Arts and Entertainment Paul O’Grady, best known for his drag queen comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, has strong views on benefit reform

Viewers complained the comedian's strong opinions were not challenged

Paul O'Grady in his show 'For the Love of Dogs'

Paul O'Grady facing heart surgery after suffering angina attack

The 58-year-old comedian has had two heart attacks previously

Blessed says: 'My five-year plan is to climb Everest without oxygen. I'll be the oldest man to do it. It will show that everything is possible'

My Secret Life: Brian Blessed, 76, actor

'I do love silk underwear'

Drags to riches: Lily Savage

Boyd Tonkin: Why (some) celebs deserve applause in print

The Week In Books

All the right moves: dance music DJ Dave Pearce

The Week In Radio: A rave review for this techno titan's trip back in time

If your legs start twitching when you hear "Jack Your Body" and the scent of Vicks VapoRub sends you into a nostalgic reverie; if you still dream of havin' it large at the Ministry of Sound at the weekend but can't stomach the cost of a babysitter; if you're an ex-raver of a certain age then you could do worse than switch on to Radio 2 on a Saturday night and listen to the network's latest appointment, the long-serving dance DJ Dave Pearce.

Charlotte Raven: For most women, free choice is still something we can only dream of

The commodification of the female body and interpersonal relationships have become the defining feature of modern British popular culture

Editor-At-Large: I'm spring-cleaning my brain, so those celebrities must go

A glorious Easter weekend is a perfect opportunity to do some spring-cleaning. Not the kind requiring a vacuum cleaner, but a far less strenuous undertaking involving no more exercise than sitting in a chair in the sun and doing a spot of contemplation. Scientists have been trying to work out why, as we get older, our memories appear to stop working. It certainly drives me bonkers – I spend ages trying to remember the name of a bore who worked for me 10 years ago. Or where I put that recipe for slow-cooked shoulder of lamb. Or why my reading glasses vanish every two hours. The list is endless. We waste hours rifling through the messy Rolodex in our heads, trying to put it into some sort of coherent order, trying to retrieve all sorts of lost information, that will suddenly pop back into circulation ages after you actually needed them.

Last Night's TV: Long Lost Family/ITV1<br />Secrets of the Arabian Nights/BBC4

The biggest surprise in Long Lost Family is that it's not been made before. Ancestry, investigation, lost relatives: it is, surely, a match made in wall-to-wall heaven. After all, these are the people who brought us Who Do You Think You Are?. This was but a moodboard away.

Paul Vallely: The Bookless Child and the Postcode Lottery

Libraries in the PM's backyard have had a reprieve, but closures elsewhere eliminate young borrowers at random

Margaret John: Actress acclaimed for her portrayal of the saucy neighbour Doris in 'Gavin and Stacey'

Margaret John came into her own as a comic actress in the part of Doris, the outrageously saucy, octogenarian neighbour in the hit BBC series Gavin and Stacey who propositions the embarrassed young man, newly married, with a lascivious wink and the words, "If you are interested in that sort of thing, you know, I'm very open-minded and discreet, OK?"

Diary: George gathering dust

Even committed political agitators need a hobby. In a blog for the Daily Record, George Galloway reveals he's working on – what else? – a musical about Dusty Springfield. The fiery former MP recently spotted a CD of 1960s hits at a service station. Soon, he writes, it was gracing his car stereo. "The star who shines brighter than all the rest on this trip down memory lane is Dusty Springfield – as fresh today as a spring field should be. And, as it happens, one of the many projects on which I'm working – with Scots writer Ron McKay – is a stage musical, eponymously entitled Dusty." McKay and Galloway must've bonded over Springfield's hits while campaigning for Gaza. Yet Diary feels obliged to inform them their idea is not an original one. Dusty musicals have already been staged in Australia, The Netherlands and Bromley. Last year a theatre producer even appeared on Dragons' Den hoping to persuade Britain's best business minds to back her version (also eponymously entitled Dusty). Needless to say, they declined.

Vegas hopes to hit right notes as he prepares to play his comedy hero

When Les Dawson walked on to the set of Blankety Blank as the new host of the popular 1980s quiz show, he ruffled more than a few establishment feathers.

Brown makes gay rights justice pledge

Gordon Brown pledged to stand with gay people until "justice was achieved".

Terence Blacker: What children want, they must have

Misguided adults are allowing kiddie-rule to win the day

Jazz legend Johnny Dankworth dies

Tributes were paid today to British jazz legend Sir John Dankworth after he died aged 82.

Slackberry: Note to Auntie - Cast Paul O'Grady as Fred the Shred...please

The City Snitch: The good, the bad and the ugly of The Square Mile
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there