Voices

Perhaps we are entering a new cold front in our emotional weather

Howard Jacobson: Let's move the tents to Simon Cowell's backyard

In Zurich briefly to give a reading, I look out of my hotel window towards the Lindenhof and see what appears to be a fairground or gypsy encampment. I hear music and smell roasting meat.

Gordon Brown is on a restless search for new ways to make himself useful

Diary: Brown's concerted effort is not music to everyone's ears

Gordon Brown is on a restless search for new ways to make himself useful and save the world, but his latest scheme is not looking like a winner.

Deborah Ross: I just wish I could give to everyone

I won't be contributing to the Dahl family's £500,000 appeal to help restore and shift Roald's shed, if only because I am already contributing towards the shifting of Sir Paul McCartney's pergola, which, sadly, is currently north-facing whereas south-facing would be more the ticket.

Deborah Ross: I just wish I could give to everyone

If you ask me...

Simon Cowell warned Cheryl to 'raise her game'

Simon Cowell warned Cheryl Cole to "raise her game" days before she was sacked from 'The X Factor'.

Album: Will Young, Echoes (RCA)

Last year's Groove Armada collaboration "History" suggested the Pop Idol charmer had a cracking dance album in him.

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (14/08/11)

Rant

Fear and loving: The two-edged charm of the snake

The accidental death of a cobra-lover has highlighted the strange passion some feel for serpents. Michael Bywater tries to explain

Simon Cowell backs Louis Walsh over indecent assault claims

X Factor supremo Simon Cowell said he will support Louis Walsh "100 per cent" after allegations he indecently assaulted a 24-year-old man.

There is a great woman behind every man, even Simon Cowell

Without the creative input of Cécile Frot-Coutaz into his American reality shows the TV mogul's fame and fortune would be considerably diminished, reports Stephen Foley in New York

Cheryl Cole's still a good friend, says Simon Cowell

X Factor boss Simon Cowell hopes he is still "close friends" with Cheryl Cole after dropping her from the US version of the show.

Ah, the drama! 'BGT' favourite Ronan is pipped at the post

Jai McDowall wins 'Britain's Got Talent'. Nick Duerden on how Simon Cowell's applecart was upset

Harriet Walker: We haven't all got what it takes to fulfil our dreams

At school, children are always encouraged to think in terms of their talent, be it the ability to exquisitely replicate Leonardo Da Vinci from memory or simply to avoid being caught by the police. Now though, talent has become a devalued sort of nothingness, more adjectival than anomalous, and the cultural equivalent of the E.coli that is thought to be squelching away in so many European cucumbers.

Police rebuff Cowell over 'fixing' claim

Police sources indicated that there may not be a formal investigation into a complaint from Simon Cowell against an anonymous blogger who alleged that Ronan Parke, a 12-year-old boy contesting this evening's Britain's Got Talent television final, already had a management deal with Cowell's company Syco and had been moulded to appeal to the audience – something Cowell denies.

Simon Cowell calls in police over 'fixing' claims

Pop mogul Simon Cowell has called in police over an anonymous internet claim that popular TV contest Britain's Got Talent is fixed.

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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
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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