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?

Robert Plant performs with the Sensational Space Shifters

Live review: Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters, Colston Hall, Bristol

For a Led Zeppelin reunion refusenik, Robert Plant does perform an awful lot of material by the group who defined seventies rock in all its magnificence and occasional self-indulgence.

Music review: Low, Barbican, London

Acts that project digital countdowns on-screen before showtime usually signpost an explosive opening. For Duluth, Minnesota’s arch-minimalists, however, these huge, blinking numbers facing the seats serve a different function. The display pinpoints when this unassuming, black-garbed trio are ready to start – and even then, with a minute to go, much of the audience is slow to recognise the band take the stage.

British man Robert Plant charged with French jogger's murder

A British man has been charged with the murder of a woman who was killed while out jogging in France.

Portmeirion, North Wales

The Village fete: a festival that takes no Prisoners

Primal Scream, New Order and Spiritualized have just been confirmed to headline the inaugural Festival Number 6 this September. Taking place in Portmeirion, North Wales, the festival is named after Patrick McGoohan's character in the cult sci-fi television show The Prisoner, which was filmed in the town in the 1960s. Just you try leaving early...

Cast, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

When a band reforms after a long hiatus, their comeback album can be seen as an afterthought amid the ensuing cash-in, so credit is due to Cast. After a 10-year break, the Scouse four-piece choose to perform three-quarters of their latest release rather than rely on back-catalogue safety.

'Whistle Test' returns to the BBC

"Whispering" bob Harris is to host The Old Grey Whistle Test once again in a radio revival of the classic BBC music show.

James Lawton: General McCarthy can inspire his men to win their relegation battle

What makes Mick such a formidable customer in a corner is his ability to strip down illusions and still suggest that there may be a fighting chance

McCarthy keeps feet firmly on ground

Sunderland 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3

Elokobi header gets Wolves rocking

Sunderland 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3: Defender ensures Molineux side control own fate as McCarthy finally tastes success at Sunderland

Album: Alison Krauss, Paper Airplane (Decca)

More clear-as-a-bell country from a woman who – though still just 39 – has been making records for precisely the same number of years as Grammys notched (26).

Album: Buddy Miller, The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

In which Robert Plant's bandleader gathers to himself a supergroup of über-string-benders – Marc Ribot, Greg Leisz and, yep, Bill Frisell – and gets down to "messing up" a small canon of country songs in one room, live.

Alice Cooper blasts Robert Plant

Alice Cooper has blasted Robert Plant for playing "folk music" instead of reforming Led Zeppelin.

Tinie Tempah sets the bar in Brit Award nominations

A South London rapper has led the way in this year's Brit Award nominations, which also saw veteran rocker Robert Plant nominated for the first time in the awards' 34-year history.

Tim Lott: Bald or not, we spend our lives with one eye on the mirror

Men spending vast amounts on their hair is no surprise. But there's grooming, and there's vanity...
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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital