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Pop star Madonna fell off the stage during her performance at the 2015 Brit Awards, on a night that saw Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran each win two prizes.

Madonna tumbled down a set of stairs and landed awkwardly, apparently after a dancer tried to remove a cape she was wearing at the start of her routine.

But she recovered and returned to continue her song, Living For Love.

The 56-year-old issued a statement later saying she was "fine" and that her cape had been "tied too tight".

"Nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up," she wrote on Instagram, referencing the lyrics to her song. "Thanks for your good wishes!"

The painful incident came at the end of a ceremony where Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith shared the honours, winning two awards each.

An average of 5.3 million people tuned in to the ceremony on ITV, according to overnight ratings - rising to 5.8 million when ITV+1 viewers are added in.

That is up from the 4.6 million who tuned in last year - but less than 2013's overnight audience of 6.5 million.

You may have wondered why there was no gasp of shock from the O2 crowd as Madonna took her backward tumble.

Well, sitting way up in the balcony seats among some of Madonna's biggest fans - the type who know and sing along with every lyric - the initial thought was that it may have been a particularly well orchestrated dance manoeuvre.

Consider the evidence - she fell on the lyric "I let down my guard, I fell into your arms" and was back on her feet to sing purposely "now that it's over, I'm going to carry on".

The truth later emerged but credit to the showbiz trooper for carrying on. In the words of those other Brit Award history-makers Chumbawamba "I get knocked down but I get up again".

Sheeran scooped the night's main prize, album of the year, for his record X - which was the best-selling record of 2014 in the UK.

"I was really worried abut this album," he said, accepting his trophy from actor Russell Crowe. "It took a long time to make."

The star added it had been a "very, very good year for British music".

"I don't think a statue gives justification of people's success," he continued.

Sheeran also won best British male, while Sam Smith took home best breakthrough artist and the global success award - recognising album sales outside the UK.

The singer, who won four Grammys earlier this month, thanked his fans in an emotional speech.

"Since I was a little kid I dreamed of people all over the world singing my songs and although I've got a long way to go, this shows that I'm stepping in the right direction."

Earlier, Taylor Swift opened proceedings, playing her hit single Blank Space surrounded by dancers in white suits and bowler hats.

She went on to win best international female, her first award after eight years of releasing records in the UK.

"I started out playing King's College [in London] and eight years later I'm getting ready to play Hyde Park," she said backstage. "It's like... what?"

The star dedicated her award to Sheeran, a close friend, who fanned the flames of her love affair with the UK by "taking me to pubs and showing me how to make a proper cup of tea."

Both acknowledged their slow-building success in their speeches.

"Oh my god, wow," said Swift. "I've been coming to England and playing shows for eight years and this is my first Brit Award, I'm so happy."

Paloma Faith won best British female, and also alluded to her slow-building career.

"This has been 13 years in the making and I'm going to gob off a bit," she told the audience at London's O2 Arena.

She revealed she'd "been arrested twice" for fly posting in Hackney when she was a young artist, but could now see her face on posters at the tube station outside the venue.

Faith's third album, A Perfect Contradiction, was the biggest-selling female record in the last year, shifting more than 725,000 copies.

She also gave one of the night's more elaborate performances, singing Only Love Can Hurt Like This under a streaming waterfall.

Mark Ronson won best single for Uptown Funk, while Brighton rock duo Royal Blood were presented with best British Group by rock legend Jimmy Page.

The band also performed at the show, alongside George Ezra and Kanye West, who premiered a new song All Day, which had to be heavily censored by ITV.

There's a perennial gripe that the Brit Awards don't reward innovation or cutting-edge music. Radiohead and PJ Harvey have notoriously never won, for example.

But the critics have lost perspective: The artists rewarded at the Brits are usually the ones the public have fallen in love with, for better or worse.

Sam Smith's Stay With Me is already a standard; while Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud will soundtrack weddings for years to come.

As Lionel Richie said on the red carpet, "these songs will last the rest of your life".

So, yes, the Brits are more populist than the Mercury Prize or the NME Awards, but as the industry's main awards night, it seems right that commercial success is the ceremony's barometer.

Although I'm sure the organisers would love to erase Steps victory in 2000's "best live act" category from history.
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The Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special was a star-studded trip down memory lane so brilliant not even Taylor Swift could ruin it.

 

Well, wasn’t that special? 

 

Steve Martin did King Tut. Bradley Cooper and Betty White made out. Paul McCartney and Miley Cyrus were musical guests—and you’ll never guess which one sounded better. 

 

One week before the Oscars, the most star-studded event of the year, and maybe even in television history, took place in Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H, celebrating Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary. It was beautiful. It was weird. It was self-congratulatory and provocative and hilarious. 

 

It was so freaking long that I’m not 100 percent certain that it’s not still going on. And I loved all 210 nostalgia-packed minutes of it.  

 

There are very few times that you can say you are watching indisputable brilliance, or witnessing history happen right before your eyes. But Sunday night’s special was just that, with 40 years of cast members and guests from what might be TV’s seminal cultural institution gathered in one room to perform, pay homage, and sear into our memories—through their bliss to just be in the room and talent that bounded out of it—why comedy has been and will always be important.

 

It was a night of sketch comedy that not even Taylor Swift could ruin. Though girlfriend sure did try.

 

The special began, what seems like days ago, with a musical number from Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon (with cameos from Rachel Dratch’s Debbie Downer and Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher!) that sang through a roster of the show’s best characters, sketches, and one-liners. The song-and-dance duo had the honor of delivering the “Live From New York” intro, while Darrell Hammond announced the names of all the celebrities and SNL alumni that would be appearing during the special.

 

Steve Martin opened the monologue. “Tonight is like an enormous high school reunion,” he began. “A high school that is almost all white…” SNL achieved its hallowed status with its reputation for needling the establishment and blistering takedowns of sociopolitical tomfoolery. How fitting that, on its 40th anniversary, the show’s first target was itself. 

 

Martin was soon joined by a red carpet’s worth of celebrity walk-ons: Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock, Peyton Manning, Miley Cyrus, Billy Crystal, and Paul Simon—an utterly (and so typically SNL) random gathering of celebrities that I’d imagine will be greeting us all at heaven’s pearly gates. Or maybe hell. That’s SNL’s thing, isn’t it? Making those divinely politically incorrect jokes that we all feel like we’re booking direct tickets to hell for laughing at. 

 

Clip retrospectives ran early and often, with montages of iconic sketches, musical numbers, sports moments, and political satire interrupting the occasional revivals of sketches. There were clips of old skits that made you laugh so hard you cried, and clips of sketches featuring Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, and too many others that just flat-out made you cry, because it’s just bullshit and unfair that their genius left us so soon. 

 

It was shrewd to revisit some of the classic sketches from throughout the decades, particularly the ones that easily lent themselves to a parade of celebrity guest stars. 

 

Who didn’t revel in seeing Will Ferrell don his Alex Trebek mustache for another rendition of “Celebrity Jeopardy,” become positively giddy when Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery requested a category (“I'll take Whore Ads for $200”), or squeal with glee when Norm MacDonald and his big hat showed up as Burt Reynolds/Turd Ferguson. While “The Californians” and its ill-advised spotlight granted to Taylor Swift’s questionable comedic chops dragged on forever, a tribute to SNL’s musical sketches led by Martin Short and Maya Rudolph was so perfect I never wanted it to end. 

 

First of all, there needs to be a variety show starring Maya Rudolph as Beyoncé. And that’s the whole show. But add in Sunday night’s mix of Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen’s deliriously batty Kat and Garth, Joe Piscopo as Sinatra, Adam Sandler’s Opera Man, and Steve Martin as King Tut, and you have sketch show nirvana. By the time Bill Murray came on as Nick Ocean to sing the “Love Theme From Jaws,” I had wondered whether I had ever been happier in my entire life. 

 

Sometimes, particularly during the self-referential Wayne's World reboot, it felt like they were really just performing for the cast and crew in the room. Normally that would be annoying, but here it was sublime. Why wouldn’t we be excited to see the sharpest, most creative minds in SNL history laugh down memory lane and maybe engage in a bit of comedic mutual masturbation?

 

Occasionally, the fawning was a bit much. OK, exactly one time it was excessive. Do you think Eddie Murphy only agreed to appear on the show if his ass was kissed for six minutes first? The smug, rather pathetic adulation stopped the special’s momentum right in its tracks.

 

Other times, the pats on the back were a pure joy to watch. After all, these are some pretty talented backs. 

 

A clip package showcasing the auditions of cast members they hired—and some now-famous performers who were passed over—might be one of the most entertaining montages I've ever seen, featuring the first glimpses of Seth Meyer’s Hugh Grant, Kristen Wiig’s Target Lady, Kate McKinnon’s Penelope Cruz, and Dana Carvey’s Church Lady. There was footage of doomed auditions by Jim Carrey, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Colbert, Kevin Hart, and Andy Kaufman, who weren’t hired after their tryouts. 

 

That Carrey wasn’t hired for his Nuclear Elvis character, based on the two seconds we just saw, might be the biggest mistake SNL ever made. (I hear his career turned out OK, though.) 

 

Then there was the special’s ultimate highlight: an homage to Weekend Update fronted by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jane Curtin. The instantaneous “God, yes” from every person watching at that moment was so reflexive and earnest you could almost hear it echoing in the ether. The trio of women was flawless, and, more importantly, funny. And they were a crucial reminder that, though it has an undeniable and unfortunate misogynistic history, SNL has still been an indelible platform for women in comedy. And that platform is, thankfully, only getting bigger and sturdier.

 

Here was a comedy special that brought Molly Shannon back on my TV. That had Laraine Newman back on TV. That had Ana Gasteyer dressed as an old woman singing about “booty” back on TV. There was an entire televised red carpet event before the special started that all of these legendary women walked down, and the only person who was asked who they were wearing was Andy Samberg. How lovely. How reassuring. How freaking about time. 

 

But as it built toward the debut of a new (and very funny) Digital Short from Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler, the success of the special was its careful and almost incessant reminder of SNL’s groundbreaking, pre-viral video roots. As a culture, our memory is fleeting, often lasting only as long as it takes to walk back to our desks from the water cooler. For all of the obsessing over an SNL appearance by Sarah Palin or a new Lonely Island song, too many of us are forgetful—and in some cases ignorant—of what came before.

 

The brilliance of Sunday night’s special was that it reminded us that before a dick was ever put in a box, Fred Garvin the male prostitute was driving the ladies mad. And before Stefon ever announced the opening of New York’s hottest club, two wild and crazy guys already had their pulse on the Big Apple’s swinging nightlife.

 

So much has changed about SNL. Even the way we consume the show has changed. When SNL started, they were the Not Ready for Primetime Players. Now, there barely is a primetime. Sketches are consumed piecemeal on Sunday and Monday mornings, when you stumble upon the video on Gawker or all of your high school friends post links to it on Facebook. 

 

But while sketches may live or die these days by the popularity of the hashtag they inspire, some things will always be the same. Forget the insufferable and needless think pieces written each year about “Saturday Night Dead,” how the show isn’t as funny as it used to be, then how the show is making a comeback, and then how the comeback is too white, or too male-driven, or too politically-focused or not politically-focused enough. Never has the show lost its importance. Its edge. Its position as a hotbed of talent. Its status as TV’s most demented funhouse. 

 

On the red carpet before the show, Sigourney Weaver said, “I think they do the world a great service by making fun of everything.” Sometimes that skewering has been controversial. Sometimes it’s been tone-deaf. And sometimes it's been necessary. (“Can we be funny?” “Why start now?”)

 

SNL, for 40 years, has seemed to exist in a different, dark, and neglected corner of show business, allowed to do as it pleased because the misfits and perverse minds that engineered its weekly broadcast were the kind the ‘biz’ typically ignores. They’ve always played by a different set of rules. For an overlong, overjoyous three and a half hours on a Sunday night, it was a pleasure to get a glimpse at some of that rulebook.  

 

After witnessing during this 40th anniversary special both how acutely of-the-now and truly timeless SNL has always been, there’s no doubt that the sketch show will be around for 10 more years, yielding another riotous celebration.

 

Until then, I’ll be waiting in my van down by the river. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beyonce and Jay Z are moving to L.A. and they've already enrolled Blue Ivy in school ... TMZ has learned.

We've learned ... Beyonce and Jay Z are currently living in a hotel in Beverly Hills and actively looking for an estate to buy on the westside of L.A., which includes Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills and Bel-Air. We're told they have already discreetly looked at a number of homes, but so far none fit the bill.

 

We've also learned the famous couple enrolled their 3-year-old into a toddler program at an elite private school -- we know which one but we're not naming it. But we will tell you, the tuition is $15,080 a year.

We're told Blue Ivy was admitted halfway through the school year, which is unusual. The school generally only accepts students at the beginning of the school year.

As for why they're moving, sources connected with the couple tell us they want "a change in lifestyle." You'll recall, Bey and Jay spent the summer in a $200K a month rental near Bev Hills.

We do not know but assume they will keep their New York digs.

 

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Congratulations are in order for Ali Larter!

E! News can confirm the 38-year-old actress and husband Hayes MacArthur welcomed a healthy and happy baby last Thursday.

"It's a girl!  We couldn't be more excited to share news of the arrival of Vivienne Margaret MacArthur on Thursday January 15th 2015," Larter shared on her website Monday night. "She came bearing gifts for her brother: Batman sheets and lots of Gummy Bears!!!  7.5 lbs of love."

This marks the second child for the couple who are already proud parents to their four-year-old son, Theodore Hayes

During her second pregnancy, the Heroes and Legends alumna decided to switch things up a bit by keeping the baby's gender a secret until the very end.

"I don't think we're going to [find out]," she told E! News at a recent Pampers event in New York City. "Last time, we knew we were having a boy but this time, it's fun having this little surprise in here." 

Instead, the actress tried her absolute best to rest and relax, while also enjoying a few pregnancy cravings along the way. 

"I can't deny myself," she admitted to E! News. "I convince myself the baby is desperate for that lobster roll or those onion rings. I'm in the northwest right now so it's all about fried clams and lobster rolls." That's a darn lucky baby!

But when not savoring a few tasty treats or vacationing by the beach, the proud mom admitted that expecting a baby the second time around isn't exactly easier. 

"I'm working and running around…things don't really slow down, so it's a little bit less charming," she shared with People.  "That being said, I feel like so blessed and lucky to be having our baby." Awww!

Congratulations to the couple on their happy news! 

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Yolanda Foster may be traveling and thriving this season on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

But in a new blog post, the Bravo star is admitting to fans that she has been struggling in recent weeks as she continues to battle Lyme Disease.

"Most of you know I have been battling Lyme disease for the past three years. I wasted the first year trying to get diagnosed and spent the next two trying to find a cure. I have gone from the conventional long-term antibiotics to about every holistic protocol there is to offer," she shared in her latest blog. "Unfortunately, I was only able to get to about a 60% recovery until I relapsed in early December and have not been able to find my way back."

She continued, "I have lost the ability to read, write, or even watch TV, because I can't process information or any stimulation for that matter. It feels like someone came in and confiscated my brain and tied my hands behind my back to just watch and see life go by without me participating in it."

While her condition may startle more than a few followers, Foster credits her family including David Foster, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid for keeping her so strong as she continues to fight.

"I am blessed with the unwavering support of my husband, my children, and a handful of true friends," she shared. "I would like to thank you for all your sweet messages and support on social media."

All of the good vibes appear to be making a difference.

Just last week, Yolanda traveled to Singapore to watch auditions for Asia's Got Talent, a show her husband has worked hard on to perfect.

And when sharing her story with the public, the Bravo fan-favorite hopes her experience can bring some good to such a serious illness.

"As tired and hopeless as I feel at times, I have an undeniable spirit that will continue to fight and travel the world until I have the proper answers," she concluded. "I keep reminding myself that I was given this task for a greater purpose, which keeps me driven and motivated to think outside the box to make a difference not only for myself but for all my fellow Lymies suffering some form of this debilitating disease that we know so little about."

We're rooting for you, Yolanda! Hope you feel better very soon.  

 

 

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