Arts and Entertainment

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

David Cameron to read a lesson at Margaret Thatcher's funeral

David Cameron is to do a reading at the funeral this week of Baroness Thatcher, it has emerged.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito (Interscope)

Album review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito (Interscope)

Album of the Week: Raw-boned rebel rockers with plenty of bite

Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

Album review: Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

There's a strange, archaic feel to the songs of head Messenger, MC Taylor, with their Biblical references and invocations to “cleave ye to the rock”.

That was close: Cassie Yukawa plays Bach at arm’s length from the audience

Classical review: The Memory of WT Stead - I've got that sinking feeling …

Five pianos went down with the 'Titanic' – a century later, Cassie Yukawa imagines we can hear them still

Album: Mount Moriah, Miracle Temple (Merge)

If Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire were a contestant on a TV talent show, she'd get this vote within half a second of opening her mouth.

Album: Boz Scaggs, Memphis (429 Records)

Recorded in Willie Mitchell's Royal Studio with an all-star band including Spooner Oldham, Willie Weeks and Ray Parker Jr, Memphis is a late-night delight.

Fatboy Slim plays the House of Commons for Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation in London, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Music review: Fatboy Slim's House of Commons rave is a surreal victory of sorts

It’s when Norman Cook slips a Guy Fawkes mask on while DJing in the House of Commons that dance culture can be said to have cheekily won its war with a parliament which once tried to ban it.

Matt Redman accepts his Grammy for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

Godly rockers get their own holy hit parade

They say the Devil gets all the best tunes, but God, it seems, is getting his own Top 10.

In with a prayer: Alessandro Brustenghi has a record deal

Sing unto the Lord a new pop song: First UK official Christian music chart launches

Franciscan Friar Alessandro sold the most albums in the Christian and gospel genre last year

Album: Kavinsky, Outrun (Mercury)

Kavinsky, aka Vincent Belorgey, is best known for "Nightcall", the impossibly magnificent, Daft Punk-produced slo-mo electro-disco theme from Drive.

Cecil Womack: Half of the husband-and-wife duo known for their soul hits of the 1980s

Cecil Womack: Half of the husband-and-wife duo known for their soul hits of the 1980s

Bobby Womack admitted he'd had an affair with Linda; the brothers did not speak for years

Album: Cody Chesnutt, Landing on a Hundred (One Little Indian)

You don't score any points for comparing Chesnutt to Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.

USA's Tiger Woods walks off the course as Europe celebrates their win at the Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup: A dose of Chicago blues for Tiger Woods at Medinah

Even the bookies are unhappy with Woods for sportingly handing Europe outright victory

With Good Timin', a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK

Jimmy Jones: The first black singer to have a UK million-selling hit

The most unlikely feature of rock'n'roll music was the prominence of falsetto singing whereby male singers mimicked female voices. It is prominent throughout the hit recordings of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison and Frankie Valli, and one of the first artists to exploit this sound was Jimmy Jones, who had international success with "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'" (both 1960). With "Good Timin'", a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK.

“Under the Westway” single was first played by Damon Albarn (pictured) and guitarist Graham Coxon in February

First Listen: Blur take to Twittersphere with debut of new songs

Blur last night debuted two new tracks in a live performance from a balcony at a secret London location.

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent