In February Lyn Paul sets off on the UK tour of Footloose The Musical. Based on the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, the musical tells the story of Ren McCormack, an outsider from Chicago who turns up in a "little corner" of the USA where the townsfolk have outlawed dancing. Ren falls for Ariel, the daughter of the local preacher, Reverend Moore, who is eventually persuaded to let the young people of Bomont have their dance.
Lyn plays the part of Ariel's mother, Vi Moore - in Lyn's words "a very strong woman who looks after her family" (Messenger, 8th February 2007). "Vi Moore is a small part," she tells one journalist, "but quite a powerful one and a nice role to play." (Evening News, 13th April 2007)
The cast includes Miria Parvin (Starlight Express) as Ariel; the former Hear'say singer Johnny Shentall as Ariel's boyfriend, Chuck Cranston; and Tommy Sherlock (Mamma Mia) as Ren. Playing the part of Ren's mother, Ethel McCormack, is Lyn's sister Nikki Belsher. For Lyn, this is a real bonus: Talking to reporter Caroline Dutton a week before the start of the tour, she says:
"One of the best things for me is that my sister is also in the show so we'll be singing together on stage for the first time ever. Our parents are coming up to see the show. They're thrilled to bits." (Lancashire Telegraph, Friday, 2nd February 2007)
The tour begins at The Lowry in Salford (10th - 17th February). It had been scheduled to end at the Theatre Royal, Brighton (23rd - 28th July) but finishes a week earlier than originally planned at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham (16th - 21st July). Along the way the cast and the show get some great reviews.
"The entire cast must be congratulated particularly Miria Parvin who plays Ariel ... and Lyn Paul, ex-member of the New Seekers, is in good voice as her mother." Natalie Anglesey, Manchester Evening News, 14th February 2007
"Miria Parvin ... has one of the best voices you'll hear anywhere. So does former New Seekers singer Lyn Paul, who plays her stage mom Vi." Rick Bowen, Messenger newspapers, 15th February 2007
"Footloose was an exceptionally well-acted and well-crafted production. The cast included some notable performers including the former singer from [the] New Seekers, Lyn Paul ..." Kashif Naveed, Entertainment Manchester, 15th February 2007
"Lyn Paul is a wonderful singer ..." Glenn Meads, What's On Stage 15th February 2007
"A splendid support cast includes former New Seeker Lyn Paul, who gives a fine vocal display as the preacher's wife." Tony Collins, Evening Mail (Birmingham), 20th February 2007
On 28th February, as the Footloose tour reaches Reading, a compilation DVD, Country Gals, is released. The DVD features performances recorded in the 1980s at the Church Street Station, Orlando, and includes two versions of the song Cry - one by Lynn Anderson, the other by Lyn Paul. Lyn's version of Cry had been released previously in 2005 on the Johnny Tillotson DVD Rock 'n Roll Legends.
In March, having decided that running a pub was really not for them, Lyn and the family leave The Beehive in Englefield Green and move back to their home in Cheshire. Lyn misses four of the Footloose performances in Hull to help pack the bags.
From Hull the tour moves on to Ipswich, where Lyn Paul promotes Footloose in an interview on Nick Pandolfi's show on BBC Radio Suffolk (Tuesday, 13th March 2007).
Two weeks later, with Footloose now at the Wales Millennium Centre, Lyn Paul is interviewed on The Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Wales (26th March 2007). A few days later, on Saturday, 31st March, Lyn slips backstage, damaging her knee and her ankle. She bravely goes ahead with the matinée show and sings superbly but as the show progresses it is obvious to the audience that she is limping and having difficulty moving around the stage. Lyn's sister, Nikki Belsher, stands in for her at the evening performance. Lyn returns to the show the following week.
On 9th April, as Scooch prepare to fly the flag for the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, a five-disc compilation is released celebrating the songs of Eurovisions past. Eurovision 80 Song Festival Hits includes the New Seekers' 1972 entry Beg, Steal Or Borrow on both CD and DVD.
On 14th April
E4 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the UK pop charts by screening The Ultimate Chart: The UK's Official Best-Selling Singles. The New Seekers' single I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing is number 81.
Meanwhile the Footloose tour moves on to Southend-on-Sea, then to Edinburgh, where on 17th April Lyn's son Ryan celebrates his 18th birthday.
Lyn Paul and her son, Ryan
at Ryan's 18th birthday celebrations.
After Edinburgh the show travels to Bradford, Hastings, Sunderland, Nottingham, Southampton, Rhyl, Darlington, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Canterbury, Bromley and Leeds. The show continues to play to sell-out crowds and to get rave reviews.
"The performances were outstanding, in particular Miria Parvin ... and Lyn Paul whose voice remains a force of nature."
Martin Lenon, Evening News (Edinburgh), 17th April 2007
"All the cast are terrific ... The minister's wife, Vi, played by New Seekers star Lyn Paul, showed she could still teach the world to sing."
Sue Dixon, Telegraph & Argus (Bradford), 24th April 2007
"The strengths are in the performance ... Giovanni Spano, playing Ren's friend Willard, has a great comic sense whilst Julian Agnew (Rev Moore) and Lyn Paul (Vi Moore) manage to bring more to their characters than the text would suggest. I have to say, too, that Nikki Belsher (Ren's mother) did the seemingly impossible - she made the character both believable and sympathetic."
Peter Lathan, The British Theatre Guide, May 2007
"Strong performances ... from the reverend and his wife played by Lyn Paul and Julian Agnew and scene five in the reverends home between Ariel, Vi and Rens mother was beautiful."
Ann Blackburn, BBC Nottingham
"Lyn Paul - of the New Seekers fame couldnt teach the world to sing tonight so her deputy - her sister stood in and, along with the rest of the cast, had the audience laughing, singing and dancing in the aisles (literally)." Craig Marsden,
WHATSONnortheast.com, 6th June 2007
"The lead roles are supported brilliantly by some understated performances by other members of the cast, particularly memorable is Eurovision's Lyn Paul as the understanding mother of Ariel."
Elizabeth Highfield, The Star, 19th June 2007
"Julian Agnew and Lyn Paul movingly portrayed the reverend and his wife who struggle to move on from their son's death. They came across as real people rather than stereotyped religious zealots."
Bromley Times, 13th July 2007
Weatherwise the Summer is a washout. After Footloose arrives in Cheltenham, the heavy rain gets heavier. By Saturday, 21st July - the last day of the tour - Cheltenham had been cut off by the Summer floods. But the show goes on, even though most of the audience can't get to the theatre to see it.
Following the tour, Footloose transfers to London's West End, squeezing onto the smaller stage of the Playhouse Theatre for a three-and-a-half month residency (17th August - 1st December). Commenting the show on the What's On Stage website, reviewer Roger Foss writes:
"Giovanni Spano remains the shows comic star turn as Willard Hewitt... and Lyn Paul as Vi, the preachers wife facing a spiritual crisis of her own, tugs a few maternal heartstrings during her solo numbers."
Roger Foss, What's On Stage, 28th August 2007
Playhouse Theatre, London.
Meanwhile Lyn, her husband Alan and son Ryan move in with Lyn's sister Nikki while the family hunts for a new home near London. Before the end of the year they move to Bracknell. Then they start their search for a second home in Spain.
In September, a few days after her 18th wedding anniversary, Lyn Paul promotes Footloose on Steve Allen's chat show on LBC (97.3FM). Steve begins the interview by asking Lyn about her website. Lyn tells the story of the "young man" with the "black books" who put it together for her. They also talk about the New Seekers: "In the '70s we knew how to enjoy ourselves." But would she go back? "Never! Not in a million years... I don't believe in going back... Once something's done and finished, that's it." A large part of the interview is devoted to Lyn's favourite role - Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers: "The only place I'd ever go back to is 'Blood Brothers'."
On 30th November, the day before Footloose closes, the news breaks that Lyn Paul will indeed be returning to Blood Brothers, in a special production of the show to usher in Liverpool's year as European City of Culture (Liverpool Echo, 30th November 2008). In preparation for the Liverpool shows, Lyn returns to Blood Brothers for two weeks at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon (18th - 29th December).
Blood Brothers opens at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool on 31st December. After the show, Lyn and her family spend New Year's Eve celebrating at Ma Edgerton's pub in Pudsey Street, just behind the theatre. Lyn describes the night as "magical." "I was in the street outside after midnight singing 'Auld Lang Syne' with the rest of the 'Blood Brothers' cast." (Liverpool Echo, 3rd January 2008, page 15)
While Lyn Paul is touring the UK in Footloose, the New Seekers also go on the road, on two occasions appearing at the same theatres as Footloose - the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl and the Civic Theatre, Darlington.
Please note: Lyn Paul does not have any involvement with the current line-up of the New Seekers and does not appear at any of the group's shows. Please read Lyn's message to her fans.
When The Gloves Came Off, the autobiography of British boxer Billy Walker, is published in June 2007. Lyn Paul gets a mention in Chapter 21.
|In the News - 2007
Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union on 1st January.
Magnus Magnusson, the former presenter of the BBC TV quiz show Mastermind, famous for his catchphrase "I've started so I'll finish", dies of pancreatic cancer on 7th January, aged 77.
On Monday, 8th January the USA launches a series of air attacks on al-Qa'ida targets in southern Somalia.
On Wednesday, 10th January, in a 20-minute prime-time address from the White House library, the US President George W. Bush announces that 20,000 extra troops are to be sent to Iraq along with $1.2 billion of extra aid.
The 26-man crew of the MSC Napoli is rescued by helicopter on Thursday, 18th January, after the ship runs aground off the Devon coast.
Denny Doherty of The Mamas and The Papas dies on 19th January, aged 66.
On 20th January Hillary Clinton announces that she will stand in the 2008 election for President of the USA.
On Sunday, 28th January, at a special meeting in Dublin, Sinn Féin votes to support the police and justice system in Northern Ireland.
Later the same day the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is voted winner of Channel 4's reality TV programme Celebrity Big Brother. Fans of the film star had taken to the streets of Patna on 17th January in protest at the alleged bullying and racist abuse directed at her by Jade Goody and some of the other contestants on the show.
The screenwriter and novelist Sidney Sheldon dies on 30th January, aged 89.
Nine men are arrested in Birmingham on 31st January on suspicion of plotting to kidnap a British Muslim soldier and behead him. Three of the men are subsequently released without charge.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) suspends all matches indefinitely after a home-made bomb explodes on 2nd February at a Serie A match between Catania and Palermo, killing a policeman, Filippo Raciti.
A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published on 2nd February, predicts that world temperatures will rise by 1.8°C - 4°C by the end of the century.
On Saturday, 3rd February DEFRA officials confirm an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu at a Bernard Matthews farm at Holton, Suffolk. 159,000 turkeys are culled.
Former Playboy bunny Anna Nicole Smith dies on 9th February, aged 39.
The Dixie Chicks win five awards at the Grammy Awards ceremony in LA on 11th February.
66 people are killed, with dozens more injured, in a bomb attack on the Samjhauta Express, a twice-weekly train service linking India and Pakistan. Fire spreads through two carriages following an explosion aboard the train just after midnight on Sunday, 18th February.
Romano Prodi resigns as Prime Minister of Italy on 21st February, following his government's defeat in Parliament over its plans to keep Italian troops in Afghanistan and to expand a US military base in northeastern Italy.
The British Prime Minister Tony Blair hosts a gun crime summit at Downing Street on 22nd February, following a spate of fatal shootings in south-east London.
Dame Helen Mirren wins both the BAFTA and the Oscar 'Best Actress' awards for her role in the film The Queen. The Departed wins the Oscar for Best Picture.
On Tuesday, 6th March Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, the former chief of staff to the US Vice President Dick Cheney, is found guilty of obstructing justice, perjury and lying to the FBI during the investigation into the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent, Valerie Plame.
On Wednesday, 7th March MPs in the UK vote by 337 to 224 in favour of an all-elected House of Lords.
John Inman, Mr. Humphries in the TV sitcom Are You Being Served, dies on 8th March, aged 71.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is arrested on Sunday, 11th March during an anti-government prayer rally. He appears in court two days later with a swollen and bruised face and a gash on the side of his head.
Four Britons and a French citizen who had been kidnapped in Ethiopia are released on Tuesday, 13th March after 12 days in captivity.
Gareth Hunt, Mike Gambit in The New Avengers, dies on 14th March, aged 65, two years after being diagnosed with cancer.
Bob Woolmer, the coach of the Pakistan cricket team, dies on 18th March, hours after his team lost to Ireland in the Cricket World Cup. A murder investigation reveals that he died of natural causes.
15 British servicemen from the HMS Cornwall are arrested at gunpoint by Iranian armed forces on 23rd March. Iran accuses the British Navy of illegally entering its waters.
More than 50 people are killed and thousands made homeless when a tsunami strikes the Solomon Islands on 2nd April.
A French TGV (train à grand vitesse) breaks the world rail-speed record on 3rd April, achieving a speed of 357mph.
A Greek cruise ship with more than 1,500 passengers aboard, the Sea Diamond, sinks on 6th April, the day after it struck a volcanic reef near the island of Santorini.
The house in Hendersonville, Tennessee, which had been the home of the late Johnny Cash and which had been bought by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, is destroyed by fire on 10th April.
On 16th April 32 people are shot dead at Virginia Tech University, and many others injured, when a 23-year-old South Korean student, Seung-Hui Cho, goes on the rampage. The massacre ends when the gunman shoots himself.
At least 140 people are killed on 18th April, with scores more injured, when a car bomb explodes in the Sadriya district of Baghdad. It is the biggest bombing by insurgents in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
The Broadway production of The Producers closes on 22nd April after 2,502 performances.
Russia's first elected president, Boris Yeltsin, dies on Monday, 23rd April, aged 76.
On the same day Archbishop Angelo Amato, a Vatican official, declares that same-sex marriages are evil.
On 24th April the legislative assembly of Mexico City votes by 46 to 19 to legalise abortion in the city, despite protests by Catholics, and against the express wishes of Pope Benedict XVI.
Alan Ball, the youngest member of England's 1966 World Cup winning football team, dies of a heart attack on 25th April, aged 61.
On 30th April, at the end of a year-long trial at the Old Bailey, five men are jailed for life for a UK bomb plot linked to al-Qa'ida.
On 3rd May three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappears from her family's holiday apartment in the seaside village of Praia da Luz in Portugal.
The SNP wins a historic election victory over Labour on 4th May to become the Scottish Parliament's largest party.
On the same day celebrity heiress Paris Hilton is sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating her probation for a drink-driving conviction.
Nicholas Sarközy wins the French presidential elections held on Sunday, 6th May.
The Eurovision Song Contest, held in Helsinki on Saturday, 12th May, is won by first-time entrant Serbia, represented by Marija Serifovic with the song Molitva (Prayer). The UK entry, Flying The Flag (For You) by Scooch, finishes in 23rd place.
Paul Wolfovicz resigns as president of the World Bank on 17th May, having been censured for giving a $50,000-a-year pay rise to his girlfriend, Shaha Riza.
The famous 19th Century ship, the Cutty Sark, which was undergoing a £25m restoration, is badly damaged by fire on 21st May.
On 23rd May Paul Simon is awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a gala concert featuring his music at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C..
Toshikatsu Matsuoka, Japan's agriculture minister, hangs himself on 28th May, after being implicated in a cash-for-forestry-contracts scandal.
Controversial comedian Bernard Manning dies on 18th June, aged 76, after being treated in hospital for a kidney condition.
On 20th June the US launches a huge military offensive against al-Qa'ida in Iraq, attacking targets around the city of Baquba, north of Baghdad.
The Millennium Dome re-opens as the O2 Arena on 24th June with a concert by the US rock band Bon Jovi.
Tony Blair resigns as Prime Minister on 27th June after ten years in office. Gordon Brown becomes Britain's new Prime Minister.
On 28th June Rotimi Adebari, once an asylum-seeker from Nigeria, is elected mayor of Portlaoise. He is the first black person to hold such office anywhere in the Republic of Ireland.
On Friday, 29th June police foil two car bomb attacks in central London with a series of controlled explosions. The next day a blazing jeep packed with gas canisters is driven into the doors of the main terminal building at Glasgow Airport.
A ban on smoking in enclosed public places comes into effect in England on 1st July.
Disgraced White House aide Lewis Libby is saved from going to jail on 2nd July, when US President George W. Bush declares a two-and-a-half year sentence for perjury "excessive".
The BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped in Gaza on 12th March, is released on 4th July after 114 days in captivity.
Jazz singer and author George Melly dies at his London home on 5th July, aged 80.
Live Earth concerts are held in nine cities around the world on 7th July.
The BBC apologises to Queen Elizabeth II on 12th July for mistakenly showing footage that wrongly implied she had walked out of a portrait session during the filming of a documentary, A Year With The Queen.
On 17th July a TAM Airbus A320 skids on a wet runway while attempting to land at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo. The plane crashes into an airport building, killing the 187 passengers and crew on board and 12 people on the ground.
The seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is published on 21st July. More than 8 million copies are sold on the first day.
26 people are killed in the French Alps on 22nd July, when a coach carrying Polish pilgrims from the shrine of Notre Dame de la Salette plummets from a bridge.
A national emergency is declared on 23rd July following severe flooding in central and western England.
The Broadway production of Beauty And The Beast closes on 29th July after 5,461 performances. The production is the longest running at both the Palace Theatre, where it opened, and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it closed its Broadway run.
Comedian and former EastEnders actor Mike Reid dies of a heart attack at his home in Spain on 29th July, aged 67.
The film director Ingmar Bergman dies on 30th July, aged 89.
The British Army leaves Norther Ireland on 31st July
after 38 years, the longest continuous operation in its history.
During August Greece is ravaged by wildfires, some started by arsonists, which claim the lives of at least 68 people.
During the evening rush hour on Wednesday, 1st August the I-35W road bridge in Minneapolis collapses and falls into the Mississippi, hurling cars into the river and crushing a freight train passing underneath. 13 people are killed.
A UK-wide ban on the movement of all livestock is put in place on 3rd August after cattle at a farm in Surrey were found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease.
A new 328-metre bridge on the Tuojiang river in China's Hunan province collapses on 13th August, killing 64 people.
Hurricane Dean hits the Yucatan Peninsula on 21st August before striking Veracruz in eastern Mexico the next day.
Prisons and courts in England and Wales are thrown into chaos on 29th August when prison officers stage an unexpected strike.
On 5th September Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, launches the sixth generation iPod, a touch-screen version of the music player with integrated wi-fi connection.
The operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who had been ill with cancer of the pancreas, dies in Modena on 6th September, aged 71.
Having been named by the Portuguese police as formal suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, Gerry and Kate McCann return home from Praia da Luz with their two-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, on Sunday, 9th September.
Jane Wyman, the Oscar-winning actress who was Ronald Reagan's first wife, dies on 10th September, aged 90.
Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, dies on the same day, aged 64.
On 12th September, just five days after declaring that the disease had been eradicated, the UK government confirms a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Egham, Surrey.
On Thursday, 13th September the Northern Rock bank applies to the Bank of England for emergency funds, prompting a rush of worried customers to withdraw their savings.
On 14th September the actor Chris Langham is sentenced to 10 months in prison for downloading child pornography.
Colin McRae, Britain's first world rally champion, is killed in a helicopter accident on 15th September, aged 39.
On 16th September 85 passengers and five crew aboard an One-Two-Go Airlines' flight from Bangkok die when the plane crashes on landing at Phuket Airport in south-west Thailand.
Mime artist Marcel Marceau dies in Paris on 22nd September, aged 84.
It is revealed on 23rd September that bluetongue, a deadly animal disease that had already devastated farms in continental Europe, had been found in Britain for the first time.
On 27th September the military junta in Burma cracks down on pro-democracy protesters across the country, killing eight monks in Rangoon and a Japanese photographer, Kenji Nagai, who had been covering the unrest for the Japanese news agency APF News.
Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, dies in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 29th September, aged 80.
The broadcaster and writer Ned Sherrin, who made his name in the 1960s with the satirical television show That Was The Week That Was and later presented Radio 4's Loose Ends, dies in London on 1st October, aged 76, after a year-long battle with cancer.
On 7th October in Crandon, north Wisconsin, a sheriff's deputy, Tyler Peterson, shoots dead his ex-girlfriend and five others before himself being shot dead by a police marksman.
Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 12th October.
Sir Menzies Campbell resigns as leader of the Liberal Democrats on Monday, 15th October.
Deborah Kerr, whose film roles included a steamy performance as the unfaithful wife of an army captain in From Here To Eternity, dies on 16th October, aged 86.
Teresa Brewer, famous for her 1950 million-seller Music! Music! Music! ("Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon"), dies in New Rochelle, New York on 17th October, aged 76.
On the same day the Turkish parliament votes to deploy troops in northern Iraq to combat Kurdish rebels responsible for a series of cross-border bomb attacks.
Within hours of her return to Pakistan on 18th October, Benazir Bhutto escapes an assassination attempt that leaves at least 115 dead and hundreds more wounded.
Poland's opposition leader Donald Tusk claims victory in the elections held on Sunday, 21st October, ending two years of chaotic government under Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
On the same day wildfires break out in Malibu, quickly spreading to other areas of southern California as high winds fan the flames.
The world's largest airliner, the Airbus A380, completes its first commercial flight (from Singapore to Sydney) on 25th October.
On 29th October Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the wife of the outgoing President Nestor Kirchner, is elected President of Argentina.
The West End production of Hairspray opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 30th October, starring Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad, with Mel Smith as Wilbur Turnblad and Leanne Jones as Tracy.
On 7th November an 18-year-old pupil at the Jokela High School in Tuusula, Finland, kills seven schoolmates and his headmistress before turning his gun on himself with a bullet to the head.
Tesco opens it's first Fresh & Easy store in the USA on 8th November in the Glassell Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
Apple launch the iPhone in the UK on 9th November.
The writer Norman Mailer, who became famous at the age of 25 for his novel The Naked and the Dead, dies in New York on 10th November, aged 84.
The novelist and playwright, Ira Levin, whose bestsellers included Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives, dies at his home in Manhattan on 12th November, aged 78.
On the same day 5,000 turkeys are slaughtered at Redgrave Park Farm, Suffolk, following another outbreak of bird flu.
The first scheduled high-speed Eurostar train from St. Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord departs at 11.01am on 14th November.
Cyclone Sidr strikes the coast of Bangladesh on Thursday,15th November, killing thousands and destroying more than 270,000 homes.
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia (1964-79), dies in Cape Town on 20th November, aged 88.
On the same day the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, reveals that the confidential details of 25 million people had been lost, following the disappearance of two data discs in the internal post between HM Revenue & Customs and the National Audit Office.
Meanwhile France is gripped by a massive strike, with civil servants joining a second week of strikes by transport and energy workers.
Kevin Rudd becomes the new Prime Minister of Australia on 24th November.
Peter Watt resigns as the UK Labour party's general secretary on 26th November over a scandal involving secret donations.
On Wednesday, 28th November, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, the acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, causes howls of laughter when he notes "the prime minister's remarkable transformation in the past few weeks - from Stalin to Mr Bean."
Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (born Robert Craig Knievel) dies in Clearwater, Florida on 30th November, aged 69.
John Darwin, a man believed to have died five years earlier in a canoeing accident, walks into a police station in London on Saturday, 1st December. The following week he arrested on suspicion of fraud.
The Spice Girls launch their reunion world tour on 2nd December with a sell-out concert in Vancouver, Canada.
In a referendum held on 2nd December voters in Venezuela narrowly reject the proposed constitutional changes that would have allowed Hugo Chavez to become President for life.
Dolly Parton brings her Imagination Library to the UK, launching the 'free books for under-fives' scheme at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham on 5th December.
Led Zeppelin re-form for a one-off concert at the O2 Arena in Greenwich on 10th December.
An Australian judge, Sarah Bradley, causes an outcry on the same day when she allows nine Aboriginal men to walk free after they had admitted gang-raping a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl.
In a Chicago court, also on 10th December, the newspaper tycoon Conrad Black is sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail on charges of fraud and obstructing justice.
Dozens of people are killed in Algiers on 11th December when two al-Qa'ida car-bombs explode - one near the Supreme Court, the other by the United Nations offices.
Ike Turner, notorious for his violent relationship with Tina Turner and famous for the Ike & Tina Turner hits River Deep - Mountain High and Nutbush City Limits, dies in San Marcos, California on 12th December, aged 76.
European leaders meet in Lisbon to sign a new treaty to replace the European constitution on 13th December. The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown adds his signature three hours after the ceremony due to a clashing appointment with a House of Commons committee.
Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, whose most successful single was the 1980 hit Longer, dies on 16th December, aged 56.
Nick Clegg is elected leader of the Liberal Democrats on 18th December.
Sean Hoey, the only man to be tried for the 1998 Omagh bombing, is found not guilty on a total of 56 charges on 20th December.
Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a suicide attack on Thursday, 27th December after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi.
|In the Charts
UK Chart débuts
- Calvin Harris
- Leon Jackson
- Amy MacDonald
- Taylor Swift
|UK Best-selling Singles
- Christina Aguilera
- Beyoncé & Shakira
- James Blunt
- Eva Cassidy & Katie Melua
What A Wonderful World
Big Girls Don't Cry
- 50 Cent featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
- The Fray
How To Save A Life
- Nelly Furtado
Say It Right
- Gareth Gates
- Gym Class Heroes
- Enrique Iglesias
Do You Know?
- Just Jack
Starz In Their Eyes
- Leon Jackson
When You Believe
- Kaiser Chiefs
- Kanye West
- Sean Kingston
- Avril Lavigne
- Leona Lewis
- Amy MacDonald
Mr. Rock & Roll
- Manic Street Preachers
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
- Maroon 5
Makes Me Wonder
Baby's Coming Back / Transylvania
- Kylie Minogue
- Kate Nash
- Plain White T's
Hey There Delilah
- Proclaimers featuring Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin
(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles
Shut Up And Drive
- Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
- Robyn with Kleenup
With Every Heartbeat
- Mark Ronson featuring Daniel Merriweather
- Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse
Flying The Flag (For You)
[Eurovision Song Contest: UK entry]
- Scouting For Girls
She's So Lovely
- Gwen Stefani featuring Akon
The Sweet Escape
About You Now
- Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud
Walk This Way
- Take That
Rule The World
- Take That
- Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson
The Way I Are
- Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake
Give It To Me
- Timbaland presents One Republic
- Justin Timberlake
What Goes Around... Comes Around
- James Blunt
All The Lost Souls
- Michael Bublé
Call Me Irresponsible
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Ry Cooder
My Name Is Buddy
- Celine Dion
Long Road Out Of Eden
- Newton Faulkner
Handbuilt By Robots
- Foo Fighters
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
- Josh Groban
- Norah Jones
Not Too Late
- Kaiser Chiefs
Yours Truly, Angry Mob
- Kanye West
- Kings Of Leon
Because Of The Times
- Annie Lennox
Songs Of Mass Destruction
- Leona Lewis
- Amy MacDonald
This Is The Life
- Manic Street Preachers
Send Away The Tigers
- Maroon 5
It Won't Be Soon Before Long
- Katie Melua
Life In Cartoon Motion
- Kylie Minogue
Showgirl - Homecoming Live
- Kylie Minogue
- Kate Nash
Made Of Bricks
- Gretchen Peters
Burnt Toast & Offerings
- Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
- Ray Quinn
Doing It My Way
Good Girl Gone Bad
- Mark Ronson
- Scouting For Girls
Scouting For Girls
- Spice Girls
- Bruce Springsteen
- Linda Thompson
Presents: Shock Value
- K.T. Tunstall
- Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Sings Buck
|At the Movies
- And When Did You Last See Your Father?
- Becoming Jane
- The Bourne Ultimatum
- Brick Lane
- Elizabeth: The Golden Age
- The Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer
- Fast Food Nation
- 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
- Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
- Hot Fuzz
- Jane Austen Book Club
- Lady Chatterley
- The Last King Of Scotland
- The Lives Of Others
- Miss Potter
- Mr. Bean's Holiday
- Notes On A Scandal
- Ocean's Thirteen
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Rocky Balboa
- Run, Fat Boy, Run
- Scoop (Woody Allen)
- Shrek The Third
- The Simpsons Movie
- Spider-Man 3
- St. Trinian's
- This Is England
- 28 Weeks Later
- Two Days In Paris
- La Vie En Rose
Tony Award for Best Musical:
for Best New Musical:
Caroline, Or Change
- Any Dream Will Do
- The Apprentice (Series 3)
- The Big Bang Theory (Season 1)
- Boy A
- Britain's Got Talent (Series 1)
- The Dame Edna Treatment
- Doctor Who (Series 3)
- Gavin And Stacey
- The Graham Norton Show
- Grease Is The Word
- Holby Blue
- I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here (Series 8)
- Life On Mars
- Panorama: Scientology And Me
- The Return Of 'Allo 'Allo
- Roman's Empire
- Room 101
- Shameless (Series 4)
- The Simpsons (400th episode)
- Spooks (Series 6)
- Strictly Come Dancing
- Stuart: A Life Backwards
- The Street
- The Trial Of Tony Blair
- This Is David Gest
- Victoria's Empire
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Series 21 and 22)
- The X Factor (Series 4)
of the Year:
Darts: Raymond van Barneveld, who had switched allegiance from the British Darts Organisation to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDO), beats the 11-times champion Phil "The Power" Taylor 7-6 in the final the World Championship at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet.
Martin Adams wins the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Darts Championship.
Tennis: Serena Williams wins the women's singles title at the Australian Open for the third time, defeating the new world no. 1 Maria Sharapova in the final (6-1, 6-2).
Roger Federer wins the men's singles for the third time. With his victory in the final over Fernando Gonzalez (7-6, 6-4, 6-4) he becomes the first man for 27 years to win a Grand Slam without dropping a set.
At the French Open Justin Henin and Rafael Nadal retain their singles titles. Henin defeats Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-2 in the women's singles final. Nadal beats Roger Federer in four sets (6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4) in the men's singles final.
Federer turns the tables on Nadal in the men's singles final at Wimbledon. Bjorn Borg watches Federer equal his modern era run of five consecutive titles, as he defeats Nadal in five sets (7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2). The women's singles title goes to Venus Williams for the fourth time. She beats Marion Bartoli in a one-sided final (6-4, 6-1).
Hawk-Eye, the electronic video replay system allowing players to question line calls, is used on Wimbledon's Centre Court and Court Number One for the first time.
At the final Grand Slam of the year Justine Henin defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the U.S. Open women's singles title (6-1, 6-3).
Roger Federer defeats Novak Djokovic to win the men's singles title (7-6, 7-6, 6-4).
Cricket: Australia beat England in the fifth Test in Sydney, completing a 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes series for the first time in 86 years.
South Africa beat India in the 3rd Test in Cape Town to win the Test series 2:1
Rugby Union: for the second year in a row, France win the Six Nations Championship and Ireland win the Triple Crown.
Against expectations, England make it to the final of the World Cup but victory goes to South Africa (15-6).
Swimming: 21-year-old Michael Phelps wins seven gold medals at the World Championships in Melbourne.
Golf: Zach Johnson wins the 71st US Masters in Augusta.
Angel Cabrera wins the US Open at Oakmont Country Club in Plum, Pennsylvania.
Padraig Harrington triumphs at the Open at Carnoustie, after a thrilling 4-hole play-off against Sergio Garcia. He becomes the first Open winner from Ireland for 80 years.
Tiger Woods wins the US PGA Championship.
Rowing: the University of Cambridge crew wins the annual Boat Race against Oxford.
Horse Racing: Silver Birch wins the Grand National.
Authorized, ridden by Frankie Dettori, wins the Derby.
Boxing: Joe Calzaghe becomes the first undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, beating Mikkel Kessler in a unification bout bout for Calzaghe's WBO Super Middleweight title and Kessler's WBA and WBC titles.
Snooker: John Higgins wins the World Snooker Championship, beating Mark Selby in the final, 18-13.
Ronnie O'Sullivan wins the UK championship, beating Stephen Maguire (10-2).
Football: David Beckham leaves Real Madrid to play for LA Galaxy in Los Angeles.
Manchester United win the Premier League but Chelsea beat United 1-0 to win the FA Cup. In September the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, leaves the club by mutual consent, despite having three years left on his contract.
The England team fails to qualify for Euro 2008. Manager Steve McClaren is sacked and replaced in December by Fabio Capello.
Cycling: in a break with tradition, the Tour de France starts in London. It ends in Paris with the victor's yellow jersey going to Alberto Contador. Contador also wins the white jersey as the best young rider.
Motor Racing: Lewis Hamilton wins his first Formula 1 race at the Canadian Grand Prix on 10th June. He follows this up with victories in the USA, Hungary and Japan, but his bid to win the Formula 1 Championship in his first season ends in failure when Kimi Raikkonen wins the last grand prix of the season in Brazil. Raikkonen wins the World Drivers' Championship with 110 points. Hamilton finishes second, level on 109 points with his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso. The McLaren team is stripped of all its points in the Constructors' Championship and fined £50m after being found to be in breach of the International Sporting Code through possession of confidential Ferrari data. Ferrari win the Constructors' Championship with 204 points.
Athletics: after admitting to doping, Marion Jones surrenders the five medals she won at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Man Booker Prize
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
On Chesil Beach
Prize for Fiction
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half Of A Yellow Sun
Digging To America