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    At 73, I’m raising my middle finger to mortality, says Genesis rocker Peter Gabriel ahead of album release

    IT’S fair to assume that Peter Gabriel doesn’t have a huge amount in common with ultimate big mouth Liam Gallagher.For decades, as solo artist, soundtrack composer and human rights campaigner, the singer who began his musical journey with Genesis in the late Sixties has cut a calm, collected figure.
    Genesis rocker Peter Gabriel is back with new musicCredit: Nadav Kandar
    Each track on Gabriel’s upcoming album has been accompanied by a striking image, commissioned by GabrielCredit: Nadav Kandar
    But I can report that he and Liam are partial to a contemptuous hand gesture which dates back to ancient Greece — the middle finger.
    So let me explain its unlikely significance in the cerebral world of Peter Gabriel.
    Throughout this year, at every full moon, he has released a song from i/o, a studio album more than 20 years in the making.
    Each track has been accompanied by a striking image, commissioned by Gabriel, from a renowned visual artist.
    In the case of Road To Joy, which tells of a person emerging from locked-in syndrome and near death, that artist is Chinese activist Ai Weiwei.
    Against a bright pink background, white line drawings form a powerful pattern of raised middle fingers.
    To mark the release of i/o in its entirety — 12 eclectic songs presented in three different mixes — I’ve had an illuminating email exchange with Gabriel, who provides this explanation.
    “Besides being an inspirational artist, Ai Weiwei is an extraordinarily brave human rights campaigner,” he says.
    Most read in Music
    “His oft-used motif of his middle finger is usually addressed to power and all its abuse, but in the context of this record, I see it as a middle finger salute to another power, death.”
    Picking up on one of his album’s recurring themes, he continues: “At age 73, mortality creeps into the rear-view mirror. You either bring it to the front screen or run away from it.
    “I am very interested in longevity research which I used to believe was a billionaires’ plaything but now see as a critical driver for all manner of medical breakthroughs for all of us.”
    Gabriel was only 52 when his last studio album of original material appeared, 2002’s Up — and much of that was conceived in the Nineties.
    He doesn’t want people getting “bored” or “oversaturated” with his work and so carries a certain mystique.
    But now, re-energised, he’s back with i/o, some of the most compelling and accessible music of his storied career.
    Ambitious as ever, he weaves together conventional instruments, sophisticated electronica, African-inspired rhythms, choirs and orchestras, topped off by his commanding vocal delivery undimmed by the passing years.
    Since he left prog rock trailblazers Genesis in 1975, Gabriel has opened up new horizons in music and been an early adopter of the latest technology.
    But, right from his first solo single, Solsbury Hill, he’s also been in thrall to nature.
    It’s typical of him to choose the full moon to release his songs, asking fans to check the sky for when the next one is imminent.
    Gabriel says: “If you look up at the stars, you get a good sense of where we belong. But we are getting so good at isolating ourselves from the natural world that created us. We tend to anchor our heads to a totally man-made environment.
    “We are also entering the age of an additional virtual existence powered by AI, so the idea of remembering nature is important and natural landmarks like the moon and the passage of time seems to fit well to the themes of i/o.”
    For the project, Gabriel reactivated his old Full Moon Club “in which I would talk to fans each full moon about what had been going on in my life.
    “In some ways, this is just a continuation of that,” he reports.
    Even if the seeds of i/o were sown years ago, the long-awaited follow-up to Up feels very much of the moment, capturing what’s on the singer’s mind right now.
    Opener Panopticom flips the idea of 18th-Century philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham, who designed a circular, multi-storey prison — a panopticon — in which all the occupants could be viewed by one guard situated in a central tower.
    In Gabriel’s song, ordinary people can keep watch on those in power, thus turning mass surveillance on its head.
    ‘I wrote my mum a beautiful melody’
    The Court suggests the justice system is a much abused but necessary part of civilised society. It comes with an earworm chorus,
    “The court will rise/While the pillars all fall.”
    Playing For Time is an old tune which has been performed live without lyrics but now cast as a rumination on getting older.
    He decides that having “interesting experiences means richer memories to feed you when you get to my age”.
    And Still is one of Gabriel’s most personal efforts, an affectionate, emotional tribute to his mother, who died in 2016.
    For one of his filmed “deep dives” into i/o’s songs, he elaborates: “When my mum died, I wanted to do something for her, but it took a while before I felt comfortable and distant enough to be able to write something.
    “In the middle, I wanted to write my mum a beautiful melody. She loved classical music, so we have a beautiful cello playing there.”
    Though i/o incorporates sad and serious subjects, it still exhibits genuine joy in the music with closing track and final full moon release, the upbeat Live And Let Live, offering a message of hope for humanity through forgiveness.
    The song draws inspiration from Gabriel’s involvement in The Elders movement, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, “working for peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet”.
    Live And Let Live features the Soweto Gospel Choir, a bold string arrangement and name checks “Madiba”, fellow Elder, Desmond Tutu and civil rights beacon Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Gabriel also references the famous quote usually credited to Gandhi, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
    With conflict raging in the Middle East and Ukraine, his words, “When we forgive, we can move on”, have particular resonance, even if the protagonists might find them hard to accept right now.
    Gabriel tells me: “One of the great privileges I have had in my life was to get to know and work with both Mandela and Tutu with The Elders.”
    A member of the group’s advisory board, he adds: “I was so moved by Nelson Mandela’s description of when he came out of jail to become President of South Africa and stood next to some of those who had kept him in prison and been responsible for the death of many of his friends.
    I/O is Peter’s tenth studio album and is released on December 1stCredit: RECORD COMPANY
    “He described how old feelings of fear and hate swelled up in him, but he realised that unless he could find a way to work with them, to build a different future with them, and ultimately to forgive them, he would remain their prisoner for the rest of his days.
    “Although impossible now, this type of thinking may be the only hope for peace in the Middle East.”
    Next, we move on to the soaring title track, i/o, which stands for input/output and is seen on various electronic devices.
    The song is the product of an idea long percolating in Gabriel’s brain about everyone and everything on Earth being connected in some way.
    It includes the memorable lines, “Stuff coming out, stuff going in, I’m just a part of everything.”
    Gabriel offers me this insight into his thinking: “In the West, we see ourselves as independent, self-determining individuals.
    ‘AI is about to turn world upside down’
    “In many other cultures, humans are much more seen as part of the whole, as a part of everything.”
    He believes the human race must take collective responsibility to deal with its challenges.
    “We are now facing very real, existential problems and realistic, energetic optimism is the only possible way to tackle them,” he affirms.
    “Defeatist pessimism never achieved anything, except possibly increased sales of alcohol.”
    This brings him on to an existential threat of great concern to Gabriel (and the rest of us), Artificial Intelligence, a part of modern life he hopes we can turn to our advantage.
    “AI is about to turn our world upside down and should be able to do all our jobs, including mine, better than we can,” he says.
    “So we need to do some urgent thinking and brainstorming about how we can best live with each other and AI in the future.
    “People talk of the ‘age of abundance’ and clearly that’s ridiculous for most people struggling to pay their bills but I do believe it’s coming if we can get through this difficult period of transition.”
    It’s clear that forward-thinker Gabriel likes to see the bigger picture but, on a more personal note, the story of i/o wouldn’t be complete without all his amazing collaborators, a subject he tackles with relish.
    I can’t remember an album with such a long list of credits including the three mixers Mark “Spike” Stent (Bright-Side Mix), Tchad Blake (Dark-Side Mix) and Hans-Martin Buff (In-Side Mix in Dolby Atmos).
    Then there’s a fellow sonic pioneer, Brian Eno, who adds his singular flourishes to five songs, including “haunting synths” on Panopticom.
    “I’ve always been lucky and smart enough to have surrounded myself with very talented people,” says Gabriel.
    “Brian thinks like no one else and I always enjoy working with him. My job was to provide him with opportunities for pleasure without responsibility.”
    Four Kinds Of Horses, which considers the roots of terrorism, began as Gabriel’s offering to a project by XL Records founder Richard Russell called Everything Is Recorded.
    “Richard wanted me to generate some ideas with piano and voice,” he says.
    “When he decided not to use what I had done, I felt I could shape it into something special and it evolved with a different chorus and groove into Four Kinds Of Horses.”
    For the Tamla Motown- inspired This Is Home, Gabriel teamed up with American DJ and producer Skrillex.
    He explains: “Skrillex approached me several years ago and we had a good exchange of ideas. Then he disappeared back into his normal world.
    “I had started something that felt good, which I went on to build a song around. I tried a new twist on an old Tamla groove and soon the wheels were in place.”
    Another name that appears several times in i/o’s credits is Gabriel’s musician daughter Melanie, who provides backing vocals.
    He says: “I have always loved working with my kids and Melanie has such a gentle and soulful voice which really adds mood to some of my songs.”
    Gabriel also spares a thought for Ríoghnach Connolly from folk duo The Breath who “has an amazing full and emotional voice. It was a real treat to work with her this time.”
    Next he moves on to his orchestra arranger and conductor John Metcalfe, who helps give i/o such musical breadth and depth.
    “I have worked with John for many years and we have a shorthand when communicating about arrangements.
    “Often, we will talk through different approaches, but in the case of Road To Joy, it was entirely John’s wonderful and crazy idea.”
    Then Gabriel honours the two choirs involved. “Orphei Drängar is an amazing Swedish male voice choir which produces dark, dreamy tones that you don’t hear elsewhere,” he says.
    “And I have worked with the Soweto Gospel Choir several times. It’s a joy each time. I am always surprised by the passion and musicality of their performance.”
    Finally, he turns his attention to visual artists who add extra dimension to each song.
    Gabriel says: “I was a little apprehensive about whether some of my favourite artists would want to work with me.
    Read More on The Sun
    “I was delighted at the number who said yes. Great visual work can open you up in many different ways than music alone.”
    That includes Ai Weiwei’s life-affirming middle finger salute — Peter Gabriel’s way of saying “Up yours!” to the Grim Reaper.
    Peter Gabriel’s I/O4.5/5
    1. Panoptico
    2.The Court
    3. Playing For Time
    4. i/o
    5. Four Kinds Of Horses
    6. Road To Joy
    7. So Much
    8. Olive Tree
    9. Love Can Heal
    10. This Is Home
    11. And Still
    12. Live And Let Live More

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    Beyonce has Taylor Swift as VIP guest of honour at Renaissance premiere as star’s team put up ring of steel around event

    POP stars Taylor Swift and Beyonce legged it on to the red carpet tonight in scanty outfits — despite Britain’s big chill.Taylor, 33, arrived first in a sparkling silver gown with a daring split, yet turned down the offer of a coat.
    Taylor Swift stuns in a sparking silver gown at the premiere of Beyonce’s Renaissance concert film in LondonCredit: Getty
    Beyonce with her daughter Blue Ivy on the red carpetCredit: Twitter
    Taylor was Beyonce’s guest of honour at the premiereCredit: Getty
    The Shake It Off singer was guest of honour at the London premiere of Beyonce’s Renaissance concert film.
    Not to be outdone, Beyonce flashed her thighs in a black blazer dress.
    The 42-year-old was with rapper husband Jay Z, 53, at the red carpet event.
    A source at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square said: “Because of the stars’ fan bases, crowd control measures were put in place to make sure everyone was safe.
    “It was the most tightly guarded premiere this year.”
    Taylor, who was supported by Beyonce at the Hollywood opening of her record-breaking Eras Tour movie in October, flew in by private jet from Kansas where she has been staying with NFL star boyfriend Travis Kelce.
    Beyonce hopes her flick can rival Taylor’s, which has so far taken £198million worldwide.
    It contains footage of her three children — Blue Ivy, 11, and six-year-old twins Rumi and Sir.
    Most read in Celebrity
    Blue Ivy, who was a dancer on the tour, joined her mum to pose for photographers.
    The Single Ladies singer then went inside to greet Taylor.
    Other celebs there included pop star Mabel, Australian singer Sia and Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock.
    Beyonce and Jay Z had arrived in London on Wednesday and were joined for dinner at Oswald’s private members club by actor Tom Cruise.
    While the couple left quickly afterwards, 61-year-old Tom delighted fans — but held up traffic — to sign autographs and pose for selfies.
    One furious taxi driver was heard shouting: “Did he buy the street? I don’t give a f*** about Tom Cruise.”
    Leigh-Anne Pinnock stunned at the premiere in a ribbed pink gownCredit: Getty
    Blake Lively also attended the star-studded eventCredit: Getty More

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    Kate Upton shows off her flawless figure as she poses in revealing black bikini for beach shoot

    KATE Upton hangs around on the beach at work — before getting smartened up for a posh bash.The model, 31, wore a black bikini for a seaside shoot in Miami.
    Kate Upton stunned in this black two-piece for a photoshoot in MiamiCredit: Yamamay
    The model looked stunning in a a black dress for an awards bash in New York – where she joined by husband Justin VerlanderCredit: Getty
    She then put on a black dress in New York, joined by baseball star hubby Justin Verlander.
    The Sports Illustrated model had teamed up with swimwear brand Yamamay and wore one of their classic two-pieces for a photoshoot in Miami.
    Kate, 31, was also guest of honour at the Footwear News Achievement Awards, known as the Oscars of the shoe world, in New York.
    She was joined at the bash at Cipriani South Street by Justin who she married in 2017.
    Kate called American baseball player Justin, 40, her “perfect partner” and the pair welcomed their daughter, Genevieve, a year after they wed.
    She and Verlander met while working on Major League Baseball 2K12 video game in 2012 and officially started dating in January 2013.
    Their relationship ended for about six months in mid-2013, but they were back together by January 2014.
    In 2016, Verlander popped the question and after winning the World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017, they set off for Tuscany, Italy to get married.
    Most read in Celebrity
    They celebrated their one-year anniversary only days before daughter, Genevieve Upton Verlander, was born.
    Kate called American baseball player Justin, 40, her ‘perfect partner’Credit: Lipsy More

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    Rita Ora, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lily Allen reveal their Spotify Wrapped playlists as Taylor Swift and Dave triumph

    YES, it’s that time of the year again, when Spotify Wrapped shows streamers who they have been listening to and for how long.The individualised charts, generated by listening habits, give Spotify subscribers a personalised roll-out of their sonic year.
    Taylor Swift was the UK’s most streamed singer of 2023Credit: Getty
    Flowers by Miley Cyrus was the top streamed song globallyCredit: Getty
    Rita Ora’s Spotify Wrapped’s most played artist was . . . herselfCredit: PA
    And they revealed that Rita Ora’s own most played artist was . . . herself, coming ahead of Bruce Springsteen.
    The singer took to her Instagram stories to share her completely un-narcissistic favourites to her 16million followers.
    As well as being her own most played artist, her recent single Praising You, featuring Fatboy Slim, also topped her most listened to singles.
    Rita Ora has been keeping Rita Ora busy.
    She wrote: “Me and the flute have been killing it this year. lol.”
    While Sprinter, by Gen Z Brit rapper Dave — nope, me neither — was the UK’s most played single, Taylor Swift was our most streamed singer of 2023.
    Her record Midnights topped the album charts, while, incredibly, she also slipped in at No5 with Lover, originally released four years ago.
    Brit entrants included Harry Styles (No3 with Harry’s House) and the Arctic Monkeys, in at No4 with AM.
    Most read in Music
    In the artists category, Ed Sheeran, a man we’ve all heard of, creeps in at No5.
    Globally, Taylor Swift unseated Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny after a three-year reign as the service’s most-steamed act. He drops to No2.
    Podcasts are also taken into account and, look away Harry and Meghan, Archetypes failed to chart.
    Depressingly, Joe Rogan was the UK’s most listened to broadcaster, with his alt-right conspiracy theory sessions on The Joe Rogan Experience beating Steven Bartlett’s Diary Of A CEO.

    Laura Ferguson, Spotify head of global marketing experience, describes the annual lists, now in their tenth year, as, “Almost like election night”.
    Unquestionably, it is the cultural event of the year for anyone under 40.
    Actually, sod it, I’m 41 and I still excitedly “unwrapped” my personal highlights yesterday . . . only to discover I have the musical tastes of a 14-year- old schoolgirl.
    Harry Styles’ album Harry’s House was the UK’s third most streamed recordCredit: AFP
    Ed Sheeran was the UK’s fifth most streamed artistCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Lily Allen was among the celebs sharing their Spotify Wrapped screenshotsCredit: Splash
    Taylor, then, was my most played artist while, apparently, April was a particularly busy month for her track Anti-hero, which I played, on loop, more than is probably healthy.
    I listened to 3,379 songs in total, with Spotify telling me: “2023 was a feast for my ears.” My ears, then, also lapped up Lewis Capaldi, Ed Sheeran, Pink and The Weeknd.
    Cool, I am not.
    Celebs, however, were quick to bolster their eclectic credentials, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Lily Allen and Charli XCX all sharing their Spotify screenshots.
    Not surprisingly, theirs were considerably more respectable.Until next year . . . 

    Taylor Swift
    The Weeknd
    Arctic Monkeys
    Ed Sheeran


    Sprinter, by Dave and Central Cee
    Flowers, by Miley Cyrus
    Kill Bill, by SZA
    Boy’s A Liar Pt 2, by Pink Pantheress & Ice Spice
    Escapism, by RAYE feat. 070 Shake


    Midnights, by Taylor Swift
    SOS, by SZA
    Harry’s House, by Harry Styles
    AM, by Arctic Monkeys
    Lover, by Taylor Swift


    The Joe Rogan Experience
    The Diary Of A CEO with Stephen Bartlett
    Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
    Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s Parenting Hell
    Call Her Daddy


    Taylor Swift
    Bad Bunny
    The Weeknd
    Peso Pluma


    Flowers, by Miley Cyrus
    Kill Bill, by SZA
    As It Was, by Harry Styles
    Seven by Jungkook feat. Latto
    Ella Bella Sola, by Armado & Peso Pluma

    Read More on The Sun

    Un Verano Sin, by Bad Bunny
    Midnights by Taylor Swift
    SOS, by SZA
    Starboy by The Weeknd
    Manana Sera Bonito by Karol G


    The Joe Rogan Experience
    Call Her Daddy
    Huberman Lab
    Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
    On Purpose with Jay Shetty More

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    James Blunt opens up on his life in one-night cinema film and reveals why he pours emotions into his songs

    MOCKED as a “posh boy” when starting out, James Blunt was repeatedly turned down by record labels because of his privileged background.But just like cream, he rose to the top, becoming one of our most successful artists.
    James Blunt, in his movie One Brit Wonder, was turned down by record labels because of his privileged backgroundCredit: .
    The You’re Beautiful singer has now told of his life — and some of his most grounding experiences — in the film One Brit Wonder.
    As the title suggests, James, one of the funniest and most self-deprecating blokes in the business, sends himself up a lot during the 90-minute documentary.
    He also enlists his parents to give some of their anecdotes. And the results are eye-opening.
    James talks about being packed off to boarding school aged eight, saying: “It is a weird experience being dropped off. I was given a Nintendo and three days later I asked, ‘When are my parents coming back?’, and I was told ‘at Christmas’. It was September.”
    Mum Jane says: “He makes it sound like it was too early. Well, he was eight, so it probably was.”
    She later adds: “He is a loner and he is short. He was bullied but he is funny, so he made friends.”
    Let’s be clear though, James is clearly the apple of his parents’ eye and they supported his career as a captain in the Army as well as when he turned to music.
    Dad Charles, an ex-Army colonel, explains: “I used to do the merchandise. I’d cycle to the post office and post them around the world.”
    Most read in Bizarre
    James uses the anecdotes to help fans understand why he chooses to put his emotions down in his songs.
    No Bravery, for example, was written about his time serving in Kosovo, and Monsters was a song he wrote for his dad when he was told he needed a kidney transplant.
    James says of that one, “It’s the only way I can express those things to him,” before admitting his upbringing made him “emotionally stunted”.
    He adds: “I am very close to my family but we don’t discuss feelings.”
    Moving home-movie footage shows James’s video diary from his time in Kosovo during its 1999 war, where he was tasked with helping families identify bodies of their loved ones.
    He explains: “The two smells from Kosovo were death and asparagus, because we’d have asparagus soup in our lunches.
    “It would be very easy to be swamped by the great sadness that is inhumanity.
    “We looked after each other and we made light of the scenario in the privacy of our own troop.”
    The film, which will be shown in cinemas for one night only, is also littered with what James does best — making people laugh.
    Ed Sheeran appears and says he became a superfan when James opened for Sir Elton John in Ipswich in 2005. Ed says: “I took his Corona from the stage and took it home. I was a big fan.
    “He jokes his album is a ‘greatest hit’, but he has this incredible catalogue of music which has been influential to me and to other people.
    “He’s become a national treasure where people are proud of him.”
    Ed couldn’t be more correct. Fans of James would be mad to miss this.

    One Brit Wonder is in cinemas on Wednesday and will be followed by a live concert. Tickets from

    NOEL GALLAGHER is gearing up to return to the studio to record his next chart-topping album.
    He narrowly missed the number one spot with Council Skies back in June, but perhaps this next one will be a winner.
    The former Oasis frontman said he’s going to start recording in the New Year after writing enough tunes for two albums.
    Noel said: “I’ve had to stop writing because I need to get these songs recorded and get them out there so I can write some more.
    “In the pandemic there was nothing to do all day so I just wrote songs. There’s another two albums worth of material there.
    “I think I’m going to be back in the studio in Jan-uary, so we’ll see where it goes from there.”
    Noel, 56, says his next record has a lot to live up to because he thinks his last release is the best collection of songs he has released on one album.
    The High Flying Birds frontman is the songwriter behind anthems including Wonderwall, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Champagne Supernova, and he admitted that even two decades on he is still learning about the impact of his tracks on an audience.
    He said: “I wouldn’t still be doing it after 30 years if I didn’t love it.
    “You tend to find out more about the songs when you play them live than when you’re just listening to them at home. It’s a special thing.
    “The live experience although the songs are the same it’s a little bit different.”

    Leigh-Anne Pinnock stunned in double denim as she performed to a celeb-studded crowd in LondonCredit: Getty
    POP star Leigh-Anne was up on stage in a shot at an event in London.
    The former Little Mix singer performed to a celeb-studded crowd including Girls Aloud band members Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts.
    Radio 1 presenter Vick Hope was also at the party, which celebrated Smirnoff Vodka’s global We Do Us campaign with Tilting The Lens, supporting the disabled community in clubs, pubs and bars.
    Leigh-Anne wore this handkerchief top and matching flares at the bash, where she performed along with Mae Muller and the Spice Girls’ Melanie C.
    Guests enjoyed a free bar flowing with Smirnoff tipples including mango and passionfruit martinis, raspberry crush spritz and No.21 espresso martinis. The hangover was hell, but worth it.
    Keane to hear new Love song
    IT’S one of the most popular Christmas films of all time and now Keane have dropped a previously unheard song to coincide with us all watching Love Actually.
    The band, fronted by Tom Chaplin, wrote a single of the same name which was put forward for the 2003 film.
    Director Richard Curtis ended up turning it down but the group have revealed he regretted the decision.
    Now the track, out today, has launched as part of their 20th anniversary for their debut album Hopes And Fears.
    Keyboardist Tim Oxley-Rice said: “Richard always very graciously said he loved the song and wished he’d put it in the film. We all loved the song too, but having called it Love Actually, it was very hard to do anything with it.”
    Admitting his error, filmmaker Richard said: “I realised what a dreadful mistake that had been when, six months later, Hopes & Fears was No1 in the charts. It is so wonderful that the song is now being released for everyone to hear.”

    Dua Lipa stuns in New York as she promotes her new single HoudiniCredit: Getty
    DUA LIPA is taking a bite out of the Big Apple as she spends time in New York promoting new single Houdini.
    The track, which narrowly missed the top spot, is from her upcoming third album.
    Read More on The Sun
    Dua, who flashed her midriff in baggy jeans and a leather jacket, but covered up on a night out said: “The album was intimately in diary form, so I wrote about things when they happened.
    “When you look back on (an incident) a month later your perspective changes. It’s important to take a breather.”
    Friends in need-le
    IN what is becoming an ABBA Voyage Christmas tradition, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Sir Ian McKellen have joined forces again to knit their famous pals festive jumpers.
    In a new video the pair, who have been busying making knits for Kylie Minogue and her dancers, are seen musing over who they can enlist for their team next time.
    Ian told Bjorn: “It’s hard to find a knitting partner. Tom Jones knits. He knits Tom Jones merch whereas I like to restrict myself to Abba.
    “Does Madonna knit? I think she has people who knit for her. Adele has a few tricks which she does.”
    If anyone can needle her into joining, I’m sure it will be Ian. More

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    Margot Robbie dazzles in pink mini-skirt as she braves the cold at Barbie-themed event in New York

    ACTRESS Margot Robbie keeps those Barbie vibes flowing with another dazzling pink outfit.The Aussie star, 33, braved the New York chill in a Versace mini-skirt and cropped jacket as she headed to a Barbie-related event with husband Tom Ackerley and the film’s director Greta Gerwig.
    Margot Robbie kept the Barbie vibes flowing with another dazzling pink outfitCredit: Splash
    Margot braved the New York chill in a Versace mini-skirt and cropped jacket as she headed to a Barbie-related eventCredit: Getty
    Pop singer Dua Lipa, 28, who featured as a mermaid version of the doll, was also there — wrapped up in an oversized black faux fur coat and showing off her new long red locks.
    Margot recently rubbed shoulders with the movie elite at the premiere of her latest production.
    The Aussie actress and Carey Mulligan, 38, wore similar looks at the LA screening of black comedy Saltburn, which stars Barry Keoghan.
    Margot produced it with her husband.
    Read More on Showbiz
    Margot’s Barbie was officially Warner Bros’ highest grossing film of all time after smashing Box Office records last summer.
    The billion-pound blockbuster overtook the final Harry Potter film to clinch the record, which JK Rowling’s creation had held for 12 years.
    Hollywood star Margot came up with the concept of the Mattel doll inspired movie and enlisted director Greta Gerwig to direct it – with Margot in the leading role.
    Dua Lipa wrapped up in an oversized black faux fur coatCredit: Getty
    Margot and Carey Mulligan wore similar looks at the LA screening of black comedy SaltburnCredit: Getty More

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    Girls Aloud make major change ahead of their tour after Cheryl Tweedy admits she doesn’t want to embarrass her son

    IN disappointing news for Girls Aloud fans everywhere, the group have admitted they’ll be ditching their skimpy stage outfits for something a little more demure this time around.Cheryl Tweedy, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts will hit the road next year for a comeback tour.
    Girls Aloud will be ditching their skimpy stage outfits for something a little more demureCredit: Eroteme
    From left: Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh, Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle and Sarah HardingCredit: Getty
    And their wardrobes will be a little less revealing, after Cheryl admitted she didn’t want her son Bear having fun made out of him at school because of their clobber.
    She said: “I don’t want (Bear) going to school and having people be like, ‘I’ve seen your mums arse the other day’. He’s a boy, they’re lads.”
    Kimberley added: “A catsuit I can get on board with but I don’t think my children would appreciate it.”
    Nadine was a little more game however and joked: “I’ll have my arse out, I’ll take one for the team.”
    Read More on Girls Aloud
    In a revealing interview on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast, the group also opened up on the early days of their career – admitting they had no idea they had to pay certain bills.
    Nadine said: “We got a £30,000 car bill.
    “I thought cars came for free.
    Until our lawyers said: ‘You owe £30,000,’ and we did not have £30,000 to spend on cars.”
    Most read in Bizarre
    Opening up about the loss of their bandmate Sarah Harding, who died of breast cancer in 2021, the group said they would use Sarah’s voice on certain tracks on the tour.
    Cheryl said: “We’ve not got that far down the line in terms of creative directions but we know which bits are not touchable.
    “There are big moments that are very apparently Sarah that we won’t be able to touch.”
    Kimberley added: “With her mum’s blessing we would rather just let her voice play.
    “We will have those conversations and make sure everybody is happy.” More

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    Leigh-Anne Pinnock teases Little Mix reunion and says they’ll be back in five years

    LEIGH-ANNE PINNOCK has admitted Little Mix could be back by 2028.The band announced a break two years ago and on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast, Leigh-Anne said: “We’ll definitely do a reunion, how could we not?
    Leigh-Anne Pinnock has admitted Little Mix could be back by 2028Credit: Getty
    “I definitely think in maybe five years we’ll get back together.”
    She added that it was hard when Jesy Nelson quit in 2020 but said the support of bandmates Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall got her through.
    The Don’t Say Love singer explained: “Me, Jade and Pez really stuck together and we were lucky that we had that bond to get each other through it.
    “The fans were amazing.
    “We had an incredible team and they were strong for us too and yeah therapy, we had to have a bit of therapy.
    “It was hard.”
    Kylie’s bonkas Wonka VIP visit
    KYLIE JENNER secured a golden ticket to the premiere of her boyfriend Timothee Chalamet’s Wonka premiere in London – and used every trick in the book to ensure she didn’t steal the limelight.
    Kylie Jenner at the premiere of her boyfriend Timothee Chalamet’s Wonka film in LondonCredit: Splash
    Timothee plays a young Willy Wonka in the new movieCredit: Alamy
    But I can reveal the US reality star secretly joined Timothee, who plays a young Willy Wonka, at the star-studded bash and partied alongside him at a swanky after party inside London’s Royal Festival Hall.
    Most read in Bizarre
    A source said: “Kylie flew in from her home in Los Angeles on her private jet and was snuck inside the Wonka premiere in Leicester Square to be by Timothee’s side.
    “This is a huge role for him and Kylie wanted to make sure the spotlight was only on him so she went on a secret mission not to be seen.”
    After the red carpet event the couple snuck down the road for a private after party, where they enjoyed shots of 818 Tequila, the alcohol brand of Kylie’s sister Kendall.
    Low key
    My insider added: “Timothee and Kylie were so loved up.
    “It was incredibly sweet to see.
    “She is clearly so proud of him and they really let their hair down at the party.
    “They danced together and drank with their pals.
    “Kylie used her own bit of Wonka magic to keep her presence totally unknown and when they left they departed through a secret tunnel to ensure no one saw them.”
    Beauty mogul Kylie, the youngest half-sister of Kim Kardashian, has now flown to Paris with Timothee for some downtime ahead of the premiere in the French capital tomorrow.
    The source continued: “Kylie and Timothee will be just as low key in Paris.
    “She wants people to focus on him and how amazing Wonka is.
    “Kylie is happy to take a back seat.
    “As a couple they like to remain totally private and that is heaven for Kylie, who much prefers to be at home with her family than walking red carpets.”
    I have to hand it to Kylie, it is refreshing to see a member of the publicity-hungry Kardashians keen to stay in the background for once.
    Maybe she could give Kim some tips.

    NOEL GALLAGHER and Lewis Capaldi have been seen rocking its cool Christmas knits in the past.
    And this year social enterprise notjust clothing has taken inspiration from some of the nation’s favourite foodstuffs for its latest creative festive collection.
    The brand – which donates 50 per cent of all sales to food bank charity The Trussell Trust – is selling its Pot Noodle, Marmite and Colman’s Mustard jumpers now at

    Maya’s putting on the glitz
    MAYA JAMA looks on sparkling form in heels and a glittering black and silver number at a Christmas fashion party in London.
    Maya Jama shines at a Christmas fashion party in LondonCredit: Splash
    The Love Island host is enjoying some well-earned time off and has spent the past few weeks with boyfriend Stormzy in the US, and moving into a new home in London.
    Filming a tour of the gaff, she said on social media: “Moving in to the new house I bought this week.
    “I wanted to share the tiniest bit with you.”
    I told last year how she and Stormzy had secretly rekindled their romance.
    Give it a few more months and I’m sure he will be asking Maya to marry him.
    Let’s be honest, he would be mad not to.
    Duran get spooky in new video
    DURAN DURAN are out to freak out fans with their latest music video.
    Duran Duran teamed up with director Jonas Akerlund, who has worked with artists including Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Madonna, for the spooky new video
    The Hungry Like The Wolf singers filmed themselves doing a séance for new single Black Moonlight.
    The band teamed up with director Jonas Akerlund, who has worked with artists including Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Madonna, for the video.
    Keyboard player Nick Rhodes said: “Shooting Black Moonlight was the most fun we have all had on a video set in many years.
    “The best music videos are all about the ideas, having a séance in a haunted house was a perfect fit for this song.
    “A lot of people will be surprised and, I hope, just a little unsettled by the results.”
    Mad on Rocco’s painting
    IT’S hard to believe that just a few months ago we almost lost Madonna.
    Madonna was in Milan to see an art exhibition, featuring images of herself by Italian photography duo Luigi and IangoCredit: INSTAGRAM/MADONNA
    Madge watched on as son Rocco covered a model’s naked body with red, yellow and blue paintsCredit:
    But the Queen of Pop was looking back to her best on a night out in Milan, Italy, this week.
    She wore this black mini dress with PVC gloves to take in the sights of the Palazzo Reale.
    Madge was at the royal palace to see an art exhibition, featuring images of herself by Italian photography duo Luigi and Iango, and her son Rocco’s bizarre performance.
    The singer watched on as Rocco, whose dad is Guy Richie, covered a model’s naked body with red, yellow and blue paints accompanied by a live orchestra.
    Madonna described the exhibit as a “magical experience”.
    She added: “I am so proud of (Rocco) and certainly the luckiest mum in the world.”
    Elton cushions blow
    SIR ELTON JOHN once sacked one of his Watford managers on the roll of a dice-shaped cushion.
    Sir Elton John with former Watford manager Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett – who he sacked on the roll of a diceCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Dave “Harry” Bassett revealed his bizarre dismissal on the Cosh podcast.
    He said: “Elton said, ‘Harry, you see that cushion beside you? We’re gonna have a game with that’. It’s like a dice.
    “He goes, ‘Come on, Harry, one to five, you get the sack’.
    “I said, ‘Odds aren’t very good, are they?’”
    Asked what happened after the dice game, Bassett said: “We got p***ed and I went home at four in the morning. Sacked.”
    I can think of worse ways to go.
    Rita’s Albania mania
    RITA ORA and her husband Taika Waititi made a crossed hands gesture for Albania’s Independence Day celebrations.
    Rita Ora and her husband Taika Waititi in Albania, as the pair celebrate her birthdayCredit: PRESIDENCA2023
    It is the country’s international sign, and Rita, whose parents are Albanian, was born in Kosovo and celebrated her birthday there on Sunday.
    She spent the day meeting Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti, and told him: “This is an incredible way to spend my birthday.
    “I’m 33 today and I think we have done such inspiring work so far.”
    It seems he is a fan of Rita too, as he said afterwards: “This has been an incredible Sunday for me.
    “I have to watch the video [of our meeting] afterwards to make sure it was real.”

    AMERICAN rock band Nickelback have added four UK dates to their Get Rollin’ world tour.
    The group, led by frontman Chad Kroeger, will kick off their British leg in Glasgow on May 16 before playing in Manchester on May 20 and London’s O2 Arena the following night.
    Read More on The Sun
    Their final date will be in Birmingham on May 23.
    Tickets for the shows by the How You Remind me rockers go on sale tomorrow. More