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On this day: December 16

Today’s birthdays

Tony Hicks, rock guitarist (The Hollies), 74

Benny Andersson (pictured), musician (Abba), 73

Christopher Biggins, TV personality, 71

Joel Garner, former cricketer, 67

Benjamin Bratt, actor, 56

Dennis Wise, former footballer, 53

Joe Absolom, actor, 41

Zara Larsson, singer, 22

It happened today…

1653: Oliver Cromwell made himself Lord Protector, becoming an uncrowned ruler for the next four years.

1773: The Boston Tea Party, in which Samuel Adams and 150 ‘Sons of Liberty’ protested against British taxes on tea and other goods, took place.

1775: Novelist Jane Austen, whose works include Emma and Pride And Prejudice, was born in Steventon, Hampshire.

1850: The first immigrant ship, the Charlotte Jane, arrived at Lyttelton, New Zealand.

1899: Noel Coward (above), playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, producer and director, was born in Teddington, Middlesex.

1929: The first all-talking feature film was made in Britain. The Clue Of The New Pin featured young actor John Gielgud as the villain.

1937: The first performance was held in London of Noel Gay’s Me And My Girl, which introduced The Lambeth Walk.

2010: Rare first editions of Ian Fleming’s James Bond spy books sold for almost £30,000 at auction, with Casino Royale fetching £19,000.

Quote of the day

‘I’m ecstatic to tell you that I’ll be headlining Glastonbury on its 50th anniversary — see you there!’ — Singer Taylor Swift (pictured)

Thought for the day

‘Colours are the smiles of nature’ — Poet Leigh Hunt