Life and Style

Q. I'm a single mother in my forties and I think I've begun to develop some kind of social phobia. People think of me as quite a confident person. I'm fine dealing with people in my work and at the school gate (I have two sons aged 11 and 14), but I dread any social event.

Festival goers arrive for Bestival 2013 at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight

First summer without a festival - does this mean I'm getting old?

After too many summers spent getting drunk on warm cider and soaked by cold rain, is it time for a year off?

Chalk Talk: A tour with Blondie? That's top-notch work experience for students

Some experiences that you notch up as a student you just can't beat.

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald D Hunter at the PFA Player of the Year awards: Right man, but wrong event at the wrong time

The Independent's Sam Wallace, who was in attendance at last night's awards, provides an insight into events

Brit Awards 2013: nominations in full

Emili Sandé is the most nominated artist up for four awards followed by Rita Ora, Mumford & Sons and Alt-J with three nominations each

Rizzle Kicks have been confirmed for the Isle of Wight Festival

Rizzle Kicks added to Isle of Wight Festival line-up

Hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks have been added to the line-up of the Isle of Wight Festival along with 1980s favourites T'Pau.

Bob Geldof hasn't played with the Boomtown Rats' since 1986

Music: Bob Geldof reckons it's boomtime for the Rats

"It's time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit," Bob Geldof said as he announced the Irish post-punk outfit that really don't like Mondays were to reform for shows including a Sunday-night spot at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Paloma Faith would put Fifty Shades of Grey in Room 101; comedian Jack Whitehall hates 'glamping'

What gets my goat! 'Room 101' returns

A new set of celebrities reveal their pet hates. Jonathan Owen investigates

The launch of ‘He Ain’t Heavy...’ in Liverpool

Justice Collective's Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother wins chart battle beating Simon Cowell-backed X Factor winner James Arthur

Proceeds from ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ will pay legal costs for relatives campaigning for justice

Ellie Goulding and Debbie Harry of Blondie

Blondie, Ellie Goulding and Bloc Party join Isle of Wight line-up

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, Blondie, Ellie Goulding and Bloc Party are among acts added to the line-up of next-year's Isle of Wight Festival.

Paul McCartney goes for Christmas chart-topper with Hillsborough tragedy charity single

Sir Paul McCartney is to take on the X Factor for the Christmas number one after joining the line-up of a Hillsborough charity single.

Wogan addresses BBC's Savile crisis on 'Children in Need' as appeal beats 2011 total

The BBC's Children in Need appeal raised more than £26 million during this year's live television show, beating the 2011 total.

Where's Pudsey? No sign of BBC's Children in Need with only three days to go

Three days before the BBC hosts its annual Children in Need telethon it is desperately fighting to shore up public trust in the organisation.

Gary Barlow to play at Chris Evans' pub

Take That frontman Gary Barlow has signed up to play what could be the smallest gig of his career - in DJ Chris Evans' pub.

Gary Barlow tops singles chart with official Diamond Jubilee song

Gary Barlow and his Commonwealth Band have leapt to the top of the chart this week with Jubilee anthem Sing.

Paul Epworth and Adele

Behind every female superstar...

When Adele's producer stepped into the limelight at the Grammys, a Svengali was unmasked, says Elisa Bray

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London