Tuesday 11 May 1999
Births: Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1500; the original Siamese twins (of Chinese parentage), Chang and Eng, 1811; Irving Berlin (Israel Isadore Baline), 1888; Paul Nash, painter, 1889; Dame Margaret Rutherford, actress, 1892; Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov, novelist, 1905.
Deaths: Sir Edward Dyer, poet, buried 1607; William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham, statesman, 1778; Spencer Perceval, prime minister, assassinated in the House of Commons by John Bellingham 1812; Sir John Frederick Herschel, astronomer, 1871; Frederic William Goudy, typographer and printer, 1947; Barbara Hutton, heiress, 1979; Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby, Soviet spy, 1988.
On this day: Constantinople was dedicated as the new capital of the Roman Empire, 330; Siam changed its name to Thailand, 1949; the Daily Sketch newspaper appeared for the last time, 1971; the musical show Cats was first produced, London 1981.
Today is the Feast Day of St Ansfrid, St Asaph, St Comgall, St Francis di Girolamo, St Gengulf or Gengoul, St Ignatius of Laconi, St Mayeul or Majolus, St Mamertus, St Richard Reynolds, St Tudy or Tudec of Brittany and St Walter of L'Esterp.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food