Arts and Entertainment

Sometimes, even the most hardened doubters of Gary Barlow’s MOR entertainer schtick have had to concede that he can write ’em. Cynics can relax, though, because no such concessions are required for his first solo album since 1999, which falls below Barlow’s best – “Patience”, “Rule the World” – at just the point when he needed to up his game.

Sam Bailey sings

The X Factor takes a patriotic twist with Sam Bailey covering The Beatles for British week

Who will be leaving the competition tomorrow?

Steve McClaren got off to a winning start with Derby over Leeds

Derby County 3 Leeds United 1 match report: Magical Steve McClaren lifts mood at Derby

New manager gets off to a winning start after midweek speech worked wonders

Paul Collingwood of Durham bats during the LV County Championship division one match between Yorkshire and Durham

The Light Roller: Stay alert for a classic Championship climax

The diary of a cricket obsessive

Album review: Kodaline, In a Perfect World (B-Unique)

An Irish quartet with sights clearly set on the world's stadiums, Kodaline offer a musical barometer of bankable current rock trends, but display scant originality on this debut album.

Singer Alison Moyet is to be honoured at annual music event the Silver Clef Awards.

Alison Moyet to receive 'icon award' at Silver Clef Awards 2013

Singer Alison Moyet is to be honoured at annual music event the Silver Clef Awards.

Jamie Cullum, Momentum (Island)

Album review: Jamie Cullum, Momentum (Island)

Jamie Cullum's first album for Island may be his best. It certainly goes beyond his retro-jazz comfort zone, with piercing electric organ and electric piano lending a vibrant, visceral edge to several songs.

Chris Martin of Coldplay performing in Melbourne last November

Are Coldplay's lachrymose ballads really better than The Beatles? Rush Of Blood To The Head voted 'best album of all time'

Coldplay's second album has been named the favourite album of all time by radio listeners. A Rush Of Blood To The Head triumphed in a poll of Radio 2 listeners which saw The Beatles placed at just number eight.

Hurts, Exile (RCA)
Gareth Thomas on Dancing on Ice

Gareth Thomas makes return to Dancing on Ice final

Gareth Thomas will return to Dancing on Ice this Sunday for the group performance, despite announcing he was leaving the competition due to ill health.

Coldplay singer, Chris Martin, has suffered from tinnitus after being exposed to too much loud music

Coldplay fans asked to appear in crowd sourced video

Oxfam is looking for Coldplay fans to take part in a groundbreaking global music project to campaign against one of the world’s greatest human injustices.

Sweet sound: Sixties pop star Millie Small

The Week in Radio: A people's choice show that hits all the right notes

I'll admit it, the title of Radio 2's latest mega-series, The People's Songs, had me worried. Surely even the BBC has worked out that when it comes to music "the people" cannot be trusted. Remember when Radio 2 listeners deemed Robbie Williams' "Angels" the best song of the past 25 years at the Brits? I was there and, I can tell you, the sight of inebriated industry nobs trying to wipe the WTF expressions off their faces as the cameras swooped in for close-ups was very special indeed.

Coldplay's Chris Martin suffers from tinnitus

A hopeful transmission? Coldplay contribute to tinnitus album

Coldplay and the Black Eyed Peas are among the bands donating tracks for a new charity album to raise awareness of tinnitus.

Album: Scala and Kolacny Bros, December (Pias)

Christmas songs tend to be either brash and tinselly or calm and still. This collection falls as delicately and lightly as snow into the latter category.

Album: Scala & Kolacny, Brothers December ([PIAS])

Like Tracey Thorn, the Kolacny Brothers have searched in unexpected corners to unearth seasonal material for their Belgian women's choir Scala.

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Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
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Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?