Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have coronavirus – and now Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has symptoms too

BORIS Johnson and Matt Hancock have BOTH tested positive for coronavirus today – and now Chief Medical Officer Chris Whity has symptoms too.

The PM, 55, was tested after experiencing mild symptoms of a cough and fever yesterday afternoon and will remain in self-isolation in his No11 flat for at least seven days.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates




He's believed to be the first world leader to get the virus, and found out his diagnosis late last night.

And the Health Secretary, 41, announced just hours later that he has it too.

This afternoon Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said he has been suffering symptoms too and would self-isolate as a precaution.

It's not clear if he's being tested too.

The PM said in a video this morning: "I have developed minor symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test. That has come out positive.

"I am working from home, I am self-isolating, and that is entirely the right thing to do.

"But be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team  to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.

"I want to thank above all our NHS staff.

"It was very moving last night to join the national clap, but it’s not just the NHS, it’s our police, our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools, DWP staff."

Mr Hancock added: "Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.

"I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.

"Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives."

He'll be working from home for the meantime, he said.

I have developed minor symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test. That has come out positive

Mr Hancock first developed symptoms on Wednesday after addressing the nation at a press conference on Tuesday alongside Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Davies, and National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis.

The PM won't be doing any of the daily press conferences while he is currently ill.

Michael Gove told today's Downing Street briefing: "The fact that the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have contracted the virus is a reminder that the virus does not discriminate.

"We are all at risk and that’s why it’s important we use social distancing measures."

He will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days from his girlfriend and fiance, Carrie Symonds, 32, who is currently pregnant – and in the more "vulnerable" category.

Last night she posted a snap of herself and pet dog Dilyn, online saying she was currently self-isolating.

It's understood she left No11 a couple of days ago – and is thought to be in the couple's Camberwell flat.

Telegraph commentator Camilla Tominey, a friend of Carrie's, told ITV's This Morning: "She's in Camberwell with Dilyn the dog so she will not have any contact with the prime minister over the last few days".

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms, including a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

But they have advised them to increase their social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

It comes after the PM was snapped clapping to praise the NHS outside No10 just last night.

A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the news, saying: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.

“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street."

At the moment the PM will continue to work, but it may mean that Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, will have to take over duties if the PM becomes more ill.

As the First Secretary of State he is the second most senior person in Government and technically the PM's deputy.

Just yesterday Boris took part in a G20 call with other leaders around the world to coordinate the international response.

No10 staff will have to stay 2m from the PM at all times – and will have to drop his meals outside his door.

The news comes just weeks after Boris said that he was continuing to shake hands with everyone, despite the risk of the virus spreading.

This morning a string of politicians – including Jeremy Corbyn – sent their best wishes to the PM and hoped he had a speedy recovery.

The Labour boss said: "I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and hope his family are safe and healthy.

"Coronavirus can and does affect anyone. Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else."










The news has sparked worry about who else he could have infected.

Downing Street said this morning that others in contact with the PM did not need to do so unless they develop symptoms – and they were not aware of any other ministers having a test.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen with the PM outside No10 last night, has shown no signs of the bug and is not isolating.

Coronavirus victims are thought to be contagious for between two and 12 days before symptoms start appearing.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, said: "It looks quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission.
"There’s definitely quite a lot of transmission very early in the disease when there are very mild symptoms."

Amid his busy schedule, Boris normally sees the Queen for their regular audience every week.

However, the PM has not seen Her Majesty in person for more than two weeks.

The Prime Minister had initially been expected to see her face-to-face on March 18 before she left for Windsor.

However, the Queen's diary has since confirmed the audience was held over the phone.

This means the last time she saw him was March 11 for their weekly chat.

All their following meetings were done by telephone.

Just this week, the palace released a photograph of the Queen, surrounded by dog statues, speaking on the phone with the PM on March 25.

The 93-year-old monarch is currently at Windsor with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: “Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health.

"The Queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare.

"We will not be commenting further."

Prince Charles, 71, meanwhile is in self-isolation in Scotland after testing positive to the bug.


 

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Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock BOTH test positive for coronavirus and in self-isolation


BORIS Johnson and Matt Hancock have BOTH tested positive for coronavirus, it was announced today.

The PM, 55, was tested after experiencing mild symptoms of a cough and fever yesterday afternoon and will remain in self-isolation in his No11 flat for at least seven days.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates



He's believed to be the first world leader to get the virus, and found out his diagnosis late last night.

And the Health Secretary, 41, announced just hours later that he has it too.

The PM said in a video this morning: "I have developed minor symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test. That has come out positive.

"I am working from home, I am self-isolating, and that is entirely the right thing to do.

"But be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team  to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.

"I want to thank above all our NHS staff.

"It was very moving last night to join the national clap, but it’s not just the NHS, it’s our police, our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools, DWP staff."

Mr Hancock added: "Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.

"I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.

"Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives."

He'll be working from home for the meantime, he said.

I have developed minor symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test. That has come out positive

Mr Hancock first developed symptoms on Wednesday after addressing the nation at a press conference on Tuesday alongside Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Davies, and National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis.

The PM won't be doing any of the daily press conferences while he is currently ill.

He will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days from his girlfriend and fiance, Carrie Symonds, 32, who is currently pregnant – and in the more "vulnerable" category.

Last night she posted a snap of herself and pet dog Dilyn, online saying she was currently self-isolating.

It's understood she left No11 a couple of days ago – and is thought to be in the couple's Camberwell flat.

Telegraph commentator Camilla Tominey, a friend of Carrie's, told ITV's This Morning: "She's in Camberwell with Dilyn the dog so she will not have any contact with the prime minister over the last few days".

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms, including a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

But they have advised them to increase their social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

It comes after the PM was snapped clapping to praise the NHS outside No10 just last night.

A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the news, saying: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.

“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street."

At the moment the PM will continue to work, but it may mean that Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, will have to take over duties if the PM becomes more ill.

As the First Secretary of State he is the second most senior person in Government and technically the PM's deputy.

Just yesterday Boris took part in a G20 call with other leaders around the world to coordinate the international response.

No10 staff will have to stay 2m from the PM at all times – and will have to drop his meals outside his door.

The news comes just weeks after Boris said that he was continuing to shake hands with everyone, despite the risk of the virus spreading.

This morning a string of politicians – including Jeremy Corbyn – sent their best wishes to the PM and hoped he had a speedy recovery.

The Labour boss said: "I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and hope his family are safe and healthy.

"Coronavirus can and does affect anyone. Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else."









The news has sparked worry about who else he could have infected.

Downing Street said this morning that others in contact with the PM did not need to do so unless they develop symptoms – and they were not aware of any other ministers having a test.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen with the PM outside No10 last night, has shown no signs of the bug and is not isolating.

Coronavirus victims are thought to be contagious for between two and 12 days before symptoms start appearing.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, said: "It looks quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission.
"There’s definitely quite a lot of transmission very early in the disease when there are very mild symptoms."

Amid his busy schedule, Boris normally sees the Queen for their regular audience every week.

However, the PM has not seen Her Majesty in person for more than two weeks.

The Prime Minister had initially been expected to see her face-to-face on March 18 before she left for Windsor.

However, the Queen's diary has since confirmed the audience was held over the phone.

This means the last time she saw him was March 11 for their weekly chat.

All their following meetings were done by telephone.

Just this week, the palace released a photograph of the Queen, surrounded by dog statues, speaking on the phone with the PM on March 25.

The 93-year-old monarch is currently at Windsor with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: “Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health.

"The Queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare.

"We will not be commenting further."

Prince Charles, 71, meanwhile is in self-isolation in Scotland after testing positive to the bug.


 

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'LPBW': Matt Roloff Said New Episodes of the Show Are Full of 'Juicy Content'

The new season of Little People, Big World is right around the corner, and fans are excited to see what the Roloffs will be getting into starting March 31. Last season, we saw huge changes for Amy Roloff. While she and Matt Roloff have been divorced for years, Amy finally took the plunge and sold her half of Roloff Farms to Matt. Now, the two are living on separate properties and pursuing new relationships.

While Amy has spoken about the new season, it seems Matt is coming forward with some details of his own. And he mentioned to the First Class Fatherhood podcast that this season of the show is full of “juicy content.” Here’s what Matt talked about.

Amy Roloff talked about what we’ll see on the new season

Amy’s shared her journey of moving off of Roloff Farms via Instagram, and it hasn’t been easy. She bought a new place 15 minutes from the farm in a neighborhood, and she’s been working diligently with her fiancé, Chris Marek, to make it little person-friendly. Now, it seems she’s really settling in. And she took to Facebook Live to share what viewers can expect out of the new season.

“Here, you get more in-depth of the stories about me moving out, the pressure of everyone wanting me, you know ‘when are you going to move out of the house, mom?’” Amy said.

And, of course, the topic of her engagement came up. “You’ll see more of that story. Oh my gosh, some of the things I found out he did. I was like, are you kidding me? Oh my lord!” she gushed.

Amy and Matt’s son, Zach, and his wife, Tori, are also regulars on the show. “You’ll see the birth of Lilah. … And, you know, a scary moment, about a month ago or something, that they went through,” Amy continued. “So, you’ll get more in-depth stories about all that, and some of the things Matt’s doing.”

Matt Roloff spoke on how long he’s been filming the show

Usually, it’s Amy who talks directly about the show more often than Matt. But Matt talked on the First Class Fatherhood podcast on March 23, and he gave some great insights into what filming the show is like. The Roloffs have been filming for 15 years, and they’ve gone through serious changes within their family and with the show crew. And Matt spoke on this as well.

“It feels like we’ve been filming forever. And, you know, there’s been ups and downs, there’s no doubt about it,” Matt added. And he also noted that throughout the years, the crew on TLC has changed for LPBW, which can lead to major adjustments in how they film, what questions the crew asks the Roloffs, and how authentic each moment is. But Matt verified that he loves working with TLC currently.

“Right now, we have an amazing team of people. We’re really liking the episodes that are coming out.”

He noted there will be ‘juicy content’ in the upcoming season

So, what is Matt saying about the new season? He told the First Class Fatherhood podcast that the current episodes that are coming out “are really good. They’re full of really juicy content. But at the same time, I think they’re fair and they’re honest.”

Matt then went on to explain that he thinks some seasons of the show are better than others — but the best seasons happen when the filming crew allows everything on the show to play out authentically.

“With the Roloff family, the truth is stranger than fiction,” he added. “And what I mean by that is if you follow the real, actual story of what’s really happening and going on, you don’t need to make anything up. So, our favorite seasons are the ones where they’re just following the real-life Roloffs ….”

We’re excited to see the “real” Roloffs on this upcoming season of LPBW starting March 31!

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What did Matt Hancock say in today’s coronavirus press conference? – The Sun

THE government held the latest coronavirus press conference virtually from Downing Street tonight.

Tuesday's briefing begun around 4:30pm with Health Secretary Matt Hanncock and the deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries stepping in for prime minister Boris Johnson.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

What time was the coronavirus press conference today?

Tuesday's press conference began around 4:30pm and took place virtually – with journalists dialling in.

There was no press conference on Monday night with Johnson chairing an emergency Cobra meeting.

After the meeting last night, he addressed the nation and begged everybody to stay at home to save lives.

What was said in today's briefing?

Matt Hancock announced a new hospital is set to open.

NHS Nightingale hospital will open at London's Excel Centre next week, it will consist of two wards and have the capacity of 4,000 beds.

He also took the opportunity to thank everyone helping to tackle coronavirus from pharmacists to medics.

The Health Secretary also called for 250,000 volunteers to sign up and help the NHS.

Mr Hancock said: "We are seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health, to help the NHS, for shopping, for delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded to protect their own health.
"The NHS responders is a new scheme set up so that people can come and help and make sure the NHS and the local services that are needed can get all the support that they can."

Find out how you can help by volunteering here.

He also stressed the PM's lockdown regulations are 'rules not requests' and that 'home is the front line' in the fight against coronavirus.

What was unveiled in yesterday's announcement?

Johnson last night effectively placed the UK into lockdown and ordered people to stay home to save lives.

In his address to the nation, the PM said: "From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

People are only now allowed to leave their homes for one of four essential reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and this cannot be done from home

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Why is the government holding daily briefings?

Johnson and his senior cabinet ministers had been criticised for a lack of regular updates into what is happening with the coronavirus outbreak.

Among them was Sir Keir Starmer – a candidate to become the next Labour leader – who called for daily press conferences.

The Shadow Secretary said he was “deeply concerned” that “ministers have been failing in their responsibilities to provide consistent and transparent public health advice”.

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Matt Chapman has news on his beloved Faugheen and discusses some of the stars of the future

HE could be back. For the time being that is all you need to know.

Firstly, of course, I just hope those of you reading this are fit and well. It's a desperate time for everyone as Coronavirus does its best to ruin our lives and even take our life.​

As I write, racing close to home survives in Ireland, as we saw yesterday with action on ITV from Thurles. There may well be more from the Curragh and Meydan next weekend.​

Sky Sports Racing will also continue to show as much foreign racing as possible and greyhounds may get a boost and become more of a feature.​

But it's obviously very hard times for everyone in racing. It's simply a case of survival.​

Racing chat seems futile in many ways, but of course it is not, because life does go on. And hope is everything.​ And our minds need something to focus on rather than doom and gloom

So how about this for a slice of something to relish. Coming back to my introduction, I think Faugheen – my beloved machine – could be back next season to race on as a 13-year-old. Now that is massive good news.​

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My information is this. Provided Faugheen is fit and well – and regular work-rider John Codd is encouraging along with trainer Willie Mullins – then owner Rich Ricci would be happy to see Faugheen do what Faugheen does best. Run for fun. If this happens thank you Ricci.

Faugheen is such a people’s horse and still has a monster engine. He was very unlucky to be only third behind Samcro in the Marsh at Cheltenham.

Looking back at the Festival there was much for the Ricci camp to get excited about.

Monkfish was brave and talented in the Albert Bartlett despite being too keen and making one bad mistake. He also ran green approaching the last.

You just get the feeling Monkfish is a real Gold Cup horse in the making, and if things go his way could do even better in the main event than Djakadam, who has knocked at the door at Cheltenham for Ricci in the past.

The mega owner also landed the Ryanair with Min, who deserved his huge success, but there might have been much more in just slightly different circumstances.

If the ground on Tuesday had been like it was on Friday, Sharjah would surely have been closer in the Champion Hurdle.

And of course not many of us don’t believe Benie des Dieux wasn’t the best horse in the Mares’, where tactics amongst the Mullins horses were, to be quite frank, pants.

Chacun Pour Soi had to be pulled out of the Champion Chase at the last minute, and Ricci was missing Saldier and Burrows Saint. There is better to come over fences from Aione and Five O’Clock.

And here is a bit of information that not everyone knows but is worth keeping up your sleeve.

Don’t tell anyone, but Ricci bought a horse called El Barra at the same time as Monkfish. And trust me at that time most people thought El Barra – second in a point at Dromahane to Fury Road – was superior to Monkfish. El Barra could be out in a bumper soon after a setback.

That said, Ricci talking horses haven’t always come up to scratch. Jon Snow, Annamix and Getabird simply weren’t as good as we all thought they might be. Indeed, you could argue Ricci has had much more luck with the less spicy chasers he has owned.

One more reflection on the Cheltenham Festival that involved the Ricci animals was the coming of age of the super talented champion jockey Paul Townend.

Now it was always going to be hard for Townend the year after Ruby Walsh retired. But over four days Townend showed us we can forget the Walsh/Mullins era and look to the future.

Townend started with a shocker on Asterion Forlonge who jumped horribly right, and should have scored on Benie des Dieux. You only have to look at her French form to see how good Benie really is.

But Townend picked himself up, and banged in the bumper on Ferny Hollow. Yes, he was unlucky on Faugheen, but his efforts on Min, the lucky Burning Victory, Monkfish and Al Boum Photo were those of a true champion. Townend has much to look forward to.

And Coronavirus-willing so do you and I. Enjoy life people.

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Dancing On Ice pro skater Matt Evers ‘very sick’ with coronavirus symptoms as he reveals ‘I’m really down’ – The Sun

DANCING On Ice pro skater Matt Evers has revealed he is "very sick" with coronavirus symptoms as he revealed "I'm really down."

The star, 44, has admitted he is worried for his mental health after being locked up in his home in self-isolation for five days, he bravely told the Sun Online.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

DOI veteran Matt said he feels 'down' and worried over fears he has Coronavirus after colleague on Sports Relief caught it.

The skate pro has been leaning on DOI partner H from Steps and good friend Bake-Off's Candice Brown for support as he has been holed up in his house for nearly a week with symptoms, but hasn't been tested.

In an exclusive chat with the Sun Online, he said: "I've been very sick for the past 5 days.

"I've been having flu symptoms and been really spaced out. I've been down, thinking what am I? Who am I? I can't get home to my family in the States too, I have elderly parents so I've been feeling pretty helpless."



He explained that after a hectic season on Dancing on Ice, he was experiencing a comedown as work wrapped up rapidly.

He said: "Also after DOI it's a massive comedown. You're used to working out daily, getting calls from producers three times a day, but all this has stopped.

I can't work out because I have been too sick.

I'm focussing on getting better. I'm so lucky I've been leaning on H for support, and Candice who have been amazing."

Here we go @sportrelief @bbcone See who wins the boat race! On from 7pm.

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He posted a picture on Instagram looking peaceful as he relaxed by a window.

Thanking the NHS, he wrote: "Stop, breathe, give thanks to our medical workers and have faith."

Matt also revealed the Dancing on Ice crew have been perking each other up sending their most hilarious moments from the show.

Meanwhile contestants Ben Hanlin has been perking up the group by sending out hilarious sketches.

His latest unseen footage from his Tricked show about a plumber who catches his cheating girlfriend already had 17 million views on Instagram.

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'LPBW': Matt Roloff and Caryn Chandler Aren't on Roloff Farms During Coronavirus Scare

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has swept the globe, and everyone’s taking to Instagram to share how they’re practicing social distancing and staying safe. It seems the cast of Little People, Big World is also sharing what’s going on. Matt and Amy Roloff, the two leads from the show who are now divorced, have both shared some sentiments about the pandemic on Instagram.

We know Amy chose to move off of Roloff Farms in the last season of the show. And now, Matt and his girlfriend, Caryn Chandler, reside on the property. It looks like Matt and Chandler are elsewhere to ride out the pandemic, though. Here’s what Chandler explained on Instagram.

Matt Roloff seems to be making moves to leave Roloff Farms

Roloff Farms is iconic to LPBW audiences, but it’s certainly a lot of work. With Amy off the farm and Matt aging, fans are wondering if he’ll keep the farm or sell it. And it seems there’s more evidence than ever to support the fact that Matt might sell.

Matt once called the farm “a burden” due to how much land there is to care for. “There’s part of me that wants to keep the farm and build a house that suits me, but part of me just wants to sell the farm and liquidate it and move on,” he said on LPBW.

Not only has Matt mentioned how difficult the farmwork is, but on March 9, 2020, Matt posted photos to his Instagram Story showing the layout of a new home he’s concocting. We’re not sure how serious his plans are here — but his creations looked intense.

“Layed with my new house plans for a few hours,” he captioned the photo showing the possible interior of his house. “Decided I really needed to simplify a few roof line areas.”

He has a home in Surprise, Arizona, with Caryn Chandler

So, where would Matt go if he didn’t live on Roloff Farms? Surprise, Arizona, has a special place in his heart. In Touch Weekly notes Matt bought a place in the warmer state that was formerly owned by Chandler’s parents. And both Matt and Chandler frequently post photos and videos of them in Arizona, as it seems to be their preferred location over Oregon.

We’re not sure if Matt plans on giving up Roloff Farms for good to live in Arizona just yet. While he seems to be heading that direction, he took to Facebook Live back in 2018 to set the record straight.

“No, I’m not giving up on the farm. There’s no way I could be away from my grandbabies for more than a couple weeks at a time, but I am coming down here more often,” he explained. “I do enjoy the heat and the low humidity, so I bought a house down here. It’s kind of an investment property and something to play around with. Instead of going to hotels and staying at different places, I can have one location very conducive to my short stature.”

Chandler told Instagram followers she’s hunkered down with Matt in Arizona

The coronavirus is causing everyone to practice social distancing. While it would make sense for Matt and Chandler to stay on Roloff Farms, it seems they’re riding out the pandemic in Arizona.

“As Matt & I are hunkered down here in AZ (much like I imagine most of you are) we feel inadequate at the moment – especially with how to help those in need. If only we had a crystal ball or a magic wand – maybe we could make things better,” Chandler captioned her Instagram post of her and Matt in the warm state. “BUT one thing is for sure, one thing we can all think about is that we are ALL in this together. Embrace compassion, use only what you need, and take a teeny bit of comfort knowing we’re sending YOU love & positive thoughts today.”

It looks like Amy is still in Oregon staying in her home. As for who’s caring for Roloff Farms during these difficult times, we’re not sure. But Matt and Chandler won’t be in Arizona forever, so we’re curious to hear when they’ll return.

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Matt Chapman reflects on the Cheltenham Festival and has some chat on the weekend racing at Kempton and Uttoxeter

ONE day I think we will all look back at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and wonder how it happened at all. But happen it did, despite Coronavirus spreading across the globe like wildfire.

In typical Cheltenham style there was drama from start to finish, with a well-punted Champion Hurdle heroine, a Champion Chase ripped to pieces as if the virus had taken a personal disliking to the two-mile dash, a shock in the Paddy Power Stayers’ and a Gold Cup with a sizzling bunch finish.

So in the words of the fabulous Johnny Hates Jazz, let’s ‘Turn back the Clock’ to Tuesday afternoon and that Champion Hurdle.

Epatante was a decisive winner for Nicky Henderson and JP McManus, and it was a huge change in form from the mare who looked desperate just a year earlier at this fixturte. Quite simply Epatante has come of age, and at a time when the speedier hurdlers are a moderate bunch she is clearly best of the best.

Should she have got a 7lb mares’ allowance? Well that is probably a debate for another time. But I am in favour of all championship races being run off levels. After all, we are trying to find the best of the best, not the best of their sex with a bit of help from those in charge of dishing out weights and measures.

It’s hard to know what to say about the Champion Chase, which of course went to the admirable Politologue after first Altior and then Chacun Pour Soi were pulled out of the event. With Defi Du Seuil running an absolute shocker, it was as poor a Champion as anyone can ever remember.

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That said, Harry Skelton gave the Paul Nicholls-trained winner a cracker, and it would be quite wrong to suggest Politologue is useless. It’s just we all know he’s not a champion chaser. Except, of course, that he is now!

Paisley Park was all the rage in the Stayers’, and the defending champion looked outstanding on paper. But it wasn’t his day and there were no excuses from admirable connections, even though the hot favourite pulled off two shoes.

As for the winner, Lisnagar Oscar, it’s hard to know what to make of his success, for all that it was fabulous for trainer Rebecca Curtis and jockey Adam Wedge. After all, the seven-year-old’s last success was in February 2019!

Yesterday, of course, was Gold Cup day, and last year’s heroes were at it again with Al Boum Photo retaining his crown for the champions of Ireland in trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend. The latter is a butter would not melt in his mouth type of guy. But Townend is mad behind the scenes and a real talent. Well done to all in a cracking renewal.

Away from the main events, there were three races that really grabbed me by my short and curlies.

The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Tuesday was an absolute gem, with Shishkin putting up the performance of the week for me under Nico de Boinville.

A massive drifter in the betting, everything went wrong in the race for Shishkin, who made a mistake at the third and was squeezed up over and over before only just avoiding a faller two out. To get up and pip the heavily gambled Abacadabras was incredible. And what a battle to start the meeting with the winning distance a head.

Very few horses charged up the Cheltenham run-in, but Sire Du Berlais quickened when most were slowing down to take the Pertemps for the second year in a row.

From the betting ring I could see his acceleration. It was awesome. He must be a Stayers’ contender in 2021, providing we are all alive.

And finally Samcro v Melon v Faugheen the machine in the Marsh was torture and joy all in one.

Samcro, better known as Jesus, showed that walking on water and feeding the five thousand was a piece of cake compared to getting the better of Melon. And the latter was denied at Cheltenham yet again, having run his heart out here and in former Champion hurdles.

And as for Faugheen, well I am biased but I think he should have won. That said he was still magnificent at the age of twelve and is a credit to the sport. The fact that getting on for 50,000 people have watched a feature I did on him online says it all. Everyone loves Faugheen.

And everyone loves racing. In troubled times who knows what the weeks ahead hold for the sport. But this week racing was the winner.

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'LPBW': Matt Roloff's Girlfriend, Caryn Chandler, Said She Wants More Roloff Grandchildren

We’ve been keeping up with the Roloffs for years thanks to Little People, Big World. And if there’s anyone associated with the famous family who fans have different opinions on, it’s Matt Roloff’s girlfriend, Caryn Chandler. Chandler got to know Matt and Amy Roloff quite well over the years, as she was the Roloff Farms manager during pumpkin season. And now that Matt and Amy are divorced, she pursued a romantic relationship with Matt that’s been going on for years.

Chandler isn’t just close to Matt, either. She’s developed quite a connection to Matt and Amy’s adult kids, which also means she gets to see the Roloff grandchildren. And a recent Instagram comment from her indicates she may be excited for even more kids in the future. Here’s what she said.

Matt Roloff’s girlfriend, Caryn Chandler, loves the Roloff grandchildren

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Love seeing these smiles after a week away 😍

A post shared by Caryn Chandler (@carynchandler1) on

Matt and Amy Roloff are ultra-excited that their children are having kids of their own. So far, Jeremy Roloff and his wife, Audrey, have two kids, with their most recent being their son born in January 2020. And Zach Roloff and his wife, Tori, also have two kids with their youngest still in the infant stages.

Chandler adores children, and she frequently posts photos of the Roloff grandbabies she loves so much. On Jan. 20, she posted a photo to Instagram of her holding Bode, Jeremy’s son. And back in November 2019, she also posted a photo of her holding Lilah, Zach’s daughter.

We’re sure Chandler doesn’t play favorites. But she does seem to have a special connection to Zach and Tori’s 2-year-old son, Jackson. Back in August 2019, Chandler posted a photo of her with Jackson playing on a kids play-structure. “Peek a boo …! I think I could play with Matt’s cutie pie grandkids all day long,” she captioned the post. 

Chandler made a comment indicating she wants more babies

Now that there are two more infants for Chandler to cuddle, we’re betting she’s a happy step-grandmother. But it looks like she may be hoping for even more little ones.

On March 1, Matt posted a photo of him holding Jeremy and Audrey’s son, Bode. “This muffin man .. Bode James … has grandpa’s heart just like all my other muffins do! #lovin’allmymuffins,” Matt captioned his post. And Chandler’s comment caught attention.

“You need a dozen muffins !!” she commented along with emoji hearts.

To that, another follower commented, “maybe from each oven. Blessings!”

Chandler said back, “Yes I do. :).”

Another bold follower wrote, “You and Matt are due for some of your own muffins!” To that, Chandler didn’t respond, as she has children of her own and isn’t even married to Matt as of now.

Fans love how Chandler acts around the Roloff kids

So, will Zach and Jeremy (or even Molly and Jacob) have more kids? We’re not sure — but it’s clear fans adore how loving and caring Chandler is to the little ones.

“Love it, Caryn has a special grandma place in Jackson’s heart you can tell,” a fan commented on a clip of Chandler playing with Jackson.

“Caryn is wonderful with Ember and Jackson. You and Caryn make a good team,” another follower wrote on Matt’s photos showing Chandler with Ember and Jackson.

“If Caryn is going to be in Matt’s life, of course she should be a part of the grandchildrens as well. Everyone should come together equally, in unison, especially for all those innocent, precious children.,” another wrote.

On another photo of Chandler and Matt with the grandkids around the holidays, a follower wrote, “I love how you love all of Matt’s kids and grandkids.”

We’re sure we’ll see plenty more of Chandler with the Roloff grandkids on the new season of LPBW starting March 2020! Until then, we’ll keep watch of Instagram to see plenty of updates from the beloved family.

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Newcastle stars Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey sign new deals with Bruce hopeful of tying down Longstaff brothers – The Sun

STEVE BRUCE is hopeful of tying down both the Longstaff brothers – after Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie signed new Newcastle deals.

The Magpies boss admitted last month that talks with Matty – whose deal expires in the summer – had reached an ‘impasse’.

The 19-year-old midfielder is now free to talk to foreign clubs, with Milan giants Inter and AC both keeping tabs.

Older brother Sean’s deal does not run out until 2022 but talks over a new deal had broken down in recent months.

Shelvey and Ritchie have both signed two-year extensions at St. James’ Park until the summer of 2023.

On the Longstaff brothers, Bruce said: “They’re taking with the club and we still hope there’s a positive outcome. Let’s hope that can get resolved too.

“Sean has got something like two years left so there is no rush in that respect.

“We all know what I think of Matty and we are hoping we can get something sorted. We still have a few weeks and months.”

On Shelvey and Ritchie, he added: “I’m delighted. They have been very, very good over the last few years.

“I’ve been lucky enough to inherit them and there has been a good conclusion to it. They are a big make up of the team and I am delighted they have committed.

“As I’ve said many times, the nucleus of the team that got out of the Championship is still here and those two have been instrumental in that.

“We all know Ritchie, there is never a dull day with him. And Jonjo is a very, very good player.

Shelvey has made 130 appearances for the Magpies since arriving from Swansea in January 2016.

He said: "It feels like a home. The people here, ever since I came to the club, have made me feel so welcome.

“I've had some good times and some bad times here, but it's mainly good and it's just an enjoyable place to come in and work, and the city in general has been really good for me.”

Ritchie joined from Bournemouth in the summer of 2016 and has scored 22 goals in 139 appearances.

He said: "It's obviously something that I wanted. When you sign at a club, you want to go there and make an impact and if you can be part of that club moving forward for a long time, it's something that is nice.

“I moved around in my younger years on loan but to come somewhere and get settled and be part of the progress of the football club is great."

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