Karren Brady backs Liz Truss for PM but says she came across ‘uptight’ and ‘unfeeling’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

“But I was impressed when she stood up to Rishi Sunak, who sneered at her plans to pay off the Covid debt over a longer period.  

“Instead of retreating, Liz stood firm and hit back, criticising the former chancellor’s national insurance hike. It was a reminder of why she’s my kind of woman.”

Although Karren says Liz has her vote, she felt that Rishi Sunak was the most convincing of the night.

The business executive also highlighted Liz’s outfit choice, which many thought was a recreation of one of Margaret Thatcher’s famous looks.

Brad Pitt causes stir in unusual peach linen suit leaving fans stunned ‘Looks great!’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Brad Pitt, 58, opted for a statement outfit on Saturday as he attended the Bullet Train photocall at Bateau L’Excellence in Paris. 

Brad donned a bright peach linen suit which he paired with a light burgundy top. 

The actor accessorised with some matching sunglasses and wore a chain around his neck. 

After seeing his unusual outfit choice, fans were stunned and many took to Twitter. Beverly exclaimed: “Brad looks sooo good! Love that colour on him.” 

Ovi gushed: “So Stylish.” 

And Miley echoed: “[For real] peach looks great on him.” 

Sensational Sam Womack’s new role fit for a Queen | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

VERSATILE: Samantha as The Queen in CS Lewis classic (Image: Brinkhoff – Moegenburg)

This varied professional journey, moreover, is matched by a personal life that is pretty unconventional, to say the very least. But whether at work or at play, Sam (as everyone calls her) is, in her own words “post-pandemic happy”.

She certainly looks it. Although she’ll be 50 in November you’d never guess. Devoid of make-up and with two schoolgirl plaits, she could easily pass for 10 years younger.We have met in rehearsal studios in the industrial wasteland of docklands London.

She’s about to open in theWest End in a production of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe which started life at the Curve in Leicester before Christmas.

She’s been with the show ever since. It runs at the Gillian Lynne theatre from July 28 until January.

Sam plays the Wicked Queen, a really meaty role, she says, that perfectly encapsulates author CS Lewis’s exploration of good and evil in the fantasy novel for children written in 1950 but still with much to say to a young audience today.

“The Queen is such a complex character. On the one hand, she’s serpent-like, an arch manipulator – but she’s also a maternal figure and senses young Edmund’s damage. She’s playful, sweet, seductive and then you get the pay-off when she becomes a terrifying tribal warrior face-to-face with Aslan, the lion and noble king of Narnia.”

What has been satisfying touring with this production, she says, is the multi-generational make-up of the audience: grandparents, parents, grandchildren.

She herself has two children by her second husband, actor Mark Womack, 61.

Ben is 20 and fresh out of Falmouth College where he has been studying film; Lili is 17 and at a performing arts school studying music production.

Sam was a student at Sylvia Young Theatre School. “I hadn’t got on all that well in the conventional education system. I’d moved around quite a bit and found it difficult to settle. I didn’t know what to do with all this pent-up energy.

“But, as soon as I was introduced to performing I felt I had an outlet for all that angst.”

As a jobbing actress she appeared, among other minor roles, in a 1990 made-for-TV film of Jekyll and Hyde with Michael Caine.

But for most people she first punctured the public consciousness when she represented the UK at

Eurovision in Rome in 1991 with A Message To Your Heart, finishing in a respectable 10th place.

“It was pretty scary if I stopped to think I was singing in front of a TV audience of 55 million. I didn’t want to sing for some time after that, which is why I concentrated on acting.”

In a West End production of Grease in 1993, she managed to combine the two.

“At the first audition I panicked and ran out of the theatre. But luckily they asked me back the following year and I was cast as Sandy opposite, first, Craig McLachlan and then Shane Richie.”

Work has flowed in a steady stream in the ensuing three decades. She was in Guys And Dolls with Patrick Swayze and then Don Johnson. She starred in Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal, directed by Sir Peter Hall. She co-starred with Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson in two Kingsman films. She sharpened her comedy chops in TV’s Game On and Babes In The Wood.

And she was Nellie Forbush in a hit stage production of South Pacific in 2011. “It felt such a lovely contrast after four dour years in EastEnders.”

Samantha Womack with Patrick Swayze

Sam with Patrick Swayze in 2006 (Image: Handout)

Ah, Walford. There were two slabs – 2007 to 2011 and 2013 to 2017. And her return to Albert Square made her very famous indeed, with millions tuning in to the baby swap storyline and, ultimately, the death of her character, Ronnie Mitchell, and her sister Roxy, played by Rita Simons. Rita once told me she hated the way the sisters perished in the double drowning and wouldn’t watch those episodes or the funeral or, indeed, EastEnders ever again.

“Oh, I watched it all,” says Sam. Nor does she regret Ronnie being written out for good. “In retrospect, it would have been very hard to have kept those characters fresh after all the tragedy that had befallen them.

“Having said that, I’d done the job for so long, it was almost as if I believed that family to be my parallel family. I attached myself to that role, emotionally speaking, to the point where I’d forget it was just a job.

“It played tricks with your brain. Roxy was my sister. She felt like another version of my family.

“Barbara Windsor was my Auntie Peg and so on. So, when all that came to an end, it took a little while to adjust personally. It was a jolt.”

Neither she nor Rita had any say in the way they were to be despatched: “I got a phone call from the producer, Sean O’Connor, summoning me to his office. Rita was on holiday.

“I was told the news and, although I remember feeling sad, it wasn’t a traumatic meeting.”

She was told, though, that she mustn’t contact Rita with the news: “Naturally, I took no notice of that! I told her that Ronnie was going to be killed off but that I didn’t know what they’d planned for Roxy. Which was the truth.

“To be honest, filming those last scenes was exciting, what with all the underwater work. But yes, it was sad watching the two bodies floating face down.

“Lili and I watched it together curled up with a club sandwich. A great way to see in the new year! I don’t watch EastEnders anymore, though, but then I didn’t much at the time.”

In 2019, there was more drama, this time on stage, when she starred ” In a West End production ofThe Girl On The Train, the gritty thriller based on Paula Hawkins’s best-selling book. It was a big hit although there’s another reason why it has a special place in her heart.

Among the cast was Oliver Farnworth, 39, known to TV audiences from roles in Hollyoaks, Mr Selfridge and as Andy Carver in Coronation Street.

The two fell in love and now live together both in her Bedfordshire farmhouse and a new property they’ve bought in Spain.

When she and Oliver got together she was still married to Mark, although the relationship had pretty much run its course: “We were together 20 years but you inevitably change a lot during that time.

“The challenge is to stay friends when it’s over. Otherwise, those years will have been in vain.

“Now, we have quite an untraditional Situation,” she adds, which is something of an understatement.

“I speak to Mark about six or seven times a day, if he’s in his house in Liverpool.

Samantha Womack in EastEnders

READY TO ROLE: Samantha in EastEnders with co-star Rita Simons in 2016 (Image: BBC)

“But we see each other at weekends when he comes to stay with me and Oliver and the kids.

“I talk to him more now than when we were married, probably because we irritate each other less!

“We never fell out, though, never argued. But we started wanting different things out of life without losing each other as friends.

“And because we share children – I’ve also been stepmum to Mark’s son, Michael, since he was four – it makes sense that we continue to share our lives.

“We enjoy spending time together. I like to think that all the people in my life are kind human beings.

“We all love each other. We pride ourselves on co-existing happily. Mark and Ollie have become very good friends and spend lots of time together. They’re off to Spain soon to sort out the garden there.”

Sam and Mark have worked together, most notably in the Merseyside police TV series Liverpool 1, at the end of the 90s. “He said he’d never work with me again because I was so bossy. Seriously, he’s a phenomenal actor. He’s just about to film the second series of Responder with Martin Freeman.”

She sounds happy. “I am. At work and at home. And, believe me, I know how lucky that makes me.”

For tickets: lionwitchonstage.com

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Diptyque Candles for $27 & More Home Deals

This limited-edition set of Boy Smells candles is valued at $91 but on sale for $65. The set includes the Hinoki Fantôme Votive Candle (resin, hinoki, cardamom, jasmine, moss), Ash Votive Candle (firewood, smoke, charcoal, palo santo, hay), the Cowboy Kush Votive Candle (suede, saffron, labdanum, cannabis, tonka, raspberry, patchouli), Cedar Stack Votive Candle (edar, labdanum, juniper berry, sawdust, white musk), and the Damasque Votive Candle (apricot, cardamom, cherry, green apple, rose, copaiba basil, tobacco leaf, jasmine). It’s a great set with a nice variety of scents.

Julia Fox films herself naked in bathtub as odd protrusion on rubber duck makes her giggle | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Julia, 32, showed off her glowing skin and shiny black nail polish as she posed for the camera.

The star had one of her shoulder tattoos on display above the bubbles, with half of the latin phrase SANCTI SPIRITUS in red ink and the other sitting on the opposite shoulder. 

However, the video quickly turned from steamy to comedic as she zoomed in on the rubber duck resting on her shoulder. 

On the yellow underside of the duck was a rather phallic shape, and the actress couldn’t help but chuckle as she came to that hilarious realisation. 

Ricky Bibey dead: Ex-rugby league star dies on holiday aged 40 as tributes pour in | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Ricky began his career playing for Wigan Warriors in 2001, going on to join Leigh Centurions, St Helens and Wakefield Trinity.

He won the Challenge Cup twice during his impressive rugby career.

Leigh East, which is also the club where the rugby star began his journey as a junior, also commented on his death in a moving tweet. 

A club spokesperson said: “All at the club are saddened to hear about the death of our former junior Ricky Bibey who passed away on holiday.

Emilia Clarke says surviving haemorrhage was ‘remarkable’ as large part of brain is ‘dead’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Emilia Clarke, 35, has opened up about suffering two brain haemorrhages in a new interview. The Game Of Thrones actress had a subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm in 2011 and then suffered a second aneurysm in 2013.

Appearing on BBC One’s Sunday Morning, Emilia said: “I had a couple of brain haemorrhages and you gain a lot of perspective and it puts your head in a different place when dealing with the kind of juggernaut of being on a successful show.”

Explaining her ordeal, Emilia recalled: “It was just the most excruciating pain, huge vomiting, trying to regain consciousness.

“I kept asking myself all these questions, I kept hilariously saying lines from the show in my head because I knew for some reason that If you are throwing up and you have a headache then that’s not good for your brain.”

Reflecting on the horrifying experience, Emilia says it was “helpful” to have Game Of Thrones to “sweep her up” and give her a “purpose”.

READ MORE:Kimberley Walsh on relationship with Strictly’s Pasha and wife Rachel

On the status of her health now, she continued: “The amount of my brain that is now useable, it is remarkable that I am able to speak sometimes articulately or live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions.

“I am in the really, really small minority of people that can survive that.”

Presenter Sophie Raworth then asked the actress whether she had seen a scan of her brain, she replied: “Yes, and there is quite a bit missing, which always makes me laugh.

“It’s because strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it is dead, it’s gone.

“So the blood finds a different route to get around but whatever bit is missing is therefore gone. It just shows how little of our brains we actually use!”

Following an incredible recovery, the Daenerys Targaryen star is now able to perform a two and a half hour play every night and “not forget a line”. 

After she had her first operation aged 22, Emilia was suffering from aphasia as a result of the trauma caused to her brain. 

Writing for The New Yorker in 2019, Emilia admitted that in the worst moments, she wanted to “pull the plug”. 

She penned: “My job – my entire dream of what my life would be – centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

Luckily, the condition passed over the next week and left the hospital one month after being admitted.

Just a few weeks later, Emilia was back on set filming season two of Game Of Thrones.

 Emilia is currently playing Nina in The Seagull at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End. 

The play, by Anya Reiss, is a 21st century modernisation of Anton Chekhov’s 1896 comedy. 

Her run began in June and Emilia is set to play the role until September 10. 

Arlene Phillips: Make me Minister to save the theatre industry | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Dame Arlene, 79, proposes free admission for some shows to encourage a new generation of theatre-goers. The choreographer and director has been a vehement supporter of the arts after Covid closures devastated the industry.

She said: “The economy is in a very different position from 2019. I wish we had a Minister of Theatre and together the producers and the Government could work out a way to support people to see it.

“If you look at how many art galleries you can go to around the country, mostly free of charge, wow!

“Could you imagine if theatre could be supported in a way that we could have audiences who are allowed to come in free. It would be an absolute dream.”

She also suggests cut-price standing room tickets which were once commonly available at theatres: “I remember, way back when I was a teenager and I really couldn’t scrape the ‘Being part of an audience…’ money together to go to see theatre, every theatre had standing room so you, as a student or somebody who could ill afford to go, could go and stand. Some of my greatest times were standing at the back, watching shows, watching dance, being in a theatre, being part of an audience. When you could stand at the back of the stalls it felt amazing, like you had one of the best views in the theatre and could dance along.”

She said she would happily tackle issues facing the industry, saying: “I would love to be a Minister of Theatre.”

Brooklyn Beckham brutally axed by Superdry just eight months after signing £1m contract | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Nicola is also an actress, and has starred in roles both on the big and small screen.

She made her acting debut in 2006 Christmas film Deck the Halls, but is most well known for her roles in TV series Bates Motel (2013 to 2015) and the 2014 film Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Like Brooklyn, Nicola comes from a big family, with one sister, three brothers and three half-brothers.

Her father is Nelson Peltz, a billionaire businessman and the non-executive chairman of Wendy’s Company, Sysco, and The Madison Square Garden Company.

Emmerdale’s Gemma Oaten forced to have ‘all her top teeth removed’ after battling bulimia | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

“Take great care all and see you on the other side.”

Gemma’s condition – milk-alkali syndrome – can be caused by the excessive intake of calcium or the supplement calcium carbonate, which causes heightened levels in the patient’s blood, making its balance become more alkaline. 

The actress, who is famed for playing Rachel Breckle on Emmerdale, admitted on Lorraine that she used to take Rennie tablets for her acid reflux every day when she was recovering from her disorder, which led to the condition. 

Lorraine returns tomorrow at 9am on ITV.