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Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before…

Except this time, maybe, they haven’t. England. Are. In. The. Final. Of. Euro 2020. Could football (whisper it) actually be coming home?

We have David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie to thank for that central refrain now synonymous with England and football; a song full of unashamed nostalgia for the days of our World Cup victory (1966, you might have heard of it), perfectly capturing the mix of “oh-so-nears” pessimism and cautious hope that comes with being an England fan.

Released for Euro ’96, back when it was only 30 years of hurt, Three Lions is still the ultimate anthem for English football. But Sunday’s match against Italy will be the men’s team’s first international tournament final since 1966; a historic moment, which means you may want a whole soundtrack to mark the occasion.

From a homage to Sven-Goran Eriksson to a celebration of baked goods, here are a few official and unofficial songs to add to the playlist. After Three Lions, of course. And Three Lions ’98, because no one likes change. We still believe…

This Time (We’ll Get It Right)

After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 1974 and 1978, 1982 was not only a big year for football but a big year for England in the charts. Frontman Kevin Keegan was no stranger to the Top 40, having released the single Head Over Heels In Love a few years earlier, and he led the squad in their promise to “get it right… this time”. Sadly, it wasn’t to be; England failed to progress beyond the second group stage, despite remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament in Spain. The song charted at number two though, so every cloud.

We’ve Got The Whole World At Our Feet

“There’s not a single team that we can’t beat,” sang the England squad ahead of Mexico 1986. Unfortunately, they hadn’t reckoned with Maradona and his Hand of God. To add insult to injury chart success also eluded them, with We’ve Got The Whole World At Our Feet only reaching number 66 (as if they needed another reminder). However, Gary Lineker did win the tournament’s Golden Boot for top scorer.

All The Way

For the Euros in West Germany in 1988, Stock, Aitken and Waterman took charge of the music, which led to this upbeat number that epitomised the pop sound at the time. Sadly, it only reached number 64 in the charts – mirroring England’s success in the tournament (they went out early after failing to win any of their games in the group stage).

World In Motion

England’s second-finest track comes from New Order and a magnificent rap from John Barnes, with minimal input from the rest of the squad. Released for Italia 90, this was the World Cup of Gazza’s tears, of England’s first heartbreaking penalties defeat – losing 4-3 to West Germany in the semi-finals – and of Gary Lineker infamously getting caught short on the pitch. There aren’t many football songs that break out of the novelty bracket but this is definitely one of them, encapsulating the hopeful optimism of England fans perfectly without, for the most part, really sounding like a football song at all.

Eat My Goal

Not an official England track but Collapsed Lung’s football anthem Eat My Goal, released in 1996, became the soundtrack to Coca-Cola’s “Eat Football, Sleep Football, Drink Coca-Cola” advertising campaign that tied in with Euro 96.

Vindaloo

As well as the revived Three Lions, the France 98 World Cup also brought us Fat Les, aka Blur bassist Alex James, actor Keith Allen and artist Damien Hirst. Thanks to its easy to chant “nah nah nahs” and triumphant “we’re gonna score one more than you”, Vindaloo was an affectionate parody that became the unofficial hit of the tournament. Featuring comedian Paul Kaye (best known as Dennis Pennis) in a video sending up The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, also look out for David Walliams and Matt Lucas, and a young Lily Allen, who are in there somewhere.

(How Does It Feel To Be) On Top Of The World

This one was actually the official song for 98, even though it’s Vindaloo you remember. Featuring a medley of artists including The Spice Girls, Echo And The Bunnymen, Space and Ocean Colour Scene – aka England United – but no actual England players (apart from a few cameos in the video), the song featured a nice sing-song chorus but wasn’t quite as memorable or rousing as the other offerings that year, and charted at number nine. This was the World Cup of Michael Owen’s incredible goal against Argentina – and David Beckham’s infamous red-card kick in the same game.

Meat Pie, Sausage Roll

After the success of Three Lions, football songs were cool again – which meant everyone wanted to release one. Contenders in 1998 also included Granddad Roberts And His Son Elvis, with this ridiculous song that should have been sponsored by Greggs. “Ooh, we got a corner,” is the refrain, while it ends with the bizarre line: “No wonder my wee smells like Sugar Puffs, the stress I’m under.”

We’re On The Ball

Ant & Dec took over official duties for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, hailing then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as England’s “super Swede” and referencing captain Golden Balls and the 5-1 win over Germany in the qualifiers the previous year. Despite the single essentially being PJ and Duncan’s musical revival, England were not quite ready to rhumble and lost 2-1 to eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals

Sven, Sven, Sven

Released a year earlier, Sven, Sven, Sven, by comedy duo Bell & Spurling, was also inspired by the 5-1 victory and the nation’s love for Eriksson at the time. Featuring women in England bikinis and dressed in Bavarian costume, the video is a reminder of how much times have changed in the last 20 years. The pair released an updated version, Gareth, Gareth, Gareth, for the World Cup in 2018, but it wasn’t quite as successful as their top 10 debut.

All Together Now

Written about the Christmas truce in the First World War in 1914, when soldiers from both sides put their weapons down to exchange gifts and play football, this song by The Farm was released in 1991 and has been used by numerous football teams since. Re-released for the 2004 Euros in Portugal, England were beaten by the hosts on penalties in the quarter-finals.

World At Your Feet

The official England song for the Germany 2006 World Cup was released by Embrace, best known for hits including All You Good Good People, Come Back To What You Know, Ashes and Gravity in the 1990s and 2000s. “With the world at your feet, there’s no one you can’t beat/ Yes it can be done,” sang frontman Danny McNamara. A nice effort that charted at number three and spent six weeks in the Top 40, but England were not so successful. Wayne Rooney was red-carded in the quarter-final against Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo became known as the winker – and once again they were knocked out on penalties.

Shout

While the only music people really remember from the South Africa World Cup in 2010 is Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) and the deafening sound of vuvuzelas, Dizzee Rascal and James Corden did also team up to release this unofficial song for England. Sampling Tears For Fears’ Shout and also including the line “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”, the song did top the charts but probably won’t be remembered as one of the England greats. England went out 4-1 to Germany in the final 16, so it wasn’t the team’s greatest performance, either.

Sing 4 England

Chris “Unbelievable, Jeff” Kamara released Sing 4 England for the Euros in 2012, co-hosted in Poland and Ukraine. Harking back to the naff but lovable-sounding typical football songs of the 80s and 90s, it gets full marks for rousing positivity. “Come on and sing for ENG-ER-LAND”. We were all encouraged; sadly, we’d seen it all before, and England lost in the quarter-finals, to Italy, on penalties.

Ole (We Are England 21)

Released during this year’s tournament, Ole is the Euro 2020 (yes, it’s still Euro 2020, even though it’s now 2021; blame COVID) effort from Krept & Konan. A contemporary rap track that – ole, ole, oles aside – moves away from the traditional football song but still reflects the mood of the nation.

Sweet Caroline

Neil Diamond’s 1969 hit Sweet Caroline became a feel-good hit again all over again during the pandemic in 2020, and has now become a hit at this year’s Euros, too. DJ Tony Perry made the decision to play the song after England’s win over Germany, and a fan favourite was born. In a video message, the US singer-songwriter told The Telegraph he was “thrilled” to see fans belting the song out at Wembley, saying: “Well, I hope you can do it again – here’s to England.” Because good times never seemed so good – so good, so good…

Whole Again

This sugary Atomic Kitten hit from 2000 has found a new audience thanks to a reworked version paying tribute to current England manager Gareth Southgate; so much so that Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon went viral after performing it live to football fans watching the quarter-final victory over Ukraine in Croydon, and have now released it as a new single. While some might say they could have put a bit more effort in and changed the rest of the lyrics, now is not the time for nitpicking. Altogether now: “Southgate, you’re the one, you still turn me on – football’s coming home again.”

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, Wagatha Christie: Are high-profile lawsuits really worth it for celebs?

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, Wagatha Christie: Are high-profile lawsuits really worth it for celebs?

Gwyneth Paltrow consciously uncoupled from ordinary life years ago.

In the era of celebrity relatability, with once mysterious A-listers now sharing everything from breakfast to breakdowns on social media, she is one star completely comfortable with the world knowing she exists on a higher plane of bone broth, vagina candles, and $8,000-a-day skiing lessons.

Facing a lawsuit, many A-listers might simply choose to pay-up, regardless of whodunnit, rather than go through the rigmarole of a potentially reputation-damaging court case. But the Oscar-winner turned wellness guru is not one of them.

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The Gwyneth Paltrow court case in six minutes

The internet has been flooded with Paltrow in the last two weeks, as her high-profile legal fight played out on camera. This all started with a skiing accident involving a retired optometrist in Utah in 2016, and somehow ended in global headlines about the star’s outfits, controversy over her offer to hand out treats in the courtroom – declined! – and questioning about her friendship with Taylor Swift.

She won the case – only asking for $1 in damages, because this was about principle – but for a woman who would barely have noticed making it all go away for $300,000 (£242,000), the amount she was sued for, was it really worth it?

Many were shocked hearing the details of the wealth and privilege that spilled out in court, but perhaps there were just as many impressed by her dry response when asked what she had lost as a result of the accident. “Well, we lost half a day of skiing,” quickly went viral. (Luckily, she was still able to get a massage.)

And turning the courtroom into a catwalk for her own brand Goop, as well as other designers, no doubt has helped with sales.

Depp’s two court cases – and very different outcomes

Johnny Depp in court during the closing arguments of his libel trial against Amber Heard

For some reason, celebrity lawsuits seem to be like buses at the moment. At the same time as Paltrow was in court in the US, here in the UK a group including Prince Harry, Sir Elton John and Liz Hurley were taking on the publisher of the Daily Mail at the High Court; last year, we had Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: Round 2 and Wagatha Christie.

In 2020, when Depp first went to court in the UK – suing the publisher of The Sun newspaper – the revelations about his and Heard’s relationship were jaw-dropping: “mega pints” of red wine, insults scrawled in blood and paint on walls, gross text messages, trashed apartments, human faeces apparently left in a bed… let alone the actual claims of abuse.

Even before he lost the case, his reputation seemed to be ruined. But in 2022, he chose to go through it all again; this time suing Heard herself and, like Paltrow’s case, all on camera. After following the UK case through news articles and bulletins, now the world was able to watch everything as it unfolded.

Read more:
Depp v Heard: The key bits of evidence
Twelve of the most shocking celeb moments of 2022

Actor Amber Heard arrives in the courtroom in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, May 26, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)
pIC:AP
Image:
Pic: AP

Depp told the US court he lost “nothing less than everything” as a result of allegations of abuse by Heard. When asked why he had chosen the humiliation of his private life being publicly scrutinised over staying quiet, he said he was “obsessed” with the truth and wanted to clear his name for himself and for his children.

After six weeks of evidence, the majority of the public seemed to side with the actor and the jury went the opposite way to the judge in the UK, finding in his favour.

Before the verdict had even been delivered, Depp was on stage in Sheffield, having joined Jeff Beck on his European tour. More gigs – and a trip to meet a rescued badger – followed in the days surrounding his legal win. Now, he is due to appear as Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, his first major film role since the court cases, later this year; his supergroup The Hollywood Vampires goes on tour in the summer, and there are reports he may even return to the Pirates franchise.

‘It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account’

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.

For Depp, arguably it was all worth it. For Rebekah Vardy, who refused to back down in her lawsuit against Coleen Rooney despite a settlement being offered before the eventual court case, it probably wasn’t.

During the court hearing, it was alleged she had leaked stories to tabloids, not just about Rooney, but about teammates of her Leicester City footballer husband Jamie Vardy and others, and that she set up paparazzi shots of the England players’ wives and girlfriends during the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

In a damning verdict, Judge Justice Steyn described Vardy’s evidence as “manifestly inconsistent… evasive or implausible” – while Rooney’s evidence was “honest and reliable”.

Afterwards, Vardy maintained her innocence in an interview with TalkTV, saying: “It feels like the judge just read what was written in the media and took on their narrative bias.”

Read more:
Five notable moments from Paltrow’s testimony
Goop sued as man claims vagina candle ‘exploded’

Still, she seems to be moving on. Perhaps all publicity is good publicity, as long as you can afford the costly legal fees if things don’t go your way. Her latest Instagram posts show her on the ski slopes herself; hopefully she’s aware of the dangers.

After Paltrow’s win was read out in court, the claimant, Terry Sanderson – who has to pay the star’s legal fees, as well as his own, despite the minimal $1 damages – was questioned by reporters waiting outside. Asked if the trial had been “worth it”, he replied: “Absolutely not.”

For Paltrow, perhaps it was. She has faced years of stick about her wellness brand, but has never cared about the haters. And long after the point of this case has been forgotten, the outfits – and no doubt visits to the Goop website – will live on.

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Lily Allen on moving from music to drama and her ‘dysfunctional’ family

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Lily Allen on moving from music to drama and her 'dysfunctional' family

Ahead of her first TV role airing Lily Allen has spoken to Sky News about why she’s moved from music to drama and how her own “dysfunctional” family helped inform her character.

In new comedy Dreamland she plays a woman returning to her family in Margate, who soon finds out she’s brought more than she expected home with her when she discovers she’s pregnant.

It’s not Allen‘s first acting gig, but it is her first TV role and the Brit Award-winning artist, who has lived much of her life in the public eye, says it’s given her a way to express herself while she takes a break from music.

Photo by: Patricia Schlein/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 3/13/23 Lily Allen at the Planned Parenthood's New York Spring Benefit Gala on March 13, 2023 in New York City.
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Lily Allen at the Planned Parenthood’s New York Spring Benefit Gala in March

“I feel like one of the reasons I’m not really writing music and putting it out there or spending a lot of time on social media is that it feels very heavy out there at the moment and I feel a bit too exposed and I feel a bit sensitive in that environment,” she said.

“I don’t really want to put myself out there and my experiences, but I still want to talk about the human experience and dive into those experiences a little bit more, try and make sense of the world I guess?

“And I think drama or drama comedy in this instance has enabled me to do that, it’s a different medium but it’s still doing the same thing – we’re just telling stories.”

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More on Lily Allen

Dreamland is about four sisters and explores the complexities of sibling relationships.

Despite growing up in a very different environment to her character – Allen is the daughter of the comedian and actor Keith Allen – she says there was still plenty to relate to.

“The sort of similarities and not the differences is obviously the things that I honed in on and, you know, my family is quite dysfunctional,” she laughed.

“So there was a lot for me to draw on there.”

Freema Agyeman as Trish, Lily Allen as Mel, Sheila Reid as Nan, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Leila, and Gabby Best as Clare in Dreamland. Pic: Natalie Seery/Sky UK
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Freema Agyeman as Trish, Lily Allen as Mel, Sheila Reid as Nan, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Leila, and Gabby Best as Clare in Dreamland. Pic: Natalie Seery/Sky UK

Weaving serious issues in with comedy, the show isn’t all fun in the sun – tackling themes of racism, homophobia and misogyny.

Former Dr Who star Freema Agyeman plays Allen’s half-sister – and the only one of the four who isn’t white.

She told Sky News she was impressed by the way the more serious topics were handled.

Freema Agyeman as Trish, Lily Allen as Mel in Dreamland. Pic: Natalie Seery/Sky UK
Image:
Agyeman and Allen. Pic: Natalie Seery/Sky UK

“There’s a book, The Mixed Race Experienced by Natalie and Naomi Evans, who write about what it was like being mixed race growing up in Margate specifically,” Agyeman said.

“So that was very much pulled on and then, of course, I can identify with so much of that, but also have my own experiences that [the showmakers] were very open for me to share.

“I like it when it’s done with thought and care and collaboration, and I felt like that was happening here… You can’t deep dive into everything, but you can have discussions, or raise issues and address themes and hope that people will go away and think about that.”

Dreamland will air on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW from 6 April.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, Wagatha Christie: Are high-profile lawsuits really worth it for celebs?

Published

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, Wagatha Christie: Are high-profile lawsuits really worth it for celebs?

Gwyneth Paltrow consciously uncoupled from ordinary life years ago.

In the era of celebrity relatability, with once mysterious A-listers now sharing everything from breakfast to breakdowns on social media, she is one star completely comfortable with the world knowing she exists on a higher plane of bone broth, vagina candles, and $8,000-a-day skiing lessons.

Facing a lawsuit, many A-listers might simply choose to pay-up, regardless of whodunnit, rather than go through the rigmarole of a potentially reputation-damaging court case. But the Oscar-winner turned wellness guru is not one of them.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The Gwyneth Paltrow court case in six minutes

The internet has been flooded with Paltrow in the last two weeks, as her high-profile legal fight played out on camera. This all started with a skiing accident involving a retired optometrist in Utah in 2016, and somehow ended in global headlines about the star’s outfits, controversy over her offer to hand out treats in the courtroom – declined! – and questioning about her friendship with Taylor Swift.

