Connect with us

Published

on

A Scottish singer plucked from obscurity at the last minute to replace Olly Murs as the opening act for Take That in Glasgow has told Sky News he thought the life-changing opportunity was a “joke”.

Daniel Rooney, 26, was playing at the Radisson Red hotel opposite the OVO Hydro when news broke that Murs was forced to cancel his support act on Friday due to transport issues.

TV presenter Ross King, who was enjoying a family dinner at the hotel, was impressed with Mr Rooney’s vocals and recommended the singer to his friend and Take That frontman Gary Barlow.

With 30 minutes to go before the show was due to start, Mr Rooney was quickly whisked to the arena and opened the festivities with a range of upbeat cover songs.

Barlow later thanked him on Instagram.

(left-right) Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That during day two of Capital's Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard at London's O2 Arena. Picture date: Sunday December 10, 2023.
Image:
Take That: Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen. Pic: PA

Mr Rooney, from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, told Sky News he thought it was a wind-up at first.

He said: “I was thinking, ‘right, who’s trying to play a wee joke on me here’. But thankfully it wasn’t a joke and Ross King was saying, ‘I’ve got an opportunity of a lifetime here, Danny boy, so are you up for it?’

More on Glasgow

“And I was.”

Mr Rooney started to feel a mixture of emotions on his way to the stage. As well as excitement, he began to feel apprehensive about what he was going to play.

He said: “I was obviously buzzing just to get that news. It was just mental.

“I had a wee discussion with the boys from Take That, who were brilliant and really good with me.

“We just agreed on making it really fun and making the songs nice big singalongs.

“It was just really great. The crowd were brilliant, and they sang to every song and the feedback was magic.”

Mr Rooney paid tribute to Mr King for the opportunity and thanked him for his warm introduction onstage to explain the situation to the crowd.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr King said: “I was listening to [Mr Rooney] while I was having dinner and was very impressed – never thinking that 30 minutes later I’d be saying ‘come with me and support Take That’.

“Gary Barlow is one of my closest pals and I’ve known the band since 1990. When Gary called me and said ‘you’re going to have to go on, Olly is stuck in London’, I thought it was a wind-up. But no.”

Mr King agreed to go on, but then pitched the idea of Mr Rooney.

Mr King added: “Daniel was the coolest guy in the Hydro and played a blinder. I was thrilled to share the stage with him and help out my old mates too.

“I know this has made news all around the world, so I hope Daniel continues to have the success he deserves.”

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Mr Rooney now intends to head into the studio to record some music.

He added: “I’ve got some ideas and demos there, so this is the opportunity to get them out now and just really capitalise on the moment.”

Read more from Sky News:
Anchorman star Will Ferrell invests in Championship club
Madonna plays biggest-ever show on Rio beach

Olly Murs performs during the Coronation Concert held in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Picture date: Sunday May 7, 2023.
Image:
Olly Murs. Pic: PA

Murs apologised for cancelling his performance at short notice after falling foul of flight issues.

The former X Factor star said he had been at Heathrow from 11am ahead of his performance on Friday night, but the flight was cancelled after “several delays” and an accident with a cabin crew member.

He later shared a video of himself being driven to Glasgow for his Saturday and Sunday performances.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine programme on Monday, Murs paid tribute to Mr Rooney for holding his nerve and being able to perform in front of an arena crowd of thousands with just 30 minutes’ notice.

Murs said: “Fair play to him, that’s amazing. You know what, credit to him.”

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Nicki Minaj fans blame venue – not her arrest – for last minute gig cancellation

Published

on

By

Nicki Minaj fans blame venue - not her arrest - for last minute gig cancellation

Nicki Minaj fans who queued to see her in Manchester only for her arrest to lead to the concert being cancelled at the last minute have blamed the beleaguered venue for the fiasco.

Ticketholders queued outside the Co-op Live arena from as early as 9am on Saturday and were allowed inside at 7pm.

Minaj, however, had been arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on suspicion of possession of “soft drugs” and was not released until 9pm – when the gig was due to start.

Once inside, her fans, also known as Barbz, claim security staff told them she was already in the building. But at 9.40pm promoter Live Nation announced the event was being cancelled.

Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala in New York earlier in May. Pic: AP
Image:
Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala in New York earlier in May. Pic: AP

Alvin Christie, 29, from Liverpool, was among those who had camped out since Saturday morning.

He said: “I would say it was very poorly managed. When we arrived… they were actively telling fans that she had arrived and that everyone was going to dance tonight.

“For a lot of people that were asking those questions, that’s obviously [keeping] people’s hopes up. I understand that maybe they wanted to get people into the arena for health and safety risks to stop people being outside.

“But I think most importantly, they maybe could have advised people as soon as they’ve known that the show was postponed and we should be turned away when we’re outside the arena, rather than holding loads of people in the arena.”

Mr Christie said he does not blame Minaj, and says fans wanted her to be “in a good place” for the show.

“Die-hard Nicki fan” Charu, who also travelled from Liverpool for the concert, said the evening was “so ridiculously disappointing”.

“My sister and I had been looking forward to this for months. I’m in the middle of taking my medical school exams and I had been working around this day and was so looking forward to it,” they said.

“People around us said they’d travelled from Ireland and Scotland, paid for hotels for the night in Manchester, which is not cheap.

“So the fact that tickets will be refunded or still valid for another concert doesn’t really put into perspective the time and money that we have all spent on this night.”

PABest A view of the Co-op Live arena in Manchester. The £365 million venue, the biggest indoor arena in the UK, has postponed its opening numerous times after rescheduling performances from Peter Kay, The Black Keys, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, as well as shows by Olivia Rodrigo scheduled for this Friday and Saturday. Picture date: Thursday May 2, 2024.
Image:
Co-Op Live arena in Manchester. Pic: PA

No toilets for those queuing for hours

Fan Eileen Allardyce also claimed there were “no toilets” while she queued outside from around 4pm.

“I’m very disappointed, more so [with] the venue because, obviously, everyone was unravelling on social media, everyone knew what the situation was and the venue completely let us down,” she said.

Dutch Police told Sky News Minaj was detained and eventually fined for “illegally exporting soft drugs from the Netherlands to another country”.

The rapper claimed she arrived at her hotel in Manchester early on Sunday after spending “5-6 hours” in a cell in Amsterdam.

She then invited fans to her hotel, where according to videos on social media, she spoke to the crowds outside.

“I wanted to honestly tell you that I love you,” she said.

Read more
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford to divorce
Record-breaking rollercoaster shuts day after opening
Hay Festival drops sponsor over Israel link

On X, the 41-year-old said the venue was “willing to go past 11pm”, but unidentified members of staff had “succeeded at their plan to not let me get on that stage tonight”.

A new date should be announced on Sunday, she added.

“One July option & one June option is currently being discussed. I’ll find a way to not only make up the date with the performance but I’m going to create an added bonus for everyone that had a [ticket] for this show. Promise,” she wrote.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

The new £365m Co-op Live arena has been plagued with problems even before it opened on 14 May.

The 23,500-capacity venue was originally due to open with two Peter Kay stand-up shows on 23 and 24 April, but that was pushed back when problems emerged at a test event headlined by Rick Astley.

The arena then planned for US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie to open the arena on 1 May, but that was called off an hour before his performance, when the ventilation system fell from the ceiling.

The ventilation issue meant scheduled performances by US pop star Olivia Rodrigo and British band Keane were also postponed, while a series of shows by Take That were moved to the AO Arena elsewhere in Manchester.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Sir Elton John’s next album ‘won’t be his last’, songwriting partner says

Published

on

By

Sir Elton John's next album 'won't be his last', songwriting partner says

An album of “incredibly personal” new songs from Sir Elton John won’t be the singer’s last, according to his long-term songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. 

“It’s a pretty amazing project, very cool…it tells a lot of stories and it’s incredibly personal, but it’s certainly not final.”

Few details are known about what fans can expect from Sir Elton‘s new music, but the legendary lyricist says he thinks it will be released before Christmas.

Bernie Taupin speaking at an event earlier this week. Pic: Mark Allan
Image:
Bernie Taupin speaking at an event earlier this week. Pic: Mark Allan

“It’s all done, it’s all in the can and ready to come out, I think, at the end of this year,” Taupin told Sky News.

While Sir Elton, 77, announced his retirement from touring last year, bowing out with a performance on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, Taupin says they have no plans to stop making music together.

“You always think ‘is the next album going to be the last?’ but, I think, both Elton and I, we just have this creative drive and we have this ultimate total love for music on every different level.”

Taupin, who’s lived in California since the 70s, has been back in England after being invited to speak at The Other Songs Live, an evening celebrating songwriters old and new.

More on Elton John

“Anything that nurtures talent, you know, gets my ear,” Taupin insists.

He remains one of the most successful lyricists in the world, having collaborated for more than half a century with Sir Elton, selling more than 300 million records globally, and together writing more than 30 albums.

Bernie Taupin receives the Musical Excellence Award from Elton John during the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 3, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Image:
Bernie Taupin receives the Musical Excellence Award from Sir Elton John at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last November. Pic: Reuters

And while Taupin’s lyrics are firmly embedded in modern pop culture, he says he struggles to explain what his secret is.

“It’s very difficult for me because, in a nutshell, my answer is I don’t know, I just do it.”

Bernie Taupin receives the Musical Excellence Award during the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 3, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Image:
Bernie Taupin told Sky News Sir Elton’s next album won’t be his last. Pic: Reuters

But one thing he’s certain of is that it’s a skill a computer just can’t replicate.

“I loathe and detest the whole idea of AI… from a creative musical standpoint, it cannot write songs as well as the human heart can because it’s got no heart.

“I’ve seen the product of AI, you know, when they’ve said write a song in the style of so-and-so and it’s complete shit.”

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

For Taupin, one-half of one of the world’s most successful songwriting partnerships, he’s not ready to be written off by technology.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Mad Max: Director George Miller on tech limitations, the origin of the franchise and the future of film

Published

on

By

Mad Max: Director George Miller on tech limitations, the origin of the franchise and the future of film

Director George Miller says the Mad Max film franchise that exists today was borne out of limitations.

Originally an emergency room doctor, the Australian director transitioned into film and created the story of a world where limitation is a central theme and abundance a dream.

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
(L-R): Taylor-Joy with Miller on set. Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

The Australian director made his first Mad Max film in 1978 with a crew of 35 and a fresh-faced Mel Gibson as the lead.

He says it was filmed on a discarded camera lens from a Steve McQueen film, and the lack of resources to create the project ended up working in his favour.

director George Miller attends the unveiling ceremony of Chris Hemsworth's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, Pic: Reuters
Image:
George Miller. Pic: Reuters

He tells Sky News: “The first Mad Max was definitely borne out of limitations. It ultimately turned out to be very key to it.”

The 79-year-old says the original story was written as a “contemporary story set in the city of Melbourne,” but financial limitations spawned the idea of it being set in a “dystopian future”.

“We couldn’t afford to have car chases in the middle of the street,” he says. “We couldn’t afford [to have] the extra cars or put stuntmen in those cars. We couldn’t have extras in the street, trams or busses and we couldn’t use the buildings so we decided to set it a few years in the future.”

Read more entertainment news:
Nicki Minaj’s show at Co-op Live in Manchester postponed
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford announce divorce

Miller says they decided to instead focus on what they could use and thus the Mad Max franchise we know today was created.

“We could shoot in backstreets, where there were no extras and no cars, or shoot in really old, decrepit buildings where the people wouldn’t ask you for rent. And that led to the film becoming more allegorical.

“Had we not done that? I don’t think we’d be still doing it.”

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

Burnt land and no speed limits

Miller is a cinephile at heart and for Mad Max, he had a vision – for it to be shot on a “big anamorphic widescreen”.

He previously credited his childhood in rural Queensland and the over-powering car culture there as the influences for Mad Max.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

At the time, the area consisted of completely flat roads, burnt land and no speed limits – the results of which Miller witnessed as an emergency room doctor at the age of 26.

“We couldn’t afford the cameras, or the lenses, but there was a set of lenses in Australia at the time, in one particular place that had been dumped out of Hollywood from the movie that Sam Peckinpah shot called The Getaway with Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw”.

All but one of these lenses was “wrecked”.

He says: “The rental house virtually gave it to us for nothing. There was one lens called the 35mm lens, and we used that and it allowed us to get much more dynamics in the shot”.

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

Why are moments in the Mad Max franchise sped up?

Inspired by the silent film era, Miller’s aim was to create “pure cinema” and make “‘a silent film with sound”.

To achieve the aesthetic he craved, he played around with frame rates.

In film, video is essentially a number of images (frames) captured sequentially to make the image move. Movies display 24 frames per second.

Miller says his plan was to shoot everything at high speed but, because of financial restraints, could not use speed ramps as it would cost the equivalent of a day of filming.

When he started to edit Mad Max he noticed “something was too slow” and to achieve the look he desired, began removing frames from the sequence.

“It looks a little bit like the old silent movies and sped up. By the time I got to Mad Max two, we would shoot at 20 frames or 18 frames. And so, I started to do a lot of that.”

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

Reflecting on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, he says: “Nowadays digitally I shoot most things at 48 frames because you can ramp it up and down from 48 frames, provided you’ve got the resolution, you can do so much more with that.”

The film Mad Max was released in 1979 and put Mel Gibson on the road to stardom.

Oddly, at that time the film distributor in the US, American International Pictures, opted to dub the strong Australian accents used by the actors for fears that they would not be understood by American audiences.

A far cry from misunderstanding the Australian accent, the country’s actors have become some of the most well-known faces in Hollywood nowadays.

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Miller’s latest release, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga serves as a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road.

It was written before the Tom Hardy film began in production in order to “fully understand” the characters on screen.

It stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa and Chris Hemsworth as Dementus.

Miller says it feels good for the prequel to finally be in cinemas.

“We had a magnificent cast and crew who gave their very best. We tried to get the best story we could have on the screen using all the tools we have and hopefully it means something significant to people.”

Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures
Image:
Pic: Warner Bros/Domain Pictures

Miller on the future of film

The Australian director decided against using de-ageing technology for the role of Furiosa and instead cast Anya Taylor-Joy to play the character first depicted by Charlize Theron.

It is not that he is against using AI technology in fact, Taylor-Joy recently revealed they used software to mix her face with that of the child actor, Alyla Browne, for her scenes.

Miller says the beauty of cinema is that it constantly changes.

“From the very beginning of cinema, which is 130 years old, there’s always change. The silent era and sound. Then there was Technicolor, then there was the digital dispensation in the early 90s. Once that’s come along, things have changed so rapidly even since then.”

Always attracted to the tech behind the scenes, Miller cites the digital ability to make Sheep-Pig talk in Babe or Mumble tap dance in Happy Feet as game-changing moments for him.

“By the time we got to do Fury Road, I realiSed, ‘Oh my God, we could do things that we never dreamed of doing back in the celluloid days’.

“Technology will keep changing and advancing… I don’t think we should limit ourselves if the tools are available. It’s always been the case, and cinema has to adjust.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in cinemas now

Continue Reading

Trending