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Jake Sims and Stereo Kicks in final five

Jake Sims (second from right) and Stereo Kicks are in the final five of X Factor Credit: Factor

Jake Sims from Warmley in South Gloucestershire is in the final five of the X Factor. His band, the eight-strong Stereo Kicks, were voted through without a hitch this weekend after performing Sir Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".

Judge Simon Cowell told the band, "You just did it, you did everything right, you look like a proper group."

You can find out how the guys are getting on here.

Womad early-bird tickets go on sale today

Entertainers at this year's Womad. Credit: PA

Tickets go on sale today for next year's Womad in Wiltshire, at last year's prices.

The world music festival at Charlton Park was sold out this time and organisers expect these early-bird tickets to sell fast, even though the line-up hasn't been announced.

40,000 people are expected to turn up to watch more than 100 acts from around the globe.

It will take place from the 23rd to the 26th of July.


  1. Caron Bell

Award-winning 'War Game' on stage at Bristol Old Vic

The Christmas Day Truce of 1914 is one of the most famous stories of the First World War - when British and German troops put down their weapons, left their trenches, and played football with each other.

In the hands of author Michael Foreman, it was the basis for the award-winning children's book 'War Game'. Now the book has come to the Bristol Old Vic as a stage play. Caron Bell met the author and heard his deeply personal reasons for writing the story.

Winter comes to Cribbs Causeway with the help of Union J

The mall at Cribbs Causeway has been transformed into a winter wonderland Credit: Cribbs Causeway
Getting their skates on - the ice rink offers an extra treat for Christmas shoppers Credit: Cribbs Causeway
The boyband Union J, which features George Shelley from Clevedon (second from left) is switching on the Christmas lights at the Mall tonight Credit: Union J

Hundreds gather at the funeral of Acker Bilk

Mourners say farewell to the jazz legend at Publow Church Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of people, both local and from the world of music have gathered at a church in Somerset to say farewell to jazz legend Acker Bilk.

The clarinet player, who lived in Pensford, was most famous for his hit tune, Stranger on the Shore, but his music career spanned many decades. He died earlier this month at the age of 85.

Today's thanksgiving service at Publow Church included the reading of a poem Acker wrote, reflecting his love of the area he grew up in.

The River, by Acker Bilk

Although not a big river,

T'was endless to me.

We dived in it, swam in it,

Fished it with glee.

We floated log rafts on it,

Watched all the while

By Herons and Kingfishers,

Ducks, single file.

Martins dipping and diving

The Swifts flying free,

Water rats dunking like biscuits in tea.

Reeds full of Moorhens

And a bit further out,

Where the current flowed swifter

Those gold-bellied trout.

The trees on the banks

Were there just to be climbed.

Elbows and knees skinned

But we didn't mind.

A thousand and one things

To see and to do.

A magical place was the old river Chew.

The days of my youth

Not numbered or planned,

I go back to the river whenever I can


Acker Bilk's funeral to be held in Somerset today

The funeral of West Country jazz musician Acker Bilk will take place in Somerset this afternoon.

Mourners will gather at Publow Church near his home village of Pensford.

The clarinetist died on 3 November at Bath's Royal United Hospital. His wife Jean was by his side. He was best known for his signature tune 'Stranger on the Shore'.

Jazz musician Acker Bilk after receiving his MBE at an investiture ceremony held by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA

Jethro Tull frontman begs fans to stop stalking him

Ian Anderson performing with Jethro Tull Credit: Andreas Weihs/DPA/Press Association Images

Ian Anderson, the frontman of legendary classic rock band Jethro Tull, has made an emotional Facebook plea to fans to stop following him after shows and frightening his wife.

The 67-year-old musician, who lives on a 400-acre 18th century estate in Minety, Wiltshire, made his comments on the band's official Facebook page.

"That you may only be a fan seeking autographs, whether for yourself or Mr Ebay is not the issue. My hotel is my sanctuary. You frighten my wife and put me under pressure to react to potential violence.

"Stop and think: if you were on your way home from work, late at night, and you became aware of a car or two following you to your home in the dark, you would get worried and understandably probably lock your car doors and call the cops.


– Ian Anderson

The singer, flautist and guitarist, who was awarded an MBE in 2007 for his services to music, also said he had received threats of violence.

The shortlist to design Bristol's £91m arena

Five teams have been shortlisted for the contract to design the 12,000 seater Bristol Arena at Temple Quarter in the city.

The architects behind the Eden Project are on the shortlist for Bristol Arena Credit: PA
  • Grimshaw Architects LLP - architects of the Eden Project
  • Idom Ingeniería y Consultoría - designers of the Bilbao Arena
  • Populous - architects of the London Olympic Stadium
  • White Arkitekter - designers of the Kiruna city plan in Sweden
  • Wilkinson Eyre - architects of the Liverpool Arena

The finalists will now have to come up with proposals, which will then go to a public exhibition before the decision being announced in March 2015

Populous, who designed the London Olympic Stadium, are also on the shortlist Credit: ITV News
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