Arts and Entertainment X-factor winner Sam Bailey's debut single 'Skyscraper' is this year's Christmas number one

Robbie Williams keeps One Direction off the top spot in the albums chart

Album: Leona Lewis, Echo, (Syco)

Of all the talent-show turns unearthed in the past decade, Leona Lewis is the only one to have parlayed the opportunity, when it knocked, into a significant international career; and judging by this safe, careful follow-up to the multi-platinum Spirit, she's not taking any unnecessary chances that might prematurely derail that career. She might admirably refer to the original Greek myth – in which an unrequited lover pines away till just her voice remained – in explaining the album's title, but one doesn't have to be a complete cynic to place a more prosaic interpretation on Echo, so closely does it stick to its predecessor's formula.

Singer faces jail over child sex abuse

A singer who carried out a 20-year campaign of child sex abuse while performing with top stars is facing a lengthy prison sentence.

Dame Vera Lynn to take on X Factor winner in chart battle

Dame Vera Lynn is to take on this year's X Factor winner in a bid to grab the Christmas number one, it was announced today.

Leona Lewis, Hackney Empire, London

Leona Lewis's first major homecoming gig wasn't going to be anything less than a fanciful affair designed for the modern diva. It's exactly the direction the Hackneyite has been groomed towards, given the past two years she's spent in the company of Simon Cowell and major players to diminish her reality-show ties and establish her credibility – not to mention the mystery that's surrounded her fantastical transformation, which appears to be the subtle theme tonight. Either that, or someone thought it'd be clever to toy with the idea of the good girl turned semi-bad with a show that plops the singer into the edgy arena of sinister interludes and the random accompaniment of six b-boying Shaolin types.

After 2,000 gigs, Hounslow singer tops the US charts

Jay Sean becomes an overnight sensation – after seven years of trying

Man accused of attacking Leona Lewis is sectioned

A man accused of assaulting pop star Leona Lewis is not fit to attend court, a judge was told today.

Album: Alexandra Burke, Overcome (Syco/Sony)

Pop star divas! We like them. So, let's make more of them

Sarah Sands: It can't be true – it was in the newspaper

If stars live on publicity, some of it will be made up

Howard Jacobson: There's only one thing a sense of humour will get you – and that's into trouble

As long as you keep making jokes you don’t have to listen to anybody else

Man held after Leona punched at book signing

Singer Leona Lewis was recovering today after being punched in the head as she signed books for fans.

The world's most expensive wedding singers

The Rolling Stones charge £5 million to perform at weddings.

Susan Boyle cracks top five viral videos

Singing sensation Susan Boyle, who became an overnight star with her surprising performance on a talent show, has made the top five in a list of the most watched viral videos of all-time.

Who needs Simon Cowell? Enrol at the school where fame and fortune are part of the curriculum

Kids, right here is where you start paying – in sweat. Just as soon as your business lecture is finished. Nick Duerden meets the students of the Academy of Contemporary Music, where the 'Fame' game has never been more serious

James Morrison, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Mums go mad for Morrison
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Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
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Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
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Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
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artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
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Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor