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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape