Arts and Entertainment Sam Bailey sings

Who will be leaving the competition tomorrow?

Miss Shirley Bassey, By John L Williams

Born above a brothel in a rough sea port, a tenth child of mixed-race parentage, she should have had no future beyond the streets or factories. But Shirley Bassey has shown that even a triply underprivileged black Welsh woman could make it to the giddy heights of showbiz. This is the story that John Williams tells in this fascinating book: the way in which she negotiated herself into another world.

Peter Corrigan: Welcome, America, to the land of your forefathers! (Sorry it's a bit soggy)

It is not well known but of the 56 signatories to the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 17 were of Welsh descent including Thomas Jefferson

Singer Joss Stone nets Bond girl role



She's 00-Devon ... West Country soul star Joss Stone was unveiled as the latest Bond girl today.

Diary: Harvey hit by the acting bug

This column began with high hopes of sustaining a series of stories on rappers-turned-actors.

Leading article: Tidy vintage

We are used to fine wines that hail from New South Wales. But old south Wales? What a turn-up. Richard Morris, who runs the Ancre Hill Estates vineyard in Monmouthshire, deserves congratulations for producing White Welsh Regional White 2008, which has been praised by three major global wine competitions.

Suede, Royal Albert Hall, London

Brett Anderson and the gang reminded us just how brilliant they were in an astonishing one-off reunion concert for charity

Fresh inquiry launched into death of Bassey's daughter

Police have re-opened their investigation into the death of Dame Shirley Bassey's daughter almost 25 years ago.

New lead reopens inquiry Dame Shirley Bassey's daughter's death

Fresh inquiries are being made into the death of Dame Shirley Bassey's daughter after the family of a convicted killer's victim handed detectives fresh information.

Living Books, Radio 4<br/>Behind the Brel: The Story of a Musical Genius, Radio 2

Here's what the Human Library website says about journalists: "In human circles also known as the parasite. The leech that sucks your blood and spills your guts in a global forum." Thanks for that.

The Beatles for sale once more

The news this week that Terra Firma, the troubled equity company and current owners of EMI Records, is trying to sell Abbey Road Studios, in St John's Wood, London, has music fans around the world justly concerned about the fate awaiting the recording facility. When John, Paul, George and Ringo named their last album after the EMI studio facility in 1969, they turned the zebra crossing into the most famous rock landmark in London and a tourist magnet. But, even before the Fab Four, the grand Georgian house that EMI bought for £100,000 in 1929, had seen its fair share of historical moments in its three studios. In November 1931, Sir Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of "Land of Hope and Glory" to mark the opening of Studio One. The following year, the composer invited a 16-year-old Yehudi Menuhin to record his Violin Concerto in B Minor for EMI's HMV label. The Second World War saw the recording of government propaganda and also the last session by bandleader Glenn Miller in September 1944.

Cultural Life - Will Young

Books
'The Map of Me: True Tales of Mixed Heritage'; 'The Swimming Pool Library' by Alan Hollinghurst; and tons of short stories for the BBC National Short Story Awards, for which I was a judge last month.

Electricity in the air at the Electric Proms

In the true tradition of the BBC's Electric Proms, acts performing this year were challenged to reinvent their music.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice/My Real War 1914 - ?, The Vaudeville Theatre/ Trafalgar Studios, London

There may come a day when you will have to have featured in a viewer-voted TV talent contest to do anything of note in London theatre – not just star in a West End show, but direct Shakespeare, run a flagship national company, the whole shebang. So I suppose we should be relatively calm about the containable fact that an X Factor finalist, Diana Vickers, is currently failing to add either lustre or plausibility to Terry Johnson's energetically mediocre revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Jim Cartwright's lovely blowsy-yet-poetic Northern tragicomedy which was first seen in a production by the young Sam Mendes at the National in 1992. The blame lies not with Ms Vickers, but with the misguided producers.

Simon Carr: Cometh the hour, cometh the Mandy

Sketch: It was the best speech they'd heard since Tony Blair stopped making them

Album: Oi Va Voi, Travelling in the Face of the Globe, (Oi Va Voi Recordings)

This London band’s third album is undoubtedly their most focused and consistently engaging.

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