Tag Archives: cousin

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Kate Middleton’s cousin Lucy is embroiled in Zhivago book plagiarism row 

Lucy Middleton, who’s said to be the Duchess of Cambridge‘s favourite cousin and is godmother to Prince Louis, is involved in a bitter legal dispute with royal historian Anna Pasternak.

Middleton is head of legal affairs at publishing giant Penguin Random House, which is being sued by Pasternak over allegations of plagiarism by one of its authors, American novelist Lara Prescott.

Pasternak claims that Prescott, in her bestseller The Secrets We Kept, which told the story of Doctor Zhivago’s publication, plagiarised her book Lara: The Untold Love Story That Inspired Doctor Zhivago. Anna is the great-niece of Russian author Boris Pasternak, who wrote Doctor Zhivago, which was turned into an Oscar-winning epic.

Lucy Middleton (pictured), who’s said to be the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite cousin and is godmother to Prince Louis, is involved in a bitter legal dispute with royal historian Anna Pasternak

Middleton is head of legal affairs at publishing giant Penguin Random House, which is being sued by Anna Pasternak (pictured) over allegations of plagiarism by one of its authors, American novelist Lara Prescott

Prescott’s literary agent is said to have told Pasternak’s husband, psychotherapist Andrew Wallas, three times that the publisher intended to ‘crush your wife in court’.

At a procedural court hearing last week, the publisher was represented by no less than seven lawyers. And they claimed recoverable legal costs of £1.2 million, which the judge promptly reduced substantially.

Pasternak has accused Penguin Random House of ‘cheque-book litigation’ and wonders if their tactic is to bully her into submission. By coincidence, Pasternak wrote an infamous article for Tatler on Kate Middleton last year, over which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge threatened to sue the magazine’s publisher, Conde Nast.

Pasternak claims that Prescott, in her bestseller The Secrets We Kept (left), which told the story of Doctor Zhivago’s publication, plagiarised her book Lara: The Untold Love Story That Inspired Doctor Zhivago (right)

The author tells me: ‘I have always felt that Lara Prescott and Penguin Random House were trying to force me out of this dispute by bullying me with cheque-book litigation, and by unnecessarily inflating the cost of it.

‘Penguin has swept in and used its corporate power to try to beat me into submission. Surely the days of the big corporate bully threatening their financial might are now over?’

A spokesman for the publisher tells me: ‘Ms Pasternak elected to bring proceedings, in the full knowledge that they would be defended by Lara Prescott and her publisher, both of whom consider the claim to be unfounded and entirely without merit. At Penguin Random House UK, we have a long and proud history of supporting our authors against unfounded claims and we will continue to do so in this case.’

Seeing double with Meghan’s pal’s suits

Duchess of Sussex’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, has designed a range of women’s suits and shared a photo this week

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Duchess of Sussex’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, has paid a huge compliment to Ralph & Russo — the designer behind Meghan’s £56,000 engagement dress.

Mulroney, whose twin sons were page boys at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, has designed a range of women’s suits and shared a photo this week.

But a follower was quick to point out its striking similarity to a suit from Ralph & Russo’s 2018 collection, costing more than £3,000.

But a follower was quick to point out its striking similarity to a suit from Ralph & Russo’s 2018 collection, costing more than £3,000

‘First suit drop. What do you think?’ Canadian stylist Jessica wrote in the caption, which she later edited to include: ‘Inspired by my favourite designers, Ralph & Russo. Without the designer price!’ 

A spokesman for Jessica, whose husband is the former Canadian Prime Minister’s son, TV host Ben Mulroney, says the image is an ‘inspiration picture’.

Fans are also scratching their heads over how the new suit line is already ‘sold out’ and has a waiting list, even though there’s no clear method of purchase…

Archers star reveals secret cancer battle 

Devoted listeners of The Archers were alarmed when veteran character Lynda Snell was involved in an explosion earlier this year which left her with ‘serious injuries’ and nearly claimed her life.

Now, Carole Boyd, who has played the snobby but well-meaning Snell in Radio 4’s rural soap opera since 1986, has revealed she’s been secretly fighting a brave battle against cancer in real life.

‘Doctor theatre takes over,’ Boyd tells Michael Berkeley on a forthcoming edition of the Radio 3 show Private Passions. ‘You have to have this self-survival thing, that you are going to be OK.’

The actress, 74, says her main concern was the well-being of her husband, Patrick Harrison, whom she’s cared for since he suffered a stroke in 2003.

‘My real worry is, ‘Will my health hold out? Will I be OK? Will I go on being OK to look after Patrick, and for how much longer?’

Is all rosy for farmer Jeremy?

Perhaps I made a mistake when I approached Jeremy Clarkson as he queued for Vietnamese noodles at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

Jeremy Clarkson was sacked by the BBC after he punched a Top Gear producer who failed to give him a hot dinner, so perhaps I made a mistake when I approached him as he queued for Vietnamese noodles at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

And he did seem slightly off his oats, despite the success of his Amazon TV show, Clarkson’s Farm. It documents his efforts to farm 1,000 acres in the Cotswolds. ‘My second series hasn’t been confirmed yet, annoyingly,’ he told me. The motormouth, 61, was with his girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, 47, (right).

‘I’m just looking around for my garden,’ he told me. ‘I’m not very good at flowers, but I’m taking pictures for my gardener. He’ll get them for me.’

The theme of the show is eco-friendly gardening, but Clarkson happily admitted that he ‘sprays [the herbicide] glypho- sate everywhere’.

Well-connected landowner Henry Pelly is embroiled in an astonishing second row with locals over a footpath near his £1.25 million mansion.

He caused uproar in 2016 when he shut the footpath ‘where locals had walked for up to 100 years’ after buying the house in Wiltshire. But following 81 objections, a planning inspector told him it must be reopened.

Now, Pelly’s asked Wiltshire Council for permission to divert part of it, principally to protect his ‘privacy’. Defiant local Katherine Beaumont declares: ‘I have already put in my objection. It belongs to the village.’

TV buzz for Jude’s girl

Jude Law’s daughter Iris will be making her acting debut in a Sex Pistols TV series

Jude Law’s daughter Iris will soon make her acting debut in a Sex Pistols TV series directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle.

The punk drama’s clearly made a big impression on the Burberry model, 20, as she’s transformed her long, brown hair into a 1970s-style blonde buzz cut.

She says she was initially offered a wig to play the part of punk icon Soo Catwoman. ‘I wanted to do something that felt liberating,’ she explains. ‘The day I shaved my head, I changed my life.’

While many celebrities love pontificating about ‘woke’ issues online, Anthea Turner prefers to get her hands dirty. 

The former Blue Peter presenter took part in our Great British Spring Clean campaign and has already made Transport for London remove litter and graffiti. ‘Putting something on Twitter doesn’t get much done,’ she tells me. 

Author: Aalto University
Read more here >>> The European Times News

Elvis Presley’s cousin on first seeing The King record in 1958 – ‘I couldn’t believe it’

Elvis Presley shot to fame in 1956 and moved his family into Graceland a year later. One member of his Memphis Mafia inner circle was his cousin Billy Smith, who was just a boy at the time. And now over 60 years later, he’s shared his memories of first seeing Elvis record in the studio back in 1958.

Appearing on the Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel with his son Danny, Billy said: “When I first went to hear Elvis record was in 1958.

“He was home on leave and had to do a session because he had to have so many songs in the can before he was overseas and all.”

From 1958-60, The King did his army service in West Germany, while his manager Colonel Tom Parker rolled out some pre-recorded singles to keep the star in the public eye while he was away.

Elvis Presley‘s cousin shared: “And I remember I was in the Studio B with him and all I could do was stand there and watch him.”

Billy continued: “He’d have a break…I’d go get him water…but I finally got to thinking, ‘He don’t like this much’.

“He didn’t say anything, but I just thought, ‘He’s probably not real crazy about me gawking.’

“So I finally got the hint enough for myself that I went on and watched him from a distance.”

Yet even from further away, Elvis’ cousin was amazed at the talent he was witnessing.

Billy said: “It was just something different. To put my finger on it, I can’t. But I feel like so many of Elvis’ fans know exactly what I’m talking about.

“It’s just that one little difference that made Elvis extra special.

“When Elvis picked a song to record, he usually looked at it and thought, ‘What can I do with it?’, especially during the movie days.

“I think he put his heart and soul into every song he recorded, good or bad.”

Author: George Simpson
This post originally appeared on Daily Express

Coronation Street actress' hidden co-star cousin and why she quit

It has been 22 years since Coronation Street‘s Sally Ann Matthews starred in the show.

The much-loved actress was just 15-years-old when she started playing the role of Jenny Bradley, the daughter of villainous Alan and foster mum Rita Tanner.

But at the time, Sally was struggling with regular teenage pressures as well as being a household name, The Mirror reports.

At time she struggled to cope with the fame, being the odd one out at school with her ‘star status’ and secretly battled bullimia due to a harsh “little pudding” comment from a nasty critic.

Romance was a no go area, with Sally revealing in 2015: “I never even went to a nightclub and snogged somebody because I thought they might sell a story.”

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The actress has enjoyed a nice break from the show

She waved goodbye to the cobbles in 1993 after seven years in the role trying to cope with the fame and growing up – and vowed to “gain respect”.

She said: “When I first left before, I was only 21 and I started when I was 15. I hadn’t been to drama school, I am northern and I had been in a soap. People used to say ‘she’s just a soap actress’ and I would think ‘no, she’s an actress’,” she explained in 2015.

“I thought I would go and do lots of regional theatre to earn my stripes and gain respect as a result. I didn’t do panto and I turned down the offer of doing a record.

“I am not interested in being famous – I wanted to be 70 and still acting and I thought if I did all that, I wouldn’t have a chance.”

Sally Ann Matthews with Corrie legend Barbara Knox and her on-screen dad Mark Eden

She continued: “I would have made some money for a couple of years and that would have been the end of me and I’m not interested in doing that. So I fought against it [a return] for a long time.”

Sally briefly return in 1993, because she was still getting “rebellious teenage roles” and wanted to prove she had grown up as an actress.

She went on to star in The Bill, Doctors, Waterloo Road and as Sandra Briggs in a regular role on Emmerdale – but she couldn’t resist heading back to where it all began.

Sally decided to make a momentous return to Corrie in 2015 – with Jenny starting a relationship with Kevin Webster before trying to kidnap his son Jack.

During her time away, Sally married husband Nick Rhodes and had their two boys, Louise and James.

Explaining her decision to return, the actress said: “I thought, ‘I am never going to get away from it. People still recognise me from it, I am dead proud to have been in it, so I should embrace it’. And that is when I started thinking about it differently.”

After coming back to the cobbles, Sally discovered that she is actually related to one of her former co-stars.

During a special Corrie-themed episode of DNA secrets back in 2018, it was revealed that soap legend Amanda Barrie is her cousin.

Amanda, who played Alma Baldwin, was in Corrie with Sally for four years and the pair remained close friends over the years – but had no idea of the family connection for all that time.

Their jaws dropped to the floor when they found out, with Amanda admitting: “I thought I’d come round the corner and you’d go ‘oh no not you!’.”

Sally Ann Matthew, Coronation Street

Sally pointed out they have the same cheeky sense of humour, both like dancing and always felt close.

Speaking tonight to RadioTimes about her discovery, she said: “Waiting for my Corrie cousin to come around the corner was torture – I was praying it was someone I liked!

“The joy when I saw it was Amanda was overwhelming and I thought, ‘well, of course it is, that all makes sense now.’

“We rarely had scenes together but, because of the way we worked back then, we were all in the rehearsal room together and knew everyone really well. I think we share a naughty, slightly bonkers streak.”

Another secret about Sally is her hidden talent for singing – as fans were stunned by her incredible voice last December.

She unveiled her sensational voice as Jenny cleaned bar table in the Rovers while singing I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan.

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Her character is now involved in a dark storyline which is at the centre of this week’s explosive post-watershed episodes.

Jenny is starting to unravel the truth about Sharon and why’s she’s returned to the Cobbles – but the aunt of evil gangster Harvey won’t be intimidated.

Teasing what’s to come, Sally said: “Rita has convinced her that everybody needs a second chance saying ‘Jenny you had one and so did you Gemma’ and Jenny’s gone along with that and then she bumps into Sharon outside the prison and then that’s that.

“And Jenny turns into Weatherfield’s answer to Angela Lansbury pulling pints and that’s the opening titles instead of a typewriter, on the trail.

“Like Jenny from Gogglebox with notes about what Sharon’s done.”

Sharon is aware that Jenny is on to them, so starts asking Toyah about Leanne’s latest visit.

Worried Jenny finds out Sharon hired the van which was used in Sam’s kidnapping and tells Toyah and Imran that she suspects that Sharon was involved.

Imran then rumbles that Sam was taken so that Leanne could be lured out of hiding in a bid to stop her testifying against Harvey in court.

Jenny is determined to let Rita know the truth and bangs on her door – but they are left in danger when Sharon answers.

Coronation Street airs on ITV at 9pm this week.

Author: [email protected] (Kyle O’Sullivan, Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

Inside The Chase's Beast's 'open marriage' with his own cousin

The Chase star Mark Labbett is one of the most almighty quizzers on TV – best known for being The Beast.

The mighty quizzer swiftly rose up to become one of the hardest chasers to beat on the ITV programme.

He is best known for his stint alongside Bradley Walsh and the other chasers, but Mark even went on to take part in other TV quiz shows all around the world.

The 55-year-old genius has tried to keep his love life and family struggles under wraps over the years, but his open marriage with ex-wife and cousin Katie Labbett has been splashed across many newspapers and websites regardless.

When the couple first began doing joint interviews, they appeared very much loved-up despite the huge age difference between them, the Daily Star reports.

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Mark has kept most of his private life out of the spotlight, but his relationship has faced controversy

Unfortunately, Mark announced he was splitting up with Katie, 28, in August last year, after five years of marriage.

The duo first met in 2010 after meeting on Facebook, and in a bizarre twist of fate, only discovered that they were actually related after they tied the knot.

It turned out Mark and Katie’s dads are first cousins, making the former couple second cousins.

Mark discussed the realisation in numerous interviews, explaining he and Katie had had no idea they were related before they fell for each other.

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“It wasn’t something we were aware of at the time – it was one of those things that happened,” he said.

For a while the couple lived happily ever after – Katie gave birth to their son Lawrence, now four, and they were regularly spotted grinning and holding hands on the red carpet.

Yet when Mark discovered that Katie had embarked on a secret relationship with design engineer Scott Bate, instead of breaking up with his cheating wife he agreed to try an open marriage.

“When Katie first came clean to me about her boyfriend, I’d had an inkling,” the quizzer told The Sun at the time.

“But right from the start, my attitude was quite pragmatic – this was spilled milk, what could we do about the situation to make it OK?

“We had a family. We couldn’t just throw that away lightly. There were other considerations,” Mark shared.

Despite his desperate attempts to keep their family together, the couple agreed to divorce last year, with Mark stating that the coronavirus pandemic had created a “perfect storm” to end their relationship.

Mark and his wife Katie
Mark and his ex wife Katie

Fans of the ITV entertainment show don’t get to hear much about the chaser’s private life, but they can’t avoid his sometimes explosive temper on-set.

The Beast is a supremely competitive quizzer and when he loses to contestants, his rage is palpable.

But given the events of recent years behind-the-scenes with his family, it could all be a way to escape the truth of his life outside of work, as he even stormed off the set in one instalment of the programme.

Two contestants won a whopping jackpot of £30,000 with just two points between their money and the chaser, causing a meltdown from The Beast.

The quizmaster managed to congratulate the teammates’ valiant efforts before he left the studio, even hitting a wall on his way in pure rage at his defeat.

“Oops, I think he’s upset,” Bradley commented. “Wow, he is furious.

The Chase star has lost five stone since last year
The Chase star has lost five stone since last year

“For those of you who think it’s all part of the show, it’s not. He actually is furious and has stormed off.”

Despite his marriage breakdown, Mark put his focus into losing weight and shed over five stone following a scary bout of coronavirus last year.

Managing to get his weight down to 22 stone, Mark cites his others reasons as a stark warning from his doctors after he tipped the scales at 27 stone.

Speaking about his transformation and health battles, the chaser shared: “I had a complete loss of appetite, no sense of smell, a temperature, exhaustion and the worst fever of my life.

“I basically didn’t eat for two weeks but since then the weight has continued to drop off because I have continued to eat sensibly. I knew I had to,” he told The Sun.

2020 was a hurricane for everyone, but despite suffering from deadly COVID-19, the quizzer is looking to the future and working on his body and his health even further.

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

Author: [email protected] (Roxanne Hughes, Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

Elvis Presley's confrontation with a bat hiding in Graceland's attic described by cousin

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Elvis Presley fans know that Graceland’s upstairs is off-limits to the public, but it is well-known what’s up there from his bedroom and office to the bathroom he died in. However, not much is known about the Memphis mansion’s mysterious attic. In a new video interview, Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith was asked if the top floor of the house was, in fact, haunted.

Speaking on his son Danny’s Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel in the video below, Billy started off by joking about ghosts haunting Graceland’s attic.

But when he finished kidding he did admit: “I did stumble down the stairs one time. I’d gone up there and I heard [this] racket and wondered what it was.

“It was a bat. I didn’t know if it was a vampire bat or what it was.

“I couldn’t see it at the time so I ushered on down the stairs rather quickly and I kind of tripped.”

READ MORE: Elvis Presley: Graceland attic entrance described by The King’s cousin

Billy added: “Thank goodness nobody never got stung…I broke and ran!”

Earlier this month, Express.co.uk took part in a virtual live tour of Graceland and asked what’s in the mysterious attic today.

Archivist Angie Marchese replied: ““All of the attic items have been moved to the archives.”

And as for what Elvis had chosen to keep there during his lifetime, she shared that little-known information too.

Angie said: “All of Gladys belongings, his army stuff was up there. Some of Lisa’s baby clothes, old furnishings and drapes.”

So, by the sounds of it, Graceland’s attic was used to store items that Elvis and his family were no longer using but felt they couldn’t throw away.

Sadly The King’s mother Gladys died in 1958 aged only 46-year-old, just as The King was setting off for his brief stint in the army.

After two years serving over in Germany, Elvis returned home to Graceland as Sergeant Presley. Following years kept in the attic and then the archives, his uniform is now on permanent display just across from the mansion at the entertainment and exhibit complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Elvis Presley: Graceland upstairs layout and attic entrance described by The King’s cousin

Elvis Presley’s Graceland may be open to the public, but the upstairs remains off-limits. The rooms up there were The King’s private space in life and remain so in death. But now his cousin Billy Smith has described Graceland’s upstairs layout and attic entrance in a new video.
Speaking on his son Danny’s Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel, Billy was asked to clarify where the entrance to Graceland’s attic was.

The King’s cousin said: “When you went up the stairs…you turned to the right, you went up another flight of stairs.

“When you got to the top of that, there was two big leather doors which led into Elvis’ office and his bedroom.

“Just on the other side, facing Elvis’ bathroom, right there on the left-hand side there was a door.”

READ MORE: Elvis Presley death: King’s cousin on last chat upstairs at Graceland

Billy added: “Now that door went up to the attic, which covered all the other rooms and everything else. Big attic, big attic.

“If you went upstairs and you took a right and you went down the hall, at the end of the hall was a linen closet.

“And that was a door. So I think a lot of people probably got that…[mixed up as the attic’s entrance].”

Meanwhile, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie, who owns Graceland and says she feels safe upstairs in the mansion, has described it as a shrine.

In another video, Billy said: “[For] many years I’d always heard these fans saying, ‘Is Elvis still alive?’

“So many sightings and all this. So I thought, ‘Well y’know people are holding on to that.’ So I made this story up, me and Marty Lacker [another Memphis Mafia member].”

On the story, he said: “It was supposed to be that Elvis swapped places with this guy who had cancer and was dying and Elvis hid him out in the attic until it was time for him to die.

“And he’d had a facelift to look like Elvis. Now naturally Elvis wasn’t going to change his looks, so the guy had to look like him.”

Billy added: “This story came out, like I said it was supposed to be kind of a joke, but the English papers picked it up and they wrote it as a factual story.

“And, of course, I’ve heard this over the years now and I decided this is time to get this all cleared up because this is just not right. I never meant for this story to mislead anybody or hurt anybody in any kind of way.”

Setting the record straight, Billy added: “So, here’s the truth: Elvis died, August 16, 1977 – one of the hardest days of my life.

“And I can truthfully say, he’s gone. And he can’t bring him back. It hurts. It still hurts that he’s gone. But I’ll always love him. He was my hero.”

Gerrard's cousin and 'next Fowler' in 5 stars who will regret leaving Liverpool

Liverpool[1] have seen their fair share of talented youngsters walk away from Anfield, and while some have gone on to succeed, that can’t be said for all of them.

The Reds have a solid academy system, and have produced some brilliant players who have gone on to play for the senior side.

However, as is the case with any top club, there have been a few who have fallen through the cracks and have ended up regretting their decisions to leave.

Mirror Football has taken a look at five players who walked out of Anfield for pastures new, only to fail to live up to expectations.

Steven Gerrard's cousin, Bobby Duncan, was highly rated at Liverpool
Steven Gerrard’s cousin, Bobby Duncan, was highly rated at Liverpool

Bobby Duncan

Big things were expected of Steven Gerrard’s cousin when it emerged that he was coming through the ranks.

The forward was included in the Reds’ pre-season tour of America in 2019, but felt his route towards Jurgen Klopp’s first team was going to be blocked by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

As a result, he opted to leave for Florentina, joining the Italian side in 2019.

Things didn’t go well for him there, and he failed to play for the senior side before joining Derby County last summer.

Bobby Duncan opted to leave Liverpool for Florentina in 2019
Bobby Duncan opted to leave Liverpool for Florentina in 2019

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Signing up is easy, just click this link[2] and select ‘Boxing’ from the list.

Rhian Brewster

Once compared to club icon Robbie Fowler, Rhian Brewster was tipped for stardom when coming through the ranks at Liverpool.

The forward lingered on the sidelines of the first team for a number of years after proving his ability in the youth team.

Winning the Golden Boot at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup was confirmation that he was a top striker in the making, but he failed to play for the Liverpool senior side in the Premier League[3] before pushing for a move away last summer.

Now, he is struggling with Premier League basement boys Sheffield United, having failed to find the net in 23 games across all competitions.

Rhian Brewster joined Sheffield United for £24million in 2020
Rhian Brewster joined Sheffield United for £24million in 2020

Jerome Sinclair

Jerome Sinclair was compared to Raheem Sterling during his rise through the ranks – not just because the two speedy wingers shared the same agent.

Sinclair became Liverpool’s youngest-ever player at the age of just 16 and six days, and he was expected to explode onto the scene afterwards.

However, he never managed to hold down a place in the side, and was allowed to leave the club in 2019 at the expiry of his contract.

Now 24, he is still under contract at Watford[4], but has had five loans in the past five years.

Jerome Sinclair moved from Liverpool to Watford after his contract at Anfield expired
Jerome Sinclair moved from Liverpool to Watford after his contract at Anfield expired

Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke joined Liverpool after coming through the academy at Chelsea[5].

The forward was highly thought of at Cobham, but is believed to have demanded wages of £50,000 a week to stay at the club.

And after joining Liverpool, he failed to crack into the first team – largely due to the prominence of Roberto Firmino – and he moved to Bournemouth[6] in 2019 for £19m.

He’s currently shining in the Championship after scoring just three times in the Cherries’ relegation campaign last season.

Rafael Camacho

Liverpool were eager to keep Portuguese youngster Rafael Camacho prior to his exit.

The winger played just once for Liverpool, having signed from Manchester City’s academy.

He was in talks over an extension to his contract, but he eventually told the club that he didn’t want to stay.

As a result, Liverpool allowed him to go for £7million, but things haven’t gone too well since then.

He joined Sporting Lisbon, but fell into the B team before heading out to Rio Ave on loan this year.


  1. ^ Liverpool (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ click this link (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Premier League (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Watford (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Chelsea (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ Bournemouth (www.mirror.co.uk)

[email protected] (Daniel Blackham)

‘He loved to play chess’: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Abubakar pays tribute to Abdulmanap ahead of Gooden bout at UFC 260 (VIDEO)

Ahead of his bout with Jared Gooden at UFC 260, Abubakar Nurmagomedov has been able to rely on his cousin, Khabib, staying awake to help him make weight – and revealed how the ex-champ’s father, Abdulmanap, loved a game of chess.

Nicknamed the ‘Dagestani Gangster’ by another former champion and one of his occasional training partners, Daniel Cormier, Nurmagomedov is seeking a first UFC win more than 16 months after losing on his sole appearance for the promotion so far.

Although the 31-year-old sambo and freestyle wrestling powerhouse hardly seems the type to lack motivation, any extra impetus he needed has been emphatically provided by a series of tasteless comments made by opponent Gooden about the Nurmagomedov family name and Russian fighters.

“I know that he doesn’t have any wrestling, nor grappling,” Nurmagomedov told RT Sport, shrugging off Gooden’s jibes that all Russian fighters rely solely on their ground game.

“But I know he has got a good stand-up game, good boxing. He moves well and has a good physique – it will not be an easy fight.

“I will need to fight a smart fight, more intelligent. It’s not just about simply taking him down, so I will have to outsmart him, to fool him around.

“He is a big, strong guy – a boxer. Let’s see if he gives up or not. Will he fall asleep or not?”

Former lightweight champion Khabib has said that Nurmagomedov is approaching his peak and has never looked as focused as he has this week, when he will have the chance to avenge that first-round defeat to David Zawada in November 2019.

‘The Eagle’ has stayed awake with Nurmagomedov while he has gone through the rituals of making weight, describing his role as part of the camp as a major motivation for him following his retirement from his own celebrated career in October.

The undefeated icon shares training duties with Javier Mendez, who is known to create playful social media videos with Nurmagomedov when they are not hard at work in camp ahead of the meeting with Gooden.

“Javier is always there,” explained Gooden, adding that the man who helped guide Khabib to many of his greatest successes occasionally pretends to be filming him joking around without pressing record on his phone.

“Monday, Wednesday and Friday are Javier’s days. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are when Khabib holds some freestyle wrestling sessions, wall wrestling, grappling.

“But sparring sessions are all up to Javier. After every training session, whether it’s Khabib or Javier, we sit together and discuss everything: who needs what, all the flaws or fortes.”

The camp has lost none of the close-knitted spirit that was overseen by Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap, before his untimely passing last year following complications caused by the novel coronavirus.

As was the case for so many MMA stars, Abdulmanap was a mentor to Nurmagomedov who supported him during the highs and lows of life as a fighter, including an 18-month lay-off after he partially tore ligaments in one hand and developed a troublesome cyst in it.

“He loved to play chess,” Nurmagomedov said, sharing a photo on Instagram of Abdulmanap surveying the pieces on a board with the same studied expression he applied to training sessions and fights.

“He could play chess all night if he had someone to play with,” he movingly added. “We are all from him, and we will return to him.”

Nurmagomedov suggested that Gooden’s ignorance about Russian fighters meant he would be better off trying an underwater version of chess than MMA, but he believes that another fighter, Mike Perry, would be a more worthy future opponent for him.

“No emotions at all,” he said of the notoriously provocative American who he would “love” to fight. “He called out a lot of fighters. He loves calling people out on the internet, so he made me interested. I would like to share an octagon with him.”
Also on rt.com Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Abubakar aims to avenge UFC debut defeat this month after ‘Hollywood’ jibe at Sterling over Yan fight


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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Abubakar aims to avenge UFC debut defeat this month after ‘Hollywood’ jibe at Sterling over Yan fight

Abubakar Nurmagomedov will face fellow UFC newcomer Jared Gooden in his second fight for the promotion at UFC 260, when he will hope to avoid the kind of farcical finish that he mocked Aljamain Sterling for at the weekend.

In a clash of two experienced welterweights looking to avenge debut defeats in their UFC careers, Russian Nurmagomedov will seek a 16th win in his 20th professional fight on the undercard of the event headlined by Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou in Las Vegas on March 27.

Nurmagomedov will be fighting for the first time since his first-round defeat to David Zawada at UFC Fight Night in Moscow in November 2019, when a submission by triangle choke ended his night prematurely.

That is former amateur National Fighting Championship title holder Gooden’s favored grappling technique, which could give the 27-year-old confidence when he looks to bounce back from a decision defeat to veteran Alan Jouban last November.

Lightweight champion Khabib described how “everything was going to plan” for Abubakar on Tuesday, posting a photo of the pair together alongside another of his fighting cousins, Usman, and trainer Javier Mendez.

“The Eagle” described Abubakar and Usman as “next in line”, and Abubakar shared a photo of himself embracing the retired great and his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, at a table last week, writing: “Now is good.”

Abubakar took an entertaining swipe at UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling following his bizarre win over Petr Yan at UFC 259 on Saturday.

Having watched his countryman dominate the fight before suffering a disqualification after being adjudged to have landed an illegal knee on a ground Sterling, Abubakar accused Sterling of theatrically exaggerating his injury as he tried to resume the scrap and was attended to by doctors.

“Let’s make a donation for Aljo and send him to Hollywood casting,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Twitter, watching the fight being called off as a result of the stricken Sterling being unable to continue.

Nurmagomedov’s joke received a mixed reaction, with some fans laughing and others attempting to mock him over his loss to Zawada.
Also on rt.com ‘Glad to see the champ is fine now’: Petr Yan mocks Aljamain Sterling for ‘celebrating’ controversial UFC 259 DQ win


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Catherine Zeta-Jones inundated with support as she shares her 'beautiful' cousin has died

“I miss you already. Sleep tight… (sic).”

Kirk’s eldest son Michael tied the knot with Catherine, who is exactly 25 years younger than him, in 2000.

The happy couple announced their engagement back in December 1999 before exchanging vows at New York’s Plaza Hotel, after Michael had finalised his divorce from first wife Diandra Luker.

Michael and Catherine, who celebrated their 20th anniversary last year, share two children together – son Dylan 20, and daughter Carys, 17.