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."

No ticket, no refund and the festival rocks on without you

After an unofficial agency's high-profile failure, Kate Hughes sees how to reduce the risks of booking online for sell-out events

Pandora: Plum new sitcom for Sykes

There is more to the literary prowess of Transatlantic socialite Plum Sykes than we previously believed.

Album: Tapes 'n' Tapes

Sometimes, it's hard to see what all the fuss is about when an unknown band suddenly becomes flavour of the month. Take Minnesota's Tapes 'n Tapes, whose 2006 debut The Loon drew unaccountably rave reviews for its routine alt.rock exercises.

Album: Guillemots, Red (Polydor)

For this follow-up, Guillemots adopt a more direct approach than on the overly sensitive Through the Windowpane. In place of the lavish orchestrations that bookended their debut, Red starts with the synthetic fanfare that opens "Kriss Kross", a lumbering funk-rock groove imploring one to "dance with your thunder and lightning".

Philip Hensher: Being gay is no longer disapproved of. Hiding it is

One's first reaction was: 'Paul Burrell? Who on earth would have thought it?'

Tribute-show acts are not the real deal, professional copycats complain

BBC1's latest Saturday night entertainment flagship promises a prime-time talent show that will "leave viewers amazed and wondering if seeing is believing" as look- and sound-a-like singers battle it out for the chance of a three-month residency in Las Vegas performing as the celebrity of their choice.

Legends of the Bridge House: The venue everyone loved

Iron Maiden, Midge Ure, Mick Jagger – they all rocked in Canning Town

George Michael says pop is 'dead' as he plans exit

Two decades after bursting on to the music scene as the talented half of Wham! and more than 70 million sales later, George Michael yesterday said he was quitting the pop world.

Album: George Michael

Patience, Sony

Comment: Social history of Britain: 1999, the Age of Irony

TODAY, IN a special 2049 edition of This Sceptred Isle, we look back 50 years to 1999, the year in which this famous radio history series was first broadcast. What was Britain like in the dying days of the last century? Were its people looking back with nostalgia or were they looking forward with a sense of optimism? How did public life reflect the change from one age to another?
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