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It's that time of year again – The Great British Bake Off addiction is well and truly underway.

Amateur bakers around the country have been spurred on to give cake making a go, after being inspired by the weekly show.

After almost burning down the kitchen for the fifth week running, we've decided to leave it to the self-professionals that grace our screens every week.

And I say self-professionals as Paul Hollywood has been dishing out his famous handshakes this season right, left and centre.

The handshake is no longer the sacred holiness that the amateur bakers tremble and shed a tear at.

At this stage, it's almost a shock to both audience and contestants alike if we make it a whole episode without Paul extending the hand.

Rightly so, Paul has been burnt on Twitter for his looseness with his Hollywood handshakes. 

The 52-year-old has been forced to defend his actions and told viewers to expect a change for the rest of Bake off.

On The Jonathan Ross Show Paul explained why he was so generous with the shake: "I've taken a bit of flack over [it]. The handshake came from when [bakes] looked very professional and they almost cross that line from being amateur to professional."

"Every year the standard has got better and better and better and this year has been phenomenal. Some of the flavours they are bringing out. Rahul's stuff has been incredible."

Thankfully, we won't have to endure too many shakes, as the celeb chef said: "you will see it happen, the handshakes almost stop. Because what I've done is I've realised they are all moving up in standard so I've got to move my barrier up so that's exactly what I do, I raise the bar and then no one gets over the top of it."

In reply to the stick he received on Twitter, Paul said: "What you're forgetting which is crucial is the general standard of baking/bakers has risen year on year… this is reflected in any praise given."

Regardless if you love or hate the handshakes – we will definitely be tuning into the Bake Off tonight and criticising cakes we could only dream of making, heavily defending our favourites and drooling over Rahul's flawless bakes.

 

Feature image credit: Paul Hollywood/Twitter

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As the saying goes; all good things must come to an end.

And BBC bosses have signalled that our unhealthy addiction to Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark will come to a close after season five.

The much anticipated fifth season will be the last of the series – and we aren't okay.

Filming has gotten underway this week for the final chapter, and as our tears dry, writer Debbie Horsfield has given us a sneaky insight into what we can expect as the curtain closes on the series.

Debbie Horsfield, who has written every episode of the four series, divulged: “In The Stranger from the Sea Winston Graham made many references to developments that happened in the 'gap' years. Much can also be inferred.

There are, of course, also historical events and people of the time, both in Cornwall and in London. Series five will draw on all of these to follow the lives of the Poldarks, George Warleggan, the Enyses, and the Carnes in this intervening period.”

Poldark saga was created over 12 novels by Winston Graham.

The 'gap' Debbie refers to is the 10 year period, Winston left between his seventh and his eighth novel. 

The fourth series was based off the seventh novel, The Angry Tide. And the final series will be inspired by the eighth book, The Stranger from the Sea.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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And, of course, a new series means new roles to cast for characters.

These include famous faces such as Lily Dodsworth Evans, Kerri McLean, Sofia Oxenham, and Vincent Regan – to name just a few.

Although, we will have to wait a little longer to find out who will be playing what part. 

You can expect the fifth and final series to hit your screens sometime in 2019.

We are going to miss the perfection that is Aiden Turner. 

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It's Strictly season again and last night gave us our first look at the 2018 couples.

Among them was Kate Silverton, the energetic BBC newsreader who scooped the fab Aljaz as her partner.

She may be getting ready to dive into the most glittery experience of her life, but Kate has had to deal with a few unpleasant comments as a result. 

The 48-year-old has had online trolls accuse her of ditching her children to appear on the dance program.

Kate is mum to two kids – six-year-old Clemency and four-year-old Wilbur – with husband Mike Heron. 

Kate told Hello! at the Strictly press launch reason why she had put off appearing on the show – and it has to do with motherhood.

''The reason why I have never done Strictly before is because I have two children. My kids are too young, now they are four and nearly seven – I just thought now it would be a good time to take part,'' she said. 

However, she was forced to reply to nasty comments on Twitter about hw she planned to juggle Strictly and her kids. 

The outraged broadcaster tweeted, "Mr 'anonymous' I take my time with my children very seriously – my children will both be at school when I am training – it's the reason I have agreed to do #Strictly this year. I agree mothering is the most important job – but I would never seek to preach."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The sequins are calling… not long now !! #bbcstrictly

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Kate will be more than able to juggle her home life and the show – and she has explained how everything is all starting to blend together.

''My husband also works away a lot, so we are 'juggling juggling' the situation a lot between us. But the nice thing is, I took Wil to a photo shoot, which is hilarious – so I had to get Graziano [Di Prima] to babysit. They were wrestling on the floor at one point."

"So you know, I can get the children involved which is great,'' she added. 

Good luck Kate and ignore those haters – we can't wait to see those dance moves on Saturday night!

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We love Strictly for a lot of things – the glitz and glam, the fabulously choreographed dances, the brilliant judges…

And now we have another reason.

The BBC show has just announced that it is going to make a bigger effort to protect the environment. 

Yaaasss!

While we all adore the lashings of glitter that Strictly heaps on us every year, they have now confirmed that the glitz being used on the contestants and their outfits for the upcoming series will be environmentally friendly.

This comes after the ban that has been put on plastic microbeads by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Defra have also explained that all liquid glitter used during the show is eco-friendly, and that no marine life will be under threat after it is flushed down the drain.

They stated that, ''all our liquid glitter used in the theme weeks is sourced from Burt’s Bees which is all biodegradable, and this series they will also be supplying us with biodegradable wipes.''

In addition to this, the make-up they use is also biodegradable, however the show is looking into whether all of the ingredients in it are biodegradable. 

Fair play, Strictly. 

Strictly Come Dancing is most definitely on a mission to become more eco-friendly, as it's attempting to get rid of single-use plastic too.

A spokesperson for the show has said how it should be at least 90 percent free of single-use plastic by next year, which is amazing tbh. 

As for the confetti that we love seeing swirling around our shimmering dancers and celebs on the TV?

It's 50 percent biodegradable – plus last year, the paper that the scripts and running orders were printed on were replaced with iPads instead.

Strictly, if you weren't one of our favourite shows before, you certainly are now. 

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Strictly will be on our screens in the next week and the excitement for it's return is really ramping up. 

Pro-dancer favourite Kevin ''from Grimsby'' Clifton has announced that he is taking on a new venture.

Any guesses as to what it is?

Kev is planning on launching a Strictly podcast – well, if his fans are interested, that is!

It was during a live broadcast that he let slip that he is really into podcasts, especially football ones. 

He then asked for help in naming the podcast – so keeps your ears out for that. 

In other Strictly news, Kevin has been defending the BBC's choice to sign up YouTuber Joe Sugg as a contestant for this year.  

There were many disgruntled people complaining that Joe wasn't famous enough to earn a place on the hit show.

Kevin stepped in to back the Internet sensation, who has 8.2 million subscribers on his video channel.

 

Congrats @iamashleyroberts @bbcstrictly

A post shared by Kevin Clifton (@keviclifton) on

"Why do they have to be on TV a lot to be well known. And YouTube is TV. Just a different screen. He will bring in new viewers that never would watch Strictly and would have no idea who any of us ballroom dancers are…" he said.

There was also people commenting on the fact that some contestants already have previous dance experience.

When contestant Ashley Roberts – a Pussycat Dolls singer, dancer and choreographer, was added to the line-up, Kevin responded with, ''there's always some with dance experience. She will be learning ballroom for the first time. I suck at tap for example. Also @bbcstrictly leaves it to the voter. You vote for your favourite, doesn't have to be the best dancer by the judges." 

Go Kevin, you were always our fave. 

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Strictly Come Dancing 2018 is certainly hotting up and we, for one, are more than ready to get this year's series back on our screens. 

The full line-up of this year's cast is almost complete and now BBC Breakfast have confirmed the first celebrity that is definitely taking part this year.

And it is one of our faves…Katie Piper!

According to the Metro, she said, ''it took a while to say yes because it’s something way out of my comfort zone.'' 

‘The only person I told was my husband and he thought I was joking. I’m worried I’ll be the first to go home!’ she confessed. 

So who is the lucky dancer that she has her eye on? Anton?

''I would really like to be partnered with Giovanni, but I have no sway in that at all. So watch out Giovanni, I’m coming for you!’ she laughed. 

When asked why she decided to take part in taking to that daunting dance floor every week, she said it was to do with gaining confidence. 

''I think it gives a wider message, my past is irrelevant, to be able to go forward and do these things is a bigger wider message. That’s something I want to take forward, and it’s nice to be part of something so light-hearted!'' 

The show's rehearsals's have already kicked off and we're following the pro dancers on Instagram to see all of the behind the scenes gossip and action. 

Katie's fans were so supportive wished her good luck on social media, writing, ''amazing news Katie! You’re going to be amazing!!I Can’t wait to see you on that famous dance floor!''

Another said, ''yes!!!! You’re going to be brilliant. Can’t wait to see your costumes/hair/makeup and dancing of course.'' 

Strictly starts filming this month, with the rest of the names to be revealed in the next two weeks before the series’ red carpet launch at the end of August. 

We will be rooting for Katie – we know she is going to be brilliant. 

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The latest series of Strictly Come Dancing is mere weeks away and we are seriously excited.

The professional dancers have been sharing pictures and videos on social media of the crew getting back to business for another season of dancing and it has now been revealed that Neil Jones, hubby of pro dancer Katya, is officially joining the gang.

Neil joined the show alongside Katya as a choreographer and group dancer two years ago. 

A TV insider said he was a shoe-in as ''he has a wicked personality. Producers are lining him up for a star role,'' according to The Sun.

Neil will step into the dancing shoes of departed Strictly pro Brendan Cole, who was let go from the hit BBC show earlier this year.

His replacement was confirmed by the BBC1 show’s voiceover artist Alan Dedicoat, who said, “Neil Jones is doing it this year.''

“He’s always been on the show but not coupled with someone, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does.”

Russian Latin champion Katya has been a member of the official pro-dancer line-up since she joined in 2016, stealing the show with politician Ed Balls and going on to nab the glitter ball trophy with actor Joe McFadden last year.

A TV source said: “Neil has been a choreographer on the show since Katya joined but has always been keen to be partnered with one of the celebrities.''

It seems that Neil has quite a fan-base, with people taking to social media to demand he gets a partner this year.

One said, ''please @bbcstrictly  give Neil Jones a partner this year! #RedHeadsDoItBetter'', while another wrote, ''the media/public: Who will replace Brendan Cole now that he's no longer on Strictly?! Neil Jones: *looks into the camera like he's on The Office*.''

It seems like you have got your wish, folks.

Best of luck Neil, we're rooting for ya!

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Barry Chuckle, who was one half of comedy duo The Chuckle Brothers has died at the age 73. The entertainer’s manager Phil Dale confirmed his passing earlier this morning.

He told Metro.co.uk: “It is with great sadness that the family announce that Barry passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Ann and all his family.”

The family issued their thanks to fans of The Chuckle Brothers, “They know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.”

They have asked for the public to respect their privacy during this heartbreaking and difficult time.

Barry and his brother Paul rose to fame in the late 80s.

The duo starred in hit show ChuckleVision between 1987 and 2009, making it one of the longest running children’s shows in the United Kingdom.

Paul issued a statement following his brother’s death: "I've not just lost my brother, I've lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend."

 

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It's coming up to that time of year again – the end of summer is approaching and that means that the Strictly season is almost upon us!

I love nothing more than curling up on the couch during those autumnal Saturday nights, with the leaves falling outside the widow, the fire roaring away and a large glass of wine in my hand.

In front of Strictly, of course. 

So no one was more excited than me when they heard that the official line-up of professional dancers had been announced.

Will the gorge Gleb make a reappearance? Is Anton still going to be clowning around on the dance floor? 

 

And so it begins… #Strictly 2018  

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Sadly, it's a no to the first but Mr du Beke is definitely putting on his dancing shoes again!

Familiar faces returning are Aljaz Skorjanec, Janette Manrara, Kevin and Karen Clifton, Anton, Gorka Marquez, Giovanni Pernice, Pasha Kovalev, Nadiya Bychkova, Giovanni Pernice, Oti Mabuse. AJ Pritchard, Katya Jones, Amy Dowden and Dianne Buswell.

There are three fab new additions for 2018 and they are: Johannes Radebe, Luba Mushtuk and Graziano Di Prima.

Johannes is a two-time Professional South African Latin Champion and three time South African Amateur Latin Champion, and was a professional dancer on the South Africa version of Strictly for two seasons – and he went to the final both times. 

Luba has helped as back-up dancer an choreographer for Strictly for several years, danced in Burn the Floor and is also Giovanni Pernice's ex gf. (Bit awks there.)

Lastly, the 24-year-old ride that is Graziano has spent the last three years touring with Burn the Floor and  is an Italian Latin Champion who represented Belgium at the World Championships. 

Hardcore fans might notice that there are one or two noticeably absent pro dancers from the 2018 line-up.

Brendan Cole was let go from the series after last year, and he has since broken his silence by wishing this years cast good luck in a video on his Instagram account.

He wrote, ''to all of my @bbcstrictly friends on day one of Season 16…Wishing you a fantastic series Xx.''

The launch show is set to be aired on BBC on August 31st so get the fake tan and glitter ready – it's time to staaaart dancing!

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It's not quite Strictly season yet but it's getting pretty close!

Is it too soon to say we can't wait for the cos autumn nights curled up on the couch judging celebrities for their Cha Cha Cha's?

Well, a titbit of news may have been leaked to tide you over for now – and it's to do with another possible contestant for the 2018 series. 

According to Hello! magazine, is seems that sport star Alex Scott could be putting on her dancing shoes in a matter of weeks.

Alex is an ex-England and Arsenal Ladies footballer and has been a hit with her commentary for this year's World Cup.

It has been reported in The Mirror that the former Arsenal  defender ''ticks all the right boxes'' to appear in the BBC show 

“It’s just a case of narrowing people down to see if they are really up for it and there aren't any commitments preventing them from going  ahead'' they said. 

The 33-year-old would follow in a footsteps of Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford, jockey and former track cyclist Victoria Pendleton  and Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane. 

Other contestants rumoured to join this year's line-up include Eastenders Samantha Womack who played Ronnie Mitchell.

Strictly have also recently announced that their newest pro dancers joining the show are Grazino di Prima, Luba Mustuk and Johannes Radebe.

We seriously cannot WAIT!

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The end is in sight for the Peaky Blinders as series creator Steven Knight has confirmed the crime drama will finsh after its seventh season. 

However, it's not all bad news. Speaking after the BAFTAs on Sunday evening, Steven told Digital Spy how he is considering the possibiltiy of making a follow-movie movie. 

The show's boss told the publication: "My ambition is to make it a story of a family between two wars, so always I've wanted to end it with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in 1939.

"It'll take three more series [to reach that point]." 

It's thought that the film would be released after the final season has aired, though Steven is not opposed to the idea of having it come out between two of the remaining series. 

"We're getting approached to do all kinds of things – the ballet, the musical… and the movie would be great.

"I wouldn't want to do it at the very end, but maybe in between two of the series."

Peaky Blinders took home the award for Best Drama at the BAFTA ceremony in London last night, beating out Netflix's The Crown and Line of Duty

Accepting the award,  Steven gave a nod to the show's stars Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory, saying: "I wish the people who created such iconic TV, soon maybe they will be here as well because they deserve to be."

The fifth season will air on BBC Two in 2019 and is set to be released on Netflix. 

 

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The BBC have made the decision to cut Ed Westwick from their Agatha Christie drama, Ordeal by Innocence, following allegations of rape which were levelled against the British actor late last year.

It has been established that Westwick's scenes in the show will be re-shot, with Christian Cooke replacing the former Gossip Girl actor.

 

Thank you @VanityFair for the piece on #OrdealByInnocence

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In November 2017, the 30-year-old actor was accused of rape by three women in three separate incidents in 2014 – allegations which Westwick has categorically denied.

Considering the gravity of the allegations, the BBC chose to postpone the programme's intended slot over the Christmas period, and have yet to announce the new transmission date.

"These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgement but until these matters are resolved, we will not include Ordeal by Innocence in the schedules."

While the initial statement made no mention of cutting Westwick from the programme, the role of Mickey Argyll will now be played by Yorkshire-born Christian.

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