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."

Why Mandy won't come out to play

AT AN editorial conference here on Tuesday morning, a member of staff looked askance at that day's Oliver James column on Peter Mandelson and wondered why James had outed Mandelson as a homosexual. Came the reply: Oliver James hadn't. That dirty deed was committed some time ago by the News of the World, for obvious, odious reasons.

The private pleasure we take from observing public pain

Suzanne Moore on sex in the news, again

Tabloid planning to run George Michael photos

THE singer George Michael was in hiding yesterday, out of sight and sound of the tabloid press, but there was no end in sight to the public humiliation of his arrest in a public lavatory at a Beverly Hills park.

Why it's been a bad week for homosexuals

There's no going back now for the oh-so ambiguous George Michael

George Michael arrested over `lewd act'

THE singer George Michael was arrested in a Beverly Hills park, after being caught in a "lewd act" in a public lavatory by an under cover officer, police said yesterday.

End to ambiguity for a very private pop star

In the news

Music: You need to work on a lot more than your abs, Peter

Poor Peter Andre, he had it all: tight abs, cheeky grin and a million

HOW WE MET: PEPSI AND SHIRLIE

Shirlie Kemp grew up in London and went to Bushey Meads Comprehensive School, Watford, with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley; at 20, she became a backing singer for their group, Wham!. She now works part-time for George Michael's record label, Aegean, and lives with her husband - the former Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp - and their two children. Pepsi Lawrie Demacque (far right) joined Wham! as a backing singer after the release of their first hit single in 1982. By 1986, Pepsi and Shirlie had formed their own eponymously named group, scoring two Top 10 hits. When Shirlie quit three years later, Pepsi went on to work in musicals (including starring as Josephine Baker), and is currently singing with Forthright, a group of producers and mixers. Both Pepsi and Shirlie are in their mid-30s and live in north London

Friday's tickets

Believe it or not, it's over ten years since George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley brought the Wham! rollercoaster to a halt. In conjunction with Sony Music, The Independent has 10 copies of the nostalgia-inducing "The Best of Wham!" video to give away. You'll be able to wake up and go-go to your heart's content in the privacy of your own home - which is probably the best way...

Smash hits and shuttlecocks

They were the ultimate Eighties pop group, the young guns who took us to the edge of heaven. Then they decided to go go. Dylan Jones says thank you Wham!

Diana - The Last Farewell: She lived in search of love; she died not knowing how much her people loved her, writes Suzanne Moore

Things will never be the same again; for her family, for the people of this country, for the press. The profound outpouring of emotion over Diana's death will continue. Tears are being shed by those who have never cared much about the Royal Family, by those who would much prefer a Republic, by those who dismissed her as trivial, self-obsessed and generally silly when she was alive. The effect that this uneducated woman has had on our national psyche is only just beginning to be gauged.

Travel: Technicolour dream Cote

That Summer: in the first of a series recalling seminal journeys, Fi Glover remembers a fortnight in the South of France with a blond, a camper van and a hostess dressed in Chanel

Karen says beat it

'SKY' magazine is 10 years old, and with it, 'Dear Karen', the rudest, sarkiest agony column there is. Looking back, Karen Krizanovich is pleased with how it's gone

Pop: Albums Chart

1 Blood on the Dance Floor MICHAEL JACKSON

Comedian holds court at the Brits

The success of the Brits ceremony, the biggest annual music awards, last night rested on the fast-talking comedian Ben Elton to keep the audience amused at Earl's Court in west London.
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