EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Why did Defra give ‘rewilding’ charity £116,000 in the space of a month?

As the nation tightens its purse strings in the cost-of-living crisis, cash-strapped taxpayers might be surprised to learn that a multi-millionaire Hollywood star’s charity has been benefiting from their hard-earned money.

I can reveal that charity Re:wild, co-founded by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, has been handed more than £116,000 in grants by the UK Government, in the space of just a month.

Even though the actor, 47, is worth over £200 million, Re:wild, the conservation group he co-founded last year, has received four lump-sum donations totalling the eyebrow-raising amount.

Earlier this year, Defra granted the charity £28,800 of taxpayers’ cash to lobby for ‘rewilding’.

The money was used to protect a species of dwarf buffalo called the tamaraw in the Philippines.

And this will not be the last set of funds the cause will receive from British taxpayers — as a spokesman for Defra tells me this is an ongoing paying scheme.

‘The payments have been made to Re:wild as part of a three-year grant that they successfully secured,’ they confirm.

Let’s not forget this is the same Leonardo DiCaprio who reportedly spent $2.5 million on champagne for his 38th birthday bash, and flew 8,000 miles in a private jet from Cannes to New York and back again — to accept an environment award.

Her stepdaughter Sienna Miller may prefer to take the advice of others, but top interior designer Kelly Hoppen still has fans in high places.

After taking one look at Kelly’s £12.5 million mansion, singer Boy George ‘fell in love with it’ and he has tasked her with doing up his own gothic-style North London home in the same way.

The Culture Club singer, 61, told Kelly: ‘I want you to redo my house and I want it to look exactly like this.’

Yesterday Sienna, 40, revealed she had chosen her film director friend Gaby Dellal, 61, who apparently has the ‘best taste’ of anyone Sienna has ‘ever met’, to renovate her Buckinghamshire cottage.

CHRISTENED Louis — and with Prince Charles as one of his grandfathers — he was always destined for grandeur.

No, not the third and youngest of Kate and Wills’s offspring but Louis Cunningham, 24, grandson of the late Prince Charles of Luxembourg.

After making his Bridgerton debut as Lord Corning, he is now to star in the eight-part BBC drama Marie Antoinette. His role? Louis XVI, of course.

And I can reveal that Oxford graduate Louis, 24, has another prince lurking in his background — ‘Prince of Darkness’ Peter Mandelson. Years ago, when a neighbour of Louis’s parents, the Labour peer used to babysit for the family.

Previously portly Simon Callow reckons he’s in the best shape of his life — and it’s all thanks to a groundbreaking new diet plan he devised. ‘I’m very fit, fitter than I’ve ever been,’ says the 73-year-old, who needs to be light on his feet as he currently has an all-singing, all-dancing role on the London stage in the musical Anything Goes.

‘I devised a diet all of my own. I began eating half as much as I normally would and ate it twice as slowly. Over four months I lost more than two stone.’ It’s never too late…

Is Prince Andrew’s former squeeze Amanda Staveley, a major player in the £300 million Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, feeling the heat?

Staveley, 49, seemed to ‘kick off’ on her mobile in WHSmith at London’s King’s Cross.

‘It was a complete meltdown,’ says my man hiding behind the Maltesers. ‘She was yelling: ‘Why can’t you do it in 24 hours?’ ‘

Queueing to pay for sweeties, drinks and a Richard Osman novel, she then apparently shouted: ‘Don’t you tell me to calm down!’ — before realising she lacked cash or cards. She was eventually rescued by husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi.

Funnyman John Cleese seemed uncharacteristically carefree as he and his fourth wife celebrated their tenth anniversary on Wednesday.

The 82-year-old Monty Python star was out with Jennifer Wade, 51, at the trendy Mayfair eatery La Loma.

It’s no secret the actor has been unlucky in love previously, having gone through three costly divorces. First married to his former Fawlty Towers co-star Connie Booth, then later to American actress Barbara Trentham, it was his marriage to U.S. radio host Alyce Eichelberger that burned the biggest hole in his pocket.

He called the £600,000 a year he was ordered to pay her ‘completely ridiculous’ at the time, and it led to him embarking on his first live tour to raise funds — which he of course called The Alimony Tour.

Her surname may be Frost but Sadie showed off her red-hot style at a charity bash in Mallorca.

Wearing a £120 dress by UK designer Vivien of Holloway, the 57-year-old — who is believed to have recently purchased a villa on the Spanish Island — brought a touch of British glamour to proceedings at a swanky do.

‘Whirlwind trip to (island capital) Palma to do a little business,’ she says.

‘Met some lovely people.’

The fundraiser is put on every year by Spanish real estate agent Marcel Remus, and was attended by the likes of Dame Joan Collins in 2021.

I do hope Marcel gave Sadie some top tips on buying Spanish properties.

No stranger to flights of fantasy, Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson says he ‘seriously considered’ wiping his mind with hypnosis after working on the franchise for so long. So much so that he even spoke to an expert about doing just that.

‘I did talk to Derren Brown about it and he thought he could do it,’ says the 60-year-old filmmaker, when all Jackson wanted to do after finishing the £2.5 billion grossing adventure trilogy was see ‘a hypnotherapy guy’ who could ‘make me forget about the work I’d done over the last six or seven years’. Thankfully, sense prevailed and the Oscar-winner kept his Hobbit habit.

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  • 1 час, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    ‘Scary’ Poldark star Aiden Turner details fears of filming first episode of ITV drama

    Actor Aidan had to overcome his fear of heights as his character, Dr Joe O’Loughlin, had to stand on a building’s ledge to try to help someone wanting to jump on the upcoming ITV series. Speaking to Express.co.uk and other media, the Irish TV star admitted: “It was kind of scary” and that his “shrieks” were real.

    The Suspect follows Dr Joe, a clinical psychologist, who is clearly hiding some dark secrets.

    Although he seems to have it all, a different side of Joe emerges after a shocking event shakes his world, and the audience is left questioning whether or not Joe is one of the good guys.

    Part of the first episode sees a tense moment where Joe is walking around the edge of a tall building.

    Reflecting on the opening stunt, Aidan admitted he wasn’t looking forward to shooting the scene.

    “It was terrifying,” he admitted. “I’m not good with heights.

    “And we’re still quite high up, which is great when you do these things because you could just infiltrate your own real emotion.

    “[It helps] for playing fear, or dialling that up.

    “If there wasn’t a height, if you’re doing a green screen thing, for instance, I mean, they’re really tricky.

    “Because to try to evoke that emotion from yourself, it’s harder, you tend to overcook it.”

    The actor laughed: “Those shrieks or whatever I’m doing in the scene are real.

    “It was kind of scary, but it still felt very safe, which is great.

    I think it’s a great introduction for the character too. And it’s a great way to start.”

    Luckily Aidan didn’t have to delve too much into the secrets his character is keeping as he admitted he is “terrible” at keeping tight-lipped.

    “I always give things away!” he told the press as he reflected on the twists and turns of the storyline.

    Director James Strong also talked about the opening scene and admitted it had been “complicated” to pull off.

    The Suspect’s gripping first episode will soon be available for audiences to watch.

    Thriller fans will not be let down by the drama, which is also starring Shaun Parkes and Anjli Mohindra.

    The official synopsis reads: “Turner plays Doctor Joe O’Loughlin who appears to have a perfect life with a devoted wife, loving daughter, successful practice as a criminal psychologist, media profile and publishing deal.

    “When a young woman is found dead he is only too willing to offer help with his profiling and expertise.

    “But as the investigation into the woman’s death gathers pace, we start to ask, do we know the real Joe, or does he have a secret life?”

    The Suspect will start on ITV this month.

  • 1 час, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Sophia Loren stunned as actress gives rare insight of royal encounter with the Queen

    The glamourous actress, who was in her early 20s at the time, shared a rare glimpse of her preparation before coming face-to-face with royalty.

    A photographer captured images of the beauty ahead of their meeting as she could be seen getting ready in an old Elizabethan house at a country club in Elstree.

    One photo showed Sophia sitting in front of a mirror placing a diamond necklace around her neck, while another photo showed the smiling actress being assisted with her gown.

    Sophia met the Queen at a London premiere and wore a lace jacket with white fur trimmed sleeves over her strapless gown for the event.

  • 3 часа, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Raising Kanan: Mekai Curtis previews Kanan and Raq fall-out ‘Reads her poker face’

    The first season finale of Power Book III: Raising Kanan shook viewers to the core last year when Kanan Stark (played by Mekai Curtis) tried and failed to bring down detective Malcolm Howard (Omar Epps). When Malcolm returns to reveal the truth in the second season of the hit Starz drama, Mekai teased exclusively to Express.co.uk if Kanan’s bond with his crime lord mother Raq (Patina Miller) will survive.

    Kanan and Raq could be on very shaky ground by the end of Raising Kanan’s second season.

    Unbeknownst to the New York queenpin, Raq’s scheme to orchestrate her son to kill Malcolm was unsuccessful after Kanan choked when it came to delivering the final shot.

    Malcolm is now aware he is probably Kanan’s father, and Raq will be doing anything to stop the NYPD detective from getting close to her son.

    However, according to Mekai, it won’t take long before Kanan starts seeing through his mother’s lies.

    “The base of it goes back to how a mother knows her son and how a son knows his mother,” he told Express.co.uk.

    “The story we’re telling in Raising Kanan is how a family sticks together.

    “It’s a crime drama but it’s about this mother wanting to protect her son and her son wanting to protect her mother.”

    Mekai revealed he and Patina had a rather different approach to their performance as mother and son this time around.

    Although Raq still has a deep love for her son, and vice versa, she’s incredibly worried Malcolm’s revelation could destroy what she and her brothers have built.

    Mekai added: “As a son, as a man, your mother is your first love, truly.

    “With that, you know how they take and you learn certain nuances of that person.”

    From the first episode of the new season, Raq will be trying her hardest to keep Kanan from learning the truth from Malcolm.

    Unfortunately for her, Kanan is now old enough to know exactly when his mother is lying to him and could set out to uncover more of her secrets during season two.

    “In the case of Raq and Kanan; Kanan’s been around long enough and he’s privy enough to know when things aren’t necessarily what they are,” Mekai continued.

    “He can kind of read through Raq’s poker face, and that’s where you see them.

    “She knows that he can read through her poker face. He knows he can read through her poker face.”

    “And it’s that constant back and forth of Raq trying to keep that persona, being the head in charge whilst also being the vulnerable mother.

    “It’s really interesting to see that dynamic back and forth.”

    Power fans are certainly in for a tension-filled season of Raising Kanan when the franchise’s first prequel continues Kanan’s rise to power in the 90s.

    Raq’s ultimate fate is still unknown in the main timeline, but the Queens crime lord could meet a sticky end if her rivals catch wind of her connection to Malcolm.

    Raising Kanan season 2 premieres Sunday, August 14 on Starz in the USA and StarzPlay via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

  • 3 часа, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    The Last Kingdom’s Alexander Dreymon ‘excited’ by sweet Uhtred tribute: ‘Look at that!’

    Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s (played by Alexander Dreymon) story will soon be back on screens as part of Netflix’s feature-length The Last Kingdom blockbuster, Seven King Must Die. But while spoilers are being kept heavily guarded, a number of the historical drama’s fandom have been keeping up to date with leading star Dreymon on social media – and he had quite the surprise in store on Friday, August 12.

    In view of his 1.3million Instagram followers, Dreymon revealed he’d been gifted a replica of Uhtred’s iconic sword.

    “I’m very excited,” Dreymon said in a short clip of the unveiling before letting out a whistle as he uncovered the item.

    He went on: “It’s gorgeous. Look at that. I feel like I should be using the sword to open this one.”

    Dreymon then reached for a second package sent his way, filled with more goodies.

    Speaking to his followers, he went on: “I’m gonna use the sword for everything now – making dinner, clipping my toenails… it needs a bit of sharpening.

    “Sihtric!” Dreymon jokingly called out, referring to Uhtred’s fellow warrior, played by Arnas Fedaravičius.

    After struggling with the sword, Dreymon conceded defeat as he told his fanbase: “Okay, maybe I’m not going to use my sword for everything!”

    He eventually let out a roar before dropping a key quote of Uhtred’s which sent fans into a frenzy.

    “Destiny is all!” Dreymon yelled before turning to the camera and asking: “You wanna play with it?”

    Dreymon accompanied the video with a caption thanking the senders for their sweet tribute to his iconic Last Kingdom alter-ego.

    He penned: “Thank you to all my friends at @carnivalfilms for this precious gift.

    “I will send you the bill when I accidentally stab the couch. I’ll always be grateful to you for letting me be your Uhtred.

    “Thank you for the journey and for everything I’ve learned along the way.

    “Destiny is all,” he signed off, again repeating the famous Last Kingdom phrase.

    Needless to say, it didn’t take long for hundreds of fans to express their delight at the tribute to Uhtred.

    And among the reactions to the post were a few familiar faces as a number of his Last Kingdom co-stars shared their thoughts.

    The aforementioned Fedaravičius cheekily replied: “@alexander.dreymon when you said ‘you want to play with it?’ – you meant the sword, right? Right?!”

    While Aelswith actor Eliza Butterworth added: “Bring that to the next Witan meeting and I’ll have you removed imminently Lord Uhtred. Once a heathen, always a heathen xxxxxxxx.” (sic)

    And Brida star Emily Cox simply added to the comments with a love heart emoji for her co-star.

  • 3 часа, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    EastEnders theory: Beloved family torn apart after business betrayal

    Mitch Baker (played by Roger Griffiths) could end up pushing his nephews Finlay Baker (Ashley Byam) and Felix Baker (Matthew Morrison) away in EastEnders. The concerned uncle has been trying his best to support the brothers after the death of Avery Baker (Omar Lye-Fook) but he could end up betraying Finlay when he fears his nephew is taking on more than he can handle.

    In next week’s episodes, the day of Avery’s funeral arrives as the Baker/Taylor clan comes together.

    The day is an understandably emotional one for the family but the Baker brothers pay a touching tribute to their dad with uncle Mitch.

    Later in the week, Finlay and Felix look to the future as they discuss what they want out of their new life in Walford.

    The brothers decide they should set up their own market stall and really make the square their own.

    Finlay speaks to Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) about his idea for a food stall and she agrees.

    Meanwhile, the Baker/Taylor clan are saddened when Avery’s urn arrives.

    To lighten the mood, Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) reminds everyone about Bernie Taylor’s (Clair Norris) birthday tomorrow.

    She secretly enlists the help of Felix and Finlay to plan a party for her daughter.

    Elsewhere, Honey has disappointing news for Finlay when she reveals Mr Lister (Nick Wilton) has rejected his food stall proposition.

    The brothers come up with a way to change Mr Lister’s mind but will it work?

    Setting up a stall could be just the distraction Finlay needs to help him cope with the loss of his dad.

    Felix and Finlay’s time in Walford has been tainted with tragedy after arriving on the scene when Avery collapsed.

    Putting down roots in Walford and doing something the pair find enjoyable could help the brothers and the Baker-Taylor clan move forward.

    Mitch has struggled to find the right way to help his nephews but getting involved with changing Mr Lister’s mind could be the perfect opportunity to support the brothers.

    Express.co.uk spoke to Bianca Neumann, head of bereavement at national bereavement charity Sue Ryder about the ways Mitch can help his nephews.

    She explained: “Activities can often help people to open up. Find a hobby or activity that they enjoy and offer to accompany them – whether that is going for a run, doing DIY, walking or watching sports.

    “People often talk better whilst doing something and this may encourage them to open up, whilst also taking part in something they enjoy.”

    However, Mitch may feel the brothers are putting too much pressure on themselves so soon after the death of their father.

    Could he sabotage Finlay’s chances of getting a food stall on purpose?

    Advising Finlay and Felix on how to deal with their grief, Bianca added: “Be kind to yourself.

    “Don’t place yourself under too much pressure to be ‘OK’. Emotions come and go and like waves, they can wash over us and seem overwhelming.

    “Allow yourself to feel and experience your grief and know that in time, the waves will eventually recede.”

    Will Finlay and Felix turn against their uncle if they find out he’s deliberately ruined their market stall plans?

    Mitch’s actions would be with the best of intentions but could lead to an already fragile family being torn apart.

    Sue Ryder is creating a national movement of kindness around grief which promotes open conversations about bereavement. To find out more visit here. EastEnders airs on BBC One from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm.

  • 3 часа, 8 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Power boss speaks out on potential Ghost return to Starz – despite Tariq St Patrick murder

    James ‘Ghost’ St Patrick (played by Omari Hardwick) was the leading man of Starz’s hit drama Power for six seasons, with fans witnessing the drug kingpin-turned-nightclub owner face struggles with his family, a heartbreaking love affair with Angela Valdes (Lela Loren), and trying to keep the money rolling in with righthand man Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora). In the end, his actions caught up to him thanks to his disgruntled son Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr) who shot his own dad in the chest.

    Since his death at the end of Power, the universe has lived on in a series of spin-offs centred on some of the show’s biggest names.

    Tariq’s life after murdering his father has been explored for two seasons – soon to be three – in Power Book II: Ghost.

    Tommy, who upped sticks after the death of his best pal, continues to entertain Power fans in the Chicago-based Book IV: Force while Book III: Raising Kanan takes fans back to the ‘90s to see how Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis) became the threat to Ghost he once was.

    So with the Power universe still going strong, could there be a return from beyond the grave for Ghost? It’s a theory Starz boss Kathryn Busby recently addressed.

    Despite Power creator Courtney Kemp insisting Ghost did die at the hands of Tariq, the fandom continues to pick apart his final moments to suggest how he may live on.

    When this was put to Busby, the President of Original Programming at Starz, she told Deadline: “I don’t think you’re alone in that hope.”

    However, she echoed the words of former showrunner and creator Kemp by adding: “But…Ghost died.”

    Nevertheless, with both Book II and Book IV continuing in the present-day, if he were alive, there’d be plenty of scope for a shock return.

    There are a number of clues which fans are convinced hint Ghost never actually perished.

    One of the most talked about surrounds Ghost’s funeral, in which son Tariq, ex-wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and daughter Yaz (Amaya Carr) watched his casket be lowered into the ground.

    A number of fans pointed out that Ghost’s body is never shown and some even suggest that when the coffin is being taken to the grave, its movement suggests its empty.

    A second theory comes from an ambulance shown speeding away from nightclub Truth moments after Ghost was shot.

    Taking to YouTube, Power fan Alejandro Gonzales suggested Ghost used an ambulance he and Tommy had stolen for an earlier scam in order to plot his escape.

    They suggest that the ambulance speeding past Tariq moments after he left Truth had Ghost inside, querying: “Tariq literally just came back from shooting Ghost, why is there an ambulance already leaving?!”

    The theory expands: “An ambulance should’ve been arriving at the scene, not leaving it. Ghost knew this was the only way he could escape the ‘crime scene’.”

    It certainly raised eyebrows as the ambulance is indeed in the shot when Tariq is making his getaway from Truth.

    However, there are no plans for him to return and given Kemp’s insistence he’d died, perhaps a resurrection is off the cards.

    What has been ruled out is yet another Power spin-off, with rumours circulating that a London-based series could be in the pipeline.

    But Busby remained coy, saying: “I am not at liberty to answer anything in that vein except to say what we love about Power is the potential to spinoff and to spinoff successfully which we have done…

    “Which in theory, we would love to do again. I love that you’re hearing it.”

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Showbiz EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Why did Defra give 'rewilding' charity £116,000 in the space of a month?