Arts and Entertainment

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

Jimmy Doherty: 'Christmas starts with a glass of champagne'

Don't stuff your turkey Cook your stuffing separately, that way your turkey will cook much quicker – you can do it in less than two hours for eight people. Roast it breast down and all the fat deposits will make their way down, letting the turkey cook in its own juices. Then, half an hour before it's done, flip it over so you have crackling skin. Then add a pint-and-a-half of stock and that will become your gravy.

Think there’s too much excess at Christmas? I can’t get enough of it

It's that time of year when many start to worry about the amount we waste

The recession Christmas in numbers: More turkey, fewer trimmings

Will this year’s festivities survive the economic party-pooping?

Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler, The Scala, London

Emma-Lee Moss and her Ash frontman beau get into the festive groove

Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premier Rugby: 'We are at a delicate stage'

Heineken Cup talks hit critical juncture

English and French clubs will push for slimmed-down format at board meeting

Asda, Tesco and Debenhams are just a few of the retailers using blokes with beards in TV ads

Hairy Christmas, everybody! Move over Santa – blokes with beards are all over our TVs this year

To a certain white-haired gent, Christmas has long been about one thing, and one thing only: face fuzz, and plenty of it. And now it seems Britain's retailers are catching up.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Tiger tourism – back and burning bright?

A Cuban crocodile called 'Missile'

This week's wackiest web stories: Crocodile Drunkdee, Taliban D'oh and the £1m tattoo

Could a Tsunami happen in land-locked Switzerland? Plus honour among thieves and Fantasy Football just got real

A half-baked plan and a whole baked spider: time to get Dorries out of Parliament

This is not the way to engage the public in politics, it's a way to let them down

Blackadder in Bethlehem: ‘Lost’ Christmas special from 1988 revealed

We’ve seen Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder going forth in the First World War, ruffed-up and ruffled as a courtier to Elizabeth I and trussed up in a wig as a stroppy Prince Edmund in the middle ages. But a ‘lost’ episode due to be revealed this week presents the character as we’ve never seen him before: Edmund Blackadder the Bethlehem innkeeper.

Last Night's Viewing: Nigel Slater's Simple Christmas, BBC1<br />Rick Stein's Spanish Christmas, BBC2

Christmas dinner has been vastly over-complicated by the era of the television chef. Should you cook the classic turkey, with bacon rashers laid across its breast, as enshrined by Delia? Should you brine the bird beforehand, like Heston? Or should you try to impress the in-laws by attempting Hugh's humungous 10-bird roast? Nigel Slater and Rick Stein, who last night presented their "Simple" and "Spanish" Christmasses respectively, forwent turkey altogether. On Tuesday, the Hairy Bikers turned in a Christmas menu composed entirely of finger food. Nigella's seasonal series, repeated yesterday on BBC2, featured as its star dish a lamb and date tagine.

Ready To Wear: It's Christmas, of course you can over-indulge the festive style

There are certain occasions in life that bring out the larger-than-life size fashion gesture in even the most sensible dresser.

The Business On: Mike Farley, chief executive, Persimmon

Gosh, who would want to be a housebuilder just now?

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis