The Voice UK Commissioned For Two More Series!

Ricky Wilson has set everyone's - ahem - heart ablaze this season on The Voice UK!

Ricky Wilson has set everyone’s – ahem – heart ablaze this season on The Voice UK!

The BBC have announced that The Voice UK is to return for two more series. In the run-up to this season’s semi-final the announcement was made today.

Announcing the two new seasons of The Voice, BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore said in a statement:

”It’s been fantastic to see The Voice return in top form to kick start BBC One’s brilliant year so far – the new line-up has really connected with audiences and I look forward to it returning to the channel next year.”

The Voice has had a huge surge in popularity this series getting an average weekly audience of almost nine million viewers each night due to the amazing talent, the loyal judges Will.I.Am and Tom Jones and new arrivals to the panel Kylie Minogue and the so-sexy-it-should-be-illegal-to-be-that-sexy Ricky Wilson.

The BBC have as of yet not announced who will be coming back to the coaching panel for the fourth series but Kylie has said,

“I’m touring later this year and the timings wouldn’t work.”

I love Kylie. I think she is amazing but to be honest as long as Ricky comes back I’m happy! 🙂

Advertisements

Attitude Magazine’s Attitude Love & Marriage issue On Sale Now!

Image

Attitude Magazine’s Attitude Love & Marriage issue is currently on shelves and features Union J star Jaymi Hensley and his fiancé Olly Marmon who have become the first same sex couple to feature in advertising for popular wedding tailor Moss Bros. The couple, who will marry at the end of the year, feature in pictures wearing looks from the brand’s spring collection.

The happy couple, who have been together for over four years are seen in a touching clinch smiling at each other.

Image

Jaymi previously said,

‘I’m getting married in December. It’s going to be a big day… Management have been trying to say the next tour is in December so maybe we’ll get married during the interval.’

The advert is a big departure for men’s formal-wear firm Moss Bros which was founded in 1851 and the national campaign aims to celebrate the historic change in British law which will, from 29th March, let same sex couples marry in England and Wales.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Brick said,

“Moss Bros are proud to welcome all couples in store and help dress them for the most important day of their lives – as we have done for the last eight generations.” 

In order to realise this, Moss Bros joined forces with the magazine Attitude, as the fashion sponsor for its special issue ‘Attitude Love & Marriage’. 

It is the first wedding magazine in the UK exclusively targeting the gay market. The collection is exclusively featured in “Attitude Love & Marriage” and 70 Moss Bros store windows nationwide.

Attitude Managing Director Mike Buckley said:

“This is history in the making and we are truly humbled that a British high street institution such as Moss Bros have shown their commitment to equal marriage by supporting our Love & Marriage special issue and dressing their windows to mark the partnership.”

Image

Also featured in the issue of Attitude is Sir Elton John and David Furnish who are planning their wedding after gay marriage was legalised.

The couple were one of the first couples to enter into a civil partnership in December 2005 and eight years on the singer and filmmaker who have been together for more than 20 years and they have two sons, Zachary, three, and one-year-old Elijah, are planning their wedding day.

David Furnish wrote in Attitude magazine’s Love & Marriage special:

“Elton and I will marry – as a high-profile couple, we feel it is our duty to do it, to make sure that everyone knows that this is something that many gay men living in this country never dreamed would happen. When it was announced that gay couples were able to obtain a civil partnership, Elton and I did so on the day it came into law. As something of a showman, [Elton] is aware that whatever he says and does, people will sit up and take notice -so what better way to celebrate that historic moment in time. Our big day made the news, it was all over the internet within minutes of happening and front page news the next day. Elton and I both think there is a massive difference between calling someone your ‘partner’ and calling them your ‘husband’. Partner’ is such an impersonal word and doesn’t adequately describe the love we have for each other. When Zachary and Elijah are grown up and having children of their own, they will – hopefully – be living in a world where everyone can be equal, when being married isn’t about whether you’re straight or gay, but simply about being human.”

Also featuring is John Whaite and his boyfriend Paul Atkins who are the cover stars. They are discussing their country wedding.

Also featuring is Corrie actor Charlie Condou and his fiancé Cameron Laux.

Attitude Love & Marriage is out now.

England and Wales Legalize Same-Sex Marriage!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

Marriage is now legalized for gay couples in Wales and England. Yay!

The world is moving further in the direction of been a much better world with the UK having its first marriage ceremonies for gay people on Saturday when a law authorising same-sex marriage came into effect at midnight after the last stage in a long campaign for equality.

David Cameron, the prime minister said it was an “important moment for our country”, and a rainbow flag flew above government offices in London to celebrate.

Cameron gave his backing to the change in law despite strong opposition from members of his Conservative party and the established Church of England and wrote in an article in Pink News,

“This weekend is an important moment for our country.”

He said,

“Put simply, in Britain it will no longer matter whether you are straight or gay – the state will recognise your relationship as equal.”

Civil partnerships have been legal since 2005 and marriage brings no new rights. For example the ability to adopt was introduced in 2002 but campaigners rightly say that only the right to marry gives them full equality with straight couples.

Teresa Millward, 37, who married her long-term girlfriend on Saturday said,

“We didn’t want to get married until it was a marriage that my mum and dad could have.”

The gay marriage law is the last victory in a long battle going back to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England in 1967.

However there is also some to try to spoil the apple cart. The Church of England had opposed same-sex marriage, saying that weddings should only take place between a man and a woman, and secured an exemption from the new law while the House of Bishops last month also warned clergy they should not bless married gay couples and a poll for BBC radio said 20 percent of British adults would turn down an invitation to a same-sex wedding.

But the survey also found that 68 percent agreed gay marriage should be permitted, with 26 percent opposing it and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, said the Church had accepted the new law and would continue to demonstrate “the love of Christ for every human being”.

Andrew Wale, a writer and actor and his partner, Neil Allard, a guesthouse owner were among the first couples to marry after the law came into effect. The couple have long waited for this day.

Wale, 49, said,

“When we were born, it was illegal to be gay, let alone get married. I didn’t think about the possibility for most of my life. It is only really recently that suddenly the option seemed to be on its way.”

Donning velvet-collared three-piece suits with white flowers in their buttonholes, the smiling, happy couple of seven years hugged and kissed after they became husband and husband in the Royal Pavilion in the English city of Brighton. The pair won a competition by the local council to find the right couple for the historic occasion and they exchanged vows not long after midnight under the nine lotus-shaped chandeliers which hung down from the gilded cockleshell domed ceiling of the music room.

England and Wales are among 15 countries as well as parts of the United States and Mexico that authorised same-sex marriage. The Netherlands was the first in 2001, and last year Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand and France also did the right thing. Scotland last month became the latest to give the green light to gay marriage. However, the other British country, Northern Ireland, has said it does not intend to introduce same-sex marriage legislation.

I want to see a day when all of Ireland, both South and North, introduces same-sex marriage. In fact I want to see a day when the entire world does. However this is another massive step forward and I must say well done to the campaigners and government. It is so sweet seeing all the happy couples getting married and I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them.

Former Stuntman David Holmes Speaks About Been Paralysed On Final Harry Potter Movie

Reading about former stuntman and actor David Holmes in the newspaper today, it struck me how immensely brave he is. Of course to do the job he done and all the sports he was trained in, trampolining, kick boxing, horse riding, swimming and high diving he would have to have a massive sense of bravery but Holmes was also brave when he faced the biggest challenge of his young life when he became paralysed while filming a dangerous stunt on the final Harry Potter film.

While he was rehearsing a flying scene as Daniel Radcliffe’s double, he was thrust into a wall causing his neck to break and leaving Holmes paralysed for life at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Herts, in January 2009. However after the accident his first thoughts were not of himself like so many peoples’ would be including myself if anything like that happened. Instead he thought of his parents and said,

“My first thought was, ‘Don’t ring Mum and Dad, I don’t want to worry them.”

Holmes on set with actor Daniel Radcliffe and another member of the crew.

Holmes on set with actor Daniel Radcliffe and another member of the crew.

Holmes, now 30, is in a wheelchair.

Holmes, now 30, is in a wheelchair.

David knows the accident has changed his life for always but he refuses to let his disability define him.

“I took control of the situation quite early on. I wanted to tell my doctor where I thought I was at – my exact words were that ‘I think I’m completely screwed’. It was hard for my parents to hear but it was important to me to have that control. I wanted to be wrong, but I wasn’t. There was definitely a sense of tragedy for me, but also a sense of sheer determination to beat it and better it. Having a positive mental attitude means everything. I also think that if you’re positive about your disability then it can help you live with it. Sometimes I do get flashbacks from the accident – I re-live it sometimes when I’m drifting off to sleep – but it’s something I’ve learned to live with and manage.”

David, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex is now in a wheelchair and the 30-year-old says of the accident:

“I hit the wall and then landed on the crash mat underneath. My stunt co-ordinator grabbed my hand and said, ‘Squeeze my fingers’. I could move my arm to grab his hand but I couldn’t squeeze his fingers. I looked into his eyes and that’s when I realised what happened was major. I remember slipping in and out of consciousness because of the pain levels. I’d broken a bone before, so recognising that weird feeling across my whole body from my fingertips right down to my toes, I knew I had really done some damage.”

He was rushed to the local Watford General Hospital but then was transferred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North West London. Here doctors told him he would be paralysed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands. David says,

“My first thoughts weren’t about not being able to walk again. It was all the other stuff, like not being able to dance again or have sex.”

He was six months here and as his muscles had nearly wasted away. He wasn’t able to sit up for weeks. He says,

“As soon as they sat me up and I took the weight of my head into my shoulders it was just horrendous. The patience you have to learn is unbelievable. I have gone from being able to stand on my hands for half an hour at a time and then all of a sudden I can’t sit up in bed. At the first physio lesson they sit you up, put a foam cushion behind you and you are just struggling to find your balance. I thought, ‘oh my God, I can’t even sit up straight’.”

Here he was visited by Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton. Radcliffe also hosted a celebrity charity auction and dinner to make funds for David’s medical bills and they are both still close friends.

Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton were among the visitors to see him in hospitsl following his accident.

Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton were among the visitors to see him in hospitsl following his accident.

David and Daniel have remained close since the Harry Potter films ended.

David and Daniel have remained close since the Harry Potter films ended.

Daniel said:

“I’ve got a relationship that goes back many, many years with Dave. And I would hate for people to just see me and Dave and go, ‘oh, there’s Daniel Radcliffe with a person in a wheelchair’ – because I would never, even for a moment, want them to assume that Dave was anything except for an incredibly important person in my life.”

Holmes began his stunt career as a competitive gymnast at six and by fourteen he was asked to be the body-double in the film Lost in Space. David said,

“That’s where it began.”

He was seen as a possible Radcliffe double by stunt co-ordinator Greg Powell who he met with just before the series began and was asked to do a broomstick test.

“I found myself in this wonderful studio strapped to the back of a truck, getting towed down the runway, dragging my feet along the floor in front of Chris Columbus, the director. So that’s how I got my job.”

David was in every one of the Harry Potter films up to his accident and says,

“It was an amazing experience. I loved it and Dan was an absolute pleasure to work with. The cast and crew were like a second family and I remain in touch with a lot of them to this day.”

From The Goblet of Fire

From The Goblet of Fire

David, who was 25 at the time of his accident, now rush drives a specially-modified car around race tracks at speeds of up to 150mph using a ‘push-pull’ hand control system to accelerate and brake.

Holmes has now launched a new production company, Ripple Productions, with two friends who are also tetrapelgic and the three released a series of podcasts to help people who have suffered similar injuries to them. David says,

“I haven’t let my accident affect my outlook on life and I am still very determined and positive. I also haven’t let it hold me back in life and I still enjoy track days racing my car, going on holidays with my friends and am now looking forward to starting a new career.”

He has also become an Appeal Ambassador for RNOH and is helping the hospital which helped him to raise £15 million in order to buy additional facilities and equipment and says,

“Every eight hours someone in the UK is told they will never walk again. Without places like the RNOH things would look much bleaker for those people. The support they gave me was incredible. Everybody at the hospital took great care of me and I met some amazing staff and patients along my road to recovery. It’s a massive project but once complete it will really change lives. So if anyone out there has a spare few quid please go on to the RNOH website and donate whatever you can for this fantastic cause.”

I think he is incredibly brave and inspiring and his positive way is a way we should all follow. He’s also incredibly cute too! 🙂

If you want to donate to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital go to: www.rnohcharity.org and to hear David’s podcasts go to : www.rippleproductions.co.uk/

The Amazing James Byron!

I really love James Byron's music and style.

I really love James Byron’s music and style.

Since hearing James Byron’s voice on The Voice UK and seeing his style I have become both obsessed with his music and his fashion sense. I suppose a lot to his story too. I was bullied at school too and I kind of went a bit shyer too. When people put you down for who you are it can make you kind of not be yourself so much and it stays with you, you know it’s a hard thing to shake off when it’s been ingrained in you quite early in your life. Besides all that rock ‘n’ roll is where my heart lies. I love every kind of music in varying degrees but it is kind of who I am if that makes sense. It comes natural to me to do the whole rock thing where other genres require a bit more effort. I also love a lot of old artists and when I’m not been a lazy cow I do dress in the rock way. That would be my style with the whole black nail vanish, jeans, leather jackets, long chains, boots, black eyeshadow and liner, black leggings, red lipstick, etc … and I think it is amazing that there is someone in our generation bringing back that whole music and style that was in the older eras. It’s exciting to be able to witness that in real time as opposed to looking back at old stars.

James Byron is from Leicester and took part in The Voice UK this year as part of Team Will. He got to the Knockouts stage. The 24-year-old’s musical education was done in Leicester and then in Brighton. Here he studied at the Institute of Modern music in 2011. His inspirations include Janis Joplin’s, whose song Cry Baby he sang at his Blind audition), Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse and Lucinda Williams. His album of 12 songs is about his personal relationships and experiences and he has said of the album,

” Performing music for me is cathartic and helps me look at myself from an out ward perspective, I enjoy exposing those things in life that make me laugh, cringe, angry and want to cry because its something we can all relate too and learn from.” 

He has erformed with the Brighton Institute of modern music’s house band in Brighton at the Komedia in 2011 and has performed at the open mic circuits in Brighton and is now back in Leicester working on his music.

”My career objective is to work very hard and create timeless music with a modern and honest twist, I would really love to perform on Jools Holland someday.”

 

He also comes across really lovely and genuine. Here he is welcoming everyone to his YouTube channel. He talks a lot about his musical inspirations. It’s very interesting.:

James is an incredible songwriter. The professionalism is amazing in them. You forget that your listening to someone that was on The Voice and you think your actually listening to a signed recording artist. There is so much emotion and realness in both the lyrics and his voice and the music goes great with the songs. He is a brilliant guitar player. Like so many guitar players he makes it look effortless and it isn’t. I tried it when I was younger. It is bloody hard to play the guitar! Or maybe that’s just me but anyhow. 🙂

Here is a selection of James’ amazing original songs:

Good Enough

Rage Through Me

2 Days

Watch This Space

And he does covers really well too. Here a selection of his covers both from The Voice and other covers:

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

Flying Burruto Brothers – The Dark End Of The Street

Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Codeine

Amy Winehouse – Wake Up Alone

Janis Joplin – Cry Baby

Patti Smith – Because The Night with Kiki De Ville

Nazareth – Love Hurts

Links

Official Website: http://www.jamesbyronnorval.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/JamesNorvalMusic

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jamesnorvalmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByronBlueJay

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jamesbyronmusic

Heartbeats Review!

One of my favorite films is a 2010 Canadian film called Heartbeats written, directed, acted in, styled and pretty much anything else you can think of by the super talented Xavier Dolan. Yes you can rest assured this amazingly focused 24-year-old will never let himself be out of work!

The multi-talented Xavier Dolan!

The multi-talented Xavier Dolan!

The plot of Heartbeats centres around two friends who both fall in love with the same man. Things are about to get a wee bit tense and complicated so, me thinks! The two friends Francis (Xavier Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri) fall in love with the very chilled out and sexual Nicolas (Niels Schneider) who they first meet at a dinner party. From there they begin to fight for his affections damaging their own friendship in the process and leading to them needing to re-establish their strong bond.

The very talented Xavier Dolan as the adorable Francis!

The very talented Xavier Dolan as the adorable Francis!

Francis is my favourite character. He’s an intriguing character and Dolan plays him so realistically. Francis is shy, reserved, sensitive and looking for love. However, he isn’t going to find that with the manipulating Nicolas who seems to get a kick out of playing each of them off each other. He puts on this facade of been unaware of what is going on when in fact he is very aware of it and encouraging them both via subtle actions to fight each other for him. Marie is a more chattier character than Francis. While Francis is more a character which wears his heart on his sleeve, Marie keeps a lot of her emotions back and smokes a lot to keep her nerves in check.

Marie is played by Monia Chokri!

Marie is played by Monia Chokri!

Nicolas is played by Niels Schneider!

Nicolas is played by Niels Schneider!

The manipulative Nicolas surrounded by friends Francis and Marie!

The manipulative Nicolas surrounded by friends Francis and Marie!

Three in a bed!

Three in a bed!

Everything about the film is brilliant from the writing to the acting to the style and everything inbetween. I’m obsessed with it. I keep re-renting it from the video store at various intervals in the year because I can’t find anywhere to buy it as of yet!

Three Act Tragedy By Agatha Christie Review!

Three Act Tragedy by dear old Agatha Christie is an amazing read!

Three Act Tragedy by dear old Agatha Christie is an amazing read!

I am a massive Agatha Christie fan. I think she is an absolute writing genius. Mystery writing is one of the most difficult writing there is. How on earth do you not give away the killer while also dropping hints about their identity but I think the way Christie puts her stories together is very clever especially in her novel Three Act Tragedy. I don’t want to give away who it is or why they did it because it is a clever script which everyone deserves the thrill of finding out while reading the novel but it is not an obvious ending. 

I recently completed the novel with the fabulous Hercule Poirot tottering around solving the crime and been all manner of fabulous!

The novel starts at the home of the famous actor, Sir Charles Cartwright where the actor is hosting a party. Of course our Belgian best friend Poirot is there which at once assures us all that not everyone is going to make it through the party! The unfortunate victim is the poor old vicar Rev. Stephen Babbington who takes a drop of his cocktail, convulses, and falls down dead. An inquest follows and his death is diagnosed as a seizure. However, this does not satisfy Cartwright who enlists Poirot to investigate.

The story moves on and one of the guests at Cartwright’s party Mr Satterthwaite is in Monaco when he reads about the death of Sir Bartholomew Strange who had also been at Cartwright’s party. He has perished in circumstances that are most similar my darlings to the way the dear old vicar has. Satterthwaite meets Cartwright and finds out that most of the guests who were at Cartwright’s party were also at Sir Bartholomew’s party. But Cartwright’s love Hermione Lytton Gore writes to Cartwright as the inquest into Strange’s death has been put down to nicotine poisoning. They meet up with Poirot and thus begins an investigation into the similarities of these two deaths.

It is a very clever script and I really liked the story. It may not have been considered one of her best stories but it is one of my favourite stories of hers.