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Aladdin: How Disney found its leading characters

Aladdin: How Disney found its leading characters By Steven McIntosh Entertainment reporter 22 May 2019 Image copyright EPA You might think the lead character in Aladdin is… well, Aladdin. But not according to the end credits of Disney's new live-action remake.
Unlike the animated 1992 original, the genie is the first name seen in the new cast list – which is understandable given that Will Smith is the biggest name in the project by some distance.
Disney has opted for two relative newcomers for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine – in the shape of Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott.
It was reported at the time of casting in 2017 that around 2,000 actors and actresses had been reading for the two roles over several months.
“The casting process was intense,” Massoud tells BBC News. “I've been watching this film since I was a kid, and when I saw the audition notice I threw myself at it.
“And I didn't hear anything for four months, so I was a little disappointed, but I kind of mo..

Billboard ad hints at new Hilary Mantel novel

Hilary Mantel: Billboard hints at new novel 21 May 2019 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.
Skip Twitter post by @WaterstonesPicc Erm… grabbing lunch and saw this in Leicester Sq! That rose. That line. Oh my god is the new Hilary Mantel finally coming?!?!
— Waterstones Piccadilly (@WaterstonesPicc) May 21, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by @WaterstonesPicc
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..

Downton Abbey: Five reveals from the trailer

Downton Abbey: Five reveals from the trailer By Emma Saunders Entertainment reporter 21 May 2019 Image copyright Universal Pictures Image caption We'll see the return of many familiar faces Downton Abbey fans, the wait is over… the trailer for the film version of the hugely popular TV series has arrived.
The show's creator Julian Fellowes has written the film's screenplay, and he is also the co-producer.
The period ITV drama ended in 2015 after six series and the film version is released this autumn.
Two trailers for the movie were simultaneously released on Tuesday. So what did we learn?
What lies in store for the Crawley family and their servants below the stairs?
Here are our top five finds.
Image copyright Universal Pictures Image caption The roaring 20s are still in full swing 1. The King and Queen are coming to stayIf you thought the Crawleys were posh, even they're going to have to up the ante and pull out all the stops – and best china – when a lette..

Johnny Depp accuses Amber Heard of domestic abuse

Johnny Depp accuses Amber Heard of domestic abuse 21 May 2019 Image copyright Reuters Image caption The couple were married in 2015 Hollywood star Johnny Depp has denied physically abusing ex-wife Amber Heard, arguing that it was she who abused him during their relationship.
In newly filed court documents as part of his $50m (£39m) defamation case against her, Depp accused Heard of having “painted-on bruises”.
“I have denied Ms Heard's allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016,” he said.
A lawyer for Heard denied the allegations against his client.
Depp launched the defamation case against Heard after the actress described herself as the victim of domestic abuse in a piece in the Washington Post in December.
Heard asked a judge in Virginia to dismiss the lawsuit, prompting the new declaration from Depp.
“I have denied Ms Heard's allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016 when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order w..

Sesame Street welcomes foster muppet Karli

21 May 2019 Image copyright Sesame Workshop Image caption Elmo makes friends with Karli There's a new kid on the block in Sesame Street in the shape of Karli – a young muppet in foster care living with her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem.
New videos, a storybook and interactive activities have been released featuring Karli and her foster parents.
The introduction of Karli is part of a new initiative from the show to offer support to children, foster parents and providers.
One video shows her struggling with feeling left out at a pizza party.
Image Copyright Sesame Street In Communities Sesame Street In Communities Report Image Copyright Sesame Street In Communities Sesame Street In Communities Report Another features Elmo's dad chatting with Dalia and Clem about how they are finding fostering.
Karli is also seen sharing an art project with Elmo that shows that even though she might feel like her heart is breaking, it can get bigger at the same time when more love is added..

