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TV and Movies

Celebs who love Joel Osteen

Of the many paths to fame outside the traditional Hollywood route, televangelism is one of the most lucrative. Pastor Joel Osteen is near the top of the heap of faith leaders who got mega-rich running their megachurches. Of course, that’s not why Osteen does what he does, but there’s no denying the fact that the Texas pastor has quite the following, and not just the tens of thousands of people who attend his Lakewood Church services every Sunday. With over four million followers on Instagram, and multiple television shows airing weekly, Osteen has touched the lives of a lot of people. 

Of course, there are plenty of people who aren’t fans of Osteen and his sometimes-controversial teachings. On top of embracing the prosperity gospel, which critics claim is exploitative and greedy, Osteen also attracted some hate for temporarily refusing to offer Lakewood Church as a shelter for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. But on the flip side of that coin, there are plenty who have looked to Osteen for guidance — some of whom are very famous. These are the celebs who (figuratively) worship at the altar of Joel Osteen.

Kanye West is an interesting fan of the pastor

Kanye West is obviously a controversial figure in American pop culture. The “Black Skinhead” rapper has practically built his entire career on getting people talking. Whether it’s interrupting a teenage girl’s acceptance speech, putting on an interesting performance, or endorsing a highly-contentious president, West is no stranger to conflict. But since West started his own Sunday Service in 2019, he has started to embrace his own faith more and more, which led to an appearance with Joel Osteen at his church in Texas.

West and Osteen have grown closer since West’s religious awakening, and TMZ even reported that before the coronavirus pandemic, West was set to perform an encore show with Osteen at an even bigger venue, Yankee Stadium. But the fact that the rapper and pastor have collaborated shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, as both figures have one undeniable thing in common: they love the spotlight.

Speaking with Good Morning America, however, Osteen explained that the unlikely pair’s connection in now deeper than that. “You know, Kanye’s had a turn of events in the last year or so, and I got a text from him, and we just struck up a conversation and a friendship,” he said. Osteen and West may seem like an odd couple, but clearly, the dynamic works. The video of Osteen and West’s intense conversation at Lakewood Church has over 2 million views on YouTube, so people definitely love to see them together.

Mariah Carey has shown Joel Osteen her support

A lot of mainstream celebrities keep their religious or political affiliations quiet, if for not other reason than to avoid alienating fans with different beliefs. As such, paling around with someone like Joel Osteen could create controversy that could, in turn, affect the numbers at the box office or on the charts. However, Mariah Carey hasn’t shied away from supporting the megachurch pastor, and Osteen even told TMZ that he’s “known Mariah from years passed.” So really, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Carey went out of her way to perform for Osteen’s 2020 virtual Easter service.

Carey ended up singing her hit song “Hero,” which she dedicated to first-responders. “I want to take this time to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices of those who work every day taking care of their communities in this time of need and uncertainty. The heroes who are making our daily lives possible,” she said in the pre-recorded video for Osteen’s service. “Let’s continue to support them and each other.” Carey and Osteen might not be jetting off to go on vacations together, but the fact that Carey went out of her way to show Osteen support is some solid proof that the two have a strong relationship.

Tyler Perry went to bat for Joel Osteen

Tyler Perry’s spirituality is no secret. The multi-talented actor, writer, and director has made his faith the subject of much of his work. That said, it’s also probably not too shocking that Perry loves Joel Osteen, as the two have Christianity in common. But what might be shocking is just how much Perry admires Osteen, and the lengths he has gone to defend his friend.

When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in 2017, Osteen was heavily criticized for temporarily refusing to let people take shelter at Lakewood Church. But Perry wasn’t going to let his friend be nailed to the cross for a sin he didn’t commit. In a Facebook video, Perry stood up for Osteen. “I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening doors of the church,” Perry began. “Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There is no way they would lock people out of the church and not let people in for shelter.” Perry went on to cite that “there were some safety concerns” the Osteens had to take into consideration. Perry also explained he trusted Osteen so much, he was sending money to help with hurricane relief. “I’m sending $250,000 to Lakewood to make sure that they can get all the supplies that people need. I know that they will, I know for sure that they will, because that’s the kind of person he is.” Perry and Osteen are clearly tight.

Jimmy Fallon thinks Joel Osteen is funny

It might seem strange for a Texas pastor to be interviewed by Jimmy Fallon — you know, the same man who interviews actual celebrities for a living — but for Joel Osteen, it’s just another day in the life of a megachurch pastor. Osteen doesn’t live in California or attend a lot of Hollywood events, but he does get plenty of publicity, thanks in some part to Fallon.

In return, the pastor and author told his 22+ million Facebook followers that the late-night comedian is a “great guy!” But the affection isn’t one-sided. As it turns out, Fallon is pretty fond of Osteen as well. When Osteen appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the host gushed over him almost as if he was an A-list celebrity. “I felt so good — I feel so good — every time I watch you,” Fallon told Osteen, adding, “You put me in a good mood.” Later in the interview, Osteen told a pretty cheesy joke for Fallon, but Fallon loved it, and said, “That’s funny, that’s great!” Whether or not Fallon is as religious as Osteen, it’s clear that he loves the southern pastor. And with as much charm as Osteen has, who could blame him?

Kristen Chenoweth was a fan of Joel Osteen before working with him

Kristen Chenoweth is known for her big personality, gorgeous voice, and of course, her spirituality. Chenoweth has made it clear that she’s a woman of faith, telling Parade that she wants people to know that her version of “Christianity was based in love and tolerance and forgiveness and acceptance,” and that’s what she’s here for.

In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Chenoweth described how she was a fan of Joel Osteen. “But Sundays are in my view God’s day, and I do try to do something to remember that,” she explained of her weekend plans. “There’s a minister out of Houston I like called Joel Osteen. If I’m going to Our Lady of Sealy Posturepedic in the morning, I’ll watch him at night.”

Ten years later, Chenoweth went from fan and follower to collaborator, when she got the chance to work with Osteen. In 2017, Chenoweth and Osteen teamed up for an animated take on the Christmas story, The Star. The film tells the journey of a group of animals who help with the birth of Jesus Christ. Osteen lent his voice to the project, playing the part of Caspar, while Chenoweth played Abby, a mouse. A total full circle moment if there ever was one.

Does Donald Trump low key love Joel Osteen?

Although Joel Osteen has remained somewhat apolitical over the years, he has maintained a friendship with Donald Trump. And that friendship has landed him in some pretty hot water.

In a 2015 interview on Fox News Talk Radio‘s Kilmeade & Friends, before Trump won the U.S. presidency, Osteen gave Trump a shout out. “Mr. Trump, he’s an incredible communicator and brander,” the pastor said, adding, “He’d been a friend to our ministry. He’s a good man.” Many took that as Osteen endorsing Trump, though his church clarified that he did not. “Pastor Joel Osteen has not endorsed any candidate for President of the United States,” the church website claimed, per the Christian Post. 

Still, Osteen’s kind words about Trump were revealing. In 2019, Financial Times highlighted the link between Osteen and Norman Vincent Peale, the so-called “grandfather of the prosperity gospel.” Trump outwardly loved Peale, which the outlet translated to an inferred love of Osteen, however, Trump was allegedly keen that “any public association [with him] could damage Osteen.” So their relationship reportedly remains low key. One source even told the publication that Trump quietly invited Osteen to his NYC apartment and offered lavish gifts. “Trump took out a box of gold watches and said to Victoria: ‘Pick out any one you like,'” the source said. “Then he offered Joel any Trump tie he liked. He could not have been more charming.” Osteen and Trump may not be public BFFs, but their alleged history is interesting, to say the least.

Oprah Winfrey says Joel Osteen 'literally' changed her life

It’s only natural that two inspirational people would become friends. Such is the case with Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey. The pair of successful authors and inspirational speakers have had many conversations together, but it really all goes back to a certain sermon Osteen preached that changed Winfrey’s life.

In a video shared on Oprah’s OWN network, the talk-show-host-turned-mogul highlighted one of Osteen’s most popular sermons, titled “The Power of ‘I Am.’ The description explaining its importance read, “It’s the sermon that changed the way Oprah sees her life.” Additionally, on an episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast, the two talk about the power of words. “I don’t think anybody was more excited than I when I saw the cover of your new book,” Winfrey said at the beginning of the podcast, referring to the “I Am” sermon. “That sermon literally changed how I spoke power into my own life,” she continued. Winfrey and Osteen had such a natural back-and-forth on the podcast, and clearly get along great. The fact that Osteen practically changed Winfrey’s life is just the cherry on top of their friendship.

Barack Obama has relied on Joel Osteen in the past

Though Joel Osteen has been tied to Donald Trump in the past, that doesn’t mean he discriminates when a president reaches out to him. In fact, when Barack Obama was in office, he reportedly relied on Osteen for guidance, and the two really got along.

During an appearance on Fox News’ Huckabee (via Praise 107.9), Osteen said the 44th POTUS had sought him out. “He has reached out to us,” Osteen explained, “And we have done some of the leadership things there at the White House with him and been able to pray with him — just simple things like that. And he’s been very kind and friendly to our ministry.” 

Osteen was also asked whether or not he wanted Obama to attend church publicly, and he was a bit dodgy on the question, seemingly not wanting to condemn the president for any wrongdoing. “Maybe all the things that come with the presidency, the security and all that — maybe that plays into it,” Osteen said. “But I believe he loves the Lord and things. I don’t know. But in the ideal world, yes [he would attend regularly].” Osteen and Obama might not be besties, but the fact that Obama had Osteen over to pray and talk shows that the former president really valued his opinion and guidance.

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TV and Movies

'Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta' Season Finale Recap: Akbar Causes Chaos

Season 9 of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta was cut short, but after the May 4 episode, some things were certainly left up in the air. Grandmoms were beefing, love triangles imploded, and one-side hate reigned for most of the season.

Due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the LHHATL cast was forced to make adjustments with filming, recording confessionals from their own homes.

The opening scene of the season 9 finale featured clips of the cast adjusting to coronavirus lockdown measures around the city. Everyone is scared. Here’s a recap of the last Love & Hip Hop episode filmed before the shutdown.

Akbar and LightSkinKeisha are on each other’s minds

Akbar visits Sierra’s salon and they catch up about currentevents. Akbar missed Paris’ birthday party and Sierra tells her it was a mess.She reflects on BK and contemplates whether she still loves Shooter. Akbarvents about her career and the criticism she’s facing about her kids not livingwith her. “I just be seeing these less talented people… I’m real music.”

Sierra brings up the incident at the radio station withLightSkinKeisha, and Akbar defends having a beef with her and tells Sierra topick a side. Sierra—who calls Akbar a close friend—encourages her to stick tothe music and then invites her to Spice’s event. Is this wise?

At LightSkinKeisha’s house, she and her boyfriend discuss Spice’s upcoming launch party and how Akbar may show up. She is annoyed with Akbar’s fighting behavior and thinks she needs therapy.

LightSkinKeisha only wants to focus on her music and doesn’t want fake beef with other female rappers in Atlanta. She makes it clear that although Tokyo wants them to make up, she will snap if things get ugly.

Nonstop arguments take over Spice’s event

It’s the night of Spice’s makeup and wig line launch, and Mimi, Karlie, and Kiyomi arrive together. As they chat, in walks Alexis Skyy with Akbar. Kiyomi and Alexys greet each other, acknowledging it’s the first time they’ve met in person.

The energy changes when Kiyomi mentions she used to talk to her ex, Fetty Wap. Alexis says in her confessional that this “groupie girl” is petty, and she doesn’t care about Fetty.

Karlie brings up the Arkansas Mo/Alexis situation, and they rehash it. Karlie still has ill will about it. Mimi interrupts and starts asking Alexis about her sex trafficking story as and Karlie sits casting doubt. She questions her version of events by comparing it to what Mo told her about Alexis.

She’s throwing shade about the situation saying she knows everything about it via Mo. Mimi defends Alexis who is upset and crying. Shekinah walks in and catches the tail end and sees Alexis is hurt.

Alexis steps out for a moment followed by Spice who wants to know what happened. Spice apologizes for Karlie’s drama.

Chaos erupts and Akbar is at the center

Things get hostile between Akbar and Shekinah when Karlie tries to reintroduce them. An argument breaks out between the two and Akbar throws a drink and sparks a mini fight.

Security steps in, and in her confessional Shekinah said she didn’t realize Akbar was still holding a grudge. “Karlie, you reintroduced me to the devil,” says Shekinah in her confessional.

She is angry is asked to leave. No one is really getting along, and Spice has had it, especially since Akbar promised to behave nicely. But Akbar is heated over words, and even Karlie is looking at her with a side eye.

Everyone is over Akbar’s antics. Tokyo and Lightskin Keisha arrive in the parking lot and hear Shekinah ranting. They don’t understand the root of the beef, and neither do the other ladies.

Spice asks Akbar to calm down and act right before doing her thing on stage. The other ladies walk into the spot while Spice is performing. Akbar is NOW upset about seeing Lightskin Keisha. She believes she needs to “handle it” before they handle her.

Tokyo asks the group what happened, and Spice explains how Akbar was mad and a fight broke out. Tokyo introduces everyone to LightSkinKeisha and adds, “You already know Akbar.”

Akbar gets defensive again and charges Lightskin Keisha out of the blue. Tokyo jumps in and security escorts her out with Lightskin Keisha. Spice is done and she confronts Akbar, and they start to fight!

She finally leaves (throwing stuff on the way out). She drives off and the other girls roll up on her in a car. Lightskin Keisha jumps out and attacks Akbar in a vehicle. Tokyo runs toward it, security runs toward it, and Alexis (who is no longer on Akbar’s side) runs toward it too.

Online, fans are over Akbar’s shenanigans and are calling her a bully. Commenters state she needs to calm down and humble herself if she wants to make it in the music business, and some feel sorry for her.

After the melee, Spice, Mimi, and Karlie clean up and talk about the chaos Akbar causes everywhere she goes. She’s no longer invited out. “Just keep fighting, Akbar. You’ll get there. B****,” says Spice in her confessional.  

Love & Hip Hop is over for now

In another part of town, Kirk, Shooter, and Scrappy are at Frost Bistro to sanitize the restaurant with coronavirus measures in place. Shooter informs his friends that the Cheyenne/Kiyomi drama is over, and because he’s unsure about Kiyomi’s ties to Scrapp, he’s moving on.

While they’re talking, the LHH production crew walks in and announces that filming is shutting down due to COVID-19. “How are we gonna live? How are we gonna pay our bills?” says Kirk.

Other cast members are at their filming locations and green screen sessions, and are notified too. The cameras pan all over the empty city. Rasheeda and Kirk speak in their confessional about their three businesses being shut down and how it’s affecting them and their employees.

Joc and Kendra talk about postponing their wedding, BK shares that he lost his uncle and urges people to cherish their loved ones. The show wraps up with each cast member at home in quarantine, coping in their own ways.

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World News

Underage girl writes a love message on the Great Wall of China

Underage girl is investigated by police after defacing the Great Wall of China with a message to her love interest

  • A Chinese teenage girl is under probe after leaving graffiti on the Great Wall
  • Her love message was found after she posted a picture of the writings online 
  • Staff said that the graffiti was removed and did not cause substantial damage
  • Police have summoned the minor for investigating the incident, reports say

A Chinese teenage girl who wrote a love message on the Great Wall of China has been under probe after the graffiti was reported to police.

The minor, known by her surname Li, reportedly uploaded a picture of the writings online on Saturday before outraged social media users quickly shared her post.

The graffiti didn’t cause substantial damage to the bricks and has been removed, staff from the historical site said.

Police are currently investigating the incident, according to an official statement from the Great Wall’s management office today.

Screenshots of Li’s love message were shared by Chinese social media users who were angered by the teenage girl vandalising the ancient monument. The picture of Li on the Great Wall was saved by web users before she deleted the original post

Li’s post included a selfie picture of the teenage girl on the scenic spot while another photo showed two names written on the bricks with a love heart in the middle. The names were believed to be Li’s and her lover’s

The underage girl uploaded the controversial post on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, on May 9, according to the press.

Li wrote: ‘I want the Great Wall to know that I still love you, very, very much…’

The post also included a selfie picture of the teenage girl on the scenic spot while another photo showed two names written on the bricks with a love heart in the middle. They are believed to be the names of Li and her love interest.

Screenshots of Li’s love message were shared by Chinese social media users who were angered by the teenage girl vandalising the ancient monument.

The original post has been deleted after it became viral, Chinese media report. The teenager has also changed the name of her Weibo account.

The incident was confirmed by the staff at the Great Wall of Mutianyu after they found the writing on a brick of one of the watchtowers yesterday. 

A site manager told the press that they traced down the tourist after looking through their booking system. The minor was thought to come from Hebei province of northern China.

The graffiti did not cause any substantial damage to the wall because it was written in limestone powder, the management office said today in an official statement.

‘We believe that it was written with a limestone block.

‘After consulting with the department of heritage protection, [we] have removed the writing mainly using a cloth and some water,’ the statement continued.

The authorities said that the historical site had been marred by graffiti and carvings made by tourists for years.

 Tourists are pictured at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China on the first day of the five-day Labour Day on May 1

The Great Wall of China has reopened to the public since late March after being closed for nearly three months due to the coronavirus epidemic. Tourists walk inside a watchtower while visiting the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China on May 1

‘As the guardian of the Chinese people for more than a thousand years, the Great Wall is the cultural treasure of the Chinese nation.’

The statement urged: ‘We once again appeal to the vast number of tourists to visit civilly, care for the Great Wall, and protect our precious cultural heritage together.’

The office also said that police is investigating the incident after being notified yesterday.

Media reports suggested that the police summoned Li for further investigation. It remains unclear if the underage visitor would receive any punishment.

The news comes after another teenage girl was caught defacing the Badaling section of the Great Wall on March 24, the first day of the site reopening after the coronavirus lockdown.  

Social media footage showed a young girl writing on the ancient wall with her keys discreetly while saying ‘write quickly, otherwise the guard would shout at us’.

A manager from the site later told the Beijing News that the minor had been scolded by the staff for her behaviour. 

The district government of Yanqing, where the Badaling Great Wall is located, also planned to introduce a credit system which would blacklist unruly tourists and ban them from booking tickets to local scenic spots for a whole year.

Great Wall of China: The world’s largest man-made structure

The Great Wall of China is the world’s largest man-made structure.

It is thought to be around 13,170 miles long. The wall was constructed in several sections over a period of around 1,000 years.

Building work started during the Qin dynasty (259BC to 210BC) as part of a defensive line against enemies to the north.

Large sections were built during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644) to help defend against the Mongolian tribes.

The sections built during this period are what most tourists tend to visit today.

The Great Wall also provided a border boundary that allowed the Chinese authorities to impose duties on goods carried along the Silk Road trade route. 

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Lifestyle

If You Love HGTV & ‘Real Housewives,’ This Netflix Show Will Be Your New Obsession

If you mixed The Real Housewives franchise with The Property Brothers, the result might be something like Netflix’s Selling Sunseta reality series that blends luxury real estate with behind-the-scenes drama. The docusoap follows twin brothers Jason and Brett Oppenheim, who own a real estate brokerage firm near the Sunset Strip, though the show is largely focused on staffers Christine Quinn, Heather Young, Davina Potratz, Maya Vander, Mary Fitzgerald, and newcomer Chrishell Hartley, among others. Essentially, it’s like an addictive HGTV show, but with an added bite, and fans are understandably clamoring to know if Selling Sunset will return for Season 2.

Update: Selling Sunset has been renewed for Season 2, and is set to return on May 22, 2020.

Earlier: While Netflix hasn’t made any official announcements, many of its subjects are hoping for a renewal. During a recent interview on Good Day LA, Chrishell said that, "We’ll actually know really soon [whether Selling Sunset has been renewed]. I think within the next couple weeks we’ll definitely know — maybe even sooner than that. So everybody tune in, everybody [marathon] the show. Fingers crossed."

And Chrishell’s not the only cast member urging fans to watch Selling Sunset. According to the Express, Mary was asked by a fan on Instagram if there would be a second season of Selling Sunset, to which she responded, "We hope so!!! It’s looking promising for Season 2! Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed yet though…so everyone please keep watching!"

In Season 1, Selling Sunset followed its subjects as they showed expensive mansions in and around Los Angeles, including one high-profile $40 million property, which looks like it’s still for sale. But because it’s a docusoap, there was also plenty of interpersonal drama (the series was produced by The Hills creator Adam DiVello, after all).

Plus, while the drama is undoubtedly the most compelling part of the show, there’s also a bit of star power. Not only did Season 1 feature actor Taye Diggs looking for a house, but Chrishell is married to none other than This Is Us star Justin Hartley. And having been in Days of Our Lives, All My Children, and an upcoming Lifetime movie called Staged Killer, Chrishell is a celebrity in her own right.

In fact, the Oppenheim Group often works with celebrities and other high-profile clients — so much so that their real estate agents sort of become celebrities themselves. "More and more, the real estate professional has become celebritized," Jason Oppenheim told the L.A. Times. "Clients really expect a lot. Marketing a property is not what it used to be, whether it’s social media or entertainment." He went on to say that he encourages his employees volunteer at Food on Foot, a Los Angeles-based non-profit, because "it’s so easy to lose perspective — we’re driving around in Rolls-Royces showing $10-million homes to tech billionaires."

That said, there are still plenty of glitzy property photos on Jason’s Instagram. So even if Selling Sunset doesn’t come back for a second time around, fans can still browse through the cast’s social media pages, see what they’re up to, and find out what extravagant homes they’re selling now.

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Lifestyle

Who'll find love? This week it's Kelly, 28, and Daniel, 32

Who’ll find love on FEMAIL’s virtual date? This week it’s Kelly, 28, and Daniel, 32, but will romance be on the cards?

  • Every week FEMAIL sends a couple on a blind date and asks them to report back 
  • Trainee facilitator Kelly, 28, and project manager Daniel, 32, shared their date
  • Would you like us to find you a date? Are you a singleton, or is there someone you’d like to send on a blind date? Email: [email protected] 

Kelly, 28, (pictured) has been single for three months and has no children 

Kelly, 28 

Dating past?

My last relationship lasted for three and a half years. I wanted to settle down, while he wasn’t sure, so eventually we separated. 

Pre-date nerves?

Yes. It’s weird going on a date with your mum in the house. We’re isolating together. She was more excited about my virtual date than I was. 

First impressions? 

I set the table with a candle and a bottle of wine, with the laptop across from me, and I wore my black jumpsuit, as if it was a real date.

When Daniel came on the screen, he was sitting on the floor. I was initially bemused until he explained he had laid out everything on a picnic blanket. I thought it was lovely. He had on a nice shirt and jeans. 

Vital statistics  

Single for three months, no children.

Current role

Training facilitator for the Government. 

Would like to meet

An intelligent and mature man who can take care of himself, and knows what he wants. I love board games and learning new skills, so I’d like to meet someone curious.  

Easy to talk to? 

We ended up doing more talking than eating! We discovered we are both hipsters who love jazz clubs, musicals and poetry slams.

We also both have side projects. I host board game meetings and review digital games. I was fascinated to hear about his voluntary projects and his plans to travel to Russia.

Embarrassing moments?

Just one connection break early on, but after that all went well. 

Did sparks fly? 

I definitely felt there was a little bit of flirting going on. We spoke for more than three hours. Neither of us ate much, preferring the chat and the wine.

It did get serious when we talked about coronavirus — he told me he didn’t do any non-essential things. I said: ‘I’d better go then’. He laughed and told me to stay. 

Kelly’s verdict: 8/10 

Liked? How easy the conversation felt.

Regrets? Drinking a whole bottle of wine on a first date.

See him again? Yes.

Would you like to meet him in person?

We’ve said we’d definitely like to meet face-to-face. He lives just two minutes from my favourite place in London, Spitalfields Market. 

Daniel said he’d love to come to see me in Jersey because he likes sailing and fishing. 

What do you think he thought of you?

I think he thought I was easy to chat to, and we had a connection. 

Would you like to take him home to your family?

Mum was upstairs, but thankfully she didn’t come down. He’d get on with my friends and family. 

Daniel, 32, (pictured) is long-term single and has no children

Daniel, 32 

Dating past?

I’ve had a couple of serious relationships, but I’ve been single for a long time. I think I’ve been too busy with my career, but I’m also not a great fan of endless messaging, which seems to be what a lot of dating apps require. 

Pre-date nerves?

This is my first virtual date, but I wasn’t nervous. I’m used to talking to new people. 

First impressions?

Kelly is attractive and has a great personality, but it’s harder to get a sense of how you feel online — I think body language and physical proximity tell you a lot. 

Easy to talk to?

We’re both straight-talkers, so we got on well. It’s funny that she is so nerdy about board games. I used to play them, too, when I had more time.

Vital statistics 

Single long-term, no children.

Current Role

Freelance Project Manager and Bartender. 

Would like to meet

Someone smart and well-travelled, who enjoys fitness and being outdoors. I don’t like people who take pictures of everything rather than enjoying the moment. 

We also chatted about coronavirus and how it is affecting our lives. I am originally from Slovakia and thankfully my family is safe at the moment.

We were laughing a lot, though. She has a good sense of humour. 

Embarrassing moments?

Just one break in connection. But I definitely prefer meeting in person as I’m not normally chatty online. I’m having to learn to talk via the internet a lot more, but I don’t really like it. 

Did sparks fly?

It’s hard to tell if we were flirting, because you can’t sense the chemistry involved. But I enjoyed her company and our chat. 

Would you like to meet her in person?

I would like to meet her in person to see if the pheromones are there. I do have a slight concern about the distance between us — I’m based in London while Kelly is in Jersey — as I don’t often have spare time to travel, but we’ll see. 

Daniel’s verdict: 7/10

Liked? She is funny, straightforward, and a good listener.

Regrets? None.

See her again? Yes.

What do you think she thought of you?

I believe she liked me as we chatted for so long, and got on so well. It was funny to hear her mum upstairs clapping and cheering for the NHS — not something that usually happens on a date. 

Would you like to take her home to your family?

I think so — she is so chatty and friendly. 

Fancy a date with an eligible single like you? Or would you like to play cupid for someone else? Email your — or their — details and a photo to [email protected]dailymail.co.uk

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Celebrities

Reese Witherspoon’s Love of Her Dogs Is Contagious: Photos

Puppy love! Reese Witherspoon is the ultimate dog lover and she wants everyone to know it.

Whether she’s posing with dogs on set — like she frequently did as Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde franchise with her BFF Bruiser Woods — or is cuddling up her own pets (she has a few), Witherspoon, 43, is a true animal friend.

Throughout the years, the Big Little Lies star and producer has taken her love of canines to the next level by consistently sharing photos of her family of dogs via social media.

The Sweet Home Alabama actress has a long history of naming her animals after celebrities, like her current Labrador, Hank, named after country singer Hank Williams.

The Draper James founder once had an English bulldog named Frank Sinatra after the “Come Fly With Me” crooner and a French bulldog named Coco Chanel for the legendary designer.

Witherspoon takes her Instagram followers along with her through her daily duties as a pet owner, shows of her dogs’ adorable faces and frequently posts photos of them in costumes.

Currently, her newsfeed is overflowing with photos of three puppies, Hank, American bulldog Lou and French bulldog Pepper.

In June 2019, Lou joined the Witherspoon family as its latest addition. He was introduced to her Instagram followers two months after the Walk the Line actress revealed that her longtime pup, a German Shepard named Nash, had passed away.

“Rest In Peace, Our Sweet dog, Nash 😥🙏🏻Hope you are running through gorgeous fields of grass and eating all the treats you want in Dog Heaven. 💙” Witherspoon wrote in April via Instagram.

Pepper, on the other hand, has been a fan-favorite on the actress’ feed after joining the squad in April 2016.

The New Orleans native is also mother to three children, Ava, 20, and Deacon, 16, whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and Tennessee, 7, whom she shares with husband Jim Toth.

Scroll below to see all of The Morning Show star’s adorable pupdates over the years.

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Celebrities

Kate Garraway sends love to Boris Johnson as husband battles COVID-19

Kate Garraway sends well wishes to Boris Johnson as her husband Derek also battles coronavirus in intensive care

  • Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital on Monday 
  • The 55-year-old was transferred to intensive care at 7pm because of breathing difficulties 
  • Kate sent the Prime Minister wishes of a speedy recovery as he battles COVID-19
  • The GMB’s presenter’s husband Derek is also in ICU battling coronavirus
  • Kate is self-isolating at home with their two children  

Kate Garraway has sent her well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after it was announced he has been admitted to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital on Monday night. 

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 52, was among thousands who commented on Piers Morgans’ Instagram post of a picture of Boris, 55, and his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds at No 10 Downing Street. 

It comes after it was confirmed last week, Kate’s husband Derek has also been admitted to intensive care with coronavirus after becoming very ill. 

Kate Garraway has sent her well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after it was announced he has been admitted to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital

Piers wrote: ‘If you’re not rooting for our Prime Minister tonight & willing him to make a speedy recovery, then you’re a despicable human being.

‘He is very ill with a deadly virus & his pregnant partner has also been sick. Incredibly worrying time for them & the country. Come on Boris’

Kate commented: ‘Get well Boris x’.  

Health: Boris was moved to ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London and given oxygen after his health deteriorated sharply over just two hours on Monday night (pictured last week)

Support: The GMB presenter, 52, was among thousands who commented on Piers Morgans’ Instagram post of a picture of Boris, 55, and his pregnant fiancée Carrie Symonds

Sending her well wishes: Kate commented: ‘Get well Boris x’.

Boris was moved to ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London and given oxygen after his health deteriorated sharply over just two hours, leaving doctors fearing he will need a ventilator.

Boris was transferred to intensive care at 7pm because of breathing difficulties – forcing him to ‘deputise’ Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to take the reins of government.  

The PM’s sharp downturn came 11 days after he first suffered coronavirus symptoms and went into isolation. He looked increasingly unwell when glimpsed in public and in ‘selfie’ videos posted on on social media, and ministers were then shocked by his grim appearance at a Zoom conference on Sunday.

Concerns: Just days ago, the presenter voiced her fears on GMB meeting with Prince Charles before he tested positive for coronavirus (pictured at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11) 

Downing Street sources confirmed Boris is not yet on a ventilator – but was moved to intensive care to be near one if needed. Some medical experts forecasting this course of action is now ‘very likely’.

Two thirds of patients in intensive care with coronavirus are sedated and put on a ventilator within 24 hours of arriving as the illness attacks their lungs. 

It comes as Kate is reportedly ‘sick with worry’ as husband Derek battles COVID-19 in intensive care, after being admitted to the hospital a week ago and testing positive for the virus. 

Kate, 52, who hasn’t been tested but is displaying ‘mild symptoms’ is self-isolating at home with their two children – Darcey, 14, and William (Bill), ten. 

Just days ago, the presenter voiced her fears on Good Morning Britain after meeting with Prince Charles before he tested positive for coronavirus.

She spoke about their encounter live on air, revealing that the pair had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11. 

Kate’s spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Kate’s husband, Derek Draper, has been taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care with a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

He was admitted on Monday and has since tested positive for the virus. 

‘Kate, hasn’t been tested, however she has also been displaying mild symptoms, also since Monday, and as a result has been on strict isolation with her children at home.’    

Expressing their support: Susanna Reid and Piers  paid tribute to Kate ‘s husband Derek Draper during Monday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, as he continues to battle COVID-19

A source added to The Sun: ‘This is a desperate situation for Kate who is sick with worry about Derek’s health.  

‘She is obviously off TV too. Everyone at GMB is so worried for her.’ 

Kate shared a video of herself clapping for the NHS on Thursday night where she said her family had an ‘extra special reason’ to clap for our carers. 

She wrote: ‘We had a an extra special reason to #clapthecarers in our house tonight but there’s a special reason for us all isn’t there. 

‘Thank thank you to all the health workers caring for our loved ones and key workers keeping our lives going [clapping emojis] you are incredible.’ 

Heartfelt: Kate shared a video of herself clapping for the NHS on Thursday night where she said her family had an ‘extra special reason’ to clap for our carers

 

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Lifestyle

Interview: Former 'Love & Hip Hop' Star Amina Buddafly Spreads Her Wings After Divorce From Peter Gunz With New Music and Wellness

Amina Buddafly has come a long way from the turmoil Love & Hip Hop fans watched her experience. After years in an unhealthy marriage to Peter Gunz — equipped with a love triangle — she ended her marriage, determined to become a better version of herself for her two daughters.

Luckily, Buddafly’s music did not get drowned out with the chaos of the show. It could have been easy to forget that Buddafly is a powerhouse: she’s a singer, songwriter, and a musician.

Born in Germany, Buddafly and her two sisters fled to New York in the 2000s with dreams of musical stardom. Their group, Black Buddafly, was signed to Def Jam Records in 2005 and released a few popular tracks. Amina’s sisters returned to Germany after becoming frustrated with the industry, and Amina set out to make it as a solo artist. 

Amina’s musical talents are undeniable. She barely spoke English when she moved to America, yet she taught herself to play the guitar and keys by ear. She writes and produces her own music from a home studio she built in her LA apartment. 

A quick scroll through her Instagram account is a testament to her three loves: music, motherhood, and wellness. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Amina about emerging from reality television drama and a painful divorce; she is stronger than ever, boasting new music and a mission to inspire women through wellness.

Amina Buddafly says moving was one of “the hardest but best decisions” of her life

While Buddafly was committed to their marriage, Gunz maneuvered between her and his longtime ex. He had children with both women and broke Buddafly’s heart along the way. When Buddafly’s one-year-old daughter wiped tears from her eyes, she knew it was time to go. Pregnant with another child, she made the choice to move across the country. Buddafly explained to Showbiz:

The next day, I called the moving company and arranged everything and two weeks later I was on the plane. I went to LA previously and looked at places but nothing was set in stone. I had to hit rock bottom and know things were irreparable between Peter and me before leaving. I was unsure on the plane as I traveled from New York to Cali but I knew I had to do it. It was the hardest decision but it was the best decision.

Buddafly says it took her two years to heal from the damage that was caused by her relationship with Gunz. 

Amina Buddafly says her and Peter Gunz are in a good place following their divorce

Despite Gunz being upset that she moved to a different coast with their children, Buddafly says, in order for her to move on, she had to break herself from the relationship in such a drastic way. While in LA, she sought the help of a therapist to help her process everything.

“I was crying daily or every other day in that relationship,” she reflects. “When I look back now, I don’t remember the last time I cried, it was probably like two years ago. Time really did help me heal. The saying, ‘Your kids don’t need a perfect mom, they need a happy mom’ is so true.”

Through therapy, her children, and creating music, she was able to forgive and move on. Their divorce was finalized at the top of this year and she says they are in an amazing place.

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“We are good. I consider him a friend. We co-parent,” she said. “I tell people all the time that out of everyone I’ve been with, I am happy I had children with him. Peter is an amazing person, he’s just not a good partner.”

Amina Buddafly doesn’t regret ‘Love & Hip Hop’ because it helped her career

Despite the heartache, Buddafly experienced on Love & Hip Hop, one good thing that came out of the show: she was able to showcase her music. Prior to the show, her career was at a standstill.

The show gave her an audience that she did not have before and even in the midst of reality show drama, she released music and was able to put her business affairs in order to sustain her career for post-reality television. 

“I’ve put out 3 full albums and 3 EPs over the last seven years,” she said. “I’ve built up a good fan base. I am also an influencer, thanks to my work on reality television, so people pay for me to promote things.”

Amina Buddafly details life as an independent artist

Buddafly was smart to incorporate her music throughout her time on the show, as it has helped her since leaving the series. She built her brand from the ground up. Still, Buddafly explained that being an independent artist without a machine behind her can be difficult:

I do have everything on my own… I have good streaming numbers, so I have some money coming in from my music and from publishing but when it comes to marketing and booking performance dates, I need a good manager to take over the business aspect. I don’t even have songs on the radio, just streaming. I have yet to find someone who works for me.

Buddafly is responsible for all costs associated with her projects and she says the expenses incur quickly. She does a lot of research to find other creatives to collaborate with who work because they are passionate creatives.

As a single mom and an independent artist, I don’t have spare money to shoot videos. I do a lot of the creative groundwork myself.  I come up with album titles, visuals, and order of songs on my albums. Luckily, I’ve worked with some amazing people who work with me because they believe in me but it takes longer to get projects out because of the monetary costs.

Amina Buddafly is reuniting with her sister for a Black Buddafly reunion album

One of the people Buddaly collaborates with often is her twin sister and Black Buddafly member, Jazz. Because their other sister Sophie has a different musical style, Amina and Jazz have moved forward as a duo. They are currently working on a new album.

“We are trying to keep the same classic Black Buddafly sound. Jazz and I did an EP 3 years ago called We R and our fans are always asking us to record together because we are so similar,” she said.

Most of the songs for the upcoming album are already complete — all of which they’ve written. The sisters have also produced most of the music themselves. They’ve accepted and recorded a few tunes to tracks that they did not produce, but have yet to make a decision on which songs will make the final cut.

Amina Buddafly on her passion for songwriting 

In addition to the singing and musical composition, Buddafly is known for her songwriting ability. When asked if she’s ever shopped her songs to other artists, she says that being independent has made it difficult. She insists that this year, she’s going to step outside of her shell and put in the work to have her music placed. 

“I have such a large catalog of music that I’ve written that I feel like aren’t right for me, especially now since I’m getting older and have so much music for a younger demo,” she says. “I’m going to work on not making excuses and really shop my music around because it’s honestly going to waste.”

Amina Buddafly’s new lifestyle cookbook promotes her wellness advocacy 

After turning pain into triumph, Buddafly’s personal mission is being a model to women on self-love and wellness. Her social media pages are filled with videos of her working out at home or at the park with her daughters. She also has a page dedicated to her love of cooking. To help others, she created a lifestyle cookbook, Mi Dishes.

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“Mi Dishes is a coffee table lifestyle cookbook,” she said. “It’s 280 pages of recipes, lifestyle tips, short personal stories from me, and visuals. I created the 30-day guide for my fans to follow because of the amount of questions I was constantly getting about fitness and food.”

Buddafly says the book’s main theme that she hopes she gets across is that wellness starts from within. She’s in the greatest place in her life and career because she focused on herself and did the tough work it took to heal. In the end, she says it’s worth it.

It’s all about balance. I don’t have any restrictions in my diet but I choose to intake things that are healthy more times than not. The same applies to working out. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment. You can workout at home. Consistency is what matters and that’s what I apply to my life overall.

Mi Dishes is available for purchase on Amazon. The Black Buddafly reunion project is slated for release this year. Buddafly’s last album, After Dark, can be downloaded on all streaming platforms and she’s also working on a solo acoustic album.

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Lifestyle

Man who fell in love with transgender prison mate marries her after release

Adriel and Monae Alvarado fell in love while they were both in prison in Pennsylvania.

Trans woman Monae, had already started to take hormone replacements before being incarcerated but she hadn’t yet had surgery.

At the time of her sentencing, it was policy to incarcerate pre-surgery transgender people based on their gender at birth.

Adriel had been working in the laundry room when he first noticed Monae, 29. The pair locked eyes and instantly felt a connection.

It didn’t take long for the two to start dating officially, meeting in the library, gym or for movie nights to be together.

In the early days of their relationship, it wasn’t just finding ways to meet up that was a struggle, they also faced hostility from fellow inmates and prison staff alike.

In spite of the opposition the couple faced from both sides of the prison bars, they took their relationship to the next level, with Adriel proposing to Monae.

Although they had hoped to marry while they were both still inmates, ultimately they had to wait until Monae was released.

And now Adriel is also out and the couple is now doing everything they couldn’t do when they were in prison.

In spite of the opposition they faced, the couple believe meeting in prison is the reason they have been able to overcome so much.

Adriel explained to Truly: ‘I think being inside was the foundation that made our relationship.

‘I saw Monae at her lowest, Monae saw me at my lowest. I saw her at her happiest, she’s seen me at my happiest.’

Monae added: ‘We had that unique bond in prison, so I guess what makes us stronger.’

Adriel added: ‘We wanted to get married as inmates in the prison but there was no policy in place to marry two inmates at the time’.

Once Monae got out, she was able to go directly to the courthouse to get the right paperwork and the couple were finally able to get married while Adriel served the remainder of his sentence.

It also gave Monae the time to have top and bottom surgery ahead of their wedding day.

Monae’s mother and godfather were the only family that attended, and after exchanging vows and taking pictures, the couple had to say goodbye again.

Adriel said: ‘I got my hair braided, I got my state browns pressed with starch and all that. It was in the visiting room. Nobody was there, it was just me, Monae, Monae’s mother, Monae’s godfather, a couple of councilors, union manager and the lady that officiated the wedding and the reverend.’

Monae also braided her hair and wore a white dress that she bought online.

She said: ‘It was a happy and sad day, but mainly sad because obviously you want to spend time together. We expected when we got married that we’d be together, but we had to leave each other.’

When Adriel got out, the couple found themselves in the unique position of being a married couple who hadn’t even done the simplest of things together.

Monae said: ‘Our memories were in prison and we never were able to make memories out here.

‘Now it’s about to happen it’s like it’s going to be like the first time for everything for us, it’s like starting new again.’

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TV and Movies

Love Island’s Shaughna Phillips teams up with In The Style for new loungewear range – The Sun

LOVE Island star Shaughna Phillips has teamed up with In The Style to launch a new loungewear range.

The 25-year-old made an impression on the brand after just two weeks in the villa and has now landed her own collection.

The brand's CEO Adam Frisby said: “I’m so excited to announce the In The Style x Shaughna Phillips collaboration.

"Shaughna is an advocate for female empowerment and everything my brand stands for, within a couple of weeks of Love Island I knew she would be a great fit for us as she held herself so well and came across as a really strong female with great values.

"Right now everyone is facing so much uncertainty and we wanted to launch a collection that’s going to work for people’s new routines of being at home, whilst helping to inspire and send some motivation to our ITS customers during these challenging times.”


Shaughna's range includes a mix of motivational slogans and famous phrases from her time on the show such as as "Congrats, hun" – the words she said to Molly Smith after she stole Callum Jones from her.

Prices start at £12, with the edit available in sizes 6-24.

Yesterday Shaughna claimed that girls were made to wear high heels in the Love Island villa.

She decided to take part in a Q&A with her fans to cure her isolation boredom – and one answer revealed that the islanders had no say in what shoes they had to wear.

After stating that she was "bored AF," the former democratic services officer asked her 1.5m followers to send her over some questions.

One fan asked: "Are you required to wear heels in the villa?"

Without giving too much away, Shaughna looked straight into the camera and nodded her head – implying that all girls had to wear them during their time on the dating show.

"This is my not impressed face… I haven't got indigestion," she wrote.


Another fan asked how the reality star got the chance to take part in the popular ITV2 show.

After being scouted on Instagram she went through a three-month process before she was told she got the part.

She explained: "So I got approached for Love Island in August on Instagram and then it was kind of just a slowish process.

"You kind of do like a different stage each month and then found out in December!"

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