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The wife of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has said he “wasn’t ready to give up” when he died.

Victoria Mary Clarke shared news of her husband’s death at the age of 65 in a post on Instagram on 30 November.

MacGowan, who is best known for the festive hit Fairytale Of New York, had suffered from several health issues in recent years, and earlier in November, was treated in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin for an infection.

He was sent home weeks before his birthday, where he died of pneumonia, The New York Times cited Clarke, a writer, as saying.

Discussing his last days, she said she had been trying alternative therapists, hypnotists, health drinks and physios to try to help him.

Ian Dickson/Shutterstock/@victoriamary
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Ian Dickson/Shutterstock/@victoriamary

She said after first learning that her husband was coming to the end of his life, she thought she was “going to die”.

“He was putting up a really strong fight. He was trying very hard to breathe,” she told the Brendan O’Connor Show on Ireland’s RTE radio on Saturday.

“He wasn’t ready to give up. He wasn’t ready to stop fighting – but his body did it for him.”

‘Huge, weird contradiction’

In a separate interview on the weekend, Clarke revealed that both she and Kent-born MacGowan – whose songs were influenced by Irish nationalism – loved the Royal Family, something that she said “people wouldn’t expect”.

“We both enjoyed watching programmes about royalty, we watched a lot of documentaries, obviously the funerals,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

FILE PHOTO: Musician Shane MacGowan watches as U2 perform during their U2: The Joshua Tree Tour, at Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland July 22, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
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The couple in 2017

“He cried when Prince Philip died, he cried when the Queen died, he cried when Diana died, he thought a lot about the Royal Family, but he was an ardent republican.”

She added that he had a “huge love of England and also of Ireland” in what she referred to as a “huge, weird contradiction”.

Read more:
A wild life, raw talent, and a forever connection with Christmas
Kiefer Sutherland anecdote about fight with Shane MacGowan resurfaces

“Sometimes we would be sitting there doing the Telegraph crossword puzzle, and I would just be thinking ‘Gosh, there’s people out there who would be horrified if they could see you doing the Telegraph crossword’.”

Clarke then joined in calls to get the beloved Christmas hit her husband was best known for, back to the top of the UK charts.

“It should be the Christmas number one, it absolutely should. I’m very much in favour of that,” she said.

The announcement of MacGowan’s death was met with an outpouring of tributes, including from Bruce Springsteen, who said people would be “singing Shane’s songs 100 years from now”.

Dublin rock band U2 also paid tribute, posting a drawing of the singer on social media, with the caption: “Shane MacGowan’s songs were perfect so he or we his fans didn’t have to be…”

On Friday, Clarke thanked people for their “love and support” after her husband’s death, posting a picture of the two of them appearing to dance.

“Losing Shane has been the thing that I feared most for a very long time, almost since we first got together,” she wrote.

“Some of the messages and gestures of support have been incredibly moving and unexpected, and I really, really hope that Shane can see how much he is loved by so many people of all ages and kinds.”

The post on Instagram gained more than 25,000 likes and over 1,000 comments.

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BBC defends ‘misjudged’ Saltburn BAFTA red carpet question to Andrew Scott

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BBC defends 'misjudged' Saltburn BAFTA red carpet question to Andrew Scott

The BBC has apologised for a “misjudged” question to Andrew Scott in an awkward red carpet interview at the BAFTA film awards last week.

During the starry event, which honours the best films of the past year, Scott was questioned about the film Saltburn, and more specifically about fellow Irish star Barry Keoghan’s genitals.

Barry Keoghan - whose dance at the end of Saltburn is a wonder to behold - posing on the red carpet. Pic: Reuters
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Barry Keoghan. Pic: Reuters

After chatting to Scott, 47, about his film All Of Us Strangers, BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson moved onto the popularity of other Irish performers, including Saltburn star Keoghan.

Paterson asked: “Do you know Barry well?”

To which Scott replied: “I know Barry, yeah.”

Paterson then asked Scott: “Can I ask your reaction when you first saw the naked dance scene at the end of Saltburn?”

Deflecting the question Scott replied: “Oh gees, I won’t spoil it for anybody.”

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Not letting it drop, Paterson persisted: “There is a lot of talk about the prosthetics… how well do you know him?” at which point Scott pulled a face and awkwardly walked away.

Paterson then asked: “Too much? Too much?”

The interview led to complaints, some of which expressed concern that the line of questioning was homophobic, due to Scott being a high-profile gay actor.

Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in ALL OF US STRANGERS.  Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. .. 2023 Searchlight Pictures All Rights Reserved.
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Scott and Paul Mescal in All Of Us Strangers. Pic: Searchlight Pictures

In response, the corporation issued a statement, which read: “Saltburn is a film which has had cultural impact, with Barry Keoghan’s scene at the end gaining a lot of attention in particular – something the actor has addressed himself.

“Our question to Andrew Scott was meant to be a light-hearted reflection of the discussion around the scene and was not intended to cause offence”.

The BBC said Saltburn director Emerald Fennell and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor – whose song Murder on the Dancefloor features in the scene and who performed at the BAFTA ceremony – also faced the same line of questioning.

The statement added: “We do, however, accept that the specific question asked to Andrew Scott was misjudged.

“After speaking with Andrew on the carpet, our reporter acknowledged on air that his questioning may have gone too far and that he was sorry if this was the case.”

Barry Keoghan stars in Emerald Fennell's Saltburn, which explores class, power and sex and is something of a modern take on Brideshead Revisited. Pic: MGM/Amazon Studios
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Keoghan in Saltburn. Pic: MGM/Amazon Studios

All Of Us Strangers received six BAFTA nominations, including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Paul Mescal, best supporting actress for Claire Foy and best director for Andrew Haigh.

Despite a widely praised lead performance, Scott did not receive a nomination for best actor in a leading role. He did however, present the animated film award on the night alongside co-star Mescal.

Saltburn had five BAFTA nods including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Jacob Elordi, best supporting actress for Rosamund Pike, and best actor in a leading role for Keoghan.

Both films left empty handed.

Scottish reporter Paterson, 50, first began reporting on The Big Breakfast, before writing for the Guardian and later presenting on Liquid News on BBC Three.

He has covered the BAFTAs, Oscars and Glastonbury Festival multiple times.

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Ellie Goulding confirms split from husband Caspar Jopling

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Ellie Goulding confirms split from husband Caspar Jopling

Ellie Goulding has announced that she has split from her husband Caspar Jopling.

The 37-year-old Starry Eyed singer, and the 32-year-old art dealer tied the knot at a celebrity-packed ceremony five years ago.

Ellie Goulding has revealed she is 30 weeks pregnant with her first child
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Pic: PA

They welcomed a son, Arthur, in 2021.

Posting a statement in an Instagram story, Goulding said she had been left with “no choice” but to publicly announce that they have been separated for “some time”.

The Hertfordshire-born singer wrote: “In light of recent stories, I feel I have been left with no choice but to let you all know that Caspar and I privately separated some time ago.

“We remain the closest of friends and have been successfully co-parenting with our son’s best interests at heart.

“We are committed to protecting our family privacy and thank people in advance for respecting our wishes – we won’t be commenting further.”

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She also shared a story which Jopling had posted on his Instagram account, also confirming their separation.

It read: “Hi people – hope you’re having a good day.

“I feel (sadly) that I need to say something on mine and Ellie’s current relationship… that I hope more than anything will make any final tabloid speculation disappear.

“Ellie and I made the decision to separate some time ago.

“Our immediate family and close friends have known for some time – otherwise we chose to do what we could to keep this private.

“Ellie and I remain the closest of friends, most importantly ‘co-parents’ to the best kiddo in the world, Arthur.

“This is the last I want to say on this – and please ask that you respect mine and Ellie’s privacy. Thanks a lot. Caspar.”

Singer Ellie Goulding marries her finance Caspar Jopling in York Minster
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Pic: PA

Their glamorous wedding ceremony at York Minster in 2019, featured an impressive guest list ranging from pop stars to royalty.

Celebrities including Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, James Blunt, Sienna Miller, Jimmy Carr and artist Tracey Emin were in attendance.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were also guests along with their mother Sarah, Duchess of York and Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, who was one of the groomsmen.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom arrive at York Minster for the wedding
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Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom. Pic: PA

File photo dated 31/8/2019 of Princess Beatrice and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, whose engagement has been announced today, attending the wedding of singer Ellie Goulding to Caspar Jopling. Issue date: Thursday September 26, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Beatrice. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne / PA Wire.
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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Pic: PA

The ceremony was followed by a lavish reception at Castle Howard, a stately home near Malton, North Yorkshire.

The couple first became an item in early 2017, getting engaged the following year.

Goulding had previously been in relationships with McFly star Dougie Poynter, radio presenter Greg James, DJ Skrillex and actor Jeremy Irvine, and is also rumoured to have dated singer Ed Sheeran.

She has had four chart-topping albums in the UK, including her most recent collection, Higher Than Heaven, released in 2023.

Goulding toured the UK and Europe late last year with songs from the new album.

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Rod Stewart labels Vladimir Putin an ‘a******e’ and urges support for Ukraine ‘right to the end’

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Rod Stewart labels Vladimir Putin an 'a******e' and urges support for Ukraine 'right to the end'

Sir Rod Stewart has lashed out at Vladimir Putin on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The music veteran branded the Russian president an “arsehole” in an interview with Sky News on Friday night.

And he said revealed his fears about the consequences of the US “pulling money away from Ukraine” as the conflict enters its third year.

Ukraine-Russia war latest

Sir Rod told Sky News’s Friday Night With Niall Patterson: “You let that arsehole into Ukraine, he’ll get into every NATO country.”

“And we’ll have to join the army,” he added.

“We have to support Ukraine right to the end,” he continued, adding: “Peace in the Middle East as well.”

More on Rod Stewart

Sir Rod appeared on Sky News alongside friend and fellow musician, Jools Holland to discuss their new album, Swing Fever.

“We need joy, we live in very dark times,” he told Sky News.

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‘Music brought us together’

Sir Rod described how the album “brought them together”, while pianist and composer Holland revealed how, when Sir Rod first called him to discuss the project, he believed it was a crank call.

Read more on Sky News:
What we know about Putin and his motives
Putin on invading Poland, the war in Ukraine, American ‘spies’

Sir Rod is no stranger to speaking his mind.

In January last year, he called into Sky News to donate for medical scans after hearing NHS crisis stories.

He said it was ridiculous people had to wait long periods for essential treatment and called for a change in government.

Sir Rod said: “I personally have been a Tory for a long time but I think this government should stand down now and give the Labour Party a go, this is heartbreaking.

“In all my years in this country I’ve never seen it so bad… change the bloody government.”

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