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Aaron snaps at his team in the TV shopping challenge

The remaining contestants of The Apprentice will find themselves back in the chaos in the latest episode where they all take part in a TV shopping challenge. (Author: Gardener)

AaronThe remaining contestants of The Apprentice will find themselves back in the chaos in the latest episode where they all take part in a TV shopping challenge. Preview clips from Thursday's show see contestant Aaron snapping at his team as they try to whip out inflatable flamingos as well as a solar-powered owl light. After Aaron's teammates Harpreet and Akeem demonstrate the products they've chosen to sell, Aaron is furious, "I just don't know who's going to buy it!" Presenting the flamingos, Akeem says, "It's a good quality flamingo, this one." Handles are durable, it's very light and it can also be collapsed and packed to take with you everywhere." Aaron was then amused, fuming: "When I found out yesterday that we have an inflatable flamingo, I just couldn't believe it , I just do not understand! Speaking about her other products, Harpreet tries to convince Aaron of the merits of selling the owl by saying, "It's got this wood effect so it looks like it's handmade and we can make some owl noises when we're showcasing it." !“ Aaron just looks at his other team members in confusion and shakes his head. Over on the other team, the other contestants don't get along much better, with Steff showcasing her products on the shopping channel while Akshay gives her some suggestions. Presenting a clothes steamer, Steff looks visibly awkward as she tries to keep up with Akshay's directions and stutters. It comes after Nick Showering was the last contestant to be fired last week. In a subsequent exit interview with MailOnline, he said he never described himself as "funny" and was shocked that BBC viewers compared him to a comedian during his time on the show. However, the 31-year-old finance executive insisted it wasn't just clever editing that led audiences to believe he was acting as an undercover mole during his series, as the scenes shown were an accurate representation of his personality. The London entrepreneur, who was sacked by Lord Sugar in last Thursday's episode, claimed his biggest regret at the trial was having a horrible haircut the day before filming, which he described as "not a good preparation". referred to the television appearance. Nick told MailOnline: "It's definitely a shock. "I remember you talking about yourself during the application process and I said I'm not that funny but I'm quite funny like it would be fun to be around but I wouldn't consider myself a funny one denote person. "It's always a problem when you do something like that... it's like how am I shown then and how accurate is it? It fits perfectly and the way people come across is really accurate. I am what you saw of me.' The apprentice candidates were tasked with hosting a racing-themed corporate day at Silverstone last week. But Nick, who had previously tickled viewers with his Theresa May-inspired dance and lackluster tour of Wales, was accused of not taking Lord Sugar's instructions seriously and ended up wasting time while joking with co-star Akshay Thakrar. Frustrated by their incompetence, Lord Sugar called all four candidates from the losing team to the boardroom, including Akshay, 28, who was in the line of fire for the fifth time, as well as Kathryn Louise Burn, 29, and Stephanie Affleck, 28. Nick admitted: “I was on pretty thin ice after the EV abandonment last week because I nearly got the double shot victim, but he said 'go back to the house' so if I lost the abandonment at Silverstone I knew it was me huge trouble. Nick, who backs Akshay to attract Lord Sugar's investment despite his regular boardroom appearances, joked that before starring in the BBC One series he wasn't ready for the camera, which was evident by his unkempt hair. He said: "Fun story, before I went to the show I thought I'd better get my hair cut. Going on national TV wasn't good preparation!' As for a future in dance, Nick said he's ready to take part in the next series of Strictly, admitting "I've got the moves for it." "My goal was to get the investment and start my own business, which sadly didn't happen, but I have the steps to do it - if I ever get the call, who knows!" The Apprentice opens at 9pm tonight BBC One continued, followed by You're Fired on BBC Two. Watch live and on demand on BBC iPlayer.

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Liz Truss used to think that public sector workers should travel economy to save money

The Foreign Secretary has been criticized for flying a £500,000 government private jet to Australia. (Author: Gardener)

Liz TrussTruss defended chartering the private jet, saying: "I used the government plane. That's why we have a government plane. "That's why we have a government plane: to enable government ministers to conduct government business, and I flew to Australia on that."

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Boris Johnson can survive if he pulls off "another big scam", claims the Telegraph journalist

Tim Stanley even compared the Prime Minister to a "bad guy" in "Ocean's Eleven". (Author: Gardener)

Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson may be able to weather the current turmoil rocking No 10 after all, according to a Telegraph journalist. "Technically he's maybe a cheater and maybe the bad guy, but you want to see how he gets away with it and how he did it." , and they worry that if they get rid of him, they'll get rid of the one thing that might make the Conservatives run in the next election. "So I think they're going ahead with Boris Johnson at their own risk and part of me still thinks he could get away with it - he could pull off another big hoax." They've claimed that if Johnson goes, general election to be convened and the government would lose its majority in Parliament - suggesting that none of his successors would be willing to lead the party or the country. Cabinet Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg recently claimed that the UK is "essentially a 'presidency' as it is more than just a party leader that matters to voters.

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Question Time to showcase unvaccinated listeners after the call

The BBC said asking why some have rejected the vaccine is an "interesting part of the debate that is worth discussing". (Author: Gardener)

BBCUnvaccinated people will be in the audience at Question Time on Thursday after an appeal was launched last month. Presenter Fiona Bruce previously urged people who have decided against a Covid-19 vaccine to apply for the episode, which will be broadcast from London. "There are many different reasons people have chosen not to get vaccinated — we'd be interested in exploring some of those issues," she told viewers during a January episode. In the current affairs program, members of the public pose questions to a panel of public figures including politicians, journalists, authors and comedians - and vaccinations have been a talking point in many episodes since the pandemic began. A BBC statement said: "There are still significant numbers of the UK public who are unvaccinated, particularly in certain areas and communities. “Question Time always strives to discuss every side of every argument. The BBC has always been very clear on the scientific consensus on vaccination.” The Guardian previously reported that the BBC used specialists to screen potential viewers after the invitation to appear was shared on forums used by anti-vax campaigners .

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BBCQT audiences were left speechless as the panelist described the "worst case scenario" for the West

BBC Question Time audiences were left speechless after a top political expert revealed Chinese leader Xi Jinping could quickly copy Russia's invasion strategy. (Author: Gardener)

BBCQTWe use your registration to deliver content in a way you have consented to and to improve our understanding of you. We use your registration to deliver content in a way you have consented to and to improve our understanding of you. Leading political historian Professor Timothy Garton Ash left the BBC Question Time audience speechless as he laid out the 'worst case scenario' for the western world. Leading political historian Professor Timothy Garton Ash left the BBC Question Time audience speechless as he laid out the 'worst case scenario' for the western world. He warned that Vladimir Putin wants to create a "new iron curtain" in Europe and claimed that China may soon repeat similar actions in Taiwan. He warned that Vladimir Putin wants to create a "new iron curtain" in Europe and claimed that China may soon repeat similar actions in Taiwan. This comes as Beijing monitors Russia's all-out war on Ukraine for signs of how Western powers are reacting. This comes as Beijing monitors Russia's all-out war on Ukraine for signs of how Western powers are reacting. China flatters Putin in defiant warning to the West China flatters Putin in defiant warning to the West On President Putin's long-term plans, Professor Ash said: "Russia has practically already invaded Belarus, which is right next to Ukraine." He said all his powers are there, and they will be there as long as he wants them to be there. “I think Vladimir Putin's minimal goal is to create a new Iron Curtain along NATO's eastern border. Countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia would be stuck in the Russian Empire whether they wanted to be there or not.” JUST IN: Russian planes attack Ukrainian Air Force in battle for Kyiv - VIDEO

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What The Apprentice sorely lacks is loads of charm

THERE is an easy way to judge whether or not it was a good series of The Apprentice. You measure it by the level of resentment you feel for paying the rent on the £17million London mansion... (Author: Gardener)

The ApprenticeTHERE is an easy way to judge whether or not it was a good series of The Apprentice. You measure it by the level of resentment you feel for paying the rent on the £17million London mansion the candidates have called home for the past nine weeks. For example, if you want them to be pulled out feet first at 5am and placed in a place that is "more synergistic with their abilities," like the local landfill, then I'd suggest it probably was a stinker . That's certainly where I'm at with Season 16 of the BBC1 show, where some significant changes were evident from the start. Most obviously, human wallflower Tim Campbell "MBE" had replaced the injured and much missed Claude Littner, who needed to be reinstated as his trusted assistant as soon as possible. Essential Numbnuts The second was the line-up itself, which could pretty much be described as "BBC diversity". That means there was absolutely no one from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but there was an American, Amy Anzel, and a guy from the Republic of Ireland named Conor Gilsenan. However, at first glance, it seemed to have the right chunks of authentic Apprentice characters as well. The essential numbnuts any series needs to be successful. Candidates, I thought, like: Akshay Thakrar, only nicknamed AK-47 in his own mind. The heavily styled Nick Showering, nicknamed "Nick Showergel" only in my mind. And bosom-throwing Amy, America's answer to Bonnie Langford, whose business MO has always been to volunteer some other juice for the job of project manager and then blame him for every subsequent disaster. Pretty quickly, the show established what seemed like an encouraging pattern. Lord Sugar would ask her to go and blind him with her business and marketing skills, and the boys' team would almost literally serve up a piece of crap in return. The first week it was a cruise line logo that looked like something Bananaman had evacuated after a month on the Imodium. The second week it was an electric toothbrush they dubbed "The Brown Wand," with a horrified Sugar threatening the boys with a psychologist, "if you bring me another thing that looks like a turd." But then, just as quickly as I had probably raised expectations, something unthinkable happened. Teams banded together, boys overcame toilet obsession, challenges were deadened by a combination of profit margins and product placement, and The Apprentice became boring by its own high standards. In the normal course of things, even a bad series can be lifted by the foolproof abandonment of the home shopping channel on which the show established its greatness in 2005. But that was already too far along when it reached that stage last night, meaning the episode just ended in a whirl of solar-powered owl lights, inflatable flamingos, and vegan-friendly snail goo that wasn't vegan or particularly friendly . So something is clearly wrong and I have to tell myself it's just a simple staff failure and the reason this show didn't produce great episodes is because it lacked great characters. These so damn awful, these are brilliant apprentice legends you'll want to keep until the brutal round of interviews like Saira Khan, Paul Torrisi, Syed Ahmed, Katie Hopkins and probably the greatest of them all, Stuart Baggs. I say I have to tell myself this because the alternative explanation is that the apprentice has nothing more to offer. We've seen it all before and it's done. That would be a tragedy for the BBC, because not only is a bad show from The Apprentice still better than 99 per cent of its output, it's also one of the very few shows that doesn't blindly worship the Fountain of Youth. It fixes their spelling (half of this year's group couldn't even handle Arctic), hammers out all that undeserved confidence, and lets them know they need to bring something more to the workplace than passive aggression, buck-passing, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Good series or bad, The Apprentice still has the greatest unwritten mission statement on television. THE Chase, Bradley Walsh: "The Battle For Britney is a documentary about which woman?" Bradley Walsh: "In Monaco, the Avenue Princesse Grace is named after which woman?" Star mastermind Clive Myrie: "What word for something or someone very much Big was the name of the elephant that American showman PT Barnum bought from London Zoo for his circus in 1882?" Snoochie Shy: "Steve." Bradley Walsh: "Which Charles Dickens novel is considered his most autobiographical?" Harv: "Moby Dick.” BBC and ITV delete Tuesday and Wednesday night schedule of FA Cup football. Peaky Blinders remains the ultimate triumph of style over substance. And the reckless Football Focus devoted less time (three minutes and eight seconds) to the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine than to a discussion of the pronouns of non-binary footballer Caz Simone, whose claim "It's not the case that you were born a male become or become female" was undermined by two things: all known sciences and the logo on her manager's wool cap - "Brighouse Town Ladies". FOR all the many millions of us who have lost endless nights of sleep wondering what an Amish Beastie Boys tribute act would look like, ITV finally had an answer over the weekend. They would look just like Jack, Liam and Richard dressed up as "Team Rag 'N' Bone Man" on Saturday's Starstruck. I suppose it's some sort of public service, answering the questions that absolutely nobody has really asked, and probably the main reason I can't stop watching this damn show, despite Sheridan Smith's aggressive brand of toady-licking me and the vocals deeply irritated is also nothing special. But I also enjoy the challenge of finding out what the jury really means when they tell another contestant, "That was so much fun" (neither of you can sing) and the endless torment of Adam Lambert, Starstruck's only honest panelist, who freaked me out a bit when he told the final team, "You all picked out little isms that Celine Dion has." Until I remembered Celine 2's opening words, Esther. ROVING reporter of the week? Ex-Pornstar Jennifer Steele: "The Most Was 20 in The Mexican Anal Gangbang." "What Was Mexican About It?" ?” "The men were all Mexican." PAUL MERSON: "The hardest job in the world is to keep it simple." Robbie Savage: "Aging teams get older." And Tim Sherwood: "1-1. Who said this week, "More likely it's those dildos you work with every day?" THE simple, pounding brilliance of Ant & Dec's "Ding Dong, That's My Doorbell" game on Takeaway. Ukrainian Olena Gnes, who livened up ITN's Tuesday midday bulletin by aptly describing Vladimir Putin as "a piece of shit". Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes by Sky Documentaries, this was the best thing I've seen this week. And Peaky Blinder's birdsong tribute to the irreplaceable Helen "Aunt Pol" McCrory was by far the most beautiful thing I've seen in the past week. THIS week's winner is Kathryn Burn from The Apprentice and The Crazy Frog.

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Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City are dodging in the quarterfinals

FA Cup Draw LIVE: Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City dodge in quarter-finals - Latest updates and fixtures of quarter-final draw ahead of game at Goodison Park (Author: Gardener)

Man CityThis website uses cookies for analytics, personalized content and ads. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. FA Cup draw LIVE: Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City sidelined in quarter-finals Chelsea have been given an away game to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals as the Premier League's top three players sidestepped each other in Thursday's draw. Manchester City have been drawn to Southampton, while Liverpool will meet the winner of Nottingham Forest-Huddersfield on Monday. Chris Wilders Middlesbrough produced another Premier League scalp as they beat Tottenham Hotspur and progressed to the last eight after their penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Josh Coburn's winner secured a memorable win over Antonio Conte's side and Middlesbrough's reward is another home game against Chelsea, who came from behind against Luton Town on Wednesday. Avoiding an upset against Peterborough, Manchester City advanced to the quarter-finals and meet Premier League opponents in Southampton at St Mary's. Liverpool, meanwhile, could face Nottingham Forest for the first time since 1999 if Steve Cooper's side continue their cup run, beating Huddersfield at the City Ground on Monday night's game between Everton or non-league Boreham Wood, who meet at Goodison Park tonight, will t ravel to Crystal Palace. The quarter-finals will take place over the weekend of March 20-21. Follow live updates and fixture news from the quarter-final draw below: 20:00 , Jamie Braidwood Chelsea have been handed an away game to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals as the top three players in the Premier League edged out each other in Thursday's draw . Middlesbrough have beaten Manchester United and Tottenham to reach the last eight and Chris Wilder's side host the European champions at the Riverside Stadium. Manchester City have been drawn to Southampton, while Liverpool take on the winner of the tie between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield on Monday. Everton or Boreham Wood will travel to Crystal Palace. Chelsea to Middlesbrough in FA Cup quarter-finals, tie 19-53 , Jamie Braidwood What a tie! Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City avoid each other! 7:52 PM , Jamie Braidwood 7:49 PM , Jamie Braidwood Southgate mentions that England have just eight games left before the Qatar World Cup in November. And yes, he's enjoying Middlesbrough's run to the last eight. 19:48, Jamie Braidwood Southgate: “I was at Goodison on Saturday and it was incredibly emotional to see the two Ukrainian players and the support they felt. Our prayers are on Ukraine and we all agree on how unacceptable that is.” 19:47 , Jamie Braidwood Here we go! We're live from Wembley and Southgate is ready to do the draw. 19:42 , Jamie Braidwood Not long now... Gareth Southgate will be performing the draw, live from Wembley. 19:34 , Jamie Braidwood ITV coverage of Everton v Boreham Wood is underway - meaning we can't be far from the quarter-final draw. Roman Abramovich receives 'serious bids' of £3bn for Chelsea 19:31 , Jamie Braidwood Roman Abramovich has already received several serious bids worth £3bn to buy Chelsea, according to the PA news agency It is understood that it is still in the process of accepting offers for the west London club. Further offers for the Champions League holders are expected given the high level of interest in one of the most attractive and well-known football facilities in the world. Chelsea bosses and the team surrounding the sale are expected to review the credible offers once all bids have been submitted. Roman Abramovich receives 'serious offers' of £3billion for Chelsea 19:18 Jamie Braidwood Everton have announced Ukraine international Vitalii Mykolenko will manage the team against Boreham Wood tonight. 19:10, Jamie Braidwood Thomas Tuchel was delighted to see Chelsea recover from Sunday's Carabao Cup defeat and focus on matters on the pitch as they reached the quarter-finals against Luton last night. "It was a huge difference coming from Wembley after a final after which we gave the players a well-deserved day off. Then you have one day to turn around and adapt to this new challenge,” said Tuchel. "There were a lot of players out and we have more or less no defenders and a whole new setup and a whole new competition." Of course there was some noise around the club throughout the day so it wasn't that easy to focus but we did done it very well. We conceded straight away, but then we had great chances not only to equalize but also deservedly to take the lead.” But then we conceded one more and in the second half we improved, we pushed hard but never impatiently , and we deserved to win. 19:00 , Jamie Braidwood Jurgen Klopp insists it's 'crazy' even to think of Liverpool winning an unprecedented quadruple. Success in Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Chelsea secured their first title of the season but there is still a long way to go in the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League. The Reds beat Norwich in their fifth-round cup tie on Wednesday before visiting Inter Milan next week to come back from a 2-0 Champions League deficit in the round of 16, while trailing leaders Manchester City by just six points with one game in the hand. “No team in the history of English football has won quadruple, has it? That's because it's incredibly difficult," said Klopp. "We're still behind Manchester City (in the Premier League. We're not even close to thinking about crazy things like that." 18:50, Jamie Braidwood believes Southampton defender Romain Perraud Southampton "can dream" of FA Cup glory after reaching the quarter-finals against West Ham Perraud scored a stunning opening goal as the Saints secured a 3-1 home win and the full-back said: 'I hope we'll play St Mary's next round because the fans were great again tonight. We're stronger at home and we have to keep going like this, but we have to dream." 18:40, Jamie Braidwood Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard won't stop his players swapping shirts with Everton's - because he's a eye on Frank Lampard's clothes Wood has beaten AFC Wimbledon and Bournemouth to earn a dream trip to the fifth round of the FA Cup at Goodison Park, with many lower division managers pushing for it uf that their players swap shirts with top-flight teams, claiming that this shows too much respect for the opposition. But Garrard has none of it, especially after defender and Toffees fan Kane Smith memorably celebrated the pitch at Bournemouth with a replica shirt of his hero, former Everton full-back Tony Hibbert. "I'm taking off Frank Lampard's jersey! I get everything," Garrard said. "But seriously. That's not too much respect. So the respect is there. 6.30pm, Jamie Braidwood Alan Shearer described Spurs' FA Cup elimination at Middlesbrough as 'typical Tottenham' after being beaten by Antonio Conte in extra time in the fifth round. Substitute Josh Coburn threw himself into extra time just after half-time to seal the home side's quarter-finals. Shearer believes the win was more than deserved for Chris Wilder's team. "It wasn't a coincidence," Shearer said on the BBC. "Spurs were so scaly - typical Tottenham." [Middlesbrough] was the better team from start to finish. They were first in every tackle, they created chances and had more energy. "They certainly made the better substitutions in extra time and Chris Wilder can be very proud of what his team achieved tonight." What a night for Middlesbrough and their fans, he (Wilder) was ready to give the Players were ready, it's a shame Tottenham players weren't ready. Typical Tottenham, Middlesbrough absolutely deserve to be in the quarter-finals.” 18:25 , Jamie Braidwood Jack Grealish is aiming to beat his previous best as he seeks FA Cup success with Manchester City this season. The England international scored his first goal of the competition as his beautiful strike sealed a 2-0 win in round five at Peterborough. Grealish appeared in an FA Cup final with former club Aston Villa and played the entire game in 2015 when Tim Sherwood's side were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal. Now he is keen to return to Wembley and toast a first big cup win of his career, having captained Villa in the 2020 Carabao Cup final in a loss to his current side. We just want to go that far from our perspective. "That's what's so special about the cup. It's a great competition. I love coming to stadiums like (Peterborough) – it reminds me of my old age when I was on loan at Notts County.” 18:20 , Jamie Braidwood Patrick Vieira warned Crystal Palace they need to improve when they aiming to reach Wembley after having to work hard to beat Stoke 2-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. That means Palace are through to the final eight of the competition and are now just one win away from an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Vieira, who won the competition five times as a player, said: "It's a really exciting time and moment I would say, but it's still such a step ahead of Wembley. "We're satisfied and happy to go to the next round, but I was really disappointed with the way we played. We didn't defend well as a team. 18:15 , Jamie Braidwood Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp doesn't think Takumi Minamino's performance in the 2-1 win over Norwich was anger-driven, but in Sunday's Carabao Cup final it wasn't to take part. Although the Japan international played a crucial role, he helped the side get to Wembley and didn't even come off the bench in the penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea. However, he started against the Canaries and his two first-half goals helped Klopp secure their first FA Cup quarter-finals despite Lukas Rupp's try with 14 minutes to go. "Very disappointing, I can imagine," said Klopp of Minamino's missed Wembley. "The way Taki is, I don't think that's why he played well tonight. 18:07 , Jamie Braidwood Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said the news of Roman Abramovich's intention to sell the club, which broke an hour before the Blues kicked off against Luton in the FA Cup fifth round, was a distraction will be Team but do not affect in the short term. Abramovich, who is facing sanctions from the British state, has reiterated his intention to sell Chelsea amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Asked how the news had affected his team and whether he agreed with Abramovich's decision to sell after Chelsea came from behind to beat Luton at Kenilworth Road, Tuchel told the BBC: 'I got it a little early heard than you, but it was still close to kickoff. It's big news. “I think every decision he makes is the right decision. It's his choice and his club and it's not for me to comment on that.” FA Cup quarter-final draw: how to watch? 12:32 , Jamie Braidwood When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw? The FA Cup quarter-final draw takes place on Thursday 3 March 2022 ahead of Boreham Wood's game against Everton, which kicks off at 20.15GMT I'm watching it?UK viewers can watch the draw live on ITV , with coverage of Boreham Wood's trip to Goodison Park beginning at 19:30 GMT. Registered viewers can stream the draw for free via the ITV Hub app or website. FA Cup quarter-finals draw: who else is in the draw and what are their numbers? 12:27 , Jamie Braidwood Eight teams are being drawn by England boss Gareth Southgate tonight so here are the numbers to watch out for: 12:22 , Jamie Braidwood The FA Cup Quarter-Final draw takes place tonight The remaining ones Teams will find out how they fare in the last eight. England manager Gareth Southgate is about to pull the balls out of Wembley Stadium ahead of the fifth round match between Everton and Boreham Wood at Goodison Park. Manchester City became the first team to reach the quarter-finals when they beat Peterborough with goals on Tuesday night, beating Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish to seal the tie. Crystal Palace secured their place in the last eight with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Stoke on the same night before champions Middlesbrough left them late to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in extra time. On Wednesday night Chelsea snuck past Luton Town, Romelu Lukaku scoring the crucial goal after the Blues came twice from behind, Southampton knocked out West Ham and Liverpool continued their unbeaten run in 2022 with a 2-1 win over Norwich. Two more fifth-round games are yet to take place, with Everton hosting Boreham Wood tonight before Nottingham Forest take on Huddersfield Town on Monday. The four drawn quarter-finals will take place over the weekend of March 18-21.

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"We were treated like kings - but we were imbeciles"

The weed smoking, acid dripping shells of Wirral would be the defining band of their generation. What happened? (Author: Gardener)

WirralTwenty years ago, The Coral enjoyed smashing success with their psychedelic debut album, Once in a Generation, Something So Revolutionary Happens in Music That Nothing Will Be the Same After. Right now that's exactly what's happening,” wrote a breathless NME editor, Conor McNicholas, in November 2002. His magazine was giving away a free CD entitled The New Rock Revolution, a compilation of the latest, hottest guitar bands. But the freebie also featured a young six-piece band from Hoylake on the Wirral, who had released their self-titled debut album earlier this year. The Coral sounded like no other in the '00s guitar rock boom. A gritty psychedelic mash-up of The Animals, Love, Syd Barrett, Sea Shanties, Captain Beefheart, The Specials, Motown bands, Ennio Morricone and close-harmony singing groups like The Four Freshmen, The Coral's music defied genre. If NME were guilty of exaggeration, it was certainly true that nothing was ever the same for the six friends from Hilbre High School. The Coral - who thrived on pot noodles, weed and manic teenage energy - embarked on a crazy journey that took them from a fishing village near Liverpool to the Mercury and Brit Awards, Top of the Pops and topping the charts led. Along the way, the "Cosmic Scouse" band, as they were dubbed, accepted nominations for awards in a hot tub, stole Coldplay's calamari and headlined a massive concert in a circus tent that critics described as the equivalent of The Stone Roses' legendary Spike Island gig in the 21st century. Perhaps, contrary to the expectations of the time, the band is still going (albeit as a five-piece). In fact, last year's album Coral Island was one of the best of the year. Next month The Coral embark on a UK tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut LP. And how did they manage to conjure up magic on a kaleidoscopic album that went so completely against prevailing music trends? "It was like The Goonies or something," recalls Nick Power, the band's keyboardist, of the 1985 film, in which a group of buddies go on a crazy, adventurous fairground ride. Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds, who produced The Coral's debut album (and beyond), recalls feeling when he first saw the band play. It was a feeling he got in the early 80's when he first saw Echo & the Bunnymen, which he also produced: he wanted to join the band. Not that things got off to a particularly promising start. Broudie's first experience with the group came when Alan Wills, the ex-Shack drummer who signed The Coral to his Deltasonic label, asked him to go to Liverpool to watch them rehearse. “So I went to Liverpool. It was a wet Sunday night and there was a rehearsal space on Dale Street, which wasn't the best area on a Sunday night," says Broudie. "Alan Wills said, 'They're going to meet you outside the rehearsal room,' and I said, 'How do I know who they are?' He said, 'You're going to think they're trying to rob your phone.' Which, too, was typical Alan.” Broudie says the six characters are talented, fun and full of ideas, but also stubborn and inexperienced. But it was like a two-sided coin. It was also amazingly fragile,” he says. "You could see that if you poked around a little bit wrong, it would be like a deck of cards — it would all collapse." It didn't collapse. But Broudie knew he was dealing with something special, raw and unconventional. Songs changed time signatures midway or veered in unexpected directions—a jazzy interlude here, a snippet of shanty there. When the album was recorded at Great Linford Manor in Milton Keynes in late 2001, he took over the workings of the band. "I remember telling the engineer that we would totally bow to them," says Broudie. He wanted them to be "comfortable and almost like kids with a toy box." He also helped "clear the undergrowth for the tree": the band had dozens of songs, and he helped them untangle ideas. Singer James Skelly told me he wanted this first album to sound a little rough around the edges. The songs were made in very few takes. “A debut should have an energy and a kind of naïve quality. But your first album should sound like your first album, not a third album," says Skelly. Their approach to songwriting was similar to hip-hop's sampling, he says. He also wanted their music to break away from the mid-paced mainstream indie played by the likes of Radiohead, Travis and Starsailor. "We wanted ours to be smaller and spiky," explains Skelly. Broudie had a vision and "added color". Nick Power gives some examples of the songwriting process. The chords for the song "Calendars and Clocks" are taken from Frank Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year". The band added a Morricone-esque interlude, complete with spaghetti western-style "ooh-ahh." But its Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-esque harmonies meant the song ended up sounding like none other than The Coral, despite the cornucopia of influences. The chords for "Shadows Fall," meanwhile, were influenced by veteran US singing group The Mills Brothers. Those who believe that a band's place of origin defines their sound should look no further than The Coral. Liverpool can be heard in their music: there are clear influences from skiffle music, Merseybeat and The La's. But Hoylake is halfway between Liverpool and Wales. You can also spot the quirky psychedelia of Super Furry Animals and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. The band had a lot of fun in the studio. A famous reality TV star at the time was Rik Waller, who recently appeared on ITV's Pop Idol. "We used to have this thing called the Waller Watch," says Skelly. "Wherever you were, when Rik Waller came on TV - because he was on TV all the time - everyone had to run to a certain room. "I think they tried the spliff or something last." Ah yes. There was plenty of that, too, as the producer remembers. "It was like you had a bunch of kids from Hoylake and they're all into this hydroponic weed or whatever and they usually can't afford to get some and suddenly they have a budget for everyone to have their own Spliff,” says Broudie. "I remember saying to the engineer, 'I need to get checked out. I'm coming to the end of the day and I can't think straight. They were all sitting around you smoking weed.' And I said, 'Is that it?' I haven't smoked weed in years.” He would leave the studio zonked. There was a bone of contention. The band hesitated to record the song Dreaming of You. The doo-wop track with the catchy chorus was considered safe to touch, maybe a little too pop, and excuses were found not to record it. But Broudie knew it could be a career milestone. I remember they said, 'We can't record it. Paul [Duffy, bassist] has an earache, we have to go back to Hoylake,” says Broudie. Dreaming of You sold 600,000 copies and remains The Coral's trademark. "It's more famous than the band, that's what we'd like it to be," Skelly says today. "Not that many people have a song in the public consciousness." Still got it: The Coral are about to embark on a 20th anniversary tour. The album was released to positive reviews and peaked at number five on the charts. Power says everything about that time was "hilarious and magical." Things "blew up" in part because the NME heralded a UK scene akin to the US garage rock revival led by The Stokes and The White Stripes. “We were sort of the British answer. I don't know if it suited us that well, but we were all for it," says Power. The band welcomed and declined the admiration at the same time. They performed the single Goodbye on Top of the Pops and were nominated for the Mercury Prize and two Brit Awards including British Album of the Year (won by Coldplay). They did not attend either ceremony and accepted their Mercury nomination live on Channel 4 from a hot tub in a Liverpool hotel. We thought it was the funniest thing in the world," says Power. "We just didn't care, really. It didn't bother us at all.” Coldplay took her on tour to Italy. There, in an episode of Backstage Revelry, members of Team Coral stole seafood from members of Team Coldplay. Neither Power nor Skelly will provide too much detail as I suspect they are a little embarrassed. I will always love her for that,” says Power. "We got caught stealing squid and one of us left the room fleeing their tour manager," he explains. Skelly says the band wasn't really there, but their safety was. "It was like, 'You stole Chris' calamari!'" The band's follow-up album, 2003's Magic and Medicine, reached number one. Shortly before the release, the band headlined a day-long festival in a circus tent in New Brighton, near Liverpool. The bill, titled "A Midsummer Night's Scream," also featured The Thrills, The Zutons (also produced by Broudie) and The Libertines, who recently sacked Pete Doherty over his drug problems. But as jubilant as the night was, it marked "the end of the first chapter," according to Skelly. Goodbye at Top Of The Pops 2002 #thecoral #totp ​​pic.twitter.com/Hj2FYWtPQ7 - The Coral (@thecoralband) May 31, 2020 It wasn't quite the same after that. "We had this mission to break out of our hometown and make an amazing debut album. And when we did it, I kind of came back down to earth," explains Power. Skelly says, “This [Big Top Show] was like the end of that era. After that, everyone had their own spliff.” Literally or metaphorically? I had a little taste of it and I was like, 'This isn't for me.'" Looking back, would Power change anything? "No," he says.

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Brighton's Kayleigh Green on the characters that have shaped her career

From Pernille Harder, Jayne Ludlow, Cristiano Ronaldo to her parents, Brighton striker Kayleigh Green speaks to Sky Sports about the people who have helped shape her career; Watch Aston Villa Women v Brighton Women live on Sky Sports Premier League on Saturday from 11am; Kick-off 11:30 a.m (Author: Gardener)

BrightonIn an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Kayleigh Green opens up about the characters who have shaped her footballing career, including Chelsea striker Pernille Harder, former Wales boss Jayne Ludlow, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and more... ahead of Brighton's trip to Aston Villa on WSL - live on Sky Sports on Saturday, kicks off at 11.30am - Green talks about the key figures who have influenced her career so far, her toughest opponent and the player she would most like to play with. The Wales international also reveals who her biggest inspiration has been both in and out of the game, before revealing the player she would most like to play with, as we take a look at her career in characters... Kayleigh Green: "It's definitely Jessica Fishlock. She's an incredible, incredible player. "For Wales she plays number 10 and I'm number 9 so we play very close together and even watching her play for Reading in the WSL she could find a pass from anywhere. She really is one of the best players and what she can do is phenomenal." KG: "I have to choose Pernille Harder. Her intelligence, her interpretation of the game as a footballer is second to none. "If a young player can look up to anyone in the game, it would probably be more difficult , which she does both off and with the ball. KG: "I'll go with this player just because I think throughout his journey at Manchester United I've definitely looked at him as a role model." At his current age and the fact that he's still playing, after everything he's achieved in football, personally I think I could learn a lot from him." To be honest, playing alongside someone with so much talent. "I wish I'd say Jayne Ludlow because without her I wouldn't be a center forward now. When I first met Jayne I was a centre-back. I was a central defender for many, many years and it was only when she saw something in me, be it my spark or my energy, that she gave me that opportunity and helped me develop as an attacking player. I would have to say Jayne for that but if I'm looking for someone to support my strengths and push and challenge me then I have to say it's my current Welsh boss Gemma Grainger. I feel like she understands me as a player and knows how to get the best out of me. "So, it's Jayne in terms of where she has me, but Gemma in terms of understanding my strengths and nurturing those strengths." KG: "Again, I'm going to have to have two guys. I will say my mother and father. “My father has always been my rock in football. He has helped me a lot with challenges, how to overcome these challenges without giving up. and pushing for what I want to achieve. This is who I am now. "I would also say my mother because she has always been a part of everything in my life. The times my mother was growing up were tough. The only thing she could show us was love, so I have to tell my mom from the personality side of things." KG: "To be honest, it was my dad. He has me in every decision I've made , massively inspired. I don't want to break down and cry, but he pushed me and he put his arm around my shoulder and supported me through every single decision: "I didn't make the best decisions in life. I should have had my whole life." I could have looked up to anyone in football, I could have started out being like them or playing like them, but coming back to reality and the world we live in today, I would say my biggest influence was my parents. "The background we come from was not easy from my mum and dad but they gave us the best they could. They inspired me to be the best I could be and I think my Kar riere wouldn't be where it is if it weren't for her." KG: "To be honest, there wasn't one. It was always my father. "I can sit here and make a name for myself within football, but the truth is that my inspiration in this sport was my father. "He pushed me to bring out the best in myself." KG: "I'm going to piss off some people now, aren't I?" I would say Tasha Harding is definitely one of my best friends. I always lean on them in football for anything. "Like any team sport, you don't get along with everyone on the team, but the consensus is, if you cross that line, you're doing it for everyone." So yeah, you're going to have some best friends. Megan Connolly in Brighton, from the moment she walked in the door we've always been good friends and if I ever had to lean on anyone in Brighton it was definitely her. But in the team environment it's important that you understand that you won't be friends with everyone, but once you're on this pitch you're all together.” Felicity Gibbons is definitely one. She really gets everyone going, just like Fliss. "They have big personalities, but within our team I could come up with a number of different names. We have big personalities in our roster and everyone brings something different.” KG: “I would definitely have to invite a comedian. I would also say I would have to have someone with me who likes sports. "Right, I'm bringing Rita Ora because I'm a huge fan of her music." Those from the sporting world... Watch Aston Villa Women vs Brighton Women live on Sky Sports Premier League on Saturday from 11am; Kick-off 11:30 a.m.

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Gary Barlow shows his heart and soul at a show in his hometown for just 400 fans

Strictly no photos, only 420 fans at each show and Gary Barlow is giving it his all (Author: Gardener)

Gary BarlowGary Barlow review: Take That Man bare heart and soul in intimate show in his hometown for just 400 fans No photos strictly speaking, just 420 fans at each show and Gary Barlow goes all out Gary Barlow played to 15,000 at Manchester's AO Arena in December - but it's A Different Stage for his new show in front of 420 fans in Runcorn Subscribe to our daily What's On newsletter to keep up with what's happening in Greater ManchesterSomething went wrong, please try again later. Thank you for subscribing!We have more newslettersShow meGary Barlow has entertained thousands upon thousands of fans in the world's largest arenas and stadiums - with boy band Take That and as a solo artist. But his latest venture takes him to a very different kind of stage - in front of just 420 fans at The Brindley Theater in Runcorn. Well, it's only a stone's throw from where the whole story of Gary Barlow began, in his home town of Frodsham in Cheshire. READ MORE: You can now see the art of the Sistine Chapel in Manchester. Of course, when this new one-man theater show was announced in January, it sold out quickly — although there were few details on what was on the aptly titled A Different Level show. "I didn't know what to expect, but it wasn't," laughs a lady who leaves the auditorium on Friday night, still wiping away traces of mascara from all the tears. It's safe to say that none of us knew what to expect with this new one-man show from Mr. Barlow, hot on the heels of his massive solo arena tour in December. At these gigs the fans got exactly what they expected - Gary sang all his biggest hits and a few Christmas carols as an encore. What Gary delivers with A Different Stage is a bold and beautiful retelling of his entire life story - warts and all - and he really does it with his heart and soul bare. Gary Barlow performs at The Brindley Theater in Runcorn Gary wants to keep the element of surprise in this project - fans are warned from the outset that strictly no photos or videos are allowed inside and as the show begins Gary's voice booms out to the point of being comical asking that the audience tonight go old school in his approach - and "watch with your actual eyes". Over the course of the two-hour one-man show, we hear all the magical, unforgettable and heartbreaking stories of Gary growing up in the North West playing the blue-collar clubs of Halton and Connah's Quay while dreaming of hitting the big time at one exciting and glamorous place "down the M56". Gary has been working on this show with his old friend and theater colleague Tim Firth, who is essentially Gary narrating his life with brilliant comedy timing as well as key songs peppered into the storyline. So don't expect this to be a Gary greatest hits night. Gary retells the origins of Take That in his own words. I don't want to ruin the surprise of the evening with too many details of the stories Gary tells, but I will say that Take That fans shouldn't miss this evening to hear how these four northern boys (and one young upstart from Stoke) grew to become the biggest band in the country, to the pain of their split and the emotional toll it all took before Gary's triumphant comeback. He unveils the stories behind some of Take That's biggest hits, from which Gary plays snippets throughout the night, on everything from his original Casio keyboard, bought when he was 11, to his Yamaha organ which his beloved father Colin worked day and night to be able to afford to buy him and on to his baby grand. In fact, I can feel my tears coming back as I recall the moment Gary spoke about the tragedy of his stillborn daughter, Poppy - and how it inspired his new take on life and the beautiful song Let Me Go. Of course, the show ends on a high note and the audience is on their feet not only to wave their arms in the well-known gun salute to Never Forget, but to give Gary a well-deserved standing ovation for this most personal and poignant performance. Get the latest What's On news - from food and drink to music and nightlife - straight to your inbox with our daily newsletter.

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