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Revealed: How Covid Has Made The UK’s Bitter Housing Crisis Even Worse



Covid has made Britain’s desperate housing crisis worse, with the pandemic fuelling a sharp rise in the number of homeless people living in temporary accommodation, HuffPost UK can reveal.

Our investigation has identified the shocking rate at which homelessness increased in the early months of the virus outbreak – and looks set to spiral further as the chaos and economic hardship inflicted by coronavirus continues to affect families across the country. 

We can exclusively reveal:

  • The number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in England (98,300) is now at its highest level since 2005 – and includes 62,700 families with children.
  • The total figure soared by 6,110 households – or 7% – in just three months between March and June this year, according to government figures.
  • The government says this is largely due to the national drive to move rough sleepers off the streets during the first wave of the pandemic, but homeless charities fear the upward trend will continue as more families are at risk of losing their homes now the government’s Covid-19 amnesty on evictions has been lifted.
  • The number of private renters in arrears reached 442,000 adults in July – double the same period last year, according to the charity Shelter.
  • Meanwhile, the government has still failed to fund 60,000 “shovel-ready” schemes to build houses in the capital, despite asking councils for details of them at the height of the pandemic.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “People should be as shocked by the housing situation in the UK as they are by the healthcare system in America. There is no safety net for people and that’s why people are forced to live in these vulnerable circumstances – and that is a choice we are making.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter

The revelations come after HuffPost UK’s investigation on Monday shone a spotlight on how the crisis is affecting homeless families, including some who are consigned to live in rooms the size of one or two parking spaces for months on end. 

A heavy burden is also being placed on councils.

Government data published in October show local authorities in England spent almost £1.2bn on temporary housing for homeless people in 2019/20, with 87% of the cash spent with private landlords, lettings agents or companies – or £1bn. 

The total spend is a jump of 9% compared to the previous year, and a rise of 55% over the last five years.

While London boroughs are by far the worst affected by the crisis, Birmingham, Manchester, Luton, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Coventry are all among the top 25 areas in England with the highest numbers of homeless households, according to the government data we analysed.

Levels of homelessness also soared in other parts of the UK.

The number of homeless households in temporary accommodation in Scotland (14,229 in September) has risen by 22% since March. Wales saw a huge increase of 53%, from 2,324 in March to 3,566 in August this year. The most recent figures for Northern Ireland from 2017/18 show 3,354 households were affected.

The damning findings have led to urgent calls for the government to build the affordable homes families on low incomes desperately need.

Council leaders told HuffPost UK spending £1bn with private landlords was “completely illogical” and had done nothing to alleviate the growing crisis.

“It’s very sad that we now effectively see a market in temporary accommodation,” said Rebecca Rennison, cabinet member for housing at Hackney Council. “That shouldn’t exist. We shouldn’t have that number of households homeless.”

‘Exceptional returns’ on housing the homeless  

Finefair lettings agency works with councils in London to accommodate homeless households

Finefair lettings agency works with councils in London to accommodate homeless households

HuffPost UK has found evidence that the housing crisis is driving demand for property owners to convert rental flats and houses into the type of one-room bedsit accommodation used by many councils to house homeless people – and sometimes, as we revealed this week, even whole families. 

One major operator in the sector, Finefair Ltd – a lettings agency working with councils in London to accommodate homeless households – advertises how lucrative converting properties can be.

The company’s website promises home owners “exceptional returns” by turning their properties into HMOs (houses of multiple occupation) and hostels. 

The firm’s annual report in 2019 also highlights how the increase of homelessness year on year is driving demand for this type of housing. The company made £1.8m in profit in 2018-2019 on revenue of £22m.  

We approached Kamran Naseem, founder and managing director of Finefair, for comment. In response, a spokesperson said: “We provide much needed accommodation which meets the required standards, and operate within guidelines in respect of rent charges set out by the local authority.”

The families living in one room  

Jankhana and her family (left) lived in one room, sharing a kitchen and bathroom, in a building in Plaistow. Pictured (right)

Jankhana and her family (left) lived in one room, sharing a kitchen and bathroom, in a building in Plaistow. Pictured (right) is the kitchenette in the room.

HuffPost UK on Monday revealed the difficulties faced by homeless families living in one-room accommodation with shared kitchens and bathrooms. We reported on conditions for two families in the capital who were crammed into rooms the size of one or two parking spaces. Both had seen cockroaches and one had problems with mice.

Finefair Ltd was the agent renting out one of these properties – a loft conversion in Ilford, east London, where a mother and her two-year-old daughter had been placed by Hackney Council.

Finefair and the owners of the property, former City lawyer Uzma Naseem and tax adviser Abid Karim, told HuffPost UK all the rooms met space standards set by the government and said any complaints of pest infestation were responded to within 24 hours.

A mother and her two-year-old daughter lived in this loft room (left) at a house in Ilford. Pictured (right) are two cockroac

A mother and her two-year-old daughter lived in this loft room (left) at a house in Ilford. Pictured (right) are two cockroaches that were found in the property.

The other property we reported on, a block of homeless housing in Plaistow in east London, was used by Newham Council to house a family of four who lived in one room, sharing a kitchen and bathroom with two other residents.

According to Land Registry records the block is owned by Eve Investments Ltd, an offshore company registered in Jersey.

It was not possible for HuffPost UK to establish the identity of the company’s owner because this information is not made public in Jersey.

The Jersey-based agents for Eve Investments Ltd did not comment when contacted by HuffPost UK.

The property is managed and operated, through a leasehold agreement, by Elan Management Solutions Ltd – a UK company owned by the property developer and human rights activist Edwin Shuker. 

Elan Management Solutions Ltd told HuffPost UK: “Our building provides local authorities with emergency and temporary accommodation to people who find themselves in a wide range of incredibly difficult circumstances. Our facilities are set up to provide safe shelter for a few days or weeks, rather than as a long-term housing solution.” 

The company added: “Operating in this sector is, unfortunately, far from easy. The circumstances that lead to our residents’ arrival at our door are rarely happy and frequently heartbreaking. Our dedicated team of local staff provide and maintain a safe and secure environment for our residents, including staff being on site 24/7 and a large garden for use by the residents.”

Occasional incidents of pest control or malfunctions in heating are dealt with as speedily as possible by an in-house maintenance team or rapid response contractors, the company said, adding that it takes its responsibilities “incredibly seriously”.

“This is a highly regulated industry and we always strive not only to comply with all the regulations but to deal with each resident client with respect and dignity,” Elan said.

Elan said that according to its last set of accounts its profit was £30,061.

Both Finefair and Elan Management Solutions said they played no role in selecting or allocating who is placed into the buildings, which is the sole remit of the local authority. 

In the case of the family housed in the Elan property, we understand that when the local authority made the booking it was to place a mother and her two children in the room. The family later made it clear to the council the children’s father would also be living there. Elan says the booking was made for three occupants and it was unclear how the council had ended up allocating four people there.

Priced out: not enough affordable rental homes

A high street in Newham. The east London borough has the highest number of households living in temporary accommodation in th

A high street in Newham. The east London borough has the highest number of households living in temporary accommodation in the country.

Local authorities are required by law to offer temporary accommodation to homeless households.

While this type of accommodation is designed to be short-term, the unaffordability of more stable housing for thousands of the country’s poorest families means they can end up living there for months or even years.

There is no legal limit to how long councils can place households in temporary accommodation before offering them more suitable homes.

The councils HuffPost UK spoke to said they faced an “impossible task” in trying to house rising numbers of homeless people when there is not enough affordable rental accommodation.

Newham and Hackney, the councils who placed the two families HuffPost UK reported on, are the areas of England with the highest and second highest numbers of homeless households living in temporary accommodation.

Rennison said soaring house prices and rising rents had left Hackney Council effectively operating as a landlord to thousands of homeless households priced out of the rental sector.

“We’ve got over 3,000 households in temporary accommodation and it’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s not temporary any more – families and households will often stay until they get a permanent home. 

“We keep pursuing every avenue, trying to identify every opportunity – everything from our own social house-building programme to campaigns we do to identify properties people might be able to afford in the private sector and move out to. But the whole system is broken.”

The Labour councillor said placing families into temporary accommodation for long periods of time could have very damaging effects, particularly on children.

“It’s a choice no council wants to make,” she said. “And all we can do is continue to work and try and improve the quality of what we have. But it is heartbreaking. Children are growing up in cramped accommodation.”

Rennison called on the government to invest in social housing and acknowledge that incomes have not kept track with soaring rental prices. “Remove the benefits cap and actually give people on low incomes a chance of finding a property in the private rented sector,” she said.

60,000 ‘shovel-ready’ housing schemes

Darren Rodwell

Darren Rodwell

Darren Rodwell, deputy chair of housing for London Councils – a body that represents all councils in the capital – echoed calls for investment in new affordable homes.

He told HuffPost UK the government had asked local authorities at the height of the pandemic if they had any “shovel-ready schemes” to deliver housing and infrastructure projects. London councils had identified 60,000 housing schemes, asking for cash to get them off the ground.

Yet London was not awarded a penny to build any new homes, instead receiving what Rodwell described as the “meagre” amount of £22m for other building projects.

He called on the government to make money available to fund the housing schemes, saying: “It would help the economy and it would help the housing crisis.”

“The prime minister’s line is that we should ‘build, build, build’. Well to ‘build, build, build’ you need the investment,” he said.

The government said the projects supported nationwide by the scheme – the £900m Getting Building Fund – are projected to deliver 64,000 homes, albeit none of them in the capital.

Rodwell, who is also a Labour councillor and leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, admitted the pressure on local authorities and a lack of properties to place people into did sometimes result in families living in accommodation that did not fit their needs.

“The problem is we don’t have properties to give to people,” he said. “They’re not there. We can’t move people to something that’s not there.

“People have got to understand how big a problem it is.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson visits a construction site in Warrington in August. The government has been slammed for failing

Prime minister Boris Johnson visits a construction site in Warrington in August. The government has been slammed for failing to fund 60,000 housing schemes in the capital

Councils are also braced for a further escalation in homelessness following the lifting, on September 20, of the government’s temporary ban on evictions due to the pandemic.

As yet the true impact of this change is unknown as landlords have to give tenants six months’ notice if they wish to evict them under the Covid-19 temporary rules. So the fallout will not become apparent until March next year.

“We don’t know how many families will be kicked out of properties because they may have lost their job through no fault of their own,” said Rodwell.

But Barking and Dagenham is anticipating up to 40% of working-age people in the borough potentially being unemployed once the furlough scheme finishes, he said.

Newham Council told HuffPost UK it has worked “tirelessly” during the pandemic to ensure everyone was in safe housing, including moving 400 families – such as Jankhana’s, who featured in our first story – into self-contained homes.

Newham says it no longer places families into rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms unless there is no other option.

The council said the Covid-19 pandemic had “disproportionately impacted” the borough, with more than 27,000 additional people needing to claim benefits and almost 17,000 on furlough. 

“The government must do more to help local authorities meet the costs of supporting residents through the crisis,” a spokesperson said.

Gentrification: the problem is spreading to other cities 

A residential street in Birmingham. The city has the third highest number of homeless households living in temporary accommod

A residential street in Birmingham. The city has the third highest number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in the country.

The crisis is not only affecting London. Other cities are also reporting substantial numbers of homeless families now living in temporary accommodation, according to government data.

Birmingham has the third highest number – 3,291 households as of June 2020 – and Manchester the ninth, with 2,313. The rest of the top 10 are London boroughs, but Luton, Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Coventry all have hundreds of households affected.

Jane Williams is the founder and CEO of The Magpie Project, a charity in Newham supporting mums and under-fives living in temporary accommodation.

“I think in larger cities it’s definitely an issue because of the way the housing market works,” she said. “As Manchester house prices go up and as the market evolves, and places get gentrified, then you will see the same thing happening.”

She said the crisis would worsen over the next six months: “I think unless there’s something extraordinary done, I can’t see how it wouldn’t.”

Mums at a drop-in session at The Magpie Project, which works to support families with children under five living in temporary

Mums at a drop-in session at The Magpie Project, which works to support families with children under five living in temporary accommodation

The Magpie Project supports about 170 homeless mums at any given time by providing a drop-in centre, food parcels, and access to legal and immigration advice. Williams says in their experience only about 20% live in temporary housing that is of adequate quality.

“The rest have issues,” she said. “And I think what’s really shocking is, when I set up the project three years ago, I thought these issues were when things had gone wrong. I thought these issues were odd cases where the system had broken down. But the creeping realisation came about that, no, this is the system.

“This is the system working.”

She said local authority housing teams are at “the mercy” of large private landlords because they’re competing with other councils to place families within homes that are available. 

Speaking about the conditions families can face, she said: “What we tend to see is one room around the size of a parking space for a mother and child. Not necessarily any windows, or [there are] broken windows, poor heating, infestations, severe overcrowding, sharing bathrooms and kitchens.

“You can’t imagine ever being able to bring up a child in these circumstances.”

‘The government is ignoring this crisis’

Two rough sleepers drag a mattress down the road in London's Mayfair in November

Two rough sleepers drag a mattress down the road in London’s Mayfair in November

While councils and charities are braced for the numbers of new homeless households needing temporary accommodation to continue rising as the impact of the pandemic deepens, Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said the issue has been completely absent from the government’s policy agenda.

“I get really het-up about this because it’s completely ignored in the discourse about homelessness,” she said. “So the government keeps talking about ending homelessness, but what they mean by that is rough sleeping. It’s not to say rough sleeping isn’t important, but it means these families just get completely ignored in the political discourse about homelessness.”

For context, government figures show 14,610 rough sleepers were housed during lockdown. That compares to 98,300 households in temporary accommodation, enough to fill a large UK city.

Neate said Shelter works with homeless families living in temporary accommodation “all the time” and emphasised many of them are in work.

She accused the government of doing nothing to help low-income families priced out of the private rental sector who cannot afford to buy shared ownership properties or first homes, and who make up a substantial proportion of those now living in temporary homeless housing.

“Usually the government talks as though the housing crisis is rough sleeping at one end and people wanting to own their own homes at the other end,” she said. “The housing crisis is actually in the middle of that. The housing crisis is the fact that there is not any properly affordable housing. And are they dealing with that? No, they’re not.”

She condemned the current system, saying:  “We are pouring taxpayers’ money into the pockets of private landlords instead of investing taxpayers’ money to build housing that people on low incomes can actually live in. It’s kind of the biggest nonsense that nobody really knows about.

We’ve got to acknowledge the real choices we are making. By not building social housing we are choosing this situation and we need to own up to that.”

The government, however, defended its position.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said it had spent £700m this year to tackle homelessness – a figure less than the £1.2bn spent on temporary accommodation by councils in 2019/20.

The department did not dispute the rising numbers of people in temporary accommodation, but did say the number of families with children living in temporary accommodation in England had fallen slightly by 270 from March to June this year – from 62,970 to 62,700. 

MHCLG told HuffPost UK the overall rise in figures was likely due to the “Everyone In” programme to house rough sleepers during the pandemic having resulted in more individuals living in temporary housing organised by councils. 

The government also announced a further £15m funding last month targeted at areas with the highest numbers of rough sleepers. 

But the council leaders HuffPost UK spoke to said there had been no equivalent funding injection to help councils with the costs of housing the rising numbers of families in temporary accommodation.

HuffPost UK asked for comment on the issues highlighted by this investigation from housing secretary Robert Jenrick and housing minister Christopher Pincher.

They did not comment. But an MHCLG spokesperson said: “Everybody should have somewhere safe to live, and temporary accommodation plays a role in ensuring people are getting the help they need.

“We’re spending over £700m in total this year alone to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This will help transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society.

“We are also investing £11.5bn through the Affordable Homes Programme – the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade. We will deliver a wide range of affordable homes of different tenures all across the country.”

Neate, however, pointed out many of these homes, which are aimed at those looking to buy a property, are nowhere near “affordable” for actual low-income families.

“The people who are priced out of the private rented sector aren’t people who can afford shared ownership or first homes,” she said. “All of these home ownership products are not helping this group of people.”





Here’s Why Cecily Strong Was Absent From ‘SNL’ Opening Credits



Viewers can rest assured that Cecily Strong is still gainfully employed by “Saturday Night Live” despite an opening credits omission.

Season 48 of “SNL,” which premiered Saturday, got off to a rollicking start thanks to host Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar. Still, Strong was notably absent from both the show and its opening credits, prompting many to question whether she’d departed the comedy show without fanfare.

Turns out that’s not the case. An “SNL” cast member since 2012, the comedian is currently appearing in the play “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” which opened last week at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

“SNL” creator Lorne Michaels is a co-producer of the one-woman comedy, which concludes its run Oct. 23. Entertainment Weekly and TV Insider confirm that Strong is expected to resume her “SNL” duties in New York shortly thereafter.

Cecily Strong as Kimberly Guilfoyle and Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. on the March 5 episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

Fans’ concerns regarding Strong’s future on “SNL,” however, were justified. Michaels previously hinted that Season 48 would be a “transition year,” and he wasn’t kidding.

Cast members Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney collectively announced their exit from the series at the conclusion of Season 47, which wrapped in May. Last month, it was confirmed that Aristotle Athari, Alex Moffat, Chris Redd and Melissa Villaseñor were also leaving, bringing the tally of departing cast members to eight.

As a 10-season “SNL” veteran, Strong is one of the longest-running cast members in the series’ current lineup.

Last year, she won praise for her impressions of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

To stream NBCU shows featured in this piece sign up to Peacock


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Will Smith Returns To The Big Screen In Gripping First ‘Emancipation’ Trailer



Will Smith’s next film will be released this year after all, with Apple Studios announcing that “Emancipation” is arriving in theaters next month, just in time for the upcoming awards season.

The historical drama from “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua will now open in theaters on Dec. 2 and be made available to stream on Dec. 9, contrary to reports that claimed the film would be delayed until 2023.

“Emancipation” is Smith’s first major project since he walked onstage during the Oscars ceremony in March and slapped presenter Chris Rock over a joke the comedian made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Future Publishing via Getty Images

Since then, Smith has apologized for his actions and voluntarily resigned from the Academy, which banned him from attending the Oscars for the next decade. However, he can still be nominated for an award should his Hollywood peers deem him worthy of one.

The release of “Emancipation,” which completed production just a month before the infamous awards show moment, was initially delayed in the fallout from Smith’s altercation with Rock, upending plans for a major awards season push behind Smith’s performance, which is already drawing praise.

But Apple Studios, which acquired the film for a record-breaking $120 million, has apparently changed course — and the gripping first trailer makes a powerful case as to why.

Inspired by real-life events, “Emancipation” stars Smith as Peter, a man who escapes slavery in Louisiana, journeys north and joins the Union Army during the Civil War. Photos of his whipping scars, including one known as “The Scourged Back,” become some of the most widely circulated at the time and ultimately help expose the brutality of slavery to the world.

The trailer unveils Smith’s powerful performance in the film, which also stars Ben Foster, Steven Ogg and Charmaine Bingwa.

“I will not be afraid. What can a mere man do to me?” Smith says in the clip amid flashes of Civil War battlefields and his character evading slave hunters through the swamplands. “I will look in triumph at my enemies.”

During a private screening of the film over the weekend, Smith gave his first comments about the period drama to a crowd at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference.

“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films that were set in slavery. I never wanted to show us like that, you know, and then this picture came along, and this is not a film about slavery,” Smith said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a film about freedom. This is a film about resilience.”

The screening was the “King Richard” star’s first major public appearance since he broke his monthslong silence earlier this summer in an apology video regarding the Oscars slap.

Watch the trailer for “Emancipation” below.


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John Oliver Reveals ‘Super F**ked Up’ History Museums Hope You Never Learn



Some of the world’s leading museums are filled with plundered and stolen goods ― and John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight” has had enough.

“If you are ever looking for a missing artifact, nine times out of 10 it’s in the British Museum,” he pointed out. “It’s basically the world’s largest ‘lost and found,’ with both ‘lost’ and ‘found’ in the heaviest possible quotation marks there.”

A prime example: the Elgin Marbles, aka the Parthenon Marbles, taken from Greece in the 19th century by Lord Elgin and currently in the British Museum.

“They weren’t lost. They were taken, which is clearly worse. It’s like being unable to find the last puzzle piece and learning that you didn’t actually misplace it,” he said. “A British earl snuck into your house, stole it, and then sold it to a museum over 1,000 miles away.”

Oliver slammed the “unbelievably patronizing” arguments of those who defend the British Museum and other repositories of stolen goods. Some claim the objects were taken in a different time ― and that means there’s a different context to consider.

But, as Oliver pointed out, British Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1868 said he “deeply lamented” objects looted from Ethiopia by the British Army and called for their return.

“He was saying that in 1868!” Oliver said. “We didn’t even know how to fix a UTI without leeches back then, but we knew that raiding other countries for their shit was ‘deeply lamentable,’ which is British for ‘super fucked up.’”

See his full takedown below. And be sure to stick around for a tour of the “Payback Museum,” featuring Kumail Nanjiani:


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Bella Hadid Stuns As Dress Is Sprayed Onto Her Body At Paris Fashion Week



Supermodel Bella Hadid stunned audiences at Paris Fashion Week on Friday when she stood on the catwalk topless, clad in only underwear, as a dress was sprayed onto her bare skin.

The 25-year-old moved slowly while three people used spray guns to coat her with a white, weblike material. Then, a fourth person sculpted the substance into an off-the-shoulder dress, and complemented it by cutting a high slit by her legs.

Hadid then walked the runway in the newly created fabric dress to close out the Coperni show for their spring-summer 2023 line at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

Coperni, a Parisian fashion label, posted a video of Hadid’s dress formation on Instagram. The magical moment was viewed more than 273,000 times, and went viral across the internet.

Coperni owners Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant told Vogue before the show on Friday that the inspiration for the dress came from wanting to merge fashion and technology.

“It’s our celebration of women’s silhouettes from centuries past,” Vaillant said. “And we wanted to update our aesthetic in a more grown-up and scientific way, too,” Meyer added.

The spray-on fabric used in the dress creation was developed by London-based fabric technology company Fabrican, according to The New York Times. After the fabric is sprayed, it hardens into wearable material.

Hadid thanked Coperni and the fashion duo on Instagram, saying “I love you,” and there was “no rehearsal, no nothing, just passion.”


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Nicole Kidman’s Iconic AMC Ad Gets Even More Culty In ‘SNL’ Parody



If we come to AMC theaters for magic, then we depend on “Saturday Night Live” to parody it, with Chloe Fineman perfectly recreating Nicole Kidman’s iconic commercial with a cultish twist.

What began as a simple ad campaign to encourage moviegoers to return to theaters after pandemic-era shutdowns quickly became a full-blown pop culture phenomenon. The Oscar winner’s overly sincere musings about the power of cinema took on immediate meme status with fans emblazoning her awestruck face on T-shirts, as well as standing, cheering and reciting the famous “heartbreak” line aloud in theaters.

During the Season 48 premiere of NBC’s long-running sketch series over the weekend, Fineman hilariously mimics Kidman’s Australian accent and dramatic hand gestures (yes, we get the clap), as she slinks into an AMC theater on a cold, rainy evening.

After frightening fellow moviegoer Kenan Thompson with all-too-direct eye contact, Fineman’s Kidman then launches into the oft-quoted line: “Heartbreak feels good in a place like this.”

Her message brings the entire theater to its feet, with the adoring audience saluting the screen and chanting the line over and over again, which, naturally, imbues Kidman with supernatural powers. Soon enough, she’s become possessed by a cinema-loving demon, as lightning shoots through her body and she starts levitating above the seats.

But, ultimately, she’s just there to enjoy a movie and revel in that indescribable feeling we get when the lights begin to dim and … well, you know the rest. Thompson, however, isn’t as quick to brush the moment aside, remarking, “What the fuck just happened?”

As for the real commercial, it proved to be so popular that Kidman has renewed her commercial contract with the theater chain and is set to appear in a sequel coming soon to an AMC near you.

“I got a text from the chairman of AMC about a month ago asking me if I would write the next one, and of course the answer to that is yes,” screenwriter Billy Ray, who helmed the first ad, told Vanity Fair earlier this year. “It’s already written.”

“Of course, it’s with Nicole,” he added. “I’m not doing it without Nicole.”


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Kanye West Makes Runway Debut As Model In Mud-Filled Fashion Show



Kendall Jenner, pack it up, because Kanye West is the new model in the family.

The rapper and fashion icon, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, made his catwalk debut during Paris Fashion Week on Sunday with a runway strut that’s already grabbed the internet’s attention.

West opened Balenciaga’s apocalyptic-themed Summer 2023 show, which featured a mud-soaked runway surrounded by piles of sludge, surprising everyone in the audience, including daughter North West who sat front row at the event alongside aunts Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.

Ditching his much-discussed bedazzled flip-flops, the Yeezy designer was dressed in a black, oversized, military-inspired jacket adorned with a “security” patch and leather pants. He wore a hoodie over a cap, which obscured part of his face ― West’s preferred method of appearing in public as of late.

The musician arrived at the show with his younger children Saint West, 6; Chicago West, 4; and Psalm West, 3, according to Entertainment Tonight, while their mother Kim Kardashian was reportedly not in attendance.

The unexpected appearance from the Grammy winner on the runway naturally spurred much conversation online.

The hip-hop legend has a long history with the Spanish fashion house, which he collaborated with for a capsule collection under his now-defunct partnership with Gap. Kardashian has also made major inroads with the luxury brand, which recently featured her in a buzzy new campaign.

Earlier in the week, West appeared at the Givenchy show in the French capital sporting a Balenciaga mouthguard.

Kanye West attends the Givenchy Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week.

Stephane Cardinale – Corbis via Getty Images

As for why models were tasked with trudging through high-fashion muck, creative director Demna Gvasalia said the set stood as a “metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth.”

“I hate boxes and I hate labels. … Individualism in fashion is downgraded to pseudotrends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity of the moment,” he wrote in the show’s notes. “I’ve decided to no longer explain my collections and verbalize my designs, but to express a state of mind.”

It’s unclear why Kardashian wasn’t at the event, as she’s made a habit of still supporting West publicly since their split, while the former couple continue to hammer out the details of their somewhat-contentious divorce.

West was absent at the show she curated for Dolce & Gabbana titled “Ciao Kim” during Milan Fashion Week days ago, which was a full-fledged KarJenner family affair.

The back-to-back fashion extravaganzas arrive on the heels of West’s public apology to Kardashian for “any stress that I have caused” after previously attacking the reality star and her family on social media.

“This is the mother of my children and I apologize for any stress that I have caused, even in my frustration because God calls me to be stronger,” he said during a “Good Morning America” appearance. “But also, ain’t nobody else going to be causing no stress either. I need this person to be least stressed and the best sound mind and as calm as possible to be able to raise those children.”

Watch the full Balenciaga Summer 23 Collection below.


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‘SNL’ Mocks Adam Levine’s Cheating Scandal In NSFW Sketch



Day concocted a not-safe-for-work portrayal of Levine during a game show-themed sketch titled “Send Something Normal,” a competition that the announcer deemed “America’s easiest game show.”

The game show’s host asked Levine in the sketch to respond to a woman who sent a DM that read: “Hey Adam! Huge fan. Love your music!”

Day, in his impression of Levine, quizzed the host to reveal the woman’s “most liked vacation photo” before giving his X-rated answer to her.

“Going to kick things off with a ‘Holy moly’… ‘Holy moly’… ‘Holy crap’… ‘Your body is makin’ my penis smile!’” Day answered.

You can watch the full sketch below.


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