Melania Trump heartbreak: Emotional FLOTUS in devastating confession about Donald’s life

In a rare interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the FLOTUS shared stories about her life with the US President. But in an emotional moment when quizzed about what the real Donald was like, Melania made a stunning confession. She was asked by Mr Hannity: “What would you want America to know about him behind the scenes that maybe they don’t see or know?

“That maybe the media would never portray about him?”

Melania replied: “He’s fighting for America and the American people everyday.

“He wants to govern the right way.

“Sometimes it’s tough because you can see the media wants to bash and focus on negativity.”

In the same interview, Melania mocked Donald after admitting she didn’t agree with the tone of some of his Twitter posts.

She also opened up on her life and how it has changed since becoming the First Lady of the US.

Trump rose to office in 2016 after a shock victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

As part of her role, Melania set up the BeBest campaign, which is designed to curb online and cyber bullying.

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She has been heavily criticised due to posts in which alleged bullying tactics have been employed by Donald.

Mr Hannity asked her whether she approved of the posts.

She said: “I don’t agree with his tone and sometimes I tell him that.

“As I said before sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t.”

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When asked whether she had ever stopped him by Mr Hannity, she said: “I said to him I don’t think you need to put that out but in the end it’s his decision.

“He knows the consequences.

“He’s an adult – but he’s a fighter.”

In another admission she recalled how different her life is now and the need for “very thick skin”.

She said: “It’s incredible especially when you think about it.

“When you think about it, your life, where you were born and life, all the steps you took.

“I took a lot of steps and it’s not just like you learn a lot on the way here.

“You need to have very thick skin.”

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Ivanka Trump humiliated: First Daughter’s failed businesses and their scandals revealed

During her time working for the Trump Organisation, Ivanka set up two businesses, one in high-end jewellery and the other a fashion brand. In 2007, Ivanka formed a partnership with Dynamic Diamond Corp to create Ivanka Trump Fine Jewellery, a line of diamond and gold jewellery to be sold at her first flagship store in Manhattan. In 2011, the flagship store moved from Madison Avenue to 109 Mercer Street, a larger space in the fashionable Soho district.

However, by 2015 the brand was struggling and the flagship store was “stripped clean” and closed down.

By October 2016, the only dedicated retail shop and flagship boutique for her line was in Trump Tower.

The business folded completely in 2017.

Meanwhile, Ivanka started her fashion line in 2012, which included clothes, handbags, shoes and accessories available in major department stores including Macy’s and Hudson’s Bay.

However, her brand suffered scandal after scandal over the next few years.

After a toxic mix of bad press, investigations, social media trolling and actual protests, Ivanka folded her fashion line in 2018, claiming she wanted to focus on public policy.

Initially, her fashion line garnered criticism from those alleging she had copied designs by other designers and also came under attack from PETA for its use of rabbit fur.

Then, in 2016, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled Ivanka Trump-branded scarves because they did not meet federal flammability standards.

During the 2016 campaign trail, Ivanka’s father frequently denounced the use of overseas manufacturing for American companies, so it was deeply embarrassing when, in December, an analysis found that his own daughter’s fashion line was produced outside the US in countries like China, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Mr Trump’s website claimed his vision was to “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages and reduce America’s trade deficit,” specifically attacking China in this respect.

Then, in February 2017, Nordstrom removed Ivanka Trump products from their website and stores, citing poor performance.

They told Teen Vogue: “We’ve said all along we make buying decisions based on performance.

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“We’ve got thousands of brands – more than 2000 offered on the site alone.

“Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of our business.

“In this case, based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.”

The same month, presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway controversially encouraged Fox News viewers to buy Ivanka’s products, calling it her words a “free commercial”.

She said: “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff. I’m just gonna give a free commercial here, go buy it today, you can buy it online.”

It is against the law for a White House employee to use their position to endorse any products or services – let alone that belonging to the First Daughter – but Ms Conway managed to avoid punishment.

In March, Ivanka was appointed senior adviser to the President and Modern Appealing Clothing filed a class action lawsuit that claimed her line had an unfair advantage due to her father’s political status.

In April 2017, the brand dropped multiple stores and it was reported that extra stock was being sold in discount stores with labels that read “Adrienne Vittadini”.

The same month, Ivanka came under scrutiny after she and her husband Jared Kushner had dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the very same day her fashion line was approved with new trademarks to sell jewellery, clothing, bags and spa services in China.

In June, the Ivanka Trump brand, among others, was reportedly investigated for labour abuses in Chinese factories.

Three people with the organisation China Labour watch were arrested by Chinese authorities while investigating Huajian International, which makes shoes for Ivanka Trump.

That same month, Ivanka Trump was trolled on Twitter about the brand’s choice in Father’s Day gifts for its luxury gift guide, including a $325 briefcase, $130 turntable and $59 golfer’s tool belt.

The brand was also investigated by Washington Post reporters, who claimed workers were so underpaid overseas one said: “My monthly salary is not enough for everyday expenses, also not for the future.”

In July 2017, more than 60,000 people signed a petition asking Macy’s to remove Ivanka Trump’s wears from its stores after other major retailers dropped the line.

Finally, in July 2018, Ivanka announced that she was shutting down her company after deciding to focus on her political career.

She said in a statement: “When she first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve.

“After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but  do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.

“I am beyond grateful for the work of our incredible team who had inspired so many women; each other and myself included.

“While we will not continue our mission together, I know that each of them will thrive in their next chapter.”

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Gibraltar election 2019: Why is Gibraltar having an election before Brexit?

Gibraltar residents head to the polls this Thursday, less than two weeks before the October 31 Brexit date. Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo called the election following the Prime Minister’s appointment in June this year. The Minister is hoping the election will offer more stability to the country as it anticipates a no-deal Brexit and forthcoming Spanish elections.

Why is Gibraltar having an election?

Gibraltar will head to the polls on Thursday, October 17, as thousands of voters decide which party will lead the British territory.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced the vote last month, which will decide the 17 members of Gibraltar’s Parliament.

The minister announced elections would decide a new leader for the next four years in a bid for stability.

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Talking to Politico, Mr Picardo revealed he called an election to provide Gibraltar with a new government prepared for a potential no-deal Brexit.

He claimed his Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP) is ready for the eventuality, something not reflected in the UK government’s preparation documents.

Mr Picardo said: “We are ready for the morning after if that eventuality were to come to pass.

“Every minute of my day, of the deputy chief’s day, and the day of most officials would be planned from 48 hours before a hard Brexit and to the immediate actions that we would be making in the run-up and in the minutes after a hard Brexit occurs.”

The election also seeks to create stable protection against a possible right-wing coalition in Spain after elections next month.

Following an unsuccessful bid by Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) head Pedro Sanchez to gain a majority in Parliament during April elections, another round of votes will take place in November.

With a left-wing coalition rejected, there are concerns a centre-right coalition of the People’s Party and far-right Vox is on the cards.

The Spanish nationalist parties may see Brexit as a chance to push for sovereignty over Gibraltar, and Mr Picardo says he hopes new governments would “get on” with one another.

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Speaking to Politico, Picardo said he would work with whichever party won out in Spain’s November elections.

However, he said he has “little to say” to parties with discourse not rooted in 21st century international relations.

He said: “I have very little to say to those whose political discourse reminds me more of what was said in Central Europe in the late 1930s than what we should be saying to each other in the 21st century.

“I do hope that whichever government may be and whatever political conception, they will understand that what is in the interest of both parties in this part of the world is that we should get on with each other.”

Two surveys have predicted Mr Picardo’s GSLP-Liberal Democrat coalition will sweep the majority.

The Gibraltar Chronicle, which posted the first polls last week, has predicted the GSLP-Liberal alliance will net some 63.5 percent of the vote, with the Gibraltar Social Democrats and Together Gibraltar party on 21.7 and 14.1 percent of the vote respectively.

In this scenario, the coalition would gain 10 seats, the GSD six and Together Gibraltar just one.

A second poll, published by the newspaper Panorama, showed the GSLP coalition on 54 percent, the GSD on 28 percent and Together Gibraltar on 17 percent.

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Sukkot greetings: How to say Happy Sukkot in Hebrew – What is the meaning of Sukkot?

Sukkot is a Hebrew festival which takes place on the 15th day of the month of the seventh month of Tishrei (October 15). The festival follows the Jewish holidays of Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, most of which are introspective occasions. Sukkot, on the other hand, is celebrated with a Sukkah and lasts for seven days.

How to say happy Sukkot in Hebrew

Most Jewish holidays are not celebrated in the same vein as Christmas, and as such people do not say “happy Sukkot”.

Also, most Sukkot greetings are said in Hebrew rather than in English.

Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the best greetings one can wish those celebrating Sukkot this year.

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These greetings are said during festivals or Hebrew holiday occasions:

Chag Sameach

Chag Sameach is Hebrew for “joyous festival”, and particularly appropriate for Sukkot.

Gut Yontiff

Gut Yontiff is Yiddish for “good holiday”, said during most Hebrew festivals.

Moadim l’simcha

Moadim l’simcha literally translates to “A good festival period A happy festival period”, used during Passover and Sukkot.

Chagim u’zmanim l’sasson

Chagim u’zmanim l’sasson is a response to Moadim l’simcha, which means “holidays and seasons for rejoicing!”.

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What is the meaning of Sukkot?

Sukkot is one of three biblical holidays known as the shalosh regalim, when ancient Israelites would journey to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The festival of Sukkot is agricultural, and celebrates the time when the Jewish people lived in Sukkah huts during their 40-year pilgrimage through the wilderness.

Observing practitioners will build a temporary Sukkah during the festival, where they will spend time for one week.

People are required to eat in the Sukkah, and others may also choose to sleep there during the holiday.

During the first day the Sukkah is decorated, and most forms of work are forbidden.

People then tie together four plants mentioned in the bible known as the Arbat ha’minim and wave them for seven days.

The final day is the Hoshanah Rabah, when Jewish people encircle a synagogue seven times and recite special prayers.

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Narcos: Why did Pedro Pascal really leave Narcos?

Pedro Pascal is well known for playing Drug Enforcement Agent Javier Peña in the Netflix series Narcos. He starred in three seasons of the show as the agent tasked with bringing down both Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and the Cali Cartel. However, he left at the end of the third season as the show changed to Narcos: Mexico.

Why did Pedro Pascal leave Narcos?

Pedro Pascal played the one of the few lead characters to star in three seasons of Netflix drama Narcos.

He played real-life DEA agent Javier Peña in the Netflix show who is investigating Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel.

However, when season three transported the focus to the Cali Cartel, his involvement became a fictionalised account.

The last viewers saw of the character was at the end of season three when he was on the banks of the Amazon with his father Chucho (Edward James Olmos).

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The pair discussed whether he might take up the offer to go and work for the DEA in Mexico.

However, he told his father: “I’ve done enough, I’m through.”

While it seemed like he would not be returning, the news was only confirmed in December 2017 by the showrunners.

This came after creator Eric Newman revealed all to The Hollywood Reporter as he cast two new members of the show – Michael Peña and Diego Luna.

Continuing as Narcos: Mexico, the series switched its focus to the rise of the Guadalajara cartel.

As a result, the series also went back in time a few years, setting the action in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the drug cartel was in action.

Newman told the publication that the plan to move on from Peña’s story was in motion for a number of years.

He said: “It was a part of the plan as early as season two.

“The design was always to finish out the Colombian story and the players that we’ve come to know there, and then start anew in Mexico.”

He added: “The continuing character on the show was always intended to be cocaine and the futile war against it.”

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Actor Pascal was aware of the decision, according to the showrunner.

Newman added: “Although, he alternated between asking us to kill off his character at one point and then wondering, ‘Hey, maybe he can come back.’

“I’d like to think that he still hasn’t made up his mind about whether he wants to come back.

“It is after all an intersecting universe — the Mexicans did a lot of business with the Colombians.”

Some fans are hoping that this could mean the much-loved character may return once again in the series if the timelines match up.

However, fans can also catch Pascal as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones as well as playing the title character in the new Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

Viewers will also be pleased to know that season two of Narcos: Mexico has been commissioned.

The latest outing is set to pick up on the reveal that narrator Scoot McNairy is actually Walt Breslin.

Breslin is the DEA agent who will take over from the character of Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña) after his shocking death in season one.

Narcos is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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Michael Schumacher update: Recovery timeline – Will Schumacher go out in public again?

Michael Schumacher has not been seen since he suffered a severe head injury and was left in a coma in 2013. The popular racing legend was skiing off-piste with his son at the Meribel ski resort in France in December 2013 when the accident occurred. Although an experienced skier, Schumacher, who was wearing a helmet, fell at a relatively low speed and hit his head on a rock.

Road to recovery timeline

December 29, 2013: Schumacher suffers traumatic brain injury and is airlifted to Hospital of Moutiers in a critical condition. He is later transported to Grenoble hospital.

December 30, 2013: Surgeons operate to stop brain haemorrhaging and treat intracranial pressures and chumacher is placed in a medically induced coma.

The doctors operating on the Formula One driver reveal the helmet saved his life.

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January 4, 2014: Schumacher is in a stable, but critical condition as doctors dismiss speculations he is out of danger.

January 14, 2014: The Formula One legend has an operation on his skull to discover any brain damage.

January 30, 2014: Medics start to gradually wake Schumacher up from the medically induced coma and “blinks” during brain tests.

February 25, 2014: Schumacher’s manager dismisses reports in a German magazine that doctors have ended attempts to bring him out of a medically induced coma.

March 12, 2014: More than two months after the skiing accident, Schumacher shows “small, encouraging signs” that he may wake from his coma.

April 5, 2014: Fresh hope for Schumacher with ‘moments of awakening’.

June 13, 2014: The racing legend is moved to the ‘rehab’ ward.

June 16, 2014: Schumacher is no longer in a medically induced coma and leaves the hospital.

July 11, 2014: Corinna Schumacher says her husband is getting better after coming out of a coma in her first comments since the accident.

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September 9, 2014: It is revealed Schumacher will continue his recovery in private at his home in Geneva, Switzerland.

A statement released on behalf of Schumacher read: “Michael’s rehabilitation will take place at his home.

“Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”

2015: Sabine Kehm, Schumacher’s manager, said his condition was improving “considering the severeness of the injury he had.”

2017: The racing legend’s lawyer was forced to tell a court Schumacher “cannot walk” after German magazine Bunte claimed the 49-year-old could walk in an article. Bunte magazine had to pay Schumacher €50,000.

May 2019: It is announced a documentary about the Formula One legend is in the final stages of production.

The Michael Schumacher documentary is expected to include family interviews and celebrate 25 years since the driver’s first world championship.

The film is expected to be released late in 2019.

September 9, 2019: Schumacher was admitted to a hospital in Paris for secret treatment.

It is believed that a leading surgeon who specialises in stem-cell breakthroughs was treating the racing star at the Georges Pompidou Hospital.

French newspaper Le Parisien has quoted an unnamed nurse who works at the hospital and claimed Schumacher is recovering.

The nurse reportedly said: “Yes he is in my service. And I can assure you that he is conscious.”

Will Michael Schumacher ever go out in public again?

From the small amount of information given by Schumacher’s family up until now, it does not seem likely Michael will be seen out in public any time soon.

But a source has said “Corinna and the children hope to this day that a medical miracle happens.”

A family friend has also revealed how his toned physique may be aiding him and said the F1 legend is doing “well in the circumstances.”

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Trump sends 3,000 troops to bolster Saudi in a bid to deter Iran – ‘You will regret that’

The American military presence in Saudi Arabia has increased significantly following an attack on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities. It comes just days after Trump announced 1,000 American soldiers were being withdrawn from Syria, making way for a Turkish invasion.

In a statement, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman commented: “Defence Secretary Eric Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia.

“Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorised within the last month.”

There have been serious concerns about the security of Saudi Arabia since two of its oil processing facilities were attacked by drones on September 14.

The attack, which both the US and Saudi authorities blame on Iran, briefly cut Saudi oil production by half.

Mr Esper added: “We thought it was important to continue to deploy forces to deter and defend and to send the message to the Iranians: Do not strike another sovereign state, do not threaten American interests, American forces, or we will respond.

“I’ve said time and time again, do not mistake our restraint for weakness, if you will, you will regret that.”

Britain, France and Germany also released a joint statement saying Iran was responsible for the attack.

However, Houthi militants, Shia allies of Iran based in Yemen, said they were behind the explosions.

The attacks raised major concerns about Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend itself from foreign adversaries.

On October 9, announcing the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, Trump tweeted: “The United States has spent eight trillion dollars fighting and policing in the Middle East.

“Thousands of our great soldiers have died her been badly wounded.

“Millions of people have died on the other side.

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“Going into the middle east is the worst decision ever made.”

Two days later, on October 11, the Pentagon announced a significant boost to the US presence in Saudi Arabia.

Additional forces will include two fighter squadrons and two patriot missile batteries designed to shoot down incoming missiles.

Before becoming President Trump hit out at the amount of military support the US provides Saudi Arabia.

On August 31 2014 he tweeted: “Saudi Arabia should fight their own wars, which they won’t, or pay us an absolute fortune to protect them.”

Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from northern Syria, ahead of a Turkish invasion, has sparked fierce controversy.

The Kurdish YPG played a key role in containing and then pushing back against the ISIS terror group.

However, Turkey is fiercely hostile to the group as a result of its links to the PKK separatist armed group.

Speaking about Saudi Arabia on September 17 Trump commented: “They’ve been a great ally.

“They spend $400 (£316) billion in our country over the last number of years.

“Saudi Arabia pays cash. They’ve helped us out from the standpoint of jobs and all the other things.”

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Italian MEP hits out against NEW European Commission: ‘It’s designed to favour France!’

Last month, Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen nominated French minister Sylvye Goulard for Internal Market Commissioner – a job with a broad portfolio of required skills ranging from digital affairs to defence and space policy. The French presidency immediately welcomed the nomination, saying Ms Goulard will play a crucial role in the executive’s strategy to “make Europe truly sovereign”. However, in an unfortunate coincidence, just a few hours after the announcement, President Emmanuel Macron’s longtime ally was seen entering France’s Central Office against Corruption, Financial and Fiscal Fraud.

According to the French press, Ms Goulard, who is currently deputy governor at the French central bank, helped out police as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of EU funds by her former party, the centrist MoDem.

In 2017, the French politician was forced to resign from her Defence role less than a month after being given the job by President Macron due to accusations that her party wrongly used EU funds to pay its staff.

A month before her nomination as Commissioner, French officials had tried to downplay concerns over the ongoing case but, on Thursday, more than two-thirds of the 14 coordinators of the Industry and Internal Market committees rejected her nomination after questioning her at length.

They assessed that in her second hearing, the French politician did not provide enough certainty about her legal troubles, and failed to alleviate concerns that her portfolio is too wide and covers too many areas.

Ms Goulard now faces a secret ballot vote of the full committees, expected at 2pm today, where a simple majority would be enough to secure confirmation.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Italian MEP Marco Campomenosi hit out against the “anti-democratic” new governing body, explaining how it might cause serious problems across Europe and greatly benefit France.

The MEP, who is one of the League’s 28 European parliamentarians, said: “If the European Commission, as unfortunately Ursula von der Leyen seems to predict, will continue to do what Juncker and Barroso have done in the past, I think we will soon have a very serious problem.

“Both in economic and social fields.

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“If we think of Emmanuel Macron…

“He sees his citizens coming down on the streets protesting every week against him.

“But then we are witnessing the power he has today in the European Union with his new Commissioner for Internal market, who will deal with defence as well.

“It is a project that will greatly benefit French companies.”

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Mr Campomenosi concluded: “The EU is a system that doesn’t take into account democracy and citizens.”

Ms von der Leyen and her team will officially take office on November 1.

Outgoing European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will reportedly receive £144,000 in “golden handshake”.

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Money Heist season 4: Will series return? Star on new series and behind-the-scenes secrets

Money Heist (originally called La Casa de Papel) season four has reportedly already finished filming after star Rodrigo de la Serna confirmed the news. The hit Spanish-language show ended in a dramatic cliffhanger that left fans dying to know what will happen next. Express.co.uk exclusively spoke to one of the series scriptwriters Almudena Ramírez-Pantanella who revealed some behind-the-scenes secrets of the making of the Netflix show and hints at what will come next.

What will happen in Money Heist season four?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Money Heist season three

Money Heist season three was released on Netflix on July 19 with a brand new outing for the bank thieves.

The series saw the gang reunited together by El Professor (played by Álvaro Morte) to save Rio (Miguel Herrán) when he was captured by the authorities.

The masterplan required the team to unite together to steal 90 tonnes of solid gold from the Bank of Spain in Madrid.

However, the show ended with an extremely dramatic cliffhanger as the team were left stuck in the bank and the fate of Nairobi (Alba Flores) was left in the balance.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF MONEY HEIST?

Express.co.uk exclusively spoke to one of the scriptwriters of the hit Spanish show, Almudena Ramírez-Pantanella, to give some hints about what could happen next.

In terms of what fans could expect from the upcoming season four, she remained pretty tight-lipped about what could come next for the Money Heist gang.

Pantanella said: “I am afraid I can’t tell much. What I can say is that it will be even more exciting than this third season.”

The writer joined the show in series three after one for the former scriptwriters read her first play and suggested her as a writer.

Currently, the accomplished writer has just finished a residency at the Royal Court Theatre and is working on her latest stage play called Coup de Grâce, which is a reflection on capitalist society.

WILL THERE BE A PART 4 OF LA CASA DE PAPEL?

As a result, she was not able to be involved in the final stages of the fourth series but she did reveal some behind-the-scenes secrets.

Pantanella revealed that the series is written by a group of scriptwriters in a writing room to develop what happens in the plot.

She described the process saying: “We worked in teams. We were around six screenwriters supervised by a script coordinator Javier Gómez and by executive producer Álex Pina.

“We had a ‘bible’ where the landmarks of the season were more or less established, this ‘bible’ was our frame of reference.

“Then together, around a whiteboard, all of us thought about different plots.

“When we get to a point where we have a convincing skeleton for an episode, we divide the writing.

“And finally we write and rewrite together at the office until we have a version we are happy with.”

WHO IS IN THE CAST OF MONEY HEIST?

The writer also revealed her favourite character to write during the third series was Berlin (Pedro Alonso), who was brought back in series three through a series of flashbacks.

As well as his scenes, she added she loved the interactions between the gang as they work to undertake the heist.

Pantanella added: “I probably enjoyed the most when writing choral scenes where many characters were present.

“They behave like a family, with their tensions and their mutual love, so it was very enjoyable writing those scenes.”

The series has gone on to become one of the biggest global hits for Netflix but did Pantanella feel the pressure when she was writing it?

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO NAIROBI?

She said: “Truth be told, the team is very modest and there is a fun atmosphere, so you don’t really feel you are involved in something big, which is cool because you don’t feel a huge pressure to write something good.

“As far as I am concerned, this is the best thinking in order to precisely write something good.

“If you sit down in front of your computer thinking that those lines won’t be the best lines of your life but just thinking that you want to have fun, you‘ll probably end up writing something worthy.”

Money Heist seasons 1-3 are now available to stream on Netflix 

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Joker fan theory: Is Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker the REAL Joker?

Joker has divided critics but wowed fans since its release in cinemas. Joaquin Phoenix portrays a man struggling with his mental health and his journey to become The Joker. But some fans are questioning whether Arthur Fleck really is The Joker.

*Warning: Some mild spoilers for Joker

Is Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker the real Joker?

The film is centred on a failing comedy, Arthur fleck, who has a condition meaning he laughs uncontrollable, often in moments where he wishes he didn’t.

This gets him in a great deal of trouble, and makes him feel like an outcast in a cold world which does not take care of people like him.

Various misfortunes – including the loss of his medication from state-funded programmes – bring about the creation of The Joker.

However, according to the director, Todd Phillips, Fleck may not even be the man we really think he is.

In an interview with the LA Times, Phillips said: “Maybe Joaquin’s character inspired the Joker.

“You don’t really know. His last line in the movie is. ‘You wouldn’t get it.’

“There’s a lot going on in there that’s interesting.”

Everyone remembers Michael Caine’s killer line in The Dark Knight: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

This is how many fans have characterised The Joker: not as a man seeking to wreak political havoc on a city, but a man who just wants to wreak havoc.

So it could make sense that, with Arthur Fleck clearly having an axe to grind, he may be a political anti-hero who inspires acts of madness from a later Joker.

As well as this, Phillips makes reference to the final line in the movie.

In this scene, Fleck is in Arkham State Hospital, and begins laughing hysterically, while being questioned by a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist enquires about why he is laughing, at which he tells her that his joke is one she will not get.

After this, he walks down the corridor, leaving bloodstained footprints, before he is comically chased by orderlies.

Phillips also spoke a little more about this to the LA Times, where he tried to explain the metamorphosis of The Joker.

He added: “There are different laughs in the movie.

“There is the laugh from Arthur’s affliction and then there is his fake laugh when he’s trying to be ‘one of the people,’ which is my favourite laugh.

“But at the end, when he’s in the room at Arkham State Hospital, that’s his only genuine laugh in the movie.”

If this was his only genuine laugh, it has been suggested this final act is perhaps because he knows he has inspired countless criminals everywhere – something she can’t understand.

Or perhaps he has dreamt the entire film, and is in fact telling her that she won’t understand the dreams he has for Gotham?

Either way, there are suggestions he is either the real Joker, or a precursor.

With the box office going so well for the filmmakers, there is talk of a second film, so there is the possibility we will get this question answered in Joker 2.

Joker is in cinemas now

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