On The Agenda: We're going back in time for a dalliance with dial-up and an Aled Jones-themed Christmas

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The Independent Culture


You can put what most celebrities know about art on the back of an envelope – and that's exactly what more than 80 artists, designers, singers and actors have been doing for charity auction Pushing the Envelope. Those showing off their ability to turn a DL (that's your average-sized envelope, folks) into a work of art include the Turner Prize-winning Grayson Perry, who has created a gothic, Alice in Wonderland-style scene, and the illustrator Hannah Firmin – best known for the covers of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series – who produced the eye-catching image pictured top right. They will all be auctioned off on eBay tomorrow, in aid of the National Literacy Trust, so get in your bids now. www. pushingtheenvelope.info

Adam Jacques

Food & Drink

Sunday is no longer a day of rest – if you're not doing a big shop, you're cooking for family or entertaining the nippers. Luckily for those who want to catch their breath, the stellar Soho restaurant Quo Vadis (above right) has dreamt up a Sunday-lunch package. Grown-ups can sit in the elegant dining-room and eat a meltingly tender roast, while children are whisked upstairs to be entertained by Sharky and George. The set lunch is £35 for three courses, including a half-bottle. And the kids? Not only do they get Sharky and George for free, they get their food gratis too...



Ever pine for the days when the internet meant dial-up and a long, long wait? Then the documentary We Live in Public may be for you. Its subject is Josh Harris, an early web entrepreneur, who in the last month of the last millennium invited 100 artists to live in a New York warehouse, with food, booze, drugs and the odd gun thrown in for free – the catch was that every angle was filmed and shown both to the participants on bedside screens and online. The result? Chaos, retribution, police intervention and, in Ondi Timoner's film, a reminder of the wild wild web before Google and broadband tidied it up. Released 13 November

Mike Higgins

Musical theatre

How appropriate: Aled Jones, who hit the charts a quarter of a century ago with a cover of "Walking in the Air", the central theme to the 1982 film The Snowman, is set to step into the smooth shoes of Bing Crosby for a revival of the stage version of Irving Berlin's magical 1954 musical, White Christmas. 10-21 November, Plymouth Theatre Royal, (www.theatreroyal. com), then from 27 November at The Lowry, Salford Quays (www.thelowry.com)



When the Richard & Judy Book Club disappeared from our screens in May, its absence caused more tears in publishing than if Harry Potter married Katie Price and told her to pack in the autobiographies. So will Sky One's new offering fill the gap? As of 11 November, Alexandra Heminsley, of Radio 2 books fame, will appear weekly on Angela Griffin's Angela and Friends to "open up books" to new audiences. She may not boost sales by 1.1 million, as Richard and Judy did; but she is brighter, more thoughtful and an awful lot prettier than her current biggest book-club rival, Jonathan Ross.

Katy Guest


Granted, there is such a thing as growing up too quickly, but Stella McCartney's new collection for BabyGap and GapKids will appeal to little ones for all the right reasons: not because they want to look like Kate Moss, but because they want to look like princesses. McCartney's USP of affectionate practicality finds its audience with this capsule for the under-12s of tulle skirts, cashmere hoodies, military jackets and flares. Ideal for making your kids even more adorable. Left: sweatshirt £65, skirt £35, tel: 0800 427 789

Harriet Walker