Super League star Luke Dorn returns to Maitland in recruiting coup

RECRUITING COUP: Star halfback Luke Dorn has agreed to play with the Maitland Pickers next season after more than 250 games in the British Super League. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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The Maitland Pickers have secured Super League star Luke Dorn for next season with the Castleford Tigers halfback opting to return home after an illustrious career in the UK.

Pickers president Frank Lawler announced the Dorn recruiting coup at the club’s annual ball last night, just hours after receiving confirmation from Dorn by text

Lawler said the club had been in contact with Maitland-born Dorn for the past 18 months and the lure of playing with his hometown club had enabled the Pickers to beat off a number of rival offers.

“Luke has been a star in the UK for a number of years now and has maintained that level of excellence and preparation.

“This is really exciting for the Pickers as we build for next year and the future,” Lawler said.

“I think Luke is excited about returning to where it all started for him.”

Maitland-born Dorn, 33, becamethe highest scoring overseas player in the UK Super League last year with Castleford Tigers.

He has played more than 250 games in the British game andsince he began his overseas stint with the London Broncos in 2005.

Pickers coach Trevor Ott said he had held talks with Dorn over the past 18 months and he was just the type of player the Pickers needed.

Pickers sign Super League star Dorn | PHOTOS Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.

Luke Dorn during his record-breaking career in the UK.


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One Nation’s likely NSW Senator Brian Burston slams the Catholic priest who “destroyed my marriage”

The politician, the Catholic priest and the destroyed marriage Desperate: Brian Burston blames child sex offender priest David O’Hearn for the destruction of his marriage in the early 1990s.
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Secret: Brian Burston with Pauline Hanson in 2007. For decades he kept secret the role of a Catholic priest in his marriage breakdown.

Convicted: Catholic priest David O’Hearn in 1999 after he was punched by a school principal. He has been blamed for the breakdown of Brian Burston’s marriage.

Deception: Catholic paedophile priest Vince Ryan was the subject of rumours of a “relationship” with a woman in the early 1990s.

Notorious: Paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was the subject of a rumoured “relationship” with a single mother within months of arriving in the Hunter in 1949.

TweetFacebook The Catholic priests who used women as a cover for child sexual abuseBRIAN Burston was distraught and desperate in July, 1992 when he wrote a letter about his wife and a priest to one of the Hunter region’s most senior Catholic clergymen.

Pauline Hanson’s future One Nation Senate colleaguehad three young children in 1992, his marriagewas on the rocks and the man he blamed –the now convicted Catholic child sex offender priest David O’Hearn – was unmoved by appeals or anger.

“Through his deliberate deception, Father David O’Hearn has almost certainly put an end to my marriage,” Mr Burston wrote to the then Monsignor Allan Hart, in a letter warning that he “feared for others” becauseO’Hearn’s “words and actions are in totalconflict with the teachings of our faith”.

Mr Burston and his former wife Yvonne now agree O’Hearn used his relationship with her –which was close but not sexual –as a cover for his child sex offending.Hewas just one of a number of Hunter paedophile priests, including Vince Ryan and Denis McAlinden, who used very public friendships with women to hide their crimes.

“He was totally and absolutely responsible for our marriage break-up and it’s weighed heavily on me ever since,” said Mr Burston, who first contacted the Newcastle Herald in 2008 after O’Hearn was stood down over child sex allegations, to detail hiswarnings to Maitland-Newcastle diocese in the early 1990s about O’Hearn’s abuse of power over vulnerable people.

In 2008 Mr Burston believed the priest had an affair with his wife –despite her strong denials of a sexual relationship –but now accepts O’Hearn’s ostentatious gifts, regular theatre trips, dinnersand lunches, lengthy phone calls and visits withYvonne Burston were a convenient and cynical public cover for his offending.

The priest’sgrooming of Yvonne Burstonand the diocese’s failure to act can only now be revealed after O’Hearn was found guilty of a final series of child sexual offences in May, and a judge lifted a non-publication order seven years after O’Hearn was first charged. A sentencing hearing is set down for next week.

“I’m delighted he’s been convicted and that there’s finally relief for his victims,” Mr Burston said.

“I hope he gets a very extended time in jail.”

O’Hearn was 33 when he first met Yvonne Burston, 38, after O’Hearn was placed in Cessnock parish in 1990 with another priest who would go on to be convicted of child sex offences, Vince Ryan.

Mr Burston said he and O’Hearn were initially“the best of mates”.

“He was a very charismatic guy. He was happy, jovial, youthful and fun,” Mr Burston said.

O’Hearn enlisted Mrs Burston, a designer, tohelp with controversial renovations to St Joseph’s Church at Cessnock overseen by Vince Ryan. The controversy was serious enough that it included newspaper articles in which Ryan said he could “feel the hatred” from the community, and others noting graffiti and posters about Ryan’s rumoured relationship with a local woman.

Only five years later Ryan was charged with sexually abusing boys as young as five over the previous two decades, and was eventually convicted of sexually abusing more than 30 young boys.

By September 1991, after O’Hearn was abruptly transferred to Windale, Mr Burston and his wife were regularly arguing about O’Hearn’s gifts, calls and visits. By December 1991 Mr Burston confronted the priest.

“I went down to Windale and said to him ‘This isn’t on. Leave my wife alone’. He said he hadn’t done anything to be ashamed of. He was patronising and aloof. I remember him saying ‘How dare you challenge me?’ I just put him straight.

“I said to him ‘If you weren’t a priestI’d probably biff you by now’. They use the priesthood as a cloak, a protection. They think they’re untouchable.”

Mr Burston said he was pleased, and felt sympathy, when Catholic school principal Mike Stanwell punched O’Hearn in 1999 after a series of clashes between the two men, and before Mr Stanwell was aware of child sex allegations involving the priest.

Mr Stanwell described O’Hearn as a “very manipulative man who’s able to woo peoplewith his personality”. Mr Burston said O’Hearn “invites provocation”.

“I’d be tempted to thump him if I saw him today,” Mr Burston said.

By February 1992 Brian and Yvonne Burston separated. Two months later O’Hearn ceased contact with Mrs Burston. Brian Burston said the priest “effectively left us to self-destruct”.

In another heated meeting between Mr Burston and O’Hearn in April 1992, Mr Burston said his estranged wife was extremely upset and “totally disillusioned” byO’Hearn’s actions, and had stopped going to church.

In his letter to Monsignor Hart in July 1992 Mr Burston quoted O’Hearn saying: “Maybe she needs to go down to the depths of despair. She might be a better person for it, provided she is re-built correctly.”

Yvonne Burston said she felt used by O’Hearn.

“He was a malicious person. I never saw one hint what this guy was up to but I’m glad to see he got his comeuppance. It shows we should look deeper than the collar,” she said.

In a diary entry written in 1992 Mrs Burston wrote about how the priest “sought her out” at church functions in front of people, which caused comment. In their final conversation O’Hearn told herhe was “very busy and didn’t have time for personal relationships”.

“I was dismissed,” Mrs Burston wrote. She orderedO’Hearn to leave her house.

She wrote that less than an hour later, and to her horror, Monsignor Hart arrived.

“Father Hart wasn’t interested in the effect all this had on me or my family. It was just ‘David, David, David. How do we save his vocation’?” Mrs Burston wrote.

O’Hearn was convicted of more than 40 offences against six boys from as young as nine at different Hunter locations in the 1980s and 1990s. Thisfolloweda legal process over seven years that included a series of appeals by O’Hearn, including an attempted appeal to the High Court. He denied all charges. His record as a priest shows frequent transfers within the region.

Mr Burston said although he was completely unaware of O’Hearn’s offending in the early 1990s, the frequent transfers showed the diocese was aware of significant problems involving O’Hearn.

In his 1992 letter to Monsignor Hart, Mr Burston called O’Hearn a liar who breached the trust between priest and parishioner, and whose “deceit and dishonesty has had a disastrous effect on any possible reconciliation” between himself and his wife.

In 2014 the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry found Monsignor Hart hadgiven “misleading” evidence in relation to his “central role” in the diocese’s handling of allegations against notorious child sex offender priest Denis McAlinden inthe early 1990s.

Mr Burston said he hoped O’Hearn’s victims received“quite substantial compensation” from the Catholic Church. He was angry victims were forced to endure years of anguish because of O’Hearn’s complete denial of his crimes.

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Pokemon Go mania takes over Canberra

Hundreds of Pokemon Go fans descended on the city on Sunday. Photo: Katie Burgess Reload Bar is banking on the success of Pokemon Go by planting lures and offering themed events, including a Pokepartybus.Front Center, Owners Ravi Sharma and Jim Andrews. Photo: Jamila Toderas
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Pokemania has taken over Canberra.

Hundreds of Pokemon Go fans descended on the city on Sunday in one of the ACT’s biggest gatherings of players.

Players walked through the city to catch characters, visiting Canberra landmarks such as the Legislative Assembly, Glebe Park and Garema Place in a sign the ACT has not been immune from the Pokemon Go craze sweeping Australian and the rest of the world.

Mitchell McInnes, who runs a popular Pokemon Go Canberra facebook page, estimated more than 400 people turned out for Sunday’s gathering.

He said it attracted a diverse group of people, from young families to players in their 30s and even older.

“You’ve got people who grew up in the 1990s with Pokemon and they’re now in their 20s and 30s and this is now a more accessible means to access the game with [smartphones]. It’s every 12-year-old’s dream to be playing this,” he said. There are hundreds of people catching Pokemon outside the Legislative Assembly right now pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/5tnAaUjMZn— Katie Burgess (@katie_b_burgess) July 17, 2016Surely it’s a hazard with so many people walking around Canberra with their heads down! @canberratimespic.twitter上海龙凤419m/YNUbzaLwh1— Katie Burgess (@katie_b_burgess) July 17, 2016

“When I heard about the game, I thought it would be alright and be around for a week, but looking at how many people are playing and how big it has got, it’s just phenomenal.” They just keep coming! That’s a whole conga line of Pokemon Go players snaking through Canberra’s Glebe Park pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/BqytEDKWXL— Katie Burgess (@katie_b_burgess) July 17, 2016

The app, which now has more daily active users than Twitter, shot to the top of the charts for Apple’s free apps and has cracked 5 million downloads on Google’s Play store – and it’s clear it’s taken off in Canberra too. Canberra has already played host to a number of Pokemon Go related adventures such a PokeParty Bus tour over the weekend. For those who may have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, Pokemon Go is a free-to-play augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices that requires players to traipse around the real world in order to catch Pokemon.

Mr McInnes predicted Canberra’s obsession with Pokemon Go isn’t about to disappear any time soon, with a number of other events on the cards, including a singles night called Pokeo and Juliemon at Reload Bar for over-18s on Friday night.

The Pokemania has prompted a number of warnings from authorities in Canberra, with Pokemon trainers being warned to stay away from school playgrounds with students returning to the classroom this week. Even ACT Policing weighed in.

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NRL 2016: Jarrod Mullen kicking on in impressive Newcastle Knights comeback

COMEBACK: Jarrod Mullen takes on the Storm defence. The five-eighth impressed in his return game after 10 weeks out. Picture: Getty ImagesJARROD Mullen showed why he was sorely missed and Jake Mamo gave Nathan Brown another option with a man-of-the-match performance in the 20-16 loss to the Melbourne Storm at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
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Thrust back in to the action for the first time since ANZAC day, Mullenproduced a five-star kicking game and didn’t miss a beat.

He delivered a pinpoint bomb for Jake Mamo to score in the dying stages,continually found space and turned the Storm pack around with kicks.

“I thought he had some really good stuff,” Brown said. “The thing we have mainly focused on has been his commitment and kick chase and his kicking game. I thought his kicking game was very good and hiscommitment and kick chase were good. When he gets that part right, off the back of it, he has some classy touches. He has that nice long left-to-right pass. It was is first game with Sione [playing on the right edge]and you could see some good things there that will develop overtime.”

Mullen had surgery to reattach his hamstring tendon and missed tengames. Although he didn’t take the ball to the line often on Sunday, the 29-year-old didn’t appear restricted.

“Before he got hurt his kicking game and kick-chase game were really good,” Brown said. “We just want him to do that initially and once he gets a flow of games, then he can build. We know he has a nice combination with Gags. With Sione playing well in the back row we would like him develop combinations with thoseguys. In the short-term it’s more about competing and kicking the ball well.”

Brown also expects Chris Adams to be better for his first game in the NRL in four years. Signed from Lakes United three weeks ago, Adams was a late inclusion on the bench and played 20 minutes.

“His first seven or eight minutes were rusty, then his next 10 minutes really improved,” Brown said. “Next week he will improve again.”

Mamo was also a late switch. Named on the wing, the speed machine moved to fullback to cover the loss of Dane Gagai. Fullback is the 22-year-old preferred position and he pushed his claims to stay there with twotries.

“I thought Jake Mamo played a pretty composed game,” Brown said. “We have mixed and matched numbers of things this year. We have done that deliberately so we can get our roster right long tern.”

There was conjecture over Mamo’s first four-pointer after heran a line on the inside of Mitch Barnett to collect a Trent Hodkinson pass. Storm captain Cameron Smith appealed for an obstruction but the bunker went in favour of home side.

Smith maintained hisview after the match.

“They said that Cooper made a bad defensive read, we’ve been told that those sweep runners out the back can’t receive the ball inside those punch runners or block runners,” he said.

Brown had no doubts it was a fair try.

“It is Cooper’s decision. If he doesn’t run to Barny there is no space.”

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Roxy Jacenko’s one regret after breast cancer diagnosis

Roxy Jacenko urges all women to “be vigilant with self-examination” after her breast cancer diagnosis. Photo: Don ArnoldSydney PR queen Roxy Jacenko is no stranger to headlines of late, but her breast cancer diagnosis has come as a shock.
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At 36 and a mother of two young children, Pixie, 4, and Hunter, 2, Jacenko believed she was an unlikely candidate, despite being in the at-risk category following her mother Doreen Davis’ mastectomy a decade ago for the same disease.

The Sweaty Betty publicist says she regrets not being more pro-active and urges all women to “be vigilant with self-examination”.

“Don’t just happen to be showering and come across a lump like I did,” she told Fairfax Media.

“I should have known better and I should have done routine mammograms knowing that my mum had suffered from breast cancer – but I didn’t, I just thought, ‘I’ll worry about that when I am 40 plus’.

“Even when you think, ‘that will never happen to me,’ one day you could wake up to start the day and it will – just like me.”

Jacenko underwent an MRI on Tuesday and a second core-needle biopsy (a test to remove tissue or fluid from the suspicious area) on Wednesday. She was due to meet a specialist on Friday to discuss the next steps with regards to surgery and treatment.

The businesswoman, who is known for her strong work ethic, even tending to calls and emails just hours after giving birth to both children, says it will be business as usual for the time being.

“As to slowing down, make no mistake, if I felt unwell, I would, as one cannot get better if they don’t rest and take things slower, but I don’t feel unwell,” she said.

“Now is about finding out how to tackle the cancer, and until treatment starts, I will be going about life as normal and then assess what I can and what I can’t manage as, and when it happens.”

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia, with an estimated 15,934 women and 150 men expected to be diagnosed this year.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia​ Aranda, said the disease does not discriminate.

“Those most at risk of breast cancer are women who have breasts,” she said.

Jacenko discovered the lump on her left breast two weeks ago, eight days after her husband Oliver Curtis, 30, was sent to prison for two years for conspiracy to commit insider trading.

“The timing is extraordinary,” she told News Corp.

Meanwhile, Curtis’ legal team has filed an application to have his conviction overturned. It will be mentioned in the Court of Criminal Appeal on July 21.

What to look for when checking your breasts:A lump, lumpiness or thickening.Changes to the nipple, such as a change in shape, crusting, a sore or an ulcer, redness, unusual discharge, or a nipple that turns in (inverted) when it used to stick out.Changes to the skin of the breast, such as dimpling of the skin, unusual redness or other colour changes.Increase or decrease in the size of the breast.A change to the shape of the breast.Swelling or discomfort in the armpit.Persistent, unusual pain that is not related to your normal monthly menstrual cycle, remains after a period and occurs in one breast only.

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2015 Australian Open: Former world No. 1s to clash in second round

Australian Open 2015: full coverageLive tennis scoresTake our tennis quiz
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Two former world No. 1s will face off in a tantalising second round clash on Thursday, after Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozinacki both won their opening matches of the 2015 Australian Open.

Last year’s Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova also won, but only after given a significant scare by Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.

Two-time champion Azarenka progressed swiftly, defeating American Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-2.

The Belarussian and former world No.1 accounted for her opponent in just 75 minutes on Hisense Arena, in what was a re-match of their controversial 2013 semi-final at the event.

The world No. 44 was pleased with her first up showing.

“I felt pretty good,” Azarenka told media post match.

“I think from the beginning I started to be pretty focused and just maintained that intensity. So that was a good opportunity to just really at the beginning take my chances because she’s the kind of player that likes to take her chances. There is still a lot to build from here

Having endured a horror 2014, and not shielded by a seeding, she is now confronted by Denmark’s Wozniacki, seeded 8th, after she escpaed from a tight first set against young American firebrand Taylor Townsend to win 7-6 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena.

11th seeded Czech Cibulkova had to come from a set down, before running away from Flipkens to win 3-6 6-3 6-1 on show court three. She will now face Tsvetana Pironkova on Thursday, after the Bulgarian eased past Briton Heather Watson 6-4 6-0.

The seeded women playing on Tuesday largely made safe passage through to the last 64.

Fourth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova made light work of Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp, rquiring merely 63 minutes to win 6-1 6-4 on Hissense Arena.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain, and Alize Cornet of France, seeded 24th and 19th respectively, both progressed to the second round after comfortable wins early, while Barbora Zhalova Strycova, the 25th seed from the Czech Republic joined them with a straight sets triumph not long after.

The biggest name casualties were German Andrea Petkovic and former world no. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. Petkovic fell despite taking the first set againt American Madison Brengle, with the 13th seed defeated 5-7 7-6 6-43 in 2hr 22mins. 15th seeded Jankovic joined Petkovic on the scrapheap in ignominiousl fashion, downed by Switzerland’s Timea Bascinszy 6-1 6-4 on court 13.

Big names Serena Williams, sister Venus, and Agnieszka Radwanska are also on Tuesday’s card.

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Why Will Genia thinks 2015 will be better for the Reds

Will Genia is happy to be just another number at the Queensland Reds in 2015.
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The Reds halfback will not have the vice-captain tag next to his name in 2015 but that won’t matter to him at all.

“I’ll still be driving standards and still be conducting the play with the likes of Quade (Cooper) and James (Horwill) as well,” he said.

“Those guys who are in that position have committed to the club for another two or three years now and I think they can have certainty around the future with those guys in place.”

With James O’Connor and Karmichael Hunt coming into the squad, a fit Chris Feauia-Sautia and the development of Samu Kerevi, the Reds back line will share plenty more of the load than in the past.

Genia said the prospect of greater depth in the backline, where much of the responsibility has been left to himself and mercurial playmaker Quade Cooper, was a welcome change.

“The way we want to play is a little bit different to the way we’ve played the last four or five years, it gives more responsibility to everyone else as opposed to myself and Quade,” he said.

“In the past, opposition teams have shut down the nine and 10 and more often than that you shut down the game, so now that we have more threats across the park and guys who attract attention it’ll only be good things for the guys.”

“That takes pressure off in the sense that we can just do our thing and sit back and play how we normally play rather than trying to control everything.”

Genia is one who has grown up within the Reds walls, having come to the club out of school in 2007 and now in his ninth season, preparing for the birth of his first child in the coming weeks.

“It’s a very different feeling now that I’m older, I mean I’m 27 now and about to have a kid,” he said.

“I’ve been here since I was 18. My life’s been here.”

Genia said he had noticed a marked change in his former Walabies teammate, O’Connor, who recently admitted he was on his last chance in Australian rugby.

“He’s come back a lot more mature and a little bit more humble,” he said.

“He’s more quiet, he sits back and listens as opposed to being the loudest person in the room.”

The Reds play their first trial game on January 31 against the Melbourne Rebels in Cairns.

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Anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s tour in jeopardy after every venue pulls out of hosting her seminars

US anti-vacciniation campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s Australian tour is in jeopardy after every venue cancelled her appearance. Photo: Facebook US anti-vacciniation campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s Australian tour is in jeopardy after every venue cancelled her appearance. Photo: Facebook
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US anti-vacciniation campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s Australian tour is in jeopardy after every venue cancelled her appearance. Photo: Facebook

US anti-vacciniation campaigner Sherri Tenpenny’s Australian tour is in jeopardy after every venue cancelled her appearance. Photo: Facebook

A high-profile anti-vaccination campaigner’s tour of Australia is in jeopardy after every venue booked to host her controversial seminars pulled out.

Sherri Tenpenny, an American osteopath who says vaccines are not safe and effective for children and that they are linked to conditions including autism, was booked to speak at 11 venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide in February and March.

According to the organisers of her “Birth Baby and Beyond” and “Raising Healthy Children Naturally” talks, hundreds of tickets have been sold for up to $200 each.

But after a pro-vaccination group’s campaign to stop the tour, all of the venues have cancelled.

An organiser of the events and anti-vaccination campaigner, Stephanie Messenger, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

However, a note on the website selling tickets for the events says the venues cancelled due to “bullying by vested interests who do not believe in informed consent, free speech and respect for other’s rights, and who appear to support censorship of thought and science”.

Melbourne surgeon and spokesman for Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network, John Cunningham, said the cancellations were a “testament to corporate ethics”.

“Ethically, the public deserve more, and demand the truth, and the truth is simply that vaccinations are safe, effective, and save lives,” he said.

Dr Cunningham had called on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton not to allow Dr Tenpenny into Australia because she posed a threat to public health and safety. But the minister has not commented on whether he would use his powers to ban her entry.

Dr Tenpenny, the author of Saying No to Vaccines, was expected to be joined by Australian homeopath Isaac Golden, who promotes the use of natural products to prevent infectious diseases.

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Coronation Street actress Katie Redford sacked after lying about her age

Sacked actress Katie Redford was due to join the Coronation Street cast as Sarah-Louise Platt’s daughter Bethany. Photo: Facebook Sacked actress Katie Redford was due to join the Coronation Street cast as Sarah-Louise Platt’s daughter Bethany. Photo: Facebook
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Sacked actress Katie Redford was due to join the Coronation Street cast as Sarah-Louise Platt’s daughter Bethany. Photo: Facebook

Sacked actress Katie Redford was due to join the Coronation Street cast as Sarah-Louise Platt’s daughter Bethany. Photo: Facebook

Soap operas aren’t known for being very realistic, but for British series Coronation Street casting a 25-year-old to play a 14-year-old was one step too far.

Actress Katie Redford was fired from the long running soap opera this week after it was revealed she had lied to producers about being 19.

Fans reportedly discovered the actress’s real age just days after UK television network ITV announced Redford would play the role of Bethany Platt, a rebellious 14-year-old returning to Coronation Street.

At age 25, Redford is only two years younger than her Coronation Street mother Sarah-Louise Platt, played by Tina O’Brien.

Public records and a former online CV listed Redford’s date of birth as March 2, 1989. Her Twitter username was also changed from ‘katieredford89’ to ‘katieredfordtlc’.

Redford’s agent Jo McLintock told The Daily Mail that the actress was upset by the decision.

“We were at fault as we let her go in there without the producers knowing her age,” McLintock said.

“She is being re-cast and casting was adamant that they would not be using us again unfortunately.

“She is a brilliant young actress and very talented. We ill-advised her, but she just went in there and acted much younger than her age.

Fans and at least one former co-worker took to Twitter to offer Redford support. Appalled @ the sacking of @Katieredfordtlc. Shame on you @ITV. If her real age really mattered, u should have asked for ID @ the casting.1/2 — Chiara Wilde (@chia_ra_ra) January 19, 2015

Redford gained acting experience with London-based charity program National Youth Theatre. Her role in the 2013 film Pitfall saw her nominated for best actress at The Underwire Film Festival.

The character Bethany left Coronation Street in 2007 when her mother moved to Milan to work with Gail Platt’s half brother.

Meanwhile Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride – who played the part of Deirdre Barlow – has died.

Kirkbride, 60, who starred in the long-running British soap for 44 years, died in a Manchester hospital after a short illness.

A statement on the ITV website said her husband David Beckett and the program’s cast and crew are “heartbroken and deeply saddened”.

Executive producer Kieran Roberts said: “There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne’s passing.

“She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her.”


– with PA  

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India’s media take aim at David Warner over Rohit Sharma bust-up

The fallout from David Warner’s ill-conceived run-in with Rohit Sharma on Sunday has continued with India’s media lining up to take aim at the explosive opener.
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Wisden India’s deputy editor R Kaushik didn’t mince his words in criticising Warner’s track record of unsavoury behaviour both on and off the field.

“David Warner is also the perfect example of a man fighting for all the wrong causes, however strong his conviction might be that he is doing the right thing,” Kaushik wrote.

“He doesn’t suffer from white line fever so much as define it. One day, it will come back to bite him very badly where it hurts.

“In a roundabout manner, Warner did concede he was in the wrong, but in an interview to a radio station, he harped more on the fact that Rohit spoke in Hindi than about his own confrontational approach to a presumed breach of the spirit of cricket that actually didn’t even happen.”

The “presumed breach” in question was Sharma picking up overthrows from Warner’s shy at the stumps which Warner believed deflected off Sharma’s pads. TV replays later showed that the ball did not touch Sharma’s body or bat.

Kaushik also had Australian coach Darren Lehmann’s “hard but fair” mantra in his sights.

“Australia have made ‘playing hard but fair’ one of the most laughable cliches in the cricket world,” Kaushik wrote.

“By their estimation, everything they do is ‘hard but fair’, but everything the opposition does is unfair.

“They call it the Australian way, and forever it would seem, they have gotten away with it.

“If the ICC does confirm the fine Warner says he has been slapped with [50 percent of his match fee], it won’t be a moment too soon because for too long now, Australia have stretched the boundaries of acceptable behaviour without paying a commensurate price.”

Amitoj Singh, a writer for New Delhi Television Limited, also weighed in on the debate describing Warner as a “serial offender, aggressive, unapologetic and controversy’s favourite child”.

However, Singh contends that Cricket Australia officials aren’t really bothered by all of that as long as Warner, who has hit four international tons this summer, keeps producing the goods.

“The Australians seem to have cracked the Warner code,” Singh wrote.

“James Sutherland, Cricket Australia CEO, may tell the reporters, ‘I have told Warner he needs to stop looking for trouble’. However, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that what’s really being told to Warner in the dressing room is, ‘Go out there and be yourself’, because the think tank knows what’s needed to ignite the pocket dynamo.”

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