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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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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before