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God, it makes you feel old to think that Girls Aloud are now a thing of the past. We shall not look upon their like again. Sniff. But anyway, thinking about that former cultural phenomenon recently, I had a moment of nostalgia recalling the video for "I Can't Speak French", in which the Girls flounce around in very short, corsetted can-can skirts, with layers upon layers of net and frills and feathers in various shades of pink and pale lilac-y colours.

Cheryl Cole planning big birthday bash

Cheryl Cole is spending £20,000 on a lavish birthday party for herself.

Errors & Omissions: It's better safely to prepare a Japanese fugo fish than split an infinitive

Safe splits: A news story yesterday reported on a club that will offer London diners the celebrated Japanese poisonous fish: "The torafugu is one of the most toxic marine creatures. It is extremely difficult to safely prepare, and consequently among the priciest dishes on Japanese restaurant menus."

The real stars know when to call it a day

As Mike Skinner calls time on The Streets, Fiona Sturges says that Girls Aloud would do well to consider a similar coda

Girls Aloud won't officially end

Girls Aloud will never "officially break up".

Story of the Song: Hanging on the Telephone, Blondie (1978)

Stuck on punk's West Coast outpost, The Nerves' fame barely made it out of California. The trio recorded a solitary, self-titled EP in 1976 before breaking up.

Diary: Wahlberg's curtain call

Mark Wahlberg says he's never been much interested in treading the boards. "I've learned from Jeremy Piven," he says of his Entourage co-star, who was forced to abandon a Broadway run of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow in 2008, claiming excessive sushi consumption had given him mercury poisoning. Couldn't one just stay away from raw fish? "I played an Oompa Loompa in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in fifth grade, and it was a lot of work," Wahlberg admitted at the premiere of his new film comedy, The Other Guys. "But if I ever did a play again, it would be A Streetcar Named Desire." In fact, Stanley Kowalski's not a bad fit – ladies, you remember how Marky Mark looks in a vest, right? In the meantime, Wahlberg and pals are hoping to make an Entourage film after the HBO dramedy's eighth and final series. The actor's early years in Hollywood were the inspiration for the show, which he still co-produces. "The plan is to make a movie," he maintains, "and we're doing everything in our power to make it happen."

Cheryl and Ashley Cole's marriage over in 80 seconds

The once fairytale four-year marriage of Cheryl and Ashley Cole ended today in the most mundane fashion.

She's worth it: Cheryl Cole adds more bounce to hairspray sales

Singer's big, backcombed style credited with sparking first rise in demand for 10 years

Pied Piper of Mischief leads the red tops on a merry dance

Chris Atkins tells Paul Bignell of his disciples' desire to continue planting fake stories

Doctors tell busy Cheryl Cole to rest

Cheryl Cole has pulled out of work commitments for the coming days on the advice of doctors, it was confirmed today.

Girls Aloud's Nadine to tackle fashion taboo

Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle said today she wanted to help "smash the taboo" that surrounded people who have to wear colostomy bags.

Cheryl Cole seeks 'quickie' divorce from Ashley

Cheryl Cole has filed for a "quickie" divorce from her footballer husband Ashley, sources close to the singer confirmed today.

Outside the Box: Legacy, legacy as World Cup team try to keep clear of the Germans

As the Football Association team delivered their 1,752-page bid book for the 2018 World Cup on Friday – hoping it would inspire Fifa bigwigs rather than put them to sleep – "legacy" was again a buzzword. While the England bid has been careful to emphasise its lasting benefits for football all over the world, as opposed to merely making the rich richer, the Premier League points out that one of the reasons Germany's Bundesliga has the largest crowds in Europe (as pointed out in Outside the Box last week) is that many stadia were rebuilt or upgraded for the 2006 World Cup, thanks to support from regional and national government. As attendances can fluctuate from season to season when, say, Newcastle are replaced by Burnley, the Premier League uses percentage occupancy as its criterion and claims by that measure to be ahead of the Germans. Clubs close to full houses all season included the top three plus Stoke, Spurs and West Ham. It was also good to know that Lord Nelson is posthumously supporting the bid (a scarf having being hung round the column in Trafalgar Square). Being one-eyed, he would have made an excellent football manager.

Rhiannon Harries: Health and fitness, fine. But what's with this modern-day obsession with perfect bodies?

What is the anti-smoking lobby going to do with David Hockney? There he was on last week's edition of The South Bank Show Revisited, in fine fettle at 72, sharp, energetic and talking extraordinary good sense. "I was sitting on a bench in Holland Park – watching the rabbits and the magpies," he recounted. "I lit up a cigarette and three great big girls go jogging by, see me smoking and wag their fingers at me. They think they're very healthy – they're totally obsessed with their own bodies and never saw the rabbits or magpies. They think they're healthy, but I think I'm healthier. That's my odd view of it."

Dom Joly: Small is beautiful, except when it's a car in LA

I'm in LA. I managed to take the last plane out of Europe before it was covered in metres of volcanic ash and everyone ran screaming into the sea. I've been watching Fox News, so I'm totally up on what's been happening. I can't believe that the Icelandic commies had this volcano power all the time and never declared it. Never trust an Eskimo. That's what Bill O'Reilly says anyway, and he's in a "no-spin" zone.

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
peopleSir Patrick took a more understated approach to the challenge
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The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
scienceTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Arts and Entertainment
tvWe have created an infogaphic that looks back over the previous incarnations of the Doctor
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Olivier Giroud celebrates after his late goal saved Arsenal a point at Goodison Park
football Giroud rescues a point for Arsenal after they trailed by two goals
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i100
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newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
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i100
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Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
people
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
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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
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition