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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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
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?