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NSW bushfires: ‘Catastrophic’ risk as blazes claim three lives and 150 properties

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NSW firefighters are continuing to battle bushfires throughout the state ahead of worsening conditions, with the fire danger in some areas set at the highest level.

A catastrophic fire danger is forecast for the Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter areas on Tuesday after ferocious blazes in northern NSW over the weekend claimed three lives and destroyed at least 150 homes.

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Large areas of the state are also predicted to see severe and extreme fire danger.

“We’ve got big population centres covered by that catastrophic fire danger,” RFS spokesman Anthony Clark told the ABC on Sunday.

“But also up on the north coast where we’ve simply got a lot of fires burning at the moment, those fires have got a real potential to run and impact on lives and properties on Tuesday.

“So the risk is very real.”

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Mr Clark said that around the Sydney area, they were “really concerned” about the urban fringe.

“Built-up areas where people live such as the northern suburbs of Sydney, up through the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, the Sutherland Shire – if you’re living anywhere near the bush, you are at risk,” he said.

A statewide total fire ban has been declared for Monday and Tuesday.


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‘We’ve got big population centres covered by that catastrophic fire danger’

Large parts of the state will be subject to high and very high fire danger on Monday, and more than 40 schools will be closed.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will also expand closures of national parks and reserves until further notice.

Although authorities are still to complete a detailed assessment of damage caused by the weekend’s fires, the RFS said at least 150 homes had been destroyed.

A woman who died as she tried to flee the fires was identified by media on Sunday as Julie Fletcher, 63.

Ms Fletcher’s body was discovered on Saturday night in a burnt-out home in the town of Johns River, 40km north of Taree on the mid-north coast.

Wytaliba residents Vivian Chaplain, 69, and George Nole were also named as victims, with people taking to social media to pay tribute to each of them.

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Emilia Clarke felt pressured to do Game Of Thrones nude scenes

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Emilia Clarke claims Game Of Thrones bosses guilt-tripped her into performing multiple nude scenes she wasn’t comfortable with so she ‘didn’t disappoint fans’. 

In an interview with Dax Shepard on his podcast Armchair Expert, the actress, 33, said she hadn’t agreed to the nudity in advance but felt she should do it anyway because she was new to the industry.  

Emilia said: ‘I’m a lot more savvy [now] with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am okay with doing. 

‘I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, “No, the sheet stays up”, and they’re like, “You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans”. And I’m like, “F**k you”.’ 

Pressure: Emilia Clarke claimed Game Of Thrones bosses 'guilt-tripped her into performing multiple nude scenes so she didn't disappoint fans' (a still from series one - Emilia was aged 23)

Pressure: Emilia Clarke claimed Game Of Thrones bosses 'guilt-tripped her into performing multiple nude scenes so she didn't disappoint fans' (a still from series one - Emilia was aged 23)

Pressure: Emilia Clarke claimed Game Of Thrones bosses ‘guilt-tripped her into performing multiple nude scenes so she didn’t disappoint fans’ (a still from series one – Emilia was aged 23)

What a man: Jason Momoa, who played her lover, Khal Drogo, encouraged Emilia to only do what she felt comfortable with and said the nude scenes were 'not OK' (picture: series one )

What a man: Jason Momoa, who played her lover, Khal Drogo, encouraged Emilia to only do what she felt comfortable with and said the nude scenes were 'not OK' (picture: series one )

What a man: Jason Momoa, who played her lover, Khal Drogo, encouraged Emilia to only do what she felt comfortable with and said the nude scenes were ‘not OK’ (picture: series one )

Game of Thrones is a US fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and adapted from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels 

Season one filming began in July 2010, when Emilia would have been aged 23 – she appeared on the iconic show for seven years. 

Having previously said that she ‘wouldn’t redo a single part’ of her role, Emilia now admits the amount of nudity in the first season was ‘overwhelming’ and she previously admitted she had relied on alcohol to get through the scenes.

She said: ‘I took the job and then they sent me the scripts and I was reading them, and I was, like, “Oh, there’s the catch!”   

‘But I’d come fresh from drama school, and I approached [it] as a job – if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed, this is what this is and I’m gonna make sense of it. Everything’s gonna be cool.’ 

She said: 'But I’d come fresh from drama school, and I approached [it] as a job – if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed, this is what this is and I’m gonna make sense of it. Everything’s gonna be cool' (picture: season one)

She said: 'But I’d come fresh from drama school, and I approached [it] as a job – if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed, this is what this is and I’m gonna make sense of it. Everything’s gonna be cool' (picture: season one)

She said: ‘But I’d come fresh from drama school, and I approached [it] as a job – if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed, this is what this is and I’m gonna make sense of it. Everything’s gonna be cool’ (picture: season one)

Hard to decide: Emilia had previously said she 'wouldn't redo a single part' of her role (picture: season one) and appears to have had conflicting views over her decision to strip off

Hard to decide: Emilia had previously said she 'wouldn't redo a single part' of her role (picture: season one) and appears to have had conflicting views over her decision to strip off

Hard to decide: Emilia had previously said she ‘wouldn’t redo a single part’ of her role (picture: season one) and appears to have had conflicting views over her decision to strip off

‘So I came to terms with that beforehand, but then going in and doing it… I’m floating through this first season and I have no idea what I’m doing, I have no idea what any of this is. 

‘I’ve never been on a film set like this before, I’d been on a film set twice before then, and I’m now on a film set completely naked with all of these people, and I don’t know what I’m meant to do and I don’t know what’s expected of me, and I don’t know what you want and I don’t know what I want.

‘Regardless of there being nudity or not, I would have spent that first season thinking I’m not worthy of requiring anything, I’m not worthy of needing anything at all… 

‘Whatever I’m feeling is wrong, I’m gonna cry in the bathroom and then I’m gonna come back and we’re gonna do the scene and it’s gonna be completely fine.’ 

She told The Sun in 2016 that she was overjoyed that she went ahead with the nudity, saying: ‘All I needed was vodka and some flattering lighting and I was ready.’

MailOnline has contacted a spokesperson for HBO for comment.  

Jason Momoa, who played Emilia’s lover, Khal Drogo, encouraged Emilia to only do what she felt comfortable with. 

She said: ‘It was definitely hard. Which is why the scenes, when I got to do them with Jason, were wonderful, because he was like, “No, sweetie, this isn’t okay.” And I was like, “Ohhhh.”‘ 

In May last year, in an interview with US Glamour, Emilia reflected on she did not see Khal Drogo’s body in the nude, while her character stripped fully naked.

She said: ‘Oh, I did. I saw his member’, she said. ‘But it was covered in a pink fluffy sock. Showing it would make people feel bad. It’s too fabulous.’ 

However, she went on to praise the show’s equal amounts of male and female nudity by recalling one of the show’s sauciest moments – which saw another of her love interests strip for the camera.

She added: ‘No, I don’t know why. But I’d like to bring your memory back to Mr. Michiel Huisman and I copulating for the first time, which began with me saying, “Take off your clothes,” and then you got to see his perfect bottom.’ 

She explained: ‘I love that so many women watch the show. If you look at ‘Game of Thrones’ on face value — blood, t**s, dragons, swearwords — you’re like, “Oh, this must be for guys”.’

‘But if you take that away, the story lines are fascinating depictions of the struggle for power. And women are in on that conversation.’

Back in March, Emilia claimed she didn’t have any regrets over her nude scenes, but it appears she has since had a change of heart. 

She had been given more sex scenes than any other character in season one of the popular television series.

Not impressed: Feminist critics hit out at Emilia for one particular moment where Daenerys' clothes were burned off as she emerged from a fire (picture: series six - Emilia was aged 30)

Not impressed: Feminist critics hit out at Emilia for one particular moment where Daenerys' clothes were burned off as she emerged from a fire (picture: series six - Emilia was aged 30)

Not impressed: Feminist critics hit out at Emilia for one particular moment where Daenerys’ clothes were burned off as she emerged from a fire (picture: series six – Emilia was aged 30)

But she told The Sun: ‘there is ‘not one part of the show I would go back and redo’. 

‘People ask me the nudity question all the time. But the short answer is no, I would never change anything. You had to see those sex scenes, as they couldn’t just be explained.’ 

But the Mother of Dragons, who is now said to be worth a massive £9.7 million ($13 million), did receive some backlash for the raunchy scenes.

Feminist critics hit out at Emilia for one particular moment in season six of the show where Daenerys’ clothes were burned off as she emerged from a fire.

But the actress said she was trying to portray her character as ‘strong’ and ’empowered’ in the controversial scene.

Divisive: Lena Headey, who plays divisive Cersei Lannister in Game Of Thrones said 'I've no problem with nudity' but admitted she hated the backlash that using a body double caused as she was pregnant at the time (picture: season five)

Divisive: Lena Headey, who plays divisive Cersei Lannister in Game Of Thrones said 'I've no problem with nudity' but admitted she hated the backlash that using a body double caused as she was pregnant at the time (picture: season five)

Divisive: Lena Headey, who plays divisive Cersei Lannister in Game Of Thrones said ‘I’ve no problem with nudity’ but admitted she hated the backlash that using a body double caused as she was pregnant at the time (picture: season five)

‘I just wanted to come out and do an empowered scene that wasn’t sexual — it was naked, but it was strong,’ she said.

‘I get a lot of c*** for having done nude scenes and sex scenes. That, in itself, is so anti-feminist. Women hating on other women is just the problem. That’s upsetting.’    

Carice van Houten, who played red priestess Melisandre, told The Telegraph she wanted to ‘normalise’ nudity on screen and has no problem with it as long as it’s functional. 

She said: ‘In Melisandre’s case, I think I can justify it because she uses sexuality as a weapon… she’s trying to manipulate. 

‘I find it hypocritical that we can show people with their heads blown off, then there’s one nipple and viewers get upset.’ 

Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister told Vulture: ‘I’ve said from day one that I’ve got no problem with nudity. 

Supportive: Carice van Houten, who played red priestess Melisandre has said she wanted to 'normalise' nudity on screen and has no issue with it 'as long as it's functional'

Supportive: Carice van Houten, who played red priestess Melisandre has said she wanted to 'normalise' nudity on screen and has no issue with it 'as long as it's functional'

Supportive: Carice van Houten, who played red priestess Melisandre has said she wanted to ‘normalise’ nudity on screen and has no issue with it ‘as long as it’s functional’

‘I’ve done it throughout my career. But for this character, it’s been better for her regality and her feistiness to not bare her flesh until she has to.’

But she also said she hated the backlash which the nude scenes caused. 

In season five Lena, relied on a body-double for a scene in which her character was forced by a cult to walk naked through the streets as she was pregnant at the time.

Lena said there were issues with using a stand-in. She said: ‘“Some people thought I was less of an actress. It was a bit shocking. She found it very difficult, obviously. It’s not a natural thing to do.

‘I’ve done nudity. I’m not averse to it.’ 

Maisie Williams, now 22, played Arya Stark and said bosses let her decide how much she wanted to show when she filmed a sex scene with Gendry, (Joe Dempsie, 31).

Up to her: Maisie Williams, 22, played Arya Stark and said bosses let her decide how much she wanted to show when she filmed a sex scene with Gendry (picture: season eight - filmed when she was aged 20)

Up to her: Maisie Williams, 22, played Arya Stark and said bosses let her decide how much she wanted to show when she filmed a sex scene with Gendry (picture: season eight - filmed when she was aged 20)

Up to her: Maisie Williams, 22, played Arya Stark and said bosses let her decide how much she wanted to show when she filmed a sex scene with Gendry (picture: season eight – filmed when she was aged 20)

The footage, from season eight was filmed two years ago, when she was aged 20 – she joined the show aged 12.

She told EW: ‘You can show as much or as little as you want, so I kept myself pretty private. I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash. This beat isn’t really about that. And everybody else has already done it on the show, so…  

‘In the beginning, everyone was really respectful. No one wants to make you feel uncomfortable which kind of makes you feel more uncomfortable, because no one wants to look at anything that they shouldn’t look at, which in turn makes you feel like you look awful because everyone is kind of like—’

‘Then [the scene] was rushed. We were [directed by] David Nutter, who has a habit of speaking fast anyway. By the end we’re rushing to finish the scene and David is going, “Okay, you’re going to come in and do this and do that and, great, take your top off” — and then walked off.’ 

Over it: In May, Emilia also revealed she turned down a role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Of Grey because she was 'sick of talking about nudity' (Dakota Johnson pictured in the role)

Over it: In May, Emilia also revealed she turned down a role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Of Grey because she was 'sick of talking about nudity' (Dakota Johnson pictured in the role)

Over it: In May, Emilia also revealed she turned down a role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Of Grey because she was ‘sick of talking about nudity’ (Dakota Johnson pictured in the role) 

Back in May, Emilia also revealed she turned down a role as Anastasia Steele in raunchy film, Fifty Shades Of Grey because she was ‘sick of talking about nudity.’ 

The actress had been part of The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actress round table, alongside Michelle Williams, Patricia Arquette, Christine Baranski, Danai Gurira and Niecy Nash.

While she praised director Sam Taylor-Johnson, calling her a ‘magician,’ she simply did not want to get naked on camera again.

‘Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful. But the last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman,’ Clarke said. 

‘And it’s annoying as hell and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character — I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my t*ts, for God’s sake,’ Clarke added. 

‘So, that coming up, I was like, “I can’t.” I did a minimal amount and I’m pigeonholed for life, so me saying yes to that, where the entire thing is about sensuality and sex and being naked and all of that stuff,’ she said. 

‘I was just like, “No way am I going to voluntarily walk into that situation and then never be able to look someone in the eye and be like, ‘No, you can’t keep asking me this question.”‘ she added. 

She backed this up in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar when she said she couldn’t understand why people were going on about it.  

Emilia began: ‘I’m starting to get really annoyed about this stuff now because people say, “Oh, yeah, all the porn sites went down when Game of Thrones came back on…”

‘There are so many shows centered around this very true fact that people reproduce. People f**k for pleasure—it’s a part of life.’

Emilia once said she wished there was more MALE nudity in the hit series. 

She appeared on Conan in 2016, ahead of the start of the sixth season and said there should be ‘equal male and female nudity.’   

She said: ‘There’s plenty of female nudity [on Game of Thrones], myself included, and I feel like… I think we should get some equal male nudity and female nudity.

‘I think it is a discussion that should be had… Free the penis.’

A month before that, she said to Glamour: ‘Bring back all the pretty boys, get them to take their trousers down, and be like, “I’m now the queen of everything! I’d like close-ups of all the boys’ penises, please.”‘

She told Rolling Stone that sexism in the industry is comparable to racism.

‘I feel so naive for saying it, but it’s like dealing with racism,’ she said. ‘You’re aware of it, and you’re aware of it, but one day, you go, “Oh, my God, it’s everywhere!” 

She explained: ‘Like you suddenly wake up to it and you go, “Wait a f***ing second, are you . . . are you treating me different because I’ve got a pair of t**s? Is that actually happening?”

‘It took me a really long time to see that I do get treated differently. But I look around, and that’s my daily life.’

Tough time: Emilia said the amount of nudity in the first season was 'overwhelming.' and she anticipated crying in the toilets afterwards and just getting on with things (pictured on October 29)

Tough time: Emilia said the amount of nudity in the first season was 'overwhelming.' and she anticipated crying in the toilets afterwards and just getting on with things (pictured on October 29)

Tough time: Emilia said the amount of nudity in the first season was ‘overwhelming.’ and she anticipated crying in the toilets afterwards and just getting on with things (pictured on October 29) 

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Boost for Boris Johnson as poll finds Tories surging into 18-POINT

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Boris Johnson’s hopes of keeping the keys to 10 Downing Street were given a major boost today after a new poll gave the Tories an 18 point lead over the Labour Party. 

A survey conducted by Kantar put the Conservative Party up eight points on 45 per cent – a massive number which if replicated on December 12 would almost guarantee Mr Johnson a majority. 

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour are trailing far behind and stalled on just 27 per cent after an early election campaign which has been rocked by controversy and internal chaos. 

The Tory surge in the latest opinion poll appears to have been powered by crumbing support for Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.  

Backing for Mr Farage has plummeted in recent weeks after he announced his decision not to stand candidates in 317 Tory-held seats. 

The Brexit Party is now down seven points to just two per cent, suggesting that the veteran Eurosceptic could struggle to make much of an impact at the ballot box next month.

The poll boost came just hours before Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn squared off in the first face-to-face TV debate of the election.

However, while the Kantar survey painted a picture of a dominant Conservative Party, a separate poll conducted by YouGov suggested the Tory lead over Labour was not quite so overwhelming. 

The YouGov survey showed the Tories’ advantage had come down from 17 points at the end of last week to a still healthy but less stellar 12 points.  

The Kantar poll this evening found the Tories were up eight points on 45 per cent, with Labour trailing far behind and stalled on 27 per cent

Boris Johnson has spent the day campaigning in the north of England ahead of a TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn

Boris Johnson has spent the day campaigning in the north of England ahead of a TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn

Boris Johnson has spent the day campaigning in the north of England ahead of a TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Johnson is pictured during a visit to Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy in Manchester

Mr Johnson spent today campaigning in the north of England with his partner Carrie Symonds ahead of the televised showdown with Mr Corbyn. 

In a sign that he was ready to take the fight to his left-wing opponent, Mr Johnson posed in Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy in Manchester – with ‘Get Brexit Done’ written across his boxing gloves.

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn opted for a more leisurely pre-debate routine, posting pictures of himself visiting a barber for a beard trim.

As he arrived at the venue this evening he said he had braced himself for the face-off by ‘eating a Caesar salad’ and ‘drinking cups of tea’. 

Mr Johnson was expected to use the debate to launch a full-frontal political attack on Mr Corbyn with an ultimatum to stop ‘dithering’ on his Brexit plans. 

But Mr Corbyn was set to lay out a populist hard-Left platform, after he pledged to spend up to £100billion nationalising chunks of BT to provide free broadband for everyone. 

In fresh evidence that Labour is abandoning the traditional centre ground, shadow chancellor John McDonnell today vowed to target ‘obscene’ billionaires, force private firms to slash pay for top executives, and oust companies from the London Stock Exchange if they do not meet climate change targets. 

Mr Corbyn posed for photographs with members of the public as he arrived for the debate in Salford tonight

Mr Corbyn posed for photographs with members of the public as he arrived for the debate in Salford tonight

Mr Corbyn posed for photographs with members of the public as he arrived for the debate in Salford tonight

Nigel Farage was trying to keep his spirits up in Peterborough today as he joined Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene on the campaign trail

Nigel Farage was trying to keep his spirits up in Peterborough today as he joined Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene on the campaign trail

Nigel Farage was trying to keep his spirits up in Peterborough today as he joined Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene on the campaign trail  

The Prime Minister issued a challenge to his Labour counterpart warning that failure to answer on key points would leave the public with ‘no choice but to conclude that Corbyn’s Labour, propped up by the SNP, will mean dither, delay and uncertainty’.

In a letter published by the Tories last night he set Mr Corbyn four questions to answer: how he would vote in a second Brexit referendum, what Labour’s position on freedom of movement is, how much he would pay the EU for ‘market access’, and whether all of his MPs would back his Brexit policy. 

Tory sources had said the Prime Minister would use the debate to hammer home his central message that only the Conservatives can be relied upon to deliver Brexit – while also raising concerns about Labour’s opposition to immigration  controls.

But Mr McDonnell made clear that Labour was also spoiling for a fight, declaring war on the wealthy and business in a speech in London this morning.

He vowed to target ‘obscene’ billionaires, force private firms to slash pay for top executives, and oust companies from the London Stock Exchange if they do not meet climate change targets.

In a fresh lurch to the Left, the shadow chancellor said it was ‘obscene’ that people could become billionaires, saying ‘no-one deserves to have that kind of money’.

The veteran socialist said bosses at firms with public sector contracts should not be paid more than around £350,000.

He hailed Labour’s proposals to force medium-sized firms to give 10 per cent of their shares to workers, and bolster union power by having a third of their board made up of staff. Companies who fail to meet objectives to tackle climate change also faced being ‘delisted’ from the stock exchange.

And Mr McDonnell vowed to neuter the ‘Big Four’ accountancy companies, saying he would create a new state-backed auditor to stop them behaving like a ‘cartel’. 

Labour declares war on wealthy in fresh lurch to the hard-Left 

John McDonnell declared war on the wealthy and business tonight as he vowed to target ‘obscene’ billionaires, force private firms to slash pay for top executives, and oust companies from the London Stock Exchange if they do not meet climate change targets.

In a fresh lurch to the Left, the shadow chancellor said it was ‘obscene’ that people could become billionaires, saying ‘no-one deserves to have that kind of money’.

The veteran socialist said bosses at firms with public sector contracts should not be paid more than around £350,000.

He hailed Labour’s proposals to force medium-sized firms to give 10 per cent of their shares to workers, and bolster union power by having a third of their board made up of staff. Companies who fail to meet objectives to tackle climate change also faced being ‘delisted’ from the stock exchange.

And Mr McDonnell vowed to neuter the ‘Big Four’ accountancy companies, saying he would create a new state-backed auditor to stop them behaving like a ‘cartel’. 

The assault on corporate governance provoked alarm among business groups, who warned that Labour risks ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ and trying to manage the economy ‘by diktat’. 

The assault on corporate governance provoked alarm among business groups, who warned that Labour risks ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ and trying to manage the economy ‘by diktat’. 

The extraordinary platform is more evidence that Labour is gearing up to unveil a much more dramatic manifesto on Thursday than their offering two years ago.

Last week Mr Corbyn pledged to nationalise huge chunks of BT and offer free broadband to every household – despite warnings it would cost £100billion and require the state to take control of huge swathes of other businesses such as Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky.  

Tonight’s ITV debate from Salford was the first time the two largest party leaders have squared off on live television in an election debate. 

Mr Johnson headed for the North West this morning, being pictured at Euston station with partner Ms Symonds. 

Previous debates featured a wider array of leaders, but Theresa May refused to take part ahead of the 2017 election where she lost the Tory majority. 

One ally of the PM acknowledged that it was a ‘risk’ to take on an opponent who is lagging far behind in the polls.  

‘Corbyn has nothing to lose,’ the source said. ‘I’ll be sleeping a lot easier once it’s over.’

The Liberal Democrats and SNP yesterday lost a High Court challenge to have Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon included in the debate. The two parties claimed ITV’s decision was unlawful because it breached impartiality rules. Lawyers for the Lib Dems claimed that with Labour sitting on the fence on Brexit, ‘the voice of Remain has been excluded’ from the debate.

But two judges ruled that the decision was not open to challenge in the courts and that the parties’ only recourse was to complain to Ofcom. 

Boris Johnson with partner Carrie Symonds prepare to board a train to Manchester for the debate this morning

Boris Johnson with partner Carrie Symonds prepare to board a train to Manchester for the debate this morning

Boris Johnson with partner Carrie Symonds prepare to board a train to Manchester for the debate this morning

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn opted for a more leisurely pre-debate routine, visiting a barber for a beard trim before he appears in front of the cameras

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn opted for a more leisurely pre-debate routine, visiting a barber for a beard trim before he appears in front of the cameras

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn opted for a more leisurely pre-debate routine, visiting a barber for a beard trim before he appears in front of the cameras

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Gareth Thomas tells Loose Women how Prince Harry contacted him ‘straight away’ after HIV diagnosis

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In his first studio interview since he came out publicly about living with HIV, an emotional Gareth Thomas has told how Prince Harry immediately offered his support, upon hearing of the Welsh rugby star’s diagnosis.

Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women on Tuesday, Thomas said he was contacted by the prince straight away.

‘He offered support – not just for me – he said, ‘Are your mum and dad ok? Is your husband ok?, Is your step-daughter ok?’

Speaking on ITV's Loose Women on Tuesday, Thomas said he was contacted by Prince Harry straight away. 'He offered support – not just for me - he said, 'Are your mum and dad ok? Is your husband ok?, Is your step-daughter ok?'

Speaking on ITV's Loose Women on Tuesday, Thomas said he was contacted by Prince Harry straight away. 'He offered support – not just for me - he said, 'Are your mum and dad ok? Is your husband ok?, Is your step-daughter ok?'

Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women on Tuesday, Thomas said he was contacted by Prince Harry straight away. ‘He offered support – not just for me – he said, ‘Are your mum and dad ok? Is your husband ok?, Is your step-daughter ok?’

The Duke of Sussex appears alongside Gareth Thomas in a new film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark national HIV Testing Week.

In the video, filmed in the stands at the Twickenham Stoop – home of Premiership Rugby club Harlequins, Thomas told Harry that the moment he received his HIV diagnosis is what inspired him to educate others about the realities of the virus.  

During their interview, the duke praised Thomas.

He added: ‘I believe in what you’re doing, it’s amazing.’

The duke and Thomas also discussed how the rugby community can help reduce the stigma by calling on rugby players to be tested and know their status to help normalise HIV testing.    

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with the virus. 

Speaking of getting his test results, Thomas told Loose Women on Tuesday about his initial feelings of isolation, which had turned to a ‘free feeling’ of having nothing to hide, as he vows to educate people on the diagnosis.

Earlier this month The Duke of Sussex appeared alongside Gareth Thomas in a new film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark national HIV Testing Week (pictured)

Earlier this month The Duke of Sussex appeared alongside Gareth Thomas in a new film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark national HIV Testing Week (pictured)

Earlier this month The Duke of Sussex appeared alongside Gareth Thomas in a new film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark national HIV Testing Week (pictured)

‘I think the moment I was told, the one thing I remember, do you know sometimes when you’re standing on a train platform and the train doesn’t stop and you’ve got your back to it and this train goes back and you get this moment of fear – I just remember feeling like that and feeling numb and this overriding feeling of isolation, as well and a realisation I’d have to live a life of isolation.’  

