Arts and Entertainment The Wombles of Wimbledon are set to return to the small screen

The Wombles are coming back to TV and the loveable litter-pickers have had a high-tech makeover.

The king of easy listening, Michael Bublé’s Christmas album topped the charts last year

Easy listening gives rivals a hard time as Bublé and co beat R'n'B

They'll never be cool – but figures say smooth tunes are selling

Katie Melua, Hammersmith Apollo, London

It is hard to watch Katie Melua without lamenting the absence of smoking within venues. Her soft lustrous vocals hark back to days of the melancholic lounge singer, emoting to an absorbed audience through an opaque smoky veil.

Toseland comeback inspired by singer Melua

Britain's superbike man of steel James Toseland made his comeback to racing here yesterday – backed by singer-songwriter Katie Melua.

Katie Melua, Hammersmith Apollo, London

A rich velvety voice on an empty stage fills the Apollo and is greeted with instant applause. "The Closest Thing to Crazy" opens the show, a tender track that the singer wraps her distinct vocals around.

Keren Ann, Jazz Café, London

The audience was pulled out of its drinking and chatting revelry at the Jazz Café when "101", the title track of Keren Ann's latest album was pumped loudly from the PA system.

Album: Belle & Sebastian, Write About Love (Rough Trade)

B&S's eighth studio album comes after a four-and-a-half year wait, but the hiatus hasn't altered them one jot.

Album: Katie Melua, The House (Dramatico)

William Orbit produces, Guy Chambers helps out, Mike Batt hovers.

Florence Rawlings, Bush Hall, London

As debut headline gigs go, there was always a chance that tonight would be anticlimactic, not least because Florence Rawlings had already graced Wembley Arena as support for Tom Jones.

Album: Florence Rawlings, A Fool in Love (Dramatico)

Discovered by Mike Batt at 13 but, after a wise decision to finish school, only now releasing her debut album, Florence Rawlings is the latest product of the pop mind who gave the world Katie Melua.

Jonathan Ross buys David Bowie self-portrait for £20,000

Jonathan Ross forked out £20,000 at a charity auction last night for a self-portrait of his hero, David Bowie.

David Lister: Put a stop to this booking fee rip-off

When the new home in Manchester for Royal Opera House productions was announced this week, there was one aspect that not a single reporter or commentator mentioned. And I'm quite sure that the two guiding spirits behind the scheme, ROH chief executive Tony Hall and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, never once mentioned it. It is the old saw of booking fees.

The Storys, 100 Club, London

From the opening song "I Believe in Love", with its hopeful chorus, The Storys don't so much wear their influences on their sleeves as have them branded to their arms.

Pop: K T Tunstall The Social Nottingham ooo99

"BEING SWEATY is a good thing, isn't it?" K T Tunstall asks self- mockingly, before launching into her sassy blues track, and debut single, "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree". "The single's out on 21 February, so let's make it Top 50," she laughs.

Rock and Pop: Blood on the stage

The family that sings together isn't always harmonious, says CHRIS MUGAN. Can the Bedingfields break the mould at the Brits?

Album: Minnie Driver

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch