Alexandra Burke says she was once told to ‘bleach her skin’ in order to ‘sell records’

Alexandra Burke broke down in tears as she recalled how she was once told to ‘bleach her skin’ in order to ‘sell records’. 

Talking to Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock on her powerful BBC documentary Race, Pop And Power, which was released on Thursday, the singer, 32, lamented how ‘f**ked up’ the music industry can be. 

Alexandra said that she was also once told when she was aged just 15 by a management company, who she wished to keep anonymous: ‘We’ve got one black person, we can’t have another.’ 

Emotional: Alexandra Burke broke down in tears as she recalled how she was once told to ‘bleach her skin’ in order to ‘sell records’

Talking about racism within the music industry, the star said: ‘It’s very British though, we’re taught not to talk about it. It’s a very taboo subject.

‘People are afraid to admit that they have done something that is considered racist. They may not have meant it. Like I know there’s not all bad in people, I really believe that everyone has got good in them.’

Recalling her own past experiences in the music industry, Alexandra continued: ‘Like I remember when my mum used to take me to certain management companies… I won’t name them now because they’re still friends and that’s good, and it’s all love.

‘But when I was 15, they told me and said: “We’ve got one black person, we can’t have another.” And I got that a couple of times.’

Powerful: Talking to Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock on her powerful BBC documentary Race, Pop And Power, which was released on Thursday, the singer, 32, pictured, lamented how 'f**ked up' the music industry can be

Powerful: Talking to Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock on her powerful BBC documentary Race, Pop And Power, which was released on Thursday, the singer, 32, pictured, lamented how ‘f**ked up’ the music industry can be 

Alexandra emotionally added: ‘One thing that actually comes to my head right now… is being told to bleach my skin. Being told that I’m “too dark” to be in the industry.’

The star then started to cry as she continued: ‘I’m going cold talking about it because I really actually don’t like talking about it.’

Recalling what she was once told, Alexandra said: ‘”You need to bleach your skin because you won’t sell any records.”‘

She added: ‘That’s what is so f**ked up about this industry and that is what makes me feel, at times, where I go: “I don’t want to be in this industry.”‘

Awful: Alexandra said that she was also once told when she was aged just 15 by a management company, who she wished to keep anonymous: 'We've got one black person, we can't have another.'

Awful: Alexandra said that she was also once told when she was aged just 15 by a management company, who she wished to keep anonymous: ‘We’ve got one black person, we can’t have another.’

Breaking down in tears again, Alexandra emotionally continued: ‘They took my confidence away so much that I couldn’t be me.’ 

During the powerful BBC documentary, Little Mix star Leigh-Anne shares her own experience with racism.

The singer, who filmed Race, Pop And Power over the past year, said she felt like the ‘token black girl’ in the band and that her colour was being used ‘to define my image within the group’.   

The songstress propelled to fame when she starred on the 2011 series of The X Factor with Jesy Nelson, who has since left, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, with Little Mix going on to be crowned winners. 

Important documentary: During the powerful BBC documentary, Little Mix star Leigh-Anne, pictured, shares her own experience with racism

Important documentary: During the powerful BBC documentary, Little Mix star Leigh-Anne, pictured, shares her own experience with racism 

Later in the documentary, Leigh-Anne battled to have a meeting with her record label Sony to talk about the lack of diversity in the industry.

And, after being knocked back a few times, felt encouraged when they agreed to bring in more people of colour to work with Little Mix. 

The songstress has launched a foundation to fund internships and mentor schemes for black people of all ages entering the creative industries. 

She said: ‘I don’t want the next girl in pop to feel like how I’ve felt. This is just the beginning. I’m a fighter.’ 

Opening up: It comes after Alexandra revealed over the summer that she was told to bleach her skin after she won The X Factor in 2008

Opening up: It comes after Alexandra revealed over the summer that she was told to bleach her skin after she won The X Factor in 2008

It comes after Alexandra revealed over the summer that she was told to bleach her skin after she won The X Factor in 2008.

The musician spoke in a candid Instagram video and said she was told she would have to work ‘ten times harder than a white artist’.

She also delved into the ‘microagressions’ she experienced from various music labels throughout her career and how she has struggled.

Alexandra explained that she was ordered to ‘smile more on Instagram because you come across as aggressive’.

The star, who was visibly shaken, explained: ‘The music industry is such a funny little place. I love signing, I love what I do but if it wasn’t for the love that I have for music I definitely wouldn’t be in this industry.

Candid: The musician opened up in a candid Instagram video and said she was told she would have to work 'ten times harder than a white artist' (pictured on The X Factor in 2008)

Emotional: Alexandra broke down in tears at points throughout the heart-wrenching video

Candid: The musician opened up in a candid Instagram video and said she was told she would have to work ‘ten times harder than a white artist’ (pictured on The X Factor, left, in 2008) 

‘A few reasons are, when I won the X Factor I was told, “Right, because you are black, you are going to have to work ten times harder than a white artist, because of the colour of your skin… 

‘You can’t have braids, you can’t have an afro, you can’t have anything that basically is my identity, you have to have hair, for example, that appeals to white people so they can understand you better.”

‘That was so hard to digest. I was told to bleach my skin and that was something I refused to do.’

MailOnline contacted X Factor representatives for comment at the time. 

She said: 'When I won the X Factor I was told, ''Right, because you are black, you are going to have to work ten times harder than a white artist, because of the colour of your skin'' (pictured winning The X Factor in 2008 with mentor Cheryl)

She said: ‘When I won the X Factor I was told, ”Right, because you are black, you are going to have to work ten times harder than a white artist, because of the colour of your skin” (pictured winning The X Factor in 2008 with mentor Cheryl)

Alexandra did not specify who gave her the instructions or made the comments, nor when they were made in the wake of her victory.  

The star shared the emotional 15-minute video on Instagram and wrote: ‘Speak Up – Speak Out.

‘I felt it was time to speak up… This is a scary moment for me. I didn’t always want to speak up… but it is the right thing to do. So, here’s my truth, the positive and the emotional.

‘Side note: When I talk about ‘not seeing colour’ I’m not referring to the idea of being blind to skin colour, I’m talking about the notion within the music industry and institutionally that whiter is better.

‘Why does an industry that should be focused on vocal ability spend so much time dictating an artist’s worth on their colour?’

Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now and will air on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday night.

Being honest: Alexandra shared the emotional 15-minute video on Instagram and wrote: 'Speak Up - Speak Out'

Being honest: Alexandra shared the emotional 15-minute video on Instagram and wrote: ‘Speak Up – Speak Out’ 

Martin Kemp reveals George Michael got him his role in EastEnders

Martin Kemp has revealed that the late George Michael got him his role as Steve Owen in EastEnders, with the Careless Whisper singer demanding he wear one of his jumpers on the show in return. 

Speaking on his show Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy.

Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George ‘loved’ him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had ‘snuck’ on a jumper. 

Wow: Martin Kemp has revealed that the late George Michael got him his role as Steve Owen in EastEnders, with the Careless Whisper singer demanding he wear one of his jumpers on the show in return

Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: ‘George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door! 

‘Then he said to me, “One thing I want in return… here’s one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!”‘

Guest Shane Richie, 57, then asked: ‘Did you actually do it?’ with Martin replying: ‘Yeah I did yeah, I sneaked it on and put it on for him and he loved it!’

Sharing how much the singer was a big fan of the soap, Shane then added: ‘And he loved June Brown (Dot Cotton)!’, with Martin stating: ‘He was a beautiful, beautiful man. I can’t speak highly enough of him.’

Legend: Speaking on his show Martin and Roman's Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy

Legend: Speaking on his show Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy

Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003  music video of his version of Wham! track I’m Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn’t feel George approved of his interpretation.

After watching the clip, Shane said: ‘It’s interesting looking at that video because I know you knew George, and I met George. And on his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that’s what he wanted.

‘And then I did that [his cover] and I don’t think he liked my version.’ 

Memories: Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George 'loved' him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had 'snuck' on a jumper

Memories: Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George ‘loved’ him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had ‘snuck’ on a jumper

Helping hand: Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: 'George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door!'

Helping hand: Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: ‘George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door!’ 

Old friends:  'Then he said to me, "One thing I want in return... here's one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!"' (Martin pictured with George in 1984)

Old friends:  ‘Then he said to me, “One thing I want in return… here’s one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!”‘ (Martin pictured with George in 1984)

Martin was quick to respond: ‘Oh no, I’m sure he didn’t, I’m sure he was flattered!’ 

To which Roman Kemp jumped in: ‘What had your character done, what had Alfie Moon done at that point? Because he took that very to heart!’

Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker ‘had a big hand in all their life’. 

Speaking on The One Show, Martin said that their close friend was the one who dialled his number on Shirley’s phone when they first got together. 

Oh no: Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003 music video of his version of Wham! track I'm Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn't feel George approved of his interpretation

Oh no: Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003 music video of his version of Wham! track I’m Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn’t feel George approved of his interpretation

Gutted: Shane said: 'On his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that's what he wanted. 'And then I did that [his cover] and I don't think he liked my version'

Gutted: Shane said: ‘On his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that’s what he wanted. ‘And then I did that [his cover] and I don’t think he liked my version’

He said: ‘He had a big hand in all our life to be honest. Putting us together. he was the guy that made the phone call to me to get Shirlie to come out. 

‘He dialled the numbers on the telephone. He got me the job in EastEnders.

‘He looked after us in more ways that you can ever imagine. You know, he found the surgeon that in the end made me better.’ [in reference to when he had a brain tumour in 1997]

Even though George dialled the number, Shirlie insisted that she still spoke and George didn’t ‘pretend to be her’.  

Shirlie, explaining how she felt about Martin when they first met, said: ‘I knew before I met him that I was going to marry him. 

'George set us up': Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker 'had a big hand in all their life'

‘George set us up’: Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker ‘had a big hand in all their life’

'He had a big hand in our life': As well as setting the couple up, Martin said George also got him an audition for EastEnders and found a surgeon who made him better after his brain tumour

‘He had a big hand in our life’: As well as setting the couple up, Martin said George also got him an audition for EastEnders and found a surgeon who made him better after his brain tumour

‘I’m very intuitive and we went to a nightclub – me, George and Andrew. This was very early days, I’m not even sure if Wham! was kind of happening then. 

‘We saw Spandau and George is nudging me going, “Spandau Ballet, Spandau Ballet”.

‘And I look over and I see Martin. Because George knows I fancied Martin. And I had this sensation that said, “You don’t need to meet him yet because you’re going to marry him”. 

‘It was just a voice. How do you explain that?’ 

The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28. 

'He knew I fancied Martin': Shirlie revealed that fellow Wham! singer George (pictured together in 1986) nudged her in a nightclub when he spotted the Spandau Ballet star

‘He knew I fancied Martin’: Shirlie revealed that fellow Wham! singer George (pictured together in 1986) nudged her in a nightclub when he spotted the Spandau Ballet star

Family: The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28 (pictured in 2019 with children Harley Moon and Roman)

Family: The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28 (pictured in 2019 with children Harley Moon and Roman)

Mollie King looks smart yet stylish in a blazer and baseball cap as she arrives for work

Mollie King looks smart yet stylish in a blazer and baseball cap as she arrives for work at BBC Radio 1

She never puts a foot wrong with fashion. 

And Mollie King added a stylish twist to her smart outfit on Saturday as she teamed her black blazer with a baseball cap for work at BBC Radio 1. 

The former Saturdays singer, 33, looked effortlessly chic in her understated outfit as she headed inside the London building ahead of her radio show. 

Fashionista: Mollie King added a stylish twist to her smart outfit on Saturday as she teamed her black blazer with a baseball cap for work at BBC Radio 1

She rounded off the look with a beige top and straight-leg white jeans.  

Mollie added height to her frame with black mules which complemented her classic black handbag. 

The radio host tucked her blonde tresses back in a natural straight style beneath her cap and opted for soft make-up. 

Mollie announced her engagement to cricketer Stuart Broad on New Year’s Day when she shared a snap of them sharing a kiss during a wintry countryside walk. 

Back to business: The former Saturdays singer, 33, looked effortlessly chic in her understated outfit as she headed inside the London building ahead of her radio show

Back to business: The former Saturdays singer, 33, looked effortlessly chic in her understated outfit as she headed inside the London building ahead of her radio show

The pair have been an on-off item since 2012 but have been dating steadily since the start of 2019 leading up to their engagement.

They finally reunited after Stuart spent 10 weeks abroad on tour with the England cricket team in Sri Lanka, India. 

The couple, who spent two months apart, cosied up for a selfie with the accompanying caption: ‘Can you tell I’m happy to have him home!?’ 

In a recent interview with MailOnline, Mollie revealed that she hopes to reunite with fellow Saturday’s members Vanessa White, Frankie Bridge, Una Healy, and Rochelle Humes, in the future. 

Boosting her height: She rounded off the look with a beige top, straight-leg white jeans and black mules

Boosting her height: She rounded off the look with a beige top, straight-leg white jeans and black mules

The singer was part of the five-piece girl band from 2007 to 2014, and in that time they released four studio albums, headlined four UK tours and supported mega group Girls Aloud. 

Asking about reforming, Mollie told MailOnline: ‘I always say never say never. We are all enjoying doing different things, presenting, family life, Una is doing music still. I would definitely think about it.

‘We came up on my Spotify shuffle the other day and I was like, “oh I love this song so much!” It would be fun at some point!’

Happy news:  Mollie announced her engagement to cricketer Stuart Broad on New Year's Day

Happy news:  Mollie announced her engagement to cricketer Stuart Broad on New Year’s Day

Advertisement

Call The Midwife’s Jenny Agutter set to reprise her role in The Railway Children sequel

Call The Midwife’s Jenny Agutter set to reprise her role in The Railway Children sequel – 50 years after original as Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay join the new cast

Call The Midwife star Jenny Agutter is set to reprise her role in The Railway Children sequel – over 50 years after starring in the original film.

The actress, 68, was just 16 when she played Bobbie Waterbury in the 1968 BBC series, before going on to star in the 1970 film version at 18-years-old. 

Jenny will star in the rebooted version, named The Railway Children Return, alongside Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay, with Sheridan excitedly tweeting about her new role on Thursday. 

Back again: Call The Midwife star Jenny Agutter is set to reprise her role in The Railway Children sequel – over 50 years after starring in the original film

Retweeting an announcement by Studio Canal, the actress, 39, penned: ‘So excited to announce my next filming job! Starting this month…’

Studio Canal’s tweeted read: ‘All aboard! 

‘We’re delighted to announce cameras are rolling on The Railway Children Return, a sequel to one of the most beloved British family films of all time (pictured – credit: Studiocanal/The Railway Children 1970).

Jenny, Sheridan, Tom and a new generation of railway children will appear in the sequel which is set to hit UK cinemas April 1st 2022.    

Way back when: The actress, 68, was just 16 when she played Bobbie Waterbury in the 1968 BBC series, before going on to star in the 1970 film version at 18-years-old (pictured in 1970)

Way back when: The actress, 68, was just 16 when she played Bobbie Waterbury in the 1968 BBC series, before going on to star in the 1970 film version at 18-years-old (pictured in 1970)

Return: Jenny will star in the rebooted version, named The Railway Children Return, alongside Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay, with Sheridan excitedly tweeting about her new role on Thursday

Return: Jenny will star in the rebooted version, named The Railway Children Return, alongside Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay, with Sheridan excitedly tweeting about her new role on Thursday

The iconic Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, which appeared in the original production will also feature in the reboot.

Filming for The Railway Children Return will begin on Monday, directed by Bafta-Morgan Matthews, known for films X+Y and Shooting Bigfoot, while Jemma Rodgers will produce the film for StudioCanal, which owns the rights to the original.

The sequel is due to hit UK cinemas on 1 April 2022. 

The original film, released in 1970 was based on the novel by E Nesbit, which tells the story of three children who are set to be shipped off to live in the country beside a railway line , following their father’s arrest on spying charges.

Big Role: These days the actress is known for playing Sister Julienne in BBC's Call The Midwife

Big Role: These days the actress is known for playing Sister Julienne in BBC’s Call The Midwife

Jenny played the eldest child Bobbie in a 1968 TV adaptation, reprising her role in the film version just two years later. 

The TV personality also returned to play the children’s mother in an ITV remake in 2000.

Now in her late 60s, Jenny has been known in recent years for playing Sister Julienne in the BBC’s Call the Midwife, a role she’s played since 2012.

Original: Jenny (pictured right) played the eldest child Bobbie in a 1968 TV adaptation, reprising her role in the film version just two years later

Original: Jenny (pictured right) played the eldest child Bobbie in a 1968 TV adaptation, reprising her role in the film version just two years later

The original 1970 film became a huge hit when it was released and earned an impressive three Bafta nominations. 

While it also currently boasts a ‘100% fresh’ rating on review website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 critics’ review. 

Advertisement

Claudia Winkleman looks almost unrecognisable in unearthed BBC clip from 1996

Claudia Winkleman looks almost unrecognisable in an unearthed BBC clip from 1996 where she appears as a ‘chat up connoisseur’.

The Strictly Come Dancing presenter, 49, who was just 24 at the time, joined relationship expert Ben Renshaw on Good Morning with Anne and Nick. 

The throwback clip was shared by the BBC Archive’s Twitter account, they tweeted: ‘#OnThisDay 1996: Good Morning with Anne and Nick drafted in some dating experts to provide some top tips for improving your pulling power.’ 

Now: Claudia pictured in 2019

Way back when: Claudia Winkleman looks almost unrecognisable in an unearthed BBC clip from 1996 where she appears as a ‘chat up connoisseur’, left, and pictured, right, in 2019

Claudia looked almost unrecognisable in the video as it was before her current signature fringe and heavy eyeliner look.

On the episode of Good Morning with Anne and Nick, hosted by Anne Diamond and Nick Owen – which ran from 1992-1996, Claudia joked that she ‘hardly ever’ gets chatted up but when she does she gets ‘very overexcited’.   

Claudia quipped: ‘Eye contact. It’s all eye contact but it can be terrifying. You can be sitting at the other side of the bar making eye contact for an hour and a half and then he’ll leave.  

‘They might instigate it – if I girl comes up to you and says, “Have you got a light?” she’s got four boxes of matches in her bag.

Start of her career: The Strictly Come Dancing presenter, 49, who was just 24 at the time, joined relationship expert Ben Renshaw on Good Morning with Anne and Nick

Start of her career: The Strictly Come Dancing presenter, 49, who was just 24 at the time, joined relationship expert Ben Renshaw on Good Morning with Anne and Nick 

Archive: The clip was shared by the BBC Archive's Twitter account and Claudia looked almost unrecognisable

Signature look: It was before her current signature fringe and eyeliner look (pictured)

Archive: The clip was shared by the BBC Archive’s Twitter account and Claudia looked almost unrecognisable, left,  as it was before her current signature fringe and eyeliner look, right 

‘She does not want a light, she wants something else. Boys are so sweet and I don’t think they realise.’ 

Fans were quick to react to the clip as one person said Claudia looked ‘unrecognisable’, another shared a heart emoji while a different account joked it was before the star’s signature ‘the fringe’.   

Claudia has since gone on to have a very successful TV career presenting the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Best Home Cook and The Great British Sewing Bee. She also hosts her own show on BBC Radio 2.

The star married husband Kris Thykier in 2000 and they share three children Jake, 18, Matilda, 14, and Arthur, nine. 

It comes as Claudia’s Strictly co-star and judge, Shirley Ballas, revealed that she is hoping her autobiography, Behind The Sequins, is turned into a movie.  

Career: Claudia has since gone on to have a very successful TV career presenting the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Best Home Cook and The Great British Sewing Bee. She also hosts her own show on BBC Radio 2 (pictured on Pyjama Party in 1996)

Career: Claudia has since gone on to have a very successful TV career presenting the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Best Home Cook and The Great British Sewing Bee. She also hosts her own show on BBC Radio 2 (pictured on Pyjama Party in 1996) 

The ‘Queen of Latin’, 60, who previously admitted that she had to return to counselling after penning the memoir last year, said that there has been a ‘couple of inquiries’ over turning her book into a film.

Talking on Nicki Chapman’s Talking Success podcast, in a clip obtained by the Mirror, Shirley said: ‘There is a couple of inquiries out there. I’m not really sure how that’s going but there’s a couple of inquiries. 

‘I think once I have the book and then I add to it other stories, because I had to choose what I wrote, and it just keeps going on now the drama. There’s still drama.’

Shirley’s autobiography, Behind The Sequins, reflects on her life, marriages and career – which includes being a head judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

Smitten: The star married husband Kris Thykier in 2000 and they share three children Jake, 18, Matilda, 14, and Arthur, nine (pictured in 2019)

Smitten: The star married husband Kris Thykier in 2000 and they share three children Jake, 18, Matilda, 14, and Arthur, nine (pictured in 2019)  

In one part of her memoir, the dancer claims that her ex-husband, Corky, ‘fat-shamed’ her while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34.

Shirley discussed their 22-year tumultuous marriage, they divorced in 2007, in the autobiography which was released in October. 

The Strictly star also alleges that fellow professional dancer Corky, 60, even ‘hid a large cockroach’ under a doughnut while she was pregnant.   

In an extract obtained by The Sun, the Strictly judge said: ‘Get too big and I’m out the door. I don’t do fat, Shirley. He started monitoring everything I ate, then he secretly got hold of my doughnut box and hid a large cockroach under the glazing.

Movie: It comes as Claudia's Strictly co-star and judge, Shirley Ballas, revealed that she is hoping her autobiography, Behind The Sequins, is turned into a movie (pictured 2020)

Movie: It comes as Claudia’s Strictly co-star and judge, Shirley Ballas, revealed that she is hoping her autobiography, Behind The Sequins, is turned into a movie (pictured 2020)  

‘When I ate my next doughnut, the cockroach crackled in my mouth with the legs dangling on the outside.

‘This made me vomit straight away. No doubt he thought this “creative” solution was to “save me from myself” and that I would ultimately thank him, but for anybody to want to do this to a pregnant woman is hard to believe.’

MailOnline contacted both Corky and Mark’s representatives for comment at the time.  

Shirley was first married to Sammy Stopford, who she fell for when she became a professional dancer at age 17; they then worked together until 1983, during which time they got married. 

The star, who boasts a 40-year career as a Latin dancer, then met Corky and inevitably got divorced from Sammy. 

Shirley married Corky in 1985 and they went on to win a string of international ­dancing titles.

The couple, who divorced in 2007, share son, Mark Ballas, 34, who is a professional dancer and previously worked on the US version of Strictly – Dancing With The Stars.  

Shirley and Corky originally split in 2003, where he went on to have a five-year relationship with former Strictly star Kristina Rihanoff after becoming her dance teacher. Kristina is now in a relationship with former celebrity partner Ben Cohen.

Pregnancy: In one part of her memoir, the dancer claims that her ex-husband, Corky, 'fat-shamed' her while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34 (all pictured together)

Pregnancy: In one part of her memoir, the dancer claims that her ex-husband, Corky, ‘fat-shamed’ her while she was pregnant with their son Mark, now 34 (all pictured together) 

Andrew Marr was paid £5,000 for Zoom call with wealth fund from BBC offices, documents show 

Andrew Marr was paid at least £5,000 for a Zoom call with a wealth fund, newly published documents have revealed.

The political interviewer received the sum for hosting an event, from the BBC offices, for investment management firm Brewin Dolphin in March. 

Justin Webb and Emily Maitlis are also among the BBC presenters who took on external work earning them £5,000 or more in the first three months of 2021, the corporation has revealed.

Since January, on-air talent in current affairs, sports news and some radio staff have for the first time had to declare external work which includes paid-for public speaking engagements, appearances or writing commitments.

The financial disclosures have been published as part of the BBC’s first staff external events register, which covers January to March 2021, and fees are listed as either below or above £5,000.

The register does not provide details of the specific financial amount at the higher level.

Pictured: Andrew Marr on a Zoom call with wealth management company Brewin Dolphin

Emily Maitlis is among the BBC presenters who took on external work earning £5,000 or more in the first three months of 2021, the corporation has revealed

Mishal Hussain is also registered as taking a fee above £5,000 for an event on March 25.

Emily Maitlis (left) is among the BBC presenters who took on external work earning £5,000 or more in the first three months of 2021, the corporation has revealed. Mishal Hussain (right) is also registered as taking a fee above £5,000 for an event on March 25.

News Presenterd Ltd, who represent Andrew Marr, told MailOnline: ‘Andrew Marr would normally have done this from home but in order to accommodate a late recording request it had to be done in a BBC office prior to the recording.’ 

Mishal Hussain is also registered as taking a fee above £5,000 for an event on March 25. 

Radio 4’s Today presenter Webb made the most higher-tier appearances with a total of four – including for management consultancy firm Proxima and City Wealth Magazine. 

Newsnight’s lead presenter Maitlis also made a higher-tier appearance in March, hosting an event for business law firm Mason Hayes and Curran.

Breakfast host Dan Walker made two £5,000-plus appearances as a moderator – at a January event with St James’ Place Management and a March event with Co-op.

Since January, on-air talent in current affairs, sports news and some radio staff have for the first time had to declare external work which includes paid-for public speaking engagements, appearances or writing commitments

Since January, on-air talent in current affairs, sports news and some radio staff have for the first time had to declare external work which includes paid-for public speaking engagements, appearances or writing commitments

Radio 4's Today presenter Webb made the most higher-tier appearances with a total of four - including for management consultancy firm Proxima and City Wealth Magazine

Radio 4’s Today presenter Webb made the most higher-tier appearances with a total of four – including for management consultancy firm Proxima and City Wealth Magazine

New Mastermind host Clive Myrie made three appearances in February, one of which had a total fee of more than £5,000, as a presenter for Made In Manchester Productions.

The number of paid events undertaken by staff has increased month-on-month since January.

Andrew Marr was paid at least £5,000 for a Zoom call with a wealth fund, newly-published documents have revealed

Andrew Marr was paid at least £5,000 for a Zoom call with a wealth fund, newly-published documents have revealed

The BBC said that around 85% of the appearances fell below £5,000, with half of these under £1,000.

Staff must seek written approval from a divisional head of department before signing up to any external engagements.

New director-general Tim Davie announced the move in October as part of a series of measures aimed at ensuring the broadcaster’s impartiality.

The corporation had faced criticism of presenters including Munchetty and North America editor Jon Sopel for taking on other paid work.

The BBC has also introduced new rules regarding its employees’ use of social media, which alongside new training, aim to ‘ensure the highest possible standards of impartiality across the organisation’.

The rules tell staff working in news, current affairs and factual journalism production, such as Countryfile, The One Show and Woman’s Hour, and as well as all senior leaders, that they may not reveal how they have voted or express support for any political party.

BBC’s STATEMENT ON THE EXTERNAL EVENTS REGISTER

BBC staff declare additional paid-for work in new events register

The BBC has today (Tues) published its first staff external events register, as part its commitment to the highest standards of impartiality.

On-air talent in news and current affairs, sports news and radio journalism roles – plus senior leaders – must declare earnings from work undertaken outside of the BBC, including speaking engagements or corporate events.

Through a new standardised process, introduced on 1 January, staff must seek written approval from a divisional head of department before signing up to any external engagements. A summary of these approved events will be published every quarter. The first iteration of the register covers January to March 2021.

To ensure transparency, those staff who undertake a paid-for engagement are named in the register, alongside the organisation involved and whether the fee was above or below £5,000.

Around 85% fell below £5,000, with 50% of these under £1,000. The register includes full-time and part-time staff.

The BBC’s robust and longstanding Editorial Guidelines permit staff to carry out additional engagements as long as they do not compromise the integrity or impartiality of the BBC.

The register was announced last October and launched in January, as part of a series of measures to ensure the highest standards of impartiality across the organisation. New staff guidance on impartiality and social media use was published last year and new impartiality training was rolled out in January.

PICTURED: Harry Redknapp arrives at EastEnders set to film scenes for his new role

PICTURED: Harry Redknapp arrives at EastEnders set to film scenes for his new role amid claims he is already ‘inseparable’ from co-star Danny Dyer

  • The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover earlier this week – amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny 
  • Sports manager Harry has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter – with the scenes set to air between June and July during the Euros
  • The new actor – who is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43 – said: ‘Danny Dyer was terrific to work with’
  • The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham – which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s 

Harry Redknapp was seen arriving at the EastEnders set earlier this week as he prepared to step into his new role. 

The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny Dyer.

According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter – with the scenes set to air between June and July during the Euros.

Exciting times ahead: Harry Redknapp was seen arriving at the EastEnders set earlier this week as he prepared to step into his new role

The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver’s seat.

It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV’s hardman.

The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years. 

Harry told The Sun: ‘I’ve always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic. Danny Dyer was terrific to work with.’ 

He's arrived! The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he's already 'inseparable' with his co-star Danny Dyer

He’s arrived! The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny Dyer

'Danny Dyer was terrific to work with': According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (pictured)

‘Danny Dyer was terrific to work with’: According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (pictured)

Off he goes: The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver's seat

Off he goes: The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver’s seat

Perfect partner: The former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

Perfect partner: The former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s.  

The source added: ‘Harry isn’t a bad actor, especially for EastEnders. He brought a real-life Cockney feel.

‘It looks like this might not be the last viewers see of him. He and Danny were a great team-up.

‘They were both clearly over the moon to be working with each other. Everyone adored having Harry around.’

Warm welcome: It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was 'cheered' by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV's hardman

Warm welcome: It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV’s hardman

Lifelong dream: 'I've always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic', the I'm A Celebrity star said in an interview

Lifelong dream: ‘I’ve always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic’, the I’m A Celebrity star said in an interview

Close: The TV star and hardman Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club

Close: The TV star and hardman Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club

Driving around in style: The media personality is known for his role of flashy cars, and recently became a brand ambassador for Land Rover dealerships

Driving around in style: The media personality is known for his role of flashy cars, and recently became a brand ambassador for Land Rover dealerships

MailOnline has contacted Harry’s representatives for further comment. 

Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018.

Last month a source speaking to The Mirror claimed BBC bosses were keen to cast Harry after being wowed by his charm, saying: ‘Harry will be a great addition to EastEnders.

‘Even though he has no traditional acting experience, his character and charm are more than enough to stand him in good stead on the show. 

Star: The legendary sportsman won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 (pictured)

Star: The legendary sportsman won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 (pictured)

‘And with him growing up in the real East End, it makes it even better. Everything has been pretty much agreed and it’s now down to the fine details.’ 

MailOnline contacted Harry’s representatives and spokespeople for EastEnders for further comment at the time. 

In January Harry shared his desire to appear in the soap as he told The Sun on Sunday: ‘My ambition for 2021 is to get a part in EastEnders because I’m a real Eastender.

‘I grew up in Poplar, so have a real affinity with the area. I’ve already worked out my character.’ 

Advertisement

Vicky McClure’s mother Carol admits DI Kate Fleming could be the elusive H in Line Of Duty

‘My daughter’s lovely but it could be her!’ Vicky McClure’s mother Carol admits DI Kate Fleming could be the elusive H as 11 million people prepare for final episode of Line Of Duty

  • The hit BBC show draws to a potentially indefinite close when the final episode of its sixth series ends on Sunday evening  
  • Facilities manager Carol McClure doesn’t rule out the possibility of H being DI Kate Fleming, played by her daughter Vicky
  • More than 11 million people are expected to tune in when the fate of Line Of Duty’s ‘bent copper’ Joanne Davidson is revealed

Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure’s mother admits even she is in the dark regarding the identity of the elusive H – and believes it could be her own daughter. 

The hit BBC show draws to a potentially indefinite close when the final episode of its sixth series ends on Sunday evening. 

But after weeks of conjecture regarding who shady criminal mastermind H actually is, facilities manager Carol McClure – who lives just a stones throw from her daughter in their native Nottingham – doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being DI Kate Fleming.

No idea: Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure’s mother Carol admits even she is in the dark regarding the identity of the elusive H – and believes it could even be her own daughter

She told The Mirror: ‘We don’t know anything, 100% not. We don’t know who H is, absolutely not, she’s keeping that in the bag!

‘Who knows? My daughter’s lovely but it could be her, it could be anybody. We love it and watch it like everybody else and it will be just as much of a surprise for us. We wouldn’t want to be in a position to know.’ 

The proud mother added: ‘We’re big fans of the show, we’ve watched all of them. In fact, we watch everything’s Vicky’s been in.’ 

Farewell: The hit BBC show draws to a potentially indefinite close when the final episode of its sixth series ends on Sunday evening

Farewell: The hit BBC show draws to a potentially indefinite close when the final episode of its sixth series ends on Sunday evening

Carol also admitted she was genuinely concerned for the health and safety of her daughter – who has starred in every series of Jed Mercurio’s hit show – while she filmed her final episodes during lockdown on location in Belfast. 

She said: ‘I worried about her while she was away, we were worried for each other. But I know they were keeping her safe so there was no problem. She was being looked after.’ 

More than 11 million people are expected to tune in when the fate of Line Of Duty’s ‘bent copper’ Joanne Davidson is revealed on Sunday – but the actress who plays her will not be watching.

Firing line: Fans have followed the show, which also stars Martin Compston, since its launch in 2012

Firing line: Fans have followed the show, which also stars Martin Compston, since its launch in 2012 

You never know: Carol McClure - who lives just a stones throw from her daughter in their native Nottingham - doesn't rule out the possibility of it being DI Kate Fleming

You never know: Carol McClure – who lives just a stones throw from her daughter in their native Nottingham – doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being DI Kate Fleming

Exciting: More than 11 million people are expected to tune in when the fate of Line Of Duty's 'bent copper' Joanne Davidson is revealed on Sunday

Exciting: More than 11 million people are expected to tune in when the fate of Line Of Duty’s ‘bent copper’ Joanne Davidson is revealed on Sunday

Kelly Macdonald has revealed she has seen only one episode of the current series after finding the tense hunt to discover the identity of ‘H’ too intimidating.

Asked on BBC Radio 6 Music if she would be tuning in, the actress replied: ‘Hell, no! I watched the first episode and I’m sort of… no!’

The 45-year-old star added: ‘It’s not like I don’t ever watch anything that I have done.

‘It was just a bit too much for me. I thought I could watch it. I tried to watch it. It turns out I cannot watch it.’

Tuning out: But actress Kelly Macdonald has revealed she has seen only one episode of the current series after finding the tense hunt to discover the identity of 'H' too intimidating

Tuning out: But actress Kelly Macdonald has revealed she has seen only one episode of the current series after finding the tense hunt to discover the identity of ‘H’ too intimidating

Advertisement

Harry Redknapp confirms EastEnders role as he’s seen arriving on set

Harry Redknapp confirms EastEnders role as he’s seen arriving on set amid claims he is already ‘inseparable’ from co-star Danny Dyer

Harry Redknapp has confirmed he will have a role on upcoming episodes of EastEnders after he was seen arriving on set earlier this week. 

The former footballer, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer’s character Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter and it has been claimed the pair are already ‘inseparable’.

In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC’s Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes. 

New venture: Harry Redknapp has confirmed he will have a role on upcoming episodes of EastEnders after he was seen arriving on set earlier this week

The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years.

It was claimed that Harry was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with Danny.

The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s. 

Perfect partner: The former footabller, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer's character Mick Carter (pictured) and it has been claimed the pair are already inseparable

Perfect partner: The former footabller, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter (pictured) and it has been claimed the pair are already inseparable

A source said the duo are now ‘inseparable’ after spending long days on set filming together.

The source added: ‘Harry isn’t a bad actor, especially for EastEnders. He brought a real-life Cockney feel.

‘It looks like this might not be the last viewers see of him. He and Danny were a great team-up.

‘They were both clearly over the moon to be working with each other. Everyone adored having Harry around.’

Exciting: In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC's Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes (Harry pictured with son Jamie in 2019)

Exciting: In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC’s Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes (Harry pictured with son Jamie in 2019)

MailOnline has contacted Harry’s representatives for further comment. 

Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018.

Last month a source speaking to The Mirror claimed BBC bosses were keen to cast Harry after being wowed by his charm, saying: ‘Harry will be a great addition to EastEnders.

‘Even though he has no traditional acting experience, his character and charm are more than enough to stand him in good stead on the show. 

Star: Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Outta Here! in 2018

Star: Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 

Close: The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

Close: The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

‘And with him growing up in the real East End, it makes it even better. Everything has been pretty much agreed and it’s now down to the fine details.’ 

MailOnline contacted Harry’s representatives and spokespeople for EastEnders for further comment at the time. 

In January Harry shared his desire to appear in the soap as he told The Sun on Sunday: ‘My ambition for 2021 is to get a part in EastEnders because I’m a real Eastender.

‘I grew up in Poplar, so have a real affinity with the area. I’ve already worked out my character.’ 

Pals: Harry and Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s

Pals: Harry and Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s

Advertisement

Snooker pundit Reanne Evans kicked out of the studio after her ex complained she was distracting him

BBC snooker pundit Reanne Evans was kicked out of the studio after her ex complained she was distracting him ahead of his World Championships match

  • Mark Allen requested Reanne Evans leave practise area for being a ‘distraction’
  • Reanne, 35, had been prepping to go live when Allen lodged his request
  • Evans eventually agreed to leave but was reported to have been ’embarrassed’

Snooker pundit Reanne Evans, 35, (pictured) was told to leave the studio at the World Championships by BBC chiefs on April 20 after her ex, who was set to play, labelled her a distraction

A snooker pundit was told to leave the studio by BBC chiefs after her ex, who was set to play, labelled her a distraction.

Reanne Evans, 35, was set to join a live discussion at the World Championships before being hooked on April 20.

The BBC studio was next to the practice area, where her ex, Mark Allen, had been preparing for his upcoming match against China’s Lyu Haotian. 

Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and Evans, who is the women’s world snooker champion, were preparing for the start of the show when world no 13 Allen complained that Evans was a ‘distraction’, The Sun reports.

After a discussion between World Snooker Tour officials and her producers, Evans agreed to leave.

The BBC said: ‘For the sake of ten minutes, Reanne left the players’ practice room so Mark Allen could practise before his match without distraction upon his request.’

The broadcaster also said that Evans’ broadcast commitments had not been affected by the incident. 

Record 12-times women’s world champion Evans, who is currently battling Allen for maintenance for their 14-year-old daughter, was reported to have been ’embarrassed’.

Speaking about his plea for Evans to leave, Allen said that there had been several cases of other players asking officials for people to be removed while they were practising.

Allen (pictured) said afterwards that there had been several examples of other players requesting for people to leave while they were practising

Allen (pictured) said afterwards that there had been several examples of other players requesting for people to leave while they were practising

‘I’m not sure why there is a fuss about this one,’ he added. 

MailOnline has approached the World Snooker Tour (WST) for comment.

Mark Allen was knocked out of the competition on Monday after being beaten by Mark Selby.

Following his defeat, Allen said he is planning on having ‘a bit of break’ from snooker in order to address some personal issues, the BBC reports.

Speaking after his defeat, Allen said: ‘There’s numerous things going on off the table which I’d rather not talk about.

‘I will come back but I can’t see me coming back any time soon.’

He added that it is difficult to compete against the best in the world without having a clear head to focus on his game. 

Advertisement