John Mayer fights back over Taylor Swift's 'Dear John' track

Taylor Swift has never revealed her target in the scathing song "Dear John," but John Mayer is pretty sure it was about him — and he doesn't think that's cool.

Five-minute memoir: Helen Mort remembers being a fake bride

Iwas 16 when we sneaked into the bridal shop. I was wearing denim flares twice as big as my legs and a T-shirt with Kurt Cobain's face on it. I kept my hair in a bob so short the lads at school called me 'Harold'. As we approached the glass front door, passing under a sign that said 'Virgin Brides' in red and gold, my friend nodded at it and sniggered, "Ask them if you get a discount".

Shepherdess Emma Gray

How I wooed the lovelorn shepherdess

Emma Gray made headlines with a book chronicling her solitary life on a Northumberland farm miles from civilisation - and the opposite sex. So could Jonathan Brown be the answer to her prayers?

Windfall for founder as Yell buys Moonfruit

A London entrepreneur who was forced to sack staff at her website-making business in a bid to save money today sold it for up to £23 million.

Gemma Cairney: 'I'm really loud in public; I'm always bellowing something out '

I'm a total musical tart My playlist goes from Sam Cooke and Emeli Sandé to Maverick Sabre; it's a real pick and mix. But because I work in radio I now dedicate time each month to listen to an album from start to finish; I like the lyrical stories some tell, such as with Emeli Sandé's album [Our Version of Events], which I sing my heart out to on the [London] Underground.

Harriet Walker: I blame the psychotic gym teachers

As a pupil whose abilities lay very much beyond the sports pitch, I recall distinctly the contempt and cruelty with which I was treated by those in charge of my supposed physical wellbeing. The problem with sport in schools is that it's precisely that – not exercise, not health, not calisthenics, but sport. And sport is not for all.

In demand: Rupert Friend

'The only way to act is to be the person'

Several films and a high-profile romance shot Rupert Friend into the spotlight. These days, back on the London stage, he prefers a quieter life, he tells Charlotte Cripps

Meredith and her mother Arline

Family release photographs of Meredith Kercher

The family of Meredith Kercher have called on her killer to reveal what happened on the night of her death, as they release previously unpublished photographs of the murdered student.

Jones says: 'I'm fine with talking about my relationship with my father now because I feel like I don’t have anything to prove'

Her dark materials: How Norah Jones finally exorcised her demons

She survived sudden stardom to sell more than 40 million albums. Ten years on, she has finally got to know her famous father. So why are pain and heartbreak still providing the inspiration for pop music's mistress of alchemy?

Lana del Rey has a new video based on a depressed teenage girl, 'Carmen'

Trending: The Lana Del Rey way

After the glossy, big-budget music video for "Born To Die", Lana Del Rey has returned to the Instagram-esque promos that splice retro footage with sultry shots of the 25-year-old songstress that first caught our attention. The new video for "Carmen", which tells the story of a depressed teenage party girl, has an almost identical aesthetic to previous singles "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans". Want to make your own? Here's a LDR video checklist:

The Long Goodbye, By Meghan O'Rourke

When her mother died from cancer at the age of 53, American poet Meghan O'Rourke found that nothing prepared her for the intensity of her grief. Waking up in a world without her mother she says was "like waking up in a world without sky: unimaginable." O'Rourke's unsparing chronicle of her mother's death explains how it felt to travel from a place of safety to a more desolate shore.

Millionaire's daughter 'too scared to stop looters'

A millionaire's daughter who drove looters around while they robbed people at knifepoint during last year's riots told a court today she had been too scared to stop them.

'I was too scared to stop looters', says millionaire's daughter

A millionaire's daughter who drove looters around while they robbed people at knifepoint during last year's riots told a court today she had been too scared to stop them.

Anne Bass was victim of a terrifying raid led by Emanuel Nicolescu (pictured)

Butler headed gang that terrorised US socialite's family

The plot might have been plucked from a crime novel: a wealthy US socialite and her boyfriend were tied up by an armed gang, injected with a "lethal virus," and told that, without help, they would be dead within 24 hours.

The cast of Desperate Housewives – Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher and Nicollette Sheridan

The Desperate Housewife, the series creator and a court case stranger than fiction

Nicollette Sheridan was the British star of Marc Cherry's suburban soap opera. Now she's suing him for punching her in the head – and then sacking her

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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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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
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"