THE WORLD UNITES FOR ONE LOVE MANCHESTER CONCERT 122

The stars were out in force tonight at One Love Manchester.

Hosted by Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox and Strictly Come Dancing’s Ore Oduba, the benefit concert, which took place at the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground, was held to raise funds and support for the victims of the Manchester bombings, which took place on 22 May at Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour show in the city.

Throughout the day, celebs and visitors were sharing pictures on social media using the hashtag #OneLoveManchester , which was soon trending worldwide.

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With more than 50,000 fans packed into the venue, the concert opened with an instrumental version of Ariana’s song “One Last Time” which has become something of an anthem for Manchester following the attack that affected so many people.

Poet Tony Walsh, wearing a ‘Forever Manchester’ shirt, took to the stage to give an impassioned speech about the city’s history of unity before Marcus Mumford kicked off the impressive-line up of performances, opening his time on stage by asking for a moment of silence.

He then performed a solo acoustic version of “Timshel”, a song was inspired by a passage in John Steinbeck’s book East of Eden, which describes man’s choice between good and evil.

Take That followed a few minutes later and performed three songs: “Shine”, “Giants” and “Rule The World.” Mid-set, a newly blonde Gary told the crowd:

“We want to stand strong and look at the sky and sing loud and proud.”

Although not quite the reunion many had hoped for, Gary Barlow’s introduction of Robbie Williams received a huge cheer. He began his set by leading the crowd in a sing-along to “Strong”, changing some of the words to make them personal to the city and people of Manchester. roughly based on his 1998 hit single, Strong:

“Manchester, we’re strong, we’re strong / We’ll still singing our songs, our songs, our songs.”

The singer admitted his voice was was a little bit shot following an emotional gig at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Friday but he needn’t have worried though as the crowd were more than prepared to help out.

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It was then over to U2, who were performing in the States and, via a video, they paid tribute to the city and people of Manchester. Bono’s passionate speech culminated with him declaring:

“There is no end to grief, that’s how we know there is no end to love.”

Back on stage in Manchester, it was Pharrell’s turn to entertain, and he did just that by launching into a rendition of “Get Lucky,” his 2013 collaboration with Daft Punk, accompanied by dancers and Marcus Mumford, the latter of whom played the song’s signature riff on a white Telecaster.

After the song, Pharrell bowed to the sea of people before him and said:

“I’m bowing because despite all the thing that have been going on in this place, I don’t feel or smell or hear or see any fear in this building. All we feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity, and you know what, I hate to be corny, but it actually makes me, uh, Miley Cyrus.”

Pharrell then welcome her on stage where the pair performed a duet of his global smash-hit “Happy.”

Taking over from her fellow artist, Cyrus spoke about her Happy Hippie charitable organisation, citing Grande as the first musician who agreed to support it:

“As humans we should always be who we say we are. And Ariana I think has proved that. She says she’s a good role model for so many of you girls out here, and I think she’s proved that by putting this together and allowing all of us to be a part of it.”

She then performed a powerful version of her song “Inspired,” accompanied only by an acoustic guitarist.

One Direction’s Niall Horan walked on stage to rapturous applause before performing his song “Slow Hands.”

He then took a moment to thank the crowd for the welcome he’s always received from Manchester, and, before dedicating “This Town” to the city, he said:

“We love you, and we’re with you.”

Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun then took the stage with other organisers and began by thanking promoter Live Nation, the City of Manchester, the British Red Cross, the BBC, the artists and the audience. Her referred to Grande as “my friend”, adding:

“All of us around the world are so grateful to you for stepping up and taking action.” He then spoke to the audience and said, referring to the terrorist attacks in London Saturday night, “We were challenged last night and you had a decision whether you were going to come out tonight. You looked fear in the face — and you’re here. Manchester, your bravery is our hope. fear will never divide us, because on this day we all stand with Manchester.”

He introduced Grande by recalling how, following the attack:

“She called me and said Scooter, if we do nothing…I can’t live with that. We must do something.’ She’s one of the bravest people I know.”

Grande herself then took to the stage with a beaming smile and wearing a ‘One Love Manchester’ sweatshirt. After performing two songs, she gave way to a video message from Stevie Wonder who said:

“I’m with all of you in Manchester. We all know that love is truly the key. I don’t care what ethnicity you are, what religion you are. Love really is the way. And anyone that tries to make anyone think that things of destruction have anything to do with God, with Allah, they’re a lie. Yes, I stand with you, Manchester.”

The icon then free-styled a song, accompanying himself on a small electronic keyboard.

Little Mix were up next and delivered an energetic and harmony-driven version of “Wings.”

Grande then came back out with Victoria Monet and the pair performed their song “Better Days” while sat on the stage dressed in matching jeans and “One Love” sweatshirts.

The Black Eyed Peas – now minus Fergie who recently announced her departure from the band – called on Ariana to help them with a rendition of “Where Is the Love?” and, as the song reached its end, Grande tearfully hugged Will.i.am.

Introduced by Grande who called her “…a singer who’s been one of my idols since I was 11 years old”, Imogen Heap, who is probably best known to non-British fans as Taylor Swift’s collaborator on “Clean”, the closing track on  Swift’s album 1989, sat down at a piano to perform “Hide and Seek.”

After a video message from soccer superstar David Beckham, Parrs Wood High School Choir sang Grande’s “My Everything” and the star joined them mid-song, embraced the lead girl as the cameras panned to many people in the crowd weeping.

Taking a moment to compose herself, Grande said, “Tonight is all about love, am I right?” and introduced her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, who dueted with her on their single “The Way.”

After a solo performance from Miller, Cyrus joined Grande for an acoustic take on Crowded House’s 1986 hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, which saw the pair frequently embrace and hold hands. Poignantly, the song ended with the line: “You know they won’t win.”

Grande then made a brief speech thanking the crowd for the unity they’ve shown, and spoke of meeting the mother of Olivia Campbell, one of the young people killed in the suicide bombing. She said:

“I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia’s mommy a few days ago,” she said “And as soon as I met her I started crying and she told me to stop crying, she said Olivia wouldn’t have wanted me to cry.” She then laughed when saying, “She said Olivia would wanted to hear the hits…”

She then performed “Side to Side.”

The tender moment was jarred by a white-clad Katy Perry marching onstage with a forceful “MANCHESTER WHAT’S UP?!” which led into a surprisingly gentle, acoustic version of “Part of Me.” She then amped up the volume again, yelling “We will not be silenced!” and leading the crowd into a powerful rendition of “Roar.”

After a long, dramatic pause, Justin Bieber walked on stage, dressed in a bright yellow hoodie and a red-white-and-blue jacket. He spoke briefly about fighting evil with love, then said: “Maybe I should just play a song?”, to which the crowd responded with a loud cheer. Encouraged by their reaction, Bieber performed “Love Yourself,” on an acoustic guitar, following it on with a rendition of his collaboration with Major Lazer, “Cold Water.”

Grande then took to the stage again for a version of her collaboration with The Weeknd,  “Love Me Harder,” which Katy Perry, eating a vanilla ice-cream cone, was seen singing along to from the side of the stage.

Grande was then joined by Coldplay front-man Chris Martin and guitarist Johnny Buckland, and Martin said:

“Ariana, we want to say thank you for being so strong and so wonderful….you’ve been singing a lot for us – and I think we in Britain would like to sing this song to you.”

With that, he delivered a fantastic cover of the Oasis hit “Don’t Look Back in Anger” as Grande led the crowd — who knew every word and were in fine voice – in a sing-along.

Martin and Buckland were then joined by the rest of the band for “Fix You”, which saw fireworks be set off and confetti rain down on the crowd as the track segued into “Viva la Vida” before the group performed their collaboration with The Chainsmokers, “Something Just Like This.”

After days of ‘will-he, won’t he?’ rumours, Liam Gallagher finally put the gossip to bed as he stepped on stage and, together with his band, rolled out a rough and raw version of “Rock and Roll Star,” the first song from Oasis’ 1994 debut album, before breaking into his new single “Wall of Glass.” He then closed out his time on stage accompanied by Chris Martin on acoustic guitar, with a powerful rendition of Oasis’ “Live Forever.”

As the night drew to a close, joined by most of the evening’s performers, Grande took the stage once more and, weeping as she spoke, told the crowd: “Thank you so, so much…I love you”, before she and the other performers banded together to perform a rendition of her hit “One Last Time.”

The star then walked to the front of the stage and closed out the concert the show with a stunning, emotional cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which had everyone either crying or fighting back tears. Before leaving the stage, blowing the audience a kiss, Grande said “I love you so much” and disappeared from view to the cheers and applause of everyone present.

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HOLLYOAKS ANNOUNCES SHOCK NEW SEX ABUSE STORYLINE 32

Hollyoaks bosses are planning a sexual abuse storyline for show newcomers Ollie Morgan and Buster Smith.

A dark new plot will see football coach Buster abuse his position of power to groom Ollie, who was introduced as Luke Morgan’s teenage son two months ago.

Brody reacted with hostility when Damon’s dad Buster showed up in the village after Maggie’s death which implies that he may have been a previous victim of the manipulative football coach.

Up until now, Buster has settled into the village well, setting up sporting opportunities for youngsters and embarking on a romance with Marnie Nightingale. But his true colours will be revealed when he takes advantage of his position of power.

When he starts opening up to Buster about problems at home, Buster will start to groom him in secret and Hollyoaks are working with Survivors Manchester to ensure that the difficult story is tackled in the correct and appropriate way.

The Hollyoaks team have been working closely with the Survivors Manchester charity while creating this storyline. The charity previously consulted on John Paul McQueen’s male rape story in 2014.

Duncan Craig from Survivors Manchester said: ‘It is once again an absolute pleasure to be working with Hollyoaks on another hugely important storyline that is so topical and relevant. Working with producers, researchers, script writers and the cast, we have been able to develop a story that is rooted firmly in the present day and will show the intricacies of grooming and the difficulty in speaking out as a young male.

‘The team at Hollyoaks has again 100% committed to working with us to ensuring the male survivor sat at home watching the story will feel he is understood, as a survivor led organisation, this is important part of this work.’

Aedan Duckworth who plays Ollie, added: ‘It’s a privilege to have been given this challenging storyline for Ollie. To ensure I accurately depict Ollie’s situation I have had guidance from Survivor’s Manchester and support and advice from Gary Lucy during the filming process.

‘I hope to continue to raise awareness around this subject and encourage those who may have found themselves in a similar situation, to reach out and seek the support they deserve.’

Meanwhile, show boss Bryan Kirkwood commented: ‘While the backdrop of this story is football, the issue itself is far broader and we hope it will encourage all children and young adults to speak out if they ever find themselves in Ollie’s situation.

‘As with all our issue stories we want to encourage parents to open a dialogue within the home about subjects that are difficult to talk about. We are in a unique position of being able to talk to a bright and engaged audience about important issues without lecturing them.’

Hollyoaks will launch the story on April 16 on E4, as Buster starts to get close to Ollie and Brody confides in Luke’s ex-wife Scarlett about his own past.

EASTENDERS LINES UP KNIFE CRIME STORYLINE 38

BBC EastEnders are set to tackle youth gangs and knife crime in an upcoming storyline that will air later this spring.

The storyline will place the Kazemis and Taylors at the heart of the drama when Shakil, played by Shaheen Jafargholi, and Keegan, played by Zack Morris, are attacked. As the storyline unfolds, viewers will see the wide reaching ramifications of knife crime for all those involved as well as the local community as everyone attempts to comprehend the gravity of what has happened on their doorstep.

EastEnders are working alongside Brooke Kinsella MBE, who started the Ben Kinsella Trust, after her brother was fatally stabbed in June 2008. Talking about the storyline Brooke said “It is now 10 years since we lost Ben to this horrific crime and it is impossible to put into words how Ben’s murder has affected my family. The pain of Ben’s loss will never go away, there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about him and miss him. I commend the EastEnders team for choosing this storyline to portray the realities of knife crime. With knife crime on the increase it is vitally important that we help people understand its lasting impact. Carrying a knife won’t protect you, it won’t give you status, harming or stabbing someone isn’t a trivial act. It simply destroys lives forever. We need to do more to help people understand this, especially young people. That’s why my family and I set up the Ben Kinsella Trust to help educate young people away from knife crime. I believe that this storyline will bring home the realities of knife crime to a wider audience and show how it damages the lives of victims, offenders, their families and friends forever.”

John Yorke, Executive Consultant, said “The brutal reality of knife crime was brought home to everyone at EastEnders with the tragic murder of Ben Kinsella in 2008. Ben’s sister Brooke – who has been such an important part of the show – began an inspiring campaign to bring attention to the awful consequences – a campaign that continues to this day. However, knife crime is as prevalent today as it was back then so it’s more important than ever to raise awareness of the nature of this terrible crime – and how horrendous it is for teenagers, their families and communities. EastEnders has a long tradition of tackling serious public issues, and this is one of the most important the show has ever embarked on. The episodes are powerful, heart breaking and dramatic, and we hope will help both carry on Brooke’s inspiring message – while making it clear that knife crime destroys the lives of everyone it touches.”