Omo Sexy remakes Nollywood, music industry into money machine | P.M. News

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Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is trying to reorganise Nollywood and Nigeria’s music industry to become a money making machine for all the stakeholders as she staged an entertainment fair TEFFEST. Will she succeed?

International Business Times zeroes in on her effort in this feature by AFP:

Fake eyelashes fluttered, bespoke suits were on display and slick music videos played at the inaugural edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos in late November.

But behind the glitter, the reality of the film and music sectors in Africa’s most populous nation can often be far less glamorous: wages are low, there are no social protections and copyright law is rarely enforced.

That comes despite the country boasting the second most productive film industry in the world and some of Africa’s biggest pop stars.

Hits by singers like Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido play non-stop on stations across the continent and Nollywood churns out some 2,500 movies each year.

Despite the successes, revenues from Nigeria’s entertainment and media sector in 2018 lagged well behind that of the continent’s other leading economic powerhouse South Africa at $4.5 billion compared to $9.1 billion, PwC said.

That difference is not down to output or demand as Nigeria produces more, exports more and has a domestic market of some 200 million people, four times bigger than South Africa.

Instead industry insiders insist it is a problem of organisation.

South Africa has better systems for ensuring royalty payments for artists, stronger legal protections and more modern facilities such as film studios, concert venues and cinemas.

In a bid to help remedy the issues facing the industry, veteran Nollywood star Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde came up with the first entertainment business fair, known as TEFFEST.

It is aimed at bringing together actors, singers, producers, insurers, lawyers and managers to better organise the sector.

“The entertainment industry has grown without structures, without a roof,” Jalade-Ekeinde, nicknamed “Omo Sexy”, told AFP.

“For decades, we were not taken seriously and the big corporation companies didn’t consider us.”

The situation has changed as the industry has grown and now companies like Netflix are looking to step up their involvement in Nollywood and international labels attempting to tap Afropop stars.

“We produced, we grew, we became something suddenly and now the corporate world is trying to understand how we work and how they can deal with us,” Jalade-Ekeinde, AKA “the Queen of Nollywood”, said.

But the problems riddling the industry means it is often difficult to invest.

“There is nothing to celebrate here,” said Efe Omoregbe, manager of singer 2Face and former board member of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which was dissolved by the government due to an internal conflict.

“We should be fixing and addressing major structural issues (…) We live in a culture of abuse when it comes to copyrights.”

PwC estimates that 80 percent of the pirate CDs globally can be found in Nigeria and singer Brymo says that in almost 20 years performing he has never received any money from his songs playing on local radio stations.

“Internationally, we make money through digital distribution platforms that have taken over rapidly, but locally it’s mostly with gigs or endorsement deals,” he said.

Lawyer Simeon Okoduwa said he tries to insist on artists signing a contract with producers before working with them.

“Too many film shoots or recordings are still done based on promises and handshakes,” he said.

This is an issue that leading actor Michelle Dede knows only too well.

The star always demands a written contract before starting her next film — and says the largest production companies now do offer written contracts as standard.

“Before producers thought I was being pretentious,” she said.

Despite the improvements she still decries the lack of protections for performers or a minimum wage for actors and others involved in the industry such as make-up artists, cameramen and technicians.

Nollywood is a vast employer in Nigeria — with some estimates saying it offers jobs to one million people — but much of that is very precarious.

“We make more money on building a brand than acting,” said Dede.

“But I shouldn’t be focusing on how many likes I get on Instagram, I should be working on my roles.”

Despite the drawbacks, the entertainment industry is still a major draw in a country where almost half the population live in extreme poverty.

But Dede said she still has no regret of leaving her job in marketing in London to launch herself in Nollywood.

“Nothing makes me happier than acting,” she said.

“Even though the pay is not good, there is no way I would give up on that.”

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Will X Factor Celebrity improve the show’s ratings?

It’s the time of year again where your TV guide fills up with more late-night entertainment.

ITV’s The X Factor used to dominate the weekend ratings with its sometimes harsh auditions and names like Beyonce and Rihanna at the live finals.

But over the years, the show’s figures have dropped to less than half of what they were in 2010.

The first episode of the celebrity edition aired on Saturday, with 4.71 million viewers.

The X Factor reached peak viewing figures in 2010 when, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), episodes averaged more than 14 million viewers in the UK.

Last year’s series, won by Dalton Harris, averaged roughly six million viewers, so last night’s figures of five million aren’t a great start for the series.

The format is simple, celebrities who are already known by the public, but not for singing, compete to impress judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh.

The line-up caters to a range of ages, including everyone from Love Island stars and social media influencers, to broadcast journalist Martin Bashir.

newsSpeaking last week at the show’s launch on Thursday, original judge Louis Walsh told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “It needed something different.
This is a whole new chapter and I think it’s the future for X Factor.”

 

The first episode, showing auditions in front of various music producers and writers in Simon’s garden in Malibu, received mixed responses online.

The format is far from the small, minimally designed audition room with an X on the floor from early series’, but the judges haven’t changed much.

Reality star Megan McKenna told Newsbeat: “I was so happy when I found out it was judged by Simon, Nicole and Louis because they’re the originals.

