Arts and Entertainment Regal eye: ‘Hidden Histories: Britain’s Oldest Family Businesses’ featured Fiona Toye’s firm

A stray glance at last night's BBC4 schedules might have tricked people into thinking that Britain's Oldest Family Businesses were being given the Horrible Histories treatment. Alas, this is actually part of a three-part strand called Hidden Histories, which is similar in that it is about history, but different in that it is a very on-the-straight-and-narrow documentary for BBC4 rather than a daft romp through the past with Steve Punt and pals.

Christmas Day storms: electricity lines near Reigate in Surrey are repaired

Power firms tackled by MPs over profits and performance

Britain's power distribution chiefs are fuming about the damage to their industry's reputation by the company blamed for blackouts in the South-east over Christmas.

Old bronze and chalk models are displayed at the Pontificia Fonderia Marinalli factory; founded in 1339, the company is still in business

After 1,000 years, Italian bell makers ring the changes with exports taking up the slack

The process of making bronze bells hasn’t altered much in 1,000 years at the Pontifical Marinelli Foundry. What’s changing is where they chime, as Italy’s oldest family business looks abroad to avoid the economy at home.

Wine: Something for the weekend?

Night in

Book review: The Great Tamasha, By James Astill

The rupee rules at the wicket today. But can the old game survive in a new economic era?

Book of a lifetime: An Artist of the Floating World, By Kazuo Ishiguro

The Booker Prize-winner The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's most famous novel, but An Artist of the Floating World is his one book that I re-read at least once a year.

Denise Welch and Keith Allen in The Smack Family Robinson

Theatre review: The Smack Family Robinson, Rose Theatre, Kingston

Keith Allen and Denise Welch head a clan akin to criminal (and drug-dealing) von Trapp family

The 10 Best ciders

Forget the cheap stuff at the back of the supermarket fridge, properly made scrumpy is the drink of the gods.

Marni has launched its first fragrance in hands of Carolina, the daughter of founder and creative director, Consuelo Castiglioni

The scent of Marni: Italian label launches its first fragrance

The enigmatic Italian fashion label has launched its first fragrance, and it's worth sniffing out, says Naomi Attwood

Australia Mothercare is in administration

Mothercare's Australian business has collapsed into administration after it failed to find a buyer for the baby products retailer.

Facebook criticised again - this time sparked by Mark Zuckerberg's sister

As Twitter and Facebook crimes are announced as having risen a massive 780% in just four years, there's a lot to be said about social media and privacy. Even Mark Zukerberg's sister has something to say.

Government hails record number of people in work and off jobless benefits

The Government hailed new figures showing a record number of people in work as a “real landmark”, as unemployment and jobless benefit claimants fell.

Elisabeth Murdoch and father Rupert

Rupert Murdoch's empire has to be challenged, says Harriet Harman

Labour calls on parties to act together on eve of MacTaggart Lecture by Elisabeth Murdoch

Chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall urge cut-price milk boycott

Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have urged the public to boycott some supermarkets over cuts to the price of milk.

Cannes Diary: Harry Potter magic leads to film debut

Crispian Mills, the lead singer of Kula Shaker, can thank a bit of Harry Potter magic for getting him into films, which has culminated in his directing a "semi-comedy" starring Simon Pegg.

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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