Elton John declares musicians are facing a 'looming catastrophe' due to Brexit travel restrictions - Godz
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Elton John declares musicians are facing a ‘looming catastrophe’ due to Brexit travel restrictions

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Sir Elton John has said musicians are facing a ‘looming catastrophe’ because of post-Brexit travel restrictions on touring in the European Union.

New travel rules came into force at the beginning of the year that do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU. 

The Rocketman hitmaker, 74, revealed that last month he met with Brexit minister Lord Frost, his husband David Furnish and Craig Stanley, an agent at the Marshall Arts touring agency, to discuss the issue.

Candid: Sir Elton John has said musicians are facing a ‘looming catastrophe’ because of post-Brexit travel restrictions on touring in the European Union (pictured last month)

His statement was read out by Mr Stanley in a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on EU visa arrangements for those in the creative industries.

Sir Elton’s statement said: ‘Put bluntly, we are currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the Government’s trade deal.

‘New and emerging artists will be unable to tour Europe freely – an essential part of their education and development – due to the prohibitive costs of visas, carnets and permits.

‘However, despite this looming catastrophe, the Government seems unable or unwilling to fix this gaping hole in their trade deal and defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess.’

Music icon: New travel rules came into force at the beginning of the year that do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU – with the music icon, 74, speaking out (pictured 2020)

He added his objections ‘aren’t about the impact on me and artists who tour arenas and stadiums’.

‘We are lucky enough to have the support staff, finance and infrastructure to cut through the red tape that Lord Frost’s no-deal has created,’ he said.

‘The gravest of situations is about the damage to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists, whose careers will stall before they’ve even started due to this infuriating blame game.

‘If I had faced the financial and logistical obstacles facing young musicians now when I started out, I’d never have had the opportunity to build the foundations of my career and I very much doubt I would be where I am today.’

Speech: His statement was read out by Mr Stanley in a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on EU visa arrangements for those in the creative industries 

Heartbreaking: Sir Elton’s statement said: ‘Put bluntly, we are currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the Government’s trade deal’

At the beginning of the committee hearing on Thursday, chair Julian Knight criticised Lord Frost for failing to attend.

Mr Knight said he felt ‘dismay’ over the move, adding it ‘raised one or two eyebrows’ as he had blamed the G7 conference in Cornwall for the cancellation, an event which he said was not ‘unexpected’.

In a statement he added: ‘Parliamentary scrutiny in front of Select Committees is of crucial importance in our democratic system and is particularly important when we have a Government with a majority of over 80.

‘It is brought into even sharper focus when the Government chooses to appoint members of the House of Lords to Cabinet. Ministers in Cabinet from the Commons have scrutiny due to questions, Urgent Statements and Departmental questions. They are accountable every day. It isn’t acceptable for Lords not to be accountable when they hold high office.’

Elton honored: Eltonwas given the prestigious Icon Award at the iHeartRadio Awards last month in honour of his decades in the music industry

In January, Sir Elton joined fellow musicians including Roger Waters and Ed Sheeran in signing a letter which criticised the Government’s Brexit deal for not including visa-free travel for musicians.

Last month Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said artists will be able to undertake some touring in at least 17 of the 27 European Union member states without needing visas or work permits.

He told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee he had engaged with every EU country on the issue since January.

However Noel McClean, leader of the entertainment union Bectu, told the committee there are still ‘varying degrees of bureaucracy still associated with those 17 member states’.

Mr Dowden’s comments do not ‘quite match up to the expectation that you can do what you could before’, he added.

There have been calls from across the performing arts industries for a cultural work permit deal to be reached between the Government and EU, with a petition on the issue securing more than 280,000 signatures.

A Government spokesperson said: ‘We want musicians and other creative professionals to be able to tour easily abroad.

‘Short-term, temporary visits for paid performances by UK musicians are possible in at least 17 EU countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, without needing visas or work permits.

‘However, we recognise the difficulties still being faced by the sector. That is why we are working closely with individual member states to encourage them to adopt a more flexible approach, in line with the UK’s own rules which allow creative professionals to tour easily here.’

Promote: He added that he tries to ‘promote young artists’ because ‘they need exposure,’ adding he’s had his ‘time in the sun

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Gold Dinner 2021: The Hemsworths bring Hollywood glamour to Australia’s most exclusive charity event

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A who’s who of showbusiness, business and politics attended Australia’s most exclusive charity event, the Gold Dinner 2021, at Sydney Airport on Thursday night.

The most high-profile arrivals skipped the red carpet, which was held at the departures terminal, with the likes of Chris and Liam Hemsworth being whisked privately to the venue in the middle of the airfield.

Thor star Chris, 37, was accompanied by his wife, Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, while his younger brother was joined by his girlfriend, model Gabrielle Brooks.

Glittering: A who’s who of showbusiness, business and politics attended Australia’s most exclusive charity event, the Gold Dinner 2021, at Sydney Airport on Thursday night. Pictured (left to right): Lucciana Barroso, Lauren Phillips, Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth, Gabriella Brooks and Liam Hemsworth

Other guests included Lucciana Barroso – the wife of actor Matt Damon, who was not present despite currently being in Australia – and Nine presenter Lauren Phillips.

They rubbed shoulders with the likes of actress Rose Byrne as well as host of local stars, including radio personalities Hamish Blake and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli.

The event was emceed by Today show anchor Karl Stefanovic and saw the worlds of entertainment, government and business collide to raise funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation,

Some of the country’s most influential people attended the gala, which was first held in 1997 and has raised more than $30million in the years since. 

Stars of the show: The most high-profile arrivals – including Chris and Elsa – skipped the red carpet, which was held at the departures terminal, and were whisked privately to the venue in the middle of the airfield

Date night: Liam, known for his role in The Hunger Games trilogy, was joined by his girlfriend, model Gabrielle Brooks

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Michelle Keegan flaunts her abs in a tiny crop top as she poses with Mark Wright in Portugal

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Their sun-soaked family trip to Portugal was cut short after the country was added to the Amber list after Covid travel restrictions were updated.

And Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright certainly made the most of their brief getaway as they smiled for a sunny Instagram snap shared on Thursday after they jetted back to the UK.

The Coronation Street actress, 34, looked sensational as she showed off her washboard abs in a tiny bronze crop top while posing alongside her former TOWIE star husband, 34.

Stunning: Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright certainly made the most of their brief getaway to Portugal as they smiled for a sunny Instagram snap shared on Thursday after they jetted back to the UK

The beauty showed off her incredibly toned physique in the skimpy top, which she paired with a cream skirt featuring a racy, thigh-high split.

Michelle completed her outfit with barely-there cream heels, a smattering of delicate gold jewellery and rounded shades. 

The Our Girl star was seen laughing in the snap as she held the hand of her husband who had wrapped his arm around her waist. 

Short but sweet: Captioning the snap, Mark alluded to the couple having to jet back home early due to travel restrictions, writing: ‘Amber cut it short but it was very sweet. PT until next time’

Meanwhile Marl looked casual in an open white shirt and stone coloured shorts, with the hunk showcasing his golden tan in the outfit.

Captioning the snap, Mark alluded to the couple having to jet back home early due to travel restrictions, writing: ‘Amber cut it short but it was very sweet. PT until next time.’  

It comes as Mark’s sister Jess Wright took to Instagram on Monday to share several updates from the family trip which included dinner at Maria’s in Almancil, Algarve.

Michelle and Mark were able to jet back to the UK in time before it joined the ‘amber’ travel list at 4am on Tuesday. 

Lovely: Michelle and Mark , centre, have enjoyed a sun-drenched family getaway to Portugal complete with boozy meals, dancing and singing 

Taking to her Instagram Story, Jess, 35, shared several updates from the trip which included sizzling selfies with Michelle, dancing and laughter.

In the posts, the trio were also joined by Wright family members – parents Mark Snr and Carol, sister Natalya and brother Josh.

Jess’ fiancé William Lee-Kemp, Josh’s wife Hollie and Natalya’s boyfriend Tommy also joined the fun trip.

The family were seen enjoying a lavish meal at Maria’s in the Algarve where they enjoyed tasty beverages and started singing to Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger.

Updates: Mark’s sister Jess Wright took to Instagram on Monday to share several updates from the trip which included dinner at Maria’s in Almancil, Algarve

Fun times: Taking to her Instagram Story, Jess, 35, shared several updates from the trip on Monday which included sizzling selfies with Michelle, dancing and laughter

Family: In the posts, the trio were also joined by Wright family members – parents Mark Snr and Carol, sister Natalya and brother Josh – Jess’ fiancé William Lee-Kemp, Josh’s wife Hollie and Natalya’s boyfriend Tommy also joined the fun trip 

Michelle was seen dancing to a band performing at the venue while Mark laughed along during the fun meal. 

Jess also shared a sweet video of her parents Mark Snr and Carol enjoying a dance together later in the evening, writing on a different update the reality star said: ‘Have waited so long to sit at a beach restaurant & drink this.’ 

Almancil is in the affluent golden triangle region outside of Faro, the capital of the Algarve. 

 

Lovely: The family were seen enjoying a lavish meal at Maria’s in the Algarve where they enjoyed tasty beverages and started singing to Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger

So sweet: Jess also shared a sweet video of her parents Mark Snr and Carol enjoying a dance together later in the evening 

Memories: She later wrote on a different update the reality star said: ‘Have waited so long to sit at a beach restaurant & drink this.’

It is famous for its luxury resorts and Michelin star restaurants, and lies between the town of Vilamoura, Almancil and the gated communities of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.  

It is not known whether the rest of the family have since jetted back to the UK or if they are still in Portugal after it moved onto the UK’s ‘amber’ travel list at 4am on Tuesday. 

Mark’s brother Josh, who also went on the holiday, posted updates from Chigwell, Essex, on Tuesday night. 

Home? Mark’s brother Josh, who also went on the holiday, posted updates from Chigwell, Essex, on Tuesday night – suggesting he has since returned 

Updates: However, Jess continued to share updates from Portugal on Tuesday evening – although she did not specify if she was still in the country or posting throwback snaps (pictured with Natalya)

However, Jess continued to share updates from Portugal that evening – although she did not specify if she was still in the country or posting throwback snaps.  

Amber rules mean travellers arriving home from Portugal will now have to self-isolate for 10 days and pay for two PCR tests to take on day 2 and day 8.

Breaking quarantine could lead to a £10,000 fine with those who do not take tests on day 2 and day 8 of their self-isolation facing £2,000 penalties.

‘Bikini kinda mood’: It comes after Jess Wright shared a sizzling snap of herself with her 1.4million followers on Instagram on Tuesday

Those who provide incorrect information on their passenger locator forms could be fined £10,000 or be jailed for 10 years – or both.  

It comes after Jess Wright shared a sizzling snap of herself with her 1.4million followers on Instagram on Tuesday. 

Taking to her social media account, the 35-year-old uploaded a photo of herself candidly walking along in a bikini.

Sizzling: Taking to her social media account, the 35-year-old uploaded a photo of herself candidly walking along in a bikini

The high-waisted mint green two-piece left little to the imagination as she showcased her tanned and toned frame.

With intense sunlight beaming down on her in the photo, Jess also had on a large pair of sunglasses and her raven locks tumbled down over her left shoulder as she walked along.  

Jess was also seen carrying a wicker handbag with similar coloured handles to her bikini, which a towel had been draped over the top. 

Fun in the sun: It comes after her sister Natalya, 20, shared more snaps from her holiday in the Algarve, Portugal with her boyfriend Tommy

Ready to roll: The internet star, who has more than 297,000 followers on Instagram and is the sister of former The Only Way Is Essex stars Mark and Jess Wright, dressed perfectly for the summer in a post 

Penning a short message alongside the two latest photos, Jess wrote: ‘Bikini kinda mood.’ 

It comes after her sister Natalya, 20, shared more snaps from her holiday in the Algarve, Portugal with her boyfriend Tommy.

The internet star, who has more than 297,000 followers on Instagram and is the sister of former The Only Way Is Essex stars Mark and Jess Wright, dressed perfectly for the summer in a post.

Flashing a glimpse of her skimpy bikini, Natalya donned an eggshell linen top which she tied at the waist with a bow.

Natalya had on a pair of matching low-rise shorts which were perfect for the hot Southern European weather.

The web wonder had on a pair of white flip flops and a Fendi designer bag ready to spend the day in the sunshine.

Natalya captioned the image: ‘Ready for the pool. I wish I could tell you where to buy this outfit but I can’t just yet.. coming soon.’

Forever: Natalya has flown on holiday with her boyfriend Tommy and they posed for a picture in the beautiful sunlight of golden hour by the beach

The model has been enjoying her time in the sun and on Monday she shared a picture of herself and boyfriend Tommy at Maria’s Beach & Restaurant in Almancil.  

Natalya has certainly been making the most of the post lockdown freedom by dining out while away.

She captioned the image of her and Tommy: ‘Forever,’ while she kissed him on the cheek. 

Natalya did not specify if she was still in the country or posting throwback snaps, after Portugal moved onto the government’s amber list as of 4am on Tuesday. 

 

What tests do you need when returning from foreign countries? 

GREEN LIST

You will be required to take a lateral flow test within 72 hours of your return flight to England, followed by a PCR test on or before the second day of your return. You will not be required to self-isolate during this time.

The cost of a PCR test can be up to £125 each in Britain, while a lateral flow test taken abroad at Faro Airport, for example, is about €30 (£25).

When arriving in the foreign country, you may also need to need provide proof of a negative PCR taken within 72 hours of your outbound flight, or proof of vaccination, depending on the destination’s requirements.

AMBER LIST

You will be required either to quarantine at home for ten days on your return and take a PCR test on days two and eight, as well as a lateral flow test before the return flight.

Or you can pay for an additional third ‘Test to Release’ on day five to end self-isolation early. You will still need to take the compulsory second test on or after day eight.

British families of four in Portugal now face having to pay £1,500 to buy three sets of PCR tests at £125 each, if they go under the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.

Adding this to the cost of a lateral flow test, which can be bought at Faro Airport for €30 (£25), the total cost for a family of four would be about £1,600.

RED LIST

If you travel to a red list country, or are in an amber country that turns red before you return, you would need to quarantine at a government-approved hotel on your return at a cost of £1,750.

Before you travel to England, you must take a PCR or lateral flow test and get a negative result during the three days before you travel.

You should also book a quarantine hotel package – including two further tests for when you are in the hotel – and complete a passenger locator form.

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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The Lord of the Rings tale to continue with anime prequel The War of the Rohirrim about Helm’s Deep

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J.R.R. Tolkien fans will rejoice that New Line and Warner Bros. are teaming up to create an animé feature prequel to The Lord of the Rings titled The War of the Rohirrim.

The ‘bloodsoaked’ story – penned by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) – centers on Helm’s Deep founder, Helm Hammerhand, the ninth King of Rohan.

It’s set hundreds of years before the epic all-night battle at the fortress depicted in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).  

Surprise! J.R.R. Tolkien fans will rejoice that New Line and Warner Bros. are teaming up to create an animé feature prequel to The Lord of the Rings titled The War of the Rohirrim

And while LOTR director Peter Jackson gave his blessing, he and wife Fran Walsh are not involved with The War of the Rohirrim, but co-writer Philippa Boyens will serve as consultant.

Anime veteran Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) has signed on to direct the fast-tracked film, which plans for a theatrical release.

‘All of us at New Line feel a deep affinity for the extraordinary world J.R.R. Tolkien created, so the opportunity to dive back into Middle-earth with the team at Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true,’ Warner Bros. Pictures Group COO Carolyn Blackwood and New Line president Richard Brener said in a joint statement to THR on Thursday.

‘Fans know Helm’s Deep as the stage for one of the greatest battles ever put to film and, with many of the same creative visionaries involved and the brilliant Kenji Kamiyama at the helm, we couldn’t be more excited to deliver a fresh vision of its history that will invite global audiences to experience the rich, complex saga of Middle-earth in a thrilling new way.’ 

Voice casting underway! The ‘bloodsoaked’ story – penned by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) – centers on Helm’s Deep founder, Helm Hammerhand, the ninth King of Rohan

And so it begins…: It’s set hundreds of years before the epic all-night battle at the fortress depicted in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

One out of three! And while LOTR director Peter Jackson (M, pictured in 2004) gave his blessing, he and wife Fran Walsh (L) are not involved with The War of the Rohirrim, but co-writer Philippa Boyens (R) will serve as consultant

Pictured in 2020: Anime veteran Kenji Kamiyama (L, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) has signed on to direct the fast-tracked film, which plans for a theatrical release

The beloved original trilogy amassed 17 Oscars and $2.991B at the global box office, while the Hobbit trilogy earned $2.931B at the box office to far less critical acclaim.

The War of the Rohirrim is separate from Amazon Studios’ $450M-budget live-action series, which will be set in a different age of the world known as Middle-earth.

All of the projects stemmed from the classic fantasy novels The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), and The Return of the King (1955) written by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

Ready for more? The beloved original trilogy amassed 17 Oscars and $2.991B at the global box office, while the Hobbit trilogy earned $2.931B at the box office to far less critical acclaim

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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