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Summary

  1. News and updates for 16 December 2015
  2. Critics and fans give their views on Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. Michael Jackson's Thriller sells 30 million copies in US
  4. Sir Elton John and Mumford and Sons battle ticket touts
  5. James Naughtie bows out of Today programme

Live Reporting

By Ian Youngs and Kev Geoghegan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye for now

    Bryan Cranston

    We'll end today on this lovely video of celebs including Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Alison Brie and Seth Rogen doing a dramatic reading of Drake's Hotline Bling.

    We'll see you again tomorrow for more from the world of arts, entertainment and media.

    Watch the video.

  2. The voice behind your favourite cartoon characters

    Video content

    Video caption: Meet the Solihull man with the voice from classic cartoons

    Mark Silk is used to not being recognised - until he opens his mouth, at which point he can transform himself into dozens of cartoon characters.

    Silk, from Solihull, has voiced characters on shows including the new Dangermouse series and Pingu, films including Chicken Run, and was even the voice of Bob the Builder in America.

    BBC Midlands Today asked him to show off his vocal skills.

  3. The films to watch on Christmas Day

    The BBC's film reviewer Mark Kermode has offered his tips for which films to watch after you've stuffed yourself with turkey and trimmings and are incapable of physical movement.

    Video content

    Video caption: Mark Kermode's film blog.
  4. Eagles of Death Metal announce new Euro dates

    Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal

    Eagles of Death Metal have announced their rescheduled European tour dates following last months terror attacks on Paris.

    The band were playing a gig at the Bataclan venue when gunmen killed 90 people.

    The band returned to Paris last week to play a song with U2.

    They will return to play the city's Olympia in February.

    Singer Jesse Hughes said:   

    Quote Message: The people of Paris have always been incredible to us, and our feeling of love towards this beautiful city and its people has been reinforced a million times over this past month. Hearing the stories of the survivors, the injured and those who have lost loved ones has been overwhelming. Not returning to finish our set was never an option. We look forward to coming back in February and continuing our mission to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the world.

    The full list of dates is at the band's website.

    Eagles of Death Metal have also announced they will be playing next year's Reading and Leeds festival.

  5. Michael Jackson's Thriller is first to sell 30m

    Michael Jackson

    Thirty-three years after it was released, Michael Jackson's classic album Thriller has become the first to sell more than 30 million copies in the US.

    Thriller included enduring hits including Beat It, Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' as well as the title track.

    The milestone has been announced by the Recording Industry Association of America and Jackson's estate.

    John Branca, co-executor of Jackson's estate, said: "Thriller continues to be the yardstick against which all other albums are measured."

    Adele's new album 25 only has to sell another 25 million to catch it up...

    Here's the all-time top albums, according to the RIAA.

    1. Michael Jackson: Thriller - 30m
    2. The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 - 29m
    3. Billy Joel: Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II - 23m
    4. Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV - 23m
    5. Pink Floyd: The Wall - 23m
    6. AC/DC: Back In Black - 22m
    7. Garth Brooks: Double Live - 21m
    8. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours - 20m
    9. Shania Twain: Come On Over - 20m
    10. The Beatles: The Beatles - 19m
  6. Cilla Black tops UK Google searches in 2015

    Cilla Black

    Cilla Black was the UK's top search term on Google in 2015, according to the tech firm's annual review of its users' activity.

    The singer and TV star died in August aged 72 following a stroke.

    Lady Colin Campbell was the second most popular term in the UK after the socialite appeared on ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.

    Here's the top 10:

    1. Cilla Black
    2. Lady Colin Campbell
    3. Rugby World Cup
    4. Jeremy Clarkson
    5. Paris
    6. iPhone 6S
    7. Grand National 2015
    8. Jurassic World
    9. Election results
    10. Charlie Hebdo

    For the world as a whole, basketball player Lamar Odom topped the list, followed by Jurassic World.

    The fact Google released the list two weeks before the end of the year - which may explain why Jurassic World is in but Star Wars is not.  

    Read more on this story.

  7. Fewer people watching TV news

    TV news gallery

    The number of people watching TV news has gone down by 10% over the past year, according to research from media regulator Ofcom.

    Ofcom said two thirds of the population said they followed news on TV this year - compared to three quarters last year.

    The number of people who use the internet or apps for news has stayed the same since 2014 at 41%.

    The numbers turning to the radio or newspapers for their news have also fallen. In total, 10% of the population say they don't follow the news at all - double the figure for last year.

    Read the full report on the Ofcom website.

  8. Radio 1's celebrity Christmas Day curators

    One Direction

    BBC Radio 1 has enlisted One Direction, Little Mix and Dr Who and Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams to help celebrate Christmas Day by hosting their own Superstar Playlists.

    The hour-long shows will feature their favourite tracks and some Christmas classics.

    The shows will be aired after presenter Greg James announces the Christmas number one live on The Official Chart.

    His three-hour show, from 10:00-13:00, will also include a look back at all of the Christmas chart-toppers since the year 2000.

  9. Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark in a spooky museum

    Kelvingrove art gallery and museum

    The organisers of next year's Glasgow Film Festival have announced they are to put on screenings in famous venues across the city.

    A 35th anniversary screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark will be hosted at the Kelvingrove art gallery, while David Bowie's The Man Who Fell to Earth will be shown at the Science Centre Planetarium.

    Tickets go on sale on Thursday.

  10. Derek Griffiths joins Coronation Street

    Derek Griffiths on Play School

    Actor and children's TV legend Derek Griffiths is to join the cast of Coronation Street, it has been announced.

    Griffiths is fondly remembered by viewers of a certain age for being one of the hosts of Play School and Play Away in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

    He also starred in Film Fun and was the voice of Super Ted.

    A statement from the ITV soap said he will play a retired mechanic named Freddie, "who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Kylie Platt". Griffiths said:

    Quote Message: I remember being a young boy and watching Violet Carson on Coronation Street. She was a brilliant character that people loved to hate and later when I became an actor and played the villain in panto many times those are qualities I would bring to the role.
    Quote Message: When I came for my audition one of the first things I saw was a huge photo of Violet Carson on the wall. I am very much looking forward to walking in those hallowed footsteps.
  11. Towie stars pay tribute to Nanny Pat

    The Only Way Is Essex siblings Mark and Jessica Wright have paid tribute to their grandmother Nanny Pat - a popular presence on the ITVBe reality show - who has died at the age of 80 after a short illness.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Many of the show's other stars have also expressed their sadness.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  12. Ghostbusters enters National Film Registry

    Ghostbusters

    It's an honour that's been afforded to films like 12 Angry Men and Do The Right Thing in the past.

    Now, Ghostbusters has been admitted to the US Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

    Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman said: "It’s an honour to know that a movie that begins with a ghost in a library now has a spot on the shelves of the Library of Congress.  

    "It’s humbling to be part of a collection of extraordinary films that I have loved all my life.”

    The library selects 25 films to join the registry every year. This year, the list also includes LA Confidential, Top Gun and The Shawshank Redemption.

    The register recognises films "that deserve to be preserved because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance".

    See if your favourite film is in there.

  13. Pro Green to host new BBC Three docs

    Professor Green

    After the success of his programme examining the growing suicide rate for British men under the age 40, rapper Professor Green has been commissioned to front two new documentaries for BBC Three.

    The films are provisionally titled Sleeping Rough and Dangerous Dogs. The first will look at youth homelessness, while the second will explore dog attacks, which are at an all-time high.

    Speaking to the BBC about his suicide documentary, the musician, whose father took his own life, said: "I've never seen the documentary to the end. 

    "I find it really difficult, the pain is indescribable."

    Of his new projects, he said in a statement:

    Quote Message: I want to do more to explore the issues that we often don’t know enough about, which is why I can’t wait for everyone to see these new projects I’m working on for BBC Three. The difficult subjects that we’re bringing attention to this time will take me on another eye-opening journey and I hope to raise awareness around two big social problems that will only continue to grow unless we tackle them head on.
  14. Welcome to Droid Airways

    Star Wars jet

    After the world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Los Angeles on Monday, the cast flew to London for the European premiere later today. 

    While they didn't have the Millennium Falcon to whizz them across the Atlantic at light-speed, they did have the next best thing. 

    An R2-D2 themed jet! 

    Star Wars jet
    Star Wars jet
    Star Wars jet
  15. Ola Jordan waltzes out of Strictly Come Dancing

    Video content

    Video caption: Ola Jordan says goodbye

    Strictly Come Dancing professional Ola Jordan is to make her final appearance on the show on this weekend's final.

    Last night, she spoke about her decade on the Strictly dancefloor on BBC Two's Strictly: It Takes Two. You can watch the interview above.

    She was much more diplomatic last night than she was last month when she announced her departure and claimed the judges were deliberately fixing the scores in order to keep certain people on the show.

    Ola won with Chris Hollins in 2009, and has also partnered celebrities including Robbie Savage, Paul Daniels and Steve Backshall. This year, she paired up with former sprinter Iwan Thomas - but the pair were the first to exit.

  16. Mumford & Sons condemn ticket touts

    Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons

    Bearded folksters Mumford & Sons have joined the growing calls for tighter restrictions on secondary ticketing websites.

    Earlier, Sir Elton John - whose tickets for his UK tour next year have been on sale at up to five times face value on some sites - called the practice "extortionate" and "disgraceful".

    Now, in a lengthy statement, the band said many tickets on secondary sites "are being sold by touts who are simply in the business of ripping off the fan by charging an extortionate amount for sold out shows".

    Quote Message: By our estimation when this tour went on general sale there were roughly 6,000 tickets out there on secondary ticket platforms across the UK tour, including 1,500 for each night at the O2 in London. People may argue that those tickets have already been sold and we’re getting the money anyway. But that’s not how we see it.
    Quote Message: We want fans of the band to be able to get into our shows for the right price, to feel that they’ve got value for money. We want every seat in a sold out show to be filled with a fan. Why do we care so much? Because it’s not right, it hurts our fans and it’s a problem for all artists. from Mumford & Sons
    Mumford & Sons

    The band have called on their fans to use face-value secondary ticketing sites. Read the full statement.

  17. The Only Way Is Essex's Nanny Pat dies

    Daily Mirror

    Nanny Pat

    The Only Way Is Essex favourite Nanny Pat has died, it has been reported. 

    The 80-year-old was the grandmother of the reality show's stars Mark and Jessica Wright.

    The family have put out a statement:

    Quote Message: Sadly our amazing, courageous and beautiful Nanny Pat passed away this morning after a short illness. We are overwhelmed by sadness, and the whole family ask for privacy at this horrible time.

    Read more on The Mirror website.

  18. Naughtie's emotional radio sign-off

    As we reported earlier, BBC Radio 4's James Naughtie has left the Today programme's presenting line-up after 21 years.

    You can now watch a clip of Naughtie as he fought back tears at the end of this morning's broadcast, which he presented with fellow host John Humphrys.

    Video content

    Video caption: James Naughtie signs off for the last time after 21 years presenting the Today programme.
  19. Fans react to Star Wars screening

    Video content

    Video caption: Fans react to Star Wars screening

    The UK premiere of Star Wars doesn't take place till later - but there was an advance screening for the press in London last night.

    As well as critics, some superfans were also invited, and a few gave their verdicts afterwards to BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson.

    Like the reviewers, they gave it the thumbs up. And it's fair to say it's gone down much better than the prequels, as you can hear above.