Platinum Party - An average of nearly 12 million people in the UK watched the Platinum Party in the Palace on BBC One on Saturday. The concert saw stars Diana Ross, George Ezra, Queen, Elbow and many others perform in front of a Buckingham Palace crowd that included members of the royal family. It attracted the BBC's biggest audience of the year, peaking at 13.4 million. The BBC states: "The Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC One was the most watched programme of the year so far."
Going Green - Directors and designers working at London’s National Theatre will receive additional pay if they contribute to the organisation’s sustainability goals, artistic director Rufus Norris has announced. The National Theatre boss said the financial incentive reflected the extra work that is required to deliver on the environmental objectives set out in the Theatre Green Book.
Speaking at an event marking a year of the Theatre Green Book, hosted at the NT’s South Bank home, Norris admitted his own productions had historically "not been the best models of practice", and pledged to work to the Green Book’s standards on all shows he makes in future.
The book, described as a "one-stop shop" to help the industry nurture more sustainable practices, was launched last year. It offers three levels of environmental standards that theatres should adhere to in order to cut carbon emissions in both the making of shows and running of buildings.
Back Home - Fans of Robbie Williams at his concert in his native Stoke-on-Trent said it was "just electric" and "amazing". About 20,000 people were at Vale Park on Saturday for a gig that was postponed for two years due to COVID. Williams called it "an incredibly special night" and raised funds for charities including Unicef and The Donna Louise Children's Hospice. He played all of his biggest hits, including Let Me Entertain You, Rock DJ, Millennium and Angels. Williams also performed a cover of Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis.
Money Spinner - Mariah Carey is being sued for copyright infringement over her 1994 Christmas mega-hit, All I Want for Christmas is You. Songwriter Andy Stone says he co-wrote a song with the same name five years earlier, arguing that Ms Carey exploited his "popularity" and "style". Despite sharing a title, the two songs appear musically different, but Stone claims Carey caused confusion and did not ask for permission. Carey has not yet responded.
Since appearing on the album Merry Christmas in 1994, the track has topped the charts in several countries and by 2017 had reportedly earned Carey more than $60m (£48m) in royalties. The song has been streamed one billion times on Spotify. In a recent memoir, Ms Carey admitted to composing "most of the song on a cheap little Casio keyboard".
Culture Club - Bradford has been named UK City of Culture 2025. It will take over the title from Coventry, whose 2021 City of Culture year has now come to a close. Bradfordwas crowned the winner from a shortlist of four, including County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough. A record 20 bids were submitted for the 2025 iteration, with groups of towns able to enter collectively for the first time.
Bradford will now receive £275,000 in seed funding to begin preparing for its 2025 activities, while each of the runners up will get £125,000 to take forward certain elements of their bid.
Park Life - Shakespeare’s Globe actors are set to become the first to perform at a new outdoor amphitheatre in the Cotswolds, which opens later this month. The Globe on Tour production of Julius Caesar will visit the Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park in Gloucestershire, running for two nights as the first company to perform at the new venue.
The 500-seat grassed amphitheatre near Chipping Norton opens this summer with a programme of theatre, comedy, live music and film screenings. The summer line-up will include Shakespeare from the HandleBards and the three-day Cotswolds Comedy Festival, with acts including Shaparak Khorsandi, Marcus Brigstocke, Hal Cruttenden and Arthur Smith. The Globe’s Julius Caesar will open the season on 14-15 June.
Farewell - A founding member of Bon Jovi, bassist Alec John Such, has died at the age of 70, the group announced. Such played with them from 1983 to 1994, when they had such hits asYou Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer and Bad Medicine. He was credited with bringing the band together and was remembered as a dear friend who was "wild and full of life". No details were given of how or where he had died. "Alec was integral to the formation of the band," singer-songwriter Jon Bon Jovi tweeted. "To be honest we found our way to each other thru him..." RIP.
(Jim Evans)
7 June 2022

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