News

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

Design: One-Storey Wonder

It was a Seventies bungalow in Sussex, without a great deal of style. Now it's been transformed into a family-friendly haven of design. Dominic Bradbury drops in

Liza Minnelli, Coliseum, London: Queen of cabaret wows adoring fans

It might all be in the genes, but second-generation stars often struggle to live up to expectations and match their parents' success. Not so Liza Minnelli. A celebrity for all of her 62 years, the daughter of The Wizard Of Oz star Judy Garland and the director Vincente Minnelli has done a better job than most, even if she owes more of her current notoriety to the antics of fourth husband David Gest than the fact that, in 1989, she made the best Hi-NRG record of all time.

Album: Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop)

Comedy and music mix as well as oil and water, but Flight of the Conchords – the Grammy-winning New Zealand duo of Radio 4/HBO fame – are one of the rare and precious exceptions.

The Pet Shop Boys/Madness, Heaven, London

The Pet Shop Boys' stock has been gently sinking for 15 years. Since perfecting their English art-disco with Very, the consistency of the sleekly subversive pop singles that made them dance culture's Kinks has been lost. How much Neil Tennant confirming he was gay also contributed to their commercial slide is a matter for their audience's consciences. But in Heaven, the often gay nightclub, the Pet Shop Boys' enduring quality and meaning becomes movingly clear.

Gays apologise for Sir Elton's act with 'cub scout strippers'

THE GAY rights group Stonewall has apologised after Sir Elton John caused outrage by performing a dance act with male teenage strippers dressed as boy scouts at a benefit concert.

ROCK & POP CHOICE

THIS WEEK BLUR

Pop; ALBUM REVIEWS

The Beastie Boys `The Sounds of Science' (Grand Royal/Capitol)

Rock & Pop: Shameless, absolutely shameless

Michael Bracewell sees integrity and irony entwined as the Pet Shop Boys launch their new show in New York

Design in Britain: Coming up with the goods

From chocolate to needle-free syringes, each Millennium Product encapsulates a specific aspect of innovative British design. By Nonie Niesewand

Arts: Pop: B-sides on display

BLUR ELECTRIC BALLROOM, LONDON

Your chance to fight `dumbing down'

IT WAS billed as one of the great national shared experiences of the century. And once upon a time the BBC might have wheeled out a Dimbleby or two, or at least some of the best scientific names in the land. Yet its coverage of Wednesday's eclipse was regarded by many critics as dismally banal, left to the talents of children's presenter Jamie Theakston and the breathy Philippa Forrester, with help from the Pet Shop Boys and the Radio 1 Roadshow. No wonder the anchorman Michael Buerk seemed embarrassed at moments like these:

After the jokes, it's down to the real business of editing

Janet Street-Porter, the new editor of this paper, answers her critics and says what's in store
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
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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
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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