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The Beatles turned down £200m reunion gig because of a shark

Ringo Starr says The Beatles turned down a ‘crazy’ £200m reunion gig in 1976 because the bizarre warm-up act was a man wrestling a shark

An 18ft Great White shark scuppered plans to for a £200million Beatles reunion show in 1976, according to Sir Ringo Starr.

The drummer, who is 80 on Tuesday, said the iconic band was offered £50million – worth quadruple that in today’s money – to reunite five years after their breakup.

All four bandmates, including Paul McCartney and John Lennon, discussed the offer from showman Bill Sargent, despite the recent acrimonious split.

Come Together? The Beatles nearly reformed for a one-off gig in 1976 but were put off when then discovered a Great White shark was the warm-up act, Ringo Starr has revealed

But the producer planned to have a wrestling match between a man and a shark as the warm-up act, something which put off the Fab Four.

Ringo told The Sunday Mirror: ‘We did talk one time. There was a crazy offer out there.

‘We called each other to see what we think. We decided not to do it because the opening act was a guy biting a shark. So we thought no.’

Here Comes the Sum: The Fab Four had split up six years earlier in 1970 and were offered £50million for the gig

Ringo was speaking ahead of an online concert with the only other surviving Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney.

And he believes if the other two were still alive, a reunion would have taken place.  

He said: ‘If John and George had not died there was surely a possibility of that. Paul and I are still on the road. John would have still been on the road. I don’t know about George. We’d still be doing what we love to do.’ 

John was shot in New York in 1980 by Mark Chapman while George died from cancer in 2001.

Get Back together: But the producer planned to have a wrestling match between a man and a shark as the warm-up act, something which put off the stars

Going strong: Ringo believes a Beatles reunion would have happened if it were not for the untimely deaths of John and George

The Beatles split up in 1970, a year after they recorded Abbey Road, but Ringo did not believe it would be the band’s last album.

He thought the split would be temporary and they would soon be back in the studio and on tour together.  

Ahead of Ringo’s milestone day on Tuesday, the music icon confirmed Ringo’s Big Birthday Show, a charity show set to air on YouTube at 8pm, where his bandmate will perform alongside a legion of musical superstars. 

Speaking on latest episode of the Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition, he detailed: ‘I love birthdays. This year is going to be a little different… We’re putting this show together – an hour of music and chat. It’s quite a big birthday.’

80-years-young! Ringo has announced he is set to host a virtual concert to mark his 80th birthday, with a host of stars including Paul McCartney

As well as Paul and Ringo, stars appearing at Big Birthday Show will include Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E, and Ben Harper, while tribute performances will come from Steve Earle, Peter Frampton and Judy Collins.

The show will also debut a star-packed version of Ringo’s 2017 track Give More Love with Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson among others. 

In his announcement, Ringo requested that fans and followers ‘say, think, or post #peaceandlove at noon their local time on July 7th’.

The broadcast is being held to benefit The David Lynch Foundation, Black Lives Matter Global Network, MusiCares, and WaterAid. 

Back in the day: Ahead of the milestone day on Tuesday, the music icon confirmed Ringo’s Big Birthday Show, a charity show set to air on YouTube at 8pm, where his bandmate will perform alongside a legion of musical superstars 

During his chat with the magazine, Ringo also discussed the secret to his youthful appearance: ‘Broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning’ and revealed that he hasn’t left his house in 11 weeks amid lockdown.

The news comes after Sir Paul admitted he felt ‘sick and angry’ over ongoing racial tensions, as he reflected on The Beatles refusal to play a show for a segregated audience in 1964.

The music icon, 77, took to Twitter to relay the story, as he lamented George Floyd’s tragic death after Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Pals:  Ringo and Paul, pictured with the latter’s daughter Stella in September 

In a lengthy statement, he said: ‘As we continue to see the protests and demonstrations across the world, I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help.

‘None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change. We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.’

Going on to explain what happened with the iconic group, he went on: ‘In 1964 The Beatles were due to play Jacksonville in the US and we found out that it was going to be to a segregated audience. It felt wrong. 

Lockdown life: During his chat with the magazine, Ringo also discussed the secret to his youthful appearance: ‘Broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning’ and revealed that he hasn’t left his house in 11 weeks amid lockdown (pictured in 2016

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Lifestyle

Hisense Roku TV review: the telly you should buy if you're on a budget

Everyone is searching for a TV that ticks all the boxes: value, picture quality, usability.

And the Hisense Roku TV comes damn close to nailing the criteria.

Hisense is a Chinese manufacturer that started out doing radios in the sixties while Roku is well-known for its streaming sticks with a simple-to-use operating system.

Blending the two together means you get affordable hardware alongside well-presented software. It’s a pretty compelling mix if you’re just looking for a new TV without all the hyperbole and marketing of the top-tier sets.

The version I’ve been testing is the 50-inch model – provocatively titled ‘R50B7120UK’ – but it also comes in 43, 55 and 65-inch screen sizes.

Here’s how the pricing stacks up:

  • 43-inch model: £329
  • 50-inch model: £379
  • 55-inch model: £479
  • 65-inch model: £649

Now, there’s some obvious stuff to point out straight after the pricing info. The Hisense Roku TV doesn’t have the build quality of something like a £1,000 Samsung or Sony telly. The bezels, attachable feet and remote are all a bit plasticky and the TV doesn’t feel like it would survive too many accidental knocks and bumps.

It also doesn’t have the bells and whistles – there’s no Dolby Atmos, contrast can be a bit wonky and the detail gets lost a bit if you’re watching really dark content. Furthermore, viewing angles aren’t the best so if you’re settling down to watch something, you want to be as central as possible.

You may also see a little bit of lag when it comes to controls. I found hitting the volume buttons on the remote translated to a fractional delay on translating to the set so I may accidentally over or under compensate.

But really, as soon as the show starts you’re going to stop worrying about the lag and looking at the plastic bezel because you’re concentrating on the picture. And the Hisense hits the mark for an LCD panel (as opposed to a pricey OLED display where each individual pixel is lit from behind).

This is a fully 4K-capable set that boasts high dynamic range (HDR) certification. It’s bright and detailed but the settings skew slightly towards a colourful, dynamic picture style that offsets the fact the contrast isn’t as good as you’d find on a higher-priced set. Colours pop and there’s plenty of vibrancy, but it struggles just a touch with both light and dark on the screen together. The blacks aren’t as deep as OLED but things like skin tone and bright colour tones come through really well.

All that being said, the picture quality is extremely impressive for a £379 TV. I feel Hisense may have dispensed with things like build quality to focus on making the actual panel as good as it can be. I was extremely impressed while viewing and pretty soon couldn’t even notice any discrepancies.

If the hardware is perfectly serviceable, then it’s the Roku software that really makes this device sing.

The interface is simple and intuitive with easy navigation through the wide variety of content choices available. You can configure your home feed with shortcuts to your most-used services and even though there’s a lot of stuff there, it doesn’t ever feel cluttered, overloaded or sluggish. The remote control also has some handy shortcut buttons for the most used services for even faster access. If you really want to, you can use the Roku smartphone app on your phone as a remote as well.

The Roku TV has almost every streaming service you could want available on its platform. There’s Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Now TV, Freeview Play, iPlayer and many, many more. Roku even has its own channel you can access for free movies and shows. There’s no need to plug anything into this screen even if you do have an Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chromecast.

Speaking of plugging things in, there’s the usual assortment of ports around the back. There are three HDMI slots, one of which is an HDMI ARC connector for plugging in soundbars such as the new Sonos Arc. Elsewhere you’ll find a USB port and an optical audio port for boosting the sound the old-fashioned way. The Roku TV also does what the new iPhones can’t – by providing a headphone jack if you’re so inclined.

There’s no Bluetooth options for connecting wireless headphones but Roku does have a neat feature on its app called Private Listening. When activated, it channels the audio from the TV through your phone which can connect to headphones and gives you the chance to listen to your content without disturbing anyone else in the house.

The sound output from the TV itself is totally sufficient thanks to its two 7-watt drivers. I don’t have the largest living room in the world so it was able to fill it with sound. You can choose from audio presets like ‘Theatre’ but I didn’t notice much difference to be honest. I’d still recommend adding a soundbar for a bit of extra punch if you’ve got the budget for it.

Even though I can pick at a few of the Hisense Roku TV’s failings, there’s no getting away from just how good a package it is for the price. It focuses on all the right things and ignores all the irrelevancies. The display is absolutely top notch for the price, the usability is just about the best I’ve ever experienced and the wealth of content on offer is astounding.

Yes, if you’ve got a bit more cash to burn then Samsung’s QLED or Sony’s Bravia screens look noticeably better. But Hisense and Roku have teamed up to offer a TV set that just can’t be beaten in terms of value for money.

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TV and Movies

2020 Emmys Race by the Numbers, From Categories to Voters to Contenders

Will the ‘Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular’ Ratings Blow Up, or Blow Up in NBC’s Face?

2020 Emmys Race by the Numbers, From Categories to Voters to Contenders

We have all the statistics on this year’s race

This story is drawn from pieces that ran in the The Race Begins, Limited Series & Movies and Drama/Comedy/Actors issues of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

As Emmy voting begins, the sheer numbers can be staggering: too many networks and platforms, too many shows, too many hours of content to digest. And while we can’t give voters more time in which to wade through all those screeners and links, we can try to place it in some context. So here’s a by-the-numbers guide to the 2020 Emmy race, along with some history thrown in.

THE CALENDAR
12 – Number of days during which Emmy nomination voting will take place this year (July 2-13).
15 – Number of days in which it took place last year (June 10-24).
17 – Number of days first-round voting was delayed this year because of the coronavirus.

14 – Numbers of days the Emmy nominations announcement was delayed because of the coronavirus (from July 14 to July 28).

11 – Number of days in which Emmy final voting will take place this year (August 21-31).
15 – Number of days in which it took place last year. (August 15-29).
4 – Number of days final-round voting was delayed because of the coronavirus.

0 – Number of days the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony has been delayed because of the coronavirus (it’s still scheduled for Sept. 20).

THE CATEGORIES
123 – Number of Emmy categories this year
124 – Number of categories last year
2 – Interactive categories from last year that were merged into the new Outstanding Interactive Extension of a Linear Program category, resulting in one fewer category this year

6 – Number of juried awards: no nominees, more than one achievement can win
19 – Number of area awards: multiple nominees, more than one can win
98 – Number of category awards: all nominees compete head-to-head, one winner

THE VOTERS
30 – Number of Television Academy peer groups that vote for Emmys
23,000 – National active voting members of the Television Academy as of May 2020

THE ELIGIBILITY RULES
6 – Minimum number of broadcast episodes for a program to qualify as a series
6 – Number of episodes that must be submitted for judging by every nominated drama and comedy series, including in the short-form categories
5 – Minimum percentage of a series’ running time in which an actor must appear on screen to qualify in a supporting actor or actress category

THE CONTENDERS
20
– Past drama or comedy series nominees that are in the running this year
“Better Call Saul”
“black-ish”
“The Crown”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“The Good Place”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” *
“Homeland”*
“Killing Eve”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *
“Modern Family” *
“Mr. Robot”
“Ozark”
“Pose”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Silicon Valley”
“Stranger Things”
“Succession”
“This Is Us”
“Westworld”
*past winners

20 New series that could break into the Emmy race
“Avenue 5”
“Dave”
“Euphoria”
“The Great”
“High Fidelity”
“Hunters”
“Little America”
“Living With Yourself”
“Love Life”
“The Mandalorian”
“The Morning Show”
“Mythic Quest”
“Never Have I Ever”
“On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
“The Politician”
“Run”
“Snowpiercer”
“Space Force”
“Star Trek: Picard”
“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

20 – Departing shows competing for the last time
“The Affair”
“Baskets”
“BoJack Horseman”
“Brockmire”
“Criminal Minds”
“The Deuce”
“Empire”
“Fresh Off the Boat”
“The Good Place”
“Homeland”
“How to Get Away With Murder”
“Jessica Jones”
“Modern Family”
“Mr. Robot”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Power”
“Ray Donovan”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Silicon Valley”
“Will & Grace”

2 – Shows that were nominated in the past and are still on the air, but didn’t air new
episodes in time to qualify:
“Barry”
“Russian Doll”

2 – Shows that have won Emmys as limited series or movies, but are now classified as drama series
“Big Little Lies”
“Black Mirror”

1 – Show that was submitted as a comedy but classified as a drama by the Television Academy
“On Becoming a God in Central Florida”

THE ACTORS
11 Emmy acting contenders over 80
80: F. Murray Abraham, “Mythic Quest”; James Cromwell, “Succession”; Al Pacino, “Hunters”; Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
81: Christopher Lloyd, “NCIS”; Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”
82: Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
86: Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”; Fred Willard (deceased), “Modern Family” and “Space Force”
88: Rita Moreno, “One Day at a Time”
95: Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away With Murder”

6 – Emmy acting contenders under 20
11: Iain Armitrage, “Young Sheldon”
15: Dafne Keen, “His Dark Materials”
16: Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
17: Olivia Rodrigo, “High School Musical–The Musical: The Series”
18: Asante Blackk, “This Is Us”; Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, “Never Have I Ever”

5 – Emmy-contending actors who have at least 5 acting nominations but have never won
Anthony Anderson, “black-ish” (5 nominations)
Christina Hendricks, “Good Girls” (6 nominations)
Steve Carell, “Space Force” (7 nominations)
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday” (9 nominations)
Hugh Laurie, “Avenue 5” (10 nominations)

THE PLAUDITS
9 Emmy contenders that have already won major guild or critics awards this year

“The Crown” (SAG Awards: ensemble)
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (Critics’ Choice Awards: TV movie)
“The Loudest Voice” (Golden Globes: Russell Crowe)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Critics Choice Awards: Alex Borstein; SAG Awards: ensemble, Tony Shalhoub)
“The Morning Show” (Critics’ Choice Awards: Billy Crudup; SAG Awards: Jennifer Aniston)
“Ramy” (Golden Globes: Ramy Youssef)
“Succession” (Golden Globes: drama series; Critics Choice Awards: drama series and Jeremy Strong; Writers Guild Awards: drama series)
“Unbelievable” (Critics Choice Awards: Toni Collette)
“Watchmen” (Critics Choice Awards: Regina King, Jean Smart; Directors Guild Awards: drama series; Writers Guild Awards: drama series)

3 Current TV series with 100% Fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes
“Feel Good”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“What We Do in the Shadows”

THE EMMY RECORDS
1
– Show that could set a new Emmy record by winning its sixth Outstanding Comedy Series award
“Modern Family”

1 – Actor who could set a new record with his 13th Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series nomination
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”

1 – Actor who could tie Peter Dinklage for the most Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmys if he wins
Aaron Paul, “Truth Be Told” (but a win for his work in “El Camino” or “Westworld” wouldn’t count, because it’d be in a different category)

THE HISTORY
Shows with the most Outstanding Drama Series nominations, 2010-2019
8 – “Game of Thrones”
6 – “Mad Men”
5 – “Downton Abbey,” “House of Cards”
4 “- Better Call Saul,” “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland”
3 – “This Is Us”

Shows with the most Outstanding Comedy Series nominations, 2010-2019
8 – “Modern Family”
7  – “Veep”
5 – “Silicon Valley”
4 – “The Big Bang Theory,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
3 – “black-ish,” “Louie”

Most acting nominations*, 2010-2019
10 – Tina Fey
9 – Christine Baranski, Ty Burrell, Jon Hamm
8 – Louis C.K., Allison Janney, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss
7 – Kathy Bates, Edie Falco, Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler
6 – Alec Baldwin, Julie Bowen, Anna Chlumsky, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Danes, Christina Hendricks, Michael J. Fox, Bill Hader, Tony Hale, Kate McKinnon, Jim Parsons, Sarah Paulson, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig, Robin Wright
* Does not include nominations for voiceover or narration performances

THE LIMITED SERIES & TV MOVIES
21
– Categories in which limited series and television movies compete against comedy and drama series
12 – Categories in which limited series and television movies compete with each other but not with comedy and drama series
2 – Categories in which limited series compete only with other limited series, and television movies compete only with other television movies

2 – Minimum number of episodes required for a program to qualify as a limited series
150 – Minimum running time, in minutes, required for a program to qualify as a limited series
75 – Minimum running time, in minutes, required for a program to qualify as a television movie

2 – Maximum number of directors who can compete for Emmys for a limited series or television movie
5 – Maximum number of producers who can win Emmys for limited series and television movies

3 – Consecutive years in which an episode of “Black Mirror” has won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie
12 – Nominations that “Black Mirror” episodes have received in TV-movie categories since 2017
7 – Emmys that “Black Mirror” episodes have won in TV-movie categories since 2017
1 – Emmys that “Black Mirror” episodes have won in interactive categories
0 – Percentage chance that “Black Mirror” can be nominated in the TV-movie categories this year, because it’s been declared ineligible and must compete as a drama series

3 – Contending movies or miniseries that start with Un: “Unbelievable,” “Unorthodox,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

18 – Oscar-winning actors in the running for Emmys in the movies/miniseries categories: Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”; Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”; Viola Davis, “Troop Zero”; Sally Field, “Dispatches From Elsewhere”; Louis Gossett, Jr., “Watchmen”; Marcia Gay Harden, “Barkskins”; Jeremy Irons, “Watchmen”; Allison Janney, “Bad Education”; Regina King, “Watchmen”; Melissa Leo, “I Know This Much Is True”; Shirley MacLaine, “Noelle”; Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”; J.K. Simmons, “Defending Jacob”; Mira Sorvino, “Hollywood”; Octavia Spencer, “Self Made”; Emma Thompson, “Years and Years”; Cicely Tyson, “Cherish the Day”; Reese Witherspoon, “Little Fires Everywhere”

5 – Number of those Oscar-winning actors who also have producer credit on their limited series or movies: Blanchett, Crowe, Mirren, Spencer, Witherspoon

Read more from the Drama/Comedy/Actors issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine here.

Steve Pond