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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness