Arts and Entertainment

A window on the real world with Danny and his diamond geezers

Christmas dinner on a budget: treat yourself to a festive feast for £2.73

We all know Christmas is a time to celebrate and share with family and friends. But if can do it on the cheap, quite frankly, that's even better.

Christmas cheer? Simon Amstell

The week in comedy: 'Tis the season to buy jolly DVDs

It was Super Monday this week – the comedy industry's equivalent to Super Thursday, when publishers flood the bookshops with celebrity memoirs and other sure-sellers for the festive market. So on Monday DVDs by Miranda Hart, Reginald D Hunter, Micky Flanagan, Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Seann Walsh, Keith Lemon and others hit the shelves.

Xbox One review: next-gen gaming is finally here (well, at least some of it)

As a gaming machine it's a finished package - but voice control and TV passthrough hint that the Xbox One still plenty to offer in the future as well

The Archbishop of Canterbury is right, expensive gifts can damage Christmas

Perhaps we should try and keep Christmas in proportion this year

Bulger, front right, listens to the verdict in this courtroom sketch

One-time Boston gang leader James 'Whitey' Bulger guilty of 11 murders

83-years-old likely to spend rest of his life behind bars after trial

Butt, centre, with production manager Sue Bysh, receives a Bafta from Ronnie Barker for ‘Just Good Friends’ in 1987

Ray Butt: Television producer best known as the guiding force of 'Only Fools and Horses'

A smart and meticulous comedy maker with a common touch, Ray Butt was absolutely the right man to orchestrate Only Fools and Horses, voted Britain's Best Sitcom in a nationwide poll in 2004.

Anthony Hilton: Too many pension schemes spoil the pots

You can see where the Office of Fair Trading is coming from in launching an investigation this week into the charges levied on workplace pension schemes. There has been a raft of work by fund manager David Pitt-Watson and others which suggests that pension pots would be a third higher if charges in this country were at the same level as, for example, in Holland.

New year diet and gym resolutions are often a bad idea

Surely a couple of sessions a week throughout the year rather than a daily grilling and diet for 31 days would be more beneficial?

Some find inner peace in champagne, others in filing a tax return

While most were topping up their glasses ready for a midnight toast, 160 Britons spent the hour after 11pm on New Year's Eve filing their tax return, according to HMRC.

This Christmas let's celebrate the demise of a fixed television schedule

Thanks to the cold weather and TV on demand, I've caught up on a whole year's worth of great (and not so great) Christmas TV

Christmas sales: It's the embattled sales assistants that I feel sorry for

Tis the season to spend time with the family - and fight others for that half price scarf in Next

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan celebrated Christmas with traditional roast turkey lunch

Around 9,000 servicemen and women are deployed in Helmand Province an

'Elf and Safety: the Twelve Myths of Christmas

Those festive sorts at the Government's Health and Safety watchdog, wearied presumably by annual comparisons to Dr Seuss's Grinch, have released their own guide to Christmas, debunking twelve myths about their work and its party-pooping nature.

Shops hail last-minute Christmas shopping 'spree'

People buying food and last-minute presents face a race against time today as shops have been restricted to only six hours of opening.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before