Jarvis Cocker

The Diary: Scotsman Steps; Brighton Festival Fringe; Venice Biennale;

At last, a step in the right direction. The first slabs have been laid in Martin Creed's long-awaited makeover of the Scotsman Steps in Edinburgh. Work No. 1059 will revitalise the public stairway, once described by The Scotsman as "one of the city's worst 'no-go' areas and a urine-soaked disgrace to the capital", cladding its steps in the world's finest marble. Announced in 2009, the work was due to be unveiled at last year's Edinburgh Festival to coincide with the Turner Prize-winner's exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery, but hit conservation and structural problems along the way. Last week, a lorry-load of coloured marble arrived from Italy and other corners of the globe – Creed's vision is that walking down the steps will be like walking through the world – and this week the installation proper began. Of course, health and safety has reared its unaesthetic head: the marble has been sandblasted and given a slip-proof coating while new gates will lock the steps away at night. "We want to keep them nice and fresh as a treasure to Edinburgh," says a spokesperson from the Fruitmarket. "It's well on the way to being ready". I'm told that work will be completed in June. Better late than never.

Daydreaming with James Lavelle preview

Musician and co-founder of Unkle James Lavelle, a man who has collaborated with greats such as Thom Yorke, Ian Brown and Jarvis Cocker, is set to host another artistic collaboration with a three-day pop-up music and art show at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London this weekend.

The Highlight Reel: Attractive prospects?

One South African newspaper criticised the selections of Fabio "Costello". This begs the question: who are The Attractions? D Beck is a leading contender, of course, but Heskey is widely held to have the best physique, and Lennon and Defoe are known for their beauty products, so it could be them. And what of Joe Hart, voted England's sexiest player yesterday? They've been calling him a Hartbreaker for years.

Jarvis Cocker curates National Trust album

Jarvis Cocker's transformation from indie music's enfant terrible to unlikely pin-up of the cream tea and country house set appeared complete yesterday, when it emerged that he had teamed up with the National Trust to curate an album of soothing sounds.

Rhiannon Harries: Madge, it's time to stop changing before you forget

If necessity is the mother of invention, what is it that begets reinvention? Every time I clap eyes on a celebrity's "amazing new look" on the cover of anything from OK! to Vogue, I'm tempted to conclude that, when it comes to self-reinvention, insecurity and desperation are primary motivators.

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The Leisure Society, Bush Hall, London

The Leisure Society were strangely absent from various lists of forthcoming stars of 2009 – which means either that they were the victims of an outrageous slight, or that the acts chosen ahead of them must be amazingly good.

The party dress code

Preparing for the season of celebration? Choose a style that suits both you and the occasion, says Carola Long