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Swearing is banned, nightclubs close at 10pm, and Valentine's Day has been replaced by a wholesome Christian festival.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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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk