Album: Britney Spears, Circus, (Jive)

Send in the clowns: Britney's back on top

Album: Britney Spears, Circus (Zomba/Sony)

It's anybody's guess how two such high-profile pop acts as Take That and Britney Spears came to release albums with the same title on the same day – especially as neither bothers to develop the circus theme to any extent, save for Spears's claim to be "the ringleader" in her title track, the latest admission of her pathological desire to be the centre of attention ("all eyes on me in the centre of the ring, just like a circus") that made last year's Blackout such a grisly, charmless car-crash experience.

Britney brings world tour to UK

Britney Spears today announced her world tour will hit the UK - with the only European shows on the circuit.

Madonna divorce: Not a penny for the Guy?

Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie are to be divorced tomorrow.

Katy Guest: Guy Ritchie and Madonna are to split but will we ever get the full story

Now, they are to divorce. Cue a frenzy of 'revelations'. The truth, though, is that no one else can really know what goes on behind closed doors.

Sarah Churchwell: Madonna, divorce, and the cost of turning into a commodity

People and relationships are increasingly transferable

Madonna and Ritchie confirm divorce

Pop star Madonna and her husband, the film director Guy Ritchie, confirmed today they are to divorce.

Britney Spears sex tape offered for sale

Britney Spears’ transformation from troubled starlet to credible pop icon took something of a detour today, with news that her ex-boyfriend is offering to sell a sex tape.

Stephen King: As Madonna and the banks know, when trust is lost it's time to say your prayers

What do a Madonna concert and a banking crisis have in common? Not much, you might think. But, as I sat through an excruciating performance of "Borderline" in Wembley Stadium on Thursday night, I realised that Madonna and mammon go together rather well. The common link is trust (or its loss).

The rebirth of Britney Spears

Gobbled up by her fame, rested in rehab. Has the hottest property in US pop got her life back on track?

Brand fails to conquer but Britney sweeps board at MTV awards

Britney Spears swept the board at MTV's Video Music Awards today, in an appearance that was hailed as a "resurrection" of her career.

Pandora: Guy's not talking Kabbalahs

Guy Ritchie hasn't been shy of late. Understandable, what with a new film out and his wife's world tour to promote. Still, there was one subject he was reluctant to discuss when chatting with Pandora: his erstwhile religion, Kabbalah.

Carola Long: Stop mocking Madonna

Weekend Arts: The pop star begins her British tour tonight. It's fashionable to knock her but, says Carola Long, her music, her fashions and her style helped an entire generation of women to grow up

Kabbalah is only thing saving Madonna's marriage, says brother

Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are treated as the "uncrowned king and queen" of Kabbalah, the mystical form of Judaism, and their shared faith is largely what has kept their marriage together until now. So claims her estranged brother Christopher in his book Life With My Sister Madonna, which will be published tomorrow.

Pandora: A challenger who could teach Davis a thing or two about terror

The result of the by-election in Haltemprice and Howden on Thursday looks like a foregone conclusion, with David Davis expected to regain his seat with a sound majority.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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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