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Girls Aloud to reunite for special charity gig in memory of Sarah Harding

The band want to raise money for cancer-detecting medical equipment

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@sarahnicoleharding / Instagram

Girls Aloud will be reforming for a one-off charity gig in memory of bandmate Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle has confirmed this week.

Sarah died last year at the age of thirty-nine following a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Her mum confirmed the tragic news on social media, writing that her daughter had ‘fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.’

The singer had undergone gruelling treatment to beat the cancer, including a mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy since first being diagnosed in summer 2020.

And now, seven months on from her death, Sarah’s former band mates will be coming together for the first time in nine years to host a one-off charity gig in her honour.

Bandmate Nadine Coyle confirmed this week that she will be returning to the stage with Girls Aloud members Cheryl, Kimberly Walsh and Nicola Roberts to host the gig, which will raise money for life-saving medical equipment. 

Speaking to OK! magazine, Nadine noted that Sarah’s death has been ‘so devastating’, noting that it continues to affect the band ‘deeply’ to this day.

And addressing the one-off concert, she explained: “We’re planning a night for an event to raise money in honour of Sarah. She’s very much in the forefront of our minds.

“We want to raise money for a piece of medical equipment that helps diagnose cancer earlier so people can be treated. We definitely want to do something to help others.”

Plans for the concert are still being finalised, with Nadine admitting it’ll be a challenge to find a date when all the band members – who are now mums – will all be free at the same time.

She explained: “Obviously Cheryl has Bear and Kimberley has got her three little ones – Bobby, Cole and Nate – and we were planning on getting all of the babies together a while back but never got round to it.”

This comes just months after bandmate Kimberley Walsh had said it ‘would not be right’ for the band to reunite without Sarah.

She said at the time: “I think our heads are not in a space to be doing anything as a band.”

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Ikea ‘collect near you’ hubs to launch in several Greater Manchester Tescos

It’s the retailer collab we didn’t know we needed…

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Steve Webel / Flickr & Tesco PLC / Flickr

A number of Tesco supermarkets in Greater Manchester are set to host Ikea ‘collect near you’ points as part of an ‘exciting’ new pilot.

Tesco Extra Stockport and Tesco Extra Bolton Horwich will both see IKEA ‘collect near you’ bays installed in their car parks in an attempt to reduce delivery costs from the furniture retailer.

Customers will be able to meet with a delivery driver at the designated collection bays to pick up their orders in a move that IKEA says will ‘make it easier than ever’ to shop with them.

Seven Tesco stores in total have been selected for the collaboration’s initial rollout, including sites in Liverpool, Blackburn, and Doncaster.

Manchester | Stores - IKEA

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Tesco Blackburn will be the first supermarket to launch the trial next month on October 10th, with other sites set to follow later this year.

Tesco is set to run the trial for an initial period of six months.

An Ikea spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Tesco to test and trial more convenient, accessible and affordable collection services in the UK.

“The pilot will launch in Bolton and Stockport later this year. While we are unable to share exact dates at the moment, we will be sure to share further details in the coming months.”

Retail analyst Natalie Berg named the collaboration as ‘interesting’, writing on Twitter: “Really interesting IKEA/Tesco collab. Ikea gets the need to become more accessible (despite the ££) and imagine more pressing now w/ consumers shying away from big-ticket buys and consolidating trips.”

However, she added that customers will still need to spend £200 for the ‘free’ collection.

The full list of trial sites is:

  • Tesco Blackburn Superstore.
  • Tesco Doncaster Extra.
  • Tesco Cambridge Newmarket Road Superstore.
  • Tesco Dereham Extra.
  • Tesco Bolton Horwich Extra.
  • Tesco Stockport Extra.
  • Tesco Liverpool Old Swan Superstore.

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Toys ‘R’ Us relaunches in the UK just in time for Christmas

Shoppers can browse a selection of over 14,000 toys from 100 suppliers

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Flickr

Toys ‘R’ Us has officially relaunched its UK website with thousands of toys and gadgets up for grabs.

The online shop has over 14,000 toys from over 100 suppliers for sale, including toys by Lego, Marvel, Star Wars, Crayola and Play-Doh.

Free delivery is available for all orders over £20, while next-day delivery is up for grabs on orders placed before 6pm.

A message on the website reads: “We’re back! We can’t wait to develop and grow with you and your loved ones, over the coming weeks, months and years!”

The store has also re-opened its sister site Babies ‘R’ Us, which sells everything from pushchairs, prams, children’s clothing and baby carriers.

This news comes nearly a year after the retailer initially announced it would be returning to the high street – in October 2021, its parent firm signed a long-term exclusive licence agreement to relaunch the stores across the UK from 2022 onwards.

After struggling to keep up with the new age of online shopping, Toys ‘R’ Us was forced to close all of its UK and US stores back in 2018, much to the dismay of those who grew up with the retailer throughout the 2000s. 

Toys ‘R’ Us Australia chief executive Louis Mittoni, who has spearheading the UK launch, said in a statement at the time: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months.

Flickr / Public Domain

“We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.

“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”

Toys ‘R’ Us launched in the UK in 1985, when it emerged as the ‘world’s first toy supermarket’.

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Ian Brown’s brutal response to fan who asked why he played gig without a band

A number of fans have criticised the singer for performing alone without a band

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@jasonmansell7 & @aidankeating03 / Twitter

Ian Brown gave a savage response to a fan last night following the controversy surrounding his solo Leeds gig over the weekend.

The Stone Roses frontman kick started his first UK tour in a decade at the Leeds O2 Academy on Sunday, with him due to perform at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse this Friday (September 30th). 

However, many fans were left disappointed by Brown’s performance thanks to the absence of the rest of the band, with one concert-goer describing it as him ‘[doing] karaoke and butchering his own tunes.’

Alongside of a video showing Brown singing alone on an empty stage, fan Steven Latham wrote: “Gutted to see @ianbrown turn up to his £40 a ticket, sold out gig at Leeds tonight WITH NO BAND.

I’m a life long fan but it was bad. #ianbrown does karaoke and butchers his own tunes. Most were too p****d to care but I had to get out after this one.”

Another fan slammed the singer for not giving musicians the opportunity to make some money ‘after a difficult few years’, writing: “Musicians and crew need work after a difficult few years.

“Ian Brown can afford to employ people but don’t quite get why he chooses not to?”

However, this comment seemingly touched a nerve with Brown, who scathingly replied in a now-deleted tweet: “I have a crew of 12 out on the road with me [sic] What’s it got to do with you you jealous p***k?”

Ian Brown / Twitter

The singer also took the time to respond to other fans who enjoyed last night’s concert in Glasgow, with him writing: “GLASGOW. HATERS HATE AND LOVERS LOVE!”

Other concert-goers praises Brown’s performance last night, with another fan noting: “Far more honest to play to a backing track on your own, than be in a band pretending to be 100% live yet playing along to a backing track.”

A second added: “This was an amazing show. Cool and surprising concept for Ian Brown to just present himself, the man and king on stage. He sounded great. Fans had a great time.”

Ian Brown’s headline tour continues tonight in Edinburgh, with following shows scheduled for Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London.

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