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
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'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
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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

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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