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Kevin Kennedy will forever be best known as Coronation Street’s loveable loser Curly Watts, but he is also a stage star. His latest role is an all-star musical version of Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends, which allows him to rekindle his love of this region.

From Beauty and the Beast to King Kong, women have been falling in love with otherworldly creatures are a cinema staple. As Oscar front runner The Shape of Water opens why are we so obsessed with monsters in love?

Strictly Come Dancing professional Pasha Kovalev is heading back to the region with his new show. He tells Simon Parkin about his Russian childhood, winning the series with Norfolk’s Caroline Flack and his shock at the departure of Brendan Cole.

The actor, who was born in Ipswich, plays Captain Stanhope in a new film version of R.C. Sherriff’s 1923 play set in the trenches, directed by Saul Dibb. They tell Simon Parkin about a film that marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

It may be 30 years old but the classroom themes of John Godber’s school comedy Teechers remain as relevant as ever. As it heads back to the region, Simon Parkin finds out more from to those behind Blackeyed Theatre’s new revival.

The stars of Nick Park’s latest film Early Man, in cinemas this weekend, have a go at creating their own Hognob with Aardman’s model maker Jim Parkyn — what will yours look like?

The new film Downsizing in cinemas this weekend shrinks Matt Damon to four inches high. But it is far from the first shrinking man film. Simon Parkin offers a big guide to the 10 best films about tiny people.

Video: Oscar nominations: Who’s up for what?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama The Shape Of Water leads the Oscar nominations with 13 but a host of British talent is in the running too, including Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Hawkins, Lesley Manville and Daniel Kaluuya.

With the world lurching from one crisis to another, affable comedian Stephen K Amos’ latest thought-provoking show, Bread and Circuses, aims to cheer us up even if he is still tackling some thorny subjects.

Cheeky chappie, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and a man who has a lifetime of hilarious tales to tell, from Johnny Cash to The Beatles to The Singing Postman, Joe Brown is heading back to East Anglia on his biggest tour ever.

With Steven Spielberg’s The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, hot off the presses and in cinemas, we look at 10 of the best films about journalism and how they reflect our love/hate relationship with reporters.

Sinatra anointed him his heir. He’s released 70 albums, won Grammys and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now Jack Jones is visiting the region as part of a tour celebrating turning 80 this weekend.

Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill in the early days of the war. It also features a remarkable portrayal by an almost unrecognisable Gary Oldman. But how does it compare to the many others who have played him?

From The Communards to communion, the Reverend Richard Coles has a unique vicar style. As he prepares for a busy Christmas, he talks Strictly, festive music, East Anglia and why he will relax by watching The Walking Dead.

Sequels, prequels, remakes, return of the musical and a spate of films about race, it’s been another eventful year at the cinema. Here we highlight our 10 best films of 2017 (in no particular order), and a some that nearly made the grade.

He has become a household name thanks to more than a decade on Strictly Come Dancing, but now Anton Du Beke has released his debut album From The Top. The affable dancer reflects on this new venture as well as his past, present and future on the Strictly dance floor.

The fifth edition of Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail will again take place next summer and both established and up-and-coming artists are being sought to submit works.

Families will be gathering around the TV set once again this Christmas Day in what is always one of the biggest viewing nights of the year — but could you name the year just from the programmes on BBC1?

DIY SOS and Who Dares Wins host Nick Knowles has long had a secret yearning for music. Now the presenter-turned-singer, who has fond memories of growing up in East Anglia, has released his debut album — at the age of 55.

Netflix series Shot in the Dark revisits the subject of LA crime stringers seen in Jake Gyllenhaal film Nightcrawler. It’s the latest example documentary/film crossovers. But which can you most trust?

From being a stylist in the fashion world, he became famous for making all shapes and sizes look great naked. Now he is bringing his debut live show to the region, full of stories, advice and lots of gossip.

From Co-Op Juniors productions and Linda Shipton’s School of Dancing to the Royal Ballet the professional dancer has come a long way. Now she is back with the latest tour by Rambert Dance Company.

Cover My Tracks interweaves theatre and music to tell the tale of an idealistic young musician who sets out to write a 21st century pop masterpiece and vanishes without a trace.

Leading lady of West End and Broadway musicals Kerry Ellis and X Factor winner Matt Cardle are to appear on stage together for the first time in a homecoming show in Bury St Edmunds.

The books of Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are much loved and the latest stage adaptation based on their work is a musical love story involving scarecrows. Director Eva Sampson and lyricist Darren Clark tells us more.

The Scottish comedian who is back in the region used to work as a lawyer on death row than she turned to comedy. But she continues to tackle serious issues amid the laughs.

Marking 20 years on this side of the pond, the US comedian’s laidback stand-up style, and southern drawl have made him comedy favourite and he is bringing his latest show to Ipswich.

Despite the prospect of turning 50 next year - yes, really - Jason Donovan is as busy as ever appearing in Million Dollor Quartet and planning a reflective solo show.

Comedian Omid Djalili is bringing his latest show to the region as part of a huge 110-date tour. He talks about rubbing shoulders in Hollywood, finding laughs in the Chilcot report and why he doesn’t mind being called a schmuck.

The change of life is the subject for an all-singing comedy that has become a critic-proof sensation. EastEnders’ Cheryl Fergison and Casualty’s Rebecca Wheatley talk Menopause the Musical.

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