8 entertainment stories from last week

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The summer is still with us… just, so if you’ve been off having summer holiday fun, you may have fallen behind on what’s going on in the world of entertainment.

We’re here to help you get up to date. Here are eight stories you might have missed.

1. The world mourned a legend

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Soul queen Aretha Franklin died on Thursday of pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit at the age of 76.

Stars from across the musical spectrum, from Adele and Diana Ross to Sir Paul McCartney and Liam Gallagher, paid homage to Aretha.

Sir Elton John, who was present for Franklin’s last ever performance in November said he “adored and worshipped” the star.

He wrote: “The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music.”

2. Madonna at 60: The Queen of Pop

On the day we lost the Queen of Soul, we also celebrated the Queen of Pop. Madonna reached the milestone of her 60th birthday.

Madonna herself posted a countdown on social media, building up to a party in Marrakech, Morocco.

3. The Strictly countdown officially began

Former model and campaigner Katie Piper was announced as first contestant, quickly followed by, among others, Faye from Steps, Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules, YouTuber Joe Sugg and Vick Hope, who hosts the Capital FM breakfast show.

Cricketer Graeme Swann, TV medic Dr Ranj Singh, TV host Stacey Dooley, journalist Kate Silverton and comedian Seann Walsh make up the rest of the line-up so far.

4. Celebrity Big Brother 2018: Who’s in the house? Not Stormy Daniels

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CBB contestants Kristie Alley, Ryan Thomas and Roxanne Pallett

The doors to the Celebrity Big Brother house were opened on Thursday, with Cheers star Kirstie Alley among the more surprising arrivals.

Corrie’s Ryan Thomas is the bookies favourite, while adult film star Stormy Daniels was also due to be there but didn’t make it through the doors.

Stormy was then announced as a guest on Loose Women but failed to appear on that show too. Her lawyer said she pulled out of CBB at the last minute because of a row with producers.

5. A new Spock is unveiled

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Spocks through the ages: Leonard Nimoy, Ethan Peck and Zachary Quinto

Three years after Leonard Nimoy’s death, a new actor has been chosen to play his most iconic role – Star Trek science officer Mr Spock.

Ethan Peck said it was “an incomparable honour” to be cast in TV show Star Trek: Discovery.

The grandson of Oscar winner Gregory Peck will join the show when it returns for its second season next year.

6. The return of Monkman and Seagull

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Remember Monkmania, which spread around the country last year during the final of University Challenge?

You’ll be pleased to know that Eric Monkman is returning to TV.

He’s teaming up with fellow University Challenge team captain Bobby Seagull for a four-part series touring the country looking at Britain’s technological achievements.

7. British teen through to America’s Got Talent semis

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Courtney Hadwin with judge Howie Mandel, who gave her the golden buzzer in the audition

Courtney Hadwin – remember that name. Big things could be on the cards for the 14-year-old Briton, who has just made it through to the America’s Got Talent semi-finals.

Courtney, from County Durham, wowed viewers with a storming performance of James Brown’s Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag in Wednesday’s live quarter-final.

Fans include actress Sharon Stone, who tweeted: “You go girl!!”

8. Goodbye to Barry Chuckle

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The week ended with the funeral of Barry Chuckle at Rotherham United Football Club.

Some fans shouted the Chuckle Brothers’ catchphrase “To me, to you” as the funeral cortege arrived at the grounds.

His brother and comedy partner Paul was among those carrying his coffin, while famous faces in attendance included Roy Chubby Brown, Vicki Michelle, Linda Nolan, Bernie Clifton, Tommy Cannon and Billy Pearce.

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