Sport Louis Smith shows off his Olympic silver medal

British gymnast Louis Smith has put his retirement plans on hold and declared he wants to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year.

Strictly Luhrmann – where he leads, we will follow

He's always a step ahead of the zeitgeist, so what does the influential director have planned next? By James Mottram

Saracens confirm Henson talks

Saracens have confirmed they have made contact with Gavin Henson as a possible solution to their potential problem at fly-half.

DJ Taylor: Affable Ann could show supercilious George a few moves

The Chancellor's curled lip does little to endear him, while Widdecombe's neat footwork and Norman Wisdom's loveable innocence make them hard to resist

The Bargain Hunter: Hot picks at Miss Selfridge

Miss Selfridge launched its mid-season sale this week, with up to50 per cent off selected items until Tuesday 19 October. Visit http://ind.pn/dqiDiE for the full list of savings, with the "hot picks" section (a glorified list of the biggest discounts) well worth a look. When making your order, don't forget that Miss Selfridge offers free delivery on all orders over £80. You don't need a voucher code to take advantage but I thought I'd mention it as delivery charges may alter the way you shop.

Mike Phillips: 'Go on Strictly Come Dancing? No thanks'

The Brian Viner Interview: The Wales scrum-half (aka 'Mr Duffy') has the celebrity partner and lifestyle. But don't label him as another Gavin Henson

Britain finds an export star at last

Sales of British television programmes to the international market have hit an all-time high. Nick Clark reports

Cultural Life: Gillian Wearing, artist

Visual Arts: I saw a really great show of Wolfgang Tillmans at the Serpentine Gallery. I saw Wolfgang's first show at Maureen Paley back in 1993. It really wasn't like anything I had seen before; casual images pinned to the wall, with tenuous links between them. Wolfgang has continued being experimental without losing that lightness of touch, and always keeping that sense of humanity.

Strictly Come Dancing will dictate Henson's Barbarians involvement

The chances of Gavin Henson representing the Barbarians in December hinge on whether he is more like former England scrum-half Matt Dawson or fellow Welshman Joe Calzaghe on the Saturday night dancefloor.

Sports stars and reality TV

Gavin Henson and Peter Shilton are the latest sports personalities to enter the world of reality television with their participation in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series.

Bruce Forsyth: Hasn't he done well?

There's never been a showbiz career like it. And as 'Strictly' returns to our screens tonight, the BBC is once again looking to this octogenarian king of the catchphrase to spearhead its battle for ratings.

Henson is back in a Wales shirt but no closer to a return to action

If anyone still gave a tinker's cuss whether Gavin Henson might be seen in a Wales shirt again, they were given their answer yesterday when the poor lost soul of the Red Dragon game reappeared, as if by magic, as the poster-boy of a marketing campaign to promote a new, heavily-sponsored kit deal. The question that stayed unanswered was whether the Grand Slam-winning midfielder would actually play again. On this subject, his thoughts remained almost as impenetrable as his fake tan.

BBC1 chief declares truce in Saturday night ratings war

The BBC and ITV's Saturday night ratings war is at an end, the controller of BBC1, Jay Hunt, has signalled, saying she would no longer be alarmed if her network ceased to be Britain's most popular channel.

Go global or face huge cuts, says BBC boss

Director general follows his MacTaggart lecture with a warning of the consequences of not tackling the corporation's £2bn deficit

My Life in Ten Questions... Mark Ramprakash

'Looking back now, I realise I’ve been incredibly lucky'

Mark Steel: Not all their careers will end in failure

It looks like the next stage of the New Labour project is for the leaders to become proper celebrities. Mandelson's doing well so far, with his advert for The Times being impressively putrid, in which he publicises the serialisation of his book by sitting in a camp Gothic pose purring "I am the Prince of Darkness". But it fails in one respect, that the reason he's called the Prince of Darkness isn't because he played Dracula in a film or always wore a cloak, it's because he really is the Prince of bloody Darkness. It's like the difference between one of the Chuckle Brothers doing an advert where he says: "I'm a nutcase I am", and one in which a similar line was said by Raoul Moat.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas