The series also tells the story of Max Chapman, played by Chanté Adams, a woman who struggles breaking into the league because of her race.
“That door does not open for her, that door is closed,” Jacobson explained. “I think that Max’s story, in particular, is about her journey. Everyone’s journey is sort of to find their team, whether it’s baseball, whether it’s a queer community. Whatever your passion is, going out in the world and finding your team, I think, feels pretty essential.”
Melanie Field, who plays Jo Deluca, said the series is a hopeful reminder of all that can be possible, even when conditions would say otherwise.
“I just hope that people watch the show and are reminded that your dreams really do matter,” she told E!, “even if you’re in a world or a circumstance or a home or an environment where it doesn’t feel like anyone really supports it or is interested. Stay committed to your dreams.”
CARRY ON LAUGHING: Jimmy Tarbuck is still enjoying entertaining audiences after almost 60 years (Image: Getty)
It is now almost 60 years since Jimmy Tarbuck made his big debut at the London Palladium, and few of his celebrity friends from that era are still with us. As he prepares for a new comedy performance at the age of 82, he must feel like the last Sixties stand-up standing. But when he takes to the stage again with a one-man show, it’s clear that many of those big names will be there with him in spirit, their advice committed to memory and written on his heart.
Tarby reveals that the great Eric Morecambe once told him: “You’ve got something young man, so don’t look for it, right?”
“And I never have,” he adds. “I’m not one of these analysts of humour.”
Comedy legend Bob Hope advised him to bring his sartorial A-game.
“He always said to me, ‘Just give them two minutes to look at the suit’.
“Isn’t that a great line? People have paid a lot of money to come to the theatre and they don’t want to see comedians walk on in jeans, like a bag of rags. You owe it to your audience to look smart.”
But it will be his memories of his good friend Sir Bruce Forsyth, who passed away on August 18, 2017, at the age of 89 after contracting bronchial pneumonia, that remain closest to the surface.
“I can’t believe it’s been five years this August since Brucie died,” he sighs. “I always thought he was immortal but you do think that about your friends – and then they leave you.
“Ronnie Corbett, Kenny Lynch, Ken Dodd and Cilla. I miss having a laugh with them. I will raise a toast to Brucie by having a bourbon.
“He was a friend to me from the age of 20. He brought me on TV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium in October 1963 when in those days it was getting 20 to 23 million viewers.
“I had one of the greatest nights of my showbusiness life. I took over from him and replaced him as the last original host of the show until 1967.”
The former Strictly Come Dancing host also stood by Jimmy when he was arrested on sex abuse allegations in April 2013, before being released without charge and then totally exonerated.
The fallout from similar discredited claims against some of the star’s contemporaries continues to this day, as it was revealed yesterday that Sir Cliff Richard, and DJs Neil Fox and Paul Gambaccini are to talk in a Channel 4 documentary about the ordeal of being falsely accused.
It was a grim experience, but nearly 10 years on, Jimmy says he has put it well and truly behind him.
He shrugs: “It was just not nice people trying to make money. Why would they do that? Envy. Do I know who it was? I didn’t want to.
“There was one allegation that centred around BBC Wood Lane Television Centre in London.
“I had apparently invited this young lady into a dressing room with four of my road managers in 1964, and they said I was on Top of the Pops.
“I mean what was I doing on Top of the
Pops?” he asks incredulously. “And I said, ‘So you’ve looked into this?’ and they (the police) said, ‘We have, yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, Top of the Pops in ’64 was filmed in Manchester, 250 miles away’.
“But listen, I have moved on since then ao and I’ve had more important things to focus on, like getting better.”
BIG BREAK: Jimmy took over as presenter of Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1965 (Image: TV Times/Getty)
Jimmy was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2020 and then had a skin cancer scare at the beginning of this year. He is currently well, but remains vigilant.
Despite these challenges, the octogenarian funnyman sounds hardly any different from the cheeky Scouser who captured the nation’s hearts all those years ago.
“How do I sound so sprightly? I’ve just come straight from a club,” he quips.
But while his partying days might be mostly behind him now, Tarby does think that laughter keeps him young.
“It’s been 60 years of fun for me,” he says.
Of course, comedy has changed a great deal in that time, and while Jimmy has nothing but admiration for many younger stand-ups, there are certain trends he doesn’t buy into.
“Laughter is a powerful thing and if you get an audience laughing, you think ‘You can’t beat this’. It is very gratifying,” he explains.
“But I always say, ‘Don’t shock me, make me laugh,’ because there are a lot of comedians who are effing and blinding.
“I guess that is their style and I am not saying they are bad comedians when they choose a certain road to go down, that’s up to them. But if your F is getting a bigger laugh than your punch line, maybe there’s something wrong in the writing too. I don’t think I ever heard Ken Dodd swear on stage. Not once.”
Nevertheless, he cites Billy Connolly, no longer performing live after the progression of his Parkinson’s disease, as one of the best comedians ever, despite his colourful language.
“He once performed the greatest piece of original material I’ve ever seen,” Jimmy says. “It was the one about the guy going into the discotheque with the incontinence pants underneath his own.
“I had my son with me that night and the two of us, despite our age gap – he was about 17 at the time – we were crying with laughter. I absolutely loved it. Dear God, it was funny.
“Now Billy Connolly might swear more than any other comic. But I don’t find him offensive, I find him hilariously funny. I’ve seen him 10 times and I’ve never seen him have a bad night. It’s so tragic about Billy (having Parkinson’s) but unfortunately, what you find, and I include myself, is that you suddenly realise you are getting older because you ache, and you need your energy as a comic. But I’m enjoying my work more than ever and the audiences seem to enjoy me too.”
At the upcoming show he is working on – Jimmy Tarbuck: A Life in Showbusiness – he plans to regale fans with tales of his remarkable life, from going to school with John Lennon to playing golf with Bing Crosby.
Next month, he will return to London’s Royal Marsden Hospital for a six-monthly check-up to ensure that his prostate cancer is under control, but he is not one to make a fuss.
LOYAL FRIEND: Tarby laughing with Bruce Forsyth in 1970 (Image: Getty)
“I’m fine, I’m getting there,” he insists. “I thank the medical staff there for all of the care that they’ve given me because I wouldn’t be here without them.
“The Marsden were marvellous. I was told, ‘You’ve got cancer. You’re not going to die from it, but you’re going to die with it’, and I thought, ‘I can accept that’.
“So, I take my tablets and I do my duties and I go for my tests every six months.
“I am going back in September and I am just getting on with it.
“It’s like performing, while audiences come to watch, I will do it and while I have got the energy, I will do it.
“I can still get up there and cut it and when I can’t, I won’t do it any more.”
Lord Sugar, 75, has re-started a feud with former United States president Donald Trump, 76. The business magnate posted a furious tweet about the American politician in full view of his 5.2 million followers, while calling out his frenemy Piers Morgan, 57, for staying quiet on the matter.
The Apprentice UK host’s initial tweet criticised the US show’s former presenter Trump for his apparent hypocrisy when “pleading the fifth”, or refusing to answer questions.
It comes after Trump was set to be deposed by lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office as part of a civil investigation into whether the former Republican leader’s organisation had misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities with its financial statements.
He wrote: “Trump refuses to answers questions and pleads the 5th.
“He has a short memory he said in the past people who plead the 5th have something to hide.
“This guy is double Teflon.”
READ MORE: Daring Demi Rose spills out of dress in busty throwback snaps
Speaking to Express.co.uk that month, political commentator Simon Dolan said: “Piers Morgan’s interview with Donald Trump was, unfortunately for the veteran presenter, flat and failed to elicit anything new for the viewers of the blockbuster interview.”
He added: “It felt more like a publicity stunt for Piers Morgan than a serious interview.”
Piers’ interview with Trump started badly when he was handed a dossier of critical comments that the former GMB presenter had compiled about him.
The file was reportedly created by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
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“It is currently in the process of gathering additional evidence; to include final toxicology results, and medical records from both parties involved.
“It is the intent of the investigating Detectives to present this case to the appropriate prosecuting office: the Los Angeles County District Attorney or the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office once all pertinent evidence has been gathered.”
The spokesman added that the preliminary blood tests showed clear “signs of narcotics.”
Her family said in a statement: “Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive.”
They continued to say there are plans in place to possibly donate the star’s organs, adding: “It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable.”
Ezra Miller appears to be relaxed and unbothered these days despite their laundry list of legal woes.
The actor, who goes by they/them, was photographed hanging out with their mother, Marta Miller, on the porch of their Vermont home on Monday — one day after their third arrest of the year.
The “Flash” star, 29, is now sporting a full mustache, which curved upward along the toothless grin they flashed the paps. They did not even stand up from their chair or put down their phone for the impromptu encounter.
Marta, however, was apparently not as OK with the situation, as photographers captured her shooting up from her seat and grimacing while seemingly shouting in their direction. One picture posted by the Daily Mail even showed her mid-sentence with a disapproving pointer finger in the air.
On Sunday, Ezra was charged with felony burglary into an unoccupied dwelling for allegedly breaking into a house in Stamford, Vt., and stealing several bottles of alcohol back in May.
The “Perks of Being a Wallflower” star was also arrested twice in Hawaii — once in March for disorderly conduct, to which they pleaded no contest, and again the following month for allegedly throwing a chair at a woman.
Vermont State Police cited Ezra with the burglary charge during one of their visits to the actor’s Stamford estate to attempt to locate the young family he’s allegedly been housing since mid-April.
According to Rolling Stone, officers were looking for the 25-year-old mother and her three children — aged 5, 4 and 1 — to serve her an emergency care order requested by the State Attorney’s office, which demanded the kids’ removal from both the property and her care.
The order was reportedly drafted for fear of the children’s safety, as Ezra’s farm is allegedly littered with firearms, ammunition and marijuana.
Having a “bad feeling in [his] stomach,” the kids’ father contacted the Vermont Department for Children and Families and local police in mid-May.
In June, the mom insisted to Rolling Stone that Ezra provided “a safe environment for [her] three very young children.”
However, the “Fantastic Beasts” star allegedly told cops over the weekend that the family hadn’t lived there in months, which the State Attorney’s office said seemed like an attempt to “evade service” of the order.
VSP officers believe the actor may be concealing the family’s whereabouts.
Rolling Stone also noted that the mother was posting daily on social media from the property until mid-July when her account went dark and appeared to be deleted.
Her Madgesty took to the roller rink in Central Park on Wednesday night — where she was surrounded by an entourage to make sure she didn’t eat it.
Thus cushioned from anything so common as gravity, she hosted a party with Nile Rodgers at his The DiscOasis immersive roller rink.
Apparently, it was the disco legend who enlisted Madonna’s team of escorts to prevent her from “busting her ass.”
Rodgers, who produced Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” said he was getting pressure from pals to skate at the party and he responded, “I’m only going to skate if M skates.”
But that took some convincing. He told his crew that Madonna, 63, had some reservations, asking, “What if I bust my ass? I don’t want want to bust my ass in front of people.”
And like a gentleman, Rodgers replied, “If she does, we’ll all bust our asses, so we’re all going to fall down.”
And off to the rink they went. Madonna — with the help of Rodgers and some pals — even made it around the rink twice!
We overheard one snarky fan joke, “what about those moves from her ‘Sorry’ video?” The 2005 song features Madonna in a leotard effortlessly dancing around a roller rink in skates, but clearly, the video was only smoke and mirrors.
Off the rink, she and Rodgers danced in a VIP section where Questlove spun tunes including Beyoncé and Madonna’s “Break My Soul: Queens Remix.” Madge’s kids were also on the scene and she danced with son David Banda, who was a hit with the crowd.
Meanwhile, Sherri Shepherd was there skating like a pro, celebrating her move back to New York for her new fall talk show. “Nothing like skating and feeling the wind in your wig,” she quipped on an Instagram video.
Shepherd didn’t make it into VIP to actually talk to Madonna, “but I did plant a seed for her to come on my show.”
Madonna and Rodgers threw the bash to celebrate her upcoming album, “Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones” remix collection.
“I want to thank you all for coming out to support, not only DiscOasis, but my new record, which is really my old record, but it’s so old, it’s new,” she said.
Party mayor Eric Adams was surprisingly not there, but his Senior Executive Director of nightlight Ariel Palitz was there shimmying in glitter. Christian Siriano, Kendall Werts, Jeremy O. Harris, Gitano’s James Gardner and Leigh Lezark were also there.