Piers Morgan has questioned why Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted for Christmas when the same was not done for other religious festivals that have fallen during the pandemic.
The Good Morning Britain host exclaimed the ‘entire health of the nation’ should not rest on whether we can ‘gorge together on turkey for a couple of days’ over the Christmas period.
He spoke on Wednesday morning’s edition of the ITV breakfast show insisting that we should ‘all be in this together or not’.
Piers was reacting to the news that the government is considering allowing ‘five days of indoor household mixing‘ so families in the UK can ‘celebrate’ Christmas without breaking the law.
However, last weekend saw the cancellation of almost all normal festivities to celebrate Diwali. Instead, it was celebrated virtually via video streams.
Speaking to the BBC about Diwali, Rishi Sunak – himself a practicing Hindu – said: “For us as Hindus, Diwali is special, and it’s going to be difficult this year.”
He added: “But we’ve got Zoom, we’ve got the phone, and most importantly, we’ve got each other. Whether you can see someone or not the bond of family, that bond of love is always going to be there.”
Before explaining that ‘happy times’ will follow afterwards, and ‘to keep everyone safe right now, just follow the rules’.
In July, last-minute lockdown rules were put in place to ban the mixing of separate households in Northern England to help combat a spike in Covid-19 at the time. The news fell two hours before Eid celebrations began.
Speaking at the time to the BBC, Qari Asim, a senior Imam in Leeds, urged people to stay safe before explaining that: “BAME communities have been disproportionately affected during Covid-19 and therefore we need to take extra precautionary measures.
“There has been a sense of deflation and disappointment as restrictions have been placed on Hajj for the first time in such a manner. But we are not alone. Other faith communities have had to make sacrifices. We hope these spiritual sacrifices will enable us all to defeat Covid-19 together.”
At the time, Matt Hancock denied that the new restrictions were aimed at curtailing Eid celebrations.
Nevertheless, Piers Morgan pointed out on GMB this morning: “Why should Christians get it easier?
“Seriously, why should we? Why should we be the ones that have to have our festival saved when we didn’t do that for other religious festivals in the last few weeks?”
Morgan added: “We’re all in this together, or we’re not.
“I don’t think the entire health of the nation should rest on whether we can gorge together on turkey for a couple of days. Because personally, I think we have to be slightly selfless about this.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said: “We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what there’s been an incredibly difficult year.”
Line of Duty’s Martin Compston is coming to Stockport to film a new crime drama
Mother of god
If you’re already missing Line of Duty, which finished last Sunday with a final episode that divided opinion among viewers, then we’ve got some good news.
Line of Duty’s Martin Compston is coming to Greater Manchester to film a new crime drama on Monday.
Compston is coming to Stockport to film the new series of Traces, a show following the team behind SIFA (the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science and Anatomy) as they investigate a bomb plot.
As well as Compston, the series will also star Molly Windsor and Laura Fraser – who played Lydia Rodarte-Quayle in Breaking Bad and its spin-off series Better Call Saul.
Traces producers, in a letter sent to local residents and businesses, said: “As part of the economic recovery, filming on location is allowed to proceed, provided government guidance surrounding work activities is observed and industry guidelines are adhered to.
“We want to reassure you that our work is in line with the government guidance and has been approved in consultation with all relevant authorities.”
Filming for the second series of the BBC show will happen around Stockport town centre, beginning at The Arden Arms on Millgate at 8am on Monday.
Next the action will head to Great Underbank, followed by Freedmans clothes hire on Little Underbank, before heading to The Angel Inn at Market Place later in the day.
While the first series of Traces told the story of Emma, a young forensic lab assistant who discovered the truth behind a fictitious case study with links to her past, the second promises to ramp up the stakes with the bomb storyline.
The letter says: “While Emma and Daniel anxiously await Phil McAfee’s murder trial, a series of homemade bombs go off in Dundee.
“The targets make no sense. The only clues they have about the bomber are the bombs themselves.”
The new series is set to be released later this year, and you can catch the first series on BBC iPlayer now.
Come Dine With Me is looking for Mancunians for the new series
Calling all amateur chefs, now’s your chance to win £1,000
Popular culinary TV show Come Dine With Me is coming to Manchester this summer, and they’re on the lookout for contestants.
Filming is set to take place over June and July, and they need some top tier home chefs from around Greater Manchester.
The hit Channel 4 series pits amateur cooks against each other for the chance to win a £1,000 cash prize, and has become a British institution.
The press release reads: “Are you bored of cooking for your partner? Housemates? Children? Think your cooking skills have improved over lockdown and finally ready to test them out on the wider world?!
“Do you think you’ve got what it takes to host the perfect dinner party and walk away with £1000?”
Casting Producer Sasha Risner added: “Following the success of previous episodes in Manchester we are back looking for hosts to create the recipe for success. We are looking for keen cooks with bags of energy and who are up for the challenge of winning £1,000!”
If you want to get involved, you need to be aged over 18 and not working or trained as a professional chef. You also need to be currently living in Greater Manchester.
Due to Covid, for this series Come Dine With Me is using a centralised house to host the dinner parties rather than people’s homes.
Shooting will take place between June 28th and July 2nd, and to apply either head here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Line of Duty star says final episode is the ‘perfect ending’
Who else is excited for this?
The bad news for Line of Duty fans is that the new series is coming to an end this weekend, with what promises to be an action packed episode.
Series six will conclude with the seventh episode this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One, with a trailer hinting that H’s identity will be revealed.
As well as that, the trailer shows AC-12 going all out on one suspect, with another police chase and gun wielding action thrown in for good measure.
And now one of the star’s has revealed that he thinks the upcoming series finale is the ‘perfect ending’.
Martin Compston, who plays Steve Arnott in the BBC series, spoke to the Shrine of Duty podcast, and while he refused to reveal the identity of H he did have a few interesting things to say.
He told the podcast: “What I will tell you is I think there’s a lot of pay offs coming this Sunday.
“There’s a lot of big answers and it’s deserved, people have stuck with us for a long time, so there comes a point where the story arch comes to an end.”
When asked if there would be another series, he said: “We don’t know [if there will be another] – that’s nothing new… Jed always takes time after a series, like a couple of months.
“There’s a lot of stuff above my pay grade like analytics and audience scores. He takes the emotion out of it and looks at all that.”
Martin continued: “It’s different this year, because we have to look at it in terms of, do people want us back? 10 years in you start to think of legacy, and if it goes down that well it might be the perfect ending.
“But then we might go another couple of months and… what I will say is we won’t do one just for the sake of doing it. Jed will only do it if there’s a story to be told.”
More than 11 million people tuned into the latest episode, so it’s a safe bet that people do want the Line of Duty gang back on their screens catching bent coppers.