fbpx 234Radio | ...exporting Africa to the world

Poldark's 'pure windswept melodrama' welcomed back for final series

The last series of Poldark began on BBC One on Sunday – and the first episode has gone down well with the critics.

The Daily Telegraph’s Gerard O’Donovan said it was “a thoroughly enjoyable start” to series five.

Giving the opening episode four stars, he added that the series was “almost certain to be an emotionally draining but hugely entertaining final run”.

Around 4.6 million viewers tuned in – roughly level with the 4.7 million who saw the start of series four last year.

But Sunday’s episode was beaten in the BBC One ratings by the men’s Wimbledon final and Countryfile, according to overnight figures.

Spoiler alert – minor plot details may be revealed below

The Guardian’s Emine Saner also gave the first episode four stars, writing: “There’s something deeply comforting about it all – it’s as cosy and familiar as a candlelit supper at the Nampara kitchen table.”

She added: “The story gallops along like Seamus the horse on a Cornish clifftop. It’s all faintly ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

The Independent was a little less glowing, awarding three stars. Its reviewer Ed Cumming wrote: “The more I think about the programme, the more it reveals itself as a jamboree of toxic masculinity.

“Maybe there are some viewers who still care deeply about the specifics of who does what to who, but who are they kidding? It’s pure windswept melodrama.”

He concluded that: “Finale seasons can suffer from being laps of honour, which new plot elements help to mitigate against.

“The irony is that Poldark need not have worried: it has always been a lap of honour, shameless twaddle chocker with troublesome characters and absurd plots, and all the more lovable for it. We will see its like again, but clap it in anyway.”

‘Enjoy your Aidan Turner rations’

Den of Geek’s Louisa Mellor wrote that the series appeared to have turned into “an espionage thriller” and asked viewers to appreciate the show while they could.

She continued: “A toast then, to the new century. What does it hold for us? Just seven remaining Sunday nights of Cornish joy. Relish them.”

Writing in The Times, Carol Midgley noted that writer Debbie Horsfield had “taken Ross’s already considerable hero credentials and upped them”.

She added: “Only seven episodes to go and then that’s your lot. Enjoy your Aidan Turner rations while you’ve got them.”

Meanwhile, The Herald’s Alison Rowat was another impressed critic who gave the episode four stars.

“By episode end, plots were afoot, Demelza was hurtling towards London, and Ross was having clipped conversations with a strange man called Wickham who had a whiff of His Majesty’s secret service about him.

“The hubble, bubble, toil and trouble is coming along nicely.”

BTS: Why Saudi Arabia wants high profile pop stars

Saudi Arabia isn’t traditionally a major stopoff on a global music tour, but big-name artists are increasingly going there.

Mariah Carey set the fame bar high back in January.

Since then Nicki Minaj said yes to a performance in Jeddah – but then changed her mind to support the rights of women and the LGBT community.

And now, South Korean boy band BTS have announced they will be performing a concert in Riyadh in October.

So why does Saudi Arabia want high profile stars to perform there?

The economy

The Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has said he wants to reform the country both in social and economic terms as part of his Vision 2030 plan to show a modern Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been relying on oil to make money for a long time, but instability in oil prices mean it’s not as reliable now.

So because of the need for economic reform and investment from outside the country, Saudi Arabia has been trying to show the world it’s open for business.

And attracting artists such as BTS is seen as a way to do that.

Social reform

One area Saudi Arabia is trying to grow is its entertainment industry.

Lots of Saudi citizens travel outside the country to see concerts and films.

To make sure they spend money inside Saudi, new cinemas and shopping centres are being opened and mainstream artists are being invited to perform.

“They’re trying to create an inter-cultural communication between Saudi Arabia and the world,” Yasmin, a 24-year-old Saudi resident, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“We have people from all around the world living in Saudi Arabia so by doing that they’re trying to match everyone’s taste.”

Some of these social reforms also include lifting the ban on women being able to drive and allowing them to attend football matches.

Who’s already performed there?

In December 2017, Nelly performed a concert in Jeddah, but it was controversially a men-only event.

At a Formula E concert, acts such as Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, David Guetta, OneRepublic and The Black Eyed Peas all performed across three days.

In January, Mariah Carey put on a performance, sharing the stage with Sean Paul and DJ Tiesto.

Despite facing a major backlash, she claimed this was a chance to work towards gender equality in Saudi Arabia.

Her publicists said: “As the first female international artist to perform in Saudi Arabia, Mariah recognises the cultural significance of this event and will continue to support global efforts towards equality for all.”

And it’s not just musical artists.

The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) held its Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, despite its women wrestlers not being allowed to perform.

So is the reality different?

According to Yasmin, things are “not as strict as they used to be”.

She says in places like coffee shops and restaurants, “everyone sits in the same section and you don’t have that segregation anymore.”

But organisations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) say there is doubt over how much change is actually taking place.

Though they’ve been permitted to drive, HRW say women still face several barriers.

They claim Saudi authorities have arrested several well-known women’s rights advocates just before lifting the driving ban, accusing them of “suspicious contact with foreign parties”.

And women still have to obtain permission from a male guardian – a husband, father, brother or son – to do ordinary things such as travelling abroad, getting a passport, accessing healthcare and even being able to work.

There is also criticism over its record on LGBT rights.

Saudi Arabia has no actual written laws about sexual orientation or gender identity.

But judges use principles of Islamic law to sanction people suspected of sex outside marriage, homosexual sex or other “immoral” acts, according to HRW.

What are people saying?

There’s been mixed reactions to the news of the BTS concert, which was announced on Sunday.

Some fans have said politics shouldn’t be a factor in performing while others have said Saudi Arabia should be boycotted because of its human rights record.

So it remains to be seen whether BTS will follow Nicki Minaj in cancelling or if we’ll see them performing as planned in Riyadh in October.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Nigerians spent N3bn in cinemas in 6 months

Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.

Nigerians spent N3bn in cinemas in 6 months

The figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

The year opened with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and ‘Up North’ sitting on the top three of the chart with estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.

Security: Avoid unnecessary traveling, Gov. Masari cautions Corp Members

The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when ‘Glass’ debuted at number one with ‘Aquaman’ taking second place and ‘Chief Daddy’, third booting ‘Up North’ to fourth place.

This led to combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to 77, 259, 811 million Naira as January closed with Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ kicking ‘Chief Daddy’ to fourth place.

Earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of 291, 843, 044 million Naira.

Top spots were alternated between ‘Alita’, ‘Cold Pursuit’, ‘What Men Want’, ‘Escape Room’ and ‘The UpSide’.

Sanwo-Olu appoints Segun Fafore as Executive Assistant on Public Relations

By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.

‘What Men Want’, ‘Alita’, ‘Hire A Woman’, ‘She Is’, ‘Us’ and ‘Babymamas’ enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvel’s flick ‘Captain Marvel’.

At the beginning of April, ‘Hellboy’, ‘Shazam’, ‘Little’ and ‘Us’ continued to share the top spot with ‘Captain Marvel’ until the release of the much anticipated ‘Avengers:Endgame’.

With ‘Avengers: Endgame’, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.

The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to a major boost from Disney’s ‘Endgame’.

In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With ‘Endgame’, ‘The Intruder’ and ‘Longshot’, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.

The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.

The numbers picked up in June with ‘John Wick’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Aladdin’ leading the numbers. They were supported by ‘Anna’, ‘Men In Black’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Bling Lagosians’.

June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.

Why TRNSMT is ‘the gate to success’ for Scottish acts

A lot of people outside of Scotland could be forgiven for not being fully across The Snuts’ back catalogue just yet.

But anyone on Glasgow Green as they walk out at TRNSMT had no excuse.

The second day of the festival was dubbed by many as “Snuts day” after the local band attracted the biggest crowd on the festival’s second stage last year and made the progression to the main stage this year.

It’s an identical route Lewis Capaldi and Gerry Cinnamon have taken at TRNSMT – both working their way up the festival’s line-up since 2017 long before most people south of the border had even heard of them.

The Snuts have made it to the main stage without even releasing their debut album, and it’s an achievement that isn’t lost on them.

“It’s a big milestone for us,” singer Jack Cochrane tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“It’s something we’ve been working towards for years. It was always part of the plan and a big turning point for us.”

Guitarist Joe McGillveray adds: “TRNSMT, and T in the Park before, are seminal moments for any Scottish band.

“It’s the gates to doing anything else. Getting on the main stage here is massive.”

“It does give you a good feeling when that happens,” says festival organiser Geoff Ellis.

“Particularly if it’s a Scottish artist because you’re able to give them more of a leg up.

“With someone like Lewis Capaldi, when he played the King Tut’s stage in 2017 quite a few people knew him in Scotland but if he was an English base he might not have got the same connection at that stage in his career.”

Geoff Ellis and his team used to run T in the Park and still own King Tut’s Wah Wah hut, a Glasgow venue dedicated to booking new talent.

Geoff says the organisers see it as “our duty” to be a major platform for Scottish talent.

“If you look back over the years, like when we ran T in the Park too, we had acts like Biffy Clyro, Paolo Nutini and Travis all coming through that festival.

“Calvin Harris is another great example of that trajectory as well.

“The Snuts are maybe the next band to do that.”

With the band heading to New York to finish recording their album, it looks like they’ve already started working on it.

“We’ve always grown up around festivals and we were always inspired to see our favourite bands doing this kind of stuff,” explains singer Jack.

“I hope 16, 17-year-olds can see us and maybe go ‘that’s something we can do’.”

This year TRNSMT introduced the Queen Tut’s stage which is made up entirely of up-and-coming Scottish female acts.

Tamzene, who is from the Scottish highlands, is playing on the stage.

“Finding your way as a pop artist in such a rural area is a bit more challenging.

“I really had to go out and find the opportunities.

“We’ve been working really hard and I’m excited to show the festival what we’ve created.”

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The man who makes zombies in his garden shed

Ryan Cole learned his craft working for big names including Disney, Aardman and on the Michael Jordan film Space Jam.

But his passion is horror films and especially zombies.

He loves being scared and scaring others.

In a shed at the bottom of his garden in the heart of Somerset he creates the undead.