News In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event

The veteran Channel 4 host let readers in on the inner workings of his mind – and it’s not as laundered as one might have thought

Big Mommas: Like A Father, Like Son (PG)

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Jessica Lucas

Girls, goals, fits and flair: Ronaldo, one of the greats, makes tearful exit

The double World Cup-winner whom Bobby Robson called 'a god' has retired. Robin Scott-Elliot reflects on an extraordinary career

Book of a Lifetime: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

For all David Foster Wallace's formidable and, to a bunch of woolly humanities graduates, estrangingly mathematical intelligence, when my friends and I first read 'Infinite Jest' about a year after it came out in 1996, we felt the instantaneous devotee's delusion of ownership. This guy was ours. Here was a way of writing that restored to literary English the crackle of contemporaneity it lacked, absorbing the registers of psychotherapy and street slang and hard-core analytic maths into a style that might have sagged under the weight of its own syntactic ambition had it not been underwritten, always, by Wallace's whistle-bright logical clarity, comic inventiveness and unexpected largeness of heart. When, a few years later, I began to write myself, it took a conscious effort to wean myself off the rhythms and loop-the-loop habits of mind of a writer to whom, judging by my concave-spined and painstakingly sellotaped copy of 'Infinite Jest', I had perhaps become a little addicted.

Thai ladyboys chosen as flight attendants

A new Thai airline is hiring transsexual ladyboys as flight attendants with aim of setting itself apart from its competitors.

Indonesian pop star jailed after sex tapes are posted online

One of Indonesia's best-known pop stars was sentenced yesterday to three and a half years behind bars after sex tapes with his celebrity girlfriends found their way to the internet, riveting and dividing this predominantly Muslim nation.

Pop star jailed over home-made sex tapes

An Indonesian pop star who rocked the predominantly Muslim nation after several home-made sex tapes found their way to the internet was sentenced today to three and a half years in jail.

Robert Hanks: We've tired of relentless cynicism

Miranda's success reflects a certain public weariness with the comedy of outrage

Diamond Star Halo, By Tiffany Murray

The mixed blessings of growing up in the Seventies have been the subject of any number of memorable novels, but Tiffany Murray's new book is one of the few to give the adjective "kooky" back its good name.

Monitor calls for official candidate to be barred from Haiti election

An investigation into the elections in Haiti, which were mired in corruption and violence, is said to have concluded that the government's candidate failed to qualify for the second round run-off for the presidency.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, BAC, London<br/>Once Bitten, Orange Tree, London<br/>Bea, Soho Theatre, London

A subversive multi-media story set in a stinking slum; a convoluted French farce that hits the mark; and a sickbed drama that dares to deal in humour

Fancy dress: Oh, the decadence

As we gear up for New Year, Harriet Walker salutes the greatest party style

Outside Edge: A name to try and remember

One of the most inspiring stories of 2010 had to be the comedian Eddie Izzard completing 43 marathons in 51 days despite never having run one before. OK, so the 47-year-old transvestite comic didn't do it in high heels – maybe next year – but he raised an enormous amount of money for Sports Relief. Now a teacher from Harrow, Neil O'Maonaigh-Lennon, has set an extraordinary new record by running 105 marathons in 105 days. In fact he beat the previous best by some considerable distance – the Guinness Book of Records lists 52 in 52 days. The 30-year-old set off from Brighton on 10 September and arrived back at the town's pier on Thursday, raising £10,000 for Cancer Research UK. He undertook the task after both his grandfathers died of the disease. Each day's run took him around seven hours to complete as he ran anti-clockwise around the entire coast of Britain. Perhaps he can also lay claim to another long-distance record: having one of the longest, trickiest names in the world.

Charles Nevin: Forget your woes and find a reason to celebrate

This Christmas is supposed to be the most miserable ever &ndash; but our writer has found 25 compelling reasons for good cheer

Tears are never far from ruining the make-up of Eddie Izzard

His new DVD is far from a laugh-a-minute, but then so is its author. By Ian Burrell
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada