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David Cameron and William Hague got into similar trouble, but for exactly opposite reasons. If the Foreign Secretary had said “stupid person” or (admittedly a bit of a mouthful for an impromptu sedentary aside) “stupid Honourable Member”, he’d be home free. As the lip reading consensus was that he muttered “stupid woman” while Cameron was answering, or more accurately not answering, a hostile question from Labour’s Cathy Jamieson, he quickly became Twitter villain of the day.

Album: Elton John & Leon Russell, Union (Mercury)

Back on the cusp of the 1970s, a young Elton John was making his American debut at Los Angeles' legendary Troubadour club, where he was thrilled to meet his idol Leon Russell, the saturnine pianist then on the verge of establishing his own solo career after a decade as a sought-after session man.

Inside story: The weird world of Mr & Mrs Phil Spector

He is the legendary music producer in prison for murder. She is the young wife protesting his innocence. Welcome to the curious world of Mr & Mrs Phil Spector

Pink Floyd duo reunite for charity gig

Fans had assumed their Live 8 collaboration was their last hurrah, but Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Roger Waters have put their differences aside to perform on stage for charity once more.

Dylan Jones: 'There's little to rival the involuntary yelp you give out when you stumble across an obscure record'

For me, my pets are my records – when I can find them that is. I have spent a good deal of my life sifting through rows and rows of old LPs, boxes of secondhand singles and racks of rare CDs in search of those records that continue to elude me. Even though Amazon and iTunes have made it easier to source deleted and difficult-to-find records, there is still little to rival the involuntary yelp you give out when you stumble across something on your list while idly looking through a record store.

Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and that special chemistry

Artists from Amy Winehouse via David Bowie to U2 have had musical masterminds in the control room. Fiona Sturges looks at their influence

Poor Little Bitch Girl, By Jackie Collins

When Jackie Collins' debut novel was published in 1968, the romance writer Barbara Cartland branded it "nasty, filthy and disgusting". The World Is Full of Married Men delved into the sexually charged affairs of beautiful young things who sashayed, swaggered and slept their way around the Hollywood hills. Four decades and 26 bestsellers later, readers may well wonder if, at 72, Collins still has what it takes to be nasty, filthy and disgusting.

Larry Knechtel: Pianist who played with two Elvises, Simon and Garfunkel, Phil Spector and the Doors

In 1969, Paul Simon wanted to give his new composition, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", some of the feel of a gospel song. He asked the Los Angeles pianist Larry Knechtel to work on the first verse with the vocalist Art Garfunkel. After four days, he was impressed with the result and the way Knechtel had interpreted his composition. It prompted him to write a third verse, although he subsequently felt that the lyrics were not as strong as the first two. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" became an international best-seller, topping the charts in both Britain and America. Knechtel was invited on tour, and Simon has described how he sat at the side while Garfunkel and Knechtel performed his song. It irked Simon, who admitted, "It's not a very generous thing to think, but I resented it." Knechtel shared a Grammy with Simon and Garfunkel, and the musicians Jimmie Haskell and Ernie Freeman, for the Best Arrangement of the Year.

Ellie Greenwich: Co-writer of such pop classics as ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’, ‘Be My Baby’ and ‘Leader Of The Pack’

The New York songwriter Ellie Greenwich composed some of the best-known, most loved and most covered hits of the Sixties, often with her then husband Jeff Barry and the legendary “Wall Of Sound” producer Phil Spector. This three-way partnership created the enduring pop classics “Da Doo Ron Ron” as well as “And Then He Kissed Me” for the Crystals, “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” for the Ronettes, and “River Deep, Mountain High” for Ike & Tina Turner – all produced by Spector – and also “Chapel Of Love”, a hit for the Dixie Cups in 1964, and “I Can Hear Music”, a UK Top Ten single for the Beach Boys in 1969.

Grizzly Bear, Koko, London

So, Grizzly Bear are a pretty cool band to name-drop in 2009, and with good reason. Their stunning third album, Veckatimest, is already being touted as one of the albums of the year and they have received public gushing endorsements from a number of acts, including Fleet Foxes and Radiohead. And yet they seem more surprised than anyone that their complex brand of experimental folk-pop is such a winner, and that they're now playing venues the size of KOKO.

Excess all areas: A life in rock'n'roll

When American showbiz lawyer Steven Machat entered the family business, he dealt with Michael Jackson, James Brown, Sam Cooke and many more. In this exclusive extract from his memoir he gives some of his recollections

Lost in music: The peculiar life of Brian Wilson

He is one of the towering geniuses of popular music, and the creator of some of the most memorable records of all time. But life has not been easy for Brian Wilson. And, as John Walsh discovers, interviewing the great man is no simple task either ...

One Minute With... Gwilym Gold, Golden Silvers

Where are you?

Album: Various Artists, Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (Universal)

Joe Meek is often lazily dubbed "the English Phil Spector"; but despite the shared characteristics of their personal lives (independent spirit, short temper, paranoid psychosis, doomed recourse to gunplay), in the arena which defined their existences – music – they were poles apart.

Ray Davies' well-respected legacy

It took Ray Davies three years to recover after he was shot in 2004. The lost time has increased his determination to ensure his work endures, he tells James McNair
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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own