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.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick