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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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