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Cardigan bookshop given away after raffle

Cardigan bookshop given away after raffle

Two men who only recently met will soon take charge of a bookshop they won in a raffle draw.

Dutchman Ceisjan Van Heerden, known as CJ, will run the shop with his Icelandic friend Svaen Bjorn, 23.

Paul Morris and his wife Leila decided to give customers the chance to win the bookshop rather than sell it off.

Dutchman's 'pure shock' after winning Cardigan bookshop

Dutchman's 'pure shock' after winning Cardigan bookshop

Four people’s lives are about to change completely thanks to a bookshop raffle draw in a small west Wales town.

But not because of a large cash prize – Paul Morris and his wife Leila, owners of Bookends in Cardigan, are giving their beloved bookshop away.

The couple will now fulfil a lifetime ambition by travelling the world.

The winner of that draw, Dutchman Ceisjan Van Heerden, known as CJ, will run the shop with his Icelandic friend Svaen Bjorn, 23, who he had never met.

“We decided we want to make the most of our life together while we are young enough to enjoy it,” said Mr Morris, explaining why he and Leila decided to give the shop away.

“I lost my sister-in-law in New Zealand in January and that had a big effect on us – she was only 48.”

He added that the idea to give the shop away came from the couple’s belief in “equal opportunity” and to provide a source of income for someone else.

When he told CJ, who is from Vrij Bij Duurstede and a “regular customer” at the bookshop, Paul said “there was a lot of silence” and he could tell he was “stunned”.

“It was pure shock initially,” said CJ. “Then I thought ‘this is an amazing opportunity, let’s do it’.”

But CJ did not want to run the shop alone and called around some of his friends, one of whom had already shown an interest.

CJ had known Svaen Bjorn, a 23-year-old from Reykjavik in Iceland, for eight years through online gaming but the pair had never met in person.

“He got back to me and said ‘yeah, let’s do it’,” CJ recalled ahead of the official handover on 5 November.

Mr Bjorn added: “It was a mix of emotions – you know, am I dreaming? Is this reality?

Coronation Street wins big at Inside Soap Awards

Coronation Street wins big at Inside Soap Awards

Coronation Street was the big winner at the Inside Soap Awards, taking eight gongs back to Weatherfield.

The ITV show won the award for best soap, along with best actor for Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt.

Its been a big year on the street, with major storylines including Platt’s rape and Aidan Connor’s suicide.

Rival show Emmerdale also took home four awards including best actress and best newcomer.

Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle took home the best actress award, whilst best newcomer was won by Ash Palmisciano for playing Matty Barton.

Danny Miller also won in the soap superstar category for his role as Aaron Dingle.

EastEnders won the award for best show-stopper for Shakil and Keegan’s stabbing attack.

It also won the best partnership award for Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright, who play Mick and Linda Carter.

The BBC’s other soaps, Holby City and Doctors, took home awards for best drama storyline for Holby’s hospital shooting and best daytime soap for Doctors.

Hollyoaks’ Jennifer Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes McQueen also took home a win for soap superstar and Casualty’s Chelsea Halfpenny, who plays Alicia Munroe, won best drama star.

Full list of winners

Best actor – Jack P Shepherd (David Platt, Coronation Street)

Best actress – Emma Atkins (Charity Dingle, Emmerdale)

Best bad boy – Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan, Coronation Street)

Best bad girl – Mollie Winnard (Kayla Clifton, Coronation Street)

Funniest male – Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald, Coronation Street)

Funniest female – Dolly-Rose Campbell (Gemma Winter, Coronation Street)

Best newcomer – Ash Palmisciano (Matty Barton, Emmerdale)

Best young actor – Isobel Steele (Liv Flaherty, Emmerdale)

Best partnership – Danny Dyer & Kellie Bright (Mick and Linda Carter, EastEnders)

Best show-stopper – Keegan and Shakil’s attack (EastEnders)

Best shock twist – Anna returns – and kills Phelan (Coronation Street)

Best exit – Shayne Ward (Aidan Connor, Coronation Street)

Best drama star – Chelsea Halfpenny (Alicia Munroe, Casualty)

Best drama storyline – The hospital shooting (Holby City)

Best daytime soap – Doctors

Best daytime star – Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart, Home and Away)

Soap superstar – Female – Jennifer Metcalfe (Hollyoaks)

Soap superstar – Male – Danny Miller (Emmerdale)

Best soap – Coronation Street

From Blockbusters to Blind Date: 8 cult TV show comebacks

From Blockbusters to Blind Date: 8 cult TV show comebacks

TV bosses are always looking for the next big blockbuster.

“Wait! I’ve got it. What about Blockbusters?” many producers have (repeatedly) suggested in meetings over the years as the classic gameshow has been rebooted.

Simon Mayo and Liza Tarbuck have both fronted recent iterations of the show, which was originally hosted by Bob Holness.

And now, according to The Sun, the programme will be returning to our screens once more thanks to production company Thames TV.

The new host hasn’t yet been revealed but the format will reportedly remain the same, with players trying to make their way across a board of hexagons by answering questions.

It’s the latest in a long line of rebooted TV formats.

“The 1980s and 90s was a golden era for these sort of shows,” says Molli Mitchell, TV critic for The Daily Express.

“But ultimately, I don’t think there is a huge need for them to come back.

“The initial announcement of an old favourite show such as Blind Date returning generates a lot of hype, and a lot of people watch the first few episodes, but the buzz often fades pretty quickly unless producers get it absolutely right.”

She adds: “Some will jump at the chance to watch but I think most people would rather watch a gripping drama or stream anything and everything from Netflix than be in a rush to watch a reboot of an old TV gaming show.”

Here’s a look at eight other recently-revamped formats – and their varying degrees of success.

1. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Millionaire has experienced something of a renaissance this year – with a new West End show about the coughing scandal and an anniversary revival of the series on ITV.

There were quite a few changes made to the new TV format, however, not least the change in host from Chris Tarrant to Jeremy Clarkson.

The updated “phone a friend” lifeline saw a producer sent to the friend’s house to make sure they aren’t Googling the answer during the call.

And there was a brand new lifeline in the shape of “ask the host” – which allowed a contestant to call on Clarkson for help with the answer.

But, as many contestants found out, The Grand Tour presenter’s general knowledge often turned out to be rather limited.

Nonetheless, the show itself was deemed a success and ITV have commissioned more episodes for 2019.

2. Supermarket Sweep

Rylan Clark-Neal has covered a lot of ground in his TV career.

He’s gone from novelty X Factor contestant in 2012 to Celebrity Big Brother winner the following year, and now presents shows such as Big Brother and This Morning.

Now, he looks set to step into the shoes of the late Dale Winton to present an updated take on Supermarket Sweep.

Winton’s death earlier this year came a few months after Fremantle TV bought the rights to the show and announced plans to reboot it.

While Rylan’s appointment as presenter hasn’t been officially confirmed, he dropped a big hint on Twitter earlier this month.

He posted a photo of him in a dressing room with a Supermarket Sweep script lying conspicuously on the table in front of him. He later deleted the picture, however.

So because nothing has officially been confirmed yet and we don’t have any promo images, please enjoy this picture of him on a Children In Need special of The Weakest Link last year.

3. The Generation Game

Dear, oh dear.

The problems with this year’s reboot of The Generation Game started even before it had aired.

Mel and Sue climbed on board for the remake – a presenting duo normally thought to be a safe pair of hands after their huge success on Bake Off.

But the BBC cut the number of episodes from four to two amid rumours many of the shows were not good enough.

Critics described the ones that did air as “desperate” and “a shameless carbon copy” of the versions broadcast in the 1970s and 80s, fronted by, amongst others, Sir Bruce Forsyth.

But it was a ratings hit – attracting an average of 5.1 million viewers, according to overnight figures.

4. The Crystal Maze

It may be hard to remember a time when one of the most popular shows on TV involved a bald man from New Zealand challenging adults to solve mind puzzles in the Aztec zone.

But it really happened – and The Crystal Maze was so popular it has since been brought back in two forms.

Last year, it launched as a real-life “immersive” live experience in London and Manchester, with members of the public able to play the game for real.

It’s also been resurrected for our TV screens by Channel 4.

Richard O’Brien, now 75 years old, sadly did not return for the reboot, so producers went with the second most famous Richard they could find.

The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade was joined by a plethora of celebrity contestants including Louis Spence and Ore Oduba as he blew the dust out of the Medieval zone last summer.

Channel 4 have now ordered more episodes for 2019.

5. The Price is Right

All eyes were on The Price is Right reboot when it graced our TV screens last Christmas.

Would its popularity be higher or lower (sorry) than the original series, viewers wondered.

The show ran in the 1980s and 1990s on ITV with Leslie Crowther at the helm before Sir Bruce Forsyth took over.

The reboot of the legendary show saw Alan Carr take the reins as contestants attempt to win cash and prizes by guessing how much objects cost.

Surely this must have been proper bucket list territory for Alan Carr?

“This is proper bucket list territory for me,” said Alan Carr.

“I loved it when I was growing up and now for me to be at the helm of such a legendary show is a dream come true.”

Some critics questioned whether the show needed to be brought back – but praised Carr’s fronting of it.

“It’s an absurdly simple and lazy idea for a ‘new’ show, and I blame Alan Carr entirely for the fact that I will almost certainly watch it again,” said The Guardian.

6. Blind Date

Before people chose their potential life partners by swiping right on a dating app, there was an age where romance was something that happened in person.

No honestly, look it up.

Blind Date, which ran from 1985 to 2003, saw a male or female contestant pose questions to three potential partners, whom they couldn’t physically see.

If the chooser liked any of the definitely-not-scripted answers given by the three datees, they could select them as their Blind Date, and would be promptly whisked off to a glamorous holiday destination.

Last year, the show returned for a second date courtesy of Channel 5, this time with Paul O’Grady taking over presenting duties from his friend Cilla Black, who died in 2015.

And Blind Date isn’t the only show that Cilla fronted which was brought back.

7. Surprise, Surprise

Life may be full, full of surprises. But it’s evidently not full of TV formats which can be easily resurrected.

ITV clearly spotted the reboot potential in Surprise, Surprise – a warm-hearted show which, er, surprised members of the public – often reuniting them with a long-lost relative.

The highlight, of course, was Cilla getting to sing the theme song at the end of every episode.

It returned in 2012 with Holly Willoughby fronting the show. Sadly, she didn’t get to sing, but she did enlist a star-studded cast including Lionel Richie and Pharrell Williams to help surprise a whole new generation of viewers.

8. Streetmate

Streetmate falls into an unusual category, as last year it was rebooted for the second time. A re-reboot, if you will.

It originally ran on Channel 4 from 1998 to 2001 – a set of circumstances which means it was naturally fronted by Davina McCall.

ITV2 then brought it back in 2007 for a short series fronted by the afore-mentioned Holly Willoughby, but it wasn’t renewed beyond its initial four episodes.

Last summer though, it was Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt who fronted it when it relaunched, again on Channel 4.

The show saw Scarlett pick a member of the public who is single, and then help them approach potential eligible partners in the street to ask them out on a date.

The reboot wasn’t a hit with everyone however, with The Daily Telegraph awarding it two stars in its review.

“In the age of Tinder this is clearly an absurd means of sorting the losers from the Lotharios,” wrote Ed Power.


Geoffrey Rush emotional at 'groping' story case

Geoffrey Rush emotional at 'groping' story case

Actor Geoffrey Rush has given emotional testimony in court as he sues an Australian newspaper over stories that he says depicted him as a pervert.

The Oscar winner is suing the Daily Telegraph’s publishers Nationwide News, which ran stories saying he had been accused of “inappropriate behaviour”.

During a defamation hearing in Sydney, he denied inappropriately touching an actress with whom he appeared on stage.

The company is standing by the stories, which were published in late 2017.

The paper’s original story carried the headline “King Leer” and reported that Rush had been the subject of a complaint about his behaviour during a production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016.

The court has heard that the allegations relate to his behaviour towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill, who played Cordelia.

Text message ‘joke’

Rush told Sydney’s Federal Court that a text message he sent Ms Norvill, in which he said he was thinking about her “more than is socially appropriate”, was “a throwaway line” and a joke “in the style of Groucho Marx”.

He denied suggestions by Nationwide News barrister Tom Blackburn SC that he was trying to tell her he was attracted to her.

The 67-year-old also denied a defence allegation that he intentionally “traced” his hand across the side of her breast in a preview performance during the scene in which he carried Cordelia’s dead body.

And he rejected claims that he touched her lower back under her shirt, made groping gestures with his hands to simulate touching her breasts, and made lewd comments.

He dabbed away tears as he told the court he prepared for the scene in which he carried Norvill across the stage by imagining his own daughter had died.

“I was imagining that it was my own real-life daughter and that she’d been hit by a bus on the street near where we live… and I knew she was gone,” the actor said.

“Every night I would reinvent that scene in my mind.”

Rush said he did not recall being told by director Neil Armfield that the scene should be performed in a more “paternal” way and it was becoming “creepy and unclear”.

He said he and Norvill had enjoyed a “very sparky, congenial rapport”.

Rush is suing Nationwide News – owned by News Corp Australia – and journalist Jonathon Moran. He is seeking aggravated damages, arguing the articles significantly damaged his reputation.

The trial is expected to last for three weeks.

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