Arts and Entertainment Elton John will duet with Gary Barlow on the final show of The X Factor

The star will duet with Gary Barlow despite attacking the show in the past

Truck Festival USA, Full Moon Resort, Catskills, NY

In terms of setting you'd be hard-pressed to find somewhere more idyllic: a collection of rustic cabins nestling around a frothing creek in the mountains. Were all this not enough, the sun decides to shine. All weekend.

Album: Kesha, Animal (RCA)

Dropping off the music-industry conveyor belt with a ker-chinggg, Kesha Sebert – or, to render it properly, Ke$ha – is a terrifyingly ambitious 22-year-old from San Fernando, first heard on Flo Rida's abysmal "Right Round", who is now being given the full Max Martin treatment.

Russell Brand 'pops the question' to Katy Perry

Russell Brand and Katy Perry are said to have become engaged during a romantic holiday.

24 hours after daughter's death, mother gives up her fight for life

Ex-partner who shot Julie and Maisie Hamilton was 'angered' by break-up

Nails - a real talon contest

Want to know how you can stay at the sharp end of style? The answer is at your fingertips, where street meets chic, says Harriet Walker

Terra Firma sues Citi over 'fraudulent' auction for EMI

US banking giant accused of lying during bid process for British music company

Mika: At home with fame

From early childhood, Mika knew he was destined to sing. And with his latest album selling a million copies, he's finally proved the doubters wrong. He invites Elisa Bray to his pad

Gossip girl: Meet the indomitable Beth Ditto

For the singer and gay icon Beth Ditto, confronting prejudice is a way of life. She talks about fat, fame – and feuding with Katy Perry

The single - The end of an era

This week's No 1 isn't available on CD. What's a man supposed to buy a teenager for his birthday now, asks Jonathan Gibbs

Let's spend the wedding night together: Stones will play at your reception for £5m

They are a familiar sight at many a wedding party: ageing musicians who once harboured dreams of performing their own work belting out cover hits of timeless classics.

Sophie Heawood: We love you for more than your pollen, chaps

Our writer savours modern life just as it is, for both sexes

The Saturdays, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham<br>M83, Koko, London

Can anyone tell The Saturdays apart? Can they sing? Does it matter? The basques are good, though

Katy Perry, Koko, London

Katy can sure work a crowd

Editor-At-Large: Digging is good for you. Just don&#8217;t expect to enjoy it

Great news that the National Trust is releasing land for 1,000 lucky gardeners to grow fruit and veg – but it’s a shame there are 100,000 on waiting lists for allotments, so this grand gesture won’t make much difference. Surely the NT could have doubled the acreage, given they are the custodians of palatial spreads surrounded by acres of parkland. I’d be more inclined to celebrate if supermarket chains would hand over a fraction of the land they’ve stockpiled over the years so that loyal customers who’ve bolstered their profits can produce their own food.

Has Lily Allen rejoined the sisterhood?

With her catfights and bitchy lyrics, she's never exactly been a girl's girl. But that's all changed now...
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave 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
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
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