Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

Stars, Koko, London

Outside of their Canada home base, Stars have yet to propel their literate, intimate melodramas in expansive song to Arcade Fire-ish levels of success. Tonight's show, then, sees the Montreal-based band occupying the territory of the little-bought but selectively, passionately loved indie band: no bad position to be in when a patchy gig calls for the kind of loving fan base who'll embrace you despite your faults.

Lullabies for little criminals, by Heather O'Neill

A vivid and poignant child's-eye view of the dark side of urban Canada

Hotel Of The Week: Sensuous pleasures in Montreal

"you can be on the ski slopes within an hour," my guide to Montreal informed me. She was referring to the alpine pleasures of the resorts around St Saveur, but the truth is you can snap on some skis right in the heart of this city. For when the snow falls – and does it fall – the locals have only to head for their own Mount Royal Park and its network of cross-country trails.

La La La Human Steps, Sadler's Wells, London<br />Tango Por Dos, Peacock Theatre, London

Obsessive, compulsive, and thoroughly disordered

Oscar Peterson: Virtuoso pianist who dominated jazz piano in the second half of the 20th century

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, pianist: born Montreal, Quebec 15 August 1925; married first Lillie Fraser (deceased; two sons, three daughters; marriage dissolved), second 1958 Sandra King (marriage dissolved 1976), third 1977 Charlotte Huber (one daughter; marriage dissolved), fourth Kelly Green (one daughter); died Mississauga, Ontario 24 December 2007

Land of Talk: A long way from home

It's taken relentless touring and three different line-ups but the Canadian trio Land of Talk are finally getting heard. Lead singer Elizabeth Powell shares all with Fiona Sturges

Athletics: UKA names City figure as its new chairman

Edmond Warner, a City businessman, was named yesterday as the first chairman of UK Athletics and will take up his role immediately. The 43-year-old Warner will act as part-time non-executive chairman and his role will be equivalent to that of the chairman of a public company.

Mugabe extends term to declare himself the 'President-for-life'

Robert Mugabe has effectively appointed himself as President-for-life in Zimbabwe after extending his present term by two years until 2010. The ruling ZANU-PF party will this week endorse a controversial amendment that would maintain the 82-year-old's grip on power and prolong his country's status as an international pariah.

Spencer Tunick: The man who put the nudes into Newcastle

In the largest British event of its kind, 1,700 people posed naked in Gateshead for an installation by the American artist Spencer Tunick. Helen McCormack surveys his body of work

SPORTING DIGEST: Swimming

The 2005 World Championships will be held in Montreal in July after all. Last month Fina, the world governing body, decided to terminate a contract it had with Montreal, because of a financial shortfall, to stage the Championships. However, subsequent guarantees from the Canadian Government and City of Montreal that money needed would be in place saw Fina reverse its previous decision of 19 January at an extraordinary meeting in Frankfurt yesterday.
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World Cup 2014
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Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
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Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?