News Actress Emily Rossum enjoyed the free healthcare she got in the UK

'I would get hurt just to get that for free,' says impressed host

Esther's Inheritance, By Sándor Márai

Esther is preparing to meet her former lover, Lajos, twenty years after he revealed himself to be a fantasist and thief who married her more beautiful sister, Vilma.

I have cancer, says Lloyd Webber

'Phantom' composer is expected to return to work by the end of the year

Phantom sequel launched

Andrew Lloyd Webber launched the long-awaited sequel today to his global smash hit Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, which will see the action move from Paris to a New York fairground.

Eurovision makes a star out of Jade

Competing in the Eurovision Song Contest was the “best thing” that could have happened to Jade Ewen, the budding star has said.

Close-up: Oliver Thornton

He may have the boa – but can the Welsh actor fill Guy Pearce's platform shoes?

Pandora: A happy new year, up before the beak

While you're pulling out the bubbly and belting out "Auld Lang Syne" this New Year's Eve, spare a thought for Lee Hurst, whose celebratory plans have had to be put on hold thanks to an unfortunately-timed date with the law.

Talent-show musicals bring record crowds to West End

Reality TV shows in which performers compete to become West End musical stars have led to record audience figures in London's theatreland.

Leading article: Heinous crimes and national image

The truly appalling tale of Josef Fritzl, his daughter Elisabeth and the seven children she bore him has been held up – and not just by the British scandal sheets – as illustrative of another, much darker side of Austria. It is as though the world has suddenly remembered that, alongside Viennese balls, Strauss waltzes and the Alpine paradise of The Sound Of Music, Austria was also the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, a country where many hailed the Anschluss with enthusiasm, and the first member of the European Union to admit a far-right party to government.

Spacey fumes at 'unfair' BBC musical talent shows

Kevin Spacey has criticised BBC talent shows for unfairly promoting West End musicals at the expense of other productions.

Reality TV shows create boom in theatre attendance

The popularity of television reality shows such as How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do has led to record ticket sales and attendances in London's theatreland.

It's island life, baby

Malta's neighbour Gozo is small, intimate and sleepy. Add to that good food and Ayurvedic massages and it's just the place for some prenatal R&R, says Jon Bowd

Bloodiest month: UK suffers largest post-war losses

In May, 11 Britons were killed in Iraq. These are the worst losses since the war ended, prompting more calls for a British withdrawal

Nimax: New players in town

A powerful double act has hit the West End. Simon Tait meets Nica and Max, aka Nimax
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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there