Property

The former footballer and Spice Girl are expected to invest £5m on doing the house up to their own specifications

Blood Brothers, Phoenix Theatre, London

It can be a dangerous game parachuting a pop star into a much-loved musical – even when that musical is one of the West End's hardiest perennials and the popstar is Mel C, better known as Sporty Spice, or the Spice Girl who could sing. Willy Russell's Blood Brothers has been bringing audiences tearfully to their feet for 21 years in London and last night was no exception. Quite right, too. Melanie C (as she calls herself in the programme) is brilliant as Mrs Johnstone, the beating heart of the drama and a luminous stage presence even as her character grows ever more careworn and downtrodden.

EMI Records: a history in music

They dominated the British music industry for half a decade, but how did EMI Records get there? And what factors contributed to their extraordinary decline?

Mel B joins ITV's Loose Women

Mel B is transforming herself from a Spice Girl into a Loose Woman.

Mel B auctions memorabilia for charity

Former Spice Girl Mel B is to auction the contents of her home, including treasured outfits and items from the girl-band era, after her move to the United States.

Victoria Beckham: An apology

In-depth inquiry reveals pop genius and international style icon is beyond reproach...

Kill Your Friends, by John Niven

Most accounts of the late-1990s music scene (John Harris's The Last Party, Emma Forrest's Namedropper) have concentrated on the success, the familiar tale of how Blur and Oasis moved from the NME to News at Ten. But Kill Your Friends, John Niven's hysterical debut novel about a year in the life of A&R man Steven Stelfox, gets much comic mileage out of the false predictions, failed hypes and firework careers of the bands that don't make it to household name status. Each chapter begins with a music industry misstep (Alan McGee boasting that by the second or third album, 3 Colours Red will be selling five million), and throughout the book he has Stelfox out of step with public and critical taste (he's convinced, for example, that "Paranoid Android" will end Radiohead's career and that Be Here Now is Oasis's masterpiece.)

5 Become 1! Not sporty. Just very scary

The sound system was terrible and the singing slapdash, but did 16,000 fans at the Spice Girls' reunion concert care? Not at all. They were revelling in hearing their favourite numbers again, while their heroines were making a mint. Cole Moreton reports from the O2

Catherine Townsend: Sleeping around

"Cut it," I laughed, sinking down into my trendy East London hairdresser's chair. "But nothing too drastic - if I end up with a mullet, I'll really be depressed." Since my break-up with Richard, I've spent a lot of time either wallowing in my tracksuit bottoms or out at tequila bars with my girlfriends.

My Mentor: Bridgid Nzekwu on Peter Barron

'He was ready to advise, and to criticise without undermining my confidence'

The Best Of: Naples

Deborah Orr: Privates on parade

THESE DAYS, all sensible public figures want to keep their private lives private. But the royals are compelled to make a far more generous dispensation. Royal births, deaths and marriages are our business as well as theirs. It is by these crude mechanisms that our heads of state are selected. But how vulgarly in step with only the crassest aspects of the modern sensibility such metaphorical display of the bloodied sheets really is.

Zap Mama: The second coming of Zap Mama

After a four-year absence, Zap Mama are back with a new album. Phil Meadley asks Marie Daulne, their Belgian founder and leader, what took her so long

Let's kill Top of the Pops

The BBC has relaunched its flagship music programme - again. What a waste of time, says the former TotP chief Trevor Dann

Flintoff saddled with mission improbable

Fourth Test: Need is for young all-rounder to be brilliant and consistent
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering