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When England beat Ukraine 4-0 in their Euro 2020 quarter-final, it wasn’t just the goals, the images of manager Gareth Southgate and the praise for the players that were sweeping the internet.

Footage of Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon performing the fan-made reworking of their 2001 hit Whole Again – now a declaration of love for the England boss/new national treasure – at Croydon’s Boxpark was also going viral, too.

While football fans refashioning pop songs into terrace chants is nothing new, this one has taken on a life of its own. In July 2021, you are probably never more than eight minutes away from hearing that football’s coming home, again.

Following the Croydon gig, phone calls were quickly made and bandmate Jenny Frost was brought back to re-record the song, which at the time of writing is currently sitting at number five in the Apple Music chart (Three Lions is number four, Vindaloo six and World In Motion just outside the top 10 at number 11).

They’ve done the obligatory England flag photo-shoot and belted out the “football’s coming home again” line to seemingly every news outlet in the country (including this one, because it’s impossible to interview Atomic Kitten now without asking them to go a cappella).

Atomic Kitten - Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon and Jenny Frost - have released a reworked version of their 2000 hit Whole Again in celebration of Gareth Southgate and the England team. Pic: Brett Cove/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
The band – (L-R) Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon and Jenny Frost – have re-recorded Whole Again, now an unnoffical England anthem. Pic: Brett Cove/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

The adoption of Whole Again, the platinum-selling chart-topper that propelled the girl band to fame, actually first did the rounds during the World Cup in 2018, to a lesser extent; in 2021 it is now the unofficial soundtrack to England’s first final in an international men’s football tournament since they won it that time in 1966. Atomic Kitten are now a part of English football history. There are even rumours they will be performing at Wembley on the day itself. Keep your Nessun Dorma, Italy; we’re gonna sing about Gareth Southgate turning us on!

So, Atomic Kitten are coming home again. But is football? “Hell, yes!” says Hamilton, speaking to Sky News on Zoom. She’s joined by McClarnon, who affirms for the record that football is “definitely coming home on Sunday”. McClarnon is also on Zoom, but from a different location. Both are in car passenger seats; they’re even working during their travel time. Have they had much chance to sleep?

“It’s been absolutely chaotic,” says Hamilton. “It’s been brilliant, though. I think we did a 20-hour day the other day, so that was quite intense. We’ve been getting sleep but our working schedule has taken us right back, like, 20 years. [It’s] really intense but this is a special moment in time and this time next week it won’t be here. So we’re just making the most of it now.”

“We’re amazed by it,” says McClarnon. “Honestly… we wanted to be a part of it and we had loads of messages to say, ‘please release it, please release it’, after the Box Park video went viral, and we were just like, oh, okay… we’re all a bit shocked. We just thought we’d release it and a couple of people would buy it and it would be nice to do. It’s just a bit mad.”

Clearly, the fans have taken the song to their hearts, but Hamilton and McClarnon aren’t sure what the reaction is from the England camp. “I mean, they’ve probably heard it but I think they’re focusing on other things,” says McClarnon. “They might have something more important on their minds. I don’t know what that would be.”

Whole Again is a ballad, a song about pining for someone after a break-up. But now it has become Football’s Coming Home again, and an ode to the man in charge. “Looking back on when we first met, I cannot escape and I cannot forget,” fans now sing. “Southgate you’re the one, you still turn me on, football’s coming home again.”

This is the man who took England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, for the first time since Italia ’90, and inspired a soar in sales of waistcoats. Now he has gone one step further and is, according to a viral Twitter thread, the “ultimate middle-aged crush”.

Manager Gareth Southgate celebrates taking his team to the brink of glory
‘One, two, three, four: looking back on when we first met…’ Whole Again has become a declaration of love for the England manager

Has Atomic Kitten’s love song struck an unlikely chord with football fans because we’re all longing for Gareth? “I don’t think there was much thought into the origins of the song,” says Hamilton. “I think it was more the fact that it was a really catchy song and it was such a successful song 20 years ago. It was number one for four weeks. It increased its sales every week over the four weeks, it was number one in 19 countries worldwide. You know, it’s a huge song. So it’s kind of in people’s minds. You only…”

“I didn’t think it would be in football fans’ minds, though,” McClarnon chimes in.

“No, but you only have to hear it once to know the melody,” says Hamilton. “It’s got that very catchy, simple melody. And it just kind of makes it the perfect song to chant along to… it just so happens that everyone’s saying that Southgate turns them on now.”

“We’re just pretending not to hear that bit every time we sing it,” laughs McClarnon.

Whole Again is undeniably a brilliant ear-worm of a pop song. According to the Official Charts, it ranks among the UK’s bestselling singles of all time with 1.03 million pure sales (CD and downloads) – making it the UK’s fourth best-selling girl band single ever behind Spice Girls’ Wannabe, 2 Become 1 and All Saints’ Never Ever.

“You know what?” says Hamilton. “I feel really proud that there is a girl band song that has crossed over to the football crowds. It’s usually really bloke-ish, most songs are male sang. So, yeah, I feel like we’re making history.”

Then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and Atomic Kitten launch T-Mobile in London in April 2002
Meeting then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2002 wasn’t so memorable for all the band

They may be making history, but this isn’t Atomic Kitten’s first foray into the world of football. Searches on photo agency archives throw up pictures of the girls singing on the pitch at the Division 1 play-off final between Birmingham City and Norwich City in 2002, and meeting then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson earlier that year. Coincidentally, they also performed the official England song in the 2001 Ricky Tomlinson film Mike Bassett: England manager.

“We were talking about this the other day,” says McClarnon. “I found a picture online of us and I was like, ‘that’s when we met Sven’. And you know what, we all have different memories of different things and some of us have blanked things out – not on purpose, just because there’s not much space to remember half the things that happened. And I think…”

“Why did we meet Sven?” asks Hamilton, quizzically. By the looks of things, he didn’t make much of an impact. (Sorry, Sven).

McClarnon tells her it was an “advertising thing” for a mobile phone provider. “Oh. I vaguely remember it, but…”

Maybe Southgate would be more memorable? “Yeah, he would now,” says McClarnon. “He’s the nation’s hero.”

Atomic Kitten perform during the Showtime at the Stadium concert held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 20 October  2001
Whole Again topped the charts for four weeks in 2001

Perhaps they can serenade him at Wembley on Sunday?

“We don’t know what we’re doing on Sunday yet, there’s a lot of conversations,” is all Hamilton will say. “Lots of offers to sing in lots of different places.”

Before they go, I ask for the obligatory sing-along, although Zoom doesn’t work too well for harmonising. “We attempted it on Zoom a while ago and it was completely out of time so I will let Tash sing the top line,” says McClarnon, before Hamilton gives the camera the famous line, followed by a cheer.

They may have sung it before, but this is the first time from a car, so an exclusive, of sorts.

Finally, before they go, their message to Southgate and the England team.

“Our message so far is that you’ve done us proud already,” says McClarnon. “Just want one little step more. But we are so grateful and proud already.”

Super grateful, super proud,” says Hamilton. “And we’re behind you all the way.”

Football’s Coming Home Again, by Atomic Kitten, is out now

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Bruce Willis sings and blows out candles as he celebrates 68th birthday following dementia diagnosis




Bruce Willis sings and blows out candles as he celebrates 68th birthday following dementia diagnosis

Bruce Willis has celebrated his 68th birthday with a song and a cake, surrounded by his family, after it was announced he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) earlier this year.

A video shared by his ex-wife Demi Moore showed the Hollywood star singing happy birthday while surrounded by his daughters, Moore and his wife Emma Heming, before blowing out two candles on an apple pie.

Relatives of the Hollywood star said in March 2022 that he would be “stepping away” from his successful career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition affecting his cognitive abilities.

Moore, 60, wrote alongside the Instagram post: “Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family.

“Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes – we all feel them.”

Heming, 44, also shared an emotional post on Instagram, describing the feelings of “sadness” and “grief” she said she experienced as a caregiver to someone with dementia, adding: “I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.”

Becoming tearful as she ended the short video, she thanked fans for their support, saying: “As much as I do it for myself, I do it for you because I know how much you love my husband.”

Starring in more than 100 films over four decades, Willis has appeared in box office hits including Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys and The Sixth Sense, earning him fans worldwide.

Read more:
What is frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?

Bruce Willis’s wife asks paparazzi not to ‘yell’ at him

Hemming also shared a collection of videos and photos of Willis spending time with his family and playing with his children.

She captioned the post: “He is pure love. He is so loved. And I’ll be loving him always. Happy Birthday my sweet.

“My birthday wish for Bruce is that you continue to keep him in your prayers and highest vibrations because his sensitive Pisces soul will feel it.

“Thank you so much for loving and caring for him too.”

Willis has five daughters, sharing his three eldest – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – with Moore whom he married in 1987, and his younger daughters Mabel and Evelyn with Hemming, who he married in 2009.

Willis and Moore separated in 2000, but remain on good terms.

Rumer marked her father’s birthday by posting the same video of everyone singing happy birthday and wrote: “Happy Birthday Daddio I love you to the moon. You are so cool.”

Scout captioned the video in her post: “Also though, today has been PROFOUNDLY JOYFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!! HAPPY BW’S BIRTHDAY TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE !!!!”

Tallulah shared a selection of photos of her father from throughout the years on her Instagram, writing: “Happy birthday to my numero uno Bruno !!

“Feeling awash with all the good energies and love headed this Willis way! I love him and he loves me – what a delight!”

FTD is a degenerative brain disorder characterized by deterioration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes, according to the Association of Frontotemporal Deterioration (AFTD).

They list symptoms including uncharacteristic personality changes, apathy, and unexplained struggles with decision-making, speaking or language comprehension are among the most common presenting symptoms.

There are currently no treatments for FTD.

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Lance Reddick: The Wire star’s wife shares statement after actor’s sudden death




Lance Reddick: The Wire star's wife shares statement after actor's sudden death

Lance Reddick’s wife has paid tribute to her husband and thanked his fans after he died on Friday at the age of 60. 

Reddick, who was best known for his role in The Wire, died suddenly from “natural causes” according to a spokesperson.

He was “taken from us far too soon” his wife Stephanie Reddick said in a post on the actor’s Instagram page.

She shared four photos of her husband in the post, writing: “Thank you for all your overwhelming love, support and beautiful stories shared on these platforms over the last day.

“I see your messages and can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have them.”

Read more:
Lance Reddick: The Wire and John Wick actor dies aged 60
Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals son is critically ill in hospital

Reddick voiced Commander Zavala in the Destiny game series. After news of his death, fans of the game paid their respects by visiting The Tower, the area where his character is stationed.

Stephanie Reddick acknowledged them in her post: “To the thousands of Destiny players who played in special tribute to Lance, thank you.

“Lance loved you as much as he loved the game.”

Reddick appeared in all 60 episodes of the crime drama The Wire, which ran from from 2002 to 2008.

The show was set in Baltimore, Reddick’s hometown, and he played police lieutenant Cedric Daniels.

Co-star Wendell Pierce said Reddick’s death was “sudden, unexpected, sharp, painful grief for our artistic family” and praised him as a “man of great strength and grace” as well as being the “epitome of elegance”.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals son is ‘critically ill’ with gastric cancer – ‘I am absolutely devastated’




Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals son is 'critically ill' with gastric cancer - 'I am absolutely devastated'

Andrew Lloyd Webber has said he is “absolutely devastated” as he revealed his eldest son Nicholas is “critically ill” with gastric cancer.

The Oscar-winning composer will miss the opening of Bad Cinderella at New York’s Imperial Theatre due to his son – also a composer – being in hospital.

“I am absolutely devastated to say that my eldest son Nick is critically ill,” said Lord Lloyd-Webber in a statement.

“As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised.

“I therefore have not been able to attend the recent previews of Bad Cinderella and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on opening night this Thursday.

“We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, but at the moment my place is with him and the family.”

Nicholas Lloyd Webber, 43, is known for scoring the BBC One drama Love, Lies And Records and a theatrical and symphonic version of The Little Prince.

He also produced his father‘s Symphonic Suites at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London and was nominated for a Grammy alongside his father for a musical theatre album for Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Cinderella.

Lord Lloyd-Webber – who has three Grammys, four Tony Awards and an Academy Award – had been set to open Bad Cinderella on Thursday after it was announced last year, when he said he was “thrilled & delighted” for it.

Read more:
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Gene mutation which increases risk of breast and ovarian cancer linked to Orkney islands

What is gastric cancer?

Gastric cancer – also known as stomach cancer – is when cells form in the lining of the stomach and grow abnormally.

If the cancer is found at an early stage, there is a possibility that it can be treated.

There are many symptoms associated with stomach cancer, some of which may be hard to spot – the NHS says they include:

• Heartburn or acid reflux

• Issues with swallowing

• Feeling or being sick

• Indigestion

• Feeling full very quickly

• Loss of appetite and weight loss

• Pain at the top of the stomach

• Feeling very fatigued

• A lump at the top of the stomach

According to Bupa, around 6,600 people in the UK get stomach cancer each year.

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