Ayelet Zurer and Yair Lotan take the lead roles in the Israeli television thriller 'Hostages.

Hostages: The new Israeli thriller that promises to steal Homeland's thunder

The US version of the drama has been bought by Channel 4 and will go head-to-head with the Israeli original on BBC4 on Saturday nights

What a card: David Blaine (right) entertains Will Smith and family in ‘Real or Magic?’

David Blaine: Real or Magic?: TV review - Blaine gets up to his old tricks and shows the stars he hasn't lost his magic touch

Last night, David Blaine – a man with so much warmth of personality that he turned citizens of one of the most sophisticated cities on the planet into turd-flinging zoo bonobos simply by sitting in a glass box – posited an interesting question. If all of the United Kingdom is watching Sherlock on the other side, then does anyone care what Blaino is up to?

Indyplus video: The Waterboys

Snowden's web-centric life brings him into alignment with those Luddites who assume the worst of any innovation

Edward Snowden and the Queen go rather well together

The Christmas messages of the whistleblower and the monarch dovetail nicely; the one showing off the family addition, the other fearful of a lack of privacy

Sofa, so good: ‘Gogglebox’ allows us to watch the TV watchers

The best television shows of 2013

The Independent's TV critic selects this year's best of the box

Edward Snowden delivered this year's Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4

Edward Snowden warns over global threat to privacy during Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message

The NSA whistleblower, who revealed mass surveillance programmes organised by the US and other governments, broadcast his message on Christmas Day

Over the next two weeks the current series of Fresh Meat will come to a close

Inside Television: A show of raw potential

Over the next two weeks the current series of Fresh Meat will come to a close, so please make sure you're watching. Not because it's particularly entertaining (although it is) or particularly important (it isn't), but because it will aid our communication in future. You see, Fresh Meat shows the potential to develop that most prized quality in a television series - referenceability.

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
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Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
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Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?