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.

Thomas flotation steams ahead

The two creators of the Thomas the Tank Engine television series, who bought the rights to the character from the Rev W Awdry for pounds 50,000 in 1981, are to float the company on the stock market next month for pounds 30m.

Next stop London: Thomas heads for the stock market

Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller are steaming off to the London stock market in a flotation that should value the Britt Allcroft group at about pounds 25m.

Heterosexuality? Who needs it?

Right. That's it. Last straw, camel's back, had enough, coming out. Out. You know: like one of these homos you read about.

Shopping Bazaar: Checkout/Bjorn Borg, 70 Sloane Ave, London

What is It? Not the Seventies tennis champ's fan club, but a Swedish- owned "underwear palace" in London. There's nothing below the belt about this: it's licenced to use Bjorn's legendary name. Deliciously cheesy promotional postcards show Svenska sirens Inga-Britt and Ulle giving nerdy Uffe a good birching. "A sauna gives the Swedes an opportunity to `pusta ut' (take it easy)," explains a caption.

My life in gor blimey trousers at

Jonathan Sale celebrates skiffle king Lonnie Donegan's 65th birthday

OBITUARY : Wes Farrell

At a time when the charts are dominated by Beatles re-releases, Beatles sound-alikes, disco acts and prefabricated teen stars like Take That, the death of Wes Farrell, the American songwriter and music entrepreneur, helps us put these trends into perspective.

Train to glory

Fifty years ago, as Britain emerged triumphant from a gruelling six-year war, the Reverend Wilbert Awdry published his first book and created one of the world's most enduring fictional characters. The Three Railway Engines introduced Thomas, a talking steam engine. With his irreverent sense of humour and winning smile, he muddled through some 30 adventures between his inception and the Rev Awdry's death in 1972. Originally conceived as an entertainment for the vicar's bed-bound son, Thomas the Tank Engine is now big business with some 200 book titles to his name as well as a television series. (Who could forget Ringo Starr's deadpan voice-overs?) An exhibition currently at the National Railway Museum in York explores the continuing appeal of the brave little engine and his friends. You can climb aboard a model of Thomas, watch Thomas videos and examine the Rev Awdry's collection of Thomas memorabilia, including the wooden model which originally brought the train to life for his son and a relief map of Thomas's imaginary country.

Imagine - the elder brother I never knew

Where were you when John Lennon was killed 15 years ago today? The playwright Alan Bleasdale remembers where he was - and how he felt, and why it still hurts to think about the hero he never met

Fab Four finally come together in spirit for one last song

Mersey's new beat: Security was tight and tempers frayed at the launch of the first new Beatles single for 25 years

Guru in need of a C-change

Whatever they say about the Beatles, Terry Riley's In C was the sound of the Sixties. But where's he at today? Apart from in Huddersfield. By Keith Potter

Ringo

John Lennon said that Ringo was the one to worry about when the Beatles finished. He was not wrong. Trauma and bad behaviour were what followed. Then things started to get better

With the Beatles

but where are they now? Insiders, outriders, relatives and friends. 30 brief lives compiled by Miles

Heavenly: A new Mercury album

Rock legends: Queen and Beatle releases featuring songs by late, great stars are set for a macabre battle, reports David Lister

A long time since last orders

Years ago, she tottered around a Boston bar like a bossy prefect on library duty. Now she's Mrs Brady, immaculate mom to the obnoxious Brady Bunch. And in between? Ryan Gilbey talks to Shelley Long about her disastrous career

ROCK / Thirty years on, and worth their wait in gold

'WE WERE in an elevator, me and Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr,' says Ronald, lead singer of the Isley Brothers. 'Ringo said, 'Can we make a record of your 'Twist and Shout'?' We said, 'Sure, as long as you do it like we do it, with the oohs.' '
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future