Piers Morgan warns ‘threats have consequences’ after suspected troll is arrested

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment EditorFri, 7 January 2022, 10:53 am

Piers Morgan has warned “cowardly threats have consequences” after he reported death threats sent to him and his son to the police.

The TV star reportedly received messages telling him he was “a marked man” and it was a “promise” that he was “getting killed”.

The troll also threatened Morgan’s son Spencer, 28, who was told he would “get it” if his father did not.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill.

Morgan told the The Sun newspaper, where he is returning as a columnist: “People think it’s perfectly OK to make death threats to public figures on social media but it’s not — there has to be a line drawn, especially when family members are targeted.

“That’s why I reported it and I am grateful to the Met Police and Greater Manchester Police for taking it so seriously.”

He added on Twitter: “Cowardly threats have consequences.”

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “On Wednesday, 17 February 2021, police received a report of malicious communications relating to messages sent on social media.

“Officers have spoken with the complainant in person.

“On 3 August a 43-year-old man was arrested in Manchester on suspicion of making threats to kill. He has been released under investigation while inquiries continue.

“The investigation remains ongoing.”

The Apprentice viewers mock bizarre cruise ship logo: ‘If coronavirus was a logo’

The Apprentice viewers were left in stitches after the boys team came up with a cruise ship logo that resembled human faeces.

The BBC competition series returned on Thursday (6 January), with 16 new contestants preparing to compete to work with Lord Alan Sugar. You can meet the contestants taking part here.

Spoilers for The Apprentice episode one below

In the opening episode, the teams were tasked with coming up with the marketing for a new luxury cruise liner.

The boys team came up with the name “Seaquility” and suggested a logo that showed a person in the upward facing dog yoga pose merging into a wave.

They decided to make the design in the colours of a “tree”, meaning the human/wave hybrid had brown legs and a green upper half.

One of the team members, Harry, suggested that the design looked like “a banana rotting upside down”, “slime” or “a bogey”, while Karren Brady looked on unimpressed.

The Seaquility logo (BBC)
The Seaquility logo (BBC)

The design was widely mocked on social media, with one Twitter user declaring it “the funniest thing I have seen in ages”.

One viewer joked that the image looked like “if coronavirus was a logo”, while another compared it to “the Nando’s spice rating doing yoga”.

“Petition to make this the official logo of gastroenteritis,” one tweet read.

“I really want a T-shirt with the turd/bad banana wave on it,” joked radio presenter Sara Cox of the “iconic” design.

“It’s only the 6th day of the year but British TV in 2022 is already iconic,” another tweet read.

In the end, it was Harry who was fired from the show by Lord Sugar.

Speaking to The Independent about his exit, the 35-year-old regional operations manager said that the wrong decision had been made and that he had been scapegoated by his team.

You can read The Independent’s review of episode one here.

The Apprentice airs Thursdays at 9pm on BBC One.

The Apprentice launch show most-watched since 2017

Ellie Iorizzo, Senior Entertainment Reporter PAFri, 7 January 2022, 11:14 am

The first episode of The Apprentice was watched by 4.6 million people, making it the show’s most popular launch since 2017.

Series 16 of the BBC show began on Thursday evening, with Lord Alan Sugar aided by Baroness Karren Brady and previous winner Tim Campbell, who filled in for Claude Littner while he recovers from an accident.

The launch show was watched by an average of 4.6 million viewers, giving BBC One a 30.6% share in the overnight ratings – its highest since 2011, the corporation confirmed.

The Apprentice 2022
Harry Mahmood was the first entrepreneur fired by Lord Sugar (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

In the episode, former pharmacy manager Harry Mahmood, 35, became the first entrepreneur eliminated from the show.

He was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2021 New Year Honours for his work in the West Midlands during the early months of lockdown.

The series will continue to see the remaining 15 entrepreneurs battle it out to win £250,000 of investment in their business.

The Apprentice continues on BBC One and iPlayer.

Uber Eats driver sparks debate with ‘tip baiting’ video: ‘One of the worst things you can encounter as a driver’

Millions of viewers are learning about “tip baiting” for the first time, thanks to an Uber Eats driver’s viral video.

The clip comes courtesy of TikToker @owenlindstrom, who’s built a substantial following for posting his daily experiences as an Uber Eats driver. One of his recent videos struck a very particular chord, as it sparked a wide-ranging debate about gig workers and tipping protocols.

Those topics have played a major role on TikTok for quite some time, as delivery drivers often turn to the platform to share their experiences. 

Recently, a DoorDash driver went viral after sharing the “secret” downside of delivering to apartment buildings. Before that, a driver explained how they mistakenly received an order request from over 700 miles away

In @owenlindstrom1’s video, he describes “tip baiting” as one of the “worst things” a driver can encounter. Basically, the concept involves a customer including a large tip with their order, then changing the tip amount after their food arrives.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

As @owenlindstrom1 explains, customers might do this to encourage a driver to deliver their order more quickly. 

“Unfortunately there’s not really anything you can do to fight it,” @owenlindstrom1 adds. “Because the customer holds all the power.

That’s because, according to Uber Eats’ website, a tip can be edited up to an hour after the order arrives. The company adds that 100% of all tips go straight to the driver. 

Shop In The Know cover star Storm Reid’s high-fashion lookshttps://embed.fireplace.yahoo.com/embed/34841?articleId=copy-paste-1628255115563&ctrl=VideoCarousel&m_id=video-carousel&x_ap_enrich=.html

Many TikTokers wrote that they’d never heard of tip baiting, and some were outraged.

“That’s messed up,” one user wrote.

“If you have to reduce the tip after the fact, you should have to put a reason,” another added

“This upsets me,” another wrote

 Others, however, argued that tip baiting isn’t the real problem.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t be pre-tipping at all,” one user wrote

“Tipping shouldn’t exist at all,” another added. “Just pay the workers properly.” 

In the comments, @owenlindstrom1 wrote that he doesn’t believe tip baiting is “super common,” but added that it is frustrating when it happens. 

‘Hype House’ Netflix show spotlights TikTok stars, influencers trying to be ‘as famous as A-list celebrities’

The worlds of reality television and social media influencers collide as Netflix takes us inside the infamous TikTok Hype House (no need to break in this time Jenny Popach), with a look at the lives of some of the internet’s most famous stars, including Vinnie Hacker, Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy), Larray Merritt, Nikita Dragun, Kouvr Annon, Alex Warren and Thomas Petrou (released Jan. 7).

What is the Hype House?

Back in the day, The Real World on MTV brought us the story of strangers, “picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real,” and the Hype House series has a similar look and feel.

But instead of generic strangers encouraged to be their truest selves, this house is full of social media stars in their teens and 20s who live together and make content together, basically living and breathing social media at all times.

“My whole goal with this house in the first place was, why can’t people who hit millions of other people be as famous as A-list celebrities?” Thomas, the founder of the Hype House, says at the outset of the series.

The Hype House is a mansion in Moorpark, California. The money the influencers make on brand deals as the Hype House crew is used to pay for the rent and other household expenses.

“Imagine a fraternity filled with people that have millions of followers and dollars at their fingertips, with high school drama, and like, a ring light,” Nikita describes the Hype House in the show, which also helped launch the careers of Charli D’Amelio and her sister Dixie, and Addison Rae.

The tension the show tries to focus on is between Thomas Petrou and Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy).

Social media users will know that Chase no longer lives in the house, he didn’t necessarily leave Hype House on the best terms, with some promises to Thomas not kept in terms of TikTok content.

Thomas suggests that Chase not only left Hype House to pursue his budding music career, but (possibly more significantly) to be closer to then girlfriend Charli D’Amelio.

How “real” the tensions in this show really are, we’ll leave to you to decide, but using a mix of fly on the wall footage and confessionals, a large part of the show is focused on the pressures of having social media fame.

“TikTok decides what’s cool and what’s not cool,” Nikita says in the series. “Your power is associated with likes and your following, and your relationships.”

Hype House also tries to put the spotlight on the insecurities of these influencers, many feeling shunned and othered growing up, some being abandoned by their families at a young age, as a way to sort of qualify this quest for success.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

Controversies and cancel culture

We can’t talk about social media stars without bringing up their controversies, some of which are addressed on the show.

“If you get cancelled for something that’s what you’re known for, for the rest of your life,” Chase Hudson says, quite dramatically, in the series.

“Cancel culture’s used as a weapon now, opposed to a means of holding people accountable,” Alex Warren adds.

Nikita Dragun’s controversies are a particular focus, specifically being called out for blackfishing.

“When it comes to cancel culture, you never know what someone might deem offensive,” Nikita says.

In the show, we get to see Larray Merritt bringing up Nikita’s blackfishing to her, saying that she “just can’t post pictures or post anything where you just look obviously darker than you are” and that he “can’t just sit back and let that sh-t slide.”

But Larray isn’t completely safe from criticism himself, with Hype House documenting the aftermath of his 21st birthday party, organized by Nikita, which he went to after apparently testing positive for COVID-19.

Seemingly, the big concern for many at the time seemed to be the loss of content opportunities while all these influencers had to quarantine, in addition to fears that fans would turn on them.

Fans or dangerous radicals?

Of course, the relationships between these influencers and their fans are critically important. Without views, basically, the lives they created can slip through their fingers, and that’s ultimately what makes the possibility of being cancelled so scary for these people.

But Hype House also shows us what happens when the fandom goes too far, particularly related to the popular “thirst trap” posting, Twitch streamer Vinnie Hacker.

In one prank for a video, setup by Alex Warren, the twin sister of the girlfriend of Hype House resident Michael Sanzone kisses Vinnie right as Michael is called into the room, so he thinks Vinnie was kissing his girlfriend.

Well Nati Porizek, who kissed Vinnie, started receiving death threats from what Alex calls “radical fans” who are “genuinely convinced that they’re going to marry Vinnie.”

“Those people that took it to that extent, I wouldn’t even call them my fans actually, because who in their right mind would do that,” Vinnie says. “I don’t want to have to deal with this. It’s terrible.”

“I feel like I can’t have my own personal life. Let’s say I were to try to get a girlfriend or something, if they don’t approve of that person they’d go into that person’s past life, look at everything about them…and to me it’s f—ked up because I can’t find somebody for me and then, if I do find somebody for me, they’re just going to shit on them, and then they’re going to want to leave because they can’t handle it.”To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

While, admittedly, watching a group of teens and young adults navigate this newfound social media fame can be enraging and upsetting at times, from a cultural perspective, it is fascinating to see this rat race for views, clicks and followers online.

While a Netflix show may be part of Thomas Petrou’s initial plan to be “as famous as A-list celebrities,” ultimately we’ll be waiting to see the longevity of these social media careers, and the Hype House, and if the criticism and scrutiny ultimately becomes too much to handle for some.

But as Alex Warren says in the series (after hurting his foot at a local skate park), “pain is temporary, footage is forever.”

‘Grange Hill’ creator confirms he is bringing it back as movie after years of saying ‘no’

Julia Hunt

Julia Hunt·ContributorFri, 7 January 2022, 10:51 am

Grange Hill’s creator Sir Phil Redmond has confirmed that the hit TV series is coming back as a movie.

The planned film about pupils at the London school is already in the pipeline and Redmond has suggested he’d like to see some of the original cast members as parents or even grandparents.

The producer and screenwriter told BBC Breakfast that he has been asked about resurrecting the series almost every day for the last 15 years, and that the time is right.

He said: “I’ve been saying no for about 15 years but it’s kind of the thing that won’t go away.

<p>Sir Phil Redmond appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss plans to bring back Grange Hill as movie after years and years of saying 'no'.</p>
Sir Phil Redmond appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss plans to bring back ‘Grange Hill’. (BBC)

“It’s this thing that’s been following me around. Nearly every single day someone will say to me, why don’t you bring it back, do something?”

Redmond said during the last couple of years, through the COVID lockdowns, there have been a lot of references to the show.

One was Shirley Manson from Garbage saying it actually helped save her life when she was young. And then someone put the Grange Hill theme tune to a Beyonce video.

Sir Phil Redmond created 'Grange Hill'. (BBC)
Sir Phil Redmond created ‘Grange Hill’. (BBC)

“It just keeps coming round and round and round and in the end I gave in,” said the writer.

Grange Hill started in 1978 and aired until 2008.

The series about life in a London comprehensive launched the careers of several TV stars, including Todd Carty, who played Peter ‘Tucker’ Jenkins, Susan Tully, who starred as Suzanne Ross, and Lee MacDonald, who played Zammo.

Zammo had one of the biggest storylines in the school’s history when he became addicted to drugs. It led to the cast recording a song called ‘Just Say No!’ in 1986.

Lee MacDonald as Zammo McQuire in Grange Hill
Lee MacDonald as Zammo McQuire in ‘Grange Hill’. (PA)

As well as drugs, the programme was known for tackling issues like racism, teen pregnancy and HIV during its 30-year-run.

Martin Lewis warns soaring energy bills could force ‘eat or heat’ dilemma

Simon Neville, PA City EditorTue, 4 January 2022, 12:01 am

Households can expect to take a “seismic” hit to their energy bills which could force some to decide whether to eat or heat their homes, according to a consumer expert.

Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis said the Government must intervene now to avoid a crisis in the energy market.

He told the PA news agency: “This year is going to be a very tough year for many people.

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis has warned soaring energy bills will create huge problems this year (Jeff Overs/PA)

“The energy price crisis needs substantial intervention from the Government.

“We are going to see a minimum 50% increase in energy prices in the system and that is unsustainable for many.”

The Government’s energy price cap is due to be revised in February, with the increase put onto customers’ bills from April.

According to Cornwall Insights, an energy sector specialist, bills could rise from £1,277 a year under the current price cap to £1,865 a year when the next revision is announced, a rise of 46%.

They also predict it could spike to £2,240 a year at the following quarterly revaluation in August 2022 without a significant fall in energy prices globally.

Mr Lewis said: “We need to look at what we can do now and how we can protect those people who will need to choose between heating and eating.

“There are already some who are having to make that choice.

“We need to look at the whole structure of the energy market.

“The Government didn’t intervene early enough so we’re all paying for the market collapses we’re seeing.”

Several firms went bust in 2021, with customers at other energy firms picking up the tab for the collapses, whilst the Government also took over the running of Bulb after it failed last November.

Ofgem has subsequently announced changes to how much other energy firms, and eventually customers, can be forced to pay to fund rivals’ collapses.

However, many in the industry say more needs to be done to avoid future companies from going bust and stricter rules put in place over who can run suppliers.

Mr Lewis added that there needs to be greater protection for the most vulnerable, who may not be able to shop around for the best deals, or may be stuck on more expensive pre-payment options.

He said: “What’s coming in April is a seismic hit for fuel bills which is going to be astronomical.

“The Government has been meeting the energy industry but they’ve not been meeting the consumer groups.

“Certainly, I’ve not heard of any taking place.

“They have to sort this now because if we leave this before it’s too late it will be a disaster.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Protecting consumers is our top priority which is why our Energy Price Cap will remain in place.

“We are also supporting vulnerable and low-income households further through initiatives such as the £500 million Household Support Fund, Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. Domestic fuels such as gas and electricity are also already subject to the reduced rate of 5% of VAT.”

Martin Lewis was left ‘shaking’ and ‘near tears’ after encounter with single mum on money-saving show

 (ITV)
(ITV)

Martin Lewis has said he was left “shaking” and “near tears” after an encounter on the latest episode of his moneysaving show.

In Thursday’s episode of The Martin Lewis Money Show (6 January), the financial expert met a single mum named Sara who couldn’t afford her energy bills after her partner died of Covid-19

After the broadcast, Lewis expressed his sadness over the situation on Twitter, writing: “I feel near tears after doing my show.”

He continued: “I started doing what I do out of a passion for financial justice and providing solutions. To be unable to help a single mum who lost her partner in Covid afford her energy bills leaves me feeling impotent. I’m shaking.”

He suggested that political “intervention” is needed to combat such situations.

In the episode, Lewis discussed the rising prices of energy bills across the country and predicted that, by April 2022, the energy bill price cap could increased by 51 per cent.

Lewis advised the “vast majority” of viewers to stick to their current deal – especially if it’s below the price cap.

After running through his advice, a visibly frustrated Lewis said: “These are my best guesses. There is no firm answer. Sara, does that help? I know it doesn’t comfort, but at least do you understand?”

Sara thanked Lewis for his advice, with the financial expert telling her: “I wish you all the best in what has been a bad time for you. I’m so sorry I couldn’t give you something more.”

Martin Lewis was visibly frustrated in the latest episode of his moneysaving show (ITV)
Martin Lewis was visibly frustrated in the latest episode of his moneysaving show (ITV)

In response to his initial tweet, Lewis added: “A few ‘ur rich, pay her bloody energy bill’ replies. This isn’t about 1 person, it’s a totem for millions who’ll be in fuel poverty. Instead I try to give answers, lobby for change, & put my money where my mouth is this way…”

Hairdresser and restaurant cancellations surge after rise in Covid-19 cases

Empty tables in a restaurant in central London (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Empty tables in a restaurant in central London (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Firms such as hairdressers and restaurants saw cancellations soar last month as potential customers stayed at home amid the accelerating spread of Covid-19.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also highlighted a jump in the number of people working from home after the Government changed guidance in December.

The statistics body said on Thursday that 16% of companies reported “an increase in cancellations from customers over the last month”.

This figure lifted sharply for services companies, including hairdressers and beauty, which saw a 50% increase in cancelled bookings.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

Accommodation and food service businesses meanwhile saw a 45% increase in cancellations.

It comes after pubs and restaurants reported a sharp increase in cancellations after the Prime Minister announced Plan B restrictions, including guidance for people to work from home where possible, in December.

The change in guidance resulted in 21% of adults working exclusively from home during the three weeks to January 3, rising from 14% over the previous period.

The data also revealed continued pressure on worker numbers, with 15% of firms reporting staff shortages in late December.

This figure was significantly higher, at 35%, for businesses with 10 or more employees and particularly stark in the accommodation and services sector, where 37% of firms saw shortages.

Elsewhere, more than a third of businesses also reported a rise in the price of materials, goods and services compared with normal expectations.

Blood test could help detect cancer in people with nonspecific symptoms

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/AZ6sETcn5fOZD.jbRu4t1Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3NztjZj13ZWJw/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/.liCXSATdJ9AAYlgQQKxFw–~B/aD02MDA7dz05OTk7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/6cd09082008c3102a25f7fdde75c7ead&quot; alt="<span>Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Study finds test works on people with concerning signs such as unexplained weight loss or fatigue

Scientists have developed a blood test that could help detect cancer in people with nonspecific symptoms such as unexplained weight loss or fatigue.

If validated, the test could enable cancer patients to be identified earlier, when they are more likely to respond to treatment, and help flag up who could benefit from early access to drugs designed to tackle metastatic cancer. The test can also tell if the disease has spread.

There is currently no clear route through which someone with nonspecific symptoms that could be cancer is referred for further investigation. NHS rapid diagnostic centres are being set up to support faster and earlier cancer diagnosis, but often patients will be examined by their GP, and if they can’t identify an obvious cause of their symptoms then the patient will simply be told to come back if they get worse.

“The problem we’ve had in the past is that if they do have cancer, that cancer is growing all the time, and when they come back the cancers are often quite advanced,” said Dr James Larkin, of the University of Oxford, who was involved in the research.

Although it is difficult to know precisely how many individuals fall into this category, “it is likely to be tens of thousands of patients across the UK,” Larkin said. “We’re hoping to capture these patients when they come to the GP, to give them an immediate referral option.

“The moment you can say ‘you have a cancer’, it provides a strong incentive to send that patient for an imaging investigation to see if you can find that cancer.”

The new test utilises a technology called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which profiles levels of small molecules called metabolites in the blood. Healthy individuals have different metabolic “fingerprints” to those with localised or metastatic cancer.

In a study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, Larkin and colleagues analysed samples from 300 patients with nonspecific but concerning symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue and weight loss, and found that the test correctly detected cancer in 19 out of every 20 of those with the disease. It cannot yet pinpoint the type of tumour they have, but this is the ultimate goal.

The test could also distinguish between patients with localised or metastatic cancer with 94% accuracy, making this the first blood test to be able to detect if a person’s cancer has spread without knowing type of tumour they have.

“Such information changes how you treat patients,” Larkin said. For instance, certain immunotherapies have been shown to increase survival rates among people with metastatic cancer, but they are expensive and have side-effects. “We don’t want to prescribe them to everyone, but there are patients out there that would absolutely benefit if you could only identify them early enough.

A different type of blood test that aims to detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is being trialled in the NHS, but metabolic changes may be detectable earlier, while ctDNA technology also requires you to know which mutations to look for when finding a tumour.

The next step is to confirm the accuracy of the test in 2,000 to 3000 British patients with nonspecific symptoms, which Larkin hopes could happen within the next two years. This data would then be submitted to national regulatory agencies responsible for authorising such tests.