Arts and Entertainment

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Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (03/04/11)

Marriage of Truth and Comedy

Ed Miliband: The Big Society: a cloak for the small state

Two leading backers of David Cameron's flagship idea have lost faith in it. We are seeing the recontamination of the Tory brand

Here come the girls! How to bring up daughters

Rules and boundaries. White lies and love. Our guide to raising female teens

Remembering Damilola: The killing goes on, but the fightback is under way

The schoolboy's murder 10 years ago this week sparked a national outcry and a new approach to teenage crime. Now experts warn government cuts could destroy any progress they are making

What drives a child to commit sexual abuse?

Horrific behaviour is often triggered by spiral of violence and neglect that goes back generations, says study

J K Rowling tops list of Britain's most influential women

Magazine editors select figures 'inspirational' to their female readers

Adoption: How I lost my little sister

Adoption is a tricky business, as Michael Bywater knows only too well – and the signing of the papers is no guarantee of a happy ending

Memories of My Staycation Hell

Who needs Cancun when you've got Cornwall on your doorstep? That's David Cameron's new motto. But will a British holiday put a smile on your face? Not according to these cautionary tales

How a deprived childhood leaves its mark on the brain

When "Mr Mason" was 14, he and his drug addict mother burgled a house and stabbed the owner's dog to death.

Leading article: Can the cycle of violence be closed?

The news that some of Britain's leading neuroscientists are to collaborate on a study of children's brains is bound to be treated warily in some quarters. Nor will the purpose of the research – to investigate whether early abuse and deprivation might cause changes in the brain that foster disturbed and violent behaviour in later life – reduce the worries. Examining the brain for physical characteristics that might help to explain aberrant behaviour of whatever kind conjures up a picture of fusty laboratories, rows of jars containing brains preserved in formaldehyde, and long-discredited theories about nature always trumping nurture.

Pandora: Zephaniah unmoved by appeal of Cowell

Can Simon Cowell do no right? The squillionaire music magnate recently organised the recording of a star-studded charity single to raise money for Haiti at the behest of Gordon Brown, though the move has failed to win over everyone within the charity world.

Justin Fenton in Lambeth: Keeping children out of the gangs' clutches

Just off Coldharbour Lane in south London's Lambeth neighborhood, a group of men stand around at the mouth of an alley, close to a 10-foot-high steel gate being manned by three people.

Knife crime: the breakthrough

288,000 people stopped and searched in London in past year; More than 10,000 arrests at a rate of one every 51 minutes; 5,400 knives seized, 30 per cent fall in serious stabbing injuries

How We Met: Camila Batmanghelidjh & Nina Campbell

'Having bongoed for two hours, I said to her that there must be an easier way to help'

Anthony Seldon: Why, when we have so much more, are we not happier with our lives?

The richer we are, the less community-minded we become, our writer looks for the answers
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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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Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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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