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Childhood

My album of 2014: Some of pop world's biggest stars choose their favourite releases

We asked 24 stars  to choose their favourite records of the year and say why they hit the spot

Casting call: the team behind the popular ‘Serial’ podcast includes (from left) Dana Chivvis, Emily Condon, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass and Julie Snyder

Serial podcast finale: Mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

Simon Usborne finds out who's listening – and what to tune into now that Sarah Koenig has closed her case
The seven-disc 'Mozart a Paris' release

Handmade vinyl albums: Yours for £2,500

Pete Hutchison's latest handmade vinyl album costs a small fortune. It's all about the sound, he tells Chris Barrett

Rhys photographed last month on Southerndown Beach, near Bridgend in South Wales

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. He toured America with the puppet of a long-dead countryman. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure (because you'll wait a long time for the answer…)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Live (ish) at a venue near you: Are miming rock stars undermining the music experience?

The rock band that plays completely live, with no pre-recorded backing tracks or extended samples, is becoming rarer and rarer

The offspring: Jeff Tweedy with son Spencer

Keeping it in the family: Wilco's Jeff Tweedy on making an album with his son

Tweedy: 'I want to make a record that is universally accepted as the greatest thing that’s ever happened in music'

Enrique Iglesias performs on stage at the MTV EMAs 2014

Enrique Iglesias’s 'Bailando': Why did the global No 1 fail to trouble our top 50?

The worldwide hit crawled to No 75 in the UK chart

A visitor walks past one of the displays of Elvis

Elvis comes to the UK: The King is enshrined, forever young, as Graceland arrives over here

‘Largest retrospective ever in Europe’ offers everything from his first record to gold telephone – except images of Elvis’s early decline

Ed Sheeran is the most listened-to act in the world

Ed Sheeran: Boy next door who made it very big

The most popular act on Spotify is a red-haired 23-year-old from Hebden Bridge who looks more like a fan than a star

The all-girl band Warpaint

Girl power is back: A new wave is reigniting the fight against sexist attitudes in music

They’re not 'super-girly', nor are they rabidly feminist. They just want to be in a band, the way men can just be musicians without having to fight for it

Changing man: Billy Corgan

Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan interview: Hanging on in 'this dirty pop business'

'I had this interview in Paste magazine in 2005, when the journalist said: ‘I don’t understand what it is about people like you that had your success, and why you keep hanging on,’ and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m 37!’'

Tracey Emin's Brit Awards statue front and back

Tracey Emin's redesign of the Brit Awards statuette won't be winning any trophies itself

In Emin's design, Britannia rises up from her base like a hesitant bottle of mildly phallic, upmarket lavatory deodoriser, says Michael Glover

From Paul Weller to Janelle Monae, striking images show musicians before and after a gig

What do you get if you photograph Elbow, Janelle Monáe, The Prodigy and other performers the moment before a big gig and the moment after? The rock'n'roll effect…
Junior Giscombe with Mick Talboy and Jimmy Ruffin

Pharrell Williams pays homage to British soul trailblazer Junior Giscombe

Junior is launching The British Collective to promote under-appreciated black British artists

Dead smart: (from left) Matt Nicholls, Lee Malia, Oli Sykes, Jordan Fish, and Matt Kean of Bring Me the Horizon

Bring me the Horizon, interview: Could the band become the new Metallica?

Singer Oli Sykes: 'I guess we didn’t know how far the band would come along, but at the same time there are not many English bands that have of this kind of heaviness that have achieved it'

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories
comedy

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig, pictured here in Skyfall, is returning as James Bond for Spectre

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lorenzo Richelmy (L) and Zhu Zhu (R)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the records in contention for the coveted Christmas No 1 spot
musicNew system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Chancellor as Lucia and Miranda Richardson as Mapp, in the BBC’s new adaptation (C) BBC - Photographer: Nick Briggs)
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
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    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas