Arts and Entertainment

The Good Wife on More4 is in the midst of a reputation revision. Long-term fans of the smart, glossy legal drama, which began its fifth season on More4 last night, often complain it's not given the recognition it deserves. It's true that among crime and law procedurals (TV shows where a problem is raised and solved within a single episode) this is a show of unusual quality. But is The Good Wife really that good?

The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

“This is not like one of those Pirandello plays,” mutters Javier Marzan at the end of the first half, shortly after his fellow performers have stormed from the auditorium, “no-one is acting here.”

Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

“I have never found it easy to belong. So much repels,” declares Alan Bennett (uncannily well- played by Alex Jennings) towards the close of the first in this delectable double-bill of short autobiographical pieces. “Hymns help. They blur.”

Lionel Messi

It's official: Lionel Messi DOESN'T hold the goal scoring record

Fifa refuse to ratify Lionel Messi's goalscoring record amid challenges from Brazil and Zambia

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has a richly traditional air. Snow lies thick on the steeply-pitched roofs of a German town. Christmas tree fairies gleam with gilding, while the tree itself soars upwards, growing magically to Tchaikovsky’s irresistible score.

Achievement is all in a day’s work

More and more talented graduates are choosing to teach maths and fulfilling their ambition of securing a rewarding and challenging career

Daniil Trifonov, Queen Elizabeth Hall

It’s usually taken as axiomatic that while pianists reach their technical peak at twenty, they need much longer to hone their artistry, and one of the merits of the Southbank’s current International Piano Series is that it’s allowing us to test this view against reality.

The Weekend’s Viewing: An alien or just a decomposing racoon? Take a guess...

Alien Investigation, Sun, Channel 4 // Solar Mamas, Sun, BBC4

Ben Whishaw: Playing Q in 'Skyfall' was a bit like doing Shakespeare

The Hour actor talks creative discipline, forgetting his lines and dressing up

Chelsea's new manager Rafael Benitez was defiant that he could win the supporters over

I can win over Chelsea fans, says defiant Rafael Benitez following boos

'How many people do you need to write a banner? Just one. Then two holding it,' says Chelsea's new manager

Bartoli,Fasolis, kammerorchesterbasel, Barbican, ***/ Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall, *****

Cecilia Bartoli always has a project, and her current one is to resurrect the work of Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) who combined the roles of spy, singer, bishop, and opera composer.

It doesn’t make you normal, Nadine, just silly

The news that MP Nadine Dorries is entering the I'm a Celebrity jungle has ruffled some political feathers

Spurs owner tightens his grip on DCD Media with shake-up

The billionaire tycoon and Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis yesterday expanded his reach into TV and film production as he shook up the board of DCD Media.

First Night: Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, O2 Arena, London

At last, Jackson appears at the O2 (but this off the wall tribute is no thriller)

Vice President Joe Biden, left, took on Republican hopeful Paul Ryan in a live televised debate last night

Joe Biden vs Paul Ryan: The voter panel verdicts

Last night Vice President Joe Biden faced Republican hopefuly Paul Ryan in a live televised debate in Danville, Kentucky.

So what did our panel of voters make of the candidates?

David Blaine's new electricity stunt

Blaine's back with a new stunt: he will risk being zapped with 1m volts for three days.

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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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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
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