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Clive Tyldesley 'upset' at losing top ITV football commentator role

Clive Tyldesley has said he is “upset, annoyed” and “baffled” to lose his post as ITV’s lead football commentator, saying: “I do not know why this decision has been taken.”

Tyldesley, who has voiced ITV’s biggest matches for 22 years, is to be replaced from the start of next season by TalkSport’s Sam Matterface.

ITV thanked Tyldesley for his “superb work”, saying he will still commentate “particularly at major tournaments”.

Tyldesley said he had not stepped down.

“I was told about three weeks ago so I have had some time to get my head around the decision, but I haven’t got my head around it. To be clear, it is ITV’s decision not mine,” he said.

“I’m upset, annoyed, baffled… I would have been entrusted with commentating the Euro 2020 final… but now I won’t be commentating on any of the big England games in the coming year and I’m going to miss them, I love this job, and it’s gone,” he said.

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“Why? I don’t know, I do not know exactly why this decision has been taken… I’ve got no health issues… I’ve done nothing wrong… Like everyone else in football I’m a matter of opinion, I totally get that.

“I totally respect ITV’s right to change their opinion of me, ITV have been really good for me and yes I’ll carry on as their number two commentator but let me make it quite clear, I have not stepped down, I have been moved aside. I’ve not even thought about winding down about retirement.

“There are thousands of people in this country facing up to job losses and disappointments far more serious than this, I am a lucky boy,” Tyldesley added. “I love my work and I’ve got plenty on. So I’m not making a statement or anything like that, this is not a grave matter of state.

“I’m just telling you that I’m really, really disappointed about this, I don’t know why I’m being replaced. I’m well, I’m able, I’m available and I’m just going to miss the England games so much, even more than I’ll miss the Champions League games, and that’s all.”

‘Glad he’s still with us’

ITV added that he had “guided millions of viewers through Champions League Finals, European Championships and World Cups as one of the most familiar voices in the sport”.

They said Matterface will remain Talksport’s chief football commentator alongside his ITV role.

He also commentates on ITV show Dancing on Ice.

Niall Sloane, director of ITV Sport, said: “On behalf of ITV Sport, I would like to thank Clive for his superb work leading our commentary on some of the biggest occasions in world football throughout his outstanding career with us. We are very glad he will continue with us and look forward to working with him on many more occasions in the future.”

ITV added that Matterface, who is retaining his role as TalkSport’s chief football commentator, regularly commentates for ITV and has worked on coverage of several major tournaments, including the 2018 Russia World Cup.

BBC Match of the Day host Gary Linker paid tribute to Tyldesley.

The Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter said he was “surprised” at ITV’s decision.

Countdown’s Rachel Riley added she was “sorry to hear this”.

ITV Sport’s coverage includes the England football team’s qualifiers for both the European Championship and World Cup, and the FA Cup from 2021.

Pop Smoke: Four charged with rapper's murder

Four people have been charged with murdering the rapper Pop Smoke at a Los Angeles mansion.

Prosecutors say the 20-year-old was shot during a robbery at the Hollywood Hills home where he was staying in February.

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, are charged with robbery and murder.

Two males, aged 15 and 17, who can’t be named because of their age, face the same charges.

The two adults could face life in jail without the chance of being released if they are convicted.

Prosecutors said a decision about whether to seek the death penalty on conviction “would be made at a later date”.

Last week, Los Angeles Police Department arrested three adults and two teenagers in connection with the shooting, which happened in the middle of the night.

The third adult has not been charged.

Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson, got his first US top 10 album in the week of his death.

He was a guest on DJ Target’s show on BBC Radio 1Xtra just days earlier.

The rapper had had a breakout hit with Welcome to the Party in 2019, which led to him being singled out as an artist to watch by 1Xtra on the station’s Hot For 2020 list.

The station said he “possessed the air and cadence of a rapper who has been in the game for a decade or two longer than his actual age”.

The track ended up being remixed by both Nicki Minaj and Skepta.

He had been co-signed by 50 Cent, who executive-produced his posthumous album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – which features a sample of the classic 50 Cent song Many Men, from 50’s debut album.

In the days before he died, Pop Smoke cancelled a concert, attributing it to New York Police concerns.

There have been multiple reports of homes rented by musicians targeted by burglaries in recent years in Los Angeles.

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ITV boss: 'We're fighting for every eyeball'

The chief executive of ITV has told MPs the broadcaster is “fighting for every eyeball we get” as viewing habits change.

Dame Carolyn McCall said public service broadcasters were facing “many challenges” as viewers migrated to services like Netflix and YouTube.

But she said the Covid-19 pandemic had “reinforced the value” of channels like ITV, the BBC and Channel 4.

ITV’s news and daytime shows have seen bigger audiences during lockdown.

“We’re an incredibly vital connector. We give them unifying moments, whether it’s through sport or drama or soaps,” said Dame Carolyn.

“We reflect society but we also shape society for good – and I think people have really realised the value of that is significant.”

The chief executive went on to call for a revamp of the 2003 broadcasting act, to ensure public service channels could operate on a “level playing field” – pointing out that British broadcasters were often being pushed out of the programme guides on smart TVs.

Dame Carolyn, who took over as the chief executive of ITV in 2018, was addressing a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting.

She said that advertising “halved overnight” once the pandemic hit, and that all of the broadcaster’s productions worldwide ground to a halt.

In April, senior executives including Dame Carolyn, accepted a 20% pay cut, while roughly 1,000 staff were furloughed and programmes like Love Island and Britain’s Got Talent were postponed or cancelled.

The chief executive said 38 productions were now back on track, with furloughed staff returning to work.

“We are not producing drama… because the distancing rules are very difficult,” she told MPs. “They are people who will come off furlough last.”

She added that, while the summer schedule would contain a large volume of repeats due in part to cancellation of the Euros football tournament and Love Island, ITV hoped to have more programmes back on the air for the autumn.

These included the postponed finals for The Voice UK and Britain’s Got Talent, as well as a new series of the breakout hit The Masked Singer.

David Tennant’s much-anticipated true crime series Des will also air in the autumn, after being delayed from the spring, she confirmed.

However, Dame Carolyn admitted that advertising was still “nowhere near what is was,” adding: “It will only return with consumer confidence and business confidence.”

‘Lack of contrition’ over Jeremy Kyle

MPs also took the opportunity to question Dame Carolyn over the Jeremy Kyle Show, which is the subject of a separate House Of Commons investigation into reality TV and aftercare for members of the public who appear on such shows.

Asked if she was proud of the show’s 15-year tenure on the schedules, Dame Carolyn said: “It was a highly regulated show, it was a conflict resolution show, it was not to everyone’s tastes.

“It may surprise you to know that I actually got hundreds of emails complaining about stopping the show when we stopped it because they thought it was their own outlet of being able to listen and understand problems that were in their own lives.”

Committee chairman Julian Knight argued back, saying the treatment of the show’s guests was “outrageous”

“They were baited over a long period of time. My jaw is dropping at the lack of contrition here from ITV and from yourself as a chief executive,” he said.

Dame Carolyn said that the show had adhered to the broadcasting code, and that more than a million people watched it every day on ITV.

Mr Knight replied: “The Roman Coliseum held 55,000, it doesn’t mean because it was popular it was right.”

After a tense exchange, Dame Carolyn eventually said: “You look at it [the show] and you wonder how it could have been on for so long, I agree with you.”

‘I wouldn’t say no’

She added: “We have said that we will not be doing a show like the Jeremy Kyle Show again. I have been very clear about that.”

Dame Carolyn went on to explain how the broadcaster’s approach to aftercare for reality show contestants had changed since she joined the company in 2018.

“There is aftercare, not just available optionally – but we ask all participants in a show to have a session with a counsellor for quite some weeks after a show, so much longer than before,” she said.

“In the past it was optional. People could say, ‘no, I don’t need it’. We now say, ‘You’re coming out of a reality TV show where you have been locked down, it’s important that you readjust to normal life.'”

She added: “In the last three or four years, the explosion in social media has made things very, very different for any participant on any show. And we have had to take account of that in a very different way to shows that would have been on three years ago.”

When asked by MP Kevin Brennan if she would let her own children go on Love Island, she replied: “I would say if they were completely appraised of it… I wouldn’t say no.”

Major museums announce reopening plans, and expect 80% drop in visitors

Some of London’s biggest museums have announced their plans to reopen next month, but are expecting visitor numbers to drop by 80% when they do.

The Natural History Museum, V&A and Science Museum will all open their doors again during August.

Visitors will be “strongly” recommended to wear face masks, but it will not be compulsory, as it will in shops.

Free tickets must be booked in advance. The venues ruled out charging, despite their “very precarious” finances.

The museums all have their main bases in South Kensington and will reopen before the end of the school summer holidays:

  • Natural History Museum – 5 August, Wednesday-Sunday, with the “vast majority” of galleries open. The branch in Tring, Hertfordshire, will reopen on the same day.
  • V&A – ground and lower ground floors from 6 August, open Thursday-Sunday; then first and second floors, and the V&A Dundee, from 27 August.
  • Science Museum – 19 August, seven days a week until 6 September, then Wednesday-Sunday. Reopening dates vary for the four other attractions in the Science Museum Group.

Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said its visitor numbers would initially be capped at 2,800 per day.

“But that’s about a fifth of our normal average attendance,” he said. “We’re expecting something like an 80% reduction until social distancing rules change, and the public attitudes to visiting change.

“We think that demand will outstrip supply, but that’s a guess because we’re in a period of mass uncertainty at the moment.”

The V&A is expecting a reduction “in the same ballpark”, director Tristram Hunt said, explaining that it would open for fewer days than normal at first.

“Our finances have been bolstered by the government but are still very precarious, so there’s little point having very extended opening hours if no-one’s coming through the door,” he said.

The museum bosses praised the government for its £1.5bn emergency funding package, but said they would need more money next year to make up for fewer people buying from their cafes and shops.

Hunt said there would need to be “a new partnership with government which recognises this new reality, which understands that in the absence of the commercial income that comes from those visitors we will need more government support going into the future”.

The funding announced by the government earlier this month was “resoundingly good”, according to Sir Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group and chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council.

“It’s the type of thing you’d expect the German or the French government to spend,” he said.

‘A retrograde step’

“The big issue for us is next year – the [next] full financial year – there’ll be a discussion with the government this autumn.”

But he said charging for entry to make up the financial shortfall was “definitely not on the agenda”, beyond special exhibitions.

“It seems to me absolutely the worst possible policy. There’s no support for entrance fees from any major political party.

“As far as I’m concerned, that debate is dead, buried and covered in concrete because at a time when we’re trying to increase the diversity of our audiences, I think charging people to go to museums would be a retrograde step of absolutely the worst sort.

“If the government introduced it, I would resign.”

Diversity: Arts in Wales 'failing to meet mark'

The Arts Council of Wales has admitted it is “failing to meet the mark” when it comes to equality in the arts.

It comes as a group set up by artists and organisations warned the sector would “inevitably lose people” if diversity was not addressed.

The Wales, Culture and Race task force said the arts should “reflect the society we live in”.

The council said it would create a new senior role with a mandate to “drive change” within the organisation.

Data it provided for 2019-2020 showed there were 17 black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people out of 349 overall on boards of management in 39 of its regularly funded organisations.

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Complete data for all 67 organisations is unavailable for that period.

In a statement on its website, the Arts Council of Wales acknowledged structural inequalities within its own organisation and across the arts sector in Wales.

“We must become more diverse as an institution, more transparent, accountable and informed,” it read.

The task force is backed by 28 organisations such as National Theatre Wales, National Dance Company Wales and Theatr Clwyd.

Abdul Shayek, one of its members, and chief executive of Fio theatre company, said organisations in the arts needed to think about their structures and leadership.

“Really talented people will leave Wales and go elsewhere if the opportunities aren’t forthcoming, if organisations are not willing to change, if opportunities in terms of leadership are not presented,” he said.

“It’s the same people telling us that they’re going to bring about change. It’s the same senior leadership team.

“It’s like a politician who sits in the same seat and goes, ‘I’m going to bring about change after not bringing about change for 10 years’.”

Rahil Abbas Sayed, who owns Silveredge Films and runs the Cardiff International Film Festival said the arts sector in Wales “still lacks stories about other backgrounds, other communities”.

He has also found accessing funding for those projects difficult.

“It’s very difficult for an ethnic event or ethnic production to be treated in the same way because you have to justify,” he added.

“And the moment you have to justify you’re already on a negative footing. Because you’re already defensive about it. You’re scared – should I say that? Should I exclude this in my application?

“That itself is not a very fair process… you censor it because you’re trying to fit your story to someone else’s mindset.”

Mr Sayed said there should be better representation in decision-making bodies in the arts because otherwise Wales risked missing out.

“If you don’t have support here, you will move out and venture out,” said Mr Sayed. “But the wider challenge is, you’re losing trust.

“People saying ‘I don’t trust this organisation, I don’t trust this methodology of how things are being done. I don’t want to apply for any grants in Wales.'”

Nicole May, a theatre producer and an arts associate of the Arts Council of Wales said the pace of change in improving diversity in Wales was too slow.

“I came to Wales when I was 18 and 10 years later I’m in a similar position where I think, ‘why isn’t it changed?'”

The task force is now hiring 12 freelance artists to help produce a plan for organisations, funding bodies and government with suggestions for ways to improve diversity.

Naya Rivera: Glee cast and other stars pay tribute

Tributes have been paid to actress Naya Rivera, whose death has been confirmed by US police.

The 33-year-old, best known for playing Santana Lopez on Glee, had gone missing during a boat trip in California.

After a long search, divers found her body on Monday, prompting an outpouring of love and sympathy from her co-stars.

“She was so independent and strong and the idea of her not being here is something I cannot comprehend,” wrote Glee actor Kevin McHale on Twitter.

“She was the single most quick-witted person I’ve ever met, with a steel-trap memory that could recall the most forgettable conversations from a decade ago.

“She was the most talented person I’ve ever known and I’m furious we won’t get to see more.”

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“Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family,” added Jane Lynch, who played coach Sue Sylvester on the show.

Many of her former cast-mates gathered at the bank of Lake Piru, near Los Angeles, to pay their respects.

Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel in the teen comedy, shared a photo of himself with Rivera on Instagram.

“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post?” he wrote in the caption.

“How can you summarise a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone?

“If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humour were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly.”

Darren Criss, who played Blaine Anderson, remembered the star’s generosity.

“I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends,” he wrote.

“She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now.”

Fan tributes

Rivera was first reported missing last week, after she rented a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son.

He was found alone and asleep in the boat and later told police his mother had never returned after swimming in the lake.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Ventura County Sheriff William Ayub said a body had been found near the surface of the water in the north eastern section of the lake.

Police were “confident” they had found Rivera, based on location, clothing and physical characteristics. An autopsy and dental records will be used to confirm her identity. There were no signs of foul play.

The discovery came exactly seven years after Rivera’s Glee co-star, Cory Monteith, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room of an overdose of heroin and alcohol.

Lea Michele, who was the show’s lead actress, posted black-and-white photos of both actors on her Instagram story in tribute.

Many cast members also re-posted a video of Rivera and Monteith signing autographs for fans outside Paramount studios in Hollywood.

The original poster had highlighted how “Naya and Cory always took the time to meet fans and talk with them”.

“They were so kind-hearted and they loved and appreciated us so much,” she added.

Fans also posted videos of Rivera’s most memorable performances on the show – especially the song If I Die Young, which she sang in an episode commemorating Monteith’s death.

Others shared how important it had been to see Rivera portray a character who was both Latin and LGBT.

“Naya was a powerhouse not just on Glee, but in life,” wrote Twitter user @IssyFields.

“Her portrayal of Santana gave me the confidence to be unapologetically myself and made millions of voices heard. Glee has memorialised her beautiful talents forever because she is, and always will be, a hero.”

Singer Bryana Salaz said she “didn’t realize the impact” Rivera had on her life growing up as “the first POC, LGBTQ character I saw on screen.

“I grew up listening to you sing, being inspired by the girl on Glee who looks like me and is unapologetically herself. You changed so many lives. Rest easy angel,” she added.

“Glee gave me the strength I needed to come to terms with my sexuality,” added YouTuber Luke Birch.

“Seeing characters like Santana gave me so much hope and courage. You helped an entire generation of LGBTQ+ people, Naya. A talent like no other. Rest In Peace.”