Luton’s new ’emerging from grey’ mural painted over in error

Luton's new 'emerging from grey' mural painted over in error 21 May 2019 Image copyright Aimi Rix Image caption The artwork was finished on Friday and repainted over by Sunday A mural depicting a town “emerging out of the grey” has been painted over with grey paint by mistake.
Artist Aimi Rix is “devastated” after the piece she created in Luton on Friday was painted over on Sunday.
She said the background colour was an “ironic” element of the Arts Council-funded mural, but staff at The Mall shopping centre had misunderstood.
The centre said a communication error left the operational team thinking the artwork was “unauthorised”.
It is now due to be re-painted next week.
Image copyright Aimi Rix Image caption Aimi Rix said the work took “months” to prepare Ms Rix, from Little Red Creative, said: “I used the grey to represent Luton's grey background and the hand was the artistic hand emerging in a colourful explosion from the grey. ”
The piece took “months” to pre..

Three wills discovered in Aretha Franklin’s home

Aretha Franklin: Three handwritten wills discovered in singer's home 21 May 2019 Image copyright Reuters Three handwritten wills have been found at the home of Aretha Franklin, months after the “Queen of Soul's” death.
Franklin died from pancreatic cancer in August and family members said at the time that she had left no will.
But three documents were found earlier this month. Two from 2010 were recovered from a locked cabinet after a key was located.
One, dated March 2014, was hidden under living room cushions, a lawyer for Franklin's estate said.
The will, which was written inside a spiral notebook, appears to leave her assets to her family, said the lawyer, David Bennett.
Image copyright Getty Images Some of the writing is very hard to decipher and the four pages have words scratched out and phrases written in the margins.
Bennett, who was Franklin's lawyer for more than 40 years, filed the wills on Monday. He told a judge that he's not sure if they are le..

Alfie Templeman: The fledgling star who needs a chaperone

Alfie Templeman: The fledgling star who needs a chaperone By Kev Geoghegan Arts and entertainment reporter 21 May 2019 Image copyright Blackksocks For those standing at the back of the crammed Casablanca Jazz Club in Brighton trying to catch a glimpse of one of the most hotly tipped teens in UK music, they are rewarded by the occasional glimpse of a bouncing head of hair above the sea of similarly nodding heads.
At just 16, Bedfordshire singer-songwriter Alfie Templeman, our latest Newbie Tuesday artist, has already notched up a few bucket list items of which an artist 10 years his senior would be proud.
Play an iconic London venue? Check. Play a session at the BBC's Maida Vale studios? Check.
“It's incredible, man,” says the visibly buzzing and heavily perspiring young man after his show at the The Great Escape festival of new music on England's south coast.
“The atmosphere feels like it's insane. Basically, everyone has shown so much support, it was such a great ..

The Hit List: Marvin and Rochelle on getting competitive

The Hit List: Marvin and Rochelle on getting competitive By Steven McIntosh Entertainment reporter 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images In sport, it's not about winning, it's about taking part. Unless you're Marvin Humes.
“I'm already in training for my little girl's sports day,” he tells BBC News. “They do a Dads' race.”
“It's actually embarrassing,” jokes his co-presenter and wife Rochelle. “Annoyingly he won it [last year], and he's still going on about it.”
But Marvin (who adds he's “got to retain his title this year”) was disappointed to find out that, at his daughter's school, the competitive element had been taken out of the children's races.
“With the Dads' race there was a first, second and third prize,” he explains.
“But then for the kids, there's no first prize. For the kids it's just a pat on the back for taking part. When I was at school, it was all about winning. I mean, in life you gotta want to s..

‘What an episode’: Thrones fans rave over series finale (spoilers within)

By Gemma Peplow, arts and entertainment reporter
***Warning! This article contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season eight, episode six, The Iron Throne – the last ever episode***
After succeeding in the herculean task of avoiding spoilers for an entire day, Game Of Thrones fans have finally seen how it all ends and said their goodbyes to the epic series that brought us dragons, white walkers and some of the goriest deaths in TV history.
While tens of thousands stayed up or set the alarms to watch at 2am on Monday, the time the show was screened in the US, others waited it out until 9pm – including seven groups of fans across the UK who watched the final episode at special screenings organised with fan show Thronecast.
Image: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, who survived the final episode despite betraying Daenerys. Pic: HBO/Sky Atlantic After eight years, 73 episodes, hours and hours spent in the company of the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens, and too many deaths to count, ..