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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: Angel of the North

Millions will tune in to the climax of 'The X Factor' tonight – in large part because of the Geordie judge who herself embodies the quest for fame

Hit & Run: Northern star

What sort of icon does Cheryl want to be? Her fame has, after all, reached the point at which her first name will suffice. Her mentor, Simon Cowell, has apparently offered her £1.5m – a 100 per cent pay rise – to return to the next series of The X Factor; she is supposedly the subject of a recent shoot for Vogue, and now the artist Lee Jones has immortalised her in his painting "Angel".

Observations: Hollyoaks band play it for real

It's a case of art imitating reality, which ends up imitating the art. Only the other week on an episode of Hollyoaks, the fictional band Dirty Diegos, featuring the TV series' characters Michaela, Josh, Sasha and Amy, were competing in a battle of the bands, and Josh had a dream in which they were performing to a packed crowd at the Dog in the Pond. The band have now released the song on a real label. "Play" (the one they performed in the battle of the bands) is their first official single via Fascination Records (on Polydor), which also represents the Saturdays, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Girls Aloud.

New job for boss forced to resign from Radio 2

Less than four weeks after she resigned from the BBC over the Jonathan Ross-Russell Brand affair the former Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas has found a new job, at Universal Music UK.

Blogger 'wrote of murdering Girls Aloud'

Case marks first time 1959 Obscene Publications Act has been applied to internet

Man charged over Girls Aloud 'porn murder blog'

A civil servant who posted a blog in which he allegedly describes the kidnap, rape and murder of pop group Girls Aloud is being prosecuted.

Games Reviews

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Imagine Girl Band, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, PixelJunk Eden

'Orange' pupils prompt crackdown on craze for fake tan

Generations of girls have fought their parents and teachers over the length of their skirts but the growing popularity of perma-tanned celebrities has thrown up a new battleground: how brown – or orange – their skin should be. Inspired by bronzed role models such as Girls Aloud, teenagers are slapping on more fake tan than ever before. So serious is the situation at Baines High School in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, that its acting headteacher has written to parents, advising them to control the tanning habits of their children.

For those about to rock, steer clear of Celine Dion

She may have only played it once but to those who like their rock unadulterated it was nothing short of sacrilege. Celine Dion's cover of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" has officially been voted the worst cover song of all time by a panel of experts from Total Guitar magazine.

The 5-minute Interview: Thomas Dartnall, Musician

'I'm not miserable – it's the way my face hangs'

Girls Aloud, Brighton Centre, Brighton<br /> The Ting Tings, Radio 1's Big, Weekender, Maidstone

While other talent show winners come and go, Girls Aloud prove that they're the new queens of the classic disposable hit

First Night: Girls Aloud, SECC, Glasgow

Bolshy disco floor-fillers make Girls Aloud the only pop show in town

Pandora: The first hurdle

Welcome aboard a "Tier One" corporate sponsor for 2012's London Olympics: British Airways. A glossy government leaflet shows a gymnast performing in the maligned new Heathrow Terminal 5, with not a queue in sight. BA is signed up to transport British athletes to this August's Beijing Games. But can our sportsmen and women calmly leave their kit in the mitts of T5's overworked baggage handlers?

Jane Moore: The rise of the Sun queen

She's the longest-serving columnist on Britain's best-selling daily newspaper. She's written four best-selling novels with a fifth on the way &ndash; and is hard at work on herlatest TV documentary. But, as Ian Burrell discovers, she's a humble hack at heart
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine