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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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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ABC has chosen a bad time to resurrect the disgusting Les Norton

Q: In my teens, in the early '90s, I used to sneak a peek at my big brother's Australian Penthouse magazines. When I read the Les Norton stories I found the "lovable larrikin" frighteningly brutal, upsettingly misogynist and ignorantly intolerant of difference. When I saw the ABC was making a series from those stories I thought I'd reread them from an adult perspective, but still found them vile. The TV version has been toned down, but it still glorifies a toxic form of masculinity. Is the Australian national broadcaster a Sydneycentric boys club that favours this retrograde rubbish?

A: I had a similar experience. I was a Les Norton virgin when I saw the TV trailers, so I decided to find out more about this previously unmined seam of iconic Aussie Lit. I read Barrett's first collection, You Wouldn't Be Dead For Quids, and felt sickened. First, came graphic descriptions of extreme violence told with wry relish, including details such as the light gleaming from the white of exposed bone. There was the account of Les smashing a woman in the face because she annoyed him, and beating up a hippy. Beating up an annoying household of Kiwis was par for the course, but when he told the girl of the house he was going to rape her I was aghast. Luckily, he only kicked her. This gratuitous "arse kicking for fun and profit" was bad enough. Worse was the story about Les letting a brutalised Staffordshire bull terrier into the Greek neighbour's yard and watching over the fence as it literally tore a German shepherd to pieces. How gleefully Les described its fear and death agony. Incredibly, the story got worse.

Storytellers have always glorified and romanticised periods in history that were actually pretty terrible – the pirates of the Carribean, the Wild West and Al Capone's gangsters. In Australia, we have bushrangers and Melbourne's "Underbelly" gang wars.

Alexander Bertrand portrays Les Norton in the ABC series.

Les Norton operates in the deeply corrupt, pre-ICAC era of 20th century Sydney, when illegal casinos and brothels thrived, winked at by bent coppers and pollies. There is still some nostalgia for the era, before the lockout laws, when King's Cross was a "colourful" nest of vice, intoxication and violence. The stories appealed to those who missed a bit of biffo at the footy, down gallons of beer and grade women by their looks.

The trouble is that the Les Norton model of the flag-draped "ocker" Aussie bloke is still with us. This is the type of Australian with whom Pauline Hanson identifies. A personality who revels in conflict  and looks for enemies onto whom they can unleash their righteous anger. You can see him in the nationalist white supremacists, the hater of hipsters and greenies, the inverted snob, the shock jock  listener, the blinkered, ignorant xenophobe and the bully.

The worst aspect of all this is that the stories are not even witty, clever, ironic, satirical or well plotted. Rather, they are plodding, predictable, repetitious and incredibly base.

Pauline Hanson.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

I am not overly squeamish. I have seen Tarantino movies, and I love well-written crime fiction. I do not believe in censorship. People have a right to write and read whatever they want, even when, in the audiobook version, the narrator and publisher explicitly distance themselves from the content and ideas expressed in the work they are presenting.

What does mystify me is that, from the wealth and variety of Australian literature available, the ABC would invest their limited resources into this project. Is it an attempt to dumb down the ABC in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator, or are there some in the organisation who are deliberately giving the finger to #metoo activists, the politically correct, and latte-sipping bleeding-heart lefties?

Yes, the TV series has been toned down a little and the stories were immensely popular. One Sydney lifesaving club even called one of their boats "Les Norton". The trouble is that other people, like me, will probably seek out the original stories, and I do not think that it is helpful to resurrect this disgusting character at this time.

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Taylor Swift & Joe Alwyn Took This *Major* Relationship Step, According To Her New Song

Kindly pause your millionth replay of the for an extremely important update: Taylor Swift’s “Lover” hints that she and Joe Alwyn took a major step in their relationship. On Aug. 16, Swift debuted the newest single “Lover” from her upcoming album Lover, out on Aug. 23. While the song is a clear cut homage to her British beau, key lyrics from the track appear to insinuate that the two have transitioned into a major stage in their relationship: roommates. As in, Swift and Alwyn could be living together. This is put forth in two major lyrics: “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January” and “This is our place, we make the rules.”

We could leave the Christmas lights up? This is our place? The evidence is all too compelling. Due to the lyrics, fans are convinced that the two share a place of residence adorned with Christmas lights well into January. Given the fact that Swift has taken up residence in several cities (New York! Nashville! London!), where the couple — who first became linked as an item in May 2017 — currently resides is a bit of mystery considering how notoriously private they are. However, a report by The Sun suggests that the two live across the pond.

In February 2018, The Sun reported that Swift has been staying at Alwyn’s North London flat so much that “it’s as if she’s moved in,” according to the tabloid’s sources. “Taylor has been spending a lot of time at Joe’s house, and has been enjoying going out with his pals to their favourite local haunts,” the source said. “She always tries to keep a low profile, but has been having a lot of fun with the group. And some have even been joking that it’s as if she’s moved in with him.” Later, in Alwyn’s September 2018 Vogue profile, the publication wrote that the two have “been living together on-and-off.”

More so, a December 2018 Us Weekly report described Swift and Awlyn’s private life in London as “homebodies” who would often “check out the local pubs.” A source told the publication, “They’re very low-key and normal. They work out, watch movies together, and have friends over… She’s much happier without her personal life out in the open. She credits Joe for that and realizes how much better off she is.”

Given how much time Swift and Alwyn have spent together, rumors have begun to swirl that the two are secretly engaged. Swift’s fans have been decoding her magazine photoshoots and lyrics since the singer has long had an affinity for planting hidden messages in her work. Plus, the release of “Lover” has fueled speculation with the following lyrics that call to mind wedding vows:

Could "Lover" be layered with various hidden meanings about Swift and Alwyn’s relationship? Now seems like a good time to decode Lover‘s tracklist — which Swift conveniently unveiled a few hours after the "Lover" debut — for more clues.

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‘DCC: Making The Team’ Preview: The Ladies Are Put To The Test During A Tough Interview Round

Kelli and Judy are one step closer to completing their 2019 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders roster on the Aug. 16 episode of ‘Making The Team,’ and the interview round is well underway in this EXCLUSIVE sneak peek!

Trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders is just as mentally demanding as it is physically demanding, which we’ve seen on Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team season after season! The tryouts always feature an interview round, where the women are asked tough questions to test their knowledge AND if they can think on their feet. HollywoodLife has an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek of this season’s interview round, which will air during Aug. 16 episode. “The ladies have to be smart,” DCC director, Kelli Finglass says. “They have to be well spoken, and they have to be pretty clever.”

She proves just how random the interview round can be by asking one girl, Kat, to “tell me a joke.” At first, Kat seems a little off-guard, but she saves the day by telling a super corny knock-knock joke that has all the judges cracking up. “They laughed!” she says in her confessional. “Thankfully. But it was SUCH a corny joke.” Then, Charlotte Jones, whose father owns the Dallas Cowboys, asks Angela who the owner of the team is, and Angela can’t come up with the answer. “That would be very important for you to know….” Charlotte warns her.

Next, Malena, who was heartbroken after being cut from tryouts during the 2018 season, shows up. “This is the first time I’ve been across the table from Malena since we last saw her, which ended in a very dramatic final cut,” Kelli reveals. One of the judges asks Malena what she’s learned about herself since that day, and she eloquently responds, “It’s a lot of feelings, a lot of emotions. I’m a very passionate person. But, now learning, I think these last few months, how to channel that passion — the mental step, I think, is a lot bigger than the physical step.”

In a confessional, Kelli admits that she found Malena’s answer to be very “philosophical.” However, she adds, “I didn’t feel like she was necessarily at ease with the conversation, compared to some of the other returning training camp gals that we’ve had in the past.” We’ll have to see how it all plays out when the new episode of DCC: Making The Team airs on Aug. 16 at 9:00 p.m on CMT!

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Mobile shock: Seven in 10 Britons ‘can’t bear to be away’ from their phones

Three in 10 said they routinely check their mobile as soon as they wake and one in 10 have even peeked at their device when at the cinema – right in the middle of the film. While 21 percent simply can’t resist unlocking their devices when dining out to check for messages, social media posts and more. Commissioned by AO-Mobile, the research of 2,000 smartphone owners found 58 percent admit to being “too reliant” on their phones.

The study also found those polled spend three hours and 25 minutes on their phone every day – including 52 minutes looking at social media.

Richard Baxendale, the managing director at AO-Mobile, said: “The last ten years have witnessed the unprecedented technological uprising of the phone industry, to the point where these devices have become the predominant accompaniment and assistant to our daily lives.

“As their usage has become more widespread so has their functionality, and our hunger for more data to feed this functionality has only increased.”

The research also found the most popular use for modern mobiles is sending texts followed by making calls and wading in on WhatsApp conversations.

Browsing Facebook, watching TV and making video calls are also among the most common uses.

As a result, the average adult will burn through nine gigabytes of data each month.

It also emerged one in eight avoid the anxiety of running out of data by opting for an unlimited allowance as part of their phone plan.

The AO-Mobile study carried out through OnePoll also found sending messages is still king with 46 percent predominantly tapping away at virtual keyboards.

And while the average Brit will make an average of 10 calls on their mobile each week, they will send 17 messages every day.

And 47 percent admit they’d rather send a text over having a call, compared to the one in seven who prefer to talk.

Of those who would rather communicate by text, three in five prefer messaging as they can decide when to respond, and more than a third say speaking on the phone makes them feel nervous.

Richard Baxendale, from AO-Mobile, added: “Ten years ago the issue of mobile data management would have been an alien subject to most Brits, but for smartphone users on the go, data usage is a constant background thought.”

Top 10 uses for smartphones

1. Sending texts

2. Making calls

3. Sending WhatsApp messages

4. Using email

5. Taking pictures

6. Browsing Facebook

7. Listening to music

8. Watching TV

9. Sending messages through Facebook messenger

10. Making video calls

• AO-Mobile launched earlier this month to rival its competitors by offering great value, easy to understand deals to suit individual needs and exceptional customer service with a price match guarantee and seven-day customer support.

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Kate Middleton and her children hang out at the Hurlingham Club

Kate Middleton and her children are ‘just like any normal family’ when they ‘pile in’ for lunch at the Hurlingham Club after Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s tennis lessons, an insider claims

  • Kate Middleton has taken her three children to the Hurlingham Club this summer
  • The highly exclusive club has long been a favourite hangout of the Duchess
  • An insider said the Cambridges’ behave ‘just like any normal family’ while there 
  • The family ‘pile in’ for lunch after George and Charlotte’s tennis lessons

Parents everywhere are trying to keep their children busy during the school holidays, and it appears Kate Middleton is no exception.  

The Duchess of Cambridge, 37, has been spotted taking children Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, to the exclusive Hurlingham Club, in west London, which has long been a favourite family hangout for the royals. 

But while you might expect the Cambridges to receive special treatment, an insider told Hello! magazine that the royals behave just ‘like any normal family’ when they join fellow members at the clubhouse for lunch or tea. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, 37, has reportedly been spotted taking children Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, to the exclusive Hurlingham Club, in west London, over the summer holidays. Pictured, the family at the polo in Berkshire last month

‘Kate has been at Hurlingham a lot over the summer,’ the source said. 

‘She takes all the kids. There’s a gorgeous playground they all love, and George and Charlotte have tennis lessons.

‘They all pile into the clubhouse afterwards for lunch or tea and they’re never bothered, they’re just like any normal family. They all seem to really love it there.’

Set in 42 acres and with a 25-year waiting list to become a member, the Thames-side club near Parsons Green, Fulham, is one of the most exclusive in the world.  

Set in 42 acres and with a 25-year waiting list to become a member, the Thames-side club near Parsons Green, Fulham, is one of the most exclusive in the world. File image

The club has the Duke of Edinburgh as its patron and counts the Duchess’s sister Pippa Middleton, Kate Winslet, Eve Branson and Lord Archer among its 13,000 members. Membership costs at least £1,000 a year. 

A mere 25-minute drive from the Cambridges’ Kensington Palace home, the Hurlingham Club gives the royals the perfect setting in which to unwind away from the prying eyes of the general public. 

The Middleton sisters are understood to enjoy playing tennis on the club’s courts – where George and Charlotte have their lessons – while the spacious playground gives the young royals plenty of space to run around.   

The family are also thought to enjoy the use of the club’s swimming pool. 

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Australian influencer QUITS Instagram after getting negative comments

‘I’ve had the worst day’: Australian influencer QUITS social media due to cruel trolling after revealing brands ‘refuse’ to work with her because she’s ‘too real’ for Instagram

  • Australian influencer has stepped away from Instagram after an emotional post 
  • Ariella Nyssa said she received a number of negative comments about her body
  • The 22-year-old from Sydney was going to ignore them but got angry instead 
  • It comes just a day after she took a swipe at modelling agencies for rejecting her 
  • She said she felt forced to lose weight due to the pressure of beauty standards 

An Australian social media influencer has decided to ‘take a break’ from Instagram this weekend after receiving a number of negative comments about her ‘real’ body.

Sydney model Ariella Nyssa, 22, said she had the ‘worst f***ing day’ on Thursday after opening up about modelling agencies ‘weighing her’ and then ‘rejecting’ her from their books. 

She received a number of negative comments from some of her 250,000 who questioned whether she had a right to be angry.

Sydney model Ariella Nyssa, 22, said she had the ‘worst f***ing day’ on Thursday after opening up about modelling agencies ‘weighing her’ and then ‘rejecting’ her from their books

‘I’ve had comments over the last few days stating “Just because you’re not hot enough to be a Victoria’s Secret angel you are having a whinge” and “You have to have a law degree to be a lawyer, just like you have to have a modelling body to be a model,” she said.

Ariella said she would normally just ignore hateful comments but these made her particularly frustrated.

‘Some of these comments are f***ing ridiculous and shows exactly how much impact the industry and social media has on our minds,’ she said.

Ariella said she would normally just ignore hateful comments but these made her particularly frustrated

‘Some of these comments are f***ing ridiculous and shows exactly how much impact the industry and social media has on our minds,’ she said

‘Who told you what a modelling body is? Who the f*** says what a modelling body is? Shouldn’t we all be represented? Shouldn’t we all feel beautiful enough to wear clothing from ALL brands?’

As a result of the hate comments she has decided to quit Instagram for a few days to relax.

‘I am just in shock… I am taking a little break from Instagram this weekend. I need to get off it, de-stress and not think about it because it has made me really angry and I am really obsessing over it,’ she said.  

Previously, Ariella claimed while brands and modelling agencies don’t directly say her body is their reason for rejecting her, their actions speak louder than words.

Australian Instagram influencer Ariella Nyssa has lashed out at companies who turn her down for photo shoots because her body is too ‘real’

She told 9Honey even the brands that on the surface promoted body inclusivity would turn her away because she wasn’t the ‘right fit’.

‘I was too short for them, my boobs were too big, they even weighed me and then told me I couldn’t model for them,’ she said. 

While Ariella has been able to grow an Instagram following of a few hundred thousand, she said big companies reject or simply completely ignore her requests to collaborate. 

One of her friends, meanwhile, was given work with a company who rejected her.

‘They’d say “oh, we’re not looking at the moment” but then I’d see that my friend who is a size six has just started working with them,’ Ariella said. 

‘Every time I try to push past these beauty standards I get shut down. I’m so over trying to show people the beauty in all of us.’

After the bumpy start to her influencer career, the young woman said she then hit the gym five days a week in order to try and fit the required mould.

Ariella claims while brands and modelling agencies don’t directly say her body is their reason for saying no, their actions speak louder than words

She said even the brands that on the surface promoted body inclusivity would turn her away because she wasn’t the ‘right fit’

After the bumpy start to her influencer career, the young Sydney woman said she then hit the gym five days a week in order to try and fit the required mould 

‘I stopped taking my own advice because of all of this rejection,’ she said.

With her struggles to conform are now behind her, Ariella pushes for others to appreciate the beauty of all body shapes.

‘Just because I’m not a size 6 or a size 16 doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful.’

‘I’ll be posting my favourite photo shoot, pictures of my “excessive skin”, “undesirable body type”, “boobs that are too big”, “love handles”, “back fat” and “cellulite” for your enjoyment, she wrote in a recent Instagram post.

‘I stopped taking my own advice because all of this rejection,’ the Instagram influencer said 

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Mum learns the hard way not to share food with kids

A lesson to all: kids are regularly gross and you should never share food with them.

Mum of two Sidney Anderson learned this the hard way after she took a lick of her daughter’s ice cream… only to discover something disgusting had happened to her.

Sidney shared the story on Facebook, explaining that she bought her daughter Blakely an ice cream come from McDonald’s. When the little girl handed Sidney her half-eaten cone, Sidney gave the ice cream a lick.

Sidney was puzzled when her daughter looked concerned that she’d eaten some of the ice cream. She asked what was wrong, at which point Blakeley revealed the dark truth: She had ‘accidentally’ wiped her butt with the ice cream.

Cue a freakout over what Sidney had just put in her mouth.

‘I am DONE with these kids,’ wrote Sidney. ‘I learned a hard lesson today… one I wasn’t prepared for and I feel like I’ve been through a trauma! I need prayer!

‘I know all you moms have been there. We as moms pretty much live off of the food our kids don’t eat so I licked it before it dripped.’

When her daughter stared, Sidney asked what was wrong, to which Blakeley responded: ‘Is it okay?’.

Yep, alarm bells would be ringing.

‘At this point I’m scared b/c I don’t know what just happened,’ wrote Sidney. ‘I think maybe she dropped it in her room and was scared to say. We stand there looking at each other and the ice cream cone.

‘And this fool says: “I accidentally wiped my butt with it”.’

Don’t worry, though. Blakeley clarified that there was no poop on the ice cream, so it’s all okay.

Sidney shared: ‘I am coming unglued…so I ask this child “How do you accidentally wipe your butt with an ice cream and WHY did you give it to me to eat????”

‘She looks me dead in my face and says “I used the wrong hand to wipe but it was just pee mommy”.

‘DONE! Someone come get these kids. I cannot even handle it. If y’all need me I’ll be washing my mouth out with Clorox.’

That poor mum.

The good news is that she gave us all a laugh. Sidney’s Facebook post has been overwhelmed with comments from parents who relate, hard.

One mum wrote: ‘This reminds me of mothers day a few years back when my daughter bought me up breakfast in bed, when I say breakfast in bed it consisted of two slices of bread and a stale cupcake!

‘I thought I’d be polite and eat some when she said “mummy I had an accident but I’ve cleaned it up!” I very quickly put down the food I was about to eat and smelt her hands which had a lovely pissy fragrance on them. Seriously dodged a bullet there.’

Another commented: ‘My husband was taking too long in the store once. My daughter had to pee and couldn’t make it out so I grabbed an empty Starbucks cup and let her pee, planning to toss it as we drove out.

‘I didn’t get a chance because instead my husband got in the car, started driving and took a big ol’ swig of instant regret. He asked why it was warm and our eyes locked looking like this.

‘I started dying of laughter while he yanked the door open and began to puke in the middle of the road.’

And perhaps our favourite story is this one: ‘My son loved giving me GIFTS OF FOOD when he was a toddler but I knew to NEVER EVER EAT THEM.

‘One day he gave me what I THOUGHT was a really old Oreo cookie, turns out it was a petrified piece of poop he’d found outside.’

Again, there’s a lesson here: Never eat anything a child hands you. They are not to be trusted.

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Box Office: ‘It: Chapter Two’ Could Float to $110 Million Debut

Warner Bros.’ thriller “It” jolted the box office when it debuted two years ago, delivering the best debut for an R-rated horror movie with $123 million.

Pennywise is floating back to theaters on Sept. 6, and the return of the demonic dancing clown couldn’t come at a better time. After what is shaping up to be a lackluster August at the box office, “It: Chapter Two” looks to scare some life back into multiplexes.

The “It” sequel could generate between $95 million to $110 million during opening weekend, according to early tracking. While that number for now is slightly behind the first film’s start, ticket sales could balloon if buzz continues to build for “It: Chapter Two” as it gears up for its release.

The original remains the highest-grossing horror film with $700 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Director Andy Muschietti returned for the follow-up, based on the second half of Stephen King’s popular and terrifying novel. “It: Chapter Two” picks up 27 years after the first film and sees the sewer-dwelling, shapeshifting clown return to terrorize the citizens of Derry, Maine. Bill Skarsgard is reprising his role as Pennywise. James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are playing the adult version of Losers’ club, who were originally portrayed by Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis and Fin Wolfhard.

It appears other Hollywood studios were also terrified of Pennywise, since “It: Chapter Two” will be the lone nationwide release that weekend.

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