Thursday, December 26, 2019

Romesh Ranganathan shares moment his son was knocked unconscious

Comic Romesh Ranganathan pens thank-you letter to kind strangers who helped when his son was knocked unconscious – saying ‘you made a horrific situation bearable’

  • Ranganathan, 41, told of moment his young son was knocked unconscious
  • He says Alex was running over to his wife Leesa after being winded by a football
  • On the way, the youngster tripped and banged his head, knocking himself out 
  • Comedian thanked couple who helped his son and calmed his wife while waiting for an ambulance to take them to hospital

Funnyman Romesh Ranganathan has written an open letter to a couple who helped his son after he was knocked unconscious in a ‘horrific’ playground fall. 

The 41-year-old comedian revealed, in a letter published in The Guardian, that while he was away on tour his son Alex had fallen and hit his head, rendering him unconscious, while in the park with Ranganathan’s wife Leesa.  

In the letter, he thanked couple Tom and Lisa Grimshaw after they came to his family’s aid during the ‘horrible’ incident, saying they helped to calm an otherwise ‘traumatic’ situation.  

The father-of-three told how his son Alex was playing football with his friends, while Leesa was helping their youngest son play on the climbing frame. 

Romesh Ranganathan and his wife Leesa, with two of the couple’s young children pictured in 2014. The comedian wrote an open letter to couple Tom and Lisa Grimshaw for coming to Leesa’s aid when their son Alex was knocked out after hitting his head

Ranganathan (pictured hosting Live at The Apollo) said the couple went ‘above and beyond’ to help his family

After he was blasted with the ball, Alex ran over to his mother for some TLC but fell and hit his head, knocking him out completely.

A stranger called Tom immediately ran up and checked on child before telling his wife to phone an ambulance. 

Another stranger, called Lisa, went to go and get ice for Alex while Tom watched over the child. 

Speaking in the letter, Romesh thanked the strangers, who he said helped to ‘restore his faith’ in the decency of humans. 

‘You two did everything you could to help, staying so my wife wasn’t alone in an obviously traumatic situation’, said the comedian. 

 He told that the ambulance soon arrived and confirmed their would be okay, but said he was heartbroken as his wife relayed the story to him. 

The comedian revealed his son had run over to his mother after being winded by a football, and tripped and hit his head while trying to reach her 

He went on: ‘You made a horrific situation bearable for her and you went above and beyond the call of stranger duty to help her out.’ 

He joked that he didn’t feel he would have been anywhere near ‘as effective’ as Tom and Lisa would have been in that situation – and his wife would had another person to try and calm down.  

It  isn’t the first time Romesh has missed a big event thanks to his busy tour schedule. In 2014, he missed the birth of the couple’s third child. 

This isn’t the first time Romesh has missed a monumental event thanks to his busy tour schedule – in 2014, he reportedly missed the birth of his third child 

Leesa was admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary during The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where Romesh was appearing to perform stand-up, and gave birth to their son Charlie. 

He previously told the Guardian that his wife was ‘really chilled’ about the whole situation and hailed her the most ‘laid-back’ person on the globe. 

Romesh said: ‘She was being really chilled out about it – she’s the most laid-back woman in the world. I panic a lot more than she does.’ 

The former maths teacher revealed that he told the audience at his show that his wife had given birth to his son – but didn’t think the crowd believed him.  

He added: ‘I was pretty convinced the audience thought I was making it up.’ 

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Eamonn Holmes: Fiona Phillips talks pair being told off by GMTV team in candid admission

Fiona Phillips, 58, joined the ITV morning show GMTV back in 1997 before her departure in 2008. The host regularly fronted the show alongside Eamonn Holmes, 60, who began working on the show in 1993.

We were always getting told off by producers because we talked too much

Fiona Phillips

Reflecting on her time on the show, Fiona laughed as she recalled the “great fun” she had with her co-host, which she claims sometimes led to them being light-heartedly told off by producers.

She said: “We had great fun, we spent a lot of time laughing and always getting told off by producers because we talked too much or we ran over time, and did things we weren’t supposed to but it was great.

“He was often in my dressing room… he’d go on a gossip rant.

“We spent a lot of time in our dressing rooms and we had great fun. We had the same working class background and we knew our audience.


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“It was the number one breakfast show… no one came near us at the time.”

Discussing when Eamonn stepped down from his role on the show, she added: “I was really sad when he went and then I went… it was Ben [Shephard] on my last day.

“I know I was a bit tearful thinking what have I done but it was the right decision because of my parents.

“My parents lived in Wales so I was travelling there every weekend and they were ill.”

Eamonn is now a regular presenter on This Morning alongside his wife Ruth Langsford, and a regular host on Talk Radio.

During her broadcasting career, Fiona has also been a panelist on Loose Women.

She joined the panel in 2002 and has returned as a guest anchor in various other years.

Fiona Phillips said despite loving her time on the show, she felt “uncomfortable” discussing personal topics live on-air such as her family.

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“I never really felt as though it was the right fit for me,” she spilled.

“I’d feel uncomfortable talking about my family, I’ve always been quite private about my family, I’ve never used them in my career or anything.”

The mother-of-two went on to say if she was to speak about her private life on the show now, her “life would be a mess”.

She added: “If I said something about our private lives, my husband wouldn’t speak to me again. My life would be a mess if I was still on there.”


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When asked if she would return to the show, Fiona replied: “No, do you know what… it’s weird… I’ve been brought up around boys, I’ve got sons and brothers, and I’ve never had a sister, I’ve got brilliant friends who are women but I’m not one of those women who sits around gossiping.

“Like I’ve never dreamt of having a white wedding or anything, I’m just not a girly girl.

“I always felt a bit… not a fraud but felt… I’m more of a man’s woman than a woman’s woman.”

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'Mowgli' girl who survived in Siberian wilderness wins beauty contest

Abandoned ‘Mowgli’ girl, 10, who was saved by her loyal dog in two-week ordeal in the Siberian wilderness wins beauty contest six years after rescue

  • Karina Chikitova survived twelve days in a forest infested with wolves and bears
  • She cuddled her mongrel puppy Naida for warmth before it left her to find help
  • Her incredible survival inspired a children’s book, a statue and given her fame
  • Now she has won the Mini Miss Yakutia contest in a social media poll

A Mowgli girl who survived nearly two weeks alone clinging to her loyal puppy in the Siberian wilderness has won a Russian children’s beauty contest.

Karina Chikitova’s victory comes as she makes progress as a promising young ballerina after her astonishing survival in a forest infested with brown bears and wolves.

The Russian girl today celebrates her tenth birthday – after winning the online Mini Miss Yakutia contest.

Karina Chikitova, the Mowgli girl who survived nearly two weeks alone clinging to her loyal puppy in the Siberian wilderness, has won a Russian children’s beauty contest

The Russian girl today celebrates her tenth birthday – after winning the online Mini Miss Yakutia contest

In August, 2014, there there were headlines around the world when she was found after a dozen days and nights lost in the remote taiga sleeping on a bed of long grass and eating wild berries to stay alive.

Then aged four, she cuddled her mongrel puppy Naida for warmth in the shivering cold before the dog found its way home to a remote village, urging rescuers not to give up, and to go and find the little girl.

Karina’s ordeal was seen as so remarkable that a statue was erected to her and the dog in regional capital Yakutsk.

A popular children’s book was also written about her, and her fame as a Mowgli seems to have led this remote village girl to amazing new opportunities.

In August, 2014, there there were headlines around the world when she was found after a dozen days and nights lost in the remote taiga

Karina credited her survival to her mongrel puppy Naida who she clinged to for warmth on cold nights

Karina was ‘excited’ after she easily won the Mini Miss contest in a social media poll, making her a young ambassador for Yakutia, Russia’s diamond region, the coldest inhabited place in the world.

She is also a promising ballerina, already studying full time in Yakutsk, some 350 miles from her home.

Now she has been invited in 2020 to Moscow to meet leading ballet stars including world famous dancer Nikolay Tsiskaridze, now rector of the world famous Vaganova Academy.

She said: ‘I want to become a ballerina and dance Swan Lake. I have also learned how to play the jaw harp and piano.’

Bilingual Karina is doing well at school, too, where she has a talent for maths, and is learning English to add to her fluent Yakut and Russian.

Then aged four, she cuddled her mongrel puppy Naida for warmth in the shivering cold before the dog found its way home to a remote village

The dog accompanying her finally left her in her makeshift bed of long grass after nine nights to go and summon help

Her guardian in Yakutsk, Albina Cherepanova, 60, said: ‘She may become a ballet dancer.’

This would mean a specialist ballet education separate to the normal school system.

‘If it doesn’t work out with dancing and ballet, she will finish school and continue to study. Karina loves maths.’

She is ‘becoming less shy, more brave’.

Globally-renowned fashion designer Irina Krutikova promised Karina a fur coat to keep warm in her region where temperatures plunge in winter to minus 60C.

Karina’s class teacher Maria Petrova praised her as ‘very independent, kind, reasonable, charismatic, charming, and beautiful.

‘She behaves with dignity, beautifully and attractively. She speaks fluently both Yakut and Russian.’

Karina was ‘excited’ after she easily won the Mini Miss contest in a social media poll, making her a young ambassador for Yakutia, Russia’s diamond region

Karina had followed her father into the dangerous forest – but he did not realise she had trailed him

In 2014 Karina had followed her father into the dangerous forest – but he did not realise she had trailed him.

The dog accompanying her finally left her in her makeshift bed of long grass after nine nights to go and summon help.

When she was found her rescuer Artyom Borisov said: ‘She was sitting deep in deergrass, completely silent.

‘I didn’t actually notice her. She saw me and stretched her arms forward.

‘I picked her up, she was so tiny, so light, like fluff. She didn’t have shoes on.

‘Her face, legs and arms were bitten to blood (by mosquitos). She was dead scared.

Karina, now ten, is at a special ballet boarding school in the city of Yakutsk

Her teachers are predicting she may now have a future as a professional dancer if she keeps up the hard work

Her teacher Dariya Ivanova, 66, praised Karina as ‘very strong physically’ and ‘extremely flexible, with strong legs’

‘Straight away she asked to for water and food, and burst into tears. To be honest I could hardly hold back tears, too.’

Later Karina said: ‘It was Naida who rescued me. I was really, really scared.

‘But when we were going to sleep I hugged her, and together we were warm.’

When Karina was reunited with the dog, Karina’s first words to her pet were: ‘Why did you leave me?’

Yet the dog’s action in finding her way back to the family’s village almost certainly saved the child’s life by giving rescuers confidence she was still alive.

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Dancing On Ice's Perri Kiely insists Diversity background is not an advantage

Dancing On Ice contestant Perri Kiely has revealed that his background as a professional dancer is not an advantage in the competition.

Street dancer Perri, 23, won Britain’s Got Talent alongside dance troupe Diversity in 2008 after pipping Susan Boyle to the post in the tense final of the third series of the ITV talent show.

Despite going on to show off their slick stunts and mesmerising moves across the globe, Perri has insisted that grooving on ice is a different kettle of fish.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Perri said: "Training for Dancing On Ice is going really well.

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"I haven’t been able to ice skate since winning Britain’s Got Talent in case of injury.

"When I was younger I have always been someone who could stand up on the ice but this training is a whole new board game."

He continued: "I’m struggling but it’s been good fun.

"The guy training me is like I thought I had this easy and now he’s looking at like 'can we have someone else?'

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Perri has been paired with professional figure skater Vannessa Bauer who won the show with X Factor hunk Jake Quickenden in 2018.

The former Celebs Go Dating star has said it’s all friendly backstage at the moment but assumes it’s just the calm before the storm.

He said: "The boot camp we had together was really nice because everyone is getting on and pushing each other.

"The competition hasn’t started yet. I’m guessing when it starts that is it."

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Fans of Diversity are used to seeing Perri thrown in the air and he’s admitted that it is going to be weird being the one doing the lifting this time around.

"I’m really scared about throwing people around because people are usually throwing me around for a living so I’m not used to it," he said.

"Those sessions are going to be interesting."

The 2020 series of Dancing On Ice will welcome the first same-sex partnership with Steps legend Ian 'H' Watkins and professional Matt Evers joining forces to make history.

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Speaking about the same-sex skating partnership, Perri said: "I think it’s wicked. I was talking about it the other day and I was like finally.

"Im happy that I’m on the show where they’ve decided to do it first and H is wicked."

Perri won’t be the only Diversity troupe member appearing on the "greatest show on ice," as pal Ashley Banjo will be back offering his expertise on the ice panel alongside Olympic champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and newcomer John Barrowman.

Hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby will also be back to keep a watchful eye on proceedings.

Fans will have to wait and see if Perri and Vanessa have what it makes to become Dancing On Ice champions.

Dancing On Ice returns to ITV on Sunday January 5

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Google Home: 15 things to ask Google Assistant on Christmas

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose – and Google has a slew of handy features to make sure the festive period goes off without a hitch. The Mountain View-based company has loaded its Google Assistant with a bevy of nifty tricks to make your life a little easier.

One of the biggest bugbears of the Christmas period is crawling beneath the tree to get to the wall plug to turn on the lights – trying not to knock down the sentimental baubles or crush the first gifts that have already found their way beneath the tree. If you’ve kitted yourself out with a smart plug – there are a plethora of different brands out there and the vast majority boast support for the Google Home app – you can ask your nearest Google Assistant-compatible device to light-up the Christmas tree.

Failing that, if you’ve got smart lights on the Christmas tree, you can ask the Google Assistant to switch them on. And that goes for much more than just the Christmas tree lights.

Google Assistant is compatible with the entire Philips Hue lightbulbs, including the new Bluetooth range which no longer requires a Bridge connected to your router but lets you pair seamlessly with a Nest Mini within the Google Home app. Simply ask Google Assistant to turn your Hue lights on/off, dim/brighten the lights, or put on a certain colour or shade of white light.

But it’s not just Philips Hue. Smart lighting rival LIFX also lets you connect without a Bridge – just screw the bulb into the fitting and connect the bulb – which can switch between one trillion different colours as well as a huge range of cool to warm white tones. Like Phillips Hue, all of this can be controlled by the most popular smart assistants, including Google Assistant. Shouting orders to the chatty AI assistant lets you turn the light on or off, change the colour, dim or brighten and switch colours.

Using the Routines feature built into Google Assistant, you can create custom commands that launch a series of different actions – so, you can bark “Hey Google, it’s Christmas” or “Hey Google, Santa is coming” to switch on the tree, set the other smart bulbs in the living room to a warm festive glow, and kickstart your Christmas playlist on any speakers around the home, for example.

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From November 27th through January 6th, Google has added an extra festive treat to Nest users. Those who own a Nest Hello smart doorbell will have the ability to transform their chime with Christmas Ringtones to make the front door even more delightful and welcoming during Christmas.

Google has also added some nifty new tricks to help you stay organised over Christmas. That’s especially if you’re hosting over Christmas, there’s a lot to prep involved. As you remember things you have to do, just add them to a running list of reminders: “Hey Google, remind me to pick up the Christmas pudding” and when you head out for the day, you’ll have the reminder on your phone.

Add to your shopping list with ease. Between presents, cooking, decorating, and more, stay organised with lists. Just say, “Hey Google, create a list called Food Shopping” and the Google Assistant will ask what you want to add. In the Google Home app, you’ll be able to change the default To Do list app, including Google Keep as well as and others.

Not only that, but Google has preloaded its clever disembodied assistant with a huge library of step-by-step guides to help out with some of the most common tasks around Christmas, so when you’re in a rush to get everything done around the house and get stuck on a little detail – like which side the bread plate should be on, you can safely avoid negative comments from the in-laws by asking, “Hey Google, how do you set a table?”

And it’s not just table settings that Google Assistant can calmly talk you through, it’s also on-hand to help out with a plethora of recipes. After all, food is a big focus during Christmas. And with traditional dishes like the Christmas Cake that you only make once a year, you’re often following a recipe. That can be hard to do when your hands are messy and you’re trying to flip a page or scroll on your phone.

Instead, you can use a Nest Hub Max – a device with a screen that lets you ask the Google Assistant questions and have the information read to you.

You can say “Hey Google, find me a Christmas Cake recipe,” and it will list a number of options. From there, make your selection and Hub Max will read the steps out one at a time and show them on the screen. When you’re ready for the next one, just tell it and it will keep going.

From showstopping trees to festive centrepieces, you can also queue-up YouTube videos on Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max for some visual tutorials and inspiration to help to ensure your home feels suitably festive. Just say,“Hey Google, show me how to make a Christmas table centrepiece” and scroll through the list.

And if you’re not using Google Assistant in your home, Amazon has also added a vast list of Christmas-specific instructions and tricks to its rival AI assistant.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Yuletide Greatness!

Need a break from your family?

Want an escape from your job?

Get merry with our podcast!

A new episode is out NOW!

New content!

CLICK HERE to listen to The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker or hear it on Apple Podcasts or directly at

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