I extend my deepest apologies for last week's absence of news, it was down to the whole team being away at Brighton Fringe covering the many shows and experiences that were happening there.
So I'm going to bring across some of the top news of last week to create a massive news BONANZA! Get ready. Ready…. GO!
Prince Philip to step down from Royal Engagements
Prince Philip has announced that he will be stepping down from royal engagements come the autumn. The announcement was made following an urgent meeting held at Buckingham Palace. The Duke of Edinburgh will be turning 96 next month, but despite his age still has a very active work life - last year he attended over 110 days of engagements.
The Duke will attend all royal engagements up until August, but will not be taking on any more. He also is involved in over 780 organisations, and while that affiliation will continue, he will no longer play an active role in them.
The Queen, who is 91, will continue to carry out all her duties and engagements.
Conservatives make big gains in local elections
The local election results paint a disastrous picture for Labour, who now have a "challenge on historic scale" if they are to win the general election, according to Jeremy Corbyn.
The council elections held across England, Scotland and Wales are often used as an indicator for public sentiment and voting intentions, and if that is the case then the Conservatives are on course for an easy majority. Despite currently being in Government, Theresa May appears to have the backing of most of the country, as the Conservatives gained 563 councillors, taking their seat total to 1899. They gained overall control of 11 councils, meaning they now have 28. Conversely, Labour lost 382 seats and control of seven councils, meaning they now have 1151 councillors and just nine councils.
It was also a difficult day for UKIP, who were all but decimated. They lost 145 seats, leaving just one UKIP councillor, Alan Hosker, in the Padiham and Burnley West seat in Lancashire.
Turner Prize short list announced
The shortlist for the annual Turner Prize has been announced, but the big news is that the rules have been relaxed and the previously enforced age limit has been lifted. It was previously the case that only artists under the age of 50 were allowed to be considered, bringing artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.
One such artist to benefit from the change to the rules is Lubaina Himid, who is in her 60s is on the shortlist for her work tackling black history.
Alex Farquharson, Chair of the jury and the director of Tate Britain said:
"I think we can safely acknowledge that artists can experience a breakthrough at any age, without any risk of the prize becoming a lifetime achievement award. This years shortlist is a case in point: two of the four artists on this list are over 50. They all had breakthrough years in 2017."
Every other year the award ceremony is held outside the city of London. This year the ceremony will take place in Hull as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
Photo: Edmund Blok for Modern Art Oxford/PA
Start of Brighton Fringe
Brighton Fringe kicked off on Friday with a record number of shows.
When the programme was announced in March 970 events had registered, but in the subsequent months additional artists registered online and now 1,000 events are taking place across May and June.
This includes more that 3 world premieres and over 100 international shows covering comed, world class theatre, dance, cabaret and circus, music, spoken word, visual art, events and film.
Voice is proud to be the official youth media partner for Brighton Fringe.
Brighton Fringe 2017 runs 5 May to 4 June.
Hellboy to be rebooted… without Guillermo del Toro
News this week appears to put the final nail in the coffin for the Guillermo del Toro's third film, as it has been announced that Hellboy is being rebooted… without him. Writer and artist of the Hellboy comic Mike MIgnola announced on Facebook this week that a new deal was in the works to bring his comic to the big screen.
The reboot has already signed Neil Marshall as director, and David Harbour as Hellboy. Harbour has already got a solid resume as no-nonsense sheriff Jim Hopper from Stranger Things. Whether or not he will be able to top off Ron Perlman's performance is yet to be seen though.
University of Leeds to introduce a Black British History module
Here's @MelzDot letting you know what she's up to during term 3 including the return of the 'Why Is My Curriculum White' project! pic.twitter.com/1G80vEAVoZ
— LeedsUniversityUnion (@LeedsUniUnion) April 25, 2017
The School of History at the University of Leeds announced this week that they are developing a Black British History module - the first of its kind on the country. It comes as a direct result of Education officer Melz's two year campaign "Why is my Curriculum White?" The module is in development with a PhD student with keen interest in the subject.
The Black British History module is not the only success of Melz's campaign. THey also secured £700,000 in funding from the HEFCE to tackle the BME and low socioeconomic attainment gap.
Source: The Tab
Labour manifesto leaks
The Labour manifesto leaked this week, detailing mass renationalisation and an increase in national minimum wage.
A manifesto is a document that outlines all the policies a party will implement should they win a majority. By having these policies written down, a party can state they have a mandate from the British people to implement said policies.
Included in the leaked manifesto was plans to nationalise the railways, Royal Mail and energy companies. There are also plans to introduce a new tax bracket for those who earn over £80,000 and implement a rule stating that any company that holds a government contract can only pay the top earner 20 times more than their lowest paid.
Source: The Telegraph
Paramore releases new album, After Laughter
Paramore have released their zany, new sound album, After Laughter. After some internal turmoil within the group, their back with an altogether more modern sound, far removed from their heavy rock foundations of a decade ago. Their sound it certainly poppier, and arguably better produced. There are lots of rich aural experiments that are reminiscent of the early 00s pop period of Lily Allen, the Ting Tings, and La Roux. They still retain some heavy rock guitar riffs but Hayley Williams' forever transcendent voice feels better suited and better challenged to this kind of music. It works with the instrumentals to create some properly head bopping tracks and an altogether uplifting album, with the exception of the sombre acoustic track entitled 26. Rose-Coloured Boy should definitely have been the first single rather than Hard Times though - though they could have been playing it safe, which is understandable.
Theatre box office takes £1.1bn in 2016
Theatres around the UK took a record £1.12bn at the box office last year, despite severe funding cuts from local authorities.
The announcement came from Industry body UK Theatre, who released the figures for their member organisations - the majority of UK theatres outside London. They took £471.7m in 2016, which is a year-on-year increase of 3.6%. Combined with the figures from Society of London Theatre (SOLT) numbers, box office takings totalled £1.12bn last year, which is an increase of £30m on 2015.
This growth comes despite funding cuts totalling over £165m of arts funding cuts by local councils since 2010. It also comes in the face of an audience attendance decline of 0.57%, but with ticket prices increasing 4% on the previous year it more than covered the drop in ticket sales.
Source: The Stage
Donald Glover making an R-rated Deadpool series for FX
FXX have ordered a 10-episode animated series about the merc-with-a-mouth Deadpool, with Donald Glover and his brother Stephen. They will serve as executive producers producers, showrunners and writers. Marvel Television will be producing the series for FXX.
Sister channel FX already airs one Marvel show, Legion, and FX head John Landgrad said that FXX will be "aggressively" focusing on animated shows. He explained that the format has proven to be popular with Cartoon Network's Rick & Morty.
With Deadpool's irreverent, fourth-wall breaking and zany style, a cartoon seems the perfect place to continue his antics while we wait for Deadpool 2. It's not known whether or not Ryan Reynolds will be involved in the project.
The series is due to air at some point in 2018.
Source: The Verge
Header image: Tom Inniss