Arts and Entertainment

The Week in Radio: Williams was quick on his feet, and willing to cover mishaps with self-deprecating humour

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live

Music review: Franz Ferdinand deliver polished dance-rock, but don't exactly shake things up

"Lick your cigarette and then kiss me," yelps Alex Kapranos on the ripe "No You Girls". The trim frontman (and part-time food writer) sports a short-sleeved gold shirt, trademark pointy shoes and is looking considerably younger than his 41 years.

Video: Stars and their covers albums

Watch the videos below to take in tracks from a number of music stars recent albums of covers.

Music review: Jarvis Cocker and Franz Ferdinand join Beck's Song Reader Live, The Barbican, London

Beth Orton, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Michael Kiwanuka are also among the gang interpreting the Scientologist’s songs for him

Campaign stars Charlotte Free and Lenny Kravitz

Eleven Paris: New enfant on the block

French brand Eleven Paris has arrived in London's Carnaby Street – it's about time, says Stephanie Hirschmiller

Bowie's ad-bomb inspiring album cover

Marketing: Is David Bowie ad-bomb funky or an all-time low?

Few acts unite popular musical opinion like David Bowie. Arguably, even more so than The Beatles. Even if Bowie’s new album The Next Day, which was released on Monday, doesn’t tickle your fancy like Low or Hunky Dory, it’d be a bold move to say you didn’t love at least some of his work. The man, frankly, unarguably, is a genius. Are we quorate on that? Right.

David Bowie strikes a pose at Cannes in 1983

Where was he then? Bowie relives odyssey in Seventies Berlin

Berlin’s much vaunted love affair with David Bowie has been given a new lease of life with the release of the singer’s first album in a decade, featuring a track dedicated to his time in the once-divided Cold War city at the end of the 1970s.

Album review: Various Artists, Son of Rogue’s Gallery (Anti-)

This follow-up to the original 2006 Rogue's Gallery sea-shanty compilation is slightly less salty but just as broad-ranging musically.

March 1977: Rock singers David Bowie, right, and Iggy Pop in Germany.

Lust For Life: Biopic about David Bowie and Iggy Pop in West Germany set for production

Weeks after Bowie released a nostalgic single about his time in 1970s  Germany plans for a film about that time have been announced

Veteran music star David Bowie has today broken years of silence and speculation to release his first single and album in a decade

A new single for David Bowie, but I fear time has caught up with the thin white duke

He made his name(s) through constant self-reinvention; this fresh material, however, feels perilously close to a retread

First Listen: David Bowie, Where Are We Now?

His fond look back shows singer still has plenty to offer

Rolling Stones celebrate 50 years

Ageing rockers The Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years in the industry by performing to a packed London crowd for the first time since 2007.

Album: Joe Jackson, The Duke (Ear Music)

In his Eighties pomp, Jackson contributed a superb arrangement of "Round Midnight" to a Thelonious Monk tribute album, but this new homage to Ellington works as superior adult-pop rather than jazz.

Ohhhh no! Churchill Insurance did not want to insure a bulldog as it was too old

Advertising: Will you insure me?

Ohhh no, we can't insure your bulldog. This was the response from Churchill Insurance when Timothy Taylor, of Leicestershire, tried to get a quote to cover his six-year-old bulldog, Monty, who'd just been given a clean bill of health.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own