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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.

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions