Fans travelled from as far as Canada and Argentina mark the anniversary.
By Gemma Peplow, entertainment reporter
Thursday 8 August 2019 19:03, UK
Beatlemania has returned to Abbey Road, 50 years on from the camera clicking on the image that would go on to become one of the most famous album covers ever created.
Tribute act Fab Gear followed in the footsteps of their heroes Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison to re-enact the iconic zebra crossing photograph as about 2,500 fans cheered them on.
Traffic stopped, musicians played and sang their favourite Beatles hits – and there was even a proposal of marriage from one of the Fab Four.
Such was the sense of occasion for lifelong Beatles fan Joe Kane, who performs as Paul, he decided to get down on one knee, right in the middle of the crossing, to pop the question to his now fiancee, Lindsay Humphreys.
“This is one of the best days of my life because The Beatles have been my favourite band since I was a kid and I learned to play music because of them,” he told Sky News. “To do this is incredibly special.
“We drove up and we were mobbed with photographers, which doesn’t happen every day. I’m still taking it in. As a Beatles fan, to be involved is just mind-blowing.
“And I proposed to my girlfriend and she said yes!”
Fans travelled from all over the world to mark the anniversary, with one man saying he had travelled on a plane for the first time to make the journey from Canada, while others from America, Mexico, Argentina, Japan and Australia also joined the crowds.
Ruben Mata, 39, made the Abbey Road pilgrimage with his parents Rodolfo and Dolores, all the way from Mexico
“I vividly remember a black girl saying at training that the reason black girls don’t swim is because of their hair.
“I was about 12 or 13 at the time and had never thought of the idea of hair stopping you from swimming. Now that I am older I can fully understand why someone would quit over their hair.”
Alice Dearing, a 22-year-old student at Loughborough University, is one of Great Britain’s top female marathon swimmers.
She’s also currently the only black swimmer on Team GB and is only the second to represent them in the water.
“It sounds ludicrous but it can be really damaging to your self-image and confidence as chlorine wrecks hair. But it’s even harder for girls with thicker hair, which the majority of black girls have.”
Alice has represented Team GB at numerous international competitions including two World Championships. She’s English and Ghanaian and seeing someone like her in the sport at this standard is rare.
The BBC sent a Freedom of Information request to Swim England asking how many competitive swimmers who are registered with them identify as black or mixed race. The national governing body responded saying just 668 out of 73,000.
It comes as Swim England has told the BBC it’s seen a rise in the number of BAME people swimming recreationally over the past few years.
Swimming can actually be more damaging to afro hair than non-afro hair, because of a substance used in swimming pools called sodium hypochlorite, more commonly known as bleach.
“Afro hair is naturally drier than other hair because it has less cell layers, which means it doesn’t retain as much moisture,” says Shirley McDonald a consultant trichologist at The Institute of Trichologists in London.
“Sodium hypochlorite can cause excess dryness leading to damage if the hair is not washed and conditioned after swimming – and so afro hair is likely to suffer more quickly because of its structure.”
Team GB’s swimming squad had one of its most successful international competitions at this summer’s World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. The team finished seventh in the medal table with seven medals – three gold, one silver and three bronze.
Alice placed in the top 20 in the women’s open water 10k race.
“I like to think I represent black competitive swimmers in the UK who may often feel out of place – as I sometimes did during my early years,” she said.
Diversity in swimming has always been limited not just in the UK but on a global scale.
Hair isn’t the only factor in this. It’s an expensive sport that has historically meant racial segregation and discrimination in countries like South Africa and the United States.
BBC World Service spent some time with swimmers from Howard University at the Black History Month invitation in Washington DC for The Documentary Podcast, Black Girls Don’t Swim. It’s the only historically black university in America that has a men and women’s swim team.
Chandler Carter is a member of the women’s team: “I know loads of girls who quit swimming because of their hair.”
“It can be really hard because in the summer you see your friends popping with fresh braids and long weaves and I just have to have my hair natural or get ‘bob braids’ because that’s all that fits under the swim cap.
“But you get used to it.”
Latroya Pina is also on the team and also competed at the world championships representing Cape Verde. Although she understands the difficulty of balancing hair and swimming she thinks it’s worth it.
“One of the best things about being at Howard is if I’m having a bad hair day and struggling to put my cap on I look at the girls and see them struggling too and we’re all struggling together.”
Of course there are some swimmers who have been highly successful regardless. In 2016, American Simone Manuel became the first black female swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio. In total she won two golds and two silvers at the games.
Ebony Rosemond is the founder of Black Kids Swim, a non-profit organisation offering guidance and information for black swimmers and their families in the US.
She’s also aware of the factors behind why the sport tends to see fewer black competitive swimmers, especially women.
“The two main reasons I hear as to why we don’t see as many black girls in the sport is inherited fear of the water and hair. Hair is extremely important to young black girls.”
“For a very long time, black women have been told that there’s something wrong with their hair, and even today we can see the impact of that message.”
“We lose a lot of girls around 10 years old because they want their hair to look a certain way.”
The importance of hair to black women is reflected in their spending on hair products. According to a report in the Huffington Post, in 2017 the UK black hair industry was worth an estimated £88 million with black women on average spending three times more than white women on hair care.
Even though there are only a small number of black and mixed race swimmers competing in the sport in the UK, Alice hopes she can make a difference.
“I’m not a high profile swimmer but I hope the little bits of coverage I get through the media help encourage other people of colour who wouldn’t normally take part in swimming to go get lessons, or join a club or even just splash around with friends.”
A Swim England spokesperson said: “Swim England is working to understand the challenges and barriers to swimming and other aquatic activity through the project Barriers to Swimming.”
It says the project aims to understand the barriers that communities have in making swimming and other aquatic activities a regular habit.
(CNN) Two countries issued travel warnings to their citizens about the United States following two mass shootings that killed 31 people.
Both Venezuela and Uruguay warned their residents about violence and hate crimes in the United States Monday.
Uruguay’s Office of Foreign Ministry issued an advisory Monday saying citizens should “take precaution amid the growing indiscriminatory violence, specifically hate crimes including racism and discrimination” when traveling to the United States.
The alert noted that other factors, such as the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population” and the “impossibility of authorities to prevent these situations,” were among some of the reasons travelers need to be particularly wary of highly populated areas or events.
Uruguay’s warning also suggested avoiding the cities of Detroit, Baltimore and Albuquerque, as they were listed as part of the 20 most dangerous cities in the world according to the CEOworld Magazine 2019 index.
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry office also issued a warning to its residents Monday, saying Venezuelans should postpone their travels or exercise caution when traveling as a result of the events in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
The statement posted by the Foreign Ministry said that the “recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes” need to be considered by those planning to travel into the US.
“These increasing acts of violence have found an echo and support in the conversations and actions impregnated by racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed by the supremacist elite who holds political power in Washington,” the statement read in part.
According to the statement, one of the main reasons for the violent acts in the US is the “inexcusable indiscriminate possession of fire arms by the population, encouraged by the federal government.”
April, the US State Department gave Venezuela its highest travel advisory, Level 4: Do Not Travel, citing crime, civil unrest and the arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens.
Venezuela was ranked as the most dangerous country in the world for the second straight year, according to a Gallup survey in 2018. It is one of 13 countries issued the highest advisory.
The number of viewers signed up to the most popular platforms rose from 11.2million in 2018 to 13.3million in 2019.
UK viewing habits are rapidly shifting with around half of homes now subscribing to TV streaming services.
The number of viewers signed up to the most popular platforms – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV and DisneyLife – increased from 11.2million in 2018 to 13.3million in 2019.
The top streamed programmes in the UK were Friends and You, both on Netflix, and The Grand Tour on Amazon.
Ofcom found that while traditional viewing still amounts for 69% of TV watching time, that figure is rapidly declining.
We currently watch on average 3 hours and 12 minutes of traditional TV a day, 11 minutes less than last year and 50 minutes less than in 2010.
The shift was most pronounced among 16 to 24-year-olds, whose viewing of traditional TV has halved since 2010.
The research also found that two in five adults now consider online video services to be their main way of watching TV and film.
Yih-Choung Teh, group director for strategy and research at Ofcom, says a move away from traditional TV could mean we watch less home grown content.
The UK’s public service broadcasters – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C – showed more than 100 times more original, homegrown shows than overseas streaming platforms.
Mr Teh said: “In seven years streaming services like Netflix have grown from nothing to reach half of British homes, but traditional broadcasters still have a vital role to play.
“Our research shows that viewers really value their brilliant UK programmes which the streaming giants struggle to match… viewers tell us that they really love this content as it reflects their lives…and so one concern is that we will see less of that content on our screens unless we look to sustain that and the benefits of it in the future.”
Another concern is that online viewing habits could make it harder for parents to control screen time.
For the first time young people now spend more than an hour on YouTube a day.
Ms Turner said: “I let (my son) use YouTube in his room on my account so I know what he’s watching, but online streaming is always going to be a concern for parents… you just have to limit it I think every day if they have too much then their brains will just go to mush.”
Irish vloggers the Saccone Joly family have nearly two million followers on their YouTube channel.
The family of six (and six dogs) post videos online of their everyday lives, and father Jonathan says online streaming has changed their lives.
Mr Saccone Joly said: “Overall with our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, we have a reach of over 8 million.
“It’s crazy you know and somehow we picked up four children and six dogs along the way as well… for ten years we’ve been making YouTube content so we’ve seen from when YouTube was a platform for filming cats to turn into a huge thing.
“We watch traditional shows that everyone else watches, but how we consume them is that we watch them on a smart TV or we watch on apps, we don’t actually have connection to a TV service here but we do watch those things on the internet… with our children they watch iPads a lot, they watch smart TV, they’re pretty much the same things that’s on traditional TV but they watch it on different devices, so I don’t think the future is no more TV – it’s just a different way of viewing it.”
He had been drinking with family and friends to celebrate his engagement to fellow Emmerdale star Laura Norton.
Emmerdale star Mark Jordon has been cleared of attacking a pensioner after an argument in a beer garden.
The actor said he was looking forward to getting his career back on track after the ruling at Minshull Street Crown Court, where a jury found him not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault by beating.
During the seven-day trial at the court in Manchester, the jury was told how the 54-year-old bit Andrew Potts, 68, after a row broke out at the Farrars Arms pub in Oldham on 1 July last year.
He had been drinking with family and friends to celebrate his engagement to fellow Emmerdale star Laura Norton, but drama erupted when Mr Potts’ partner, Rosalind O’Neill, insulted Jordon’s daughter.
She was claimed to have called Poppy, 18, a “s***”.
In CCTV footage shown in court, Jordon could be seen having to be held back from Mr Potts, who said the soap star had screamed: “I’ll f****** kill you, you old b******.”
Jordon claimed he was trying to grab a phone from Mr Potts, who claimed he had video of Poppy which he would post to YouTube.
Jordon, who plays Daz Spencer in the ITV show, denied a claim by Mr Potts that he had been taking cocaine and said a punch from the pensioner had made his nose bleed.
The jury was told that Mr Potts and Ms O’Neill left the venue after the altercation, but were later confronted by Jordon as he got out of a taxi.
Mr Potts said he “growled like a mad dog” before pushing Ms O’Neill to the floor and biting him on the thumb and face, but the actor said he bit him in self-defence as he had been attacked first.
The court heard how he suffered a fractured wrist as a result of being kicked by Mr Potts.
Jordon said: “It was not planned. It was pure instinct.”
The jury heard Mr Potts received £400 for two stories about the incident which appeared in The Sun , but he denied “boasting” that he might make £20,000 from the case.
He hugged his fiancee, who plays Kerry Wyatt in the soap, outside the courtroom after being cleared and thanked his legal team, the judge and the jury.
He also thanked his friends, family and colleagues, with several of his co-stars including Nick Miles and Sammy Witward appearing in the public gallery during the trial to support him.
“I really am grateful to the jury for proving my innocence and especially for proving the innocence of my loved ones, who’ve had to endure this awful ordeal with me this last year,” he added.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to our engagement and my career, which has been on hold.”
Jordon’s character was last seen in the soap back in January, when he moved away from the village to begin a new life in London.
A Emmerdale spokesman declined to comment on the verdicts but said there were “no current plans” for the character to return.