Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Gaming reviews: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist; Charlie Murder; The Drowning

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Kings of Leon

Music review: Kings Of Leon - The Followill foursome don't do humour, but Mechanical Bull sounds promising

“I'm proud to have done this here in London,” Caleb Followill announces at the end of a live-streamed, one-off set, the decision to bring the Tennessean foursome back to the UK proving inspired. Kings Of Leon only played a short arena tour in June, yet selecting a theatre tiny in comparison cements the continuing warm affection between group and fans that the singer rarely fails to remind have been with them the longest.

Audio and video: ‘Red or Dead’ and ‘The Damn United’

Click on the link below to hear David Pearce read an extract from his new book ‘Red or Dead’ at the Faber Books Soundcloud page. There also follows clips from the film based around one of Pearce's previous novel ‘The Damned Utd’

Splashh are hot on our playlist this week

The Playlist: The Orwells / Cuz / Splashh / Pond / Filthy Boy / Loom

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

'Can't wait!!' Real life David Brent signs off redundancies email with details of his holiday plans

The manager at Wigan Council also told several hundred reeling employees about his weekend at a 'punk rock festival in Blackpool'

1977: British pop punk group The Stranglers at the start of their controversial recording career. From left to right, Hugh Cornwell, Jet Black, Jean Jacques Burnel and Dave Greenfield.

Punk gets fusty? The Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel embraces monarchy and the Daily Telegraph

He’s the snarling bassist in The Stranglers, punk’s most malevolent survivors, famed for beating up rival bands, fans and each other. But Jean-Jacques Burnel has revealed that he is now a Daily Telegraph-reading advocate for Britain’s constitutional monarchy.

Album review: Johnny Dowd, Do the Gargon (Mother Jinx)

Album of the Week: A toe-tapping mix of tortured grooves and Texas boogie

Album: Luke Haines, Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red)

After alternate English histories and wrestlers' inner monologues, the insanely prolific and prolifically insane Auteur turns to children's fables.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina during the hearing of her appeal

Member of Pussy Riot refused parole in Russia

Plight of the band has drawn international attention

Jailed Pussy Riot punk singer denied parole

Maria Alyokhina forced to appear at parole decision appeal by video link despite hunger strike over right to attend in person

Pussy Riot new video provided on Tuesday, 16 July 2013, shows the band members in trademark bright-colored ski masks performing on top of an oil rig

Video: Pussy Riot release new song

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot  have released  a new song and video where, wearing bright-coloured ski masks, they dance on an oil tanker.

Human ciphers: Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi take second place to the giant robots

Jonathan Romney on Pacific Rim: America vs the world? Big mistake

Take a smart director, a global audience and a terrified Hollywood, and you get… a huge mess

Album review: Tom Robinson Band, The Anthology 1977-1979 (EMI)

Ah, the magic of the marginalia. Because regardless of what the history books tell us about The Clash and the Sex Pistols, for anyone growing up in the suburbs towards the end of the 1970s, the group most responsible for politically awakening the nation’s sixth-formers, one skinny tie at a time, was the Tom Robinson Band.

Devil rides out: A Field in England, with Julian Barratt, drums up an earthly inferno out of next to nothing

Jonathan Romney on A Field in England: Once upon a time in the Civil War

Ben Wheatley’s 17th-century freak-out is a cinematic rarity: a truly strange British film

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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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