Well, it’s about time. The good people at the Wellcome Trust charity have given £60,000 to the Clerks choral ensemble to explore the science of misheard song lyrics. The initiative hopes that the research into mistaken song words – otherwise known as mondegreens – will give a clearer understanding of how we perceive music.

The Sixties? I was there ... I think


Captain Moonlight: Funky Phil is a right royal raver

SOMETIMES I think the Royal Family just can't win. Too posh for some, not highbrow enough for others. Take tastes in music. Some people might sneer when they read that the Duke of Edinburgh is a big Bee Gees fan; not the Captain. So taken was I by the revelation that the Duke has been known to get down at the Royal Yacht Squadron Ball in Cowes to the beat of 'Night Fever' that I commissioned an impression of the occasion. The Queen, I recall, has slightly less exuberant tastes. She used to like 'Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud' a lot. The Prince of Wales, for once, follows his father. His favourite 'group' has long been The Three Degrees (remember 'When Will I See You Again?' That was their big hit. It was some time ago, but the Prince has stayed touchingly loyal). The group will be here next month for an engagement at the Cafe Royal, and, I hear, a special performance for the Prince is in the offing. Personally, I find myself more in sympathy with the Queen Mother, for whom Flanagan and Allen are matched only by Gracie Fields, the Captain's especial favourite.

DIARY / Hurd enforces Kent no-fly zone

AT THE eleventh hour, Douglas Hurd is trying to prevent the reopening of one of Britain's most historic airfields because he fears it may be used for an aerial attack by terrorists on nearby Chevening, his official country residence. Upon learning last week that a Kent farmer, Timothy Barr-Smith, had gained both the support of English Heritage and Sevenoaks development control officers to reopen an airstrip built in 1909 at nearby Sundridge, the Foreign Office leapt into action to intervene.

THEATRE: How deep is their love?: Paul Taylor reviews Penetrator at the Royal Court

Life is certainly no picnic for the teddy bears who feature in Anthony Neilson's Penetrator, newly transferred to the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs. As if they didn't have their paws full already (being forced to have sex not only with each other but also with male human beings), one of them is eventually held at knife-point by a maniac who threatens to give it him 'up the ass' if his owner doesn't confess to being a clandestine 'penetrator'. Teddy's slashed-out innards are soon, alas, cascading on to the carpet. By the end of the play, the stuffing has been knocked out of just about everybody.

Dear Robin, Barry and Maurice

Could this be the biggest thing in pop? Tonight the nation's favourite castrati have a gig with a planning committee.

ROCK / But where was John Travolta?

MIKE READ: age shall not wither him. Compering Capital Gold's Giants of Seventies Soul extravaganza at Wembley Arena, Read doesn't allow his composure to be ruffled by a profusion of technical hitches. The Wembley bar prices - normally a powerful incentive to temperance - have had no effect on this hardened crowd of superannuated soulboys, and these are not people to be messed with even when sober. Luckily, the acts themselves process smoothly. George McCrae ('Rock Your Baby') confounds those who believed him to be dead. The Real Thing counsel, 'Don't forget our new single, it's called, erm . . .' And the vocal harmonies of the Tavares are miraculously intact, though cricketing brother Chris is sadly missing. What exactly were the Bee Gees thinking of when they wrote the words to 'More than a Woman'?

TELEVISION / Small tragedy of two into one

Over 10 years ago, I was sitting in an examination hall staring at a paper called Tragedy. The only thing to penetrate my thrumming brain was a song then at No 1: 'Tragedy, when the feeling's gone and you can't go on.' The Bee Gees weren't of much immediate help with Oedipus at Colonus. In fact, they were the toothsome embodiment of a culture that had reduced tragedy to its new tabloid definition: the Heart- Op Hope Kid; Gazza's yellow card. High tragedy involved the fall of a great guy because of a fatal flaw, and would elevate the spirit. Television is now groaning with low tragedy (999, Fighting Back) that won't elevate anything except the ratings and is certainly not short on fatal flaws. But every so often you see a programme that transcends the grotesque or the prurient to produce something acutely moving, and so it was this week with First Tuesday's Katie and Eilish (ITV).
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam