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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.

Album: Pet Shop Boys, The Most Incredible Thing (EMI)

Pet Shop Boys have come a long way since the ill-fated disco musical Closer to Heaven.

Pop goes the musical

Theatre, ballet and opera are embracing some unexpected talents

Heads Up: The Most Incredible Thing

Cometh the hour, cometh the Pet Shop Boys' ballet

Album: British Sea Power, Valhalla Dancehall (Rough Trade)

Power and glory – a panoramic take on protest pop

My Dad’s a Birdman, Young Vic, London

Father and daughter are in a flap in more ways than one in My Dad's a Birdman, this year's super soaraway Christmas entertainment at the Young Vic. David Annen's scrawny, beguiling Dad appears to be several twigs short of the full nest with his jerky avian twitches, hops, hoots and nasal burrowings into a bin-bag.

Elton's Heroes: No. 4 - Brandon Flowers

The unlikely idol with the killer tunes

Flesh dance: the nude show set for UK debut

A choreographer who describes himself as the "enfant terrible" of the dance world, and whose previous shows have featured scenes of simulated masturbation, is set to bring his work to Britain for the first time.

Album: Hurts, Happiness (Sony/Major Label)

Clean-cut Hurts duo Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson are aiming for a kind of undemonstrative Pet Shop Boys studiousness in their personal presentation, reflected in the well-manicured lines of their classy pop songs.

Pet Shop Boys, Empress Ballroom, Blackpool<br/>Klaxons, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

A dash of wit, a slice of politics and a garnish of art-school style &ndash; the Pet Shop Boys' synth-pop formula just gets better and better

Culture Club: Glastonbury

Readers review this week's festival featuring Gorillaz, Dizzee Rascal, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Muse, Scissor Sisters, MGMT, Laura Marling, The Flaming Lips, Tinie Tempah and The xx

Lily's in tears over Ivor Novello triumph

Lily Allen broke down in tears as her song The Fear scooped major prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards today.

Flight of the Conchords, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Dulcet duo in pretty fine feather

Be afraid. Janet's on the stump

In Islington South and Finsbury, former home of Tony Blair, the main parties have all chosen female candidates. Janet Street-Porter met them

A very modern military partnership

Only 10 years ago, the Army was expelling soldiers for homosexuality. Now gay weddings get the regimental blessing. Terri Judd reports

Blaze, Peacock Theatre, London

Blaze scoops up street dance, reality TV dance competitions and stage and video designers, cramming them all together to make a noisy, scattershot show. In one mood, it can frame champion-level breakdancing with sophisticated video design, imagery swirling. In another, it tries cheesy comedy routines with joke wigs and a clapometer.

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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?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital