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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.

The old power generation

EXHIBITIONS I: There were red braces, there were wine bars - and there was the power glower. Peter York visits the new show at the NPG, to size up some of the faces of the Eighties

Animal magic nets pounds 40m for pet shop boys

NIGEL COPE

When small is no longer Beautiful

THE CRITICS Paul Heaton would require considerably more surgery than Paula Yates to look like Michael Hutchence; Tonight, Ian Broudie's tunes were as out of place as a Pet Shop Boys' T-shirt at a Black Sabbath concert

Through the professional looking glass...

The career path from practitioner to critic is a well-trodden one. Novelists review books, politicians opine in newspaper columns, retired sports stars slip easily in to the commentators' seats - success, it seems, qualifies you to hold forth at will. Not many make the leap the other way, from commentator to player, from critic to performer. Few noisy hacks in the press box would dare jump down on to the stage and assume the lead role, even if the chance arose. But a select few have made the unlikely move, with varying degrees of success ...

So why do we need Midler, Madonna, Patsy, Edina? Well, we don't

You'd swear it was the Second Coming, but it's just a club/record promo thing: another woman singer with a happy House anthem to sell. So here she is, in shades and Big Hair, miming to her Greatest Hit in front of a seething crowd of off-their-face faggots.

Momus The Philosophy of Momus Cherry Red CD BRED 119

The laconic anthropologist returns, with more hugely intelligent, hugely entertaining musings on contemporary mores. Whether speculating upon the sadness of things, analysing Lee Perry's paranoia as a self-fulfilling prophecy, or simply advocating androgyny, Nick "Momus" Currie's tone is urbane, witty and always perfectly measured: in these songs, he manages the difficult trick of applying a veneer of tinder-dry irony without betraying the essential sincerity of his enquiries.

Two ever so slightly irritated young men

Lee and Herring's comedy is for lazy, slacking dossers. James Rampton enters a world of hamster retreats and Whisperin' Bob Harris's till receipts

Teen dream that came true

They're 19, live at home, are the biggest pop idols since East 17 and a re very, very nice. John Lyttle has a Coke with PJ and Duncan Some time soon they plan to use the names they were born with `Did you see Byker Grove at the start? I was crap, man, crap'

Arts: The Rolf Harris factor: It pays to have a sense of humour about your image (even more so if it's laughable). Just ask Rolf Harris. Or Jim Bowen. Or Lulu. Just swallow your pride and cash in on post-modern irony. Jim White grins and bears it

Even Take That have caught a dose of it. When their British tour opened at Glagow's SEC on Thursday night, the young Mancunians had, they said, developed the best stage show of their career. There were pyrotechnics, there were micro shorts and bare buttocks, there was a wardrobe load of leather paraphernalia. And, in the finale, raised up above the boys' Chippendale- broad shoulders and wrapped in a lace dress, there was Lulu.

REVIEW / Kicking the World Cup into touch

FINALLY. Finalement. Endlich. It's been years in the pipeline, but the competition that pits the wits of the world's finest talents against one another, that mixes culture, ethics and entertainment in an unbeatable package, that keeps millions off the streets, is here. Finalmente. We all know which competition we're talking about, so there's hardly any point in mentioning it by name, but for the less sharp among us let's name it anyway: the BBC Design Awards (BBC 2).

Captain Moonlight: A Squidgy to call their own

DIANA evidently isn't getting any peace now she's separated, with policemen making fools of themselves letting her park where she shouldn't, and news reporters pursuing her all over the slopes. Small wonder. A disturbing number of otherwise healthy single men have been confessing to me their secret beliefs that the Princess will come round to them now she's ditched the impediment. They have dreams, fantasies.

RADIO / Safety in numbers

IN ANCIENT Egypt it was made of fine linen, in China of oiled silk, in medieval Ireland of a ewe's intestine - at least, Brian Boru's was. That old wolf in sheep's innards was discovered in a peat bog with all his effects intact: they included what experts agree could only have been his condom. The story of this small, useful piece of equipment was told on Radio 4 this week. Until quite recently, the very word was unmentionable. Salesmen, generally barbers, would enquire discreetly, Anything for the Weekend?

THEATRE / That Noel Coward, man he was cool . . .: Strange claims are being made for Noel Coward, 20 years after his death. That his plays have a life beyond those cosy West End productions; that, well, he's like hip. Biographer Philip Hoare presents the evidence

Tomorrow afternoon, on the lush green slopes of the north coast of Jamaica, Graham Payn and a small group of pilgrims will declare a rather suburban-looking white block of a house open. The house, Firefly, was latterly the domicile of a playwright whose birthday they will celebrate, and who was, at the zenith of his career, the highest paid author in the world.

Ice Skating: Cousins adds fire to the ice: Simon O'Hagan reports on the dashing blade with a score to settle

STEVEN COUSINS has tried a variety of music to accompany the routines which have taken him to the top of British figure skating. The Pet Shop Boys, Herbie Hancock, Phil Collins, Queen. All good to glide and triple-salchow to. And then he had this brilliant idea for next year's Winter Olympic Games.

The IoS Playlist: The five best discs of the moment

Vaughan Williams: Five Tudor Portraits, etc. Bach Choir, New Philharmonia/Willcocks (EMI, CD). Classic choral recording from the Sixties, now reissued. MW
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices