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Most brothers of the groom use their best man’s speech as an excuse for some mild teasing and emotional childhood tales.

X Factor judge Gary Barlow in Glasgow.

Gary Barlow offers to light up Blackpool after Danny O'Donoghue pulls out

X Factor judge Gary Barlow has offered to step in and perform at the turning on of the Blackpool Illuminations after The Voice star Danny O'Donoghue and his band pulled out.

GTA 5: Soundtrack and radio stations leaked online

Tracks ranging from classic rock to contemporary rap listed after digital pre-order download analysed by fans

Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant turned down a role as a judge on American Idol

Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant asked to replace Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol

Tennant believes producers want a 'bitchy gay Englishman' to fill Cowell's shoes

Night Engine, a four-piece from London fronted by Phil McDonnell

Music review: The Great Escape, Various venues, Brighton

It’s hard to shake the feeling that The Great Escape, the annual three-day gigathon for new bands and Brighton’s answer to Texas’s South-By-South-West, has grown too unwieldy for its own good. Certainly, the queues outside venues that snake all the way to Eastbourne offer little hope to the majority of seeing the year’s buzz bands such as The Strypes, Swim Deep or Parquet Courts.

Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisolm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham at St Pancras yesterday

Spice Girls 'set for Olympics closing ceremony'

Rumours that the Spice Girls will be reuniting to perform at the Olympic Games closing ceremony look to be true after the band were pictured apparently rehearsing for Sunday's extravaganza.

The Olympic Torch at Wembley

Spectators' experience at London 2012 Olympics to be improved with music and special lighting

Olympics organisers have revealed how they intend to enhance the spectator experience at London 2012 with music and other visual presentations.

Simon Kelner: Unplugged, unenlightened and just un-British

It's possibly easier to come across a rock god than a black cab in London at the moment. First up was Bruce Springsteen, who found out what unplugged really means when his concert at Hyde Park was summarily curtailed after over-running his allotted time.

David Bailey: The photographer has taken inspiration from nature. 'It's the happiest flower I could think of,' he says of the striking picture he has donated to the exhibition. The image is one of Bailey's own photographs, which he shot in 2008. Every year, he captures the same flowers in April and May

Charting emotion: What makes me happy

Researchers have tried to quantify how happy people are by charting the emotion on an index. From Tuesday, it is the turn of the arts to explain happiness, with a new exhibition aiming to express the emotion through objects.

Fortnum and Mason Christmas window display

West End girls give festive touch to Fortnum and Mason display

Department store Fortnum and Mason has unveiled its Christmas window decorations, with not a bauble in sight.

Metropole Orkest vs Basement Jaxx, Barbican, London

Basement Jaxx's creative resource has let them survive the 1990s' dance-pop heyday with hardly a scratch.

High Court legal bid to block library closures

Library closures across the country are challenged for the first time at the High Court today.

First Night: The Most Incredible Thing, Sadler's Wells, London

Ballet extravaganza is a step too far for the Pet Shop Boys

Javier de Frutos: 'Destroying art? It's like slapping a nun...'

After boos, death threats and a breakdown, the enfant terrible of dance returns – this time with a three-act ballet scored by the Pet Shop Boys
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing