Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

Fred C Dobbs

Film review: Reincarnated (18)

Can you teach an old Dogg new tricks?

Chancellor George Osborne details this year's Budget

Who says reggae music has no place in the House of Commons?

The Chancellor riffed on an "aspir-ay-shan nay-shan"

David Cameron urges Conservative spring conference to focus on 'the real enemy' ahead of 2015 election

The Prime Minister used  his address to assure members he is sticking to core Tory values

Album: Nuru Kane, Exile (Riverboat Records)

Along with the dry, rasping sound of the guimbri (a three-stringed lute) that's always been his trademark instrument, it's this London-based Senegalese singer-songwriter's urgent frayed voice that gives this eclectic set cohesion.

Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon

Alesha Dixon steps out for domestic abuse victims

Talent show judge Alesha Dixon took a walk in the sun this morning as part of a campaign supporting women affected by domestic violence, as it was revealed two women are killed by current or former partners every week in England and Wales - but she refused to comment on Rihanna's reconciliation with Chris Brown.

Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs
Kele Okereke of Bloc Party

Bloc Party, Earls Court, London

So here we are. After various side-projects, a three-year hiatus and the briefest of UK tours to promote 2012’s Four, Bloc Party have arrived at the not-long-for-this-earth Earls Court for their biggest ever show.

Chris Brown allegedly faked his community service

Down, down, deeper and Brown for Rihanna

Chris Brown continues to wow with his odious behaviour. This week it was alleged that the rapper faked some of his community service (part of his punishment for assaulting his girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009) after prosecutors claimed his community-service records contained “significant discrepancies, indicating, at best, sloppy documentation and, at worst, fraudulent reporting”.

I'm out: Theo Paphitis quits Dragon's Den

Theo Paphitis has called “I’m out” for good on Dragon’s Den after announcing he will leave the show.

Rita Ora may be a hot property, having chalked up three number one singles in 2012 – two solo and one guesting on DJ Fresh anthem ‘Hot Right Now’ – but dangerous is not her shtick.

Rita Ora, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

It might be a Radioactive Tour but dangerous is not this artist's schtick

Snoop Lion in his new Rastafarian guise earlier this month

From Dogg to Lion: Rastas divided over rapper's conversion

Bunny Wailer accuses Snoop Lion of embracing Rastafarianism simply to publicise his new reggae album. Tim Walker reports

IoS album review: Solus 3, Corner of the Dub (Solus 3)

Not exactly a dub version of last year's Corner of the World. More a dub sidestep, perhaps. But then what would you expect of a combo which comprises bass, drums and harp, plus voices/samples? Only asking.

One To Watch: Angel, musician, 24

Hailed as the new face of British R&B by Radio 1, Sirach Charles (aka Angel) from London's Shepherd's Bush was writing and producing for Pixie Lott and Roll Deep before he was signed to Island Records.

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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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
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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there