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

Collector's editions? No thanks, Radiohead

Re-releasing old albums with a few extras offers little to fans, says Elisa Bray

Birthday party? £1m should help it go with a bit of a swing

The billionaire founder of Phones 4U, John Cauldwell, hired Leona Lewis to perform at his daughter Libby's 21st birthday party last week. The cost? £1,000,000.

Katy Holland: American-style residential summer camps for kids

Are we there yet? Record numbers of kids are being packed off for fun and adventure

Last Night's Television: Building The Olympic Dream<br />Ford's Dagenham Dream, BBC4

"It's not about money or dividends or palpable stuff," said Martin Green, the head of ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics. "It's about intangible things like pride and inspiration." Virtues that, it should be remembered, often have to be paid for with money and dividends and palpable stuff. For example, Martin's budget for the eight-minute handover ceremony in Beijing – you remember, the tactful one with the exploding bus and Leona Lewis on a stick – was £2m. I work that out at just north of £4,166 for every second of national embarrassment, which seems eye-wateringly palpable to me. The first part of Building the Olympic Dream, a three-part series about preparations for the 2012 Olympics, followed the organisers and performers as they worked their guts out preparing the British anticlimax to accompany the Chinese closing ceremonies.

Snow Patrol earn little from Leona cover

Gary Lightbody has revealed he won't be raking in the royalties from Leona Lewis' cover of his hit song Run.

X Factor single sets European sales record

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke's debut single Hallelujah has set a European record, beating Leona Lewis, a previous champion of the show.

Album: Akon, Freedom (Island)

Senegalese R&B star Akon may be currently the world's most successful African performer, his own eight million album sales augmented by hit collaborations with the likes of Gwen Stefani and Leona Lewis.

Coldplay crowned kings of iTunes

Coldplay was the hottest iTunes album download this year: Its "Viva la Vida" was crowned the best-selling album of 2008, while Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" was named the top-selling single.

Album: Beyoncé, I Am ... Sasha Fierce, (Columbia)

Not such an independent woman after all

Metronomy, ULU, London

Three men in black stand on a red-lit stage, each with a glowing white orb stuck to his chest. At first sight and sound, Metronomy may seem like just another post-Klaxons dance-pop group, but appearances are deceptive.

Leona Lewis: Hackney beats Hollywood

She's a sensation Stateside, but Leona Lewis is refusingto swap the East End for the West Coast. Rob Sharp explores her home turf

Estelle wins two Mobos for her mother's shelf

The singer Estelle won two awards at last night's Mobos, on a night dominated by British artists.

Downing Street diet: The incredible shrinking Prime Minister

Healthy break leaves PM a stone lighter, but Tory leader seems to have put on weight

Pandora: Conspiracy theories abound over BBC's London bombings film

The BBC has found itself under siege from all sides over its decision to make a documentary about the bombings that took place in London on 7 July, 2005.

Brendan Burns, Assembly, Edinburgh<br/>Pappy's Fun Club, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Andrew Maxwell, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Ivan Brackenbury, Pleasance, Edinburgh

It's not all a bundle of laughs on the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but the best comedians still hit the spot
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific