Holby City and Casualty will merge for TV special for the first time in 14 years

The BBC One medi-dramas will join forces for a two-part show after the emergency departments are hit by a cyber attack.

Staff and the wards will be hit by the attack, with the crossover kicking off during Casualty on 2nd March, and concluding during 5th March's episode of Holby City.

The hospital will be thrown into chaos when the cyber attack triggers a blackout and disables vital equipment.

Producer Simon Harper shared: "We’ve known for some time there’s been major audience appetite for a mega crossover between these sister shows, so that’s exactly what we are serving up!

"You’ll see both the Casualty and Holby teams striving heroically against the odds in two episodes of pure, taut, emotional medical drama.

"There’s so much to relish… an especially poignant thematic resonance between two regulars, Connie [Beauchamp] and Jac [Naylor] in delicious conflict.

"And, perhaps most vitally, who from Casualty has been secretly carrying on with whom from Holby?"

Both Casualty and Holby City are set in Holby City Hospital in the fictional county of Wyvern, in the south-west of England.

The two shows previously merged for a special episode in 2005.

The latest crossover is in honour of Holby City's 20th anniversary, with the programme set to mark the special occasion throughout 2019 with various guest appearances from past characters and fan favourites.

Producers have previously teased that a huge episode is already planned for November, with a Bonfire Night special marking the show's 1000th episode.


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Son, Vertonghen and Llorente strike as Tottenham stun Germans

Tottenham, inside their borrowed stadium and sending out a makeshift team, dismantled the best the Bundesliga has to offer.


This was a truly sensational night for Spurs.

Heung Min-Son scored the opener after 47 minutes, but the real damage was done in the final seven.

Jan Vertongen put these boys 2-0 ahead with a volley before Fernando Llorente added a crushing, emphatic third.

Dortmund will need something special to turn this deficit around inside their own intimidating stadium.


All that can come later.

Poch has arrived on the big stage, masterminding this sensational Wembley win. His tactics were spot-on.

He was level-headed and calm, filling his players with belief before they made off with this eye-catching win.

Son got the first, flying through the air to put Tottenham ahead.

He was sensational, directing a 46th minute winner beyond Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Burki with a cushioned volley off his right boot.

This grafter deserved his goal.

He was everywhere, hassling this Dortmund defence before it finally caved in a minute after the break.

Son, effortlessly directing his volley beyond Dortmund keeper Roman Burki, is no stand-in striker.

He is integral to this Spurs side, an upmarket version of Leicester’s title-winning hero Shinji Okazaki.

A word for Harry Winks, too.

His hometown of Hemel Hempstead finally has something to talk about other than their infamous – and unnavigable – Magic Roundabout.

Winks had Dortmund in circles out there.

He came of age in the centre of midfield, directing traffic alongside Moussa Sissoko with their endless running.

Their team-mates responded.

This was the excitement Poch was talking about, the buzz around Spurs Lodge before a big Champions League night.

They can enjoy this win.


This was sensible football, sussing Dortmund out before taking the game by the scruff of the neck when Son scored.

It had been a cagey and cautious first half from Tottenham.

Knockout football adds another element, a decisive edge that can finish teams off in the first leg – just ask Manchester United.

Poch tried something different, relying on a long, steady and patient build-up before they got going in the final third.

There were flashes of the gung-ho Spurs the country has come to love in that dicey opening spell.

Lucas Moura’s chance drifted agonisingly wide of Roman Burki’s left hand upright when Davinson Sanchez headed invitingly into his path.

There was Juan Foyth’s lung-busting run down the right, stretching Dortmund’s defence when he sent in a cross from the right.

Christian Eriksen had to change his body shape, improvising on the edge of the area before shovelling an akward chance over the crossbar.


Son was next down the list, surprising Burki when he tried his luck as he made his way in from the left.

Burki was on to it, saving with his feet before Dortmund could get it away.

Spurs were lacking that little bit of conviction, the belief that they could drive home the possession stats.

They saw enough of the ball, but they needed to get it into the back of Burki’s net.

Dortmund were always a threat on the break, with the twisting, turning figure of Jadon Sancho causing trouble whenever he ran at Tottenham’s defence.

He was excellent.

It was his 45th minute cross that was hung up to the far post for Dan-Axel Zagadou to rise above Tottenham’s backlone.

His header took a deflection off the back of Foyth’s neck and it took a heroic save from Hugo Lloris to paw it away.

He was in decent nick out there, saving Spurs earlier in the half when Christian Pulisic pinched the ball off Foyth inside the area.

Tottenham retaliated, catching Dortmund cold at the start of the second half when Son got his goal.

Eriksen plotted, waiting for the moment to slide his pass into the path of Jan Vertonghen waiting out on the left.

Tottenham’s makeshift wing-back steered his cross beyond Zagadou and Son applied the finishing touch with the sweetest of volleys.

This place went wild, with Wembley starting to anticipate a famous first leg win over the Bundesliga leaders.

They were on for it.

Son was exceptional, attracting the attention of some clumsy challenges from Dortmund’s vexed defence.

They could not handle him.

Rent-a-quote Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney was booked for clattering into him minutes after the opener.

Tottenham were out for more.

With the crowd responding to Son’s strike, these Spurs players set out in search of another.

They got it seven minutes from time.

Eriksen played the simple pass to Serge Aurier on the right and he sent in a cross towards Vertonghen.

He was steaming in at the far post, losing his marker Sancho before volleying beyond Burki.

Dortmund froze, unable to cope as Spurs powered on for the third.

They got it when Eriksen launched another chance from a corner, directing it on to the head of substitute Fernando Llorente.

It capped a sensational win, the sort of victory that will likely take the into the quarter-final of the Champions League.

After that, anything is possible.

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Who is Owen Oyston, and what has happened in court against Valeri Belokon?

The Tangerines owner, long disliked by the fans for a host of issues, is now being forced to pay ex-chairman Valeri Belokon the £25m owed – which is expected to see him sell the club.

Here is the SunSport's round-up of the events of the last 20 years.

Who are the Oyston family?

Owen Oyston

Oyston is the owner of Blackpool FC and has grown his wealth through Oyston estate agents.

In 1996, Oyston was convicted of the rape and indecent assault of a 16-year-old girl.

He served three years and six months of a six-year sentence in prison and was released after a judicial review of the of the Parole Board's refusal to grant parole.

Oyston is married to Vicki, who took over the club as chairwoman whilst her husband was in prison.

Karl Oyston

Karl Oyston is the former chairman of Blackpool FC.

He took over as chairman in 1999 from his mother.

Initially he took on the role of managing director, following the resignation of both the previous managing director Gill Bridge and Vicki as chairwoman.

Both stepped down from their roles following anti-Oyston protests by fans at the stadium.

Vicki believed that Karl needed to be given full control over the club to continue.

In July 2005, Karl was elected onto the Football League board of directors as a representative for League One.

Since then he has been re-elected for the position in League One in 2006 and for the Championship in 2010.

Oyston offered to step down as chairman in August 2010, stating that he struggled to communicate with other top flight owners and agents. He stood down as both chairman and director of the club with immediate effect but remained as Acting Chief Executive.

It was later reported that Karl had become bankrupt on the same date which meant he would have been unable to remain chairman as part of the Premier League rules.

He returned to the role in 2011 after his bankruptcy order was annulled.

On February 2, 2018, Karl resigned from his role as chairman after a rift formed with his father.

Natalie Christopher

Natalie Christopher is the daughter of Owen Oyston.
She was made chairwoman in February 2018, following Karl's decision to leave the club.

Sam Oyston and George Oyston

Karl Oyston's sons Sam and George became well known amongst fans for enjoying winding up fans with pictures on social media and acting out at matches.

From turning up with tennis rackets to counter-act a protest involving tennis balls to taking pictures on a bed covered in money, both sons have previously got into spats with fans at the club and on social media.

In April 2014, Sam tweeted a picture of Karl next to a billboard which had been created by Blackpool fans to protest against the club's way of spending money.

Sam, was briefly made CEO after the removal of Alex Cowdy in February 2018 but lasted just 28 days in the role before being removed.

The news came as a shock to fans after Valeri Belokon released a statement late in 2017, wishing Sam well after he had been diagnosed with a long-term illness.

How long have the Oyston's been in charge at Blackpool?

Blackpool Football club was sold to Owen Oyston in April 1986 after the board of directors put the club on the market after councillors rejected plans to sell Bloomfield Road for a supermarket site.

Oyston bought the club for just £1.

Whilst he has over seen the club, Oyston has seen five play-off final wins including the famous Championship play-off final in 2010 which saw the Seasiders promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club's history.

Blackpool also lifted the LDV in 2002 and 2004.

The Seasiders are currently in the Sky Bet League One and are tenth in the league table following four defeats in five.

What are the problems at Blackpool FC?

Over the years, there have been many problems at Blackpool from the training ground facilities which have not been updated, to players not turning up or having to take the Oystons to court.

Whilst we cannot write down all the problems both on and off the pitch, here are five we have picked out.

Charlie Adam fights for bonus

Following Blackpool's promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2009-10 season, captain Charlie Adam was forced to take the club to court.

The dispute between Adam and the club was about unpaid bonuses which saw Adam owed £20,000 as part of his contract.

The contract stated that Adam would be paid a "survival bonus" for every season the Seasiders stayed up – which not only had they done, but they had also been promoted.

Adam and three other Blackpool players were forced to go to court to receive their bonuses.

Suing fans

As protests began to build at Blackpool, the Oystons began to take legal action over a number of fans.

These included 32-year-old David Ragozzino who made comments against them on an internet forum and Frank Knight was was forced to pay £20,000 in damages to the family.

Crowdfunding pages were set up by supporters groups to help those affected pay the money and in total 16 fans ended up being sued by the Oyston family.

One of those sued by the Oyston family Jeremy Smith, managed to win his case against the club and the claims were dropped.

He was being sued for holding up a doctored Blackpool Gazette front cover which read "We are thieves".

In May 2015, Sam Oyston was also forced to pay £20,000 in damages to fan Andy Grice following a tweet which was said: "How come you left the casino? Or is this s touchy subject? #stickyfingers".

Gary Bowyer pays for training

Former manager Gary Bowyer, who quit after just one game this season, chose to pay for his own training facilities in Fulwood, Preston after the ones – which Oyston had been "promising" to upgrade for over 10 years – became unusable.

Karl Oyston charged for abusive messages to fan

In March 2015, the FA charged Oyston following a string of messages he sent to a fan.

The exchange saw Oyston say to Blackpool fan, Stephen Smith: "Are you sure we've met? I would have remembered such a massive retard."

He then followed up with another saying "Enjoy your special needs day out."

Blackpool start the season with just nine players

With less than two weeks to go to the start of the 2014-15 Championship season, manager Jose Riga had just eight players on the books.

On the morning of the opening game of the season at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest, they had only nine.

Riga lost 27 players in the summer and after a quick fight and using two 17-year-old youth players they managed to get a squad together but still named only four players on the bench.

The Seasiders lost the game 2-0 and went on finish bottom of the Championship table come May.

When did Blackpool fans start boycotting?

Fans were protesting the Oyston family in the mid 90s – which saw Vicki Oyston step down from her position as chairwoman.

Protests and boycotting began to pick up the anti again during the 2014-15 season. On the pitch, Blackpool were relegated from the Championship and then the season after from League One to League Two.

But off the pitch, fans were fighting back against how the club was being run.

Seasiders Independent Supporters Association was set up in 2013 in the wake of Michael Appleton's resignation.

Blackpool had had three managers in five months and fans were becoming unsettled.

SISA evolved into the Blackpool Supporters Trust and alongside other fan "anti-Oyston" groups such as the Tangerine Knights have coordinated protests alongside other clubs across the country and seen many fans take on a "Not a Penny More" stance – which sees fans not go to games unless they can pay on the gate at away games so Blackpool does not get any of the ticket gate.

Protests have included tennis balls and tangerines being thrown onto the pitch during a home game against Burnley in 2014 and their game against Huddersfield on the final day of the season in May 2015 was forced to be abandoned following a pitch invasion which saw fans – including a man in a mobility scooter – invade the centre circle for more than an hour-and-a-half.

Other actions of protest have included a ramble to the Oyston family property in Waddington, Lancashire and a coordinated protest outside the EFL headquarters in London and Preston which included a billboard which read: "English Fans Let Down".

Protests and the boycott have continued ever since with less and less fans going to home games and Blackpool fans missing important games such as their recent trip to Wembley in 2017 which saw them promoted from League Two and their two cup matches against Arsenal this season.

What has been happening in the court case between Valeri Belekon and Owen Oyston?

Fans rejoiced at on February 13, 2019, the High Court appointed a receiver to force Owen Oyston to pay the £25million he owes Valeri Belokon.

This means that the Blackpool owner will be ordered to sell his assets that including Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Ltd – which owns the club, Bloomfield Road stadium, training ground and the Travelodge hotel.

This initially started in November 2017, when Tangerines fans had a glimmer of hope when the Oyston family lost a High Court battle with businessman Belokon.

The Oystons were ordered to buy Belokon out of Blackpool FC for £31million after his company, VB Football Assets – a minor shareholder in Blackpool – brought action against them for showing unfair prejudice against shareholders.

Among the suggested court appointed receivers are Paul Cooper and David Reuben – both previously involved in working on administrations at football clubs.

With the potential sale fee set at a maximum £1.25m, there is a high possibility the club will be sold.

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With Dirty John and the forthcoming Serial adaptation, podcasts are a TV thing

This Valentine's Day I'll be binge-watching Dirty John on Netflix. The eight-part series stars Eric Bana (Chopper) as the eponymous conman, with the always excellent Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, Nashville) as Debra Newell, the woman who quickly falls for John's charms, despite the many red flags waved by her friends and family.

Dirty John was adapted from the hit true-crime podcast of the same name and is the classic kind of tale that would seem too far fetched if it wasn't true. Despite what feels like a rushed production to exploit the popularity of the podcast, I have high hopes for Dirty John, based purely on the cast involved.

Julia Roberts, left, and Sissy Spacek in Homecoming, an Amazon series premiering on November 2. Credit:Hilary B Gayle

Dirty John trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG70KroYlik

Homecoming provides the blueprint for a successful podcast to screen adaptation. The series (available on Amazon Prime Video) was brought to the screen by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, a fan of the podcast, with Julia Roberts starring. The fictional series from podcast stable Gimlet somehow managed to maintain the low-key feel of the original, despite the star power involved, while cleverly changing the story just enough that fans of the podcast would be rewarded with a few twists along the way.

Eric Bana as John Meehan and Connie Britton as Debra Newell.Credit:Bravo

HBO has dipped its feet into podcast adaptations, but has greenlit only non-fictional works so far. Coming next month is The Case Against Adnan Syed – an unofficial sequel to the podcast phenomenon, Serial. While not blessed by the creators of Serial, the documentary is no quick cash-in either; the series is directed by Academy Award winner Amy Berg, of West of Memphis and Deliver Us from Evil.

The Case Against Adnan Syed trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?utm_medium=email&v=VA1qzo2WEew&utm_source=podnews.net&utm_campaign=podnews.net%3A2019-02-07&app=desktop

HBO's long history of producing stand-up comedy specials no doubt helped the network turn Two Dope Queens and Pod Save America into TV series.

TV and podcasts have been bedfellows long before this current run of TV adaptations – any long running serialised drama has spawned a collection of fan podcasts dissecting every episode. Taking the idea a step further was Battlestar Galactica, it's podcast featured showrunner Ron D. Moore sipping whiskey and watching each episode, providing dedicated fans a commentary track to the series in real time.

The podcast Late Night with Seth Meyers provides an interesting example of supplementing a television show for both the casual viewer and super-fan. Each episode includes A Closer Look, the daily segment that deep dives into a topic, and is more popular on YouTube than any of Meyers' celebrity interviews, as well as backstage interviews or jokes cut from the main show. Casual fans of Meyers can hear A Closer Look without needing to tune in or search for the segment on YouTube, while his most passionate fans are rewarded with extra content.

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Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are not princesses because of Camilla Parker Bowles, royal historian reveals

And now, royal experts have weighed in on why both Kate and Meghan are referred to as Duchess – suggesting Camilla Parker Bowles could be the reason.

In Yahoo's, The Royal Box, royal commentator Victoria Arbiter explained that although Camilla is legally Princess of Wales, the royal decided not to take on this title after marrying Prince Charles in 2005.

As the title was commonly associated with Princess Diana, the decision was said to be made as a mark of respect to Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother.

Instead, Camilla is referred to as her other title – Duchess of Cornwall.

It's important to note that while Diana was referred to as "Princess Diana", her correct title was "Diana, Princess of Wales" – due to her marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales.

It's the same for both Meghan and Kate.

According to reports, referring to either of the Duchesses as Princess Kate or Princess Meghan would be incorrect, but they are technically "Princess Henry of Wales" and "Princess William of Wales" due to their marriages.

Complicated as it sounds, it's reported that Meghan and Kate go by the title of Duchess due to the fact Camilla does – something historian Kate Williams has suggested to be true.

Weighing in on The Royal Box conversation, she added: "That’s why it’s Duchess throughout the Royal Family – because Camilla is a Duchess.”

Whether this is because Camilla could eventually hold the title of Queen is unknown.

Speaking about what title Camilla will take once Charles is King, Williams explained: “There has not been an official notification, and Charles has said in a few interviews, he used the word Queen, it’s obviously more Charles’ expectation and wish that she would be queen.

“But at the moment the official line is that she’ll be princess consort.”

Arbiter added: “I don’t think Charles will stand for her being anything less.”

Earlier this week, we told you Meghan Markle keeps boxes of hand warmers around her home – which she gives to her security guards when it gets chilly.

We also revealed Meghan Markle stood up an American film director after he ‘worked up the courage’ to ask her out.

And we showed you Kate Middleton congratulating BAFTA winner Olivia Colman as she dazzles in Diana’s earrings.

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Mbappe and Verratti drug tested after Man Utd win forcing PSG flight home to be delayed by an hour

The Ligue 1 giants were keen to get back to France as soon as possible after their incredible 2-0 win over Manchester United.

But Thomas Tuchel's side had to wait around until 1:20am before they could begin their return journey.

Verratti and Mbappe were held up at Old Trafford until the early hours of the morning for a routine drugs test.

The squad were then spotted wearing their matching Jordan team tracksuits before they boarded the plane.

And it will be straight back to business for the Ligue 1 leaders ahead of this Sunday's clash with St-Etienne.



Mbappe was the star of the show as PSG brought an end to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's unbeaten run with United.

After Presnel Kimpembe opened the scoring in the second half, Mbappe doubled the tally in the 60th minute.

Solskjaer praised the French World Cup winner after the match and admitted he did not know how to stop him.

He said: "The ground he makes up, that boy, to get in the box.


"For all the strikers out there, the poachers, that's how to get in the box. I've been talking about that with our strikers."

When asked how to deal with him, he said: "Don't give him that space to run into. He's lightning quick, get your body in against him.

"I was never a top central defender. You better ask top defenders to stop him."

United now have a mountain to climb in the return fixture at Parc des Princes on March 6.

But Solskjaer insisted after his 11-game unbeaten start to life at United ended: “Mountains are there to be climbed because you can’t lay down and say this is over.

"We are going to have to go down there and believe in ourselves and improve. But today was a kind of a reality check on our level from the top teams.”

 

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Gigi Hadid and Jimmy Fallon Try to Eat Burgers with Tiny Hands, Talk What Makes Her 'Scary'

The supermodel talks about how escape rooms bring out her competitive side, and what she did that got guys saying, “I don’t think she’s cute anymore.”

Gigi Hadid loves her hamburgers, and it’s a passion she shares with Jimmy Fallon. So of course they were going to chow down during her latest visit, but she upped the ante on him.

"We’re going to eat burgers with tiny hands," she told Fallon, bringing out just that.

It’s a recurring motif that Gigi brings something tiny to "The Tonight Show," but this time she came prepared for Fallon’s inevitable introduction of a new burger for them to try. And she certainly made the experience memorable and hilarious to watch as Fallon was really fumbling to pick up and hold onto his burger.

He remarked how easy it was for her, but she simply credited her years of playing competitive volleyball. It was a sport she found a true passion and drive for, even though her coaches sometimes had to warn her for getting a little too emotionally invested in the game.

According to the model, it was a little off-putting to some of her fellow classmates in high school. "Guys would be all like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s go watch Gigi on the volleyball court,’" she recalled. "By the end of the game they’re like, ‘She’s scary. Like, I don’t think she’s cute anymore.’"

Now, she brings that same competitive drive to escape rooms, which is something she has become absolutely enamored with.

Already, she’s shared plenty of stories of her times in them through social media, and she was more than happy to talk about how fun they are with Fallon, even explaining a bit how they worked.

But he wanted to know if she was fun to do an escape room with, or did she perhaps get too competitive.

"I’m like super nice if you’re there to win with me, you know what I mean?" she said earnestly. "But if you’re like goofing off, no, I’m not nice about it."

In other words, if you don’t take it at least a little bit seriously, you might come out of the experience thinking, "I don’t think she’s cute anymore."

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Gigi Hadid Among Stars Inside Pirelli's 2019 Calendar

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Inside Hollyoaks Danny Mac and Carly Stevenson’s incredible Bali honeymoon at £380-a-night hotel 18 months after they got married

Making sure their trip was worth the wait, the couple have stayed at some of the island's top hotels – and haven't wasted any time sharing the experience with their fans.

The pair have spent the past two weeks hotfooting between five-star resorts, including W Bali in Seminyak and The Mulia in Nusa Dua.

Rooms at both hotels will set holiday-makers back hundreds of pounds and Danny and Carley have gone the extra mile with beach-view rooms.

Their large balcony overlooking the island's white sands and crystal clear waters also provides the perfect spot for sunset watching.

The Mulia also boasts a sprawling swimming pool complete with padded sunbeds and cabana day beds.




When the pair aren't lounging around in their luxury resort, they have been exploring everything the stunning island has to offer.

Earlier this week the couple took a trip to the Nungnung Waterfall which cascades down 165ft of leaf-covered rock and ends with a swimmable pool.

They have also swung between palm trees at popular cafe Kumulilir.

The lovebirds kicked off their holiday in their own  villa inside the W Hotel, where luxuries included a "floating breakfast" delivered to their private pool.

The couple were able to tuck into glasses of champagne and a selection of sweet and savoury pastries, as well as some of the island's homegrown fruit.




Danny and Carley secretly married in 2017, with Danny only revealing they had wed during an appearance on Lorraine in the September of that year.

The lovebirds exchanged their vows in an idyllic woodland ceremony surrounded by family and friends.

He gushed: "It was the perfect day.

"It really could not have been better, it was fantastic weather and it was all outside. We had a really wonderful time, it could not have gone better."




He said: "The first dance was very standard, it was a sway, it was a beautiful moment for us."

The couple danced to Best Friend by Jason Mraz and Brad Paisley's Then, played back-to-back.

Danny added: "We didn't have the time [to choreograph] we've both been so busy fortunately."


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Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan dress down in tracksuits for rare outing together in Essex

The married couple opted for comfort-over-style for the occasion and appeared pensive before heading home.


Mark, 32, wore a coordinated grey Nike tracksuit and kept his hair covered with a black baseball cap.

Michelle, 31, looked equally as comfy in black gym leggings, a black hoodie and large sunnies to shield her eyes from the sun.

The Our Girl actress could be seen chatting to a friend on FaceTime as hubby Mark went to pick up their car.

As they drove off, concern was etched on their faces as they looked deep in thought.

The couple, who married in 2015, have come under a lot scrutiny around the state of their marriage in recent months.

With Mark being based in LA for his presetting gig on NBC show Extra, Michelle has split her time between UK and South Africa for her various acting gigs, meaning the pair often spend long stints apart.

Last month, Michelle hit back at any rift rumours and revealed her and Mark often meet up in secret.

The gorgeous brunette admitted the pair have mastered the art of seeing one another without the world knowing as she affirmed "my marriage is my business".

Last week, the couple reassured fans they were stronger than ever as they enjoyed a romantic night out as popular Essex haunt, Sheesh.

The lovebirds posted photos of the delicious food on social media and posed happily with the restaurant’s head chef.


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Q&A recap: Libs and Labor clash over refugee bill and franking credits

In case you hadn't noticed, Q&A was on hand to remind you: there is a federal election campaign coming on.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.Credit:ABC

Dreyfus declared Labor would vote for the bill – probably.

"We are going to vote for the Phelps' bill or the Phelps' amendment. But we are negotiating with the crossbench for three clarifications."

Tony Jones wondered: "Sarah Henderson, is the Government looking at facing a massive political defeat tomorrow on this bill?"

And as we watched and waited for the kettle to boil, Henderson turned on the waffle iron.

"This is all about politics, Tony!" she told the nation, which recoiled at the suggestion that politics might be about politics.

Liberal MP for Corangamite Sarah Henderson.Credit:ABC

She went on: "Labor has been forced to crawl back into this position… the political consequences are that all Australians will see that Labor will do anything to unravel border protection in this country."

Drefyus thought this allegation "bizarre and disgraceful".

The nation thought: please, Lord, not another election about border protection. We've had seven in a row, to no sensible outcome.

Campaign-heavy cynicism hung in the air.

Jones asked Henderson if this debate – along with Labor's contentious franking credits policy – amounted to free kicks for a struggling government looking for weak spots to exploit.

"Will those things gift you your electorate?" he asked of the Coalition's most marginal MP.

"Absolutely not," replied Henderson, though she was going to do her best to ensure they did.

She had declared the franking credits policy "an appalling theft of older Australians money… Labor intends to steal this money from older Australians".

Panellist Stephen Mayne, the journalist and shareholder activist, pushed back: "Is it possible not to call it theft? It's not theft."

Dreyfus, in defence: "It's not theft and it doesn't affect pensioners."

Henderson: "I'm out in Corangamite, Port Arlington, St Leonards – also campaigning for a new pool for the North Bellarine."

She went on to throw the switch to compassion – we also help the homeless! We're very proud! – which prompted this from Tony Jones: "Sarah, we're not quite in the election campaign yet."

Really? We're not?

You'd have a hard time convincing most Australians of that, as they sit and wait for the kettle to boil. The jolly swagman with his billy would have tossed himself in the billabong weeks ago.

And in these phoney-war days, if a politician offered you a choice between waiting for that official campaign cup of tea and your house burning down… well, let's be frank, you'd have to think about it.

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