Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric, Hammersmith, London 

The idiosyncratic and richly intentive Filter Company are one of my favourite theatrical outfits.

Mary Dejevsky: An epitaph for the selfish charm of yesterday's bourgeoisie

If you have visited the cinema recently, you will be familiar with the scenario of Carnage, even if you have not actually seen the film; the promotional clips have been aired endlessly.

Keeping Up with the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters, By Philip Oltermann

Only a few months after England had lost on penalties to Germany in the European championship semi-final at Wembley Stadium in 1996, 17-year-old Philip Oltermann moved to London from Hamburg with his parents. He was unimpressed with the traditional English Sunday roast, which centred around "an extremely stringy, dry morsel of beef". In following their hosts' lead, Philip's father generously slathered horseradish and yellow mustard over his food, only to suffer a severe coughing fit which left his eyes bloodshot and watery. This was an inauspicious start.

Tributes to the singer on a Grammy street plague

Pharmacy used by Michael Jackson may have supplied Whitney Houston with pills

Coroner confirms singer was found by make-up artist amid reports of empty medication bottles

The beach has no sand, but bags of charm

Stay The Night: Castaway Cottage, Whitstable

Fiona Sturges stayed at a stylish former fisherman's cottage and made sure the well-equipped kitchen enjoyed a good rest as well

Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences

Age: 17

1. Silk cushion, John Lewis, £20
Buchan's picture of herself with Nelson Mandela

Janey Buchan: MEP who fought for artistic and political causes

Janey Buchan, who died at the weekend, was not a professional politician as we now know them but an old-fashioned political activist of the kind who always had a cause to fight and never allowed herself to be put off by the possibility of defeat or failure. Those who knew her learned not to be surprised to receive a telephone call out of the blue, which would last a good long time as she unburdened herself of whatever had excited or angered since the last call. Alternatively, it could be a hastily written letter, sometimes containing an unexpected gift such as a book that she thought deserved a bigger readership. She held strong opinions, but not easily predicted, of everyone she met. She was a Scot but had no time for the late John Smith; a left-winger who held a low opinion of Tony Benn; a lover of political folk music who thoroughly despised Bob Dylan.

1. Bird loo roll holder

How to be beautiful: Glow of happiness

However you chose to see in 2012, the mirror is rarely kind on New Year's Day. Cold weather, low light and the drip-drip effect of a month of elevated indulgence gleefully conspire to make sure we look most jaded on this symbolic day of renewal.

Midwife in a hurry at home

A midwife has delivered her own baby at home with the help of her mother's make-up mirror.

Dom Joly: I love 'Matilda'. It's almost as good as television

I'm not a lover of musical theatre. By this, I'm not subtly trying to put an end to the scandalous rumours that I'm a homosexual. No, it's just the truth. Musicals are not for me. OK – I did once enjoy Evita when I was a kid. I even bought the album.

MFI relaunches as online retailer

Flatpack furniture brand MFI was back in business as an online retailer today - three years after its collapse left customers out of pocket.

<p>1. Poilâne bread</p>
<p>Around £10, from selected Waitrose branches</p>
<p>Chewy inside, crisp crust, this is the best bread for communal breakfast. A Poilâne loaf lasts for days and toasts brilliantly.</p>

The 10 Best guest essentials

1. Poilâne bread

Around £10, from selected Waitrose branches

Chewy inside, crisp crust, this is the best bread for communal breakfast. A Poilâne loaf lasts for days and toasts brilliantly.

Strutting her stuff: At 41, Blige is looking pretty damned magnificent

Mary J Blige: 'I've been through hell, but I survived'

Mary J Blige has beaten drink, drugs and her demons – and a brand new album is in the bag. So why is the hip-hop soul superstar so insecure?

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick