Unlucky star: Madonna - A £300m split?

It always looked like an unlikely pairing: the queen of pop and the laddish British film director. Now, it seems, the marriage of Madonna and Guy Ritchie may be over

Album: Madonna, Hard Candy (Warner)

For the record, I'm neither ageist nor a prude. But when, four tracks into Madonna's 11th studio album 'Hard Candy', the 49-year-old Queen of Pop starts monotonously cooing "see my booty get down" while Pharrell Williams pants desperately over the top, my immediate reaction is sheer, hair-standing-on-end embarrassment.

Har Mar Superstar, Komedia, Brighton

"I just want you to know I'm made of booze and MDMA," warns Har Mar Superstar. "And the MDMA was an accident..."

Album: The Gutter Twins, Saturnalia (Sub Pop)

Greg Dulli is best known for playing the homme fatal in the Afghan Whigs and the Twilight Singers.

First Night: Filth and Wisdom, Berlin Film Festival, Berlin

Madonna's first foray into directing falls flat

Material girls: Madonna's cool £36m sees her top chart of high-earning women musicians

What do the following women have in common: Barbra Streisand and Christina Aguilera? Beyoncé and Mariah Carey? Celine Dion and Shakira?

Troubled Britney taken from home in ambulance

Britney Spears was taken from her home by ambulance early today, police in Los Angeles said.

My First Job: Former Python Michael Palin was a pop-show presenter

'I played a piano while Arthur Mullard smashed it up'

Nyet! The Madonna of Moscow says our pop stars are rubbish

So Valeriya wants to show them how it's done. With 100m sales and Putin as a fan, she may have a chance

Pandora: Heaven knows I'm Middle Eastern now

Shake your robes! Three weeks ago, there came news that the heavy-eyebrowed balladeer Chris de Burgh will perform in Iran this summer with local pop group Arian making him the first Western artist to take to a stage in the country since the 1979 revolution.

Racing: Rob Roy fighting fit to reward legions of loyal followers

The vernacular of the Turf gives uncommon meaning to everyday words. "A good thing", for instance, specifically denotes a horse that cannot be beaten in a particular race. As Wordsworth said, however: "Of good things none are good enough."

The Soviet paradise where a moral majority still rules

<preform>Swearing is banned, nightclubs close at 10pm, and Valentine's Day has been replaced by a wholesome Christian festival. Andrew Osborn </b></i>reports from Belgorod, a Russian town where the values of the 1950s live on</preform>

Yusuf Islam wins damages against Murdoch papers

Yusuf Islam, the pop star formerly known as Cat Stevens, has been awarded "substantial damages" by two national newspapers who alleged he had supported terrorism.

The Dears, Concorde 2, Brighton

The Dears prove their true worth

This superhuman woman deserves praise

Ellen has one quality that will never endear her to a male-dominated press - she doesn't conform to stereotypes
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable