News Chris Hadfield has agreed to take on the role of cultural ambassador for Ireland

Chris Hadfield, the singing astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, has taken on a role as cultural ambassador for Ireland.

IoS album review: John Beasley, Darryl Jones, Ndugu Chancier, 3 Brave Souls (Challenge)

All have done time with Miles Davis, one of them is the long-standing drummer with the Crusaders, another the regular live bassist with the Stones.

Vincent van Gogh letter expected to fetch $300,000 at auction

Rare letters written by Vincent van Gogh, John Lennon and other iconic figures are being offered at an upcoming auction of more than 300 historical documents in New York City.

Caught in the Net: Yo La Tengo refuse to fade away

On 14 January Hoboken's second-finest (no one can top Sinatra), Yo La Tengo return with Fade, their 13th full album release.

Album: 10cc, Tenology (Universal)

Now that we have finally broken the connection between guilt and pleasure when it comes to music, it's time to reappraise these stalwarts of the 1970s pop charts.

Yoko Ono to curate Meltdown Festival 2013

Yoko Ono will curate next year's Meltdown Festival choosing the musicians and artists who will appear at the annual event.

The Killers, SECC, Glasgow

The Killers were always bound for arena-level stardom, one felt, thanks to their gold-dust blend of attractive pop choruses, a certain down to earth authenticity as unembellished alternarockers in the traditional vein and a true talent for sheer, unalloyed blandness where it’s really necessary.

Album: Kate Rusby, 20 Mighty (Village/Island)

A celebration of her two decades as a singer, 20 contains that many tracks culled from all corners of her career, performed as duets with esteemed friends and peers.

Album: Bat for Lashes, The Haunted Man (Parlophone)

If, in the past, Bat for Lashes has sometimes seemed a better proposition on paper than reality – all feathers and no parrot – then The Haunted Man is the album on which Natasha Khan should truly silence all doubters.

Radiohead, O2 Arena, London

The most immediately striking thing about Radiohead's current show is the impact of their new double-drummer line-up, which transforms much of their repertoire, and not always for the better.

Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, wants to write a prequel

Before Downton? Not so abbey ever after

Julian Fellowes wants to write a Downton prequel. Why not march forward to the septic Seventies? John Walsh offers his plot suggestions

Album: Elbow Dead In The Boot (Fiction)

Most B-sides compilations seem to have been thrown together to fulfill contracts but Dead In The Boot has a form and substance beyond that.

A view of the Olympic Stadium

London 2012: Madness to perform at closing ceremony

Following up on their Diamond Jubilee performance Madness will be taking centre stage at the Olympics closing ceremony.

Caught in the Net: Tune in to Animal Collective Radio

Animal Collective have premiered the wild first single from forthcoming album Centipede Hz, due out on 3 September.

Eugene McGuinness

Fantasy Band: Eugene McGuinness

'Keith Richards is my favourite guitarist. It's amazing he's still walking'

Album: Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan (Domino)

Six albums down the line, Dirty Projectors – aka David Longstreth and his band – show no signs of settling into any one formula.

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peopleBut how did he break it?
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Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
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The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
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footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
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Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
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travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss