Arts and Entertainment Elton John performing at his 'Brits Icon' concert at The Palladium in London

Sir Elton John has become the recipient of the first Brits Icon award after being presented with honour by Rod Stewart at a special concert at the London Palladium.

My Fantasy Band: E, Eels

Keyboards - Sly Stone

There is nobody like him. You have to check out old YouTube clips of him. It doesn't matter if he's playing organ or acoustic piano, it's all totally unique. Our bass player jammed with him quite recently and he's most definitely still got it.

Love, Sex, Death & Words, By John Sutherland & Stephen Fender

In the introduction to this quirky literary almanac, the authors proclaim, "they have between them a hundred years of scholarship... What they know is like two crammed attics, full of interesting junk. But that junk is worth having." An exploration of the 366 entries (The Beggar's Opera was premiered on 29 February 1728) does not entirely substantiate the latter assertion.

Live! Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band to gig online

Today at 3pm BST Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will be inviting fans around the world to join them online for a live press conference and special performance.

Diary: Downing Street's in a tails spin

Well, what a right old pig's ear that was! One minute we were being told by Number 10 that Dave (PM) would be sticking two fingers up to all those silly old snobs insisting he had to wear traditional tails on the day of the royal wedding – the next we hear he'll be donning his Bullingdon best after all. Just as Tory heartlands everywhere were struggling to come to terms with the prospect of their leader embarrassing the nation in such a shoddy fashion, flustered Downing Street lackeys were suddenly spinning a different yarn altogether, insisting the Prime Minister had in fact always intended to embrace his fate on 29 April. Someone, we were pointedly told, had jumped the gun by unofficially suggesting otherwise – someone who hadn't even bothered to check with his boss before opening his big fat stupid mouth!

Rebecca Nassauer: Artist whose later work confronted terminal illness with her characteristic playfulness

If making art is about empowerment, then terminal illness, by sharply reducing the horizon, concentrates the mind and stretches the imagination perhaps more than anything else. The artist Rebecca Nassauer's 12-year-long battle with breast cancer culminated in a large series of sculpted heads which embody both her state of mind and the remaining healthy part of herself. Entitled Safekeepers, they were exhibited last spring at her son Josh Lilley's London gallery.

Abbey Road crossing steps into safer future

The zebra crossing in north London that features on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album has been given listed status.

Away in a manger: How one Surrey man turned a Nativity in his barn into an annual pilgrimage

From humble beginnings, a Nativity play in stockbroker-belt Surrey has grown over two decades into an extravaganza seen by thousands. And all thanks to one man and his draughty outbuilding

Diary: I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!

History shows that our celebrities and politicians traditionally make ill-suited bedfellows. Indeed, as Tony Blair would be quick to point out, those pesky thespians – more than happy to knock back your Downing Street bubbly when it flamin' well suits them – can be a fickle lot when the going gets tough!

You Never Give Me Your Money, By Peter Doggett

This thoroughly researched, brilliantly related work begins with "five shots of a large calibre weapon" outside New York's Dakota Building in 1980. Paul McCartney responded to the most famous death in rock music with the spectacularly ill-judged comment, "Drag, isn't it?" and Ringo Starr "never brought up the events" while dining that night at Mr Chow in Beverly Hills.

A life in portrait: Brian Griffin's latest collection

In the early Seventies, the photographer Brian Griffin began his career taking shots of businessmen for Management Today magazine. His approach, as you may deduce from the images here, was rather unconventional.

No more music from the quilted generation

Old rockers should hang up their leather trousers while their reputation and their dignity are still intact, says Andy Gill

God by John Lennon (1970)

Story of the song

FAB: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes

Reading this book, listening to his post-Beatles music, it's hard to disagree with David Puttnam – that Paul McCartney is a man of "immense, immense, immense talent" unable to make the crucial extra effort that would transform the merely good into the exceptional. "Was it that it was too hard, was it that it was too challenging? Or was it that he was a reasonably contented guy and he didn't think it was worth putting himself through that amount of pain? But the difference between good and great is that last 15 per cent." Puttnam believes he has not "absolutely delivered what was in [him]".

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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
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

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America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone