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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada