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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home