Entertainment UK

Bobby Davro’s heartbreak as dad Bill dies aged 95 after care home visit ban

Bobby Davro has lost his father at the age of 95 just weeks after pleading for him to “hold on” until the new year.

The comedian, 62, had been banned from visiting dad Bill Nankeville at the care home he’d moved to after his health began to decline.

Under strict coronavirus rules, Bobby was unable to see or comfort his dad as he grew more frail as the months went on.

Breaking the sad news in a Twitter message, Bobby paid tribute to his “hero” dad, a former Olympian who represented Great Britain in the 1948 and 1952 Games.

Bobby Davro with his father Bill, who died this week at the age of 95

Sharing a picture of them at a dinner, with Bill’s arm proudly flung around his son’s shoulders, Bobby wrote: “Today I lost my best friend and my hero.

“The most wonderful human being I have ever known. I’m so proud of him. He was GB mile champion and represented his country in two Olympic games but to me he was just “Dad”.

“I will miss him so very much and I will love him forever,” he added.

“Whenever I was with him and he was introduced to anyone as ‘This is Bill Nankeville he’s Bobby Davro’s father’ I was always proud to say ‘No…I’m Bobby Davro and I’m Bill Nankeville’s son!’ Sleep well dad. I love you to the moon and back.”

The tragic news comes just weeks after Bobby admitted his fears for Bill’s health and his hopes his dad could “hold on” for a bit longer until the Covid-19 pandemic stopped raging.

Bobby had been worried about his dad’s health deteriorating throughout the pandemic

He said the global health crisis had robbed both men of precious time together and said Bill was “fading as the days go by”.

“My dad had to move into a care home because he started to get weaker and needed full-time care. And because of that I can’t see him,” Bobby told the Daily Star Sunday just last month.

“This has been the worst year of my life. Talking about it upsets me.”

Bobby explained how his dad couldn’t even have health tests he needed because of the strict Covid guidelines, adding: “I just hope he can hold on.”

The pair were very close and being apart took its toll

“I don’t like to think about it. My poor old dad – I love him so much. He is my hero,” he continued.

“I hope he has a few more months. If he got the virus he wouldn’t stand a chance.”

The pair were able to stay in touch with regularly scheduled phone calls, and Bobby said at the time he hoped to be able to meet up for some precious face-to-face time on Christmas Eve.

But months of being kept apart took its toll on Bobby, who said at the time he had been left feeling “sad, angry and disillusioned” during the pandemic.

He said he had been taking comfort from his four children and “incredible” friends who had supported him during this difficult time.


Leonard Williams deserves Giants payday after heartbreak

You have to feel for every Giants fan, every Giant, maybe none more so than Leonard Williams today.

You never want to join the list of players who have never experienced the postseason, a list that includes Archie Manning and Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, and of course Ernie Banks, whose Hall of Fame Cubs career spanned 19 seasons.

Leonard Williams was in his second season with the Jets on the last Sunday of the 2016 regular season when Ryan Fitzpatrick, who on Sunday had his own playoff drought extended to 16 seasons, threw that chance away in Buffalo.

But Heartbreak Hotel arrived close to 11:30 p.m. Sunday for the Giants, and for Leonard Williams, who had done everything in his power to taste that elusive first playoff appearance in his six NFL seasons, who had imposed his will on Andy Dalton and the Cowboys, who had refused to let the Giants, 23-19 winners, lose a game they could not lose to dream on.

Dream on about a date with Tom Brady on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium.

And then that dream became an unthinkable, unimaginable, unconscionable, unforgivable nightmare on Sunday night when Doug Pederson, with nothing to play for, played not to beat and eliminate the WFT.

He played to beat and eliminate the 6-10 Giants.


“This is why we don’t like the Eagles,” Eli Manning tweeted.

This was a coaching move for the birds with the NFC Least title on the line.

Leonard Williams rushes Andy Dalton
Leonard Williams rushes Andy Dalton
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Pederson had already passed up a chippie field goal that would have made it 17-17 but stayed 17-14 for the WFT when Jalen Hurts threw incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-4.

Now 12:35 remained and Pederson summoned Nate Sudfeld to replace Hurts.

Nate Sudfeld, who had thrown 25 career passes, and none this season.

And of course Sudfeld promptly threw an interception and lost the ball when he couldn’t scoop up a low snap from center.

Williams’ prayers, the prayers of all Giants and Giants fans, would not be answered.

WFT 20, Eagles 14.

Wait ’Til Next Year again.

Giants to Doug Pederson: Tanks for nothing.

“I’ve never been in my career, and this is my sixth year in the league,” Williams said after the Giants had taken care of business. “So, I mean, it’s been a long time coming, and it’ll be fun to play in a playoff game, especially with this team that’s overcome so much. I feel like we deserve it.”

He sure deserved it with three sacks of Dalton, two in the fourth quarter, dominating with the kind of game that Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan would have recognized and understood, finally hurrying Dalton into Xavier McKinney’s end-zone interception with 1:15 left.

And no one should have been surprised if it was Big Cat Williams who would have been the King of Beasts had Wayne Gallman not made hearts race before, after much indecision and consternation, it was ruled that he had recovered his own fumble at the bottom of a frantic scrum soon after.

Leonard Williams kept an Improbable Dream alive for about eight hours.

But no more.

Williams deserves his big payday following a season — a career-high 11.5 sacks — in which he should have earned a Pro Bowl bid and vindicated Giants general manager Dave Gettleman’s questionable trade for him with the Jets for a third-round pick in 2020 and a fifth-rounder in 2021 midway through the 2019 season.

Whether Gettleman remains the GM or not, Joe Judge should back up his flattering postgame words and find a way to keep Williams, working on the one-year, $16.126 million franchise tag, in blue.

“We love him in the building, he’s a great teammate, he’s fun to coach,” Judge said. “He makes your job a lot easier in terms of coming to work and enjoying your job, but then also making plays on the field, ’cause really, players make coaches good or not. You can’t be a good coach with bad players, that’s kind of the reality of it right there, and he’s a good player, so he makes us all look a lot better. We needed to get plays from him, he definitely stepped up, and look, he’s been a blast to coach.”

Gettleman received heat for the deal, because the 2019 Giants were in the midst of another rebuilding season and going nowhere fast, and Williams had underachieved as the sixth-overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“The juice was worth the squeeze,” Gettleman said at the end of last season.

There was plenty of juice from Williams on a day that the Giants needed to squeeze every last drop out of him.

“I definitely seen a lot of the criticism and the hate and stuff like that in the press, in the media and by the fans,” Williams said. “It feels good to prove ’em wrong, and also show why Dave Gettleman took a chance on me. It feels good to show him that it was the right choice.”

In the first half, Williams recorded one of his sacks and tackled Dalton from behind short of the first down on a third-and-10 scramble up the middle.

He saved his best for the fourth quarter, when great players are at their best.

Third-and-8 at midfield, Giants 20, Cowboys 19, Williams sacks Dalton.

And then: 1:53 left, Dalton only 7 yards from the Big Blue end zone, 7 yards from potentially shattering the Giants’ Improbable Dream.

And Leonard Williams sacked Dalton back at the 17.

As a Jet, Williams recorded only 17 sacks in 70 starts. Gettleman saw a high-character, durable then-25-year-old who could be disruptive defending the run and buzz around the quarterback. Williams could have commanded $17.8 million if he were classified as a defensive end rather than a defensive tackle, and his first double-digit sack season will only whet his appetite more.

“I feel like that’s an elite group of guys that’s been in that double-digit sack category,” Williams said, “and it feels good.”

He reiterated that the quest for a monster payday has never been his motivation.

“It’s never been about the money,” Williams said, “I think I just more wanted the respect and to show guys the reason why I’m in this league.”

He turned 26 in June. The best is yet to come for Leonard Williams. Just not next week against Tom Brady.

Fowl, Eagles, fowl.

Entertainment UK

Richard Blackwood’s heartbreak as mum dies in his arms after battle with cancer

Richard Blackwood has spoken of his grief after his mum died in his arms last night.

The Dancing On Ice star and ex-EastEnders star shared the tragic news on Instagram alongside some pictures of them together.

His mum Juliet Giscombe had battled cancer three separate times, and died surrounded by her family on Saturday night.

“I post and write this with a Heavy Heart this morning! I never put too much up over the last few weeks but my close friends and Family knew my mum was fighting her 3rd battle with Cancer!” Richard wrote.

Richard Blackwood’s mum died in his arms

“She passed away in my arms last night in front of my Sister, My Niece and my Son!! I’m not going to spend too many words on here cause I just don’t feel too but I want to Thank everyone that was supporting, That was reaching out, even those that just checked in on a how are you in this time!!!”

He went on: “I want you to know that will never be forgotten and I appreciate you!!!! I shall finish on this my mum was the strongest woman I know and to the very end never complained! Always pushing her kids and Grandkids to keep going and not have any Redeye or Hate in your Heart, hence why allot of you saw me Acting in this time or performing doing stand up and trying to make others smile when I wasn’t smiling!

The grieving actor paid tribute to his mum

“The reason I still say God is Good because he is thats how Mum raised us! Mum your watching over us now but I’m honoured to be your Son Love You.”

Richard shared two pictures with fans – one of him hugging his mum when she was in better health, and one of her looking frail in bed as he spoon-fed her.

He also shared a compilation of clips of his mum with her loving family, hugging her daughter, singing and watching music videos as Richard held her hand.

Jamaican-born Juliette moved to Streatham in London where she settled and gave birth to her two children.

She was employed as a hotel cleaner in the late 1990s, but quit in October 2009 claiming her treatment by bosses was making her ill.

Entertainment UK

Emmerdale’s Priya in for Christmas heartbreak as fiance’s lover finally unveiled

Unlucky in love Priya Sharma is set for Christmas heartbreak in Emmerdale as her fiance’s mystery woman is finally revealed.

And while it looks unlikely her character will walk down the aisle, actress Fiona Wade has just celebrated her own first wedding anniversary.

So Fiona, 41, is secretly glad that she might not have to don another white gown so soon.

“I don’t want to wear another wedding dress,” she laughs. “My own day was so special so right now I’m not in a hurry to get in another one.

“I haven’t quite brought myself to put my dress back on. I’m worried I won’t fit into it!”

On Christmas Day Emmerdale fans will discover who Priya’s fiance Al Chapman, played by Michael Wildman, has been having an affair with – but Priya is oblivious.

“Priya thinks this is it for her,” explains Fiona. “This is her fairytale ending.

Fiona as Emmerdale’s Priya Sharma

“There’s lots of drama coming up. She’ll get a bit further with the wedding planning, then it’s going to be shattered.

“The identity of Al’s secret lover comes out on Christmas Day but not for Priya. She hasn’t got a clue.

“Everyone is in for an exciting Christmas. Fans will be surprised at who it is.”

Spending the past seven years playing luckless Priya, Fiona has had her fair share of on-screen love interests.

Priya has had romances with Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden), who she had daughter Amba with.

She married and divorced Rakesh Kotecha (Pasha Bocarie) and had a relationship with Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan) – who was at the time engaged to her friend Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi).

Thankfully Fiona’s life is more fairytale than soap storyline – and she was surprised by actor husband Simon Cotton’s romantic gesture on their first anniversary.

She says: “I arrived home from work after a long day and he had put candles all around our new home and had made me a four-course meal. He even had his wedding suit on.

“I turned up drenched so I had a quick turnaround!

Fiona as Priya with on screen fiancé Al (Michael Wildman)

“We had a beautiful meal and I was falling asleep by my dessert.

“It was our paper anniversary and he wrote me an incredible letter. It was the best present I’ve ever had.”

The pair met on the Emmerdale set in 2017 when Simon, 42, played Home Farm client Hugh Bryant for a short stint.

They started dating the following year and announced their engagement in 2019.

The couple wed in a glitzy Cotswolds do at Euridge Manor in October last year, ­attended by her Emmerdale besties.

Chris Bisson, who plays her TV brother Jai, and real-life married couple Charley Webb (Debbie Dingle) and Matthew Wolfenden were there to see her tie the knot.

Moving into their first home together just outside London a few months ago, Fiona says she’s got everything she’s ever wanted.

“In a year that has been difficult for everyone, I’m very lucky and thankful that I’m in the position that I am.

“We hadn’t seen each other much before the wedding because of work, so lockdown was the first time we’d really got to spend a prolonged period of time together.

“I absolutely knew I’d married the right person as it’s been amazing.”

Fiona with husband Simon Cotton on their wedding day in the Cotswolds

Looking ahead to next year, Fiona says that baby plans aren’t on her mind just yet as she’s looking forward to travelling the world with Simon.

“I hope that the world is in a better place in 2021,” she says.

“I want to go to all the places we’ve spoken about but didn’t get the chance to this year.

“I want to take Simon to the Philippines to see my family.”

Fiona reckons there’s no better time to be involved in a soap – and she can’t wait to get stuck into more juicy storylines on Emmerdale.

“To be an actress right now working in such an amazing show, I feel so lucky,” she says.

“I feel like there’s been a new-found respect for soaps because we were the first ones back up and running after lockdown.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of. It’s been really tough for actors out there and we can see what happened with theatres.

“I’m just hoping we can get the industry back on its feet soon.

“People need telly and entertainment. What did we all do during lockdown? Turn on our TVs.”

She says one positive of the Covid restrictions has been no kissing scenes.

“I’ve not missed the romantic scenes so that’s one plus of Covid!” laughs Fiona.

“At the beginning we were thrown in and had all the kissing scenes, which aren’t my favourite. Then we had to create a new relationship at two metres.

“That is hard. But Michael makes it easy because he’s a great actor.”

Entertainment UK

Lisa Armstrong ‘used Ant McPartlin heartbreak to rebuild her life’ after divorce

Next month marks the two year anniversary of Ant McPartlin’s split from wife of 11 years Lisa Armstrong.

A statement released from the I’m A Celeb star’s camp stunned fans who had witnessed Lisa stand by the presenter’s side for 23 years – including his battle with addiction and treatment in rehab.

Lisa, 44, opted to keep quiet over her heartbreak with the exception of liking a few barbed tweets from supporters hitting out at her husband as he moved on with his former PA Anne Marie Corbett.

Speaking out in a rare and candid confession, Lisa opened up in a column for The Sun about suffering through the ‘rainiest of days’.

The Strictly Come Dancing make-up artist endured a turbulent 24 months after splitting with Ant, losing her job on Britain’s Got Talent and the death of her beloved dad Derek to cancer.

But Lisa has come out with a new lease of life, having bagged herself a handsome new boyfriend in James Green, landing a judging spot on Glow and launching her own successful make-up campaign with Avon.

Speaking in her column, Lisa revealed she has named the lipstick and lipliners in her collection after her closet friends who got her through the tough times.

In recent months, she has also moved into a new rumoured £3.85million home in London – shortly after Ant’s belongings were spotted dumped in the street near their old home together.

The makeup artist has been promoting her collection with Avon

Lisa pictured at the 2019 BAFTAs

Reflecting on Lisa’s journey, psychotherapist Noel McDermott has said that Lisa’s successes have been a perfect example of how to use heartbreak to come out stronger.

“She’s acted maturely and seems intent on embracing the here and now. Her success is really empowering and uplifting,” Noel explains in this week’s Closer.

“When you’ve been through a difficult situation like Lisa has, you have two choices – go under or embrace it. If you can see past your suffering and look at the bigger picture, the you are more likely to grow from your experience rather than be depleted by it.

“It’s very clear that secretly, despite everything she went through with ant, it has actually helped her rebuild her life.”

Ant and Lisa tied the knot in 2006 and split 11 years later

A teenage Lisa and Ant were introduced at a celebrity party in the 90s when they were both budding pop stars.

They were happily together for a total of 23 years – marrying in 2006 and staying so for 11 years until they announced their separation in January 2018.

The pair then divorced in a 30 second hearing in October 2019.

Entertainment UK

Sam Thompson supported by close pal Pete Wicks after Zara McDermott heartbreak

Pete Wicks has revealed he was Sam Thompson’s shoulder to cry on during his painful public split from Zara McDermott.

The TOWIE and Celebs Go Dating star said he was there to support his close pal after the former Love Island babe confessed she had been unfaithful to her ex.

Zara told pals on Made In Chelsea how she repeatedly slept with another man during her stint on X Factor : Celebrity last year.

The lovers are reportedly now back together, but Pete has revealed how he stood by the Made In Chelsea star through his darkest days.

He told OK! magazine: “Sam is a really aggravating man. He’s like the brother I never wanted. But he’s one of the nicest, most genuine guys in the world, he’s got a genuine heart and obviously it was a really tough time for him.”

Sam Thompson and Pete Wicks are closer than ever

Pete revealed he has been there for Sam through the heartbreak and admits he sees Sam as a “brother”.

“I think listening is the most important thing if you’re trying to be there for someone, it’s just listening to people, letting them say whatever they need to say and get stuff off their chest,” the reality star added.

He also said he talks to Sam “every day” and they did before the public split.

