George Michael - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
News The presenter, who is thought to be a friend of the Prime Minister, told his followers on the micro-blogging site that he was thinking of standing as an independent at the next general election.

The famously acerbic TV personality then shared the image on his Twitter account alongside the caption: "Sadly, I fell asleep on the plane."

Vladimir Putin says Russia is last bastion of conservatism against ‘infertile tolerance’

Russian president defends anti-gay laws in annual state-of-the-nation address

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?

Nigel Harman who plays Simon Cowell and Simon Cowell at a photo-call for the X Factor musical I Can't Sing

X Factor musical I Can't Sing has a go at Simon Cowell

X Factor boss Simon Cowell said he knows he will "get it in the neck" in the new musical based on the hit singing show.

My beard: I wanted Captain Haddock. I got George Michael

I'm back in Britain after two- and-half-weeks on holiday in the South of France. Having just done two months of solid filming for Fool Britannia 2, it wasn't just my mind that needed a rest. It was also my poor face, that had undergone about three hours of prosthetics every morning in order to transform me into whatever weird character we were filming that day. I was sick of putting stuff on my skin, so I decided to give it a total detox and not shave or do anything for the whole holiday. And so it began, my initiation into the world of the beard.

Will Arnett (left) and Jason Bateman in Arrested Development, which returned today

First sight: Arrested Development; Season 4, Episode 1 Netflix

Cancelled classic comes back – and it’s just as arresting as ever

Album: Iron and Wine, Ghost on Ghost (4AD)

The early word was I&W had "gone jazz", but nothing is that straightforward in Sam Beam's world, and Ghost on Ghost is as dense stylistically as it is lyrically.

Save the Children ambassador Myleene Klass models a Christmas jumper

Fashion: 'Twas the knit before Christmas...

Seasonal sweaters have shaken off their comedy image to become really rather stylish – and there's even a charity day devoted to wearing them. It's enough to make you jumper for joy

Pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering

John Bishop: Rollercoaster Tour, 02 Arena, London

The title of his tour is 'Rollercoaster' and pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering.

BBC4's weekly Top of the Pops repeats are rapidly turning into a roll call of shame

The BBC’s decision to repeat every existing episode of Top of the Pops was supposed to provide a nostalgic insight into the cultural mores of the 70s. But BBC4’s weekly hit parade is rapidly turning into a roll call of shame.

The written judgment in the Terry case will be filtered through lawyers and communications specialists

The Last Word: Blame is the game and everyone is primed to kick it into touch

The Terry affair has highlighted a problem that is becoming endemic

Coldplay will perform at the Paralympics' closing ceremony

Paralympics: Pomp, ceremony... and possibly well-played, Coldplay

After the Olympic opening ceremony superbly managed to showcase the wide and eclectic history of British music, featuring everything from "Chariots of Fire" to Dizzee Rascal, the standard for any future music-related goings on during London 2012 was set very high.

Elbow profit from Olympic closing ceremony performance

Elbow look to be among the biggest winners of artists performing at the Olympic closing ceremony with a massive boost in sales.

Young Tory: Joe Cooke, ex-president of the Oxford University Conservative Club

Harriet Walker on TV: Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right

Inside the tiresome world of student politics, delusions of grandeur run riot

Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisolm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham at St Pancras yesterday

Spice Girls 'set for Olympics closing ceremony'

Rumours that the Spice Girls will be reuniting to perform at the Olympic Games closing ceremony look to be true after the band were pictured apparently rehearsing for Sunday's extravaganza.

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Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
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Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
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Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
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The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories