Life and soul of the party: Beverley Knight’s new album The Fifth Chapter

Legends love Beverley. David Bowie called her “little Aretha”. Prince adored her voice so much he flew her to LA to sing at his Oscars after-party.

Wolverhampton-born Knight has been impressing audiences since the 90s with her first-class gospel-powered soul vocals.

She has chalked up Top 10 hits, gold and platinum albums, and sustained a long parallel career in musical theatre where she has won three Olivier Awards.

Now the bona fide national treasure celebrates turning 50 with a new studio album spanning the “kaleidoscope” of her soul influences.

Tracks range from the 80s-inspired pop-funk of Systematic Overload to big ballads and irresistible northern soul. It’s a smart mix of Bev’s influences, all delivered with class and style.

Queen Of Everything is built to pack out dancefloors, Not Prepared For You is an old-school R&B ballad.

The opener Last One On My Mind begins deceptively slowly, just Knight and a simple piano, before building into a sparkling modern dance number overflowing with exuberance.

The beat goes on with retro disco The One I’m Gonna Love before slowing down with Cold World, an uplifting gospel ballad backed by the London Community Gospel Choir.

The choir returns on the insistent I’m On Fire with its explosive chorus, and on the jubilant closer Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.

These 11 new numbers are a testimony to the creative powers of the songwriters Knight has assembled – Diane Warren, Ollie Green, Andrew Roachford and Seb Coe (not the runner) – as well as top-notch producers.

Result? An immaculate set from a world-class performer who is hard to pigeonhole.

Bombers open NCAA season with OT shocker vs Knights

It took five extra minutes to decide a tight contest between Jose Rizal and Letran. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Jose Rizal University (JRU) started its campaign in the new season of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament the same way it ended last year’s edition: with a victory over defending champion Letran.

Agem Miranda and Marwin Dionisio came up huge in the extra period and finished with 17 points each as the Heavy Bombers stunned the erratic Knights, 85-79, on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

JRU ended last season’s troubled campaign with an 87-71 upset of Letran, but it was a previous encounter during last season that was on top of the Bombers’ minds all game long.

“In the fourth quarter, we thought we won but it was the (game followed the same) course from last season. We were up by three and they sank a triple so when that happened earlier, I got shocked,” said Miranda.

“I said ‘here we go again,’ but when we got to overtime, I thought that can’t happen again. What will happen now should be different. We should win now.”

Last year, Letran took the opening game between both squads in overtime, 101-97.

On Sunday, JRU led, 73-70, before Deo Cuajao sank a game-tying triple which forced overtime with 3.2 ticks to go, much like Kurt Reyson’s shot forced overtime in their first match last season.

Dagger shot

This time, the Heavy Bombers stayed with the flow in overtime, beginning the extra period with a Dionisio triple that allowed JRU to dictate the pace until the buzzer.

The Knights were within a point late in the game but Joshua Guiab sank a midrange dagger for an 82-79 lead with 37 seconds to go.

Miranda then made three of his next four free throws to seal the deal.

“This time should be different, it should be us winning now … I needed to step up to lead our team and that’s exactly what happened here,” said Miranda.

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Reyson had an all-around game of 18 markers, six boards and four dimes but he also had seven turnovers in the process for Letran, which committed 29 turnovers in the game. INQ

Xbox Game Pass September line-up – Gotham Knights, Payday 3 continue HUGE month

Xbox Game Pass has arguably enjoyed its finest month of new releases, with the likes of Starfield and Lies of P headlining the September 2023 line-up. And the blockbuster new releases keep on coming, as Microsoft announces the next wave of Game Pass releases launching at the tail-end of the month. This includes open-world action game Gotham Knights, as well as brand new squad-based shooter Payday 3.

It all begins on September 20 with the release of Party Animals for Cloud and Console.

“Fight with or against your friends in Party Animals!” reads the official description.

“Choose your character from a diverse cast of adorable animals as you battle it out across multiple game modes to be the last one left standing in the ultimate competitive brawler.”

Another day-one release, Payday 3 comes to Cloud, PC and Xbox Series X/S on September 21.

The Payday sequel shifts the action to New York, where players can attempt heists using stealth or going in guns blazing.

“In Payday 3 the choice is put in the hands of the players, deciding how to tackle the heist, whether you sneak or go in guns blazing, whether you let your hostages go or keep them around as pawns, whether you go at it alone or bring friends.

“The choices are endless and in your hands, they will vastly change how the game plays.”

Next up is another day-one Game Pass release called Cocoon, which comes to consoles and PC on September 29.

The game is the brainchild of Jeppe Carlsen, the lead gameplay designer of Limbo and Inside. According to the official description, players will need to “unravel a cosmic mystery”.

Gotham Knights comes to Cloud, PC, and Xbox Series X|S on October 3, alongside The Lamplighter’s League on the same day.

It’s also worth noting that some games will be leaving Xbox Game Pass on September 30, so you’d better hurry if you want to finish up before they go.

This includes Beacon Pines, Despot’s Game, Last Call, Moonscars, Outriders, Prodeus and Weird West.

Claire Knights: Body found near Minnis Bay in search for missing mum after man arrested on suspicion of murder

COPS have found a body near Minnis Bay after searching for missing mum Claire Knights.

The 54-year-old was last seen in the village of Upstreet near Canterbury, Kent on Wednesday morning.


Claire Knights, 54, vanished on Wednesday morning

Kent Police have now revealed they found a deceased woman near Minnis Bay in Birchington, just after 7pm last night.

Cops said that formal identification has not taken place but that Claire’s family – who reported her missing – have been made aware.

On Thursday, a man in his 20s from Margate was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The death is being treated as suspicious and a potential murder.

Claire was walking her dog along the beach and carried with her a “hiking rucksack” before she went missing.

Her vehicle, a silver Suzuki, has since been found parked in Shuart Lane in St Nicholas-at-Wade near Margate.

She is believed to have walked from there to the Minnis Bay area where she is reported to have been seen later that afternoon.

Her white-and-brown spaniel was found wandering around on the beach on its own by police on Wednesday.

In a desperate appeal on Facebook, her son Elliot previously wrote: “She is a type 1 diabetic.

“If she is suffering from low blood sugar, she would appear disorientated, confused and almost drunk with slurred speech and difficulty walking. If this continues she may collapse.

“She was wearing a bikini and had with her a pink/red roll top hiking rucksack, a black dog lead which fastens around the waist, and a red and black dog collar with her phone number embroidered onto it.

“If anyone has any information please get in contact asap.”

One friend, who has known Claire for years, said they were devastated by the news of Claire’s disappearance.

She said: “I last saw Claire three weeks ago and she seemed fine.

“She seemed her usual self. I feel like something terrible has happened to her. I’m very upset about it.

“We’re absolutely devastated.”

The friend, who asked not to be named, said Claire is a talented sculptor who has won awards for her work.

She added: “She’s an incredibly good artist and not commercial at all – her work comes right from her heart. It’s profound.

“She deserves some recognition. She never takes the easy route – her work is amazing.”

The friend described Claire – who disappeared on Wednesday as an “animal lover” who regularly looks after other people’s pets.

She added: “Her and her partner look after dogs. She’s a massive animal lover, so it’s no surprise that she was walking her dog when she disappeared.

“She’s just lovely – a very genuine person.” 

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Real life Da Vinci Code unveiled as Knights Templar graves found in village

Graves belonging to mysterious holy militia the Knights Templar have been discovered in an English village in what has been described as one of the “most nationally important discoveries”.

The medieval order had chapters across Europe after springing up in the 12th century, and was known for its role in the Crusades and as one of the Middle Ages’ most powerful and wealthy religious organisations.  

Eight graves in the style of the Knights Templar were discovered at St Mary’s Church in Enville, Staffordshire.

The new discovery represents one of the most important in historians’ understanding of the knightly order, which was widely known as the focus of fictional Professor Robert Langdon’s research in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Historian Edward Spencer Dyas, who made the discovery, believes the church could be one of the most important in the country where Templars are concerned, with its particular link to “England’s greatest knight”.

This knight is William Marshal, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. He was a jouster, warrior, diplomat and even twice de facto king.

He was also the inspiration for Lancelot in medieval Arthurian tales, and is understood to have drafted the Magna Carta.

He was invested into the order of the Knights Templar just before he died aged 73 in 1219.

At St Mary’s, stained glass windows depict an array of coats of arms including one that belonged to Hugh Mortimer of Chelmarsh, who married Marshal’s granddaughter. 

Many find this to be the only connection between the church and the Knights Templar to explain why so many graves were discovered there.

When the church was built in the 12th century, the Templars were creating Preceptories – a type of monastery – around Britain.

Each of the eight graves features a Templar cross within double circles in a Templar design, while one includes a Crusader cross, suggesting the knight was both a Templar and a Crusader of the ancient military order.

Mr Dyas said: “I believe these discoveries make Enville one of the most nationally important churches in the country.

“That’s due to its close links with William Marshall, who is considered of the greatest warriors England ever produced.

“But there is a mystery of why an European Templar is buried at Enville and why they were secretly so prominent there.”

But despite inspecting the crypt of the church, the historian could not find any further connections to the Templars.

The wealthy medieval organisation was made up of devout Christians tasked with providing safety to pilgrims to Jerusalem. 

In 1129, the Knights were officially recognised by the Pope and by 1180 there were some 600 of them in Jerusalem, Tripoli and Antioch. 

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Oliver Almadro takes over Letran Lady Knights as coach

Letran’s Fr. Vic  Calvo, OP with coach Oliver Almadro. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Oliver Almadro comes home to the NCAA as he was appointed as the new Letran women’s volleyball coach ahead of the Season 99 opening later this year.

Almadro, who played for the Letran men’s volleyball team during the 90s, returns to his alma mater after his decade-long stint with Ateneo ended last July when Brazilian Sergio Veloso replaced him as the new women’s volleyball team coach.

Fr. Vic  Calvo, OP confirmed that Almadro is taking the coaching reins, replacing longtime Lady Knights coach Mike Inoferio.

“I am happy to have one of the top minds in Philippine volleyball. The Letran volleyball program will be handled by him with a primary focus on women’s volleyball. Because he is from Letran, he fits in well with Letran,” said Calvo.

Almadro, who handles the Petro Gazz Angels in the Premier Volleyball League and steered the team to the All-Filipino finals in his first tournament, is bringing his winning culture to the NCAA.

Letran has been missing the Final Four for the past 11 years as it last reached the semifinals in Season 87 last 2012 with a finals appearance but got swept by University of Perpetual Help in the series. The Lady Knights last won a championship in 1999.

The Lady Knights fell a spot short of the stepladder semis in Season 98 with a 5-4 finish behind finalist Lyceum and semifinalist Mapua University.

The animated coach handled the Blue Eagles, led by five-time MVP Marck Espejo, from 2013 to 2018 and won three consecutive titles from Seasons 77 to 79.

He was transferred to the women’s team, bannered by Kat Tolentino, Deanna Wong, Maddie Madayag, and Bea De Leon in 2019, and won the Season 81 championship right away, pulling off a series comeback over the University of Santo Tomas, led by Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure.

Almadro and the Blue Eagles settled for bronze in Season 84 last year and missed the Final Four this year for the first time since 2009 with a 4-10 record.


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EastEnders’ Molly Rainford teases ‘desperate’ Anna Knight’s betrayal

Anna Knight (played by Molly Rainford) is set to betray her beloved family as she launches her own search for her mum.

Anna, her sister Gina Knight (Francesca Henry), and their dad George Knight (Colin Salmon) have no idea that “Rose Knight,” who has been missing for years, was in fact EastEnders legend Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) who had been living undercover.

While George and Gina are happy to move on from the mystery, Anna is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her mum.

Actress Molly teased how the character would betray her family in upcoming episodes of the BBC soap as she takes drastic action to get answers.

“She definitely feels guilty,” Molly explained. “Anna is selfless and I think this whole situation of trying to find her mum is quite out of character as she has never gone against her family before.

“I think it just shows how important it is to her as she definitely feels so guilty because she knows what has happened in the past and what the family went through.”

Detailing the extreme measures Anna will take, Molly revealed: “Anna steals some cash from The Vic till because she’s so desperate.

“She’s been saving the money for a while and it got to a breaking point for Anna where she needed to find out.

“With the money she has, Anna hires a private investigator to help her find, or at least get some information or explanation, about her mum. I think she’s very desperate at this point.”

The actress continued to describe how the actions are “100 percent out of character”.

“Anna isn’t a dishonest person at all and I think it just shows that desperation even more,” she reflected.

Molly added: “It’s definitely not something that she would do and I think that’s why her family don’t believe it’s her at first, because it is just so out of character. Deep down, she of course didn’t want to do that but it is the last resort for Anna.”

Detailing Anna’s “conflict” over her mother, the soap star continued: “I think Anna has a massive conflict between doing what’s right for her versus what’s right for her family.

“She knows she will open some old wounds by doing this and she doesn’t want to hurt her dad by going against him.

“Anna is very happy with her family situation at the moment, she loves Elaine (Peacock, Harriet Thorpe), so wouldn’t want to cause any harm in that relationship but she’s also at the age where she needs to know answers about her own identity.

“By doing this though, she knows she’ll have to go against what her family wants but I think she has to be selfish in this moment.”

EastEnders continues on Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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Vancouver Knights Look to Reclaim Title for the Upcoming Season of GT20 – News18

Vancouver Knights look to reclaim the title after finishing 2nd in the previous edition. (Twitter)

After finishing runners up in a final’s loss against the Winnipeg Hawks, the Knights look to get back into winning ways.

With top internationals including the likes of South Africa’s Rassie Van Der Dussen, Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran and Pakistan’s Mohammed Rizwan in the squad, the Vancouver Knights look to have a successful campaign for the new season of the GT20.

The Global T20 Canada Tournament is set to kick off on July 20 at the TD Cricket Arena, Brampton Sports Park

Other formidable opponents include the Mississauga Panthers, Toronto Nationals, Brampton Wolves, Montreal Tigers and the Surrey Jaguars.

The inaugural edition saw the Knights take the title but only managed to finish as runners-up in the second edition despite a hard-fought encounter against the Winnipeg Hawks.

Head Coach of the Vancouver Knights, Donovan Miller is back with the side for his third season and expressed his eagerness for the tournament.

“We are really excited about the tournament, we recently completed our player draft, and we have a very nice balanced team. The most exciting factor about our team is the mix of the Canadian players we have drafted, many of them featured in our championship-winning team from 2018. I am looking forward to their performance, and looking forward to Brampton and Canada,” he said.

Rassie Van Der Dussen who is returning to the franchise has been an integral part of their success till now. He will be featuring for the Knights for the third consecutive season and was amongst the top scorers with over 200 runs in only five games.

The team will also have the second-ranked T20i batter, Mohammed Rizwan. The Pakistani keeper will look to make the big runs as he is also accompanied by Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran.

Another player returning to the franchise is Canadian National, Ravinderpal Singh. He expressed his happiness in returning to the side and hopes to recreate the success from 2018 and learn from some of the best players in the world.

“We are really excited about the tournament, we recently completed our player draft, and we have a very nice balanced team. The most exciting factor about our team is the mix of the Canadian players we have drafted, many of them featured in our championship-winning team from 2018. I am looking forward to their performance, and looking forward to Brampton and Canada,” he said.

Returning to the mix is Rassie Van Der Dussen, an integral cog to their success so far, he will be playing his third season for the Vancouver Knights. Last season he was amongst the top scorers, amassing over 200 runs in just five games.

The team will also feature Pakistani wicket-keeper Mohammed Rizwan who currently holds the second position in the ICC T20I batsmen rankings and the explosive prowess of Najibullah Zadran, from Afghanistan.

Also returning to the Knights from their championship season is the Canadian National player, Ravinderpal Singh. He expressed his delight in returning to the team, hoping to replicate their success from 2018 and to learn from some of the finest players in the world.

“I am thrilled to be a part of season 3 of Global T20 Canada and in particular the Vancouver Knights. We were the champions of the first season and hopefully, we can repeat that performance. I am also looking forward to playing with superstars like Mohammad Rizwan and Rassie Van Der Dussen to learn from them.”

The Vancouver Knights are set to start their campaign on July 21 at the TD Cricket Arena, Brampton Sports Park, where they will face the Toronto Nationals in their first match of the season.

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Juan Gomez de Liaño signs with KBL’s Seoul SK Knights

Juan Gomez de Liano. Photo from Seoul SK Knights

MANILA, Philippines—Juan Gomez de Liaño has signed with the Seoul SK Knights in the Korean Basketball League.

The Knights announced the acquisition of de Liaño on Tuesday.

Seoul described de Liaño as a player “with high resilience and strong defense and can digest both point guard and shooting guard positions.”

The Knights are coming off a seven-game series loss to Rhenz Abando and the Anyang KGC in the KBL Finals.

The KBL is de Liaño’s third overseas league since turning pro in 2020. He first played for the Earth Friends Tokyo Z in the Japan B.League before moving to Lithuania and suit up for the BC Wolves in the Lithuanian Basketball League.

The University of the Philippines’ product will try and regain his mojo after a forgettable stint in Lithuania where he only played seven games for the Wolves and averaged 3.0 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.

Before flying to Lithuania, De Liaño played with Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League last year and won MVP honors after averaging 18.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.3 assists an outing.


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