Colors: Red Color

Birmingham Repertory Theatre has today announced a further two productions as part of its Spring and Summer 2019 season.

Joe Penhall’s exquisitely sharp ‘state of the nation’ classic and Olivier Award-winning play, Blue / Orange will open on the main stage on 1 February (press night: Tuesday 5 February) and Evan Placey’s reimagining of the chilling, classic Gothic tale, Jekyll & Hyde will open on 18 April (press night Wednesday 24 April).

Joe Penhall’s darkly funny play is a searing dissection of institutional racism and mental health in modern Britain.

Christopher is sectioned and admitted to a psychiatric hospital. As his doctor and senior consultant debate the cause of his psychosis, he makes the startling revelation that he’s the son of Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin.

The two specialists are divided in their diagnosis and fiercely defend their opposing positions. Their power struggle escalates into an exchange over racism, ideology, prejudice and egotism. With each new revelation, all three find their layers are peeled back to reveal increasingly uncomfortable truths within themselves.

Daniel Bailey, The REP’s Associate Director, directs with design by Amelia Jane Hankin. Casting to be announced.

Daniel Bailey, Director said: Joe Penhall’s play is a crucial and urgent depiction of race, mental health and ethnocentricity. The play is a contemporary classic and I can’t wait to get started on this new production.” The first production of Blue/ Orange, which premiered at the National Theatre, won an Olivier Award, a Critics’ Circle Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Play.


Evan Placey’s take on Robert Louis Stephenson’s Jekyll & Hyde will bring together a professional creative team and performances by The Young REP and is directed by the REP's Associate Director Tessa Walker.

Harriet Jekyll’s investigation into her husband’s mysterious death has taken her into a dark and dangerous world. A gothic world of science, taverns and misogyny that no decent Victorian woman has dared to enter before.

It’s a world that she’s desperate to change but to do so, she must embrace the creature she’s changing into. As she sets about her blood-thirsty mission, her actions start to bleed into the present day.

Award-winning writer Evan Placey (Girls Like That, Orange Polar Bear) combines contemporary chills and gothic horror in his re-imaging of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story directed by Tessa Walker (Folk and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe) and performed by The Young REP.

Tessa Walker, Director said: Evan Placey’s radical adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde transforms the story imagining the journey of Dr Jekyll’s widow, Harriet who has the desire to live a different life but is stopped by the restrictive world around her.  It explores themes in Stevenson’s original Gothic tale of transformation, freedom and revenge but from a young woman’s perspective. I’m excited to bring it to life with The REP’s brilliant and talented Young REP.”

Filming has recently taken place in the Cook Islands for the popular Channel 4 reality show Shipwrecked, which will return to E4 in early 2019.

The show was filmed on the motus (small islets) of Aitutaki, which is located 220km, or a 45minute flight from Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands and in the heart of the Pacific, half way between Hawaii and New Zealand.

From the UK, the Cook Islands can be easily accessed via Air New Zealand's direct flight from Los Angeles. Alternatively, Rarotonga is under four hours flight time from Auckland, New Zealand, and six hours from Sydney, Australia.

First aired in 2000, Shipwrecked was the forerunner for reality shows. The Sunday morning ritual of watching the disagreements, challenges and burgeoning relationships between young, tanned castaways can be remembered by many. The new series will bring back the two rival islands, the Shark Island and Tiger Island, with teams battling it out to win over new arrivals.

Neale Simpson, Shipwrecked Executive Producer, comments: “The Cook Islands is the ideal setting for our paradise island adventure. The incredible islands became home to a richly diverse and remarkable group of characters which were the new generation of Sharks and Tigers. The stunning island backdrops are the perfect place to play out the hedonism, heroism and hilarity that the UK public will be able to enjoy once the show airs.”

The Cook Islands was chosen as the location for the series, not because its home to any real sharks or tigers, but due to its spectacular beauty. The palm fringed, white sand beaches, with turquoise blue waters are as near to paradise as you can get, and the most picturesque, Instagram ready, place you can hope to be Shipwrecked.

Halatoa Fua, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation's Chief Executive Officer said. “We were excited to welcome back Shipwrecked to Aitutaki, Cook Islands as the most beautiful lagoon in the world. Shipwrecked has a long history with the Cook Islands and the support from the people of Aitutaki has been tremendous.”

The motus used for filming Shipwrecked can be visited on day trips from Aitutaki, where you can snorkel the clear waters and experience the beauty below the water, relax on the fine sand beach or explore the interior, which is home to a variety of wild animals, birds and spectacular flora and fauna.

The Cook Islands receives around 1,800 visitors from the UK each year, who come to enjoy the authentic Polynesian culture, warm hospitality of the locals, year-round tropical climate, stunning beaches and breathtaking jungle-clad interiors. With no big chain restaurants or hotels and a local law stating that no building be taller than a coconut tree, it is often said to be how Hawaii was 50 years ago.

The locations are so picture perfect, they were also chosen for the thirteenth series of the American show Survivor, which was aired on CBS network in 2006.

The new series of Shipwrecked is sure to raise the profile of the Cook Islands in the UK and hopefully will inspire more Brits to make their own Shipwrecked experience in this slice of paradise in the South Pacific.

Canadian R&B songstress Kolette Easy has been riding high since the release of her debut album ‘Believe’. Her recent wave of success includes a well-received first single, rave reviews and thrilling live performances at shows locally, regionally and internationally.


The talented Toronto-based vocalist launched ‘Believe’ over the summer at her live concert release event where she performed various tracks off of the album to a packed house. Among these new songs was the album’s lead single ‘Hold On’.


Thus far ‘Hold On’ has garnered Kolette several compliments and praises from industry professionals, media and music fans due to its relatable theme.

Hold On explores the resilience of a relationship (whether platonic or romantic) as it navigates through rocky roads and the strength and love that help it stand the test of time and adversity.


Kolette’s passionate vocals, combined with the lingering lyrics of talented Canadian songwriter Rob Christian and the soulful arrangements by celebrated producer/writer Eddie Bullen make for powerful, relatable ballad. The refrain of ‘Hold on everything will be alright’ has certainly resonated with radio listeners and audiences as evidenced by the emotional reactions during Kolette’s live shows.


The dynamic vocal powerhouse has been touring extensively in support of her new album and single and has dazzled audiences in different markets with her unique onstage presence. Kolette recently graced the stages of Toronto venues as well as major festivals including Aurora Winter Blues Fest, Toronto’s Beaches Jazz Festival and The Rochester Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York where her band Community Soul Project headlined as well as opened up for the legendary funk band Tower of Power..


Most notably she made her return to South East Asia for a major performance in Macau, China.


Amidst all of this current success and preparations to release a forthcoming single, Kolette remains humble and grateful for the love and blessings that she receives on this musical journey.

dodie has released ‘If I’m Being Honest’, the latest track to be heard from the HumanEP, due for release on 18 January in digital, CD and vinyl formats. It follows the EP’s title track, ‘Human’ (feat. Tom Walker), released last month to a rapturous reception, with the song already exceeding 2.5m Spotify plays and 1.5m views for the video on YouTube. ‘Human’ was Phil Taggart’s Chillest Record on BBC R1, and received further support from Clara Amfo and Annie Mac.

Starting with the line “I was told this is where I would start loving myself”, ‘If I’m Being Honest’ details the feeling of being gripped by insecurity and self-doubt in the hope of romance:“Sadly I just think that I was disgusting today… I’m left a stuttering ten”. The live video, directed by Sammy Paul, sees dodie perform ‘If I’m Being Honest’ in the stunning Piehouse at the Matchstick Theatre,accompanied by a string section.

The 23 year old singer songwriter from Epping is arguably the most successful DIY artist of recent times, having built herself a considerable fanbase since she began uploading music from her bedroom aged just 16. dodie has now had almost 350 million streams across YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.

The HumanEP follows two self-released EPs, 2016’s Intertwinedand last year’s You. Both EPs reached the top 40 of the UK official album charts, with Youpeaking at number six, despite receiving little promotion. dodie has just completed a sold-out tour of the US.

dodie will embark on an extensive tour of the UK and Europe to celebrate the release of the Human EP, beginning in Antwerp on 10 February and culminating in her biggest show to date at London’s legendary Roundhouse on 24 March, which has limited tickets remaining. Tickets and more info are available at

If it’s autumn, Shillong is the place to be as it gears up to host the India International Cherry Blossom Festival from November 14-17. Called the Scotland of the East, India’s Shillong, capital of India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya, is awash with cherry blossom trees with their branches filled with white and pink flowers.

Shillong’s 3rd India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 will celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms with a gamut of cultural events. Among the events planned are fashion shows, rock concerts, a beauty pageant, and even a competition in an amateur golf tournament. Alongside these, there will be stalls showcasing the region’s food and crafts, and there are several Japanese cultural events, a Japanese Food Pavilion, and a Higher Education Stall in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma stated that this was another way to deepen and strengthen connections with the Japanese government. He called upon people to be part of this wonderful India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018. Unlike the cherry fruit, the cherry blossom tree, when it flowers – just for a short period in a year – the pink and white glory it exudes is a sight to feast upon.

Meghalaya is a hub of native biodiversity as it is home to 5,538 species of fauna, which includes one of India’s only two species of true apes, supporting the life of about 3,128 species of flowering plants that account for 18% of the country’s total floral wealth.

Two years ago, the state’s government launched the Cherry Blossom Festival in recognition of this abundance. Avenues lined with cherry blossom trees will result in promoting sustainable tourism in the northeast.

The nearest airport to Shillong is at Umroi, located 30 km north of Shillong. But the most convenient is the Guwahati Airport in Borjhar, which is 118 km from Shillong. Guwahati is also the closest railhead, 128 km north of Shillong.

The Nocturne Live concert series, which returns to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire next June, has confirmed pop superstar Kylie Minogue as headliner for the closing night on Sunday 23rd. The chart-topping Australian singer will perform hits from across her back catalogue, as well as music from latest album, 2018's country-tinged Golden. Support will come from multi-million-selling Sophie Ellis-Bextor, whose new album The Song Diaries will be released in January. With over 40 UK Top 10 singles between them, this exclusive concert will feature an array of some of the best-known pop hits of the last 20 years.

Nocturne Live transforms Blenheim Palace's 9500-capacity Great Court into a spectacular open-air concert venue and is fast becoming one of the UK's most prestigious and popular stately home concert experiences. Since its launch in 2015 the series has presented shows from the likes of Gary Barlow, Nile Rodgers, Noel Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Jamie Cullum, Gregory Porter, Van Morrison, Ennio Morricone, The Corrs and The Jacksons.

Nocturne Live 2019 will run from Thursday June 20th – Sunday June 23rd and additional acts will be announced in due course.

Ciro Romano, Nocturne Live Founder:

“We jumped at the chance to book Kylie for Nocturne Live. She's an incredible performer with an unbelievable back catalogue to draw upon and her live shows are always spectacular. We're thrilled to have confirmed her for the closing night of next year's series and look forward to more exciting announcements over the coming months.”

An illustrious British boarding school becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site, unleashing an ancient subterranean species upon the students and faculty.

On paper, Slaughterhouse Rulez sounds amazing – a comedic British creature-feature with some nifty practical effects and a great cast, including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Michael Sheen, that is also the debut film from Stolen Picture; a new production company founded by frequent collaborators Pegg and Frost. Sounds like a recipe for a future cult classic, right? Unfortunately, the sheer awesomeness on paper struggles to translate to screen and what we’re left with is a mixed bag that ranges from awkwardly unfunny to brilliantly charming to gruesomely violent, and everything in between.

Slaughterhouse Rulez follows Don Wallace – a teenager from a working class family from up North who manages to secure a place at one of the most illustrious and imperialistic boarding schools in Britain. He is apprehensive, but doesn’t want to let his overbearing mother down, and decides to honour her wishes; a decision he will soon come to regret. Upon arrival, he immediately realises he doesn’t belong and is quickly introduced to a wide range of students, all of whom conform to a strict hierarchy that has existed for generations. There are four different houses and your success at the school is essentially dependent on which one you’re placed in. It paints a very bleak, albeit comedic picture of what it is like to attend an upper-class British boarding school. Of course, Don is placed in House Sparta; the house for “outcasts” who “do not belong”.

What follows is an overlong introduction to the school, the students and its faculty. While the filmmakers should be commended for trying to enrich their characters and give audiences enough time to connect with them, the truth is that only a handful of them are interesting enough to engage you, leaving much of the first hour feeling empty and frustrating as you’re left waiting for something fun to happen and this is the biggest issue with Slaughterhouse Rulez. The synopsis would lead you to believe you’re about to watch something wildly fun and entertaining, but it takes so long to get to the fun stuff that by the time it arrives, you have disconnected and tuned out a little. Thankfully, the final thirty minutes or so are fun enough to save Slaughterhouse Rulez from being a total bust, but one can’t help but think of how much fun it could have been if the filmmakers had trimmed the fat a little and streamlined the story into something smaller and more engaging.

The cast are all game and deliver some fun performances, with Hermione Corfield, Isabella Laughland, Kit Connor and Max Raphael rounding out the main cast of heroes who are pitted against the unspeakable evil that’s unleashed at the nearby fracking site. They’re a fun group of characters and for the most part, play their roles with tongues placed firmly in cheeks and have some fun with their work. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost provide some excellent support to the main story, resulting in some of the funnier moments in this inconsistent little movie. Pegg plays Meredith Houseman, the head of House Sparta, who is so broken hearted after the love of his life has immigrated to Africa that he can’t help but let it impact on every aspect of his life, including his teaching. Nick Frost plays Woody, an environmental activist-come-drug-dealer who resides in the woods surrounding the school and is at war with the fracking site for polluting the environment. Of the two, Frost and his impeccable comedic timing is wildly underutilized but still provides the occasional fun departure. Tom Rhys Harries is a stand out as the school’s resident psychotic douchebag, Clegg – a despicable character who is played with such dead-pan seriousness that he could quite easily appear in a much more serious movie and still be as sinister as he is here. But the true standout is Michael Sheen, who seems to be having the most fun out of everyone in the movie, chewing up the scenery as the hysterically dim-witted head master who has clearly only got to where he is because of his ancestry. He infuses his performance with a cheeky flamboyance and a knowing wink to the audience, emerging as one of the only reliable sources of genuine laughter in the entire movie.

The creature work is actually pretty solid and the CGI, while nothing ground-breaking, is good enough not to be distracting. The creatures, which resemble giant reptilian rats, really shine with the use of practical effects and animatronic puppets – all of which look great and help add a sense of realism to these other-worldly creatures.

Considering who’s involved, Slaughterhouse Rulez should be a lot funnier than it is. It isn’t unfunny per-se, but it does struggle to become anything more than just moderately humorous and that’s a real shame, because with a healthy dose of big laughs to accompany its violent monster mayhem, Slaughterhouse Rulez could have been something pretty damn special. As it stands, Slaughterhouse Rulez is a good enough way to pass 104 minutes, while simultaneously feeling like a bit of a wasted opportunity.


Super hero action, thrills and drama will soar, smash and burst into Birmingham next year as Marvel Universe LIVE! returns with a brand-new show. Visiting Arena Birmingham from 05–08 December 2019, in this all new production, produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel fans see Spider-Man, The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands.

The audience will witness cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, and impressive 3D video projection mapping in this completely new thrilling adventure. With aerial stunts, martial arts and daring motorcycle skills, fans of all ages will be immersed in the Marvel universe in a show unlike anything they’ve ever seen before!


Called on by Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy join Marvel Universe LIVE! on a momentous crusade against the scheming Nebula who teams up with the conniving and loathsome villains Loki and Green Goblin. The incredible superhuman forces of Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk and Black Widow will unite in clashes that pit student against mentor, sister against sister and brother against brother.

“Our tremendously talented creative team and a nearly super human cast, have created a show that brings Marvel to life,” said Juliette Feld, producer of Marvel Universe LIVE! “The show creates an experience that immerses families in non-

stop action, creating movie-style thrills and jaw-dropping stunts that showcase the powers of your favourite Super Heroes right before your eyes.”

WWE have announced that its unique brand of action packed entertainment is returning to the UK in May 2019 and to the Resorts World Arena on the 15th May

Fans will be able to see all their favourite WWE Superstars live in action all under one roof at the Genting Arena (soon to be renamed Resorts World Arena)

WWE LIVE is unique blend of sport and entertainment, combining in-ring match action with dramatic entertainment.  Bursting with all the drama and energy of a rock concert, in a fun, lively and exciting environment, WWE Live is the ultimate in family entertainment!

Get your tickets now to an incredible night of action!

Katori Hall’s powerful drama exploring the last hours of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, The Mountaintop, plays at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 27 November – 1 December.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010, The Mountaintop is an intimate look into the life of Martin Luther King Jr and chips away at the myth of the great man, exposing his fears about his family, country and the ever-looming threat of a violent death.

Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement on the night before his death, Katori Hall’s sharp and compelling play confronts the legend and his legacy. Are we really free or do we live in a world of false liberation?

Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre), winner of the JMK Award 2016, directs this revival of the Olivier Award-winning play about King’s last night on earth. The cast includes Gbolahan Obisesan as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rochelle Rose as Camae.

Playwright Katori Hall said,

“I'm beyond thrilled that The Mountaintop is returning home. The UK wholeheartedly embraced this story from its inception, proving without a doubt, the ability of Dr. King's legacy to transcend lines of culture and country. As this heightened political moment further exposes the fierce hold racism, classism and sexism have on all our communities, I hope this tour provides a safe space to confront these stubborn demons through the power of storytelling.”

A thick fog rolls in to the small coastal town of Antonio Bay, exactly 100 years after a conspiracy by its founders resulted in the deaths of all the men aboard the ship known as the Elizabeth Dane.

In celebration of Studio Canal’s brand new 4K restoration, John Carpenter’s The Fog has once again engulfed cinemas across the UK, presented in stunning 4K. While The Fog isn’t often the first film that springs to mind when thinking about the work of John Carpenter, it is most definitely one of his most under-appreciated movies.

It starts with a creepy camp-fire story told by an old sailor as a group of children surround him, aglow with the light of the fire. He tells them of the legend of the Elizabeth Dane - a ship that wrecked in the waters of their coastal town, killing everyone on-board. It is a delightfully creepy and old-school tale that sets the tone perfectly for a film that is less a terrifying horror movie and more a slow-burn, suspenseful ghost story that’s thick with atmosphere.

Jamie Lee Curtis teams up with Carpenter for the second time in her career, playing a character that is almost the polar opposite of Halloween’s sweet and innocent Laurie Strode. She plays Elizabeth Solley, a drifter hitch-hiking from town to town, trying to find her place in the world. She gets picked up by the always awesome Tom Atkins, playing a character called Nick Castle - a great little nod to the original actor who played Michael Myers. Elizabeth and Nick hit it off straight away and, before you know it, they’re in bed together! See? Elizabeth is a far cry from the timid Laurie Strode who was mortified to hear that somebody wanted to take her to her high school dance. Curtis and Atkins have great chemistry and all these years later, it’s just a lot of fun to watch these two icons of horror cinema bounce off of one another. But they aren’t the only horror icons here - Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother Janet Leigh also stars as Kathy Williams, the woman organising and overseeing Antonio Bay’s centennial celebrations along with her assistant Sandy, played by Halloween’s Nancy Kyes. Damn, The Fog really is a who’s who of horror cinema! The real standout here is Adrienne Barbeau, who plays Antonio Bay’s resident radio host, Stevie Wayne. While she never really gets to interact with the other characters, she still comes away as one of the best-rounded characters in the entire movie and perhaps the most useful, too. You see, once the titular fog descends upon the town, Stevie sits perched in her broadcasting station in the town’s lighthouse, warning those below of everything that’s happening. Even when she isn’t on screen, her presence is still felt as her voice flows from the speakers of a car radio or echoes through dingy bars. She’s a fantastic character who is also one of the most vulnerable, as she has to face the horrors of what the Fog brings all alone, secluded from the rest of the town and its people.

The titular Fog is a character unto itself and as soon as you see those thick, glowing clowns rolling in, your body immediately tightens, as if you’re preparing yourself for the terror that’s about to be unleashed. The Fog is carrying the vengeful spirits of the Elizabeth Dane crew, who are hell-bent on enacting violent revenge on the residents of Antonio Bay for a 100-year-old conspiracy. The spirits themselves are kept shrouded in darkness, mere silhouettes within the fog that engulfs them. When it comes to horror, Carpenter is a “less is more” type filmmaker, believing that oftentimes what we don't see is a lot scarier than what we do, and this technique works beautifully in The Fog. We see just enough of the vengeful spirits, without it ever spilling into eye-rolling overkill. In typical Carpenter fashion, as well as writing and directing, he also provides the score for The Fog and it is an expertly crafted and deeply ominous piece of work, serving as a perfect accompaniment to the horrors on screen. This is arguably one of Carpenter’s best scores.

John Carpenter’s The Fog is a wonderfully old-fashioned ghost story that’s rich in character and dripping with style. Still very early in his career at this point, John Carpenter was fast carving a name for himself within the genre and honing his skills as a master of suspense. The minimalist style on display in Halloween just two years earlier is carried over to The Fog, with Carpenter relying heavily on the use of light and shadows to crank up the suspense. The Fog plays almost like an ultra-scary episode of Scooby Doo, with a rag-tag group of people trying their best to solve the mystery of what is happening to their town. It is cool and intense and while perhaps not quite as memorable as some of his best work, The Fog is a fantastic entry into Carpenter’s overall filmography and a film that holds up exceptionally well.

The Fog (4K) is available now in a spectacular Collector’s Edition set from Studio Canal.

Busted have grown-up without growing old with their fourth album ‘Half Way There’ which will be released on February 8th. It finds the trio returning to their hyperactive pop-punk sound for the first time since 2003’s all-conquering, multi-Platinum album ‘A Present For Everyone’.

In addition, the band are also excited to confirm details of a major UK arena tour for March 2019.

James Bourne, Charlie Simpson and Matt Willis approached the new album with a simple goal in mind: “How do we make the ultimate Busted album?”

They spent a year working on the album. They wrote more material than ever, much of it at Bourne’s apartment in North London where they spent so much time together back when they first started the band. They constantly revisited each idea to make the album as strong as it could possibly be, and also had the opportunity to work with their dream producer Gil Norton, the man behind classic albums from Foo Fighters and Pixies.

The result is an album that expands upon Busted’s trajectory the first time around. It’s a rush of melody and effervescent riffs as they blend huge arena-filling choruses with the classic pop-punk sound of Blink 182 and New Found Glory. Lyrically it’s often reflective and nostalgic (‘Reunion’, ‘All My Friends’ and a mini Busted autobiography in the shape of ‘It Happens’), but there are some fantastical flights of fancy too in the shape of ‘Shipwrecked In Atlantis’ and a tribute to Elon Musk in ‘Race To Mars’.

‘Nineties’ is one of the tracks which will claim a place alongside other Busted favourites such as ‘Year 3000’ and ‘Crashed The Wedding’. Opening in low-key fashion, the track erupts into life by taking us back to the era of Smashing Pumpkins and Macaulay Culkin and the carefree “days of ditching school to watch The Goonies.” The track features a co-writing credit for their old friend Dougie Poynter of McFly.

“I cannot wait for fans to hear this record and to be able to talk to them on social media about it,” says Willis. “I just have a feeling that they’re going to love it.”

“If I was a Busted fan, I’d listen to this record and feel like I got my band back,” agrees Bourne.

Simpson adds, “It still has humorous elements and we’re still having a lot of fun, but we have some very poignant songs too. Our fans grew up with us so they’ll be able to relate to them too.”

‘Half Way There’ is Busted’s fourth album and their second after returning with ‘Night Driver’ in 2016. The title is a play on the reference in their huge hit ‘Year 3000’ to the band releasing their seventh album. Now they’re halfway to achieving precisely that, and far ahead of schedule.

Capturing the band’s larger-than-life personalities, the album cover was conceptualised and shot by Rankin.

The UK's top selling album group of the 21st century, Westlife, have announced that they will be touring the UK and Ireland for the first time in seven years next May, June and July. They will be performing at Arena Birmingham on Friday 21st, 22nd and now 23rd June 2019.


The shows will see the global pop kings perform brand new songs, alongside their greatest hits and all 14 of their UK No.1 hits including as 'Swear It Again', ‘Flying Without Wings', ‘You Raise Me Up’ and 'Unbreakable'.


Shane, Nicky, Mark and Kian announced their return to music two weeks ago to a frenzy of media coverage and social media activity. The band have signed a new record deal with Virgin EMI and will release new music soon.


These shows will be their first as a group since they played Croke Park in Dublin on 23rd June 2012.


Westlife have sold over 55 million records worldwide and are the only band to have their first 7 singles enter the UK chart at No.1. They also have the most singles of any artist to debut at No.1 in the UK. Overall the band have had an incredible 14 No.1 singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They have had 33 No.1 albums worldwide.


As a live act, Westlife have sold five million concert tickets worldwide.

There’s FAB-U-LOUS news for Strictly fans across the country today, as it’s announced that all four TV Judges will join the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing UK Arena Tour.  Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli will star alongside Head TV Judge Shirley Ballas - who makes her debut on the live extravaganza - for 29 supersized sparkle-filled shows fox-trotting around the country in January and February next year.  Tickets are on sale now!

The awesome foursome will join tour host and 2016 Strictly winner Ore Oduba, at some of the biggest entertainment venues across the UK, opening at Arena Birmingham on 18 January.

The live show will also be directed by Craig Revel Horwood and feature many of the celebrities and professional dancers from the current series of the award-winning BBC One show.  Further casting announcements will be made over the coming weeks.

Shirley Ballas said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Darcey, Bruno and Craig on the Strictly live tour judging panel. I’ve heard so much about the amazing audiences at the arena shows and can’t wait to get the show on the road in January!”

Darcey Bussell added: “I had a wonderful experience with the Strictly company on the 2018 tour and am really excited to be able to join them again in January, and to meet the show’s fantastic audiences across the country!”

Bruno Tonioli remarked: “It’s great news that Shirley will be joining us on the judging panel on the live tour next year. We are all in for a treat - with the amazing dance routines, the stunning costumes and the incredible live music - it’s going to be fantastico!”

Craig Revel Horwood agreed: “2019 is going to be our best Strictly tour yet. There’ll be the glitz, there’ll be the glamour and of course the Glitterball winner at every show. And Shirley joining us on tour and Ore back as our host, it’s the perfect night out for all the family to enjoy. One word, three syllables: FAB-U-LOUS!”

Arena audiences are in for a real treat, as they enjoy a fantastic evening of entertainment, showcasing all the amazing choreography and incredible live music that Strictly is famous for.  They will experience a host of breathtaking dance routines guaranteed to leave them spellbound, together with all the glitz, glamour and magic of the TV show live on stage. This is a must-see spectacle for fans of all ages.

As well as enjoying the glittering routines, arena audiences have the power to decide who wins the coveted Live Tour Glitterball Trophy at the end of each show.  After each celebrity couple has performed, the judges will provide their invaluable critique and scores - but the audience can also vote via text for their favourite couple and ultimately, they will decide who wins!

Timber, the new outdoor arts festival celebrating the story of the National Forest in the Midlands, has been nominated for the prestigious UK Festivals Awards, the top accolade of the festival world.

The festival of the National Forest, which celebrated trees and woodlands through music, arts, woodland fun and ideas, has been nominated in two categories: Best New Festival and Best Small Festival. Now, the National Forest Company, who created Timber in partnership with not-for-profit festival producers Wild Rumpus, is encouraging members of the public to vote for the festival and bring one – or both – these awards back to the National Forest.

Jo Maker, Festival Co-ordinator for Timber at the National Forest Company, said: “This is a real coup to be up for both Best New Festival and Best Small Festival in our first year! Competition is fierce, but these prestigious UK Festival Awards celebrate the best of the nation's festivals and would be huge recognition for our achievements with Timber 2018.

“Feedback received from festival-goers this year spoke of a real connection with nature, and the amazing atmosphere. It was so chilled out and different to other more commercial festivals with its use of the extensive woodland spaces which people could explore rather than standing in a field with a large music stage.”

Jo continued: “The shortlisted festivals are decided via online voting which closes on 30 October. We are hoping all our supporters – those who joined us at Timber this year, and those who have it top of their list for next – will vote for Timber and encourage their friends and family to do the same, in support of this exciting new festival for the National Forest.”

The match, which will take place on Sunday 28th October at Nottingham’s City Ground, 3pm kick-off, will include the appearance of international Reggae artist Freddie McGregor who will sing the Jamaican national anthem before the match and perform during half time and after the game.

We've got 7 pairs of tickets to give away to our lucky readers!

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer this simple question.

What country do the Reggae Girlz hail from?

a) UK

b) Jamaica

c) USA

Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your answer, along with your name and a contact telephone number, with the subject "Reggae Girlz Competition"

Competition closes at 23:59 on the 25th October