Emma Pattison: Police refer themselves to watchdog over contact with husband days before deaths

Emma Pattison: Police refer themselves to watchdog over contact with husband days before deaths

Police believe that the husband of headteacher Emma Pattison shot his wife and daughter dead just days after they spoke to him on the phone about his gun licence.

George Pattison was found dead alongside his seven-year-old daughter Lettie and the Epsom College headteacher at their home in the grounds of the private school in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Investigators said a gun registered to Mr Pattison was found at the scene, but that the causes of death would not be officially confirmed until post-mortem examinations have been completed.

He had been in contact with Surrey Police over his firearms licence just over two days before the killings, and the force has referred itself to the police watchdog.

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “We had contact with George on 2 February after he notified us of a previous change of address, as is routine.

“Due to the short period of time between that contact and this incident, we have made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).”

The Independent understands that Surrey Police had carried out a “phone review” regarding the details of Mr Pattison’s gun licence, and had not interviewed him in person or visited the family home.

Police had separately investigated an allegation of domestic violence, against Mrs Pattison, in 2016 but it did not result in a prosecution.

Officers were called to the family’s home, on the grounds of Epsom College, by paramedics shortly after 1am on Sunday.

The BBC reported that a relative had driven to the house after Mrs Pattison made a “distressed call” late on Saturday evening, but they arrived to discover the family dead.

Surrey Police said: “An investigation is being carried out to establish the full chronology and circumstances of the incident. At this stage, officers are confident there is no third-party involvement.”

The IOPC confirmed it had received a referral because of recent police contact with Mr Pattison last week.

“We are assessing the available information to determine what, if any, further action may be required from us,” a spokesperson added.

Ms Pattison had spoken about how there was “so much to look ahead to and be excited” about weeks before her death.

Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven. (John Wildgoose/Epsom College) (PA Media)
Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven. (John Wildgoose/Epsom College) (PA Media)

Appearing on the school’s Epsom Insight podcast in December, Ms Pattison spoke of her arrival as headteacher in September.

She said the transition from her previous job in Croydon had been a “big change” for her family, with her daughter moving school and her husband getting a new job.

“There has been a lot of change for us as a family but it’s been wonderful,” Ms Pattison said. “There is so much to look ahead to and be excited about … there is so much to come.”

Dr Alastair Wells, chair of the board of governors at Epsom College, said pupils and staff were in “utter shock and disbelief” over the deaths.

“Our immediate thoughts and condolences are with Emma’s family, friends and loved ones, and to the many pupils and colleagues whose lives she enriched throughout her distinguished career,” he added.

“Emma was a wonderful teacher, but most of all she was a delightful person. In time we will commemorate Emma and her family, in the appropriate way, and in line with the wishes of her family.”

She was formerly the headteacher of Croydon High School, whose chief executive Cheryl Giovannoni described her as a “much loved and respected” colleague, “as well as a talented head and teacher and a dear friend to many of us”.

Epsom College, which was named independent school of the year in 2022, has alumni including Conservative MP Sir Michael Fallon, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and comedian Tim Vine.

Epsom College to close early after murder of head teacher Emma Pattison

Epsom College - UkNewsinPictures
Epsom College – UkNewsinPictures

Epsom College will close on Tuesday evening following the “incredibly distressing” details of the death of head teacher Emma Pattison, The Telegraph has learnt.

In a letter to parents, Paul Williams, the acting head, said it was time for families “to come together and try to process this shocking news.”

He wrote: “The shock and horror of the past few days have been unprecedented. The impact on your children cannot be underestimated and we are doing everything we can to support them in whatever way they need.

“On Monday, it was helpful to all come together as a community to receive and offer support. We have had a team of counsellors at the College available for all pupils and staff.

“In addition to that, of course, we have all been here for anyone who is struggling and needs additional support.

“However, the details that have emerged today are incredibly distressing and we feel it is best to close the College from this evening. Now is the time for families to come together and try to process this shocking news.”

Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven - John Wildgoose/Epsom College
Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven – John Wildgoose/Epsom College

Day pupils will leave school on Tuesday evening and will not be expected to return until after half term.

Weekly boarders are permitted to stay on Tuesday evening but should be collected by parents on Wednesday. Full boarders are able to stay until the scheduled start of the half term break on Friday, parents were told.

Mr Williams said parents should be “immensely proud” of how children have conducted themselves since the tragedy.

It came as it emerged that Mrs Pattison had made a distressed call to a relative before she was shot by her husband, according to a BBC report.

It is understood that she called a close relative hours before the shooting. The relative drove to the school and found the dead bodies.

Mr Pattison has not previously been reported to the police. However, The Telegraph has learnt that in 2016 he reported his wife to police for allegedly hitting him. He dropped the complaint, and there have since been no reports to the police.

As Sam Thompson investigates whether he has ADHD in new TV documentary, what are signs and symptoms?

Marie Claire Dorking

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK

Tue, 7 February 2023 at 5:11 pm GMT

Stock picture of Sam Thompson who is investigating whether he has ADHD. (Getty Images)
Sam Thompson is investigating whether he has ADHD in a new E4 documentary. (Getty Images)

Sam Thompson is set to explore whether he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a new E4 documentary.

The former Made in Chelsea star, 30, made the decision after his family and friends, as well as girlfriend Zara McDermott said he’d been displaying signs for years.

But last year as he approached his 30th birthday, Thompson made the decision to finally get tested for ADHD and explore what a possible diagnosis might mean for him.

The NHS describes ADHD as a condition that affects people’s behaviour, and people who have ADHD can seem restless and may have trouble concentrating.

The former reality TV star says he is known by those close to him for his impulsiveness, for forgetting appointments and losing things like car keys.

Speaking about the upcoming E4 programme, Sam Thompson: Is This ADHD?he says: “This documentary is the most vulnerable I’ve felt in front of the camera, as I wanted to be totally open about how I react to people in situations, and whether these could be linked to ADHD.

“It has been an incredible, and at times, scary experience, but by exploring what’s been going on inside my head, I hope people can see that we should be more understanding before judging others. I also want to encourage people to learn more about themselves, and be proud of everything that makes them unique.”

Olivia Attwood has opened up about being diagnosed with ADHD as a adult, pictured in November 2019. (Getty Images)
Olivia Attwood has opened up about being diagnosed with ADHD as a adult, pictured in November 2019. (Getty Images)

News of the documentary comes after Olivia Attwood previously discussed being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, revealing how it impacts her every day life.

The former Love Island contestant, 31, spoke about the condition while appearing on ITV’s Loose Women, explaining that she was diagnosed while seeking treatment for anxiety and depression.

“Later in life I found myself with a severe battle of anxiety and depression, and came under the care of a psychiatrist who specialised in ADHD,” she said.

“It was a stroke of luck that it was diagnosed. [It’s a] state of being constantly overwhelmed.”

When asked about what type of ADHD she had, the reality TV star replied: “There are three major types. I fall into a combined type…

“There’s the typical type people look for – hyperactive child in the classroom, throwing things, breaking things. Other types [include] internalised, fidgeting, restless thoughts, disorganised, acting on impulse.”

Around 2.5% of adults are thought to be living with ADHD. (Getty Images)
Around 2.5% of adults are thought to be living with ADHD. (Getty Images)

The TV personality also shared why she is choosing to openly discuss her condition.

“I’d not heard others speak about it so I kept it to myself,” she revealed.

“It only came out by accident on Instagram stories. I got loads of DMs from young women and mothers, who wanted to hear more.”

Johnny Vegas also recently shared details about his own ADHD diagnosis, revealing it has “answered a lot of questions”.

The comedian, 52, was diagnosed last year, and told BBC Breakfast that he is in the “early stages of working through meds”.

“Eventually I sort of bit the bullet and went in, and I’ve got friends who have been diagnosed,” Vegas told presenters Jon Kay and Sally Nugent.

“So I’m in the very early stages of working through meds and things like that. It just answers a lot of questions about behavioural issues in the past.”

What is ADHD?

Many think of ADHD as a childhood condition, as that is often when it is diagnosed, but a growing number of people in the UK are sharing experiences of being diagnosed with the condition in adulthood.

Research reveals around 2.5% of adults are thought to be living with ADHD, but despite this figure and a growing awareness, many people still struggle to get a diagnosis.

According to the NHS, ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but it has been shown to run in families.

Research has also identified a number of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD when compared with those without the condition.

“ADHD is at its core an attention problem, and when our attentional processes malfunction, that can impact on many different areas of the way we function as people,” explains consultant psychiatrist, Dr Paul McLaren.

“Typically ADHD is thought of as the restless pupil who cannot sit at a desk to complete a piece of work.”

What are the symptoms of adult ADHD?

While symptoms are similar for both adults and children, elements differ or change as we age.

In adults, the NHS says symptoms of ADHD are more difficult to define. This is largely due to a lack of research into adults with ADHD.

“Adult symptoms of ADHD also tend to be far more subtle than childhood symptoms,” the NHS explains.

Some specialists have suggested the following as a list of symptoms associated with ADHD in adults:

– carelessness and lack of attention to detail

– continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones

– poor organisational skills

– inability to focus or prioritise

– continually losing or misplacing things

– forgetfulness

– restlessness and edginess

– difficulty keeping quiet, and speaking out of turn

– blurting out responses and often interrupting others

– mood swings, irritability and a quick temper

– inability to deal with stress

– extreme impatience

– taking risks in activities, often with little or no regard for personal safety or the safety of others – for example, driving dangerously.

According to McLaren, other symptoms include problems with impulsivity, forgetfulness and distractibility.

“These symptoms can lead to being accident prone,” he adds. “Problems with listening in meetings can impair performance at work.

“The attentional problems can also have an impact on close relationships, with partners feeling that they are not listened to – or attended to – in conversations.”

The symptoms of adult ADHD are similar to that in children but more difficult to define. (Getty Images)
The symptoms of adult ADHD are similar to that in children but more difficult to define. (Getty Images)

How is ADHD treated?

Although there’s no cure for ADHD, the NHS says it can be managed with advice, support and appropriate educational support, alongside medicine, if necessary.

Dr Dimitrios Paschos, consultant psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health recommends getting a clear diagnosis before seeking treatment.

“Unfortunately an incorrect diagnosis of ADHD can be made if a thorough assessment has not taken place. Missing a case of ADHD or diagnosing it when it is not present can be equally damaging,” he explains.

“If you’re worried about yourself or your child, talk to your GP and ask for an evaluation. Medication may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms and there are also many other ways to reduce the impact of ADHD symptoms that include talking therapies and lifestyle management.

Dr Paschos adds that there are also new treatments on then horizon and new technologies can help more people with ADHD achieve their full potential.

Signs and symptoms of ADHD in children

According to the NHS the symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined.

Children may have symptoms of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity and impulsiveness, or they may have symptoms of just one of these types of behaviour.

Inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing)

The main signs of inattentiveness are:

  • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  • appearing forgetful or losing things
  • being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  • appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  • constantly changing activity or task
  • having difficulty organising tasks

Hyperactivity and impulsiveness

The main signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:

  • being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  • constantly fidgeting
  • being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • excessive physical movement
  • excessive talking
  • being unable to wait their turn
  • acting without thinking
  • interrupting conversations
  • little or no sense of danger

This article was first published in June 2021 and has been updated

Which areas of the UK are the most stressful places to live? New survey reveals surprising results

Marie Claire Dorking

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK

Tue, 7 February 2023 at 1:01 pm GMT

How did your home town fare on the stress index? (Getty Images)
How did your home town fare on the stress index? (Getty Images)

Frazzled? You’re not alone. Recent research has revealed one in 14 of us feel stressed every single day, but turns out certain areas of the UK are feeling the pressure far more than others.

While you may think the frantic pace of London would incite feelings of anxiousness, it turns out the capital isn’t among the top 10 most stressful places to live.

Instead, the accolade of most stressed town or city falls to Blackpool, followed closely by Chesterfield while Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire comes in third spot.

The research, by UK residential rehab provider Abbeycarefoundation.com, looked at various traits that either might make a person feel stressed or relate to stress, with factors such as life satisfaction, anxiety levels, percentage of physical inactivity and median weekly pay all taken into consideration.

Other factors measured include the percentage of smokers, average hours worked per week and percentage of people who have never worked from home.

These particular indicators were chosen due to the impacts that they have on a person’s wellbeing and therefore potential levels of stress. Each factor was given a score which were then combined to give a rating on the stress index – and the results were not what you’d expect.

Factors taken into consideration included the percentage of the population who work from home. (Getty Images)
Factors taken into consideration included the percentage of the population who work from home. (Getty Images)

Step forward Blackpool leading the way with an overall stress index scoring of 89.7.

While considered a popular tourist destination due to its beaches and attractions, for residents it seems the historical Lancashire town is not quite as alluring.

With relatively low median weekly pay of £400 per week, a high percentage of smokers and high levels of physical inactivity, which can lead to a deterioration in mental and physical health, the seaside resort was considered to have increased factors contributing to stress.

The market town of Chesterfield, didn’t fare much better in the stress stakes with higher levels of anxiety and lower than average life satisfaction. The median wage in Chesterfield is also £432, which is £80 lower than the average in England at £512.

Then, despite Hull having the same levels of anxiety as Blackpool, and lower life satisfaction, the median weekly wage is slightly higher and people in Hull are, on average, more active, making this area the third most stressed in the UK.

The key factor here could be that 75% of people in this city have never worked from home and this may negatively impact the residents – after all, not commuting to work can lead to a better work-life balance and a perceived improvement in mental wellbeing.

Coming in fourth, fifth and sixth spot on the stress index were Sunderland, Thanet in Kent and Carlisle in Cumbria, while Lincoln, Hartlepool, Manchester and Mansfield make up the remainder of the top 10.

The UK's most stressful places to live have been revealed. (Getty Images)
The UK’s most stressful places to live have been revealed. (Getty Images)

Commenting on the results a spokesperson from the Abbeycarefoundation.com said: “Modern life has become fast-paced, expensive and often complicated. These additional stressors can have many adverse impacts on our mental and physical health. Reports have shown that increased stress can cause many people to smoke, drink and take less care of their bodies. Therefore, it’s important to manage our stress wherever possible to improve overall quality of life.

“The research shows a clear correlation of how location, job and personal health can impact mental and physical health. Those with higher wages and better work-life balances will often feel less stress due to having more free time to spend with friends and family, and the ability to also engage in hobbies that they enjoy and find pleasure in outside of their career.”

Thankfully there are some ways to feel somewhat calm in an increasingly stressful world.

Be more mindful

When it comes trying to relieve feelings of anxiousness it can help to bring ourselves into the moment and to de-stimulate our nervous system.

“Utilising our breath, and literally taking a moment to breathe slowly and deeply can help to centre us, reduce physical distress and give us the space to focus,” explains Lee Chambers, psychologist and wellbeing consultant.

Get outside

When the weather is grim, the last thing you might want to do is head outside, but simply going outdoors can have benefits for both your mental and physical health and help you to feel less overwrought.

“Taking a brisk walk around the block can give us headspace and get our blood flowing so we can process things more clearly,” Chambers adds.

Cut yourself some slack

Being kind and compassionate to ourselves is vital. “Planning in some simple self-care can re-energise and balance us and help us to see the things to be grateful for, rather than what might have gone wrong or potentially happen,” Chambers suggests.

Journal yourself calmer

Chambers says journaling thoughts and feelings can be a great way to get clarity and express negative emotions in a healthy way. “It also allows you to see on paper precisely what might be eating away at you, and give you an element of power to address and prepare for that event,” he adds.

There are some ways to feel less stressed including monitoring your breathing. (Getty Images)
There are some ways to feel less stressed including monitoring your breathing. (Getty Images)

Have a calm-down plan

According to Natalie Costa, founder of Power Thoughts and confidence coach, deep belly breaths help lower cortisol, trigger the rest-and-digest response and help calm the nervous system.

“Simply breathing in for a count of three and out for five, really slowly and repeating a few times will start to help,” she explains.

Breathe through the stress

Kristy Lomas, meditation teacher and founder of The Ki Retreat agrees that deep-breathing exercises have the ability to calm the nervous system, reducing the likelihood of anxiety.

“Deep breathing helps you to avoid the fight or flight response,” she says.

Try this breathing exercise to help:

1. Find a place free from distraction. This could be a place in the house, or even a toilet cubicle in work.

2. If you’re unable to lie down, simply sit and relax the body.

3. Place one hand on your stomach and another on your chest. Inhale, taking a deep breath from your stomach. You should feel the hand on your stomach move, and not your chest. Breathe in for a count of three.

4. Hold the breath for short pause

5. Release the breath for a count of four. As you exhale, imagine that you are releasing all stress and tension from the body. If you wish, you can imagine saying a mantra, such as “Calm” as you exhale.

She also had a second exercise to bring rapid relief to a racing mind.

“Another quick tip for helping calm your mind is the 5-4-3-2-1 method,” Lomas adds.

“Bring awareness back to your body and the present by simply thinking of and naming:

Five things you can see

Four things you can touch

Three things you can hear

Two things you can smell and…

One thing you can taste.”

Perform a ‘brain dump’

Another top tip for helping to manage life overwhelm, according to Lomas, is to carry out a “brain dump”.

“A brain dump can help release some of the mental pressure by creating a bullet point list of everything that’s on your mind,” she explains. “This may be things we need to do, worries or things completely unrelated.”

The extraordinary story of an 18th-century woman charged with sodomy

Helena Wilson and Maggie Bain, Linck and Mulhahn, Hampstead Theatre - Helen Wilson
Helena Wilson and Maggie Bain, Linck and Mulhahn, Hampstead Theatre – Helen Wilson

In 1717, Anastasius Linck, who had been born female but had lived her adult life as a male (some of it as an officer in the Prussian army) married Catharina Mulhahn in Halberstadt. Four years later, following the suspicions of Catharina’s mother, she was exposed as a woman and executed for sodomy later that year. Little is known of her life except a single court record which includes a description of a stuffed leather strap-on penis she apparently favoured; it’s not clear the extent to which her wife was aware of the deception.

These meagre but glinting spokes form the basis of Ruby Thomas’s freewheeling reconstruction, which casts Anastasius not as a lesbian but as neither woman nor man, and her wife, about whom even less is known, as a free spirited feminist and pamphleteer who before marriage liked to shock her widowed mother by threatening to defecate on the dining room hearth. The basic facts of their story remain intact, but the lens is very much a 21st century one, which stretches to the ahistorical way they think and talk about themselves. “We have always existed,” says Linck. “We will always exist.”

All well and good, but I wish Thomas and her director Owen Horsley had dug more deeper and faithfully into the story’s period setting, and allowed us to care about both characters as messy, complicated products of their specific moment rather than as emblematic figures co-opted by history, even if the words non binary and trans are conspicuously not used. Instead, Horsley’s production has a self-consciously ersatz feel, the stage dominated by an unlovely cheap-looking white panelled wall, the background strains of harpsichord occasionally interrupted by bursts of glam rock. The default tone is spirited, bawdy and jaunty – enjoyable enough, but what poignant moments there are feel declamatory rather than properly moving. And while Thomas has great fun with the trial, casting the judge and jury as an old boys network of drunks and buffoons, the cartoon villainry feels symptomatic of the play’s broad brush stroke characterisation.

Helena Wilson brings a streak of reckless danger to Catharina (although it remains coyly unclear what sort of sex the pair enjoyed). Maggie Bain evokes something of Anastasius’s core, possibly irredeemable loneliness but their performance needs a bit more oomph. Thomas has done a valuable thing in bringing this terribly sad story into the light, but her play tells us less about who these two extraordinary people were and how they lived, and more about how we choose to think of gender in the present day.

Until Mar 4. Tickets: 020 7722 9301; hampsteadtheatre.com

Barbra Streisand to publish her first memoir

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/sI3K2orRCWSMtJgTtbB37w–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3NTtjZj13ZWJw/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/93eb8febaaa3096740efebe705bdbbcb&quot; alt="<span>Photograph: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Photograph: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Barbra Streisand will publish her first memoir later this year, her publisher has announced.

My Name is Barbra will cover the life and six-decade-long career of the 80-year-old star. Though there have been several books about her life, this will be the first time Streisand has published her own account.

Streisand has found success as a singer, an actor, a director and a producer, and has two Oscars, five Emmys, 10 Grammys, 11 Golden Globes and a Tony award. The first film she produced herself, Yentl, made her the first woman to direct, produce, write, and star in a major motion picture, and the first woman to win a Golden Globe award for best director. She was also the first female composer to receive an Academy Award for best original song – Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born). Streisand has also been a passionate philanthropist throughout her life, creating the Streisand Foundation in 1986 to support women’s rights, voting rights, and environmental protection, among other causes.

Ben Brusey, publishing director at Century, the imprint of Penguin Random House UK that is publishing My Name is Barbra, called Streisand “the ultimate artist and icon”. Her book is “one of the greatest tales of the creative life ever told,” he added. “Streisand’s memoir reveals a voice on the page that is every bit as heartfelt, entertaining and spectacular as her greatest performances.”

My Name is Barbra will be published on 7 November 2023 in hardback, ebook and audiobook.

Why Eva Green has every right to treat the rest of us like ‘peasants’


Alexander Larman

Tue, 7 February 2023 at 1:46 pm GMT

Uncompromising: Eva Green - Getty
Uncompromising: Eva Green – Getty

Films constantly fall apart at the last minute, often because of financial issues. Usually the cast and crew shrug, dust themselves off, and move onto other projects. However, in the case of the unmade environmentally themed sci-fi thriller A Patriot, what would have been a minor news item in the trade press has become a major story because of its star, Eva Green, and her WhatsApp messages, which have recently entered the public domain.

Not only did she describe the film’s producer Jake Seal as “a devious sociopath” and “pure vomit”, but she called the production manager Terry Bird “a f–cking moron”, and the proposed local crew were denigrated as “sh–ty peasant crew members from Hampshire”. Asking Dan Pringle, the film’s director, to fire both Seal and Bird, Green signed off her message “My name is Cruella”.

The court case has been front page news: proof that Green is the latest in a long, distinguished line of imperious divas who will not be talked down to or taken for granted. Asked about her description of her would-be colleagues as “weak and stupid”, Green blamed it on “my Frenchness coming out”, and, when asked about her remarks about “sh–ty peasants”, responded adamantly “I have nothing against peasants.” If this wasn’t clear enough, she then repeated it.

Spectators in court were also amused by the way that Green chose to clap occasionally to illustrate a point, while saying “boom boom”; this was also a feature of her messages, such as when she wrote “Charles needs it as well as he will then be able to respond boom boom and suggest the new idea.”

The case’s message disclosures – undoubtedly the most revealing for a major Hollywood star since Johnny Depp’s similarly jaw-dropping texts were made public during his various court cases with his ex-wife Amber Heard – will have crystallised the idea that Eva Green is just as flamboyant and otherworldly as many of the characters that she has played on screen. After all, she’s played witches, ancient Greek queens, duplicitous Bond girls and, almost inevitably, Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s half-sister and nemesis.

Otherworldly: Eva Green in White Bird in a Blizzard
Otherworldly: Eva Green in White Bird in a Blizzard

There is not a light-hearted sidekick or docile romantic lead to be found in any of her filmography; it is no surprise that her next major role is as the dastardly Milady de Winter in a new French adaptation of The Three Musketeers.

Whatever happens with the case, it is unlikely to do Green’s career any serious reputational damage. Producers who hire her and audiences who flock to her films are expecting the French actress to be someone magnetic and fearsomely charismatic. It would have come as far more of a shock if, say, Olivia Colman had referred to “s____y peasants”, given that she has a public persona of being accessible and friendly; it should also be noted that there are very few male actors who could have got away with a similar utterance without being decried for snobbishness and rudeness. Imagine if Benedict Cumberbatch was caught saying the same thing: his A-list status would vanish overnight.

This is a reflection of what has happened to the industry. As the star system has collapsed – with only Tom Cruise left flying the flag for true A-list celebrity – then there has been greater pressure on well-paid performers to come across as matey and accessible, the sort of people you could imagine going for a chai latte between shooting scenes. This doesn’t preclude irritating faux-spats taking place between actors and their friends, but nonetheless the more eccentric figures of the past decades – the Jim Carreys and Mel Gibsons – who built their careers without attempting to be ingratiating have largely faded from view, to be replaced by more amenable performers.

And the business is horribly harsh on women, especially. Few can forget the notorious 2003 Meg Ryan-Michael Parkinson interview in which, obviously uncomfortable with Parkinson’s invasive questioning while promoting her film In the Cut, Ryan all but shut down the interview. She suggested to Parkinson that he “wrap it up” after the usually amicable chat show host, clearly irritated by his guest, started to ask increasingly personal questions, saying “you’re wary of journalists… you’re wary of me, you’re wary of being interviewed, I can see it in the way that you sit, in the way that you are.”

Although the film she was promoting, a Jane Campion-directed psychosexual thriller, was a deliberate change of pace from the romantic comedies with which Ryan had previously been associated, the image that she had cultivated – or to be exact, had been cultivated for her by publicity departments – of a glamorous, fun-loving and slightly ditzy woman was so damaged by her perceived hostility and frostiness that her career never recovered again.

Yet had Green and Ryan lived in former times in Hollywood, they may well have found that any expressions of bad temper or petulance would either have disappeared into studio black books – only to be used against them if a new contract had to be negotiated on unfavourable terms – or, alternatively, have come out in such exaggerated fashions that they would be celebrated for all eternity. One thinks of Faye Dunaway, who has been the subject of countless stories about haughty or demanding behaviour.

Most notoriously, she was rumoured to have thrown a cup of urine in the face of director Roman Polanski on the set of Chinatown when Polanski denied her a bathroom break during shooting; a story that she has described as “absolutely ridiculous” and not even deserving “the dignity of a response”. And it was perhaps karma that she played another actress with a reputation for imperiousness, the legendary Joan Crawford, in the notorious biopic Mommie Dearest.

Faye Dunaway in Chinatown - Rex
Faye Dunaway in Chinatown – Rex

It was little wonder that, when Crawford starred opposite her rival Bette Davis (who described Dunaway, coincidentally enough, as “the worst person in Hollywood” in 1988) in the 1962 horror film What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, the two women – both notoriously uncompromising and difficult to work with – vied with one another for supremacy, both on and off-screen. Davis had the best of it, not only being nominated for an Oscar for her performance (Crawford, who had antagonised most of the members of the Academy by then, was snubbed) but also got the last word after its release. Prevailed upon by her co-star to watch the film, Crawford anxiously asked Davis what she thought of it. Her fellow diva replied, imperiously. “You were so right, Joan. The picture is good. And I was terrific.” She then hung up, savouring the last word.

Davis and Crawford were notoriously difficult to work with. The director of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Robert Aldrich, tactfully said “If the shoe fits, wear it, and I am very fond of Miss Crawford”, after firing her from the follow-up film, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte on the grounds that she had feigned mental illness to disrupt production. Crawford bore a considerable grudge against Aldrich, saying of him “He is a man who loves evil, horrendous, vile things”, but the director’s career continued to go from strength to strength, while Crawford’s declined into obscurity. She died in 1977, and Davis outlived her for another 12 years.

Feud: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? - SNAP/REX/Shutterstock
Feud: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? – SNAP/REX/Shutterstock

However, Crawford’s great rival remained a diva right up until the end: she walked off the set of her final film, 1989’s Wicked Stepmother, in a fit of rage at what she saw as an inadequate script and a lack of respect for her grande dame status. The production was informed that she had a dental emergency, and she never returned to set. She appears in the finished picture for a mere 11 minutes, but every moment of those radiates the star quality that she demonstrated throughout her life, on and off set alike.

There are countless more examples of this kind of behaviour. One thinks of Elizabeth Taylor, blithely disrupting the production of Cleopatra – at enormous expense – so that she could pursue her love affair with Richard Burton: something that so dominated the film’s publicity and reception that the film itself became something of an afterthought.

Or Barbra Streisand, whose dedication to control over her films has meant that it is not uncommon for her to star in, write, direct and produce a picture, to say nothing of singing any songs that appear in it. Some people might regard the resulting products as exercises in egomania, but as Streisand shrugged of the men that she has dealt with in the movie business: “They weren’t used to someone like me – who had opinions, by the way.”

Streisand is an interesting figure because she has one foot in the film industry and one in the music business, and cinema, for all its excesses, has never begun to compare to rock stardom for the sheer eye-popping debauchery of its narcotic-soaked stars. The nature of film as an essentially collaborative process has meant that actors, however egomaniacal they are, can be replaced far more easily than a lead singer or guitarist, and the projects continue.

'They weren’t used to someone who had opinions': Barbra Streisand insisted on controlling most aspects of her films - Sunset Boulevard
‘They weren’t used to someone who had opinions’: Barbra Streisand insisted on controlling most aspects of her films – Sunset Boulevard

Although Johnny Depp’s apparent confusion as to whether he is an actor or rock star has meant that his own purported excesses seem to belong to another era of Hollywood, the business is now a tamer, less exciting one, with yes-men and social media-trained actors dominating it.

Therefore, we should all be grateful to Green and her behaviour. Movie stars should have an otherworldly charisma that puts them in an altogether different sphere to you and I. When we pay our £10 to go and see a great actor or actress at the cinema, we are not just putting down our money to be entertained for a couple of hours, but to spend time in the presence of a deity, an aloof and superhuman figure who only deigns to associate with mere mortals via the medium of the silver screen.

This was something that Davis, Crawford, Taylor and their ilk in the Golden Age of Hollywood always understood. But it has been more or less lost in contemporary cinema, with its less charismatic and mysterious performers. Green has reminded us, with her fiery – and, as she might say, decidedly French – spirit, that she is a true icon of cinema, showing a passion and individuality sorely lacking from so much of her colleagues’ work and lives. Whatever the outcome of the case is, she has already won.

‘It’s a shame’: Lorraine Kelly says Madonna ‘doesn’t really look like herself’


Lorraine Kelly
 says she feels that Madonna “doesn’t really look like herself” following her recent appearance at the Grammys.

The singer, 64, made an appearance at the 65th Grammy Awards on Sunday (5 February) night, where she introduced Sam Smith and Kim Petras for their rendition of chart-topper “Unholy”.

However, some viewers at home claimed that Madonna looked “unrecognisable” during the segment.

Discussing the singer’s new look on Tuesday (7 February) morning’s episode of Lorraine, Kelly said that it was a “shame” the singer had changed her appearance.

“She doesn’t really look like herself,” said the Scottish presenter.

“I just think it’s a little bit disappointing that she feels like she has to. It’s a shame.”

However, Kelly stressed that Madonna, with her lengthy career, had “paid her dues” and could do “whatever she wants”.

The Independent has contacted Madonna’s representatives for comment.

Madonna introduced a performance at the Grammys (Getty Images for The Recording A)
Madonna introduced a performance at the Grammys (Getty Images for The Recording A)

Madonna’s name continued trending on Twitter on Tuesday morning, as social media users shared photos of her recent look online.

However, many also spoke out to defend the singer, with one tweet reading: “Sick of seeing comments on Madonna’s face on here. As we know women can’t win. Can you imagine pop culture without her contribution? No. Have some respect.”

Another commenter wrote: “To the people who judge Madonna’s appearance, saying she has destroyed her face – or their mum looks better at age 64 – are perfectly proving why women feel the need to have cosmetic surgery in the first place.”

In 2018, Madonna spoke about her experience of ageism in the music industry, saying: “What I am going through now is ageism, with people putting me down or giving me a hard time because I date younger men or do things that are considered to be only the domain of younger women.

“10 to 20 years from now, it’s going to be normal,” she added. “People are going to shut up.”

Fans were ‘not well’ at Taylor Swift dancing to Bad Bunny at the 2023 Grammys

Taylor Swift fans had all sorts of reactions to her breaking into her signature dance moves during Bad Bunny’s 2023 Grammy Awards performance.

The 65th annual event opened with a performance by Bad Bunny, who was up for three awards at the event, including “Album of the Year”. While the singer was onstage, some of his dancers joined the attendees in the audience.

Swift was one of the many stars who danced along to the singer’s music and was seen moving along to the music in her seat. She also got up to dance with two of Bunny’s dancers.

On social media, fans expressed their shock and delight over Swift’s dance moves.

“NEVER THOUGHT I’LL SEE TAYLOR SWIFT DANCING TO REGGAETON IM NOT WELL,” one wrote.

“Didn’t have ‘Taylor Swift dancing to Bad Bunny’ on my bingo card for 2023 but here we are,” another wrote.

A third said: “Taylor Swift dancing to bad bunny altered my brain chemistry forever.”

Other fans praised the sweet moment and Bunny’s performance.

“What a way to open the show,” one person responded on Twitter, to a video of the event posted by Variety.

“TS genuinely enjoying a genre she never made, but still manages to look classy / sexy at the same time while dancing, masters of rhythm know how to move,” another added.

“EVERYBODY NEEDS 2 BE LIKE TAYLOR LATIN MUSIC MAKES U MOVE,” a third wrote.

This isn’t the first time that Swift’s dance moves at the Grammys have made headlines. In 2014, she went viral for her head banging, which included her whipping her head back and forth at the piano, during her performance of “All Too Well” at the music awards.

While in the audience at the occasion, she was also filmed dancing to Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons’ performances.

In 2019, she went viral after fan accounts shared multiple videos of Swift doing an impromptu dance performance to her song, “You Need to Calm Down,” while at a party to celebrate the song. At the time, footage of Swift at the event prompted the hashtag #DrunkTaylor to start trending.

Swift later responded to the hashtag on Twitter with photos from the occasion and a caption that read: “Threw a party to celebrate with the people who made the ME! & YNTCD videos with me- and we had so much fun that ‘Drunk Taylor’ is trending on Twitter. CHEERS.”

In addition to her dancing at this year’s Grammys, fans also responded to Swift’s look with suspicions that her Midnights-themed outfit could mean that she’s coming out with another album.

Harry Styles: Grammys success feels like validation I’m on the right path

Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Mon, 6 February 2023 at 7:06 am GMT

Harry Styles says his major Grammy win feels like validation that he is “on the right path” with his music.

The 29-year-old singer took home the biggest award of the night – album of the year – for his third studio album, Harry’s House.

Speaking in the winner’s room after the ceremony, Styles said he was “overwhelmed” but “so grateful” to receive the award, and that the album had been “for my friends”.

65th Annual Grammy Awards – Show
Harry Styles performs As It Was at the 65th annual Grammy Awards (Chris Pizzello/AP))

“I think we’re overwhelmed at the moment, I definitely wasn’t expecting to get this,” he told the PA news agency.

“I think being nominated for stuff like this kind of feels like the winning part, being recognised by your peers.

“It’s obviously incredibly nice to receive this, I don’t think it’s the reason any of us in the room do it, but I’m so grateful they thought our album was worthy of it.”

65th Annual Grammy Awards – Show
Harry Styles accepts the award for album of the year (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

He continued: “I think more than anything it just kind of feels like validation you’re on the right path in choosing, when we get in the studio and just make the music we want to make.

“It feels really nice to feel like ‘oh that is the right thing to do’ and it’s crazy. I’m really proud of everyone who made the album.

“I will continue to say that this one was for my friends.”

Styles accepted the top gong from a superfan, who had been brought up to the stage by Grammys host Trevor Noah, and embraced her as he took the prize.

Earlier in the evening Styles also took home the Grammy for best pop vocal album, and performed his hit song As It Was.

Taking to the stage, he donned a long tasselled silver shirt, with matching trousers, which shimmered as he charged around the space.

Styles was joined by a troupe of dancers for a neatly choreographed routine on a separate rotating stage piece, similar to the song’s music video.

As It Was also earned nominations for both song of the year and record of the year, but lost out to Bonnie Raitt and Lizzo respectively.

The former One Direction star also enjoyed a stand-out 2022, with the release of two films: Don’t Worry Darling co-starring Florence Pugh, and My Policeman alongside Emma Corrin.

Harry’s House also secured him a nomination for the coveted Mercury Prize last year, but Styles lost out to Little Simz.