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Taylor Swift and Pharrel Williams to kick off X Factor live shows

Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift, who are set to kick off The X Factor's live shows as the first star performers of the series. Credit: PA

Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams are set to kick off The X Factor's live shows as the first star performers of the series.

This weekend sees the current crop of X Factor hopefuls take to the stage for the opening round of live shows and as in previous years, the ITV contest will feature big names from the music world on the Sunday evening episode.

First up to open the live rounds are country music and pop act Swift, who will perform her current single Shake It Off, while Williams will sing Gust Of Wind.

More names for the coming weeks are set to be announced, and will include former X Factor contestants as well as established stars.

Sunderland's 'stealth bomber' takes on The Apprentice

Katie Bulmer Cooke Credit: PA

The city of Sunderland will be represented by fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke in the new series of The Apprentice.

Katie has won several awards for her work as a personal trainer. She creates and markets her own work-out programmes and DVDs and has been a health and fitness expert for Argos.

The 28-year-old lives in Sunderland and says her best business skills is: "honesty and natural ability".

Speaking ahead of the new series, Katie says: "I'm like a little stealth bomber that flies under the radar and smashes the competition before they've even realised I'm here."


Bryan Ferry announces Newcastle tour date

Bryan Ferry performs live on stage at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

After performances around the world throughout 2014 including appearances at Glastonbury and Coachella, musical legend Bryan Ferry has announced a 20 date UK tour in May and June 2015.

The newly announced dates will feature a set list of both Roxy Music and solo hits, and include songs from Ferry’s forthcoming new album ‘Avonmore’ which will be released 17th November.

You can hear ‘Loop De Li’ from the forthcoming album ‘Avonmore’ here:

Robson Green calls tax-dodging celebrities 'shameful'

Actor and presenter Robson Green Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

TV star Robson Green has hit out at tax-dodging celebrities, saying that they should "hang their heads in shame".

The actor and presenter, 49, singled out particular criticism for comedian Jimmy Carr, who previously admitted making a "terrible error of judgment" after his arrangements - he was said to be using an aggressive but legal tax-avoidance scheme - came to light.

Earlier this year, multi-millionaire Take That star Gary Barlow was also accused of being involved in a tax avoidance scheme and later broke his silence to "apologise" on Twitter.

Green, whose father was a miner, told the magazine that he was "very proud" to be a 50% tax-payer.

Do you know what, anybody who tells me they're not going to pay tax... we've got an NHS system on its knees....I tell you what, my son was in real trouble when he was young and we took him to the hospital, there were four specialists waiting for him. That's why you pay your taxes. We've got a police system who protect us, we've got firemen who put out fires. We've got defence, man. That's what tax is for.

Why don't you want to invest in that? I don't get it. These f*****s who try to avoid it should hang their heads in shame.

That comedian... What's his name? Carr? W****r. I mean, just w****r. No, he's not getting away with it for me.

Sorry, there are people dying because we don't pay our taxes. I'm proud to be a 50% tax-payer, very proud of it. Sorry, you're not getting away with it. Shame on you... because you didn't pay your tax.

– Robson Green


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