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.

Album: Thea Gilmore, Strange Communion (Fullfill)

Decent Christmas albums don't come along that often – it's ten years since Low's remarkable Christmas, while the last unqualified success, Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow, arrived in 2006 – so we should celebrate an undertaking as poised and thoughtful as Thea Gilmore's Strange Communion, the best of this year's batch of seasonal offerings.

Album: Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera Music)

Advancing age clearly poses less of a barrier to pop success than in previous eras, as the recent chart placings of Bob Dylan and the Beatles can confirm.

My Fantasy Band: Brace Paine, Gossip

Vocals - Ari Up
She was the lead vocalist of The Slits and she has such an incredible, weird voice. She's amazing and always does a good job.

Yoko Ono makes iTunes blunder over Beatles release

Yoko Ono has dropped a Beatles bombshell on Sky News - saying that the entire Beatles back catalogue will be made available on iTunes.

Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band, Royal Festival Hall, London<br>Billy Bragg, Patrick Jones, Blackwood Miners' Institute, Gwent

Yoko Ono is neither evil nor, sadly, an unsung genius. Billy Bragg salutes the miners, 25 years on

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, Royal Festival Hall, London

She may claim to revel in the role of outsider, but on this showing Yoko Ono has as much need of love as the rest of us. In the past, Ono has said that she thrives on brickbats, yet tonight, as part of the Ornette Coleman-curated Meltdown Festival, this spry 76-year-old admits some trepidation to a huge round of applause.

Basic instinct: How Meltdown found its mojo

He invented his own theory of jazz, can't stand pianists and once asked to be castrated. Expect things to get a little crazy when Ornette Coleman curates this summer's musical wig-out on London's South Bank

While in the station, don't refrain from alliteration

Yoko Ono is to judge the world's first interactive poetry competition, which starts in London tomorrow. Commuters arriving at the capital's King's Cross station will be invited to submit haiku-style poems on the subject of the British summer from their mobile phones, using Twitter, the free social blogging site.

Spirit of the Eighties: Cult designer Pam Hogg is back in the spotlight

Andy Warhol would have loved Pam Hogg. Resplendent in fringed ivory wool bolero jacket, zip-fronted black Spandex top with gleaming gold lightning stripes, and skin-tight optic-print leggings, all topped off with her trademark candyfloss pink curls, she herself is clearly among her greatest creations. With her opalescent green eyes, preternaturally pale powdered skin and full mouth painted a violent red there is more than a little of the living doll about her. Not that this should be misread as sugar-sweet: Hogg's throaty Glaswegian delivery and raucous explosions of laughter – not to mention a crucifix tattooed from wrist-bone to knuckles on her left hand – give the lie to that.

Julian Cope: 'It's time for war'

He believes democracy is overrated and doesn't think much of Barack Obama. On the eve of his new album, Julian Cope preaches insurrection to Eddi Fiegel

Charles Clarke &ndash; Voice of Britain! (14 December 2008)

Britain's most respected political sage gives his views on the true meaning of Christmas and the right sort of wrapping paper

Coming Soon: Yoko Ono shines in her own right

Moving eastward and backward from the Royal Academy's Byzantium show comes Babylon – or, perhaps, Babylon! – at the British Museum (020-7323 8181, 13 November-15 March). When Constantinople was a twinkle in antiquity's eye, Babylonia was already a wonder of the world; a place of ziggurats, legal codes and Hanging Gardens. If it peaked early – c. 600BC, in fact – the city-state remained dangerously attractive to invaders. The latest of these are George W Bush's troops, whose addition to Babylon's history has been to drive tanks through the remains of its 2,600-year-old Imperial Way – a woeful chapter shown alongside the tiled glories of Nebuchadnezzar. So much for progress.

Lennon's sister tells of 'disgust' for biography

Family member complains of 'sordid and scurrilous rumours' about ex-Beatle

Neil Aspinall - the 'real Fifth Beatle' dies

Neil Aspinall, a close friend of the Beatles and the man who ran the Apple music empire, has died, his family said today.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism