Sport Retired queen of the track Victoria “Sponge” Pendleton

If anyone can complete a 127-mile cycle race through the Pyrenees called the “Bone Breaker”, having done no exercise for years, surely it would be a doctor. They might not have quite the depth of medical knowledge that Lance Armstrong possesses, but surely they can merrily prescribe themselves an assortment of finest pharamceuticals to get themselves over the hump.

Sea bass with mussels and prawns

Match of the day: Mark Hix serves up meat and fish with the foodstuffs they eat

Our resident chef has come up with some novel pairings.

Rump of salt marsh lamb with samphire patties

Rump of salt marsh lamb with samphire patties

Serves 4

Sir Elton John (L) and David Furnish

Elton John reveals worries over son Zachary not having 'a mummy'

Sir Elton John has told how he believes his son Zachary's childhood is going to be "very difficult" as he battles homophobia and the impact of his father's world fame.

Match of the day: the London Legacy channel will air sports that gained popularity during London 2012 such as handball

Television: Twenty-four hour handball people?

For many, the closing notes of "My Generation" marked the end of a quadrennial fascination with a range of sports that often fail to capture our imagination in those long, football-dominated non-Olympic years... which makes things difficult for those running and promoting pretty much every Olympic event besides tennis, football and boxing.

Wake up and jump right in: 'Splendid' suites have a pool

Room Service: Argos in Cappadocia, Turkey

Live like a modern caveman in style

Sui mai dumplings

What's for supper?: Sui mai dumplings by Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang

Ingredients to serve 4-6

Endangered frogs breed in London Zoo

Rare frogs airlifted from a Caribbean island to save them from a rapidly spreading fatal disease have bred for the first time at London Zoo.

Mexican summer slaw by Thomasina Miers

Mexican summer slaw

Feeds 4. Time: 20 minutes

Mark's mackerel sandwich

Mackerel sandwich

Serves 4

Bowled over: Ken Yamada has brought his style of ramen to London; his parents ran a traditional ryokan inn in Japan before the family moved to Britain

The greats of broth

I never much cared for noodles. Too many underwhelming, broth-based Wagamama meals. Too many student-made Super Noodles. I've always resented sending a chopstick to do a fork's job.

Bowled over: Ken Yamada has brought his style of ramen to London; his parents ran a traditional ryokan inn in Japan before the family moved to Britain

The greats of broth: A bowl of ramen is the ultimate fast food

Now authentic versions of the Japanese staple are starting to fill British bellies, as Tim Walker discovers.

Gnocchi with tomatoes and basil

Serves 4

Pinny on, pancake over ... the 1950s
man slaves over a hot stove

Katy Guest: It's official - housework makes men happier

Who cares whether guilt or fear of nagging drives them

Asparagus, shallot and feta tart by Ellie Grace and Rosie French

Asparagus, shallot and feta tart

Ingredients to serve 8

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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
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