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Duchess of York signs book deal with Mills & Boon for debut romantic novel | Ents & Arts News

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Sarah wrote the book with author Marguerite Kaye, who is described as her "collaborator and mentor"

The Duchess of York has been given a book deal with romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon after writing about her great-great aunt for her debut novel.

Sarah Ferguson’s book is called Her Heart For A Compass and will be released in August.

It is a fictional account of the life and love story of Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.

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Ferguson wrote the book with author Marguerite Kaye, who is described as her ‘collaborator and mentor’

Mills & Boon describes it as an “immersive historical saga” that “sweeps the reader from the drawing rooms of Victoria’s court and the grand country houses of Scotland and Ireland to the slums of London and the mercantile bustle of 1870s New York”.

It follows Lady Margaret “who desires to break the mould, follow her internal compass – her heart – and discover her raison d’etre – falling in love along the way”.

The duchess revealed she came across Lady Margaret after researching her ancestry and became fascinated because Margaret is her middle name.

The duchess was pictured in a Victorian-style floor-length outfit, complete with high-necked blouse, jacket and gloves, sat on a stone bench gazing at a compass she held out in front of her, to promote the work.

She said: “Although her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch were close friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I was unable to discover much about my namesake’s early life, and so was born the idea which became Her Heart For A Compass.

“With real historical events and facts to hand, my imagination took over. I invented a history for her that incorporated real people and events, including some of my other ancestors.

“I created a friendship between my heroine and Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s sixth child, and I drew on many parallels from my life for Lady Margaret’s journey.”

The duchess – the Duke of York’s ex-wife and the Queen’s former daughter-in-law – brought renewed vigour to the monarchy in the 1980s alongside Diana, Princess of Wales, but struggled to come to terms with the rigorous disciplines of royal life after marrying Andrew

Born Sarah Ferguson and nicknamed Fergie by the press, she once confessed: “I was hopeless from the start… they could never make me the perfect princess.”

The duchess, who has previously written her memoirs, is the author of numerous children’s books including the Little Red and Budgie the Little Helicopter series, and she was an executive producer of the 2009 historical film The Young Victoria.

The duchess has written a children's book before
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The duchess has written a children’s book before

She has been reading children’s books throughout the pandemic on her YouTube channel, Storytime with Fergie and Friends.

Sarah added: “I have long held a passion for historical research and telling the stories of strong women in history through film and television.

“I am proud to bring my personal brand of historical fiction to the publishing world.”

She wrote the book with author Marguerite Kaye, who is described as her “collaborator and mentor”.

Kaye has written more than 50 novels for Mills & Boon set across the ages and her books and novellas have sold more than 1.5 million copies in over 20 countries.

Mills & Boon is the UK’s number one publisher of romantic fiction and was established in 1908.

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Grime artist Solo 45 has sentence increased to 30 years for raping and imprisoning women | Ents & Arts News

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Solo 45 of Boy Better Know

A grime artist who was serving 24 years in jail for imprisoning and repeatedly raping four women has had his sentence increased by six years.

Solo 45, whose real name is Andy Anokye, was found guilty of 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of actual bodily harm at Bristol Crown Court last July.

However, following a hearing the Court of Appeal have ruled that his initial sentence was “unduly lenient”, and he will now spend 30 years in jail for the 30 charges which took place over a two-year period.

He also was also handed a five years additional licence to reflect the seriousness of his crimes.

Speaking after the ruling which was made by three senior judges, Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC called Anokye’s offences “truly shocking”.

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He performed under the name Solo 45 with the collective Boy Better Know

Mr Ellis said the court’s decision to increase the sentence recognised “the severity of the abuse [Anokye] inflicted upon his victims and the danger he poses to the public”.

Calls for Anokye to be given a life sentence were rejected.

During his trial, the jury heard that the musician derived sexual pleasure from torturing women by waterboarding, interrogating, assaulting and raping them.

The court heard that Anokye forced one woman to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, held a shotgun to the head of another, held a cloth covered in bleach to women’s faces, and forced a mobile phone down a woman’s throat.

Graphic footage filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone showing him abusing multiple women was also shown to the jury as evidence.

The 33-year-old had claimed it was consensual role play, or a game he played called “catch me, rape me”. He said he had told the women that he would “terrorise” them.

Anokye, who is from London but had a harbourside apartment in Bristol, told the court during evidence that he had dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears and sobbing.

Anokye was part of grime collective Boy Better Know signed to record label Island Records, and had collaborated with the likes of Stormzy, JME and Wiley.

When passing his original sentence last summer, judge William Hart, told Anokye he had “no sexual boundaries or empathy for those concerned”.

He said the rapper – who had a background of gang associations and criminal violence – “become addicted” to the “perverted pleasure” he gained from abusing his victims and that none of his fellow musicians knew about his “dark side”.

He said Anokye’s conviction had deprived him of a “flourishing career”, but he had only himself to blame.

Avon and Somerset Police first began investigating him in 2017, after a woman reported being raped by him.

Following the discovery of the video footage on Anokye’s phone, three further woman came forward to police.

A fifth woman also gave evidence against him, but her allegation could not be prosecuted as it happened abroad.

Anokye will only be released from prison after serving at least 20 years of his 30-year jail term behind bars and when the Parole Board is satisfied he no longer poses a danger to the public.

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Dustin Diamond: Saved By The Bell star diagnosed with cancer | Ents & Arts News

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Dustin Diamond is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house in September 2013

Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond has been diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment in hospital, his team have confirmed.

The 44-year-old actor, who is best known for his role of Screech in the 90s US sitcom, is understood to have fallen ill last week.

A post on his official Facebook page read: “At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer. Dustin will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made.”

They also supplied an address for fans to send cards and letters, adding that “positivity and prayers are appreciated”.

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Diamond entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in September 2013

Diamond’s agent, Roger Paul, also confirmed his diagnosis, and told the PA news agency: “We will know the severity of it when the tests are done.”

He says he expects an update next week.

Celebrity website TMZ said the actor had first discovered a lump in his throat, leading to the diagnosis.

Diamond played nerdy sidekick Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers in the original Saved By The Bell across four seasons, from 1989 to 1993.

He also appeared in 1992 TV movie Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style, and revivals The New Class and The College Years.

However, Diamond did not appear in the most recent 2020 revival series which starred several of the show’s original stars.

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Following his early TV fame, the actor controversially released a self-directed sex tape in 2006.

In 2009 he wrote a tell-all book about his time in the teen sitcom, later saying many of the salacious details were exaggerated by his ghost-writer.

Diamond later appeared on the UK’s 12th series of Celebrity Big Brother but was evicted in the third week.

In 2015 he spent three months in jail after being convicted of disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon following a bar fight in Wisconsin.

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Backstage podcast: Servant, Stardust and Blithe Spirit | Ents & Arts News

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Backstage podcast: Servant, Stardust and Blithe Spirit | Ents & Arts News

This week on Backstage – Bethany Minelle, Stevie Wong and Amy Hitchcock unpack Netflix’s ambitious new slate for programming in 2021.

In other news, we celebrate the return of Sex And The City, but are they missing a cast member?

:: Listen to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

We also look at the David Bowie biopic, Stardust, and get down and dirty with a new documentary on civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Rupert Grint tells us what it’s like being a new dad while starring in Apple TV’s season 2 of Servant, and Dan Stevens spills the beans on whether his Blithe Spirit co-star Dame Judi Dench has a potty mouth on set.

Enjoy! Please do subscribe if you like what you hear and do get in touch using [email protected] – we love emails!

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