She won the case – only asking for $1 in damages, because this was about principle – but for a woman who would barely have noticed making it all go away for $300,000 (£242,000), the amount she was sued for, was it really worth it?

Many were shocked hearing the details of the wealth and privilege that spilled out in court, but perhaps there were just as many impressed by her dry response when asked what she had lost as a result of the accident. “Well, we lost half a day of skiing,” quickly went viral. (Luckily, she was still able to get a massage.)

And turning the courtroom into a catwalk for her own brand Goop, as well as other designers, no doubt has helped with sales.

Depp’s two court cases – and very different outcomes

Johnny Depp in court during the closing arguments of his libel trial against Amber Heard

For some reason, celebrity lawsuits seem to be like buses at the moment. At the same time as Paltrow was in court in the US, here in the UK a group including Prince Harry, Sir Elton John and Liz Hurley were taking on the publisher of the Daily Mail at the High Court; last year, we had Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: Round 2 and Wagatha Christie.

In 2020, when Depp first went to court in the UK – suing the publisher of The Sun newspaper – the revelations about his and Heard’s relationship were jaw-dropping: “mega pints” of red wine, insults scrawled in blood and paint on walls, gross text messages, trashed apartments, human faeces apparently left in a bed… let alone the actual claims of abuse.

Even before he lost the case, his reputation seemed to be ruined. But in 2022, he chose to go through it all again; this time suing Heard herself and, like Paltrow’s case, all on camera. After following the UK case through news articles and bulletins, now the world was able to watch everything as it unfolded.

Read more:
Depp v Heard: The key bits of evidence
Twelve of the most shocking celeb moments of 2022

Actor Amber Heard arrives in the courtroom in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, May 26, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)
pIC:AP
Image:
Pic: AP

Depp told the US court he lost “nothing less than everything” as a result of allegations of abuse by Heard. When asked why he had chosen the humiliation of his private life being publicly scrutinised over staying quiet, he said he was “obsessed” with the truth and wanted to clear his name for himself and for his children.

After six weeks of evidence, the majority of the public seemed to side with the actor and the jury went the opposite way to the judge in the UK, finding in his favour.

Before the verdict had even been delivered, Depp was on stage in Sheffield, having joined Jeff Beck on his European tour. More gigs – and a trip to meet a rescued badger – followed in the days surrounding his legal win. Now, he is due to appear as Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, his first major film role since the court cases, later this year; his supergroup The Hollywood Vampires goes on tour in the summer, and there are reports he may even return to the Pirates franchise.

‘It’s… Rebekah Vardy’s account’

Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, as the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney enters its second day. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.

For Depp, arguably it was all worth it. For Rebekah Vardy, who refused to back down in her lawsuit against Coleen Rooney despite a settlement being offered before the eventual court case, it probably wasn’t.

During the court hearing, it was alleged she had leaked stories to tabloids, not just about Rooney, but about teammates of her Leicester City footballer husband Jamie Vardy and others, and that she set up paparazzi shots of the England players’ wives and girlfriends during the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

In a damning verdict, Judge Justice Steyn described Vardy’s evidence as “manifestly inconsistent… evasive or implausible” – while Rooney’s evidence was “honest and reliable”.

Afterwards, Vardy maintained her innocence in an interview with TalkTV, saying: “It feels like the judge just read what was written in the media and took on their narrative bias.”

Read more:
Five notable moments from Paltrow’s testimony
Goop sued as man claims vagina candle ‘exploded’

Still, she seems to be moving on. Perhaps all publicity is good publicity, as long as you can afford the costly legal fees if things don’t go your way. Her latest Instagram posts show her on the ski slopes herself; hopefully she’s aware of the dangers.

After Paltrow’s win was read out in court, the claimant, Terry Sanderson – who has to pay the star’s legal fees, as well as his own, despite the minimal $1 damages – was questioned by reporters waiting outside. Asked if the trial had been “worth it”, he replied: “Absolutely not.”

For Paltrow, perhaps it was. She has faced years of stick about her wellness brand, but has never cared about the haters. And long after the point of this case has been forgotten, the outfits – and no doubt visits to the Goop website – will live on.

Continue Reading

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