Arts and Entertainment

The reciprocal half of Gabriel’s I’ll-cover-yours-if-you’ll-cover-mine project Scratch My Back, in which his correspondents respond to his proposition by covering PG songs in return - a round dozen of them, including “Biko”, “Shock the Monkey” and, ill-advisedly, “Don’t Give Up”.

Tom Odell: 'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

Fantasy band: Tom Odell

'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

Second-string Wales humbled by Japan in Tokyo

Japan 23 Wales 8

'The Velvet Underground and Nico' with its Warhol sleeve

Velvet Underground dispute with Andy Warhol Foundation settled

A legal fight between the rock band The Velvet Underground and the Andy Warhol Foundation is over.

Bowie's ad-bomb inspiring album cover

Marketing: Is David Bowie ad-bomb funky or an all-time low?

Few acts unite popular musical opinion like David Bowie. Arguably, even more so than The Beatles. Even if Bowie’s new album The Next Day, which was released on Monday, doesn’t tickle your fancy like Low or Hunky Dory, it’d be a bold move to say you didn’t love at least some of his work. The man, frankly, unarguably, is a genius. Are we quorate on that? Right.

Alun-Wyn Jones

Six Nations: Alun-Wyn Jones returns to Wales squad ahead of Italy clash

Jones has been out since the autumn due to a shoulder injury

Wales captain Sam Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton to miss Six Nations clash against France

Wales and France announce squads for Saturday's match

Bradley Davies needs an operation on his ankle injury, bringing the number of locks on the absentee list to four

Heineken Cup round-up: Davies operation adds to Welsh woe

They're going down like flies. Interim coach Rob Howley has seen Wales's injury list grow and grow and now his problems have reached crisis proportions. Bradley Davies needs an operation on his ankle injury, bringing the number of locks on the absentee list to four.

Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Underground & Nico: Super Deluxe Edition (UMC/Polydor)

As many a box set proves, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.

The Week In Radio: When it's well worth waiting for the man

Focusing on a single band over a weekend is a tricky business on the radio. Get it wrong and you risk provoking the ire of the music police, who are a bit like the fashion police only more militant. They will rain hellfire and damnation down on you on Twitter, picket outside your office and very likely follow you home, barge into your house, skim through your record collection and locate the copy of Kylie and Jason's "Especially for You" that you had studiously hidden from your family, and hold it up as evidence of your abominable taste.

This year's Meltdown festival is curated by Antony, of Antony and the Johnsons

Heads up: Meltdown

Holy festival! It's the caped crusader of future feminism!

Ryan Jones replaces Bradley Davies for Wales

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones will take the place of banned lock Bradley Davies in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Millennium Stadium visitors Scotland.

M.I.A.

Hell hath no fury like an ego scorned

The NME editor has made a grovelling apology for her campaign against singer Ed Sheeran. Nadia Khomami looks at spats between popsters and the press

Album: 1982 (Nils Okland, Sigborn Apeland, Oyvind Skarbo) Pintura, (Hubro)

This extraordinary album of chamber-style improvisations by the Norwegian trio of Okland (violin/Hardanger fiddle), Apeland (harmonium/Wurlitzer) and Skarbo (drums) lasts a little over half an hour and casts a very powerful spell.

Album: Delaney Davidson, Self Decapitation (Voodoo Rhythm)

Davidson is a one-man band from New Zealand who builds dark cranky blues numbers from looping and layering guitar riffs into walls of reverb-enriched sound.

Album: Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu (Mercury)

Lulu may be the ultimate Goth album: steeped in art-house self-regard, mired in the vilest extremes of perversion and misery, barked out with as little human warmth as its practitioners can muster and its leaden tortures drawn out to unbearable lengths, it takes the notion of being "drawn to the dark side" to the nth degree.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game