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Kercher have called on her killer to reveal what happened on the night of her death, as they release previously unpublished photographs of the murdered student.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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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick