News

Mitt Romney has already lifted one American out of poverty. Eric Hartsburg, from Indiana, recently used eBay to sell "tattooing rights" to his face. A wealthy Republican paid $15,000 (£9,300) for Mr Romney's campaign logo to be inked on his right temple. "I don't mind," the (Romney-supporting) Mr Hartsburg told reporters. "It's something I believe in." Let's hope he feels the same way in 20 years.

US rapper Snoop Dogg has made friends with a Welsh farmer and swede champion Ian Neale

Snoop Dogg to judge 'American Idol'

If Randy Jackson yells "Yo Dawg!" during the next season of "American Idol," he could be talking to Snoop Dogg, if the rapper has his way.

Page 3 Profile: Mariah Carey, singer

The low-down on today's newsworthy names

American Idol star Lambert, left, looks the part and hits the notes with ease

Queen, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Kimya Dawson, The Haunt, Brighton

Brian May thinks Adam Lambert's 'a keeper', and the audience agrees

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler votes himself off 'American Idol'

Rocker Steven Tyler on has bowed out of his job as a judge on top-rated television singing contest "American Idol" - the US equivalent of the X Factor -, saying he wants to dedicate himself to his band, Aerosmith.

Simon Cowell has waved goodbye to Paula Abdul, Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger

The axe factor: Simon Cowell culls talent show judges as he searches for lost ratings

Power broker scouts for a 'bigger celebrity' as Fox show's viewing figures fail to meet expectations

Simon Cowell axes X Factor judges in US cull

US X Factor judges Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones are out of the TV show, it emerged today.

Steven Tyler wants American Idol pay rise

Steven Tyler has reportedly asked for a pay rise to stay on 'American Idol'.

Cheryl Cole will judge US X Factor

Cheryl Cole has been confirmed as a judge on the US version of 'The X Factor'.

Album: Jessie J, Who You Are (Island)

Jessie J is the latest starlet to be eased from BRIT School to Brit Awards, and with a No 2 and No 1 single already to her name, she's well ahead of schedule.

Basketball: Lakers to bring NBA razmatazz to London

In a few days, the O2 Arena will host Axl Rose and what remains of Guns and Roses. But first, sport: tonight a collection of extremely tall and athletes, together with two troupes of cheerleaders, will attract a sell-out crowd of 19,000 to London’s Docklands, for an evening of high-octane professional basketball.

"Idol" creator Fuller marks iTunes milestone

"American Idol" creator Simon Fuller on Monday marked a digital music milestone, and said he was looking to the Internet and other digital platforms for the next big thing in global entertainment.

Former American Idol contestant killed

Authorities say a 25-year-old former two-time American Idol contestant has been struck and killed by a car in a New Jersey shore town.

Lessons from America on the dangers of reality television

Susan Boyle's plight has touched a nerve in a country where instant fame has often had tragic consequences.

Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend 'in fear for her life'

Simon Cowell's former girlfriend was granted a temporary restraining order against a woman accused of choking her outside the American Idol finale.

Music & Me: Alison Mosshart of The Kills

The first record I bought was…

I don’t honestly remember. There was no place to buy records where I was living, so I used to tape songs off the radio and listen to them on my Walkman.

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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