Arts and Entertainment Sam Smith collaborated with Naughty Boy on 'La La La'

The rising star beat competition from Ella Eyre and Banks to take the prize

Carl Froch (L) and Mikkel Kessler during a press conference

Boxing: Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler promise 'epic' rematch

Pair to fight at the O2 in May

WATCH: Hilarious clips of celebrities reading 50 Shades of Grey

Whoever came up with the Top 10 list of celebrities reading sections of 50 Shades of Grey REALLY knows what makes the internet tick. It's gold-dust. (So thank you, Flavourwire's Emily Temple.)

Album: Tracey Thorn, Tinsel and Lights (Strange Feeling)

Rather than do the easy thing and lend her famously languid tones to a set of Christmas standards, former Everything But the Girl singer Thorn has come up with a selection of 10 cover versions (and two self-penned originals), many only tangentially Christmassy, from tasteful, cheese-free sources.

A Hip Hop Christmas Part 2: Big Boi reads How The Grinch Stole Christmas

It seems the guys over at Vice's music channel Noisey enjoy a Hip Hop Christmas as much as the next man, and certainly as much as some lady from a radio station.

IoS album review: Heinz Sauer, Michael Wolliny, Don't Explain - Live in Concert (ACT)

Tenor saxophonist Sauer, who will be 80 on Christmas Day, has a bleating, wounded-mammal sound like Archie Shepp, allied to an exquisite sensitivity on ballads that recalls Ben Webster.

Christopher Maloney has yet to find himself in the dreaded 'bottom two'

Rylan Clark: Christopher Maloney to win X Factor

The latest contestant to be booted off the ITV1 talent contest has hailed Maloney despite sniping about the former cruise ship singer last week

IoS album review: Wadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo, Ancestors (Tum)

Trumpeter Smith – whose epic Ten Freedom Summers is probably the most impressive jazz recording of the year – left segregated Mississippi for the army at around the same time as drummer Moholo-Moholo joined the soon-to-be-exiled Blue Notes in apartheid Cape Town.

L’elisir d’amore, Royal Opera House, London

Roberto Alagna has sung the role of the lovesick Nemorino before, but this was his Covent Garden debut in the role. And in a pre-performance interview he described his challenge: he would have to ‘fight with the ghost of his past’ – ie compete with his own best moments.

Civil Wars in civil war? Tour dates cancelled amid 'irreconcilable differences'

Grammy-winning folk-pop duo The Civil Wars are calling off their upcoming tour dates, citing irreconcilable differences.

Album: Alison Balsom, Sound the Trumpet (EMI Classics)

Trumpeters were the star musicians of the Baroque era, their shiny, golden tones vital to evoking the glory of victory and the majesty of kings.

One To Watch: Josh Osho, singer, 20

The south London pop-soul singer has supported Rizzle Kicks, Jessie J, Giggs and Emeli Sandé on their UK tours.

Face to Watch: Arlissa, Singer, 19

"It wasn't until I was on the plane home that I suddenly realised, wow, I just did a track with Nas. It's been an incredible opportunity."

The Imaginary Radio Programme: Drennon Davis, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

If you add “with Monique Moreau on keyboard” to the self-explanatory title of this show then you get exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a simple recipe to prepare and serve: the American duo pretend to dial surf through the airwaves in order to pastiche various musical styles.

Flash Mob, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

When the dancers of Flash Mob ask the audience to join in with a dancealong routine, they get a giggly, enthusiastic response. It’s a happy ending for a friendly show that brings together dancers from various reality TV dance series, in styles from hip hop to Irish dance.

Album: Public Service Broadcasting, The War Room (Test Card)

The "Keep Calm and Carry On" meme, barely seen during wartime but rediscovered at the turn of the millennium, gained traction because it spoke to a mythologised idea of British fortitude and resilience.

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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