Voices A US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan

Watch out, within five years 7,500 drones may be plying American airspace

Opera: Shiver me timbres

He arrived with some aplomb, a decisive move downstage, yes, even the hint of a spring in his step. From every corner of the house, the relief was almost palpable. There he was, the living legend, on stage, on time, moving well, and looking... impressive? Kingly? Ample. So far the world's most famous tenor had made it from upstage centre to downstage centre without incident. The house breathed easier. But now the voice. That's what the Covent Garden glitterati had paid big bucks to hear. Luciano Pavarotti is 60 this year. And that in itself is remarkable. That makes him a collector's item, that makes hearing him in the theatre, live and unamplified, a status symbol. The prices can only get higher.

Death doesn't become him

His show begins with an epitaph: `Prince 1958-1993, RIP'. This star, he says, is now reborn. Maybe so, says Helen Birch, but he's several months premature

Judge me on my record: Wherever Helmut Kohl goes, Tina Turner goes with him; his greatest rival in the German elections won't move without Elgar. The soundbite has acquired a musical soundtrack as everywhere politicians are playing our tune. Mark Lawson reports

Politicians have often liked to see themselves as pied pipers, leading their citizenchildren to a better and safer place, but only recently has the metaphor become reality. These days, leaders like to have a tune of their own, to play when campaigning.

Leading Article: They're playing our song

HANS OFF] Give Us Bach Our Elgar] Thus our colleagues at the Sun, reacting with outrage to the adoption of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance as a campaign theme by the German Social Democrat leader, Rudolf Scharping. Pomp and Circumstance is, of course, most commonly recognised in its vocal variation, as 'Land of Hope and Glory', herald of English triumph at the Commonwealth Games, boisterously familiar from the Last Night of the Proms, and often heard when the English get maudlin or drunk, or both. Thus the outrage. Sir Teddy Taylor: 'Our nation is being insulted.' Martin Peters, hero of England's victory (over Germany, as it happens) in the 1966 World Cup: 'I'm disgusted'.

POP / Master of the universe: Andy Gill on Joe Cocker at the Forum, London

Just like the Michael Jackson shows at Wembley a couple of years ago, Joe Cocker's appearance at the Forum is preceded by a film biography of the artist - except, being about Joe, it's a more modest affair, swiftly presenting his progress from street urchin to superstar through a series of black-and-white snapshots and testimonials from Cocker's father and peers like Eric Clapton, Ray Charles and Tina Turner.

ART / Barbara, live and swell: When Barbara Cook last played here, a reviewer wrote 'for two hours I thought I'd died and gone to heaven'. Last night she opened a short season at Sadler's Wells. David Benedict caught up with her in New York, preparing for her London shows

Barbara Cook has just finished a rehearsal with her musical director and accompanist of 20 years, Wally Harper. Sipping orange juice in a cafe on the Upper West Side, she is relaxed and chipper.

Boxing: Eubank's pantomime lacks real punch: 10m pounds 'world tour' makes uncertain start as champion's dour defeat of novice Brazilian short-changes fans

THE executives of British Sky Broadcasting have distinguished themselves in recent years with a number of sure-footed decisions which have seen a minority satellite channel evolve into a major player in British broadcasting. But there may be considerable unease in their Isleworth offices this morning over the wisdom of their latest investment.

Almanack: Not so grand, to be Frank

FRANK BRUNO has attracted a lot of criticism for the brevity of his contest last week with Jesse Ferguson. But many carpers failed to appreciate the finer qualities of the evening: in particular, the high comedy of the entrance of the gladiators. First Ferguson emerged to doomy synthesised chords, peering out from under his dressing gown's snood in a sheepish manner.

LEADERS OF THE PACK / Wearing the crown: Holly and the ivories: Screen Actor Of The Year

IT WAS the year of the supporting actor, starting with Jack Nicholson blowing Tom Cruise away in A Few Good Men. His portrait of the brutality that calls itself patriotism was so powerful it thwarted the film's liberalism. Watch on the video for the eyelash flutter when he feels the heat on the witness stand. Tommy Lee Jones also stole a star vehicle, The Fugitive, outshining Harrison Ford with his swagger and wisecracks. Even the turn that won the Oscar for Best Actor - Al Pacino's blind war vet in Scent of a Woman - felt like a brilliant cameo.

DANCE / At the theatre of blood and bruises: DV8 tread a fine line between athleticism and masochism. Their new work, MSM, goes one step further. Michael Arditti reports

It is given to few modern dance companies to feature on the front page of the Sunday Mirror but, on 11 March 1990, Lloyd Newson found the television version of his award- winning Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men anatomised under the headline 'Gay sex orgy on TV'. Angry viewers jammed the London Weekend switchboard; Tory MPs demanded action from the Home Secretary . . . and the South Bank Show, which commissioned it, secured its highest ever London ratings.

There's no ending like a happy ending

THE THING you wonder about Tina Turner is: is she happy? Could she possibly be on an even keel? We all know what happened to her in the past - she was born poor and black in the Depression; then she was married to a mean, twisted, druggy man who beat her up for years and years . . . and then, after endless fat lips and black eyes, she escaped.

ROCK / The Charts


Obituary: Arthur Alexander

Arthur Alexander, singer, songwriter: born Florence, Alabama 10 May 1940; married (two sons, two daughters); died Nashville, Tennessee 9 June 1993.

BOOK REVIEW / Mouth and trousers: Mick Jagger: Primitive Cool by Christopher Sandford; Gollancz pounds 16.99

IN 1963, the Rolling Stones were given their first slice of primetime Saturday- night television. They mimed 'Come On' for Pete Murray's Thank Your Lucky Stars. And afterwards, while the switchboard was still humming with calls from appalled viewers, an ATV executive took the band's manager aside and advised: 'Lose the vile-looking singer with the tyre-tread lips.'

RADIO / The new pilots of the airwaves: Sabine Durrant visited the Soho studios of Virgin Radio as Britain's new national station prepared for today's launch

The man from Fast Lane magazine leans back into his leather jacket, runs his fingers through his short-cropped hair, and smiles. He's just been pitched by John Pearson, sales director of Virgin Radio, and he likes what he's heard. The station has the right profile (national, with the exception of odd hilly areas like the Grampians - 'so no sheep'), the right age group (25-44 - 'too old for ram-raiders'), the right sounds (classic album rock). When his company, Perry Motor Press, releases their new car mag in the autumn ('Did I say autumn?' he says, coquettishly) they'll seriously consider advertising. You can tell. For one thing, before he leaves the boardroom he and Pearson have spent five fascinating minutes discussing a particular back issue of Supercar (the one about old Jaguars). It makes you wonder: is Virgin Radio going to be anything more than a station for middle-of-the-road car bores?
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