News Emergency workers battle to contain the flames

Grade-two listed Victorian terrace was left a shell

Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London

Despite Glastonbury's moves ever further mainstream, London's mud-free alternative remains distinctive. Who could imagine Somerset hosting a tent-full of fans crooning "Lifted" by Nineties soul-poppers Lighthouse Family?

Pulp, Isle of Wight Festival, Newport<br/>LMFAO, King's College, London

In these dark days of indie-rock conformity, Pulp's outsider genius is as essential as it ever was

Women mobilise for first British 'SlutWalk' rally

Thousands of provocatively-dressed women are expected to march through London next month when the growing "SlutWalk" phenomenon reaches these shores.

Body found in London's Serpentine

A body was discovered in one of Britain's most visited lakes today.

Offenders scrub up for the royal wedding

In the cold, windswept tunnels beneath the royal parks they stand, in single file with mop and bucket, their heads bent, faces set in stony disconsolation. They are a 21st-century chain gang reluctantly returning the lustre to the shabbier corners of the royal wedding route. Over their blue boiler suits are DayGlo orange jackets with the words "Community Payback" emblazoned on the back, neatly offsetting their bright yellow marigolds.

Salad Days, Riverside Studios, London

"We said we wouldn't look back" goes the wistful refrain but, like Lot's wife, we always do, and we don't even turn into a pillar of salt. Just jelly. The last West End revival of this delightful 1954 revue-cum-musical was a bit of a trial. Everyone tried too hard. But the little opera company Tête-à-Tête really does it delightfully well. "Oh, look at me, I'm dancing," cry the helpless Hyde Park habitués as they are spun into limb-wrangling postures of marionettish animation – brilliant choreography by Quinny Sacks – at the touch of an outdoor magic piano.

Rock star's son faces quiz over Cenotaph protest

The son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour could be questioned by police after he admitted swinging from a Union Flag on the Cenotaph during the student protests.

Abu Dhabi bank snaps up last One Hyde Park unit

The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is to pay a record rent for the final retail unit at One Hyde Park, the luxury Knightsbridge development managed by the Candy brothers in London.

Albert Smothers

Albert "Little Smokey" Smothers, who died on 20 November aged 71, was a veteran Chicago blues guitarist and singer, a versatile sideman and influential teacher of younger bluesmen.

Do you remember the last time? Pulp reform for summer shows

In a move likely to be greeted with the dusting off of drainpipe trousers nationwide, Pulp have announced they are the latest Britpop band to reform.

Pulp to re-form for Wireless festival

Britpop band Pulp are reuniting to perform on stage together for the first time in almost 15 years, the former chart stars announced today.

Sid Rawle

David McKittrick's obituary of Sid Rawle (1 November) omits a mention of Rawle's appearance in Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film Winstanley (1976), writes John Smurthwaite. The film concerns the proto-communist experiment of the Diggers in the aftermath of the English Civil War. Rawle and his friends were brought in to play the anarchic gang of Ranters who erupt into the Diggers' commune.

Fast-spreading new disease threatens plane trees

With its broad canopy and majestic height, the London plane tree is as intrinsic a part of the capital's Royal Parks as the deck chairs on the lawns of St James's and the rowing boats on the Serpentine. But now the ubiquity of Plantanus hispanica is under threat from a fast-growing fungal menace previously unknown in Britain.

'Administration problems' blamed for Pope Benedict's ticket slump

Thousands of tickets for open-air masses during Pope Benedict's visit to Britain this week are yet to be taken up just four days before he is due to arrive.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable