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The Red Star Line Museum, Belgium's transatlantic landmark, charts the history of emigration to America

Neil Diamond: Has he finally become hip?

He wrote some of the Sixties' most memorable tunes, but was rarely in vogue. Now 67, Neil Diamond is at No 1 for the first time. Has he finally become hip? Nick Hasted reports

Album: Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia)

You know time has caught up with you when you are mentally preparing your review of Scroobius Pip when your editor tells you that, instead, you have been earmarked for the new Neil Diamond.

Last Night's TV: A gory story that failed to make a killing

Cold Blood, ITV1; First Cut: Allergic to the 21st Century? Channel 4

Talking Jazz

This has been a strange year for British jazz. In many ways, a good year - one in which forgotten glories from decades past were resurrected and brought to new audiences; some fine indigenous groups continued to build on their work so far; and at least one stunning new player emerged.

Pop: A night without sparkle

NEIL DIAMOND WEMBLEY ARENA LONDON

Media: Thanks a million, John

The critics hate it, but DJ John Peel has more than one million listeners for Home Truths. By Paul McCann

Pop: Like Eddie Izzard in a strop

BABY BIRD PEACOCK THEATRE

Arts: One wedding and, luckily, no one's funeral

Theatre de Complicite are Britain's leading `physical theatre' company. Who better to bring John Berger's novel `To the Wedding' to the airwaves? Roger Elsgood, producer of tomorrow night's Radio 3 version, kept a diary of their work in progress.

Review: Arab Strap The Garage, Islington, London

`Best band to be named after an instrument of sado-masochistic gratification'

fringe round-up: Poems to Read to Your Parents

It was when the woman in the multi-coloured waistcoat started dancing to Neil Diamond's "Mr Bojangles", strummed with severe melancholy by a grey-haired man in white shorts, that the flashbacks started. Pebble Mill at One, mid-Seventies. That childhood incomprehension, barely articulated at the time, at so much desultory and unfulfilled adult behaviour. John Dowie (tracksuit bottoms, Larry Grayson specs "as skinny as a man can be") had prepared the way for this tot-recall with a series of short poems that sounded funny on the outside, but were, more often than not, sombre reflections on mortality (lines on dead cats and ageing men). "If you can't depress them when they're six, then what's the point of being in Edinburgh?" he inquired, to much parental approval.

'None of their punches was ever likely to connect'

When Richard and Judy hit OJ with hard facts, he just denied them, writes Tom Sutcliffe

Birthdays 24th January 1996

Birthdays

Arts: Do it, puke and get out: 'The Last Waltz' made music and cinema history. The final concert by The Band, starring their famous friends, it became a Martin Scorsese film, rated the best rock movie of all. But behind the scenes, there was mayhem. Levon Helm of The Band tells the inside story

IN 1976 The Band was 'perhaps America's most respected rock group' ('New York Times'). It had gone from backing rock'n'roller Ronnie Hawkins, to backing Bob Dylan, to standing on its own as a folk-rock group which, despite being four-fifths Canadian, made a string of albums that showed a perfect grasp of the musical traditions of the Deep South. The odd man out was Levon Helm, from Arkansas, one of The Band's three singers and two drummers. He takes up the story:

Double bill: Pretending to be Roy Orbison, Elton John or Neil Diamond on a rainy Sunday evening in High Wycombe may not sound like very much of a job, but for some people it's true stardom

THE PEOPLE of Rhyl, in North Wales, will have the opportunity tonight to see six rock legends perform their greatest hits - for only pounds 10.50 for a front row seat. Elton John, wearing a pair of canary yellow trousers and a gold banana pendant, will get the show off to a rockin' start with a medley of 'Pinball Wizard', 'Daniel' and 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. He will be followed by Rod Stewart, dry ice, Neil Diamond, dry ice and Tina Turner.
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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