Acceptable in the Eighties: SAW acts Sinitta; Rick Astley and Kylie and Jason

Never gonna give you up: The Hit Factory returns

In news to dismay many music fans, Stock, Aitken and Waterman are getting the gang back together for a reunion gig. But will Kylie come too? By Simon Usborne

Culture to comfort us: When did we become so culturally conservative?

We are taking refuge in the past, whether it's 'Call the Midwife' and 'Downton' on TV, Coward and Rattigan at the theatre, or neo-Romantics in the galleries. Where's the sensation? By Philip Hoare
Jenny Agutter, Jessica Raine and Judy Parfitt in 'Call the Midwife'

The shock of the old: When did we become so culturally conservative?

We are taking refuge in the past, whether it's 'Call the Midwife' and 'Downton' on TV, Coward and Rattigan at the theatre, or neo-Romantics in the galleries. Where's the sensation, asks Philip Hoare?

Jimmy Ellis: Singer with the Trammps, of 'Disco Inferno' fame

The soulful, gravelly voiced tenor Jimmy Ellis was the frontman of the Trammps, the Philadelphia-based group best remembered for the 1970s hits "Hold Back the Night" and "Disco Inferno". His emphatic delivery of the lyrical hook "Burn, Baby, Burn" and his gruff, gospel-tinged ad-libs helped turn "Disco Inferno", written by the Trammps' keyboard-player Ron "Have Mercy" Kersey and Leroy Green, into one of the most memorable and successful dancefloor fillers of any era.

SKIN, The Place, London

There's a lot of self-consciousness in Pia Meuthen's dance work SKIN, starting with the audience.

Rock bands to create soundtracks for roller-coaster rides

It’s a captive audience for musicians, although stomach-churning nausea may be the most common response. Rock bands will create exclusive soundtracks for roller-coaster rides under a new deal agreed by EMI.

Movie that was meant to spark Houston's comeback

Whitney Houston left behind two new songs and a movie performance that insiders say would have been "a big, big comeback" for her this year.

In a plot borrowed from The Blues Brothers, Kermit leads a Muppet comeback for a one-off charity show to save the Muppet Theatre

The Muppets, James Bobin, 109 mins (U)
The Woman in Black, James Watkins, 95 mins (12A)

Where've you been Kermit? The gang are all back in a feelgood film to delight kids...and those who remember the Seventies

DVD: Friends With Benefits, For retail & rental (Sony)

Two young, single people who decide on a sex-only relationship, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis keep going on about how phoney Hollywood romantic comedies always are, but Friends With Benefits is hardly a radical alternative.

MIA recites simplistic lines over Eastern instrumentation in her new single Bad Girls

Illness forces frontman Presley to retire from Troggs

Troggs frontman Reg Presley has told fans he has lung cancer and has decided to "call time" on the band.

The Doll Princess, By Tom Benn

Imoved to Manchester in 1998, two years after The Doll Princess is set. While I recognise the areas – and accents – in Tom Benn's debut novel, the immediate aftermath of the 1996 IRA bomb is something I never saw; nor the grimy Northern gangland he portrays in this swaggering book. Whether Stockport lad Benn (born in 1987) has seen much of the latter, given his tender years, really doesn't matter. He gives such an adrenalin-soaked expedition to the seedier side of suburbs such as Wythenshawe, Hulme and Rusholme, and to the nightclubs and penthouses of Deansgate and central Manchester, that I was just pleased to be along for the ride.

The pizzas served at Roberta’s

Brooklyn: Bite the Big Apple

Move over Manhattan – New York’s finest flavours are now found in Brooklyn

Translunar Paradise, The Pit, Barbican, London

Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Translunar Paradise is a show about death and memory. A hit at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, it comes to London as part of the London International Mime Festival. Director George Mann plays an elderly man coping with the death of his wife (played by Deborah Pugh). Told in mime and music, it’s a touching portrait of grief, sometimes muffled by a loss of clarity.

Yoshimitsu Morita: Director best known for 'The Family Game'

For Yoshimitsu Morita, who has died of acute liver failure, arguments around his career as a film-maker have long centred around his film, The Family Game (1983), which centred on a dysfunctional family in 1980s Japan. This was not his only No 1 film in the annual Kinema Junpo poll, and was by no means his highest-grossing film. But it was the film his critics, and often his public, compared him to, when judging his later work. Had he become, as the critic Mark Schilling bemoaned in the 1990s, just a purveyor of "date movies"? Were not some of his later films also multi-layered, postmodernist critiques of contemporary life? Or did his success, in having a continuous career in the film industry, derive from delivering accessible, commercial films for audiences he knew?

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little