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In brief: Huge plans for Heritage Week

Historic buildings across the country will throw their doors open to the public over the coming days in a major celebration of Irish heritage.

Organisers of National Heritage Week are expecting a record 370,000 people to take part in over 1,400 events.

Attractions include learning how the 1916 Proclamation was printed at the National Print Museum, exploring lighthouses along the coast and a medieval weapons display in Co Donegal.

The programme runs until August 28, and the majority of events are free to attend.

Full event listings are available on www.heritageweek.ie.

Soap door left open for Essex

BBC bosses say they are going to keep an "open door" for a possible return to EastEnders when David Essex finishes his stint on the show.

The singer and actor will leave the soap in October, four months after beginning his run as Eddie Moon.

Essex -- whose chart hits include Rock On and Hold Me Close -- has long planned to tour his musical All The Fun Of The Fair from next month, following a West End run. A spokeswoman for EastEnders said: "As has always been planned, David was only going to be in EastEnders for a specific amount of time, but the door has been left open."

Frozen corpse of mammoth

A reindeer herder in Russia's Arctic has stumbled on the pre-historic remains of a baby woolly mammoth poking out of the permafrost, local officials said.

The herder said the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old mammoth calf Lyuba discovered in the same remote region four years ago, authorities said, adding that an expedition had set off hoping to confirm the "sensational" find.