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Ex-BBC radio host found guilty of stalking Jeremy Vine and three other broadcasters

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A former local BBC radio host has been found guilty of stalking four people including radio and TV broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

Ex-BBC Radio Leeds host Alex Belfield was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court last week of four stalking charges [via BBC News].

Vine, who presents a weekday lunchtime programme on BBC Radio 2 and a weekday morning current affairs show on Channel 5, called Belfield “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” while giving evidence against him.

The broadcaster was referring to the disgraced, late BBC presenter who was found posthumously to have abused hundreds of victims of abuse over his career.

Vine claimed that Belfield had waged a war of abuse against him via social media and via Belfield’s YouTube channel, ‘The Voice Of Reason’. Belfield has been suspended from the platform on more than one occasion.

Vine added: “I have in the past had a physical stalker who followed me. That is a picnic compared to this guy. It’s like an avalanche of hatred that you get hit by.”

BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith told the court he was left feeling suicidal by what he called Belfield’s “tsunami of hate”.

Belfield’s contract with BBC Radio Leeds ended in 2011. He decided to not give evidence at his trial, claiming previously that he was the victim of a “witch-hunt” and “pile-on” by other broadcasters.

He wasn’t accused of physically stalking the complainants but instead made YouTube videos about them, posted messages on social media, and sent emails to them or about them.

The former presenter was granted bail and will be sentenced on September 16.

In other news, Mock The Week has been cancelled after 17 years on the BBC.

Presenter and comedian Dara O’Briain confirmed the news last week (August 2), joking that the UK “has finally run out of news”.

“The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers,” he said in a statement. “It couldn’t go on.”



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The 1975 worked on unreleased version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’

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Matty Healy has revealed that The 1975 worked on Taylor Swift‘s latest album ‘Midnights’, but said those songs “never came out”.

During a recent interview with Kroq’s DTS Sound Space, Healy recalled how Swift had heard some of his band’s latest record ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ through Jack Antonoff prior to its release.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – The 1975: “I’d rather be a pretend supervillain than pretend hero”

Antonoff worked as a producer on that record as well as ‘Midnights’, and has helmed many of Swift’s other studio projects.

Asked whether the star “returned the favour” and let Healy and co. have an early preview of ‘Midnights’, the frontman replied: “Yeah. We actually worked a bit on that. But then [that] version of it never came out.”

Some audience members then booed in response to the revelation, to which Healy said: “No, no, no – that’s not how it works. It [didn’t work out] for reasons that are not to be criticised. She’s amazing.”

Check out the clip in the tweet below.

Healy appeared as a featured guest on a “leaked” tracklist for ‘Midnights’ in September, but he subsequently confirmed it was fake.

Later, the musician shut down rumours of a collaboration with Swift during an interview with BBC Radio 1.

“We’d love to… love to work with Taylor Swift,” Healy said. “[I] love Taylor Swift… think she’s one of the best songwriters. Yeah, no… we haven’t done that. We’d love to though, wouldn’t we?”

Back in 2019, Healy said he wanted to produce an “intimate acoustic album” for Swift. He later explained that he didn’t take the opportunity to ask the singer to team up on a project when the pair crossed paths at the NME Awards 2020.

The 1975 are currently out on a North American headline tour, which kicked off earlier this month.

Last night’s show in Los Angeles (November 28) saw Phoebe Bridgers make a surprise on-stage appearance to cover ‘Milk’.

The 1975 are set to bring their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour to the UK and Ireland in January 2023. It was confirmed last week that the band’s Dirty Hit label mate Bonnie Kemplay will support them at those shows. You can find any remaining tickets here.



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Kanye West walks out of interview after being challenged over antisemitic views

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Kanye West walked out of an interview yesterday (November 28) after being challenged over his antisemitic views.

As Consequence reports, the rapper was recording a conversation for Tim Pool’s Timcast podcast with alt-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

  • READ MORE: With his “White Lives Matter” stunt, has Kanye West finally hit the point of no return?

The discussion began with Pool asking Ye about his recent meeting with Donald Trump, but the ‘DONDA’ artist quickly said that he had to “go to the heart of this antisemite claim”.

It’s said that he then went into an incoherent rant – accusing Gap, Adidas, Vogue, and Trump and Barack Obama of taking part in Jewish-led conspiracy to end his career. When Pool pushed back against West, the rapper threatened to stop the interview.

West said: “I feel like it’s a setup… I’m going to walk the F off the show if I’m having to talk about, ‘You can’t say Jewish people did it’, when every sensible person knows – that Jon Stewart knows – what happened to me, and they took it too far.”

Soon afterwards, Ye compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr. “As I’m getting hosed down every day by the press and financially, I’m just standing there,” he explained.

“When I found out they were trying to put me in jail, it was like a dog was biting my arm and I almost shed a tear. Almost. But I still walked in stride through it.”

In response, Pool acknowledged to West that “they have been extremely unfair”, leading Ye to ask who he meant by “they… we can’t say who they is?”. Pool said he was referring to the “corporate press” before Fuentes cut in to defend West.

The rapper then removed his headphones and left the studio. You can watch the conversation in the above video.

Ye has faced significant backlash of late after making a series of antisemitic remarks, wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt, and expressing false claims about the death of George Floyd.

Additionally, it was alleged that he had praised “Hitler and the Nazis” during a 2018 interview with TMZ (the conversation in question is said to have been edited prior to its release).



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BRIT Awards announce Rising Star shortlist for 2023

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The shortlist for the BRITs 2023‘s Rising Star award has been revealed – check it out below.

Formerly known as the Critics’ Choice award, the statue recognises British acts who haven’t yet achieved an Official Album Charts Top 20 or had more than one Top 20 in the Official Singles Chart as of October 31, 2022.

The shortlist is selected by a panel of music industry experts such as editors, critics, songwriters, producers and live bookers.

Notable previous winners include Adele (2008), Florence + The Machine (2009), Sam Smith (2014), James Bay (2015), Jorja Smith (2018) and Sam Fender (2019). This year saw Holly Humberstone take home the prize.

Today (November 29), it’s been announced that Cat Burns, FLO and Nia Archives are all in the running for 2023’s BRITs Rising Star award. The winner will be revealed next Thursday (December 8).

Burns, who this year released her debut EP ‘Emotionally Unavailable’, said: “A BRITs Rising Star nomination was a major thing on my bucket list for me this year, so to have achieved that honestly means the world to me.

“I’m super grateful for the year I’ve had and am so honoured to have been chosen!”

FLO, whose first EP ‘The Lead’ came out in July, added: “It’s a dream come true to receive a BRIT nomination less than a year after dropping our first single. We all grew up watching the BRITs with our mums, and have been inspired by the girl groups and powerful female artists who have performed on that stage.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has believed in our vision so far and can’t wait to share more music with the world. Girl groups are back and we want to pave the way for more artists to achieve their dreams. We hope that this is the first of many BRIT nominations for FLO.”

Recent NME Big Read cover star Nia Archives commented: “Words won’t describe how I’m feeling about being nominated for the BRITs Rising Star. Growing up and watching it on TV, I really never thought it could happen to someone like me. I’m just so overwhelmed and happy right now.”

The BRIT Awards 2023 is set to take place on Saturday, February 11 at The O2 in London. Next year’s ceremony will mark the BRITs’ 30th anniversary. Further announcements are due in the coming months.



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