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.

EMI in succession crisis as Fifield threatens to quit

Jim Fifield, the head of EMI's music division, is said to be furious with the group's board after it blocked his appointment as chief executive last Friday. Sources close to EMI Music in New York say Mr Fifield is deeply unhappy at not getting the job he wanted and the way the issue was handled.

Rock: The Space boys: taboo-breakers, or is it all just a big cabaret act?

IF YOU switched on The Chart Show just as it was finishing two Saturdays ago - and it is annoying the way they keep changing what time it's on - you will have seen an excerpt from the new Space video, "The Ballad of Tom Jones", in which Tommy Scott duetted with Catatonia's Cerys Matthews as he dangled off the edge of a storm-battered cliff. "I still want to cut off your nuts!" bawled Matthews and, before you had time to bundle any small children out of the room, the credits ended and the adverts began. To my mind, this makes Space every bit as taboo-breaking as the Prodigy. To most other people's minds, however, the clip will confirm that Space are just Aqua with guitars, intent on sabotaging the credibility of their every lyric by inserting a reference to murder, movie monsters, the FBI, the Mafia and/or their own zaniness.

Music: The ch-ch-ch-changing face of Ziggy's Beckenham

In Memphis, say, or Liverpool, you would be in no doubt that a very famous rock star indeed hailed from those parts. Andy Bull set out on the trail of fame - in suburbia.

Pop: He's back, he's back

Gary Glitter Cardiff International Arena

Music Review: Of minimal significance

La Monte Young/Marian Zazeela Benefit Concert

RECORDED DELIVERY

A critical guide to the week's videos

David Bowie The Academy, Manchester; live review

It starts and you're thinking that everybody else who has spoken about his recent live performances must be either stupid or heartless, or both. Bowie appears alone and smiling, obviously genuinely touched by a rowdy, can-waving crowd. I've got my fingers in my ears waiting for chest-vibrating jungle tones to roll and instead we're eased into a genuinely moving acoustic "Quicksand". The sense of nostalgia is tangible - 2,000 people crushed together, each imagining themselves alone in teenage bedrooms at least 20 years ago, wondering whether to end it all or see if anyone is going down the youth club. It's hard not to be overawed by this.

Rock concerts that drive a lad insane

arts notebook

MUSIC: Philip Glass; RFH, London

For a style that excels in endless repetitions and a sense of going nowhere, East-coast minimalism has shown remarkable staying power, as Philip Glass, one of its founding fathers, proved last week. Packing London's Festival Hall to capacity on Thursday and Friday, he offered a package tour of his uvre that moved from the symphonic heights and depths of his recent pieces to excerpts from classic scores of his formative period by way of chunks from three major operas. For the first night out, his most considerable exertion was signing autographs after Martyn Brabbins and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields had given the world premiere of his Heroes Symphony. But on Friday evening he was there on stage with the Philip Glass Ensemble, following the lead of music director Michael Riesman, yet clearly the abiding genius of this tightly knit and multi- talented group.

What's in a name? Baz isn't bothered

FILM

Pop Albums: Andy Gill on albums: David Bowie Earthling RCA 7432144944 2)

`What comes through most strongly is the way Bowie retains an obsessional interest in the sheer variety and extremity of sound'

Lyric Sheets

David Bowie has faced the strain of 50...

Major Tom floats on stock market high

David Bowie is planning to mark his 50th birthday in January by allowing members of the public to invest in him.

David Bowie names the `real' Ziggy Stardust

A quarter of a century after Ziggy Stardust burst out of Bromley in thigh-high tassled boots and eyeliner, the identity of the real life model for David Bowie's alter ego has been confirmed. Inspiration for the galactic stage persona has been variously attributed to many of the Seventies' most glittering rock names, but Ziggy Stardust was based on a failed American musician who enjoyed brief success doing Elvis impressions in France before going mad.

NOVEL IDEAS

Last week Ewan "Trainspotting" McGregor signed-up to play James Joyce in a forthcoming biopic of the Irish writer. After the success of literary adaptations from Emma to Jude, we should probably feel grateful it's not a remake of Ulysses, but simply the latest in a long line of movies scheduled to introduce cinema-goers to Lives of the Great Artists.
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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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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