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Oscar-winning director Ron Howard to make Beatles' film

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard is to make a new documentary chronicling the early part of The Beatles' career, with the full support of the band and their families.

The Fab Four
The Fab Four Credit: PA

His film will focus on the period from their days performing in Liverpool's Cavern Club and their Hamburg residency up to their final paying concert in San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966.

Howard - who picked up an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind - will cover what are known as "the touring years" in his film. After the Candlestick Park show, the Fab Four concentrated on the studio, playing publicly on only one other occasion with their rooftop gig in 1969 at their Savile Row HQ in London.

Ron Howard
Ron Howard Credit: PA

The new film is being made with the "full cooperation" of Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison - Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Howard said he was "excited and honoured" to be working "on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964".

Star line up: Sir Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp

Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney Credit: PA

Sir Paul McCartney joins up with Hollywood star Johnny Depp for his new video but fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor could be forgiven for not spotting him on film.

The star has a blink-and-you'll miss him appearance as a blues musician in the video for Sir Paul's new single Early Days.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp Credit: PA

Video director Vincent Haycock says it's inspired by the Beatles' love for early American rock 'n' roll and blues. It ends with a group of musicians jamming including Depp.

He said: 'Paul's scene was incredibly fun to create. It was just him, some blues players and Johnny Depp jamming all day.'

Sir Paul resumed touring this weekend after he had been forced to take nearly two months off due to a virus that left him in hospital.

The musician - who recently turned 72 - pulled out of shows in Japan and the US due to a mystery bug after doctors ordered him to rest.

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Blue Plaque celebrates the life of Beatles' manager Brian Epstein.

The Blue Plaque celebrates the life of Beatles’ Manager Brian Epstein. Credit: billelms.com

Former Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel has unveiled a Blue Plaque to celebrate the life of Beatles manager, Brian Epstein.

The Southport actor is due to resume his role Brian in the play Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles, when the production opens in London’s West End at the end of July.

The Heritage Foundation Blue Plaque was unveiled at Sutherland House, at 5/6 Argyll Street, next door to the London Palladium.

The property was the base of Epstein's company NEMS Enterprises, which occupied offices on the fifth floor of the building from the height of Beatlemania in 1964 until shortly after his death in August 1967 at the age of 32.

Lancel with Epstein co-star Will Finlayson at yesterday's event. Credit: billelms.com

Also at the ceremony yesterday were actress Vicki Michelle, President of the Heritage Foundation, and Geoffrey Ellis, who became Chief Executive Administrator of NEMS Enterprises Ltd and was based in the building from 1964 to 1967.

In a message to the event's organisers, Sir Paul McCartney said: "I know Brian would have been very proud to think that he had earned a Blue Plaque in the West End of London.

"He played a very important role in guiding the career of us Beatles and more than that he was a lovely man whose friendship we all valued and who I will always remember with great fondness. Congratulations Brian. Love from Paul McCartney."

Lancel said “I am truly honoured to have been part of the official party to unveil a prestigious Blue Plaque in Brian’s honour.

"Brian was a pioneer who worked tirelessly for his artists, and what he achieved was remarkable.

"It is very fitting there is now a permanent reminder to recognise his contribution to the world music scene."

Sir Paul McCartney cancels tour of Japan

Sir Paul McCartney on stage Credit: PA Images

Sir Paul McCartney has apologised for "letting my fans down" after cancelling his tour of Japan because of illness.

The former Beatle cancelled one show after falling ill with a virus last week but has now cancelled the whole tour.

A statement on his website said "Doctors have ordered Paul complete rest and he has been doing all he can to get better. Paul has only ever had to reschedule a handful of shows in his entire career and is so upset about this situation, he hates to let people down."

It said McCartney had wanted to perform "against doctors orders" but was convinced not to.

He said: "Thank you so much for your kind messages of support. I'm so very touched. Unfortunately my condition has not improved overnight. I was really hoping that I'd be feeling better today. I'm so disappointed and sorry to be letting my fans down."

Row over Beatles memorabilia

The Fab Four Credit: PA

The Mayor of Liverpool's demanded an apology from Conservative MP Brandon Lewis, who accused the City Council of spending £2m on Beatles memorabilia. Joe Anderson claims the allegation is 'blatantly' untrue and says he wants a personal apology in Parliament.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool Credit: PA

Mayor Anderson said: “Once again, this Government is making scurrilous allegations about me and about the city of Liverpool which are blatantly untrue. This is appalling behaviour."

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Beatles taxi tour awarded for their 'Ticket to Ride'

Ian Doyle from Fab Four at strawberry fields Credit: ITV Granada, Paul Crone

A Liverpool cab company which offers tours of Beatles landmarks has been awarded the Quality Assurance Badge from the tourist board Visit England.

Fab Four Taxi Tour offers guided black cab tours of throughout the city and suburbs of Liverpool.

It gives tourists a ticket to ride in their own personalised tour.

Fab Four Taxi Tour Credit: ITV Granada, Paul Crone

Lord Mayor of Liverpool marks Beatles anniversary in New York

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It's not often you drive a hackney cab - particularly in New York AND you pick up the Beatles with @teaandsympathy http://t.co/bCGr6Degva

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