Arts and Entertainment

From garrulous, gangrenous Jeffrey Bernard to stovepipe-hatted Sebastian Horsley, Soho’s decadents and dandies have proven an entertaining if somewhat trying tribe. Many were far less interesting than their own egos would have them believe, as you’ll know if you ever visited Soho’s notorious Colony Room, a bear pit of strawberry-nosed drunks bellowing witlessly at one another.

Suchitra Sen retired at the height of her career and became known as ‘the Indian Garbo’

Suchitra Sen: Actress who dominated the Bengali film industry for three decades before retreating into solitude

Suchitra Sen was a legendary Indian actress known for her memorable roles in both Bengali-language and Hindi Bollywood films.

Men about town: Frankie Alvarez, Murray Bartlett and Jonathon Groff in ‘Looking’

Looking: The first drama about gay men since Queer as Folk

Show has given Russell Tovey his ideal role, he tells Gerard Gilbert

Strings attached: Attendance is up but revenues are down

British orchestras are in danger of losing top billing despite rising ticket sales

Funding reductions mean our leading ensembles may have to cut back on the things that give them world status

Last year’s Super Bowl winners Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl 2014: Never mind the football, it’s the adverts that matter - and this year the pitches are stellar

A 17-second teaser trailer for the latest project by Arnold Schwarzenegger was released on YouTube last week. Unlike the ex-Governator’s most recent movies, it’s intended as comedy. Schwarzenegger appears wearing a headband and Bjorn Borg wig, poised with a paddle at one end of a ping-pong table. But in this case, the feature being previewed is not, in fact, a movie. It’s a television commercial for Bud Light beer, due to be broadcast for the first time during next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Invisible Ink: No 208 - Jerome K Jerome

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Channel 4's new 'Big Ballet': Defying ballet’s body politics

Holly Williams reports on a new Channel 4 show giving a leg-up to plus-sized dancers

Christopher Beanland: Architecture attack - what’s with our appetite for destruction?

If you went to the National Gallery and tore up a Titian, you’d be arrested. But what about blowing up a historic building which has defined a place and its people; a building in which sweet nothings have been uttered and lives altered? Go for it! It’s strange how our attitudes to destroying art and destroying architecture are so different.

Book review: "The Crooked Maid" by Dan Vyleta

Viennese noir... with red tinges

Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games

Book of the week: Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games

Britain may be minnows when it comes to winter sports, but we did invent modern sledding, and we’ve had our moments in figure skating too. Indeed, as this book reminds us, figure skating first appeared on the Olympic schedule in London in 1908.

Postcard from... Paris

Album reviews: John Sheppard, Max Richter, Les Vents Francais

John Sheppard "Sacred Choral Music" (Delphian)

Thirsty at thirty? The Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is 30 years old. But is it the cultural force it once was?

Grace Dent on TV: The Musketeers, BBC1

I was all for switching off as the bawdy band of brothers fired blanks

DVD and Blu-ray reviews: The Selfish Giant, Rush, In A World..., The Call, A Belfast Story

The Selfish Giant (15) Clio Barnard DVD/Blu-ray (91mins)

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all