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The striker refused to play for Stoke after texting manager Mark Hughes

The film version of 'Shawshank Redemption' with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman

Shawshank Redemption voted 'best Oscars also-ran'

Prison drama The Shawshank Redemption has been hailed by movie buffs as the greatest film to miss out on a best picture Oscar.

Rowan Atkinson as St John Quartermaine
and Conleith Hill as Henry Windscape in Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Gray at the Wyndham's Theatre

First Night: Quartermaine's Terms; Wyndham's Theatre, London

Atkinson gives a masterclass in awkward for return to the stage

'Darling child' letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra about Pride and Prejudice.

Rare Jane Austen 'my own darling child' letter about Pride and Prejudice goes on show

The note to her sister Cassandra describes the author's excitement at receiving the first printed copy of her book 200 years ago

A Sentinel Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR) Aircraft from No. 5 (AC) Squadron, RAF Waddington has been deployed as an RAF surveillance aircraft in support of the French military action in Mali

RAF sends spy jet to aid Mali action

An RAF surveillance aircraft has been deployed in support of the French military action in Mali, the Ministry of Defence said.

Showbiz royalty: Helen Mirren is ready to bring her Elizabeth II from cinema to stage

Heads Up: The Audience

Mirren, the drama Queen, is ready to reign again

DVD & Blu-ray review: The Titfield Thunderbolt (U) Charles Crichton (82mins)

This slice of community spirit whimsy from Ealing centres on a proposed closure of the train line linking Titfield to Mallingford.

Kate's nose was the most requested surgery this year

Popular? You nose it: Duchess of Cambridge’s nose is the most requested plastic surgery procedure

What did you wish for this Christmas? Socks, a new DVD player – or perhaps even a new nose?!

On the hunt: Jessica Chastain stars as CIA agent Maya in action thriller, Zero Dark Thirty

Heads Up: Zero Dark Thirty

Revenge is a dish best served in a kick-ass action flick

Quiz of the Year 2012 part 6: Music

As the saying goes, music makes the world go round

Screen Talk: From Hunger Games to shame

James Marsden will star opposite Elizabeth Banks in Walk of Shame.

Asteroid DA14 is the size of a city block and will pass within 14,000 miles of Earth in February

It wasn't the end of the world, but asteroid 4179 Toutatis did pass close to Earth last night

Stargazers had reason to fear the Mayans were a few days out with their predictions, when an asteroid scraped by Earth, a mere 4.3 million miles from direct collision last night.

2. Let’s hope canny Pulis gets the best out of Owen<br/>
Michael Owen’s arrival at Stoke is intriguing for many reasons. It is further evidence that Tony Pulis, that canny operator, is changing his team’s style. It is confirmation of Stoke’s status as an established top-flight club, and raises the prospect of Owen enjoying an Indian summer to a career that once promised to be among the game’s most glittering but has long been in sad decline. Anyone who remembers the joy Owen brought to the game as an 18-year-old will hope the move is a success for all parties.

Stoke striker Michael Owen 'raring to go'

Former England international has not played since October

Keira Knightley's anger at airbrushed picture

Hollywood star Keira Knightley has criticised movie bosses for airbrushing pictures to give her "droopy" breasts.

Daniel Day-Lewis, center, as Abraham Lincoln, in a scene from the film, 'Lincoln'

Daniel Day-Lewis stars in the next (post-Obama) presidential drama

Apart from the mostly-forgotten musical Nine, the last most of us saw of Daniel Day-Lewis was him screaming "I. Drink. Your. Milkshake!" into Paul Dano's face. The Oscar-winner's next role is something of a departure from oil prospector Daniel Plainview – he's the star of Steven Spielberg's forthcoming Lincoln (out 25 January), a biopic of Abraham Lincoln's battle to end slavery.

DVD & Blu-ray: Cosmopolis (15)

Cronenberg's fragmented, verbose discourse on capitalism takes place, mainly, in a 28-year-old billionaire's stretch limo, which is "cork-lined against street noise".

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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
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A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home