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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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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
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The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas