Who will be making the headlines in the week ahead?
What with the Rio Olympics, underdogs Leicester City being crowned Premier League champions and Andy Murray ending the year as the world’s number one tennis player, it’s been quite a 12 months for sport. The Scot is likely to stroll to another victory at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016, but there is a strong Yorkshire contingent among the line-up. Triathlete Alistair Brownlee, boxer Nicola Adams, gold medal cyclist Kadeena Cox, footballer Jamie Vardy and Masters winning golf star Danny Willett are all up for the prize.
Is there no end to Jeremy Corbyn’s musical connections? Apparently not. Earlier this year one half of the reggae band UB40 was drafted in to publicly declare their support for the Labour leader and this week it will be the turn of Paul Weller. The former Jam frontman will be headlining the first People Powered: Concerts for Corbyn. Organised in association with the pro-Corbyn Momentum group, Weller has form when it comes to political gigs having played a leading role in the Red Wedge campaign, which supported Neil Kinnock’s Labour in the 1980s, although that didn’t end well. Other acts being lined up for future gigs include indie veterans the Farm. psychedelic group Temples and singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams.
It could prove to be a landmark week for IVF as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meets to decide whether “three parent baby” treatments for inherited mitochondrial diseases should be given the green light.
Last year the UK approved laws to permit the procedure, which involves using donor DNA from a second woman, after a study involving more than 500 eggs from 64 donor women found that the new procedure did not adversely affect embryo development and significantly reduced the amount of faulty gene being passed. Now, however, it’s down to the Authority to grant scientists permission to apply for licences to carry out the very first procedures.
Feel the force
Is it really only a year since Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were reunited in the big screen triumph which was The Force Awakens? Yep, but while we still have another couple of years to wait until Episode IX, to fill the void this Christmas comes Rogue One. There may be no Han Solo or Princess Leia, but expect the usual helping of space opera from British actress Felicity Jones as leader of a group of rebel spies on a mission to steal the blueprint for the Galactic Empire’s new superweapon, the Death Star.
And talking of films, the next week also sees the announcement of the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. Most of the films being tipped to sweep the boards haven’t been released on this side of the Atlantic, but get ready for Oscar worthy performances from Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land and Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea.
A sign that Christmas really is just around the corner, next Saturday will see the Strictly Come Dancing final. It will also be the last appearance from Len Goodman, who announced earlier this year that he is to step down as head judge. He’s already tipped Anton du Beke to step into his shoes, but Brendan Cole is also rumoured to be in the running. To be honest, we don’t care. As long as we get to see Ed Balls perform his Gangnam Style routine just one more time we can end 2016 happy.