Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

Reginald Hunter

Booking of comedian Reginald D Hunter for PFA Awards defended by Gordon Taylor

The comedian regularly used the word 'n*****' throughout his performance

Postcard from... Italy

You’d think the people running things in Italy were deliberating over whom to vote for in the student union by their behaviour – not choosing the head of state in G8 country, which has failed to swear in a government two months after a general election.

Saturday night ratings battle: Britain's Got Talent versus The Voice

Simon Cowell: BBC 'to blame' for The Voice and Britain's Got Talent schedule clash

Britain's Got Talent (BGT) boss Simon Cowell said the BBC has no one to blame but itself for its Saturday night schedule problems.

Bradford & Bingley's public sell-off 'flawed'

Shareholders claim 2008 privatisation was contrary to democracy
Pier Bersani has been unable to form a government

Italy's would-be Prime Minister Pier Luigi Bersani says job is 'only for mentally ill'

Italy’s would-be Prime Minister has said that “only a mentally ill person” would want the job right now, as the eurozone’s third biggest democracy continues to tie itself in knots.

Postcard from... Rome

'I wish the Queen had died': Offensive Frankie Boyle jokes cut from BBC Comic Relief broadcast

Jokes made by Frankie Boyle about the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen during a Comic Relief gig have proven too much for the BBC.

Beppe Grilloa, a charismatic 64-year-old comedian from Genoa whose anti-political non-party, the Five-Star Movement, has come roaring

Italy's anti-politician on the verge of election sensation

Hopes of a stable coalition emerging after today's vote have been upset by emergence of the comic turned would-be leader

Spare a thought for the comedians as the Pope gets on his horse

The moment news breaks Twitter has thousands of jokes in 140 characters

Chris Brown allegedly faked his community service

Down, down, deeper and Brown for Rihanna

Chris Brown continues to wow with his odious behaviour. This week it was alleged that the rapper faked some of his community service (part of his punishment for assaulting his girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009) after prosecutors claimed his community-service records contained “significant discrepancies, indicating, at best, sloppy documentation and, at worst, fraudulent reporting”.

Frontrunners for this year's laftas

Fresh Meat, Frankie Boyle, Keith Lemon and Rylan in the front running for this year's Laftas

The 'good, the tanned and the ugly' up for this year's comic alternative to the Baftas

Question Time: Can't the BBC allow us one hour of unashamedly highbrow televison?

We no longer have reasoned arguments between people who know what they're talking about, interspersed with intelligent contributions from the audience

Super Bowl: San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver sorry for anti-gay remarks during media day

Culliver was talking in the build-up to this weekend's showpiece event

Psychoville

Sitcoms: Who got the last laugh?

TV critics, take note. You may have branded Mrs Brown's Boys "jaw-droppingly past its sell-by-date", but think again: the public voted it best sitcom at last week's National Television Awards. Nine million people watched the Christmas Eve special, making it the most viewed show that day. But how often do the critics get it right? We plot their opinions against those of the people for whom TV is actually made …

Gary the Goat with his owner comedian Jimbo Bazoobi

Nothing gruff about Gary the Australian goat after court victory

Every goat has his day, and today was Gary’s. He waited patiently outside a Sydney court as his owner, Jimbo Bazoobi, contested charges arising from Gary’s decision to snack on a flower bed outside the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art last August.

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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game