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Ellen Page comes out as transgender and changes name to Elliot | Ents & Arts News



Ellen Page comes out as transgender and changes name to Elliot | Ents & Arts News

Actor Ellen Page has announced that he is transgender and now goes by the name of Elliot.

The star, known for starring in hit films Juno and Inception, posted a lengthy statement on Twitter.

It said: “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.”

“I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life,” the statement added.

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Netflix: Bridgerton and The Crown help streaming service top 200m subscribers as lockdowns spur record growth | Business News



Olivia Colman as the Queen in first-look pictures from the upcoming fourth series of The Crown. Pic: Netflix

Netflix has notched up more than 200 million subscribers after consumers staying at home during the pandemic helped it achieve a record year of growth in 2020.

The US company, which pioneered streaming in 2007, said it added a better-than-expected 8.5 million new paying customers in the final quarter of the year to reach a total 203.7 million.

For the year as a whole, Netflix added 37 million subscribers, including 15.8 million in the first quarter alone, while revenues rose 24% to $25bn and profits climbed 48% to $2.76bn.

The latest series of The Crown was shown in 2020. Pic: Netflix

It was helped by the success of new dramas such as The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton, as well as the latest series of The Crown.

Netflix said that in an “incredibly difficult year” it had been “able to provide our members around the world with a source of escape, connection and joy while continuing to build our business”.

Most of the growth – 83% of new customers – came from outside its biggest market of the US and Canada. A further six million are projected to sign up in the current first quarter.

Shares rose nearly 13% in after-hours trading as the company projected that it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its big-budget films and TV series, and said it would explore returning cash to shareholders.

Netflix faces stiff competition from the likes of Disney – whose Disney+ service managed to sign up 87 million subscribers in just under a year.

Meanwhile, Hollywood studio Warner Bros has departed from Hollywood convention by announcing that it would send all 2021 films straight to HBO Max alongside cinemas.

Netflix co-chief executive Reed Hastings described Disney’s performance as “super-impressive”, adding that its success “gets us fired up about increasing our membership, increasing our content budget”.

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Stars condemn government for failure to agree visa-free touring in Europe | Ents & Arts News



Gary Numan says it is less well known musicians who will suffer the most Pic: Scott Gries/Invision/AP

Liam Gallagher and Sir Elton John are among dozens of music stars who are calling on the government to resolve the “gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be”.

In an open letter published in The Times newspaper, they call on the government “to urgently do what it said it would do and negotiate paperwork-free travel in Europe for British artists and their equipment”.

Since the UK left the European Union and free movement ended, performing artists hoping to tour in the EU must now seek separate permits to work in many of the 27 member states. They will also have to pay for expensive carnets (permits) to cross borders with their equipment and trucks carrying kit or they could have their journeys capped.

The letter, largely organised by the Incorporated Society of Musicians, warns touring will become “unviable” for many musicians in an industry that is already “on life support” because of closures forced by lockdown.

And the letter requests the arrangement be reciprocal so that British venues can book, and British fans can see, European artists perform here.

Concert violinist Tasmin Little OBE, who signed the letter, said the government needed to “understand the nature of a touring musician’s life”.

“Touring is a complicated business with a huge amount of admin attached,” she added. “You’re often on the road for days on end, criss-crossing borders and playing in many countries within a very short span of time.”

“We need to be able to travel around in order to pick up work… The government has let this industry down very, very badly.”

Gary Numan says it is less well known musicians who will suffer the most Pic: Scott Gries/Invision/AP

Fellow signatory Gary Numan told Sky News it was “demoralising” and “disappointing” that government hadn’t secured an agreement, warning it’s the smaller artists and crew who will lose out.

“I’ll be ok. I will be able to carry on touring. But it will have an effect… But people down the ladder, it’s going to be horrible for them.

“The majority of people think of touring bands as being well off, earning lots of money… But the truth is very different to that. The vast majority of bands do not make a lot of money from touring.

“And it’s not just the bands themselves. It’s the crew that go with them, it’s the merch people, your trucks, your vans.”

The industry has long warned that leaving the European Union without a specific deal for the creative industries would make touring prohibitively expensive and complicated for many artists.

But the issue has gathered momentum in recent weeks. A petition demanding a free cultural work permit garnered more than 250,000 signatures is expected soon to be debated in parliament.

The UK government has insisted the EU “repeatedly rejected” the UK’s proposal”, which was “based on feedback from the music sector, that would have allowed musicians to tour”.

A spokesperson said: “The EU’s offer in the negotiations would not have worked for touring musicians: it did not deal with work permits at all, and would not have allowed support staff to tour with artists.”

But in parliament on Tuesday culture minister Caroline Dinenage said that the EU’s proposals – which would have enshrined permanent visa-free short stays for EU citizens in the agreement – would have not have been “compatible with our manifesto commitment to take back control of our borders”.

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will today host a roundtable discussion with representatives from across the cultural and creative industries to discuss ways the government can support the sector moving forwards.

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Dua Lipa denies she is pregnant after ‘cryptic’ emoji message speculation | Ents & Arts News



Anwar Hadid and Dua Lipa attend the 2019 American Music Awards, AMAs, at Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, USA, on 25 November 2019. Pic: Hubert Boesl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Dua Lipa has denied she is pregnant after speculation over a “cryptic message” in her emoji use on social media.

The chart-topping singer said she wanted to clear up any confusion during a TV appearance, saying her use of “random” digital icons had “come to bite me in the arse”.

Rumours started when Lipa, 25, shared a picture of herself wearing a green tartan dress on Instagram earlier in January.

The pop star is in a relationship with model Anwar Hadid. Pic: Hubert Boesl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

In her caption, the British star, who is in a relationship with model Anwar Hadid, included a baby’s bottle emoji alongside sparkles and an angel, leading to speculation she was pregnant.

But during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she dismissed the rumours.

“I like finding little random emojis, like a little baby bottle or angels and sparkles,” she said. “Random. I really didn’t think this through and I posted it and then I look at the comments and somebody says, ‘is she pregnant?’

“And I look at the picture, I look at the comment, I look at the picture, I look at the comment, and I’m like, ‘surely I don’t look pregnant?’

“And then I see that people have been writing stories saying that I posted some cryptic message that I might be announcing my pregnancy. And I’m just like, ‘oh my God, these emojis have come to bite me in the arse’.”

Lipa, who appeared on the show virtually, added: “I’m not pregnant, just to clear it up.”

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Asked by Kimmel if she will announce any future pregnancy through emojis, she replied: “No, because now I’d be the boy who cried wolf.”

Lipa, who is nominated for six Grammys this year, said she “occasionally” reads the comments on social media, saying that “sometimes it’s nice stuff, sometimes it’s not so nice stuff”.

“It doesn’t bother me too much,” she added.

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