this is bbc news. the headlines at midday: tributes to the singer george michael — one of the biggest stars in british music — who has died at the age of 53. his death has shocked fans around the world, as flowers and candles are left outside his home. those who worked with him honour his talent. he always had that incredible pop sensibility and he had the voice that could touch people there are some people who have a voice and you hear it and it seems to cut through your heart and he seemed to have that ability. if religious here for george michael left, he was somebody that might be seen walking down by the river bank.
the sense of loss here is as profound as anywhere. today's other news — russia begins a day of national mourning for those who died when a military plane crashed into the black sea. the former governor of the bank of england, lord king, suggests the uk would benefit economically by pulling out of the single market completely, when it leaves the eu. also this hour — the tills start jingling as shoppers head to the high street for the boxing day sales. these were the scenes in london as bargain hunters turned out to bag cut—price deals — but footfall may be down due to pre—christmas discounts. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. one of the biggest pop stars of the ‘80s and ‘90s, george michael, has died.
he was 53, and is believed to have had heart failure. he rose to fame as one half of the group, wham! and went on to have a successful solo career. he sold 100 million albums worldwide and had 11 uk number ones. nick quraishi looks back at his life. # you put the boom boom into my heart #... suntans, bleached hair and upbeat songs propelled wham! to number one around the world. they even conquered china. # last christmas i gave you my heart # but the very next day you gave it away #... their most famous song, heard every year, will now have added poignancy. born georgios kyriacos panayiotou in north london, george michael was 12 years old when he met andrew ridgeley. they left school at 16 and set up wham in 1981. # and time can never mend a careless whisper #...
his biggest hit, careless whisper, came in 1984 but was written and produced when he wasjust 17. three years later, his solo album faith marked a shift from teen idol to serious singer—songwriter. # cos i gotta have faith #... with the success came brushes with the law. an arrest for lewd behaviour in a public toilet in los angeles, a driving ban in the uk. he had a stint in prison after crashing his car into a shop. george michael announced he was gay, later revealing he had been in the closet for years to prevent his mother from worrying about aids. in 2011, he nearly died in vienna after a bout of pneumonia. but more work was in the pipeline. a collaboration with producer naughty boy and a documentary called freedom which was due for release next march. when it came to pop music, george michael had it all — looks, voice and the ability to write a string
of hits that will continue to be played for years to come. let's speak to ben ando who is outside george michael's home in goring—on—thames in oxfordshire. we can see a load of press and fans wanting that to pay their respects. that's right. i think that the home he is what george michael would have considered his bolthole. it was a way to get away from the intensity and pressures and perhaps temptations of london life and it was here that he yesterday the other was here that he yesterday the other was raised when he was found in his bed. villagers here are the kind of people who wouldn't have troubled
him for photographs or autographs when he was walking around the village. we have been told by people that he would often go into the local pub for a pint. one man told us local pub for a pint. one man told us that he had seen him as recently as six weeks ago. he said that george michael seemed like he was unwell. people have been coming to lay cards and flowers. they say that they knew that he was notjust a villager. just completely surprised. i knew he was around the village quite a lot and really shocking to hear that he has passed away. he was a very private person and we do know that he used to go to the local pub quite frequently but very private person. i was quite shocked. ididn't ididn‘t hear i didn't hear intolerant last night. he wasjust so i didn't hear intolerant last night. he was just so young. —— i didn't
hear intolerant last night. people are now coming to play their respects. we know from george michael's manager that the cause of death was initially given as heart failure. it might become clear over the next few days. thank you for that. reaction still continues around the world. we are nowjoined by a nto ny around the world. we are nowjoined by antony costa. he knew george michael. hello. good afternoon. i think were all shocked by this news. even those who didn't know him. how did you know him? ourfamilies knew each other through sort of various things. i knew his cousins well. they lived down the road from ours in hertfordshire. when my band came
out in 2001, he was a firm follower of the band. my brother met him a few times and he said that he was happy that another group was doing well. when i met him a couple of yea rs later well. when i met him a couple of years later in 2005 at top of the box, he was nothing but lovely. i went to stress and we had a chat. we are both from the west of london. he was such a laugh. i met him a year later and it was outside a radio building he was promoting his single. he gave me a copy of the single. he gave me a copy of the single that nobody else had. he was just lovely. every time i met him, he said, thank you for the lovely things you say about you. if i'm an inspiration to one person, then i'm doing well. and he certainly was in my life. i grew up with his music
and i'm absolutely devastated. i've been crying all morning. i feel as though i've lost a family member. it is just though i've lost a family member. it isjust a though i've lost a family member. it is just a really sad loss and somebody said i hope that people will remember his music. somebody said i hope that people will remember his musiclj somebody said i hope that people will remember his music. i don't think that there is any doubt about that. he has clearly had a huge impact on you as a person but also asa impact on you as a person but also as a musician. would you say that the success of blue is more down to george michael than yourself? on my personal site, he was definitely an inspiration growing up. i looked at them. i even look at how he did his mark techniques were he was singing. -- his mark techniques were he was singing. —— his microphone techniques. a lot of people when it blue was recording people used to say that we have the same kind of tone. that's something that i always used to work on. i'm
not saying that i was anything like him, never in a million years did i emulate him. but to be concurred to george michael is a thought for a singer. it isjust george michael is a thought for a singer. it is just heartbreaking. george michael is a thought for a singer. it isjust heartbreaking. i feel for his family and his that. my condolences go out to his family and his friends. it's very hard for singers like yourself when you are a teen idol, to keep the career covering and become a respected artist with an older audience. yet george michael did it. he broke away from wham!. it could be argued he had a even more successful career as a solo artist. how much should we appreciate how difficult that is? it's very difficult. there are only a few people that have done it. one is george and the other is robbie williams. and his first song bas a
solo artist was freedom. when you listen to that song, it makes you think, that is what it is likely to be in think, that is what it is likely to beina think, that is what it is likely to be in a band. it really was mental. for him to break away from that and come out with face. . that catapulted him to superstardom. he changes look. he had a leather jacket and then he had a suit if yea rs jacket and then he had a suit if years later. i'm just so happy that i got to see my idol and the legend in concert at least once and that is a memory that will keep forever and ever. it makes you wonder how many stars inspired, as you say, robbie williams. he released his first solo single and coverage. thank you. that
was a former member of the successful boy band blue. lots more reaction coming in, including from polygon. it was absolutely impromptu. he just wanted to polygon. it was absolutely impromptu. hejust wanted to be a pa rt impromptu. hejust wanted to be a part of it. he wasn't on the list but he came and said that he would love to do something, looking at what you've done, the only song i know all the words to is every time you go away. he was practically out of the limousine and onto the stage. and he sang like a bird. the 80s was crazy, it was a mad period for music. there was a lot of innovation and different styles. every band had and different styles. every band had
a different style and sound. we heard his sound with wham! but then obviously he had other ideas in his head already because careless whisper was something that he wrote way before it was released as a single. but he always had the incredible pop sensibility. some people have a voice and you hear it and it cuts straight to your heart and it cuts straight to your heart and he seemed to have that ability. many have expressed their grief on social media, including a lot of the singer's celebrity friends. singer elton john posted a picture of the two on instagram, with the caption — i am in deep shock. i have lost a beloved friend — the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. my heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. former super—model linda evangelista, who starred in michael's music video for the song freedom, also posted on instagram. i am beyond heartbroken and
devastated by another tragic loss. r:i.p. dearest georgy. and singer bryan adams took to twitter to say rip george michael. i can't believe it. such an incredible singer and a lovely human being, far too young to leave us. while madonna wrote — farewell my friend! another great artist leaves us. while george michael will be remembered for his chart—topping hits he was also able to make fun of himself and appeared on the bbc‘s comic relief programme in 2011 with james corden. love this one, don't you? # call me good, ah—ha. # call me bad. # call me anything you want to, baby. george! # and i know, ah—ha. # that you're sad. come on! # and i know i made you happy. # with the one thing that you never had. # baby, i'm your man. i love it!
# baby, i'm your man. # you better. # if you're gonna do it, do it right, right, do it with me. cheering and applause right, i'm going in. you wait here, ok? don't go wandering around looking for trouble. all right, where am i going to go? be back in a bit. love you. don't be long! and there's more online. you can look back at george michael's life in pictures, music that defined his career — and celebrity tributes — that's at bbc.co.uk/news. the headlines on bbc news: tributes continue to be paid to george michael, one of the biggest stars of british music who has died.
he was 53 years old. the former governor of the bank of england says that britain should be more stuff confident about leaving the european union. bargain hunters hit the high street for the boxing day sales. it is found that the uk economy grew in september. it's a really busy day for the colleagues at the bbc sports centre. sport now and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's hugh woozencroft. good morning. it's a big day. some other place is back and smiling as well. he takes charge of crystal palace for the first time today. they have made the short journey to face watford in first time today. they have made the shortjourney to face watford in the lunchtime kick—off. he will be looking for an instant impact.
crystal palace have lost eight of their last ten matches. at the opposite end of the table, chelsea have a 6—point lead. they will be hoping to set a new club record with 12 league wins. but two of their star players have been suspended. they are working very well this week. we are trying to find a solution to play good football, to continue to win and to take the points. we know that against bournemouth it will be easy because it isa bournemouth it will be easy because it is a very good team with great organisation. david moyes will make his first return to old trafford as a manager this afternoon. his struggling sunderland side take on manchester united. david moyes replaced alex ferguson. but he
struggled last ten. replaced alex ferguson. but he struggled last ten. elsewhere, arsenal are at home to west bromwich. furniture, middlesbrough. you can keep up—to—date with the action on final score for all the action. also check the website. england bowler has taken his first wicket. he couldn't stop his side from losing to melbourne stars. they ove rca m e from losing to melbourne stars. they overcame his total of 188—4. broad struck twice later on. the stars also on the hurricanes. before the
weather intervened, a milestone for azhar ali, a half century saw him pass the 1001 mark for the year. his unbeaten 66 helped pakistan region 142-4. to unbeaten 66 helped pakistan region 142—4. to make way up for the time lost, there will be a difference to the kick—off. this frenchman has knocked 12 days of the world record for a sailing around the planet single—handed without stopping. it took 49 days, three r was, seven minutes and 48 seconds. the previous record was also set by a frenchman. he took it from a british man in 2008. the new record—holder said of from brest implants. —— set off from france. steeplechasing is having its
mid season championship. they loved your‘s winner is one of the sport's long—term stars. it will be a big race. that is the sport. you can follow the news of the racing and other sports news on the website. i'll be back in one over. russia is holding a day of national mourning for the 92 people who were killed when a military plane crashed in the black sea. authorities in russia say they've located the site where the plane came down yesterday, soon after it took off from sochi, heading to syria. the first of the bodies have this morning been airlifted to moscow. our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg reports. across russia, they prayed for the dead for the 92 victims of
yesterday's plane crash. there was a special service today in every orthodox church in russia. this is a day of national mourning. as a sign of respect, russian flags were flown at half—mast. this is thought to be the last picture of a chicken of the aircraft. a a few others later it crashed into the black sea. the search operation continued today. not for survivors but for the bodies. and also for the plane's black box flight recorders. technical failure black box flight recorders. technicalfailure or black box flight recorders. technical failure or private ever is thought to have caused the crash. terrorism is less likely. more than 60 members of the russian army's quire group. outside the musician's
headquarters in moscow, there is never a shrine that grows bigger by the other. as well as bringing flavours, icons and candles, people have been leaving messages. this says, he were killed on take—off, through well. this nonsense, you won't be returning, we wouldn't save you. —— this one says, he won't be returning. translation: we mourn with everybody else. there is pain deep in my soul. officially, there is one day of national mourning but for many russians the sense of loss from this disaster will last much longer. a former bank of england governor says the uk should leave the european single market when it exits the eu. the uk should leave the european single market when it exits the eu,
the former governor of the bank of england has said. mervyn king told radio 4's today programme that trading under the same conditions as countries on the continent could stop britain from taking full advantage of the opportunities of brexit. i don't think it makes sense for us to pretend that we should remain in the single market and i think there are real questions about whether it makes sense to stay in the customs union. clearly if we do that we can not make our own trade deals with other countries. 50,000 people in england at risk of type 2 diabetes could be helped by an nhs programme that's being extended from today. the advice on better nutrition and exercise had already helped 20,000 people. it forms part of a package of new measures to curb type 2 diabetes, including funding for more specialist nurses. millions of shoppers will hit the high street today as the boxing day sales get under way. the numbers are expected to be down from last year, with analysts saying that earlier discount events like black friday and cyber monday will affect post—christmas sales. an estimated £3 billion is to be spent at the tills today, with a further £900 million spent online. our correspondent amy cole is at birmingham's bull ring
shopping centre and has been speaking to the manager of selfridges. some people have been queueing here since have past two this morning. they are hoping to write themselves a deal. i'm in selfridge's. you can forget the traditional boxing day, people are walking the aisles hoping to get the hands on something really good. this is the manager of selfridge's. is boxing day still a big deal for you? absolutely. it's our biggest trading day of the year. the customer comes out as a matter of tradition. some of your competitors went into the sale a few days before christmas. has that impacted on the money they have to spend today? absolutely not. there are some really savvy showers.
there are some really savvy showers. there are some really savvy showers. there are customers that, knowing that they can come and get some of the first must see new season items oi'i the first must see new season items on boxing day. we've all seen the scenes of the mass crowds in oxford street, but here in birmingham, what kind of customers do you have? is there a large international and people that come? absolutely. we've had a growth in the international customers. we've got far more mandarin speaking sales associates know. that is to help looking after the international customers. we've seen the international customers. we've seen this year that new shopping centres a re seen this year that new shopping centres are opened, leeds, manchester, other big shopping centres. how do you compete in that kind of skill? how do you offer something different? birmingham is the middle of the country and so it is really easy for everybody to get to it. it isjust over one hour from
london. the first customer to date was from essex. people come to us because we were... we offer something that other centres don't offer. thank you very much for joining us. i have seen people with armfuls of handbags and some of the staff nudging them to say, perhaps you ought to make a decision soon. later today japan's prime minister shinzo abe will visit pearl harbor, and on tuesday, he'll meet barack obama there. 75 years ago, japanese warplanes bombed american battleships based in hawaii — an attack which pulled a stunned united states into world war ii. laura bicker reports from washington. december the 7th 1941. a date which will live in infamy. the japanese attacks came in waves during a deadly two hours. bombs ripped through us battleships, crippling the pacific fleet and killing over 2000 americans.
survivors recall that the once bustling port burned for hours. i had a fire hose in one hand trying to put out the fires, and with the other i went around memorising these nametags so i could write to their parents and tell them what happened to their sons. after 75 years, there is now a solemn promise between the two countries never to repeat the horrors of that war. and the us and japan have developed a close relationship. barack obama was the first sitting president to visit hiroshima, a powerful symbol of reconciliation. we force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. we listen to a solemn cry. shinzo abe spoke of an alliance of hope as the first japanese prime minister to address the us congress. i offer my eternal condolences. cheers, kanpai.
questions remain about the strength of any future relationship with the next president. newsreel: those who lost their lives at pearl harbor will never be forgotten. but these few days will be about remembrance and laying to rest the final ghost of a world war which brought out the worst in humanity. laura bicker, bbc news, washington. we are also remembering george michael. some of his greatest hits. let's start with his first appearance with wham! on top of the pops. # see me, single and free # no tears, no fears, what i want to be # one, two, take a look at you # death by matrimony! # wham! # bam! #iam! # a man! #job or nojob, you can't tell me that i'm not # do! # you! # enjoy what you do?
# if not, just stop! # don't stay there and rot! # you put the boom—boom into my heart # you send my soul sky high when your lovin' starts jitterbug into my brain # goes a bang—bang—bang till my feet do the same. # club tropicana, drinks are free # fun and sunshine, there's enough for everyone. # all that's missing is the sea, but don't worry, you can suntan! # last christmas, i gave you my heart # but the very next day, you gave it away # this year, to save me from tears # i'll give it to someone special. # oh, and when that love comes down without devotion # well, it takes a strong man, baby # but i'm showing you the door
# cos i gotta have faith # i gotta have faith # cos i gotta have faith, faith # cos i gotta have faith, faith, faith. # to the heart and mind # ignorance is kind # there's no comfort in the truth # pain is all you'll find # i'm never gonna dance again. # but if you're looking for fast love # if that's love in your eyes. # let's go outside # in the sunshine # i know you want to but you can't say yes # let's go outside. # you smiled at me # likejesus to a child #. we will never tire of george
michael. let's get the latest on the weather. further north, lots of showers being driven in by storm conor. there was heavy and indeed wintry showers continue across scotland and with that, some very strong winds. we've already had a wind gust of 90 mph in shetland. the winds will ease off somewhat through the afternoon. further south, lighter winds. those temperatures well down on where they we re temperatures well down on where they were on christmas day. tonight into tomorrow, most showers fade away. some rain in the north of scotland. winds he will