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ABBA-tars to become virtual dancing queens



Mamma Mia, here we go again – ABBA is alive and back after a 40 year hiatus but in the form of avatars to dazzle fans via a set of virtual concerts

The pop legends will release 10 songs in their album called Abba Voyage, teasing the new hits via a globally streamed press conference.

The first, I Still Have Faith In You, is a piano ballad that pays homage to the friendship formed by the four musicians.

ABBA’S First studio album for 40 years

“When Benny played the melody, I just knew it had to be about us,” said Bjorn Ulvaeus, a member of ABBA.

The group split in the early 1980’s and organically ended back in the studio recording together.

“At first it was just two songs, and then we said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a few others,'” said Benny Andersson.

My my! Abba avatars to take the virtual stage

The band’s new songs will be played during the band’s virtual concert, also titled Abba Voyage.

The four musicians will perform in a set of virtual concerts, where avatars of the four band members will play hits like Waterloo and dancing queen.

This virtual experience is set to open next year in a specially-built arena in east London.

The quartet who are now in their 70s, are transported back to the 1970’s.

Almost one thousand people worked to re-create Abba “in their prime” using motion capture technology that scanned “every mannerism and every motion”.

The clones of ABBA will appear in various virtual guises, from their satin-clad 1970s pomp to futuristic Tron-style space suits.

“Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Bjorn got on stage in front of 160 cameras and almost as many VFX geniuses, and they performed every song in this show, to perfection, over five weeks,” Ludvig Andersson, a producer said.

Why London? Bjorn said “London is the the best city to be in when it comes to entertainment, theatre, musicals… We have always felt that the Brits see us as their own.”

“There’s no real need for ABBA to be on TikTok because their music is all over it anyway, but it’s about making sure people connect their music with ABBA the brand, and that will feed back into other areas of the empire,” Sutherland says. 

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Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood



Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media

Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?

Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.

These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.

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Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase



Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death

Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.

The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.

The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.

“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.

Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.

Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.

Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.

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Tom Hanks open to continuing career with A.I. help



Despite the crackdown on A.I., one famous actor has raised the prospect of his career continuing after his death by using the technology

‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Cast Away’ actor Tom Hanks says new tech could be used to recreate his image to appear in movies “from now until kingdom come”.

Hanks was asked about the legal ramifications of A.I. on a recent podcast with Adam Buxton.

He says talks are being held in the film industry about how to protect actors from the effects of the technology.

Hanks told the host: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on.”

The award-winning actor acknowledged that tech developments could lead to an AI-generated version of himself appearing in films he may not not normally choose.

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