Arts and Entertainment Blink and you'll miss it: Medallion man Prince

Talk about suspense. Further to the news that Prince is soon releasing PLECTRUMELECTRUM, his first album with all-female rock trio 3RDEYEGIRL, a short teaser for their track "PRETZELBODYLOGIC" went up on YouTube this week. Warning: blink and you'll miss it. The album was written and recorded in Prince's Paisley Park recording studio in Minneapolis, London and New York. Meanwhile, at time of writing, we are still waiting to know exactly which "iconic venues in and around London" Prince will be playing on the Hit and Run Tour any time from Monday. Keep your diary clear…

Stuff of fairytales: The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan

Sales of the Pogues' 'Fairytale Of New York' reach 1 million 25 years after release

"Fairytale Of New York" by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl has reached one million sales, 25 years after it was first released.

IoS album review: Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, The Golden Age of Song (Rhino)

This collection of collaborative covers trawls Holland's Hootenanny shows, with a dozen specially recorded tunes thrown in.

One Direction performing

Take Me Home: One Direction set to beat Mumford & Son's fastest-selling album record

British boy band One Direction are on target to achieve the fastest-selling album of the year as Take Me Home looks unstoppable in the race for this week's number one.

Bon Iver, Wembley Arena, London

A venue brimming with 12,000 people does not immediately appear to be the most suitable setting for a singer/songwriter who made his name with an album created in solitude, whilst holed up in a cabin in deepest Wisconsin.

In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event

Cool Daddio! Jon Snow gets star jazz billing

The Channel 4 newsreader is to be opening act at London festival

Talks of the week: Battle of Ideas, Barbican, London EC2

This eighth annual weekend of serious-minded public debate, organised by the Institute of Ideas, features 12 strands, 80 sessions and more than 350 speakers, and revolves around the eurozone crisis and the state of European democracy, freedom and equality, with Ivan Krastev, Rob Riemen, Thierry Baudet, Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Gáspár Miklos Tamás among the key speakers.

Suzanne Vega, Barbican, London

"In America, we feel a pressure to be cheerful," quips Suzanne Vega, a songwriter not renowned for her chirpy material. However here celebrating the 25th anniversary of her finest album, Solitude Standing,she appears relaxed and engaging.

After all this time, it's still good to Talk Talk

A book and CD show how influential the band remain, says Pierre Perrone

Fantasy Band: Aimee Mann

'My husband is a very underrated guitarist'

Love: So Russell Brand, what DO you and the publicity-shy Geri Halliwell have in common?

Move on, definitely nothing to see here. If we all ignore them, they might just go away.

Pappy's: Last Show Ever, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

After some muted outings, the sketch group Pappy's are back to their lovable best, on the kind of form that saw them shortlisted for Edinburgh's comedy award in 2007 and will probably get them a place on this year's list, too.

Album: Karima Francis, The Remedy (Vertigo)

In 2008 that arbiter of popular culture the Daily Mail called Francis "the next big thing". What followed was a debut album that didn't quite deliver and nine months in a hospital bed with anorexia.

Back to his roots: Plan B swaps sharp suit and tie for t-shirt at his album launch

Plan B storms to top of the album charts

Plan B has stormed to the top of the charts with his new album, film soundtrack Ill Manors.

Saving grace: Paul Simon's voice isn't 'faultless', but his capacity as an emotional performer is as strong as ever

Tom Sutcliffe: It's hard to be a critic when you love something

One of the commonest of all critical vices is reviewing the work you wish you'd experienced instead of the one you actually did. But it struck me this week that there are actually two versions of this vice – opposed to each other by almost 180 degrees.

Album: Elton John vs Pnau, Good Morning to the Night (Mercury)

Remix albums are usually tedious affairs simply involving the fitting of more contemporary rhythm undercarriages to tracks that don't need them.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there