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XL Media to float on AIM today

DVD: Merlin: Series 4 (12)

"We shan't go to Camelot, 'tis a silly place," as Monty Python pointed out, and the BBC's sword-and-sorcery drama is pretty silly. It's also, however, enormous fun.

Isabelle Duston’s cooking app was a surprise success in Denmark

The digital enlightenment has already begun

In the brave new world of social media development, budding entrepreneurs need more than bright ideas. How can educators nurture the skills required to produce a winning formula?

Sbtrkt, The Gilles Peterson Awards, Koko

As mysterious as he is wary of vowels, Sbtrkt was the toast of the evening at the The Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards.

Year of the Dragon roars into the UK

Two weeks of celebrations are set to start tomorrow as communities mark the arrival of Chinese New Year.

No death please, we're British

As a new festival at the Southbank explores the way cultures around the globe deal with our final exit, Arifa Akbar asks whether it is time for us to lose the morbidity left by the Victorians and reconsider the way we say goodbye

Wales blow as Lloyd Burns set miss Six Nations

Wales forward Lloyd Burns will miss the entire RBS 6 Nations Championship after being ruled out for three months with a neck injury.

Ex-MP Frank Cook dies aged 76

Former Labour MP Frank Cook, who spent 27 years in the House of Commons, has died at the age of 76.

<b>4. Luke Charteris (Wales)</b><br/>
The surprise package of the tournament. If his line-out work had been better, he would have been THE man of the show.

Wales lock Luke Charteris to leave Newport Gwent Dragons

Wales lock Luke Charteris is to leave the Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the season, the Welsh region have announced.

Little Dragon, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Take a bow, Damon Albarn. He's not actually on stage, but he may well be the reason a good portion of the crowd has turned up.

Matterson looks to seal play-off berth for Cas

Finishing in Super League's top eight might not sound like cause for dancing in the street, but for many clubs that is what defines the difference between an acceptable season and a disappointing one.

After the End, Pleasance Courtyard

Dennis Kelly's tense two-hander begins in an underground nuclear shelter. Tony McGeever and Helen Darbyshire play colleagues, Mark and Louise; they'd been at her leaving drinks when a terror attack struck. Being a paranoid sort of guy, Mark's got a bunker in his backyard which he happens to keep all stocked-up with supplies. He's taken Louise there, apparently saving her life.

Business Diary: Lloyds buries the bad news

Taxpayers hoping one day to get their money back from Lloyds Banking Group will be pleased to see it doesn't miss a trick. What better day than yesterday to announce 1,300 job losses? After all, the bank knew people would be focused on the riots. Just to make sure it was slipping the announcement under the radar, it was headlined "Lloyds Banking Group announces organisational changes" – the words "jobs" and "losses" were nowhere to be seen. With nous like this, it can be only a matter of time before the black-horse bank pays us all back.

A Dance with Dragons, By George R R Martin

Long, long ago, in a faraway land where nothing much happens...
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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'