Arts and Entertainment Phil Chevron of The Pogues

Brixton Academy, London

Mariah Carey's Christmas classic 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is still guaranteed a spin at the office party

Christmas songs: the best and the worst

Whack on some Mariah Carey but leave the Cliff Richard to grandma

Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.

Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' to rake in over £520,000 in royalties by end of the year

Slade's 1973 hit still features on almost every festive playlist

Phil Chevron of The Pogues

Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron dies following long battle with cancer

The musician, an influential figure in the Irish punk scene and the writer behind 'Thousands Are Sailing', has passed away at the age of 56

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.

Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber...Who doesn't want Mariah for Christmas?

Yesterday Justin Bieber tweeted a link to his 2011 Christmas duet with Mariah Carey of "All I Want For Christmas Is You", and it already has over 25,000 retweets.

The Pogues, O2 Arena, London

Still singing out for Christmas Day

Wizzard, Mariah Carey and The Pogues (Shane MacGowan)

'Fairytale' named as true soundtrack of Christmas

It has been called the best festive song never to top the singles chart.

Letter from the editor: Glastonbury experiences

I knew it was tragic before the words were out of my mouth. We were bantering – as you do – in a lame attempt to divert ourselves from the grim news in today’s i when we began reminiscing about Glastonbury experiences.

Cultural Life: Deborah Warner, Director

Books: I can't read while rehearsing and so all I'm managing at the moment is a page or two of Amanda Vickery's 'Behind Closed Doors' – a vivid and quirky domestic history of Georgian England. I was invited last October to go to the High Arctic with Cape Farewell. For months after I read nothing but books on climate change and the Arctic/Antarctic experience: Tim Flannery's 'The Weather Makers', 'With Scott to the Pole', a wonderful collection of Herbert Pontings photographs of the 1910-1913 expedition, and Stephen J Pyne's 'The Ice: a Journey to Antarctica'.

Album: James Walbourne, The Hill (Heavenly)

As a session guitarist who looks like the son of most of the acts he plays with (Peter Bruntnell, the Pretenders, the Pogues, the Pernice Brothers), it's hard not to notice Walbourne if you're lucky enough to have caught him live.

The Pogues, Brixton Academy, London

Off to the right of the stage, marked out in fluorescent tape, is a broad pathway leading into the wings of the Brixton Academy, with a couple of large taped arrows pointing stagewards. It's probably there to guide the roadies when they're humping gear in, but it's put to good use tonight when Shane MacGowan shuffles onstage uncertainly, as if an arrow might keep him on the straight and narrow. His bandmates have been greeted like homecoming heroes as they assemble, but that's nothing compared to the roar that rolls round the room when Shane staggers on. He's the drinking man's drinking man, someone blessed with the gift to wring beauty from what is clearly a tragic affliction.

Album: Bellowhead, Hedonism (Navigator)

Produced by John Leckie, recorded at Abbey Road. Whatever next?

Say hello again to the new romantics

Richard Strange's avant-garde Cabaret Futura altered the landscape of Eighties clubland. Elisa Bray welcomes its return

Album: Alabama 3 Revolver Soul (Hostage)

As before, Alabama 3 play fast and loose here with the imagery of religious belief, opening Revolver Soul with the humid, stifling menace of "Oh Christ" and romantic baptism of "She Blessed Me", before hitting the dark side of the street to hymn the "downtown queen" hooker "Jacqueline".

Rhiannon Harries: Making us walk an extra 10 yards isn't going to stop us smoking

Most of the many stupid things I do on a regular basis – late payment of bills, buying over-priced sandwiches, missing flights – are the result of either laziness or a chronic lack of organisation. The stupidest of all, however, involves an uncharacteristic amount of effort and forward-planning. Apologies readers/Mum/everyone. I am a smoker.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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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