“I’ve watched the show growing up my entire life, so singing in front of them was one of the best moments of my whole life.”

BBCDermot O’Leary will once again host the series and be the contestants’ general shoulder to cry on.

He said: “It may well be that we uncover this incredible singer, it may well be that it doesn’t fly – but it’s definitely worth the risk.

“Whether we can find a recording artist with these celebrities – probably not! As long as we can put on a good entertainment show, that’s what matters.”

Nicole agreed that the show was more about providing entertainment, saying: “We still get pretty great ratings, all we can do it put on the best show we can, and hopefully we can entertain the people who are watching.”

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How reality TV is changing the way we consume fashion

BBC Image copyright MissPap
Image caption Queen of the Island Amber Gill

There were two big winners of ITV2’s Love Island this year. Amber Gill, the contestant who won the show, and Boohoo, the online fast fashion retailer who signed her.

In June, while the Islanders were flirting their way to celebrity in the Mediterranean sun, Boohoo overtook its long-term rival Asos to become the most valuable seller of clothing for the UK’s youth. It is now worth £3.1bn to Asos’s £2bn.

And it’s widely thought that brand collaborations with popular ex-Love Island stars are believed to be largely responsible for this success.

The first collection of Love Island winner Amber Gill with Boohoo-owned label MissPap, which dropped today, has reportedly helped drive annual sales to £1bn for the first time.

Boohoo acquired MissPap in March before announcing Amber as the official face of its relaunch, in a deal worth a reported £1m.

Even before the collection was revealed. Amber had been promoting the brand on her social media channels to her 2.8m followers. Since the announcement in September, her posts have generated a buzz around Amber’s “inclusive” collection which has attracted early shoppers to the website.

Boohoo chief executive officer John Lyttle commented in a press release: “Amber is a perfect fit for the MissPap brand and we are delighted to have her on board.”


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Maisie Alice, 20, is a Birmingham university student who cites social media and reality television as two of the main motivators for buying from fast fashion companies.

“A lot of my outfit inspiration has come from social media,” she says. “What motivates me most to shop with particular brands is the price, and TV shows like Love Island which collaborate with them.”

Maisie has already bought clothes from a collection from the Boohoo brand PrettyLittleThing, endorsed by the second-placed Love Island contestant, Molly-Mae Hague. It was “a great use of marketing because I probably wouldn’t have bought a lot of the collection if I’d only seen it [on the website],” she says.

“Knowing her name is attached to it definitely makes me feel more inclined to buy it.”

Celebrity editor of Grazia Magazine, Guy Pewsey argues that the appeal of using ex-Islanders over more notable celebrities, is that they are more relatable to their target demographic.

“I think consumers have woken up to the fact that when they see Gigi Hadid endorse a dress it will not look as good on us as it will on her,” he says. “Amber is a real woman, she feels authentic. Consumers want the girls next door, not a goddess we worship but we know we can never be.”

news Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gigi Hadid models for Lavin at Paris Fashion Week

“Saint Laurent won’t sign Amber, but young consumers want to see someone like Amber Gill endorse affordable clothes,” he says.

“Amber would buy a Boohoo dress and wear it on a Friday night. You can pay Kate Moss £1m but no one is going to believe she is buying those clothes.”

Boohoo is not the only fashion company to try to surf the Love Island wave. This summer Asos launched a collection with Islander Ovie Soko, and Manchester-based retailer Isawitfirst launched an official fashion collaboration with the show, including providing outfits for contestants to wear.

BBC Image copyright ASOS
Image caption Popular Love Island star Ovie Soko also launched a collaboration with Asos this summer

Mr Pewsey believes that fast fashion companies are choosing to sign Love Island stars due to their marketing appeal after they first leave the Island, but believes their marketability has a time limit.

“From a marketing standpoint, it’s smart to launch MissPap with Amber. You don’t have long to sign people like Amber or Molly.”

“Love Island is now coming back in January [for its first ever winter series, filmed in South Africa], which means as a company you do not have long to get someone from the series on board and then make the most of their marketability,” he says.

“In January, Amber will find other endorsements if she’s smart and has a good team behind her, but it’s unlikely she’ll remain the face of MissPap for very long when the new winner comes out of South Africa.”

This is certainly reflected through Boohoo’s sales which were reportedly strongest at Boohoo-owned NastyGal and PrettyLittleThing. Both brands are renowned for their collaborations with popular social media personalities such as Paris Hilton, Jordyn Woods and Kourtney Kardashian.

Stella Claxton, a senior lecturer in fashion and sustainability at Nottingham Trent University, believes there is a psychological reason why influencer-backed marketing strategies have become a success.

“Young people are very social media conscious. Their desire is visually influenced by images shared on social media,” she says.

“Consumers believe if you look like the people from Love Island, you feel cool or influential. There is a tribal nature to it.”

BBC Image copyright PrettyLittleThing
Image caption Items from Molly-Mae Hague’s PrettyLittleThing collaboration sold out instantly prompting a second drop in October

Although fast fashion brands have found financial success through this strategy, Ms Claxton argues it is not an environmentally conscious way of producing clothing.

“Fast fashion brands are able to be successful as they can try a style and mass produce it,” she said. “They focus on trends and are able to meet the customers needs for ‘newness’.

“If Kim Kardashian wears something on Instagram today, they can mass produce it tomorrow.”

“We have a market where these garments are aimed at young women who gain pleasure from buying clothing,” Ms Claxton adds.

The outfits sell for prices which their target customers can afford to buy multiple times a month. They consume significant resources to make and distribute, but are not designed to last.

“The actual value of the item is very low in quality terms and in emotional terms to them. Brands want customers to consume more to keep up with trends – which generates a big waste problem.”

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Neeson, Branagh and Rea narrate Troubles ‘requiem’

BBC Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption The film, Lost Lives, is a requiem for those killed in the Troubles

In 1991, four men sat down in Belfast to write a book of the dead.

They resolved to put on record the stories of what happened to every man, woman and child killed during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Their testament to suffering would take eight years of painstaking research. They detailed 3,700 lives shattered. Their book was Lost Lives.

Now, two film makers and a host of Irish actors have followed in those writers’ footsteps.

news Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption Actor Stephen Rea was one of the narrators for the film, Lost Lives

Taking Lost Lives as their inspiration, they have created a requiem for the Troubles dead.

Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, Kenneth Branagh, Adrian Dunbar and Bronagh Waugh are among a long list of acting talent from Northern Ireland who have given their voices to the film.

The book was written by veteran NI journalist David McKittrick, BBC journalists Chris Thornton and the late Seamus Kelters, and political commentator Brian Feeney. At a later stage, David McVea joined in.

BBC
Image caption Lost Lives authors Seamus Kelters and David McKittrick pictured at the book launch in 1999

First published in 1999, it was an act of remembrance, lest a single life be forgotten.

It is considered the go-to reference book and an authority on the Troubles.

In the Irish Times in 2006, journalist Susan McKay wrote: “A Tyrone man bought five copies. Five members of his family, all in the security forces, had been killed.

“A Donegal man found out from the book that it was the UVF, and not the IRA, that had killed his brother – as his family had supposed for 30 years.

“It has been read out in churches, Protestant and Catholic. A woman wept so much over the book in a shop she left mascara stains on the page at which she’d opened it.”

‘War is Hell’

The new film, which has its premiere in London later on Thursday, tells individual stories from the book, using archive footage, music and the book’s words spoken by actors to bring them to life.

news Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption A still from the film which combines beautiful imagery with the horrors of footage from the Troubles

Dermot Lavery and Michael Hewitt of DoubleBand film say theirs is not a documentary, but rather a “creative response” to the book.

They found their inspiration between the pages of the stout volume where each victim’s name and age are listed along with the date and the details of their death.

Their film melds strikingly beautiful images with the crackle of gunfire and the ugly thud of bombs.

“It is a reminder that war is Hell,” said Lavery.

“For us, it is a cinematic event that addresses the past, but looks to the future.”

BBC

Wrap my country up in cotton wool

Bronagh Waugh, actress

news Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption Actress Bronagh Waugh narrating her part in Lost Lives

I felt deeply honoured to take part. I was born in Coleraine in 1982 and I knew friends whose parents had been killed in the Troubles.

I didn’t know that the book, Lost Lives, existed. When I held it in my hands, what struck me was the sheer volume of it. I wanted to read all of it.

How personal the stories were. People can become statistics. But here were the stories of real people. There were so many ordinary lives and what would those lives have been, if they had not been killed?

At the recording, I was reading the story of a mother and my voice kept breaking. It was so visceral and real.

What Lost Lives shows is how fragile peace is and how we must never take it for granted.

I want to wrap my country up in cotton wool.

BBC

Lost Lives – a production commissioned by BBC Northern Ireland with funding from NI Screen – is a film about humanity and inhumanity, about innocence and experience during the Troubles – a local story that played out for more than 30 years on a worldwide stage.

It marries the beauty of the natural world with old footage from past atrocities.

The camera holds the face of a toddler in a knitted bonnet sitting in her pram at a street corner, watching her world collapse.

A woman stares out from behind lace curtains as violence unfolds on her street.

A man is filmed abandoning his home, loading his worldly possessions on to a trailer with an air of resignation, lumping a huge statue of the Virgin Mary on the top.

The film is an elegy that flicks from children playing with toy guns to the crackle of real gunfire.

The viewer is brought back again and again to the fluttering pages of the Lost Lives book and to story after story of heartbreak.

We hear about the parents who left Belfast after their child was shot dead… but they had to come back.

“I wasn’t content knowing that Patrick was buried here, I wanted to be near him,” said Patrick Rooney’s mother.

news Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption The authors of the book wanted to communicate the human cost of the Troubles

We hear the words of Mary Isobel Thompson’s widower: “She was a happy wee woman, the world’s best.

“There was just the two of us, we had no family, so we always went everywhere together. Now I am by myself. Sometimes I do not realise, I think I hear her calling for me…”

And there is Philip Rafferty, just 14, abducted, hooded and shot dead. He had been on his way to a music lesson.

His Jewish uncle wrote a letter to a newspaper. He said he had lost a cousin to Hitler’s gas chambers and now, more than 30 years later, another child had died needlessly.

He said Philip was a small frail boy who suffered from asthma. He was his parents pride and joy. He was barely 14.

“That’s all the years Philip Rafferty had… Why did he die?”

BBC

‘Nobody needed persuading’

Michael Hewitt, film maker

news Image copyright DoubleBand Films
Image caption Michael Hewitt and Dermot Lavery ensured that every name in the book Lost Lives appears in the film

We started making the film three years ago, but we were having conversations about it long before that.

Lost Lives is a reference book, but it represents much more than that. The challenge was how do you make a film from a book like that?

We made a commitment that every name in the book should be listed in the film.

Then we found extracts where there was a quote from a family member that reflected the hurt felt by those left behind. We were very much drawn to that.

The actors all came on board so readily. There was something of real value in the fact that they were lending their support and their voices to the film.

We felt enormously honoured. Nobody needed persuading or to be asked a second time.

We are very clear that we are living in troubled times. We need to remember the cost when things are settled through violence.

When you hold that book in your hand, you can feel the weight of all that was lost, all the lives.

You have to ask why.

BBC

Lost Lives, the film, is being released to mark 50 years since the Troubles began.

It receives its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday 10 October, followed by a question-and-answer session with the film makers and narrators which will feature at UK screenings on 23 October.

Actors Stephen Rea, Brid Brennan, Roma Downey, Michelle Fairley, Brendan Gleeson, Dan Gordon, James Nesbitt, Conleth Hill, Susan Lynch, Emer O’Connor, Stephen Rea, Judith Roddy, Michael Smiley, Bronagh Waugh Des McAleer, Martin McCann, Ian McElhinney and Sean McGinley also lend their voices.

The film is also being shown at Belfast’s QFT cinema from Friday 11 October. It will be shown on BBC television later this year.

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Last of the Summer Wine actress Kaplan dies

BBC

Juliette Kaplan, who played battleaxe Pearl Sibshaw in BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine for 25 years, has died at the age of 80, her agent has said.

Kaplan appeared in 226 episodes of the show from 1985 to 2010, with the sharp-tongued Pearl trying to thwart husband Howard’s attempts to have an affair.

Kaplan also appeared in Coronation Street in 2015 as Agnes Tinker.

Barry Langford thanked “everyone who sent their love and support to this fearless and supremely gifted actress”.

news

The news comes after the agent said on 31 July that she was “gravely ill”, describing her as a “very brave lady”.

Last of the Summer Wine ran from 1973 to 2010, taking a comical look at the lives of the elderly residents of a Yorkshire town.

Kaplan told Kent Life in 2012 she first got the role as Pearl when it toured the UK as a play in 1984. Creator and writer Roy Clarke then wrote Pearl into the TV series as one of the permanent characters.

BBC
Image caption Robert Fyfe played Pearl’s husband Howard

The actress was born in Bournemouth but moved around as a child as a result of her South African father’s job in the Navy.

She told the Summer Winos fan site in 2012 that having lived in South Africa and New York, her mother wanted to refine her daughter’s accent, “so she sent me to elocution lessons” at drama school.

She went on to pursue an acting career and worked in theatre. She married and had three children, but her husband died in 1981 when she was 42.

news Image copyright Shutterstock
Image caption Juliette Kaplan worked as an actress throughout her life

Kaplan also appeared in TV shows including EastEnders, Brookside and Doctors, but the role of Pearl was the most enduring of her career. She said she helped create her character’s distinctive look, complete with wig and glasses.

“They actually gave me a wig from stock, and it used to flap at the back,” she said. “So every time the wind blew, my wig came off! So it was my idea to anchor it with either a turban or a beret.”

BBC
Image caption She was in a 2005 Christmas special with (left-right) June Whitfield and Kathy Staff

She also appeared in a show written by Clarke called Just Pearl, which toured the UK in 2003, telling the story of Pearl’s life before she met Howard.

She told Summer Winos: “My show starts with me turning into Pearl in front of the audience.

“I put the make-up on, put the coat on, and say ‘There you are… there’s Pearl’. And the audience likes that sort of thing.”

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‘I filled a room with My Little Ponies’

BBC Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
Image caption Laura Kate Shippert has paid hundreds of pounds for a single Blythe doll

Ask yourself which toys are most collectible: train sets, die-cast cars, and – it almost goes without saying – Star Wars figures. The most obsessively collected examples tend to have one thing in common – they were originally marketed at boys.

While these toys aren’t collected exclusively by men, women are less likely to have vast collections of them. So which vintage toys are women seeking out?

Blythe

news Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
Image caption Blythe pondered on the mysteries of Stonehenge during her visit to the famous stone circle

Thanks to her peculiarly oversized head and bulging eyes that change colour with the pull of a string, not many girls wanted to play with Blythe when she was introduced in 1972.

But Blythe has become strangely popular in recent years and original dolls now sell for between £500 and £2,000, depending on their condition.

“They were only released for a year,” says Laura Kate Shippert, one of the organisers of BlytheCon UK, which was held in Bristol earlier this month. “They failed terribly; people thought they were a bit freaky and scary.”

BBC Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
Image caption This Blythe doll was lucky enough to see Notre-Dame before the devastating fire

Their popularity in recent years was sparked by a book called This is Blythe, in which photographer Gina Garan featured the dolls artfully posed like real fashion models. Others then started picking up second-hand Blythe dolls – which were relatively cheap at the time – dressing them in glamorous outfits and photographing them in exotic locations.

The renewed interest has led to new Blythe dolls being produced, known in the community as “Neo Blythes” – and these are pretty valuable too.

“They are anywhere from £100 to £400 new, then after a while some become more popular and harder to find, and the prices will fluctuate,” says Laura Kate.

She has 17 Blythe dolls, but only one is an original from 1972. She paid £400 for it about 10 years ago, which was “a steal” even at the time.

news Image copyright Laura Kate Shippert
Image caption This Blythe opted for a classic tourist pose in front of the Eiffel Tower

Laura Kate considers her own collection to be quite small compared to other people’s.

“I know someone who owns like 40 of them and I think ‘but you could own a house’,” she says. “If that’s what makes her happy and that’s what she wants to spend her money on, she’s an adult, she can make her choices. It’s not cocaine.”

My Little Pony

BBC Image copyright Martina Foster
Image caption Martina Foster (right) is known in the pony community as Sparkler, her favourite My Little Pony

The My Little Pony phenomenon began when the toys were launched in 1982. About 150 million ponies were reportedly sold in the 1980s, with their popularity boosted by an animated TV series. Actor Danny DeVito even lent his voice to the 1986 film My Little Pony: The Movie.

Martina Foster loves My Little Pony so much she has a “pony room” in her house filled with somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 of them, worth between £10,000 and £15,000.

Martina was seven years old when she was given her first one – a pony called Tootsie printed with lollipop “cutie marks”. She rediscovered them while searching eBay as a student, then got her old ones out of the loft.

news Image copyright Martina Foster
Image caption These two ponies enjoyed prancing in the sun on a day out at the river
BBC Image copyright Martina Foster
Image caption Dressing up as a pony is encouraged at UK PonyCon, but attendees are not permitted to wear real metal horseshoes

“I thought, ‘I’ll buy the ones that I always wanted, just for fun’,” she says. “Then you get sucked into it.”

Martina says the market fluctuates but rare ones in good condition can now fetch thousands of pounds. The most she has spent is a £200 for a pony called Rapunzel – “a bargain” because it is now worth about £500.

Martina is vice chairman of this year’s UK PonyCon, which is being held in Nottingham this weekend. As well as attracting collectors of the original toys, the convention attracts fans of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, which launched in 2010.

news Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption My Little Pony was originally launched in 1982 by Hasbro and has been revived three times since then

While My Little Pony was marketed towards girls in the 1980s, many fans of the animated series are adult men.

“It is fairly watchable even for grown-ups,” says Martina. “You can watch it as an adult and there are some witty things in it and in the end it’s all about friendship and accepting other people.”

Pippa

BBC Image copyright Heather Swann
Image caption Heather Swann photographs her dolls and posts photos online

Pippa was marketed as “the pocket money fashion doll” when she was sold in the 1970s, but Vectis Auctions has sold Pippa dolls for as much as £1,400 in recent years. She and her friends are much shorter than normal fashion dolls at only 6.5 inches (16.5cm) tall, which meant production costs were low.

Heather Swann started collecting them about 20 years ago after picking one up in a charity shop for 50p. She wanted to collect them as a way of recapturing her childhood.

“Isn’t that why people collect toys?” she says.

news Image copyright Heather Swann
Image caption Heather has about 50 Pippa dolls, made by Leicestershire toymaker Palitoy

After Heather’s charity shop find she started buying more dolls through eBay.

“They were much cheaper then, as ladies of a certain age were just beginning to find them,” she says. “Unfortunately they are now becoming expensive and many collectors are after them.”

BBC Image copyright Heather Swann
Image caption Heather says Pippa dolls are becoming more expensive

Heather describes her collection of about 50 dolls as “medium size”, as many women have hundreds. She has seen individual dolls sell for hundreds of pounds but the most she has ever spent is £40.

“I don’t tend to buy the expensive dolls, I now just look out for the ones which need a transformation,” she says. “I enjoy the process of restoring them.”

Care Bears

news Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
Image caption Jennifer Hawkins’s 200 Care Bears take up so much space in her house she bought a bunk-bed for them

Care Bears were originally painted in 1981 to appear on greetings cards, before the characters were turned into soft toys in 1983. A television series followed, as did books, a plethora of merchandise, multiple LPs and a film in 1985 for which Carole King was persuaded to write and perform songs for the soundtrack.

Jennifer Hawkins loves Care Bears so much she had her favourite one, Bedtime Bear, tattooed on her arm.

“I was looking around earlier and I think I’ve got something Care Bears-related in every room, except my bathroom,” says Jennifer, who lives in Gloucester with about 200 Care Bears.

“But they make me happy so I’m quite happy to have them everywhere. I like the cuteness, I like having the little faces to talk to, I like the fact that they represent different feelings.”

BBC Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
Image caption Jennifer spent £140 on this 25th anniversary edition of Bedtime Bear

Jennifer got one of her favourites – called Beanie – “as a comfort” when her grandfather died the day after her 14th birthday.

“He [Beanie] comes pretty much everywhere with me now,” she says.

news Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
Image caption Jennifer had a tattoo of Bedtime Bear sitting on a cloud

She estimates her collection is worth “a few thousand”. The most she spent on an individual bear was £140, which was a 25th anniversary version of Bedtime Bear, and resisted the temptation to spend £500 on an original 1980s Bedtime Bear that was still in the box.

“Unfortunately I can’t afford to spend a month’s rent on one bear,” she says. “That’s definitely a bit too much.”

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BBC Image copyright Jennifer Hawkins
Image caption Nearly every room of Jennifer’s house has something Care Bears-related in it

Barbie and Sindy

Barbie was launched in 1959 and swiftly became a cultural icon, gathering fans among each new generation of girls.

Linda Richardson was not one of them. When her mother gave her Barbies, she chopped their heads off.

news Image copyright Linda Richardson
Image caption Most of Linda’s dolls are NRFB – “never removed from box”

“My passion was always cowboys and Indians and motorbikes and all that stuff,” says Linda, who lives in Cumbria. But she now has an “obsession” with dolls and has more than 500, worth about £35,000 at a “conservative estimate”.

Her passion was ignited 15 years ago on a trip to buy presents for her son.

“I saw these Native American Indians and they happened to be Barbies and that just set it off, really,” she says.

She did not buy the dolls at the time but started researching Barbie online and “found a whole new world”.

Most of the ones she buys are aimed at collectors, rather than the typical Barbie dolls made for children. She keeps them protected behind glass doors in a room lined with bookcases.

BBC Image copyright Linda Richardson
Image caption Linda photographs some of her dolls and puts them on Instagram
news Image copyright Linda Richardson
Image caption These Native American dolls ignited Linda’s interest in Barbie

She also has some “de-boxed” dolls she puts in dioramas, photographs and posts on Instagram. “It’s just something to do,” she says. “It keeps me out of trouble.”

Others favour Barbie’s rival, which went on to become the best-selling fashion doll in the UK when it launched in 1963.

Melanie Quint only had one Sindy as a child but now has 60 or 70, worth between three and four thousand pounds.

“I decided to sell all of my childhood dolls and when I looked on eBay I realised there was this massive collecting and restoration community,” she says.

Instead of selling her dolls she ended up buying more.

“It’s nostalgia at the end of the day,” says Melanie. “You look at the face and the doll and the fashions and it takes you back to the way you were when you were a child.”

BBC Image copyright Melanie Quint
Image caption Melanie Quint owns dozens of Sindy dolls
news Image copyright Melanie Quint
Image caption Melanie Quint has 60 or 70 Sindy dolls

Melanie now runs Dollycon UK, which is for collectors of all dolls but has a particular focus on Sindy. A particular highlight is the “hilarious” cosplay competition, where people dress up as particular dolls.

“It’s very tongue-in-cheek,” says Melanie. “They pick some of the weird outfits, the 70s stuff. It’s really funny seeing what they do.

“We had one woman last year who dressed as Action Man Frogman, in a full suit with flippers on. I couldn’t speak, it was hilarious.”

BBC Image copyright DollyCon UK
Image caption The DollyCon cosplay competition is “very tongue-in-cheek”

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‘Joker’ uses a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter. He’s probably making money off it

(CNN)The controversy keeps building for Warner Bros.’ “Joker” movie.

The song, “Rock and Roll Part 2,” plays for about two minutes as star Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the Joker, dances down a flight of stairs.
And that’s not all.
    Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, is probably making money off the song’s use in the movie, too.
    It’s unclear exactly how much Glitter could make, but attorney John Seay, who specializes in entertainment law, broke down the general process.
    Basically, every song has two copyrights — the publishing copyright (the actual composition of the song, like its words and melody) and the actual sound recording (also known as the master). Because Glitter is a co-writer on the song, he probably owns some percentage of the publishing on the track, Seay said.
    The master is typically owned by the recording company, but Seay said it’s possible that the rights have reverted back to Glitter. Whatever money coming out of the song’s use would also have to get filtered through whatever record deal Glitter has.
    In some countries outside of the US, movie theaters also pay performance royalties for music used in films. ‘Joker’ has already been released internationally, and Glitter stands to make money that way as well. Though single payments from theaters are tiny, Seay said they could add up to a “significant payday.” He’ll also get paid when the movie airs on TV.
    Regardless, Glitter is making money, Seay said. And the amount could be in the six figures range.

    The ethics of using a song by a pedophile

    It’s not just about the money, though. Some are questioning the morality of including the song and bringing profit to a convicted child sex offender.
    Rahul Kohli, a British actor best known for playing Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti in The CW’s “iZombie,” said on Twitter that he enjoyed the movie, but he also expressed that many might feel some discomfort at the song choice.
    Glitter was sentenced in 2015 to 16 years in prison after being convicted of child sex abuse. The British former pop star was convicted of one count of attempted rape of a girl under 13 years old, one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent assault against girls.
    In 1999 he admitted to possessing child pornography — landing him in jail for four months. Seven years later, while living in Vietnam, he was convicted of sex offenses against young girls and jailed for almost 3 years.
    Though some may claim the use of the song could be an intentional choice by filmmakers, Warner Bros. has not publicly commented. CNN reached out for further comment and have yet to hear back.
    CNN and Warner Bros. are owned by the same parent company, WarnerMedia.
    Despite the wave of controversies, “Joker” is making quite a bit of money — bringing in an estimated $93.5 million in North America alone in its opening weekend. That makes it the highest-grossing opening ever in the month of October.

