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Swearing is banned, nightclubs close at 10pm, and Valentine's Day has been replaced by a wholesome Christian festival.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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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London