Things to look forward to in 2017

Andy Murray will defend his Wimbledon title in June.
Andy Murray will defend his Wimbledon title in June.
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Plenty of us, it’s fair to say, will be glad to see the back of 2016. It has been quite a year, to say the least, and it will live long in the memory.

In the past 12 months, we’ve said goodbye to icons David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Muhammad Ali,

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and there were big break-ups in the form of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, and, er, Brangelina.

As the old saying goes, it’s out with the old and in with the new, and there’s plenty to look forward to in 2017.

Music lovers will be spoiled in the first few months of the year with several big releases.

In January, there’s the third album from Mercury Prize-winning trio The XX, plus newies from The Flaming Lips, Tinie Tempah, Fergie and Iggy Azalea.

Big-hitters like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry all have new releases planned for 2017, while there will be much furore around the solo debuts from Liam Gallagher and Harry Styles.

Film buffs will have plenty of opportunities to eat popcorn, too, with a slew of blockbusters coming to the big screen in 2017.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in La La Land, which is out on January 13, Renton (Ewan McGregor), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) are back, 20 years later, in the sequel to Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting (January 27), and Mr Grey will see you now... well, in February actually, when Fifty Shades Darker, the second installment in the Fifty Shades series, is set to be a huge Valentine’s hit.

Far and away the biggest films of the year, however, will be the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, which stars Emma Watson (March), Spider-Man: Homecoming, with Tom Holland as the web-slinging superhero (July), and Star Wars: Episode VIII (December), which is shrouded in mystery at the moment but guaranteed to go stratospheric at the worldwide box office.

Technology-wise, 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, and gadget-lovers will be dying to get their hands on the forthcoming iPhone 8, which is expected to be Apple’s biggest launch in years.

A release date is as-yet-unknown, but Apple traditionally releases its latest iPhone in the first two weeks of September, in good time for the start of the Christmas shopping season.

That said, if the company is feeling particularly nostalgic about its big anniversary bash, it may opt for June 29 - the same day the first iPhone appeared.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 are also expected in 2017, with the former already one of the most highly-anticipated releases among tech heads.

As ever, it’s a busy year for sport, with the African Cup of Nations kicking off in Gabon on January 14, the Champions League final taking place at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on June 3, and the British Open golf championship returning to Royal Birkdale on July 20 among the highlights.

And let’s not forget good old Andy Murray, who will be out to defend his Wimbledon title at the All England Club from July 13.