Sam and his girlfriend Zara McDermott

Pete concluded: “He’s a strong guy and the comeback is always bigger than the setback. Sam’s my pal so whatever he decides to do with his relationship life, I support.”

It comes after Zara hit the headlines in recent weeks after confessing she had cheated on Sam on the E4 reality show.

She admitted she slept with music boss Brahim Fouradi while she was filming for Simon Cowell’s talent show in 2019, and made the tearful admission to her heartbroken boyfriend.

They are said to be back together

The sobbing star later tried to apologise to Sam and win him back by sharing old snaps of them together on her Instagram.

And it appears to have worked as he reportedly forgave Zara two weeks ago.

A source told MailOnline : “They are certainly back together again. This finally happened about two weeks ago now. He took her back.”

It seems the couple are happy together again and are trying to move on from the past.

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Entertainment UK

Strictly star Max George’s heartbreak over The Wanted bandmate Tom Parker

After his wacky Homer Simpson routine won high praise from the Strictly judges, The Wanted star Max George is riding high on the leaderboard.

Despite leaving many viewers at home baffled with the unusual number, performed with his professional partner Dianne Buswell, Max’s moves were lauded by Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.

And the former Glee star is now pining his hopes on another high scoring performance when he takes to the dance floor once again on the hit BBC show.

However, Max had his fans worried when he posted selfies from hospital earlier this week.

It turned out the singer had injured his wrist during training last month and had gone for a check up, meaning he should be fighting fit for the show.

Max George and Dianne Buswell perform their Simpsons routine

Max also came underfire from his former bandmate, Tom Parker, earlier this week after the Strictly star accidentally revealed some happy news about his pal, who is battling cancer.

It was during an appearance on Lorraine that Max let slip that he and his beloved wife Kelsey welcomed their second child together.

However, the couple had hoped to keep the happy news to themselves for now.

Max, 32, told Lorraine: “Yeah, I spoke to him and he’s doing good, he’s doing great. Kelsey gave birth to their second child last week, so, yeah, he’s a fighter, Tom will be alright.”

Proud dad-of-two Tom told OK! Magazine what he thought of his friend after watching the interview.

Max George confirmed the couple's baby news on Lorraine
Max George confirmed the couple’s baby news on Lorraine

The Glad You Came hit-maker joked: “We were going, ‘You k***head!”.

Tom’s wifeKelsey added: “I texted him saying, ‘You’ve got a big mouth!’.”

However, the devoted parents, who already share daughter Aurelia, have already forgiven Max.

Max has spoken candidly in the past about his devastation following Tom’s diagnosis.

Tom, 32, told OK! magazine: “Obviously all the boys were as shocked as we were. They are gutted by the news, but they’ve been incredibly supportive.

Max and Tom are close friends
Max and Tom are close friends

“Max was here last week. Siva and Nathan obviously live a lot further away, but all four of the boys have been texting regularly and sending through different articles and possible treatments and therapies that they’re all reading about.”

When Tom and Max finally did chat, it was deeply emotional as both tried to make sense of the situation.

Tom added: “When I spoke to Max he was in bits. We were in bits together.”

The first sign of trouble surfaced in July when Tom thought he’d suffered a seizure. He told OK! magazine that he’d been alone at the time so wasn’t sure.

He had a sore back and a mark on his head and felt like he was concussed, and a second trip to A&E saw him placed on the waiting list for an MRI scan.

The Wanted singers are supporting Tom through his treatment
The Wanted singers are supporting Tom through his treatment

In the meantime, Tom, Kelsey and their 15 month old daughter Aurelia headed off on holiday in Norwich but while there, he suffered a second seizure and was given an immediate MRI.

After four days of tests, Tom received the news he never imagined he’d hear, and because of Covid, he had to face it alone.

He had stage four glioblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer – and it was terminal.

Tom told the magazine: “They pulled the curtain around my bed and said, ‘It’s a brain tumour.’ All I could think was, ‘F*****g hell!’ I was in shock. It was a lot to deal with by myself. I still haven’t processed it.”

Max has praised his former bandmate’s bravery on Instagram.

He wrote: “It’s obviously a devastating and scary time… but for those who don’t know Tom I will say this.

“There is nothing that he has ever given up on and has never taken no for an answer. His heart is the size of a lions, and it is his drive and passion that has always led The Wanted and made sure we are looked after the right way.

“Speaking as a brother, a friend and a band mate.. I know that you will conquer this as you have every other challenge you have ever faced. We are all on this journey together… and I can’t wait to get back on the stage with you and the boys and have a proper celebration when you’re better.

“You got this my man. I love you, Kels and all the family with all my heart and I’ll be right here.”

  • Max will be back on the Strictly dance floor with Dianne at 7:10pm on Saturday.

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Entertainment UK

Strictly star Maisie Smith’s heartbreak after her ‘best friend’ and dog dies

EastEnders star Maisie Smith has been in the public eye since she was just six-years-old – and ‘best friend’ Benny had been by her side the whole time.

The 19-year-old first role was as the young Queen Elizabeth in The Other Boleyn Girl, opposite Scarlett Johansson, when she was still at primary school.

The talented singer then went on the find widespread fame as Bianca and Ricky’s daughter, Tiffany Butcher, in EastEnders.

After quitting the soap in 2014, Tiffany returned to Albert Square four years later and is now lighting up the Strictly Come Dancing floor with professional partner, Gorka Marquez.

The couple have wowed judges with their stunning routines and are flying high close to the top of the leaderboard.

Maisie and Gorka won huge praise last week

She performed as Elsa from Frozen in last week’s movie special and fans were spellbound with her magical moves.

However, fans did spot a mistake with her costume. Elsa wears a blue gown in the hit Disney animation – but Maisies’s dress was pink.

And it seems the EastEnders’ star’s Strictly journey could be about to spell the end of her time on the BBC soap.

After 12 years in the Square, Maisie has hinted she could be thinking about leaving to “try new things”.

She told The Sun: “In the future I want to try new things and I want to play new characters, but for right now I’m happy because EastEnders want me still.”

Maisie Smith and pro dancer Gorka Marquez are flying high on the leaderboard
Maisie Smith and pro dancer Gorka Marquez are flying high on the leaderboard

Earlier this year, Maisie was left heartbroken when her beloved “best friend” – her dog Benny – passed away.

The actress shared her grief with fans, posting on Instagram about the loss of her pet.

She wrote: “Meet Benny. He was the bravest, the sleepiest, the kindest the goodest, the silliest, the handsomest big brother and best friend.

“This is your daily reminder to cuddle your pets.. RIP my angel. Benny Smith September 2007 – 1st June 2020.”

Maisie has also admitted to struggling with life in lockdown in London away from her parents.

Maisie was left heartbroken after Benny died
Maisie was left heartbroken after Benny died

She said: “I have to ring mum and ask how to use the washing machine! I’ve been eating fajitas every day because they’re the only things I can cook.”

Rumours about a potential romance between the 19-year-old actress and fellow Strictly star, HRVY, have also surfaced.

Strict coronavirus rules on the hit BBC show mean contestants are banned from getting close to each other – something BBC bosses are keeping a careful eye on, especially when it comes to HRVY and Maisie.

They are are reportedly so concerned the two stars could break the Covid, they’re making sure they’re “closely monitoring” both Maisie and HRVY.

A source on the show said: “Strictly is an experience like no other, especially this year with all the Covid restrictions – it’s created a more intense atmosphere.

“Everyone is keeping an eye on them to see how things develop. They are both young, attractive and single, so who knows what could happen.”

HRVY has had nothing but praise for his fellow Strictly star and even admitted: “I love Maisie, she’s a great girl and has got great banter.

“When I saw her in her blue dress last week, she looked incredible. I can’t wait to see her grow and look amazing every week.”

  • Maisie and Gorka will be back on the Strictly dance floor from 7:10pm tonight.

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Sports UK

Northern Ireland dealt play-off heartbreak as Slovakia earn extra-time victory

Ian Baraclough claimed Northern Ireland’s heartbreaking play-off loss was the biggest low of his managerial career.

Slovakia won through to the Euros in extra-time through Michal Duris after Northern Ireland had battled back to equalise on 87 minutes and Baraclough admitted it was hard to take.

“Certainly that’s the worst I’ve felt after a game for sure for a group of players who have given absolutely everything,” said the Irish boss.

“They are a credit to themselves, a credit to their families.

“For me it’s tough to come up with any words of consolation.

“There’s not a great deal you can say. We gave absolutely everything and you couldn’t have asked for any more effort from the players.”

Northern Ireland did give everything they had, but they lacked a cutting edge and could have done better for both Slovakia goals.

Michel Duris scored Slovakia’s winner

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Baraclough refused to be critical and said: “You have to congratulate them on their finishing for both goals and that’s the way it goes.”

Slovakia were slicker and the dangerous Albert Rusnak went close before they capitalised on a misplaced header by George Saville to open the scoring on 17 minutes.

Saville nodded Robert Mak’s lofted ball into midfield behind Jonny Evans and Juraj Kucka ran through to slot home into the bottom corner.

The Irish responded and Niall McGinn pounced on a loose pass, but he rushed his shot and fired over.

McGinn then set up Conor Washington, only for the Charlton striker to shoot straight at Marek Rodak.

Baraclough brought on Kyle Lafferty and Liam Boyce, the hero of their spot-kick win over Bosnia in the semis, as the 1,060 fans inside Windsor roared the Irish on.

Northern Ireland had levelled late on before crashing to defeat

Their refusal to give up was rewarded three minutes from time when Paddy McNair did brilliantly on the right and Milan Skriniar turned his cross into his own net under pressure from Boyce.

Lafferty, playing just days after the death of his sister Sonia, was inspired and he nearly snatched a winner in the 90th minute when his shot hit the post.

Northern Ireland suffered another sucker punch on 110 minutes when the ball ricocheted off Evans’ backside and fell for Duris to beat Peacock-Farrell too easily at his near post.

Still the Irish might have snatched another equaliser in the 120th minute when a cramped-up Evans headed straight at Rodak from a glorious chance.

Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell 5; Dallas 7, Cathcart 6 (Flanagan 98, 6) Evans 6, Lewis 6; McNair 8 (Ferguson 104, 6), Davis 5, Saville 4 (Thompson 65, 6); McGinn 6 (Lafferty 76, 7), Washington 5 (Whyte 66, 6), Magennis 6 (Boyce 76, 6). Subs: McGovern, Hazard, McLaughlin, McCann, Smith, Ballard.

Slovakia: Rodak 6; Pekarik 6, Satka 7, Skriniar 7, Hubocan 6; Lobotka 6 (Hrosovsky 65, 6); Rusnak 7 (Gyomber 118), Kucka 7, Hamsik 6 (Gregus 105, 6), Mak 6 (Duris 65, 7); Duda 6 (Mraz 84, 5). Subs: Jakubech, Greif, Pauschek, Valjent, Suslov, Mazan, Safranko.

Man of the match: McNair

Referee: Felix Brych 8

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Stacey Solomon shares heartbreak as she’s ‘desperate’ to hug her poorly grandma

Stacey Solomon is “desperate” to give her grandma a hug after telling fans she’s fallen ill during the lockdown, but she is unable to visit her.

The Loose Women panelist, 30, has been quiet on social media over the last few days but revealed this morning that her precious grandma is poorly, and all she wants to do is give her a cuddle.

With the second coronavirus lockdown restrictions in place it could be weeks before Stacey can hug her beloved nan.

It’s set to end on December 2, so the mum-of-three is counting down the days until they can be reunited.

Her grandma became ill in recent days, with Stacey detailing the “really scary” moment on her Instagram Story.

Stacey Solomon is ‘desperate’ to give her grandma a big cuddle

The TV favourite wrote: “Sorry I’ve been so quiet, my grandma isn’t very well. Last night was really scary but looking much more positive this morning so we are all hoping and praying for the best…”

Stacey is trying to remain positive for the sake of her children Zachary, Leighton and Rex.

Speaking about her pain over not being able to visit, she continued: “We aren’t allowed to visit obviously because of lockdown and as much as we are desperate to give her a cuddle we hope we won’t need to visit.”

She posted a heartbreaking message on her Instagram Story

The social media star can’t wait to give her grandma a birthday hug next month, as she concluded: “We are thinking of you grandma ALWAYS, and hoping and praying that when this lockdown is over we can safely come and celebrate your birthday with you next month…”

She added: “For now, I’m going to keep myself busy as much as possible and think happy thoughts…”

Her last social media post was of herself, kids and Joe dressed as the Addams Family

The star hasn’t been present on Instagram since Halloween, where she uploaded a snap with her boyfriend Joe Swash and her kids Zachary and Leighton with baby Rex.

They dressed up as the Addams Family to celebrate the annual event, which her kids loved and she branded it as her “favourite memory of all time”.

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