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.

Did the Curiosity rover stumble across a lizard?...or a rock?

One giant leap for reptiles: Have alien-hunters found a lizard on Mars?

While studying pictures of Mars sent back to Earth by the Curiosity rover, a Japanese alien-enthusiast spotted something between the endless plain of rocks spread out on the screen in front of him. Could it really be? Is that a… lizard?

Chris Hadfield comes back down to earth: Star of Twitter, Bowie fan, and International Space Station astronaut returns

A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew returning from a five-month mission to the International Space Station has landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Sandé and 'Les Mis' help albums to reverse sales decline

Downloads of albums by Emeli Sandé and the cast of the film version of Les Misérables have boosted music sales for the first time in over three years.

Neville Neville (left), seen here with his son Gary Neville, has been arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault

Gary and Phil Neville's father arrested over alleged sexual assault

Neville Neville is a well-known former cricketer and sports agent

Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973

David Bowie exhibition V&A's fastest-selling event with 47,000 pre-sales

An exhibition celebrating David Bowie's career has become the Victoria & Albert Museum's fastest-selling event.

The cover art for David Bowie's The Next Day uses a font of wisdom

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

David Bowie released the single on his 66th birthday

Previously unseen David Bowie footage to be aired for the first time

Unseen footage of David Bowie from the past 40 years will be included in a new documentary about the reclusive rockstar.

My Fantasy Band: Adam Green

'Garfield's a cool cat. He'd play the saxophone really well...'

Excess noise but no L-plates on my first ever hen party

Man About Town

Where Are We Now? David Bowie set to miss out on place Official Singles Chart

David Bowie's surprise and much talked-about comeback track looks set to miss out on a place in the singles chart.

David Bowie producer says 'melancholy' release is 'very different' from new 'rock album'

Tony Visconti, who spent two years working with Bowie on impending album The Next Day, speaks of his surprise over the release of "Where are we now?"

Veteran music star David Bowie has today broken years of silence and speculation to release his first single and album in a decade

A new single for David Bowie, but I fear time has caught up with the thin white duke

He made his name(s) through constant self-reinvention; this fresh material, however, feels perilously close to a retread

Matilda Battersby: I fear time has caught up with the thin white duke

I once offended someone famous by asking how it felt to be a national treasure. My (admittedly rather limp) line of questioning was met with an alarmed, and evidently miffed, response from an interviewee who said she didn't see herself that way.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there