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.

Yodel-Ay-Ee-Ooo: Arthur Smith and the Global Yodel, Radio 2<br/>Great Lives, Radio 4

There's more to yodelling than a lonely goatherd

Terence Blacker: A job for the elite, not the incompetent

Should we place our children at the mercy of someone bored, miserable, angry or plain stupid?

Down at the bottom of the garden: Modern follies and chic treehouses are more popular than ever

Improving weather and a housing downturn have one thing in common. They both oblige people to make the most of their home – and that includes the garden. With fewer people moving house in this era of austerity, more are attempting to maximise the play, relaxation and entertainment potential of their existing homes by building treehouses, grottoes and full-blown follies in their outside space.

Guy Adams: Ringo drums up support for his star

LA Notebook

God is in my life, says former Beatle Ringo Starr

John Lennon dismissively sang "God is a concept by which we can measure our pain" - but now his former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr has revealed after decades of searching, he has become a believer.

Blue is the colour... film is the game

It won the Best Movie and Best Director awards at the Golden Globes. Yet James Cameron's 'Avatar' is not the first film to make azure folk cool. Here's the top 10 blue-movie characters who kick the Na'vi's turquoise butts

Pandora: Fawkes gets explosive Commons reception

Many a wounded politician would be quick to agree that crossing swords with formidable Westminster blogger Guido Fawkes is a traditionally hazardous business.

A Christmas Carol (PG)

Christmas has come early, and it's a thoroughly ghoulish affair

Zemeckis to steer Yellow Submarine through 3D remake

More than 40 years after the cinematic success of The Yellow Submarine, the animated film that epitomised the height of psychedelic pop culture and featured a Beatles soundtrack – it is to be re-made in 3D by Disney.

Allen Klein: Notorious business manager for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones

The most infamous manager of the rock and pop era, Allen Klein looked after the affairs of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in the Sixties and early seventies. A notoriously brash character and tough negotiator, Klein invented the role of business manager but his stance as the outsider siding with the artists, the enemy of the record companies, would have had a lot more credence if he hadn't succeeded in negotiating excellent, many would say extortionate, terms when he parted company with his clients.

Last Night's Television: The Apprentice, BBC1<br />The Speaker, BBC2

"We've had a bit of depression in this boardroom over the last few weeks... it's time for a bit of laughter," said Sir Alan, dispatching the winning team at the end of the latest episode. Something similar might have been said of The Apprentice itself at the beginning of last night's programme. So far, it's been fine, but not exactly vintage stuff... and decidedly short on YouTube gold, the sort of jaw-dropping, did-you-see-that-bit moment that gets a series talked about the next day. Last night, made up for it, with easily the funniest episode so far. The task facing the teams was to brand and advertise a new breakfast cereal, a worthy- looking combination of bran flakes and dried fruit. The teams had to come up with a concept, and a cartoon character that might persuade parents to buy this mixture, and their children to swallow it. The fun started almost immediately. "Has the cereal-killer thing already been done?" asked Philip. His team-mates gently steered him away from that mysteriously unexploited territory, where children's breakfast and mass-murder meets. But that deranged proposal was only marginally more misguided than what he came up with next. Thinking on his feet, which were by now lodged squarely in his mouth, Philip outlined his stab at advertising surrealism, a campaign that centred on the comic potential of underwear: "It's so natural that you feel naked... but with pants!" he said, in a eureka tone of voice. Creative excitement gripped him and he stood to audition the jingle he'd composed to accompany his concept: "When you waaaake up and your belly's rumberling... You've got to dance in your pants till you get your belly filled. If you are off to work or you are off to school, you got to dance in your pants until you get in the mood".

Album: Super Furry Animals, Dark Days/ Light Years (Rough Trade)

The worst mistake any band can make, if they want to get noticed, is to release consistently excellent records. Without the clichéd "falls from grace" and the proverbial "stunning returns to form", you just become invisible. So it is with Super Furry Animals, whose endlessly inventive psych-pop ought to have sealed their place as a national treasure after 15 years. Dark Days/Light Years isn't, to my mind, the Furries' finest, but it's growing in stature with every listen. It starts with two pieces of voodoo glam in the style of Marc Bolan, Ringo Starr and John Kongos in "Crazy Naked Girls" (great title) and "Mt". From thereon, it leaps around as many styles as any other SFA album, from the Bollywood-flavoured "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" (another great title) to the childlike "Inaugural Trams". Perhaps the loveliest moment, "Helium Hearts", has barely started before it ends, which tells you plenty: so tune-rich are SFA they can afford to squander a beauty like that.

Pandora: Why McCartney is feeling hacked off

Disastrous news. Sir Paul McCartney, patron saint of pop, has become the latest victim in a string of bizarre celebrity hackings.

Magical mystery tour: Exhibition reveals unseen Beatles and Rolling Stones images

As their manager, Bob Bonis travelled America with The Beatles and Rolling Stones. Now his treasure trove of pictures is revealed for the first time.
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links