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Actress says she has never been annoyed by show's different US casting

Paul Giamatti as Harold Levinson and Poppy Drayton as Madeline in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Christmas Special TV Review: Christmas at Downton was a bit of a post-turkey snooze

There was a time when the Downton Abbey Christmas special might involve a lady revealing she was up the duff by the chauffeur, or a much-loved character croaking it in a car accident. This year, it was as if, chastened by reactions to their rape storyline, the writers were determined to include nothing even mildly dramatic. If you were looking for a good time to fit in that post-turkey snooze, 8.30pm till 10.30pm was your window.

Lady Mary shares a stern word with Lady Rose in the Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2013

Christmas Day TV: What to watch

In your quest for good Christmas television you’ll probably have to search beyond the predictable big-hitters. Here's our guide.

Dr Peter Capaldi is a real family guy

Inside Television
Opponents claim the bill would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV

Uganda bans miniskirts as MPs pass anti-pornography bill

Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV

Sopranos actor James Gandolfini died in June

Sopranos star James Gandolfini to be remembered with US tribute show

Friends and colleagues will gather on Sunday to honour the actor

A scene from 'The Great Train Robbery'

What to watch tonight: TV choices, 18 December

BBC's The Great Train Robbery airs tonight on the eve of Ronnie Biggs' death

Brotherly love: the central question of Sherlock is what exactly is the nature of the relationship between Holmes and Watson?

Sherlock Holmes: Boy story bromance

The fine bromance between Sherlock Holmes and Watson has gripped TV viewers but, says Patrick Strudwick, it's less about sex and more about love between straight men

Borgen: TV review, BBC4

Great Dane bows out in a refreshingly unsentimental and brisk fashion

British drama Downton Abbey has been nominated for Best Television Drama Series at the Golden Globes 2014

Golden Globes 2014: Television nominations in full

US shows dominate but Julian Fellowes' hit brings it for the Brits

Adam Rothenberg, Matthew MacFayden and Jerome Flynn star in Ripper Street

BBC axes Ripper Street due to low ratings

The drama will not return for a third series

The Day of the Doctor was a cinematic spectacular when it aired on Saturday 23 November

Doctor Who breaks iPlayer record to beat Olympics opening ceremony

'The Day Of The Doctor' received 1.27m online requests in 24 hours

Bryan Cranston, who plays 'Walter', and Aaron Paul's 'Jesse' in Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad inspires parents to name their children after drug dealers instead of royals

George pushed out of the top 10 since the prince was born – while Skyler and Jesse are on the up

The Doctor (Matt Smith) with current assistant Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman)

Doctor Who's The Day of the Doctor loses to Strictly in TV ratings

More viewers chose to watch the dance show than the 50th anniversary special

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

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As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
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We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
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Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
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The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

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Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
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Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
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From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star