Arts and Entertainment Elton John performing at his 'Brits Icon' concert at The Palladium in London

Sir Elton John has become the recipient of the first Brits Icon award after being presented with honour by Rod Stewart at a special concert at the London Palladium.

Bridget Christie – 'A Bic for Her'

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards stand up for stand-up

Stand-up has returned to dominate Edinburgh’s showcase comedy awards after a big year for mime in 2012, with one shortlisted comedian even bringing back mother-in-law jokes.

James Acaster

Edinburgh 2013: James Acaster: Lawnmower

Last year James Acaster beguiled his way on to the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist with an artfully crafted study in mild lunacy. This year offers something similar, equally well-shaped, and equally kooky, but it sails so close to the wind of being inconsequential that a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the room for portions of the show.

London's Piccadilly Lights mark National Poetry Day

London's Piccadilly Lights are being emblazoned with lines of poetry in a first for the world-famous landmark.

Caught in the Net: The latest adventures of Sonic Youth

The latest Sonic adventures...

For Ono's project <i>Smile</i> anyone is welcome to upload an image of their smirk, to create a

Heads up: Yoko Ono – To the Light

Cheer up! Yoko wants your smile at the Serpentine

Being Modern: Vending machines

Vending machines? They've been around for ever, we hear you say; what's so modern about them? Well, yes, they have been around a long time – but the products they now offer far exceed the expectations of any Victorian gent, the first to benefit from these coin-operated mechanical contraptions, which sold postcards as long ago as the 1880s.

Sophie Heawood: Yoko is entitled to live on her cloud of whimsy

'Grapefruit is a hybrid of lemon and orange. Snow is a hybrid of wish and lament."

Nam June Paik: First video artist in retrospect

A major retrospective of the man widely considered to be the world’s first video artist opens at Tate Liverpool this week.

Rolling Stone releases final John Lennon interview

Three days before he was gunned down, John Lennon complained about his critics - saying they were just interested in "dead heroes".

Lennon Inc. Business is booming, 30 years on

As music fans prepare to mark the anniversary of the Beatle's murder, Andrew Johnson reports on his ever-growing financial legacy

Donald Trump jeweller set fire to his wife in an oil drum

A jeweller whose clients have included Donald Trump and Yoko Ono has been convicted of murdering his wife by incinerating her in an oil drum. Werner Lippe, 68, of Cortlandt, New York, had confessed to the killing three times, but then recanted. He stood trial in February, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

DJ Taylor: The bare-faced truth about the state, the Beatles, and Homer's latent Catholicism

The cuts have thrown up a philosophical debate, Catholics are claiming Homer Simpson, and the BBC is becoming a techno tyrant. Thank goodness for the wit of Paul McCartney

Yoko Ono: Beatles and iTunes deal 'still at impasse'

Don't hold your breath waiting for Beatles songs to go on sale at iTunes or other online retailers, Yoko Ono said yesterday.

Strip club: Why are we obsessed with getting our kit off?

Whether it's used purely for fun, or to make a statement, getting our kit off always causes a stir. John Walsh lays bare the history of nakedness

London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945, By Barry Miles

It's said that if you remember the Sixties, you weren't actually there – a saying variously attributed to Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, both of Jefferson Airplane, and Dr Timothy Leary, so-called "Galileo of consciousness". Barry Miles was there throughout: present at the recording of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life", the climactic track of Sgt Pepper, and at the live recording of "All You Need is Love", which marked the first global television link.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'