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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home