Dame June Whitfield, star of Absolutely Fabulous, dies aged 93 – BBC News

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Dame June Whitfield – celebrated for her comic roles in BBC sitcom Terry and June and cult favourite Absolutely Fabulous – has died aged 93.

The London-born actress was a regular fixture on TV and radio for six decades, starring in Carry On films, Hancock’s Half Hour, and even Friends.

At 89, she appeared in EastEnders as Sister Ruth, a nun with a secret about Kat Moon. At 92, she was made a dame.

Her agent said she died peacefully on Friday night.

Tributes to her long and successful career in comedy are being made on Twitter.

Julia Sawalha, who played her strait-laced granddaughter in Absolutely Fabulous, said Whitfield had been a “great source of inspiration” to her as a young actress but was “far too humble to accept my adoration”.

Thank you #damejunewhitfield,for teaching me my craft with such grace and dignity.I always wanted you to know how in awe of you I was, however, you were always far too humble to accept my https://t.co/2wc2G3bQ0G were a great source of inspiration to me. Bye-bye Gran.🙏🏻💕

— Julia Sawalha (@JuliaSawalha1)

End of Twitter post by @JuliaSawalha1

Fellow Ab Fab actress Joanna Lumley told ITV news she was “heartbroken to lose such a darling friend”, who would “always have a most special place in my heart”.

She said she would never forget “her sensational talent, humour and her generosity”.

Jane Horrocks, who played the ditzy character Bubble in the comedy, said her former co-star was a “wonderful lady”, who was “versatile, funny and generous”.

Impressionist Rory Bremner called Whitfield the “go-to comedy actress for three generations”.

RIP June Whitfield- go-to comedy actress for 3 generations, from 60s radio to 70s, 80s, even 90s TV. Always graceful & elegant with a real comic glint in her eye & (absolutely) fabulous timing.

— Rory Bremner (@rorybremner)

End of Twitter post by @rorybremner

TV producer Jon Plowman, who worked on Absolutely Fabulous, said there was “no-one with a better ability to just ‘place’ a line, always an act of utter precision”.

Very sad at the news of the death of the wonderful June Whitfield . There was no-one with more warmth or a better ability to just “place” a line ,always an act of utter precision. Hit after hit! Take it from Here Terry and June Absolutely Fabulous over seven decade. A great loss

— JON PLOWMAN (@bimpsonbun1)

End of Twitter post by @bimpsonbun1

Comedian Miranda Hart recalls a touching encounter with Whitfield who responded to an appeal for sponsorship for Edinburgh Festival early on in her career.

So very sad. I once sent a letter to many actors as a budding (I mean desperate) comedy actor to ask for sponsorship for the Edinburgh Festival. Dame June replied. Fifteen years later when I met her she had all my letters and the notes of the show she sponsored. I cried then too. https://t.co/oaGXd7ick4

— Miranda Hart (@mermhart)

End of Twitter post by @mermhart

And broadcaster Danny Baker said Whitfield was “formidable, dependable, inimitable. A rock. A gem.”

Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy, described Whitfield as “the North Star of British comedy”.

“Her spectacular career is unparalleled in its longevity, with seven decades of being a key element in numerous high profile and successful shows. She was the go-to female comedy performer of her generation and was always in demand from the cream of British comedy.”

Among those clamouring to work with her were Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Ronnie Barker, Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Cooper.

Two days before her death, BBC Surrey broadcast what turned out to be her final interview, in which fellow showbusiness veteran David Hamilton visited Dame June at her home to talk about her life and career.

We will replay what has sadly turned out to be #JuneWhitfield’s final interview, given to David Hamilton, as a tribute to a truly wonderful actress, Sunday 12-1pm. This was the special trailer June and David recorded to promote the programme. pic.twitter.com/K5NwOhPeaz

— BBC Surrey (@BBCSurrey)

Obituary: A star in her own right

Dame June Whitfield was a constant presence in British post-war comedy.

Often playing the female stooge to some of Britain’s most famous entertainers, she called herself “a comic’s tart”.

But after six decades on radio and television, she established herself as a star in her own right.

The actress always said she was “very bad at getting round to things”.

But from her early radio appearances in the 1950s, through to her scatty antics on Absolutely Fabulous, she featured in more than 1,300 radio and television shows.

Male rapist who identifies as ‘female’ transfers to women’s jail, assaults females | News | LifeSite

WEST YORKSHIRE, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A biologically male rapist who “identifies” as a woman has been accused of sexually assaulting four female inmates shortly after being transferred to an all-female facility.

Stephen Wood is a 52-year-old man and a convicted sex offender and pedophile who now goes by the name “Karen” White. He pled guilty to raping one woman in 2003 and another in 2016. He also adopted the name David Thompson at one point, and is awaiting sentencing for stabbing a neighbor.

The exact nature of Wood’s situation is unclear. He reportedly began “identifying” as “female” in 2014, but some of his friends have claimed to the press that he is merely a drag artist and doesn’t truly have gender dysphoria. Others, however, report that he did seek help from a transgender group in Manchester, which referred him to a “gender identity clinic” in Sheffield.

Wood has not had so-called sex-change surgery, but because he “identifies” as a woman he was remanded to New Hall Prison, a women’s jail. There, the Daily Mail reports, he used the opportunity to sexually assault four actual women. Specifically, Wood allegedly exposed himself to one inmate, put a second inmate’s hand on his breast and made “inappropriate comments about oral sex,” pushed himself “indecently” against a third prisoner, and kissed a fourth on the neck.

Wood has admitted to two of the assaults but denied the others, claiming to suffer from erectile dysfunction and to not be attracted to women.

Following the incidents, Wood was transferred to the men’s facility HM Prison Leeds.

“We apologise sincerely for the mistakes which were made in this case,” a Prison Service spokesman said. “While we work to manage all prisoners, including those who are transgender, sensitively and in line with the law, we are clear that the safety of all prisoners must be our absolute priority.”

“Feminists may believe correctly that ‘women don’t have penises’, but according to the latest figures, there are 125 transgender prisoners in jails in England and Wales,” author Ann Farmer wrote in response to the incident at MercatorNet. “With this sort of encouragement from those in authority, for whom public safety should be a first priority, this problem is not going to go away any time soon.”

“In fact,” she warned, “it is likely to grow, although it is unlikely that many ‘trans men’ (i.e. women who believe they are men) will seek to be trans-ferred to men’s prisons – even if they claim to be rapists.”

Across the world sex-segregated incarceration is one of the many overlooked fronts in the ongoing war over “gender identity.” In the United States, the Trump administration changed the process in May for handling gender-confused inmates so that, while decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis, the “initial determination” is founded on biological sex and that putting men with women (or vice versa) would only be approved in “rare cases.”

A Judge Just Gave Trump And Arpaio Bad News About Pardon

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Last week, President Trump tried to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to deflect attention away from his abrupt pardon of notorious racist and human rights abuser Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

But instead of having the whole affair slip under the radar, Joe Arpaio is now looking at a potentially embarrassing legal fight

While District Judge Susan Bolton has approved the request to throw out Arpaio’s sentencing hearing, she’s not letting him walk away so easily.

This morning, Bolton ordered that Arpaio file a memo and scheduled a hearing for October 4th where Arpaio’s legal team must publicly argue why a man who was so racist he was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to end his discriminatory racial profiling policies deserves to have his conviction thrown out.

The state of Arizona will have their own chance to argue why Arpaio’s conviction should not be vacated, allowing them to publicly, and in great detail, list the full extent of the heinous crimes and misdeeds of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which include running what he refers to as a concentration camp, torturing his inmates, forcing a woman to give birth in shackles, and refusing to investigate sex crimes against Latina children.

For Nat’l Dog Day let’s remember the time JoeArpaio’s Deputies set a puppy on fire, laughing at its sobbing owner as it died a ghastly death pic.twitter.com/4bGuwUIR9u

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 26, 2017

160 people have died in his jails, with little explanation and no consequences for the abusive guards or entire absence of oversight.

Trump is about to find out the hard way that in the United States of America, the President is not king. He cannot simply clap his hands and subvert the legal and judicial system of our nation because he wills it – a warning that all those currently under questioning in the Trump-Russia investigation would do well to remember.

This article has been updated to reflect that the hearing is to judge whether or not Arpaio’s conviction will be thrown out and does not involve the Justice Department. We apologize for the confusion.

Download our NEW Occupy Democrats app for your iPhone by clicking here or for your Android by clicking here.

NEXT PAGE==>

A Judge Just Gave Trump And Arpaio Bad News About Pardon

Last week, President Trump tried to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to deflect attention away from his abrupt pardon of notorious racist and human rights abuser Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

But instead of having the whole affair slip under the radar, Joe Arpaio is now looking at a potentially embarrassing legal fight

While District Judge Susan Bolton has approved the request to throw out Arpaio’s sentencing hearing, she’s not letting him walk away so easily.

This morning, Bolton ordered that Arpaio file a memo and scheduled a hearing for October 4th where Arpaio’s legal team must publicly argue why a man who was so racist he was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to end his discriminatory racial profiling policies deserves to have his conviction thrown out.

The state of Arizona will have their own chance to argue why Arpaio’s conviction should not be vacated, allowing them to publicly, and in great detail, list the full extent of the heinous crimes and misdeeds of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which include running what he refers to as a concentration camp, torturing his inmates, forcing a woman to give birth in shackles, and refusing to investigate sex crimes against Latina children.

For Nat’l Dog Day let’s remember the time JoeArpaio’s Deputies set a puppy on fire, laughing at its sobbing owner as it died a ghastly death pic.twitter.com/4bGuwUIR9u

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 26, 2017

160 people have died in his jails, with little explanation and no consequences for the abusive guards or entire absence of oversight.

Trump is about to find out the hard way that in the United States of America, the President is not king. He cannot simply clap his hands and subvert the legal and judicial system of our nation because he wills it – a warning that all those currently under questioning in the Trump-Russia investigation would do well to remember.

This article has been updated to reflect that the hearing is to judge whether or not Arpaio’s conviction will be thrown out and does not involve the Justice Department. We apologize for the confusion.

Download our NEW Occupy Democrats app for your iPhone by clicking here or for your Android by clicking here.

Notre Dame Cathedral fire: Spire and roof collapse as flames break out in historic church tower in Paris, France – CBS News

Notre Dame fire: What we know A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Monday.  The cathedral, which was undergoing renovations, suffered extensive damage. Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire. No deaths have been reported. Notre Dame construction began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. 
The iconic spire at the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed after a major fire broke out Monday. Video showed part of the roof of the cathedral collapsing into itself as the fire rages on. 
“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesperson Andre Finot told French media, according to the Associated Press. But Monday evening, Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters he believes firefighters have managed to save the cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers from the blaze.
A deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Gregoire, said the cathedral had suffered “colossal damages.” But officials said emergency services managed to salvage some of the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral. 
The Sécurité Civile of France, part of the French Ministry of Interior, said hundreds of members of the Paris Fire Brigade were doing everything possible to get the fire under control and save the historic structure. The agency  said in a tweet , “all means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.”
The moment #NotreDame ’s spire fell pic.twitter.com/XUcr6Iob0b — Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the site to view the damage as firefighters continued what appeared to be a losing battle against the flames. The Ile de la Cité, the island in the Seine where the cathedral sits, was evacuated. Thousands of onlookers gathered along the banks of the river to watch the awful scene. 
A collection of dramatic videos and photos spread through social media on Monday showing the roof and spire of the nearly 900-year-old cathedral engulfed in flames and massive amounts of smoke billowing up from its roof.    Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris as the spire collapses on April 15, 2019. Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images
No deaths have been reported so far, according to the Associated Press. 
Authorities have not yet released the cause of the fire or any further information as to how the fight to suppress the flames has progressed. The fire may potentially involve renovation works being carried out at the site , the fire service said.
The Vatican expressed “great shock and sadness” about the fire at Notre Dame, calling the cathedral “a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.” In a statement, the Vatican said, “We express closeness to the French Catholics and the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the firefighters and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation.”
President Trump commented on the fire this afternoon as he attended a roundtable conference in Minnesota.
“It’s one of the great treasures of the world,” he said. “It’s part of our culture, it’s part of our lives. That is a truly great cathedral and I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and there is… no cathedral in the world like it. It is a terrible scene.” The president added, “It looks like it’s burning to the ground.” 
Trump calls Notre Dame fire a “terrible sight to behold”
Former President Barack Obama posted a photo of his family visiting Notre Dame along with a message that said, “Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”
Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can. pic.twitter.com/SpMEvv1BzB — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2019
 Notre Dame was constructed in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345. The cathedral is a worldwide Parisian icon and site of some of the most important moments in the history of France. Henry VI of England was crowned inside the cathedral in 1431 and Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France inside the cathedral in 1804. 
The cathedral receives 12 to 13 million visitors a year and is home to countless paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art. James Shepherd, director of preservation and facilities at the Washington National Cathedral, spoke with CBSN on Monday.  
“That’s 800 years of history of people pilgrimaging there, and worshiping there, and the accumulation of culture,” Shepherd said by phone. “All of that will have to be taken into consideration as they try to repair this church and save it after this devastating fire.” Fire burns Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris 32 photos
Shepherd spoke of Notre Dame’s “stunning and exclusive stained-glass windows,” which appear to have been destroyed in the fire. He called them “absolutely priceless and some of the best examples of European stained-glass windows.”
“This is a culturally devastating moment for the city of Paris, the country and the world,” Shepherd said.   
This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates. See below for a selection of photos and videos posted on social media from the scene.
Roommate just sent this of Notre Dame on fire in Paris woowwww pic.twitter.com/NEMs33AHYD — Process Guy (@leistomania93) April 15, 2019
Notre-Dame en flammes 😟 pic.twitter.com/DM2V1V4Aqi — Miguet Alain (@MiguetAlain) April 15, 2019
Before the news breaks, the Notre Dame is on fire. pic.twitter.com/fhSNcznCG2 — Ashley (@AshhHuntington) April 15, 2019
The Notre Dame is on fire, and it appears to be getting rapidly worse 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/C3s8zydFER — Henry Jones (@hthjones) April 15, 2019

Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale dies at 52 – BBC News

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US actor Luke Perry has died in California at the age of 52, less than a week after suffering a massive stroke.

His publicist said Perry died surrounded by his family and friends.

Perry rose to fame on Beverly Hills, 90210 and had been starring as Fred Andrews on the CW show Riverdale.

He was taken to hospital on Wednesday in Los Angeles, where he had been shooting scenes for Riverdale at the Warner Bros film lot.

Perry’s children, Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, and his siblings, Tom Perry and Amy Coder, were with him when he passed, publicist Arnold Robinson said in a statement.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning,” Mr Robinson said.

The family has not provided additional details at this time.

Last Wednesday, US media reported that paramedics had been called to the actor’s home in Sherman Oaks.

Perry, a native of Ohio, was famous for starring in Beverly Hills 90210 from 1990 to 2000. A reboot of the series was also announced on Wednesday, though it was not clear whether Perry planned to make any guest appearances.

Former 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty – who played Perry’s love interest on the show – told Entertainment Tonight on Sunday in an emotional interview that she had been in touch with him after his stroke.

“I can’t talk about it here ’cause I will literally start crying but I love him and he knows I love him. It’s Luke, and he’s my Dylan.”

Perry also starred in television show Oz, as well as films including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 8 Seconds and The Fifth Element.

His most recent role was on the hit television teen drama series Riverdale, based on the Archie comics, where he played the titular character’s father.

Luke Perry… you were a joyful and vibrant soul. You will be missed but most certainly your legacy will be remembered forever. Rest in love and peace, friend. #Riverdale

— Riverdale Writers Room (@RiverdaleWriter)

End of Twitter post by @RiverdaleWriter

Online, Perry’s fans and fellow celebrities have begun paying tribute.

Luke Perry was a great actor and truly one of a kind. Watching him on 90210 was one of the reasons why I wanted to move to LA. Thinking of his family and friends on and off the set. Rest in peace.

— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest)

My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family. ❤️ #LukePerry

— Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald)

Luke Perry – Irreplaceable beautiful and kind human being, incredible friend, generous actor and adoring father to Jack and Sophie and loving partner to Madison we are all heartbroken. You are the love and you are the light. pic.twitter.com/X3ycTvmXsb

— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette)