“It’s small, isn’t it?” Elton John ponders, looking around the theatre he associates with the showbiz pinnacle that was TV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium, half a century ago. He finds himself treading its boards aged 66 to film a TV special, built around being handed the first Brits Icons award, and the release of The Diving Board, his most consistently creative work since at least Songs from the West Coast in 2001, and perhaps even the run of seven planet-conquering 1970s albums which are the real reason we’re all here at all.
Pop music producer Pete Waterman is a surprise inclusion on a new taskforce set up to maximise the economic benefits of the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project.
Garden guru Chris Beardshaw is recommending a new technique for bigger blooms - blast your plants with heavy metal.
Forget about “Ding Dong! the Witch is Dead”, today marks the 60th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite song “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” topping the charts.
Our writer is sceptical about those who find it easy to be happy
As the BBC recreates the pairing of Bailey and The Shrimp, Mike Higgins recalls meetings that defined the decade
Does all modern music sound the same to you? Do you hanker for the days when rock stars knew how to be rock stars? Does the sight of teenagers with their trousers at half-mast make your spleen explode? Have you – though you swore it would never happen – finally morphed into your parents? If so, perhaps it's time to embrace the inexorable slide towards an old age of liquidised ready-meals and Antiques Roadshow.
Cold Mirrors collects the short stories of acclaimed author CJ Lines for the first time. From the beauty regime of a Victorian drag queen to the dangers of conducting ritual magic on Twitter, these tales traverse the centuries and take a dark, slanted look at hidden realities that lurk beneath the surface of the mundane. Alternately horrifying, heartbreaking and hilarious, Cold Mirrors is an extraordinary collection of stories that will haunt you long after the final page is turned.
Very few of the first British pop stars had a sultry, moody image: like Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard, they were eager to please. In Cliff Richard's band, the Shadows, though, there was a skilled and cantankerous bass player, Jet Harris. His presence gave them a rough edge and Harris continued with this persona, which was the real thing, once he was sacked from the group and had become a solo star.
A conference finds unlikely fascination in bus routes, breakfasts, car parks, and even in the humble pint of milk. Susie Mesure at the Boring Conference, London.
Tito Burns was an accordionist and bandleader who found success in the 1940s and then became a noted agent, manager and impresario with Cliff Richard, the Searchers, the Zombies, Victor Borge and Sacha Distel among his clients. His attitude was to "take it while you can as it might not be there tomorrow" and his wheeling and dealing was filmed in 1965 by DA Pennebaker for the Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back. He was satirised as "Tito Bums" by the Goodies.
As The Beatles' former studio faces closure, leading figures in music tell Mark Jewsbury what they think is the best album ever recorded there
Two ageing Sixties rockers, whose much-parodied rock band, Status Quo, is said to have been the inspiration for the classic spoof documentary This is Spinal Tap, have been awarded OBEs for their charity gigs.
People forget we were a rock'n'roll band and we still are," Cliff maintains. Tonight, it appears it's only rock'n'roll, and, well, Sir Cliff likes it.
In the current hubbub over the Beatles, the reunion of Cliff and the Shadows may have been overlooked, despite representing an even more venerable anniversary of 50 years since their first chart appearance.