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Tom Fletcher And Amy Dowden Test Positive For Covid

Strictly pair Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden test positive for Covid

Strictly Come Dancing has been disrupted by Covid-19 just one week into the new series, with a couple set to miss the next live show after testing positive for the virus.

Musician Tom Fletcher and his professional partner Amy Dowden, who together earned a score of 21 for their Cha Cha during Strictly’s opening show on Saturday, have been forced to self-isolate.

The pair tested positive for Covid-19, the BBC has announced, and will miss next week’s live show after managing just one dance without disruption.

The announcement follows recent controversy surrounding Strictly sparked by reports that some professional dancers on the show have refused to be vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently weighed in on the issue and urged dancers, who are subject to a strict regime of testing, to be jabbed.

The BBC has refused to comment on the vaccination status of those taking part in this year’s series of Strictly, and it is not known whether Fletcher and Dowden have been vaccinated or not.

It is still possible for those who have been double-jabbed to get Covid-19 if they are exposed to the virus.

‘They will return the following week’

A statement from the BBC said that Fletcher and Dowden “are now self-isolating separately following the latest government guidelines”.

It added: “While they will both miss Saturday’s live show, Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that all being well, they will return the following week.”

The announcement was made on Sunday just hours after McFly frontman Fletcher said he was pulling out of a gig in Glasgow due to feeling “unwell”.

Fletcher had successfully performed a Cha Cha to September by Earth, Wind and Fire on Saturday evening during the first live show of the new Strictly series, in which no couples are voted off.

He and Downden will miss the first truly competitive show next weekend, when the public are able to vote off one of the bottom two couples on the leaderboard.  It is not clear how their points score will be calculated.

Safety concerns

Safety concerns had reportedly been raised among the cohort of competitors this year after two professionals were alleged to have refused the Covid-19 vaccine, sparking fears that an outbreak could halt the show and undermine the rigorous health protocols in place.

Contestants are required to isolate in a Covid bubble in a hotel near the Strictly studio and submit to a regime of frequent testing.

It was reported that prior to pairings being announced, celebrities had protested against the allegedly unvaccinated dancers and refused to be coupled with them.

The BBC denied that there were any safety fears among those taking part, stating that:  “It is not the case that concerns have been raised with the BBC or the Strictly production team from dancers or celebrities about vaccination, or that they have threatened to quit.

“We have in place strict procedures to protect those on the show and the wider production. Among the many measures in place on Strictly, the dancers are tested regularly to be in close contact with their partners.

The statement added that: “A lot has been written about vaccinations and Strictly in recent days. The BBC has never commented nor confirmed the vaccination status of anyone on the show. It’s not our place to.”

‘Everyone is free to do whatever they want’

Professional dancer Gorka Márquez has commented on the alleged row among Strictly stars, saying in regard to being jabbed that “everyone is free to do whatever they want”.

He added on Lorraine that:  “You go in the streets right now and some people might be vaccinated and some people might not.”

The Spanish dancer explained that the BBC had introduced:  “Lots of testing, lots of trying to keep everyone distanced and safe [while in] the studio.”

Representatives of Fletcher and Downden have been contacted for comment.

Entertainment

Sani Abacha was obsessed with me – Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has recalled his experience during the regime of late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

In an interview with TheNEWS to mark his 90th birthday, he said the former military president was ‘obsessed’ and ‘mad’ with him.

“I consider it a bit of a miracle that I managed to survive that period. Because Abacha was mad. He was obsessed. He was really obsessed with me. Many people paid heavy price simply because they were associated with Wole Soyinka, and they were available,” he said.

Soyinka shared a story about a driver who worked for Abacha and later approached his new boss, asking to meet Soyinka, the person who had given Abacha “such nightmares.” The driver had heard Abacha and his visitor discussing Soyinka and wanted to know the person behind the name that triggered such a strong reaction.

“A story which I told the other day at The Metropolitan Club in Lagos was one of my favourite stories. A driver who was now working for yet another military officer had worked for Abacha. And he heard the host and the visitor talking about Wole Soyinka. It was the host who told me the story.

He said, “After the visitor left, the driver went to his new boss and said, ‘excuse me sir, this Wole Soyinka you are talking about, is it the same one who my master used to talk about? Please, just do me one favour. I want to meet him.’ The boss said, Why do you want to meet him? ‘I want to know the person who gave my boss Sani Abacha such nightmares.’ He said, I want to know that person. Because anytime he heard the name Wole Soyinka, he went into a frenzy. Abacha was desperate.”

Soyinka also revealed that Abacha’s regime set up fake consulates and trading companies to trap and monitor him and others in Atlanta. He revealed that he had to be accompanied by policemen when flying out and returning due to security concerns.

“One was situated in Bayswater, where I used to stay, not far from where Muhammadu Buhari attempted to kidnap Umaru Dikko in the UK. It was purely to trap, to get hold of us. Several security units of police added us on their watch list. Afterwards, watching for us and for those who they were tracking. I wasn’t the only one.

“In Atlanta, they set up fake consulate. We fought to make sure that the consulate in Atlanta, where I was teaching at Emory University at the time was not set up. The envelope that passed to some of the city counsellors was heavy. They admitted it. By the way, you know that I am an honorary citizen of the state of Georgia. And so, our American friends told these stories on the day of my investiture about what happened.

“They eventually succumbed to the pressure to set up that consulate, that fake consulate. And the President of my university insisted— because he got his report from the secret service in the US— he insisted that any time I was flying out, I had to be accompanied by policemen. On returning, they would send the police to come pick me up right at the door of the plane. It was quite touching,” he said.

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Entertainment

Alleged fraud, terrorism funding: Crypto billionaire, Linus Williams released from Police custody

Cryptocurrency billionaire Linus Williams, known as Blord, has been granted bail after spending three days in police custody.

Controversial self-proclaimed social media activist VeryDarkMan announced this on his Instagram page on Friday.

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spokesperson for the Nigerian Police on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of Blood in a short statement he published on his X handle.

He said Blord was arrested because the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID in investigating allegations of internet fraud, computer-related fraud, terrorism funding,
and non-compliance with regulatory frameworks among others against him.

“The FCID (NPF-NCCC) is currently investigating complaints lodged against BLORD GROUP, BLORD REAL ESTATE LTD, BLORD JETPAYE LIMITED, and BILLPOINT TECHNOLOGY. These offences include allegations bothering on cryptocurrency fraud, aiding internet fraud, computer-related fraud, terrorism funding, and non-compliance with regulatory frameworks.

“We will do due diligence in our investigations. Our cyber space in Nigeria must be safe and secured by all means. We are committed to achieving that,” the Force Public Relations Officer said in the statement.

Adejobi did not elaborate on the nature of the crimes or whether police acted on complaints of alleged victims of Blord fraudulent activities.

However in an update on friday VeryDarkMan stated that Blord was released after much ‘begging and crying.’

“After much begging and crying, Blord is out. He will be returning next week to answer for all his alleged crimes. I believe the @npf_nccc will not compromise, and justice will be upheld. See you next week, Mr. Influential,” VeryDarkMan posted.

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Entertainment

Despite stiff-person syndrome, Celine Dion to perform at 2024 Olympics

Celine Dion is contemplating a return to the spotlight despite battling a rare neurological disorder known as stiff-person syndrome, Metro UK reports

The iconic 56-year-old artiste has reportedly been offered a prestigious opportunity to perform at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics despite the progression of her illness.The Canadian singer, known for her powerful voice, revealed she’d been diagnosed with the progressive neurological condition – that affects the muscles, causing stiffness and spasms – in 2022.

In spite of this, Celine has previously expressed her eagerness to return to live performances, which have been a cornerstone of her career.

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