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Musical 'nuns' go camping with Julie and Von Trapps

IN THE immortal words of Julie Andrews, let's start at the very beginning.

Football: The World According To King Kev

1979

Staying In: Net Gains - The Sound of Music

netgains@independent.co.uk

Is Christmas a nightmare?

DEBATE

Andrews' singing career is over

MORE than a year after an unsuccessful throat operation, Julie Andrews has resigned herself to the unthinkable - that she will never sing again.

Obituary: Robert Wells

"CHESTNUTS ROASTING on an open fire / Jack Frost nipping at your nose / Yuletide carols being sung by a choir / And folks dressed up like Eskimos." Mel Torme found those four lines pencilled on a writing pad when he dropped into the San Fernando Valley home of his friend and songwriting partner Robert Wells one torrid July afternoon in 1945.

Film: We were all in glitter, looking at the stars

Todd Haynes missed glam. But not Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Hence `Velvet Goldmine'.

Obituary: Ken Platt

" 'ALLO, I won't take me coat off, I'm not stoppin'!" One of the great comedy catchphrases of yesteryear and, like all great catchphrases, one that immediately conjures up in the mind's television screen the comedian who coined it. Ken Platt opened his every appearance with the same saying, and it will be remembered by all who heard or saw him say those 10 wonderful words.

Books: A Mike Leigh heroine

MAD ELAINE by Helen Stevenson, Anchor pounds 9.99

Music: One out of three's pretty good

WHEN PUCCINI first resolved to write a Trittico of three one- acters to be run together on the same night, his publisher dismissed the idea as crazy - or words to that effect in Italian - and history has tended to agree. The triptych is rarely done complete; it makes a long night; and although the components could be said to mimic the cohering architecture of a concert score - a meaty opening drama, a contemplative slow movement and brisk scherzo-finale - they never in practice fit together, not least because their quality is so uneven. The scherzo, Gianni Schicchi, is comedy of genius, no question there. But Il Tabarro, the drama, is equivocal, and Suor Angelica, the middle movement, dire - unless you enjoy sentimental tosh about singing nuns that plays like The Sound of Music minus Julie Andrews.

`Sound of Music' star may never sing again after throat problems

ONCE she set the hills alive with the sound of music. Now Julie Andrews, star of the celebrated 1960s film, may never sing in public again.

Hills are alive to Trapp family row

The family inspired the film The Sound of Music, but 60 years after they escaped the Nazi takeover of Austria, the Von Trapps are no longer singing from the same hymn sheet.

Film: Not in front of the adults

Is it just me asks Pete Stanton or is sex a cringe-making no-go subject for everyone as soon as the parents are around?

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW : STEVE BACKLEY: Spear carrier demands centre stage

An unheralded Olympic silver in the javelin is spurring the success Steve Backley seeks in Athens, he tells Mike Rowbottom

The country where worst things happen

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy Flamingo pounds 15.99
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

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Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
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From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific