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Zachary Stell 2021-07-14
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Sacha Baron Cohen has won a legal victory over a US politician who sued him after being tricked into appearing in a TV sketch involving a so-called “paedophile detector”.

A judge dismissed Roy Moore’s 95 million dollar (£68.9 million) lawsuit against the British comedian and actor over a segment on the 2018 satirical series Who Is America?.

Moore, a 74-year-old failed US Senate candidate and former senior judge from Alabama, had been accused of sexual misconduct when he appeared on the show under the pretence of accepting an award for his support for Israel.

Instead, he was interviewed by Cohen in character as Colonel Erran Morad, who waved a device said to be able to detect sex offenders.

Sacha Baron Cohen pictured at the Oscars earlier this year

When the device beeped, Moore stopped the interview and said: “I’ve been married for 33 years. Never had an accusation of such things. Certainly, I’m not a paedophile, OK?”

The politician sued for defamation and emotional distress but Judge John P Cronan, sitting in the Southern District of New York, has dismissed the case after finding viewers would have known it was a joke.

In a 26-page judgement, he wrote: “Given the satirical nature of the segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen’s conduct during the interview as asserting factual statements concerning Judge Moore.”

And Judge Cronan cited the contractual waiver Moore had signed before appearing on Who Is America?.

Roy Moore pictured in 2019

Moore and his wife Kayla, who was also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, tried to argue the release was void because it was signed under false pretences.

Baron Cohen, 49, reacted to the victory online by referencing the misconduct allegations against Moore, which he had denied.

He tweeted: “Sorry, Roy. Nice try. And this is now part of the legal record: ‘Several published articles accused Judge Moore of inappropriate sexual encounters with young females, including one who was underage’.”

Alongside his tweet, Baron Cohen shared a link to the sketch in question.

Baron Cohen, whose comic creations include Ali G, Bruno and Borat, is known for duping high-profile figures.

He has faced previous lawsuits but they have also been dismissed due to the subjects signing waivers beforehand.

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Zachary Stell 2021-05-09
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A reminder of golden Start Menu days

Bork!Bork!Bork!  There are certain things that do not belong in pizza. One is pineapple. Another is the Windows Start Menu.…

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Zachary Stell 2021-02-16
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We played Guilty Gear Strive's online beta to see how its netcode holds up
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Zachary Stell 2020-09-19
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Months of cat and mouse chase between Microsoft and Sony has finally ended. Now that the two mega brands have officially announced their gaming consoles for 2020 – their specifications, design and features are now out in the open. This presents a good opportunity to compare the gaming consoles, giving you a fair idea of what’s the best deal for … Continue reading
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Zachary Stell 2021-06-30
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Everything you need to know about the best type of policies and the insurance companies that sell them.
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Zachary Stell 2021-04-27
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Last month, the streets of Austin, Texas bustled with live DJs, flying drones, and bands performing inside flower shops. The virtual streets of Austin, that is.  For the second year in a row, South by Southwest went digital. This time, it featured an immersive recreation of downtown Austin in which attendees could strap on a pair of Oculus Quest headset to drink virtual beer, peruse a crypto-art gallery, and pop into a virtual selfie stand. SXSW 2021 was lauded for its technological feats — and rightly so — but if event organizers are convinced this VR utopia is the new…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Zachary Stell 2021-01-24
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Barely any time has passed since President Biden's inauguration, and Republicans have already returned to their bag of shenanigans.
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Zachary Stell 2020-09-15
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Many times, when I tell women I used to do sex work, they look me up and down and say, “Really?” I probably get this reaction because I’m 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 230 pounds, and I don’t fit their preconception of what a sex worker looks like.

There are a lot of preconceived notions about sex workers held by the general public, and one of the strongest among them in my experience is the belief that sex workers all look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and that men only desire a sex worker who is skinny.  

I’m here to tell you that’s all false.

I don’t by any means have a perfect physique and am what my doctor calls “obese.” I have a big, round tummy covered in pink stretch marks, saggy boobs, areolas that my first boyfriend said looked “like pepperonis” and a moustache that requires regular waxing. I’m human and imperfect, and I worked as a successful escort for more than a decade. 

I started as a full-time escort on the now-defunct Backpage.com. I did not advertise myself as a “BBW” escort ― just merely an escort, like any other girls on Backpage. I never had any problem attracting business. 

Last year, I went to a strip club to audition to be a dancer. The manager clearly found it amusing that someone like me was trying to get a job as a dancer, and he told me that I was “too big.” Given what I know from experience, that a lot of men prefer women my size, why wouldn’t a club want to have as much diversity as possible to appeal to as many clients as possible? To me, that’s just good business sense.

But the heteronormativity of strip clubs is one example of the way men police other men’s desire. The club is like a fishbowl for “acceptable” desire, where most of the performers are thin women without visible imperfections and god forbid they hire more than one woman of colour per club. Strip clubs in and of themselves are only a microcosm of the world at large, reflecting the values of the larger heteronormative white supremacist patriarchal American culture that exists and proliferates far beyond the club.

What I learned from my many years as an escort is that men spend a lot of time posturing for other men around desirability. In private, it’s often a very different story, as men feel like they can express their desire freely. 

Anyone can be a sex worker. There are no beauty prerequisites. Are there shitty beauty standards based on white supremacist patriarchal culture? Yes, indeed. But sex workers who don’t fit into a narrow box can and do make very good livings all the time. There’s a market for every body type, although it’s true that not every market is equal.

When I was volunteering for a sex workers union in Kolkata, India, I met a woman in her 80s in the red light district there who was still working as a sex worker and had many regulars. Is it easier if you’re 25? Probably. But that absolutely does not mean that whether you’re 25 or 85 that there aren’t men who want to be with you. The difference is that men (as a unit) don’t want you to know that men (as individuals) don’t necessarily want a Playboy playmate.  

That said, it has to be addressed that racist, colonialist and transphobic beauty standards are an absolute reality and all too often dictate men’s sexual preferences (especially cisgender white men) in ways that truly negatively affect the most marginalised. The woman of colour with the deeper toned complexion gets passed over at the brothel, or the transgender girl who doesn’t quite “pass” doesn’t get as many website inquiries as the girl who does. While everyone can be desired, it has to be said that many women — women of colour, trans women and especially trans women of colour — have added barriers and hurdles that more privileged women — white and cisgender — do not have to navigate.

White workers and cisgender workers and especially white cisgender workers have an infinitely easier time marketing themselves precisely because these identities are centred, while identities that do not fit this are deemed “other” and face more barriers to earning a steady income.

But the truth ― in the quiet of my bedroom when I’m sitting with a client ― is that men really do desire all kinds of bodies. 

In this way, especially as someone who is a survivor of abuse by many, many different men and has very valid reasons not to trust men, learning this has made me feel free to meet men not with hate and mistrust but with the knowledge that men do not always have to be the enemy. That maybe as much as patriarchy has hurt me, maybe it hurts men in some ways, too. 

Maybe I was wasting far too much energy on hiding my belly or making the guy turn off the lights during sex or going to the bathroom 10 times during a date to make sure my makeup still looks immaculate. Society lied to me. There are men who desire more than just the Pam Andersons of the world.

And the real secret ― that I think men really want us women to know, when they don’t have other men watching them ― is that letting oneself be seen as flawed and human is completely and utterly desirable. And letting myself be unapologetically seen and desired is one of the greatest gifts sex work has given me. 

This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

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Zachary Stell 2021-06-23
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That's one way to go down in history.
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Zachary Stell 2021-04-21
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The Reading Rainbow and Star Trek star joins the game show's roster of guest hosts while it searches for a permanent Alex Trebek replacement.
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Zachary Stell 2020-10-10
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One of the US Marines was reportedly discharged on the same day the kidnapping charges were announced.
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Zachary Stell 2020-08-21
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We all have that one friend who absolutely sucks at pool, and for Courteney Cox, that Friend is Jennifer Aniston.

The former co-stars took one another on in during a recent night in, but it wasn’t much of a competition for Courteney, it seems.

The Monica Geller actor shared a video of Jennifer displaying some less than impressive skills on the table, which were in stark contrast to her own.

Jennifer was seen missing shots, potting the cue ball, flipping the bird at Courteney and just generally being not very good at the table sport, before she eventually potted a ball at the end of the video.

Sharing it on Instagram, Courteney wrote: “I may have had a good night...but could my friend BE any cuter?”

Jennifer Aniston isn't the best pool player

Posting it to her own page, Jennifer also wrote: “Friends shouldn’t let Friends play pool (especially when they suck).”

All we can say is, at least it wasn’t table tennis, because we all know what happened the last time Courteney/Monica was let loose with a bat and ball…

 

Jennifer and Courteney were due to reunite with their co-stars Lisa KudrowMatt LeBlancDavid Schwimmer and Matthew Perry earlier this year to film a TV special celebrating 25 years of Friends. 

However, the retrospective has now been pushed back for a second time due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It had been thought the actors would be able to come together this month to shoot the unscripted special, which will look back at the iconic sitcom. 

But speaking to Deadline about the second postponement, Jennifer insisted it would be worth the wait for fans. 

“Unfortunately it’s very sad that we had to move it again,” she said “It was, ‘How do we do this with live audiences?’

“This is not a safe time. Period. That’s the bottom line. It’s not a safe time to do it.”

She continued: “You know what? This has also given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been. So I choose to see it as the glass is half-full that it got postponed.

“Look, we’re not going anywhere. You’re never going to get rid of Friends, sorry. You’re stuck with us for life guys.”

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Zachary Stell 2021-06-07
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On Sunday, Swalwell attorney Matthew Kaiser said a private investigator left the papers with Brooks' wife at their home in Alabama.
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Zachary Stell 2021-04-03
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Line Of Duty fever is currently sweeping the nation once again as the AC-12 team sink their teeth into a brand new case on the sixth series of the hit BBC show. 

While the twists and turns have got viewers on the edge of their seats, we’re turning our attention to what’s been happening behind the cameras. 

As the BBC’s flagship police drama, a hell of a lot goes into bringing the world of AC-12 to life, and we’ve hunted down all the behind-the-scenes secrets that you probably won’t have known about the show – because Hastings and co aren’t the only detectives round here, you know....

1. Series one was shot in a completely different city to the rest of the show

The foyer of AC-12's HQ belongs to the Invest NI offices in Belfast

While Line Of Duty is set in an unspecified part of the east Midlands, two cities have acted as the backdrop for the show. 

In series one, it was filmed in Birmingham, with the old Municipal Bank building on Broad Street serving as AC-12’s HQ. 

Production moved to Belfast for series two onwards. A floor in the BT Riverside Tower on Lanyon Place has served as the anti-corruption offices, with the exterior and foyer scenes shot at the Invest NI offices in the heart of Belfast on Bedford Street. 

The Belfast Central Library on Royal Avenue doubles as the Police Headquarters where Hastings often goes to visit the top bosses. 

Belfast Central Library

2. Craig Parkinson (aka The Caddy) initially tried out for the role of DS Arnott

Craig Parkinson as DI Matthew 'Dot' Cottan, aka The Caddy

While we can’t think of anyone else except Martin Compston wearing Arnott’s waistcoats, his fellow AC-12er Craig Parkinson actually tried out for his role before landing the part of DI Matthew Cottan. 

3. It was Craig who convinced Martin to audition for the show

Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Craig Parkinson pictured in 2015

In an interview with GQ magazine, Martin said he nearly never went for Line Of Duty, describing himself as “a bit younger and naive and kind of thinking you’re a bit of a method actor”, but it was a phone call with Craig that persuaded him to go for it. 

He said: “I was doing a really intense film at the time called Piggy with Paul Anderson from Peaky Blinders, luckily with a London accent, which helped me with this audition. But my agent said, ‘You’re mad’ and I called Craig – me and Craig have been friends for a long time; he’s someone whose judgement I trust – and he said it was the best thing he’d ever read for TV. And when he said that, it put the antennas up a bit.”

4. DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan originally had a different nickname referencing another EastEnders legend

Dame Barbara Windsor and June Brown, aka EastEnders legends Peggy Mitchell and Dot Cotton

Craig told The Telegraph that Dot was called Matthew ‘Babs’ Windsor “for a looooong time” in the early script drafts. 

5. Arnott wasn’t initially called Arnott, either

He was originally called Steve Andrews in the early scripts. 

6. Neil Morrissey was the first actor to be cast 

Former Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey appeared as DC Nigel Morton in the first three series of Line Of Duty, and while it was a supporting role, he was actually the first actor cast for the show, creator Jed Mercurio revealed on Twitter. 

He described Neil as a “revelation” as DC Morton. 

7. Adrian Dunbar was originally a supporting cast member

While Superintendent Hastings is the backbone of AC-12 these days, he initially started out in series one as a supporting character, before Adrian Dunbar was promoted to the main cast in series two.

8. Vicky McClure completely messed up her audition

Vicky McClure as DI Kate Fleming

Vicky McClure told GQ magazine: “I remember my audition being a shocker. I hadn’t learned my lines. Some people they’re so prepped and I just wasn’t. I missed my mouth when I went to have a drink of water and it all went down my top. I thought, ‘There’s just no chance I’ve got this, to be a cop, I can’t even learn the lines.’ I remember feeling quite underprepared.”

9. BBC One originally passed on Line Of Duty

While BBC One is now the home to Line Of Duty, the channel initially turned down the show, executive producer Simon Heath told GQ

The show was eventually commissioned by BBC Two, where its first three series originally aired, before it was promoted to BBC One for its fourth series in 2017, thanks to bumper ratings. 

10. The police were not keen on cooperating when the show started

DS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings and DI Kate Flemming

With Jed Mercurio insistent that the show must be as authentic in its depiction of police procedures as possible, the team had to seek the help of professionals in the development of the series.

However, they faced huge resistance, according to executive producer Simon Heath, who told HuffPost: “We sent them the first episode which features the accidental shooting of an innocent man suspected of being a terrorist and it was drawing on a number of real-life incidents, but had a letter back from the police saying we won’t cooperate with you on this show as this would never happen. Jed and I were just bemused as obviously there had been these incidents.

“So we then had to do our own off-the-record research and conduct interviews with officers who were perhaps coming to the end of their careers, or were retired or were happy to talk to us anonymously.” 

The show now has a bank of people with direct experience of working in different facets of the police force, which helps inform how it is made.

11. There is still always a police advisor on set to inform the story

The cast during filming of series six

In recent years, this has been the job of former Metropolitan Police officer David Zinzan, who had over 30 years experience in the force, right from the rank of constable up to commander. In that time, he worked in departments focussing on homocide, counter terrorism, anti corruption and serious and organised crime – all staples in Line Of Duty.

He told HuffPost back in 2019: “My job is to stand with Jed and the director and make sure that the procedures, the techniques and the language is correct, and I’m also a resource for the actors, who frequently ask me questions about what their character would be thinking or the expression on their face.”

David is also sent the scripts to go through and check for language and procedures in advance, before sending his notes back to Jed. 

He also assists with what various elements like interview rooms and suspect boards would look like. 

12. The art and props team are also among the first to get the scripts

The art department have to create lots of props and documentation for the series

Much planning has to go into the creation of all the documents, databases and police files that help bring the world of AC-12 to life, and the show’s talented art and props team are among the first people the scripts are shared with, so they can get a head start in making and developing everything that’s required.

Exec Simon Heath told HuffPost: “They are second to none. It is such a big task. They get the scripts quite early so they can get stuff done in advance, which can then be tweaked later in the day if we make some particular changes.”

13. The show is shot out of order

Martin Compston during filming of series five

It usually takes 16 weeks to film a series of Line Of Duty, and the the first three episodes are filmed first, followed by the second three, in what is known in the TV industry as two “blocks”.

However, within these blocks, much of the action is filmed out of sequence, due to the availability of actors and locations for example.

14. However, the set-up completely changed for series six due to Covid

Filming on series six was disrupted due to the pandemic

Filming on series six was suspended after four weeks of shooting in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold, and when everyone returned to set six months later, the way they worked changed dramatically, with the blocks abandoned.  

Vicky told a recent BBC press conference: “The schedule was probably one of the biggest changes from an actor’s perspective because it just meant we were shooting with different directors on the same day, different episodes on the same day.

“Chronology just wasn’t possible because we were bound by location and safety.”

Adrian admitted he found this change difficult and had to have Jed remind him as to what was supposed to be happening at certain points. 

“We were jumping between scenes and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to pitch something when you’re moving between directors and episodes,” he said.

While the cast are usually kept in the dark about the ending of the series at the start, the changes to the way they were working meant that they were privy to more storylines than usual while shooting series six.

15. Jed is usually still writing the final episode of the show when the first three are still being filmed

Jed Mercurio (middle) on set during filming of series five

While you’d think a show as complicated as Line Of Duty would be pretty much set in stone before any actor even stepped on set, turns out that’s not how writer Jed Mercurio likes to work.

In fact, the final episode of the series isn’t usually fully fleshed out by the time the first eight weeks of filming starts, because he likes to change things up as he reacts to seeing the first block of three episodes being shot.

Simon told HuffPost in 2019: “Jed will have the basic structure of episode six, but he’ll allow himself to be able to change and adjust it as the early rushes come in. By the time we get to the edit, we’ve locked it down, but certainly in the early stages of filming where we’ve got rough cuts, we’re still working on episode six.”

16. The iconic interrogation scenes can be filmed up to 20 times each

The interview scenes in AC-12’s headquarters have become synonymous with the show, with some particularly tense ones often playing out on screen for in excess of 20 minutes.

During filming, they shoot them in one continuous take, often repeating the scene up to 20 times so that the editors can cut together all the best bits and make a TV masterpiece.

Simon told HuffPost: “There’s three cameras in the glass box all taking different angles and sizes, and as soon as the assistant shouts ‘action!’ we do the whole scene until they call cut. During that time, no-one can move, otherwise it breaks the whole thing. So you batten down the hatches, make sure you go to the toilet and don’t let your stomach rumble.

“Twenty times to shoot one scene like that might sound a lot, but with the number of characters and the cameras, it isn’t actually that many. With three cameras, you’re effectively generating 60 shots in which to tell the story, and they then cut together those 20 cuts into one scene, with the editors cherry picking all the best looks, the right action and detail.”

And even if someone messes up – which Simon said the usually “word-perfect cast don’t” – they just have to “play on, like you would in the theatre”.

17. There had to be a replica set of the interrogation room built to make it more Covid compliant in series six

The Line Of Duty interrogation room had to be replicated

Vicky said during a recent press conference: “Say AC-12, the [original] interview room is not great for [ventilation] in a glass, contained box – so as much as we used the original set for other things, we used another set... and you genuinely can’t tell a difference.”

18. Adrian Dunbar is responsible for Hastings’ famous Ted-isms

 

Hastings has become beloved for his various catchphrases like “mother of God” over the course of the series, which is something he brought to the role. 

He told GQ: “The ‘mother of God’ stuff is something that my dad used to say all the time. It fits the character, you know. ‘Sucking diesel’s’ mine. It’s something I used to say all the time.

“Jed would ask me what about some really locked-in Belfast phrases, which ones, and ‘floating up the Lagan on a bubble’ is a big Belfast one. So we thought we had to get it in somewhere.”

Adrian recently revealed that fans of the show often help Jed come up with his character’s infamous one-liners as the series has gone on. 

“Jed has got some secret helpers out there,” he said during a recent press conference. “After some Q&As we do, we do ask the audience ‘is there anything Ted should say that’s a real Belfast idiom?’”

19. A previous AC-12 adversary stopped series six guest lead Kelly Macdonald from rejecting her role

Kelly Macdonald as DCI Joanne Davidson

Kelly Macdonald revealed former star Keeley Hawes had to talk her out of turning down starring on the show. 

Kelly said she almost “ran a mile” after seeing the scripts, and turned to Keeley – who appeared as corrupt officer DI Lindsay Denton in series two and three – for advice. 

She told Radio Times: “It’s a horrible thing to ask of someone! But the real issue was the sheer number of words I had to learn. When I saw the script, my first instinct was to run a mile. It’s all addresses and dates and police jargon, especially when I was interviewing suspects.

“Keeley was brilliant; she talked me down from the ledge. She said it might look as though you are being asked to do something completely impossible, but it’s not.”

20. Both Kelly and Thandie Newton hadn’t seen Line Of Duty before being offered their roles

Thandie Newton played DCI Roz Huntley in series four

Because Kelly had spent a number of years in New York filming Boardwalk Empire, she says she “missed a huge amount of British pop culture”. 

“I knew about Line Of Duty because it’s a massive show and everyone is so invested in it week to week, but I did have to start watching the show when I got the offer,” she said during a series six press conference. 

She told Radio Times that she started watching series four after taking on the role of DCI Joanne Davidson and admitted she got “proper nerves” and watching Thandie “wasn’t making it easier!”

Similarly, Hollywood star Thandie Newton – who played series four adversary, DCI Roz Huntley – hadn’t seen Line Of Duty either before she was alerted to the part. 

“I didn’t know anything about the role, but said I wanted to do it,” she told the Sunday Post. “I don’t watch a lot of television – I have kids, so the only things I watch are SpongeBob or Paw Patrol.

“My agent said: ‘Thandie, an offer has come in and if you ever want to work in British TV, this is it.’ I’ve been with my agent since I was 17 so when she said that, I sat up. I watched it and was completely knocked out by it.

“I don’t have the opportunity to work in Britain very much because there are a lot of period dramas and they often don’t have calls for women of colour so I went to Hollywood.”

21. Arnott’s waistcoats were Martin’s idea

Arnott's waistcoats have become a thing in their own right

Martin told the Evening Standard: “Before we started the first series a pal of mine who works in a call centre was telling me about someone who worked with him.  

“This guy was a right wee dick and he wore waistcoats to work — who would wear waistcoats to work in a call centre?”

Martin went on to explain the man in question was always popular with the ladies, and there was a theory it was the waistcoat that was the secret to that success.

So when it came to his ideas for his character, Martin decided: “That’s him - that’s Arnott, the needlessly overdressed guy.”

22. But he had a hard time with them after the filming break during series six

Martin admitted his famous waistcoats were a bit snug when he returned to set after lockdown. 

He explained in a BBC press pack interview: “We started [series six], I had just come off the job called The Nest and I had a few topless scenes in the show. I was probably in the best shape of my life. So, when we started the job at the beginning of this series, I was in pretty good nick! Then lockdown happened. 

“We all ate too much, drank too much. When I came back to the UK and had to quarantine, I asked our lovely costume designer to leave Steve’s suits in my room so I could try them on as they were all tailored. That was a really tough day - I was bursting out of everything! I didn’t realise how the suits were quite so tailored to my original shape! 

“I thought quarantine was going to be wine and pizza, but it was water, soup and an exercise bike for two weeks! I was chuffed to get out of it.”

23. Martin is so method on set, some of the crew didn’t realise he was Scottish

Martin has a Scottish accent in real life

By now, most Line Of Duty fans know that Martin is Scottish and speaks with a Glaswegian accent. However, his method way of doing Arnott’s Estuary accent has sparked some hilarious moments on set.

Recalling a specific moment at the end of filming season one, executive producer Simon Heath told HuffPost: “On that series, he’d stayed in his English accent both on and off screen, the whole time. As they shouted ‘wrap!’ on the final scene, which was being shot in a pub in Birmingham, Martin burst in and started talking ten to the dozen in his usual Glaswegian accent. Everyone is laughing, but at least 50% of the crew were gobsmacked, because they were so certain he had a London accent that they had no idea.

“We would be going for dinner or a drink completely off set and he’d still be in the accent, but now he feels more agile in it and is more happy to switch between it and when we go for a curry his normal accent comes through.”

However, he still very much chooses to stay in Arnott’s accent whenever he is on set, regardless of whether he’s filming or not, Simon confirmed.

24. Martin based Arnott’s accent on a famous trader

Nick Leeson 

In a 2017 interview with the Telegraph, Martin revealed that he based his Estuary accent on rogue trader Nick Leeson, who famously bankrupted Barings Bank in 1995, and who was depicted by Ewan McGregor in the 1999 film Rogue Trader. 

25. The cast live in close proximity while away from home filming

The Line Of Duty cast even filmed an appearance on Gogglebox while away filming the most recent series

Adrian, Martin and Vicky all live in the same block of flats in Belfast’s city centre when away from home filming the show. 

“We keep the doors open between our adjoining apartments, so we pretty much live in each other’s pockets for four months,” Martin told the Telegraph.

Vicky’s flat is where they learn their lines, Adrian has them over for meals, while Martin’s flat is described as “Party Central”. 

The main cast will usually go for a post-work curry with Jed Mercurio a few times a week during filming. 

The main trio also filmed an appearance on Celebrity Gogglebox while away filming the last series in 2020. 

26. This was the first scene of the show ever shot

Given the show is filmed out of sequence, the first thing committed to tape on Line Of Duty was a scene from episode three of series one, where DCI Tony Gates attempts to dispose of evidence.

27. Bosses had to disguise the fact they’d changed Tony Gates’ name midway through filming series one

Lennie James’ character originally had a different name that was used during early scenes that were filmed on the show, with a decision to change it only coming after the cameras had started rolling. 

This meant bosses had to hide where Gates had been referred to by his original name, including a scene from episode three that had to be dubbed. 

Jed revealed this on Twitter, writing: “Sharp-eyed viewers may have spotted that you never see their faces when they say ‘Tony Gates’. That’s because a couple of days into filming we had to change the name of @RealLennieJames’ character. The actors re-voiced their lines in postproduction and we had to hide their mouths delivering the original name.”

28. Jed has made a cameo appearance – not that you’d be able to tell

The Line Of Duty creator has so far resisted inserting himself into the story, but couldn’t resist a very minor (and even invisible) cameo in the show. 

He actually featured in a scene in the first series where DCI Gates and his lover Jackie Laverty were driving, with Jed behind the wheel of a grey Golf in front of their car. 

29. Martin’s real-life wife has appeared in the show

Martin Compston's wife Tianna Chanel Flynn made a cameo in series five 

Back in series five, Martin’s wife, US actor Tianna Chanel Flynn, made a cameo appearance on the show. 

Her photo was used as the profile picture of a woman called Tina Watts he was messaging on a dating app. 

The couple’s Staffie even featured in “Tina’s” picture too. 

30. That’s not the only time the show has kept it in the family, however

DI Kate Fleming’s son Josh has been played by Vicky’s real-life nephew, Kai. 

31. There’s a hidden reference to another crime fighting duo in the show

Arnott and Fleming in series three 

You might have noticed Fleming and Arnott have used the radio calls 3-7 and 4-5. Well, this is actually a nod to 70s crime drama The Professionals, as these were the same calls used by characters Bodie and Doyle. 

32. Believe it or not, there’s no tight security to prevent spoilers from leaking

Shalom Brune-Franklin joined the cast as DC Chloe Bishop in series six

With a show that creates as much intrigue and as many headlines as Line Of Duty, it’s quite a feat that there has never really been any major spoilers published ahead of the show going out.

And while other shows might carry out huge security operations to ensure there aren’t any leaks, that isn’t the case on this production.

While everyone on set does sign a non-disclosure agreement, Simon Heat credited the cast and crew’s commitment to wanting to constantly surprise their audience.

“What’s brilliant is that everyone behind and in front of the camera, they don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so they don’t say anything,” he told HuffPost. “Compared to some shows, we’ve been fortunate not to have leaks. It possibly helps that we film in Belfast where there’s perhaps less paparazzi attention than you might get in London or other main cities.”

Line Of Duty airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. 

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Zachary Stell 2020-09-30
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Still disappointed in the HBO show? You're not the only one.
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Zachary Stell 2019-09-05
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It’s fair to say the Galaxy Fold didn’t quite make the splash that Samsung was hoping for.

Oh, the new foldable Android smartphone certainly got talked about when it arrived in reviewers’ hands earlier this year, only for all the wrong reasons.

Samsung expected dropped-jaws and covetous glances for its flexible OLED panel sandwiched into a premium clamshell design.

Instead it found itself putting out reputation fires as screens cracked, display layers were unwittingly peeled off, and the Fold demonstrated an unexpected appetite for consuming grit through the gaps in its hinge.

Limited numbers are headed out to South Korea this week, and European availability will pick up where that leaves off shortly.

US sales should follow in a matter of weeks.

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Zachary Stell 2021-07-14
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Sacha Baron Cohen has won a legal victory over a US politician who sued him after being tricked into appearing in a TV sketch involving a so-called “paedophile detector”.

A judge dismissed Roy Moore’s 95 million dollar (£68.9 million) lawsuit against the British comedian and actor over a segment on the 2018 satirical series Who Is America?.

Moore, a 74-year-old failed US Senate candidate and former senior judge from Alabama, had been accused of sexual misconduct when he appeared on the show under the pretence of accepting an award for his support for Israel.

Instead, he was interviewed by Cohen in character as Colonel Erran Morad, who waved a device said to be able to detect sex offenders.

Sacha Baron Cohen pictured at the Oscars earlier this year

When the device beeped, Moore stopped the interview and said: “I’ve been married for 33 years. Never had an accusation of such things. Certainly, I’m not a paedophile, OK?”

The politician sued for defamation and emotional distress but Judge John P Cronan, sitting in the Southern District of New York, has dismissed the case after finding viewers would have known it was a joke.

In a 26-page judgement, he wrote: “Given the satirical nature of the segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen’s conduct during the interview as asserting factual statements concerning Judge Moore.”

And Judge Cronan cited the contractual waiver Moore had signed before appearing on Who Is America?.

Roy Moore pictured in 2019

Moore and his wife Kayla, who was also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, tried to argue the release was void because it was signed under false pretences.

Baron Cohen, 49, reacted to the victory online by referencing the misconduct allegations against Moore, which he had denied.

He tweeted: “Sorry, Roy. Nice try. And this is now part of the legal record: ‘Several published articles accused Judge Moore of inappropriate sexual encounters with young females, including one who was underage’.”

Alongside his tweet, Baron Cohen shared a link to the sketch in question.

Baron Cohen, whose comic creations include Ali G, Bruno and Borat, is known for duping high-profile figures.

He has faced previous lawsuits but they have also been dismissed due to the subjects signing waivers beforehand.

Zachary Stell 2021-06-23
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That's one way to go down in history.
Zachary Stell 2021-05-09
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A reminder of golden Start Menu days

Bork!Bork!Bork!  There are certain things that do not belong in pizza. One is pineapple. Another is the Windows Start Menu.…

Zachary Stell 2021-04-21
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The Reading Rainbow and Star Trek star joins the game show's roster of guest hosts while it searches for a permanent Alex Trebek replacement.
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Zachary Stell 2020-09-19
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Months of cat and mouse chase between Microsoft and Sony has finally ended. Now that the two mega brands have officially announced their gaming consoles for 2020 – their specifications, design and features are now out in the open. This presents a good opportunity to compare the gaming consoles, giving you a fair idea of what’s the best deal for … Continue reading
Zachary Stell 2020-08-21
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We all have that one friend who absolutely sucks at pool, and for Courteney Cox, that Friend is Jennifer Aniston.

The former co-stars took one another on in during a recent night in, but it wasn’t much of a competition for Courteney, it seems.

The Monica Geller actor shared a video of Jennifer displaying some less than impressive skills on the table, which were in stark contrast to her own.

Jennifer was seen missing shots, potting the cue ball, flipping the bird at Courteney and just generally being not very good at the table sport, before she eventually potted a ball at the end of the video.

Sharing it on Instagram, Courteney wrote: “I may have had a good night...but could my friend BE any cuter?”

Jennifer Aniston isn't the best pool player

Posting it to her own page, Jennifer also wrote: “Friends shouldn’t let Friends play pool (especially when they suck).”

All we can say is, at least it wasn’t table tennis, because we all know what happened the last time Courteney/Monica was let loose with a bat and ball…

 

Jennifer and Courteney were due to reunite with their co-stars Lisa KudrowMatt LeBlancDavid Schwimmer and Matthew Perry earlier this year to film a TV special celebrating 25 years of Friends. 

However, the retrospective has now been pushed back for a second time due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It had been thought the actors would be able to come together this month to shoot the unscripted special, which will look back at the iconic sitcom. 

But speaking to Deadline about the second postponement, Jennifer insisted it would be worth the wait for fans. 

“Unfortunately it’s very sad that we had to move it again,” she said “It was, ‘How do we do this with live audiences?’

“This is not a safe time. Period. That’s the bottom line. It’s not a safe time to do it.”

She continued: “You know what? This has also given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been. So I choose to see it as the glass is half-full that it got postponed.

“Look, we’re not going anywhere. You’re never going to get rid of Friends, sorry. You’re stuck with us for life guys.”

Zachary Stell 2021-06-30
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Everything you need to know about the best type of policies and the insurance companies that sell them.
Zachary Stell 2021-06-07
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On Sunday, Swalwell attorney Matthew Kaiser said a private investigator left the papers with Brooks' wife at their home in Alabama.
Zachary Stell 2021-04-27
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Last month, the streets of Austin, Texas bustled with live DJs, flying drones, and bands performing inside flower shops. The virtual streets of Austin, that is.  For the second year in a row, South by Southwest went digital. This time, it featured an immersive recreation of downtown Austin in which attendees could strap on a pair of Oculus Quest headset to drink virtual beer, peruse a crypto-art gallery, and pop into a virtual selfie stand. SXSW 2021 was lauded for its technological feats — and rightly so — but if event organizers are convinced this VR utopia is the new…

This story continues at The Next Web
Zachary Stell 2021-04-03
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Line Of Duty fever is currently sweeping the nation once again as the AC-12 team sink their teeth into a brand new case on the sixth series of the hit BBC show. 

While the twists and turns have got viewers on the edge of their seats, we’re turning our attention to what’s been happening behind the cameras. 

As the BBC’s flagship police drama, a hell of a lot goes into bringing the world of AC-12 to life, and we’ve hunted down all the behind-the-scenes secrets that you probably won’t have known about the show – because Hastings and co aren’t the only detectives round here, you know....

1. Series one was shot in a completely different city to the rest of the show

The foyer of AC-12's HQ belongs to the Invest NI offices in Belfast

While Line Of Duty is set in an unspecified part of the east Midlands, two cities have acted as the backdrop for the show. 

In series one, it was filmed in Birmingham, with the old Municipal Bank building on Broad Street serving as AC-12’s HQ. 

Production moved to Belfast for series two onwards. A floor in the BT Riverside Tower on Lanyon Place has served as the anti-corruption offices, with the exterior and foyer scenes shot at the Invest NI offices in the heart of Belfast on Bedford Street. 

The Belfast Central Library on Royal Avenue doubles as the Police Headquarters where Hastings often goes to visit the top bosses. 

Belfast Central Library

2. Craig Parkinson (aka The Caddy) initially tried out for the role of DS Arnott

Craig Parkinson as DI Matthew 'Dot' Cottan, aka The Caddy

While we can’t think of anyone else except Martin Compston wearing Arnott’s waistcoats, his fellow AC-12er Craig Parkinson actually tried out for his role before landing the part of DI Matthew Cottan. 

3. It was Craig who convinced Martin to audition for the show

Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Craig Parkinson pictured in 2015

In an interview with GQ magazine, Martin said he nearly never went for Line Of Duty, describing himself as “a bit younger and naive and kind of thinking you’re a bit of a method actor”, but it was a phone call with Craig that persuaded him to go for it. 

He said: “I was doing a really intense film at the time called Piggy with Paul Anderson from Peaky Blinders, luckily with a London accent, which helped me with this audition. But my agent said, ‘You’re mad’ and I called Craig – me and Craig have been friends for a long time; he’s someone whose judgement I trust – and he said it was the best thing he’d ever read for TV. And when he said that, it put the antennas up a bit.”

4. DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan originally had a different nickname referencing another EastEnders legend

Dame Barbara Windsor and June Brown, aka EastEnders legends Peggy Mitchell and Dot Cotton

Craig told The Telegraph that Dot was called Matthew ‘Babs’ Windsor “for a looooong time” in the early script drafts. 

5. Arnott wasn’t initially called Arnott, either

He was originally called Steve Andrews in the early scripts. 

6. Neil Morrissey was the first actor to be cast 

Former Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey appeared as DC Nigel Morton in the first three series of Line Of Duty, and while it was a supporting role, he was actually the first actor cast for the show, creator Jed Mercurio revealed on Twitter. 

He described Neil as a “revelation” as DC Morton. 

7. Adrian Dunbar was originally a supporting cast member

While Superintendent Hastings is the backbone of AC-12 these days, he initially started out in series one as a supporting character, before Adrian Dunbar was promoted to the main cast in series two.

8. Vicky McClure completely messed up her audition

Vicky McClure as DI Kate Fleming

Vicky McClure told GQ magazine: “I remember my audition being a shocker. I hadn’t learned my lines. Some people they’re so prepped and I just wasn’t. I missed my mouth when I went to have a drink of water and it all went down my top. I thought, ‘There’s just no chance I’ve got this, to be a cop, I can’t even learn the lines.’ I remember feeling quite underprepared.”

9. BBC One originally passed on Line Of Duty

While BBC One is now the home to Line Of Duty, the channel initially turned down the show, executive producer Simon Heath told GQ

The show was eventually commissioned by BBC Two, where its first three series originally aired, before it was promoted to BBC One for its fourth series in 2017, thanks to bumper ratings. 

10. The police were not keen on cooperating when the show started

DS Steve Arnott, Superintendent Ted Hastings and DI Kate Flemming

With Jed Mercurio insistent that the show must be as authentic in its depiction of police procedures as possible, the team had to seek the help of professionals in the development of the series.

However, they faced huge resistance, according to executive producer Simon Heath, who told HuffPost: “We sent them the first episode which features the accidental shooting of an innocent man suspected of being a terrorist and it was drawing on a number of real-life incidents, but had a letter back from the police saying we won’t cooperate with you on this show as this would never happen. Jed and I were just bemused as obviously there had been these incidents.

“So we then had to do our own off-the-record research and conduct interviews with officers who were perhaps coming to the end of their careers, or were retired or were happy to talk to us anonymously.” 

The show now has a bank of people with direct experience of working in different facets of the police force, which helps inform how it is made.

11. There is still always a police advisor on set to inform the story

The cast during filming of series six

In recent years, this has been the job of former Metropolitan Police officer David Zinzan, who had over 30 years experience in the force, right from the rank of constable up to commander. In that time, he worked in departments focussing on homocide, counter terrorism, anti corruption and serious and organised crime – all staples in Line Of Duty.

He told HuffPost back in 2019: “My job is to stand with Jed and the director and make sure that the procedures, the techniques and the language is correct, and I’m also a resource for the actors, who frequently ask me questions about what their character would be thinking or the expression on their face.”

David is also sent the scripts to go through and check for language and procedures in advance, before sending his notes back to Jed. 

He also assists with what various elements like interview rooms and suspect boards would look like. 

12. The art and props team are also among the first to get the scripts

The art department have to create lots of props and documentation for the series

Much planning has to go into the creation of all the documents, databases and police files that help bring the world of AC-12 to life, and the show’s talented art and props team are among the first people the scripts are shared with, so they can get a head start in making and developing everything that’s required.

Exec Simon Heath told HuffPost: “They are second to none. It is such a big task. They get the scripts quite early so they can get stuff done in advance, which can then be tweaked later in the day if we make some particular changes.”

13. The show is shot out of order

Martin Compston during filming of series five

It usually takes 16 weeks to film a series of Line Of Duty, and the the first three episodes are filmed first, followed by the second three, in what is known in the TV industry as two “blocks”.

However, within these blocks, much of the action is filmed out of sequence, due to the availability of actors and locations for example.

14. However, the set-up completely changed for series six due to Covid

Filming on series six was disrupted due to the pandemic

Filming on series six was suspended after four weeks of shooting in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold, and when everyone returned to set six months later, the way they worked changed dramatically, with the blocks abandoned.  

Vicky told a recent BBC press conference: “The schedule was probably one of the biggest changes from an actor’s perspective because it just meant we were shooting with different directors on the same day, different episodes on the same day.

“Chronology just wasn’t possible because we were bound by location and safety.”

Adrian admitted he found this change difficult and had to have Jed remind him as to what was supposed to be happening at certain points. 

“We were jumping between scenes and it’s sometimes difficult to know where to pitch something when you’re moving between directors and episodes,” he said.

While the cast are usually kept in the dark about the ending of the series at the start, the changes to the way they were working meant that they were privy to more storylines than usual while shooting series six.

15. Jed is usually still writing the final episode of the show when the first three are still being filmed

Jed Mercurio (middle) on set during filming of series five

While you’d think a show as complicated as Line Of Duty would be pretty much set in stone before any actor even stepped on set, turns out that’s not how writer Jed Mercurio likes to work.

In fact, the final episode of the series isn’t usually fully fleshed out by the time the first eight weeks of filming starts, because he likes to change things up as he reacts to seeing the first block of three episodes being shot.

Simon told HuffPost in 2019: “Jed will have the basic structure of episode six, but he’ll allow himself to be able to change and adjust it as the early rushes come in. By the time we get to the edit, we’ve locked it down, but certainly in the early stages of filming where we’ve got rough cuts, we’re still working on episode six.”

16. The iconic interrogation scenes can be filmed up to 20 times each

The interview scenes in AC-12’s headquarters have become synonymous with the show, with some particularly tense ones often playing out on screen for in excess of 20 minutes.

During filming, they shoot them in one continuous take, often repeating the scene up to 20 times so that the editors can cut together all the best bits and make a TV masterpiece.

Simon told HuffPost: “There’s three cameras in the glass box all taking different angles and sizes, and as soon as the assistant shouts ‘action!’ we do the whole scene until they call cut. During that time, no-one can move, otherwise it breaks the whole thing. So you batten down the hatches, make sure you go to the toilet and don’t let your stomach rumble.

“Twenty times to shoot one scene like that might sound a lot, but with the number of characters and the cameras, it isn’t actually that many. With three cameras, you’re effectively generating 60 shots in which to tell the story, and they then cut together those 20 cuts into one scene, with the editors cherry picking all the best looks, the right action and detail.”

And even if someone messes up – which Simon said the usually “word-perfect cast don’t” – they just have to “play on, like you would in the theatre”.

17. There had to be a replica set of the interrogation room built to make it more Covid compliant in series six

The Line Of Duty interrogation room had to be replicated

Vicky said during a recent press conference: “Say AC-12, the [original] interview room is not great for [ventilation] in a glass, contained box – so as much as we used the original set for other things, we used another set... and you genuinely can’t tell a difference.”

18. Adrian Dunbar is responsible for Hastings’ famous Ted-isms

 

Hastings has become beloved for his various catchphrases like “mother of God” over the course of the series, which is something he brought to the role. 

He told GQ: “The ‘mother of God’ stuff is something that my dad used to say all the time. It fits the character, you know. ‘Sucking diesel’s’ mine. It’s something I used to say all the time.

“Jed would ask me what about some really locked-in Belfast phrases, which ones, and ‘floating up the Lagan on a bubble’ is a big Belfast one. So we thought we had to get it in somewhere.”

Adrian recently revealed that fans of the show often help Jed come up with his character’s infamous one-liners as the series has gone on. 

“Jed has got some secret helpers out there,” he said during a recent press conference. “After some Q&As we do, we do ask the audience ‘is there anything Ted should say that’s a real Belfast idiom?’”

19. A previous AC-12 adversary stopped series six guest lead Kelly Macdonald from rejecting her role

Kelly Macdonald as DCI Joanne Davidson

Kelly Macdonald revealed former star Keeley Hawes had to talk her out of turning down starring on the show. 

Kelly said she almost “ran a mile” after seeing the scripts, and turned to Keeley – who appeared as corrupt officer DI Lindsay Denton in series two and three – for advice. 

She told Radio Times: “It’s a horrible thing to ask of someone! But the real issue was the sheer number of words I had to learn. When I saw the script, my first instinct was to run a mile. It’s all addresses and dates and police jargon, especially when I was interviewing suspects.

“Keeley was brilliant; she talked me down from the ledge. She said it might look as though you are being asked to do something completely impossible, but it’s not.”

20. Both Kelly and Thandie Newton hadn’t seen Line Of Duty before being offered their roles

Thandie Newton played DCI Roz Huntley in series four

Because Kelly had spent a number of years in New York filming Boardwalk Empire, she says she “missed a huge amount of British pop culture”. 

“I knew about Line Of Duty because it’s a massive show and everyone is so invested in it week to week, but I did have to start watching the show when I got the offer,” she said during a series six press conference. 

She told Radio Times that she started watching series four after taking on the role of DCI Joanne Davidson and admitted she got “proper nerves” and watching Thandie “wasn’t making it easier!”

Similarly, Hollywood star Thandie Newton – who played series four adversary, DCI Roz Huntley – hadn’t seen Line Of Duty either before she was alerted to the part. 

“I didn’t know anything about the role, but said I wanted to do it,” she told the Sunday Post. “I don’t watch a lot of television – I have kids, so the only things I watch are SpongeBob or Paw Patrol.

“My agent said: ‘Thandie, an offer has come in and if you ever want to work in British TV, this is it.’ I’ve been with my agent since I was 17 so when she said that, I sat up. I watched it and was completely knocked out by it.

“I don’t have the opportunity to work in Britain very much because there are a lot of period dramas and they often don’t have calls for women of colour so I went to Hollywood.”

21. Arnott’s waistcoats were Martin’s idea

Arnott's waistcoats have become a thing in their own right

Martin told the Evening Standard: “Before we started the first series a pal of mine who works in a call centre was telling me about someone who worked with him.  

“This guy was a right wee dick and he wore waistcoats to work — who would wear waistcoats to work in a call centre?”

Martin went on to explain the man in question was always popular with the ladies, and there was a theory it was the waistcoat that was the secret to that success.

So when it came to his ideas for his character, Martin decided: “That’s him - that’s Arnott, the needlessly overdressed guy.”

22. But he had a hard time with them after the filming break during series six

Martin admitted his famous waistcoats were a bit snug when he returned to set after lockdown. 

He explained in a BBC press pack interview: “We started [series six], I had just come off the job called The Nest and I had a few topless scenes in the show. I was probably in the best shape of my life. So, when we started the job at the beginning of this series, I was in pretty good nick! Then lockdown happened. 

“We all ate too much, drank too much. When I came back to the UK and had to quarantine, I asked our lovely costume designer to leave Steve’s suits in my room so I could try them on as they were all tailored. That was a really tough day - I was bursting out of everything! I didn’t realise how the suits were quite so tailored to my original shape! 

“I thought quarantine was going to be wine and pizza, but it was water, soup and an exercise bike for two weeks! I was chuffed to get out of it.”

23. Martin is so method on set, some of the crew didn’t realise he was Scottish

Martin has a Scottish accent in real life

By now, most Line Of Duty fans know that Martin is Scottish and speaks with a Glaswegian accent. However, his method way of doing Arnott’s Estuary accent has sparked some hilarious moments on set.

Recalling a specific moment at the end of filming season one, executive producer Simon Heath told HuffPost: “On that series, he’d stayed in his English accent both on and off screen, the whole time. As they shouted ‘wrap!’ on the final scene, which was being shot in a pub in Birmingham, Martin burst in and started talking ten to the dozen in his usual Glaswegian accent. Everyone is laughing, but at least 50% of the crew were gobsmacked, because they were so certain he had a London accent that they had no idea.

“We would be going for dinner or a drink completely off set and he’d still be in the accent, but now he feels more agile in it and is more happy to switch between it and when we go for a curry his normal accent comes through.”

However, he still very much chooses to stay in Arnott’s accent whenever he is on set, regardless of whether he’s filming or not, Simon confirmed.

24. Martin based Arnott’s accent on a famous trader

Nick Leeson 

In a 2017 interview with the Telegraph, Martin revealed that he based his Estuary accent on rogue trader Nick Leeson, who famously bankrupted Barings Bank in 1995, and who was depicted by Ewan McGregor in the 1999 film Rogue Trader. 

25. The cast live in close proximity while away from home filming

The Line Of Duty cast even filmed an appearance on Gogglebox while away filming the most recent series

Adrian, Martin and Vicky all live in the same block of flats in Belfast’s city centre when away from home filming the show. 

“We keep the doors open between our adjoining apartments, so we pretty much live in each other’s pockets for four months,” Martin told the Telegraph.

Vicky’s flat is where they learn their lines, Adrian has them over for meals, while Martin’s flat is described as “Party Central”. 

The main cast will usually go for a post-work curry with Jed Mercurio a few times a week during filming. 

The main trio also filmed an appearance on Celebrity Gogglebox while away filming the last series in 2020. 

26. This was the first scene of the show ever shot

Given the show is filmed out of sequence, the first thing committed to tape on Line Of Duty was a scene from episode three of series one, where DCI Tony Gates attempts to dispose of evidence.

27. Bosses had to disguise the fact they’d changed Tony Gates’ name midway through filming series one

Lennie James’ character originally had a different name that was used during early scenes that were filmed on the show, with a decision to change it only coming after the cameras had started rolling. 

This meant bosses had to hide where Gates had been referred to by his original name, including a scene from episode three that had to be dubbed. 

Jed revealed this on Twitter, writing: “Sharp-eyed viewers may have spotted that you never see their faces when they say ‘Tony Gates’. That’s because a couple of days into filming we had to change the name of @RealLennieJames’ character. The actors re-voiced their lines in postproduction and we had to hide their mouths delivering the original name.”

28. Jed has made a cameo appearance – not that you’d be able to tell

The Line Of Duty creator has so far resisted inserting himself into the story, but couldn’t resist a very minor (and even invisible) cameo in the show. 

He actually featured in a scene in the first series where DCI Gates and his lover Jackie Laverty were driving, with Jed behind the wheel of a grey Golf in front of their car. 

29. Martin’s real-life wife has appeared in the show

Martin Compston's wife Tianna Chanel Flynn made a cameo in series five 

Back in series five, Martin’s wife, US actor Tianna Chanel Flynn, made a cameo appearance on the show. 

Her photo was used as the profile picture of a woman called Tina Watts he was messaging on a dating app. 

The couple’s Staffie even featured in “Tina’s” picture too. 

30. That’s not the only time the show has kept it in the family, however

DI Kate Fleming’s son Josh has been played by Vicky’s real-life nephew, Kai. 

31. There’s a hidden reference to another crime fighting duo in the show

Arnott and Fleming in series three 

You might have noticed Fleming and Arnott have used the radio calls 3-7 and 4-5. Well, this is actually a nod to 70s crime drama The Professionals, as these were the same calls used by characters Bodie and Doyle. 

32. Believe it or not, there’s no tight security to prevent spoilers from leaking

Shalom Brune-Franklin joined the cast as DC Chloe Bishop in series six

With a show that creates as much intrigue and as many headlines as Line Of Duty, it’s quite a feat that there has never really been any major spoilers published ahead of the show going out.

And while other shows might carry out huge security operations to ensure there aren’t any leaks, that isn’t the case on this production.

While everyone on set does sign a non-disclosure agreement, Simon Heat credited the cast and crew’s commitment to wanting to constantly surprise their audience.

“What’s brilliant is that everyone behind and in front of the camera, they don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so they don’t say anything,” he told HuffPost. “Compared to some shows, we’ve been fortunate not to have leaks. It possibly helps that we film in Belfast where there’s perhaps less paparazzi attention than you might get in London or other main cities.”

Line Of Duty airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. 

Zachary Stell 2021-01-24
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Many times, when I tell women I used to do sex work, they look me up and down and say, “Really?” I probably get this reaction because I’m 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 230 pounds, and I don’t fit their preconception of what a sex worker looks like.

There are a lot of preconceived notions about sex workers held by the general public, and one of the strongest among them in my experience is the belief that sex workers all look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and that men only desire a sex worker who is skinny.  

I’m here to tell you that’s all false.

I don’t by any means have a perfect physique and am what my doctor calls “obese.” I have a big, round tummy covered in pink stretch marks, saggy boobs, areolas that my first boyfriend said looked “like pepperonis” and a moustache that requires regular waxing. I’m human and imperfect, and I worked as a successful escort for more than a decade. 

I started as a full-time escort on the now-defunct Backpage.com. I did not advertise myself as a “BBW” escort ― just merely an escort, like any other girls on Backpage. I never had any problem attracting business. 

Last year, I went to a strip club to audition to be a dancer. The manager clearly found it amusing that someone like me was trying to get a job as a dancer, and he told me that I was “too big.” Given what I know from experience, that a lot of men prefer women my size, why wouldn’t a club want to have as much diversity as possible to appeal to as many clients as possible? To me, that’s just good business sense.

But the heteronormativity of strip clubs is one example of the way men police other men’s desire. The club is like a fishbowl for “acceptable” desire, where most of the performers are thin women without visible imperfections and god forbid they hire more than one woman of colour per club. Strip clubs in and of themselves are only a microcosm of the world at large, reflecting the values of the larger heteronormative white supremacist patriarchal American culture that exists and proliferates far beyond the club.

What I learned from my many years as an escort is that men spend a lot of time posturing for other men around desirability. In private, it’s often a very different story, as men feel like they can express their desire freely. 

Anyone can be a sex worker. There are no beauty prerequisites. Are there shitty beauty standards based on white supremacist patriarchal culture? Yes, indeed. But sex workers who don’t fit into a narrow box can and do make very good livings all the time. There’s a market for every body type, although it’s true that not every market is equal.

When I was volunteering for a sex workers union in Kolkata, India, I met a woman in her 80s in the red light district there who was still working as a sex worker and had many regulars. Is it easier if you’re 25? Probably. But that absolutely does not mean that whether you’re 25 or 85 that there aren’t men who want to be with you. The difference is that men (as a unit) don’t want you to know that men (as individuals) don’t necessarily want a Playboy playmate.  

That said, it has to be addressed that racist, colonialist and transphobic beauty standards are an absolute reality and all too often dictate men’s sexual preferences (especially cisgender white men) in ways that truly negatively affect the most marginalised. The woman of colour with the deeper toned complexion gets passed over at the brothel, or the transgender girl who doesn’t quite “pass” doesn’t get as many website inquiries as the girl who does. While everyone can be desired, it has to be said that many women — women of colour, trans women and especially trans women of colour — have added barriers and hurdles that more privileged women — white and cisgender — do not have to navigate.

White workers and cisgender workers and especially white cisgender workers have an infinitely easier time marketing themselves precisely because these identities are centred, while identities that do not fit this are deemed “other” and face more barriers to earning a steady income.

But the truth ― in the quiet of my bedroom when I’m sitting with a client ― is that men really do desire all kinds of bodies. 

In this way, especially as someone who is a survivor of abuse by many, many different men and has very valid reasons not to trust men, learning this has made me feel free to meet men not with hate and mistrust but with the knowledge that men do not always have to be the enemy. That maybe as much as patriarchy has hurt me, maybe it hurts men in some ways, too. 

Maybe I was wasting far too much energy on hiding my belly or making the guy turn off the lights during sex or going to the bathroom 10 times during a date to make sure my makeup still looks immaculate. Society lied to me. There are men who desire more than just the Pam Andersons of the world.

And the real secret ― that I think men really want us women to know, when they don’t have other men watching them ― is that letting oneself be seen as flawed and human is completely and utterly desirable. And letting myself be unapologetically seen and desired is one of the greatest gifts sex work has given me. 

This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal

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Zachary Stell 2019-09-05
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It’s fair to say the Galaxy Fold didn’t quite make the splash that Samsung was hoping for.

Oh, the new foldable Android smartphone certainly got talked about when it arrived in reviewers’ hands earlier this year, only for all the wrong reasons.

Samsung expected dropped-jaws and covetous glances for its flexible OLED panel sandwiched into a premium clamshell design.

Instead it found itself putting out reputation fires as screens cracked, display layers were unwittingly peeled off, and the Fold demonstrated an unexpected appetite for consuming grit through the gaps in its hinge.

Limited numbers are headed out to South Korea this week, and European availability will pick up where that leaves off shortly.

US sales should follow in a matter of weeks.