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Vlogging and impressions

Joe Sugg
Image caption Joe Sugg has just released his third graphic novel of a trilogy

Joe Sugg may be one of YouTube’s biggest stars (and the brother of another – Zoella), but he still doesn’t see himself as a celebrity.

“You could probably ask any YouTuber in the UK if they’d class themselves as a celebrity, and I guarantee they’d all say no,” he tells BBC News.

“And I think that’s because we never knew it would get this big, we never knew it would become this scale, at all.

“If you’ve got someone who wants to be a singer and actor, they already know the pros and cons of that job, whereas we never knew we were getting into something this big, so it’s been harder for us to sort of deal with and go along with it.”

While he may be slightly embarrassed to admit it, Joe is one of countless YouTubers who have reached the big leagues of fame.

Image caption Joe’s sister Zoe (Zoella) has appeared on a celebrity edition of Bake Off

Earlier this year, he, Zoella and her boyfriend Alfie Deyes had to leave the launch of a pop-up shop in Covent Garden because the sheer number of fans that had turned up caused security concerns.

Today, Joe is speaking to the BBC at Forbidden Planet in London as he launches his new book Username: Uprising – the third in a trilogy of graphic novels (the first became the fastest-selling ever for a debut writer in the genre).

He talked to us about writing, vlogging, roof-thatching, and trying to perfect his Donald Trump impression.

1. Joe hasn’t written the book on his own

There was a bit of a palaver when Zoella released her debut novel Girl Online under her own name in 2014, only for it to emerge later that she had co-authored it with a ghostwriter.

Joe is avoiding any such issues by being open about the fact that he works with a team on his series of graphic novels, including a colourist and illustrator.

“I would’ve liked to have drawn it myself obviously, but time wise, because I’ve got so many projects going on, three channels to run, I knew it would be impossible, but the great thing with a graphic novel is that it’s a collaborative process,” he says.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionJoe Sugg: Graphic novel provides ‘escapism’

“We’re all in contact, they’d send me over a few pages at a time and I’d go through and be like ‘This is great, but can we change this slightly, or change the expression on this face’, and it’s been great going back and forth and getting a feel of it being a team effort.”

2. He thinks it’s sensible for YouTubers to branch out of YouTube

“I think a lot of YouTubers will go into different avenues because I think that’s the smart thing to do – you can’t just rely on the one thing,” he says.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen to social media, it could be all shut down one day – not that it will I hope, but you never know.

“So I think it’s important to try out different things. So if you’ve ever had an interest or a hobby, like me with the graphic novels, explore that, see what you can do with it.”

3. He’s got his sister to thank for getting into vlogging

“Zoe started off as a blogger, didn’t want to be on camera – and that eventually turned into vlogging. I was aware of what she was doing at the time, but I was still working five days a week as a roof thatcher,” Joe explains.

“So she was starting to get bigger on YouTube and she showed me a lot of the male YouTubers, like Alfie [Deyes], Marcus [Butler], Jim [Chapman], and I’d watch them and think ‘This is the sort of stuff I can do, and have been doing throughout my childhood’.

Image caption Zoe was named best British vlogger at BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards in 2014

“I appeared in one of Zoe’s videos, that was my entrance to YouTube, and the majority of the comments were saying ‘Joe should start his own channel’, and that for me was like, okay yeah, if they want it, I’ll do it.”

4. He has no plans to release an autobiography

YouTubers have been cranking out books almost as quickly as videos in recent years, many of them autobiographies – but Joe doesn’t have any plans to join them just yet.

“I would love to release a memoir at a later date. I don’t think it’s right for me yet,” he says.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionJoe Sugg: An autobiography ‘not right for me yet’

“Although I’m 26 now, I just feel like I want to make the book thicker. But I can understand why a lot of YouTubers have done that – because we don’t have ordinary lives.”

He jokes: “I’ve got lots of fun stories to tell but I think I’ll wait it out, wait until I can grow facial hair, so could be quite a while off yet!”

5. He misses working as a roof thatcher

Joe’s YouTube channel – Thatcher Joe – isn’t a tribute to our former prime minister, but rather a reference to his pre-vlogging days as a roof thatcher.

“It was very much an arty job, making the ornate ridges, the patterns, I did genuinely love the job,” he says.

“It was such an important part of what I do now.

“There are a lot of YouTubers who have always thought ‘I want to be a YouTuber’, and they’ve gone into it and gotten carried away with that side of it, whereas because I’ve worked and know what it’s like to do a normal job…

“I don’t know what it is, but it kind of helps you keep it real, and know how good you’ve got it.”

6. Joe’s musical talents are no threat to Ed Sheeran

“A lot of my audience wanted me to sing, and I was like, why not give it a go – because you never know.

“But nobody heard it,” he laughs.

“Which is great; it’s been done and dusted, had a go, decided it’s not for me, moved on to the next thing.”

Image copyright Getty Images

7. His impressions are both the most popular and most unpopular videos he does

One of Joe’s most popular series of videos is his impressions – usually of fictional characters from shows like Family Guy and Sesame Street.

“I like to think of ideas which can become a series,” he says.

“I think it’s really important to create structures and formats within my videos; things I can to return to later on.

“It’s almost like a safety net of having a string of ideas which have more longevity than just a one-off.”

But impressions are also some of the most difficult to get right, with Joe describing them as “my most criticised videos”.

“There’s always one saying ‘Oh that was a bit dodgy’. I never really get that much criticism on my videos, but on the impressions videos, you do get a lot of people that are like ‘That wasn’t as great as it could be’, because it’s something where they can compare it to something else.”

8. But there’s one impression he still hasn’t been able to perfect

“I really wanted to learn how to do Donald Trump properly, purely because of that space of time [when he was elected],” Joe says.

Image copyright AFP

“I thought, there’s so much comedy you can get out of that, mastering people who are in the ‘now’, whoever’s got big exposure in the media at the moment, to learn them, but it takes time.

“By the time I’ve mastered them it’s like ‘Great, they’re irrelevant now’, so by the time I’ve mastered Donald Trump he won’t even be president anymore.”

Username: Uprising by Joe Sugg is out now

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Decision due on controversial plan for 47 homes

THE DEVELOPER behind a controversial plan for 47 homes on grazing land in Cleckheaton should learn this week whether its latest scheme is acceptable.

Redrow Homes first gained outline approval for a development on land off Ashbourne Drive after a public inquiry in 2013.

All matters other than partial means of access to the site, which is 2.4 hectares and currently used as grazing land, are to be determined in the latest application.

An earlier version of the plans was recommended for approval at a committee in June, but due to a number of concerns, planners asked the developer to look again at issues including amending the layout to avoid the housing estate roads crossing a farm track on the site, which provides access to Lower Blacup Farm and is also a public footpath; altering the layout to provide sufficient parking or storage to compensate for the below-standard garage space; road gradients to be recommended standards; sufficient bin storage and collection points to be provided; retaining walls to be faced in materials to match; and homes to be faced in brick to match those nearby.

In a report to Thursday’s Kirklees Council Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee, planners state that the majority of the issues have been addressed, but the applicant “declined to segregate the farm track / public right of way from the proposed road layout”.

Despite this the plans have been recommended for approval again.

Local councillor Kath Pinnock had asked that the matter be determined by a panel “on the grounds of the strength of the comments made by statutory consultees and continuing concerns from local residents”.

Concerns from Councillor Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) and residents centre on the farm track which crosses the site.

She states in her objections: “There will be conflict between farm traffic and residential traffic and pedestrians where the estate road crosses the farm track.

“The plans should be amended to prevent access over the farm track or make the crossing point single track with road safety measures to reduce traffic speed.”

After the changes, she added: “The applicant appears to have taken no action to mediate conflict of users of the farm track to the detriment of road safety.”

Highways officers had said that given that users of the track will have to give way to vehicles on the residential road where the two cross, speeds will be low.


Planners originally had concerns over the 54 homes that were applied for in 2012, with issues such as the proximity to a listed building and a working farm, as well as that the land was designated as provisional open land in the unitary development plan.

But the planning inspector disagreed and gave approval following a public inquiry, although a condition that nine homes will be provided as affordable housing was attached.

A subsequent application by Redrow to remove that condition is still undetermined, and Council planners believe five units are viable on the site.

Shipley and Pudsey to choose Labour candidates ‘before Christmas’

SHIPLEY and Pudsey Tory-held seats have been named in a leaked list of 75 key marginals where the Labour Party is reportedly getting ready to select candidates before Christmas.

The list was leaked to the left-wing website Labour List and includes just two other seats in Yorkshire – Morley & Outwood in Leeds and York Outer.

And the local Labour Party has revealed that Shipley, where Philip Davies has been the MP since 2005, is to have an all-women shortlist.

Shipley Constituency Labour Party chairman Joe Wheatley said last night: “It’s fantastic to be put down nationally as a marginal seat. It means more resources and a great opportunity to get Philip Davies out and we intend to get him out.”

Meanwhile, a post on the Shipley Labour Party Facebook page revealed the constituency had been designated an All Women Shortlist. “Shipley has NEVER had a woman MP, we are looking forward to changing this at the next election,” it said.

At the snap General Election in June, Mr Davies saw his majority narrow to 4,681 while Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew held on to his seat by just 331 votes. Labour gained 30 seats in all, closing the gap on the Tories to 56 as Theresa May lost her overall majority.

Earlier this month left-wing journalist Owen Jones and pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum were in Shipley to host an event in the town called Unseat Philip Davies, beginning a campaign to get him replaced by a Labour MP.

The Shipley MP had already hit back in a war of words, branding Mr Jones a “metropolitan, left-wing luvvie” and challenging him to a battle at the ballot box.

The event on September 10 at Shipley and District Social Club was to train people up to canvass on doorsteps even before the next General Election is announced.

When the Telegraph & Argus contacted Mr Davies yesterday about his constituency being included in the leaked list, he said it was not a surprise.

He said: “I don’t think that it’s going to come as a surprise to anyone.

“We had Owen Jones up here last week so it’s perfectly obvious they are targeting Shipley, that’s democracy. I will keep working hard and doing everything I can but it’s up to the people of Shipley to decide who they want.

“It’s a healthy state of affairs for democracy.”

Pudsey MP Mr Andrew did not respond to requests for a comment.

Public toilets may soon be run by town council

PUBLIC toilets in Baildon may be transferred to the control of the town’s council.

Baildon Town Council’s (BTC) economy committee has recommended the transfer of the toilets on Northgate in a report to go before a meeting of the full town council.

The final decision on Baildon’s ownership proposal will be made at BTC’s meeting on Monday, October 9.

In April 2018, Bradford Council will withdraw all budget provision for the Baildon public toilets and has started discussions with BTC about a possible community asset transfer.

Seven conveniences would close under Bradford Council’s latest cost-cutting proposals, now out for public consultation, under cuts announced in December last year.

They are in Saltaire, Bingley, Baildon, both Brook Street and Riverside in Ilkley, and Central Park and by the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth.

The cost of running all seven sites amounts to £144,600 a year. Only the toilets in Bradford’s City Park would remain open.

If a decision is made to seek a transfer of the toilets from Bradford Council to BTC, the additional expenditure will need to be included in the budget process for the 2018/19 financial year for BTC later this year.

The Baildon site features men’s, women’s and disabled toilets and is open seven days a week.

An additional, £2,000 may also be funded by the Town Council to pay for improvements including signage and possible baby changing facilities.

BTC has already received some representations about the importance of keeping the toilets open.

Research has been undertaken over the summer to assess possible alternative facilities. The annual cost of running Baildon public toilets would be an estimated £7,000.

BTC’s economy committee considered a report in July about this potential transfer but decided at that time to seek further information before making a recommendation to the full Town Council on the way forward. A public consultation was also launched at the same time.

The town council conducted a footfall survey on the toilets between July 31 and September 17 this year and found that it remained a well-used facility.

Gill Dixon, chairman of BTC’s economy committee, said: “It’s important that we keep the toilets open.

“People who use Baildon for walking see the toilets as important in the town. We have done a lot of research and on the footfall figures and the conclusion is that they are well-used and there is no real alternative in Baildon.”

The toilets would continue to be opened and closed by Baildon Taxis, also on Northgate, under the plans.

People can still have their say on the toilet plans for the town before the meeting on October 9. Email

Art mystery

Elwin Hawthorne, Phyllis Bray, John Cooper, Brynhild PavlerImage copyright Artists’ Estate
Image caption Elwin Hawthorne, Phyllis Bray, John Cooper, Brynhild Pavler had no formal art school training but were encouraged by an inspirational teacher

Two exhibitions open this month devoted to a group of working class artists from the East End of London who became art world celebrities in the late 1920s and 1930s – only to be forgotten after World War Two.

They were known as the East London Group, and among their ranks were humble office clerks, a navvy, a window cleaner, a shop assistant, a printer, a basket-weaver and an errand boy.

Now they’re being rediscovered, with one exhibition devoted to their work in Southampton, and another, curated by the children’s author Michael Rosen, on their home turf of Bow in East London.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Elwin Hawthorne was able to depict the North Foreland Lighthouse for Shell once he and the Steggle brothers began to travel around the country

Though they had no formal art school training, the paintings they produced were highly sophisticated.

Encouraged by an inspirational teacher, John Cooper, at evening classes in Mile End and Bow, they painted what they saw around them in London’s industrial, poverty-stricken East End, finding the extraordinary in the everyday.

For the most part, their subjects were smog-shrouded scenes of canals, railway bridges, terraced houses and scrubby back gardens.

There’s no traffic in their pictures, and very few people, giving them an eerie, slightly surreal quality.

And their paintings are a valuable record of a world long since vanished thanks to the wartime Blitz and post-war redevelopment.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Harold Steggles with the car bought thanks to the brothers’ success
Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Harold Steggles (left) worked as a solicitor’s clerk, his brother Walter worked for a shipping firm

For eight years in the 1930s they staged an annual exhibition at one of London’s most prestigious commercial art galleries, Alex Reid & Lefevre in Mayfair. Wealthy art collectors bought the group’s paintings and critics raved about them.

David Buckman, who has written a book about the group, says they received enormous press coverage in leading newspapers like The Times and the Daily Mail.

“They were well received, and received as equals,” he says, pointing out that two of the group were invited to exhibit paintings at the 1936 Venice Biennale alongside many of Britain’s leading artists.

The Southampton show has been curated by Alan Waltham, whose interest in the group was sparked because two of its members were his wife’s uncles.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Hawthorne’s Demolition of Bow Brewery immortalises a world now disappeared
Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Cecil Osborne’s Sunday Morning

Harold Steggles worked as a solicitor’s clerk; his brother Walter worked for a shipping firm. Each day they commuted into the City from Romford and later Chadwell Heath, returned to have their tea and then, three evenings a week, travelled back into the East End for Cooper’s classes.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Albert Turpin had multiple jobs from fireman to mayor but sketched whenever he could

Their sister Dilly, Waltham’s mother-in-law and now aged a frail 100, remembers they had a “studio” – one room in the family home – and sometimes let their little sister watch them at work.

Had she wanted to paint too? I asked her. “Me? No! I couldn’t paint a daffodil!” she says.

The brothers’ success meant they were able to buy a car (a Ford built at nearby Dagenham) and with their friend Elwin Hawthorne and his wife Lilian, who were fellow members of the group, they broadened their range by travelling round the country to paint.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Grove Hall Park, Bow by Harold Steggles

All three men contributed images to Shell’s famous series of posters depicting English scenes – Cookham in Berkshire in Walter’s case, Bungay in Suffolk in Harold’s, while Hawthorne’s picture was of North Foreland lighthouse in Kent.

Another leading member of the group was Albert Turpin, window cleaner, wartime fireman and war artist, firebrand socialist, Labour councillor and post-war Mayor of Bethnal Green.

His work is at the centre of the second exhibition at Bow’s Nunnery Gallery.

Michael Rosen says the group’s work is fascinating because of their insistence on painting what they saw in unfashionable places.

“Why paint shabbiness? It’s perverse. But that’s what makes their work interesting and really rather wonderful.”

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Walter Steggles’s painting of Canvey Island

Turpin’s daughter, Joan Barker, who was adopted by Turpin and his wife Sally aged two at the end of the war, recalls a man who was forever sketching: his family, his fellow councillors and the streets around him. After the war he made a point of sketching buildings due for demolition, and their replacements as they went up.

Barker has her father’s pre-war scrapbook, full of newspaper clippings about Councillor “Dick” Turpin and his run-ins with the law as he fought Oswald Mosley’s fascist agitators. And she has his post-war sketchbooks and several of his paintings.

Image copyright Artist’s Estate
Image caption Elwin Hawthorne’s Cumberland Market: Once a major hay market, it became an attractive area for artists

But sadly much of his work has vanished. After her father’s death in 1964, her mother decided to clear out the shed at the family’s Bethnal Green flat. Most of her father’s paintings from the 1920s, 30s and 40s were burnt.

But it’s not just Turpin’s work that has disappeared. Waltham, who runs a Twitter feed devoted to promoting the group, says more than 700 East London Group paintings were exhibited in the 1930s. He has been able positively to locate just 113 of them.

Some may have been destroyed. But many others may be hanging unrecognised on walls or sitting in attics up and down the country, still waiting to be rediscovered.

From Mile End to Mayfair at Southampton City Art Gallery runs until January. The Working Artist at the Nunnery Gallery in Bow, East London opens on 29 September.

CAR REVIEW: Gold-roofed DS3 conjures up memories of Odsal stock car racing

When I first set eyes on the DS3’s sparkling golden roof, my mind skipped back a few decades to the days of stock car racing at Odsal stadium.

According to the rules of the sport, only the world champion is allowed to paint his roof in such a way to denote superiority over all challengers.

So it was that I would watch with intrigue from the Rooley Avenue terrace as gold-topped cars driven by legends such as Stuart Smith, Peter Falding and John Lund performed what seemed like motoring miracles on the floodlit shale track below.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A gold-roofed stock car leads the way during a race at Odsal in 1986

Above: A gold-roofed stock car leading the rolling lap at Odsal 

With half a dozen formula one stock car finals held at Odsal in the 1980s and 90s, it truly was a golden era for the sport in Bradford.

Now, with the arrival of the DS3 Performance, it was my turn to feel like a world champ for the week while behind the wheel of a car painted in matt black and complete with a gold roof, gold mirror cappings and even a gold dashboard.

Those who prefer subtlety may want to steer clear because this car’s colourscheme attracts plenty of attention, proving that a gold roof still marks a vehicle out as special, whether on the stock car track or on the public highway.

But the DS3 Performance isn’t all about looks – it’s good to drive too.

With its modified suspension, lowered ride height and a wider track, the handling has been greatly enhanced. When tackling the tighter corners with urgency, it displays sure-footed, confidence-inspiring qualities.

With its agility further aided by the addition of a Torsen limited-slip differential, this special DS3 would no doubt be capable of a blistering lap round the famous Odsal track!

One place where it did come into its own was during a day trip to Chatsworth House, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire near Bakewell, as the go kart-style handling proved useful on some of the tight and twisty rural roads that run between West Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The DS3 Performance with Chatsworth House in the background during a trip out to Derbyshire

Above: DS3’s gold trimmings match those of Chatsworth House

If the car’s performance was equal to those roads, it’s appearance was also a match for Chatsworth House, which itself received some extra ‘bling’ during a recent restoration project that reintroduced gold leaf to key features, notably around the windows.

Under the car’s bonnet, you’ll find a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which has been updated for improved emissions and economy.

It puts out 210bhp, leaving it a touch short of current hot-hatch figures, which tend to be above 250bhp.

Nevertheless, it’s no slouch, feeling potent from low down the rev range and performing the sprint to 62mph in 6.5 seconds, which seems sufficient for everyday driving requirements.

Meanwhile, the gear ratio on the six-speed manual box has been shortened to create extra sportiness.

In many ways, it strikes a balance between a car that offers sprightly performance when the need arises, while remaining comfortable and easy to drive in towns and cities. However, once you leave the smoother surfaces found on city centre roads, the hard and sporty suspension makes for a less comfortable ride, as the car doesn’t do much to iron out road imperfections.

You get the overall feeling that DS Performance, the motorsport division of DS Automobiles, has paid great attention to detail in designing this car, with its 18” black alloy wheels, twin sports exhaust and DS Performance badging.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The DS3's gold dash

Inside the cabin, the gold dash might not be to everyone’s taste, but I thought it suited the car’s personality rather nicely and made a change from the ubiquitous black/grey dashboards found in so many other cars. The sports seats offer great comfort and support, while the leather-swapped steering wheel is a nice touch.

With its good looks, excellent handling and brisk acceleration, DS may just have struck gold with this little beauty.


DS3 Performance

PRICE: £25,915 on the road

BODY STYLE: Three-door hatchback

ENGINE: 1.6-litre four-cylinder, 210bhp

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual

0-62MPH: 6.5sec


EMISSIONS: 125g/km

Strictly stars in quotes

Rev Richard Coles and Charlotte HawkinsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Reverend Richard Coles and Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins are raring to go

After two weeks of rehearsals, this year’s Strictly Come Dancing stars are preparing to return to the dance floor this weekend for the first live show of the series.

Here’s what they had to say when we caught up with them earlier this month.

The Reverend Richard Coles

  • “There’s a dog collar being pimped apparently, we’re quite excited about that.”
  • “I was preaching quite a fierce sermon recently and a piece of glitter fell out of my hair.”
  • “I’m going to need a miracle. It’s ‘let us spray’ at the moment.”
  • “I’m going to have to launch myself across a dancefloor, which I haven’t done since Ibiza in 1990. And it wasn’t pretty then, believe me.”
  • “I’m very happy to volunteer to dance with Aljaz anywhere, any place, any time.”

Charlotte Hawkins

  • “I jumped at the chance [to do Strictly]. It was a no-brainer for me. It’s afterwards when people go ‘it’s really full on, it’s going to be scary.'”
  • “You’ve just got to throw yourself into it and love every minute.”
  • On Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan: “He’s very excited. Piers said we’re going to have fun with this – but that sounded more of a threat.”
  • “I’m looking forward to the ones [where] you’ve got a bit of performance and attitude – it’s amazing to have that opportunity where you give it some.”
  • On being one of this year’s favourites to win: “I don’t know how they work out the odds because they haven’t seen us dance!”
Image caption Burke will dance with Gorka Marquez on the show

Alexandra Burke

  • “I am very nervous – it makes me want to throw up because my anxiety shoots through the roof when I think about live shows. I know this is a really funny thing to say coming from someone who won a TV show nine years ago but I hate cameras.”
  • “The moment that I found out that I was going to take part in Strictly, I cancelled everything. I cancelled my album, my single, recording, everything. My mum always said to me, ‘be great at one thing, and the rest will follow.'”
  • “Because I was a nun for a year [for Sister Act: The Musical] wearing flat shoes, I’ve been trying to wear heels a lot more just to try and give my ankles a bit more strength.”
  • On how far she’ll go in the contest: “I want to get as far as my body and my partner can take!”
Image caption Langsford has been partnered with Anton Du Beke

Ruth Langsford

  • “Everything has this Strictly excitement about it, which is very glamorous – things you don’t get to do every day.”
  • Asked if she would wear skimpy outfits: “I’ll only be getting my kit off privately in the spray tan booth.”
  • On the show’s costumes: “It’s amazing, they gave me a waist – I hadn’t seen that waist for a long time.”
  • On keeping her appearance in the show a secret: “I quite enjoyed the whole rumour mill. Contrary to popular belief, I’ve not been asked to do Strictly before – because not in a million years would I have turned it down.”
  • What her husband Eamonn Holmes said (with tongue in cheek) when asked about the “Strictly curse”: “One man’s curse could be another man’s blessing.”
Image caption EastEnders star Ghadami is paired with new professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova

Davood Ghadami

  • “There’s always something to look forward to [on Strictly]. It seems like a non-stop rollercoaster where you’re looking to the next thing.”
  • On the outfits: “We’ve tried the skimpy, rhinestone-laden clothes and frankly they’re very comfortable and fun to wear.”
  • Asked if he would be showing off his chest: “If the dance calls for it, maybe later on in the competition… if it’s standard in week three, four or five we’ll do it.”
  • On how his on-screen mum reacted to him being on the show: “Bonnie Langford couldn’t help herself. As soon as she found out, she threw herself at me and we had a little dance.”
  • “We’re all going to look back in years to come and say ‘we were part of that’.”
Image caption Professional dancer AJ Pritchard looked chuffed to be paired up with Mollie King

Mollie King

  • On whether being pop stars gives her and Aston Merrygold an advantage: “I think we’re used to being disciplined to a certain degree. But there’s an expectation that people have and I think, Aston and I, we feel we’re both terrified, it’s a whole new world for both of us.”
  • “We don’t want to look like complete wallies. There’s so much for us to learn.”
  • “Obviously we’re lucky that we have performance experience but it’s a whole new world of dance, which is just madness.”
  • On the sparkly outfits: “You go into a fitting and it’s the most sequinned glittery dress you’ve ever seen, and they go to you: ‘Obviously it’s not glittery enough so we’ll be adding more’. And you’re like, ‘what?'”
  • On the chances of winning: “Everybody who’s taking part, obviously it’s their dream to lift the glitterball trophy – but I just want to learn as many dances as possible, that’s my aim. And get a few spray tans.”
Image caption Aston was hoping for a short partner so was relieved when he was teamed with Janette Manrara

Aston Merrygold

  • “I’m actually just excited to try a whole new form of performance. You forget it’s a competition.”
  • “You want to see everyone pull through.”
  • On preparing to be a new dad: “I’m trying to get the daddy stuff done in the morning and the rehearsals in the afternoons.”
  • On training to get in shape for the skimpy outfits: “I’m not as nimble as I used to be. There’s a lot of glitter – I’ve been Strictly-fied.”
  • “I personally would just love to get to the final, to do all the weeks and learn everything on the way and learn all the different styles. But it doesn’t feel like a competition.”
Image caption McGee, pictured with Tess Daly and Giovanni Pernice, is the widow of magician Paul Daniels

Debbie McGee

  • On doing ballet dancing in the past: “Strictly has changed over the years. At the beginning it really was that you didn’t have any training. Lots of people have done it now who have. I did train as a ballet dancer over 30 years ago. But it’s like if you were at school and really good at high jump, and 35 years later you’re asked to enter a competition and you’ve got to do long jump.”
  • On late husband Paul Daniels, who previously took part in the show: “He would love it. He always wanted me to do it. He’d be smiling down on me, that’s for sure.”
Image caption Susan Calman has a poster of her dance partner Kevin Clifton in her kitchen

Susan Calman

  • On having a moment with professional Gorka: “When I walked into the dressing rooms, one of the male dancers, I’m not going to say who – Gorka – had his top off. And I’ve actively avoided any contact with the male species for my entire life. And I went…. ‘he’s beautiful!'”
  • “I went home and my wife was like, ‘how’s it going?’ And there aren’t words to process what’s happening.”
  • On her fellow contestants: “We’re all in the same boat – we’re all going to learn how to dance.”
Image caption Karen Clifton said she was pleased to be partnered with chef Simon Rimmer – because he’ll bring good food to rehearsals

Simon Rimmer

  • “I feel I’ve made 14 new friends, whatever else happens. I know more about Joe and Davood than I do about people I’ve known 10 years.”
  • “It’s like a holiday romance. The minute you meet each other, you have to bond quickly because you’re all in the same terrifying situation.”
  • “There’s two WhatsApp groups. There’s the official one which everyone involved in Strictly gets to see. Then there’s the private one we have with the dancers which they don’t get to see, which is the proper fun one.”
  • On his family’s reaction to him taking part: “My wife rolled her eyes and shook her head.”
Image caption McFadden looked both excited and nervous when he was paired with Katya Jones

Joe McFadden

  • On the whole Strictly experience: “We’re all thrown together and going through this crazy thing together.”
  • On appearing in Holby at the same time as Strictly: “They’ve assured me they’re going to give me some light storylines. It’s filmed across the road – I always wanted to see what goes on over here and now I can.”
  • “We’re all getting rhinestone envy a bit. Jonnie had one the other day that was all different colours – it was really nice – and we had plain ones.”
Image caption Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec are possibly the tallest couple in the contest

Gemma Atkinson

  • “It sounds really cheesy but we’re in a nice bubble and we’re all in it together. It’s all good.”
  • “My worst fear is – you know when you run up the stairs after you dance? Falling off the stairs – that for me is more nerve-wracking. You’re going to be wobbly and out of breath.”
  • “My family have all been saying ‘You’ve done so well, it’s amazing… but it would be good if you could do Strictly.’ So they’re all going to come down. Everything’s happened at the right time.”
Image caption Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev are wasting no time

Chizzy Akudolu

  • “Forgetting the dance is the biggest fear. And falling down the stairs – but if we fall, we just pose and get up again.”
  • On advice from previous contestants: “I know Tameka [Empson] who did it last year – she said ‘enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it.’ She would have loved to go further and said ‘I’m going to live it through you.'”
  • “I’m dreading the waltz – it just hurts your legs! I’ve never done anything like that, and holding your arms up like that for a while, your back muscles…”
  • “I think our personalities change the minute we’ve got our make-up on, and the hair and the dresses. I become Aretha – that’s my nickname.”
Image caption Peacock and Oti Mabuse were all smiles after being paired up

Jonnie Peacock

  • “It’s a whirlwind at the moment – I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. And then you sit at home and you get really nervous that you’re actually doing it.”
  • On seeing Davood at a costume fitting: “I got to stare at this lovely man’s derriere in a pair of tight Latin trousers – there’s not many better sights.”
  • On whether being an athlete will be an advantage: “Athletics is quite a high-impact sport. It’s going to be very different but that’s what I’m really looking forward to. I’m not sure it’s an advantage because it’s so far removed.”
  • On advice on training from former contestant Greg Rutherford: “I had a text from Greg saying – ‘they’ll say it’s 12 hours, it’s more like 40.'”
Image caption Conley gave the thumbs up to his partner Amy Dowden

Brian Conley

  • “It’s so special. It’s the biggest show on national television and the level of professionalism from everyone is second to none. And we get very posh cars picking us up – my car had a massage chair. I’ve never been in a car so posh!”
  • “I’m very excited – genuinely excited. I love the show, my family have, so you do feel you know it. But you work so hard all week for one-and-a-half minutes live to the nation and worry that something silly might go wrong. You just want to do your best.”
  • On working with judge Craig Revel Horwood in the past: “I was really worried about working with Craig – it was on a show about Neil Diamond. But he was a pussycat. I’m sure he won’t be on this! He’s so knowledgeable – that man knows his stuff. He’s known as the ‘evil one’ but what he says is very constructive and it’s good to take that on board.”
  • On only getting two tickets for friends and family per show: “I’m selling mine on eBay – 10 grand each. I want to stay in the show so I could make 20 grand a week.”

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 18:25 BST.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email .

Woman killed crossing Leeds Road in Bradford city centre is named

POLICE have released the name of a woman who died after being hit by a car in Bradford earlier this week.

Kathleen Farman, who was 54 and from the BD3 area of Bradford, suffered fatal injuries in the collision with a white Volkswagen Golf in Leeds Road at about 1.50pm on Wednesday.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was later bailed pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Ann Drury, of the Major Collision Inquiry Team, said police were continuing to appeal for witnesses.

Police had wanted to speak to the occupants of a blue Ford Focus seen in the area at the time who may have seen what happened. Those people have now come forward and been spoken to by police.

Anyone with information which could assist the ongoing investigation in to this incident should contact the Major Collision Enquiry Team on 101, quoting log 912 of 20 September.

If you wish to leave your respects, an online book of condolence has been opened below. Messages will be moderated before publication.

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Contributed by Tracy Nassau

I’m truly heart broken wot will i do without you aunt Kath you wasn’t my aunt u was my mum. Words can’t explain how I feel at all you was taken far too soon. RIP beautiful lady hope your having a party with nana love u with all my heart always and forever fly high my Angel you are the bright star in the sky.

I don’t know you but when I saw the emergency helicopter land & when I read the T & I hoped you was Okay. God had different plans, may you rest in peace. All condolences to you close family & friends ❤️❤️

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Contributed by Shakeelah Ali

Sooooo saddened to hear the awful news……my thoughts are with the family at this tragic time. May Allah provide comfort to your family and heal yr pain and grief ameen. Rip Kathleen. Xx

Contributed by Aisha Hussain

I was there on that terrible day i watched people rush to your aid, how I was praying for you to wake up, may you rest in peace and my condolences to all the family 💕💕💕💕

Contributed by Ayesha Aziz

May you R.I.P and may your family find comfort in each other at this heartbreaking time.. A terrible tragedy sadly happening all too often on the roads in this day and age…
I hope the police find the answers to this quickly so the family can begin to rebuild..
You will forever live on in the hearts of all who loved and knew you… my prayers and thoughts go out to your loved ones…

Contributed by Shazia Akhtar

Such a tragedy my deepest condolences to all that knew Kathleen. Rest in peace 🌹

Contributed by Samuel Bilton

Sad to hear what happened my thoughts go out to the family and friends of kath may she be gone but never forgotten r.i.p Kathleen fly higher up there ❤️❤️❤️

RIP.. this is so sad. My thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time. May God give you the patience to get by. Rest in peace hun x

Contributed by jodie phillips

R.I.P sleep tight beautiful. You left your footprint on many hearts you will be sadly missed. Fly high Kath xxxx

Rip Kath, condolences to your family.

Contributed by Eddie Needham

So sad RIP.

Contributed by Samia Kauser

Rest In Peace 🌹

Contributed by Adam Khan

RIP darlin xx

Contributed by Fareena Alam

RIP .. extremely saddened when reading about the tragic event that took place.. comments, flowers with handwritten notes shows how much you were loved, and will be forever loved and missed.
The almighty give your family and friends the strength to cope with your loss.
My daughter was in a taxi with her friend at that time, the public rushing to help!!!dropping their bags and phones running towards the lady.
Amazing people all of them, running to do anything they possibly could.
My most sincere condolences xx

I don’t know you but seems you were loved so very much. RIP, condolences to your family

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Contributed by Bibi Khan

So sad

The sky will shine brighter now as you watch over your family – much love to all the family, maybyou find strength every day 💔

Contributed by Sam Kendall

Rest in peace Kath.It was a pleasure to have known you. X

Contributed by Michael Henderson

Thinking of all the family at this very sad time, you were taken far too soon Kath but in my heart I will hold many memories. Always in our hearts and thoughts. R.I.P

Contributed by Fiona Summers

Such sad news. Sending love to all the family and close friends. May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences❤

Contributed by Joanne Dyer

Thinking of your family at this sad time rip

Contributed by Christine Brook Garbus

Please accept my heartfelt condolences, my thoughts and prayers are with your family & friends. Sleep tight lady xx

Contributed by Jackie Roberts

If I was to pick a flower in a garden I would pick the best and that’s what god did .. r.i.p Kath. love Jackie and family xxx

Contributed by Rob Beezley

I’m a friend of Craig’s and can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through, rip kath… thoughts with all of the family 🙁

Contributed by Diab Alhilaly

So sad to hear about the loss of Kathleen Farman

Contributed by tracy m

Night night Kathleen Sleep tight love. Sorry to your poor family that i couldn’t have done more. god bless. x

Contributed by Danielle Gray

R.I.P Katy such a lovely women fly high sweetheart xx

Contributed by rachael tempest

Well what can i say darling, no words in the world can explain, all i can say is i well and truly miss & love u so much and always will, what i would give just 2 hear your voice and your singing again, u will always be in my heart and by my side like u was every weekend ❤ RIP ❤


Kath you are one of God’s special Angels now. Love you lots, I am utterly devastated. Sleep tight beautiful lady with a heart of Gold. xxxx Vanessa Parkinson

Contributed by Sammy Turner

R.i.p Kathleen sleep tight now taken too soon condolences to her family

Contributed by Sammy Turner

R.I.P Kathleen taken too soon and condolences to her family sleep tight now xx

Contributed by philip farman

r.i.p mum love u so much going to miss u n dominic, daniel, riley n gabriella going to miss u like hell love u nana

Contributed by Lesley Fearnley

RIP my lovely xx until we meet again ❤️❤️❤️

Rip kath , going to miss a lovely friend . Gone to soon xx

Contributed by Diane Tennant

You’ll always have a place in my heart. Rip to a very special friend. Gone to soon. Fly high angel ❤️

Contributed by Tracey Judson

Gone before your time. My thought and condolences to your family and friends Kathleen. Rip sweet Angel 💔💔💔

Contributed by Jessica Finbow

Gone to soon, fly high with the angels you will be sadly missed by so many love you loads Auntie Kath xxxx

Contributed by Gail Asquith

RIP Kath, 30 year friendship. Such a tragedy.

Contributed by Amy Farman

God only takes the best ❤️ RIP Auntie Kathleen xxxx

Contributed by claire tempest

RIP kathleen.. taken far too soon by this tragic event. Sleep tight xx

So sad RIP

Britain’s Got Talent to hold open auditions at Broadway centre

BRADFORDIANS are to be given the chance to audition for Britain’s Got Talent when the show’s representatives visit the city next week.

Members of the team from the hit ITV show will visit The Broadway Centre on Sunday October 1 from 12pm to 4pm.

GET INSPIRED: Take our quiz to remind yourself of Bradford’s previous talent show success stories

The auditions are open to performers of any age, with a show spokesman stating: “Anything goes from magicians to comedians, drag acts to singers and acrobats to animals.”

Successful acts will then be in with a chance of securing a place at one of the judges’ auditions taking place in 2018.

Village could get its own volunteer fire brigade

A LEADING campaigner in the ill-fated battle to save Haworth‘s fire station hopes a volunteer brigade can be launched in the future.

Steve Thorpe vowed this week that he wouldn’t give-up on efforts to restore firefighting provision to the village.

He was speaking after West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) confirmed that it had sold the former fire station.

County brigade bosses announced that the Station Road premises, controversially closed three years ago due to budget cuts, had been bought by a private company for £340,000 – £65,000 above the asking price.

Mr Thorpe, chairman of the Friends of Haworth and Worth Valley Fire Station, said he was saddened at the news.

But he remained optimistic.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t save the fire station however we are moving forward,” he said.

“The facility used to be in Belle Isle until it moved to Station Road 50 years ago and there’s no reason why we can’t look for other premises.

“I think in the future we will go back to having a voluntary fire service based somewhere in the village.”

Mr Thorpe said a Worth Valley fire and emergency cadets scheme was proving hugely successful.

A third training course is being staged, giving young people tuition in a range of skills, including firefighting.

Each course has ten attendees and lasts around two months.

“It’s going brilliantly well,” added Mr Thorpe.

“We’ve also got our own fire engine, and we offer a pumping-out service in flooding situations.

“And we have sandbags that we can provide to the community.”

WYFRS declined to name the buyer of the Station Road building, but said it was a West Yorkshire firm.

Senior technical services manager, Noel Rodriguez, added: “Now that the building is no longer our responsibility, we hope that whatever it is transformed into will benefit the local community.

“We are glad to have sold the building for above the valued price.

“The money from the sale will be reinvested back into the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and into the maintenance and development of excellent service to our communities.”

The property was put up for sale last summer despite a campaign to save and re-open it as a community-run emergency services hub.