Arts and Entertainment

A music documentary that oozes irritating smugness

All the world's a stage

Live; WOMAD RIVERMEAD CENTRE READING

Pop: Songs of love and fish

SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL: ELIZA CARTHY, PADDY CASEY, PAINTING BOX RONNIE SCOTT'S BIRMINGHAM

Festival: womad

The World of Music Arts and Dance festival celebrates its 10th year at the Reading site with yet another strong line-up over the three days.

Comedy: Stand up for ken

After recent criticisms from luvvies, Tony Blair may be thinking of distancing himself from celeb endorsements, but Ken Livingstone has no such problems. Famous people appear to be queuing up to back his campaign to be allowed to stand for the post of Mayor of London. He certainly has the comedy glitteratti turning out in force for a benefit - entitled "Stand Up For Ken" - this week. A most impressive bill, comprising Jo Brand, Phill Jupitus (right), Arthur Smith, Kevin Day and Gina Yashere, is complemented by a special treat, a performance by the original agit-prop troubadour himself, Billy Bragg.

`Support me' campaign by Livingstone

KEN LIVINGSTONE seized the initiative in his bid to become Mayor of London yesterday when he launched a high-profile public campaign to persuade Tony Blair to allow him to stand as Labour candidate.

Pop: billy bragg

It made sense for the daughter of socialist folkie Woody Guthrie to ask our own political troubadour Billy Bragg to set a bunch of her late father's lyrics to music. The resulting Mermaid Avenue album was a gem. On tour, he'll be combining Guthrie numbers with some of his own, as well as championing "the cause", this time the GMB campaign to include young people in the minimum wage set-up. Support comes from quirky popsters and fellow Essex boys Hefner.

Pop: I put you on a pedestal, you revive my career

BILLY BRAGG & THE BLOKES RIVERSIDE

Interview: Billy Bragg - Changing the world and getting a life

As Nineties stars finally embrace politics (see left), a mellow, 40-year-old Billy Bragg is happy to let a new generation do the tub-thumping, writes Karen O'Brien

Revelations; The army made a man of me; Billy Bragg, Acton, 1981

EVERY MORNING on my way to a casual job, Artexing a ceiling for a mate, I had to walk past the Army Recruiting Centre in Acton and it seemed to beckon me in. I knew my destiny lay through those doors. I was 23 years old, punk had been and gone and come to nothing. It was a great disappointment because I thought we were going to change the world: the Clash by playing songs and me by going to Clash gigs.

Arts: Down the A13 via Route 66

It could be a recipe for disaster: Essex man sets US folk icon's lyrics to music. But has Woody Guthrie found a soul mate in Billy Bragg?

Pop: Win tickets for Mean Fiddler 15th Birthday gigs

Over the last 15 years, the Mean Fiddler has grown from one small venue in Harlesden to an organisation encompassing nine live music venues, including the Forum, the Garage, and the Jazz Cafe; three clubs, and festivals including Phoenix , Reading and Tribal Gathering.

Star `dies', is revived and then has to face Chris Evans

The sentiments expressed by the "TF" in Chris Evans' TFI Friday show last night had never been more appropriate.

The Shane of it all

Shane MacGowan's influence on Irish music cannot be overestimated according to a documentary on BBC2 tonight. Not bad, says James Rampton, for the singer, right, once described as 'sordid, rowdy and vulgar'

Lord Booker and his prize: the plot thickens

Yesterday I brought you an extract from Arnold Feeney's new novel, Battle for the Booker, which is better than a Booker hopeful - it is actually about the Booker Prize itself! Such has been the enormous welcome that I am bringing you a second extract today.

The raving youngsters' groovy parties

Clubs are standing candidates to get the youth vote, says Alister Morgan
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
peopleAnti-LGBT campaigner Vitaly Milonov suggested Tim Cook could bring 'Aids or gonorrhea' to Russia
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Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
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Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
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Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'