    The song’s differing contexts

    “Rock and Roll Part 2” is best known to American audiences as the “Hey Song,” commonly played during sporting events. The NFL asked teams to stop playing the song back in 2006, after the musician was charged for sex crimes in Vietnam.
    In 2012, the NFL banned the song from the Super Bowl, as a version of it was being used as a touchdown anthem for the New England Patriots at the time.
      The song was also used as the goal song for several NHL teams, including the Nashville Predators. The Predators nixed the song before the start of the 2014-15 season in the wake of the new charges against Glitter.
      Fans in the US, though, still tend to associate the song more with victorious sporting events, whereas in the UK Glitter’s pedophilia is more widely known.

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      ‘Joker’ uses a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter. He’s probably making money off it

      entertainment

      (CNN)The controversy keeps building for Warner Bros.’ “Joker” movie.

      The song, “Rock and Roll Part 2,” plays for about two minutes as star Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the Joker, dances down a flight of stairs.
      Gary Glitter: 'Joker' uses a song by a convicted pedophile. He's probably making money off it - CNN
      And that’s not all.
        Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, is probably making money off the song’s use in the movie, too.
        It’s unclear exactly how much Glitter could make, but attorney John Seay, who specializes in entertainment law, broke down the general process.
        Basically, every song has two copyrights — the publishing copyright (the actual composition of the song, like its words and melody) and the actual sound recording (also known as the master). Because Glitter is a co-writer on the song, he probably owns some percentage of the publishing on the track, Seay said.
        The master is typically owned by the recording company, but Seay said it’s possible that the rights have reverted back to Glitter. Whatever money coming out of the song’s use would also have to get filtered through whatever record deal Glitter has.
        news
        In some countries outside of the US, movie theaters also pay performance royalties for music used in films. ‘Joker’ has already been released internationally, and Glitter stands to make money that way as well. Though single payments from theaters are tiny, Seay said they could add up to a “significant payday.” He’ll also get paid when the movie airs on TV.
        Regardless, Glitter is making money, Seay said. And the amount could be in the six figures range.

        The ethics of using a song by a pedophile

        It’s not just about the money, though. Some are questioning the morality of including the song and bringing profit to a convicted child sex offender.
        Rahul Kohli, a British actor best known for playing Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti in The CW’s “iZombie,” said on Twitter that he enjoyed the movie, but he also expressed that many might feel some discomfort at the song choice.
        Glitter was sentenced in 2015 to 16 years in prison after being convicted of child sex abuse. The British former pop star was convicted of one count of attempted rape of a girl under 13 years old, one count of having sex with a girl under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent assault against girls.
        In 1999 he admitted to possessing child pornography — landing him in jail for four months. Seven years later, while living in Vietnam, he was convicted of sex offenses against young girls and jailed for almost 3 years.
        Though some may claim the use of the song could be an intentional choice by filmmakers, Warner Bros. has not publicly commented. CNN reached out for further comment and have yet to hear back.
        CNN and Warner Bros. are owned by the same parent company, WarnerMedia.
        Despite the wave of controversies, “Joker” is making quite a bit of money — bringing in an estimated $93.5 million in North America alone in its opening weekend. That makes it the highest-grossing opening ever in the month of October.

        The song’s differing contexts

        “Rock and Roll Part 2” is best known to American audiences as the “Hey Song,” commonly played during sporting events. The NFL asked teams to stop playing the song back in 2006, after the musician was charged for sex crimes in Vietnam.
        In 2012, the NFL banned the song from the Super Bowl, as a version of it was being used as a touchdown anthem for the New England Patriots at the time.
          The song was also used as the goal song for several NHL teams, including the Nashville Predators. The Predators nixed the song before the start of the 2014-15 season in the wake of the new charges against Glitter.
          Fans in the US, though, still tend to associate the song more with victorious sporting events, whereas in the UK Glitter’s pedophilia is more widely known.

          Related posts

          BBC gives more detail on Naga Munchetty ruling

          BBC Image copyright Getty Images

          The BBC has released more detail on its decision to uphold a complaint against news presenter Naga Munchetty.

          The BBC Breakfast host was found to have breached guidelines by criticising President Donald Trump after he said four female politicians should “go back” to “places from which they came”.

          The corporation said its editorial guidelines “do not allow for journalists to… give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so – in this case President Trump”.

          The statement added: “It was for this reason that the complaint was partially upheld. Those judgements are for the audience to make.”

          It also said that President Trump’s comments were “widely condemned as racist, and we reported on this extensively”.

          A letter to the complainant revealed the BBC had said that by commenting on Trump’s “possible motive” and the “potential consequences” of his statement, Munchetty had gone “beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

          The BBC added in the letter that “audiences should not be able to tell” the opinions of its journalists on matters of public policy.

          The corporation also released a full transcript of the 17 July broadcast.

          Munchetty’s comments came after an interview with a supporter of the president.

          Addressing the “go home” comment, presenter Dan Walker said: “That was the most telling quote for me last night. I can’t remember who said it but she said I’ve been told to go home many times to go back to where I’ve come from in my life but never by the man sitting in the Oval office.”

          She said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

          “Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

          news Image copyright Getty Images

          Walker then said: “You’re sitting here not giving an opinion, but how do you feel as someone when you’ve been told that before, and when you hear that from him?”

          To which Munchetty replied: “Furious. Absolutely furious. And I imagine a lot of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that.”

          Walker then asked: “So you feel his use of that then legitimises other people to use this…”

          “Yes.. yes,” replied Munchetty.

          “It feels like a thought-out strategy, to strengthen his position,” noted Walker.

          Munchetty added: “And it is not enough to do it just to get attention… he’s in a responsible position.”

          BBC Image copyright Getty Images
          Image caption Dan Walker replaced Bill Turnbull as a BBC Breakfast presenter in 2016

          She has received messages of support after the corporation’s complaints unit, the ECU, partially upheld the complaint against her.

          On Thursday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the decision as “astonishing”.

          news

          Munchetty is not facing any action or reprimand, BBC News understands.

          The broadcaster’s complaints unit found it was “entirely legitimate” for Munchetty to reply to Mr Walker in terms which reflected her own experience of racism and the racist context in which people from ethnic minorities are told to go back to their own countries.

          But it said she went on to comment critically on the possible motive or consequences of Mr Trump’s words and “judgements of that kind are for the audience to make”.

          Explaining their thinking, the BBC’s letter said: “Due impartiality does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles. And the president’s remarks were widely regarded as racist and condemned in the UK across the political spectrum.

          “Ms Munchetty had been pressed to comment by her co-presenter and had a legitimate, personal reason for feeling strongly on this issue. She was therefore in our view entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go to back to your own country’, as it was rooted in her own experience of racism and in a generally accepted interpretation of that phrase.”

          Adding: “But it is also evident that Ms Munchetty, despite at the end of the exchange acknowledging ‘I am not here to give my opinion’, did comment directly and critically on the possible motive for, and potential consequences of, the president’s conduct, which by their nature were a matter for legitimate discussion and debate. This, in our view, went beyond what the Guidelines allow for under these circumstances, and on those grounds I am therefore upholding your complaint.”

          The BBC’s spokeswoman said Munchetty was not available for comment.

          BBC

          Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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          Naga Munchetty Trump comments ‘breached BBC rules’

          BBC
          Image caption Munchetty has been a presenter on BBC Breakfast for the last 10 years

          Naga Munchetty breached BBC guidelines by criticising President Donald Trump for perceived racism, the corporation’s complaints unit has ruled.

          In July the BBC presenter took issue with comments made by the US President after he told opponents to “go back” to the “places from which they came”.

          The BBC said the Breakfast host was entitled to her own views but had gone “beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

          It said any action taken as a result of the finding would be published later.

          A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation’s Executive Complaints Unit [ECU] had ruled that “while Ms Munchetty was entitled to give a personal response to the phrase ‘go back to your own country’ as it was rooted in her own experience, overall her comments went beyond what the guidelines allow for”.

          Off-script

          Speaking on BBC Breakfast on 17 July after Mr Trump’s online remarks, Munchetty said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.

          “Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

          news Image copyright Reuters
          Image caption The US president’s comments prompted a wave of criticism

          Munchetty said she felt “absolutely furious” and suggested many people in the UK might feel the same way.

          “I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s okay to skirt the lines with using language like that,” she told co-presenter Dan Walker.

          Her comments followed Mr Trump posting several messages that made references to the Democrat politicians Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

          “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he wrote on Twitter on 14 July.

          Some BBC journalists tweeted their disapproval at the ECU’s ruling.

          Presenter Carrie Gracie, who resigned her post as China Editor in a dispute over equal pay, said it had caused “unease” among BBC journalists “for whom ‘go back’ = racist” and called on the ECU to explain its decision.

          BBC correspondent Sangita Myska tweeted: “Right now, there is a lot of bewilderment among BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] staff”, adding “there is unique self-censoring that BAMEs do across all industries & workplaces”.

          Replying to Ms Myska, presenter Matthew Price tweeted his “solidarity”, saying: “There’s a lot of bewilderment (and some anger) among non-BAME staff too… and I agree there’s general concern about voicing it openly.”

          When Munchetty made the comment in July, she received praise online for her “off-script” moment.

          BBC

          The ECU found Munchetty’s assertion that Mr Trump’s comments were “embedded in racism” went beyond what the BBC allows and upheld a complaint made about the presenter’s comments.

          The BBC’s spokeswoman said a summary of the complaint and the ECU’s decision would be published on the BBC’s online complaints pages and that it would “include a note of any action taken as a result of the finding”.

          Labour MP David Lammy called the ECU’s decision “appalling“, while journalist Kevin Maguire said it was a “bad, bad day“.

          A representative for BBC Breakfast said Munchetty was not available for comment.

          news

          Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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