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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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk