Arts and Entertainment

“Say ‘hola’ to la luna,” says Damon Albarn, turning thousands of heads towards the full moon that is casting its beautiful glow, adding to a magical atmosphere.

Album: Graham Coxon, The Spinning Top (Transgressive)

On previous solo outings, Graham Coxon's penchant for lo-fi American indie-rock and a rather solipsistic, self-pitying worldview has somewhat hobbled his ability to develop significantly as an artist.

The Five Minute Interview: Dave Rowntree, musician

Dave Rowntree, 44, is best known as the drummer from Britpop band Blur. He joined the band in 1989, playing with them throughout the 90s and early 2000s. Late last year the band ended their period of hiatus and announced a series of summer 2009 concerts. Outside of Blur, Dave is known for his political activism, his animation, and also for his involvement in the Beagle II mission to Mars. Dave is currently studying to become a solicitor and is supporting the Science: So What? So Everything campaign challenging apathy towards science. direct.gov.uk/sciencesowhat.

Stage to page: Has Luke Haines written the great pop masterpiece?

Luke Haines is the latest Britpop survivor to perpetrate a book. In memoir and fiction, musicians and writers hunt the great pop masterpiece. Jonathan Gibbs wonders if anyone ever will find it

Blur are back as Albarn and Coxon make up

Britpop group bury the hatchet seven years after guitarist quit

Alex James: It's park life, but not as you'd imagine it

Rural Notebook

Blur to reunite for gig in the park

Blur are getting back together, it was confirmed on their their website today. All four members of the band will play a concert in London's Hyde Park next summer.

Alex James: Cows are cooler than aeroplanes

Rural Notebook

Make Me A Maestro: Alex James goes to Baton Camp

As Alex James competes to become a conductor in a new BBC reality show, he and his mentor talk to John Elmes

Pandora: Guess who's coming to dinner?

Cheesemaker Alex James has pencilled in an unusual dinner guest: the Colombian Vice-President. The Blur bassist turned Independent columnist, who for years stuffed marching powder up his toot, went to the wartorn state to film a Panorama about the cocaine industry and the associated kidnappings, landmines, refugees and habitat destruction.

Open Eye: Hirst and Blur back Beagle2

Artist Damien Hirst has joined musicians from the band Blur in backing Beagle2, the Mars lander championed by Professor Colin Pillinger of the OU's Planetary Sciences Research Institute.

Lonely hearts let bridge do the trick

SO HOW do you think Radiohead and Blur pass those long hours on the tour bus? No, it's not drugs, nor sex, not even over-consumption of vodka. The lads like nothing better than a rubber of bridge.

Arts: Pop: Back on song

BLUR BBC HIPPODROME THEATRE LONDON

Open Eye: ESA gives green light to Beagle 2

The European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light to Beagle 2, the British Mars lander vehicle being developed by a consortium led by the OU's Professor Colin Pillinger. The decision came at a meeting in Paris in November, when ESA also approved the European mission, Mars Express, which will carry Beagle 2 to the planet in 2004. Beagle's mission is to search for evidence of extra-terrestrial life, and its payload will include miniaturised scientific instruments designed and built by the Planetary Sciences Research Institute team at the OU.

Killing Britpop, then kicking the corpse

Are Blur the new Sex Pistols? Yes, if their punked-up, perversely uncommercial Newcastle gig was anything to go by; ROCK
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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