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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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

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From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit