Jermain raises his voice

THE revolving chairs are back, with Olly Murs joining, Jennifer Hudson and Sir Tom Jones on the coaching panel of The Voice UK. Last Saturday (6 January) the first contestants to appear on the new series of the ITV competition took to the stage. Facing the backs of the chairs, they sang their audition pieces and hoped that their vocal talent would be enough to convince at least one coach to turn round and choose them. Up for grabs for the series winner is a recording contract.

Dodging the plastic bullet

AS people celebrated the start of the new year across the globe, China introduced a ban on imports of plastic waste. That ban in a country more than 4,000 miles away will have a significant impact in the United Kingdom.

About half a million tonnes of plastic waste are shipped out of the UK every year, and environmental groups and recycling organisations are warning that previously recycled products will now end up in landfill sites.

The UK Recycling Association has already said that plastic waste is building up at recycling yards.

Doctor prescribes freedom in Africa

‘BE generous with your lives,’ Jesus told his followers. ‘By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in Heaven’ (Matthew 5:16 The Message).

In this series we will look at the lives of men and women who took up that challenge and, through their actions, made a difference in other people’s lives.

Watch and learn

EMELI SANDÉ has one, Phillip Schofield has one, Pharrell Williams has one, as do many other entertainers and influential figures. But there’s a big question at the heart of this cool, charitable cause.

‘Why watches?’ I ask William Adoasi as we sit in his offices and talk about the birth of Vitae London.

New year, new potential

I AM in the process of moving to the United Kingdom and am looking forward to spending the first few months of 2018 settling into life in London. Ahead of me are a new job, a new team of people to work with, new places to visit and new friends to make. It is all very exciting and just a little overwhelming. The unknown can be daunting.

Charities Unite To End Homelessness

Cardiff Bus Project

Making a song and dance of the Nativity!

 IT’S the most wonderful time of the year. But while the kids at St Bernadette’s Primary School are getting in the festive spirit, their teacher Mr Maddens is feeling it’s all humbug. He hates Christmas, so it’s with great reluctance that he takes on the challenge of directing the school play. That’s the backdrop to Nativity! The Musical, which is being staged at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

We're almost there

ON 3 August 1955, Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot received its London pre­miere. It was a milestone in British theatre and also in the life of its young director, Peter Hall. Many years later, Sir Peter explained that for him the play had ‘turned waiting into something dramatic’.

He went on to say that waiting had become a ‘metaphor for living. What are we actually liv­ing for, what are we waiting for … will Godot come … will something come to explain why we’re here and what we’re doing.’