Arts and Entertainment Elton John will duet with Gary Barlow on the final show of The X Factor

The star will duet with Gary Barlow despite attacking the show in the past

Winehouse misses US gig after assault case

Singer Amy Winehouse will not get a work visa to travel to the United States in time to perform at a leading music festival because she was charged with assault last week, her spokesman said today.

The Killers, 02 Arena, London

Flowers' powers put to the test

High fashion at the Brits

From James Corden and Mathew Horne's red and black rubber outfits as Kylie Minogue's backing dancers, to Duffy's plunging red gown while performing Warwick Avenue, outfits wowed at the Brits.

Album: Grand Duchy, Petits Fours (Cooking Vinyl)

Frank Black has always produced his best work when his more masculine tendencies are tempered by a feminine touch, and such proves the case on Petits Fours, on which he and his wife, Violet Clark, join forces as Grand Duchy. It was an alliance, if not of opposing forces, then of opposing attitudes. "She digs the Eighties," claims Black. "I had spent the latter part of the Eighties doing my part to destroy the Eighties." Yet the decade is the dominant touchstone for Petits Fours, with Clark's synth parts recalling The Human League in "Seeing Stars", and combining with Black's po-faced croon in the manner of Ultravox and Tubeway Army for "Black Suit", a perfect pastiche of the era's blend of style and alienation. Not that Frank comes too willingly along, slipping reassuringly into his Black Francis scream at points, and bashing out dirty buzzsaw guitar riffs with alacrity on tracks such as "Lovesick", which recalls "Brown Sugar", and "Long Song", which could be by The Killers. But his gentler side is responsible for some of the album's most engaging moments, notably the beautiful pop melody of "Ermesinde" and the seductive "Come On Over to My House", an invitation that includes the promise "I'll make you buckets of tea/Put your breath inside me".

Around the world in 20 festivals

Whether you want to keep it cool in Iceland or catch the hottest acts in the desert, Elisa Bray hits all the high notes on a whistle-stop world tour

Observations: Hollyoaks band play it for real

It's a case of art imitating reality, which ends up imitating the art. Only the other week on an episode of Hollyoaks, the fictional band Dirty Diegos, featuring the TV series' characters Michaela, Josh, Sasha and Amy, were competing in a battle of the bands, and Josh had a dream in which they were performing to a packed crowd at the Dog in the Pond. The band have now released the song on a real label. "Play" (the one they performed in the battle of the bands) is their first official single via Fascination Records (on Polydor), which also represents the Saturdays, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Girls Aloud.

New job for boss forced to resign from Radio 2

Less than four weeks after she resigned from the BBC over the Jonathan Ross-Russell Brand affair the former Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas has found a new job, at Universal Music UK.

Album: The Killers, Day & Age, (Island)

With the assistance of producer Stuart Price, Brandon Flowers & co have turned their backs on empty bluster and taken a few steps in the direction of brash, swaggering pop.

The Killers' difficult third album (cover)

After artist Paul Normansell created an image of Kate Moss for GQ magazine, he landed the commission of a lifetime. By Alice Jones

Mormons under siege

Gay activists were furious with the Mormons after same-sex unions were banned in California. Now they are venting their anger in the church's spiritual home. Guy Adams reports from Salt Lake City

The Killers, Royal Albert Hall, London<br>The Fall, Hove Centre, Hove

The Killers' flirtation with U2 goes on, but at least they've lost the beards

Battle of the BBC banned

Jonathan Ross's three-month suspension from the BBC is having a discordant effect on the music industry, writes Nick Hasted

The Walkmen, University of London Union, London

The Walkmen must have a lot of patience. Singer Hamilton Leithauser has three goes at starting the first song before he gets the mic to work, so guitarist Paul Maroon has to repeat his gentle interweaving beginnings to "New Country". But when Leithauser does succeed, his voice breaks out, full and startling, into the room.

Brandon Flowers: "I'm obsessive about a lot of aspects of the band -I don't want to mess it all up"

Charming, mercurial and neurotic about the way he's perceived, The Killers' Brandon Flowers wants everything just so. He tells James McMahon about his obsessions
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

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Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

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Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

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As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

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Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

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Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
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If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

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Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

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