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.
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
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A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
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i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine