Diary: Harvey seeks a little charity

Heavyweight concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith has already had one good reason to be displeased by the BBC this year. He and Bob Geldof got a formal apology from the Corporation, after a World Service programme suggested the cash raised for Africa by Band Aid had helped to fund weapons rather than charity.

Paul Vallely: Sexed-up contrariness is not journalism

Better radio silence at the BBC than distortions of the truth, but all the media are guilty of inflation

BBC chief faces crisis of confidence

Director-General accused of undermining impartiality / Key decisions questioned by two most senior journalists / Strike over pensions brings chaos to weekend schedules

BBC apologises over Live Aid money reports

The BBC will today broadcast a comprehensive and humiliating apology for the allegations it made eight months ago that millions of pounds of Band Aid and Live Aid money was diverted into arms sales. The money had been raised during the Ethiopian famine of 1984/5 in the biggest fundraising event the world had ever seen.

Broadcaster 'tried to rush out' retraction on busy news day

Grade tells Paul Vallely that timing of statement was 'too much of a coincidence'

Margareta Pagano: It's guilt for dinner – served up by the jilted young

There's a new and noisy book just out which you must read to discover why the young and the old are shouting at each other over the supper table in a way I've not heard since those great divides over drugs'n'rock'n'roll or even the Iraq invasion.

Pied Piper of Mischief leads the red tops on a merry dance

Chris Atkins tells Paul Bignell of his disciples' desire to continue planting fake stories

Live Aid Memories: 'It was life-changing: my life was not all about just me anymore'

Midge Ure: Co-wrote the 1984 Band Aid single Do They Know It's Christmas? and helped to organise Live Aid

Heads must roll at the BBC, says Geldof after Ethiopia aid report

Furious Band Aid founder calls for director of World Service to be dismissed

Ethiopian PM denies aid was diverted

Stung by BBC allegations that Live Aid money was spent on weapons, Meles Zenawi tells Paul Vallely that the report is based on lies

BBC under fire for Band Aid 'slur'

Charities in uproar at claims that donations were spent on weapons

Rebels with a grudge and the anatomy of a damning smear

The BBC's claim this week that $95m of aid to Ethiopia had in fact been spent on weapons was incendiary, threatening to undermine future aid efforts. But, says Paul Vallely, it does not stand up to scrutiny

Charity & the charts: The hits and the misses

On its release today, the Haiti fundraiser is likely to top the pops. Nina Lakhani spins the best and worst of philanthropic singles
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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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