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A raft of tantalising comebacks and a new radio show are testament to the fact that we're finally recognising the Eighties for what it was: a decade of peerless pop, says Pierre Perrone

Funeral music: Ring-ding ding ding, Ted Heath is dead?

Tomorrow, the music played at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will be Elgar’s “Nimrod” and “I Vow To Thee My Country”. Given this week’s chart, er, ding-dong it was always unlikely that a tune from the Top 10 would soundtrack proceedings (Maggie never took to Duke Dumont). But what other inappropriate chart offerings have there been in the week of a former PM’s death?

My Secret Life: Simon Day, 50, comedian

'I'm good with a water cannon'

Album: Gretchen Parlato, The Lost and Found (Obliqsound)

Unlikely as it seems, Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years" has now provoked two very successful jazz versions – Jimmy Scott's tearjerker and the excellent opener to this, nu-jazz diva Parlato's latest album.

Diary: Read it and sleep...

When Tony Blair published his memoir, I was able to fill at least half a column with his celebrity anecdotes, which featured such notables as Madonna, Duran Duran and Bono, whom Blair suggested would be a better PM than Gordon Brown.

Katy Guest: Never apologise, always explain

One of modern life's stranger phenomena is the weird paradox of knowing that the majority of people do something, but finding that you don't know anybody who does it. For instance, I don't know anybody who won't move down the carriage when there is plenty of room and people are trying to get on the train, and yet when I am on a train (or, more likely, trying to get on it), most people don't move down the carriage. Who are they? What is their thinking? I'd love to know. Likewise, I have never met a man who admits to honking his car horn at women in the street, so I can't ask what it is that motivates them, and why they can never think of anything to say once they've got the woman's attention.

Simply Red star Mick Hucknall apologises to hundreds of sexual partners

Simply Red star Mick Hucknall has issued "a public apology" to the hundreds of women he slept with at the height of his fame.

Gregory Isaacs: Reggae singer and Lovers Rock pioneer who had a worldwide hit with 'Night Nurse'

In the late 1970s and early '80s, Gregory Isaacs, the Jamaican singer with the plaintive, soulful, vulnerable voice and the laid-back delivery – best heard on his signature tune "Night Nurse" – was considered the natural heir to Bob Marley's reggae crown. Yet he never quite managed to cross over to the mainstream.

Special Olympics: Huge medal haul for GB team

The Great Britain Special Olympics team has returned home triumphant after winning a total of 88 medals at the European Summer Games in Warsaw, Poland.

Diary: Not Hooked on Hucknall

Among the guests at the Big Chill Festival last weekend was ex-Joy Division bassist Peter "Hooky" Hook. During a Q&A, Hook was invited to name the "biggest pillock" he'd ever met during his days as a regular at the legendary Hacienda Club in Manchester. "The crown would have to go to Mick Hucknall," he replied. "At the end of each night [at the club], everyone used to congregate by the front door, and there was one wonderful night when we heard this voice saying 'Mick Hucknall coming through, Mick Hucknall coming through!' It was Mick Hucknall coming through. So one of the Salford gangsters who was in the club turned round and lamped him. And everyone just ignored it." Considering the relish with which he recounted this tale, I can't imagine Hook will be hob-nobbing with the former Simply Red singer (who now fronts The Faces) when the two appear on the same bill at the Goodwood Vintage Festival this weekend. Hook is due to close the event with a full rendition of Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures.

Farewell Tours - 'Thank you, see you at the reunion'

Every time we think we've said goodbye to a band, we know the comeback won't be far off. Simon Hardeman despairs of the bogus final tour

Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall to replace Rod Stewart as Faces re-form



Seventies chart stars The Faces are to reunite, with Mick Hucknall taking Rod Stewart's role, it was announced today.

<i>IoS</i> competition winners capture pictures of health

The finalists in the <i>IoS</i>/British Heart Foundation photographic contest go on display in London tomorrow after impressing the judges

Album: Sam & Ruby, The Here and the Now (Rykodisc)

Were the here and now of the title sunny California rather than ice age London, one might feel rather more inclined to this debut album from Sam Brooker and his Ghanaian singing partner Ruby Amanfu.

Rod Stewart faces &pound;2m claim over legal fees

Veteran rock star Rod Stewart, famed for his skin-tight leopardskin trousers and sandpaper singing voice, is being sued for £2m in unpaid legal bills by one of the most powerful entertainment law firms in the United States after it represented him in a series of courtroom battles dating back nearly a decade.

Pandora: Abrahams returns to the Labour fold

Good news at last for Gordon Brown. David Abrahams, the mega-bucks property developer and (very) generous party donor has, it seems, returned to the fold.

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine