Sport Big Buck's wins in 2012 at Cheltenham, where he returns on Saturday after missing last year

Big Buck’s is back. More than a year after effortlessly extending his unbeaten sequence to 18, the four-time World Hurdle winner returns to Cheltenham for the Cleeve Hurdle on trials day to great fanfare and the delight of everyone connected with the sport.

Various Pets Alive and Dead, By Marina Lewycka

In the acknowledgments to Marina Lewycka's wonderfully funny fourth novel, she thanks her editors for "killing off several minor characters". It's no surprise. Lewycka's fictions fill up with occasional figures, rather as if they were Altman films. Although it means that readers have their work cut out remembering who fits in where, the sheer jubilation of her plots and sub-plots comes in part from the bedlam that her invented population causes. The fun is hectic or nothing.

Fans keep faith

SPL to investigate payments to Rangers players

The Scottish Premier League have launched an investigation into allegations that Rangers made undisclosed payments to players.

Book Of A Lifetime: English Songs and Ballads, By TWH Crosland

After the Second World War, my family moved from a Displaced Persons camp in Schleswig-Holstein to a refugee camp in Sussex. From there we were taken in by English families. My mother worked as a domestic, and my father as an agricultural worker. Our first "host" family were the Dobbses of Whatlington. Rosalind Heyworth Dobbs (née Potter) was an artist and mother-in-law of Malcolm Muggeridge, connected through her parents and eight siblings to the Bloomsbury set. After she died in 1949, we transferred to Miss Winifred Morton in nearby Burwash Common.

Ballabriggs runs on Saturday for the first time since his National win

Ballabriggs to follow familiar National path

Irish challenge grows as Prince De Beauchene shortens to favouritism after victory at weekend

Enjoying my first visit to Elland Road as the new Leeds manager

Leeds appoint Warnock as manager

Leeds have confirmed the appointment of Neil Warnock as manager.

Something For The Weekend: Leeds United, Hansa's harsh words and the quiz...

It's squeaky bum time for...

Leeds United

Supporters at Elland Road will attend today's Yorkshire derby with bottom-of-the-table Doncaster Rovers filled more with hope than expectation.

Hundreds attend vigil for murdered girl

Hundreds of people attended a candle-lit vigil last night for Casey-Lyanne Kearney, the 13-year-old girl who died after being stabbed as she walked through a park in Doncaster.

Tributes paid to teenage stab victim

The parents of a 13-year-old girl who died after being stabbed have paid tribute to her as "the most beautiful, intelligent and bright young girl".

Woman held after teenager killed in 'random' stabbing

A woman was being questioned last night over the fatal stabbing of a 13-year-old girl while she walked across a public park to meet a friend.

13-year-old's stab death was 'random attack'

A 13-year-old girl who was stabbed in a "random, isolated attack" dialled 999 as she lay dying from her injuries, police said tonight.

Mick Welsh: Miner and politician who fought for greater safety in Britain's pits

It was his friend Sir Patrick Duffy, long-serving MP for Sheffield, war hero and Navy Minister, who encapsulated the career of Mick Welsh – few called him Michael – the MP for Don Valley from 1979-83 and Doncaster North from 1983-92. "The thing about Mick was that, albeit an authentic Yorkshire miner – no frills – he worked well with Conservatives, to whom some of his views must have anathema. Due to his personality and easy-going temperament, he knew how to get on on a Select Committee."

Nicky Maynard has scored 46 times in 130 appearances for Bristol City

Wigan set for talks with Nicky Maynard

Bristol City have given Wigan permission to open talks with Nicky Maynard with the two clubs close to agreeing a fee for the striker.

Leicester agree fee for Sharp

Doncaster Rovers announced last night they have agreed a fee to sell striker Billy Sharp to Championship rivals Leicester City.

Man killed while lying in road

A 56-year-old man died after he was hit by a car while he was lying in the road.

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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
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