Arts and Entertainment

The parade of musicians onto the Barbican stage has Norma Waterson at its centre, and there's a chair centre-stage for her, set between daughter Eliza and niece Marry, and spread either side stand musical friends and family – Martin Carthy, Olly Knight and Neill MacColl on guitars, multi-instrumentalist Kate St John, brilliant husky-voiced young singer John Smith duetting with an assured Kami Thompson, and committed turns from Richard Hawley and Jarvis Cocker, stick-thin enough to really do "The Scarecrow", one of many strange and wonderful works to trip from the mind of Lal Waterson.

Second string Lane can lift Wigmore to concert pitch

A teeming, perspiring crowd and a first prize of nearly £100,000 for one of the most frantically contested handicaps of the year will together make the Knavesmire no place for faint hearts this afternoon. What a test of nerve, then, awaits Martin Lane when hoisted into the saddle on Wigmore Hall before the John Smith's Cup.

Harman takes over until next leader is chosen

Gordon Brown resigned immediately as Labour leader following the collapse of talks on creating a Lib-Lab coalition. Aides, however, denied that he was planning to stand down as an MP, just days after being re-elected as MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

The Brown paradox

His 'psychological flaws' have become notorious. And yet, says Donald Macintyre, Gordon Brown may just have saved his party

Death crash court hearing postponed

A court hearing involving a teenager charged over a crash in which a 10-year-old boy was killed has been postponed.

McCoy captures his National spurs

The most brilliant jump jockey of all time lands his first victory in the greatest show on turf at the 15th attempt

McCoy in form and pushing to break his duck

If determination had anything to do with it, Tony McCoy would have satisfied that craving for a first National winner years ago.

Kalahari King set to rule back on familiar turf

His wholehearted response to Tony McCoy in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last month was insufficient to rid Albertas Run of the notorious Timeform squiggle, awarded to especially unreliable or uncommitted animals. Perhaps that will change if he digs deep for another Grade One prize at Aintree today, just 22 days after a hard race, but for now you could not know what to expect of a horse who made hard work of a distant third in the equivalent contest last year.

Murphy ready to pull Mr Pointment

Trainer willing to sacrifice place to get form contender Cerium into National field

Outside the Box: Have it! Pint of John Smith's tempts Gary Mac to play again

One of the more unlikely transfers of the season has been Tadcaster Albion's acquisition of the former Leeds and Scotland captain Gary McAllister for a signing-on fee of a pint of ale and a sports drink. The Albion manager, Paul Marshall, had played alongside him in an over-45 veterans competition and after making the offer "half-jokingly", was stunned by McAllister's acceptance. The deal, he said, was completed at the bar over a pint of John Smith's and a Lucozade Sport. With Tadcaster only one point behind the leaders Brighouse Town and having three games in hand, McAllister, who hasn't played yet, should be in line for another glittering honour to add to his 57 Scottish caps, League championship, FA Cup and Uefa Cup: the Koolsport Northern Counties East League Division One title.

Rise of the microbrewery: Small but perfectly formed

Artisan breweries are enjoying a rise in sales while mass-marketed lagers and keg beers suffer. By Roger Protz

Stotsfold's speed to whet appetite for the Flat

Only the most heroic punting appetite will remain unsatisfied after the past four days. Happily, however, the racing calendar tends to introduce a sorbet at just the right stage of the banquet. So while the Festival is over, Flat racing resumes on turf next weekend – not to mention the richest meeting in history, in Dubai – and a fortnight later many Cheltenham stars will reconvene at Aintree. And both themes are usefully anticipated by today's televised action, which features a Grand National trial and the climax of the all-weather Flat season.

Michael Foot would rather lose with honour than cheat to win a battle

John Smith, the former Labour Party leader, used to tell a story about Michael Foot from the dying days of the 1970s Labour government.

Brown reveals feelings about daughter's death

PM admits to fights with Blair and holds back tears in his most intimate interview

The art of diary writing

January signals not only the arrival of a new year – for many, it will also open another chapter of obsessive diary-writing. What drives these solitary scribblers? Tim Walker delves into their secret world

Margereta Pagano: Should they stay or should they go?

Chancellor Alistair Darling's punitive PBR has provoked a fightback by the Square Mile and could even lead to a new brain drain
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn