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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

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Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

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Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

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Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

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Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

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Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

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Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

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King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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