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Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter dies aged 54 after brain tumour diagnosis
Friday Night Dinner and Chernobyl actor Paul Ritter has died at the age of 54, his agent has said.
The TV star had been suffering from a brain tumour.

A statement said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night.

“He died peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side.

“He was 54 and had been suffering from a brain tumour.

“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill.

“He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly.”

The actor was best known for his role as family patriarch Martin Goodman in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner, in which he starred alongside Tamsin Greig and Simon Bird.

He also played Anatoly Dyatlov in the acclaimed drama Chernobyl and Eldred Worple in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

Other notable roles were as Guy Haines in James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, in period drama Belgravia, as Billy Cartwright in Vera and Sir John Seymour in Wolf Hall.

Born in 1966, Ritter made his TV debut in an episode of The Bill in 1992 and became an acclaimed stage actor, working with the National Theatre in The Royal Hunt Of The Sun, All My Sons, Coram Boy, The Hot-House, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and as John Major in The Audience opposite Dame Helen Mirren as the Queen.

He also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and played Pistol in the 2012 mini-series The Hollow Crown.

Ritter was nominated for a Tony Award and an Olivier for his role as Reg in the Old Vic’s revival of The Norman Conquests.

Hugh Adams, of charity Brain Tumour Research, said: “Our deepest condolences go to Paul’s family and friends following the devastating news that he has died from this terrible disease.

“Approximately 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour and unlike most other cancers, incidences of and deaths from brain tumours are rising.

“Just 12% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.

“We are proud to be building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated centres of excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally, getting us closer to finding a cure.”

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Man due in court over causing death of two-week-old boy
A 34-year-old man is due before magistrates charged with causing the death of a two-week-old boy who was struck by a car.
Ciaran Leigh Morris was being pushed along the pavement in his pram when he was struck by a car in Brownhills, near Walsall, at around 4pm on Easter Sunday.

West Midlands Police said Ciaran suffered serious injuries and, although he was rushed to hospital, nothing could be done to save him.

On Monday the force said James Paul Davis has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by driving while uninsured.

He faces further charges of failing to stop at the scene of a collision and failure to report a collision.

Davis, from Walsall, was remanded in police custody to appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Ciaran’s parents paid an emotional tribute to their son.

They said: “Mommy’s and Daddy’s hearts will always ache, we love you more than anything.

“We didn’t get to keep you for long but we are happy we had the chance to meet you, look after you and call you our son.

“Fly high angel.”

Dozens of flowers were left at the scene of the collision on Monday.

Sergeant Mark Crozier, from West Midlands Police’s serious collision investigation unit, said: “We’ve all been left numb by the sad death of Ciaran. He was just two weeks old and his life has been tragically taken away.

“To see the loss of someone so young is difficult for us as officers, but we know the pain is even greater for Ciaran’s family.

“We’ll be doing all we can to support them while also trying to establish what happened leading to the collision.”

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Warning over possible third wave as UK continues on road map out of lockdown
There could be a “resurgence” of Covid-19 infections as the country continues on its route out of lockdown, experts have warned.
Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick and a member of the Spi-M modelling group which advises the Government, said “there may well be” a third wave in the UK but probably not as high as some modelling predicts.

He said there could be a potential rise in infections as more social mixing is permitted.

And Professor Sir Mark Walport, former chief scientific adviser to the Government, said “very good progress” was being made on the road map but a third wave was possible if the brakes are taken off completely.

It comes after a paper from experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested that lifting restrictions in the next stage of the road map “may lead to a small surge of cases and deaths”.

And their modelling suggested that stage four in June, when restrictions are expected to be lifted completely, could “lead to a larger surge of cases and deaths comparable to that seen during the first wave”.

They cautioned their findings were “preliminary” and made “pessimistic assumptions” about the later stages of the road map.

And scientists at the University of Warwick also shared a similar conclusion that a “distinct third wave of infection” would arise due to the current rate of planned unlocking, with hospital admissions peaking between late July and mid-August.

Minutes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) meeting on March 31 said there could be resurgences in hospital admissions “of a similar scale to January 2021 after later stages of the road map”.

But Dr Tildesley told LBC radio: “I think we do have very high levels of vaccination now, we do need to remember this, we are protecting our vulnerable.

“But the vaccines are not 100% protective so when we switch from an R number less than 1 that we have at the moment, to a lot of mixing later on, we may get a resurgence.

“I don’t expect we will have a resurgence of the same scale that we saw in January.

“So then there needs to be some very serious questions asked. If we do see a rise in cases, if we do start to see hospital occupancy go up a little bit, are we going to put in controls or is it something that we’re just going to try to manage with local testing and so forth?

“I think that’s the question the Government are going to potentially have to answer as we get towards the summer.”

However, Dr Tildesley also said that he was “pleasantly surprised” about the levels of cases as schools reopened and said that if cases continued to stay low there could be some arguments for lifting restrictions in the road map sooner.

Meanwhile, Sir Mark told BBC Breakfast: “It’s clear that we’re making good progress along the road map, and it’s entirely appropriate that the first set of restrictions are being relaxed, so that makes very good sense indeed.

“But we’re a long way from taking the brakes off completely. The vaccine rollout is going incredibly well… we’ve seen deaths fall fairly precipitously… all very good news, but we’ve only got to look across the Channel and see that France currently has over 39,000 new cases a day, so the virus is still very much around and if we take all the brakes off, then it’s quite clear that there is a very substantial risk of a further wave of infection.”

He added: “What the Spi-M modelling has shown is that even with a pretty effective vaccine, it’s not perfect, not everyone will be vaccinated, and there will still be quite a few people by June who aren’t immune, and that creates the setting for potentially another wave.

“It’s likely to be different from the first one because we know that the vaccines are very good at keeping people out of hospital and stopping people dying. And that’s why it’s important to really focus on what the data at the time are actually showing.”

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Around 2,000 Peacocks jobs saved in rescue deal
Collapsed fashion chain Peacocks has been saved by a senior executive with backing from an international consortium, it has been announced.
Chief operating officer Steve Simpson will take over the business, saving 2,000 jobs and 200 stores, which he hopes to reopen once lockdown restrictions on non-essential retailers ease.

The chain was part of retail mogul Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) fashion empire which collapsed in November last year.

Mr Day was the biggest creditor of Peacocks and is owed money by the business he once owned.

Administrators FRP negotiated a deal with him by signing a deferred loan agreement between a consortium of investors and the businessman which will eventually see him get his money out of the company.

The consortium of international backers are primarily based in Dubai, where Mr Day lives.

A similar deal was set in place with the EWM and Bonmarche brands, while Mr Day’s other brand, Jaeger, was sold to Marks & Spencer, where it will become an online-only business.

The deal essentially sees the EWM brands – excluding Jaeger – reform under the old management led by Mr Simpson.

Mr Day will not be in control of the business – ending several decades of involvement in the UK high street – and will hope to recoup the cash he invested as a secured creditor through the deal.

Unsecured creditors, including landlords, suppliers and the taxman, will lose out and are unlikely to get their money back.

According to reports, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley was also said to be interested in the Peacocks brand, although administrators failed to reach an agreement with him.

Peacocks had 400 stores going into the pandemic a year ago and announced a series of job losses and store closures as it struggled to manage under the various restrictions.

The chain had a poor online presence compared with rivals and – along with Arcadia and Debenhams – struggled to recoup business through its websites, leading to its collapse.

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

England coach Shaun Wane names unchanged squad ahead of first training session
England coach Shaun Wane has named an unchanged 35-man squad ahead of his first training session.
Wane was appointed as the successor to Wayne Bennett 14 months ago and announced his elite squad in November but has yet to meet his players face to face due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That will change when they gather at Leeds Beckett University next Tuesday to prepare for the mid-season international against the Combined Nations All Stars at Warrington on June 25.

The squad includes seven players based in the NRL who will not be involved in either the training season in Leeds or the mid-summer match but are sure to be pushing for World Cup places.

Wane announced his squad on Tuesday, exactly 200 days before England kick off the tournament against Samoa at St James’s Park, Newcastle, on Saturday, October 23.

Wane made his selections after the first round of Betfred Super League matches so the outstanding second-round performances of Warrington half-back Gareth Widdop and Hull full-back Jake Connor came too late for consideration at this stage.

However, the former Wigan boss says he expects the squad to undergo change as players force their way into contention, with further get-togethers planned for May and early June.

Six of the 28 Super League-based players are currently injured, including 21-year-old Leeds centre Harry Newman, the youngest squad member who is recovering from a broken leg but is in Wane’s World Cup plans.

“I rate Harry Newman very highly,” Wane said. “He’s a good chance of playing in the World Cup. We’ve got real strength in depth at centre – and at hooker and wing too.

“Names will come and go as the season unfolds but the 35 players I’ve named reflect my current thinking.

“They are all capable of playing to an England standard. They know what’s expected at international level and the heights they must hit.

“We have a good mix of youth and experience and age is no barrier. The thirty-somethings in the squad are playing some good rugby. And, if a 17-year-old puts his hand up and shows me he’s got what it takes, he’ll be in.

“I watch every Super League game multiple times and I’m seeing some good things so far from England players.

“I keep a very close eye on the NRL too. Those players can’t join us at Leeds Beckett, but I’ll make sure they get the same information as the players who can.

“The session at Leeds is all about introducing players to my systems – how we’ll defend, how we’ll attack and so on.

“They are some of the best players around and they’ll get it very quickly. It’s an important part of our preparation for the mid-season international against the All Stars and for the World Cup too.”

England’s 35-strong squad:

J Bateman (Wigan), T Burgess (South Sydney), D Clark, M Cooper, B Currie (all Warrington), N Evalds (Castleford), H Farnworth (Brisbane), L Farrell (Wigan), L Gale (Leeds), O Gildart (Wigan), J Griffin (Hull), A Handley (Leeds), Z Hardaker (Wigan), J Hodgson (Canberra), T Johnstone (Wakefield), T King (Warrington), M Knowles, J Lomax (both St Helens), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), P McShane (Castleford), T Makinson (St Helens), D Manfredi (Wigan), H Newman (Leeds), M Percival (St Helens), J Philbin, S Ratchford (both Warrington), J Roby (St Helens), D Sarginson (Salford), R Sutton (Canberra), L Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), S Tomkins (Catalans), A Walmsley (St Helens), K Watkins (Salford), E Whitehead, G Williams (both Canberra).

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family call on people to back ‘100 challenge’
The family of Captain Sir Tom Moore are encouraging people to celebrate his spirit of generosity by taking on their own “Captain Tom 100” charity challenge on what would have been the weekend of his 101st birthday.
Second World War veteran Sir Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30 last year.

He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.

His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore is urging people to create their own challenge themed around the number 100 to raise money for the Captain Tom Foundation or a charity of their choice.

They are encouraged to take on their challenge between Friday April 30 and the Bank Holiday Monday on May 3.

Details of the Captain Tom 100 were revealed on April 6 – a year to the day since Sir Tom started walking laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

Ms Ingram-Moore said her family are “still a grieving family” but are “propelled forward by hope”.

“I really hope people see this for what it is, which is an absolute chance to bring joy, put money back into charities and support the Captain Tom Foundation, which after all is the legacy of hope that he’s left us behind,” she said.

She said the family will take part by continuing Sir Tom’s walk “right where he left it because we feel it’s the only right thing to do”.

“We’ve talked about is that 100 a day, is that 25 each, we’re still working out the finer details,” she said.

She went on: “We want people to go crazy and create their own 100 – a challenge around the number 100.

“Because he was 100 and he was so proud to be 100.

“We thought of whether it should be 101 but it’s definitely 100 because that year he lived being 100 was the best year of his life, almost certainly.”

Sir Tom knew before he died that a 101st birthday celebration was being planned for him and that this was to be an inclusive event, Ms Ingram-Moore said.

“I really regret that he’s not here to share it as I think he would just love it,” she said.

She said he would have thought that the Captain Tom 100 was “brilliant”, adding: “He was a Yorkshireman remember at the end of the day, not trending towards excitement most of the time.

“But he would have felt so proud … he would have just felt proud to the core.”

Challenges could include walking 100 steps, scoring 100 goals, baking 100 cakes or writing a 100-word poem – this could be anything as long as it is in line with current government social distancing guidelines.

“My father loved the beach so he would have said 100 sandcastles or jump 100 waves,” said Ms Ingram-Moore.

“We are so grateful for the incredible support we have received since my father started his record-breaking fundraising walk and that his message of hope was shared with the world.

“Captain Tom was very proud to be able to leave behind the growing legacy of his foundation and the Captain Tom 100 feels like the perfect way to celebrate the hope and joy we know he inspired in so many.

“He would have loved the idea that everyone could get involved and that together we would ensure that ‘tomorrow will be a good day’.

“We look forward to celebrating with you and seeing how you do the Captain Tom 100 – your way.”

The Captain Tom 100 is being organised by The Captain Tom Foundation with London Marathon Events and supported by the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO), adam &eve, LiveWire Sport and Studio Republic, who are all working pro bono.

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Missing teen’s mother told description of body found by police ‘matches his’
Richard Okorogheye’s mother has reportedly been told the body found by police in Epping Forest on Monday matches his description.
The 19-year-old, who has sickle cell disease, has been missing since he left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of March 22.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police said they were informed by Essex Police the body of a man was found in a pond in the woodland.

Although the body has yet to be formally identified, Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, said police had informed her “the description matches his”.

She told the MyLondon website: “Oh God, they said the description matches his, but we’ll go in tomorrow to find out.”

Ms Joel previously told The Guardian waiting for information on her son’s whereabouts has been “hell”, adding: “Every day is a nightmare for me now.”

Mr Okorogheye was last seen on CCTV in Loughton, Essex, in the early hours of Tuesday March 23, walking towards Epping Forest.

Initial police inquiries identified Mr Okorogheye leaving his home address and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove at around 8.30pm.

CCTV footage shows he was wearing all black and had a black satchel bag with a white Adidas logo, worn across his lower back.

Police said further inquiries have established that he then took a taxi journey from the W2 area of London to a residential street in Loughton.

He was captured on CCTV walking alone on Smarts Lane, Loughton, towards Epping Forest at 12.39am on Tuesday March 23.

The force said Mr Okorogheye’s phone has not been in use since his disappearance.

Ms Joel previously said that her son had spoken of “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during the Covid-19 lockdown.

As someone with sickle cell disease, Mr Okorogheye would only leave the house to go to hospital for regular blood transfusions for his condition.

Published: 06/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

PM warns against complacency as England prepares for next step out of lockdown
Shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens will reopen from April 12 in England but people must not be complacent.
Shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens will reopen from April 12 in England but people must not be complacent about the risks still posed by coronavirus, Boris Johnson said.

Confirming the next step on the road map out of lockdown, the Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference he was looking forward to a pint of beer in a week’s time.

But he said the difficulties facing countries in Europe illustrated the risks still posed by the pandemic.

Mr Johnson said: “We can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes.

“We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will, and that’s why we are saying please get your vaccine – or your second dose – when your turn comes.”

He also encouraged people to use free NHS tests as part of the drive to identify cases without symptoms.

Setting out the move to the second step of the road map, Mr Johnson said the shift was “fully justified by the data”.

“And on Monday the 12th I will be going to the pub myself – and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.”

His comments came as the Government published the latest findings from its reviews of Covid status certification – so-called “vaccine passports” – and international travel.

The review suggested a certification scheme could have an “important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure” – but Mr Johnson faces opposition from MPs on both sides of the Commons who are concerned about the civil liberties implications.

A certificate could cover whether someone had received a vaccine, had a negative coronavirus test or had contracted and recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

The global travel taskforce review warned “the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries” meant it was impossible to say yet whether foreign holidays would be allowed from May 17, the date earmarked as the earliest possible for the resumption of international trips.

It confirmed the Government is examining a traffic-light system for countries, with travel to green list nations requiring no quarantine on return to the UK – although tests will still be required – although it is too early to say which destinations will be in that category.

Published: 05/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Convicted money launderer ordered to pay back £63,000
A money launderer who set up a bar in his back garden has been ordered to pay back £63,000 or face 12 months in prison.
A money launderer who set up a bar in his back garden has been ordered to pay back £63,000 or face 12 months in prison.

Northumbria Police said officers carried out a drugs warrant in 2017 against Jamie Blake, at his home in North Shields.

While expecting illegal substances, police found he had an unregulated social club in his garden, with flat screens and a fully furnished bar offering a range of drinks.

Officers also seized 13 unlicensed gaming and gambling machines, estimating the purpose-built facility cost around £35,000.

As well as emptying the machines, police said they found a bundle of notes hidden in the cooker hood in Blake’s kitchen.

They ultimately seized more than £14,600 in cash and Blake was arrested.

The force later examined Blake’s bank accounts and discovered he was funding an extravagant lifestyle including multiple holidays abroad and expensive home furnishings without any signs of working.

Blake, 39, of Wantage Avenue, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court in April 2019 and pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring criminal property, Northumbria Police said.

He also admitted possession of criminal property and abstracting electricity.

He was given a two-year suspended sentence.

The force said Blake returned to Newcastle Crown Court last week after officers tried to seize his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Northumbria Police said a judge ordered Blake to pay back £63,076.41 within three months or face 12 months in prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Brooks said: “Blake thought he had gotten away with his crimes and was living a life of luxury but the law soon caught up with him.

“This was an excellent display of police work by officers and great example of the continued work under Operation Sentinel.

“It required a lot of intelligence gathering as well as evidence recovery and tactical policing, all across a long period of time, in order to secure a conviction.

“We would always ask that members of the public are vigilant and if you see someone living beyond their means, or know that someone is leading a luxury lifestyle and something doesn’t add up, please get in touch with us.”

Published: 05/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

IT company’s Covid-19 passport app to be ready in May
The IT company helping the UK Government with a possible Covid-19 passport app has said its technology is “an efficient, secure and scalable solution” that will support the safe reopening of society.
Netcompany has already confirmed its digital Corona passport app will be used in Denmark and is expected to be ready in May.

The UK Government is working on the development of a “Covid status certification” scheme, the so-called vaccine passport, and a Whitehall source said Netcompany is “helping with the technical architecture of a possible app”.

Netcompany was awarded a year-long contract in November worth £3,107,200 for “Alpha, Beta and Live Support services to NHS Test and Trace”, according to the Government website.

The firm’s website says: “Netcompany’s digital Corona passport is an efficient, secure and scalable solution that supports a safe reopening of societies and businesses, granting citizens access to the workplace, business – and holiday travels, healthcare institutions and cultural institutions.

“In addition, the solution can support a more responsible return of private gatherings, weddings etc.”

The company says the solution is built on technology that prevents forgery and is ready-made to be adapted to ongoing developments, such as mutations and new test solutions.

“This ensures that organisers and citizens can feel safe, while society gradually reopens, and venues and cultural events can remain open, without experiencing long queues, as the app works offline as well, and checks can be made in less than one second,” the company says.

The app is said to be user-friendly and simple for both citizens and organisers to use, and the protection of user privacy is “central to the solution” with all data stored on the user’s phone.

Announcing that Netcompany would deliver the Danish corona passport app last month, CEO Andre Rogaczewski said it will be “a vital tool in accelerating the return to a more normal everyday life in Denmark where we can cross borders more easily and reopen society, based on testing, vaccination and immunity”.

Videos on the Netcompany website show what the app looks like and how people will use it, with one of the videos featuring the fictitious Larsen family using the app in a number of scenarios.

A Government spokeswoman said: “The video on Netcompany’s website states that all scenarios are fictitious and not indicative of how a certification system might work in the UK.

“No final decisions have been made on how a certification system might work in practice. Any such system that we use will take into account three factors: vaccination, a negative test and natural immunity.

“The review is considering a range of issues, including the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects and what limits, if any, should be placed on organisations using certification.”

Published: 04/04/2021 by Radio NewsHub

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