Love Island series 4 is only in its second week, and we’re already obsessed.
Why did Kendall have to be the first to go? Are Danni and Jack in it for the long haul? And, will Alex find love?
There are so many questions already, and we are deeply invested.
This week has been dominated however by the shock departure of one of the public’s top favourite Islanders, 23-year-old Niall Aslam, with his unexpected exit breaking the hearts of Love Island viewers, and his ‘rainbow fish’, Georgia.
‘Niall has left the villa for personal reason,’ ITV announced in a statement, something that fellow islander Alex later confirmed to the group.
‘For personal reasons unfortunately Niall can’t continue or come back to the villa,’ Alex announced to the islanders. ‘I’m obviously sad that Niall’s left the villa. We got on really, really well. He’s such a great guy. And I look forward to catching up with him and having some fun with him outside.’
While ITV is staying tight-lipped about the 23-year-old construction worker’s departure from the show, it has been reported by the Mirror Online, that the decision was down to health reasons, made jointly by Niall and the Love Island bosses.
Causing further concern, The Sun Online reported that Niall’s friends were unable to get hold of him after his departure, with one friend reportedly telling the publication, ‘We don’t know what’s gone on and we haven’t spoken to him so we’re in the dark.’
‘We are as shocked as everyone else is,’ another reportedly added. It’s a shame as he was doing really well and taking the show by storm.’
‘Obviously I was coupled up with him so obviously I came closer to him than most people in here,’ his Love Island other half Georgia explained of Niall after his exit. ‘But it wasn’t just that. He was actually my friend, my buddy.’
Meghan Markle is probably the most talked about woman in the world, from her powerful fashion influence to her transformation from Hollywood actress to full-on royal since assuming a Duchess title.
One of the most talked about aspects of Meghan’s life however is her relationship with her grandmother-in-law, the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth has made a noticeable effort with Meghan, making a lot of exceptions to welcome her into the fold, from inviting her to spend Christmas in Sandringham before she was officially a royal to inviting Meghan to accompany her on her personal train – the royal train – to Cheshire just last week, an honour usually reserved for senior titles. Even Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton are yet to receive the honour.
Utrecht Robin/action press/REX/Shutterstock
There was concern when a framed photo of the couple, previously seen in Queen Elizabeth’s audience room, was moved, but royal experts were quick to explain that the Monarch has a tendency of moving her photographs around, assuring the public that the Queen and Meghan are big fans of each other.
In fact, it was recently reported that Meghan may one day be able to refer to the Queen by an affectionate nickname, provided the time is right.
While Meghan will refer to the Queen as ‘You Royal Highness’, ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Ma’am’ for now, she may one day refer to her as something more personal, ‘Mama’.
Yes, really. Royal expert Ingrid Seward explained to The Sun that Meghan would probably one day call the Queen ‘Mama’, a name that Princess Diana once referred to the Monarch as, but only when she ‘gets to know her as Diana did’.
Seeing as the two are yet to go on their first official tour together, we doubt she’ll go for ‘Mama’ just yet.
Continuing our #WomenWhoWin series, we speak to Andria Zafirakou, the inspirational winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.
Andria is an art and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in north-west London and, after being nominated by former and current colleagues, was announced as the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2018 in March. This annual award from the Varkey Foundation that names the best teacher, is worth $1m (about £720,000) , and is presented to an exceptional educator who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.
Andria’s passion for helping her students, as well as her knowledge of the challenges they face is clear from the beginning of our conversation. She says, ‘We love our students. Brent is not the most affluent borough, we’ve got lots of deprivation so it’s not right to just keep it in the classroom… we like to make sure that [the students] are okay outside school.’
True to her word, on top of being the best teacher and her senior leadership roles, Andria escorts pupils to their buses after school to protect them from recruitment into local gangs, has introduced an after-school boxing club and can be found at the school-gates every morning, greeting children in one of 30-something languages spoken in the school.
As one of Andria’s colleagues said in her entry video, ‘You grab on to that enthusiasm that [Andria] has, and it drives you forward as well.’ Victoria Fell sat down to chat with Andria about her childhood ambitions, proudest moments and the changes she would make if she were education minister for the day.
Tell me about your background?
‘I was a very happy child. My parents are migrants, I went to a multicultural primary school in Camden and was Head Girl at my secondary school. My music teacher was an incredibly inspirational teacher. He was in love with teaching his subject, he was so passionate that when you were in the room, you didn’t know what was coming next!’
Where did your ambition to become a teacher come from?
‘I’ve always known I was going to be a teacher – it wasn’t a choice. When I was 4 years old, I used to play ‘teachers’ with my teddies and younger brother, or with my cousin, where I’d be the teacher and she’d be the librarian. When I was older, during my GCSE art lessons, I used to look around the room and think, “Well, in my art class, I’m going to have a wall there, I’m going to have things hanging from the ceiling…” – I was actually visualising my teaching environment!’
Andria winning the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. Credit: Varkey Foundation
What inspired your love for art and textiles?
‘I only found out when I went to university that my grandmother in Cyprus was a weaver by profession. She used to grow her own silk worms and weave silk on a loom. During the conflict between Turkey and Cyprus, the British government told her that she had to give them silk so that they could make parachutes. She would weave silk for them during the day and then secretly by candlelight in the evening, she made her own garments to provide her family with an income.’
How did you feel about being named best teacher?
‘I felt honoured that I was the one who got recognised out of 33,000 others worldwide. This award is all about the impact that teachers can have within their communities and what they are doing to go above and beyond. Teaching is an underappreciated profession, but we’re changing lives and creating destinies.’
What has been your proudest moment?
‘I feel proud when I watch my daughter as the star in her school Nativity play, and also when my children who have left the school come back and say, “Miss I’m now an architect” or “Miss, I’m working for Google designing gaming apps”. The fact that I’ve helped children be inspired to go out and achieve, then come back to me to tell me what they’ve done gives me such a incredible sense of pride.’
Andria with some of her students. Credit: Varkey Foundation
What would you do if you were education minister for a day?
‘I would bring the arts to the forefront. STEM subjects are important, but when you get young people to think creatively, it teaches them focus and resilience. Looking at the children in my north-west London community (a deprived area), arts, drama and music are the subjects that inspire and motivate them.’
Is there anything you refuse to compromise on?
‘I have really high expectations, but in a positive way. I need the people I work with to be on it, to be giving the best they can and to feel confident in making mistakes. I think making mistakes is the best thing that you can do, because that’s how you learn!’
One-person households are the fastest growing demographic in the world. Author Jane Mathews celebrates the art of living alone
It’s like Marmite: you either love living alone or hate it. Either way, we single dwellers are a mighty army. There are now almost 8 million one-person households in the UK, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, rising to 300 million globally. This makes us the fastest-growing demographic in the world.
Most people who live alone have had their hand played for them: it was chance, not choice that got us here. Being by yourself presents a raft of challenges, including cooking for one, going on holiday, eating out alone, juggling finances and not succumbing to the siren call of wine, UGG boots and Netflix. Plus, less tangible tests can ambush you, like holding your head high in a culture where living alone still carries a stigma.
I fell into solo living (following an unanticipated divorce) not so much with an elegant swan dive, but a graceless belly flop. I was unprepared for it and, like a dodgy blind date, I can’t say we hit it off straight away. How times change. I now appreciate and embrace it, and actually prefer it. I don’t see it as a compromise, a holding pattern, a runner-up prize or a bump on the road to sunny coupledom.
It isn’t always easy living alone, but it sure teaches you a lot. For one, don’t let other people’s stereotypes of living alone define you. Yes, we live alone and yes we do have friends, we can land a man, we don’t all have cats. Several studies quoted by Eric Klinenberg in Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise And Surprising Appeal Of Living Alone has proven that some of the strongest, most capable, sociable and loving people in the world live alone. It proves you are independent, and can not only bring home the bacon but whip up a bloody delicious single-serve carbonara while you’re at it. Define yourself by picking three adjectives that capture who you are/want to be. Act like that person and you will become it.
My second learning is to like yourself. Nothing else will fall into place until you nail this one. Develop an armadillo-like, unshakeable sense of self worth. ‘Easy to say…’ you’re thinking, but be kind to yourself and ensure some of your 50,000 thoughts a day are positive ones. Replace your ‘to do’ list with a ‘done’ list; learn a new skill and you’ll be on track. You, and only you, are responsible for your happiness. It lies in your hands − the safest place for it. You can choose to be Velcro or Teflon, attracting and retaining blame, regrets and worries (and turning yourself into a human shit magnet in the process) or let them slip off you.
Ultimately, living alone does not equal being lonely. The fear of it has the power to upset us more than loneliness itself. Identify your triggers and develop tactics to cope with them. The danger of living alone is that it is always potentially leggings o’clock. So, instead of dwelling on your solo state, focus on living your life to the full. Get on top of your self care − finances, housekeeping, cooking and exercise − then get ‘markers’ in your diary, like dinner dates with friends, evening classes or a holiday. Do something you’ve never done before. Remember, you are stronger than you think. You’ve got this.
Her seminal album Jagged Little Pill was an anthem for a generation frustrated at being let down in relationships. Two decades on, the singer is back to remind us of its legacy
On a family holiday to LA in the summer of 1983, there was one ‘celebrity hotspot’ in particular that nine-year-old Alanis Morissette wanted to visit: the home of her idol, Olivia Newton-John. Tracking down the Grease star’s Malibu estate, Morissette marched up to the entrance, buzzed the intercom and announced, ‘Olivia? I don’t know if you can see me. But if you can, I’m going to be big like you someday.’ Such precocious behaviour may have bemused onlookers, but it was a prophecy Morissette would fulfil just 12 years later. The release of her album Jagged Little Pill in 1995 made her one of the biggest music stars overnight. It sold 30 million copies worldwide and earned her four Grammys. Now, as the album’s silver anniversary approaches, Morissette is reminding us why Jagged Little Pill remains, to quote one critic, a ‘cultural touchstone’. In May, a musical based around its songs (with a story devised by Juno’s Diablo Cody) debuted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and next month the singer brings her latest world tour to London. She has, it’s fair to say, come a long way since being an opening act for Vanilla Ice.
Born Alanis Nadine Morissette on 1 June, 1974, in Ottawa, Canada, she was raised alongside her twin brother, Wade, and older brother, Chad, by her teacher parents, Georgia and Alan. It was aged six when she saw the performance by Lindsay and Jacqui Morgan, then one of Canada’s most popular folk duos, that her passion for performing was ignited. As a child actor, she appeared on Canadian children’s television and in musical theatre productions around Ottawa. By the time of her visit to Newton-John’s house, she was already writing and composing her own songs. One in particular, Fate Stay With Me, she sent to Lindsay Morgan, who described it as ‘something really special’. The song was about a break-up and emotionally intuitive beyond her years, prompting Morgan to ask her where she got her material. ‘Well, it’s not from experience,’ was Morissette’s deadpan response.
By the age of 14, she was winning talent shows in Canada and flew to LA to appear in a nationally televised one called Star Search. She had a manager, too, who arranged for her to make a video to send to record labels. Morissette’s image was very of the era: acid-wash denim outfits and her long hair worn big and bouffant. So when John Alexander, a talent scout for MCA Records Canada saw the video, he knew exactly how to market her. ‘[She] is the new Tiffany,’ he told Morissette’s management – according to Paul Cantin’s 1997 biography, Alanis Morissette: A Biography. Tiffany was at the time one of two US female, teenage pop stars dominating the global charts (her most famous hit was I Think We’re Alone Now). The other was Debbie Gibson. But 17-year-old Morissette was Canada’s answer to them both.
Her first single, released in 1991, was the catchy dance track, Too Hot, which led to her opening for Vanilla Ice on his To The Extreme tour. Her debut album, Alanis, was released that same year and sold 100,000 copies, with her follow-up, Now Is The Time, shifting half as many the following year. But deep down the star was dissatisfied. Neither album reflected the music she really wanted to make. She was also struggling with her body image. Two years before her first album came out, she’d sought therapy for anorexia and bulimia. She later blamed it on feeling ‘disassociated’ from normal life as she pursued a singing career. ‘It’s shown up in various forms like eating disorders and not having boundaries around having sex as a young person,’ she told Women’s Health in 2008.
She was unceremoniously dropped by MCA and moved to LA in 1993, where she met producer Glen Ballard, co-writer of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. The pair instantly clicked and set to work producing Jagged Little Pill. The album was released internationally by Madonna’s label, Maverick, on 13 June 1995 – 12 days after Morissette’s 21st birthday. Expected to be a modest hit, it surpassed all expectations. KROQ-FM in LA was the first radio station to play the lead single, You Oughta Know. ‘[It was] one of those rare instances when we put the record on that moment. It was seriously one of the biggest phone reactions I’ve ever seen in the history of the station,’ recalls Lisa Worden, its then-music director. You Oughta Know was the ultimate feminist, ‘fuck you’ break-up song and, amid much speculation, was later claimed to be about comedian Dave Coulier, who Morissette dated in 1992. Even though she was dominating the charts – Jagged Little Pill also spawned the hits Hand In My Pocket and Ironic – she struggled with her fame and the loneliness it created. Reaching out to other stars didn’t help. ‘I’d awkwardly phone different celebrities to see if we could be friends. And a lot of times I’d be met with “Why are you calling me?”’ she recalled.
After touring with Jagged Little Pill, Morissette had a break for a year and a half, spending time in Cuba and India. During this period, she wrote Thank U for her 1998 album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. In the video, directed by acclaimed French photojournalist and director Stéphane Sednaoui, she is completely naked in various public places, save for some strategically placed locks of hair. When asked why she chose to be nude, Morissette spoke of her changing feelings towards her body. ‘Now, who I am inside determines how I feel about my body, instead of the other way around.’ Six years later at the 2004 Juno Awards, she again celebrated the freedom of nudity when she revealed a ‘nude’ bodysuit, complete with nipples and pubic hair, as a protest against US censorship after the Super Bowl ‘Nipplegate’ incident. She was also embracing a new freedom to be herself in her relationships. In 2004, after two years of dating actor Ryan Reynolds, the couple got engaged. ‘I really felt that I had met the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,’ she said. But the wedding never materialised and in 2007 they split. Morissette, then 33, was devastated and channelled her sadness into her next album, Flavors Of Entanglement, released in 2008. ‘In the middle of my break-up, I went to London for 12 days, wrote 12 songs,’ she said. ‘It was like a little life raft for me.’ She also relied on therapy to get her through.
Morissette got engaged to Ryan Reynolds in 2004
Aside from singing, the star loved to act, too, collaborating with cult US film director Kevin Smith, and playing a death-row inmate in off-Broadway play The Exonerated in 2006. Small but recurring roles in Nip/Tuck and Weeds followed, as well as a part in a film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel Radio Free Albemuth – a role that she said she felt ‘blessed to portray’. She also appeared as God alongside avenging angels Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Kevin Smith’s Dogma in 1999, and played a bisexual who kissed Carrie Bradshaw in a 2000 episode of Sex And The City.
The singer and her husband, Mario Treadway
In recent years, Morissette’s music output has been sloth-like compared to some artists, with lengthy gaps between each album. Havoc And Bright Lights was released four years after Flavors Of Entanglement, in 2012, but it did bookend a brilliant period in her life during which she married and became a mother. In 2009, aged 35, the singer met freestyle rapper and DJ Souleye (real name Mario Treadway) and she gave birth to their son, Ever Imre, in 2010. But the experience was blighted by severe postnatal depression – something that also afflicted her when their daughter, Onyx Solace, was born in 2016. It was so severe that she was still suffering 14 months after Onyx’s birth, telling People magazine, ‘There are days I’m debilitated to the point where I can barely move.’
Two years on, though, Morissette says she’s through the worst and has been working on a new album to follow her tour. Fans shouldn’t expect it to be as unapologetic and vehement as her early work. She admits her son’s birth has softened her outlook on relationships. ‘I was able to finally have my maternal energy channelled into an appropriate relationship – versus having done it super-dysfunctionally with ex-boyfriends,’ she says. Yet the star has no regrets at being labelled ‘the angry singer’ throughout her career. ‘If there were to be any quality for which I become a poster child, I’ll take anger,’ she says. ‘Because as a woman, two of the main emotions that we are “not allowed” to feel are anger and sadness. [Yet] anger is such a powerful life force, and I think it can move worlds.’
And the unexpected gift that she gave her new friend…
One of the best things to come out of the royal wedding – aside from those stunning official photographs – was the unexpected but not unlikely friendship between Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland, and Oprah Winfrey.
While the wedding reception and royal after party undoubtedly brought these two together, it looks like there was a budding friendship before the nuptials, with Meghan’s 61-year-old mother reportedly spending a day at Oprah’s home before the big day.
Some thought that Oprah was trying to conduct an exclusive interview with the now Duchess of Sussex’s mother, especially after she emerged from their afternoon together holding gifts, but Oprah has rubbished the rumours, explaining to Entertainment Tonight at the premiere of her new series, Love Is, that it’s just a normal friendship.
‘The story was that Meghan’s mom had come to my house and she left laden with gifts,’ Oprah explained. ‘You know what the gifts were? First of all, she’s great at yoga, so I said, “Bring your yoga mat and your sneaks in case we just want to do yoga on the lawn.” So one of the bags was a yoga mat and the other was lunch.’
And the other ‘gifts’? They were kumquats – small orange fruit from Oprah’s garden.
‘She said, “I love kumquats”‘, explained Oprah. ‘And I said, “I have a kumquat tree! You want some kumquats?” So it was a basket of kumquats, people. For all of the people who said I am getting her gifts and I’m trying to bribe her for an interview—they were kumquats. If kumquats can get you an interview, I’m all for it!’
In fact, with 66 years as Monarch under her belt, HRH has unsurprisingly got travelling down to a fine art, known to always bring a few home comforts and necessities along with her to make the travelling bearable.
All royals have to bring a black outfit with them when travelling overseas incase they have to come back in mourning, something Queen Elizabeth tragically found out for herself on her return from Kenya in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. But Queen Elizabeth has added some other items to her regular travel pack list.
There’s a monogrammed kettle and earl grey, pine-scented soaps, framed family photos, Harrods’ sausages, Gin, barley sugar and of course a hot water bottle down on the list, but the most surprising item? Blood.
Yes, that’s right. The unexpected item that HRH takes with her on the regular is a pack of her own blood.
Why? Well it does actually make a bit of sense. The Queen – and her son, the Prince of Wales – always travel with a pack of their own blood, looked after by a navy doctor who is always close by. This way, they will be able to receive blood transfusions even if they are in an area where there many not be a reliable supply.
Ryan Gosling is one of the most talked about people in Hollywood, but he’s also one of the most private, rarely active on social media and only infrequently opening up about personal matters.
In his Golden Globes acceptance speech last year, he surprised everyone by dedicating his La La Land gong to his wife, Eva Mendes, announcing to the crowd, ‘While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today. So, sweetheart, thank you.’
Just this week, Ryan got personal about his family once again, opening up about his wife and children while appearing on a special Games Night episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about his new film, First Man.
Admitting he hadn’t had a chance to watch the games, Ryan explained, ‘I knew I was going to be on the show so I was excited to watch the games. But I have a two-year-old and a three-and-a-half-year-old, so, let’s be honest, I’m not watching anything that doesn’t have a talking tiger in it.’
He then went on to talk about his wife, Eva Mendes, explaining how she worked out he had concussion after he underwent intense training to play astronaut Neil Armstrong.
‘I did some physical training. At NASA, they put us through the paces in certain ways,’ he explained to Jimmy. ‘For instance, they built this multi-axis trainer, which is something NASA designed just to help the astronauts prepare for the worst-case scenarios in space. But it’s this thing that kind of sends you ass over teakettle.’
‘They would only do it for 20 minutes at a time or something but in the movie, because we had to get a lot of shots, I was in it for like six to eight hours,’ he continued, going on to explain that he had hit his head repeatedly.
‘Well, I knew something was wrong when I went home one night and I called Eva, and I was just hellbent on this idea that there were people in doughnut stores all around the world that were trying to charm their way into getting free doughnuts.’
He continued: ‘She was so patient and listening. She was like, “I think you might have brain damage. I think you should go to the hospital.”’
And it turns out she was right, with Ryan diagnosed with a concussion from his astronaut training.
First Man is set to hit cinemas in October 2018 and we officially cannot wait.
This is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.
While Kate Middleton has been at the centre of viral news this year – giving birth to an heir to the throne and all, this week has been all about her younger sister, Pippa Middleton.
Confirming her pregnancy this week, royal fans have been getting excited that the two sisters will become even closer, with Pippa’s future arrival having three cousins in Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
But it turns out the sisters have more in common that just motherhood, with 34-year-old Pippa set to acquire a noble title.
The strangest part? It has nothing to do with Kate’s Duchess of Cambridge title or her link to the royal family.
That’s right. Pippa’s title comes from her husband, James Matthews, to whom she wed last year.
The hedge fund financier’s father is the Laird of Glen Affric, a title he reportedly acquired when buying a castle and a 10,000-acre estate in the Highlands, something his eldest son James will inherit.
This would one day make Pippa Middleton, Lady Glen Affric.
Noble titles are probably the furthest thing from Pippa’s mind however, with her and 42-year-old James expecting their first child together.
‘I was lucky to pass the 12 week scan without suffering from morning sickness,’ Pippa explained in a column for Waitrose Weekend, confirming the pregnancy. ‘That meant I was able to carry on as normal.’
‘This being my first pregnancy, I had so many questions I felt were still unanswered,’ she continued, ‘I’ve noticed my body change and weight increase, but through effective exercise and sports I feel that it’s being strengthened to support a healthy pregnancy, birth and recovery.’
But instead of looking back, the public instead seem far more concerned with looking forwards to the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s future.
The couple now have their new titles and an enviable home – well, two if you include their new stately home on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.
So what’s next? Children it sounds like.
While the couple originally announced in their engagement interview that they were taking it ‘one step at a time’, Harry did let slip that he hoped ‘[they] will start a family in the near future.’
And it looks like it could be sooner than we thought.
There have been Prince Harry baby rumours for as long as the couple have been together, but now they seem to be growing louder than ever.
‘Having children is definitely a priority,’ a source close to the couple reportedly told Us Weekly, going on to explain that the couple ‘want to start a family right away – and she’ll start trying as soon as she can.’
There have been rumours circulating for a while, with royal correspondent Katie Nicholl backing the speculation.
‘My sources are saying that Prince Harry, particularly, is very keen to start a family, pretty soon after the royal wedding,’ Nicholl reportedly told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the nuptials. ‘He’s made no secret about wanting children.’
She continued: ’I think that moment [for Harry] really kicked in when his brother, Prince William, of course, settled down with Kate Middleton. That has definitely gotten Prince Harry pretty broody.’