Sport Didier Deschamps' France side face a tricky first leg in Ukraine

The clash of giant egos is in Lisbon, the romance in Reykjavik, and the only previous winner under threat plays in Kiev, but perhaps the most intriguing European World Cup play-off begins on Friday night in Athens.

From Miley's twerk to Madonna's kiss: The most outrageous moments to date from the MTV VMAs

She ‘twerked’, stripped on stage and repeatedly licked her lips, but Miley Cyrus’ VMA appearance is just one of the many outrageous moments to emerge from the show.

U2's 2010 set in Vienna, which Mark Fisher helped create

Mark Fisher: Designer who created stunning sets for Pink Floyd, U2 and the Rolling Stones

As bands like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Genesis moved into arenas and stadiums in the 1970s, stage design became an important part of the fan experience.

'Grown Woman' is not bad for a soft drink commercial soundtrack

Pop for pop: Is the music used to market soft drinks ever any good?

We’ve already heard a snippet of Beyoncé’s track “Grown Woman”, which was teased in her Pepsi commercial last month, but now the whole song has leaked online (although those who made it to her Mrs Carter tour would have heard it performed in full).

Janet Jackson in 1987

Alexander Fury: I've long been obsessed with Rhythm Nation

Wear, what, why, when?

Bruce Reynolds, leader of the 'Great Train Robbery' gang, outside Linslade Court, Buckinghamshire in 1968

Bruce Reynolds, mastermind behind Great Train Robbery, dies aged 81

Violent criminal reoffended after 10-year sentence for his part in a robbery that shook the world in 1963

Prince Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's teenage son Prince makes acting debut on TV show '90210'

Prince Michael Jackson is to make his acting debut in an episode of American teen drama series 90210.

David Akers #2 of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage

Super Bowl power cut embarrasses NFL

The match was delayed for over 30 minutes

The Dance of Death, Trafalgar Studio 2, London

It's become a truism that Strindberg's depiction of marital hell in The Dance of Death paved the way for the lacerating, liquor-fuelled slug-fest and the unholy game of “Get the Guests” in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and that there are distinct affinities with the stormy love-hate intensity of the relationship in Private Lives

Savides and Sofia Coppola on the set of 'Somewhere' in 2009

Harris Savides: Acclaimed cinematographer

Harris Savides, who died on 10 October aged 55, was an acclaimed cinematographer who worked frequently with Gus Van Sant and David Fincher. Savides was known for vividly recreating the hues of 1970s cinema in films like Fincher's Zodiac, Ridley Scott's American Gangster and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, and for mesmerisingly fluid, long takes with Van Sant in movies including Last Days, Elephant and Gerry. He was also the director of photography on Van Sant's more mainstream films, Finding Forrester and Milk. The last film he shot was Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on the true story of Los Angeles teens who burglarized celebrities' homes, which is due out next year.

Bad relations: Michael Jackson's will has seen squabbles between his siblings, including Janet and his children Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II

Jackson estate limits relatives' access to home amid feud

Michael Jackson's estate has acknowledged it has limited some relatives' access to the home shared by the singer's mother and children in the wake of a family feud that turned into a driveway argument last week.

Bad relations: Michael Jackson's will has seen squabbles between his siblings, including Janet and his children Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II

Family: Where there's a will... there's affray

When Michael Jackson's siblings start squabbling over his estate you know it's bad (really, really bad)

The cheerleaders; just one part of a remarkable national event.

Archie Bland: The Super Bowl

American exceptionalism at its best

Janet Jackson, Royal Albert Hall, London

A Jackson who's still a real thriller

Todd Lynn: Tailor-made rock'n'roll

Designer Todd Lynn has dressed U2 and Marilyn Manson, but he's branching out with a show next week at Ascot. He tells Harriet Walker why he's having a flutter on some new customers

Lights, camera...type!

As Beat fans await the new Allen Ginsberg biopic, Kevin Jackson recites an elegy for the tragic history of poetry on film
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker