Mercury Prize: Rapper slowthai holds up dummy severed head of Boris Johnson

The rapper Slowthai has insisted he doesn’t condone violence in any form after pulling out a fake severed head of Boris Johnson during his performance at the Mercury Prize.

In a somewhat flippant statement defending the stunt, the 24-year-old quipped: “No Boris Johnsons were hurt in the making of this Slowthai performance.”

Slowthai – whose real name is Tyron Kaymone Frampton – claimed his act “was a metaphor for what this government is doing to our country, except what I did was present it in plain sight”.

After stripping to the waist during an energetic rendition of his track Doorman, the rapper had grabbed the fake head from the floor and held it aloft, shouting: “F*** Boris Johnson. F*** everything.”

Although there were huge cheers as he left the stage, awards host Lauren Laverne quickly addressed the incident, saying: “Slowthai, with his own views there.”

In a Twitter statement on Friday, the rapper wrote: “[On Thursday] night I held up a mirror to this country and some people didn’t like the reflection.

“The people who isolate and divide us aren’t the ones who will feel its effects the hardest.

“They’re not the ones queuing at food banks, not the ones navigating Universal Credit and not the ones having to deal with systematic oppression and hate crime at the hands of privileged politicians who say what they want without fear and consequence.

“We as a people are not being looked after and our best interests are not being served by those in government – this is their job and they’re not doing it well enough.”

Game Of Thrones, Fleabag, Chernobyl – who’s up for what at the Emmys

Stars from shows including Game Of Thrones, Fleabag, Chernobyl and Killing Eve are getting ready for the Emmy Awards tonight.

Fantasy drama Game Of Thrones made history when the shortlists were announced earlier this year, receiving a record-breaking 32 nominations.

Despite mixed reviews for the eighth and final season, it picked up the most nominations for any programme in a single season, breaking a 25-year record held by NYPD Blue, which had 27.

After the nominees were announced, it emerged that many of the stars had put themselves forward for the awards.

Another top nominee is Sky’s nuclear disaster mini-series Chernobyl, with received 19 nominations. The dramatisation of the 1986 Russian nuclear power disaster, released earlier this year, was one of the unexpected TV hits of the year.

Dave wins Mercury Prize

Rapper Dave has won this year’s Mercury Prize at a politically charged ceremony, hugging his mum on stage after picking up the award.

Speaking after his winner’s performance, the south London star, whose full name is David Orobosa Omoregie, said his win was “the biggest compliment” and “way bigger than me”.

The 21-year-old picked up the gong for his number one debut album Psychodrama, which was released in March, beating acts including Foals, The 1975 and Anna Calvi to the prize.

Judges described the album as “the musical equivalent of a literary masterpiece” which would have “lasting relevance for a generation”.

On stage, he also thanked his brother Christopher Omoregie, who was jailed for life in 2012 for a knife murder, and said the story of Psychodrama was inspired by therapy his sibling received.

Dave said: “I want to thank God. I want to thank everyone, my mum.

“I want to thank my brother Christopher. Even though you can’t be here with us today, I know you are watching this bro.”

Born in London to Nigerian parents, Dave is the youngest of three brothers.

His two older siblings have both served time in prison, which the rapper alludes to in his music.

After his album reached number one in the charts earlier this year, he made headlines again at this year’s Glastonbury, when he invited teenager Alex Mann to join him on stage to rap along to his hit Thiago Silva, and the clip went viral.

Along with slowthai and Idles, he had been one of the bookies’ favourites to win the Mercury Prize.

Speaking after the ceremony at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, west London, Dave paid tribute to all the “talented artists” who were up for the award, as well as the “unsung heroes” who work with him, and said: “I never expected to win…

“It’s the biggest compliment, it is the biggest compliment, and this is an award that is all about the music.”

He added: “This is probably the best day of my mum’s life, my brother’s too. It’s crazy times now.”

The Mercury Prize is awarded for the best album released in the UK by a British or Irish act and also has a winning cheque for £25,000.

Shane Gillis: Saturday Night Live sacks new comedian over ‘hurtful’ racial slurs

A new Saturday Night Live comedian has been axed from the show before his first appearance after a video emerged of him making “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” slurs about Chinese people.

Shane Gillis faced a backlash soon after it was announced he was joining the long-running US sketch show.

After footage of him making offensive comments was shared online, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels confirmed he has removed Gillis from the cast.

A spokesman for Michaels said: “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.

“We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.

Gillis has posted a statement on Twitter saying it felt “ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are”.

He added: “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away.

“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity.

“I was always a mad TV guy anyway.”

Britney Spears’ father avoids legal action over alleged assault of grandson

Britney Spears’ father will not face action over allegations he physically assaulted the pop star’s son, prosecutors say.

Jamie Spears was accused of grabbing and shaking his 13-year-old grandson Sean last month.

The child’s father, Kevin Federline, alleged that Mr Spears was involved in a physical altercation with Sean on 24 August.

Mr Federline, a former backing dancer who was married to Britney Spears from 2004 to 2007, filed a police report against his former father-in-law.

He said 12-year-old Jayden, his second son with Ms Spears, was also in the house at the time of the alleged incident.

But California authorities decided not to take action and a statement from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said there was “insufficient proof” a crime had been committed.

Mr Federline obtained a restraining order against Mr Spears following the alleged incident, according to NBC News.

Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter serves restraining order on pop star brother Aaron

Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter has obtained a restraining order against his younger pop star brother Aaron, alleging he threatened to kill his pregnant wife and unborn child.
Nick, 39, posted a statement on social media saying he had been left with “no choice” but to take action, citing his brother’s “increasingly alarming behaviour”.
Aaron, 31, who had hits including Crush On You and Crazy Little Party Girl as a child star in the late 1990s, tweeted: “So my brother just got a restraining order against me. And I was just served lol.”
The temporary order states that Aaron must stay at least 100ft (30 metres) away from Nick, his family and his home in Las Vegas.
Aaron has denied allegations of threatening behaviour.
In his statement, Nick said: “After careful consideration, my sister Angel and I regret that we were required to seek a restraining order against our brother Aaron today.
“In light of Aaron’s increasingly alarming behaviour and his recent confessions that he harbours thoughts and intentions of killing my pregnant wife and unborn child, we were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family.
“We love our brother and truly hope he gets the proper treatment he needs before any harm comes to himself or anyone else.”
Aaron, 31, said on Twitter: “I am astounded at the accusations being made against me and I do not wish harm to anyone, especially my family.”
He added: “Take care. @nickcarter. we’re done for life.”

The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek dies aged 75

Ric Ocasek, the frontman of US band The Cars, best known for their 1980s hit single Drive, has died aged 75.

Ocasek was found dead in his apartment in Manhattan on Sunday afternoon, when police responded to a 911 call.

There were no signs of foul play and a post-mortem is to take place, the NYPD said.

Ocasek sang, played guitar and wrote most of the band’s songs. His death comes a year after The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

‘We will no longer engage with trolls’ say Lineker, Riley and Khan

Ex-England striker Gary Lineker, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley and London mayor Sadiq Khan are among a group of celebrities, politicians and campaigners who have pledged not to publicise the abuse they receive on social media from trolls.

They have been convinced by new research that suggests hate speech is being inadvertently spread through social media when insults, put-downs or worse are quoted or shared.

They will instead report the worst cases of abuse to police, while sending lesser examples to social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to put pressure on them to act.

By refusing to respond, they believe it will starve trolls of a wider audience.

The move targets those using social media to spread racist, sexist, xenophobic and other hateful messaging through retweets and public shaming.

Match Of The Day presenter Lineker, with 7.4 million Twitter followers, says he is determined to “show online trolls the red card” after seeing the racist abuse directed at young black footballers.

Banksy painting depicting MPs as chimps to go up for auction

A Banksy painting that shows the House of Commons filled with chimpanzees is to go up for auction, where it is expected to fetch up to £2m.

The artwork, named Devolved Parliament, was unveiled 10 years ago as part of the Bristol artist’s exhibition Banksy vs Bristol Museum.

It features rows of apes sitting in the Commons wearing aprons and carrying the inscription, “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge”.

The piece went back on show at Bristol Museum earlier this year to mark the 10-year anniversary of that exhibition, as well as the original Brexit deadline of 29 March.

Devolved Parliament will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London on 3 October and is expected to sell for between £1.5-£2m.

It will be on display to the public from 28 September.

Alex Branczik, European head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, described the mysterious artist as “a modern-day Voltaire”.

He added: “Regardless of where you sit in the Brexit debate, there’s no doubt that this work is more pertinent now than it has ever been, capturing unprecedented levels of political chaos and confirming Banksy as the satirical polemicist of our time.”

The auction comes nearly a year after Banksy’s Girl With The Balloon self-destructed as the gavel came down at Sotheby’s, becoming the newly named Love Is In The Bin.

The painting was shredded, thought to be by a remotely activated mechanism in the frame.

Moments before, the winning bid of £860,000 (£1,042,000 including buyer’s premium) was made by phone – well over the estimate of between £200,000-£300,000.

Banksy posted on Instagram after Devolved Parliament went on display in Bristol in March.

He wrote: “Devolved Parliament. I made this ten years ago.

“Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.”

He ended the post by saying: “Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.”

When the piece was first unveiled in 2009, the artist said: “You paint 100 chimpanzees and they still call you a guerrilla artist.”

UK UNSIGNED Finals to feature Coco Cola Project Registration

The UK UNSIGNED Finals on Sunday, October 6th at the Broadway Theatre, Catford, SE6 will include registration for the Reach Up Project, supported by UK Youth and Coco Cola. We shall be delivering the Reach Up project after the event but you will need to get to the UK UNSIGNED Finals to register. This project will work to develop the potential of 20 young people between 16 – 23 and get them skilled and ready to make their mark towards their career development or employment prospects. Our initial Reach Up project will be run at the Rosendale Centre in the Peabody Cottages estate in Herne Hill from October 14th. The UK UNSIGNED Finals will be registering young people who are interested in taking part, or text 07932949319 or register your interest via this website.

see www.ukunsigned.org.uk for details or text 07932949319.. One Love Y’Alll….