He said that he’d been to a private clinic to be tested and when he tested positive he was told to go to hospital where he thought he would be told he only had a few years left to live.

‘On the drive from the private clinic to the hospital was a thought that when I got to hospital they’ll give me … 5 maybe 8 years left to live. Then you fast-forward again and then you think how am I going to tell everybody this? My parents, or my brothers, my nieces that I’m not going to around anymore.’   

‘I thought I was educated about HIV and I thought I was educated about Aids,’ he added.

‘The only thing I ever remember seeing or being told about it was this horrific advert on the television, you died from it. At the time when there wasn’t medication to suppress HIV then it was needed because people were actually dying. Medicine moved on yet we never got told. People were being diagnosed with HIV, were living in the stigma that everybody else around them would feel that by touching somebody or drinking from the same cup or using the same knife and fork or through blood or through sex that they were going to be able to transmit it. So not only do you feel this sense of isolation, you actually feel kind of like a leper, like you’re going to be left out of society for fear. I was a self-stigmatised person.’

During their interview, the duke praised Thomas and said that what he was doing was 'amazing'. He added: 'I believe in what you're doing, it's amazing'

During their interview, the duke praised Thomas and said that what he was doing was 'amazing'. He added: 'I believe in what you're doing, it's amazing'

During their interview, the duke praised Thomas and said that what he was doing was ‘amazing’. He added: ‘I believe in what you’re doing, it’s amazing’

He also spoke candidly about how his parents reacted upon hearing the news from a journalist.

‘I think, when I was told that my parents knew that I had HIV and I hadn’t had the opportunity to tell them… I’d never chosen to tell them, I’m allowed a private life and I don’t want to worry my parents. I love my parents more than anything. I didn’t want to worry them and think that I’m going to die like I thought. 

Having that moment taken away from me and then having to sit down with my parents and then try and explain to them while they’re in shock, fear, angry… there’s moments you wait to tell people these precious secrets and this wasn’t the time. I had to try and calm them all down and try and get them to understand what living with HIV was,’ Thomas said.

He went to explain that he had to learn to accept the diagnosis himself.

‘What I realised I then had to do was I had to take control. To have power you have to have knowledge. So I made sure. I had been told that I was undetectable, that I couldn’t pass it on so I did my own research. I spoke to other people, I spoke to my doctor, I listened to my doctor, I realised through having all this knowledge I’m ok with it, I’m ok. Now what I have to do is, I felt, educate everybody else so everybody else would be OK. Not for me. This is bigger than me… I wanted to create environments that people wouldn’t be stigmatised,’ he added. 

He went on to explain to Loose Women that he takes one tablet a day. 

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with the virus. Speaking of getting his test results, Thomas told Loose Women (pictured above) on Tuesday about his initial feelings of isolation, which had turned to a 'free feeling' of having nothing to hide, as he vows to educate people on the diagnosis

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with the virus. Speaking of getting his test results, Thomas told Loose Women (pictured above) on Tuesday about his initial feelings of isolation, which had turned to a 'free feeling' of having nothing to hide, as he vows to educate people on the diagnosis

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with the virus. Speaking of getting his test results, Thomas told Loose Women (pictured above) on Tuesday about his initial feelings of isolation, which had turned to a ‘free feeling’ of having nothing to hide, as he vows to educate people on the diagnosis

‘I have a husband who is HIV negative. There is no way on this planet that I could transmit HIV to my husband. It’s really easy to educate but it’s really hard to re-educate people … To try and get people to un-think these thoughts and plant new ones in their brain is really difficult.’   

He added: ‘We need to also break the stigma of getting tested. People are fearful of being tested.’

He added: ‘I have realised kind of what it’s like to be, a moment of thinking you’re going to die. It takes that sometimes to realise how precious life is.’    

New statistics from Public Health England estimate that around one in 14 people living with HIV in the UK remain undiagnosed – while 43% of people diagnosed last year were diagnosed late, which is after damage to the immune system has already begun. 

The Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV charity, said that was why testing for HIV was so important because someone diagnosed early and accessing treatment – like Thomas – has the same life expectancy as anyone else.

Access to effective HIV treatment also ensures that the virus cannot be passed on, it added.

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