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  1. News updates for 4 January 2016
  2. Downton Abbey tops final Christmas Day TV ratings
  3. A tie for fifth place in the BBC's Sound of 2016 poll
  4. Celebrity Big Brother line-up revealed
  5. Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk tops 2015's single chart

Live Reporting

By Kev Geoghegan and Ian Youngs

All times stated are UK

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  1. Ta ta for now

    Laurie Anderson

    That's all from us today, we'll leave you with the news that performance artist Laurie Anderson is performing a concert for dogs in New York later.

    According to the New York Times, she is inviting canines and their owners to Duffy Square, where she will perform music in a low-frequency.

    She held a similar event in Sydney in 2010.

    Suggested songs? Anything by The Beagles or Jarvis Cocker Spaniel?

    Ahem... Bye.

  2. Bill Bailey tour bus thief jailed

    Bill Bailey and Francis Whittaker

    A thief who stole comedian Bill Bailey's tour bus from outside a gig in Liverpool has been jailed.

    Francis Whittaker, 35, took the bus from outside the city's Philharmonic Hall, where Bailey performed in October as part of a tour.

    Liverpool Crown Court heard the vehicle contained merchandise worth £2,400 and the comedian's personal belongings.

    Whittaker was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to burglary and two charges of vehicle theft.

    Read more on this story.

  3. Emeli Sande returns to challenge Adele


    Billboard magazine has confirmed that Adele's 25 was the best-selling album of the year in the US - selling 7.44 million copies since its release in November.

    The last album to sell more than that in a calendar year was Usher's Confessions, which sold 7.98 million in 2004.

    Adele also has the first album to spend its first six weeks at number one since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream in 2009-10, and the first to sell more than 300,000 a week in each of its first six weeks since Creed’s Weathered in 2001.

    Yes, Creed were that big.

    Can anyone challenge Adele's dominance?

    One person has been posting pictures from the recording studio today, perhaps as a reminder that she's still on the scene.

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    Quote Message: So far So good! #album2
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    Emeli Sande's debut was the UK's biggest-selling album of 2012. For the follow-up, she's been working with production and songwriting duo Mac & Phil.

  4. Downton tops Christmas Day TV thanks to catch-up

    Downton Abbey

    Thanks to a surge in people using ITV's catch-up service, the final ever, ever, ever episode of Downton Abbey has ended up top of the Christmas Day TV ratings.

    The final audience figures have just been published, including both live and on-demand viewing.

    Some 3.9 million people watched Downton on catch-up - taking its overall audience to 10.5 million. Mrs Brown’s Boys' ratings rose by 3.1 million to 9.5 million after iPlayer views were counted.

    The Queen's Speech, which was number one in the initial overnight figures, was pushed into sixth place in the final tally.

    The final festive top five:

    1. Downton Abbey (ITV) – 10.5 million (up 3.9 million)
    2. Mrs Brown’s Boys (BBC One) – 9.5 million (up 3.1 million)
    3. Call The Midwife (BBC One) – 9.3 million (up 3.5 million)
    4. Stick Man (BBC One) – 9.28 million (up 2.9 million)
    5. Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One) – 8.54 million (up 2.1 million)
  5. Your views on the new BBC Three logo and move

    BBC Three logo

    You have been getting in touch to tell us what you think about the new BBC Three logo and the move from television to being an online-only channel from 16 February.

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  6. Spotlight on Oscar favourite


    Film drama Spotlight, which chronicles The Boston Globe's investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church, has just been named the best feature of 2015 by the US National Society of Film Critics.

    The movie, which features an all-star cast including Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton, was already hot favourite to win best picture at the Oscars.

    It is hard to know whether the film critics' award means it is more or less likely to win the Academy Award - the National Society of Film Critics has only agreed with the Oscars on the best picture winner five times in the last 40 years.

    The favourites for the golden statuette, if the bookmakers are to be believed, are currently:

    1. Spotlight
    2. The Revenant
    3. Carol
    4. The Martian
    5. Room

    We have until 28 February, when the Oscars take place, to speculate about this stuff.

    Read more about the other awards handed out by the National Society of Film Critics.

  7. Beowulf 'has to pull its socks up'


    We asked for your thoughts on last night's new TV series including War and Peace, Endeavour, Deutschland 83 and Beowulf.

    James North wrote in to tell us:

    Quote Message: I watched Endeavour, and as always enjoyed the programme immensely. I also watched Deutschland 83 and found it fascinating, and am looking forward to the next episode. I have recorded War And Peace, so will give my decision later on, but was ultimately disappointed with Beowulf.
    Quote Message: If this is meant to be similar to the awesome Game Of Thrones, then it fails woefully. The acting is wooden, but I will admit the creatures are good, if not resembling something out of Lord Of The Rings. I will watch the rest though to see if this poor start will improve, every programme deserves a second chance, but it has to pull its socks up to warrant me to keep watching.
  8. Ellen DeGeneres to get humanitarian prize

    Ellen Degeneres

    US TV host Ellen Degeneres is to be presented with the title of Favourite Humanitarian at this week's People's Choice Awards.

    The honour comes with a $200,000 (£136,000) donation from sponsor Walgreens, which she plans to give to the St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    DeGeneres joked: "I am both a human and an itarian.'' 

    She's also been nominated for favourite talk show host at the fan-voted awards, which take place on Wednesday.

  9. 2015's biggest singles announced

    Mark Ronson (far-right) and Bruno Mars (second-right)

    Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk has been named the biggest song of 2015 - which will comes as no surprise to most people.

    The track notched up a combined sales and streaming total of 1.76 million, according to the Official Charts Company.

    As well as spending seven weeks at number one, it remained in the top 40 for 39 weeks.

    The second spot went to OMI’s Cheerleader with a combined total of 1.52 million.

    Hozier’s soaring Take Me To Church rounded out the top three with 1.25 million combined sales. It is the only song in the top five that didn't actually reach number one.

    Despite only being released in October, Adele’s Hello managed to finish sixth place in the list.

    1. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
    2. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) - OMI
    3. Take Me To Church - Hozier
    4. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding
    5. See You Again - Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth
    6. Hello - Adele
    7. Lean On - Major Lazer ft MO & DJ Snake
    8. Hold Back The River - James Bay
    9. What Do You Mean - Justin Bieber
    10. Sorry - Justin Bieber

    See the full top 40 of 2015 on the Official Charts website.

  10. George RR Martin thanks fans after delay

    George RR Martin

    Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has thanked fans for their support after he admitted he would not finish his next book before the corresponding TV adaptation hits screens.

    He revealed he had missed a 31 December deadline to finish The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in his fantasy series. He wrote:

    Quote Message: The book's not done... I tried, I promise you. I failed...
    Quote Message: Yes, there's a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. But there's also a lot still left to write. I am months away still... and that's if the writing goes well.

    He later added:

    Quote Message: The outpouring of support in response to my post on The Winds of Winter has been astonishing. Thank you all, so very much. There were forty pages of screened comments on the post by the time I logged on this morning...
    Quote Message: I am going to close comments on this post, lest I have even more messages to deal with. But I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the kind words and good wishes.
  11. Taylor Swift pursued by wolves

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter

    Taylor Swift in the video for Out of the Woods

    The video for Taylor Swift's new single Out Of The Woods was premiered shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve - and it sees the star pursued through the wilderness by a pack of baying wolves.

    The song is widely thought to be about her relationship with One Direction's Harry Styles - and fans have observed that the dress she wears is similar to the one she was seen wearing shortly after cutting the romance short.

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    The video was shot in treacherous locations around New Zealand - and director Joseph Kahn has paid tribute to the star's tenacity.

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  12. Keith Flint responds to hunting stories

    Keith Flint

    The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint has responded angrily to stories that he took part in a fox hunt.

    Over the weekend, the Daily Mail reported that Flint had "embarked on a new life as a country gent and been spotted riding out with his local hunt" in Essex.

    Flint said in a Facebook post

    Quote Message: In regards to a story going around about me right now - yes I live in essex and have a couple of horses. I went riding with the local trail hunt, it was a ride out and NO ANIMALS WERE HUNTED OR KILLED, so my conscience is clear, it wasn't my thing and I won't be going again.
  13. BBC Three prepares to move online

    BBC Three is to disappear from old-fashioned TV on 16 February, the corporation has announced, at which point it will become available online only.

    The channel has been given a new logo in preparation for the move, which is being done to save £60m.

    BBC Three logo

    In a blog, head of marketing Nikki Carr wrote:

    Quote Message: Thanks to W1A we're cursed at the BBC when it comes to marketing and I don’t want to come across all Siobhan Sharpe but forgive me some lingo. The visual identity brings new BBC Three together - a new logo, new idents, new animations and new on screen presentation, all with a new colour pallete. This visual identity will underpin what we do in the future.

    The channel has also released a trailer giving a taste of what to expect.

    View more on youtube
  14. The fictional war film featuring real soldiers

    BBC Newsbeat

    A War

    Danish drama A War is in with a shot of an Oscar nomination next week after being chosen as one of nine features in contention for the best foreign language film category.

    It tells the story of a Danish commander leading his troops in Afghanistan.

    But most of the company we see on screen are real-life soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

    "They just gave so much to the film," says lead actor Pilou Asbæk, who some viewers will recognise from Borgen and from hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.

    In 2012, the US film, Act of Valor, starred real-life Navy Seals and was nominated for best original song at the Oscars.

    Read more about A War on BBC Newsbeat.

  15. Broadchurch series filming begins



    According to Metro, filming on series three of murder mystery Broadchurch has already begun because the owners of the clifftop cabin in Dorset where young Danny Latimer met his demise want to knock it down.

    Apparently it's over fears of cliff erosion, which could see the small hut tumbling into the sea.

    The third series will also be the last, according to star David Tennant.

  16. Voice of Boba Fett dies

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Boba Fett costume

    Jason Wingreen, the original voice of bounty hunter Boba Fett in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, has died at the age of 95, his son has told The Hollywood Reporter.

    When director George Lucas re-released the original trilogy, Wingreen was replaced by actor by actor Temuera Morrison, who played Boba's father Jango Fett in the prequels.

    Though he only spoke four lines of dialogue, the character has since become a firm fan favourite.

    He was played, in the physical sense, by English actor Jeremy Bulloch.

    Read more on this story.

  17. Jaden Smith models Louis Vuitton womenswear

    He was The Karate Kid in the 2010 film remake - now actor and rapper Jaden Smith has signed up to model the new range of Louis Vuitton's womenswear.

    The son of actors Will and Jada, he is well known for shunning fashion conventions to wear clothes designed for women. He and is pictured in a skirt in the new campaign.

    Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquiereannounced the news on Instagram. 

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    What would Mr Miyagi say?

  18. War & Peace wins ratings battle

    War & Peace

    Several new TV dramas began in the UK last night - including the BBC's epic adaptation of War and Peace, ITV's swords-and-monsters fantasy Beowulf and Channel 4's German Cold War import Deutschland 83.

    War and Peace pulled in an average of 6.3 million people, who were perhaps looking for a Sunday night period drama to fill a Downton Abbey-shaped hole.

    It's had decent reviews too, including this one from Serena Davies in The Daily Telegraph:

    Quote Message: This is a production of noble ambition and grand execution; a thrilling trumpet blast for the new year. Downton’s erstwhile Sunday slot has been taken over for the next six weeks by a programme that demands that we think: about society, about ideals, about history.

    The return of the young Inspector Morse in Endeavour attracted 4.4 million on ITV (not counting ITV+1). That followed the first of 13 episodes of Beowulf, which was seen by 2.3 million.

    The reaction to ITV's retelling of the Anglo-Saxon myth has been less enthusiastic. Here's Ed Power, also in The Telegraph:

    Quote Message: The vast budget appeared to have been splurged mainly on grooming products for a magnificently bearded cast, while the special effects resembled something from a late Nineties action movie and were certainly insufficiently realistic to scare any children who happened to be watching.

    On Channel 4, Deutschland 83 was seen by 1.2 million. Did you see any of the new series? Let us know your verdict on @BBCNewsEnts or

  19. WSTRN: Bring back some soul

    WSTRN (pronounced Western) have tied for fifth place on the BBC's Sound of 2016 list.

    The R&B trio from Shepherd's Bush in west London (the name makes sense now) have attracted celebrity fans such as Wiley, Lily Allen, Wretch 32 and Rita Ora.

    Video content

    Video caption: WSTRN are joint fifth place with Mura Masa in the BBC's Sound of 2016 list

    Read more about WSTRN.

  20. Aretha Franklin pays tribute to Natalie Cole

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter

    Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole

    Soul singer Natalie Cole sadly died on New Year's Eve after a prolonged illness. She was 65 years old.

    Among those paying tribute was Aretha Franklin, who played her hit single Inseparable at a concert the following day.

    “We will always remember this very classy and sophisticated lady,” said the star, making a reference to Cole’s Grammy-winning record Sophisticated Lady.

    You can see fan footage of the performance below.

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    The performance came a few days after Aretha delivered a show-stopping rendition of Carole King’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center Honours.

    The star received a standing ovation from President Barack Obama during the song, while King, who was being honoured at the event, stood on her feet and sang along throughout.

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