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Edinburgh Mela AROUND TOWN After the happy announcement last issue that Robert Wilson, co-founder of Jupiter Artland, was to become chair of the Edinburgh Art Festival, follows news that the Mela has now appointed its new director. Stephen Stenning, former senior creative producer at UZ events, will step up following his work with Glasgow Merchant City Festival, the Glasgow Art Festival and Big in Falkirk.

FESTIVALS It may feel like we’ve only just finished with this year’s Edinburgh Festivals session but the Edinburgh International Festival, ever-prepared, have already got the wheels in motion for next year’s bonanza, announcing an Asian theme for proceedings. Artists from China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam will contribute to 2011’s line-up, with performances by the National Ballet of China and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra; dance from Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola; a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe and more.

FILM Mark Cousins is leading the march once again and rallying the film troupes as a judge for new film project Your Story. Picturehouse cinemas across the UK are offering the chance for you to tell them your story in ten photos, with an opportunity to see it presented on the big screen in Picturehouse cinemas nationwide should you be one of the three lucky winners. Cousins said he was ‘looking forward to seeing the diversity of stories from across the UK.’ See for more. In other big screen news, the Glasgow Youth Film 8 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010

Festival is looking for your help, as they take part in The Big Arts Give Christmas Challenge. Give what you can and donate online between 6–10 Dec at www.thebig MUSIC King Tut’s has had a busy old 2010, and 2011 looks set to be no different, as they prepare to host a flurry of up-and-coming bands for a fortnight this January. Acts include The Astronauts, Galleries, Endor, She’s Hit, Flood of Red, Tango In The Attic, Ysuf Azak and White Heath.

T H E AT R E Celebrations at the Traverse Theatre following their latest award, as part of the Go Shop Awards Scheme. The theatre was credited with a special award for their help with blind and partially sighted people. Out west, the Tron have announced some of their 2011 programme with highlights including A Tron Stripped production of Charles Dyer’s 60s period drama Staircase, Blythe Duff in one-woman comedy Just Checking, the world premiere of Smalltown by DC Jackson, Johnny McKnight and Douglas Maxwell, and Stellar Quines and The Royal Lyceum’s production of Age of Arousal. VISUAL ART Fife Council has pledged £6.8m for a new museum and art gallery to be built as part of multi-million pound plans for Dunfermline. Finally, The List are just a wee bit excited that works by David Shrigley and Martin Creed are to go under the hammer at The Glasgow School of Art auction on 4 Dec. Students on The Glasgow School of Art MFA programme will be selling off work from artists such as Shrigley, Claire Barclay, Ryan Gander and more.

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Channel Hopper

Dispatches from the sofa, with Brian Donaldson

John Lennon. Devoted husband and father. Pioneer of peace. Writer of landmark pop songs. Had a thing about round specs. Loved a good manly embrace. ‘I remember he immediately put his arm round my shoulder and said thanks for coming,’ notes Andy Peebles, the Radio 1 jock who conducted the final interview for a British audience. ‘When I stood next to him, John put his right arm around my shoulder and . . . pulled me to him,’ recalls Paul Goresh, the fan who took the photo of Lennon signing a copy of Double Fantasy for Mark Chapman, the man who would later pump bullets into Lennon’s body.

OK, this might not be the most revelatory piece of news about the first Beatle to wave hello, goodbye to the planet but The Day John Lennon Died (ITV1, Mon 6 Dec, 9pm) is not a documentary that seeks to uncover any fresh insight into the icon who was gunned down outside New York’s Dakota Building 30 years ago, but merely runs through the events of 8 December 1980. In the main, this is tastefully and evocatively done, though some characters such as the LA lawyer who had ‘babysat’ Lennon during his separation from Yoko and the surgeon who attempted to resuscitate the dying Scouser recall the day with a little too much theatrical relish. Meanwhile, Cilla gets a chance to inform us how ‘shocked’ she was while Liam Gallagher was ‘fucking angry’. Only the berated, embattled and lonely Yoko Ono emerges with dignity intact.

John Lennon: free hugs