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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Here's to a year of cheer: The Sun's forward planner for a fun-packed 2012, including the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and European Championship

Highlights include the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee lighting up our lives, as well as England's footballers going for glory in the European Championship.

LEE PRICE and ANDREW SNELL pick the events to look forward to in a fun-packed year.

13 Steven Spielberg's movie War Horse is released. Based on the Michael Morpurgo book, it is hotly tipped to clean up at the Oscars.

23 Chinese New Year marks the start of the Year Of The Dragon, with festivities planned across the UK.

30 Sexy New Yorker Lana Del Rey finally delivers her hotly anticipated album Born To Die.

7 The world marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

12 The Baftas are held at London's Royal Opera House to celebrate the best of film and television.

13 Noel Gallagher's post-Oasis band High Flying Birds kick off their UK tour in Manchester.

21 Brit Awards held at London's 02 Arena, hosted by James Corden. The Sun's food critic Alex James will be performing at the event with Blur bandmates as they collect the Outstanding Contribution award.

25 X Factor tours UK with arena shows starting in Manchester and ending in Cardiff on April 6.

26 Carling Cup final at Wembley.

26 The 84th Oscars at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

29 Leap Day.

3 Proposed date for David Haye's return to boxing. He is in negotiations to fight WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko, whose brother Wladimir beat Haye last year.

3 The first ever World Pasty Championships will be held at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

10 International Day of Awesomeness to coincide with Chuck Norris's birthday. The martial arts legend turns 72 this year.

23-25 Sport Relief.

26 Leona Lewis releases her third album, Glass Heart.

TBC Madonna's new album is also set for release in March.

14 The Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool ? with a nation of punters taking on the bookies.

21 UK Championship winner Judd Trump is one of the hot favourites as the boys head to Sheffield's famous Crucible Theatre for the World Snooker Championship.

22 Get your running shoes on ? it's the London Marathon. Thousands will take on the 26-mile and 385-yard course, many for charity.

5 The 131st FA Cup final, at Wembley.

9 The Europa League final at National Stadium in Bucharest, Romania.

17-21 England's cricketers take on the West Indies at Lord's in the first of three Test matches.

18 Opening of Sacha Baron Cohen's movie The Dictator.

19 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Arsenal or Chelsea may be there.

25 Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite for Men In Black III ? 15 years after the release of the first film.

29 Coldplay start their arena tour in Coventry.

1 Cotswold Olimpick Games in Chipping Campden, Gloucs ? reviving the spirit of Ancient Greece ? celebrates its 400th anniversary.

2 Celebrations start for the Diamond Jubilee extended Bank Holiday weekend. The pageant on June 3 will see a flotilla of up to 1,000 boats on the Thames. There is a concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4.

4 Cheese-rolling festival sees daredevils race down Cooper's Hill, Gloucs, chasing an 8lb cheese.

8-10 Heavy metal rock festival Download at Donington Park, Leics, celebrates its tenth birthday with headline sets from The Prodigy, Metallica and the original line-up of Black Sabbath.

11 England kick off their Euro 2012 campaign against France. Ireland begin their campaign a day earlier.

15 Game two as Fabio Capello's men take on Sweden.

19 Final group game for England as they face Ukraine. Wayne Rooney is available after his ban.

21 London 2012 Festival until September 9, with hundreds of things to see, from comedy and music to art and fashion.

23/24 Potential quarter-final dates should England reach the knockout stages of Euro 2012.

25 The beginning of Wimbledon 2012. Once again, British hopes of a tennis champ rest squarely on Andy Murray's shoulders, though Laura Robson could spring a few surprises.

28 Euro 2012 semi-final.

30 The Tour de France begins in Liege, Belgium. British cycle star Mark Cavendish will be looking to retain the highly prized green jersey for sprinters.

1 Euro 2012 final.

4 Eagerly awaited release of The Amazing Spider-Man. Brit Andrew Garfield takes on the role of Peter Parker.

8 Rihanna plays her only UK show of the year with a headlining slot at the Barclaycard Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park.

15-22 Golf's Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancs. Our stars ? including world No1 Luke Donald, US Open winner Rory McIlroy and reigning champ Darren Clarke ? will have high hopes.

20 The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, hits UK cinemas.

27 The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

5 In case you need an excuse to nip down to the pub on a summer evening, just say you are celebrating International Beer Day.

5 The showpiece event of the Olympics ? the men's 100m final.

22 TV funnyman Michael McIntyre takes to the road with his biggest tour ever. The comic will travel to 11 cities and perform 58 shows by December 3.

TBC The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to tour Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Malaysia and Singapore as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

19 Shiver your timbers and break out the rum for International Talk Like A Pirate Day. It is celebrated in more than 40 countries, with many fans dressing up for the occasion.

21 Elton John is set to headline an event to celebrate International Peace Day, with organisers campaigning for a global truce.

25 Golf's Ryder Cup tees off. The weekend takes place in Medinah, Illinois, with Europe ? led by captain Jose Maria Olazabal for the first time ? looking to retain the cup.

14 World Conker Championships.

24 Analogue TV signal ends. The digital switch-over will be complete, with Northern Ireland the last place to be disconnected from the 80-year-old transmission technology.

26 New James Bond movie Skyfall premieres in London with Daniel Craig in his third 007 outing.

1-30 Movember kicks off again, with blokes all over the world growing a moustache to raise awareness about men's health issues.

6 Presidential election in the US, with Barack Obama standing for a second term in the White House.

24 International Buy Nothing Day, a global protest against consumerism encouraging people not to spend.

14 The Hobbit movie is released. The Lord Of The Rings prequel stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom ? among others ? return.

21 The end of the world ? at least according to some conspiracy theorists. The date marks the end of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar, which some say can only mean doom.

TBC: You've only just seen the back of them but you can already look forward to the finals of next year's X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

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