Gerry Rafferty

Further to Pierre Pierrone's obituary of Gerry Rafferty (6 January), while it is natural that the huge hit songs such as "Baker Street" and "Stuck In the Middle" feature largely in his obituaries it should not be forgotten that his songbook at least until the late 1970s included a series of beautifully observed songs featuring wry observation, true emotions and winning melodies, writes Thom Hickey. Songs such as "Patrick" and "Steamboat Row" are models of the songwriter's art. His song "Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway" is a classic song of real poignancy which became iconic in the Irish folk world through the magnificent performance of it (much revered by John Peel) by the Furey Brothers:

Tony Blackburn: A man unfazed by his own naffness

The veteran pop-picker returned to a regular slot on BBC national radio yesterday after almost 30 years. Matthew Bell meets Tony Blackburn

Competition winner shares his inspirational prize in new stage show John Peel's Shed

I am developing a stage show called John Peel's Shed. In the show, I will play some records that used to be housed in that very building. I will also talk about the records, my passion for radio and the way that John Peel changed my life and the lives of so many other people.

Last Night's TV - This Is England '86, Channel 4; My Story, BBC1

Welcome back to Shane's world

Album: Ergo Phizmiz, Things to Do & Make (Care In The Community)

Previously a composer of experimental electronica, Ergo Phizmiz has acquired some stellar supporters in his decade-long career: John Peel, Michael Nyman, Matt Groening.

John Peel's son follows in his father's tracks

John Peel's son is to follow in his father's footsteps after securing his own BBC radio show.

Supergrass: we're splitting (but we're alright about it)

After 17 years it's over – but Britpop founders say they still love each other

Andree Peel: French Resistance fighter who helped Allied airmen evade capture in occupied Europe

Andrée Peel was a French Resistance fighter who embodied everything that General de Gaulle wanted from French men and women. Known as Agent Rose, she survived a Nazi death squad and helped more than 100 British and American airmen evade capture and escape occupied Europe.

The Ballad of the Miners' Strike, Radio 2

Coal-war voices bring a lump to the throat

Nicholas Lezard: If you could see the BBC now, John ...

The Corporation feels it's at risk, and no one is standing up to the bullying

Sophie Heawood: John Peel would have loved 6Music. And now it's going

I vividly remember the first time, though I don't recall which man it was with. It may have been Tony Robinson. It may have been Marc Riley, or Gideon Coe. But one of these chaps was presenting a radio show on BBC 6Music, followed by another of them, and there I was sitting in a friend's kitchen, listening to the station for the first time, gripped.

Roger Nicholson: Britain's most influential dulcimer player

A notable performer in the folk-rock heyday of the early 1970s, Roger Nicholson helped to popularise the Appalachian, or mountain, dulcimer, adding to its repertoire and leaving a rich musical legacy remembered fondly by admirers around the world.

Album: Various Artists, Kats Karavan: The History of John Peel on the Radio (Universal)

John Peel's first stint as DJ was in 1959, for a Dallas radio station's R&B show called Kats Karavan; thereafter, the work sheet for every Peel show bore that same legend in the space reserved for the programme title.

Hit & Run: SimplicITy computer delivers over-50s to the digital age

If social networking is something you do at the bingo hall, windows require (net) curtains, and a Mac is to be worn in the rain, chances are you're old. Because, apparently, old people don't do computers. Things like Twitter and spreadsheets only bother them when they're on the One O'Clock News. But anyone watching the BBC's lunchtime bulletin yesterday will have seen a pensioner called Betty using a computer designed to deliver her generation to the digital age.

The great John Peel sell-off

The BBC plans to offload its Maida Vale studios, home of the sessions made famous by the late DJ
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Lennie James’s return as Morgan does not disappoint
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Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
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Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
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Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
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Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
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Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
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Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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No postcode? No vote

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor