Arts and Entertainment The Strictly Come Dancing cast pose at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham

Wembley Arena, London

Panto debut: Jo Brand (fourth left) is a genie in Aladdin

Panto is one of our great theatrical traditions – oh yes it is!

It’s behind you!” If those words elicit a groan, then bah humbug to you. You may hate pantomime but I’m honing my heckles in preparation to see several shows around the country.

Ashely Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan dance the salsa on Strictly Come Dancing 2013

Strictly Come Dancing 2013 result: Ashely Taylor Dawson sent home

Craig, Darcey and Bruno all chose to send Ashely home after the dance-off

Richard Garner: PISA test results are a disappointment but we should look to the future

There is no way that the results of this year’s international PISA test results can be summed up as anything other than a disappointment for the UK.

In pictures: The Duchess of Cornwall, Cheryl Cole and Damien Lewis attend the annual ICAP Global Charity Day

The Duchess of Cornwall rubbed shoulders with celebrities for a good cause at the annual ICAP Global Charity in central London.

Actor Mark Benton and his dance partner Iveta Lukosiute left the competition tonight

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Mark Benton leaves after fourth dance-off

The actor lost out after all four judges voted to save Ashley Taylor-Dawson

Ben Cohen left Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday after the judges voted to save Mark Benton

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Ben Cohen voted off as Mark Benton is saved

Mark Benton survived his third dance-off as Ben and Kristina were sent home

Super trouper: Dickie Wood was filmed as he took over one of the main roles in ‘Mamma Mia!’

Grace Dent on TV: The Sound of Musicals, Channel 4

The dance routines! The insanity! The naked tanning sessions! That's showbiz!

Vanessa Feltz with dance partner Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing 2013

Vanessa Feltz on being voted off Strictly Come Dancing: 'It's no great tragedy'

The TV presenter admitted she was 'never exactly set to win the show'

Sharon Osbourne gives Andrea Magee some bad news on The X Factor

X Factor becoming crueller because we're bored of sob stories, psychologist claims

Standard-issue sob stories just don't cut the mustard anymore

Strictly Come Dancing – The Live Tour, The NIA, Birmingham

Chandeliers hang over the vast space of Birmingham’s indoor arena, twinkling with fairy lights. The set design pretends to evoke a ballroom, but really represents a television studio, all lit up with Saturday night sequins.

Fabrice Muamba shows off fancy footwork on Christmas Strictly Come Dancing

Miracle footballer Fabrice Muamba showed he still has some fancy footwork as he kicks up a storm for Strictly Come Dancing - just months after retiring from the pitch after his "death".

Lisa Riley to star in stage show Strictly Confidential next year

The former Emmerdale actress will appear in the show directed and written by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood

Westlife singer Nicky Byrne slides off Strictly Come Dancing stage

Former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne became the latest star to slide off the Strictly Come Dancing stage but said the experience had been "so much fun".

TV presenter Richard Arnold waltzes off Strictly Come Dancing

Television presenter Richard Arnold became the latest contestant to leave Strictly Come Dancing on the week the show swapped the Strictly ballroom for Wembley Arena.

Victoria Pendleton back on her bike for Strictly Come Dancing

Victoria Pendleton is getting back in the saddle by riding a flying bike for her routine on this weekend's Strictly Come Dancing.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty