Colors: Red Color

A family member has announced that the star of classic British hit East is East, has died in Mumbai early today. Reports say that he suffered a heart attack at his home. Om Puri was awarded an honorary OBE for his contribution to the British Film Industry in 2004. Also known for his Hollywood, Pakistani, Indian and British film roles, it was international fame that was found for his roles in British and American films, especially comedy East is East, where he played a Pakistani immigrant adjusting to life in the north of England.

The Birmingham rock legend widely credited with inventing heavy metal music has written a moving acoustic arrangement for Birmingham Cathedral after he wanted to ‘give something back’ to his home city. Black Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi worked with his friend the Dean of Birmingham, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, on the five-minute arrangement, which celebrates peace, harmony and the Cathedral’s role in the heart of the city.

Discover the real 'Behind the Scenes' at Blenheim Palace, in a fascinating limited edition new tour for 2017. 'Restoration & Conservation' will be the theme of the guided tours which will begin in the New Year as part of the extended opening season experience offered to visitors at the Oxford World Heritage Site. The 'Restoration & Conservation' tour will be exclusively available from 9 January – 8 February 2017, running twice per day excluding Sundays. The new tours will tie in to the annual deep clean of Blenheim Palace which will now be on full to visitors during this period.

Singer and actress Janet Jackson welcomed her first child with Wissam Al Mana, her husband of four years, with a spokesperson for the singer confirming; “Janet Jackson and husband Wissam Al Mana are thrilled to welcome their new son Eissa Al Mana into the world. Janet had a stress-free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably.” Rumors of the seven-time Grammy award-winning soulstress being pregnant first surfaced when she postponed her “Unbreakable” tour telling fans “there’s been a sudden change.”

Tennis great Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian are engaged. A spokesperson for Ohanian confirmed that he popped the question while the two were vacationing in Rome. Williams first announced the news herself in a Reddit post on its "r/isaidyes" forum. "I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage awaited" Williams said in her Reddit post, which was written like a poem and had a cartoon of the couple at the top.

Guidelines designed to encourage responsible busking and street entertainment in Birmingham city centre have been formally adopted following a period of extensive public consultation. The aims and principles are captured in a document, which has been drawn up by Birmingham City Council in conjunction with Equity, Keep Streets Live and the Musicians’ Union.

It has been announced that Rachael Wooding will guest star as Alice in the 2017 UK tour of WONDERLAND in Wolverhampton from Monday 31 July – Saturday 5 August. Rachael is one of musical theatre’s most impressive talents. In May this year she wowed the nation on Britain’s Got Talent with Simon Cowell proclaiming her rendition of ‘With You’ from Ghost was “the most beautiful version of the song” he had ever heard.

Austria's Metal on the Hill Festival with its most unique location of the "Kasemattenbühne" at the picturesque Schloßberg in Graz, welcomes another exciting opening act for 2017: PAIN IS! Founded in 2002, followed by numerous shows all over Europe and 4 studio records later, Austria's PAIN IS already left a stamp with their individual style of music called 'Paincore', characterized by heavy rocking guitars, stomping drums, booming bass and melodic hard vocals and screams.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is celebrating a record-breaking year in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, as it welcomed around 825,000 visitors to the five historic Shakespeare houses in Stratford-upon-Avon – a six per cent increase from 2015. This beats the previous record of 820,000 visitors in 2014 during Shakespeare’s 450th birthday celebrations, and many millions more people of all ages from across the globe connected with the Trust through its education programmes and digital channels.

This Christmas an estimated 120,000 children will be homeless, marking an eight-year high. Many of them will be living in temporary accommodation until something more permanent can be found.  Now, a new play at Birmingham Repertory Theatre gives a timely reflection on this hidden crisis. LOVE by Alexander Zeldin opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Thursday 26 January until Saturday 11 February following a critically-acclaimed run at the National Theatre.

Shoppers at Bullring turned out in full force to take advantage of discounts of up to 70% at the Birmingham shopping centre, which houses more than 160 stores. With Boxing Day marking the start of the traditional sales for many retailers, bargain hunting at the local shopping centre is an annual ritual for many shoppers throughout the UK. This year, over 210,000 shoppers are expected to descend on Bullring in search of reduced-rate electronics, fashion and homewares, and a further 185,000 expected today.

The Royal Shakespeare Company continues its commitment to creating live theatre for young audiences with its First Encounters with Shakespeare production of The Tempest – Shakespeare’s magical last play of fun, fantasy and sorcery.  Directed by Aileen Gonsalves, and aimed at 8-13 year olds, the production will open in January 2017 in Midlands schools and the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, before embarking on a seven week UK tour of schools and regional theatres. 

The final line-up for the 2017 Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour is announced and the pairings are Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton; Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse; Ore Oduba and Karen Clifton; Ed Balls and Katya Jones; Daisy Lowe and Aljaž Skorjanec; Lesley Joseph and Gorka Marquez. Completing the line-up for group numbers and professional dances are six of this series’ fabulous professional dancers Giovanni Pernice and Janette Manrara, AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt, Oksana Platero and Neil Jones.

Escape boredom this February by watching London's original escapologist as he plots his next escape from the London Dungeon. Before Houdini there was Jack Shepherd, a petty thief who infamously escaped not one, not two….but four prisons (!!!) by breaking through ceilings to picking locks. Guests visiting the London Dungeon from February will journey back to 1724 to come face-to-face with Jack at Newgate prison – where he has been caught by the thief catcher for the fifth time.

2016 has been an exciting and eventful year for the city with the capital welcoming a record 8.8 million overseas visitors in the first half of the year. While notable events and openings included the commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and the Design Museum opening its new home in Kensington. There are hundreds of great places to see in the New Year but these are some of our favourite places to raise a glass to 2017!