Billy Barrett: Responsible Adult star honoured by International Emmys win

Billy Barrett is only 13 years old and he’s just become the youngest person to win an International Emmy.

On Monday, Billy won best actor for his performance in the hard-hitting BBC drama series Responsible Child.

And the drama itself, which tells the story of a young boy put on trial for the murder of his father, won the prize for best TV movie or miniseries.

Speaking in his school lunch hour on Tuesday, Billy said he was “honoured and very happy”.

The ceremony was conducted virtually, hosted by veteran US TV, film and stage actor Richard Kind, known for Mad About You and Hereafter.

“Hello and welcome to the first, and hopefully the last virtual International Emmy Awards!” Kind said, raising a glass of champagne to viewers.

The other big winners on the night were Glenda Jackson, who won best actress for Elizabeth Is Missing, based on Emma Healey’s best-selling novel.

It tells the story of an elderly woman suffering from dementia while struggling to solve a murder mystery – a role which previously earned Jackson a Bafta.

Netflix won best drama series for its Indian programme Delhi Crime, while Brazilian show Nobody’s Looking took the best comedy award.

Billy was watching the ceremony at home with his family and his win came as a big shock, he told BBC News from his stage school Sylvia Young.

“They were playing the clips and I was watching and saying, ‘They’ve won’, and was getting ready to clap and then they said ‘Billy Barrett’ and I was so confused. My whole family was like, ‘Oh, my god’, so it’s very exciting.

“And it’s kind of crazy (to be the youngest winner), I don’t know what to think about it.

“But my teachers and the other students are all really supportive and really nice about it and happy for me.”

Responsible Child was a one-off BBC drama that was shown in December last year.

It followed 12-year-old Ray who, along with his 23-year-old older brother Nathan, was arrested for murdering their abusive stepfather.

Both are tried as adults, as the minimum age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 and the series explores the issues surrounding the law.

Billy played the central role of Ray and his brother Nathan was played by James Tarpey. It was a tough part for a 12-year-old but Ray said he had plenty of help.

“I had a lot of people around me like the director, Kudos [the production company], the BBC, all my cast mates, they were all really supportive and in between takes it was all fun and jokes, trying to keep things as light as possible.

“We had an acting coach and she was really good and she told us how to get in and out of character and leave Ray onset and get back to our lives when we went home.”

Responsible Child was loosely based on the real life case of 14-year-old Jerome Ellis and his older brother Joshua, 23. Both said they killed their stepfather because he was abusive and had previously threatened to kill Joshua, who struggled with depression.

It also featured Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve), Shaun Dingwall (Noughts and Crosses, Top Boy), Debbie Honeywood (Sorry We Missed You, Vera) and Angela Wynter (EastEnders, Les Miserables).

Billy said making the drama was particularly “challenging” at times, especially one of the last scenes.

“Ray is having a freak out and noticing what he’s done and that particular scene was very powerful and I had to take a minute afterwards and everyone sat down and had a think about it and readjusted.

“It was all very challenging and it is a true story so if I got it wrong I would have offended quite a lot of people. That was quite hard.”

Billy has also starred in The White Princess and Blinded By The Light.

Two days of Billy’s week is taken up with learning acting, dancing and singing whilst the other three are for academic work.

Once he’s finished at Sylvia Young, Billy says he hopes to go the London Screen Academy, which teaches everything about film-making, including directing, lighting, producing and costume design alongside acting.

And his dream is to star in an action film and also a comedy.

Archie Lyndhursts parents say final farewell to dearest boy

The funeral of actor Archie Lyndhurst took place on Monday, nine weeks after the 19-year old CBBC star died.

Archie, who was the son of Only Fools and Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, was best known for playing Ollie Coulton in the comedy show So Awkward.

His mum Lucy Lyndhurst wrote on Monday: “Tonight at 6pm Nick and I shall be with him in a tiny chapel to send him on the first part of his next journey.”

The coroner’s report on the cause of death is yet to be published.

Posting on Instagram, Archie’s mum added: “We still have no answer as to what happened but wait patiently for the report to be written up in the next 10 weeks.”

In a statement issued just after Archie died, Nicholas said he and Lucy were “utterly grief stricken and respectfully request privacy”.

It is with the heaviest heart that I write this post. Nine weeks ago our dearest boy Archie was taken from us way too early. We still have no answer as to what happened but wait patiently for the report to be written up in the next 10 weeks.

The pain of our loss is beyond anything we have ever felt before, and wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Archie was, and remains our absolute world. He was the most beautiful extraordinary human being we have ever known. To have him as our son has been nothing but an utter joy and honour.

Tonight at 6pm Nick and I shall be with him in a tiny chapel to send him on the first part of his next journey. If you get a moment maybe you’d like to light a candle or take a minute just to remember him.

We’ve never known anyone live like Archie. He cherished and absorbed every moment he had. Until we meet again our darling magical boy. We will love you forever and ever and will be forever grateful for choosing us to be your parents. We were beyond lucky.

Thank you for every smile, hug, laugh, conversation – we loved them all. Your kindness and generosity knew no bounds. You were the best teacher we ever had. We miss you every minute of every day. As you would say my darling, “In a bizzle.” “Love You.”

Archie began his acting career at the Sylvia Young Theatre School at the age of 10. In 2013, his father Nicholas told the BBC that his son had inherited the “acting gene”.

Archie appeared in So Awkward, a sitcom following the lives of a group of friends in secondary school, from its first series in 2015.

Nicholas appeared alongside his son in a 2019 episode of the programme.

Archie’s other roles included recurring appearances as a younger incarnation of comedian Jack Whitehall in various TV programmes.

These included BBC Three sitcom Bad Education, in which he was seen as a younger version of Whitehall’s Alfie Wickers character.

Im A Celebrity: Do the contestants rehearse Bushtucker trials?

Reading some recent news reports, you might think ITV should change the name of its hugely popular series to I’m A Celebrity, Let Me Rehearse This Trial Before We Start Filming.

A story in The Sun suggested the campmates (castlemates?) are allowed to practise their Bushtucker trials before having to do them on camera.

This understandably sparked questions from viewers, as well as some previous contestants on the show, who said the same luxury was not extended to them during their time in camp.

So what’s the truth? The explanation lies somewhere in the middle.

“Con of the Castle” was The Sun’s rather amusing front-page headline when the newspaper broke this story on Tuesday.

The paper reported celebrities spend time learning about the trial before the cameras start rolling. The report was careful to point out, however, that these are not full-blown run-throughs as you might imagine them.

For example, the celebrities do not have cockroaches and fish guts dropped on them during rehearsals the way they do in the real thing. Instead, a brief reconnaissance gives the celebrities a chance to get to grips with the props and learn about the mechanics of a trial.

Often, the contestants need to know how certain tools and items work before they can use them. Think of the female contestants’ recent Bar-Baric trial involving a complicated sequence of padlocks and keys. Likewise, Mo Farah’s attempts to access a series of chambers in Fort Locks. Jordan North’s Trapped Door challenge saw him lie flat on a cart and pull himself along a tunnel using a rope.

All of these trials require the celebrities to understand the materials they’re going to be working with before they actually attempt them. A technical run-through gives them a chance to get their bearings.

An insider on the show pointed out: “Endless trials all resulting in celebrities getting stuck on intricacies such as locks and keys would make [viewers] switch off. They don’t get a warm-up, per se, but are told and shown what they need to do to wriggle out of specific parts of trials.

“They are told what the rules are, what to expect, and ultimately how to beat it. Viewers would much rather see contestants succeeding than failing on a technicality.”

In a statement to BBC News, a spokesman for I’m A Celebrity added: “Contestants are told the instructions of a trial and producers ensure that they understand what is required of them in line with our health and safety procedures. Any suggestion of run-throughs or practising is incorrect.”

However, The Sun also spoke to Kim Woodburn, a previous contestant on the show. She was shocked by the story about rehearsals, telling the paper: “This isn’t the jungle – it’s an absolute farce. It’s a cheat. I am truly appalled.”

This reaction suggests celebrities haven’t always had the option of running through the trial beforehand. But Woodburn took part in the 2009 series, quite some time ago, so it’s likely protocols have changed over the last decade.

It’s also worth noting this year’s series is in a new location with a new format for the trials, which brings us to the second question:

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that this year’s series is taking place in a Welsh castle rather than an Australian jungle.

It also probably hasn’t escaped your notice that all the trials so far have taken place indoors and in darkness.

But why is that the case? It may not be Australia, but even in the winter months Wales still gets sunlight, right?

Well, here’s how it works. Ant and Dec gather the celebrities together to announce who the unlucky celebrity is that the public have voted to do the next trial. This is normally done live at the end of the episode.

But the celebrities barely have any time to be scared, as they’re whisked off to do the trial almost immediately.

This year, the chosen campmates stay up late at night, after the show has come off air, in order to film the trial.

As a result, all of the other contestants also have to stay up until they return, so they can greet their castlemate and find out how the trial went.

The main reason for doing this is simply that the show’s production team want to leave as much time as possible to edit footage together for the following evening’s episode.

If they had to wait until the next morning to shoot the trials, they’d be in a tight race against time to make sure all the footage was edited together and cut down to the correct length in time for the 9pm broadcast.

That’s not to say we don’t see footage that’s been filmed during daylight hours. Some tasks have taken place during the day – such as the Castle Coin challenge which saw Jordan and Ruthie separating and organising a herd of ducks.

Bear in mind that when the show is filmed in Australia, the bit where Ant & Dec announce which celeb is doing the trial happens first thing in the morning for them, due to the time difference.

That allows them to film the trial during daylight hours, while the UK is fast asleep.

But staying on Greenwich Mean Time this year means the celebrities have to film the trials during the night, which is why no trial so far has taken place outdoors or even in daylight.

Jordan North is terrified enough as it is, the poor lad doesn’t need sub zero night-time outdoor British temperatures to make things more difficult.

I’m a Celebrity continues nightly on ITV until 4 December.

Streaming payments are threatening the future of music

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey says the way artists are paid for audio streams is “threatening the future of music”.

“That sounds very dramatic,” he told MPs, “but if musicians can’t afford to pay the rent… we haven’t got tomorrow’s music in place.”

The musician was giving evidence to a DCMS Committee inquiry into the streaming music market.

MPs heard the coronavirus crisis had made it apparent that artists’ earnings from streaming are “pretty horrific”.

“Young musicians who rely on live income are really going to struggle,” said Radiohead’s guitarist, Ed O’ Brien.

His comments were backed up by Mercury-nominated musician Nadine Shah, who said “earnings from my streaming are not significant enough to keep the wolf away from the door”.

Shah said she was speaking on behalf of “many fellow musicians”, who were afraid to speak out “because we do not want to lose favour with the streaming platforms and the major labels”.

Young musicians are “afraid”, agreed Tom Gray, from the rock band Gomez. “They’re worried that if they speak, they won’t be playlisted.”

The inquiry came after the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out a year of touring income, focusing artists’ attention on the money they made from their records.

At the start of the lockdown, the Musicians’ Union and Ivors Academy launched the Keep Music Alive campaign, calling streaming royalties “woefully insufficient” and urging the Government to undertake a review.

It runs in parallel with an online campaign called #BrokenRecord, founded by Gray, which seeks to address inequities in how streaming profits are shared between record labels, musicians and the streaming services themselves.

Addressing MPs, Gray acknowledged that the exploitation of artists was a story as old as the music industry itself, but said streaming had “made the problem worse and more profound”.

At present, Spotify is believed to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream, while Apple Music pays about £0.0059. YouTube pays the least – about £0.00052 (or 0.05 pence) per stream.

All of that money goes to rights-holders, a blanket term that covers everything from massive record companies to artists who release their own music. That money is then divided up between everyone involved in making the record.

Often, the recording artist will only receive about 13% of the revenue, with labels and publishers keeping the rest.

Explaining the discrepancy, Gray told MPs that many musicians are tied to archaic contracts, formulated in the era of cassettes and CDs, that do not reflect the realities of the 21st Century music business.

For example, he said, “major label deals still have clauses in them for physical breakages” – meaning 10% of an artist’s royalties are automatically deducted to cover the cost of damaged vinyl and CDs, even when the majority of music is being played online.

Independent labels tend to make more equitable deals, with some offering a 50/50 split of the profits, he added.

O’Brien acknowledged Radiohead had earned millions from their music – but said he was speaking up on behalf of less fortunate artists.

“The inherent problem we have as musicians is we love what we do. It’s like therapy. I had years of depression and I kept my head above water because I’m in this band with my brothers.

“I would do this for free,” he added, “and that’s precisely what’s been taken advantage of”.

Most of the musicians were careful to praise streaming services – saying they used them to discover new music and reach new audiences – but asked the government to ensure a more equitable distribution of revenues.

“I’m not here to argue for Paul McCartney to get more money,” said Gray. Instead, he noted that the world’s three biggest record labels, none of which are based in the UK, were currently enjoying “the best profit margins they have ever made in their history”.

“If we rebalance this, money goes into the UK economy,” he said. “It seems like a bit of a no-brainer. We need to protect our talent pipeline.”

Im A Celeb: The man teaching Ant and Dec to speak Welsh

“Noswaith dda” may not be the usual welcome message to primetime British television – until now.

Welsh for ‘Good evening’, it has been the nightly greeting from hosts Ant and Dec on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity.

But they are not the only Welsh words sprinkled across the show filmed at Gwrych Castle in north Wales this year.

It is all with the help of a former BBC Wales journalist and TV executive Garffild Lloyd Lewis, who lives in a neighbouring village.

He was asked to lend a hand to the show, when it was first revealed it would be heading to the castle site in Abergele, in Conwy.

It followed calls from the chairman of the Gwrych Castle Trust for the programme to give the Welsh language “sensible attention”, said Mr Lewis.

“We’ve been working closely with the production team planning ahead, for example putting Welsh names up around the castle,” explained Mr Lewis, of Llangernyw.

So alongside signs for ‘Ye Olde Shoppe’ is a sign for ‘Yr Hen Siop’ while campmates covered in cockroaches or fish guts from bush-tucker trials head straight for the ‘Ystafell Ymolchi’ (bathroom).

“We have also been sending a number of audio files back and forth to Ant and Dec on how to pronounce words,” said Mr Lewis.

“Sometimes it’s a few days before hand and sometimes half an hour before the programme. On Sunday night we got a call about 10 minutes before the program asking how to pronounce ‘Deganwy’ and ‘Conwy’.

“They may not always get everything right but the attitude is great.”

According to latest figures, over 45,000 people in Conwy county speak Welsh – just over 40% of the population.

Across north Wales, almost 280,000 people speak the language, including two-thirds of islanders on Anglesey, where the series and its celebrities opened the show.

“Things might have seemed a bit stereotypical at first but we’ve also been discussing that the language has to be fun, we don’t want the language to be academic,” said Mr Lewis.

“We want them to have fun with [it] but not poke fun at the language.”

EastEnders wins big at Inside Soap Awards

EastEnders was the big winner at the first virtual Inside Soap Awards, earning a total of five trophies including best soap.

Coronation Street came away with four awards, with three for its storyline of Geoff Metcalfe’s increasing coercive control over his wife Yasmeen Nazir.

I’m A Celebrity contestant Jessica Plummer won best actress for playing Eastenders’ Chantelle Atkins.

The ceremony was broadcast on Monday night via Facebook and YouTube.

Other EastEnders winners were Lorraine Stanley who was honoured for the funniest performance for her turn as Karen Taylor, while Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer were voted best partnership as married couple Linda and Mick Carter.

Plummer, who is currently appearing on I’m A Celebrity, described her win as “one of the biggest achievements of my career”.

She claimed the best actress award after her character was murdered as part of a domestic abuse storyline.

“It was an honour to even be nominated, so I’m completely blown away,” she continued.

“I came off social media for a quite long time (for me) after my final episode aired as I personally had to mourn my character and all the changes in my life, but, when I came back, the reception I got from everyone was so heart-warming.

“Chantelle was a loved character and it really was an honour to play her.”

Meanwhile, Corrie actor Ian Bartholomew took home the awards for both best actor and best villain for his role as the manipulative Geoff Metcalfe, who subjects his wife Yasmeen to a sustained campaign of domestic abuse.

Shelley King, who plays Yasmeen, was named the best show-stopper of the year, for the scene where her character suddenly finds the courage to fight back against Geoff.

Speaking about his wins, Bartholomew said: “For me, witnessing Shelley crumbling as Yasmeen, and watching this character that I was playing destroy her in front of me was actually really quite upsetting.

“I felt bad doing all those things, but we both wanted to do it as well and as truthfully as we could.”

King said or her winning show-stopper performance: “People were shouting at me from their cars, going, ‘Yeah, good on ya, Yas!’ It was lovely.”

Dyer said of his joint win with Bright for best partnership: “We have been through so much together on this show.

“It is always a joy to come and work with Kellie. She is a brilliant actress.”

ITV’s Emmerdale’s also won the award for best family for its characters the Dingles, with Lisa Riley, who plays Mandy Dingle, accepting the trophy.

“We are all so proud, we really do feel like one big, happy northern family,” said Riley.

“We love what we do, and we really care, so obviously that comes through on the screen. And as we always say – Dingle till we die.”

Other winners at the ceremony included Mollie Gallagher who won for best newcomer for her role as Nina Lucas on Coronation Street.

Casualty star Cathy Shipton won best drama star for her role as Lisa ‘”Duffy” Duffin and Neighbours won for best daytime soap.

EastEnders also claimed the inaugural feel-good moment award, in recognition of Walford celebrating Pride for the first time.

Director Tristram Shapeero apologises to Lukas Gage after unmuted comments

Director Tristram Shapeero has apologised after unwittingly commenting on an actor’s “tiny apartment” without realising he could be heard.

Euphoria actor Lukas Gage was auditioning for a role via Zoom earlier this year when an unmuted Shapeero began making comments about his home.

Gage uploaded the video of the encounter to Twitter this week.

Shapeero apologised to Gage at the time and has now written an open letter to him about his “unacceptable” remarks.

In the video, which includes bad language and was posted on Twitter by Gage on Saturday, the actor can be seen in his apartment about to audition on Zoom for a screen role.

An unseen Shapeero can then be heard saying: “These poor people live in these tiny apartments. Like I’m looking at his, you know, background and he’s got his TV…”

But Shapeero doesn’t get any further before Gage interjects: “I know it’s a [rubbish] apartment that’s why [you should] give me this job so I can get a better one.”

Realising his previous comment was audible, Shapeero immediately apologises, telling Gage: “Oh my god, I am so, so sorry… I am absolutely mortified.”

With a smile, Gage responds: “It’s totally… Listen, I’m living in a four-by-four box, just give me the job and we’ll be fine.”

When he posted the video on Twitter, Gage captioned it: “Public service announcement: If you’re a [trash] talking director, make sure to mute [yourself] on Zoom meetings.”

The audition took place in August 2020, so it is not clear why Gage has only now decided to share the footage on social media.

But after posting it on Twitter on Saturday, the video went viral – it was viewed more than 9 million times and has now received nearly 300,000 likes and more than 30,000 retweets.

Gage received support from major figures in the film and TV industry, including Judd Apatow, Seth MacFarlane and Billy Eichner.

Fans immediately began speculating as to who the director could be – as Gage’s tweet did not identify him by name.

Shapeero is a well-known producer and director in Hollywood and has worked on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Never Have I Ever.

On Tuesday morning, Tristram Shapeero came forward to confirm he was the unseen director and apologise to Gage again, this time via an open letter published in Deadline.

“First and foremost I offer Mr Gage a sincere and unvarnished apology for my offensive words, my unprofessional behaviour during the audition and for not giving him the focus and attention he deserved,” he wrote.

“My job is to evaluate performers against the part I am trying to cast. Lukas deserved better.”

Shapeero also clarified his meaning particularly around the use of the word “poor”.

“I was using the word ‘poor’ in the sense of deserving sympathy, as opposed to any economic judgment,” he explained.

“My words were being spoken from a genuine place of appreciation for what the actors were having to endure, stuck in confined spaces, finding it within themselves to give a role-winning performance under these conditions.”

He concludes: “As I say on the video, I’m mortified about what happened. While I can’t put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube, I move forward from this incident a more empathetic man; a more focused director and I promise, an even better partner to actors from the audition process to the final cut.”

The Indian bride who wore a pantsuit to her wedding

Sanjana Rishi says she wore a vintage, powder-blue pantsuit to her traditional Indian wedding recently “simply because I love suits”.

But, with her choice of wedding outfit, she also delivered a bold fashion statement – that made many wonder whether more brides would ditch traditional clothing in favour of the power suit.

In the West, bridal pantsuits have caught on in the past few years. Designers are promoting trousers in their wedding collections, and they’ve received celebrity endorsement too. Last year, Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner wore a pair of white trousers when she married musician Joe Jonas in Las Vegas.

But, Ms Rishi’s outfit was highly unusual for India – where brides usually dress up in silk saris or elaborate lehengas (long skirt-blouse-scarf combos). The preferred colour is red and many are embroidered with expensive gold or silver thread.

“I’ve never come across an Indian bride dressed like this,” says Nupur Mehta, former editor of a bridal magazine. “Brides usually like to wear Indian attire along with the traditional jewellery from their mothers and grandmothers.

“This was something very new. And she really stood out.”

An Indian-American entrepreneur, Ms Rishi, 29, married Delhi businessman Dhruv Mahajan, 33, on 20 September in the capital, Delhi.

She had worked as a corporate lawyer in the US before returning to India last year and the couple were living together for close to a year.

They had planned a wedding in September in the US – where the bride’s brother and most of her friends live – and a second traditional Indian wedding in Delhi in November.

But then Covid happened and their plans “got completely derailed”.

Unlike America, there is little acceptance of live-in relationships in India and Ms Rishi says that, although her parents are “incredibly progressive, there was a lot of external pressure from friends, neighbours and extended family to formalise the relationship.

So, in late August, “one fine morning I woke up and said, ‘let’s just get married'”.

Ms Rishi says the moment she thought of getting married, she knew exactly what her outfit was going to be.

“I knew I was going to wear a pantsuit, and I knew exactly which one,” she told me.

Ms Rishi, who “believes in environmentally sustainable fashion” and generally buys a lot of second-hand clothes, says she had seen the suit in a boutique in Italy a long time ago.

“It was a pre-loved vintage suit, made in the 1990s by Italian designer Gianfranco Ferré. I was surprised and delighted to know that it was still available when I decided to get married.”

While working as a corporate lawyer in the US, suits were her choice of clothing because all the “strong modern women I idolised” wore them too.

“I have always thought that there is something very powerful about a woman in a pantsuit. I loved them and I wore them all the time.”

It also made sense, she says, since the wedding was a small intimate affair, attended by only 11 people including the bride and the groom and the priest.

“It was just our parents and grandparents. The wedding took place in Dhruv’s backyard. Everyone was very casually dressed, it would have been really awkward if I was dressed up in an elaborate wedding costume. I would have looked so overdressed.”

Mr Mahajan says he hadn’t anticipated his fiancée turning up in a pantsuit.

“Until I saw her, I had no idea what she’d be wearing, but it really didn’t matter because I knew that whatever Sanj wore, she’d rock it.”

In fact, he says when he first saw her, “I didn’t even notice at first that she was wearing trousers, all I noticed was how stunning she looked. She looked angelic, absolutely gorgeous”.

“I can go on with more adjectives,” he laughs.

Ms Rishi’s wedding outfit has created a stir on social media.

After she posted some images on Instagram, friends and followers complimented her on her looks – they called her stunning, beautiful, awesome and “the coolest bride”.

Fashion designers and fashionistas, too, approved of her choice.

“OMG, how great do you look!!!” wrote designer Masaba Gupta; and Rhea Kapoor, Bollywood producer and actress Sonam Kapoor’s sister, described her look as “awesome”.

Anand Bhushan, one of India’s best-known contemporary womenswear designers, told the BBC he loved Ms Rishi’s outfit and that “it is a lovely way for a bride to look”.

“When I saw her photograph, the first thing that went through my mind was, “if Carrie Bradshaw [one of the protagonists in Sex and the City] was Indian, she would dress exactly like this for her wedding.”

But then some bridal accounts shared her pictures and the trolls began trashing her.

In the comments, they said she had brought a bad name to Indian culture, and warned her husband that he was stuck with an attention-seeker who would do anything in the name of feminism. Some said she would never understand Indian traditions because her mind had been influenced by the Western culture. Some “even told me to go kill myself”.

Ms Rishi says she doesn’t understand the criticism since “Indian men wear pantsuits at weddings all the time and nobody questions them – but when a woman wears it then it gets everyone’s goat”.

“But I guess it’s because women are always held to stricter standards,” she says.

And it’s not just in India. Women’s fight to wear trousers has been long and bitter and it goes on globally, with many cultures, even modern ones, frowning upon women who dare to ditch dresses.

Until 2013, it was illegal for women to wear trousers in France.

In South Korea, female students were only recently told that they could buy a set of trousers to replace the skirts that came as standard with their uniforms.

Female students in North Carolina in the US had to go to court to be allowed to wear trousers in school, even in the harsh winter cold. In Pennsylvania, an 18-year-old took on her school for her right to wear trousers last year and won.

A similar resistance to women wearing trousers continues in India.

“Though women in India have worn some sort of stitched trousers or pyjamas for centuries, outside of big metropolitan cities, many conservative families do not allow women to wear trousers or jeans,” Mr Bhushan says.

“In a society dominated by patriarchy, men have become very insecure about women, so they want to dictate women’s behaviour, their reproductive rights, how they talk and laugh and what they wear,” he adds.

Although Ms Rishi says by wearing a pantsuit, she wasn’t trying to make a political statement, she acknowledges that she may have ended up doing it unwittingly.

“I realise that not all women, at least in India, are free to wear what they please. Once I put out my photographs on Instagram, a lot of women wrote back saying that, looking at my pictures, they had also got the courage to stand up to their parents or in-laws about what to wear at their wedding.

“At one level I was very pleased to hear this, but at another level I was also a little concerned. I was thinking, ‘oh no, I’m causing problems in other people’s lives or in other people’s homes.'”

So could a bride wearing a powder-blue pantsuit inspire others to do the same?

Her unusual choice could become “a spark point – it may go into a flame, or it may die out,” Mr Bhushan says.

“I hope it will be the former”,

Major Lindsays widow upset after The Crown includes ski tragedy

The widow of a major killed by an avalanche while skiing with Prince Charles says she was “very upset” over the tragedy’s inclusion in The Crown.

Sarah Horsley told The Sunday Telegraph she asked Netflix not to dramatise the 1988 disaster at Klosters, Switzerland.

Major Hugh Lindsay was a friend of the Prince’s and a former Queen’s equerry.

Mrs Horsley said: “I was horrified when I was told [the episode] was happening and was very concerned about the impact on my daughter.”

She continued: “I’m very upset by it and I’m dreading people seeing it.

“I wrote to them asking them not to do it, not to use the accident.

“I suppose members of the Royal family have to grin and bear it, but for me it’s a very private tragedy.”

Netflix said it would not be commenting on the story.

Mrs Horsley said the producers replied with “a very kind letter”, saying “that they understood my concerns but they hope I will feel that they deal with difficult subject matters with integrity and great sensitivity”.

But she told the newspaper: “I think it’s very unkind to many members of the family.”

The accident features in episode nine – titled Avalanche – of the fourth series of The Crown, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

It features long-distance footage of an avalanche – no close-ups of any of the characters involved are depicted and Major Lindsay does not appear at all.

But there is a voiceover featuring real audio reporting the accident at the time.

The focus is largely on the aftermath – the coffin is seen returning from Switzerland and the funeral is also shown.

The Major’s widow is played by Alanna Ramsey.

Prince Charles is also seen having flashbacks of the accident and later tells Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now the Duchess of Cornwall: “I was sure I was going to die.”

Other real-life tragedies featured in The Crown include the Aberfan disaster and the death of Lord Mountbatten, whose boat was bombed by the IRA.

Why was The Weeknd covered in bandages at the AMAs?

R&B star The Weeknd won three prizes at Sunday’s American Music Awards – with his face covered in bandages.

The Canadian star, who was named best soul artist, made no reference to his unusual appearance, which prompted concern from some viewers.

It came after he took to the stage with a bloodied face at the MTV VMAs earlier this year.

However, the make-up and bandages are part of an anti drink-driving message he has been promoting in his new music.

Speaking to Esquire earlier this year, the singer explained that his hit single Blinding Lights is about “how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights.

“I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

The star, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, thanked Prince as he picked up the prize for best R&B album at Sunday night’s ceremony.

“Last time I received this award, it was given to me by the late great Prince,” he said.

“And you know, he’s the reason I get to constantly challenge the genre of R&B, and I’d like to dedicate this award to him. Thank you.”

Elsewhere at the ceremony, Taylor Swift was named artist of the year for a record-extending sixth time.

Accepting the prize via satellite, the star confirmed she was re-recording her old music, in the midst of a very public feud over the ownership of her master tapes.

“This is a fan voted award, which means so much to me,” said Swift. “You guys have been beyond wonderful. All the years of my career, but especially this one, when we’ve been so far apart, we haven’t been able to see each other in concert, but I still feel connected to you.

“I’m actually re-recording all of my old music in the studio where we originally recorded it,” she added. “I can’t wait for you to hear it.”

Swift won two further prizes: best music video for Cardigan and favourite female pop/rock artist – taking her all-time tally to 32, more than any other artist in the ceremony’s history.

The awards show took place in front of a limited audience “in small groups, from the same families”.

Host Taraji P Henson said the guests “had been tested for Covid-19”. The small crowd, all wearing masks, were seen applauding and cheering from the balcony of the Microsoft Theatre throughout the show.

They were treated to performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Nelly, who performed a medley of hits from his debut album Country Grammar, marking its 20th anniversary.

Billie Eilish was bathed in red for the live debut of her new single, Therefore I Am, while Katy Perry and Darius Rucker delivered a heartfelt rendition of the ballad Only Love.

And Jennifer Lopez and Maluma gave a preview of the chemistry they’re bringing to the big screen in the 2021 rom-com Marry Me, with a smouldering performance of their collaborative singles Pa’ Ti and Lonely – which ended with Lopez performing a Flashdance-esque chair routine.

Not all the performances took place in LA: Dua Lipa danced her way through the hit single Levitating from London’s Royal Albert Hall, flying into the air amidst a glitter snowstorm as the song reached its climax.

And BTS beamed in from an empty stadium in Seoul, singing Life Goes On and Dynamite while fireworks exploded around them.

The Korean band also picked up best group and favourite social artist at the ceremony.

Other notable winners included former One Direction star Harry Styles, who won his first solo AMA award – best pop/rock album for last year’s Fine Line.

Rapper Juice Wrld was posthumously named best male hip-hop artist, while Dua Lipa won best pop song for Don’t Start Now.

Country duo Dan & Shay and pop star Justin Bieber both won three prizes each – sharing two for their duet 10,000 Hours.

After winning favourite Latin female artist, Becky G gave one of the night’s most emotional speeches, telling a story about her Mexican immigrant grandfather, and dedicating her win to immigrant workers and immigrant families.

“I proudly wave both flags – Mexican and American,” she said. “Like many, many children and grandchildren of immigrants, no matter where they’re from, we have learned from the ones before us what sacrifice and hard work looks like.

“I dedicate this award to all of our immigrant workers in this pandemic and the students and immigrant families. It’s because of my family that I stand here today.”

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