Gareth Bale to remain at Real Madrid after starting their La Liga opener – The Sun

GARETH BALE is STAYING at Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane completed a dramatic U-turn.

Just weeks after trying to force the Welshman out of the Bernabeu, the Los Blancos boss started the winger in their La Liga opener last night, a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo.

Zidane was determined to ship Bale out during pre-season.

He admitted it would be "best for everyone" if the former Tottenham man left the club.

Bale, 30, was heavily linked with a move to China, which could have seen him become the first £1million-a-week footballer.

But after the Chinese Super League transfer window closed at the end of July and his reported £600,000-a-week wages priced English clubs out of a deal, Zidane confirmed the winger is going nowhere this summer, despite the transfer window being open for another fortnight across the rest of Europe.

The Frenchman said: "He is going to stay. We have to focus on this season, nothing else.

"[Eden] Hazard's injury is bad luck for us, but it has not changed the idea we had for Bale in this game.

"Gareth, James [Rodriguez] and all the players here are going to defend this shirt."

As mentioned, Bale was a surprise starter in Los Blancos' first league game of the season as Hazard missed out through injury.

It meant Bale and Vinicius Junior supported Karim Benzema in attack.

And Bale was the man who set up the opening goal, squaring for Benzema to slide in.

Luka Modric was sent off for a nasty challenge ten minutes into the second half but a wondergoal from Toni Kroos and a tidy Lucas Vazquez finish put Real 3-0 up.

Iker Losada struck a late consolation for the hosts in injury time as Real Madrid took an early advantage over rivals Barcelona in the title race, after Barca's shock defeat at Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Taking to social media, Bale wrote: "Vamos! Great start to the season. #HalaMadrid"



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'Blue Bloods': Why Do Fans Hate Erin Reagan the Most?

Blue Bloods has run on CBS for 10 seasons, becoming a staple of many people’s Friday evenings. Viewers love the Reagan clan, particularly patriarch Frank, played by longtime TV favorite Tom Selleck. 

If there’s a Reagan family member viewers dislike, or like the very least, it’s Erin Reagan: Frank’s daughter played by Bridget Moynahan. She’s been a regular on the show its entire run, but her character tends to rub some Reddit users the wrong way. 

‘Blue Bloods’ viewers explain their disdain for Erin Regan

On a Blue Bloods forum on Reddit, someone polled fans and asked for their favorite and least favorite characters. Erin came up several times as a least favorite. 

“She is an excruciatingly rigid ice princess who seems determined to make everyone around her as miserable as she is,” one said. 

“What I hate about Erin is she is 100% my way or the highway, she hates second chances unless they’re her idea and she too comes across as a know-it-all, especially when it comes to police work which she has proven to know next to nothing about over and over again,” said another. 

A third person chimed in with: “She makes me so angry and literally always acts like she knows everything in the world and she doesn’t.”

One person said this is more the writers’ fault than Moynahan’s, and several other people picked Danny as their least favorite, but perhaps the harshest comment was this: “Erin needs to get laid more often, to melt the ice.”

Who is Erin Regan on ‘Blue Bloods’?

Erin is Frank’s only daughter, who is an assistant district attorney in a family of police. She initially wanted to join the force but decided police work wasn’t for her, so she decided to enforce the law in a different way by becoming a prosecutor. 

Erin has not had an easy time. She’s a single mom, divorced from her husband who she met when she was 19. She’s had a number of dicey romantic entanglements, including meeting a fellow attorney on a speed date who later became her boss, and she broke off the relationship because she didn’t feel right sleeping with her boss. She even hooked back up with her ex-husband briefly after she was shot in a courtroom hostage situation, but didn’t want to have her heart broken again.

Despite these troubles, or perhaps because these troubles have made her resilient, she’s had some opportunities to move up in the world, including becoming a deputy mayor or a judge. However, she has remained with the DA’s office. 

How does Bridget Moynahan feel about Erin?

Moynahan departed from her character when she got married in 2015. Before that she had been a single mom, raising the son she had with NFL quarterback Tom Brady shortly after they split. Erin has evolved right along with her 

In a CBS interview, Moynahan said: “I’m sure Erin is evolving, but I’m not sure whether it’s because her character has grown or the writers have given her situations and people she hasn’t dealt with before. This season she’s had to deal with the governor and with her father the police commissioner directly, with no buffer. And this season it was really emotional because when we came back, Danny had lost his wife in a helicopter crash. It was really emotional for me trying not to be emotional.”

Moynahan even considered studying law at one point. “Somewhere around the fourth or fifth season of Blue Bloods, I thought I might try to go to law school,” she says. “Then I saw the LSAT study guide.”

She held her hands apart to indicate that it was about three inches thick. Better to stick to screenplays. 

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'RHOC': Who Is Kelly Dodd Dating After Breaking up With Dr. Brian Reagan?

Kelly Dodd is stirring up drama on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but she is also causing a ruckus around her love life. The controversial housewife is on vacation and took some time off to update fans that she has split up from her boyfriend Dr. Brian Reagan following his introduction on the Bravo reality show. Although that relationship is now over, Dodd has already found herself a new man.

Kelly Dodd Announces Split

It was through Instagram Stories where Kelly Dodd confirmed the news that she has split up from her cosmetic surgeon boyfriend, just days after RHOC viewers met him during the second episode of the show.

“The universe is telling me I broke up with Dr. Brian, woo! And they all know why” the Bravolebrity said. “This is why I’m breaking up with Brian for good. This is the last time. No going back to this a–hole. At all.”

Dodd was not going to have that breakup ruin her vacation and she celebrate her newly single status by singing “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. “Here’s our song. I broke up with Dr. Brian. Another one bites the dust!” she said.

Kelly Dodd Causes Drama

Later on, Dodd made her break up even more official by dedicated a few caring words to her ex-boyfriend.

“Dr. Brian Reagan posted what we broke up. I’m deeply saddened and I only wish him the best. Good luck, you are a talented surgeon. I loved you deeply. See Rick Leventhal, we broke up”, she said.

Fans started reacting to the news replying to the post and fully supporting Dodd.

“He’s thirsty AF. Hashtags #realhousewives on break up post? Seriously? #kbye,” a fan wrote. “Goes to show you,” Kelly replied.

“He wasn’t a good looking dude anyway,” another fan commented. Kelly then said: “Nope, but funny and sweet.” Then in a second response, she even tagged Dr. Brian saying, “I know everyone thinks [Reagan] is ugly. Got the memo.”

“I thought giving you a gift over his desk was very cold and odd. Makes sense now,” another fan said recalling the second episode of the current season. “Never gave me a gift after that,” Dodd added.

“My lord was he thirsty for fame or what? Who tags RHOC on a breakup post. Private matters should be private such as breakups,” another viewer commented. “He tagged RHOC? What a loser, pathetic.. goes to show you he was with me for fame. So sad,” Kelly replied.

Who Is Kelly Dodd Dating Now?

In one of the replies, Kelly Dodd told a fan she already has a new man.

“Sad. I hope [you] both are ok. I [wan’t you] to find a loving, kind, rich and down to [Earth] man,” the viewer wrote to which Dodd replied, “I got one,” and tagged Rick Leventhal.

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Oh hey August #firstselfieofthemonth

A post shared by Rick Leventhal (@rickleventhal) on

Rick Leventhal is a Fox News reporter that Kelly met earlier this year, and although he has not commented about the relationship, the Bravo star has given insight into how things are heating up.

“We met in the Hamptons,” Kelly told People. “It’s new, we haven’t even had sex. But he’s already treated me with more respect than Brian ever did.”

In the same interview, she expressed how the surgeon had used her to gain notoriety.

“He wanted his business on the show. I was just a means to get there. And I only realized that after I caught him cheating on me and realized he’s been seeing someone else all along,” Kelly said.


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Sophie Rundle: ‘We’ve all had our hearts broken’

Sophie Rundle: ‘We’ve all had our hearts broken’

From Richard Madden’s wife in Bodyguard to steamy sex scenes with Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack, SOPHIE RUNDLE has had a busy (and headline-grabbing) year. She tells Julia Llewellyn Smith why playing a trailblazing lesbian made her appreciate love  

Sophie Rundle is talking about sex scenes – or, more specifically, the moment, when reading a script, she realises that the character she’s playing will need to strip off and writhe around with another actor. ‘Your heart always sinks,’ she says. ‘I get so excited about the story and then the penny drops, “Oh no, I’m the one who’s going to have to do that!” Filming those scenes is just awkward for everybody on set – the sound boys, the costume people. No one really knows how to react or what to say.’

‘I’ve never felt glamorous in my life,’ Sophie Rundell says. ‘I’m very confident on set, but red carpets and designer clothes make me feel very exposed’

Sophie wears dress, Christopher Kane. Gold earrings and ring, Deborah Blyth. Diamond eternity ring and diamond earring, Lark & Berry

Yet, despite these misgivings, over the past year Sophie, 31, has become something of a veteran of risqué scenes. Though she’s possibly best known to viewers as Vicky, the estranged wife of Richard Madden’s David Budd in last year’s ratings winner Bodyguard, there have also been plenty of raunchy moments playing Ada Shelby in gangster drama Peaky Blinders. She also appeared topless in one of her earliest roles as Matt LeBlanc’s stalker in the sitcom Episodes.

Most recently, however, she’s been making headlines for her role as Ann Walker, the lover, and later ‘wife’, of 19th-century Yorkshire landowner and openly lesbian Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones) in the hit drama Gentleman Jack. Based on a true story, the two women’s intimate moments attracted huge amounts of attention, not least after it was revealed that the BBC had enlisted an ‘intimacy coordinator’, Ita O’Brien, firstly to ensure the encounters were realistic, but also to help ease Sophie, Suranne and the rest of the team’s embarrassment.

‘It was amazing, because usually when there’s a sex scene you turn up knowing there are some flesh-coloured pants waiting for you in your trailer and you just have to get on with it; and so often you hear terrible stories about it all going wrong and people feeling exploited,’ says Sophie. ‘But with Gentleman Jack, we were determined to make things different, so we all sat with Ita and talked about our past experiences [of sex scenes]. Everyone was like, “God, this horrible thing once happened to me on set”, so everything was out in the open and that really calmed the nerves.’

Ita insisted all sex scenes were carefully rehearsed, with the women enacting specific moves selected from manuals such as The Lesbian Kama Sutra – rather than improvising, as is often the case on TV and film sets.

‘It meant that we felt so much more empowered than we would normally, and that was important because we also wanted to tell these women’s story in a way that represented them and wasn’t simply for titillation,’ Sophie says. ‘In the end, Gentleman Jack was simply a love story we can all relate to. I’ve never had a breakdown like Ann [Walker], but I’ve had my heart broken and fancied people I shouldn’t have fancied. Everyone’s been through that.’

The show has been recommissioned for a second series and Sophie says she’s been ‘taken aback’ by the scores of supportive messages that she, Suranne and the show’s creator Sally Wainwright have received, many from gay people.

Shirt, Piece of White. Gold earrings and ring, Deborah Blyth. Diamond earring, Lark & Berry

‘It’s been so moving,’ she says. ‘People have been thanking us for allowing people like them to be represented for the first time on primetime television, talking about what a struggle they had when they came out and saying how wonderful it is that a love story between two women hasn’t been depicted as salacious. It makes it all feel worthwhile, that we’ve done right not only by all those people, but also by Ann Walker, whose family were so ashamed of her they tried to write her out of history.’ When Anne Lister died in 1840, Ann Walker’s family had her declared insane, sending her to an asylum for a while. After her death in 1854, she was all but forgotten about until 26 volumes of Lister’s racy diaries were discovered behind a wall panel in the family home Shibden Hall in 1933. They were written in code which a descendant, decades earlier, had managed to crack, but he was so horrified by what he read he hid them again. The diaries were then gifted to Halifax library with a copy of the code, where in 1982 a local teacher rediscovered them.’

Recently, a blue plaque honouring Lister was unveiled in the York church where in 1834 – almost two centuries before same-sex marriage became legal – Anne and Ann privately, but with the church’s blessing, contracted their union. While Sophie is delighted it’s there, she is sad that Ann Walker, who historians and viewers have often dismissed as a mousy wallflower compared to her flamboyant partner, is only mentioned in passing on the plaque.

‘Two women got married that day, which was a really progressive, anarchic thing to do, but it’s as if we’ve sidelined the woman who was in the “wife” role,’ she says.

‘It’s easy to write Ann Walker off, but she definitely had this little spark of defiance. Sally said to me, “Anne Lister was amazing, but she had the charisma to deal with all the opprobrium, while Ann Walker had none of that. Ann was religious, she was homophobic against herself and racked with guilt, so to do this transgressive thing must have taken so much strength of character and I love her so much for that. I just think, “What a hero.”’

Top, ALC, Harvey Nichols. Shirt, Frame. Earrings and ring, Deborah Blyth. Shoes, Jimmy Choo

Does Sophie think she’d be able to take such a strong public stance? ‘You don’t know until you’re tested, but I think what Ann did must have demanded so much moral fortitude.’

Petite and cheery, in dungarees and leopard-print Topshop sandals, Sophie has only started being recognised in public since Bodyguard was aired, despite being constantly on our screens (she’s also appeared in TV dramas Happy Valley and The Bletchley Circle). ‘It’s because it was the first time people had really seen me in modern outfits,’ she laughs. ‘Now I get a lot of sideways glances and people asking, “Were we at school together?”’

During Bodyguard, Sophie also received a lot of messages via Instagram, ticking her off for her coldness towards her on-screen husband David, an Afghanistan war veteran. ‘They said, “How could you be so hard on him? He’s so troubled!” I didn’t respond, but I was quite tempted to say, “Listen, Vicky has a very difficult job as a nurse and David’s a terrible husband – turning up with a bomb strapped to him; she doesn’t need that!” It was heart-wrenching because David had post-traumatic stress disorder, which puts a huge strain on relationships, but she had to do the tough-love thing – you can’t help other people until they help themselves.’

Created by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard’s success (it was last year’s most watched BBC drama) surprised everyone involved. ‘We thought it would be good because Jed is good, but it turned into one of those rare things that just caught people’s imaginations at the right time – when I realised that, I was, like, “God, I wish I’d put more effort into my part!”’ Sophie jokes.

Fans are clamouring for a sequel, but Sophie has no idea if one is on the cards. ‘Richard [Madden] is very busy,’ she explains. Rumours are he’ll be the next James Bond. ‘I think any actor under 40 who looks vaguely good in a tux is touted as Bond – and any woman too now,’ she says. So what about Sophie for the role? ‘I’d like to be a Bond villain, but I’m not cool enough to be Bond,’ she demurs.

Sophie’s perceived (and quite mistaken) lack of coolness keeps coming up during our conversation. ‘I’ve never felt glamorous in my life,’ she says. ‘I’m very confident on set, but red carpets and designer clothes make me feel very exposed. I didn’t get into acting because I thought I was impossibly good-looking, I was just a kid who loved telling stories. Some actors lead these rock-star-style lives. I like gardening and putting Ikea furniture together. I’m a DIY nut!’

While she’s spent a bit of time in Hollywood, Sophie says, ‘Some of the girls there are like racehorses, everyone is so beautiful and polished – I don’t think I fit in very well.’

I disagree, not least because Sophie cuts such a fabulous figure in the fur stoles and beaded flapper dresses she wears as Peaky Blinders’ Ada, only daughter of the Shelby gangster clan, who in real-life terrorised Birmingham between the wars. They’re a brutal bunch, yet viewers still love them.

‘I sometimes wonder, “Why are these protagonists likable? They’re awful, violent and immoral,”’ Sophie laughs. ‘I think it’s an underdog thing – they’re a working-class family who have fought their way to the top. But it’s also because the show gets the family dynamics so right and everyone can relate to them. Ada’s pretty much the only one who can stand up to Tommy [her brother and the gang’s leader, played by Cillian Murphy]. Some of his values really pain her but, at the same time, she’d do anything for him. I think we’re all like that with our siblings – one moment you’re, like, “You idiot”, but woe betide anyone else who calls them that.’

Not only does the show make criminal life seem alluring, it’s given Birmingham – more usually associated with its Bullring shopping centre and Spaghetti Junction – a sense of grandeur, with smoke-wreathed shots of 1920s slums and canals populated by characters often swaggering in slow motion to a distinctly anachronistic soundtrack by P J Harvey and the Arctic Monkeys. ‘They’ve made Birmingham cool. Many people knew little about the city before and Peaky has given it an identity,’ Sophie says.

Along with most of the cast she struggled to nail the period Brum accent (in reality, she speaks with a hint of her native Dorset tones), largely because it’s so rarely heard on television. ‘But now I love it – there’s a lovely rhythm to it,’ she says.

 Sophie cuts a fabulous figure in the fur stoles and beaded flapper dresses she wears as Peaky Blinders’ Ada, only daughter of the Shelby gangster clan

Now Peaky is returning for a fifth series, with Sophie a veteran, having been cast in the first season fresh out of prestigious drama school Rada. ‘I always look back on those episodes and see a fat child,’ she laughs with that characteristic self-deprecation. ‘Now, filming is a bit like going back to school. Every time you return, someone’s popped out a baby or got married.’

Sophie grew up in Bournemouth, with an elder brother James, a writer, and a younger brother Henry, also an actor, who’s just finished a long run in the West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Her father is a business consultant and her mother works for a company supplying books to libraries. ‘I had a really normal and loving childhood,’ she says. ‘It used to worry me when I’d read actors’ memoirs and they’d talk about their early traumas. I thought to be a great actor you had to have something horrible happen to you. Now I’ve realised it’s fine – you can just pretend.’

Today Sophie’s life sounds equally contented. She and her fiancé, fellow actor Matt Stokoe, whom she met making the TV costume drama Jamestown (he also appeared in Bodyguard as a gang leader) live with their adored retriever puppy Buddy in their newly purchased Victorian house in South London.

‘In many ways it was a terrible decision to get a dog because I’m working all the time, but you can just run and run and run on the treadmill and forget to live, so I decided we’d just make it work,’ she says.

The couple have also launched their own production company, which has just made its first film, Rose, described by Sophie as a ‘thriller love story.’ ‘You can feel quite powerless as an actor, so it’s nice to know you have a seat at the table in terms of making decisions,’ she says.

There’s no big rush to have babies, but Sophie is planning a wedding for next year, albeit in an extremely laidback manner.

Sophie and her partner actor Matt Stokoe. The couple have also launched their own production company, which has just made its first film, Rose

‘I’m not a very good bride-to-be. I poked my head into the world of big wedding productions and was, like, “Nope!” We’ll figure something out. My parents have seen me in a wedding dress with big hair on screen so many times, they’re just not that interested.’

But that doesn’t mean that Sophie isn’t excited about tying the knot. ‘After Gentleman Jack, that ability to validate your love for a person and declare it publicly, which is still denied to so many people around the world, has become a very poignant thing for me,’ she says. ‘It’s a privilege to be able to do these things and that’s not lost on me.’

The new series of Peaky Blinders starts on Sunday 25 August at 9pm on BBC One

 

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Tesco drops pork suppliers after campaigners release abuse footage

Tesco drops one of its biggest pork suppliers after animal rights campaigners release footage of shocking abuse at pig farm including animals being kicked and hit with metal rods

  • Tesco banned meat from Hogwood Farm in Warwickshire after an exposé 
  • Activist group Viva! filmed images they claim expose ‘systematic animal abuse’ 
  • Campaigners released shocking footage of pigs screeching in terror as farm workers kicked them, slammed gates on them and hit them with metal rods
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

Tesco has dropped one of its biggest suppliers of pork after animal rights campaigners released shocking footage of pigs screeching in terror as farm workers kicked them, slammed gates on them and hit them with metal rods.

The supermarket has banned meat from Hogwood Farm in Warwickshire after activists from Viva! filmed images on hidden cameras which, they claimed, exposed ‘systematic animal abuse’.

A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘These are distressing and unacceptable scenes which fall well below the high animal welfare standards we require.’

Viva! managed to install hidden cameras on the farm, owned by Brian Hobill, and filmed workers abusing animals.

Viva! managed to install hidden cameras on the farm, owned by Brian Hobill, and filmed workers abusing animals

The footage shows the pigs in filthy and overcrowded pens and so distressed that they are attacking each other.

Viva! founder Juliet Gellatley said: ‘We cannot express how much this victory means for us and the Hogwood Farm pigs.’  

Red Tractor also removed certification of the meat after viewing Viva!’s footage. ‘The farm’s Red Tractor certificate has already been suspended pending further investigation into these appalling behaviours,’ a spokesman said.

The move comes a year after the group revealed disturbing images of cannibalism at the farm. 

Owner Brian Hobill told Channel 4’s Dispatches earlier this year that it had ‘better conditions than most nursing homes’.

Officials from Red Tractor, the RSCPA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) initially found no breaches of animal welfare and Mr Hobill spent £50,000 on heavy-duty fencing turning his farm into ‘Fort Knox’.

Owner Brian Hobill told Channel 4’s Dispatches earlier this year that it had ‘better conditions than most nursing homes’

Yet, on July 8, Viva! managed to breach the security in order to install two hidden cameras on the farm and filmed workers for the first time abusing animals. Three other cameras were hidden over the week. All were removed on July 14.

The footage showed that, two years after they first infiltrated the farm, the pigs were still kept in horrendous and filthy overcrowded pens – and were so distressed that they are attacking each other.

One of the most horrific images was of a gilt – a sow under a year old – who was being bitten and bullied by other pigs: she spent nearly 48 hours in the pen before the farmers removed the swollen animal covered in sores.

But the pigs did not just face bullying from their peers. Viva! filmed animals screeching in terror as farm workers ruthlessly kicked them, slammed gates on them and hit them with metal riding crops.

Pregnant sows were forced to give birth on barren, filthy pens with concrete floors and no bedding and lie on their sides for five weeks, unable to reach their piglets, many of whom did not survive the harsh conditions. Those that did had their tails cut off without anaesthetic.

Tesco has dropped one of its biggest suppliers of pork after animal rights campaigners released shocking footage of pigs screeching in terror as farm workers kicked them

They then faced brutal conditions in which they were rough-handled, kicked and hit by farm workers and slammed on concrete floors. Viva! filmed one piglet, which was barely alive, being thrown down the side of a farrowing plate.

Even the dead animals were treated with disregard. Dead pigs were ruthlessly dumped in gangways before being thrown in bins while dead piglets were piled in filthy buckets and left to rot, contravening Defra guidelines which say they should be removed swiftly.

Viva! founder Juliet Gellatley said: ‘This news is a huge victory! We cannot express how much this decision means for us and the thousands of pigs trapped inside Hogwood Farm.

‘The animal cruelty that our team witnessed on Hogwood Farm cannot be easily forgotten. Over the past two years, there has been complete inaction by industry bodies, with meaningless assurances that they are working to improve standards. But finally, with this undeniable evidence, animal welfare has come before profit. We couldn’t be more thrilled!

‘Since our first investigation, the farm owners have invested thousands of pounds into increasing security at Hogwood. Rather than improve conditions for these poor animals, they invested in making it more difficult for the public to see the truth. Now, the truth is finally out and consumers will no longer unknowingly support Hogwood Horror Farm.

‘Although we congratulate Tesco and Red Tractor on finally making the right decision, I can’t help but question why it is routinely left to animal welfare groups like Viva! to expose the abuse taking place on farms. Factory farming is an inherently cruel business and we hope that this exposé shows that assurance schemes like Red Tractor cannot be trusted.’

Mr Hobill was unavailable to comment.

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Revealed: Life of Brian scenes that even Pythons were too afraid to do

Revealed: The scenes from controversial film Life of Brian that even the Pythons were too afraid to show

  • Papers from British Library archive of Python star Michael Palin reveal cut script
  • One lost scene was Joseph struggling to explain Virgin Birth to group of friends
  • And an original note described King Herod as ‘the world’s worst babysitter’
  • Film Life Of Brian was banned in several countries, including Norway and Ireland

When Monty Python’s Life Of Brian was released in 1979, it was met with outrage around the world.

But the comedy classic would have offended even more people if the original version of the script had been filmed.

Papers unearthed by The Mail on Sunday from the British Library archive of Python star Michael Palin reveal that the movie’s working title had been Monty Python’s Life Of Christ, and the script included outright blasphemy.

The original script for the 1979 movie Life Of Brian has been revealed with dozens of scenes not making it to the final film. Pictured is actor Graham Chapman playing the title character

The movie that was finally released carefully avoided any jokes at the expense of Jesus, who was depicted with respect in two brief scenes.

The film-makers were anxious to avoid being prosecuted for blasphemy and cut some of the original material after advice from lawyers.

One lost scene featured a waiter at The Last Supper trying to seat Jesus and his Disciples, telling them: ‘I can do you two tables for two and two threes.’

In another excised moment, Jesus’s embarrassed father Joseph struggles to explain the Virgin Birth to a group of his male friends.

Filmmakers were anxious to avoid being prosecuted for blasphemy and cut some of the original material. Pictured are the cast from the film

One moment which didn’t make the cut would have been Jesus’s embarrassed father trying to explain the Virgin Birth to a group of his male friends. Pictured are Michael Palin and Eric Idle

Several key figures from the Gospels who were noticeably absent from the film were considered for inclusion. 

One note describes how ‘John the Baptist’s severed head keeps talking’ while another described King Herod as ‘the world’s worst babysitter’. 

Herod was also shown pondering how best to deal with the threat posed by the infant Jesus.

As an alternative to the massacre of the Innocents, a courtier suggests: ‘Why don’t we offer a reward to anyone who brings the Messiah to us?’ Brian did not meet Jesus in the film, but that was not the case in the early version, in which he is the ‘13th Apostle’.

While one note described how ‘John the Baptist’s severed head keeps talking’ and another described King Herod as ‘the world’s worst babysitter’. Pictured is actor John Cleese

Life Of Brian was banned in several countries, including Norway and Ireland, and by councils across Britain when it was released in 1979. Pictured is a scene from the movie

Palin’s handwritten notes depict the title character as a religious figure in his own right, with references to ‘St Brian’, ‘St Brian’s Gospel’, ‘Brian Setting up the Catholic Church’ and ‘St Brian the only Martyr to die of old age’.

One suggested ending included a reading from ‘The Martyrdom of St Brian which charted his early life; his sexual antics with some “Maidens of The Orient” and his eventual ascent to Heaven where he “dwelt amongst the Heavenly host”.’ The Pythons were also advised to abandon plans to portray Brian’s mother Mandy as a virgin.

Life Of Brian was banned in several countries, including Norway and Ireland, and by councils across Britain.

Aberystwyth in Wales didn’t allow the film to be shown until 2009.

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How women can achieve equality between the sheets so they enjoy their sex lives as much as men – The Sun

WOMEN know all about the gender pay gap. We also know from bitter, dishwasher-stacking experience that women still do more of the unpaid housework.

But are you aware that things are as unequal in the bedroom? Yes, there’s an orgasm gap – and surprise, surprise, we’re on the wrong side of it.

A Public Health England survey last year found that almost half of women aged 25 to 34 do not have an “enjoyable” sex life, while in 2017 a study found that only 65 per cent of straight women “usually orgasm” during sex, compared to 95 per cent of men, and 86 per cent of lesbian women.*

Increasingly, researchers are looking into what’s been termed orgasm inequality.

“The research shows the biggest gap exists in hook-up or casual sex and gets smaller in relationship sex, but it never closes altogether,” says Laurie Mintz, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida.

“In studies I’ve conducted, 55 per cent of men orgasm during first-time hook-up sex compared to just four per cent of women. It’s a huge gap.” So what will it take for us to get equality between the sheets?

Sex ed revisited

“THE number one factor driving the orgasm gap is that women are not getting the clitoral stimulation they need,” says Laurie, who’s also the author of Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters And How To Get It.

The clitoris is the female pleasure centre, with thousands of nerve endings (twice as many as the penis, FYI).

And while only the tip sits outside the body, the whole organ is shaped like a wishbone and can actually be up to five inches long, extending up inside the pelvis and around the vagina.

“Research suggests that when women pleasure themselves, the majority touch their external clitoris, and almost all reach orgasm this way,” says Laurie. “Very few women orgasm from penetration alone.”

According to Dr Catherine Hood, a consultant in psychosexual medicine at London’s St George’s Hospital, there is no single best position for female orgasm, but some will be better than others for clitoral stimulation.

Very few women orgasm from penetration alone.

“What’s best for you will depend on your anatomy – and his anatomy,” she says.

For example, the distance between the clitoris and the vaginal opening may affect how likely someone is to orgasm through penetrative sex – and for some women this may just not be possible.

And you can call off the search for your G-spot (a cluster of nerve endings believed to be particularly pleasurable), because this is largely considered an urban myth by scientists.

It’s been suggested that what some women call their G-spot is actually their internal clitoris.

Know yourself

“IF I’ve got a patient who’s struggling to orgasm, the first thing I ask is whether they can get there alone,” says Dr Hood.

“It’s still a bit of a taboo topic and some women feel they shouldn’t masturbate, especially in a relationship.

"But I always encourage them to try, because if you don’t know yourself it’s going to be much more difficult for your partner.”

There are female-friendly online resources that can help you discover what turns you on. For instance, Omgyes.com offers short videos and interactive graphics designed to teach practical techniques for a one-off payment from £39.

Plus, proceeds go towards funding research in the field, too. But even when you know what you like, many women don’t feel able to ask for it.

“Research shows that if you teach women about their clitoris, the frequency of their orgasms increases during masturbation, but not with a partner. Women think it’s too pushy to say what they want,” says Laurie.

If you don’t know yourself it’s going to be much more difficult for your partner.

According to sex educator Kim Loliya, aids such as vibrators can be helpful. “But while women will use these on their own, many are reluctant to introduce them into partner sex,” she says.

To tackle this stigma, brands are designing less intimidating products with female pleasure – and partner sex – in mind. Check out Smile Makers, which also has a quiz on its website to help you choose a product best suited for you (and your other half).

If you’re still struggling to get there, it’s worth visiting your GP, who will be able to help you rule out any underlying issues that might be affecting your ability to achieve orgasm

Body con

FEELING self-conscious is a serious and widespread problem when it comes to female sexual pleasure, says Dr Hood.

“To reach orgasm, two things have to happen: you need to be physically aroused, and you also need to be in the moment.

"Physically, an orgasm is an uncontrolled contraction of the uterine and vaginal muscles, but psychologically it’s a moment of losing control. And this letting go can’t happen if you’re thinking about how you look.”

There are no simple answers to improving body image and self-esteem, but if this is something you struggle with, one practical step is to be mindful of who you follow on social media.

A study by body image researchers in 2016 looked at how women felt after viewing pictures of attractive celebrities and peers on Instagram, and found it significantly increased negative mood and body dissatisfaction.**

Under pressure

AS Love Island’s Maura Higgins found out this summer, there’s still a sexual double standard when it comes to female pleasure.

“Women who talk about enjoying sex worry about being slut-shamed, or if they don’t enjoy sex they may feel pressured to have it,” says Laurie, adding that it’s difficult to have an orgasm if you’re worrying about being judged.

“Women need to give themselves permission to enjoy sex,” agrees Dr Hood – and this doesn’t mean only focusing on reaching climax.

“It’s like waiting for a bus – the more you look down the road, the longer it takes to arrive. Instead of focusing on that end point, enjoy the intimacy and follow the pleasure.”

Let’s talk about sex

EXPERTS agree that the key to better sex is communication, which is easier said than done when it’s such a sensitive topic – and when fragile egos are involved.

"But being frank takes the pressure off both of you", says Dr Hood.

“Otherwise, the responsibility is on the man. Whether or not you orgasm becomes a badge of his ability, which isn’t fair. Focusing on how you feel is better than anything that sounds like blame,” says Kim.

“Rather than saying: ‘You always do this,’ say: ‘When such and such happens, I feel…’ Also, state your needs in simple terms, such as: ‘I need more time.’”

It’s also important to say when something’s not working. “Women often put up with sex they’re not enjoying, but it gets trickier to address as time goes on,” says Kim.

“This usually leads to a couple no longer having sex and then it becomes difficult to reconnect, because the man feels rejected without explanation.”

Finally, try not to resort to faking it. “It’s important to look at why a woman feels they have to fake orgasm,” says Kim.

“It’s usually not just ideas from porn or Hollywood – it’s worries such as a preoccupation with seeming normal. It’s dangerous in the long run because it erodes trust.

"If your partner finds out, they’ll be devastated. Being honest in the short-term could save your relationship in the long-term.”

  • *Chapman University, Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute **Flinders University
  • For more information visit Smilemakerscollection.com

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Meghan Markle and Harry ‘fly on private jet again’ after gas-guzzling Ibiza trip

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have reportedly jetted off to the South of France just two days after their flight to Ibiza.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are believed to have taken a luxury 12-seater Cessna aircraft, which could be cost more than £20,000 to hire, according to Sun Online .

Pictures emerged online showing the couple getting off the private jet in Nice with Meghan holding baby Archie in her arms.

Prince Harry , 34, wearing a green polo shirt, blue cap and shades, was seen emerging from the plane as airport securities and royal staff waited on the tarmac, it is reported.

The couple's trip to Nice has created seven times more carbon emissions per person than a commercial flight.

An easyJet return flight from London airports to Nice costs about £232 per person during off-peak days.

This trip makes it their second European jaunt on a private plane in a month.

The royal couple has come under fire over their choice of transport due to the level of emissions from private jets.

The incidents came just weeks after Harry was slammed by environmentalists as he travelled on a private jet to Sicily to give a speech about climate on Google summit.


And Meghan was blasted for using one for her £300,000 New York baby shower.

The couple took off to France on Wednesday morning, it is reported.

Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at UCL said the average British carbon footprint is around 13 tonnes per year.

He added that flying economy produces a lower footprint than going business class.

"People making personal statements about climate change should be conscious of their own carbon footprint," he said.

"Rich people fly most frequently and the increase in flights is mostly due to wealthy people flying more – not poorer people starting to fly a little."


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Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Pep Guardiola ‘accepts’ VAR after goal overruled

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said he would “have to accept it” after a VAR decision overruled what looked to have been a late winner over Tottenham.

City were celebrating after Gabriel Jesus appeared to have scored in injury time, but the goal was ruled out because the ball had brushed Aymeric Laporte’s arm in the build-up.

“We have to accept it,” said Guardiola after the game ended 2-2.

“It’s tough because we scored a goal late on. But ask VAR people, not me.”

Raheem Sterling had headed dominant City ahead in the first half, but Erik Lamela immediately equalised against the run of play with a strike from distance.

Sergio Aguero flicked home Kevin de Bruyne’s cross before Substitute Lucas Moura nodded in seconds after coming on as a substitute to pull Spurs level again.

It was a frustrating result for City in their first home game of the season, particularly after beginning their title defence with a 5-0 win at West Ham last weekend.

It is the first time they have dropped points at home since losing to Crystal Palace on 22 December last year.

The home fans greeted the final whistle with boos directed at VAR as the disallowed goal stirred memories of City’s Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Tottenham last season.

Deja vu for City

In April, City needed a goal to secure passage to the last four of the Champions League in their second leg encounter with Spurs at the Etihad.

The hosts thought that had arrived in injury time when Sterling struck, prompting wild celebrations from City boss Pep Guardiola.

But emotions switched instantly as the video assistant referee had the final word, ruling that Aguero was offside when Bernardo Silva diverted the ball into Sterling’s path.

This time, City players wheeled away to celebrate what appeared to be a last-gasp winning goal that would have extended City’s winning run at home in the Premier League to 11 games.

However, those celebrations were cut short when referee Michael Oliver indicated that a VAR review was under way, and the goal was disallowed after replays showed a ball into the box had flicked off Laporte’s arm.

New handball rules introduced this season state that any goal resulting from handball, accidental or otherwise, must be ruled out and Man City found out to their cost just how strictly these laws will be applied.

Speaking on Match of the Day, Danny Murphy was scathing in his assessment of the decision.

“The new handball rule is ridiculous,” he said. “That should never on any playing field anywhere in the world be disallowed.

“It wouldn’t even be seen if we didn’t have VAR.”

It is the second successive City game in which VAR has played a significant role. The system also overturned a goal by Sterling in their win at West Ham last time out.

Aguero was particularly frustrated with the officials at the final whistle against Tottenham. He had also earlier exchanged angry words with Guardiola when he was substituted for Jesus, but the City boss dismissed that as a misunderstanding.

“He thought I was annoyed with him for the goal we conceded,” said Guardiola. “But it is emotions, and that is part of the game. We talked afterwards. I love him a lot because we know his feelings.”

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Lawyer Alan Dershowitz: Epstein ‘thought he’d be better off dead’

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz is not buying the conspiracy theories about former client Jeffrey Epstien’s death.

Since the pedophile died in his cell last weekend, apparently having killed himself, people immediately began to weave elaborate theories suggesting that everyone from Bill Clinton to Prince Andrew had bumped him off.

But The Dersh — who repped Epstein in his 2005 trial where the billionaire was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution — exclusively told Page Six, “I’m not a conspiracy-theory person. I think it was just a suicide.”

He added, “I think he killed himself because he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison. He did a cost-benefit analysis and thought he’d be better off dead.”

Dershowitz told us he believes the fault lies with the Bureau of Prisons.

“There should be a thorough investigation . . . He never should have been taken off of suicide watch,” he told us.

An official autopsy released Friday concluded that Epstein killed himself.

Dershowitz — who in the past has been regarded as a close associate of Epstein — has distanced himself from the convicted sex offender.

“I haven’t seen him in years,” he told us. “We never had a friendship. I have no personal feelings. He was a client and someone who I had academic contact with. We didn’t have a personal relationship.”

Two women have claimed they were “directed” by Epstein to have sex with the high-profile lawyer, which Dershowitz strongly denies.

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