Arts and Entertainment

A sideways look at the world of music

The Queen ‘plotted to hit Idi Amin with a sword’ if he visited Britain

Revelations from Lord Mountbatten’s diary show royal concerns over Ugandan dictator

Fans will be able to rock out to Led Zeppelin on Spotify soon

Led Zeppelin back catalogue comes to Spotify

The albums will be released onto the streaming service over the next four days

Aaron Dessner from The National has called for other artists to support Spotify

The National call on musicians to give Spotify a chance

The band said the streaming service should be supported if it encourages people to like their music and go to their shows

Ben Whishaw has been confirmed to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the Queen frontman

Ben Whishaw to play Freddie Mercury in Dexter Fletcher film

The actor will replace Sacha Baron Cohen, who left the production in July

New research into the 'deep biosphere' indicates that the first replicating life-forms on the planet may have originated deep underground

Life on Earth may have developed below rather than above ground, reveal scientists

New research into the “deep biosphere” indicates that the first replicating life-forms on the planet may have originated deep underground

Andy McSmith's Diary: An MP revealing his depression? It hardly seems like news any more

Slowly, the stigma of mental illness is falling away. Lunacy, as it was then called, used to rank alongside imprisonment and bankruptcy as automatic grounds for disqualifying an MP from remaining in the Commons.

Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik of One Direction performing in New York

One Direction Midnight Memories, album review: 'A clumsy attempt at rock'

The boy band's third album is a fumbling transition from pop to rock

Video: Prince William, Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi perform at palace charity gala

The Duke of Cambridge joined the musicians on stage for the finale

5 reasons to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

As The Hunger Games sequel hits cinemas, we take a look at the best bits...

Songs: Ohia, The Magnolia Electric Co (Secretly Canadian) - Album review

Jason Molina died earlier this year. He was 39 years old. He released albums under the names Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co and sometimes even as plain Jason Molina. These albums didn’t sell a whole heap but they meant a lot to a few, and this one – released here in a “10th anniversary deluxe edition” – is arguably his best.

Postcard from... Madrid

Spain’s ageing rockers are officially in mourning after Barricada, one of the country’s best-known hard rock bands – who have ruined teenage eardrums and provoked parental cries of “Turn that racket down!” for more than a generation, began their Farewell Tour in their home town of Pamplona.

Party time: 'Tis the season to get sparkly with our pick of the festive make-up

Sunset Stripped Party Lashes £7.99, Katy Perry for Eylure, eylure.co.uk

Chas and Dave - Chas Hodges, Dave Peacock

Play it again, Chas: Chas & Dave make their big comeback

Hits such as Snooker Loopy, Rabbit and Gertcha established Chas & Dave as two of the towering figures of the 1980s light entertainment-pop cross over world. Now, 18 years since their last album the Rockney duo are being re-launched as the credible grandfathers of British rock n’ roll.

The Bonus Track: Chas & Dave documentary, Laura White post-X Factor and Lorde (not Lordi)

A sideways look at the world of music

Kurt Cobain's family home in Washington state

Kurt Cobain's childhood home up for sale

Cobain's family have increased the asking price due to the house's legacy

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect