Entertainment & Arts

Entertainment review of the year: 2012

2012 was a year of celebrations thanks to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

But it was also filled with controversy and the passing of some much-loved stars of the music and film worlds.

Here is a look at some of the memorable entertainment and arts news of the past year.


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Media captionMichael Kiwanuka: "I feel honoured, happy and humble to have won."

The year began with the BBC announcing Michael Kiwanuka as the winner of Sound of 2012.

Downton Abbey was named best drama at the National TV Awards and Coronation Street won best serial drama. Doctor Who stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan also won acting prizes.

Mouths at the Royal Ballet were left gaping when the principal dancer, prodigy Sergei Polunin, announced he was quitting. He later told the BBC he wanted to "start afresh".

And magician Paul Daniels revealed he cut his finger off while building a magic prop. Surgeons managed to reattach his left index finger, but he still lost the tip of his ring finger.


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Media captionThe Artist, courtesy of the Weinstein Company

February hosted two of the biggest events in the film calendar - the Oscars and the Baftas.

Silent movie The Artist triumphed at both, picking up five Oscars and seven Baftas, including best picture and best actor for Jean Dujardin, while Meryl Streep won for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

Christopher Plummer also became the oldest Oscar-winner at 82 by taking the prize for best supporting actor.

It was a big month for Adele who not only scooped six Grammys, but also picked up two Brit awards. However she became caught up in controversy when one of her acceptance speeches was cut short by host James Corden to make way for final performers Blur.

And the world was shocked by the death of Whitney Houston the night before the Grammys. The singer died in her Los Angeles hotel room of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine use and heart disease.


Image caption Titian's Diana and Callisto has a price tag of £50m

Titian's "supremely important" oil painting Diana and Callisto was saved for the nation in March after a £45m deal was agreed with its previous owner, the Duke of Sutherland.

It was bought with the help of £25m from the National Gallery after a lengthy fundraising campaign.

BBC director general Mark Thompson announced he was stepping down after eight years in the job. He was the corporation's longest-serving DG since the 1970s.

Former Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman was revealed as Doctor Who's new companion replacing Karen Gillan.

And a Thai cookbook, titled Cooking With Poo, won the Diagram Prize for the oddest book title of the year. The book was written by Bangkok chef Saiyuud Diwong whose nickname is Thai for "crab".


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Media captionThe four girls who play Matilda were thrilled to receive their award

Matilda swept the board at the Laurence Olivier Awards in April, winning seven prizes including best actress in a musical which was given to the four child stars who share the title role.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller were also jointly crowned best actor for their dual performances in Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre.

Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill also cleaned up at the Razzie awards, which honour the year's worst films. It won a record 10 prizes including worst picture, with Sandler named worst actor and actress for playing both the film's male and female lead characters.

A museum in Italy burnt artwork in protest at government budget cuts. The Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples said the cuts had left many cultural institutions out of pocket.

While erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey first topped the UK's bestseller list, where it remained for much of the year.


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Media captionThe BBC's David Sillito looks back at Donna Summer's unique contribution to music

May saw Michael Haneke pick up his second Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Love (Amour) and Sweden win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Britain's entry, Engelbert Humperdinck finished second from last with just 12 points, despite high hopes.

Dominic West and Emily Watson won TV Baftas for their roles in Fred West drama Appropriate Adult. Coronation Street beat EastEnders once again to be named best soap and continuing drama and Graham Norton won best entertainment performance.

Dancing dog Pudsey and his owner Ashleigh won Britain's Got Talent. The act won the £500,000 prize and appeared at the Royal Variety Performance.

While the music world mourned the deaths of Bee Gee Robin Gibb, disco queen Donna Summer and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.


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Media captionHighlights from the Diamond Jubilee concert

Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Gary Barlow were some of the stars to perform at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in June.

Barlow was rewarded with an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, while Kenneth Branagh was knighted and Kate Winslet was made a CBE.

James Corden won a Tony award for his Broadway turn in One Man, Two Guvnors whilst Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorced and Dallas returned to US TV screens. The drama was a ratings hit, but received mixed reviews from critics.

The London 2012 Festival also began - the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The 12-week nationwide programme of arts events ran alongside the Olympics and kicked off with the Peace One Day concert in Derry, Northern Ireland.


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Media captionJames Bond was at Her Majesty's service as the Queen joined the Opening Ceremony

July was all about the Olympics. Some 27m people in the UK watched Danny Boyle's opening ceremony which featured Sir Kenneth Branagh, JK Rowling, Emeli Sande and the Queen - who skydived into the Olympic stadium alongside James Bond.

Mr Bean made a rare appearance joining in with the orchestra's rendition of the theme from Chariots of Fire.

The final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, was released to critical acclaim. However it was marred by tragedy following a shooting at a screening in Denver, Colorado.

Bruce Springsteen was silenced at a gig in Hyde Park - his microphone was switched off during a duet with Sir Paul McCartney after his show overran the time limit at the Hard Rock Calling festival. At Springsteen's next gig in Dublin, he poked fun at the curfew and began by playing the end of the song cut short in London.

And George Entwistle was appointed Mark Thompson's successor as the new BBC director general.


Image caption Tony Scott died on 19 August, aged 68

Bob Hoskins announced in August that he was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

An exhibition in Denmark caused controversy after it featured people having sex in the gallery. Devoid of Shame aimed to provoke conversation about intercourse and sexuality.

Canadian comic Stewart Francis was awarded the prize for best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe for a joke about David and Victoria Beckham.

Actress Natalie Wood's death certificate was amended to reflect the mystery of how she died in 1981. Originally ruled as a drowning during a boat trip, the certificate was changed to say cause of death was a result of "drowning and other undetermined factors".

Hollywood was left reeling at the death of Top Gun director Tony Scott, who jumped from a bridge in Los Angeles. The brother of Alien director Sir Ridley, Scott also directed Days of Thunder and True Romance.


There was British success at the Emmys in September with Damian Lewis and Dame Maggie Smith winning acting awards for their roles in Homeland and Downton Abbey.

It was the end of an era at Radio 1 as Chris Moyles departed the breakfast show after eight-and-a-half years - making him the station's longest-serving breakfast DJ. Nick Grimshaw took over the show two weeks later.

JK Rowling's long awaited first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, was released. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was later announced the novel would be dramatised for the BBC.

And Psy became the first South Korean music artist to top the UK singles chart with Gangnam Style - spawning a dance craze that became a global phenomenon.


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Media captionHilary Mantel: "I could not be more surprised"

Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize in October for Bringing Up The Bodies - the sequel to her 2009 Booker-winning novel Wolf Hall.

She became the first woman and first living British author to win the literary prize twice.

A statue of a naked pregnant woman by Damien Hirst caused controversy in the Devon seaside town of Ilfracombe.

And the BBC was thrown into crisis after it emerged Newsnight dropped an investigation into the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse claims.

Two enquiries were set up to examine the management of the Newsnight programme and the culture of the BBC during the years Savile worked there.


Image caption George Entwistle resigned as BBC director general, Tim Davie was appointed acting director general and Tony Hall was named Entwistle's successor

After a period of intense scrutiny over the Savile claims, George Entwistle resigned as BBC director general after just 54 days in the post. Tim Davie was immediately appointed acting director general and promised to "get a grip" on BBC News.

Within two weeks, Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall was named as Entwistle's replacement, with BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten saying Lord Hall was "the right person to lead the BBC out of its current crisis".

Indie band Alt-J won the Mercury Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave.

We also said goodbye to three TV veterans - Dad's Army star Clive Dunn, Coronation Street's Bill Tarmey and Dallas's JR Ewing - Larry Hagman.


Image caption The Strictly Come Dancing final was watched by a peak audience of 14m people

December began with video artist Elizabeth Price winning the Turner Prize for her installation, The Woolworths Choir of 1979, 2012.

Skyfall became the highest-grossing movie in UK box office history. The film took £98m in its first eight weeks of release, beating the previous record holder, Avatar, which grossed £94m across 11 months.

EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks won I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! while Olympic medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith took the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball trophy.

And James Arthur won this year's X Factor, beating Jahmeme Douglas. Arthur sold 490,000 copies of his debut number one single Impossible, but he lost out in the race for Christmas number one to The Justice Collective's Hillsborough fundraising single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.

Gerry Anderson, the British creator of Thunderbirds and Stingray, died at the age of 83.

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