Bob Allison: Eurovision contestant who was fielded as one half of the British answer to the hitmaking Everly Brothers

The Eurovision Song Contest was inaugurated in 1956, and although the UK didn't win until Sandie Shaw's "Puppet on a String" in 1967, there were several near misses. The Allisons came second with "Are You Sure" in 1961, beaten by Jean-Claude Pascal's "Nous les amoureux".

Grace Yeo: Classical review

Wigmore Hall, London

The Weekend's TV: The Choir: Sing While You Work (BBC2)

This final performance was an all-out assault on the emotions

Alum review: Linda Thompson, Won’t be Long Now (Topic)

A first outing since 2007’s Versatile Heart, and there’s been no discernible falling off. The voice will never return to its pre-dysphonic mobility, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a highly expressive instrument of significant tone – mournful, knowing and creased with experience.

Sakar Khan: Musician who worked with Shankar, Menuhin and Harrison

In the late 1960s, a decade or so after the desert city of Jaisalmer received its first paved road, the railway arrived. The authorities extended the track from the town of Pokhran and celebrations were planned for the arrival in Jaisalmer of the first train. They turned to Sakar Khan to create and perform a special piece of music.

Marin Alsop conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms

Classical review: The final Proms cover the waterfront, and the Last Night is the best in years thanks to Marin Alsop

Prom 72 – Calleja, Orchestra Verdi, Zhang (***)

Prom 73 - Cooper, Lewis (*****)

Prom 74 – Sonnleitner, Vienna Phil, Maazel (***)

Prom 75 – DiDonato, Kennedy, BBCSO, Alsop (*****)

Album review: Chris Thile, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 (Nonesuch)

Once again, the protean malleability of J.S. Bach's genius is demonstrated by the unusual transcription of his work - in this case, the Violin Sonatas and Partitas - to another instrument, the mandolin. The Punch Brothers' mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile was first drawn to Bach by the rhythmic “groove” of Glenn Gould's 1981 re-recording of The Goldberg Variations. Thile's country and improv roots lend more rubato accents than some might prefer, but he liberates the pieces from their conservatoire corsets. The dazzling deftness of his fingering in the Presto and Double Presto sections evokes a kind of giddy delirium and his feathery technique wrests the tenderest of emotions from the second Sonata's Andante.

Shore Capital founder: 'UK would be better off if we left the EU'

One of the City's best-known financiers has called for the UK to withdraw from the European Union, describing Brussels red tape as a "drain on the economy".

Album: Guy Clark, My Favourite Picture of You (Dualtone)

The voice is scrunched a little tighter now, and frayed, and the tunes seem worn to the bone, but… Well, you can't keep a good man down.

Kevin Pietersen (third left) warms up with his England teammates

Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook's England can bank on experience for hat-trick

Comparison between the two sides shows that England should have the batting strength to win a third series in a row

Album: Lloyd Cole, Standards (Tapete Records)

Here's a surprise. After a decade of fine, restrained albums that interrogated the indignities of mid-life malaise, the 52-year-old Cole kicks against the pricks of his advancing years.

Stephen Dodgson was a familiar voice on the Third Programme and Radio 3

Stephen Dodgson: Composer hailed for his guitar works

Stephen Dodgson composed music in most forms, though his more than 40 scores including guitar ensured him a specialist following among guitarists. His First Guitar Concerto, written in 1956 for Julian Bream and played by a teenage John Williams, was set for popularity, but tended to be eclipsed by Malcolm Arnold's Concerto, which Bream introduced soon afterwards.

Marie-Claire Alain: Prodigious French organist

The French organ virtuoso Marie-Claire Alain was that rare jewel: a teenage musical prodigy who matured into one of the finest and most sought after recitalists and teachers.

Album: Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon (Sony)

We've got a special one here.

Album review: Roger Woodward, Prokofiev: Works for Piano (Celestial Harmonies)

Those familiar with Prokofiev mostly through Peter and the Wolf will be shocked at the Modernist invention of his lesser-known early piano works, delivered with enthusiastic conviction by Roger Woodward in these 1991 recordings.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there