes he will be on “top form, ready to continue” to the next stage.

The celebrities are set to climb the “highest sand dunes in the world” which Nick says he doesn’t want to miss.

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Michael Medwin: Shoestring actor dies aged 96

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Michael Medwin in Shoestring

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Medwin’s screen career spanned seven decades

British actor Michael Medwin has died in hospital in Bournemouth at the age of 96.

Best known for playing radio station boss Don Satchley in TV’s Shoestring, he was a prolific supporting player who appeared in films with Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Albert Finney.

Alongside Finney, he also produced such films as Lindsay Anderson’s If…., O Lucky Man! and Charlie Bubbles.

Born in London in 1923, he was made an OBE for services to drama in 2005.

Theatre producer David Pugh, with whom Medwin produced plays for three decades, was among the first to mark his passing.

Medwin, who trained at the Italia Conti stage school in London, made his film debut as a radio operator in 1946’s Piccadilly Incident.

In the six decades that followed, he appeared in such films as A Hill in Korea, Doctor at Large, Carry On Nurse and The Longest Day.

Often cast as cockney spivs at the start of his career, he moved on to authority figures like the doctor who treats Connery’s James Bond in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

He also played the nephew of Albert Finney’s title character in Scrooge, despite being 12 years Finney’s senior.

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Medwin appeared alongside Trevor Eve in 21 episodes of Shoestring

As Don Satchley, Medwin would occasionally find himself at odds with Trevor Eve’s phone-in private investigator Eddie Shoestring.

Based in the West Country, the BBC TV series ran for two series spanning 21 episodes between 1979 and 1980.

“Acting was something I wanted to do, and by good fortune I found I could do it quite well,” he told The List in 2009.

The previous year he made one of his final screen appearances as a speechmaker who extols the virtues of Keira Knightley’s title character in The Duchess.

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Clive Cussler: Dirk Pitt novels author dies aged 88

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Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total during his lifetime

Clive Cussler, the US author of the popular Dirk Pitt novels, has died at the age of 88.

He wrote 25 books in the adventure series, including Sahara and Raise the Titanic, and sold more than 100 million copies of his novels in total.

Writing on Twitter, Cussler’s wife said: “It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that my husband Clive passed away [on] Monday.

“It has been a privilege to share in his life.”

She added: “I want to thank you, his fans and friends, for all the support. He was the kindest most gentle man I ever met. I know, his adventures will continue.”

The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

‘Soft spot in my heart’

Cussler’s 1992 thriller Sahara was adapted for the big screen in a 2005 film starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.

The writer, whose books have been published in more than 40 languages, was married to Barbara Knight for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003, and they had three children, Teri, Dirk, and Dayna.

He later married Janet Horvath. His son Dirk, named after the character, co-wrote his final three novels.

“Dirk will always have a soft spot in my heart because he started if off,” Cussler said in an interview with Working Mother in 2013.

“I hope readers see Pitt as a normal, average guy who is down to earth. He likes the Air Force, tequila, and an occasional cigar.

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“I used myself as a model for Dirk. We are both 6’3″, have green eyes, and at that time were the same weight and the same age.”

He added: “The only differences are that he is better with the girls and he has aged about 10 years while I have aged about 50.”

  • Cussler brands adaptation ‘silly’
  • Movie makers in film ‘flop’ fight

After selling the Sahara story to the billionaire Philip Anschutz, Cussler later sued, telling a US court in 2007 Hollywood “tore the heart out” of the book.

The movie grossed $119 million (£92.1m) worldwide but was still considered a box-office failure as it failed to recoup its own filmmaking costs.

The novelist said the company broke its contract by changing the story without his consent.

“I thought it was just awful,” he said of the film, adding that he considered the re-written dialogue to be silly.

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Cussler, pictured in 1977, was born in Illinois

One his earlier works, Raise the Titanic! was also made into a movie in 1980. The film, starring Jason Robards, Richard Jordan, David Selby, Anne Archer, and Sir Alec Guinness, proved to be a similar flop.

Cussler wrote more than 80 books in total, including the Isaac Bell Adventures and Fargo Adventures series.

Known as an expert in shipwrecks, Cussler founded the non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency.

His non-fiction book Sea Hunters was so extensive in its underwater knowledge the Maritime College in the State of New York gave him a doctorate.


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