Arts and Entertainment All over now: Thurston Moore (right) and Kim Gordon (left)

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's marriage ended two years ago, taking Sonic Youth with it. Larry Ryan hears them and other members strike out on their own

Marine swapped guns for glamour: Paul Firth bought himself out of the forces to pursue his dream to become a fashion designer, writes Christopher Bellamy

DESIGNING women's clothes is not a career which most people would expect a former Royal Marine to choose. And it was a battle. Paul Frith, 34, said commando and arctic warfare training in Norway had nothing on his 10-year fight to gain recognition as one of Britain's new generation of top fashion designers.

Fashion: Style Notes

IN JANUARY the Paris fashion shows will be broadcast live to the United States for the first time, starting with the haute couture collections. This has led to speculation that some Americans in the industry might stop coming to France. The collections, presented in four purpose-built halls in the just-opened Carrousel du Louvre underneath the museum, will be transmitted to giant screens in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Chicago Apparel Centre and Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles.

How condomania went out of fashion: National Condom Week has been a damp squib this year. Helen Chappell reports

'THE designer condom seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth,' explains Marianne Hahn, co-ordinator of National Condom Week. 'The condom has changed its image since the yuppie condomania of the Eighties. Most campaigners are focusing their efforts on teenagers now. They are seen as the high-risk group.'

Autumn sunshine and blancmange on the wall: Dina Rabinovitch meets Shena Mackay, a gentle middle-aged enchantress in prose

MIXING our teas ('Trust me - Darjeeling with Earl Grey, it works'), the photographer told Shena Mackay that under a woman's influence he once shaved off his beard. Mackay twinkled and said how good he looks now, and then, wondering what his face was like with the beard on, she asked: 'You're not carrying it about in your pocket, are you?'

TELEVISION / A rose by another name: Kristin Scott Thomas has cornered the market in English roses. But her latest role sees the actress trading her twinsets for a different kind of habit. Allison Pearson met her

ACTRESSES don't like talking about their appearance: it's the work that matters, isn't it? So when you are interviewing a serious actress who has just been named one of Elle magazine's British Beauties, it seems best to get the looks question out of the way early on. So, does Kristin Scott Thomas find her beauty a burden? 'Let's get this into proportion, I'm not Miss World. And I've never really felt . . . Oh, God. It's such a dangerous subject, you end up sounding . . . People have told me, but I've always thought they must be mad.' The lady doth protest too much. But modesty, like everything else, becomes her, dammit. She would look blissful in a bin-liner, as you can see on Thursday when she wears the next worst thing - a nun's habit - in Body and Soul, Carlton's six-part serial about a crisis of faith.

STYLE / A dogfight to get close to the catwalk: At Chanel's Paris show what really matters is where you sit, says Roger Tredre

IT'S WHERE you sit that counts. The 17 most prized seats in international fashion are in the front row at the end of the catwalk at the Chanel ready-to-wear show. The people who filled these seats on Thursday are the ones who make things happen in fashion. They are the world's most powerful arbiters of style; designers know that their verdicts on a collection are the ones that count.

BOOK REVIEW / Downturn in the guilt market: Giles Smith on a shrill and rather petty addition to the growing library of attempts to educate men in the art of self-defence - 'Not Guilty: In Defence of the Modern Man' - David Thomas: Weidenfeld, 8.99 pounds

MEN ARE in pain, says David Thomas. The feminists have got them looking hunted, and they never knew how to express themselves anyway. We've had Robert Bly's Iron John (strongly recommending nude confrontation and shouting a lot as a means of emotional self- discovery), and we've had Neil Lyndon's No More Sex War, with its dark intimations of male separatism. And now here is Thomas with Not Guilty, completing a uniquely dodgy trilogy. Except that, in the marching band of the Men's Movement, David Thomas is somewhere near the back, on triangle. 'We're all human,' he says. 'In the end, we all work out about equal.' You will have come across more complex visions of the world in the sleeve notes on soul albums.

BBC 1 controller defects to new franchise holder

JONATHAN POWELL, controller of BBC 1, is stepping down from his post after almost five years to become head of drama at Carlton Television, the ITV franchise holder taking over from Thames on 1 January. He leaves the corporation at Christmas.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
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

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Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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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

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Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

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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

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Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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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

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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

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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