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Channel 4 issues Rachel Riley statement amid calls for sacking on Twitter

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Channel 4 has responded to calls on Twitter for Countdown star Rachel Riley to be sacked over a tweet that she has now deleted and apologised for.

Six people were killed and a further 12 were injured on Saturday (April 13) during a mass stabbing in a shopping centre in Sydney, Australia.

The massacre was perpetrated by 40-year-old Joel Cauchi from Queensland, who was shot dead by a police officer. Police have subsequently told reporters Cauchi was suffering from mental health issues.

However, ahead of this information being shared, TV personality Rachel, 38, was slammed over claims she posted an Islamophobic tweet.

Rachel Riley speaks
Countdown host Rachel Riley took to Twitter following the stabbings in Sydney (Credit: YouTube)

Rachel Riley responds to Sydney tragedy on Twitter

Rachel uploaded words to Twitter suggesting the horror that unfolded was part of a “globalised Intifada”.

Intifada, an Arabic word, means ‘uprising’. It has previously been used to describe armed uprisings by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Rachel’s tweet read: “For 6 months now, people have been out on our streets proudly calling for the ‘Intifada Revolution’. If you want to know what ‘Globalised Intifada’ looks like, see the Sydney Mall. 5 victims stabbed to death and 8 transferred to hospital, including a baby, due to one man and a knife.

“In the second intifada over 1,000 Israelis were murdered in restaurants, on buses and in the streets by suicide bombings, stabbings, stoning, lynching, shooting rockets. The youngest victim was just 9 hours old. Sydney mall, multiple times over is what they’ve been proudly calling for.”

Rachel Riley smiling on Countdown
Rachel Riley took over from Carol Vorderman on Countdown, and has been part of the Channel 4 series since 2009 (Credit: YouTube)

‘I am sorry if this message was misunderstood’

The message came in for a furious backlash from social media users, with some accusing Rachel of being ‘racist’ and others calling for Channel 4 to axe her from its shows.

She later insisted her words were “misunderstood”. She posted: “Just to clarify, my intention with this tweet was not to say this attack was caused by any ideation or to link it to Islamic extremism.”

My intention with this tweet was not to say this attack was caused by any ideation or to link it to Islamic extremism.

Rachel’s tweet continued: “At the time we did not know who the attacker was. And as such I made no reference. My aim was to highlight the weekly calls for ‘intifada’ being tolerated in London and around the world, which in actuality means violence on our streets. For six months now, I have avoided taking the Tube, or going with my kids to anywhere near the marches each Saturday. And each week we see the extremist chants on proud display with little outcry.”

Furthermore, she went on: “Sadly, the type of attack seen in Sydney yesterday is exactly the kind of violence the previous intifada involved and I hope to avoid in future. But in my opinion ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Attacks on Jews have recently become repackaged as ‘resistance’ in some circles. And we should in one voice condemn all acts of violence, whoever the perpetrators and whoever the victims. I am sorry if this message was misunderstood, that was not my intention.”

‘I apologise’

The presenter later added: “I’m sorry to those I offended.

“My post was ambiguous and although it was genuinely designed to call out calls for violence, it wasn’t the right place or time which made it easier to misinterpret, and I apologise.”

Channel 4 response

Despite Rachel’s apology, as of Monday (April 15) afternoon, many were still complaining over Rachel’s claims and subsequent response.

One wrote: “Rachel Riley’s non-apology is not good enough @Channel4 @C4Countdown @8Outof10Cats #RachelRiley.”

Another said: “It’s getting embarrassing at this point. @channel4 sack this woman and put her out of her misery please.”

A third commented: “Boycott all Channel 4 shows until Rachel Riley is sacked.”

A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline: “We have reminded Rachel of her obligations as a contributor to Channel 4 programming.”

A similar statement was also shared by one member of the public who emailed in a complaint about Rachel.

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Read more: Rachel Riley on having therapy after Strictly: ‘I was never going to be perfect’

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Fans declare Sydnie Christmas their winner

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Britain’s Got Talent tonight (Wednesday, May 29) saw another bunch of contestants perform with the hope of booking a slot in the final.

Amongst those performing tonight was Sydnie Christmas – and her performance went down so well that some fans don’t think there’s any need for a final!

Sydnie Christmas on Britain's Got Talent
Sydnie performed tonight (Credit: ITV)

Britain’s Got Talent tonight: Sydnie Christmas performs

Tonight’s edition of BGT saw Sydnie close the show with a powerful performance of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.

In her audition, Amanda Holden hit the golden buzzer, sending Sydnie straight through to the semi-finals.

Sydnie sent the crowd wild with her stunning rendition of the song – and the judges were in tears watching.

All four gushed over her performance, with Amanda confessing that more people had spoken to her about sending Sydnie through to the semi-finals with her golden buzzer than any other golden buzzer act she’d sent through before.

“You are a superstar in the making,” Alesha said. Simon was full of praise too, branding people who’d auditioned Sydnie and rejected her “idiots”.

Sydnie Christmas singing on Britain's Got Talent
Sydnie’s performance wowed fans (Credit: ITV)

Fans declare Sydnie their winner

Viewers were just as impressed with Sydnie’s performance as the judges.

Many took to Twitter to declare the 28-year-old their winner.

“No need for a final. She is a winner,” one fan tweeted. “There’s your winner right there…just love her,” another said.

“Don’t normally agree that singers should be on this, but, that’s my outright winner right there!” a third gushed.

Winner of #BGT standing there! Sydnie Christmas is in a league of her own,” another wrote. 

Sydnie Christmas on Britain's Got Talent tonight
Sydnie is through to the final! (Credit: ITV)

Britain’s Got Talent tonight: Sydnie

As the show came to an end, the contestants found out whether they were going home – or had found themselves in the final three.

Sydnie found out that she was in the final three – and then immediately learned that she had won tonight’s semi-final!

Fans were thrilled. “Head and shoulders above the rest. And a deserving winner. Well done Sydnie Christmas,” one fan tweeted.

“Sydnie Christmas will win The Final,” another predicted. “Yes Sydnie is through!” a third wrote.

She was joined in the final by Mike Woodhams.

Read more: Britain’s Got Talent tonight: Fans slam Duncan Murrays’s partially-pre recorded pogo stick act: ‘How is that fair’

Britain’s Got Talent continues tomorrow (Thursday, May 30) at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX. 

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and then let us know what you think of this story.



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Duncan’s pogo stick act slammed by fans

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Britain’s Got Talent tonight (Wednesday, May 29) was the third live semi-final of the series.

Duncan Murray and his pogo stick was among the acts taking part tonight – but fans weren’t overly impressed.

Duncan Murray speaking to camera on Britain's Got Talent tonight
Duncan took part in tonight’s show (Credit: ITV)

Britain’s Got Talent tonight: Duncan Murray in the semi-final

Tonight’s BGT semi final opened with a show-stopping performance from Canadian contestant Duncan Murray.

Duncan, 22, went through to the live semi-finals after impressing the judges with his pogo stick skills.

During his auditions, using his pogo stick, he jumped over both Ant and Dec – drawing rapturous applause from the audience.

For tonight’s performance, he went even bigger – if that’s even possible!

In a pre-recorded segment, Duncan was seen jumping over cars outside the arena, before heading inside.

Duncan Murray and his fellow pogo-stickers on Britain's Got Talent tonight
Duncan was joined by two other pogo stickers (Credit: ITV)

Ducan’s act divides judges

In the arena, Duncan was joined by two other people on pogo sticks.

Together, they bounced around the stage, jumping between boxes, and doing impressive flips.

At one point during the act, Duncan jumped over the judges and their table.

At the end of the act, Amanda, Alesha, and Bruno gushed over Duncan’s performance, excitedly telling him how he’d upped his performance from the audition.

However, Simon wasn’t as impressed. He also thought that being joined by two others on pogo sticks drew the attention away from Duncan.

Duncan Murray wearing a helmet after his act on Britain's Got Talent tonight
Duncan’s act didn’t go down well (Credit: ITV)

Britain’s Got Talent: Fans slam Duncan’s act

Fans of the show weren’t overly impressed with Duncan’s act – or with the fact that part of it had been pre-recorded. They took to Twitter to moan.

“Thought the whole point of the semi-finals was that the contestants have to perform LIVE! Why is he allowed to pre-record some of his act? How many attempts did he get to get it right? The other LIVE acts know get one chance!” one fan grumbled.

“There are some acts that I just don’t understand how they got through to the semis , this is one of them,” another said.

“What the hell is this nonsense?” a third then fumed. “Pre-recorded! How is that fair to the other acts?” another then asked.

“‘Some of it needed to be prerecorded’. If it can’t be done live it shouldn’t be part of the live performance. Bore off,” a fifth then fumed.

However, some fans enjoyed Duncan’s act.

Duncan!! So good to see something different on a talent show!” one fan gushed.

Read more: James Jordan sparks backlash with divisive comment about BGT’s overseas acts: ‘Why does it matter where they’re from, James?!’

Britain’s Got Talent continues tomorrow (Thursday, May 30) at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX. 

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and then let us know what you think of this story.



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Here’s why you recognise actress Bharti Patel

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Maya Houssain arrives in EastEnders tonight, and immediately hits it off with Harvey Monroe.

Since Mitch and Rocky left Walford, Harvey’s been a bit lonely, and partner Jean has been encouraging him to make new friends.

But we’re not sure fellow Tottenham Hotspur fan Maya is exactly who Jean meant!

Harvey bumps into Maya – a cab customer – and they chat about Spurs.

And he’s pleased the following day when she comes back to the Square and gives him a vintage football programme. The pair happily chat about their favourite sport, but Jean’s not too pleased.

Maya smiles in EastEnders
Maya hits it off with Harvey (Credit: BBC)

Who plays Maya Houssain?

Maya is played by actress Bharti Patel.

She’ll be a familiar face to soap fans as she has been a regular in BBC’s Doctors.

She plays midwife Ruhma Hanif, who was a love interest for Heston Carter. The couple eventually married and Ruhma was devastated when Heston was killed in an accident.

Bharti is still part of the cast in Doctors, which is on our screens until December. The soap has been axed – much to the disappointment of its devoted fans

Ruhma Carter (BHARTI PATEL) in Doctors
Bharti plays Ruhma Carter in Doctors (Credit: BBC)

What else has Bharti been in?

Soap fans might also recognise Bharti’s voice as she’s played several roles in the BBC Radio 4 soap, The Archers!

She also appeared in TV dramas The Undeclared War, Ten Percent and Don’t Forget the Driver.

Maya and Harvey look troubled as they talk over drinks in EastEnders
Maya opens up to Harvey next week (Credit: BBC)

Is Maya staying in EastEnders?

EastEnders has confirmed Maya is only in the soap for a guest role. However she will appear again next week.

Harvey loses her number so gets Tommy’s help to track her down online. But Maya then turns up in Walford on Tuesday June 4, fuming with Harvey.

She tells him he should not have gone through her socials. Harvey is apologetic and invites her for a drink. Maya accepts and the pair head to The Albert.

Maya then opens up to Harvey explaining her husband died last year. It’s clear the pair are bonding over more than just football.

Maya later leaves, but Harvey notices she has forgotten her hat. He once again visits her socials online to send her a message saying he has it for her. However he finds her account has been deleted.

Harvey gets really down about losing touch with her, so Jean tries to help. She takes him on a boys’ night out with a football team. But will it cheer him up?

And, just what is going on with mysterious Maya? Will Harvey ever see her again? Or has she now gone for good?

Read more: Who is leaving EastEnders this year?

EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

For all the latest soap spoilers, news and chat come and join us at Soap Daily now! 

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.



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