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.

Viewers of Lap of the Planet will be taken on a live trip around Earth

Channel 4 to broadcast programme live from the International Space Station

Lap of the Planet is due to air in March with two other space spin-offs planned

2013 - the year in review: The best pop music of the year

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away

Christmas Day 2013 was all about the battle for the other most worthy yuletide delivery: the alternative Christmas message.

Snowden v Bowie v … Kate Nash? The battle of the alternative Christmas message

While Channel 4 located the alabaster NSA whistleblower, several other household names came out of the tinsel

Lone parent for a week – how hard can it be?

Because my wife is off in Austria having her colon cleansed, I have been Mr Mum for the week. To my amazement, I realised that this is the first time I have looked after both my kids without Stacey for more than a day. This was quite shocking to me, but it was my kids who pointed it out. They were clearly concerned about the week ahead and how I would fare as sole carer. How hard could it be, I wondered? Wake up, make breakfast, drop them off at school, mess about all day, pick them up from school, make supper, and send them to bed. If only I'd known.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in 'The Fifth Estate'

On no! David Cameron likes Benedict Cumberbatch!

What happens when you discover that you share the same taste in music and films as the Prime Minister?

Graffiti to promote Arcade Fire's new single

Arcade Fire's new single 'Reflektor' leaks online fuelling speculation it features David Bowie

The hotly anticipated new single from Arcade Fire - an apparent collaboration with David Bowie - was leaked online ahead of its unveiling today.

Video: Andy Gill's Mercury Music Prize

Watch the videos below to take in tracks from some of the 12 artists that Andy Gill believes should be recognised on the Mercury Music Prize shortlist.

The cover of Lady Gaga's new single 'Applause'

First look: Lady Gaga's 'Applause' video

The first single from Lady Gaga's Artpop album was leaked last week in what the singer declared a "pop emergency". What followed was a rush-release of the track, "Applause", last Tuesday, and now the video has finally been revealed.

One minute with: Catherine O'Flynn, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Adam Buxton

Edinburgh 2013: Adam Buxton's Kernel Panic is comedy for the YouTube generation

If you like to spend your free time laughing at mad, misspelt and hyperbolic comments on web forums, then Adam Buxton's brand of piss-take comedy for the YouTube generation will be right up your street.

Hattie Morahan, actress: 'I love the virtuosity and imaginative chutzpah of Da Vinci's Demons'

Cultural life: Hattie Morahan, actress

'I love the virtuosity and imaginative chutzpah of Da Vinci's Demons'

Tina Turner

Page 3 Profile: Tina Turner, Singer

A fool in love?

<b>Astronauts repairing the Hubble Space Telescope </b>
<p>Endeavour space shuttle, 1993 </p>
<p>The Hubble Space Telescope was sent into space in 1990. Orbiting outside the distorting effects of the Earth’s atmosphere, it has taken the most breath-taking images of our universe. This photograph shows astronauts F. Story Musgrave (on the robotic arm) and Jeffrey Hoffman (inside the shuttle) during the first servicing mission, which repaired a flaw in the telescope's primary mirror. </p>

Update: NASA aborts live-streamed space walk after helmet leak

Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano will be carrying out routine maintenance on the ISS

Earls Court Exhibition Centre - used for 1948 Olympic Games - to be razed

London Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans to demolish the art deco Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, London

Lisa Markwell finds a new vegetable nirvana behind an old transport hub.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain