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How to clean baby ears

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Adults don’t tend to pay attention to their ears, simply choosing to let the water and shampoo skim over their ears while in the shower. Babies are more delicate and new parents are anxious to protect their little ones from head to toe. Express.co.uk reveals how to clean a baby’s ears.

Dermatologists have agreed adults tend to shower too often.

While it is important to shower after a workout, if you aren’t working up a sweat every day it is fine to shower every other day.

The reason for this is because your body’s natural and vital oils prevent your skin from drying out.

Just like adults, babies don’t need to be washed daily.

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Alternatively, you could give their face, neck hands and bottom a wash once a day with warm water.

When top and tailing, all you need is some damp cotton wool to clean the baby’s eyes, nose, ears, bottom and genital area.

Make sure you dry them very carefully before you put on a clean nappy.

How to bathe a baby

If your baby loves bath time, you can bathe them every day.

Make sure the room and the water are fairly warm and have towels and a clean nappy at the ready.

Check the water with your wrist before lowering them into the baby bath.

Wash and dry their hair first and then swish the water over the rest of your baby’s body.

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Only use plain water for the first month, avoiding shampoos, soaps and oils.

Never leave your baby alone in the bath, not even for a second.

Lift the baby out and pat them dry, making sure they don’t have damp patches in the creases of their skin.

You can use this time to cut your baby’s nail with small scissors or file them done with a fine emery board.

How to clean baby ears

When you’re cleaning your baby’s face, you should clean their ears.

The NHS site recommends using a fresh piece of cotton wool to clean around the baby’s ears, but not in them.

Never stick anything inside your baby’s ears, especially not cotton swabs or buds.

If you don’t want to use damp cotton wool, you could use a gentle washcloth and warm water.

Gently wipe behind the baby’s ears and around the outside.

Earwax is perfectly normal and healthy because it protects, lubricates and has antibacterial properties.

If you spot some inside the baby’s ears, leave it.

Removing earwax from your baby’s ears will do more harm than good.

Earwax builds up inside the ear canal and then dries and falls out without you noticing.

It’s a natural process and you shouldn’t disturb it!

If you are concerned about the earwax in your baby’s ears, see a doctor and they may prescribe ear drops.

Follow the instructions on the packaging and listen to what the paediatrician recommends.

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Brits spend 140 days of their lives searching for lost items, study finds

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Brits spend the equivalent of 140 days of their lives looking for lost items and splash out almost £5,000 on replacements, a study has revealed. The average adult spends nearly nine minutes every day looking for misplaced belongings due to forgetfulness, rushing around and always having other things on their minds. The most commonly misplaced item is the smartphone, followed by the dreaded TV remote – likely to be tucked down the side of the sofa – as well as keys for the car and house.

Larger items, such as tablets and headphones, also made the list compiled from a study of 2,000 adults. 

It also emerged some items have even been missing for as long as two years before finally being reunited with their owner, with the average adult misplacing two things that they never find again. 

As a result, 55 percent have ended up forking out an average of £76-a-year to replace lost items – the equivalent of £4,788 over the course of an adult lifetime. 

The study was commissioned by Samsung SmartThings Find, an easy way to keep track of lost devices, enabling customers to pinpoint the exact location using integrated map directions and Bluetooth. 

Psychologist, Dr Becky Spelman, speaking on behalf of Samsung SmartThings Find, said: “This year has taken us all by surprise. We’re working from home or not being able to work at all, while having to follow all sorts of new rules and procedures. 

“For many of us, the lines between work and personal lives are blurring, with outdoor time and ‘free time’ limited. 

“We’re spending more time in close quarters with housemates, partners, friends or family than we’re used to, coupled with worry and concern for either vulnerable loved ones or our jobs, or both. 

“In this context, it’s unsurprising many of us have limited mental bandwidth for keeping track of our possessions.” 

The study also found a third of adults will lose something at least once a day or more – with glasses, credit or debit cards and wallets among the top 30 items most likely to disappear. 

In a bid to find things, more than a third will “turn the house upside down”, while a fifth have been embarrassed to realise the item was in a pocket or bag all along. 

Just seven percent use technology apps to help them recover a lost item. 

After searching from top to bottom, Brits have uncovered lost things in all manner of places – including the bin, their pet’s bed or even in a shoe. 

It also emerged that 28 percent will have a feeling of panic set in when they can’t find something, with 62 percent getting frustrated. 

Dr Becky Spelman added: “Although everyone loses things at times, and we may laugh about it, losing things can be extremely stressful, and even make people feel as though they are spiralling out of control. 

“The fact that most of us are already living with heightened anxiety because of the pandemic makes everything that much worse.” 

But while 56 percent blame themselves for things going astray, this isn’t always the case, with 19 blaming their partner and 13 percent believing their children are hiding their belongings. 

While three in 10 reckon they are more forgetful now as they are having to work from home with their children running riot – giving them more to think about. 

A third even believe they have been more forgetful this year compared to 2019, with 56 percent putting this down to stress. 

Others blame the lockdown restrictions (44 percent) and fatigue (41 percent), with the added pressure of remembering new items such as hand sanitizer or a face mask (36 percent).  

SmartThings Find allows users of the app to pinpoint the exact location of compatible devices by using integrated map directions and Bluetooth, giving precise directions. 

If the item is in a notoriously hard-to-find spot, such as under the sofa, or in a shoe, the app will enable the lost device to ‘ring’ when it’s within Bluetooth range 

Kyle Brown, the head of connected living solutions at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: “Losing items can be an emotional time, and we can see from this research just how big an impact that can have. 

“SmartThings Find allows our customers to find other devices from the Galaxy ecosystem via a simple-to-use app, alleviating the inevitable stress that can come with misplacing a valuable item and it is our goal to increase the possibilities of SmartThings Find in the near-future, to support this even further.” 

For more information, visit: https://www.samsung.com/uk/smartthings/

TOP 10 ITEMS ADULTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO MISPLACE:

1. Smartphone

2. TV remote

3. Car keys

4. House keys

5. Glasses

6. Pens

7. Facemask

8. Headphones

9. Wallet

10. Mobile phone charger

 

TOP 10 STRANGEST PLACES A LOST ITEM HAS BEEN FOUND IN LOCKDOWN:

1. In the fridge

2. In the bin

3. In the car

4. In a shoe

5. In a cupboard

6. In the garden

7. Behind the sofa

8. Under the mattress

9. At the bottom of the wardrobe

10. In the pet’s bed

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TV and Movies

For Life season 2 cast: Who is Georgia Bishop star Crystal Dickinson?

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For Life airs every Wednesday on ABC in the US and is coming soon to Sky Witness. The new series sees Aaron Wallace (played by Nicholas Pinnock) as a free man and fans are curious to know more about the rest of the cast. Who is Georgia Bishop star Crystal Dickinson? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Who is Crystal Dickinson?

Crystal Dickinson is an American actress from New Jersey.

For Life viewers may recognise Dickinson from her role as Detective Toussaint from Showtimes’s The CHI.

In The CHI, Dickinson starred alongside Jason Mitchell and Jacob Latimore.

For Life fans may also recognise Dickinson from her role as Jose Tatro in The Good Wife and Tessa Martone in New Amsterdam.

READ MORE For Life season 2 release date, cast, trailer, plot

Dickinson is also well known for playing Melissa in House of Payne, alongside

Dickinson has also had small roles in the films I-Origin, This Is Where I Leave You and Collateral Beauty.

In I-Origins, Dickinson played the role of Julie Dairy, starring alongside Michael Pitt, Brit Marling and William Mapother.

She also played a role in Distortion: A Social Media Story as Crystal, alongside Amanda Yonts and Amanda Pastrnak.

Dickinson is also well known for her theatre career, winning the Theatre World Award in 2012 and Jenny Award for Best Actress.

She made her Broadway debut in the Tony award-winning play Clybourne Park written by Bruce Norris and directed by Pam MacKinnon.

Dickinson also starred in You Can’t Take It Wirth You on Broadway, alongside James Earl Jones and Rose Bryne.

She is married to Broadway actor Brandon J. Dirden, who is best known for portraying Martin Luther King Jr in Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers about For Life season 2, episode 2

In For Life, Dickinson plays Georgia, an inmate for Aaron successfully defends.

Georgia had been arrested after the police carried out a raid on her house, where they found Valium with no prescription attached.

To get Georgia out of prison, Aaron was successful in convincing the judge to enroll Georgia into a drug programme which will involve taking random drug tests.

Dickinson stars alongside Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varama and Dorian Missick in For Life.

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Also in the cast is Glenn Fleshler, Tyla Harris, Mary Stuart Masterson, Boris McGiver and Timothy Busfield.

For Life follows the story of Aaron Wallace (played by Nicholas Pinnock), who becomes a lawyer behind bars, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he did not commit.

The series is inspired by the true story of Isaac Wright Jr, who was was wrongly convicted on drug charges and sentenced to life in prison.

During his time in prison, Wright trained as a paralegal and even helped overturn the wrongful convictions of 20 of his fellow inmates, before overturning his own.
Following his release, Wright graduated from college at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton and went on to study law at St Thomas University School of Law.

He passed the bar in 2008 and nine years later, in 2017, the New Jersey State Bar Association Committee approved his application.

Wright serves as an executive producer on the ABC series.

Speaking to Esquire, Wright said: “I got over 20 people out of prison, some with life sentences and others based on getting their sentences reduced.

“The act of representing these other prisoners who were also wronged was a part of me fighting them back and getting them back for what they had done to me.

“And so all of those victories, they represented something really, really, really important to me.”

For Life airs Wednesdays on ABC

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Lifestyle

Sonos Black Friday speaker deals are finally here – and they’ve been worth the wait

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Black Friday is now in full swing, with John Lewis, Currys PC World, Argos, Tesco and more unleashing some pretty stellar deals. And now, Sonos is joining the fray. The connected smart speaker brand has slashed prices across its range, including on the portable Sonos Move, Sonos Beam soundbar and the Sonos One, which includes access to chatty AI helpers, Alexa and Google Assistant.

Discounts to the Sonos One aren’t all that uncommon, however, we’ve never seen a price drop for the Sonos Move before. That’s likely because Sonos Move only launched one year ago, in September 2019 after years of rumours that Sonos was looking to add a Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker to its connected sound system. So, whether you’re looking to invest in a single smart speaker for the kitchen, or splash the cash and build a 5.0 home cinema set-up (using one Sonos Beam and two Sonos One speakers) there are some brilliant savings to be had shopping in the Black Friday sales.

Sonos has slashed £100 off the price of the Sonos Beam, Sonos Sub and Sonos Move, with the Sonos One and Sonos One SL (which looks identical but forgoes the AI voice assistant in favour of a smaller price tag) getting reduced by £40 each. The deals, which were announced earlier this week, went live early this morning, Thursday November 26, 2020.

The discounted prices will be available until Monday November 30, 2020. So, that means these discounts encompass Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday.

The discounted prices will be available from Sonos, as well as a number of retail partners. Some high street stores may offer even more savings on top of these recommended price cuts, but that’ll be at their own discretion. Based on what we’ve seen so far during the Black Friday 2020 sales… don’t hold your breath for much more of a price drop. However, that’s not to say all retailers are equal. One of the biggest differentiators is the hardware warranty.

For example, while Sonos offers a one-year warranty for any issues that could crop up with the smart speaker, John Lewis offers two-years. And if you buy any of the below Sonos kit from Richer Sounds, you’ll get a six-year warranty on the hardware courtesy of its VIP club, which is completely free to all customers.

All of these stores have stock of Sonos One SL, Sonos One, Sonos Sub and Sonos Beam, so pick whichever item works best for you. We’ve included a comprehensive list of every Sonos product included in the Black Friday sale below…

Sonos Black Friday: all of the discounted Sonos speakers ~

Sonos Beam
NOW £299 | WAS £399 • FIND THE DEAL HERE

Sonos Sub
NOW £599 | WAS £699 • FIND THE DEAL HERE

Sonos Move
NOW £299 | WAS £399 • FIND THE DEAL HERE

Sonos One (Gen 2)
NOW £159 | WAS £199 • FIND THE DEAL HERE

Sonos One SL
NOW £139 | WAS £179 • FIND THE DEAL HERE

As well as the price cuts to some of its most popular devices, Sonos has announced a number of Christmas-inspired stations for its music service, Sonos Radio.

This streaming option, which is only available to Sonos customers, includes handpicked playlists of tracks – categorised by mood, genre, or curated by an artist. Sonos Radio will also see the launch of a special radio show from Dolly Parton, dubbed Holly Dolly Christmas Special, following the release of her chart-topping holiday record.

Dolly’s show will debut in November and December on Holidaze, one of two new holiday stations playing the best holiday hits and the other, Holiday Concerto, featuring instrumental renditions of holiday classics. Holly Dolly Christmas Special will also be available on Dolly’s Songteller Radio in HD and on the Sonos Mixcloud Archive for listeners everywhere.

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here.

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TV and Movies

NCIS: Sean Murray teases Gibbs and McGee’s ‘evolution’ after stunning premiere cliffhanger

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Countless theories are already circulating about the latest season of popular series NCIS. When the action-packed CBS serial finally returned, the premiere episode opened with Gibbs taking shots at McGee for unknown reasons. Tim McGee star Sean Murray has finally set up what’s to come in the lead up to the explosive opening stinger.

The 18th season of NCIS has already kicked off the action with one of the most puzzling mysteries in the show’s long history.

After enduring a lengthy delay during the coronavirus pandemic, the series finally returned only to blindside fans with the sight of Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) shooting one of his own teammates.

NCIS’ season premiere hit fast forward and took fans to March 2020, where Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) is seen approaching an airplane before he’s shot in the arm.

His assailant is finally revealed as Gibbs, perched on a roof and toting a sniper rifle, before the opening credits roll and the show cuts to several months earlier.

The series’ decision to set the action before the pandemic has confused some viewers, and the time-jumping format of the current season is sure to set up a number of new mysteries.

It may be some time before the series catches up to the mind-boggling events of the opening episode, but NCIS star Sean Murray has confirmed there’s plenty to look forward to this time round.

Speaking to CBS, Murray touched on how McGee and Gibbs’ partnership will change over the course of the show’s 18th season.

He explained: “This is going to be a really interesting season. I know a lot of stuff that’s happening this year and it’s just going to be an interesting period.”

“But as far as with McGee there’s some good stuff going on. We’re going to see some really, really cool things.

“I can tell you we’re definitely going to see and explore sort of the evolution between Gibbs and McGee.”

Although McGee originally found it difficult to work with the NCIS’ unorthodox team leader, Gibbs has eventually become one of the agent’s most trusted allies.

Now he’s one of the team’s most senior field agents and long-running members, fans have been racking their brains to try and explain Gibbs’ reasoning for taking aim at his loyal colleague.

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In his interview, Sean Murray finally addressed the unexpected opening stinger and what it could mean for the rest of the series.

He continued: “Of course, if you saw the teaser of this year, of this season, you know from that teaser that first scene you know we’re into some pretty cool stuff right off the bat.

“I think that if I recall, that after the teaser sort of fades to black says 11 months earlier we spend the first several episodes catching up to that point in that teaser.”

His comments unfortunately indicate it may be several weeks before Gibbs’ motives are finally unveiled.

Finally, Murray commented: “That becoming current time and going from there. It’s good stuff.

“We had to plan. These definitely had to be planned, these arts and everything, carefully. I love that. I love doing this stuff.”

Shooting around the coronavirus pandemic makes this an unconventional season of NCIS, but the opening twist has already ensured fans will be tuning in every week.

NCIS season 18 continues on Tuesday, December 8 on CBS.

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Lifestyle

Boxing Day sales cancelled: Which shops will be closed on Boxing Day this year?

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Boxing Day is a bank holiday across the UK, giving many Britons an extra day off over the Christmas period. Over the years, a tradition has been sparked with shops offering Boxing Day sales for lucky shoppers.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up much uncertainty about Christmas events – and this includes the Boxing Day sales.

With crowds discouraged, many will be opting to stay at home and potentially shop online this year.

Over Christmas, lockdown rules will be relaxed slightly – with families able to create a Christmas bubble with up to three households for five days.

Between December 23 and December 27, families can come together for the festive period – without having to socially distance or adhere to strict lockdown rules.

Read More: Tier 3 shops: Are shops open in Tier 3? 

Which shops will be closed on Boxing Day this year?

Supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has announced it will not be opening for Boxing Day this year.

All of its stores will remain closed, despite pervious plans to open 200 stores to shoppers on December 26.

The decision was made after the Government revealed the Christmas bubble rules – with M&S opting to allow staff an extra day off with their families.

Marks and Spencer said in a video on Twitter: “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and this Christmas time with loved ones will be more precious than ever.

“That’s why we have decided to close our stores and operations this Boxing Day.

So our colleagues can spend more time with their families and friends.”

On Twitter customers were happy with the decision, giving their support to the store and its staff.

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One user said: “Retail staff work incredibly hard, particularly in the run up to Christmas.

“Having Boxing Day off means they’ll get to spend time at home too.

“I hope this will happen in the years to come too, not just for M&S staff but for all.”

Another wrote: “@marksandspencer Well done on the Boxing Day decision. Your staff and customers can enjoy the day.”

Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe said: “Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends.”

Other stores have also opted to stay closed on Boxing Day.

Pet store chain Pets at Home has said it will not open on the bank holiday.

Home Bargains and Aldi, will both be closing stores on Boxing Day to give staff an extra day off.

DIY store Wickes will be closing their stores on Boxing Day too.

Wickes said it would shut 235 of its stores over Christmas for three days to say ‘Thank You’ to their more than 8,000 staff members.

Wickes stores will be shut on December 24, 25 and 26, 2020.

Express.co.uk will update this page when any more information is available on store closures.

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TV and Movies

Outlander: Does the cast get along? Sam Heughan offers behind-the-scenes insight

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Fans of Outlander love the chemistry of the stars in the time-travelling drama. However, some will be left wondering whether these close bonds also resonate off-screen as well. Sam Heughan recently opened up on some of his relationships with his co-stars in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.

Does the cast of Outlander get along?

Over five seasons of drama so far, the stars of Outlander have been through many ups and downs with their characters.

They’ve dealt with heartbreak, loss and plenty of battles in the much-loved time-travelling romp.

Given how well the cast portrays these relationships on screen, many will be wondering if they’re also friends in real life.

Jamie Fraser star Heughan and his co-star Graham McTavish recently opened up about this in their new book Clanlands.

This sees the pair jump in a caravan and traverse Scotland in order to find out more about their heritage.

However, alongside the travel insights, the pair also open up about their time on Outlander and share some great anecdotes about life on set.

This includes a particularly drunken night, which all of the cast – save McTavish – paid for the next day.

For readers, these really highlight how the group also get along very well in real life as well.

Speaking about this, Heughan even admitted there were lots more moments, which were not included in the book.

He told Express.co.uk: “There are a great number of experiences, friendships and adventures that we had on Outlander that haven’t been included.”

McTavish agreed, adding: “[There’s] too many to choose from.

“Bill Paterson’s stories while we were waiting to film, our first day in the pouring rain with Caitriona [Balfe] in nothing but a slip with about five hot water bottles secreted around her person.

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“Saving Sam from a rampaging tractor that tore down the tent we were both sitting in moments before.

“Getting to know a group of people I’ve remained friends with ever since.

“Listening to Gary Lewis making me cry with laughter during the banquet scene with some outrageous commentary.”

The pair also revealed what they first thought about each other when they met, revealing their bromance goes way back.

Speaking about the moment they met, McTavish revealed it was friendship at first sight.

He explained: “I immediately liked Sam. His frank, open nature, his warmth and his team spirit made him a delight to work with.

“I can’t think of a better person to be stuck in a cramped van for days on end.”

Heughan also revealed his thoughts, admitting how they liked to give him a nickname on set.

The star said: “Graham is a lot of fun. You can rely on him to keep you entertained, whether he means to or not.

“There’s a reason we call him ‘Lady McTavish’ on set.

“He’s a very dear man with a big heart, we got on straight away.”

Outlander seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Clanlands is released on November 3 and is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

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The Expanse season 6 release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is the final series out?

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The Expanse is the popular sci-fi drama series on Amazon Prime Video. After five years, The Expanse is coming to an end. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know including release date, cast, trailer, plot and more.

When is The Expanse season 6 out?

There is bittersweet news for fans of The Expanse.

Ahead of the show’s season five premiere, which kicks off on Wednesday, December 16, Amazon Prime confirmed the sci-fi drama will end after six seasons.

At the moment, an official release date for the final series has not been confirmed by Amazon.

However, Deadline has reported filming for season six is slated to begin on January 20 next year.

READ MORE The Expanse cancelled: Why has The Expanse been cancelled?

Season four and five have premiered in December on Amazon Prime, so season six is likely to follow suit.

Just like season five, the first three episodes are expected to launch in one go, with the remaining episodes airing weekly on Amazon Prime Video.

To watch The Expanse, you can subscribe to Amazon Prime Video from £7.99/$12.99 after a 30-day free trial.

The first four seasons are available to watch on the platform now, with the first three episodes of season five arriving on Wednesday, December 16.

After December 16, episodes of The Expanse will air weekly until February 3.

Express.co.uk will update this article when more information is available.

Who will star in The Expanse season 6?

The entire main cast are expected to return for the sixth and final series of The Expanse.

Their return will largely depend on the events of season five, but for now, it is fair to assume they will all be back.

This means Dominique Tipper will be back as Naomi Nagata alongside Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala, Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper, Cara Gee as Camina Drummer Nadine Nicole as Clarissa Melpomene Mao, Keon Alexander as Marco Inaro and Jasai Chase Ownes as Felip Inaros.

Cas Anvar who played Alex Kamal in the series will not be returning for season six, following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Anvar has denied all accusations of sexual misconduct against him.

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What will happen in The Expanse season 6?

Unfortunately, at the moment it is hard to predict what will happen in the sixth series of The Expanse.

Hopefully, with the arrival of season five on Amazon Prime in December, fans will soon have an inkling of what to expect in the final series.

The show is based on S.A. Corey’s best-selling novels of the same name.

With 16 books and short stories in the series, there is plenty of material to draw from.

Showrunner Naren Shankar shared his excitement for the final series.

He said: “The dedication and artistry of everyone who helps bring The Expanse to the screen is incredible.

“Our fans are awesome, and we cannot wait to get rolling on Season six.”

Following the news of the cancellation co-executive producers, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a statement: “We have prided ourselves on having one of the most diverse casts on television and giving a platform to stories that matter.

“A special thanks to Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, the writers of both the books and series and to Naren Shankar, the series showrunner and executive producer.

“It continues to be an honour and privilege to work with this team.

“We also would like to thank Amazon for their continuing support to help us tell this story in its fullest and to bring The Expanse to a global audience.”

Writer James S.A Corey tweeted: “You guys, a TV show that goes six seasons is a magical unicorn. We’re talking the one percent of the one percent at that point.

“I’m thrilled we made it that far. And it doesn’t mean #TheExpanse stops existing. You never know what will happen next.”

Is there a trailer for The Expanse season 6?

No, there is no trailer for The Expanse season six.

A trailer is likely to drop closer to the show’s release date in 2021.

In the meantime, fans have been taking to Twitter to share their sadness about the show ending.

One fan tweeted: “NOOOOOO!!! We need MORE!!! Can you finish the whole story in these last 2 seasons??? #SaveTheExpanse.”

A second fan said: “What the hell? How can you smash the last four books into one season?”

A third fan added: “Thank you guys for everything! No matter what this show has meant the world to me and I’ve had such amazing opportunities and made such incredible friends because of it, and that’s thanks in part to y’all. We love you!!!! Like… a lot.”

The Expanse season 5 will premiere on Wednesday, December 16 on Amazon Prime Video

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Celebrities

Audrey Hepburn life: The pain behind that flawless face ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove’

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Her Austrian-British father Joseph Ruston had even been an active member of the Blackshirts, helping raise money for the fascists in pre-war England. His sudden abandonment of the family in 1935, when Audrey was just six, was deeply traumatic, leaving her emotionally scarred. In later life, Audrey’s huge almond eyes and elfin beauty earned her a coveted place among the greats of Hollywood’s Golden Age as she became a film and fashion icon. 

But despite her many romantic leads, both her marriages ended in divorce, her life was blighted by tragedy, and she only found true contentment in her final years before dying of cancer aged just 63.

Now, 27 years after her death, an intriguing new documentary lays bare the contradictions of this enigmatic star, using interviews with family and friends as well as unseen photographs and footage.

British writer and director Helena Coan talked to her closest intimates and her film producer son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, to discover the private pain hidden below her public image.

“Audrey had depth. She suffered a lot in her life, and she turned that into something beautiful,” she explains.

“To me, that’s a wonderful and comforting story, especially at the moment, to show that trauma does not define you. You can turn it into something powerful; Audrey is proof.

“For me, she’s a prime example of a woman who has been reduced to a two-dimensional portrait.

“Audrey was smart – she spoke five languages. Everyone knows her face, but no one knows who she is.”

The story began when her diplomat father met her Dutch aristocrat mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra, in the Dutch East Indies. 

Fearing a Marxist revolution, the couple moved to Belgium, where Audrey was born in 1929. They were such keen Nazis, they travelled to Germany to take part in Hitler’s rallies.

Baroness Heemstra even wrote in a newspaper: “May Adolf Hitler be proud of the rebirth of this great country and the rejuvenation of the German spirit. 

“And the Germans under Nazi rule, a splendid example of the white races of the world – a mighty people, upright and proud as indeed they have every right to be.”

When the family moved to England around 1935, Joseph Ruston became active in the Blackshirts and his daughter was sent to boarding school in Elham, Kent.

Having finally realised the evil nature of Hitler’s ambitions, in September 1939, on the brink of the Second World War, Audrey’s mother took her daughter on the last flight to Amsterdam because she thought the Netherlands would remain neutral and it would be safer.

She couldn’t have been more wrong. Following the Nazi invasion of Holland, the pair spent months living in a cellar of the family estate in Arnhem.

“My uncles were taken from their homes and shot,” Audrey said in an interview, “the first hostages to be shot in Holland. It was a turning point, the underground was formed.” 

While working for the Dutch Resistance, Audrey carried messages hidden in her shoes and she put on secret, morale-boosting shows.

Son Sean says: “She performed for the Dutch Resistance, not just to raise money but also to entertain people and to take their minds off the horrors they were living through. 

“They would do plays and little musicals, trying to be discreet and not bring the attention of the soldiers.

“At the end of the performances nobody clapped their hands, just smiled in the dark. Dancing was a lifeline throughout the war.”

Like thousands, Audrey suffered extreme malnutrition, often surviving on little more than sandwiches made with tulip leaves in the 1944 winter famine.

At the end of the war, Audrey and her mother moved to Amsterdam and then London.

“I had no money and I had to get a job,” Audrey told an interviewer.

In London, she joined a chorus line and started looking for small film parts, which resulted in a role as an air stewardess in the film Dutch in Seven Lessons in 1949.

She won her big break in 1953 while filming the movie Monte Carlo Bay in the south of France. Staying at the Hotel du Paris, she met the French author Colette, who had just written Gigi. 

On impulse, Colette invited Audrey to play Gigi on Broadway even though she’d never spoken on stage. 

It won rave reviews. In the same month, director William Wyler gave her a screen test for Roman Holiday, in which she subsequently starred with Gregory Peck. Aged just 24, she won the best actress Oscar for the rom-com about a princess and a US newsman.

Peck would later introduce her to his Hollywood friend Mel Ferrer, an actor and director with two marriages behind him and four children. 

Despite their 12-year age gap, and his controlling nature, Audrey perhaps saw him as a father figure and they later married and had her son, Sean.

Within a few years, perhaps because of her tough childhood, she was developing a reputation as a strong character.

Sean recalls that when someone said the song Moon River should be cut from Breakfast at Tiffany’s she jumped out of her chair and said: “Over my dead body!”. 

Sean adds: “She was a lioness. She was described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. She needed that culture and background to survive in the world of Hollywood where you have to fight for everything.”

And she knew the value of connections. A collaboration with the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy ensured she always looked good.

Yet despite her gamine elegance, she was always wracked with doubt about her appearance.

In an interview she said: “I’m terribly self-conscious and clothes give me a great deal of confidence. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“I see the problems when I get up in the morning and do my best to look well.

“I’d have liked to have been not so tall, liked to have smaller feet, a larger figure, a smaller nose, to have been blonde. I’d have liked to have changed everything.”

The self-doubt extended to her work as well. On set she smoked, begged for reshoots and suffered from extreme nerves.

In 1964 she asked her husband to help her track down the father she had not seen for 25 years. With the help of the Red Cross they traced Ruston to Ireland, but he remained emotionally cold when they were reunited.

Their meeting gave her no great understanding of why he had walked out, leaving her mother heartbroken.

Audrey described it as “the first big blow I had as a child,” when speaking to a journalist from Life magazine in 1992. “It was a trauma that left a very big mark on me, it left me insecure for life,” she added.

“He disappeared one day. Mother explained he had gone away on a trip and was not coming back. Mother wouldn’t stop crying. I would just try and be with her but as a child you can’t quite understand.”

In the emotional quagmire following their reunion, her 17-year marriage fell apart. Sean admits his father was a “very demanding and difficult man”.

Audrey said of the split in 1968: “If there is enough friendship and love you overcome it… but obviously when a marriage doesn’t work any more everything becomes destructive. I hung on there as long as I could.”

She turned her back on Hollywood during her second marriage to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti with whom she had another son, Lucas, but the idyllic life she sought in Rome ended when she learned of his womanising.

He cheated on her many times and was pictured with hundreds of different women during their marriage.

“For the woman who was the most loved woman in the world to have a lack of love is so sad,” says her granddaughter Emma Ferrer in the documentary.

Enduring a second heartbreaking divorce, Audrey chose not to blame her errant husband.

“Men are human beings with all the frailties women have,” she reasoned. “Perhaps they are more vulnerable than women. You cannot judge, you cannot point fingers.

“You have got to be lucky enough to find somebody you can satisfy and then who pleases you, if you are lucky.”

As a single mother, albeit world famous and financially secure, she chose to move to Switzerland, restoring a neglected farm and spending time with her sons and pet dogs.

Explaining her decision to leave Hollywood, she told an interviewer that keeping her family together had been more important than anything. “I learned as a child it’s terribly important to have a father,” she explained. “Having my father cut off, or he cut himself off, I was desperate.

“If I could have seen him regularly I would have felt he loved me and I would have had a father. And I tried desperately to avoid it for my children.”

A second “career” as a Unicef ambassador brought her fulfilment. Because of her suffering in the Second World War, she identified with the plight of children starving in countries across the world.

“I was suffering from malnutrition so God knows I know the value of food,” she says. “To see children dying in front of your eyes is totally unacceptable.”

On many trips she was supported by her partner, the Dutch actor Robert Wolders, whom she described as a loving and affectionate man she could trust.

Although they never married, during their 13 years together, she at last found the peace and emotional security she had so badly sought her entire life.

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Travis Fimmel: Where in Australia is Vikings star Travis Fimmel from?

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Vikings season six, part two, is expected to air in early 2021 on Amazon Prime Video and the History channel. Travis Fimmel starred in the show’s first four seasons and fans are curious to know everything about him. Éxpress.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Where in Australia is Travis Fimmel from?

Travis Fimmel, 41, is an Australian actor and model.

Fimmel was born near the town of Echuca, Victoria in Australia.

He was raised on a 5000-acre dairy farm in Lockington, Victoria alongside his two older brothers.

Fimmel’s mother, Jennie worked as a recreation officer for the disabled and his father Chris was a diary and beef farmer.

READ MORE Vikings: When did the Vikings invade Britain?

Speaking recently on The Morning Show, Fimmel revealed his plans to return home.

He said: “I just haven’t made enough money to get back there and get a big farm where I want.

“But there’s nothing like home and nothing like the kids you went to high school with and all that stuff, and obviously, my family.

“It has always been my dream to be at home.

“I wouldn’t come back [to Hollywood] if I had a place there – it’s a job for me. It’s nothing more than a job.

“I’ve just been very lucky to get some work, and hopefully it keeps going until I get a place there. I wouldn’t leave Australia.”

Other famous faces who grew up in Lockington include netball player Sharelle McMahon and sports presenter Brad McEwan.

Fimmel moved to Melbourne to play AFL for the St Kilda Football Club but sadly, a leg injury meant he could not play.

He then enrolled in Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to study commercial architecture and engineering but dropped out to travel instead.

After being scouted as a model in Melbourne, Fimmel moved to LA and signed with LA Models in 2002.

Fimmel soon became the first male model in the world to secure a six-figure deal to model exclusively for Calvin Klein.

He is also the last person to be personally contacted by Calvin Klein.

Whilst modelling, Fimmel began to pursue an acting career, studying under Hollywood acting coach, Ivana Chubbuck.

Fimmel’s first major role was in the 2003 Warner Bros TV series Tarzan, playing the title lead.

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In Tarzan, he starred alongside Sarah Wayne Callies and Leighton Meester.

He then went onto star in several films, including Surfer, Dude alongside Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, The Experiment, Ivory and Pure Country: 2.

Fimmel starred opposite Patrick Swayze in the 2009 series as undercover FBI agent Ellis Dove.

Sadly, the series came to an end after 13 episodes following Swayze’s death in September 2009.

After appearing in Harodim and The Baytown Outlaws, Fimmel landed the role of Ragnar Lothbrok in History’s Vikings.

Fimmel played the role of Ragnar from 2013 until his characters death in 2016.

In 2016, he starred as military commander Anduin Lothar in Warcraft alongside Paula Patton, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper.

He then went onto star in the Australian war film Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, alongside Matt Doran and Daniel Webber.

Fimmel also starred opposite Margot Robbie in the indie film Dreamland and will appear in the upcoming comedy film, El Tonto alongside Charlie Day.

Most recently, Fimmel appeared in HBO’s Raised by Wolves as Amanda Collin and Abubakar Salim.

Vikings is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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