Life and Style

Former bodybuilding champion Jim Morris still has an amazing physique, which he credits to his veganism

And the ban played on

Why should the Criminal Justice Act have the only say on what sort of music is out of bounds? Jonathan Sale finds out which beats should be muffled

`What, this little number? Isn't it Absolutely Fabulous? I hired it'

I'm standing in a packed room. People are sampling canapes and knocking back champagne. There is a hum of small talk as waitresses edge between guests. I scan the room for someone I recognise. My eyes fix on a dress - a long silk and velvet evening gown that seems familiar. It is black with tight cuffs and split sleeves, Thirties style. I head across the room towards the tall young woman wearing it. She is standing with a glass of wine in her hand, looking bored. "Where did you get that dress? It's great," I say. "It's a Poirot from the TV series with David Suchet," she replies. "I hired it. But don't let on where it came from."

REVIEW : A shot of Gobbledegookamine for weary viewers

Cardiac Arrest (BBC1), back for a second series, appears to have lost none of its lavatorial scorn. "Phil," said Claire Maitland in the first episode, briefing a new recruit, "you work in a pool of excrement - your job is to swim for the shallow end." Last week the metaphor was stood on its end - "You find that as you climb the ladder the droppings from above just get a bit warmer," observed one of the National Health Service's walking wounded, after an encounter with the hospital manager (boo, hiss). By a coincidence of scheduling, you can compare this peculiarly British account of a health system going down the toilet with an American equivalent, ER, set in the emergency room of a public hospital.

A weekly scrape along the bottom of the pop culture barrel

The sound of the city is. . . grunge? No. Garage? Please. The New Pop? Think again. Reggae? Get real.

Is this a record: Fifteen weeks at number one, the best selling single in Britain this decade, 'Love is all around' has been around to a historical degree. But spare a thought for Wet Wet Wet, four newly very rich boys from Glasgow. Can they ever go home again, asks Simon Garfield

'We thought people were beginning to hate us,' said Tommy Cunningham, 30, the drummer with Wet Wet Wet. 'We feared people would hear that song again and start jumping off tall buildings.'

POP / Secrets of staying single: Why has an old Troggs tune been No 1 for three months? Nicholas Barber reports

HOW PROPHETIC those lyrics seem: 'There's no beginning, there'll be no end.' Today we find out if Wet Wet Wet's 'Love is All Around' is at No 1 for the 15th week running. Already it's been there so long that people are starting to think it's the signature tune of Top of the Pops. Another week and it will equal Bryan Adams's '(Everything I Do) I Do It for You' as the single with the most consecutive weeks at No 1 in the British chart. The inevitable question is, Why why why? What makes a record a record-breaker?

Bunhill: Thanks, but take a break till 2003

THE Captain was much taken with the threat by George Michael to record no more music until 2003 and the end of his desperately disputed contract with Sony, and got to thinking about silencing other singers. Time for a Captain Moonlight Straw Poll. And so, after assiduous questioning of a very patient sample, I present my list of People We'd Rather Not Hear Until 2003: 1 Rod Stewart 2 Bjork 3 Michael Bolton 4 Take That 5 Max Bygraves 6 Boy George 7 Bad Boys Inc 8 Bryan Adams 9 Cleo Laine 10 John Major 11 Jean Michel Jarre 12 Cliff Richard.

ROCK / Not even star of his own band

THE TITLE of Bryan Adams' compilation album, So Far So Good, says a lot. Despite spending almost a third of 1991 at No 1 with '(Everything I Do) I Do it for You', Adams is still pretending a wheel could fall off any minute. His appearance at Wembley Arena was all about this strange contrast between phenomenal record sales and self-effacing blokedom.

Ninth record in a row for PolyGram: Strength in North America and Far East offsets flat European trading

BRYAN ADAMS' album So Far So Good sold nearly seven million copies in six weeks to help PolyGram, the Dutch multimedia entertainment business, to its ninth successive record result.

Alpert and Moss play out at A&M Records: End of an era as co-founders resign three years after PolyGram bought firm

THE music business saw the end of an era yesterday with the resignation of the legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert and his colleague Jerry Moss from A&M Records, the company they established in 1962.

RADIO / The new pilots of the airwaves: Sabine Durrant visited the Soho studios of Virgin Radio as Britain's new national station prepared for today's launch

The man from Fast Lane magazine leans back into his leather jacket, runs his fingers through his short-cropped hair, and smiles. He's just been pitched by John Pearson, sales director of Virgin Radio, and he likes what he's heard. The station has the right profile (national, with the exception of odd hilly areas like the Grampians - 'so no sheep'), the right age group (25-44 - 'too old for ram-raiders'), the right sounds (classic album rock). When his company, Perry Motor Press, releases their new car mag in the autumn ('Did I say autumn?' he says, coquettishly) they'll seriously consider advertising. You can tell. For one thing, before he leaves the boardroom he and Pearson have spent five fascinating minutes discussing a particular back issue of Supercar (the one about old Jaguars). It makes you wonder: is Virgin Radio going to be anything more than a station for middle-of-the-road car bores?

ROCK / It's top of the flops: Lloyd Bradley shakes the tree and dislodges ten myths about the seasonal pop chart

THE Christmas No 1 is assumed to be a kind of Holy Grail for the people who release singles - unattainable to all but a select few singing exactly the right song. The Yuletide No 1 slot is also thought to bring in its wake all sorts of cash and career benefits. But does it? And does being at the top at Christmas really mean anything to anybody other than easily excited Radio 1 DJs?

For once, a genuine hit tops the charts

TONIGHT, Radio 1 will unveil the Christmas number one. This year there is little suspense - Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' has been number one since 29 November and is outselling the current number two, 'Heal The World' by Michael Jackson, by two to one.

Pop's long-player records social change: The music charts are 40 years old next month. David Lister examines their history and hears the argument that they have become devalued

FORTY years ago next month, the New Musical Express decided to publish a chart listing the top-selling records in Britain over the previous week. Al Martino, an American balladeer with short-back-and-sides and a cheesy grin, grabbed a niche in social history with the first number-one record.

Pop memorabilia sale

A model in Madonna's basque posing beside a guitar 14ft long and 5ft high (4.3 metres by 1.5) which was used in a pop video by Bryan Adams. The basque and guitar will be among pop memorabilia to be sold at Sotheby's next Thursday. Harrison Ford's hat from Raiders of the Lost Ark and a 'flame thrower' from Aliens are also in the sale
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

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Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

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Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

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Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

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Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

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Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

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Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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