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To me, Christmas is little more than a Trivial Pursuit (literally)

Trivial Pursuit is our Christmas miracle, something that takes us back to a time when I was a toddler, the USSR was going strong, and Maggie Thatcher was at No. 10

Dopers, nobblers, dibbers and dobbers: 2013 in sports books

A high proportion of the standout books of 2013 deal with dirty dealings of one kind or another. Then again, as Mike Rowbottom points out in Foul Play: The Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport (Bloomsbury, £12.99), athletes have sought an illegal edge since ancient Greece. His excursion into the grey areas of sport’s moral maze is illuminating and entertaining, if somewhat disheartening.

Monkey madness: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer released

The genetically-enhanced apes return to wreak havoc in the new movie

Actor Peter OToole Dies At The age of 81

Peter O’Toole: Film and theatre icon dies at 81

Actor's agent confirms eight-time Oscar nominated star passed away in hospital after a long illness

Stocking fillers: pop-ups, poems and smut

Amazon had better set its drones to attack because beautiful paper books just get better and better. Anyone left disappointed by the Fifty Shades phenomenon might prefer some literary smut in the form of Erotic Stories, edited by Rowan Pelling (Everyman’s Pocket Classics, £10.99). A collection of stories and fragments from Boccaccio to Sarah Waters, it tiptoes from the suggestive – in Guy de Maupassant’s “Idyll”, which begins with a train “plunging abruptly into the black-mouthed tunnels like an animal into its lair” – to the rather shocking – a piece by Edith Wharton, “My Little Girl”, discovered after her death.

She, which features Scarlett Johansson only in voice

And the Oscar winner could be... invisible: Scarlett Johansson causes a stir with her voice

Lost in Translation stars voice role in film ‘Her’ has highlighted an unsung art

Book Review: David and Goliath, By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is infuriating. As each new book arrives, you think that surely the pop sociologist will have learned from the sneering at the previous ones – The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers – and created something more than another riff on one idea with cheaply told examples to pad it out. No, and certainly not with David and Goliath.

DVD & Blu-ray review: The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (15)

DVD channel 4  (136mins)

Video: Television and classic movies

Watch the videos below to see clips from some of the classic films being turned into TV shows.

Album review: Yuck, Glow & Behold (Fat Possum)

With Daniel Blumberg off to pastures new, the slimmed-down Yuck's sound seems svelte of style, having lost most of its rougher edges and lo-fi feistiness. What's left builds on their Teenage Fanclub-style guitars'n'harmonies approach, but takes it in a less intriguing direction. Effectively, the reverberating soft-focus sheets of chiming guitar and slow-burning, methodical arpeggios of tracks like "Out Of Time", "Somewhere" and "Memorial Fields" resuscitate the long-forgotten corpse of shoegazing, albeit with better melodies for the most part.

Album review: Van Morrison, Moondance Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros)

Though already condemned by Van himself, there's much to appreciate about this 4-CD expanded edition of one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It's fascinating to follow the development of a track such as "Caravan" across half a dozen takes; and the previously unreleased "I Shall Sing" is a delight, like discovering a delicious new centre in your favourite box of chocolates. But what should be particularly gratifying for the singer is that throughout, he's clearly made the best choices for each and every song.

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in a scene from 'Star Wars' movie released by 20th Century-Fox

Star Wars theme voted UK's favourite film soundtrack

John Williams' score took almost a quarter of all votes

Oisin Murphy rides Silver Rime to victory on Saturday, one of four wins

Murphy strikes Highland gold with Ayr Fantastic Four

Apprentice sensation rides 9,260-1 sequence while veteran trainer Easterby bows out

Album review: Mark Lanegan, Imitations (Heavenly)

This album of covers was inspired by Mark Lanegan's childhood recollections of his parents' social evenings, when the tones of such as Andy Williams, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra would wrap warmly around proceedings. His own sepia baritone summons some of that warmth on versions of “Solitaire”, “Autumn Leaves” and “You Only Live Twice”. Elsewhere, the crepuscular tone spreads into more recent material such as The Twilight Singers' “Deepest Shade” and a beautiful version of Nick Cave's “Brompton Oratory”.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition