INDEPENDENT 2024-05-25 16:11:23


Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes ‘split after 27 years’

TV presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes are getting a divorce, it’s been claimed.

The couple, who were axed from This Morning in 2020, are said to be splitting after 27 years together, with a spokesperson stating they “are in the process of divorcing”.

Langsford and Holmes, both 64, wed in 2010 after 13 years together and, according to MailOnline, are “determined to stay friends and keep things amicable”.

The outlet says that their pair are preparing an official statement to share with their fans on social media.

It’s been claimed that the relationship breakdown is due to work commitments taking their marriage “in different directions”.

The Independent has contacted both Langsford and Holmes for comment.

In November 2020, the couple were left “furious” after being axed from This Morning in favour of Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary. They had hosted the ITV daytime series’s Friday episode since 2006

Langsford remained with ITV, and regularly features on Loose Women as a host – but former GM:TV host Holmes moved to controversial channel GB News, where he hosts a breakfast show.

Holmes has three children with his first wife, Gabrielle, whom he married in 1985. Their relationship ended in 1994. He began dating Langsford two years later, but the pair kept their romance a secret out of respect for Gabrielle.

After six years together, Holmes and Langsford had a son together and, in June 2010, they married at Elvetham Hall in Hampshire.

Over the years, the couple have hosted a number of shows together, including ITV quiz show Gift Wrapped (2014), Channel 5’s How the Other Half Lives (2015-17) and dieting series Lose a Stone in Four Weeks, which debuted on Channel 4 in 2019.

They also presented Eamonn & Ruth’s 7 Year Itch (2017) and Do The Right Thing with Eamonn and Ruth (2018-19).

The report comes days after Langsford opened up about Holmes’s health issues after the presenter underwent back surgery for chronic back pain he endured for nearly two years.

Langsford told Woman’s Weekly: ‘I don’t know how much Eamonn’s mobility will improve. We live in hope

“He does the physio, but there might have to be some acceptance that this might never be 100% right. With any care situation – and there are millions of carers in this country – it isn’t always easy. It’s testing but we manage as a family.

“I look at Eamonn, who’s had his health and back problems, and it makes you realise how important your health is.”

Warning for thunderstorms and floods on bank holiday Sunday

Weather warnings and dozens of flood alerts have been issued across England and north Wales, as thunderstorms are set to put a dampener on the bank holiday weekend.

After a mixed week, the long weekend began with warmer weather and spells of sunshine, with temperatures expected to rise to 22C in London on Saturday, as Manchester City and Manchester United battle for the FA Cup at Wembley and the general election campaign gets into full swing.

However, bands of rain along England’s east coast and in Cornwall are expected to start moving north across the country on Saturday evening, bringing heavy and thundery showers.

And the stormy conditions are set to intensify on Sunday, prompting the Met Office to issue a major weather warning, stretching from Middlesbrough in the North East and Sedbergh in Cumbria to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, ranging from England’s east to west coast and to northwest Wales.

That alert will be in force from midday until 8pm on Sunday, with Met Office forecasters warning that the heavy showers and thunderstorms may cause flooding and disruption.

Sudden flooding could create difficult driving conditions, or even lead to communities being cut off by road closures, with a small chance of homes and businesses becoming rapidly flooded or damaged by lightning strikes, forecasters said.

Trains and bus services could face cancellations and delays, with the chance of power cuts and other services to some homes and businesses being lost, the Met Office warned.

As much as 20mm to 30mm could fall over a few hours and there may be hail and lightning strikes.

The Environment Agency has issued 26 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible – mostly centred in southern England to the west of London, but also near Derby and Shrewsbury.

But the picture will brighten somewhat on Monday with drier conditions possible in parts of Wales, Northern Ireland and southwest England in the afternoon. A mix of “sunshine and showers” will be the case for many on Monday, forecasters said.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “Overall, it’s a pretty mixed picture, Saturday’s probably the best of the bunch, but there will still be some sunshine around on Sunday and Monday, but we’ll certainly be dodging downpours.

“Watch out for some thunderstorms, especially across parts of northern and central England and northeast Wales too.”

Early mist and fog clearing, leaving generally a dry and fine day. Cloudy with some sunnier interludes. The odd shower around with some longer spells of rain around North Sea coasts and later into the southwest. Warm in the sunshine.

Often cloudy overnight with outbreaks of showery rain. Heavy in places, particularly in the southwest and also northern England and southern parts of Scotland. Feeling mild under cloudier skies.

A cloudy start with spells of rain. Turning showery into the afternoon with some sunny spells in between any showers, though these heavy and thundery at times. Temperatures around average.

An unsettled start to the week with sunshine and showers for bank holiday Monday. Cloudy with longer spells of rain on Tuesday and further showers on Wednesday. Feeling cooler.

Additional reporting by PA

Live – Charles Leclerc claims pole position

Formula 1 returns to one of the most prestigious venues on the calendar as the famous Circuit de Monaco plays host to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

Max Verstappen got back to winning ways last time out in Imola, though the Red Bull driver did have to thwart a late challenge from Lando Norris, who finished less than a second behind.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed the podium and this weekend will compete at his home race where, following years of near-misses, he is yet to secure a top-three finish.

Verstappen won last year’s race in Monaco, setting it up after a pulsating qualifying lap denied Fernando Alonso pole position, while Lewis Hamilton is a three-time winner around the tight twists and turns of the principality.

Follow live updates from the Monaco Grand Prix with The Independent

The 8 best movies we saw at the Cannes Film Festival

It was a strange Cannes Film Festival this year. Usually by the festival’s halfway mark, there are plenty of films earmarked as future classics – titles whose premieres lead to a spring in journalists’ steps as they leave the screening rooms and ones whose journey towards awards success might just have been kickstarted.

In their place this year seemed to be films of varying quality, whose quality nobody could agree on. But sure enough, the brilliant films started flowing in as freely as the booze being poured at the many parties peppered along the croisette – and with them, a sense of haughty unease was replaced by excited relief.

Enthusiastic word-of-mouth soon started eclipsing what had initially been the festival’s divisive conversation starters: Francis Ford Coppola’s $130m experiment Megalopolis, Jacques Audiard’s crime musical comedy genre mash-up Emilia Pérez, and the first part of Kevin Costner’s Western five-part franchise, Horizon: An American Saga.

Our personal count this year was 22 films screened across the In Competition and Directors’ Fortnight strands, and below are the eight films that stood out as highlights.

It’s worth noting that The Independent was unable to see Palme d’Or The Seed of the Sacred Fig, which was shot covertly in Iran by director Mohammad Rasoulof. The winner is announced today (25 May).

All We Imagine as Light

“Some people call this the city of dreams, but I don’t – I think it’s the city of illusions,” one character says of Mumbai midway through Payal Kapadia’s enthralling All We Imagine as Light. It perhaps best sums up a film that, on the surface, is a gentle tale about love, and past and present merging with the uncertainty of the future. But Kapadia creates something altogether deeper, depicting the Indian city in ways rarely seen before, her direction free-wheeling yet note-perfect. Accompanied by an ethereal original score by Topshe, All We Imagine as Light is a search for meaning, an ode to belonging – and a quiet masterpiece. Our pick for the Palme d’Or.

Anora

If there were any doubts that Sean Baker is one of the most exciting American directors working today, Anora douses them in petrol, sets them alight – and then does it again to be sure. His slice-of-life storytelling style, so brilliantly captured in Tangerine, The Florida Project and Red Rocket, this time around focuses on an exotic dancer whose life is upheaved by the kooky, and very rich, son of a Russian billionaire (a star-making role for Mark Eydelshteyn). Mikey Madison is wondrous as the protagonist, effusing Ani – don’t call her Anora – with an abrasive energy that never drags, while the midway point sees the film evolve from a Pretty Woman-lite romcom into a screwball comedy of errors that would have made Preston Sturges proud. And blush.

Gazer

Electrician-turned-filmmaker Ryan J Sloan’s debut (co-written by and starring his partner Ariella Mastroianni) is a striking cult hit-in-waiting – a paranoid thriller with Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch in its veins. There’ll be dissenters who say this muted thriller, following a woman who struggles to perceive how much time has elapsed, wears its influences too obviously on its sleeve, but that is to do it a disservice: Gazer is an admirably accomplished first feature made independently by two film enthusiasts with no formal training in screenwriting or directing. The result is a mystery drama oozing in confidence that places two new filmmaking voices on the map.

The Girl with the Needle

The Girl with the Needle was perhaps the bleakest film screened in competition at this year’s Cannes, and has a strong case for being one of the bleakest in cinema history – one look at the far-too-revealing plot synopsis will fill you in as to why. But don’t let that put you off. This staggeringly bold second feature from Sweat director Magnus van Horn is a chilly, shape-shifting descent into hell set in the aftermath of the First World War. It’s a worthwhile watch if you can stomach the film’s surprises. Danish national treasure Trine Dyrholm is on remarkable form (the less you know about her character the better), but Vic Carmen Sonne is the tie that binds. The actor is perfectly cast as Karoline, a force of nature whose pep for life erodes with every bad turn she experiences after falling pregnant with her boss’s baby.

Grand Tour

Miguel Gomes might make films more attuned for arthouse lovers, but Grand Tour is an unusually accessible work from the Portugese filmmaker. The mystery it presents – recounted by a series of anonymous narrators – feels low stakes, which heightens its soothing nature. Set in 1918, Grand Tour follows a British civil servant (Gonçalo Waddington) who purposefully evades his fiancée Molly Singleton (Crista Alfaiate), who is attempting to locate him. The result might not win Gomes any new fans, but his loyalists will lap up the film’s shining and beguilingly evocative moments.

Mongrel

There were multiple walkouts in my screening of the challenging Mongrel, but that’s no reflection on the quality of Wei Liang Chiang and You Qiao’s impressive film. Produced by slow cinema supremo Hou Hsiao-hsien, Mongrel is, at its core, about suffering, and has a moroseness pervading every one of its beautifully captured shots. It’s arthouse cinema for the most patient of viewers, anchored by a magnetic performance from Wanlop Rungkumjad, who plays a caregiver also caught up in a scheme involving illegal migrant workers.

The Substance

Every Cannes has one: a love it or hate it title that becomes a word-of-mouth sensation thanks to the sheer division it creates among festivalgoers. No, we’re not talking about the so-bad-it-still-isn’t-good Megalopolis, but The Substance, a body horror that goes places even body horror aficionados will be shocked by. Helping this film’s cause are a few things – firstly, it’s the second film from Coralie Fargeat, whose gory thriller Revenge marked her out as one to watch back in 2017 – but, secondly it marks a return-of-sorts for 1990s icon Demi Moore, who is fantastically cast as an ageing Hollywood star who takes a black market drug to create a younger version of herself. The Substance is as gruesome as they come, culminating with an extended sequence that needs to be experienced with a crowd.

To a Land Unknown

The fact this started filming six months before its Cannes premiere is nothing short of impressive. The labour of love placed into this film, from Palestinian-Danish director Mahdi Fleifel, is clear from scene one and right through to its heart-wrenching final shot. The story follows cousins Chatila and Reda, two immigrants shafted by a smuggler who leaves them stranded in Athens despite their family living in Germany. Midnight Cowboy is a clear reference point for the nuanced performances by Mahmood Bakri and Aram Sabbah, whose charisma is cast-iron proof they’ll be on screen again very soon.

Strictly scandal as Giovanni ‘faces official allegations’

Strictly Come Dancing is facing its biggest scandal in history due to reported allegations against Giovanni Pernice.

It’s being reported that the Italian professional dancer, who has been embroiled in controversy since his celebrity partner Amanda Abbington unexpectedly quit the show in 2023, is the centre of an investigation being assisted a number of celebrities he has previously been paired with.

While Sherlock star Abbington originally cited “medical reasons” for her decision to leave, she went on to request what was described by a source as “tense” footage of her rehearsals with Pernice for a supposed investigation. The actor then revealed she was “diagnosed with mild PTSD after Strictly for several reasons”.

It was alleged in March that Good Morning Britain host Ranvir Singh and former Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore, who previously said she was “uncomfortable” with Pernice, had a “tearful summit” with Abbington about their respective “difficult experiences” working with the dancer, “who is well known to be intense during training”.

According to The Sun, these files, compiled by an expensive lawyer, include photographic evidence that suggest Pernice’s training regime was so “brutal” that his celebrity partners were left “black and blue”.

However, it’s been claimed that Pernice, who has described himself as a “perfectionist”, is also compiling his own documents that he believes will clear him of any wrong-doing, including audio transcripts of one ex-partner apologising to him for their “difficult” behaviour.

It’s expected that these files will be handed to the BBC, which may prompt the corporation to launch its own investigation into the matter.

A source told the outlet: “The whole situation is deeply unpleasant, and the women fear they risk losing other lucrative BBC contracts if they speak out.

“Despite this, they are pressing ahead because they feel it is the right thing to do – and to prevent anyone else facing anything similar on such a loved family show.”

The Independent has contacted the BBC for comment.

Pernice’s future on the show is currently up in the air, but it’s been claimed he will leave the series to pursue other projects.

The dancer has been a part of Strictly since 2015, and won legions of fans due to his onscreen camaraderie with EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis. The pair won the show in 2021.

Since the news, Pernice has been supported by his fans, and by Debbie McGee, one of his former celebrity Strictly partners.

He was partnered with Whitmore in 2016, and Singh in 2020, finishing in ninth and fifth place, respectively.

Sun, sea and secret escapes: Why Crete should be your top holiday pick

A rich cultural heritage, glorious white-sand coasts and crystal clear seas – if there’s anywhere that ticks the boxes of a beautiful Grecian paradise, it’s the island of Crete.

Stonewashed waterfront cafes and wine bars line the historic 14th Century harbour, Chania, showcasing the early-day Venetian-influence that is now infused in Cretan life. Fringing the island are vast stretches of white-sand and pebble beaches, providing both lively and quiet pockets of paradise for everyone. History-enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to Knossos Palace – a myth-laden 1600 BC fortress where tales of the minotaur are shared by local guides. While for those aching for the great outdoors, Samariá Gorge’s dramatic limestone trails lead to secluded swimming pools fringed with pretty waterfalls.

Crete is abundant with luxury hotels, offering immersive kids’ clubs, pristine Blue Flag shorelines and world-class restaurants. Book with British Airways Holidays and you can secure your holiday with a low deposit and pay the remaining balance off in as many or as few instalments as you like.*

With the added assurance of full ATOL protection (5985), as well as 23kg luggage allowance per person and a 24-hour holiday helpline all you need to do is sit back and dream of Crete. What’s more, British Airways Executive Club members can use their Avios Points for part payment on holiday packages (see ba.com/holidays for more details). Here we pick three incredible stays for the perfect break…

Located within a 10 minute drive of the old town of Rethymnon, and set on a beautiful, 1000m long sand and pebble “Blue Flag” awarded beach, LUXME White Palace is just one example of the ‘Luxury-Made-Easy’ ethos for which Grecotel is famous.

Stylish Grecian white walls adorn the open-style communal spaces here, providing light-filled interiors that lead out to the main deep blue seawater pool, with additional activity pools for children who wish to enjoy their own space. Even better, guests staying in the LUXME White Palace bungalows can step off the private terrace and directly into the ‘swim-up’ shared pool, while those booked into the Yali Suites can indulge in complete privacy with their own pool.

A wonderful waterfront promenade hosting seven restaurants overlooks the beach. Don’t miss adults-only The White with its degustation-style menu, while a visit to Tavernaki, will introduce you to traditional Cretan cuisine and the delights of meze and ouzo. Relaxed afternoons can be spent at ‘Long’ Beach Bar, sipping on an Athenian spritz or a premium wine from the resort’s two on-site wine cellars, against the enchanting backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

Exuding elegance and glamour through traditional Grecian furniture and renaissance-era artwork, this beachfront hotel – situated just 5km from the old town of Rethymnon, set on a prime beachfront location in the heart of the Cretan Riviera – Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort offers quirky decor, eclectically chic accommodation and luxurious facilities.

The central riad-style courtyard, decorated with ferns and palms, is a peaceful place to retire with a book. While the resort’s 69 rooms, 54 suites and 15 villas, shaded with terracotta roofing, contain handcrafted Italian tiles to provide a cool, refreshing feel.

The resort’s centrepiece is, unsurprisingly, the large seawater swimming pool – its inviting hues glistening in the sunlight from dawn to dusk. Around the edges, lily pad-style designer sun lounges provide a heavenly sunbathing spot, while soft mattresses, day beds and even a hydro massage ensure pure relaxation at all times.

Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort offers two dining options: Caramel The Restaurant’s Mediterranean buffet and the Gourmet à la Carte Restaurant. Dishes are mostly created from fresh, seasonal and local produce, much of which is sourced from Agreco Farm, located just 7 minutes from the resort. Fresh salads, delicious hot and cold platters and herbal teas are available in the buffet-style selection – while the Gourmet menu features everything from fruits de mer to succulent lobster spaghetti.

Just 15 minutes’ drive from Heraklion International Airport, and situated on a stunning sandy cove, Amirandes feels as though you’re stepping into an ancient Cretan village; one that encompasses 17 acres of pristine gardens filled with olive and pine trees.

Built to mirror the design of the ancient Minotaur Palace and infused with Minoan and Venetian influences to create an infinitely tranquil setting, Amirandes balances the old with the new. At the centre of the hotel sits an ancient saltwater lagoon – the first glimpse of the natural pools that make up this resort. An Olympic-sized infinity pool surrounded by traditional sandstone, 60 private pools – and, of course, the Mediterranean Sea complete the soothing ambience of the resort.

Book the kids into the complimentary Grecoland Children’s Club, for fun-filled days spent in paddling pools and building sandcastles or playing dress-up and discovering arts and crafts. Teens will be spoilt for choice with mini-golf, a basketball court, five-a-side mini-football pitch and tennis courts.

At the resort’s five restaurants, choose between seafood platters, Asian fusion and hot-off-the-grill steaks – while the central Minotaur restaurant is home to a 30-piece Picasso collection. For those wanting to sample local cuisine, book a table among the olive trees at nearby Logári Taverna – which brings Cretan flavours to life through humble family recipes.

All holidays with British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected and include 23kg baggage allowance per person and a 24-hour holiday helpline. Secure your Crete holiday now with a low deposit* at ba.com/whitepalaceba.com/amirandes and ba.com/caramel

*Based on two sharing. Full balance due four weeks before departure for short haul holidays. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply. See ba.com/deposits

Will TV debates help or hinder the 2024 general election?

In a sign this will be at least as acrimonious as any previous election, Keir Starmer’s rejection of Rishi Sunak’s challenge of six television debates has been described by Tory chair Richard Holden as “chickening out” (even though the Labour leader has offered two, one each on the BBC and ITV).

Labour says it “won’t be tearing up the format established in previous elections just to suit this week’s whims of the Tory party”. However, that’s a little disingenuous because there never has been an established format (quite the opposite, and Sky News has usually had a share of the action). The Euros football tournament will also consume a significant amount of broadcasting time. For all concerned, television debates can be a mixed blessing…

Sunak is fighting a defensive war – and is desperately short of troops

It must be doubly galling for David Frost and David Campbell Bannerman – two of the most indefatigable of the Brexit ultras – to have been placed in some doubt that they will be able to stand as official Conservative Party candidates at the general election. That’s because the Tories are, as The Independent today reports, short of almost 200 parliamentary candidates, a total that will include some which, in any “normal” year, would be reasonably safe seats and excellent prospects for any extreme Eurosceptic looking for a base from which to pursue their obsessions.

Lord Frost in particular will be disappointed, because he is, after all, the co-architect, with Boris Johnson, of the Brexit deal – albeit these days he seems keen to denounce his own handiwork.

The fate of these two wannabe parliamentarians carries meaning and significance far beyond their own ambitions. It is surely a sign that some in the Tory leadership are quietly preparing for life in opposition and the long process of rebuilding to become a serious party of government once again – and to ensure that it is not taken over by the hard right and the Farageistes, either inside the present party or presently hanging around Reform UK.