Category Entertainment News

BBC Music Sound Of 2019: slowthai

slowthai’s music has been described as a combination of grime, rap, dubstep and garage.

A Radio 1 playlist favourite, he is not afraid of speaking out on topics which he feels strongly about, like Brexit, discrimination and political inequalities.

Manhunt: The real-life story behind the ITV drama

ITV drama Manhunt is telling the real-life story – over three nights – of how serial killer Levi Bellfield was brought to justice.

The policeman who pieced together the evidence to catch him, Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton, is played on screen by Martin Clunes.

Bellfield was convicted of killing three young women in south-west London and Surrey in the early 2000s.

Here’s what happened in the case that is being dramatised on screen.

Who were the victims?

Amelie Delagrange was a 22-year-old French student who had been living in Twickenham for three months when she was killed on 19 August 2004.

She had been working at a patisserie in Richmond and was in the UK to further her studies, as she had a “passion for the English language”. She had a close circle of friends and a boyfriend also living in the UK.

Amelie, from Amiens, was a “good student, sensible and never gave her parents any problems”, her mother Dominique Delagrange said.

The previous year, Marsha McDonnell had been murdered, on 4 February.

The 19-year-old was on a gap year before starting university, having completed her A-levels, and was planning a trip to Australia.

Marsha had been working in a gift shop in Kingston, Surrey, on her year off. She was passionate about music, and a music room at a children’s hospice was named after her following her murder.

Milly Dowler was 13 when she was murdered in March 2002.

She was a Year 9 pupil at Heathside School in Weybridge, Surrey, and lived in nearby Walton Park with her parents and sister.

Milly was described as being a pretty, popular and intelligent teenager, with friends saying she was “always trying to make people laugh and smile”.

What happened to the three victims?

Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton became involved in the case when Amelie Delagrange was murdered.

At the time, arrests had already been made in connection with the murder of Marsha McDonnell. The link to Milly Dowler’s death had not yet been found.

There were fears a serial killer was on the loose. But it was the investigation into Amelie’s death that would lead to the jigsaw pieces coming together that led to Bellfield being caught.

Amelie’s body was found on Twickenham Green where she was attacked after a night out with friends. Having missed her bus stop, she was walking home across the green.

She had been struck over the head with a hammer, as had Marsha McDonnell.

Marsha had been to the cinema with friends on the night she was attacked, just yards from her home in Hampton where she lived with her parents, sisters and brother. She had got off a bus and was walking back home when she was killed.

It was only when Bellfield was convicted of the two women’s deaths in 2008 that he became the key suspect in the unsolved murder of Milly Dowler.

Milly had been walking home from a railway station after school when she was kidnapped. Her body was later found 25 miles away in Yateley Heath, Hampshire. It later emerged she had been strangled.

Bellfield also attempted to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, in May 2004 by running her over twice in a car near her home in Isleworth, west London. She survived her injuries and went on to give evidence against Bellfield.

How was Levi Bellfield caught?

Colin Sutton says that, when he was tasked with leading the team of detectives finding out who killed Amelie, he had to put out of his mind the similarities with Marsha’s murder.

“It was very much my view that whatever had gone on in the past, the best chance of solving the crimes was with the most recent, with Amelie,” he said.

“If we got a suspect, we would go back and look at others and see if he fitted in. It turned out quite well.”

As Manhunt showed, CCTV played a crucial role in the case. It included CCTV of Amelie Delagrange on the bus that took her to Twickenham Green, after she missed her stop – and images of Marsha McDonnell on the bus home.

He said: “All I had was a dead girl in the middle of Twickenham Green. We decided what we would do was search out every piece of CCTV for miles around.”

In total, 2,000 hours of footage were viewed by detectives – and the drama shows how colleagues questioned Colin Sutton’s decision to allocate so many of his staff to that laborious job.

But as viewers saw in the first episode, a key breakthrough in the case came from a team reviewing CCTV taken from external cameras on passing buses. Their footage showed a white van had arrived at the green just before Amelie was killed, and stayed for eight minutes before being driven off.

But they could not track down the van, eliminating 26,000 Ford Courier vans – like the one seen in the footage – from their inquiry.

The breakthrough came after a woman suggested her ex-boyfriend was a potential suspect. His name was Levi Bellfield.

He was a wheel clamper who owned a white van. It later emerged he also owned a Toyota Previa with blacked-out windows – like the one that ran over Kate Sheedy. He was arrested in November 2004, when we was found hiding in his loft.

What was it like reporting on the case?

BBC Look North presenter and reporter Alison Freeman was working for the BBC News website at the time, and interviewed Kate Sheedy for an article.

“The murders struck a particular chord with me and one of my colleagues as we were both young women living in south London at the time.

“Over the past few weeks I’ve seen adverts for the series about the manhunt for Levi Bellfield. Because covering the murders is something that has stayed with me, I felt really keen to watch it.

“I even sent a text to my former colleague just before the start of the programme to see if she was watching too – even though we live hundreds of miles from each other now.

“When we began reporting the killing of Amelie, we quite quickly questioned if there was a link with Marsha McDonnell’s death, as they both stood out as really unusual murders.

“No apparent motive or overtly sexual element. Just violent attacks on young women walking home at night – as any of us might do.

“I’d only interviewed Kate Sheedy a week or so before Amelie’s death. She was such a strong, determined and dignified young woman.

“She fought to survive horrific injuries, whilst unable to understand why anyone would do something like that. It was a horrifying thought that it could have happened to anyone.”

What’s happened since?

Levi Bellfield was given a whole-life prison sentence in June 2011 after being found guilty of murdering Milly Dowler.

He was already in jail for the murders of Amelie and Marsha and the attempted murder of Kate at the time.

It was claimed last month that Bellfield, now 50, was part of a child sex gang that has never been brought to justice.

Bellfield, who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim, was linked in a report to six men accused of paedophilia, murder and grooming.

There were also reports in 2017 that Bellfield had allegedly confessed to the murder of Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan in Kent, in 1996.

Police had previously said they had found no link between Bellfield and any other crimes, despite detectives having said at the time of his conviction that he was behind 20 other attacks on women.

Colin Sutton, who is now retired from the force, wrote a book on the case. The ITV drama was closely based on his book.

He said everything has been done with “full disclosure” to the victims’ families, and that he had “real encouragement” from some.

He told the Radio Times: “They knew the story of the effort that went into the investigation and how hard we worked.

Spacey silent during court appearance

Actor Kevin Spacey remained silent as he appeared in court to face a charge of indecent assault and battery stemming from an allegation of groping in 2016.

He is accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old male at a bar in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 2016.

A not guilty plea was entered on the two-time Oscar winner’s behalf by his lawyers.

Scottish director on his new Laurel and Hardy film

The Scottish director of a new film about the world’s most famous comedy double act described it as “a love story about these two guys, who just happened to be Laurel and Hardy”.

When Aberdeenshire-born director Jon S Baird first read the script for Stan & Ollie, which tells the story of Laurel and Hardy’s final tour of the UK and Ireland, he says he “actually cried”.

Kevin Spacey in court to face charges of groping teenage bus boy

Actor Kevin Spacey has appeared in court to face a charge of indecent assault and battery stemming from an allegation of groping in 2016.

The two-time Oscar winner is expected to plead not guilty during the court hearing on the Massachusetts resort island community of Nantucket.

Claims of sexual assault have also been investigated by London and LA police.

On Christmas Eve, Spacey, 59, posted a remarkable video contesting the allegations against him.

In a video titled “Let Me Be Frank”, Spacey appeared in character as Frank Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards, and said: “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

Wearing a suit and appearing composed, Spacey arrived at the packed courtroom on Monday after arriving on his private jet.

He nodded in court when the judge told him he was not allowed to contact the victim.

His lawyer had earlier asked the judge to allow the hearing to happen without Spacey present, but that request was refused.

The alleged victim is the son of former television news presenter Heather Unruh, who spoke publicly about the incident last year.

She accused Mr Spacey of buying her then 18-year-old son alcohol – the drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 – and then groping him.

Ant and Dec shortlisted for National Television Awards

Ant and Dec have won the TV presenter category at the National Television Awards (NTAs) for the last 17 years, but can they do it again?

Ant’s only presenting gig alongside Dec last year was on Saturday Night Takeaway after he took a break following his arrest for drink-driving.

He was also seen in pre-recorded material for Britain’s Got Talent but Dec hosted the live shows alone.

Dec then hosted I’m A Celebrity… with fellow nominee Holly Willoughby.

It was the first time since the show began that Ant had stepped back from presenting duties.

So could it be Holly’s turn to take home the prize?

A hit with viewers for her I’m a Celeb… Get Me Out of Here! stint, her main presenting job is on ITV’s This Morning with, Phillip Schofield, who is also nominated for best presenter.

The Chase host Bradley Walsh and Graham Norton are also in the running.

There is also an extra category in this year’s awards – one that recognises new drama.

A Discovery of Witches, The Cry and Girlfriends go up against Globe-winning shows Killing Eve and Bodyguard in the category.

Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer is also up for best drama performance as is Bodyguard’s Richard Madden.

Elsewhere, there is fierce competition in some of the more established categories like The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment award.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! goes up against Love Island, which had its best ever viewing figures in 2018.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and The Graham Norton Show also feature in the category.

Love Island and All Round to Mrs Brown’s are also in the running.

The serial drama, or best soap award is also always a big talking point and last year the award went to ITV’s Emmerdale.

This year the show goes up against Coronation Street, EastEnders and Hollyoaks.


Full list of nominees

Quiz Show

8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown

A League Of Their Own

Catchphrase

Pointless

The Chase

New Drama

A Discovery Of Witches

Bodyguard

Girlfriends

Killing Eve

The Cry

Talent Show

Britain’s Got Talent

Dancing On Ice

Strictly Come Dancing

The Voice UK

The X Factor

Drama

Call The Midwife

Casualty

Doctor Who

Our Girl

Peaky Blinders

TV Presenter

Ant & Dec

Bradley Walsh

Graham Norton

Holly Willoughby

Phillip Schofield

Factual Entertainment

Ambulance

DIY SOS: The Big Build

Gogglebox

Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs

The Great British Bake Off

Drama Performance

Cillian Murphy, Thomas Shelby, Peaky Blinders

Jodie Comer, Villanelle, Killing Eve

Jodie Whittaker, The Doctor, Doctor Who

Michelle Keegan, L. Cpl Georgie Lane, Our Girl

Richard Madden, Sgt David Budd, Bodyguard

The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award

All Round To Mrs Brown’s

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Love Island

The Graham Norton Show

Serial Drama

Coronation Street

EastEnders

Emmerdale

Hollyoaks

Serial Drama Performance

Bonnie Langford, Carmel Kazemi, EastEnders

Danny Dyer, Mick Carter, EastEnders

Emma Atkins, Charity Dingle, Emmerdale

Jack P Shepherd, David Platt, Coronation Street

Lucy Pargeter, Chas Dingle, Emmerdale

Comedy

Benidorm

Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

Mrs Brown’s Boys

Peter Kay’s Car Share

The Big Bang Theory

Newcomer

Aedan Duckworth, Oliver Morgan, Hollyoaks

Alexandra Mardell, Emma Brooker, Coronation Street

James Moore, Ryan Stocks, Emmerdale

Neet Mohan, Dr Rashid ‘Rash’ Masum, Casualty

Ricky Champ, Stuart Highway, EastEnders

Daytime

Good Morning Britain

Loose Women

Sunday Brunch

The Jeremy Kyle Show

This Morning

TV Judge

David Walliams

Louis Tomlinson

Robbie Williams

Robert Rinder

Simon Cowell