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  1. News and updates for 17 December 2015
  2. Star Wars film premieres in London
  3. Most-watched TV programmes revealed
  4. BBC One's Cuffs cancelled

Live Reporting

By Neil Smith and Keily Smith

All times stated are UK

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  1. Let's blow this thing and go home

    Neil Smith

    Entertainment reporter

    A scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    The time has come to holster our blasters, switch off our lightsabers and jump the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace.

    Before we try to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, though, here's a sample of your opinions of the film everyone's talking about.

    If you've got time on your hands tonight - and we're not just talking to you Jose Mourinho - feel free to let us know your thoughts.

    We'll be back tomorrow with our final live page of the year that will feature, among other things, some words from the cast of a new staging of Les Liaisons Dangereuses that's opening in London 30 years on from its acclaimed first production.

    May le force be avec vous.

  2. No second series for Cuffs

    There's disappointment in store for fans of BBC One police drama Cuffs - there will be no series two. 

    Last night was the final episode of the Brighton-set series, and immediately after the cast were tweeting about its demise. 

    Last night's show pulled in 3.2 million viewers, making it the most watched in its 20:00 time slot. But audience figures had been slipping since its debut of 4.9 million.

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    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  3. Classical arts 'inspired' by Bohemian Rhapsody

    Drawing inspiration from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, the English National Ballet, the Royal Academy of Music and the Trinity Boys Choir have created their own interpretations.

    The pieces were commissioned to coincide with a BBC Four documentary, Rags to Rhapsody, which airs on 18 December to mark 40 years of the song.

    Here James Streeter, soloist and choreographer at ENB, describes the difficulties of bringing one of pop music's biggest songs into the classical arena.

    Quote Message: As time has passed, Queen and Freddie still live on so strongly in all of us. At the start of the dance, as we stare at what looks like the silhouette of Freddie's statue, a female appears and as she begins dancing around him, with every touch and the endless desire for Freddie, he is slowly brought back to life.
    View more on youtube
  4. Gleeson picks another premiere

    Domhnall Gleeson

    One Star Wars cast member who wasn't in London last night for the European premiere of The Force Awakens was Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, who plays the villainous General Hux in JJ Abrams' blockbuster.

    That's because the 32-year-old opted to remain in Los Angeles after Monday's world premiere of The Force Awakens, in order to attend the premiere of another film in which he has a starring role.

    That film is The Revenant, Alejandro G Inarritu's gruelling period western about a fur trapper (Leonardo DiCaprio) left to die in the wilderness after being mauled by a bear.

    Inarritu was in ebullient mood at Wednesday's event, which was also attended by DiCaprio and his no less hirsute co-star Tom Hardy.

    Beards? Yes. Bears? Not so much.

    Alejandro G Inarritu, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy
  5. Peep Show bows out on Channel 4

    Robert Webb and David Mitchell in Peep Show

    Hit comedy Peep Show came to a close last night after 12 years and 54 episodes.

    The Channel 4 show was nominated for numerous Baftas, with David Mitchell winning the best comedy actor award in 2009 and the show winning best comedy the year before. 

    The creators and actors promised there would be no happy ending for Mark and Jez, pretty much keeping up the theme of the show's entire run.  

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    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  6. Azealia Banks charged over club assault

    BBC Newsbeat

    Azealia Banks

    Azealia Banks has been charged with assaulting a security guard at a New York nightclub by allegedly biting her breast.

    The rapper is accused of assault, disorderly conduct and harassment (in the second degree), according to Detective Annette Shelton.  

    It's claimed Banks was being escorted out of the club when she became verbally abusive and started punching a 28-year-old female.

    Read more on this story.

  7. Children's author Peter Dickinson dies

    Peter Dickinson

    Children's author Peter Dickinson, who won the Carnegie medal twice, has died on his 88th birthday.

    The fantasy writer won the prestigious medal in 1979 for Tulku and again in 1980 for City of Gold.

    Dickinson was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to literature.

    He died in Winchester, Hampshire, on 16 December after a brief illness, with his family by his side.

    Philip Pullman is among those to have paid tribute.

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    Read more on this story.

  8. Star Wars premiere... in 30 seconds

    Darth Vader, Chewbacca, a battalion of stormtroopers... Wednesday's European premiere of the new Star Wars film was quite a spectacle.

    Here's a montage of highlights featuring cameo appearances from Stephen Fry, Warwick Davis and singer James Blunt.

    Video content

    Video caption: Star Wars' European premiere in 30 seconds
  9. CCTV image released over Cowell burglary

    BBC Newsbeat


    Police have released a CCTV photograph of a man they want to talk to over a burglary at Simon Cowell's west London mansion.

    The image shows a man in a woolly red hat and a dark coat.

    He is described as slim, roughly 5ft 10in (1.7m) tall and wearing dark trousers.

    Cowell's home in Holland Park was broken into on 4 December, as he, his partner Lauren Silverman and their baby Eric slept. 

    A 37-year-old man has been arrested over the incident and has been bailed until early January.  

    Read more on this story.

  10. Can The Force Awakens topple Avatar?

    'Captain Phasma' in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens become the highest-grossing film of all time, unseating James Cameron's Avatar from a position it has held for the past five years?

    Entertainment correspondent Tim Masters spoke to some box office experts and industry figures to see if they think Avatar's whopping $2.78bn (£1.85bn) tally is in danger of being superseded.

    Read the feature.

  11. Bake Off dominates year's TV watching

    BBC Newsbeat

    Nadiya Hussein

    The Great British Bake Off has emerged as the most-watched TV show of the year so far. 

    The final of the baking contest, which saw Nadiya Hussein (above) take the crown, drew in 15 million viewers when it was broadcast on BBC One in October. 

    Bake Off features seven times in the top eight, with only May's Britain's Got Talent final able to make a dent in its dominance. 

    The finale of the ITV show attracted 12.75 million viewers, making it the second most-watched programme. 

    Strictly Come Dancing and another Britain's Got Talent episode shown in April completed the top 10.

    The Strictly Come Dancing final takes place this weekend and is likely to muscle its way into a high position.

    Read more on this story.

  12. John Bishop 'sings' with Kylie Minogue

    Here's some footage from John Bishop’s upcoming Christmas Show that shows him "singing" Yuletime standard Let It Snow with a glamorous Kylie Minogue.

    Jess Glynne, Olly Murs and comedienne Sarah Millican also feature on John's third festive special, which goes out on BBC One on 21 December.

    View more on youtube
  13. Star Wars score makes Oscar longlist

    John Williams and Anthony Daniels

    The score that John Williams - pictured (above left) with C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels - composed for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been singled out for praise by critics who have seen the film. Variety's review, for example, called it "the most crucial component of the movie’s design".

    No surprise, then, to find it among the 112 scores in contention for next year's Oscar for best original score.

    France's Alexandre Desplat, who beat himself last year when his score for The Grand Budapest Hotel triumphed over the one he wrote for The Imitation Game, displays his prolificity again by having another two scores - The Danish Girl and Suffragette - up for consideration.

    He's a slacker, though, compared to Coen brothers favourite Carter Burwell, who has no less than four scores on the Academy's longlist.

    The late James Horner, meanwhile, is remembered through the inclusion of his scores for Southpaw and Wolf Totem.

    Should you need it, here's a reminder of how Williams' music goes, courtesy of US talk show host Jimmy Fallon and members of the Star Wars cast.

    View more on youtube
  14. Cleveland's Hall of Fame to honour Chicago

    Chicago, Deep Purple and NWA are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, next year.

    Cheap Trick and Steve Miller were also chosen by fans and voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to join its pantheon in April.

    Here's how the museum announced their selection:

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  15. Danish art acquired by National Gallery

    Road in the Village of Baldersbronde (Winter Day) by Laurits Andersen Ring

    The National Gallery has acquired a winterscape by Laurits Andersen Ring - the first time a work by the Danish artist has entered a UK public collection. 

    Road in the Village of Baldersbronde (Winter Day) was inspired by the small village where the modernist artist lived with his family from 1902.

    Road in the Village of Baldersbronde was bought for £68,000 with the support of donors.

    Here's what National Gallery director Gabriele Finaldi had to say about the purchase.

    Quote Message: Ring superbly captures the moody silence of a cold winter’s day in his home village of Baldersbronde near Copenhagen. The painting has been acquired thanks to the generosity of several benefactors and it joins the small but choice collection of Scandinavian painting on show in Trafalgar Square.
  16. Is Star Wars safe to take your child to?

    Christmas-themed Stormtroopers pose with a child in Taipei, Taiwan

    One topic that may be the subject of heated debate this weekend is whether the new Star Wars film - and yes, we are beginning to sound like a broken record - is suitable for parents to take their children to.

    The Force Awakens is classified 12A in the UK, which means no one younger than 12 may see it in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult.

    Films with that classification generally have mild levels of violence and threat. Some disquiet was expressed recently, however, by the fact that Spectre, the latest James Bond film, received a 12A rating, despite featuring a man having his eyes gouged out and Bond himself being tortured with a cranial drill.

    The British Board of Film Classification has now published a full advisory that says it contains "frequent scenes of moderate violence", "occasional scenes of moderate threat" and "infrequent use of very mild bad language".

    Entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson saw the film earlier this week, so we asked him for his thoughts on the matter.

    Quote Message: When I saw the eye-gouging and head-drilling scenes in Spectre, I immediately thought about how the 12A certificate meant children of any age could see it if accompanied by an adult. I asked the stars about this and Monica Bellucci told me she would not be letting her own 11-year-old daughter see it, until she was older.
    Quote Message: With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was nothing I would be worried about my nieces (9 and 10) and nephew (7) seeing. I am actually keen for Lottie and Hannah to watch the film, as I think Daisy Ridley’s character Rey is one of the best female role models in a blockbuster for years.
    Quote Message: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. More a case of two thumbs up, than two thumbs in eyes.
  17. Dame Joan Collins sells off her wardrobe

    Joan Collins

    A vast collection of gowns, jewellery and personal letters belonging to Dame Joan Collins has gone up for auction.

    The dress she designed and wore to collect her damehood at Buckingham Palace fetched the highest bid - £16,000.

    The collection on sale at Julien's in Hollywood included furs, furniture and dresses the actress wore on the set of Dynasty.

    There were also two love letters written to her in Rome by Warren Beatty, from when the pair were engaged in the early 1960s.

    The letters, which also came with a playbill from Beatty's first play, sold for £1,920.

    Joan Collins gowns
  18. Madonna - here comes the bride

    John Hand

    BBC News


    Madonna had her bluff called by a resourceful fan when she played the latest date of her Rebel Heart tour in Birmingham.

    On each night of the tour, she ends her rendition of her classic 1985 hit Material Girl dressed in a wedding veil and carrying a bouquet and then selects a male member of the audience to “marry” her.

    The usual twist is that she berates the unfortunate fellow for not having an engagement ring, pointing out that she is, after all, “a material girl”.

    On Wednesday night at the Barclaycard Arena, though, the 57-year-old had the tables turned on her. When she selected her target and asked if she was prepared to wed, he responded by proffering a box containing a ring. After checking that it was 24-carat-gold, she slipped the engagement ring on her finger.

    But she told the fan - who told her his name was Alan - that he would not after all become her third husband. “We won’t be getting married," she said. "But I’ve shouted your name out on stage and now you’re famous and I have a new ring. So it’s win-win.”

  19. Migrants charging for Banksy Calais mural

    Banksy mural covered and uncovered

    Migrants in Calais have begun covering up a Banksy mural and charging people to see it. 

    The enigmatic graffiti artist painted a picture of Steve Jobs on a wall in the camp last week, highlighting the fact that the late Apple founder's father was Syrian. 

    Now the installation is attracting visitors, refugees in the camp are seeing a way of making money from it. 

    "If you haven't got five euros [£3.60], then go away," a reporter from the Press Association was told by one man who emerged from a nearby tent. 

  20. Harrison chats on the red carpet

    Entertainment reporter Colin Paterson grabbed Harrison Ford on last night's Star Wars red carpet.

    He talked about the challenges of working under George Lucas and JJ Abrams, describing them as completely different experiences "as one dentist is different to another...I wouldn't compare them".

    He also chatted about the positive aspects of JJ shunning CGI, saying it allowed for "spontaneity, and for accidents that happen on the set and in rehearsals to be accommodated." 

    The 73-year-old also elaborated on his own accident on the Force Awakens set, a mishap that left him with a fractured leg.