Album: William Orbit, My Oracle Lives Uptown, (Kobalt)

Over 17 million sales will buy you a little time: so Orbit could well afford to bide his on the back of Madonna's 1996 smash Ray of Light, which he produced and co-wrote.

No word on paparazzi in police log on Madonna fall

A police report on Madonna's fall from a horse is silent on whether paparazzi scared the animal, as her spokeswoman has said.

Amy Jenkins: Why bleak TV is something to smile about

It put a smile on my face to read that the hardcore HBO cop show, The Wire, got good viewing figures when it aired for the first time on BBC2 this week. Why? Because The Wire is well known for being grim, sombre and relentlessly bleak. I'm just so terribly happy about relentlessly bleak. I want my TV drama as gloomy as can be.

Malawi court makes Madonna wait for child

Human rights groups accuse star of bullying her way past the law

Madonna may adopt again from Malawi

Madonna may adopt another child from Malawi despite controversy in 2006 when she began proceedings to adopt her son David Banda.

Sophie Morris: 'Today' viral gets lost in transmission

The Today programme's bullish presenters trade on making listeners' eyes pop over tea and toast and morning tempers. They certainly had me yesterday when Jim Naughtie announced that the team had made a viral ad and put it up on YouTube.

One-Click Wonder:

It has been reported that Madonna is eyeing up a return to the big screen as the lead in a biopic of Wallis Simpson. Here we salute Madge’s incredible perseverance in the face of continued cinematic humiliation..

Touched For The Very First Time, Trafalgar Studios, London

This must be the only play I have ever seen where the paparazzi have stormed the stage before the curtain call has even begun. And where the star has happily posed for them backstage for a little while before re-emerging to pose for them a little bit more, this time with the photogenic producer. Well, who needs applause when you've got the pop of a hundred adoring flash bulbs? And what else can you expect when you put Sadie Frost (ex-wife of Jude Law and drinking partner of Kate Moss) on the West End stage in a one-woman play about Madonna, produced by Imogen Lloyd Webber (daughter of you-know-who)?

Live Nation: Music's next big act

It has reinvented the music industry business model, but a merger with Ticketmaster now looms. Ian Burrell reports

Observations: All decades of Madonna are now the height of fashion

If you couldn't spare £160 to see Madonna thrusting her crotch in concert last year, don't despair. A new exhibition of her film and stage costumes arrives at the Old Truman Brewery in London on 21 February, providing both diehard fans and those who like their culture about as substantial as one of Madge's macrobiotic meals with another chance to get their fix of the material girl.

Demolition ball, The Astoria, London

Six hours that gave the Astoria a fine farewell

Cirque du Soleil: Quidam, Royal Albert Hall, London

It might now be a global brand, but Cirque's current offering is as surreally inventive as ever

Great Works: Madonna and Child with Saints (1505), Giovanni Bellini

Altarpiece in San Zaccaria, Venice
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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