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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?