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Sir Simon Rattle to join London Symphony Orchestra

World-renowned conductor Sir Simon Rattle is joining the London Symphony Orchestra as music director.

Sir Simon Rattle Credit: PA

Sir Simon will join the LSO in September 2017 from the Berlin Philharmonic, where he has led the orchestra since 2002.

Last month, Chancellor George Osborne gave his backing to a campaign led by Sir Simon to build a concert hall, and a feasibility study is now under way for the project.

During my work with the LSO over the last years, I noticed that, despite the orchestra's long and illustrious history, they almost never refer to it.

Instead, refreshingly, they talk about the future - what can they make anew, what can they improve, how can they reach further into the community?

In terms of musical excellence, it is clear that the sky's the limit, but equally important, in terms of philosophy, they constantly strive to be a 21st century orchestra. We share a dream in which performing, teaching and learning are indivisible, with wider dissemination of art at our centre. I cannot imagine a better or more inspiring way to spend my next years, and feel immensely fortunate to have the LSO as my musical family and co-conspirators.

– Sir Simon Rattle

Expansion underway for Harry Potter studio tour

The Olton Hall Steam engine, made famous as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films Credit: John Giles/PA Archive

Warner Brothers is preparing to unveil a new permanent expansion to the current "Making of Harry Potter" studio tour in Leavesden.

It will feature the original Hogwarts Steam Engine and a recreation of Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

It'll open to the public later this month.


Eddie Redmayne takes on starring role in 'Thomas The Tank Engine'

Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne will be following up his huge success by lending his voice talents - to Thomas The Tank Engine.

Eddie Redmayne with his Academy Award Credit: PA

The London actor is just one of a host of stars who will voice trains in the little blue engine's latest adventure, to mark 70 years of the beloved character. New friends introduced to mark the special anniversary year will include Ryan, voiced by Eddie, and Sailor John, played by acting legend John Hurt.

I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures.

I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was! I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast.

– Eddie Redmayne, actor
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Stars prepare for tonight's Brit Awards ceremony

Stars have been taking to Twitter and Instagram with just hours to go until the Brit Awards 2015.

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