Sport Mae Young, superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers, has died aged 90

Female emancipation has taken many forms, but few as gaudy and violent as the breakthrough largely pioneered by Mae Young, better known as "the Great Mae Young," superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers in the US, who conclusively gave the lie to generalisations about the gentler sex. In sport records are made to be broken, but Young's feat of appearing professionally in eight different decades may never be surpassed.

Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

Indyplus more: The Taste review: Nigella Lawson returns with a spoonful of flamboyance

By Ellen E Jones

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

Channel 4's 'The Taste': Judges Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain

The Taste review: Nigella Lawson returns with a spoonful of flamboyance

With Team Nigella already whipped into a state of expectant devotion by her court appearances, her show couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. But The Taste, which began on Channel 4 tonight, is no ordinary Nigella Lawson cookery show and no ordinary competition, either. The contestants may come from the ranks of professional chefs or enthusiastic home cooks, but all will be judged, sight unseen, on the flavour of a single spoonful.

Was Jessica Hart fired by Victoria’s Secret following Taylor Swift slur?

The company president of Victoria's Secret breaks his silence

Watson became a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing in 2013

Pink List 2013: The Judges

Heather Peace

Ellie Goulding

Gig review: Ellie Goulding - Usher Hall, Edinburgh

"Sometimes I don't talk at all (on stage), I feel so nervous," confesses Herefordshire-born 26-year-old Ellie Goulding to the tiered hall packed with eager listeners, "but I like you guys."

Album: Mulatu Astatke, Sketches of Ethiopia (Jazz Village)

Astatke’s 1970s back catalogue only gained worldwide recognition through the Ethiopiques compilations and songs featured in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Veep: The Complete First Season (15)

Various directors DVD/Blu-ray (240mins)

Album review: Cecilia Bartoli, Bellini: Norma (Decca)

Recorded with period specialists Orchestra La Scintilla with the intention of replicating Bellini's original vocal and instrumental colours, this Norma is a thrilling affair, with Cecilia Bartoli afforded full space to wreak emotional havoc as the titular Gallic druid seer trapped in a web of deceit with the proconsul of the occupying Roman forces.

Katherine Jenkins has parted company with her record label Warner Music

Katherine Jenkins parts from record label Warner Music

Singer Katherine Jenkins has parted company with her record label but said she is "excited" about her next move.

Agenda: What's hot and what's not

Middle-class problems

Amanda Echalaz (right) and Kristine Opolais (left) take on the role of Tosca in turn at the Royal Opera House

Highly strung sopranos reach diva pitch

Do you have to be a diva to take on Tosca?

IoS Sounds of 2013: Pop

First, a seasonal recommendation, for though decorations are down and detoxes are underway, blow me down if I haven't found just the thing to soundtrack this bleak midwinter: Pedestrian Verse from Scots rockers Frightened Rabbit. Out in early February, it sees their marriage of grimly poetic lyrics and gustily anthemic choruses more on point than ever.

Brigitte Bardot threatens France exile over elephant slaughter

Sex symbol-turned-animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot is threatening to join actor Gerard Depardieu in Russian exile unless France halts the scheduled euthanasia of two sick circus elephants.

Album: Amy Winehouse, Amy Winehouse at the BBC (Island/Lioness

While there's a limit to how many times one can watch old clips from Later… or the sublime-to-ridiculous Porchester Hall show, you can't deny the power of this three-DVD-plus-one-CD collection.

Album: Ellie Goulding, Halcyon (Polydor)

It's always been difficult to discern the point of Ellie Goulding. She initially appeared merely a younger, vaguely indie Dido, but two albums in she's attempting something her contemporaries have already nailed: combining emotive histrionics with expensive orchestras.

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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
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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
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