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On this day: December 27

Today’s birthdays

Christopher Benjamin, actor, 84

Janet Street-Porter, broadcaster, 72

Gerard Depardieu, actor, 70

Duncan Ferguson, former footballer, 47

David Knopfler, musician, 66

Gilles Simon, French tennis player, 34

Salman Khan, Bollywood actor, 53

David Dunn, former footballer, 39

Hayley Williams (pictured), Paramore singer, 30

Polly Toynbee, journalist and writer, 72

Simon King, naturalist, cameraman and broadcaster, 56

It happened today…

1822:Louis Pasteur, chemist and bacteriologist, was born in Dole, France.

1831: Admiralty survey ship HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, set out from Plymouth on a scientific voyage around the world, which led to Darwin writing his controversial Origin Of Species.

1901:Marlene Dietrich (pictured below), German actress who starred in The Blue Angel, was born.

1904: The first performance of James Barrie’s Peter Pan took place at the Duke of York’s theatre in London.

1927:Broadway staged the first performance of Show Boat by Jerome Kern, at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

1945: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established in Washington.

1965: The Sea Gem oil rig collapsed in the North Sea — 13 died.

1978:Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1985:Arab terrorists killed 12 people in attacks on El-Al check-in desks at Rome and Vienna airports.

Quote of the day

‘Crouchy, how did you bag Abbey?’ — Footballer Peter Crouch recalls what the Duke of Sussex asked him about his wife Abbey Clancy

Thought for the day

‘I’m an eternal realist and the success rate for being an actor is pretty low’ — Actor Tom Hiddleston