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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz