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.

Observations: Ryuichi Sakamoto's unchained melodies

"I am just trying to avoid being a slave to the old musical system," says Ryuichi Sakamoto of his new CD, Out of Noise. "I was doing that when I was 18, but then came a long detour into pop and film music. I now want to get back to my roots." And the world's most eccentric singer-songwriter gives a self-deprecating laugh: that detour included modelling for Gap, playing a sadistic prison guard opposite David Bowie, co-starring with Madonna in the video for Rain, and composing the music for a long list of feature films, including Shirin Neshat's 2009 Women Without Men.

Jonathan Ross buys David Bowie self-portrait for £20,000

Jonathan Ross forked out £20,000 at a charity auction last night for a self-portrait of his hero, David Bowie.

Crombie keeps out the cold winds of recession

Crombie, the gentleman's outfitter that built its brand on the Crombie Covert Coat, is to open concessions in 11 more House of Fraser stores next month. A Crombie spokesman said demand for the garment – which started life as a hunting coat at the start of the 20th century and is still a snitch at £675 – is booming despite lean times.

Story of the Song: Space Oddity, David Bowie (1969)

Major Tom, David Bowie's first musical alter ego, shot to fame in "Space Oddity".

Terry O'Neill - Chairman of the boardwalk

Frank Sinatra arrives at Miami beach with his entourage (including his stand-in, dressed in an identical suit and less well-dressed beefy minders) while filming 'The Lady In Cement' in 1968.

My Fantasy Band: Donald Cumming, The Virgins

Vocals - The Everly Brothers
I love their sound. Those guys really had their own thing going on. But if this really is my fantasy, I'd have Skip James, Neil Young and Bo Diddley singing on stage with them too. That would be epic.

Camille O'Sullivan, The Roundhouse, London

From the impressive list of five-star reviews on her posters, one would assume that Camille O'Sullivan had been bringing her own brand of cabaret to the British public for years. While the buzz around O'Sullivan might have been building since she took to the stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, this is her first full UK tour – a test not just for the songstress but for the nascent cabaret revival which she represents.

Boy George, Pigalle Club, London

"I know sometimes it's easy to get confused," Boy George says, "but this is what I do." The darkness he has requested on stage has finally dropped, and he is singing "If I Could Fly", which twists into the heart of heroin addiction. In his make-up, beard shaved only this morning, he looks like a larger version of the old George the nation loved. His forthcoming sentence for false imprisonment will take its course, but by the time he has finished tonight, I've forgiven him everything else.

In the spotlight: How Camille O'Sullivan sashayed from the drawing board to the cabaret stage

A near-fatal car crash inspired a young architect to swap the drawing board for the cabaret stage

Win VIP Womad tickets

Britain's best world music festival takes place this month – and we've got 50 pairs of tickets to give away. Sound good? Then tackle our quiz...

Album: Seu Jorge, America Brasil (Discos Como No)

Seu Jorge first made his name as an actor, playing Knockout Ned in City of God.

Injuries force Hadden into major reshuffle

When the fog cleared around Murrayfield yesterday and Frank Hadden came to reveal his team for Saturday's Six Nations Championship encounter in Dublin, Scotland's head coach was accompanied by his two assistants, Alan Tait and George Graham. David Bowie might have been a more appropriate companion, because "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" was very much the theme of the late-morning announcement in the Hawthorn Suite.

Lib Dems recruit Eno as advisor

The former Roxy Music keyboard wizard Brian Eno has been enlisted as the Liberal Democrat leader's adviser on reaching out to young people.

Owen Frampton

Art-teacher father of Peter Frampton whose pupils also included the future David Bowie
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

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England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

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Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

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