Arts and Entertainment

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

David Cameron to read a lesson at Margaret Thatcher's funeral

David Cameron is to do a reading at the funeral this week of Baroness Thatcher, it has emerged.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito (Interscope)

Album review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito (Interscope)

Album of the Week: Raw-boned rebel rockers with plenty of bite

Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

Album review: Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)

There's a strange, archaic feel to the songs of head Messenger, MC Taylor, with their Biblical references and invocations to “cleave ye to the rock”.

That was close: Cassie Yukawa plays Bach at arm’s length from the audience

Classical review: The Memory of WT Stead - I've got that sinking feeling …

Five pianos went down with the 'Titanic' – a century later, Cassie Yukawa imagines we can hear them still

Album: Mount Moriah, Miracle Temple (Merge)

If Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire were a contestant on a TV talent show, she'd get this vote within half a second of opening her mouth.

Album: Boz Scaggs, Memphis (429 Records)

Recorded in Willie Mitchell's Royal Studio with an all-star band including Spooner Oldham, Willie Weeks and Ray Parker Jr, Memphis is a late-night delight.

Fatboy Slim plays the House of Commons for Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation in London, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Music review: Fatboy Slim's House of Commons rave is a surreal victory of sorts

It’s when Norman Cook slips a Guy Fawkes mask on while DJing in the House of Commons that dance culture can be said to have cheekily won its war with a parliament which once tried to ban it.

Matt Redman accepts his Grammy for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

Godly rockers get their own holy hit parade

They say the Devil gets all the best tunes, but God, it seems, is getting his own Top 10.

In with a prayer: Alessandro Brustenghi has a record deal

Sing unto the Lord a new pop song: First UK official Christian music chart launches

Franciscan Friar Alessandro sold the most albums in the Christian and gospel genre last year

Album: Kavinsky, Outrun (Mercury)

Kavinsky, aka Vincent Belorgey, is best known for "Nightcall", the impossibly magnificent, Daft Punk-produced slo-mo electro-disco theme from Drive.

Cecil Womack: Half of the husband-and-wife duo known for their soul hits of the 1980s

Cecil Womack: Half of the husband-and-wife duo known for their soul hits of the 1980s

Bobby Womack admitted he'd had an affair with Linda; the brothers did not speak for years

Album: Cody Chesnutt, Landing on a Hundred (One Little Indian)

You don't score any points for comparing Chesnutt to Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.

USA's Tiger Woods walks off the course as Europe celebrates their win at the Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup: A dose of Chicago blues for Tiger Woods at Medinah

Even the bookies are unhappy with Woods for sportingly handing Europe outright victory

With Good Timin', a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK

Jimmy Jones: The first black singer to have a UK million-selling hit

The most unlikely feature of rock'n'roll music was the prominence of falsetto singing whereby male singers mimicked female voices. It is prominent throughout the hit recordings of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison and Frankie Valli, and one of the first artists to exploit this sound was Jimmy Jones, who had international success with "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'" (both 1960). With "Good Timin'", a UK No 1, Jones became the first black artist to sell a million copies of a single in the UK.

“Under the Westway” single was first played by Damon Albarn (pictured) and guitarist Graham Coxon in February

First Listen: Blur take to Twittersphere with debut of new songs

Blur last night debuted two new tracks in a live performance from a balcony at a secret London location.

Voices
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
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Arts and Entertainment
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
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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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
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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