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."

Pop star Gary Barlow and his wife Dawn

Gary Barlow closing ceremony performance in doubt after death of baby daughter

Take That star Gary Barlow's performance at the closing ceremony of the Olympics is uncertain after his baby daughter was delivered stillborn.

<p>1. Bold Stripe</p>
<p>£20, johnlewis.com</p>
<p>Bright, bold and charming – what more do you want from a towel? Well, this one from John Lewis is generously proportioned, too.</p>

The 10 Best beach towels

From big and brash to dandelions and Ed Ruscha

Beatles top best-selling singles chart

The Beatles have held off artist such as Elvis Presley and Madonna to be declared the biggest selling singles act since charts began 60 years ago.

Pop goes the fashion editor

Who said fashion icons must cultivate a bone-chilling froideur? Not the French.

George Michael home from hospital

Singer George Michael has returned home to the UK after leaving hospital in Vienna.

Looking back in anger: the Gallagher brothers

Be angry in your lyrics, not on the stand

News that Noel Gallagher is to take his brother to court reminds us there are few more dispiriting sights for dedicated music fans than seeing their heroes on the way to hearings. Trussed up in unfamiliar shirt and tie combinations, they look as uncomfortable as ex-lags at job interviews. It is bad enough when artists attend divorce proceedings or face the beak for falling asleep at the wheel, but far worse is when they have brought the suit (legal, not sartorial) themselves. Any dealings with the legal system are bound to make the protagonist look petty-minded, venal or underhand.

Looking back in anger: the Gallagher brothers

Be angry in your lyrics, not on the witness stand

Taking fellow bandmates to court is usually a mistake, says Chris Mugan

George Michael, State Opera House, Prague

"I'm totally winging it," George Michael admits. Justifiably, the "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" singer has the "jitterbugs". It's been a turbulent couple of decades and this is an emotional, confessional gig.

George Michael splits from boyfriend

George Michael split from boyfriend Kenny Goss two-and-a-half years ago.

First Night: George Michael - Symphonica Tour, State Opera House, Prague

Holding back the tears, Michael restores faith in a magical voice

Diary: Time for that Facebook cull, Mr Gove

Given that he (allegedly) recommended Andy Coulson as Tory comms director, and (allegedly) invited James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks to his 40th birthday party, you may be surprised to learn that George (né Gideon) Osborne is said to be intensely relaxed about the imminent publication of ministers' meetings with media execs.

Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane)

Beverley Knight's survey of British soul highlights from the 1980s reminds one of what an underrated era that was, too easily overlooked in deference to the genre's US roots. Comparisons are inevitable – and if "Southern Freeez" here sounds like Britain's own "Funky Nassau", there's no shame in that, nor in Knight's version of Junior Giscombe's "Mama Used to Say" coming across like the UK equivalent of a Jam & Lewis casual funk strut.

Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane Records)

Wolverhampton's finest revisits some favourite home-grown soul from her youth, making a strong case for her argument that this genre always gets overlooked when the media gets nostalgic about the 1980s and 1990s.

George Michael takes steps to put record straight on gay lifestyle

George Michael will record a new album with a "collective" of gay musicians, aimed at a young gay audience, as an apology for the homophobia that he believes his turbulent private life has inadvertently generated.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn