Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

The Wu-Tang Clan, seen here performing at the V festival in 2007, have announced two UK dates in July 2013

Enter The Wu-Tang Clan: Group announce dates for 20th anniversary UK shows

The Wu-Tang Clan are to reunite on stage in the UK this summer to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1993 debut album Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers).

Disunited in mourning: police fear Thatcher funeral may turn into security nightmare

Fears of civil disorder in capital as plans are revealed for partially state-funded ceremonial funeral, as MPs gather to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher

A reveller holds a sign to celebrate the death of Britain's former prime minister Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher death parties are not just mindless morbidity, they can be a community coming together

Everyone I spoke to in Brixton had a clear and political reason for being there

Hundreds gather in Glasgow, Liverpool and Brixton to 'celebrate' death of Margaret Thatcher

Hundreds of cheering people held parties to “celebrate” the death of Baroness Thatcher.

Officers held over Sean Rigg death in custody

Two serving and one retired Metropolitan Police officer were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Labour set to cut red tape strangling small business

The Labour Party will up its attempts to win over British business with a report this week that recommends vastly improved broadband access, establishing export hubs and cutting red tape.

British forward Luol Deng

Basketball: Luol Deng writes to Prime Minister over funding

Britain's NBA star pleads with David Cameron to restore funding to basketball

David Bowie: a man who has always rung the ch-ch-ch-changes

Today's announcement that reclusive rocker David Bowie is back in business years after the world assumed he had retired will not come as a shock to anyone who has followed his career.

Cineworld snaps up Picturehouse

The movie giant Cineworld has swallowed up the arthouse group Picturehouse, making its co-founder Lyn Goleby a multimillionaire.

Underwire: short film festival celebrates the talents of women

The Underwire festival opens this week in Brixton

12-year-old girl hit by Tube train in Brixton

A 12-year-old girl has been taken to hospital after being struck by a Tube train.

Teenagers on murder charge

A girl aged 14 and a boy aged 16 have appeared in court charged with the murder of a 15-year-old boy.

Trading places: Neighbours take back control

Local currencies – like the new Bristol pound – and skill swaps are giving communities a chance to sideline the big banks. Chiara Cavaglieri reports
Thousands of girls have been enthused by the successes of Team GB

Games winners inspire women to take up sport

Legacy hopes borne out by poll

Express delivery from Africa

African musicians take to Britain's railways

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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