Arts and Entertainment

Sally Wainwright's hit BBC drama about Celia and Alan will be back in late 2014

The enduring charm of the Borgias

One of history's most notorious families is returning to TV – this time with a class cast. Sarah Hughes has a preview

Hereafter (12A)

Starring: Matt Damon, Cécile de France

Sarah Sands: The hating of Bercow – let me count the ways

While America is reflecting on the consequences of ideological polarity, this is the English version of a bust-up. The Speaker, John Bercow, who in the film version might be played by Tom Hollander, confronts the burlier Tory figure of Mark Pritchard, in the corridors of Westminster. For some reason, Bercow decides to speak as if he were in Wolf Hall: "The courtesy of the House is that honourable members should stand aside when the Speaker passes by." The honourable member growls: "You are not fucking royalty, Mr Speaker." Bercow squeals after him: " Well a good morning to you, Sir." Pritchard's line is not Wilberforce, but it caught the imagination of his colleagues and is now being printed on T-shirts.

King Lear, Donmar Warehouse, London

He is the most exacting and pernickety of actors, Derek Jacobi, which means that his long-awaited Lear will never open the floodgates. But it is most beautifully spoken and detailed. It's also terribly polite.

Tom Sutcliffe: Dramatic pause that says so much

The week in culture

Murder! Incest! Cannibalism!: Why 1976 was a year of TV excess

As ITV remakes one of 1976’s lustiest TV sagas, Gerard Gilbert looks back on a year that broke every boundary

Charles Dicken's England

That a documentary about the most exuberant comic novelist who ever lived should be quite so plodding as this is really a cause for shame.

DVD: A Bunch of Amateurs (15)

Good performances from Imelda Staunton, Derek Jacobi and Samantha Bond make this a watchable film, which fares better on the small screen.

Janie Dee: Pinter, a man of passion, peace... and pauses

Today I'm thinking of Harold Pinter with sadness, but mostly with gratitude. Wanting to remember everything. Such as the first run through of his play Betrayal, in which I played Emma, in 2003. He turned up in his dark glasses. At the end he took them off and announced to Peter Hall that he thought it could be "the best" and that he was taking us all out to lunch. Peter later reassured us that the invitation was a sure sign of his approval.

Album: Common, Universal Mind Control (Island)

Apart from his recent shift into movies, Common seems to be approaching his hip-hop career in a perversely roundabout manner

Last Night's TV: Sickly come dancing is too sweet for me

Ballet Shoes, BBC1; The Old Curiosity Shop, ITV1

THEATRE: THEATRE CHOICE

The Dog in the Manger
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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all