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?

Jimmy Page - It's been a long time since he rock'n'rolled

The documentary It Might Get Loud brings together a trio of guitar heroes and marks Jimmy Page's first return to action since Led Zeppelin's reunion show in 2007. James McNair meets the axeman

Back on the airwaves - 'reborn' Kershaw returning to Radio 3

After more than two years off the radio airwaves, following a nervous breakdown and family disintegration, the award-winning presenter Andy Kershaw has confirmed that he is to make a comeback to BBC Radio 3.

My Fantasy Band: Rob Thomas

Vocals - Robert Plant
But the Robert Plant from 1972. He had moves then that nobody else had and a voice that created what rock singers wanted to sound like from that point on. The lead singer has to be a good frontman and in his day he was the best.

Carrick: Rise of the invisible Manc

United's long-overlooked playmaker tells Ian Herbert why he is finally in the spotlight

Album: Buddy & Julie Miller, Written in Chalk (New West)

Garlanded with praise from the likes of Emmylou Harris and Don Was ("This might be the best record I've ever heard"), Written in Chalk has the nobility of old-time country music, but with a post-modern appreciation of blues, jazz and the innovations of artists such as Tom Waits and Robert Plant.

David Lister: Great result, but hardly a new one

Forty five years ago this month, the Beatles arrived at Kennedy airport in New York to find thousands of screaming fans there to greet them. The British Invasion had happened; and at regular intervals since, the headline is resurrected to signal that British music acts have conquered America.

Plant 'sells out' to lead British invasion at the Grammys

Led Zeppelin frontman strikes gold with his bluegrass collaboration

Leading article: Hair today...

These have been a triumphant few days for two stalwarts of the entertainment business. Robert Plant, winner of five Grammys, and Mickey Rourke, named best actor at the Baftas, both inhabit different corners of the showbusiness universe. But there is a pleasing symmetry about the lives of these two veteran performers.

Musical warriors: The Tuareg

Perhaps the purest exponents of desert blues are Tinariwen. The band’s backstory is the stuff of legend – members of the loose collective fought in the Mali Civil War during the Nineties, and tales of the Tuareg musicians going into battle with both Kalashnikovs and guitars slung over their backs are legion. Their sound is unique – layered guitars interweaving with call and response vocals, handclaps and female throat singers.

Michael Lee: Drummer with Page and Plant

When it comes to hiring drummers, the Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has always been a hard taskmaster since John Bonham's death in September 1980 precipitated the end of the legendary rock group. Throughout his solo career, Plant has probably had his late friend and bandmate at the back of his mind, and has performed and recorded with musicians such as Phil Collins, Cozy Powell, Barriemore Barlow and Richard Hayward behind the kit.

Knighthood stuns Pratchett

Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series of novels that have sold more than 55 million copies worldwide, said he was "stunned, in a good way" after receiving a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List.

The monsters of rock return

After 14 years of rumours and false starts, Guns N'Roses are promising to release their new album. There's even a ticking clock on their website. Oh well; heavy metal bands never did like to rush things, says Andy Gill

John Walsh: That's not very rock'n'roll, Robert...

A Led Zeppelin tour minus Robert Plant calls important issues into question

Mercury Prize nominations announced

Arctic Monkey's frontman, Alex Turner has been nominated for a third successive year

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Wembley Arena, London

The staging is distinctly understated: save for a gold curtain that unfurls before the closing number, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's show is almost completely devoid of visual distraction. Just a few rugs, a discreet curtain backdrop, and a couple of modest screens either side of the stage.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

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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

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Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

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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

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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?

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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

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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