Lyn Paul celebrates the New Year in Liverpool. Lyn had originally planned a family holiday in Spain but when producer Bill Kenwright asked her to star in a special production of Blood Brothers to kick off Liverpool's year as the European Capital of Culture, Lyn re-routed the family to the city she calls her "second home."
After four weeks at Liverpool's Empire Theatre Lyn returns to the West End production of Blood Brothers. She takes a well-earned break from the show between 3rd - 22nd March, during which time Lyn and her family finally get to visit their new "second home" in Spain. They return in time to join Lyn's mum and dad for their diamond wedding anniversary celebrations.
Meanwhile, at the Phoenix Theatre, Lyn is back at work with a new Blood Brothers cast. While she is there the New Seekers embark on a UK tour, including a show at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon. Controversy results when a flyer is sent out implying that Lyn would be appearing with the group. Lyn described what happened in a radio interview in 2009: "I'd just been there performing with 'Blood Brothers'... Bobby Crush sent me a flyer. He said: 'Are you going back there with the New Seekers?' I said: 'No, no, not at all'. He said: 'Well, I think you should have a look at this flyer.' And it said: 'You saw her in 'Blood Brothers', now come and see her back here with the New Seekers'." (Ready Steady Sunday, Bay Radio, 7th June 2009). Lyn set the record straight in a message to the website. The flyers were withdrawn.
On 12th May, ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest, a double-CD, Ultimate Eurovision Party!, is released featuring the UK's 1972 entry Beg, Steal Or Borrow by the New Seekers. There's a bonus for New Seekers' fans: the second CD includes the UK's 1980 entry, Love Enough For Two by Prima Donna - a three-girl, three-boy vocal harmony group featuring ex-New Seeker Danny Finn.
At the end of May Lyn is forced to take some time out from Blood Brothers with a back injury. Following treatment from a chiropractor she returns to the show on 21st June.
On 28th July, the birthday of the late Peter Doyle, a CD is released to commemorate Peter's life. Titled A Tribute From The Heart, the CD features cover versions of Peter Doyle songs and New Seekers' hits performed by the Dutch duo Four Times Over. Two of the tracks feature lead vocals by Lyn Paul, who re-interprets two of the songs she had first recorded with the New Seekers in the 1970s: Peter Doyle's Lay Me Down, a song that Peter had written for Lyn, and Randy Newman's I'll Be Home. Proceeds from the sale of the CD go to the Peter Doyle Fund.
A few days after the release of the CD Lyn, her husband Alan and son Ryan return to sunny Spain. The family comes back to England on 17th August; Lyn returns to Blood Brothers the next day. Then, on Saturday, 27th September, comes the day - Lyn's last-ever performance in the show (or so we thought at the time). The last night is an emotional occasion. Among the flowers Lyn receives are single red roses from each of the Blood Brothers twins, presented by the "boys" as Lyn and the cast take their final curtain call.
Publicity photos for Blood Brothers,
three featuring Lyn Paul,
on display outside the Phoenix Theatre, London.
On 21st October Lyn, Alan and Ryan set off for Spain again, this time for good. In a message to the website Lyn wrote: "We are on the Costa Blanca in Benissa, which is lovely, and we have met some terrific people who have made us feel very welcome."
On 7th November the family flies out to New York to join Lyn's sister Nikki for the opening night of Billy Elliot The Musical. Nikki, who worked as the Assistant Choreographer on the London production, is also part of the creative team for the Broadway version of the show. Billy Elliot opens on Thursday, 13th November at the Imperial Theatre, 249 W 45th Street. Watched by director Stephen Daldry, writer Lee Hall and Sir Elton John, who wrote the music, the show is an instant hit with the first-night audience. Among the stars attending are Sir Tim Rice, Natasha Richardson, Kevin Spacey, Ben Stiller and Rachel Weisz.
Imperial Theatre, New York.
While Lyn is in the States Wounded Bird Records, a CD-only re-issue label, releases two of the New Seekers US albums from the 1970s on a single CD. Beautiful People / Circles (WOU4088), which had been scheduled for release on 13th October, features recordings originally issued in the States on the Elektra label, among them four of Lyn Paul's best lead vocals: I'll Be Home, Just An Old Fashioned Love Song, Perfect Love and Beg, Steal Or Borrow.
Earlier in the year, on 7th July, a compilation CD 70s Dinner Party, had been released. It included the New Seekers' You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me. However, this was not the original recording featuring Lyn Paul. Buyers beware!
In December the Blood Brothers Online website runs its annual awards poll. Lyn Paul is voted the 'Undisputed Mrs. J. of all time'.
On Sunday, 17th August a concert is held at the London Palladium to celebrate the 70th birthday of songwriter Don Black. Famous for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd-Webber (Aspects Of Love, Sunset Boulevard and Tell Me On A Sunday) Black also wrote the lyrics for two of Lyn Paul's singles - Sail The Summer Winds and If Everybody Loved The Same As You. The show is broadcast on Friday Night Is Music Night (BBC Radio 2) on Friday, 22nd August.
|In the News - 2008
On New Year's Day, in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election in Kenya, an angry mob sets fire to a church in Eldoret, where hundreds had taken refuge from the post-election violence. At least 50 people are killed.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, dies on 11th January, aged 88.
The Golden Globes awards ceremony, due to be televised on Sunday, 13th January, is cancelled as a consequence of the two-month-old strike by the Writers Guild of America.
152 passengers and crew aboard a British Airways flight from Beijing escape unhurt when their plane crash lands at Heathrow Airport on 17th January.
Bobby Fischer, the first American world chess champion, dies on 17th January, aged 64.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issues the world's largest denomination bank note, worth Z$10 million.
Peter Hain resigns as the UK's Work and Pensions Secretary on 24th January, as police are called in to investigate 17 undeclared donations to his campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour party.
Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two women with Down's syndrome are detonated in crowded Baghdad markets on 1st February. At least 72 people are killed and almost 150 wounded.
On 8th February the Paris appeals court orders that a French bank worker, Jérôme Kerviel, be held in jail while massive losses at the Société Générale bank are investigated.
Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, declares his country's independence on Sunday, 17th February. Kosovo becomes the world's 193rd nation state.
On the same day the British Chancellor Alistair Darling announces that the beleaguered Northern Rock bank is to be nationalised.
On Tuesday, 19th February Fidel Castro issues a statement announcing his intention to stand down as president and commander-in-chief of Cuba. On Sunday, 24th February members of Cuba's National Assembly elect his brother Raul Castro to succeed him.
Serbian protesters taking part in a rally against Kosovan independence set fire to the US embassy in Belgrade on 21st February.
On Saturday, 23rd February police investigating allegations of child abuse find a skull in the grounds of Haut de la Garenne, a former children's home on the island of Jersey.
No Country For Old Men wins the Oscar for Best Picture at the 80th Academy Awards ceremony on 24th February.
President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga sign a power-sharing agreement in Kenya on 28th February.
The same day an American website, the Drudge Report, breaks a news blackout, revealing that Prince Harry had been serving with the British army in Afghanistan for more than two months.
Mike Smith, lead singer with The Dave Clark Five, dies on 28th February, aged 64.
Dmitry Medvedev, a protégé of the outgoing President, Vladimir Putin, wins the presidential election held in Russia on 2nd March.
The Reverend Ian Paisley announces on 4th March that he will stand down in May as leader of Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Michael Todd, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Snowdonia on 11th March.
Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation as governor of New York on 12th March over revelations that he had spent $80,000 on prostitutes.
Queen Elizabeth II officially opens Heathrow Terminal 5 on 14th March. When passengers start using it on 27th March, the sophisticated baggage system fails, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of bags and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
Protests in Lhasa that began as a peaceful march by Buddhist monks on 10th March turn violent on 14th March, as hundreds of demonstrators take to the streets in opposition to Chinese rule. China sends troops to Tibet to quell the unrest.
On 17th March Heather Mills is awarded £24.3m in her divorce settlement with Paul McCartney. During the proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice, she throws a glass of water over the head of her former husband's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton.
The film director Anthony Minghella, whose work included The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Truly, Madly Deeply, dies on 18th March, aged 54.
On 19th March the Daily Express and the Daily Star issue front-page apologies to Kate and Gerry McCann, who had won a libel case over "grossly defamatory articles" relating to their daughter Madeline's disappearance.
Arthur C. Clarke, the science-fiction writer best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, dies in Sri Lanka on 19th March, aged 90.
The actor Paul Scofield dies on the same day, aged 86.
On 26th March, the first day of his state visit to the United Kingdom, the French President, Nicolas Sarközy, calls for an "entente amicale". That evening, as the President and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarközy, attend a state banquet at Windsor Castle, the French football team beat England 1-0 in Paris. The match marks David Beckham's 100th appearance for England.
London Underground opens a new Piccadilly Line station at Heathrow Terminal 5 on 27th March.
Bertie Ahern announces his resignation as Taoiseach on 2nd April.
On 3rd April, after four days of waiting, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announces the final results for the parliamentary elections held on 30th March, giving Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party 97 seats, the opposition MDC 99 seats and 10 to the breakaway MDC.
Charlton Heston, who won an Oscar for Ben-Hur and played Moses in The Ten Commandments, dies on 5th April, aged 83.
The jury at the Inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed delivers its verdict on 7th April, concluding that the couple was unlawfully killed due to the "gross negligence" of their driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi pursuing them.
Pete Doherty, lead singer with Babyshambles, is sentenced to 14 weeks in jail on 8th April for breaching a probation order.
On the same day Naomi Campbell is banned from flying with British Airways following a row over missing baggage.
The dead body of the children's TV presenter Mark Speight is found at Paddington Station on 13th April, three months after the death of his fiancée Natasha Collins.
Humphrey Lyttelton, the veteran jazz musician and host of Radio 4's I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue, dies on 25th April, aged 86.
On Sunday, 27th April Austrian police arrest Josef Fritzl, a 73-year-old retired electrical engineer who confesses to holding his daughter Elizabeth captive for 24 years and to fathering her seven children through multiple rape.
Sean McGuigan and Ian Strachan are each jailed for five years on 2nd May for trying to blackmail an unnamed member of the Royal Family.
Just before midnight on 2nd May Boris Johnson is announced as the winner of the previous day's election for London Mayor.
Cyclone Nargis hits Burma on Saturday, 3rd May.
A documentary shown on Spanish television on 4th May claims that Cliff Richard was denied victory in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest because of vote rigging by General Franco's fascist regime.
A siege in Markham Square, Chelsea, on 6th May ends with police marksmen shooting dead a 32-year-old barrister, Mark Saunders, who had been firing a shotgun from the windows of his flat.
On 8th May ITV is fined a record £5.675 million by Ofcom for abuse of premium rate phone lines in viewer competitions. A separate report released by ITV reveals that the real winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2005 British Comedy Awards was The Catherine Tate Show and not Ant and Dec, to whom the prize had been presented.
The mountainous province of Sichuan in China is hit by a huge earthquake on Monday, 12th May.
On 16th May the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules that Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee nicknamed "The Bladerunner", may compete for a place in races against able-bodied athletes at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The Conservative candidate Edward Timpson overturns a Labour majority of 7.078 to win the Crewe and Nantwich by-election held on Thursday, 22nd May. It is the Conservatives first by-election gain from another party since 1982.
Sydney Pollock, director of films such as Tootsie and Out Of Africa, dies on 26th May, aged 73.
The artist Beryl Cook dies on 28th May, aged 81.
Yves Saint Laurent dies at his home in Paris on 1st June, aged 71.
Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates) dies of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida, on 2nd June, aged 79.
On Saturday, 7th June Hillary Clinton suspends her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for US president. She urges her supporters to unite behind her rival, Barack Obama.
Seven people are killed and ten injured on Sunday, 8th June when a man with a knife goes on the rampage in Tokyo.
On 10th June "top secret" UK government documents about al-Qa'ida are discovered by a passenger on a train from London Waterloo to Surrey.
The government narrowly wins a vote in the House of Commons on 11th June for legislation that would allow suspected terrorists to be detained without charge for up to 42 days. The next day the Shadow Home Secretary David Davis resigns in protest to fight a by-election in his constituency of Haltemprice and Howden.
In a referendum held on Thursday, 12th June, voters in the Irish Republic reject the European Union's Lisbon treaty by 53.4% to 46.6%.
Hollywood's iconic dancing star Cyd Charisse, famous for films such as Singin' In The Rain and The Band Wagon, dies in Los Angeles on 17th June, aged 87.
On Sunday, 22nd June, with his supporters faced by mounting violence and intimidation, Morgan Tsvangirai pulls out of the presidential run-off election in Zimbabwe against Robert Mugabe.
On 25th June, during his 90th birthday visit to London, Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel are received by The Queen in Buckingham Palace.
Two students, Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, are tied up, gagged and stabbed to death before being set on fire in a flat in New Cross, south London, on Sunday, 29th June.
Kylie Minogue attends an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 3rd July, collecting the insignia of her OBE from the Prince of Wales
On Monday, 7th July the general synod of the Church of England votes in favour of the ordination of women bishops.
On Monday, 14th July the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court charges Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, with genocide.
Robert Murat, who had been wrongly accused by eight British newspapers of being a prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeline McCann, settles his claim for defamation on 15th July.
On 21st July it is announced that Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, had been arrested. Accused of masterminding the massacre of more than 7,500 Muslim men and boys in the "safe haven" of Srebrenica in July 1995, Karadzic is handed to the war crimes section of the Belgrade County Court.
Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo in The Golden Girls, dies on Tuesday, 22nd July, aged 84.
On 24th July Formula 1 boss Max Mosley wins his legal action against the News of the World over claims that he took part in a "sick Nazi orgy".
The Scottish National Party candidate, John Mason, wins the Glasgow East by-election held on 24th July, overturning a Labour majority of 13,507 to win by 365 votes.
A Qantas Boeing 747-400, with 346 passengers and 19 crew on board, makes an emergency landing in Manila on 25th July after a large hole appears in its fuselage.
On 26th July at least 45 people are killed and more than 100 injured when 16 bombs explode in the Gujerat city of Ahmedabad.
At least 15 people are killed and more than 150 injured on 27th July when two bombs explode in a shopping centre in Istambul. The attack comes a few days ahead of a court judgement, in which judges vote by a narrow margin not to close down the country's governing party, the AKP.
A newly-married couple on a two-week honeymoon in Antigua are attacked in their hotel bedroom in the early hours of 27th July. Catherine Mullany is shot dead; her husband Ben, who is critically injured, is flown back to the UK on 31st July but dies on 3rd August.
Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, announces his resignation on 30th July, following allegations against him of corruption and fraud.
Barry George, who had been wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, is acquitted and released from prison on 1st August.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, dies on 3rd August, aged 89.
On the same day FBI agents arrest Clark Rockefeller, the man accused of kidnapping his seven-year-old daughter during a supervised visit to the USA.
On Friday, 8th August Russian troops invade the pro-Moscow enclave of South Ossetia, hours after soldiers from Georgia had launched an offensive aimed at restoring Georgian control over the separatist province.
Isaac Hayes, a Grammy and Academy Award-winner for his soundtrack to the movie Shaft, who achieved unexpected fame later in his life as the voice of South Park character Chef, dies on Sunday, 10th August, aged 65.
The songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield, who co-wrote I Heard It Through The Grapevine, dies in Los Angeles on 16th August.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, facing impeachment on charges drawn up by the governing coalition, announces on 18th August that he is resigning.
Gary Glitter is released from jail in Vietnam on Tuesday, 19th August. He arrives at London's Heathrow Airport on 22nd August after a three-day fiasco in which he repeatedly tried to avoid deportation to the UK.
154 people are killed on 20th August when a Spanair flight bound for Las Palmas crashes on take-off at Madrid's Barajas Airport.
On 31st August the mayor of New Orleans orders a compulsory evacuation of the city as Hurricane Gustav heads towards the city. An estimated two million people flee inland from the Louisiana coast.
At a press conference on 2nd September police investigating a fire at a Shropshire country mansion reveal that the owner, Christopher Foster, had murdered his wife and daughter before setting fire to their home and committing suicide.
On 7th September the US government takes over the two most powerful mortgage companies in the United States, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Broadway production of Rent closes on 7th September after 5,123 performances. The show won four Tony Awards in 1996, including the Tony for Best Musical.
On Monday, 8th September, after a four-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court, three young British Muslims, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Tanvir Hussain and Assad Sarwar, are convicted of conspiring to blow up at least seven airliners in mid-air, using bombs hidden in soft drinks bottles.
On 11th September the South African President Thabo Mbeki announces a power-sharing deal between Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
On the same day a section of the Channel Tunnel is seriously damaged after a lorry catches fire on a shuttle service to Calais.
Thousands of holiday-makers find themselves stranded on 12th September when the UK's third-largest tour operator, XL Leisure Group, goes bust.
Lehman Brothers, an investment bank with a 158-year history, is declared bankrupt on Monday, 15th September. Another bank facing trouble, Merrill Lynch, is taken over by the Bank of America.
On 17th September Tzipi Livni is elected leader of Israel's ruling Kadima party.
On Thursday, 18th September it is confirmed that the British bank HBOS has been taken over by Lloyds TSB.
On Saturday, 20th September 53 people are killed and more than 250 injured in a suicide bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.
Thabo Mbeki announces his resignation as South Africa's president on Sunday, 21st September, having been forced out of office by a vote of the African National Congress (ANC) to "recall" him.
Matti Saari, a 22-year-old student at the School of Hospitality in Kauhajoki, Finland, shoots and kills ten of his fellow-students on Tuesday, 23rd September. He turns his gun on himself but dies in hospital before police can question him about his motives.
Sir Paul McCartney plays an open-air concert in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park on Thursday, 25th September, more than 40 years after the Israeli government had banned The Beatles from playing for fear of their "corruptive influence".
The three-man crew of China's Shenzhou VII space craft land in Inner Mongolia on 28th September, after completing their country's first space walk.
On 29th September, with world financial markets still in turmoil, the US House of Representatives rejects a bill to bail out the American banking industry. US stocks suffer their biggest ever one-day fall. In the UK, where £64 billion is wiped off the value of shares, the government nationalises the Bradford & Bingley.
Britain's most senior policeman, Sir Ian Blair, resigns as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police on 2nd October, after being told that he no longer had the confidence of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Peter Mandelson is appointed to the UK Cabinet for the third time on 3rd October, returning to the post of Business Secretary - the job he held when he first resigned from the government in 1998.
On 4th October a Las Vegas court finds the former US football star and actor O.J. Simpson guilty on twelve charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to kidnap and assault with a deadly weapon. On Friday, 5th December he is sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.
London Underground opens a new Hammersmith & City Line station at Wood Lane on 12th October in preparation for the opening of the new Westfield Shopping Centre. Situated between Latimer Road and Shepherd's Bush Market stations, it is near to the site of the old Wood Lane Station that closed in 1959.
On 13th October, in an attempt to halt the continuing credit crisis, the British government bails out three banks, shoring up the Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Lloyds TSB with £37 billion of taxpayers' money. The following day President George W. Bush announces that the US government is to take a $250 billion stake in nine of the biggest banks in America.
On 15th October Madonna and Guy Ritchie announce that they are to divorce.
On 16th October Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer, two Britons accused of having drunken sex on a beach in Dubai, are sentenced to three months in jail.
On 29th October the comedian Russell Brand resigns from his BBC radio show. At the same time the BBC suspends the presenter Jonathan Ross, following the outcry over the pair's offensive phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs on Brand's Radio 2 show, first broadcast on 18th October.
The Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush, Europe's largest inner-city shopping complex, opens on Thursday, 30th October.
"The Peruvian Songbird" Yma Sumac dies on 1st November, aged 86.
In the US elections held on 4th November Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President. Obama's 86-year-old grandmother Madelyn Dunham dies on the eve of the elections after a battle with cancer.
Miriam Makeba dies of a heart attack on 9th November, aged 76, after performing a concert at the Castel Volturno in Italy.
The Queen Elizabeth 2 runs aground on the Brambles sandbank on 11th November as it returns to Southampton from its last voyage as a cruise liner. In the evening, having been rescued by five tug boats earlier in the day, the QE2 sets sail for Palm Jumeriah, Dubai and a new life as a hotel and museum.
On the same day the mother of a child known as "Baby P", who died after being battered and abused for eight months, is convicted at the Old Bailey of causing or allowing the death of a child. The mother's boyfriend and their lodger, Jason Owen, are also convicted.
On 12th November the European Commission abolishes many of the restrictions preventing shops from selling "ugly" fruit and vegetables.
The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, declares a state of emergency on 15th November as wildfires sweep through mountain scrubland around Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
On the same day Somali pirates hijack the Saudi Arabian oil tanker Sirius Star, the biggest ship ever to be hijacked.
Actor Reg Varney, best known for his role in the TV comedy On The Buses, dies on 16th November, aged 92.
On 24th November the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling announces a £20bn mini-Budget to kick-start the economy, including plans to reduce VAT to 15% and raise taxes for everyone earning more than £40,000 per year.
A man who for 27 years had repeatedly beaten, abused and raped his two daughters is sentenced to 25 concurrent life terms in prison at Sheffield Crown Court on 25th September.
On 26th November terrorists with guns and grenades attack high-profile locations in Mumbai, including two of the best known hotels in India, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Trident.
On the same day all flights in and out of Bangkok are cancelled after anti-democracy protesters occupy Suvarnabhumi international Airport.
Damian Green, the shadow Immigration minister, is arrested on 27th November by police investigating information leaks from the Home Office.
Jorn Utzon, the award-winning architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, dies on 29th November, aged 90.
On 1st December, at a press conference in Chicago, the US President-elect Barack Obama nominates Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.
On the same day an independent report into the death of "Baby P" delivers a damning verdict on the services provided by north London's Haringey Council. Sharon Shoesmith, the Council's director of children's services is suspended and later fired without pay.
On 4th December a jury at Leeds Crown Court finds Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan guilty of false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. The pair had abducted Karen's daughter, nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, in the hope of collecting a £50,000 reward offered by a national newspaper.
On Friday, 5th December Boy George is found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court of falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort, Audun Carlsen.
The death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old shot by police, triggers riots on the streets of Athens on Saturday, 6th December.
Oliver Postgate, creator of the children's TV programmes Bagpuss, The Clangers and Ivor The Engine, dies on 8th December, aged 83.
Sky television broadcasts a documentary on 10th December showing the assisted suicide of Craig Ewert, a 59-year-old crippled by an incurable motor neurone disease. The programme shows him swallowing a lethal mix of sedatives and switching off his own life support system in a clinic in Zurich.
The Wall Street broker Bernard Madoff, who ran a hedge fund which ran up $50bn (£33.5bn) of fraudulent losses, is arrested on Thursday, 11th December.
A cholera epidemic prompts South African officials to declare part of their border with Zimbabwe a disaster area. Meanwhile, in a televised address on 11th December, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe declares there is "no cholera".
Actress Kathy Staff, Doris Luke in the long-running ITV soap Crossroads and Nora Batty in the BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, dies on 14th December at the age of 80.
Eartha Kitt, once described by Orson Welles as "the most exciting woman on earth", dies on Christmas Day, aged 81.
The playwright Harold Pinter also dies on Christmas Day, aged 78.
Delaney Bramlett, who wrote the New Seekers' hit Never Ending Song Of Love, dies on Saturday, 27th December after seven months of ill health.
On the same day Israel launches air attacks on Gaza, in response to Hamas rocket attacks and cross-border raids by militants. 225 people are killed.
|In the Charts
UK Chart débuts
- Alexandra Burke
- Flo Rida
- Katy Perry
- The Saturdays
|UK Best-selling Singles
All I Ever Wanted
Now You're Gone
If I Were A Boy
Love You Anyway
- Jeff Buckley
- Alexandra Burke
Viva La Vida
One Day Like This
- Estelle featuring Kanye West
The Winner's Song
Once Upon A Christmas Song
- Girls Aloud
- Leon Jackson
Don't Call This Love
- Kid Rock
All Summer Long
- The Killers
- Kings Of Leon
Sex On Fire
- Kings Of Leon
- Leona Lewis
Better In Time / Footprints In The Sand
- Leona Lewis
- Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
- Kylie Minogue
- Mint Royale
Singin' In The Rain
- James Morrison and Nelly Furtado
The Shock Of Lightning
- Katy Perry
I Kissed A Girl
- Eric Prydz
- Pussycat Dolls
When I Grown Up
- Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris
Dance Wiv Me
- Cliff Richard
Thank You For A Lifetime
Take A Bow
- Britney Spears
- Sam Sparro
Black & Gold
- Take That
- Ting Tings
That's Not My Name
- The Verve
Love Is Noise
- X Factor Finalists
- Will Young
- Bryan Adams
- Joan Baez
Day After Tomorrow
I Am Sasha Fierce
- Jackson Browne
Time The Conquerer
- Glen Campbell
Meet Glen Campbell
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs Of Christmas
- Carlene Carter
- Eva Cassidy
Viva La Vida, Or Death And All His Friends
- Rodney Crowell
Sex And Gasoline
- Neil Diamond
Home Before Dark
- Barbara Dickson
Time & Tide
Safe Trip Home
- Jakob Dylan
The Seldom Seen Kid
And Winter Came
- The Feeling
Join With Us
- Flight Of The Conchords
Flight Of The Conchords
- Girls Aloud
Out Of Control
- Emmylou Harris
All I Intended To Be
- Mick Hucknall
A Tribute To Bobby
- Il Divo
- Jack Johnson
Sleep Through The Static
- Barb Jungr
Just Like A Woman (Hymn To Nina)
- Nigel Kennedy
Beethoven / Mozart Violin Concertos
- The Killers
Day & Age
- Kings Of Leon
Only By The Night
- The Kooks
- k.d. lang
- Leona Lewis
- Will Martin
A New World
- Tift Merritt
- Allison Moorer
- Jason Mraz
We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
- Randy Newman
Harps And Angels
Dig Out Your Soul
- Mike Oldfield
Music Of The Spheres
- Donny Osmond
From Donny With Love
- Dolly Parton
- The Rolling Stones
Shine A Light
Jumping All Over The World
- Snow Patrol
A Hundred Million Suns
- Teddy Thompson
A Piece Of What You Need
- The Verve
- Paul Weller
- Will Young
Let It Go
|At the Movies
- Angus, Thongs, And Perfect Snogging
- The Boy In Striped Pyjamas
- Brideshead Revisited
- Burn After Reading
- The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- The Dark Knight
- The Duchess
- Gone Baby Gone
- High School Musical 3
- Hors De Prix (Priceless)
- In Bruges
- In Search Of A Midnight Kiss
- The Incredible Hulk
- Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
- Iron Man
- Mamma Mia!
- Man On Wire
- My Winnipeg
- No Country For Old Men
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- Quantum Of Solace
- Sex And The City: The Movie
- Then She Found Me
- There Will Be Blood
Tony Award for Best Musical:
In The Heights
for Best New Musical:
- The Apprentice (Series 4)
- Ashes To Ashes
- The Big Bang Theory (Season 2)
- Britain's Got Talent (Series 2)
- Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Superstar Strictly On Ice
- Doctor Who (Series 4)
- I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! (Series 8)
- Last Choir Standing
- Love Soup
- Paul Merton in India
- Shameless (Series 5)
- Spooks (Series 7)
- Stephen Fry in America
- Strictly Come Dancing (Series 6)
- Top Gear (Series 11 and 12)
- Who Do You Think You Are? (Series 5)
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Series 23 and 24)
- The X Factor (Series 5)
of the Year:
Darts: John Part wins the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Championship at Alexandra Palace, beating Kirk Shepherd in the final, 7-2.
Mark Webster wins the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Darts Championship.
Tennis: Novak Djokovic wins the men's singles title at the Australian Open, beating the unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the final, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6. The women's singles title goes to Maria Sharapova, who defeats Ana Ivanovic in the final, 7-5, 6-3.
Ivanovic wins the women's singles title at the French Open, beating Dinara Safina in the final, 6-4, 6-3. She receives the trophy from the woman who had beaten her in the previous year's final, the former world no. 1 Justine Henin, who had surprised the tennis world by announcing her retirement on 14th May. For the third year in a row the men's singles final is contested by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal wins easily, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
At Wimbledon Nadal repeats his victory over Federer, winning the men's singles final in five sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7. In the women's singles final Venus Williams defeats her sister Serena, 7-5, 6-4.
At the US Open Roger Federer rescues his season with victory over Britain's Andy Murray in the men's singles final, 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. The women's singles final is won by Serena Williams, who defeats Jelena Jankovic, 6-4, 7-5.
Cricket: England win the test series against New Zealand, the team's first overseas series victory for more than three years.
In the Summer the England team loses the test series at home to South Africa. Michael Vaughan steps down as England captain.
Rugby Union: Wales win the Six Nations Championship.
Rowing: the University of Oxford crew wins the 154th Boat Race by six lengths.
Horse Racing: Denman, ridden by jockey Sam Thomas, beats his stablemate Kauto Star to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup by seven lengths.
Comply Or Die, ridden by Timmy Murphy, wins the Grand National.
Kevin Manning, riding New Approach, wins the Epsom Derby.
Yeats, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, becomes only the second horse in racing history to win three successive Gold Cups at Ascot.
Conduit, ridden by Frankie Dettori, wins the St. Leger Stakes.
Golf: Trevor Immelman wins the 72nd US Masters - the first South African Masters champion since Gary Player in 1978.
Tiger Woods wins the US Open for the third time, claiming his 14th major after resisting the obdurate challenge of Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole play-off . Woods finally clinches an epic victory on the extra 91st hole. Two days later it is announced that Woods would miss the rest of the 2008 season to have reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
Padraig Harrington successfully defends his Open Championship title with a four-shot victory over Ian Poulter at Royal Birkdale. He follows up with victory at the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, becoming only the fourth player in history to win the Open and the US PGA in the same season and the first European winner of the US PGA in 78 years.
The USA wins the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in Kentucky, defeating the European team captained by Nick Faldo by 16.5 points to 11.5.
Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan wins the World Snooker Championship for the third time, defeating Ali Carter in the final, 18-8.
Athletics: Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the men's 100m sprint, setting a new fastest time of 9.72 seconds on 31st May.
Football: Manchester United win the Premier League title with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the final game of the season.
United also win the Champions League, beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in the final in Moscow.
Portsmouth win the FA Cup, beating Cardiff City in the final 1-0.
Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final, played at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna.
Cycling: Carlos Sastre wins the Tour de France.
Olympic Games: US swimmer Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals, eclipsing the record of seven set by Mark Spitz in 1972.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt achieves the sprint double, winning both the men's 100m and 200m finals in world record times. He gets a third gold medal and a third world record when the Jamaican sprint team win the 4x100m relay.
Cyclist Chris Hoy also wins three gold medals - the first Briton for a century to do so.
Team GB wins 19 gold medals to finish fourth in the medals table with a total haul of 47 medals.
Motor Racing: Lewis Hamilton becomes the youngest-ever F1 champion when he snatches fifth-place from Timo Glock on the last lap of the last race of the season at the Brazilian grand prix. The race-winner Felipe Massa finishes the championship in second place, just one point adrift of Hamilton's total of 98 points. Ferrari win the constructor's championship with 172 points.
Man Booker Prize
The White Tiger
Sea Of Poppies
On Their Backs
Of The Whole
Prize for Fiction
The Road Home
Charlotte Mendelson When We
Heather ONeill Lullabies