The Telegraph 2024-03-20 16:00:33

‘I’m not the best person for the job anymore’: Leo Varadkar resigns as Irish prime minister

Leo Varadkar has resigned as Ireland’s prime minister in a surprise move that he said would give his Fine Gael party the best chance of success in looming elections…

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Bruce Willis pictured in rare family photos with Demi Moore for 69th birthday

Bruce Willis has been pictured celebrating his 69th birthday surrounded by family, including ex-wife Demi Moore, amid his ongoing battle with dementia.

The actor is seen chatting with 61-year-old Moore at his Los Angeles home and playing with his granddaughter Louetta, the first child of their daughter Rumer.

The photos were posted on Instagram by the Hollywood actress who also shared an undated family photograph of Willis with their three daughters – Rumer, 35, Tallulah, 30, and Scout, 32 – when they were young.

Moore and Willis were married for 13 years and have remained on good terms since their divorce in 2000. Moore wrote a caption: “Happy Birthday, BW! We love you and are so grateful for you.”

His current wife, Emma Heming Willis, 45, also joined Tuesday’s celebrations and wrote a message on Instagram.

Next to a photo of Willis holding a baby, she told followers of her account: “Just like you, we simply adore him. What you might not know, but maybe you could imagine, that being wrapped in his arms is the safest place in this whole wide world.

“He’s a true gentle-man. With so much love to give and share. That’s what I get to see, his true core. I can tell you, it’s so pure and ever so good. Happy Birthday my love. You are the gift that keeps giving.”

The couple have been married since 2009 and have two daughters Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, nine.

Willis is best known for his lead role in the Die Hard franchise and has starred in a host of popular Hollywood films, including Pulp Fiction, Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

Willis’s condition was first made public in March 2022, when his family announced he would be retiring from acting due to aphasia, a disorder that causes difficulty with language or speech.

A year later, his diagnosis with frontotemporal dementia was made public. Symptoms of the condition include emotional problems, trouble communicating, struggles with walking and difficulty working.

Heming Willis announced last month she is writing a book about her experience as a caregiver to her husband which is set to be published in 2025.

“Dementia is hard. It’s hard on the person diagnosed – it’s also hard on the family,” Heming Willis told an NBC podcast last year. “And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say this is a family disease, it really is.”

She said it was “hard to know” if Willis himself is aware of the extent of his condition.

What is frontotemporal dementia? Bruce Willis’s condition explained

Read more

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Jeremy Hunt orders HMRC to keep phone lines open

HM Revenue & Customs has halted plans to close its phone lines for almost six months after Jeremy Hunt ordered a rethink…

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Eton pupil dies after collapsing on playing fields as father cheered him on

An Eton College schoolboy collapsed and died during a match on the school playing field as his father was cheering from the sidelines.

The last words Raphaël Pryor heard from his father Michael during the Field Game match on Saturday were his shouts of “Well played Raphy”, his parents said in a statement.

The 17-year-old, who was in Year 13, was pronounced dead on the same day despite the efforts of medics.

His parents, Michael Pryor and Sabine Vandenbroucke, said their only child had died “doing what he loved”.

In a joint statement, they said: “We are devastated by the tragic death of our beautiful son and only child Raphaël. We take comfort from the fact that he was doing what he loved, he knew he was loved, and he was surrounded by friends.”

Raphaël was taking part in a Field Game tournament pitting current pupils against old Etonians when he died. The game, which dates back to 1847, is a variation of football played only at Eton College.

His father, a barrister and former Eton pupil, had been playing earlier and was watching from the touchline when his son  collapsed.

The statement from Raphaël’s parents said: “He was enthusiastic, empathetic, quick-witted, funny and kind. He was a fascinating bilingual fusion of his Belgian and English origins.

“As the many wonderful messages we have received show, Raphaël was hitting his stride as adulthood approached, a much-loved and respected leader on the sporting field and within the community of his boys house.

“He brought a fast-growing emotional intelligence to everything he did. He even surprised us by excelling in a leading role in a play last autumn. He was an excellent fisherman and skier, adored by those who taught him.

“He also loved history. He was to spend the winter as a ski instructor and hoped to read French and history at university, connecting his roots with his passion.

“It is desperate to be so cruelly deprived of what we hoped would be a wonderful future, but we are so grateful to have participated in a life full of love and happiness, friendship, and memories that will never be forgotten. Raphaël made us better people, and we will miss him so.”

Eton College said specialist support was being provided for pupils and staff by on-site counsellors.

Parents of other pupils at the school near Windsor, Berks, were informed about Raphaël’s death by email. One, who asked not to be named, told The Telegraph that he was in the same school house as her son and said: “He collapsed on the field while he was doing sport and died. It was very sad.

“From our perspective, I think the school has handled it really well. The housemaster was very close to him.”

The Field Game, typically played between January and March, involves two teams of 11 playing on a football pitch with a Gaelic football, harder and smaller than a regular football.

The game is one of two codes of football that are only played at Eton College, the other being the more famous Eton Wall Game. Princes William and Harry both played it in their time at the school.

Eton College, where fees are £50,000 a year, lowered its flag to half-mast on Sunday following Raphaël’s death. The tribute has traditionally been reserved for the deaths of members of the Royal family.

Thames Valley Police refused to comment, while South Central Ambulance Service has been approached for more information.

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Palace has lost control of the Princess of Wales narrative – here’s the picture that shows how

For weeks, the cry has gone up from the internet trolls: “Show us proof of life…

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One in five Muslim prisoners is white as ‘gangs drive conversions’

One in five Muslim prisoners is white, official figures show, amid fears that Islamic gangs are driving conversions…

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson ‘offered role’ of next James Bond

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has reportedly been offered the role of the next James Bond.

The 33-year-old British actor has been asked to take over from Daniel Craig, who played the role for 15 years.

Taylor-Johnson rose to fame in 2009 when he was cast as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy by his now wife Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is 24 years his senior.

The Sun reported that Eon Productions, which has made most of the films in the series adapted from Ian Fleming’s novels, has offered Taylor-Johnson the role of 007.

The newspaper said he was likely to sign the contract and start filming this year at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

A source told The Sun: “Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it. The formal offer is on the table and they are waiting to hear back.

“As far as Eon is concerned, Aaron is going to sign his contract in the coming days and they can start preparing for the big announcement.”

Taylor-Johnson had been tipped for the role alongside actors including Cillian Murphy, Idris Elba, Henry Cavill and James Norton.

Ladbrokes said on Monday that the actor was now favourite to replace Craig, who bowed out of the franchise after 2021’s No Time To Die.

Last week, Taylor-Johnson was asked about Bond by Numero Magazine and said: “I find it charming and wonderful that people see me in that role. I take it as a great compliment.”

Previously, Rory Kinnear, who plays Bill Tanner in the franchise, and Charlie Higson, the author of  Young Bond novels, have discredited the idea of a “front-runner” because they usually do not get the role

Kinnear said in an interview on BBC’s The One Show: “I always feel slightly bad for the people who are being highlighted, because that never tends to be them. They [casting directors] are very good at keeping the real person secret.”

Higson, who is also an actor, said in May 2023 that if an actor was talked about as “being considered” as the next 007, “you know that they’ve been rejected”.

He also said: “Eon [Productions], who make the films, play their cards very close to the chest and a lot of times they really surprise people… in particular, Daniel Craig. Nobody had any idea at all that he might be Bond and, if you’d been asked in advance, you’d have said ‘Daniel Craig, James Bond? Surely not’.”

The next Bond film has been delayed because of last year’s Hollywood strikes. The most recent film made more than £600 million at the global box office.

Craig starred in 2006’s Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace in 2008, 2012’s Skyfall and Spectre in 2015.

The 56-year-old grew to resent the role and claimed he would rather “slash my wrists” than play the fictional spy again.

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